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Why do people say Shapeshifters are bad?

I don’t quite get it. It’s basically just the regular Druid with a pretty good defensive innate ability with wild shape, at the cost of being unable to wear armor. But so far I’ve been able to deal with that via bark skin and items I can equip, plus iron skins. I see how it may not be quite as good as the Avenger throughout the series, but to me it seems stronger in the mid to late game than the totemic Druid. The totemic Druid seems to taper off in mid-late game due to the fact that the summons don’t progress after the Druid hits level 10. The Shapeshifter at least gets the mid-late game GWW boost.

So what gives? Is the overall package really worse than a fighter in mid-late game? If you consider it to just be a caster that can shift to defend itself in melee if necessary, it seems pretty strong.

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Comments

  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,517
    DenKel wrote: »
    If you consider it to just be a caster that can shift to defend itself in melee if necessary, it seems pretty strong.

    This is what I've always argued about it as well. A shapeshifter should be played more like a mage than a standard druid. And eventually, access to iron skins offsets the armor deficit anyway.

    The big complaint that I see about the class is that the werewolf abilities don't scale well as characters level up and you face enemies with increasing weapon immunities.

    The werewolf abilities are quite strong in BG1 though.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 984
    edited December 2020
    DenKel wrote: »
    So what gives? Is the overall package really worse than a fighter in mid-late game? If you consider it to just be a caster that can shift to defend itself in melee if necessary, it seems pretty strong.
    I think you are asking two separate questions. First, are shapeshifters worse than other druid kits such as the totemic druid? Here I think you are right that shapeshifter is a decent kit as druids go. Second, are shapeshifters weaker than fighter/druids in overall party utility while also being weaker than mages at casting? Here I would say yes, they are weaker, though not "bad".

    Post edited by jsaving on
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,396
    Well, that's certainly not something I've said. To quote myself from another thread:
    jmerry wrote:
    A shapeshifter druid in greater werewolf form is a fantastic tank. No qualifications needed.

    One of my favorite little bits there - if you give a level 24+ Shapeshifter a Helm of Defense in greater werewolf form, that makes them immune to fire, cold, and lightning, and poison. A lot of high-level threats pump out the elemental damage, and you just say no to that.

  • _Nightfall__Nightfall_ Member Posts: 411
    I have been working on a poverty run, well for years now, 5 characters, no repeated classes, no items they cannot make themselves. About to enter Sendai’s enclave and the Shapeshifter has been my main tank. Most battles she is unhitable with Bard’s Song active. Not a tremendous solo character though I have made it to the Melissan battle with one. Not an easy run and time consuming but I never expected the Shapeshifter to be as helpful as it ended up being. Definitely more than people think of the class.

    BlackravenGrond0kaja8semiticgoddess
  • iosfrustrationiosfrustration Member Posts: 153
    A (very) long time ago the GWW form was extremely weak compared to what was described in the manual.
    My personal theory is that this was deliberate vandalism from a BioWare employee who was worried that Greater Warewolf Form was a threat to the broken-by-design-mage-supremacy that is one of the games founding principals. It’s more likely that it was just a bug. but hey, got to have some fun with it.
    Anyway, for many years greater warewolf was horribly bugged and a bit rubbish. This was all fixed long ago. Today the GWW form does get its bonuses, but old attitudes persist.
    I always thought that the animation of transforming into wolf form was so cool that the class was worth playing for that alone.

    kaja8
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,453
    in the vanilla days you could actually dispel the "werewolf" attack and use something way better like the staff of the woodlands which gave a +3 AC bonus and counted as a +4 weapon, then once you hit level 14 or 15 ( hell even 13 ) you could dual class over to a fighter and have 5 proficiencies in staff and full proficiencies in 2 handed weapon style

    this made it so you actually naturally had 5 APR with quarterstaves and you could do some serious damage since your STR was set to 21 or 22 ( whatever it was ) and it stacked with the hell trial STR, plus in the vanilla being in GWW form gave you 25 CON ( which it no longer does )

    now all this stuff can no longer be done, and that might be the reason why people no longer want to play this class anymore

    i remember in v1.2 or whatever the first version was, GWW was absolutely awful, not only did they get rid of all the above exploits, but the GWW's melee attack counted as something weak ( like +1 or +2 weapon ) which made them virtually useless against high level bosses

    but over the years beamdog has been doing this and doing that with them trying to balance them out more and make them more useful ( they now can hit enemies that require at least a +3 weapon, don't know about +4 or higher though )

    what i find is that once you get the GWW form its pretty good at the time you get it ( 750 000 XP mark is not hard to hit in SoA ) but after awhile the thing you realize that if you dont find prime equipment for your wolfy, they dont get any better, unlike your other melee warriors who can improve with better weapons and armor, and thac0 from level ups, no luck with the GWW, even with their great STR their to hit is still kind of garbage in my opinion

    but they are still a fair class, they get full druid casting ability so if they were as strong as a fighter type class why would ever choose that over a shapeshifter?

    i look at shapeshifters the same as blades and swashbucklers; not over the top power houses, but can still be good enough for what they do, and they add a bit of flavor and change to a play through as apposed to playing a fighter for the millionth time

    StummvonBordwehrBlackravenkaja8semiticgoddess
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,396
    The unmodded greater werewolf weapon is still only a +2 weapon. 1d8 base damage, no bonus to attack. You get a decent bonus with the 21 strength, but it's still not very impressive on the attack. Better than melee attacks with conventional weapons because of the 3 APR, but not a serious fighter substitute.

  • DenKelDenKel Member Posts: 5
    A (very) long time ago the GWW form was extremely weak compared to what was described in the manual.
    My personal theory is that this was deliberate vandalism from a BioWare employee who was worried that Greater Warewolf Form was a threat to the broken-by-design-mage-supremacy that is one of the games founding principals. It’s more likely that it was just a bug. but hey, got to have some fun with it.
    Anyway, for many years greater warewolf was horribly bugged and a bit rubbish. This was all fixed long ago. Today the GWW form does get its bonuses, but old attitudes persist.
    I always thought that the animation of transforming into wolf form was so cool that the class was worth playing for that alone.

    Agreed on the look. The overall vibe of the class is fantastic, and I think Cernd’s nerd personality kind of detracts from the class overall. I also like the werewolf howl/roar that you will let fly randomly while shifted.

    iosfrustration
  • DenKelDenKel Member Posts: 5
    sarevok57 wrote: »
    )

    what i find is that once you get the GWW form its pretty good at the time you get it ( 750 000 XP mark is not hard to hit in SoA ) but after awhile the thing you realize that if you dont find prime equipment for your wolfy, they dont get any better, unlike your other melee warriors who can improve with better weapons and armor, and thac0 from level ups, no luck with the GWW, even with their great STR their to hit is still kind of garbage in my opinion

    This is a fair point. They don’t benefit that heavily from itemization, even at the point I am in with my playthrough which is VERY early. I can already see that. E.g, I gave Gnasher to Jaheira since she can actually do something useful with it. (Though I’ve heard there’s some WW offhand weapon cheese that I haven’t explored).

    sarevok57iosfrustration
  • DenKelDenKel Member Posts: 5
    jmerry wrote: »
    The unmodded greater werewolf weapon is still only a +2 weapon. 1d8 base damage, no bonus to attack. You get a decent bonus with the 21 strength, but it's still not very impressive on the attack. Better than melee attacks with conventional weapons because of the 3 APR, but not a serious fighter substitute.

    Even so, it’s a full caster with GWW as more of a defensive cooldown. You’ve got to factor in that he may have elementals out pumping damage, insects covering their mages, and maybe a nymph in the background lobbing random spells here and there.

    I suppose that’s my point. I really think that insect swarm alone makes all Druid kits > fighters. If the Druid in your group only cast insect swarm, he’d still be useful. That spell just trashes some otherwise tough fights.

    PokotaiosfrustrationThacoBell
  • KhyronKhyron Member Posts: 515
    Sadly.. the shapeshifter kind of dies at lvl 14.

    This is when you get the ridiculous xp gap for druids, meaning you kind of stop progressing at a key moment for other classes.

    Your casting efficiency is capped at lvl 20, your shapeshifter progression is capped at lvl 13.

    The GWW shape is decent for trash mobs but quite useless against tougher fights.. especially seeing how you don't even get the all the bonuses it lists.

    Druid spell casting doesn't offer much fun either, other than insect plague.. most of it's other powers are really just a poor mans cleric.

    lvling Shapeshifter to 13, then dual classing to Fighter and dualwielding scimitars is the best way to use a shapeshifter.. you then get some fighter progression, can get Hardiness and Greater whirlwind and "bugs" allow you to get the bonus off-hand attack even in werewolf shape.. but even this is really crap, because you'll be doing better with magical scimitars than werewolf shape anyway lol..


    Is it good enough to complete the saga? Of course it is.. everything is.
    But if you want to trade punches with an F/C or F/D multiclass then there's really no contest.. Mike Tyson vs Steve Urkle.

    jsavingiosfrustrationsarevok57
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    "Druid spell casting doesn't offer much fun either, other than insect plague.. most of it's other powers are really just a poor mans cleric."

    Elemental summoning, call woodland beings, NATURE'S BEAUTY. Druid spells are some of the best in the series.

    Balrog99SharGuidesMyHandsemiticgoddess
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 765
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    "Druid spell casting doesn't offer much fun either, other than insect plague.. most of it's other powers are really just a poor mans cleric."

    Elemental summoning, call woodland beings, NATURE'S BEAUTY. Druid spells are some of the best in the series.

    Druid Spells are some of the best in the series if you have access to the full gamut of them. What I remember being available in OG BG2 really didn't do the class justice (one of the reasons I swear by the IWD-ification Mod is because IWD had hella better Druid spells)

  • KhyronKhyron Member Posts: 515
    Druid spells are situationally good...

    Summons? come on man.. a full rigged 6 man party.. summons just get in the way, unless you want fodder for a lich or mindflayers, but you don't need a druid for that specifically.

    Woodland being.. yeah, i get it. You spend a 4th lvl spell to get a nymph, who mostly casts pointless spells by the time you're mid-late SoA.

    I will concede that Nature's Beauty is a good spell.. but it doesn't make the shapeshifter less terrible.
    An F/D will always be superior in every way, shape and form.. and what few decent spells there are also invalidate the werewolf form on their own, since you can't cast in WW shape without mods.


    I really wish the WW was good, because i've really wanted to play one and have tried several ways to make it good. Dual classing to fighter at lvl 13 and using WW in spite of dualwielding scimitars being far superior seems to be the only way forwards, as without the fighter levels the WW shape becomes useless quite early.

    sarevok57
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 984
    edited December 2020
    Yeah, we seem to keep interchanging "are druids any good?" and "are shapeshifters viable in melee?" with much broader questions like "are druids the best casters in the game?" and "are shapeshifters so good that they beat the game's other options?"

    I don't personally see how druids could fairly be described as a "poor man's cleric". Some of the druid-only spells named in this thread are among the most situationally useful in the game and their overall spell list offers a nice combination of offensive, defensive, and summoning spells.

    But being viable, situationally useful, or even strong when properly played doesn't make singleclassed druids in general or shapeshifters in particular a better pick than other options that are available to the player.

    semiticgoddess
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    Someone who plays BG, but doesn't like summons? I don't buy it. Summons are one of the most obviously useful tactics in the game. Extra damage and pressure taken off the party is always good, period.

    "Woodland being.. yeah, i get it. You spend a 4th lvl spell to get a nymph, who mostly casts pointless spells by the time you're mid-late SoA."

    A single level 4 spell slot that gets you 5 spells for free? One of them mass cure? That's hecka good up until the underdark, at least.

    semiticgoddess
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,794
    edited December 2020
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    Someone who plays BG, but doesn't like summons? I don't buy it. Summons are one of the most obviously useful tactics in the game. Extra damage and pressure taken off the party is always good, period.

    "Woodland being.. yeah, i get it. You spend a 4th lvl spell to get a nymph, who mostly casts pointless spells by the time you're mid-late SoA."

    A single level 4 spell slot that gets you 5 spells for free? One of them mass cure? That's hecka good up until the underdark, at least.

    I'd have to agree that, for a level 4 spell, nymphs are incredible. Later in BG2 they may not do much, but in BG1 they have multiple really useful functions beyond healing and soaking up damage, e.g.
    - a barrage of call lightnings will finish off pretty much anything outside.
    - inside, a mass attack of cause wounds is surprisingly nasty.
    - don't want to get into sight of something? No problem, use confusion from a distance.
    - enemies a bit to tough in combat? Not if they're held ...
    - feeling outnumbered? Dominate your opponents to even the numbers.

    The discussion about shapeshifters similarly seems to me to have generally focused too much on ToB. While they may be sub-par at that stage, during BG1 they're pretty strong - generally outperforming a F/D in combat. The boost they get with the greater werewolf shape keeps them competitive for much of SoA as well. Thus, over the trilogy/quadrilogy as a whole, they certainly seem viable to me as fighters as well as spellcasters.

    ThacoBellsemiticgoddess
  • KhyronKhyron Member Posts: 515
    If your idea of viable is one step away from dead weight, sure..

    Shapeshifter is a bad melee combatant.. I'm sorry about that, but it's true.
    Go ahead, have fun.. bg1 could be a hoot, but once you're standing next to Keldorn, Korgan, Anomen, Sarevok, Valygar, Minsc, or any other melee focused npc in BG2 and 1. Not hitting anything and 2. Not being able to damage most significant enemies, come tell me how viable and good it is.

    I get it, it's a caster. It's not supposed to be rival a purely melee combatant.. but i think for balance it should at least get the bonuses stated and be able to cast in WW shape.. then it'd be kind of useful.

    As it is now, it's just a druid with equipment penalties..

    A mages polymorph self (ooze shape) has more uses than werewolf shape.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,794
    Khyron wrote: »
    If your idea of viable is one step away from dead weight, sure..

    Shapeshifter is a bad melee combatant.. I'm sorry about that, but it's true.
    Go ahead, have fun.. bg1 could be a hoot, but once you're standing next to Keldorn, Korgan, Anomen, Sarevok, Valygar, Minsc, or any other melee focused npc in BG2 and 1. Not hitting anything and 2. Not being able to damage most significant enemies, come tell me how viable and good it is.

    I get it, it's a caster. It's not supposed to be rival a purely melee combatant.. but i think for balance it should at least get the bonuses stated and be able to cast in WW shape.. then it'd be kind of useful.

    As it is now, it's just a druid with equipment penalties..

    A mages polymorph self (ooze shape) has more uses than werewolf shape.

    @Khyron perhaps you're not aware of the combat advantages a shapeshifter gets in BG1. There are a couple of those in particular that are worth mentioning:
    1) They can add an off-hand weapon to get an extra APR - pushing that to 3 right from Candlekeep. The basic THAC0 is 3 worse for that extra attack, but that reduction is offset by any magical weapon bonuses (which would very quickly be at least 2 and may well be 3 depending on whether you head for Hentold's dagger or Drizzt's swords at the start of the game).
    2) Despite using an off-hand weapon they can still choose single weapon style to double the normal critical range of attacks (and get an AC bonus). In case you're skeptical I thought I'd quickly produce an appropriate screenshot to demonstrate.
    0ypswnf8qlks.jpg

    Comparative THAC0 depends on the amount of XP earned, as well as the basic strength and proficiencies chosen by a F/D. However, the multi-class character would typically get a basic THAC0 1 better and get another 1 for proficiency. They would typically lose 1 for strength, but gain 1 or 2 for weapon bonus - so overall getting an advantage of 2 or 3. However, if they are not dual-wielding they would only get half the number of attacks and, against most enemies, be clearly inferior. If they are dual-wielding things get much tighter, but the shapeshifter still has the benefit of a fast weapon speed, which makes a big difference in combat (in order to get the critical above against Firebead I reloaded about half a dozen times - only once did he succeed in casting a spell).

    Across BG1 as a whole I'd be totally confident that a shapeshifter would comfortably get more kills than Jaheira (or Minsc for that matter) in a melee role. A specifically built melee PC with strength 18(00) could do better, but that's not the point. All I'm arguing is that the shapeshifter performs decently as a melee attacker in BG1, not that it's the best possible character. That conclusion is entirely independent of whether you also choose to use the casting abilities of the shapeshifter.

    ThacoBellStummvonBordwehrsemiticgoddess
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,425
    @Grond0, to be fair @Khyron's critical of the Shapeshifter in BG2, not BG1.

    @Khyron, I'm no real connoisseur of the Shapeshifter kit (and even less so in vanilla), but maybe if their Thac0 and damage dealing ability is underwhelming, you could play them as tanks rather than damage dealers? I can imagine the Shapeshifter to be capable of handling quite a bit of aggro from enemy warriors with the right gear and spells like Armor of Faith, Defensive Harmony, and Iron Skins. Summons (elementals) and NPCs can then do the damage dealing.

    Another approach could be to primarily use human form against warriors, relying on spells to disable/hurt them. And use werewolf form against casters who, once debuffed, should be easier to hit. So cast against fighters and fight the casters?

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,453
    hookay, just did some testing and messing around a bit and here are the results of what i got while testing;

    the 3 classes i used;

    used in SoA

    human - shapeshifter level 13 -> dual to fighter ( hits level 37 ) - test subject 1

    half-elf - shapeshifter -> level 31 - test subject 2

    half-elf - fighter/druid -> fighter 24/ druid 21 - test subject 3

    HP;

    test 1 gets the most, hitting somewhere around 173 or so, but anything above 16 CON will not give more, thanks to those fighter levels though, 200+ is possible ( hell trial for 15, ToB iounstone for 15 more, and then DoMT for 10 more )

    test 2 gets the least, hitting around 130, so at best with hell trial and DoMT you might cap out at 159

    test 3 gets the medium, hitting around 144 with 18 CON, crank that to 21 from tome in bg1 and con hell trial and you are at 162, with ToB iounstone, hell trial for 15, and DoMT, you hit 202 at max level, which is a small handful less than test 1

    AC:

    test 1 hits -10, but with 2 points in single weapon style that is -12, with hell trial, ring of gaxx, ring of earth control, cloak of sewers, helm of balduran that is -19, pretty solid

    test 2 hits -10, but since they can only go 1 point in single weapon style, wearing the same gear and doing the same stuff as test 1 hits -18, so still pretty solid

    test 3 can hit 21 dex ( 1 from bg1 tome, 1 from MoLtM and yaga shura's full plate ) so that is 5, and then the full plate brings us down to -7, hell trial -9, helm of balduran -10, ring of gaxx -12, earth control ring, cloak of sewers we hit -14, although if we use a shield we hit -19 so still keeps up with GWW form

    To hit/ APR/ Weapon Proficiencies;

    now things get a bit interesting here....

    First, in SoA under the beta 2.6 patch, you do not again an extra APR with an offhand weapon while in werewolf form unless it gives an extra attack like belm

    next, if you are dual wielding while in werewolf form, you lose the AC from single weapon style, which can be as much as 1 or 2 AC ( you might also lose the improve crit range as well, didn't test that part ) so unless you are going to have belm in the off hand, there is no point in having an off hand weapon while in any werewolf form be it greater or lesser

    so when it comes to single weapon style;

    test 1; hits a thac0 of -4, thanks to those fighter levels, so with some mits ( weapon specialization, not the extraordinary ones ) and helm of balduran you can hit -6, with 4 APR ( 5 with belm )

    test 2; hits a thac0 of 2, so with the above items you will only ever reach 0, which in ToB isn't that great since lots of boss or stronger enemies have decent or great AC, with 3 APR ( 4 with belm )

    test 3; with a +5 scimitar and 22 STR ( 19 in bg1 from tome, +2 hell trial, +1 MoLtM ) and the above items hits -12 ( weapon, proficiency, str, mits, helm ) this is what a front liner truly needs to hit those really big bad guys, with 2.5 APR ( 4.5 with belm )

    Damage:

    wolfies deal 1d8+9, plus the mits they can deal up to 19 damage on a hit, and their attacks count as a +2 weapon ( even in GWW form, yikes )

    fighter/ druid deals 1d8+10, plus weapon bonus, plus proficiency, plus mits, dealing up to 27 damage a hit, in fact a fighter/druid's minimum damage is higher than the wolfie's maximum haha

    Resistances;

    test 1; gets 2nd place, strictly from wolf form that is all, added with the hell trial and its not too bad

    test 2; finally their time to shine, since they go all the way, with the hell trial they become immune to fire, cold and electricity, they get first place

    test 3; only gets a little bit thanks to hitting level 21 druid, but with a hell trial, its not bad, and all in all its only a little worse than test 1, but test 3 still gets last place

    and then of coarse items can raise as need be, but since they practically will be all wearing the same thing, it won't change much

    Spells;

    test 1; dead last, only gets up to level 6, and not many slots at all, same with level 5, only 2 slots each

    test 2; gets first place of coarse for going all the way, but just barely wins this race

    test 3; gets as many spells as test 2 except they get 1 less level; 5,6,7 spell level spell

    HLAs;

    test 1; gets the fighter pool, which is great for melee characters, especially hardiness ( for double damage enabled players ) and GWW good stuff

    test 2; only gets druid pool, which is aight, nothing spectacular, some defensive spells, some summoning, but nothing to make it better offensively

    test 3; wins by a landslide having the option of BOTH fighter and druid, AND also gets 1 more HLA than test 1 ( test 2 is irrelevant because they only get all the cleric spells, and then some shapeshifts that they dont need because it would make it pointless being a shapeshifter in the first place )

    results;

    so when it comes to on the whole who is actually better, that goes to the fighter/druid, they are pretty much better in every single way period, basically anything that the GWW can do, a fighter/druid is either on par or is just objectively better

    now, there are some caveats though;

    at the 750 000xp mark when you first get GWW, it is actually really good for that level of XP ( thanks to that nice AC ), but then once you start adventuring more and gaining more XP and better items, the GWW's usefulness in combat starts to slide and the fighter/druid comes in hot and surpasses it

    conclusions;

    if you are looking for a druid type that can kick some butt in melee and cast spells without the fuss of shapeshifting back and forth and are going for more of a power game play through, the fighter/druid wins

    if you don't care about power gaming and you want some casting ability but want to be more melee focused then a human GWW dualing into a fighter at level 13 is your best bet

    if you want maximum spell casting, and once your spells are used up and then want to go in melee for a bit and just want to RP something neat, then staying the shapeshifter the whole way through is the way to go

    power wise/ best/ most useful out of the 3; fighter/druid wins hands down

    neat RP element to play as; shapeshifter

    mixing in some RP with more melee focus; shapeshifter dual over to fighter

    oh, and as for the druid stronghold, the shapeshifter -> fighter isn't missing much, some mundane items and some mundane XP, meh, not needed


    so based on your play style will determine which class combo you will like best, this is probably the reason why power gamers say that the shapeshifter is bad based on the above

    BlackravenGrond0KhyronStummvonBordwehr
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    Blackraven wrote: »
    @Grond0, to be fair @Khyron's critical of the Shapeshifter in BG2, not BG1.

    ?

    They're still wrong. They're acting like the shapeshifter is dead weight, when its competent in multiple roles. Its probably another case of "This is isn't the absolute, top tier class in the game, therefore it is complete garbage" fallacy that I see constantly in many RPG discussions.

    Blackravensemiticgoddess
  • KhyronKhyron Member Posts: 515
    Yeah, no.. mid soa and throughout entire tob the shapeshifter is worse than just about any alternative there is among classes/kits that are meant to do melee.

    And it has horrible thac0 and +2 weaponry..

    It's garbage.. it can't even cast in ww shape.

    And that is why most people don't like it.. because other than being different, it's just really bad.


    It's not bad in bg1.. but that game is short and just a tiny part of the story

  • masteralephmasteraleph Member Posts: 136
    It's important to remember that when people complain about Shapeshifters (really about most kits) they're complaining about BG2 because those kits didn't exist in BG1.

  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,425
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    Blackraven wrote: »
    @Grond0, to be fair @Khyron's critical of the Shapeshifter in BG2, not BG1.

    ?

    They're still wrong. They're acting like the shapeshifter is dead weight, when its competent in multiple roles. Its probably another case of "This is isn't the absolute, top tier class in the game, therefore it is complete garbage" fallacy that I see constantly in many RPG discussions.

    Oh but you and I are not disagreeing here. In my post I mentioned ways in which I expect the Shapeshifter to contribute meaningfully in combat even in BG2, namely as a Werewolf tank and as a spell-caster rather than a pure physical damage dealer.

    semiticgoddess
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 765
    edited December 2020
    Khyron wrote: »
    Yeah, no.. mid soa and throughout entire tob the shapeshifter is worse than just about any alternative there is among classes/kits that are meant to do melee.

    And it has horrible thac0 and +2 weaponry..

    It's garbage.. it can't even cast in ww shape.

    And that is why most people don't like it.. because other than being different, it's just really bad.


    It's not bad in bg1.. but that game is short and just a tiny part of the story

    I suppose my question is, "can you still beat ToB with a Shapeshifter as Gorion's Ward?"

    If yes, then the argument you're making falls very strongly into "it's crap because it's not the best." Some of the most interesting runs, both RP-wise and from a challenge perspective, come from using "substandard" builds like the Shapeshifter, unmodified Wizard Slayer, or a Diviner Specialist Mage.

    BlackravenThacoBell
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,453
    well to be honest you can beat the game with any character, even a wizard that has 3s in all it's stats ( i guess 9 for INT since that is minimum )

    in my opinion the GWW does fall a bit flat, they shouldn't have taken away the CON boost, 20 CON for WW and 25 for GWW was perfectly fine

    also, GWW should deal at 1d10 at least and hit as a +3 weapon, hell at the 750 000 xp mark i bet half your team will have +3 weapons by then ( bernard at the copper cohornet sells like 3 or 4 of them )

    and if they don't want to boost up the CON so then you can't stat dump ( which you can already from the STR and DEX boost lol ) they should at least give some regeneration to the wolf forms, perhaps 1hp/ 2 rounds for the WW and 1 HP/ 3 seconds for the GWW, like seriously, being a WW with no regen, kind of silly

    this little bumps wont make them power houses, but RP wise it will make them more interesting and appealing i think

    Grond0PokotaStummvonBordwehr
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    Blackraven wrote: »
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    Blackraven wrote: »
    @Grond0, to be fair @Khyron's critical of the Shapeshifter in BG2, not BG1.

    ?

    They're still wrong. They're acting like the shapeshifter is dead weight, when its competent in multiple roles. Its probably another case of "This is isn't the absolute, top tier class in the game, therefore it is complete garbage" fallacy that I see constantly in many RPG discussions.

    Oh but you and I are not disagreeing here. In my post I mentioned ways in which I expect the Shapeshifter to contribute meaningfully in combat even in BG2, namely as a Werewolf tank and as a spell-caster rather than a pure physical damage dealer.

    I wasn't referring to you, don't worry.
    Pokota wrote: »
    Khyron wrote: »
    Yeah, no.. mid soa and throughout entire tob the shapeshifter is worse than just about any alternative there is among classes/kits that are meant to do melee.

    And it has horrible thac0 and +2 weaponry..

    It's garbage.. it can't even cast in ww shape.

    And that is why most people don't like it.. because other than being different, it's just really bad.


    It's not bad in bg1.. but that game is short and just a tiny part of the story

    I suppose my question is, "can you still beat ToB with a Shapeshifter as Gorion's Ward?"

    If yes, then the argument you're making falls very strongly into "it's crap because it's not the best." Some of the most interesting runs, both RP-wise and from a challenge perspective, come from using "substandard" builds like the Shapeshifter, unmodified Wizard Slayer, or a Diviner Specialist Mage.

    All the Druids can clear the game solo and SCS. The difficulty combination they haven't cleared yet is Insane (or was it Legacy of Bhaal?) , SCS, Ascension, solo.

  • KhyronKhyron Member Posts: 515
    edited December 2020
    Pokota wrote: »
    Khyron wrote: »
    Yeah, no.. mid soa and throughout entire tob the shapeshifter is worse than just about any alternative there is among classes/kits that are meant to do melee.

    And it has horrible thac0 and +2 weaponry..

    It's garbage.. it can't even cast in ww shape.

    And that is why most people don't like it.. because other than being different, it's just really bad.


    It's not bad in bg1.. but that game is short and just a tiny part of the story

    I suppose my question is, "can you still beat ToB with a Shapeshifter as Gorion's Ward?"

    If yes, then the argument you're making falls very strongly into "it's crap because it's not the best." Some of the most interesting runs, both RP-wise and from a challenge perspective, come from using "substandard" builds like the Shapeshifter, unmodified Wizard Slayer, or a Diviner Specialist Mage.


    Yes.. but the OP asked why most people don't like it, or why it gets so much hate.

    And that is what i am pointing my answers towards.

    In terms of melee proficiency it has bad AC, bad thac0, bad damage, +2 weaponry, no special immunities, no perks of any kind that validates it's presence.

    Compared to ANY other melee focused class/kit, it's probably absolutely dead last in ALL categories.
    Even something so simple as a Swashbuckler or Wizard Slayer -easily- outperforms the melee proficiency of a shapeshifter.. you can't tank, you can't be dps, you can't even do special roles like focusing on casters.. because your thac0 and zero elemental damage and +2 weaponry can't even bug a stoneskined lvl 7 wizard before it has you stunned, slowed, feared or just plain dead.

    +5 weaponry, special armors and helmets, shields and what have you, the shapeshifter gets bugger all of this and is stuck with the litteral crap it gets at lvl 13.

    This is why it sucks, this is why so few like it.
    You can wax lyrical all day about how different and fun it can be, but at the end of the day it's an absolutely useless form of shapeshifting that even disables your spellcasting.

    Of all the druid kits the shapeshifter is the worst of the lot, and of all melee options shapeshifter is the worst.

    Yes it can bloody finish ToB, but so could i at 14 years of age with absolutely no knowledge of d&d, the English language or with any prior experience with that type of game, playing an assassin which is nearly equally pointless with so many backstab immune enemies and AC's so low that a single class thief (sans Swashbuckler) can't reliably hit


    So there it is. It get's a lot of dislike because it's genuinely crap compared to any other option you got at char creation..

    Pokota
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