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Dual Class questions (possible combinations and vs Multi)

I was away for a week and have been reading many articles and posts about Dual Classes. Through my many playthroughs (BG1/SoD/BG2/IWD), I never experienced much with Dual. I only did a Kensai 7/Mage solo BG1 if I remember well and tried it early BG2 before deciding on a different main character. Other than that, I've had something like Anomen Fighter 7/Cleric, Imoen Thief/Mage but I think those were forced on me in BG2, I can't remember too well.

So I know how the basics work with the downtime, the stats requirements, needing to be human, etc.

What I'm unsure about (doesn't help that some of the articles and posts I've read are about vanilla BG2 and some others are about EE, I'm personally using EE right now) are the possible combinations and how it affects weapon proficiencies.

I really hated the downtime of the Dual Class vs Multi (on top of being forced to be human which meant no half-orc higher str and con for example and so on). I'm currently getting close to completing my BG1 playthrough with 5 premade characters + Dorn. One of them is a Cleric/Thief mostly because I wanted to be able to disarm traps and unlock everything (I loved my F/T on my previous BG2 playthrough for backstabs and traps but I'm using a Stalker this time around in my party so I mostly wanted Thief skills for utility) but I didn't want the downtime during BG1 for heals or traps so I went with Multi. I was thinking of switching this character for a Dual once I hit BG2 (I plan on doing BG1/SoD/BG2/ToB with the same party). I wanted a stronger cleric rather than a weak cleric that has many points into thieving stuff that I don't really plan on using (however, I'm using SCS for the first time and I read that detect invisibility is very useful with this mod so I might change my mind and try those strong staff backstabs at the same time but my cleric spells will be quite limited).

Aside from just grabbing a 1st class to unlock utility and pushing the other one higher in levels, the main thing that grabbed my attention for Dual Class over Multi is the fact that I could use some Kits (which could add extra flavor or yield slightly different characters).

So here are the things that are unclear to me:

1- I think that I understood that I can start with a Kit and then Dual into a general class (F/M/T/C) but cannot get 2 kits or start say with Thief and then add a Kitted Cleric as Dual (which was what I wanted to do with my C/T Multi once I was going to hit BG2)?

2- Are there some kits that aren't available for Dual class? I think that I read Paladin, Bard and Shaman are unavailable but the rest can work (and Druid can only be used with Fighter)?

3- What are some of the better Dual Class kit options that might have an edge over their Multi counterparts? I know many talk about the Kensai/Mage or Berserker/Mage. Kensai/Thief (seems interesting), Wizard Slayer/Thief (I wish I thought about that one during my last BG2 run with my Wizard Slayer although I would have lost the Half Orc and lost some magic resistance from the extra levels once it's finally starting to kick in). Anything else? I'm curious about the possibly Druid Kit combinations (I liked my Shapeshifter I made in IWD but the Werewolf and Greater Werewolf THAC0s were horrible and it could barely ever land a hit, wondering if Shapeshifter/Fighter could make the werewolf forms more effective or if the downtime is just going to be too long).

4- Fighter/Mage combinations, many people claim it is the strongest possible character type but to be honest, if you dual at say level 9 (which many suggest over lvl 7 or 13), your melee THAC0 is going to be very weak compared to a pure fighter and your spellcasting will also obviously be quite inferior to a pure caster. I fail to understand how this class can be remotely good in melee with such weak THAC0. Sure you'll have a mage that has an improved THAC0 and more hp but mages can have so many good defensive spells, I feel like the extra hp might not matter much in the long run. Is it all about Tenser's Transformation to make up for the weaker THAC0 and melee damage? If you end up being a weak melee in the long run, I don't understand why go through downtime and all of this just to end up with a gimped mage in the long run.

5- Weapon proficiencies. I'm confused about this one. If I go with Fighter as one of the two classes, does this mean that I would be able to use any weapon type once both classes are active? For instance, would it allow a Cleric to use swords?

gorgonzola
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Comments

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 659
    Fighter/mages are the strongest melee characters in the game, not the weakest. The reason is that you are able to combine the fighter's best-in-game sustained melee DPS with the mage's best-in-game defensive buffs to create a nearly invulnerable damage-dealer.

    If going multi fighter/mage, the key is to accept that you'll mainly use your mage spells to protect yourself rather than using spells like fireball that depend on your caster level. If you can make that transition then you'll have a tremendously powerful addition to your party. But if you can't, and you find yourself constantly lamenting your inability to cast 9th level spells once you hit 3 million XP, then multi fighter/mage may not be for you.

    Another great option is multi fighter/mage/thief. The thief class has great synergies with a fighter's high melee DPS as well as a mage's invisibility and image-projection spells, which let you backstab and scout without investing any points in stealth skills. Moreover the mage's defensive buffs give you the staying power to backstab a strong enemy and survive the aftermath.

    Or you can go the dual-class route with a berserker/mage or kensai/mage. There are two significant liabilities to this approach: 1) you may have to wait a long time to regain your fighter abilities and 2) you can't access fighter HLAs which are among the strongest in the game. But there is also the massive benefit of receiving high-level mage spells faster than a multi-class character. In fact if you are doing a "light" dual where you switch to mage at 7th or 9th level instead of waiting until 13+, then your caster level will be almost as high as a single-class mage's would be.

    In all cases you are right to point out that your THAC0 won't be as good as a single-class fighter's would be. However the extras you bring the table as a fighter/mage more than offset this, in my view at least.

    Neogorgonzoladunbar
  • NeoNeo Member Posts: 112
    Thanks for highlighting your views on Multi F/M vs Dual F/M, I haven't tried a Multi one and your explaination helps to differenciate them a bit more. As for F/M/T, I might try one as a solo build eventually, I think I would find it levels too slow if I were to have a full party with one of those in it. I'm also afraid of finding other classes a bit boring once I've played with a F/M/T : P

  • NeoNeo Member Posts: 112
    Thanks! That answers most of my questions pretty well. Especially the whole thing about weapons (I knew archers/Cleric couldn't use bows but fighter/mage could use katanas and this was very confusing to me). If I get it right, it's more about when it specifically rules out certain weapons.

    The only thing that's still unclear to me is if Shapeshifter/Fighter is a viable solution to the awful Werewolf and Greater Werewolf THAC0 issue or if it's a bad idea (maybe too much downtime). I just never gave Druid much of a chance outside of Jaheira in a few playthroughs and one Shapeshifter in IWD. I thought the Shapeshifter werewolf forms were really cool but even if I did manage to improve the THAC0, I think that it still seemed to deal only roughly half the dmg of my Berserker (2h sword) or Undead Hunter (Dual Wield) :/. I like the concept but couldn't manage to really make it work and was wondering if Dual was a possible bandaid for it or not really.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,596
    Neo wrote: »
    5- Weapon proficiencies. I'm confused about this one. If I go with Fighter as one of the two classes, does this mean that I would be able to use any weapon type once both classes are active? For instance, would it allow a Cleric to use swords?
    It's a little unintuitive at times. Generally, anything that's a "prohibition" of some kind (i.e. a conviction rather than ability) remains in a effect for duals. So no edged or piercing weapons for Cleric, no metal gear for Druid, no magical trinkets for Wizard Slayer etc. However, if it's just about "ability", i.e. the previous class just wasn't up to using something, the other class in the dual will allow you to use more things. That's why Mages dualing to Fighter can now use swords and all kinds of other weapons, and Thieves can now use things like two-handed swords with a Fighter dual as well.

    The basic druid restrictions on armor are overcome by dualling, i.e. a druid dualled to fighter can use metal armor. However, the specific druid kit restrictions on armor remain - so a shapeshifter can't wear armor for instance.

    On reason why duals into thieves are considered good is that, once they get HLAs, the use any item ability overcomes class and kit restrictions - so kensais can use armor and bracers etc.

    Neogorgonzoladunbar
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,151
    Grond0 wrote: »
    [The basic druid restrictions on armor are overcome by dualling, i.e. a druid dualled to fighter can use metal armor. However, the specific druid kit restrictions on armor remain - so a shapeshifter can't wear armor for instance.
    Just goes to show how confusing it is, I guess. Druids especially are a hot mess, you never really know what's going on.

    Thief dual for UAI is certainly popular, but I personally think it's somewhat overrated.

    NeoGrond0
  • NeoNeo Member Posts: 112
    Yea UAI was pretty nice for my F/T last time around except that I somehow thought that it would have allowed me to use any armor and still go stealth and backstab until I got the HLA (White Dragon armor was still pretty good AC anyways). Allowing me to make use of Staff of Magi a bit (since I had no arcane caster with my party), use wands of striking (dispell) and abuse the helm that made a mirror image that could cast scrolls without consuming them (Time Stop for example). I think SCS fixes that abuse so I won't be able to pull it off this time around once I reach BG2. Druids can't get thief for UAI though : P

    Grond0
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,078
    edited December 2019
    3- 2 dual classes i really like are C->F and kensage.

    C(7)->F is almost as good as a plain cleric, a working turn undead, full cleric casting capability and the ability to greatly buff thac0, str, dex and hp. but he has more hp then the plain cleric, GM and lev 7 F that mean +1.5 apr. you gain a lot loosing almost nothing. i don't know how scs mages and their ability to dispel his buffs affect it, but other way i find it one of the strongest duals.

    kensai(9)->M compared to the multi has the same apr (GM gives the 0.5 that is lost not getting lev 13).
    but he is a caster of an other level, the (not gnome) multi has at best 2 lev 9 spells and needs 6Mxp to get crucial spells like improved alacrity and CC, the dual get them shortly after a plain mage, at 3.064 M xp.
    as @Lord_Tansheron told thac0 is not a particular issue, GM helps to keep up and in my way to use the kensage, i have him DW, also the OH weapon. i usually go for a speed weapon in early mid soa, then as soon as i can equip Crom, the +7 thaco and +14 dmg from the str it gives are the key to have the kensage hit hard up to the end of tob.
    also berseker->M is interesting but as a mage can protect himself or be protected by his cleric against all the rage protects i prefer the kensage, not a lot of kai dualing at 9 and not a lot af static bonuses, but still something-

    4- i would never (or at best in a couple of instances in the whole soa-tob) use tenser's transformation on a F->M dual, loosing the ability to use spells is a too harsh price for a little more thac0 and some hp.
    GM and huge str trough items are the ways the f->m deal with his sub optimal thac0.
    maybe he will hit a little less then the multi late game, but even if you have him go to mlee instead of being the main spellcaster, role that he can cover with no problem, he can go to battle with some prepared sequencer and trigger to boost his damage, if needed late game also use combos like RoV+AoP then cast CC (3xADHW) as the enemy defenses are down. also the multi can, but much later and with way less high level spell memorizations/day.
    to go multi or dual is to chose a better overall fighter with good tanking capability thanks to his mage part or an archmage that can still fight pretty well even in late ToB.
    i am not telling that one or the other is better, it completely depends on the whole party composition, with a mage like imoen, neera or edwin i would go for the multi, as there is only one RoV, with other parties, or even with a party with neera, as it is not so wise to use a wild mage to buff the party, i would go for the dual.
    at high levels is often my dual F->M that right at the beginning of a fight cast improved alacrity (or PI, then the clone do the trick) and in few seconds haste all the fighters, takes down the enemy's defenses and mr, throws on them some GM or other spells, blind them or incapacitate them and throws a barrage of lev 1-2-3 damaging spells, that with that equipment have 0 casting time.
    then the PI can dispel itself and the kensage can join the fight.
    i rate this way much then some GWW the multi can throw in, when the multi has 3 or 4 ww-gww the dual is the real engine of the party.
    at least in my play style. and i still use and love multi, don't get me wrong, it is only that the dual and the multi cover completely different roles in the party.

    Neo
  • NeoNeo Member Posts: 112
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    i don't know how scs mages and their ability to dispel his buffs affect it, but other way i find it one of the strongest duals.

    To be honest, I have it set on mid level (Tactical), there are 2 difficulties higher than this and most of BG1 still isn't really challenging. The 2 higher difficulties feel like the enemy is cheating (on paper) but I might try them if I complete my series on Tactical and still find it to be too easy. With Tactical, sometimes there are more enemies, they have better AI (smarter targeting like ranged focus fire vs my squishier mage from several kobold guards and commandos for example) and enemy caster use more defensive spells and sort of instant cast several of them when the fight starts (sometimes before the fight).

    I tend to clear almost every area possible before resuming to the main story line in both BG1 and BG2 as I go hunting for weapons and armor pieces that I want (I like getting these items earlier on to play with them rather than getting them just at the end and barely get to use them). This means that I sometimes run into enemies that I shouldn't really be fighting this early on. So I did have a few difficult fights when I was lvl 1-3 (like vampiric wolves that were immune to regular weapons and would paralyze my party members and were smart enough to tag my party members one after the other to paralyze them all instead of beating on a single paralyzed one).

    There were a few stronger mages that I fought when I was lower level that did give me trouble because I didn't have the tools to deal with them yet. Mostly, I had nothing to dispell the common Protection vs Magic Weapons + Protection from ranged weapons + Stoneskin + Shield + Armors + Mirror Images (I could only dispell the Minor Globe of Invulnerability with Spell Thrust and then hope that the mage would fail a save vs a CC spell/wand to buy time for their defenses to run out or cast weak direct damage spells into them like Melf's Acid Arrow).

    I picked Secret Word as soon as I could once my Sorcerer could grab it but it hasn't been needed a single time since I got it yet (still only dispells magic defenses, not protections vs physical dmg).

    Overall, aside from a few fights like these, once I resumed the main story, everything has been very easy (I now have strong gear, even managed to kill Drizzt for his scimetars for my Blade and his chain mail for my Barbarian although it was a bit difficult with the lvl 5 party) as I'm possibly higher level than I could have been at this point and have very good gear. My Blade now has access to Remove Magic and is high level enough for it to be quite reliable.

    Overall, for most of the game, Sleep was still broken OP by putting most enemies unconscious for free XP. Now my Blade can just dispell most mages without any problem and the rest of my team can kill them easily (and I still have Spell Thrust + Magic Word on my Sorcerer in case I would need to take down their magic defenses for whatever reason). There was only 1 fight that was more challenging inside a certain Iron Throne building (trying not to give spoilers here) with several casters at once and thieves using invis potions to try to chain backstabs.

    Enemy mages haven't had the chance to dispell me so far. SCS Tactical mode sure is quite more challenging than Unmodded Core Rules for BG1 but despite the mod, enemy casters still are low level and not that deadly if I can strip their defenses with 1-2 spell. I'll have to see how it turns out with BG2 as with the unmodded game, enemy casters in BG1 in general were extremely weak while a few of them in BG2 were strong. I expect SCS to have a much bigger impact on BG2 stronger enemies and bosses but I'm starting to think that it might not be as difficult as some people make it sound (maybe it is if you set it on the hardest mode).

    gorgonzola
  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,469
    When I'm building a character for BG2 and just want the utility of the first class I'll create my character in BG1, get to level 2 and then copy/paste the .cha and .bio files to the BG2 'characters' folder. That way I can start a new game in BG2 with a level 2 character that I can immediately dual and very quickly make up my 'lost' XP.

    gorgonzolaNeo
  • SacerdorSacerdor Member Posts: 12
    Interesting Discussion. Generally i would say you want to dualclass over multiclass if you either gain something significant by it, want a faster level progression in the second class at mid or lategame or if you just want to hit some specific point with your first class and don't think you'll gain much more by putting in more levels.
    Examples would be a thief you only want for opening locks and finding traps. If you don't need the other thief abilities you could dual-class away from it. So you can be like Imoen instead of Jan. Next one is the often mentioned Fighter/Mage dualclasses, where you sacrifice some thac0 to gain grandmastery and a faster spellprogression and either another spellslot or the ability to cast necromancy spells. I think people are divided if Kensai/Mage, Berserker/Mage, Fighter/Illu or Fighter/Mage is their favorite. Fighter/Cleric and Fighter/Druid is a similar thing, but i think i'd prefer the multiclasses over there, because they don't have level 8 or 9 spells.

    Two things mentioned in this thread catched my eye. First i'm pretty sure in BG2 EE you can no longer Dual-Class away from Ranger-Kits. I tried it on Stalker, but haven't tried it on Archer yet. And i don't think i like the thought of C7->F, because you miss out on Rightous Magic. Sounds more like a different (maybe slightly weaker) version of a Cavalier.

    gorgonzolaNeo
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 5,391
    Another cute trick is to dual an assassin to fighter at level 2. For the cost of a few hit points you get +1 to hit/damage, a use of poison weapon and some thief skills (I recommend putting every skill point into detect illusion - you can use that even in heavy armour!).

    DanacmgorgonzolaNeodunbar
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 659
    You can dual-class from ranger kits in the current BG2 build, though there was a period of time when you couldn't.

  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 732
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    Another cute trick is to dual an assassin to fighter at level 2. For the cost of a few hit points you get +1 to hit/damage, a use of poison weapon and some thief skills (I recommend putting every skill point into detect illusion - you can use that even in heavy armour!).

    Also the mage to fighter dual at lvl 2. You gain familiar, wands, scrolls etc for the cost of hp.
    And the swashbuckler 5 - fighter dual. You loose hp a lot, but gain 2 ac, 1 dmg and thaco and the 100% detect illusion. Not a bad ranged warrior type character.

    Balrog99gorgonzola
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,151
    Very low level duals are more of a BG1 thing. The opportunity cost for low levels is so low in BG2 you're basically always better off dualing a bit later.

    I'm personally a big fan of the Swashbuckler->Fighter dual, and the only reason I'm not using it is that my mod setup is diff to the max and I really want all the mages ever. It's also one of the few classes I'd dual at lvl 10 for the extra perks; luckily thief xp doesn't reach the peak bracket until lvl 11 (though the Fighter will have some extra legwork to do). Whether or not this is better than F/T is debatable, it's certainly a lot of fun though.

    gorgonzolaNeo
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,078
    edited December 2019
    Sacerdor wrote: »
    Generally i would say you want to dualclass over multiclass if you either gain something significant by it, want a faster level progression in the second class at mid or lategame or if you just want to hit some specific point with your first class and don't think you'll gain much more by putting in more levels.
    ...........................
    Next one is the often mentioned Fighter/Mage dualclasses, where you sacrifice some thac0 to gain grandmastery and a faster spellprogression and either another spellslot or the ability to cast necromancy spells.
    not only a faster progression, also the level the second class can reach changes.
    let's take F->M, kitted or not. you loose the fighter's hlas and possibly the lev 13 1/2 apr, but the reward is not only that you can cast high level spells much early, you will get lev 9 ones at 3Mxp + something instead of 6M, but the whole number of high level memorizations will be completely different in end game.
    if a multi has 2 lev 9 spells/day, 3 lev 8 and lev 7 at xp cap the dual9 will have 5, 5, 5 of them allowing him to do things that the multi simply can not do.


    Sacerdor wrote: »
    Fighter/Cleric and Fighter/Druid is a similar thing, but i think i'd prefer the multiclasses over there, because they don't have level 8 or 9 spells.
    i don't have much experience with the F->D dual, while i have much more with the F->C one.
    still i see them as very interesting.
    an early dual into druid, very few levels, open the use of every armor and shield and gives some more hp and GM basically at no cost, a dual from fighter 13, even if has a very long down time, allows to have at xp cap a lev 28 druid, while being trough all the late game a competent fighter as you start from a decent thac0 and add the GM bonus to it.
    but also he gets all the lev 7 spells at 4.25M xp while the multi has to wait until 6M, this mean to play a big part of tob and wk with the strong lev 7 druid spells instead of only the very end game.
    dualing at 9 is still a competent fighter, at least competent like a F->M, a little sub optimal at tob levels, but still effective.
    for the cleric as the clerics have spells to buff their combat capability the thing is different, if they don't have the huge lev spell gaining going from 14 to 15 they have turn undeads, that in a lev 7 dual is very powerful but in a multi is not.
    my anomen can usually turn undeads quite early in soa, making the vampires encounters and some areas almost a joke, my aerie can only if i run very small parties and use efficient leveling up stratiegies, like soloing a bit with charname before recruiting her to get her at higher level.
    and a lev 7 F->C, when buffed, will have better thac0 then the multi version for a big chunk of the game, as the multi tops his thac0 at 6.5M xp and loose GM, while the multi can have the thac0 of a lev 20 fighter much earlier. they will have the same apr, as GM and lev 13 give the same 1/2 apr.
    the dual can also reach 25 str earlier as duhm and RM are level dependent.

    obviously the multi will have fighter's hla, other way the dual would be superior in every aspect if not for the need to be buffed with spells at every challenging fight, and having more spells memorized then the dual it is not a problem to do it, it is only annoying to do it for some players.

    so i see reasons to like both the dual and the multi versions of the fighter class merged witht he divine casting ones. if you prefer the multi version it is perfectly fine, every taste and way to play the game is good as long as the player has fun and find it effective.
    but also the dual versions have their own advantages and are interesting and effective to play, the fact that they are capped to lev 7 spells does not change it.

    Neo
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,151
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    i don't have much experience with the F->D dual, while i have much more with the F->C one.
    still i see them as very interesting.
    an early dual into druid, very few levels, open the use of every armor and shield and gives some more hp basically at no cost, a dual from fighter 13, even if has a very long down time, allows to have at xp cap a lev 28 druid, while being trough all the late game a competent fighter as you start from a decent thac0 and add the GM bonus to it.
    Even with Druid, it's still not worth doing a 13 dual. That's 2.75m XP needed, which is almost HLA levels of experience. You'll be done with most of SoA by then (unless you do WK early I suppose). At some point you're just spending too much of the game in an incomplete state, just to get a tiny advantage for the part of the game where everyone has everything anyway and you're a walking god (no pun intended).

    For Druid dual, I'd go with Wizard Slayer 9 -> Druid. Applying spell failure with Fire Seeds is just completely bonkers (though depending on your mod setup, that may or may not work) and will disable even liches in no time flat.

    Whether you go with multi or dual utimately depends on what part of the game(s) you worry about the most. Duals peak early. They can become stupidly powerful stupidly fast (ironic considering they have inbuilt downtime). Multis take more time to catch up, but will have a more even spread and tend to scale better. At very high levels, power gain actually levels off quite a bit. The difference between a lvl 20 character and a lvl 30 character isn't as big as you'd think; and between a lvl 30 and lvl 40 it's even less. But the difference between a 14/14 F/M and a 9/18 F->M is quite noticeable.

    If you worry more about the midgame, you may prefer duals over multis. If you're fine with fairly steady progression until deep into the game, a multi may be more for you. And of course it can go any which way depending on your game/mod setup.

    gorgonzolaNeo
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,078
    edited December 2019
    @Lord_Tansheron
    about the lev 13 F->D i agree, at least in most party setups.
    still if the player runs a small party, let's say no more then 4 people, and/or uses super efficient leveling strategies, even without going to the extreme of the one i suggested some time ago, i see him very interesting.
    surely you have a long down time, but to flood tob and wk with creeping dooms, nature's beauties and having many elemental princes, that can fight side to side with the party's deva or planetar is very rewarding.
    and with a small party and efficient leveling strategies it is possible while having both GM and lev 13 to boost the apr, reaching 4 when DW without the use of speed weapons or the gauntlets, that an other party member can use, or 5 apr with an OH speed weapon.

    the WS->D thing is really interesting and i agree with the rest of your post.

    about my super efficient leveling strategy here is the link to the thread, if some one is interested:
    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/68460/effective-leveling-strategy-for-the-party-my-way

    Neo
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,151
    It's not about "is it possible" so much as "is it worth it".

    Of course being a lvl 13 has advantages. But those don't just come for free. The COST is the problem, nobody is denying the benefits.

    gorgonzolaNeo
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,078
    yep, my point is that with some settings the costs are not so harsh, while with other settings they are so.
    a charname that start in bg2, solo as fighter, or maybe in duo with let's say jan or aerie, that being multi benefit of the fast leveling, until he reaches lev 13, while leaving some quest rewards to be claimed, then recruits a couple of other toons at a high level will have an interesting run and will complete the dual quite fast and get all the lev 7 spells in time to use them for a big part of tob-wk.

    and it can be a very interesting run for those that don't play only LoB hard modded like you.

    for a full party and a more usual way to play as i told i agree with you, lev 13 duals are not worth.
    many people used to do it in the early times, then realized that the spike of power is reached too late, when is no more really needed, and the cost of it was too harsh.
    even in the old times i was aware of it and i preferred multi or early duals, still i think that even today, with a modern perspective, some lev 13 duals are interesting in some party setups and ways to play the game.

    Neo
  • NeoNeo Member Posts: 112
    edited December 2019
    I never considered trying a lvl 2 dual to unlock perks like those mentioned. I often end up hoarding consumables to keep them only if I truly need them and end up hardly needing any potions, scrolls and wands. I'm nearing the end of my BG1 playthrough (last Durlag Tower level and then back to completing Chapter 7) and I'm trying to use my potions, scrolls and wands as much as possible because my potions ad scroll containers are full and I even cheated a Bag of Holding (I hate the inventory management game when it comes down to some special items that I'm unsure if I want to keep or not) and it's filled with wands and other junk. I could use those a lot more (especially if I end up playing with a smaller party size) and those lvl 2 duals could prove to be an advantage.

    During my last BG2 playthrough, it was the first time that I was trying a F/T multi and I really liked him. However, to be honest, the biggest impact the HLA Use All Items had on my F/T was that I could use wands and scrolls (I had no arcane caster in my whole party so no one else could use those and so the wands with Breach were nice). If I decide to try out a party with no arcane caster again, Dualing at lvl 2 on a M -> F could actually almost act as if my Fighter got the UAI HLA in exchange for a bit of hit points which does sound pretty good.

    As for the Swashbuckler thing, I'll look into it next time. I was looking into Thief kits and trying to figure out how to make use of them (Dual options included). The only thing about it is that it forces me to be human which I find to be generally weaker if I want to be a fighter (compared to the 19 str half orc) but once I read the tome of str or get str belts in BG2, it's not as big of a deal anymore.

    I used to only play as humans (BG1 vanilla) and half orcs (once I bought the EE versions of BG1/BG2). I made my archer an elf on my last BG2 playthrough for the extra THAC0 with bows and Dex. My current Stalker is also an elf this time around (extra THAC0 with longswords and charm resistances), my Blade is a half elf for the extra bonuses again. I've never played with Dwarves, Halflings or Gnomes (except for rare occasions where I picked up a NPC that was one of those) and the Dwarf Fighter/Illusionist multi does sound powerful and interesting. Not sure about the other 2 shorties, I guess the saving throw bonuses are good and I might underestimate them a bit but other than that, there's the SoD gloves that give thieving bonuses to them but I don't see other main reasons to roll one combat wise vs Half-Orc, Half-Elf, Elf, Human, Dwarf (maybe more for RP?).

    Post edited by Neo on
    gorgonzola
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,151
    Shorty bonuses are HUGE (no pun intended). They're not, perhaps the be-all-end-all some people make them out to be - particularly in BG2 - but they are very, very useful in a game where one lost save can easily mean game over. The value rises and falls with your willingness to reload, of course.

    Lvl 2 duals have their uses in BG1, but in BG2 they're pretty meaningless, as I mentioned. Regaining a lvl 9 dual is trivial even without mechanics abuse like kicking party members before scroll scribing etc.

    Neo
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,078
    Neo wrote: »
    the Dwarf Fighter/Illusionist multi does sound powerful and interesting.
    if i am not wrong only gnomes can be multi and illusionist, and they are compelled to be so, a gnome fm or cm will automatically be illusionist.

    about the early duals and bg2 i still think that, even if are not legittimate starting there, can be useful.
    like i told a F2->D can get GM, equip better protecting armor and items and has some more HP basically at no cost.
    a M2->F, like @Neo tells, is allowed to use scrolls, wands and, last but not least, the SoTM with its super useful dispel on hit and a long lasting spell trap, that is a very good protection for a fighter even if he has a puny spellbook to recharge.
    a F2->T or F2->C can get GM, that mean a free apr, more chance to hit when the thief stab and a more effective mlee cleric when he is buffed, improved hasted and DW has 6 apr instead of 4 and those attacks are even more damaging, kai like effect+25 str+GM dmg bonus is something that the enemy feel. and ranged the F2->C will do more then 100 dmg/round instead of more then 50, again when buffed.

    all those benefits come almost for free, the xp and down time price is almost not existing.
    i am not telling that those early duals can do what a lev 9 dual can in bg2, but that are basically improved versions of the single (second) class toons.
    the real price is obviously that they must be humans so no shorty bonuses, still they have a sense.

    Neodunbar
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,151
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    about the early duals and bg2 i still think that, even if are not legittimate starting there, can be useful.
    It's not about that. It's about the fact that going lvl 9 instead 2 for the dual is almost the same cost in BG2, but for a MUCH bigger effect.
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    like i told a F2->D can get GM, equip better protecting armor and items and has some more HP basically at no cost.
    This suggestion is even more outrageous. Druids are THE fastest class to reach lvl 10 - they only need 125,000xp to get there, which is 50% less than a Mage and 75%(!) less than a fighter. You can get that much doing fetch quests alone. Not taking advantage of that in BG2 by dualing from F9 (of whatever kit) seems like a pretty egregious miscalculation to me.

    I'm a little baffled that you have been oscillating between either dualing at 2, or dualing at 13, which are two extreme positions that are very rarely (if ever) correct in BG2.

    ithildurnewgorgonzola
  • NeoNeo Member Posts: 112
    edited December 2019
    I think that you’re right about the multi being gnome rather than dwarf, I got mixed up with other things I read about dwarves being good fighters (high con, unique warhammer in BG2, other bonuses).

    One thing I’m confused about is the GM extra attack per round. I read several times that it works fine with IWD but that with BG2, it’s nerfed and only gives 1/2 attack per round (5 points don’t give the other half attack). Has this been changed/fixed with the EE versions somehow?

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,151
    edited December 2019
    There was some disagreement in the original about how many APR Grand Mastery should give - particularly because of IWD, but also because ambiguous wordings of the description in the original (i.e. was it meant to be cumulative or total).

    The current state in the EE is that you get +0.5 from Specialization (**) and +1 from Grand Mastery (*****) for a total of +1.5 at ******. This is the same as IWD.

    In the original BG2, it was +0.5 from ** and +0.5 from ****** for a total of +1.

    This may skew things in favor of dual class for you, but YMMV with your particular game/mod setup.

    In my own setup, for example, various factors make multiclass more attractive; the Spell Revisions mod makes Improved Haste +1 APR rather than double, for example, while the Item Revisions mod nerfs the +1 APR offhands to +0.5 APR or none at all so (Greater) Whirlwind Attack is more important at endgame.

    Always adjust your decisions based on your own particular game, preference, and playstyle.

    Neogorgonzola
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,596
    There was some disagreement in the original about how many APR Grand Mastery should give - particularly because of IWD, but also because ambiguous wordings of the description in the original (i.e. was it meant to be cumulative or total).

    The current state in the EE is that you get +0.5 from Specialization (**) and +1 from Grand Mastery (*****) for a total of +1.5 at ******. This is the same as IWD.

    In the original BG2, it was +0.5 from ** and +0.5 from ****** for a total of +1.

    This may skew things in favor of dual class for you, but YMMV with your particular game/mod setup.

    In my own setup, for example, various factors make multiclass more attractive; the Spell Revisions mod makes Improved Haste +1 APR rather than double, for example, while the Item Revisions mod nerfs the +1 APR offhands to +0.5 APR or none at all so (Greater) Whirlwind Attack is more important at endgame.

    Always adjust your decisions based on your own particular game, preference, and playstyle.

    The additional 1.0 APR is given by some mods, which is probably why your setup is different. However, in the basic EE GM only gives a total of 1.0 APR (i.e. 0.5 more than Specialization). In the original BG, Grand Mastery gave no additional APR and only an additional +1 to damage and -2 to speed factor.

    As you say that was mainly the result of some disagreement in source material about what the bonus should be. Beamdog agreed with those that noted that GM gave bonuses somewhat less than "grand", but chose to effectively split the difference between the vanilla interpretation in Baldur's Gate and the potential maximum that some people argued for. I think part of the reason for that was game balance - to avoid changing too much from vanilla.

    Neogorgonzola
  • NeoNeo Member Posts: 112
    Thanks, that clears it up. For the first time, I have no one in my party that can get GM (my melees are Stalker, Barbarian, Dorn (Black Guard) and Blade. I always thought GM was a big deal and was part of the reasons why I tended to prefer the other fighters over Barbarian, Stalker or multis. When I looked more into it and from what I read, I then thought it was a bit weak after all. Now I realize it isn’t bad but still maybe not major enough for me to ignore the potential of other physical damage based classes/kits that can only get 2 pips.

    Grond0gorgonzola
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,596
    Higher proficiencies also give significant bonuses to hit and damage that need to be taken into account, but I agree that some classes can give benefits that compensate for that. If you want to consider the benefits of proficiency you might like to look at https://baldursgate.fandom.com/wiki/Weapon_Proficiency

    That shows the different benefits in the original BG games (and BG1 was not quite the same as BG2) and in the EE games.

    Neogorgonzola
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,151
    I haven't played the unmodded game in over a decade, I guess it's hard to keep track of how the original works/worked.

    Though you're right that my current setup does indeed only give +1 total (but that's not what makes the difference in the dual vs. multi debate for me).

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