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Flail of Ages

Everybody knows how powerful this weapon is. But I had realized how absurdly overpower it is when I have chosen it over Carsomyr as main weapon for Keldorn. Carsomyr is nice but nothing can beat slow from the flail.

gorgonzola

Comments

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,189
    Choosing from among luxuries there :) They're both fantastic weapons, and have their own strengths that don't just compare directly.

    gorgonzolaThacoBell
  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 465
    I would have Keldorn use the Holy Avenger and someone else use the Flail 👍

    Aeriegorgonzola
  • AerieAerie Member Posts: 112
    I prefer Storm Star, Runehammer and Crom Faeyr. Flail of Ages is overrated.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,558
    My personal favorite is the Purifier. Though I'm running a mod in my next run through that ports over more SoD items and adds recipes to upgrade them. Looking forward to what an upgraded Acid Tongue would look like.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,189
    I mean, the slow is super good yeah, but FoA *also* happens to just deal obscene amounts of damage ;)

    Side note: it's almost impossible to get a better OH than a +1 APR one if damage is the goal; Crom Faeyr is practically always better used in the MH together with a +1 APR OH rather than using it in the OH - assuming, of course, you CAN use a +1 APR OH (they're all bladed weapons).

    gorgonzolaiosfrustration
  • DinoDinDinoDin Member Posts: 683
    edited May 21
    The other key advantage of FoA is that it's easy to get. Too often the "best item" lists get inundated with late game gear. How great is a weapon really if I've already beat 75% of the game before I get it?

    Gorgon made great points, and imo the FoA is, hands down, the #1 BG2 weapon. Also key to add, crushing damage is the preferred damage type.

    kaja8gorgonzola
  • iosfrustrationiosfrustration Member Posts: 114
    Side note: it's almost impossible to get a better OH than a +1 APR one if damage is the goal

    For the first 20 years of my BG2 career I completely missed the power of +APR. A whole extra attack per round is like GrandMastery AND it stacks with grandmastery. Insanely OP.

    Super duper late-game with grandmastery and loads of castings of greater whirlwind and/or gauntlets of extraordinary specialisation it’s possible to come close. But for the majority of the game it’s just so strong it’s almost silly

  • AronAron Member Posts: 86
    Flail of Ages? Sounds crazy cool! This inspired me to play BG2 again, i have never completed the creation of this flail. Only have 2 parts i think.

    Can't wait to get home from work to look for this weapon :)

    JuliusBorisovStummvonBordwehrRedRodent
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,576
    edited May 22
    Side note: it's almost impossible to get a better OH than a +1 APR one if damage is the goal; Crom Faeyr is practically always better used in the MH together with a +1 APR OH rather than using it in the OH
    i partially agree, but there are cases where imho it is not so.

    it depends on the whole party composition, if we consider the overall party's damage and effectiveness and not only the one of the single character and on who is the particular character.
    ie with my kensages or dual from fighter at lev 9 i use a speed weapon OH, but if i don't focus on GM on hammer, but i want them put the pips in other weapons, in soa i use OH a speed weapon, but then i switch to crom OH as their lev 9 fighter thac0, even using late game weapons and having GM, does not allow them to hit often vs enemies with good ac, so if they use OH crom they loose only half apr, but hitting more often they actually have a better "effective apr", stacking for the MH weapon the GM bonuses (thac0 and dmg) and the str from crom, while with crom and a speed weapon OH they completely waste the pips spent in GM unless i build them from the start to use hammer as primary weapon.

    for some parties i even choose to don't build the hammer as it gives 25 str (only mlee, while belts can be used also when equipping weapons that give ranged str bonus) but you loose the gauntlets that give 18.00 and the belt that gives 21.
    str 25 gives +7 thac0 and +14 dmg
    str 21 gives +4 and +9
    str 18.00 +3 and +6
    the 2 items combined give 1 more str damage then the hammer, but obviously if it is better or worst depends on the apr an on how often the ones using them hit.

    there are only other 3 str girdles in soa-tob, but one of them is at the very end of soa and the other is mid tob so as i very rarely roll over the average stats and never play evil, so very high natural str for me is almost impossible and even 18 or 18.something is not granted at all there are situations where i prefer to have more str items and even when i finally get the better girdle mid tob the gauntlets and the 19 str belt are still useful to boost the damage my casters do with a sling as +6 or +7 added to the dmg bonus from sling and bullet enchantment makes their using the sling meaningful.

    by the way using a girdle allows someone that has GM in an other weapon, let's say flail, to use MH FoA, OH a speed weapon and still have up to +4 +10 from the better girdle late game, and +4 +9 from the underdark combining the offensive bonus of the high dmg of foa + speed weapon +str bonus and the defensive bonus of the slowing effect that given the high apr and good thac0 will kick in often.

    so if we look at the whole party efficiency, focusing also on what happens before you can build it, sometimes it is better to weld crom MH, other times OH and is even possible that don't build it at all is the better choice for some parties.

  • DinoDinDinoDin Member Posts: 683
    My last total playthrough, I had a stalker->cleric dual that ended up using Crom in the OH in ToB. I switched between FoA and Runehammer for undead.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,576
    edited May 22
    imho to give crom to a cleric is almost always a bad choice as the cleric can bring his str to 25 at will with his spells, and is the only one that can do it as in EE is impossible to get a natural 25 str, thing that in the original, choosing a very specific strategy, was possible.
    in a party with a cleric there is surely someone that will benefit (MH or OH) of the 25 str from crom while a cleric can have the same str using his (on self only) spells.

    both righteous magic and duhm rise str of 1 point every 3 levels, starting from 18 natural str a lev 9 cleric can reach 24 str, and a lev 12 one 25.
    late game when he has also the holy symbol that gives +1 str, but also before, and starts from the str given by a girdle he can reach 25 str with only one of those spells.
    the symbol is given at lev 25 , but starting from the 20 str belt and without it he gets 25 str with a single cast from lev 15 on as he needs only +5 str to cap it.
    and duhm has very fast cast time and both it and RM are very useful as give also more hp and other bonuses like always maxed dmg roll or better ac and ranged thac0.

    also holy power can be used, before the other 2 spells, but it is a buff for the single class, multi with mage or thief and the early dual as it gives more hp but mainly the same thac0 of a fighter of your cleric level.
    so a stalker9->C can need it, but a stalker13->C is less dependent on it and a multi RC or FC can often avoid it at all.

    even if builds with cleric can not use speed weapons i find that there is almost always some one in the party that can make a better use of the hammer, as my cleric goes to battle with 25 str anyway.
    i would say that in your case FoA MH and runehammer OH, swapping them when fighting undeads and equipping a staff when he stabs, would have been the better choice, while minsc, korgan, mazzy, valigar or every other fighter type that can use hammers and does not focus on a 2H weapon (having keldorn or sarewok you probably want to focus on them), the party overall dpm potential would have been improved.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,189
    Not assembling Crom in the first place can be a very legitimate choice, depending on your party setup.

    When using Crom in the OH seems like the best choice, very often you'd be better off using Crom in the MH instead and pairing it with a +1 APR OH. If you don't pick hammer as your proficiency well that's on you, it's not like Crom showing up is a surprise ;) But I'm sure there's extreme cases where Crom OH may be optimal given the party's class setup.

    gorgonzola
  • DinoDinDinoDin Member Posts: 683
    Meh, I wasn't interested in the much more frequent resting that would have accompanied a spell-centric usage of my ranger-cleric. Minsc was the only candidate in my party who would have worked well with Crom, but I found using him with the bow did just fine as an interrupter. There was Keldorn as well, but he did fine with Carsomyr. I also used Staff of the Ram for stabs, but abandoned the tactic pretty early in ToB as it just ended up not being worth it. The char had a solid run with that tactic in SoA and with the staff of Rhynn though. Scouting via stealth was still very useful. I had also switched in Minsc only for ToB so his pips were committed to axe already.

    If I had to do the run all over, I probably would have just stuck with single class stalker throughout. It's a thoroughly great class and arguably the most improved class by the EE's ability to combine off-hand usage with things like two-hand usage.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,576
    edited May 22
    for a warrior, dual or single class to chose GM in flail as you can have the best flail quite fast in soa, instead of pushing the hammer proficiency, as you can assemble crom only after completing the underdark, is not a so extreme choice as you play the most of soa with GM in one of the best damaging weapons and you benefit also of the slowing effect, and defense is as important as offense whenever the strategy to kill them fast before they kill you is not possible.
    then to go with 4 apr and 25 str or 5 apr and a OH speed weapon are both good choices, it depends more on if some one else needs more the hammer or the speed weapon, and excluding the returning daggers and the one that requires to be monk or to have UAI after all there are only 2 mlee speed weapons in bg2.
    crom + speed weapon stacked on one character for some parties can mean to leave only a single speed weapon to the rest of the party.

    this is why if to assemble crom, and then use it MH or OH, or to don't assemble it and have more str items is completely depending on the party composition and also on if you focus more on the highest power end game or early game as some proficiency choices pay more later game, halberd is an example, other early game, like katana, and some are good trough all the game, like flail or axe.

    it is on you what proficiency you decide to push, but also weapon depending, as not all the weapons are available at the same moment, ie you have strong bastard swords in tob, but in soa you find the first 2 good ones only in the underdark, and many players even miss the better among the 2, as you have to heal a certain guy instead of fighting him to get it...

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,189
    Weapon proficiency certainly is a bit of a conundrum if you're min/maxing, since it's such a massive up-front investment. Another big argument in favor of the Flail of Ages, that's for sure. FoA + APR OH is practically unmatched in terms of power, given how early it is available and how long it lasts. It's fantastic early in SoA, and it's still fantastic at the end of ToB. Couldn't be any easier, really!

    Crom Faeyr is a bit of a different case, as it's available quite late in SoA, and though there are some decent hammers in early SoA they're not exactly top tier weapons. Then again, Crom Faeyr is also very powerful and is effectively a ToB-tier weapon that's available in SoA. People like to focus on the 25 STR, but Crom also hits like a truck against anything not immune to electricity. Even the upgraded Storm Star+5 has the same average base damage per hit as Crom Faeyr (13).

    It all depends on how you weight performance at various stages in the game. At endgame there's such a wealth of options to choose from that I wouldn't fault anyone for putting more emphasis on earlier parts, where good gear is sparse. And of course Crom Faeyr's components are a big part of that calculation as well, given that it contains two STR-boosting items.

    gorgonzola
  • AerieAerie Member Posts: 112
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    Aerie wrote: »
    I prefer Storm Star, Runehammer and Crom Faeyr. Flail of Ages is overrated.
    runehammer protects you from level drain and has a chance to kill undeads, and is a very good weapon in other situations.
    storm star is also a good weapon.

    but if you are not fighting vampires or hoping to vorpal a lich what makes FoA the best among the 3 weapons is not the enchantment level or damage, they are all good, but the slowing effect.
    30 or 33% chance to slow the enemy on hit, now i don't remember the exact value, no save allowed, and slowing means moving, attacking and casting at 1/2 speed, further more the slow effect stacks with itself.
    you don't notice how this is OP until you don't use the flail with a high apr character, you @Aerie will not hit more then twice with it even if you are hasted, but a fighter type that has 2.5 or 3 natural apr depending on level and if has or not GM and that can use a speed weapon OH can hit up to 4 times each round with it, 8 improved hasted and 10 using GWW.
    this means that he can stack more slow effects on a single dragon or slow many enemies in a couple of rounds, FoA is the best not for his offensive capability, but for the defensive one, it halves the dmg output of the enemies and make casters not protected by PFMW very slow at casting giving you more time to disrupt/breach/kill them before they cause you problems.
    and have i to tell how much is easier to fight against a dragon that moves, cast, attacks, buffets and breath included at 1/4 of the normal speed?

    to rate FoA at the same tier of runehammer (that is better against specific enemies), storm star or ever crom is under rating the powerful flail.

    about crom is a very good OH weapon, and can be used also as MH weapon, as it sets the str to 25, giving you some more dmg and thac0 compared to the best belts, but its offensive boost, very strong, is anyway inferior to the defensive boost given by FoA, and they can be DW with no problem to have both the boosts active.
    using crom you boost the dpm of a single toon of 20-40 %, depending on his str without it, and on which other boosts from items or proficiency he has, with FoA you reduce to 50% and possibly to 25% the number of attacks of every enemy you hit often enough, make spell casters slower and gain a great tactical advantage.
    we all had dragons chase low health toons that are simply not fast to escape effectively, with a dragon that moves at 1/2 speed, even when he is improved hasted, as you have slowed him 2 times, that toon has no problem at all to fly away, even if is moving at regular speed.

    EDIT: the slow effect, like the vorpal of the special halberd, completely ignores ST and has only a percentage check, that given that on average a hit every 3 slows make it powerful even with all the late game enemies that save often, if they are not naturally immune to be slowed, and only very few of them are.

    Perhaps you should re-read my comment. I know the flail is a great weapon. I didn't say the other weapons were better, or was arguing that they were better. I simply stated that I prefer using them over the FOA.

    To be honest, I wasn't entirely being serious when making that comment, I just don't really like the FOA because of it's free action effect, making the user walk at normal speed.

    I know the Flail of Ages is a great weapon, better than two of the weapons I actually listed (I still prefer Crom though). I feel the fact there are arguments that the Flail of ages +4 is more useful than the flail of ages +5, and there are some people who purposefully choose not to make the flail +5 damage it's credibility. The flail and it's heads, if I remember correctly are glitched so that also impacts using it.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,576
    edited May 23
    @Aerie you wrote that you prefer those other weapons, it is true, but then you told " Flail of Ages is overrated".
    To tell that you prefer those other weapons in itself is not comparing them to the flail, and a player can have different reasons to prefer a weapon, ie someone can prefer celestial fury over FoA for his kensai for the reason that finds odd how a kensai looks with a flail, while a katana makes him look cool and in theme with his kit.
    to tell it and then immediately after state that the FoA is overrated is much closer to compare it with those weapons, and so i posted why i rate it as belonging to a superior tier, even superior of the crom's tier.

    the free action of the +5 one can be a problem, even if there are mods that allow to use it and be hasted, this is perfectly true. but even not using those mods imo is not bad to have a choice, to upgrade it, relying only on GWW to have a high apr, or using it as a +4 weapon, better if with the poisoning head.

    the +5 version does 1d6 +6 crushing + 2 x 5 different elemental damages, so 1d6 + 16.
    the +4 version does 1d6 +5 crushing + 1 x 4 different elemental damages, so 1d6 + 9, you do 7 dmg less.

    by comparison storm star +5 does 1d6 +6 crushing and 1d6 electric, so on average 1d6 + 9.5, and the chain lighting chance is only 5%, enemies protected from electricity are not disrupted or don't receive the elemental part of the damage, and afaik while the elemental damage of FoA bypasses MR the one from SS does not ( but i can be wrong about it ).

    for runehammer +5 the damage is 2d4 +5, obviously against undeads it much more powerful and the immunity to level drain and fear are very useful, from fear not only against undeads.

    but the damage of FoA +4 is quite comparable with the one of those weapons and only 7 dmg less then the +5 version, for those that rely on haste spells to boost their apr it is a perfectly viable choice as with double apr you do much more damage then with a 7 dmg superior alpha and you are anyway at an alpha very similar of the one of the other best crushing 1H weapons.
    it is clear that having also the mace of destruction or the runehammer it is better to equip them against undeads, and if you face some dragon and can not protect you from fear in other ways (ie because your get dispelled) it is wise to weld it , MH or OH does not matter, until you are protected again, but FoA +4 is a perfectly viable main weapon in all the other fights and its slowing effect, that works on most of the enemies even late game, is the real reason why it is so strong, the +10 elemental damage of the +5 version is only a little bonus in comparison, and it comes at a cost for those that can not or are not willing to fix the way free action works for it.

    about the comparison with crom if it is better to boost the dmg output of a single toon, but at the cost of 2 str items that boost 2 toons for 1 more damage if combined, or is beter to make the dmg output of one or more dangerous enemies 1/2 or even 1/4 then normal it is completely a player's choice.
    having to choose between the 2 weapons i personally have no doubt, i surely prefer to fight against a draconis that moves at slow motion rate and attacks very seldom then to do to him little damage more, as with it the str bonus is only 5+ compared to the one from the belt that you give to make it.
    50 more dmg in a GWW is not bad, it is sure, but to have draconis do 1/4 of his usual damage instead is something i would choose every day of the weak.

    DinoDin
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,189
    I haven't played the unmodded game in decades, but IIRC you used to be able to just unequip the FoA+5, cast (Improved) Haste, and then re-equip it and keep the haste effect. Seems like a small price to pay for that power.

    gorgonzola
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,558
    I haven't played the unmodded game in decades, but IIRC you used to be able to just unequip the FoA+5, cast (Improved) Haste, and then re-equip it and keep the haste effect. Seems like a small price to pay for that power.

    I think that bug was fixed.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,576
    i just tested it and in my game version, that is not to the last upgrade as i don't like some changes done after i purchased the game, the trick still works, letting you have the +5 version and improved haste and the other free action bonuses active.
    it makes the weapon even more powerful as you combine one of the highest damages in the game, 5 different disrupting damages types and the immunity from free action with the double apr from improved haste and the slowing effect on hit.
    all that is needed is to remember to unequip the foa before casting the haste or having a contingency with it trigger.

    i had to test it as normally i play my EE not modded runs with the +4 one that imo is more then enough for a not modded setting.

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