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Was putting points into Longbow for Archer a big mistake for BG2?

I kept my Monk with who I had cleared BG1/SoD about 2 years ago as main character for my party into BG2 but finally decided to go with a party instead of trying to solo it. I made 4 other members (picking up a few of the NPCs one at a time to do some of their quests and I intend on picking up Keldorn as my 6th).

So my Monk started with his lvl 10 (500k xp) and stat bonuses from the BG1 tomes while my other 4 (Shaman, Wizard Slayer, F/T, Archer) started at the usual lvl 7.

I could have entered chapter 2 (only did Nalia and Airie quests) but I wanted to buy a few more items first. I'm finishing the 1st level of Watcher's Keep because I wanted the bottles and ammo containers and my Archer is now close to lvl 9 (I think I get an other weapon proficiency point at lvl 9 if it's like the Fighter).

I never really played rangers in any of my BG1/SoD/BG2/IWD so I normally only used Shortbows (on my thieves) and longbows on very rare occasions on my fighters (either to pull or some weird fights where they would be better not to charge in).

I was dumb and instead of looking up the potential archer weapons, I assumed Longbows (composite) would be the best ones for damage and that Shortbows were more for thieves. I was right about the non-magical ones. So when I made my archer, I put 4 points into Longbows (couldn't put the 5th, I think you get it at lvl 9) and the other point I placed into longswords although I don't really plan on ever meleeing with her.

I started having trouble damaging some monsters already in Nalia's Keep (especially the golem that requires +3 magic weapon) even though I was trying to use magic arrows (+1, +2 and the other types). Looking up info on how monsters that can only be hit by a certain +X weapon damage, I learned that the bows +X are irrelevant and only the arrows count. Learned that there are only a handful of +2 arrows in SoA and that it only gets worse as you reach ToB where archers have trouble being able to damage a lot of the enemies. I read that the best bow for this reason is the Genseng one (used with no arrows) as it counts as a +3 (I think?) and enemies are more rarely resistant to lightning damage than piercing. I read that otherwise, you kind of have to buy the +5 sling that acts the same way.

I don't really feel like starting my archer over (and I don't think I could import a new one in a current game if I'm not mistaken on top of losing 2 lvls) but reading about how she'll quickly become a dead weight (on top of my F/T that won't be able to backstab a lot of the enemies in ToB apparently) is bothering me a bit.

Am I basically doomed with her for late game BG2/ToB/Watcher's Keep because I put 4 points into Longbow? Is it still salvageable (I think that if she gets 1 weapon point every 3 levels, that means that based off the levels my characters had at the end of ToB in my last playthrough, she might only reach 4 points into shortbow near the end of ToB which wouldn't be great). Should I still get the 5th point into longbow (currently have Elven Court +3, I read Heartseeker isn't too bad but slightly worse) or try to max out Shortbow right away? Would I have needed points into Slings to use the +5 sling when I don't have arrows that are good enough to hit the stronger monsters/bosses?

Worst case scenario, I guess I'll replace her with one of the NPCs but I kind of liked the Archer so far.

Daevelongorgonzola

Comments

  • DaevelonDaevelon Member Posts: 582
    edited November 14
    Well, dead weight it's too much for a character that will hit anyway 90% of the enemies, for the other 10% you can switch to shortbows... Sure, the lack of endgame longbows is very annoying and i still think that, outside from mod world, it should be fixed. Adding just a Cespenar recipe would be easy, for example.

    Post edited by Daevelon on
    gorgonzolaNeo
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,146
    No, it is not a big mistake at all. It's become common sense here in the forums that "there are no good longbows " or "shortbows are better" but its a min/maxed point of view. Your best options are:

    -Heartseeker bow : +4 thac0 , +2 damage
    - Ripper: +2 thac0 , +2 damage
    - Strongarm :+3 thac0, +3 damage

    Your archer will still kick ass with any of those. It is not the biggest damage per round, but it is consistent throughout the whole game specially because Archers have thaco/damage bonuses of their own.

    gorgonzolaThacoBellNeo
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,988
    edited November 14
    for soa and tob short bow is surely stronger in the hands of an archer then long bow, +1 apr on top of the extra attack every bow get is really strong and gesen can hit enemies that need high enchantmant.
    and an archer has already a very good thac0 so will hit very often even with the +1 only tugian.

    but it tob and even in wk you find some +3 arrows, keep them for the enemies that need +3 to be hit, as with your thac0 you don't need them in other battles and the +3 does not add damage.

    very few enemies require +4 to be hit even in tob, for them as @Humanoid_Taifun told, the sling is the way to go, and also when you use GWW, you will have enough pips to get at least specialization in sling after getting GM in long bow.

    be wise on how you use your ammo, an archer uses a lot of it with his high apr, and you will not have any problem even if your build is not the most bg2 efficient, but as it was so in bg1 (i don't know about SoD) it is fair.

    EDIT: most of the enemies that in early soa need +3 can be easily won, like the golem in nalia's keep, as he can not pass the door so even a not proficient in sling mage can kill it with the +5 sling, as he is not regenerating, even if he hits only on crits, it is long but works.
    other enemies are completely optional like demi liches and you will find golems not blocked by doors only in very late soa, when you should have at least a pip in sling.

    Neo
  • DaevelonDaevelon Member Posts: 582
    Neverused wrote: »
    I’ll note that Enchanted Weapon is a 4th level arcane spell that makes any weapon count as +3 enchantment: this should help against a couple things immune to lower enchantments. You’re in danger of being dispelled, so you still have to play safely with this, but it’ll allow hits on iron golems, that pesky Balor and a few other things.

    Never thought about that, it's actually a way

    Neo
  • NeoNeo Member Posts: 90
    Thanks for the many replies. So I understand it's not catastrophic (especially since I play on Core Rules rather than the hard difficulties right now) but that Shortbow is indeed a stronger option if I want to max out my character and good to have points in slings (still viable without any) making that 3rd point into two-weapons and point into longswords not optimal either. I also looked it up and had 18 Wisdom on my Archer thinking it would give me extra spells but turns out that Paladins and Rangers do not get this bonus.

    So I looked up on options to import a new character using the multiplayer thing. I created a new archer in Black Pits 2 putting 5 pts into Shortbow and 2 pts into Slings, got a slightly better Str score (irrelevant for bow damage I think but better than nothing to carry stuff around and better for slings). It started at lvl 9 and my previous ranger just hit lvl 9 so luckily for me they were at around the exact same place (the new archer actually has more XP starting at 500k like my Monk did while my previous one had 333k). Anyways, I made that mpsave file and figured out how to import that new archer into my game and switch the file back onto single player (it was a lot more simple than I thought, never tried the multiplayer stuff before) and kicked out the old archer from the party.

    Now I just need to go buy a new shortbow to replace my longbow which doesn't bother me because I already wanted to buy that SoD bow from the moment I reached the market until I had enough money and realized that it was a Shortbow and I had put my points into Longbow.

    In the end, with this whole process, I got a bit better stats distribution, more optimal weapon proficiencies point distribution and about 170k xp on this one character (which doesn't bother me considering my Monk started at 500k himself and the NPCs I find are higher lvl than the standard lvl 7 my other created characters were).

    Skatangorgonzola
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 4,884
    Neverused wrote: »
    I’ll note that Enchanted Weapon is a 4th level arcane spell that makes any weapon count as +3 enchantment: this should help against a couple things immune to lower enchantments. You’re in danger of being dispelled, so you still have to play safely with this, but it’ll allow hits on iron golems, that pesky Balor and a few other things.

    I've not used it (I haven't really played BG extensively for quite some time) but enchant weapon on a bow shouldn't work since it's the arrows enchantment not the bow's that is used to determine if you can hit, right?

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,353
    @Skatan
    Skatan wrote: »
    Neverused wrote: »
    I’ll note that Enchanted Weapon is a 4th level arcane spell that makes any weapon count as +3 enchantment: this should help against a couple things immune to lower enchantments. You’re in danger of being dispelled, so you still have to play safely with this, but it’ll allow hits on iron golems, that pesky Balor and a few other things.

    I've not used it (I haven't really played BG extensively for quite some time) but enchant weapon on a bow shouldn't work since it's the arrows enchantment not the bow's that is used to determine if you can hit, right?

    It does work with bows.

    Skatangorgonzola
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 4,884
  • NeverusedNeverused Member Posts: 711
    It technically doesn’t target the weapon: it targets a character, and sets all attacks made that character to +3 enchantment. It kinda sucks if they have PfMW since you have no way of ever hitting outside of dispelling your own spell, but them’s the breaks

    Grond0StummvonBordwehrgorgonzolaBlackraven
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,988
    for original game users it don't work that way, it creates an enchanted weapon that last all day long instead of making the weapons that you use enchanted.
    even if probably few forum users are still playing the original games it is worth to tell it, myself play both versions, original for some mod setups not supported by EE and EE for the new content, better UI and new mods that are EE only.

    Blackraven
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