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Which Improved Demogorgon is the Most Interesting to Fight?

So, I recently finished the Watcher's Keep for the first time ever, and I really liked it. It was quite hard (this is with SCS but without Improved Fiends) in places, the Maze level was very hard and the fights at The Final Seal were epic, especially Azamantes wearing Robe of Vecna and having access to all HLAs. However, I found the fight against Demogorgon highly disappointing. It took me only about 4 or 5 tries (as opposed to some other fights that took around 20 reloads at least) altogether to beat it and it didn't involve any clever tactics - just rushing in melee fight against it and it died pretty quickly.

So, my question is - which of the mods improves this fight "in the best way"? By "the best way", I mean that it is
harder than in the vanilla game but not nearly-impossible-to-do-unless-you-know-that-one-trick. Is it SCS with improved fiends, Ascension, Tactics or some other? Which of these did you find the most enjoyable to fight?

NiziNiziStummvonBordwehr

Comments

  • NiziNiziNiziNizi Member Posts: 70
    Well, I really like to see players aiming for higher challenge. If this is your first time you played WatchersKeep, than you did it great.

    Now I will go slightly offtopic and tell you my expirience and example, as I played BG around 20 years ago first time. I did not play it for 20 years all time, but every few years I did. Last years I did get involved much more.
    So, in beginning I did not even know English good enough to understand every spell description, nor did I try, nor did I know game mechanics well enough. Imagine how I struggled. Everything was hard for me.

    Why I say this, is because, in time, as you learn more about game and game mechanics, everything become easier and easier.

    But look at my example and imagine, in days when I was total noob, if I had to cope with SCS improved versions. It would be "impossible" for me. Now, I beat it very easily (and I want more).

    So, my advice to all players - if you find SCS with improved components too hard, do not use it for first time, play game until you get some basic knoweledge. After that - my all means - use SCS and all improved components. IMO, vanilla AI is... stupid lets say, and too easy. Once anyone get into game, you will like SCS very much as it really makes things much more as it should be.

    I do not know how your game install exactly is? If you play EET, with many mods, than you get much more content, leading to more XP (thats why we use XP reduction, to balance this partially), you get more NPCs choices, and way more good items. Which makes things little easier.

    I do not know how Ascension affect Demogorgon together with SCS, compared to version without Ascension, because once I started using EET, I always selected SCS (all improved components) and Ascension. In my opinion, it is tough fight, but definitely not impossible. Yes, demons he immidiately spawn (and he uses Time Stop) are no joke, but he, Demogorgon, as target, is not so much of problem to beat. He have more than 500+HP, but now without regeneration. I did not notice that he is super smart btw. For example it happen he is attacking high damage resistance target, while he can attack much weaker target. Take down his spell protection, and Breach now work on him, than focus fire on him with your melee force and he goes down in no time.

    I'm not aware that Tactics is available anymore.

    Before I tell you which will be available in future, for now only advice I can give is to use all - SCS with improved fiends (I'm sure it is going to make his ally demons harder) and Ascension.

    As I know, before, Ascension alone did make him stronger when installed on BG2. Now, when SCS is here, I have no idea exactly how and does Ascension affect him. It would be better to ask authors (I do not have time to do extended research).

    So lets not waste time on speculation, if you did not use Ascension, use it now, together with SCS with improved fiends and other improved components, and see how it works.

    If you still find it not hard enough (keep in mind you, as player, are always improving when playing such mods), than there will be interesting solutions in near future.

    As this moment, we are working on improved encounters, with aim to provide ultimate challenge for players which aim for it. I work on scripts and AI, and some custom and unique spells.

    First component which is going to be released is fight you call epic - Last seal guardians (I mean, party you activate with Heart Key). Followed by improved Irenicus final fight (as many players complain he is not presenting his real power, so I will give them what they ask for). IMO, even SCS version of improved Irenicus, for me, is too easy. Keep in mind, it depends on player skill, and game install you have (how strong party you are going to have at this moment, including equipment, and you get way better equipment in heavily modded game).
    Demogorgon, of course, can also be reworked to epic level, if there is real need for it.

    Of course, some people always complain, as why creature is allowed to do something that player can't? But, lets make clear, when you confront Irenicus, are you playing multilplayer with 6 party vs 1 ordinary, just high level mage? Or you are playing agains HIM? Even in vanilla, some creatures "cheat" and it is perfectly normal. However AI can be made smart, it can't execute its decisions with some stats left very weak.

    I'm not saying I'm doing creatures harder in cheap way, just by improving stats - absolutely no. I base 80% of improvement on new AI, where every creature have scripts individualy tuned to perfection. Some stats happen to be improved, if needed, as I explained. Final results, so far, are impressive, you have feeling you are playing against human, not AI, but very aggressive human who perfectly know game mechanics, and is making decisions "human like". That is going to be depleting, long and heavy fights (and intended for modded game, where you can get stronger party overall).

    I will present Xei Win Toh example (she is part of Last seal guardians fight). Vanilla script maybe have few hundreds lines. SCS version and script have 5000-6000 if I recall well. My version (that character is already completed) have no less than 240000 lines. And it is just pure melee fighter, now imagine her decision making. Well, do not expect it do scale lineary while looking at script lines and blocks number, but definitely expect something new and special.
    Every situation you can get her into, is covered, and expect always her to make best decision.
    But her moving speed is improved (if Hasted, with Boots of speed, which you btw., at that point of game, should have in plenty number, you can still outrun her). It makes zero sense for such fighter to move at standard player speed (without any improvement). All AI improvements would mean little in such case. Of course, you can Slow her (I did not made her immune), in that case, her decisions will change and will be more "desperate". But her party members, if able to do so, will than try to help her. Ameralis (Cleric) will cast Free Action anyway on her at beginning (which you can dispel, up to you), and will try to repeat it later if it is possible and needed. But I think you now get the point. Party cooperation + new AI, that is what we really need. If you can cooperate as party in game, than why enemy would not be able to try same (not just cast some Bless around himself, but to take real care of their "party") ?

    Maybe some players will provide you better input of what you can use to improve him, but if you still end up disappointed, have faith, improvements are in full work :) . And Demogorgon can also be reworked, if players still find him too easy.
    Pity is, I did get stuck in another country, unable to travel back for months due to global situation, if that did not happen this parts would already be completed probably.

    So, feel free always to share your game expirience, personal opinions and wishes, with detailed input, as it enable me to know what players need and want really. It is very time consuming to tune such encounters in way I do, so I have to really pick on what I have to work.

    Good luck in your next games <3
    But, keep in mind, Demogoron actually let you win, because you free him by doing so :p

    StummvonBordwehr
  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 125
    edited July 24
    Thank you for a very detailed answer! I can certainly give you my personal input on the way I played the game and the way I like it. Which, of course, doesn't mean it holds for everyone else :)

    Firstly, in terms of the encounters - I don't personally like -every- fight to be hard. I quite like filler fights that are reasonably easy in between hard fights, and to have only a few truly epic fights. Otherwise, the game becomes quite tedious to me and loses its charm. And epic fights don't feel epic, since -every- encounter seems hard. I appreciate that I am not the best player of the game, so the fights I still find hard might be trivial for more experienced players. One example of this is the Maze level in the Watcher's Keep, which nearly made me give up that part of the game. I found it really hard because it was, to me, hard fight after hard fight without virtually any break. It was basically - you encounter a large group of hard enemies in a very confined space without chance to do preparations for the battle, you beat them somehow, then move to the next portal where you again encounter a large group of hard enemies in a confined space without chance to do preparations. So, by the end of it, it became very tedious and I didn't really enjoy it so I just wanted to get it over with. On the other hand, the next level with the machine was just right - a few tough ones, especially the demilich, but also some far easier ones.

    So I would personally be in favour of making improved AI for just some enemies and not, for example, to any unnamed mage or priest or demon in the game. Because, as you mentioned, if all the mages use the same AI, then there is no real difference between Irenicus and some random mage that you bump into as a part of a random encounter, even if he has some additional powers. Irenicus just happens to be a bit more knowledgable of some spells and has some special powers, but he isn't any smarter than them.

    For me, the epic fights in BG2 were Twisted Rune, Behoder's Lair in Underdark, Warden in Planar Prison, the what's-his-face in Planar Sphere and the Final Seal (especially Azamantes). The first one being by far the hardest one and, at least for me now, about as hard as the "epic" encounter should be without making it seem impossible to do. I wouldn't like it to be any harder (this is, again, SCS with improved mages/priests, but without improved beholders or vampires). And I could probably name around 10 or so quite hard non-epic fights. And for me, that is about the right number - about 5 epic fights you need to spend days on and that you really remember, around 10 or so hard ones and then tiers of less hard ones. Definitely with some easy ones too to give you breathing room.

    As for the Demogorgon, it wasn't that he is totally easy - the fight still required me to pause after every round to check the health and state of my party, but it was anticlimactic. The hell you go through to reach to him isn't justified by that fight. It was much easier and required less thinking than the Heart seal one, where I needed to plan the positioning of my party carefully and what summons to use and where. Or Azamantes, where I knew I have to prevent him doing his Time Stop, otherwise he annihilates my whole party. Giving Demogorgon more HP and Time Stop certainly sounds like it would make him much harder - I am dreading enemy Time Stops in general. So I will give it a go definitely. And he -should- use powers that my party cannot even dream of - he is, after all, the prince of demons.

    Oh, also, I found the Improved Irenicus fight in Hell quite hard - not at the level of the 5 I mentioned, but quite hard. His Time Stop with melee attacks gave me lots of trouble, so I had to cheese that encounter somewhat by running away as soon as him and the demons appeared, to take out first demons and then to face him alone. That made it lots easier.

    As a final note on the kind of encounters I don't like - I don't like enemies that can be beaten in just one very specific way, like "you can only hit him with this Halberd of Power +3 that you find in a random box near the lake of Foo south of Bar" *coughs coughs* Karoug *cough cough*. Because the encounters then become brute force game of trials and errors.

    Oh, and also final final note - I like to play the game the way it was intended to, within reason, which for me means no HLAs and level 9 spells in SoA. That partially made the SCS Twisted Rune insanely hard for me. So it would be cool, if quite hard I imagine, to tune difficulty and the spells enemies use to the level of the party. I also like to RP my chars - for example, my good priest of Lathander never uses Animate Dead or Gate. I think these powers shouldn't be given to good priests. And evil priests shouldn't have Turn Undead. And there shouldn't be neutral priests - that's what druids are there for. But that's just my opinion and has nothing to do with modding, of course.

    Post edited by VanDerBerg on
  • NiziNiziNiziNizi Member Posts: 70
    Well, do not worry about every encounter being too hard, there is simply way to many ordinary enemies in game, although SCS improve them and made them "no longer stupid", they are still not hard. And nobody could rework whole game to be super hard :D
    I agree, some specific encounters have to be very hard/tactical demanding fights. Rest have to be harder compared to vanilla, but not ultra hard. So, SCS will do job there greatly.

    Maze is hard, it was always that way. I understand that become frutrating because you stuck there and can't go out. But you can rest, and prebuff party before going into next portal, right? You are not playing no save/load challenge. Except Maze, you can leave WK when you want and return later.

    Again, as I said before, much depend on other factors, your choices as a player, how to create own character, choose party, your knoweledge of game mechanics, and after all, which other mods you have. It also, of course, simply play big role when you choose to do Watchers Keep. In heavily modded game, the later you visit it, easier will be.

    Without SCS AI is pretty weak, IMO. Some encounters maybe can get hard because of creatures type or stats, but overall, it is really not hard once you "get fully into game". So, SCS with improved components as mandatory for all players except novices. My opinion. Sometimes games get hard? Well, it would not be game if it is not hard sometimes and require you to think how to beat it.

    You beat WK from your first try, with partially improved/harder components, and that is really good.

    But I do not know which install you use. Did you just installed SCS on game, or you play EET with other mods also?

    For Irenicus, exactly, as all mages have to have improved AI, he needs more. He is boss and he is character who people remember for 20 years. IMO, he have to be way smarter and harder compared to just high level mages. Thats why I definitely decided to put work on him. And there can always be done two versions, one "ultimate", and one "toned down" (but still harder). Ultimate, for players who exactly aim at challenge, as Tactics was. Some of them played on Insane with double damage to prove themselves. Such players deserves ultimate encounters.
    Many players stated for years that they are disapointed with Irenicus fight, they want "Irenicus from cutscenes". So, the wider the offer of encounters/difficulties, the better, everybody will find which suits them. For me, SCS Irenicus is still weak (but do not worry, I do not make mages to cast ton of Time Stops, I go for pretty different style). Tree of Life have to burn in epic fight, leaving you tired and depleted after you finally won.

    Let me think about what you say. So, you had problems with Heart Key party still, and need many summons? And after that you find Demogorgon easier.

    I did not test tim in any version but with Ascension installed, SCS with everything improved, including fiends. Maybe that is reason. Try this and see how it will be going. I do not know exactly does Ascension, together with SCS makes him even harder, but I can say that he casts Time stop and nice party of various nasty demons. And even with all of that, Demogogon himself is not so hard to beat. Maybe not improved fiends made encounter easier for you. Give it a try and report your expirience. If you, and others, it time, share opinion that Demogoron need to be even harder, I can step in.

    Can you name enemy "which ce be beaten just in one specific way"? I would like to understand better. I do not see reason why some enemy should be beaten just with one speficic weapon? Of course there is monsters which require some weapon enchantent to be able to hit, but that is different story. If someone is able to beat some monster just because use weapon which have 10% chance of insta-kill without Save - than it can mean monster was gives almost total immunitues and way to high stats, or players party is too weak. But please let me know if you have some example so I can get better idea.

  • NiziNiziNiziNizi Member Posts: 70
    Now I see you edited post and added one list line. Well, if you want strictly that, than keep XP cap for every part of game as intended ;)
    But my personal opinion is that such times as at their and, in EET. You get plenty of hard encounters, and of course, you have to be stronger to be able to beat it. Seem like game is going on higher tempo :D
    For me, no problem for higher spells and HLA earlier, if strong encounters are around. But that is just my personal preference as player.

    You are right, it is very hard to balance it all, with so many different mods around and different people work on different mods, so to balance out that encounters you meet are equal of your party power level, is pretty not possible. SCS do good work with difficulty, as scripts operate differently depending on game difficulty you set.

  • NiziNiziNiziNizi Member Posts: 70
    I'm using EET Install Tool, so I did check there my selection, and I did pay attention for Demogorgon. Indeed, Ascension have component "improved Demogorgon" or something like that. You did not have it installed? SCS surely improve AI in any case, but as now you want harder version of him, now we clearly know Ascension have that component, so it is best to install it now, if you did not have it before. Along with improved fiends.

  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 125
    edited July 26
    But I do not know which install you use. Did you just installed SCS on game, or you play EET with other mods also?

    My setup is EE with just SCS, playing on Tactical difficulty with Improved Mages & Priests, Improved Mind Flayers, Improved Dragons, Better Calls for Help and a few improved encounters and other small tweaks (like moving some overpowered items to ToB).
    Let me think about what you say. So, you had problems with Heart Key party still, and need many summons? And after that you find Demogorgon easier.

    Well, I didn't find the Heart key part overly hard. Maybe because I read on various forums that this is one of the hardest fights in the whole BG serial, so I was prepared for even worse. I needed summons to keep the 'left' part of the enemies busy (hive mother, succubus and the...mthingy), joined by my two mages, while the rest of my party (melee heavy) took the drows. It certainly wasn't easy and it took me maybe 2 hours to beat it but I did it. After that, Demogorgon was much much easier. Might have to do with the setup of my party too - I have Keldorn, Jaheira, Mazzy and CHARNAME priest of Lathander. So, I have three very tanky characters, plus Mazzy from behind. Three of those have Greater Whirlwind and the priest can get very close to that with 3xBoon of Lathander and Improved Haste. So, when the fight comes to physical fighting, I rarely have problems. Which is exactly what the Heart key one is, as there are no mages there. Demogorgon is a similar kind of fight, so maybe that's why I found it quite easy.

    In the whole WK, I found the Maze level to be the hardest overall, and the hardest single fight was Azamantes the lich and the three flaming skulls. Azamantes wore Robe of Vecna, had Improved Alacrity, Dragon's Breath, Comet, Time Stop and pre-summoned a Fallen Planetar and a few Gate Fiends. So, his Time Stop was devastating. But that's what SCS is about - mage fights being very hard, the rest...not much changed compared to the vanilla game.
    Can you name enemy "which ce be beaten just in one specific way"? I would like to understand better.

    Oh, this didn't have anything to do with SCS or vanilla BG2. More about me reading how some mods (one example being Tactics) change some fights so that they can be won in just one single way. In the vanilla game, I guess two similar examples would be Karoug in BG1 (which can be hit only by around 4 weapons in the whole game, only one of which is in the Balduran's Isle and it is a crappy dagger, so if you don't know that, you can get badly stuck at that fight) and Magic Golems in BG2. Magic Golems being a prime example - if you have non-magic weapons, you can beat them trivially. If you don't, you are stuffed (unless you use fists, I guess).
    For me, no problem for higher spells and HLA earlier, if strong encounters are around. But that is just my personal preference as player.

    To me, the problem is that getting level 9 spells and HLAs represent by far the biggest jump in the power of a mage in the whole game. Like, in the first game when you get to cast level 3 spells, you suddenly realise you can now throw fireballs or skull traps around, use haste (for me, the single most important spell before, of course, Improved Haste), slow enemies to render them harmless, use Melf's Minute Meteors...Learning level 9 spells is that times hundred. Suddenly, you can cast time stop to get 3 free rounds to do whatever you want, use imprisonment to get rid of enemies bypassing their MR and not allowing a saving throw, you can cast Wish to turn a lost battle into a certain win...Adding to that stuff like summoning planetar, improved alacrity, dragon's breath - you get the tools to trivialise almost every encounter in BG2. There is no AI which can make the battle interesting where you get to cast a Time Stop, followed by Improved Alacrity and then unloading virtually the whole spellbook on enemies without them having time to respond. One case in point was the battle with Gronmir which I did for the first time ever yesterday - wearing Robe of Vecna and Amulet of Power, Imoen was able to obliterate Gronmir, his two sidekick mages and four fighters that joined in using one time stop. And this is a mini-boss battle in ToB. Of course, I then reloaded and did the battle without time stop, to give the opponents a chance.

    So, to cut it short - I think HLAs and level 9 spells are far too overpowered for SoA and the only way to make the encounters more interesting is to give the enemies all kind of immunities to various effects, including immunity to time stop. Which then leads to restricted possibilities to beat some encounters...

    Indeed, Ascension have component "improved Demogorgon" or something like that. You did not have it installed? SCS surely improve AI in any case, but as now you want harder version of him, now we clearly know Ascension have that component, so it is best to install it now, if you did not have it before. Along with improved fiends.

    I will do this for my next run, thanks! I didn't install Ascension this time, because I figured out I probably shouldn't use it for my first ToB run.

  • NiziNiziNiziNizi Member Posts: 70
    So, you are using manual install of mods. In past I played few times BG2EE with just few mods installed manually. But after I did try EET, I never go back. It is way easier to get game set up exactly as you wish, with any mods and components you like, and of course, it merge BG1EE, SoD, and BG2EE into one game.

    Looking at my installer and selection, I see for SCS, there is "slightly improved Watchers keep" also. As I already told, I have all of that selected, including Ascension and tougher components.

    And indeed, Heart Key party and Demogorgon are way harder than vanilla, but for me, still no real threat. I beath them even without reaching ToB. Now, I mean. In distant past, even vanilla Heart Key party was very very hard for me.

    My style of play I like, and find most efficient, is combined power of fighter/mage. Last two years I plays F/M/T all time (but I do not use XP caps, and in EET you get way more XP and items, but for that reason, there is component for EX reduction, which you select however you wish - it is adviced to use it in heavily modded game, so you don't get overpowered early).

    So you can already imagine, I rarely use mage spells to deal damage. Mostly I use spells to buff (Improved haste as mandatory), to protect yourself, and to debuff and remove enemy spell and combat protections. In the end every enemy gets melee killed, after I take down their protections. So, for level 9 spells, I never use Time Stop nor Imprisonment. Improved Alacrity is what I like. Spell Trap and Spellstrike sometimes. Summon Planetar very rarely. And nothing else. I'm one who always "have to have one more Spell Shield spell", thats my style. Strong Fighter, buffed and protected by mage spells, for me, is engine of destruction.

    I would not say "SCS mage fights are very hard". They are, actually, how it should be. SCS changes to AI, finally made AI not stupid, and mages use their protections, for examply, properly (of course, I will prove it can be way more fine tuned further, but that is another topic). SCS also take difficulty into account. It is very fine work and I advice everyone to learn and start playing that. SCS also plays "fair". And SCS system "what dispels what" finally makes sense.

    Karoug well, yes, require specific weapon, but he is specific creature. Overall, I never considered it as problem. Magic Golems, well, keep also non-magical weapon with yourself :D
    Now better variants of basic non-magical weapons is available, they are not enhanced, but they are not breakable. Have one nice bag of holding and keep all you think that can be useful, you never know.
    I don't see it as problem, let some creatures be specific.
    Problem would be, if super heavy encounter (which could be interesting challenging fight) would be made in way you can beat it with just one weapon - that would deprive joy of that encoutnter and fight indeed, but I'm not aware of such cases.

    I had pause of gaming in time Tactics were popular, so I did not play it but I did read and watch much about it. I tried myself to get informed much as I can. Well, it is nice to see players like challenge, that gives me additional motive to work on improved encounters. But in my opinion, it could be done better.

    Well, I could just bump up stats super high, make enemies insta-cast, and spawn ton of summons and demons for help, and call it improved. It would indeed be harder, but in my eyes, it is "cheap" way.

    Way to go is to made super smart and aggressive AI, human like behaviour, and improve just some stats which is needed so creature have a chance to execute its ideas.

    In reworked Heart Key battle (highlights will be soon available), now they even do not cast ANY summon. You just fight party of 6. Hive Mother is kicked out, as it is not unique creature as others, and is replaced with one nice black winged demonic Sorceress. To some degree, she "spams" spells on you as Beholder do (but different ones, of course). She have also few nice unique spells available just to her. Have way less HP and damage resistance compared to Beholder (and do not have Healing spell), but is way more hard to kill. Because she know how to defend herself (and that is her biggest strenght). She is only one immune to Time Stop. Everyone is immune to Imprisonment. Setting traps, or spells which acts as trap, won't work at first moment (so, no more cheese), as they spawn under speficic protection which renders them immune to everything. Forcing you to have fair fight.
    So, to beat such encounter, you need strong party of course, but most important - tactical approach. One mistake, and enemy will immediately use your weakness to their adventage (hence, they have enormous big and fine tuned scripts). Whatever tactics you deploy, they will respond in different way and make best decision (according to my gaming knoweledge).
    It is like you play against me, controling these party of 6. I'm sure players, at least these who aimed for challenge and liked Tactics, will recognise this work, and find it as one big step forward.

    In time it is going to be released, you will probably be ready :p

    So, give a try to Ascension and SCS with all improved components. If I can beat these encounters with such install, from SoA, not ToB, on Insane, than surely you can do same. Pay attention to learn fully game mechanics and all spells. You probably heard how SCS make spellcasters smarter so you have to play chess with them. Thats why you have to learn and make big use of spell protections and spell/combat removals.

    I would, however, advice also to try EET, not just BG2EE with few mods. Than you can get clearly visible options for all possible mods, improved encounters, and such.

  • NiziNiziNiziNizi Member Posts: 70
    I also use this mods/components, and I would advice you so. IWD spells (from SCS), and Divine Remix. It brings cool and useful spells.
    Entropy Shield from IWD SCS is super powerful (especially after SCS v32.7 release) for Clerics. Also Divine Shield can come useful.

  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 125
    I would not say "SCS mage fights are very hard".

    Well, they are hard for me because even on Tactical difficulty, they usually start with 2 or 3 high-level summons and then very quickly cast a time stop where they either annihilate my party or summon some more high-level summons. The map very quickly becomes crammed and there is so much action that I cannot even tell what's going on. And makes it hard to counter this as my casters constantly get interrupted (To my shame, I have to admit that only in the last few days I rediscovered the beauty of Mirror Image as a way to defend your mages in the first seconds of a fight.) Especially in Watcher's Keep and ToB so far, it pretty much turns into a game of "who will get to do a time stop first" to me. I don't even know how I would win many of these without Keldorn in my party. But, mind you, I am still a relative newbie in the Mage Chess, despite knowing pretty well at this point which spell counters which other.
    So, for level 9 spells, I never use Time Stop nor Imprisonment. Improved Alacrity is what I like. Spell Trap and Spellstrike sometimes. Summon Planetar very rarely. And nothing else. I'm one who always "have to have one more Spell Shield spell", thats my style. Strong Fighter, buffed and protected by mage spells, for me, is engine of destruction.

    It is, I think, well accepted fact that fighter/mage or fighter/cleric is the most powerful character you can have in the game. The first one can mount a defence that takes a few rounds for the opponents to break, giving him a chance to perform melee havoc in the meantime. The second ones can buff themselves up to do ungodly amount of damage and have the lowest AC and be protected from everything that only pure AOE magic damage can harm them.

    For me, I use time stop and summon planetars if my enemies do it. I figure that, at that point, it's a fair play :D I use imprisonment only for enemy summons - I find it the easiest way to get rid of those summoned fallen devas and planetars. And so far I never needed to use Spell Strike - enemy mages, at least on my level of difficulty, are almost always protected by a Spell Shield and Spell Turning - the first one being taken by Spell Thrust, the other one with Pierce Magic or KWW. And Ruby Ray of Reversal if they have Spell Trap. This occasionally leaves them with (Minor) Globe Of Invulnerability, which isn't a problem for me, as I can then Breach them and chop them into pieces. But I am still at the end of Chapter 8 in Throne of Bhaal, so there is still time for this to change.
    I would, however, advice also to try EET, not just BG2EE with few mods. Than you can get clearly visible options for all possible mods, improved encounters, and such.

    I tried EET once, but gave up as it was quite buggy at the beginning of SoA. Also, I use Mac, so I don't think the tool for easy installation of mods in EET works there...Or does it? Also, does EET itself changes anything or just merges all the parts into a single game?

  • NiziNiziNiziNizi Member Posts: 70
    Which installer did you try? Old BWS? Install Tool? Project Infinity?

    For Mac, I have no idea. But if you need that info, I can check.

    EET merges all parts into single game + enable you to select whatever mods and components you want. IMO, its really different world and whole new expirience, way more extended than just vanilla game + few mods.

    I do not know which installer and when you used, but I have almost zero problems with EET. And would never go back.

    Yes, Mirror image is just level 2 spell, but is very powerfull, and scale with your level, I think up to level 20 to get maximum images, not sure. Great with Stoneskin in fights. If you have good AC on your multiclass, it all "stacks" great with each other. I use it from the start until the end.

    Spellstrike only if you quickly need to dispel all spell protections on mage, in example he have Spell Turning, GOI, SI:Abjuration, Minor Spell Deflection, etc. On such heavily protected mage, it would take number of spells to dispel everything. Of course, you have to know is he also have Spell Shield active, to remove it first. You can remove it with anything, as you say, Spell Thrust comes as good solution as it is low level spell. It is also great spell because, unlike all others except Spellstrike, it will burn anything mage have up to level 5. Good way to take down Spell Immunity, along with Minor Deflection and Minor Turning, and Minor GOI.
    Keep in mind, GOI (not minor) will block Spell Thrust, as well as Greater Malison (which is good solutions in some scenarios, and it stacks with Doom).
    You can take down Spell Shield with almost anything. Lower Resitance also take it down (but will not apply lowering of magic resistance), as well as Breach.
    You do not need Pierce Magic to take down high level protections. Secret Word, level 4 spell, do same job. It will take down Spell Turning, or Shield of Archons, without problem. Only Spell Trap require spell you already know and mentioned.

    Entropy Shield, which I did mention before, is insane now. +6 AC bonus, immunity to projectiles, magic missiles, few more low level spells, + 2 Save bonus, +50% resistance to Fire, Cold, Acid, and Lightning. Plus, immunity to Dispel/Remove magic, Breach, Imprisonment. And it last solid long time.

    Divine shield, lets say it is like Absolute Immunity. But it works in different way. It does not provide immunity to magical weapons and enhanced weapons, so you are still hit, but it protects against Damage opcode. You are immune to all damage. And grants, not sure, maybe 100% magic resistance. Problem is this, because you still can be hit (but there is no animations as if you are hit, because there is no damage), some effects can apply to you still, as Stun for example. Last shorter compared to PfMW for example. Still, can find great use in some situations for Clerics. Before it was castable to anyone you want, now it can only be used on caster.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 684
    If you know you are going to be facing a mage, you can use spell triggers and contingencies to help open them up. Otherwise, I usually use summons to burn up their initial high-level spells. You have to be judicious, especially with SCS, because they will react appropriately. You need something that will force their attention. Then, once they have burned off their high-level spells, start pounding on them.

    Note, this doesn't work so well with liches that can cast certain spells as often as they like, but for mortal mages, this is a decent strategy. I still haven't come up with a great strategy for SCS liches, to be honest.

    If you get surprised with a mage, such as during an ambush, this is where druids and their insect spells can come in handy. If you can get it off quickly enough, the threat is entirely neutralized.

  • NiziNiziNiziNizi Member Posts: 70
    At least, Breach now work on Liches in SCS.

    Insect plague is indeed great mage disabler. Under SCS, it will no longer work on Fire Shield/Aura of flaming death. Which, IMO, is great move by SCS.

    Good think these mages are still not so smart to react to SPELLCASTONME(CLERIC_INSECT_PLAGUE) :D

  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 125
    If you know you are going to be facing a mage, you can use spell triggers and contingencies to help open them up.

    Triggers cannot tear down their defences, because I am pretty certain they count as one spell (as opposed to sequencers). So, for example, stuff like Pierce Magic x 2 + Breach doesn't work in a trigger, as the target is not exposed to the effects of spells one-by-one, but to all three of them at the same time. Which further means that if the target is protected by Spell Turning, the Breach will be reflected back to you. They are still useful as quick casting spells too for mage fencing, but I just prefer to use them more defensively, e.g. Fireshield Blue + Fireshield Red + Protection from Magic Weapons. Because contingencies are extremely buggy in my installation and do not fire reliably. And spell sequencer...how I am to resist the temptation of putting 3 skull traps in a sequencer? Impossible for me.

    That said, not a single mage in SCS that I encountered so far refreshed (via contingencies or triggers) their spell turning/deflection after you initially take it down, so usually breaching them after doing KWW (or RRR, if they are such bitches to use Spell Trap) on them works wonderfully. And they also never seem to renew their PfME once it is taken down by breach, so Horrid Wilting when they are not a target to it works surprisingly often.

    All in all, in my mage fights, it is usually clear after two rounds which way it will go - either I have broken their defence and they only have one more PfMW or Stoneskin left, which easily get breached or cut through, or they have casted Time Stop + Improved Alacrity, then summoned a dark planetar and threw Dragon Breath and Comet at me, in which case I am dead.


  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 125
    edited July 27
    Insect plague is indeed great mage disabler. Under SCS, it will no longer work on Fire Shield/Aura of flaming death. Which, IMO, is great move by SCS.

    Actually, possibly the only thing I don't like about SCS is that it nerfs almost every tool non-mages have to fight mages. Luckily, these are still optional, so I don't use them. I mean, reducing Insect Plague so that it allows a save vs. spell with no penalty in every round to prevent spellcasting failure is in high-level fights (where you want to use Insect Plague) an equivalent to removing the spellcasting failure effect altogether, as the mages will make the save almost every time. Also, nerfing the Inquisitor's Dispel Magic not only makes the kit barely worth using (as opposed to a Cavalier), but also helps mages tremendously. And blindness being cured by True Sight, making Nature's Beauty far less useful...And then there is also nerfing Carsomyr in the same way as Insect Plague...

    It is just strange that none of the ridiculously overpowered mage spells, such as Imprisonment, Time Stop, Project Image and so on, are nerfed, but pretty much every tool other classes have to deal with mages is significantly nerfed. But, as I said, I simply don't use these modifications, so I can happily play with SCS.

    Reticent
  • DavidWDavidW Member Posts: 763
    If you're on SCS but without Improved Fiends, you're fighting the original-game Demogorgon, so I'm not surprised it was easy compared to the Final Seal battle.

    The most powerful version of Demogorgon in SCS will be obtained by
    - installing Ascension Tougher Demogorgon (which somewhat boosts his abilities)
    - installing SCS Improved Fiends (which gives Demogorgon a script that's probably a bit smarter than the Ascension one, but more importantly, gives proper scripting to all the fiends Demogorgon summons).
    - moving the difficulty of Improved Fiends to Insane (which gives Demogorgon the ability to summon more fiends 1/round and to skip casting times)
    - entering 'SetGlobal("DMWWDemogorgonTS","GLOBAL",1)' at the console, which gives him a 1/day timestop. (In my view that's a bit too much, which is why it's gated behind a console command.)

    Ascension's version of Demogorgon, without SCS, might also be worth a look.

    Tactics never touched Demogorgon as far as I can recall. (It mostly didn't overlap with Ascension: if Ascension improved a fight, Wes left it alone.)

    NiziNiziReticentStummvonBordwehr
  • NiziNiziNiziNizi Member Posts: 70
    Dragons Breath? Fire damage resistance? Have Wing Buffet effect for 2 seconds I think, and Sleep effect for 3 seconds. Bypass magic resistance.

    Comet? Fire damage resistance? Again use Sleep opcode (but show Stun icon). Effect lasts 18 seconds (that duration is probles as well), if you fail Save vs Death (no Save penality, you probably should make Save). Wing Buffet for 2 sec I think. Not bypass Magic resistance.

    Or, to get into more details for Comet, as I can see, it can't bypass MR regarding Fire damage, but it bypass MR with Sleep and Wingbuffet effect.

    Sleep and Wing B., for Comet use Save vs Death, and for Dragons Breath, use Save vs Breath (which is usually higher than Save vs Death, so more chance to apply).


    I think Insect plague have -2 Save penality. Not sure, can check, but as I recall it have -2.
    You are right, but it is still useful, because it apply 1 piercing damage every second, if mage is not immune to non-magical weapons, or not have protection which render him immune to it (as Mantle, PfNW, etc.). Stoneskine will protect mage against Insect Plague, but just for short period. Because 1 piercing damage apply rapidly, Stoneskin will go down quickly and than he will get hit rapidly by Insect plague. So, I think it is still useful even if Spell Failure did not apply, because taking damage rapidly, will probably make them fail a casting.

    Dispel Magic by Inquisitor, at least in installer I use, can be nerfet to 1X or 1.5X. But it is up to your choice, you can still leave it at 2X. I think I used 1.5X.

    How Carsomyr is nerfed? As I can see, descripton says wrong, it say that Dispel Effect work at level 30, but it is actually set to work ALWAYS.

    Yes, Imprisonment is nasty, but you have Entropy shield (if you install SCS IWD component) and SI:Abjuration. And Berserker Enrage should protect. But still yes, it is little weird spell.

  • NiziNiziNiziNizi Member Posts: 70
    Well, you can't get better answer regarding SCS and Ascension but from DavidW.

    So, I was just partially right. As I only used Ascension + SCS with improved fiends, and every time did try only on Insane, that is my only expirience regarding Demogorgon now. I correctly assumed Ascension and improved fiends will indeed boost encounter, because I noticed now a large pack of different nasty summoned demons, and his HP at maybe 570 (but no regeneration) and using of Time Stop.

    You clearly stated that your Demogorgon did not use Time Stop.

    But I did not know that if you do not use improved fiends, SCS than not modify Demogorgon script, I wrongly assumed that he will get improved in that regard anyway.

    As now you have a definite answer, do not calculate - give it a try with Ascension and improved fiends :p

    IMO, demons can be problematic, but he is still not so hard to take down. Take down his spell protection, Breach him, and wreck him with melee force (assuming you have party capable of that).

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