glad to see that these forums are still alive
. I've played BG1 about 20 years ago (1 playthrough with a pure fighter, 1 with an Invoker mage if I remember correctly). Bought the BG1 EE + BG2 EE about 4 years ago (never even knew there had been a BG2 back then) as well as IWD EE.
I did 3 or 4 more playthroughs of BG1 I think and 1 full playthrough of BG2. Bought Siege of Dragonspear and I think I only did 1 playthrough on it (I think on BG1 I did one as a half-orc Berserker, 1 as a Kensai/mage solo 1 as a Sorcerer and 1 as a Darkmoon Monk. Siege of Dragonspear was with my Darkmoon Monk. With BG2 I tested with a few classes but settled with my sorcerer for the playthrough).
Long story short, I just found out about the Wolfwere/Werewolf island from BG1 this week and went back into an old save to check it out which led me to consider finally getting into IWD.
For once, with IWD, I can fully customize my party so I won't end up with 1 very strong character ("Charname") and a bunch of subpar companions that I try to salvage with unique magic items (to fix their str or dex, etc.) and being limited with my party composition due to some of their alignments.
I still have my old D&D 2nd edition books (the Monstruous Manual can come in handy when facing some monsters if I don't remember their weaknesses or strengths). So overall, I'm somewhat familiar with a part of these games (spells, classes, mechanics) but there are still a lot of things I haven't experimented with.
So right now I'm mostly trying to debate which classes to pick for my IWD EE party as there are some I'd like to fit in there, some I have never tried and am curious about and some that I feel are compulsory.
At the moment, I have:
1- Barbarian (half orc)
2- Kensai (18/98 str, intend on going Kensai/mage at lvl 7 or 9)
4- Priest of Helm
5- Archer (Elf, 18/81 str)
I rerolled several times so my important stats are generally all boosted.
1-Barbarian, I enjoy hard hitting bruiser kind of characters and arcane spell casters the most from what I've played so far. I THINK that the hardest hitting one (at least with a 2h weapon) would be the Barbarian (I'm never too sure between barbarian and berserker, they feel similar to me)?
2-Kensai I'm not 100% sure, I know it did great with the dual wield and katanas but I'm not even sure if there are good katanas in IWD EE (none were listed on that other mikerpg site but that was pre-EE) so he'd probably go with longswords/bastard sword proficiencies. Still, I think I didn't keep on going through BG2 with the Kensai/mage as it felt like I was hitting a point where he no longer would really be a melee assassin and just turn into some sort of subpar mage so I didn't really see the point in having this over a sorcerer (unless I wanted to solo through BG1/SoD/BG2).
3-Sorcerer I find is really good so I'm pretty sure about my pick here, just unsure if I need to grab Identify as a starting spell since I might have no other mages for it or if there are glasses of identify early on or something like that.
4-Priest of Helm, is mostly because I feel like a Cleric is mandatory... at least in the early game for the healing spells (they still have several other great spells like Hold Person and Command as well as buffs). Not too excited for this one taking a spot still.
5-Archer, mostly because I end up with too many melee characters that can't always all attack at once. Archer looked good with the tooltip if I wanted ranged dmg. In my previous games, I never really picked up rangers, I only had my thieves sometimes use a shortbow. Not sold on this one yet but I think it might be a good option since most classes that appeal to me are melee and they might get too much in the way of one another during fights.
6- Now I don't know for this spot. In most of my playthroughs, I had a "main tank" that would have a ton of health and a shield but weaker damage output like Kagain in BG1 or Anomen in BG2. I don't know if I'll "need" one again (Kensai can be squishy, especially early game, Barbarian also doesn't have the best armor, especially if I plan on using a 2h sword on him).
I feel like a Thief (or at least a multi or dual class Thief) is mandatory only because of possible traps to find/disarm or maybe locks to open... is it the case?
I read that Druids were strong in IWD, I only played Jaheira as a Druid before so I don't know them very well, Werewolf druid looks fun on paper.
People say Bards are also very good but I never had much interest in them.
I did kind of like the Inquisitor (Keldorn was the main reason I didn't make my own in BG2) although his magic dispell can also ruin my own buffs and they can't specialize like fighters can with weapons so they're not as strong.
Wizard Slayer looks good on paper but I assume that if you can land attacks on the mage, it's either cause it's a low lvl mage early game and he'll die before your debuff can stack up or you've had to use your own spell casters to debuff the enemy mage. Maybe I could use a Wizard Slayer + Inquisitor combo but that might be overkill?
Paladin Cavalier and Undead Hunter both sound decent.
Shaman I'm curious about, I've never seen them (I think they're new with EE) but don't know what they do aside from the class description.
Overall, I think I'd want to keep the Sorcerer. I would like to have at least 1 or 2 hard hitting melee characters. I think that I shouldn't get more than 3 melee characters if possible. I'm curious about Druid as I've never played a shapeshifter before. I think that I need to fit in a Thief somewhere (mandatory?), a Cleric (mandatory?) although some Cleric spells make it feel less of a wasted spot than a Thief. I'm guessing I might have to fit a "tank" too.
What would be some of your recommendations? I saw many people suggest a bunch of multi-class characters and dual-class ones but I'm afraid to end up with a party filled with jack of all trades, masters of none that level up super slowly and feel very weak throughout half of the playthrough if not more. I read that you can reach very high level but I think that is if you do more than 1 playthrough and that characters should be around lvl 14-15 by the end of the game (making it rather weak for multi and dual classes).