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Two-handed Weapon style not worth

SoidoSoido Member Posts: 110
2H-weapon style doesn't look efficient for 2 points in it. All you get is slightly improved critical chance and faster initiative.

Instead you are better of putting these 2 points into Dual-wielding style for access to dual-wielding.

If you place these 2 points into 2H-weapon style, you are becoming too specialized in 2H weapons and will have to use them all the time.

But instead you may place them 2 points in dual-wielding, and still choose 5 points in one 2H weapon (like either halberd or 2H swords), but you are not bound to use only them due to overspecialization, but later you can switch to dual-wielding flails or hammers (to compensate the lack of blunt damage from the halberd or 2H sword).

A possible distribution works like this

Two-handed Swords: 5 points (or Halberds instead)
Flails: 5 points (or Hammers instead)
Dual-wielding style: 2 points
And from here on only put 5 points in any single-handed weapon you wish

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Comments

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,558
    edited May 23
    That increased critical chance is not small. Going from having to roll a 20, to rolling a 19 or 20 is a pretty significant increase. Not to mention that 2 handed weapons tend to be SLOW. Good luck interrupting an opposing mage with a halberd without that spec.

    Post edited by ThacoBell on
    Rik_KirtaniyaArviaAerakarDharius
  • Rik_KirtaniyaRik_Kirtaniya Member Posts: 1,600
    On a d20 attack roll, it's a 5% increase in critical chance, which is pretty good. I always put at least 1 point in THW style for all of my characters who mostly use THW.

    ThacoBellAerakar
  • SoidoSoido Member Posts: 110
    5% critical is not bad but the problem is that these crits trigger when you don't really need them (against weak enemies) and when you need criticals against strong enemies they don't trigger. Overall very small benefit from it.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,085
    You also get +1 damage from the first pip. As @ThacoBell said, most 2-handed weapons are also slow. It's not obvious when you first play the game what impact weapon speed has, but it's actually very important - not just for interrupting spells, but also in substantially reducing hits on yourself. If you're using a halberd or a 2-handed sword as a fighter, the +4 benefit from weapon style and the +3 from grand mastery mean you can get down to speed 0 with a decent weapon.

    StummvonBordwehrAerakarThacoBell
  • DinoDinDinoDin Member Posts: 683
    It's true, the second pip in two-handed style doesn't do much, but the first pip is absolutely essential. Doubling your critical chance -- making 1 in 10 every swings a crit is amazing!

    I would take some issue with jmerry's recommendation to only stick with one style. I think there's some builds that can actually work quite well with the EE's ability to open up quick swapping two-handed style along with off-hand usage. This might be good advice for builds just in BG1, where pips are scarce.

    For full saga playthroughs, I've found some swapping between styles to be useful. Dual wielding maces along with using a two-handed sword with Minsc might be the best example. Rangers in general, with their free two-weapon pips are good examples. Stalkers with a quarterstaff backstabs and dual slashing weapons works. I've even found a shield setup alongside two-handed style can work with multiclassed clerics or paladins to swap to for just a bit of extra protection when you spell cast. Obviously with pure or dual fighters and the 4 or 5 pip possibility this is a less ideal build strategy.

    This is where it's key to reiterate that the first pip in two-handed style is strong and the second pip should probably only be spent when there's no other good option.

    Aerakar
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,253
    It's not worth 2 pps it if you intend to go for quarterstaff,spear or another light 2-handed weapon, but if you intend to rock your opponents with a 2-handed sword then that -4 weapon speed becomes really useful, specially at lower levels where taking the first hit is the difference between life and death.

    Also, that +1 damage by having 1 pp is tremendously useful for classes that can't specialize in any weapon.

    As for it being better to get proficient in 2 weapons instead, well, thats an optimization view and does not really consider the coolness of most of the game's 2 handed stuff.

    DinoDinAerakar
  • DhariusDharius Member Posts: 398
    edited May 23
    Yeah, it’s good for bards, Multi-class fighters, single class rangers, barbarians and paladins who use weapons like two handed swords, (or spears/staves if they have lower strength)...in fact at the moment this type of character is my protagonist of choice in BG1+2, so this two-star, two-handed Sword style (A la Minsc or Keldorn, if you choose to give them these pips at higher levels) is very popular with me.

    Post edited by Dharius on
  • SoidoSoido Member Posts: 110
    I am not saying that the second pip in 2H style is a bad thing. If the devs gave me tons of pips, yeah sure let's put it there, awesome.

    But there is huge opportunity cost for that single pip. This point is the difference between grandmastery and only mastery in a chosen weapon. Make the calculation, you have 17 pips

    3x5 points - for grandmastery in 3 weapons
    2 points - free

    So if you put these 2 points into 2H, you have no points to put into dual-wielding. Isn't it much better to wield 2 scimitars efficiently, or 2 flails, rather than a very small critical chance improvement and further overspecialize in only 2H style.

    You can still choose 2H swords grandmastery but in addition now you can choose also scimitars and flails.

    You can still interrupt very well, but when you attack a mage you better switch to the scimitars. You will even interrupt muchbetter with dual scimitars than with 2H sword with 2 pips. And when you attack a melee opponent you will switch to 2H swords.

  • SoidoSoido Member Posts: 110
    There is one issue with grandmastery in 2H swords which is confusing.

    2H swords have 9 speed. So you will hit at the very end of the round. But how are the grandmastery extra hits goingto be performed in the remaining 1/10th of the round ? 2 more hits in the final 1/10th of a round. How does this work?

  • SoidoSoido Member Posts: 110
    edited 1:13PM
    By the way, the critical chance of 2H style and Dual-wielding style is almost the same

    2H with 1 pip - 10% crit chance
    Dual wield - 9.75% crit chance

    So you are not punishing your crit chance at all when you put the points into dual-wield rather than 2H style

  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 645
    Yeah, but here's the thing.

    I don't necessarily need to play hyper-optimally in order to win. I just want to have fun while I play.

    For some characters, they want to dual-wield scimitars. Other characters want to go sord-and-bord. Still others want to keep that quarterstaff that they started with all the way to the end.

    ThacoBell
  • PingwinPingwin Member Posts: 250
    As someone else has already said, the critical hit improvement is not small. One pip in two handed weapons doubles the critical hit chance.

    If you are going to min-max an ideal setup for an endgame character then you might have a point. You're not however taking into account that you will have a sub-optimum build in BG1 - flails are a mediocre option in BG1, especially when compared with two handed swords.

    Spiders' Bane is arguably the best melee weapon in BG1. Non-cursed +3 weapons are few and far between, and +2 with immunity to web is better than +3 if you have a mage spamming web spells. A pip in two handed weapon style makes Spiders' Bane even more awesome.

    Your ideal build is also ignoring missile weapons. Bows might be less effective in BG2, but going without proficiency in bows is asking for trouble. Doesn't matter how optimum your melee build will be by the end of BG2 when in BG1 you are facing opponents like vampiric wolves or ogre berserkers that you really do not want to get in melee range of.

  • SoidoSoido Member Posts: 110
    edited 2:55PM
    And finally let's see what is the critical dps for the two styles

    2H average damage 5 (1d10) then expected critical is 0.5 damage (10% of the average)
    Dual wield scimitars average 8 (2d8) then expected critical is 0.78 (9.75% of the average). EDIT - it is 0.4

    In other words, if you want to do some serious critical damage, better is dual-wield

    Post edited by Soido at
  • SoidoSoido Member Posts: 110
    edited 2:44PM
    Correction

    The average critical dps for scimitars is 0.4 so is slightly worse than 2H at 0.5

    Post edited by Soido at
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,085
    Remember that any character wielding 2-handed swords is a fighter type - and they all get the option of taking greater whirlwinds as an HLA. Depending on the amount you rest and whether you micro-manage fights, that may mean that in the latter stages of the game there is little or no APR advantage to dual wielding. You may still wish to do that of course - either for RP reasons or to gain the passive benefits from weapons - but it's no longer the obvious power game option.

    I'd also echo what's been said above. For most characters and parties the power game option will not be to ignore missile weapons. It's possible that can be done at the end of BG2 with mage types using unbreachable defenses, but for most of the game there are occasions where melee is clearly inferior to missile combat (and both are inferior to wand use, but that's another story). Apart from the obvious benefits of not being hit yourself, you can also do more damage with missile weapons than melee throughout BG1 by using appropriate ammunition.

    ThacoBellAerakar
  • DhariusDharius Member Posts: 398
    edited 2:59PM
    Well, bards, priests and wizards can also benefit from two handed weapons, especially staves, as it keeps their mushy bits away from antagonists...if they have a high DEX, so much the better....

    Also, this is a game where a character with one point in daggers can still do well...so your choice of weapon is largely aesthetic anyway. Calculating rates of damage is all well and good, but any choice of weapon will win through in the end, just takes a bit longer.

    Also I’d agree that missile weapons are crucial in open areas, especially in BG1 - here arrows are perhaps best, because of the abundance of arrows from drops from foes.

    PS while I like Spiders Bane, I like World’s Edge better...it is So Choice....also the short sword of backstabbing, and Drizzt’s scimitars...I mean everyone should kill Drizzt, and let him KNOW you killed him in BG2.And then kill him again...and then kill his friends...and then Melchor Harpell...and then Malchor a second time...and then ad infinitum, for as long as he spawns On your map..until you evolve to TOB..it’s your duty

    Oh and kill Shandalar too...just to show how boss you are..he’s smug anyway..that 26K xp reward for doing so is Soooo welcome..it’s like the world meant you to do it

  • SoidoSoido Member Posts: 110
    Interestingly, if you don't put any points in dual-wield but nevertheless keep one weapon in off-hand, your critical chance increases by whopping 100%.

    If you put a whole pip into 2H style, your critical chance also increases 100%.

    One can say, why would I spend a point for double critical provided I can get the same without spending any points, just put a weapon in the off-hand ?

    The difference is better critical dps with the 2H swords, about 25% better critical dps than say a scimitar.

    So the difference comes from the weapons, but the styles act identically, both increase the crit by 100% more or less.

    If you take a katana, they become identical both 0.5 dps.

    So 2H style all it does is just increase the crit to 10% in order to catch up to dual-wield's increase in crit chance. But what dual-wield does in addition to this is to further improve THAC0 by a lot. Something 2H pips don't offer.

    So you have two very similar styles regarding criticals, and completely identical with katanas, but what dual-wield pips do extra in give you THAC0 which is very important.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,085
    Two weapon style doesn't give you extra THAC0 - it just reduces the THAC0 penalties normally associated with dual wielding. The basic penalty is -4 to the main hand and -8 to the off hand. A high level kensai can live with those and still hit pretty automatically, but other characters cannot. Hence dual wielding is normally only done either by fighter types who have put at least 2 pips in the weapon style or by anyone when the enemy is disabled (allowing automatic hits). Even with 3 pips in two weapon style, you still suffer a -2 THAC0 penalty to the off hand. Hence dual wielding may well not be worth it if you're attacking enemies you already need a high roll to hit.

    ThacoBellAerakarDinoDin
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 783
    Its really just aesthetic. The strongest weapon in bg1 is wand of fire. Charge it fully, and use as a machine gun, no enemy can stand too much, especially against single foes the secondary mod aganazzar scorcher.
    Other than that, the best weapons are not always the strongest to hit and dmg ratios, because most damage come from the stregth score and apr. The crit and weapon base damage die is almost neglectable.
    Previous comments are right in the case of whirlwind attack with a warrior enchance the two handed weapons a lot but until ypu reach those levels, ranged weapons so strong.

    ThacoBell
  • SoidoSoido Member Posts: 110
    edited 4:16PM
    If you take two level 1 characters, one with pip in 2H style, and another one with no pips in dual-wield but with 2 katanas, and fight them against Drizzt, I am sure both characters will on average exactly kill Drizzt for the same number hits. Because both will deal 0.5 critical dps.

    So you see this is a character who has such a high AC that only thing which matters is criticals. And both characters will do the same on average. Therefore they are identical regarding very high AC.

    But Drizzt is only one and rare with exceptional AC. The bulk of enemies are hittable and this is where THAC0 comes to play. Of course only for the dual-wield character benefit, because 2H style simply doesn't offer better THAC0.

    Of course I understand that dual-wield THAC0 is only 0 and -2 at 3 pips, but you get extra THAC0 roll than 2H. In this sense dual-wield gives you another THAC0 roll minus 2, which is better than no THAC0 roll at all.

  • SoidoSoido Member Posts: 110
    edited 5:00PM
    And another argument against 2H

    We are talking about averages. But we are not talking about extremes. If you take extremal logic, e.g. roll max 10 damage on critical 2H sword, and roll 2x8 scimitars for max 16 crit, huge difference.

    We talk about averages because we try to understand how criticals behave in the whole game against all the enemies in asingle snapshot. But it is not uncommon against one single strong enemy the dual wield to kill the enemy faster due to max rolls.

    In this sense, like the Drizzt example above, the dual-wielder will kill Drizzt significantly faster.

    If I tell you that I am going to reward 1 million dollars to the player who kills Drizzt at level 1 for the minimum amount of hits possible, no matter how many tries. Like a Guiness record. Then you will see everyone will dual-wield 2 katanas to try to get the 1million prize, no one will ever touch the 2H sword.

    And if we change the prize a little bit so that now the reward is for the player who kills Drizzt in the fastest possible time (as opposed to minimum amount of hits), well that is identical and again people will pick katanas over 2H. Because although 2H has best average crit dps, it does not have the best max crit dps. I call it the supermax. Even a guy with scimitars can do it faster than 2h sword.

    So you see that 2H is not the chosen weapon in either one of the crit challenges.

    Of course nobody will give anybody 1 million, and the only reward you can get is the personal satisfaction and experience of roleplaying.

    Post edited by Soido at
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 783
    Why drizzt ? Not enemy, not important for plot, not the strongest or most interesting to defeat. Just a lvl 16 ranger with mr and gm.

  • SoidoSoido Member Posts: 110
    edited 5:54PM
    This analysis only compares 2H sword which has slashing damage and ignores resistances.

    Against skeletons, I guess we better compare quarterstaff which has only 1d6 damage against comparative two dual-wield morningstars which have 2d4 blunt.

    Then you see that 2H is even worse in the crit department and being outdamaged by morningstars

    So this brings us to another problem with 2H. The weapon variety is more limited and a disadvantage

  • PingwinPingwin Member Posts: 250
    I'm not sure that your logic is correct.

    So we have two hypothetical characters each fighting an opponent with such high AC that only critical hits matter. One has a two handed sword and a pip in two handed weapon style, the other is dual wielding katanas and it doesn't matter how many pips they might have in two weapon style as they need criticals to hit anyway in this fight.

    Let's assume there are no other bonuses in effect and each character has a base 1 APR.

    The character with the two handed sword scores a critical on a 19 or 20 and does 13 damage on average (5.5 is average for a D10 roll, and plus one damage from the weapon style so (5.5 + 1) * 2 = 13)

    The character with the katanas does 11 damage on a critical hit as a katana base damage is also D10 but in this case there is no bonus damage from the weapon specialisation.

    Dual wielding katanas will give you two attacks per round, whereas the character with the two handed sword only attacks once per round. The character with the two handed sword hits twice as often though so those factors cancel each other out. If we look at a fight over 20 rounds, the two handed sword attacks 20 times and hits twice for an average of 26 damage. The dual wielded katana character attacks 40 times but only hits twice for an average of 22 damage.

    The two handed sword wielding character is clearly at a significant advantage here.

  • SoidoSoido Member Posts: 110
    Hmm, it seems I missed the +1 damage from the pip in 2H style. When I added this it looks on my side that 2H sword is better than 2 katanas. Now 2H crit dps is 6.5 while dual katana crit dps is at 5.775

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,085
    Pingwin wrote: »
    I'm not sure that your logic is correct.

    So we have two hypothetical characters each fighting an opponent with such high AC that only critical hits matter. One has a two handed sword and a pip in two handed weapon style, the other is dual wielding katanas and it doesn't matter how many pips they might have in two weapon style as they need criticals to hit anyway in this fight.

    Let's assume there are no other bonuses in effect and each character has a base 1 APR.

    The character with the two handed sword scores a critical on a 19 or 20 and does 13 damage on average (5.5 is average for a D10 roll, and plus one damage from the weapon style so (5.5 + 1) * 2 = 13)

    The character with the katanas does 11 damage on a critical hit as a katana base damage is also D10 but in this case there is no bonus damage from the weapon specialisation.

    Dual wielding katanas will give you two attacks per round, whereas the character with the two handed sword only attacks once per round. The character with the two handed sword hits twice as often though so those factors cancel each other out. If we look at a fight over 20 rounds, the two handed sword attacks 20 times and hits twice for an average of 26 damage. The dual wielded katana character attacks 40 times but only hits twice for an average of 22 damage.

    The two handed sword wielding character is clearly at a significant advantage here.

    I agree with the basic logic, though 2 hits from the two handed sword would be 13 damage in the situation described (and 2 hits from the katana would be 11).

  • PingwinPingwin Member Posts: 250
    It is 13 and 11 before you double the damage due to them being criticals ;)

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