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Questions about Bards (Blade)

NeoNeo Member Posts: 112
I'm about to restart a BG1/SoD/BG2 playthrough and trying to make up my mind on what classes/kits I want in my party. I also am trying with SCS for the first time so I may be more limited in party choices than usual (might not be able to afford skipping out on an arcane caster this time around for example).

There are a few classes/kits that I have never played yet and some that I'd be interested in playing like Barbarian, Stalker and Cleric (I forget the name of the kit but it's an AOE for 1 turn that gives random buffs to party members). I also never played a bard despite having played BG1 4-5 times, BG2 twice, SoD and IWD once.

So I was looking at their kits and it's hard to tell but I think Blade is the one that looked most fun to me in theory. I guess he can use some spells, use his buff to go do decent melee damage and use his defensive ability if in trouble (oh and sing of course).

The questions I have after reading the class descriptions are:

1- Defensive spin reduces armor (up to 10 max)... but it says that the Bards can't wear armor (at least not if I want to cast spells). Sure I can think of a few exceptions by the end of BG2 but if I start with BG1, I guess that either means that I have to play my Blade naked OR use armor to go in melee with the offensive buff for 4 rounds and then run back, unequip my armor and start casting spells? Also the Defensive spin roots you in place, isn't this really bad to be rooted on place to drop say 6-7 armor points if I have 10 armor instead of just running away? I'm just not sure I understand this skill and how it's supposed to be good (sure later on with stuff like Stoneskin it's not as dangerous but if you have those magical buffs, I'm not sure why you need the armor too).

2- Does the song stay the same and never change? From the description, it seems like all I would get is a song to remove fear... I think clerics have a spell that can do that at level one. Sure the bard's song also gives immunity to it but at the cost of your bard being idle and doing nothing else (if it's the same mechanics as the shaman dance was)?

3- The description seems to suggest that the Blade would be made to dual wield but as it gains very few weapon proficiency points to begin with and earns extra ones slowly, is the 2h a better option?

gorgonzolaAerakar
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Comments

  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,402
    edited December 2019
    Blades come into their own at high levels. If you start at bg2 you can have a bard fun to use at melee. You can have two proficiencies in two weapon style, and two different weapon proficiencies and lots of spells. At higher levels, with tensers trans and improved haste, blades can be very effective. Also, since they level up faster, their dispel/remove magic is superiour to party mage's.

    At lvl 1 blades are not much fun to use. No helmet, low hp, max chain mail; these prospects are disastrous to have in low level melee fights, a blade should avoid melee at low levels. But if you have a proficiency in bows for low levels it delays your dual wielding capability. Throwing axe/dagger is the way to go at low levels IMHO.

    2handed is bad for blades as they lack number of attacks to make it useful. At high levels, dual wielding is the way to go, equip a speed weapon too, so you will have +2 attacks/round, with haste or offensive spin you get another +1, or use improved haste: you will have good number of attacks. Not equal to a high level fighter with grandmastery, but good enough.

    NeoJuliusBorisovgorgonzolaAerakar
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,920
    edited December 2019
    Blades play more like normal bards at low levels. You CAN melee with them from the start (They don't get spell slots till at least level 2 anyway). So chainmail+defensive spin is still pretty tanky. But you can't just burn that every fight. Either give them a ranged proficiency to start (yes, this delays dual wielding) or play them as a skirmisher. Never being the guy to rush in first.

    At high levels they are basically fighter/mages without any exp splitting. Go ham.

    NeoJuliusBorisovgorgonzolaAerakar
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 659
    edited December 2019
    That seems right, though there are some differences. Blades don't receive APR bonuses at 7th and 13th level like a fighter would nor can they eventually cast high-level spells like a mage could. Depending on your build the blade's restricted weapon selection might matter as well. On the plus side their caster level will be extremely high, which makes a big difference for spells like dispel magic and skull trap (an often ignored spell despite its lack of a damage cap, if you are 20th level your skull traps will dish out 20d6 damage). Blades also have really good burst melee DPS, which for some playstyles makes them an ideal party member (though others quickly tire of the micro required).

    One more thing, although the OP didn't mention this, people often go with a blade because they believe blades are a good use of your thief slot. They aren't. If what you want is a thief who brings melee/magic to the table than you should probably go with a FMT rather than a blade.

    Post edited by jsaving on
    Neosarevok57gorgonzolaThacoBell
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 732
    Without mods, the spell level cap is 20. There is no difference between a level 20 bard or a lvl 30 bard skull trap. Dispel magic is another story.

    Neo
  • NeoNeo Member Posts: 112
    I'll make one in my new party. I tried to plan in advance for weapon proficiencies of the characters I'll be playing. I think I'll give Blade 1pt in Axes (for throwing axes mainly but there are a few decent BG1 axes by the end of the game), 2 pts into scimetars (not sure if I'll be able to kill Drizzt with SCS mod), 1 pt in dual wield and that's all he can get from BG1 xp cap. In SoD he can get 2nd point in dual wield. In BG2, he should quickly get the 3rd point. I'll then eventually get 2nd point into axes and then I'll see but it'll be much later on. That would allow him to be ranged in BG1 without the axes going to waste as there are some nice options by the end of BG1, (can't remember SoD axes), a few decent axes early game in BG2 including the Azuredge (thrown axe vs undead) and scimetars for Belm and the ToB stronger one.

    Now I'm just trying to figure out how to sqeeze a Thief in my party for traps removal and unlocks... might make the Cleric a C/T and switch it into BG2 for a dual class thief (swashbuckler possibly) into Priest of Tempus or Lathander since I don't really plan on using the thief abilities more than for traps and unlocks so I'd rather have a higher lvl kitted cleric than a C/T in the long run (just that for BG1, if I do this, I might be missing a thief in my party at a crucial moment and for a while if I want to dual at lvl 7 which would be optimal).

    gorgonzolaAerakar
  • KhyronKhyron Member Posts: 426
    edited December 2019
    Blades can't specialize in any weapons, they are limited to 1 pip.
    You might be confusing it with the Swashbuckler, who has a unique ability of specializing (without bonus half attack) like warrior classes do, without being one.

    Truth be known, Blades can be fun.. but there's nothing a Blade can do, that a F/M can't do better.
    (sans spike traps..)

    Will have marginally higher caster level in BG1, but less spells to cast.. and in Bg2 it'll be ahead with just a few caster levels, as the caster cap is 20 anyway..

    I know many will argue that blades are on par with F/M.. but they really, really, really.. are not.

    FM can specialize, use heavy armors from lvl 1, can use robe of veccna before HLA, more attacks, more hp, more spells, spells beyond 6th level.. there's just no reason to ever use a bard, unless you bring it along for the quirks that bards have.. like song and early high caster level.. and spike traps.

    Offensive/defensive spin quite quickly becomes obsolete.

    sarevok57Neogorgonzola
  • NeoNeo Member Posts: 112
    Yea, I'm currently at the weapons proficiency selection and realizing I got confused with an other class/kit about those 2pts weapon specializations : P. As for the F/M comment, yea I find it easy to believe. The thing is I've never played a bard and never played F/M (only Kensai/Mage solo in BG1 and early BG2 once but most of that playtime was as a single class because of the way Dual works) so I think it would be the right moment for me to try the Blade and see how good it can be and then realize how great a F/M can be.

    Just like I'm making my main a Stalker (never played one) this time around but I just finished ToB and one of my party members was a F/T that ended the game with something like lvl 22F/25T. I'm well aware that it's straight up superior to Stalkers in the late game for every single thing aside from maybe 1-2 THAC0 and 2 extra weapon proficiency points into a 3rd/4th weapon I won't be using anymore (and even then I'm not sure since my F part had reached its max). Stalker sure seems way better for fighting for BG1 than a F/T could be though, the biggest issue I have with it is I'm forced to use an other character to do the disarm traps and unlocks.

    gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,078
    edited December 2019
    some more hints about blades, a kit that i have played a lot, even if not with ScS and in bg2 only.

    rogue abilities: it is right, they can only pickpocket, use the rogue HLA (spike and time traps, UAI, greater evasion), but they can not do what a thief does, no stabs, regular traps, find traps and door opening. and they level up fast as the thieves, this with their lore, the highest in the game, make them able to identify almost every item, so it mean less spells used by your mage for it. even if a blade gets less points as lore and pick pocket then an unkitted bard he is still good at those things.

    fast leveling does not mean only a better DM and more powerful level depending damaging spells, but also that their other level depending spells will last more. a strength spell, that gives 18.50 str for a turn/level, or an improved haste from your bard will last more then the same spell from a mage with the same xp, and much more of the spell of a FT, TM, FM or FMT with the same xp.

    the defensive spin is tricky to use, but powerful, a blade can cast on himself a stoneskin, blurr or whatever protection spell that help him survive, then equip an armor and tank, if you are able to put him in the right place so the enemies focus on him instead of passing by and focusing on other toons.
    if it happens is possible, and wise, to cast an offensive spin, that overrides the defensive one, so the blade can move again, attack with bonuses and relocate.
    i disagree about the spins becoming obsolete late soa or in tob, it is true that a blade dw 2 speed weapons get more attacks from an improved haste then from the spin, but he can fight with improved haste and the defensive one and anyway the improved haste spells the party has are limited and also the other fighter types need them, offensive spins are welcome when you want to use the haste spell for other toons or prefer to don't use it.
    and i did a quick test now, high level haer dalis only equipping a good end game armor gets his ac to -21 with the defensive spin,while dw, so no shield used, i left on him his other items that he uses on regular base, probably he can get it even lower. i sent a planetar against him, and the planetar missed 20 times on 20 attacks...

    dual weld and proficiency, in bg2 a blade should use a returning dagger MH and belm/kundane OH, this gives him 4 apr, 2 ranged. that becomes 5 and 3 with the spin and 8 and 4 with improved haste. later on with UAI he can use the very strong monk only ninja to, possibly against some late game foe the best MH weapon and scarlet OH, haer dalis in my present run is using angurvadal+5 and snt, for 6 apr, for every enemy that need more then +2 weapon to be hit (and still a lot of enemies even in late tob are not immune to kundane or belm...)

    about the song i find the one of a blade not so useful, but as it works as an aoe in some situations, like when the spell that protects from fear is dispelled or you have a toon running in fear all over the place, it is good to have it.
    when he gets the improved one it is as good as the one of every other bard, that triple +4 and +10ac for him are useful with some parties and he can use a mislead clone to sing while he attacks.

    i suggest you to take with your stalker haer dalis as you will get to bg2, so you can experiment with blades.
    they are item hungry, need all the items that can bost their thac0, and are powerful in a different way compared to let's say a FM or a FMT. but as you learn how to use them are a class that is fun to play, if you like a more complex play style then point and click one, and has its power.

    EDIT: by the way i see a good synergy in having in the party a staker, a blade and nalia-imoen as they can cover almost all the tasks a true thief can cover, only regular traps and reveal illusions are missing, while each one of them has also an other role, the stalker is a good flanker, the blade is also a flanker that has some serious tanking potential and is a good secondary mage and nalia-imoen are perfect as main party mage, almost the same level of a pure one without the lack of a school edwin has or the risk of surges that neera has.

    Grond0NeoAerakar
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,596
    edited December 2019
    Neo wrote: »
    The questions I have after reading the class descriptions are:

    1- Defensive spin reduces armor (up to 10 max)... but it says that the Bards can't wear armor (at least not if I want to cast spells). Sure I can think of a few exceptions by the end of BG2 but if I start with BG1, I guess that either means that I have to play my Blade naked OR use armor to go in melee with the offensive buff for 4 rounds and then run back, unequip my armor and start casting spells? Also the Defensive spin roots you in place, isn't this really bad to be rooted on place to drop say 6-7 armor points if I have 10 armor instead of just running away? I'm just not sure I understand this skill and how it's supposed to be good (sure later on with stuff like Stoneskin it's not as dangerous but if you have those magical buffs, I'm not sure why you need the armor too).

    2- Does the song stay the same and never change? From the description, it seems like all I would get is a song to remove fear... I think clerics have a spell that can do that at level one. Sure the bard's song also gives immunity to it but at the cost of your bard being idle and doing nothing else (if it's the same mechanics as the shaman dance was)?

    3- The description seems to suggest that the Blade would be made to dual wield but as it gains very few weapon proficiency points to begin with and earns extra ones slowly, is the 2h a better option?

    1 - bards can wear armor while singing. Defensive spin allows them to get down to AC values that most other classes can't reach and act as a tank, while also singing to boost party stats. AC is relevant throughout the saga, so defensive spin can be used to help eke out PfMWs, stoneskins etc even at high levels (though doing this does require some micro-management). You can't change armor while something is trying to attack you (even if they are unable to actually reach you), so it's not quick and easy to change armor while in combat - you can go invisible and do so once enemies have lost track of you, but in most cases combats don't last long enough for that to be worthwhile.

    2 - the blade song stays the same with a luck bonus of 1, although the basic bard song improves to a luck bonus of 2 at level 15 and 3 at level 20. Blades can though use the HLA enhanced bard song and that is almost certainly worth it for a blade (the benefits are not quite as clear for a bard, as the HLA means you lose the ability to greatly reduce spell damage on the party while singing).

    3 - their low APR means that in BG2 blades will certainly be able to do more damage dual-wielding speed weapons. There are none of those in BG1 though and using a 2-handed weapon there makes a bit more sense. At lower levels though AC is not good enough to offset low HPs and no critical protection, so the blade will normally do better using a ranged weapon if you want to take advantage of offensive spin, rather than singing and/or using spells. In addition to increased THAC0 & damage and higher APR, offensive spin also provides maximum damage for every hit. That means using weapons with a high damage range is particularly good for a blade - you might be surprised to see just how deadly a blade is with the light crossbow of speed for instance.

    gorgonzolaNeoAerakar
  • NeoNeo Member Posts: 112
    edited December 2019
    "i suggest you to take with your stalker haer dalis as you will get to bg2, so you can experiment with blades."

    I'm actually doing a 5 made up characters party (with a NPC for the 6th). My "main character" is a Stalker (the one that will gain the abilities from BG1 and the demon form) mostly because I think that all the extra stats you collect through the series have a bigger impact on a Ranger, Fighter, Paladin or Monk. With the books from BG1 on top of the buffs from the end of BG2 SoA on top of the Watcher's Keep machine buffs, my Monk was sitting at 23 str unbuffed (would have been 24 if I could have made a half-orc monk) and in the 20s for Dex and Con as well. Those stats were kind of wasted on my Sorcerer in my previous BG2 playthrough. I originally wanted to make my main character the Barbarian but a good part of his rage bonus would be wasted at higher levels since he would reach 24 str (half orc) unbuffed and then Rage would only give him +1 str since str caps at 25.

    I may be weird but I honestly never really grew any particular attachment or liking to any of the NPCs I've used (there are even some I really hate as they get on my nerves like the new Neera). With the few BG1 vanilla playthroughs I did as a teenager, I normally used the basic good NPCs you come across early on (Imoen, Jaheira, Khalid, can't remember which other ones). With the BG1 EE playthroughs I've done over the last few years, I remember doing 1 solo run and 1 with an evil party with my Dark Moon Monk (Dorn, Tiax, Sharteel, etc. it was filled with average quality fighters and clerics). I can't remember my SoD run too well but I know I used the NPCs again. My 1st BG2 EE run, charname was a Sorcerer (after completing BG1/SoD) and I filled the party again with good NPCs I grabbed early on (Imoen, Anomen, Aerie, Jaheira, Keldorn). Then I've done IWD EE (gotta make my own party) and finally continued with that Dark Moon Monk that cleared BG1/SoD years ago and cleared BG2 with him. This time, I made 5 characters, used NPCs in chapter 2 to clear their quests for XP/rewards and kicked them out to keep Keldorn.

    Keldorn was one of the few that didn't get on my nerves, I wanted to use Carsomyr again and an Inquisitor (especially this time around with my anti-mage low buffs party setup). When trying to make my own Inquisitor, I remembered just how hard it is to max their important stats and Keldorn had some good items (his body armor) to give him an edge so I settled on using him again and fixing his bad Dex with the Dex Gloves.

    I plan on using Dorn this time around for my 6th (I really wanted to see his ToB quest after I read about it but it was too late since I didn't do his SoA quests due to the fact that it would have required me to have him stick around for a while unlike some other NPC quests Nalia or Korgan). I did play with him once through BG1 but never in BG2.

    Overall, my current new party that I intend to keep for the series (except for 1 tweak) is:

    1- Stalker (never played one, loved FT last game, Stalker would be similar and stronger for BG1)

    2- Barbarian (similar to Berzerker I've played in the past but am curious to see Half-Orc reach 23 str with Rage in BG1 and the 20% physical resistance on top of the BG2 flail that adds an other 20% dual wielded with flail of ages is tempting... not to mention Hardiness later on but that might just be overkill)

    3- Sorcerer (mage was my favorite in BG vanilla, Sorcerer I liked even better and did the whole series with one as a main, I had 0 arcane caster in my last BG2/ToB run and SCS might require me to have one to break enemy defenses on top of it adding the IWD EE spells)

    4- Dorn (I like all the paladin kits, only Cavalier I still haven't played and Black Guard I only played in BG1 so at low levels, going to try skipping out on the Inquisitor for the first time around and going with an evil party except for the Stalker who's forced to be good)

    5- Cleric/Thief (this is the exception here... I wanted a cleric for support and I wanted to fit all the previous classes as well as a Blade... so I'm kind of forced to squeeze a Thief in somewhere. For BG1, if I don't want to temporarily lose my heals or my trap disarms/unlocks, it's best I go multi-class. Once I hit BG2, I might change this for a Dual Swashbuckler lvl 7 into Priest of Tempus or Lathander but I'm not even sure if I can make this Dual combo, the only time I dualed was a Kensai/Mage).

    6- Blade. I can fit him in, I expect him to be rather bad in BG1 but my Monk was also awful in BG1, I doubt the Blade will be much worse to be honest. I never played any bard and never truly played a F/M so it should be different and interesting once his effectiveness kicks in somewhere in BG2.


    Also, you mention an improved Song... but I read none of that in the Bard or Blade description. Is it because it's only BG2 stuff (BG1 EE wouldn't have the info)? It still would be strange since for some other kits, BG1 EE still lists the full benifits of high levels for the classes and kits.

    Aerakar
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,078
    edited December 2019
    to sing the improved song while in a defensive spin is probably overkilling as it grants -20 ac.
    and sadly in EE is almost impossible to have a bard sing and fight in the same round, technically it is possible as singing is considered by the engine a magic action, like casting a spell or drinking a potion, and to perform a magic action and attack is permitted, but EE messed up the interaction between song and end of round, in the original using the autopause at round end is very easy to have the bard do both things, in EE is a nightmare to pull it off.
    a blade singing and attacking improved hasted while in defensive spin so with -20 ac bonus was something glorious...
    in most situations i prefer to have the blade tanking with defensive spin and attacking improved hasted for 5 or 8 apr and his mislead near by singing, he gets anyway -14 ac from spin+song sung not by himself, enough to reach ac cap with the best armors and really good ac with the special bard only mail that does not prevent casting.*

    the kai like effect of the offensive spin is indeed really important at low levels, like @Grond0 tells, but from mid soa on i find that the bulk of the damage comes anyway from the weapon enchantment, str bonus and other factors instead then from the dice roll, unless the blade is using a katana or an other weapon with a high dice roll, but even for a katana 1d10, you get on average only 4.5 dmg more with the spin active, while belm would give you a whole more attack, with the str bonus and the rest.
    but still belm 1d8 gives you 3.5 more dmg under the spin so the kai effect is still relevant trough all the game, even if not so game changing as at low levels.

    * sadly a mislead clone make also the blade invisible so if you are not fighting an enemy that can see naturally trough invisibility the defensive spin is completely not useful, but even in vanilla some enemies see trough invisibility. but this is an example of how the EE developers messed up the blades and the bards in general, they made the aoe of their song way to small, luckily there is a mod to fix it, they made sing and attack almost impossible to use, but they let the mislead clone still sing, as in the original, making the same type songs not stackable instead. so no more runs with 2 bards, i had them in the original, and defensive spin not useful in many situations if the player want also to boost the party with the song, as he is compelled to have the badr as passive tank, that does not attack, or in a forced invisible form that make the enemies ignore him in most situations so his huge ac become pointless.

    NeoGrond0
  • NeoNeo Member Posts: 112
    Grond0 wrote: »

    1 - bards can wear armor while singing. Defensive spin allows them to get down to AC values that most other classes can't reach and act as a tank, while also singing to boost party stats. AC is relevant throughout the saga, so defensive spin can be used to help eke out PfMWs, stoneskins etc even at high levels (though doing this does require some micro-management). You can't change armor while something is trying to attack you (even if they are unable to actually reach you), so it's not quick and easy to change armor while in combat - you can go invisible and do so once enemies have lost track of you, but in most cases combats don't last long enough for that to be worthwhile.


    Ah, I see, I totally forgot about Bards having specific HLAs (improved song). As for the item swapping, I know I changed weapons often during combat. I thought I also was changing other pieces of gear to activate buffs and then swapping them back but maybe I'm confused and only done that before engaging the enemies or in between waves of enemies. I knew I couldn't equip chestpiece armors during combat (from getting rezed) but can equip everything else. That's why I thought I could run in, tank with defensive spin, step back and take off the chest armor to cast spells.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,078
    edited December 2019
    yes, but as @grondo told until the game see you in combat, as enemy is targeting you, you can not change the chest piece, while you are free to swap every other item in every moment, even let's say equip a weapon you are not proficient into only to activate an ability it has, like the haste of a short sword or the mirror images of an other sword, then go back to the weapon you are proficient in. or you can equip the belt that give you a 50% reduction of some spell damages the split second the spell is reaching you then eqquip again your usual str belt.

    the problem with he chest piece is that you have to go out of the view field of the enemy, physically hiding you behind a corner of the dungeon or making you invisible, wait that the enemy target an other party member or a summon and only then change the chest piece.
    it is possible, but not so easy to do and often time consuming.
    you can do it in particular situations, but you don't have to do it every time, at least in bg2. there you will have spells like stoneskin and mirror images, braciers that give you decent ac and a bard only mail armor that does not prevent casting, and also the spells like blurr or improved invisibility, that grant you some bonus ac will last longer.
    so typically you fight a battle with a little less ac, but also casting and relying on spells like stoneskin and mirror images that negate the damage or you cast a stoneskin, equip the best armor and go to battle without casting any more, relying on ac, boosted by the spin if needed, and with the stoneskin that takes care of the few hits that pass trough the ac, relying on your physical damage output.
    are very few the instances where a blade really has to equip an armor and then mid battle find a way to get rid of it. can happen, but surely not on a regular basis, at least in my experience and with my style of playing blades. eventually i set a sequencer with some damaging spell, they can be used even with armor, and a contingency with stoneskin on health at 50% if needed, but i had to swap from armor to no armor very few times in all my blade playing experience.
    edit: and an armored bard can still use wands to cast anyway, the one of magic missiles to disrupt, the one that let you summon helpers, the one that cast a fireball and on and over, up to the wk wands that breach and take down magical defenses or the rod of resurrection that heal a toon completely in no time. this make the need to get rid of the armor even less unlikely to happen when the blade goes for the better possible ac route.

    Post edited by gorgonzola on
    Grond0
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,078
    Neo wrote: »
    Also, you mention an improved Song... but I read none of that in the Bard or Blade description. Is it because it's only BG2 stuff (BG1 EE wouldn't have the info)? It still would be strange since for some other kits, BG1 EE still lists the full benifits of high levels for the classes and kits.
    the correct name is enhanced song, i messed it up, sorry.
    anyway:
    "The song gives the bard himself a 10 point bonus to his AC and 10% magic resistance bonus due to the power of the song. The song also gives his allies +4 to hit, +4 to damage, -4 to AC, immunity to Fear, Stun and Confusion, +5% magic resistance and immunity to normal weapons."
    copyed and pasted from the bg wiki
    also:
    "From EE v2.3, activating bard songs will break the bard's invisibility state; deafened members can no longer hear them; same types of the songs are no longer stackable, but still stack with other sources; Enhanced Bard Song no longer covers the whole area, its AoE is limited to a 16-ft radius around the bard and also submitted to obstacles, such as closed doors, but can affect both the party and the summons".
    so quite powerful, a boost on every attack damage and thac0 to the whole party and also on ac, and some spiffy immunity.
    the mod to have its aoe not large enough to include the whole area, like in the not EE game, but large enough to include the fronliners but also the casters/ranged attackers can be found here:
    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/61898/tressets-choice-tweaks

    Grond0
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,920
    Hot take: Blades are the most powerful single class.

    gorgonzola
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 659
    And the most fun to play.

    gorgonzolaThacoBell
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,078
    edited December 2019
    @ThacoBell i don't know if blade beat sorcerer and wild mage as power, at least in bg2 and tob, also every thief that can stab has his own power if used in certain ways, ie i have my solo thieves deplete whole mage spellbooks just appearing at the edge of their sight an hide before the caster has time to complete the cast of the spell, lay carpets of traps then lure into them the enemies and stab multiple times fighters of higher level using every corner and low light spot to hide again and again.

    i would say that it is a close call, and the player makes the difference, every one of us is able to play some classes better then others. at lest in EE, in the original game there is no contest, the blade is the man, not much for the multiple clones stacking songs, but for the ability to sing and attack in the same round.

    @jsaving for me is a close call between blade and thief.

    what is sure is that those that tell that the bard/blade is a jack of all the trades, that can do many things, but nothing really well, don't know how to use properly a blade or don't give him the right items and the time to grow a little and start to shine...

    edit: possibly a player should be compelled to solo a blade, a cleric, a druid and a thief before graduate as experienced player, for many of us they are only the jack oatt, the healer, the healer with insect spell and the door opener from what i read in the topics or watch in you tube videos ;)

    Aerakar
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,920
    @gorgonzola I have yet to find a mage that would survive a spike trap, or a time stop trap followed by offensive spin. Really, rogues are SUPER UNDERRATED in killing potential lategame.

    Aerakargorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,078
    @ThacoBell late game probably at best a trap would kill my sorcerer's PI at best, i don't feel much urge in running around the places with high level mages when i can instead use expendable clones that are as capable as the original, if ever a PI trigger a trap, that other way is completely not effective.
    and an offensive spin during a time stop can do nothing to someone protected by a stoneskin, mirror images and pfmw, the blade needs to stack at least some of them to get rid of them, as a breach or dispel magic becomes active only at the end of the frozen time, while a contingency that apply again the protections work during the frozen time.

    but i agree with you, rogues are often very underrated, and also are super fun to use.
    if i have very often both a bard and a thief (real one, not imoen like) in the party and almost every time at least one of the 2 there is a reason, rogues are my preferred classes to play, i appreciate them, respect their power and are probably the characters i am more capable to play, followed by mages and clerics, while i have still to improve a lot playing fighter type classes, druids (beyond the obvious insect anti mage spells) and monks.
    surely i don't underrate the blade and every time i read the jack of all the trades stuff i ask myself "when they will see the truth?" :D
    but the same is true when i read stuff like "i dropped aerie because i am sick and tired of having to resurrect her over and over"...

    imo PI and dwehomers or extreme flexibility in using the known spells are what gives to sorcerers the same power edge the blades have, to be able to unleash many spellbooks in the same battle at a machine gun rate of fire then wish for a rest so the next battle you can do the same if ever is needed compares with the song, the hla traps, uai and the other things a balde can do.
    then in an hypothetical duel player vs player the most capable win and to beat the game, solo or in party they are all amazing.

  • NeoNeo Member Posts: 112
    edited December 2019
    Well, in BG1, it's a bit of a different story (my party members are now around lvl 5, Blade lvl 6) and if I remember well, it depends on the classes but they'll cap around lvl 8-9 for BG1. My blade sure is a bit fragile (if I don't put her armor on so I can cast spells) and not the best fighter and doesn't have many spells she can cast (she also can't wear the rings to double the amount of lvl 1 spells but I would still use it on my sorcerer anyways).

    For comparison at low levels, my lvl 5 Sorcerer can cast 12 lvl 1 spells (1 ring to double the amount) and 4 lvl 2 spells. My lvl 6 blade can cast 3 lvl 1 spells, 2 lvl 2 spells. I'm not sure if Wisdom lowers Lore but with the kit's lore penalty, she can't really identify much at lvl 6 without using the spell yet (and my Cleric/Thief lvl 4/5 has higher Lore).

    However, I don't regret having her for BG1 still. She can act as a support caster, a bit of extra physical dmg sometimes and the song at least was useful once (which is already better than the Shaman dance that was NEVER useful through my entire BG2/ToB run). Since I'm using SCS, some encounters are much harder and there was a particular vapiric wolf inside a small dungeon that was doing an AOE fear on my party, the Song was useful there to clear it up on multiple characters (although the Cleric/Thief could have used the spell for it, the song could be started in advance so the bard doesn't get feared).

    Since my other arcane caster is a Sorcerer, he's very limited on his spell flexibility (I can cast a lot of them but can only learn a few and it takes long to gain new ones). With the Blade as backup, it allows me to not have to waste points into spells I'd want but are more situational. Also, the fact that the Blade levels up faster and SCS adds in the IWD EE spells, it lets me replay with some of those spells again before my Sorcerer can learn them to help me decide on which one I'd prefer to learn.

    There's no doubt this Blade will be much more enjoyable through BG2 once I'm done with BG1/SoD but despite not being very strong early on, she's still not a complete dead weight with my current party setup (opposite of my Stalker who's quite strong for BG1 and will probably end up not being very impressive by the 2nd half of BG2 and ToB compared to my previous F/T).

    Also, at first I didn't care much for the extra move speed with offensive speed when I read the description but it turns out to be quite useful with how fragile the blade is at low level (it allows to run in fast, deal some damage and run back).

    gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,078
    yes blades need some time to really start to shine.
    anyway depending on the battle you can choose if to use her without armor as flanker and caster or armored, with the defensive spin she gets a very good ac for bg levels and equipment and "caster trough wands".

  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 732
    edited December 2019
    I had a blade in bgee and bg2, and bgee was so easy with firewand. With enough money to recharge, i used it as basic attack. Burn every enemy. Use summon wand as support if needed. Rarely use other weapon or spell. Oh and the missile necklance, counts as lvl 9 spell so go trough mgoi 😀

    gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,078
    yes, until you get the bard only armor that let them cast while wearing it the choice to use the bard to cast spells like haste or stoneskin then wear an armor and go to battle relying on wands is very good, as the wands are so strong until mid soa.

    and the point of playing a blade is mainly versatility and flexibility, is all about choices to adapt to the particular situation.

    should i fight or should i sing?
    should i use a spin or cast a spell?
    should i go for the better ac or be free to act as a mage?
    defensive spin and tank or offensive one and flank?
    and on and over...

    the more the blade is able to answer to those questions and adapt at the particular situation the more is effective and helpful for his own party.
    a static blade, always sticking to the same tactic, is a lazy blade and playing him so is missing much of his power and mainly much of the fun. every entertainer must have control over the situation, feel how the audience reacts and change his acting accordingly, know if is the moment to throw in a joke to make the audience laugh or move and inspire them with the right words.
    and the bard is an entertainer, so he has to use the same kind of sensibility to act in the battle.
    and in his case this is perfect RP and perfect PG at once.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,920
    @gorgonzola Yeah, go ahead and waste all your PI and Simulacrums frinding all the invisible thiefs traps. Its only a matter of time...

    gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,078
    edited December 2019
    @ThacoBell or maybe i will tank them all with luck+mirror images :)
    by the way a respectable high level sorcerer has infinite PI and simulacrum clones/day...
    but when i finally find you, sneaky bard, you will be toasted in no time, you have a limited casting and trapping capability each day ;)

    anyway i agreed about the blade being extremely powerful and fun to play, you don't have to convince me.
    and imo the point of being powerful in the game is not an hypothetical player vs player duel, that would be great but the engine don't allow, but how the toon performs in the game, against the ai driven enemies.
    very few of them use traps in a not predictable way, the only rogues that do it that i know are the ones of the random encounters in town at night with tactics mod, my solo sorcerers had never suffered of trap problems.
    is there that i think the blade, the sorcerer and the wild mage, in different ways, share the spike of power in the game.
    at least in EE, in the original the blade that can sing and fight in the same round and that can stack multiple clones singing (i did try it up to a collective triple +80 bonus) and the wild mage that can stack chaos shields so can cast lev 9 spells at lev 1 without any risk and can replenish his dwehomers at will with the limited wish, wish or spell trap, rule, rule to the extent to be broken.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,920
    Watch your step, little mage..... *laughter echoes into the distance*

    gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,078
    actually i would like to have ai driven blades, wild mages and sorcerers that really do what those classes can pull out.
    i was really surprised when i started playing tactics mod and soulafein mod about in it, side to side to cheating overpowered and completely illegal enemies, there are some druids, like the ones in the ritual, an a FM sola himself when is abducted by bodhi, that use scripts that make them so effective.
    i think that scs do really well in it, but, even if i lack of enough experience with it, i suspect that the collaboration between some really strong players and a good coder could do much more, the very fact that a strong player can solo scs with most of the classes make me think that even there the enemies are greatly under used, no way that a strong player could solo against a party driven by 6 solid human players, even if he is the god in playing this game, issues like the extreme skill needed to code the most effective ai scripts and the enormous amount of time needed to code each enemy group with a custom top level set of scripts, and possibly also the issue of making the game hard, but not borderline to impossible to beat even for the most experienced players don't allow to have really effective ai scripts.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,078
    edited December 2019
    steps? why to walk around? i stay hidden in the sotm invisibility, with a planetar scouting for me, and he will see you, you can not hide. then i will start to wish for adhw on every one in the area, i know that also you can protect yourself against the magical energy, but you are limited in how long you can do it, while i can wish all day long and protect me all day long, i have infinite protections against magic energy, elemental damage, infinite pfmw and stoneskin, infinite clones and planetars, infinite shapeshift and i can use improved alacrity how many times i want to make the use i want of my ever replenishing spell book.

    you are warned little blade, are you sure you are up to the task?
    EDIT: are we derailing this topic? :D

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,920
    I mean, I can cast those spells too. You can't do anything that I can't replicate. Except maybe the planetar. But they succumb to spike traps just like everyone else. Or that timestop trap. You can't cast while I offensive spin in your face.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,078
    edited December 2019
    ok i surrender, but only to not derail the topic further...
    except the planetar, the wish spell, at best you have lets say 30 of them if using all the PI and simulacrum scrolls to have the clones use the 3 wish scrolls, while a mage has no limits, and the improved alacrity. for planetar and ia no scrolls available.
    and an offensive spin can do little damage to someone that can use improved alacrity or CC to make himself invulnerable, and can do it as many times he want as can replenish his spell book at will.
    or can use his sotm to disappear, while his planetar will see you as you use the same staff, and vorpal attacks happen even with good st
    please don't replay, i have already surrendered, if you want we can open an other topic to continue, maybe we can even make a poll, quoting what we have told here if you like. could be fun to do it :)

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