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SCS Mind Flayers ... oh boy

In the vanilla game Mind Flayers were annoying, but I never had serious problems with them. With SCS however, I've just run out of ideas already.

My party is around lvl 13 and I've entered the Mind Flayer Hide under the Temple District. The room before Alhoon is a death trap for me. I know that Chaotic Commands helps against the domination attacks, but I have only two slots for those, so I can't protect the whole party. And I have no way to defend against those Telepatic blasts or bombs, range attacks that just deal around 20-40 damage and seem to bypass anything. Went in with my buffed Ranger/Cleric, didn't last 2 rounds. Went in with a buffed mage, the same. Haer'Dalis survived the longest with Defensive Spin, but he killed only two Mind Flayers before going down. Spells seem to be useless because of their magic resistance.
Does anyone have any tips how to deal with those guys? Would really love to pick up the Hammer of Thunderbolts before setting sail for Spellhold.

gorgonzolaOrlonKronsteen

Comments

  • tedmann12tedmann12 Member Posts: 104
    They are tough for sure at that stage, summon up skeletons as they have magic resistance, a bunch of skellies and a bunch of ranged attacks is a start. Forgot exactly how I did that fight

    AmelianJuliusBorisov
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,646
    edited February 9
    i lack of experience about the scs flyers, but i am quite accustomed to the tactics mod ones.
    in tactics no telepatic blast, but they naturally see trough invisibility, so you can not stab them, can not protect a toon with invisibility, you can not use spells like mass invisibility to approach them and hit them hard before they react.
    they also can go invisible at will, and they do it on a regular basis, their tactic is to approach you invisible, hit and disappear. even with true sight active it is hard to really damage them in the very short time they are visible before they disappear again, there must be more TS stacked to reveal them effectively.

    and you can not send a buffed RC or haer dalis as they will teleport right next to your less protected party members, no matter if you leave them in a very far room and are not spotted by the flyers, they "sense" them and teleport invisible near by.

    still it is possible to beat them, i have done it with party and solo and so many other players have done it before me.

    a couple of hints that i can give you, that probably work with scs, are to buff the int of your party, items and potions of genius, so they can resist to more int drains and to make all you can to avoid to be hit by physical attacks.
    fighters with really good ac and mages protected by PFMW can not be hit by their physical attacks and no hit no lev drain.

    also to focus the fire and take them one by one as fast as you can is helpful, a dead flier is an enemy less on the field draining int and casting the blast.

    and keep moving, always move, a still target is a dead target, a target moving fast is hard to hit both by mlee attacks and aoe spells, if the blast is an aoe spell and not target a single toon.

    anyway difficulty mods somehow change the order you do the quests, ie with scs the planar prison is so hard that most of the players avoid it in the early game even if there you can loot key items like the boots of speed.
    it is possible that you are going to face the flyers too early for your mod setting.

    i hope it helps.

    Amelian
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,198
    In anything that isn't LoB, the answer is simply: damage, damage, damage. Don't play defensively, try and kill them quickly. Focus targets down, don't spread damage against dangerous enemies.

    If you do go on the defensive, not getting hit is usually the best play against mind flayers. If you can't manage that via buffs/AC, keep moving a lot. If you can bounce them around their targets while others keep wailing on them, you'll get ahead quickly. Don't be afraid to spread them out across the dungeon, too - fighting a bunch of mind flayers in tight spaces without room to maneuver is a recipe for disaster.

    gorgonzolaAmelianOrlonKronsteenmonico
  • Ludwig_IILudwig_II Member Posts: 292
    I recently finished a Solo Dragon Disciple run on SCS Insane, and Improved Mind Flayers is the only component in whole of SCS that I fine tweaked down to Tactical difficulty. They are really annoying to deal with, especially for spellcasters.

    AmelianOrlonKronsteeniosfrustration
  • AmelianAmelian Member Posts: 19
    edited February 10
    Thank you all for the tips. I'm playing on Tactical Difficulty, if I remember correctly, as I'm no way an expert at BG2, just an avid fan. ;)

    @jmerry
    I admit I forget about Potions most of the time. My Potion Bag is stock full, but I rarely use them, either forgetting about it or always thinking "I need to save them for the right situation" and not realizing when those punch me in the face.

    The room before Alhoon I managed to beat yesterday, thanks to your tip, @tedmann12. Three Skeletal Warriors and a Morderkaine's Sword did the trick - though my Cleric/Ranger standing around under Sanctuary to guide the summons was still hit several times, dunno why.
    I even managed to beat the guys in Alhoon room, but left him there behind closed doors. Need to come back later for him.

    @gorgonzola
    The Planar Prison I didn't find that hard, tbh. I was around Level 12 and didn't have to reload once. Other fights were really way harder in comparison for my party, though the Warden really hit like a truck.

    gorgonzolaiosfrustrationJuliusBorisov
  • AmelianAmelian Member Posts: 19
    edited February 10
    @Grond0
    Thanks for the information. I thought Sanctuary protected the caster from anything for the time being, but apparently that doesn't work with Illithids.

    Alhoon is undead? Wow, that could make things a lot easier. I'm a big fan of abusing Greater Malison + Azuredge. B)

    iosfrustration
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,531
    Anything that can see through invisibility - like liches for instance - can also attack through it.

    AmeliangorgonzolaiosfrustrationJuliusBorisov
  • OrlonKronsteenOrlonKronsteen Member Posts: 814
    @Lord_Tansheron where do you rank SCS fiends on the difficulty scale, compared with beholders and mind flayers?

    I am still learning SCS and am not as enlightened as most of you (when I do win hard battles I’m often wondering how the hell I pulled it off), but I did want to mention how great improved haste is in conjunction with ranged attacks. This may be assumed to be included when mentioning ‘buffs,’ however.

  • NeverusedNeverused Member Posts: 782
    Fiends are... different, I suppose, and it differs greatly between different types of demons. Almost all of them cast Dispel Magic at some level or another, so they can destroy buffs at the beginning of a fight outside of mages with SI: Abjuration up. From there, some have access to Unholy Word, others Fireball or Incendiary Cloud (I think?) at quite a high level, still others can cast Power Words or Symbols, Balors have Vorpal Swords for when Death Wards are Dispelled, and almost all of them have access to an innate fear Aura, and almost all of them have their own Magic Resistance if your mages want to actually do direct damage.

    Mind Flayers are an exercise in kiting and keeping up immunities or saving throws while focus-firing them down hard. For the room before the Alhoon, my suggestion would be to send in a lone summon to activate them, then turn the doorway into a killzone. Make sure you have True Seeing of some sort active to get rid of their Improved Invisibility, then attempt to murder them very, very quickly. Summons also help quite a bit in taking aggression, though Skeletons can be insta-killed by their Detonate attack. The Alhoon, on the other hand, is absolutely terrifying. Mind-flayer abilities on top of a Lich immunities (AKA Protect from Magic Weapons means this thing is actually immune to everything without spending like 4 rounds trying to strip his magical defenses without Spellstrike) and level 9 spells in a very enclosed area is a bad time. My only advice for it is to throw summons 1 by 1 into it, trying to get it to waste its defensive spells, and eventually attempt to Azuredge or MoD it to death.

    Beholders are weird on the difficulty scale on SCS: they're either 100% unsafe to face or 100% safe to face with no in between. Shield of Balduran can be stolen, and buffs can be Anti-Magic Ray'd, though that fortunately gives a few seconds of immunity to other rays I believe. But without negative key saves, there's so many potential Death Rays or Petrification rays that it's pretty much impossible without burning through multiple Potions of Invulnerability in a fair fight. They have no immunities to magic though, outside of Death Tyrants, so... Nuke them from across the screen. It's the only way. :tongue:

    OrlonKronsteenJuliusBorisovStummvonBordwehrgorgonzola
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,198
    I should add that in my game, there is no easy cheese for beholders with Shield of Balduran (it's a generic MR shield under the IRR mod). Coupled with the LoB HP bonus and the Insane double damage bonus, a beholders' barrage of deadly spells is a SERIOUS threat.

    That being said, fiends/devils can definitely be scary, too. But they're scary in very cheese ways, at least in my setup. Balors spam dispels and randomly gib people with vorpal, which feels like a rather unfun binary to me; and some versions of the glabrezu (I think?) just do nothing but spam summonings until the entire floor is covered in enemies and no one can move. Equally unfun. So to me these are annoying more than dangerous. At least with mind flayers there's a fight.

    OrlonKronsteenStummvonBordwehrgorgonzola
  • Ludwig_IILudwig_II Member Posts: 292
    I agree that all are dangerous. In my case(Sorcerer solo Insane SCS) however, mind flayers were the hardest and the most annoying to deal with. Because even though they are dangerous, you can at least kill beholders and demons with magic. With mind flayers, they are so hard to kill as a spellcaster in addition to being dangerous. The only demon to be really scared of was Balor for me, due to no save vorpal hit. And with demons, because there are generally not too many of them, I could get rid of them using Imprisonment. Beholders didn't pose too much of a threat, no need for cheese shield or anything when you have enough spell protections.

    OrlonKronsteenJuliusBorisovStummvonBordwehrgorgonzola
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,115
    The no-save vorpal thing with SCS Balors? That's something of a bug; it's supposed to be fixed so that they always allow a save. Unfortunately, that fix doesn't seem to work. Summoner glabrezu? That's one room in Watcher's Keep, and it is annoying. It's also skippable if you know your way around that level. Incidentally, the ice summons don't have magic weapons; if you can give your party protection from normal weapons (say, with Enhanced Bard Song), then you can ignore them to focus on the real threats.

    My favorite anti-beholder cheese? A monk transformed into a greater werewolf using the "Improved Shapeshifting" component. 100% magic resistance means they can't hurt him, and he can solo everything but Hive Mothers (which have unlimited heals and stoneskins).
    Oh, and beholder petrification rays are a save vs. spell (no penalty). Just in case you thought your petrification/polymorph save meant anything at all.

    On a somewhat less cheesy note - beholders won't use their antimagic ray unless the target has enough buffs going. One or two magic resistance potions might be safe - and if they're not, you'll still have a round to escape when you get dispelled.

    Ludwig_IIgorgonzola
  • Ludwig_IILudwig_II Member Posts: 292
    jmerry wrote: »
    The no-save vorpal thing with SCS Balors? That's something of a bug; it's supposed to be fixed so that they always allow a save.
    Why do you think it’s a bug? I mean it can be of course, but I thought it was a design decision for SCS by @DavidW

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,115
    From the "Improved Fiends" section of the SCS readme:
    All Balors now wield the vorpal swords that the Watchers' Keep Balors wield; but these have been modified so that they kill but don't chunk, and so that they allow a saving throw.
    (Search for "vorpal" to find that section)

    That's why I called it a bug. I've seen plenty of chunking, and I haven't seen saving throws made.

    Ludwig_IIgorgonzola
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