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Why do people say Shapeshifters are bad?

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  • ReticentReticent Member Posts: 122
    edited February 6
    Yeah, a lot of people end up backwards on the Shapeshifter. It's a marathon character and people get mad that it isn't as good in a sprint.

    It's a full progression caster that isn't as much of a dead weight when you're conserving spells. Once you decide that you don't want to click rest every ten minutes, or decide that sleeping in the middle of occupied dungeons is something that you want avoid, Shapeshifter is suddenly one of the stronger options.

    And yeah, dual classes do that better- but dual classes are pretty much always better than a single class as long as you knew what you were doing when you dualled. At least the Shapeshifter didn't have to click reroll 15 times and then manually reassign stats just to get to an entry level playable state.

    You can do a lot with careful itemization with the SS, so only the armor slot is truly wasted on it. Choose weapons with cast-able abilities, and stack +THAC0/+AC/+resistances in your other slots and you'll be mostly competent in WW/GWW throughout the game. In the epic levels you'll even access Earth Elemental transformation for the few things that require better than +3 to hit, assuming that you're absolutely determined to punch things in the face rather than occasionally operating as a pure caster.

    Fun fact- in vanilla BG2 Cernd comes with Champion's Strength in his spell list. Beamdog removed this as a "bug", but Cernd casting that on himself and then shapeshifting boosts his combat output substantially, and is one of the few use cases where Champion's Strength is really worth casting.

    FrozenCells
  • ShirakShirak Member Posts: 26
    Shapeshifters are trash, period.

    All arguments of "I can complete the game just fine" are a fallacious argument, cos you can complete the game using any class and any kit in the first place. So does that mean that every class/kit is good? Conveniently, all those "supporting shapeshifters" guys don't mention what difficulty they are playing on. On Normal mode, anything goes, it's a breeze regardless.

    All arguments about druid spells are also fallacious cos the argument is not about whether druids are trash. I don't think there's much disagreement that druid spells are good. There is a reason why a Cleric/Ranger with full access to both cleric and druid spells is considered the strongest non-mage class.

    However, the entire point of being a shapeshifter is to turn into a werewolf (or Greater werewolf), and once that happens, you lose spellcasting ability, making all the talk about druid spells irrelevant - you won't be casting them. You can cast some defensive spells pre-engagement and once they run out, that's it.

    But I'm a great tank! I can IronSkins and then tank in front with regen!! Nice, except that in the world of tanks, even the Greater Werewolf with IronSkins is an inferior tank to armored fighter-types, or arcane-augmented tanks like Blades and F/Ms. Is a shapeshifter a better tank than Jaheira on full armor with a shield and IronSkins? And oh, she can STILL CAST SPELLS and add a 2nd IronSkins when the 1st one runs out.

    Even as a Greater Werewolf - in late SOA and TOB, you are not a good melee damage dealer nor that great a tank. And that's all you are - cos you can't cast spells anymore.

    The entire point of the Shapeshifter kit is to be able to turn into a werewolf, and when you're in werewolf form, if you can neither melee that well, nor tank that well, then you are useless.

    You want to enjoy the full power of a Shapeshifter? Use something like Saradas' Revisionised Shapeshifter, and use NearInfinity to allow you to cast spells in werewolf form. Now we're talking........

    ineth_DD_
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,877
    Shirak wrote: »
    However, the entire point of being a shapeshifter is to turn into a werewolf (or Greater werewolf), and once that happens, you lose spellcasting ability, making all the talk about druid spells irrelevant - you won't be casting them. You can cast some defensive spells pre-engagement and once they run out, that's it.

    I agree the point of a shapeshifter is to be able to turn into a werewolf, but why consider that is the only thing the kit should do? Should a shaman always dance, or a dwarven defender always use their stance, or (to use a closer analogy) an avenger be shapeshifted permanently?

    I would have thought the point about any kit is to explore their different strengths and weaknesses from the base class and apply that knowledge to help solve difficulties within the game. From that point of view the shapeshifter is an interesting kit because it does make a significant difference to gameplay - but that doesn't mean it makes sense to use the shapeshift form in every encounter.

    StummvonBordwehrJuliusBorisovBlackravenilduderino
  • MateoFrozenMateoFrozen Member Posts: 80
    Shirak wrote: »
    Shapeshifters are trash, period.

    You want to enjoy the full power of a Shapeshifter? Use something like Saradas' Revisionised Shapeshifter, and use NearInfinity to allow you to cast spells in werewolf form. Now we're talking........

    @Shirak
    Last time i checked i wasn't some easy editing in NI. You cant simply cange one option, for this you must use chane animations and manually add stats and effects and that is really more time consuming and of courese requires biger modding skills.

  • ShirakShirak Member Posts: 26
    edited February 9
    Grond0 wrote: »
    Shirak wrote: »
    However, the entire point of being a shapeshifter is to turn into a werewolf (or Greater werewolf), and once that happens, you lose spellcasting ability, making all the talk about druid spells irrelevant - you won't be casting them. You can cast some defensive spells pre-engagement and once they run out, that's it.

    I agree the point of a shapeshifter is to be able to turn into a werewolf, but why consider that is the only thing the kit should do? Should a shaman always dance, or a dwarven defender always use their stance, or (to use a closer analogy) an avenger be shapeshifted permanently?

    I would have thought the point about any kit is to explore their different strengths and weaknesses from the base class and apply that knowledge to help solve difficulties within the game. From that point of view the shapeshifter is an interesting kit because it does make a significant difference to gameplay - but that doesn't mean it makes sense to use the shapeshift form in every encounter.

    The exact problem with the Shapeshifter is that you either turn into a werewolf, or you cast druid spells. If you just cast druid spells, then you are better off as a base druid or using other druid kits.

    A shaman can cast spells or dance, or use ranged weapons (like M'Khiin). A Dwarven Defender doesn't have to use Defensive Stance all the time, likewise a Blade doesn't have to Spin all the time. Both a DD and a Blade can contribute in many other ways, like just basic melee or using spells/wands.

    If you are NOT shapeshifting into a werewolf as a Shapeshifter, you're nothing more than a GIMPED DRUID, cos you can't even wear armor - so WHY play Shapeshifter instead of Base Druid or Totemic Druid then?

    Of cos, every class/kit results in different playstyle and approach. And of cos, in a party, you can still clear Insane difficulty as a Shapeshifter, even without mods. But just because it can be done, it doesn't mean that the Shapeshifter kit doesn't suck.

    You get a "cool transformation", making you a Bhaalspawn godling that is LESSER than other fellow lycans. Your fellow lycans are laughing at your ineptitude - you can't regen, when Karoug and the rest does 6hp/s. You have no immunity to any form of weapons. Your strength is only 21, and your MR is lower than theirs.

    And this isn't an argument about whether Celestial Fury scales in TOB, and the age-old question of how many enemies require +4 and better weapons to hit. If I remember correctly, there are more than 50 enemies in TOB that require +3 and better to hit - you can look at all the CRE files with IMMUNE3.

    This is why 20 years of BG says exactly the same thing - shapeshifters suck (without mods), not druids suck. You're cool, but you suck (and your fellow lycans still snigger at you - so much for divine blood and essence......). And the 50+ enemies in TOB and late SOA that you can't hit also laugh at your mighty (useless) divine blood.

    Post edited by Shirak on
  • ShirakShirak Member Posts: 26
    edited February 9
    Shirak wrote: »
    Shapeshifters are trash, period.

    You want to enjoy the full power of a Shapeshifter? Use something like Saradas' Revisionised Shapeshifter, and use NearInfinity to allow you to cast spells in werewolf form. Now we're talking........

    @Shirak
    Last time i checked i wasn't some easy editing in NI. You cant simply cange one option, for this you must use chane animations and manually add stats and effects and that is really more time consuming and of courese requires biger modding skills.

    Virtually every Shapeshifter mod gives you specific werewolf claws that overrides the vanilla one. All you need to do, is to edit the new claws using NI to remove the effect that says "disable spellcasting when equipped".

    In any case, if I remember correctly, Tweaks Anthology's Shapeshifter Rebalancing does allow spellcasting in werewolf form (aka the new claws doesn't have that disable spellcasting when equipped effect). The idea is that you should be able to talk in "monster mode", if not, other "monsters" like Yuan Tis won't be able to talk, and as long as you can talk, you can cast spells.....

    So, it's really simple modding using NI to remove the "disable spellcasting when equipped" effect. Much less complicated than modding FOA's Free Action to permit Haste......

  • ReticentReticent Member Posts: 122
    edited February 9
    All the SS gives up compared to the base Druid is a marginally itemized hide/leather armor slot and 3 fairly awful animal forms. Seems like even the un-modded SS is a pretty clear upgrade on the base Druid to me.

    Feels like what a lot of people expect though is for it just to be a paperdoll swap on the Fighter/Druid without the XP splitting. That's fine- like what you like. But it doesn't make the base kit bad by any stretch.

  • KhyronKhyron Member Posts: 538
    Oh but it is junk.. Werewolf form is inferior to just about everything other classes offer.
    And you can't cast spells.. a regular druid with a spiffy leather armor and buckler + scimitar is better.. and can cast spells.

    A lvl 2 fighter dualed to druid is a hell of a lot better.. and fighter/druid is leagues better.

    It's just the worst of all your options.. by quite a lot.

    It being fun, different or able to survive the campaign isn't really the question.

    Is it bad? Yes, yes it is.. and that's why it's recieved so much flak.
    You give up equipment slots and gimp yourself, even lose the casting ability, and what you get is even worse than an unkitted druid with a scimitar.

  • MateoFrozenMateoFrozen Member Posts: 80
    @Shirak I instaled "your" Tweaks Anthology and guess what.
    2021-02-1_qqanaqa.png

  • ShirakShirak Member Posts: 26
    edited February 10
    @Shirak I instaled "your" Tweaks Anthology and guess what.
    2021-02-1_qqanaqa.png

    You are very cute. I'm not sure what you're trying to drive at.

    1. Tweaks Anthology, if you look at the individual components, is one of the oldest mods in the BG universe, and it's not "MY" mod. And Shapeshifter Rebalancing from there, is from Weimar's original mod, aka the writer of Weidu. That's how old the mods are - closer to 20 years. So yes, you are REALLY very cute. Please have some respect for the numerous modders that contributed to Tweaks Anthology, including many of the community's most senior modders.

    2. Do you see any effect that says "Disable spellcasting when equipped"? No? Then it's exactly what I said I remembered - Tweaks Anthology's Shapeshifter Rebalancing DOES allow spellcasting in werewolf form. So kindly explain what your beef with me is?

    3. That animation change controls your actual transformation from a human to a werewolf

    If you can't understand NI, it's perfectly fine, BG is a game that you can get by without mods and modding.

    And as I've reemphasized many times - in a party, the vanilla shapeshifter kit is definitely capable of clearing the trilogy on Insane difficulty from Lvl 1 to Lvl 31, even with SCS.

    Post edited by Shirak on
  • TrouveurTrouveur Member Posts: 82
    Fighter (Berserker even better)->Druid. But again, that's a BG2 piece.
    Berserker 7 => Druid 8 is doable in BG1.

  • TrouveurTrouveur Member Posts: 82
    I'm currently doing a BG1 run with SWS and using the shapeshifting rebalancing component, and it's really nice.

  • DinoDinDinoDin Member Posts: 1,257
    I'd argue that the whole point of a shifter druid is to load up on spells that either pre-buff or heal or work in some other way in conjunction with the kit's limits. So the idea that you can't cast spells seems to miss the point of the kit itself. SS druids aren't supposed to be the kind of druid that calls lightning or insect swarms mid combat, or, at least, not the type that's able to do that consistently.

    I'd even argue that since druids have overall the worst spell list of the three caster types that this limitation isn't super terrible. As well, single-class druid armors and bucklers are underwhelming.

    That being said, I am sympathetic to arguments that the kit isn't great. It's partly a product of its overall limits the ruleset and partly a product of how BG1/BG2 distributes items. It's fine to say that there are superior and inferior kits within the series given those facts, or even that a particular kit "sucks".

  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 2,245
    edited February 12
    The shifting ability only takes one round to activate or deactivate. You get 6 lesser forms and I remember also just 6 greater forms. I really don't see any issues with that. There are plenty of spells that take up a round of chanting and even clerics and mages have a spell each that can disable temporarily casting (champions strength and tensers transformation). These spells are very usable in combat as are the werewolf shape.
    How are they different in behaviour?

    Just shift, attack a while, shift back, rebuff or cast spells, and then shift again. At least you do not have to wait out the duration of the shifting spells
    .


    Grond0Reticent
  • TrouveurTrouveur Member Posts: 82
    DinoDin wrote: »
    As well, single-class druid armors and bucklers are underwhelming.
    I disagree. In BG1 druids can wear the best armor, Ankheg Plate Mail.

    In SoD, they can again wear the best armor, the Rhino Plate Mail.

    In BG2, they have access to all Dragon Scales Armors.

    Bucklers are underwelming, but there is some really quartstaffs to use instead. ^^

    Back to the Sword Coast Stratagem improved shapeshifting :
    - it allows shapeshift at will, even in the middle of a fight, by equiping a paw weapon. This paw is considered a two handed weapon, so a shield or a secondary hand weapon can't be used at the same time. It also allows use of the two handed weapon proficiency.

    - the paw is undispellable, and the druid can not use another weapon when shapeshifted.

    - there are three different forms base on the druid level :
    - level 1 to level 6, lesser werewolf form : base AC4, dexterity set to 16,strenght set to 18/76, paw does 1D6 damage, 1 APR, bonus of 10 to magic resistance (bonus, not set, meaning it adds other source of magic resistance).
    - level 7 to level 12, werewolf form : base AC0, dexterity set to 17, strenght set to 19, paw does 1D8 damage, 2 APR, bonus of 20 to magical resistance, haste effect (so in fact 3 APR)
    - level 13 to level X, greater werewolf form : I will see when my druid hit level 13 ;-).

    DinoDin
  • ShirakShirak Member Posts: 26
    @Trouveur If you like SCS's Shapeshifter, you will like Saradas Revisioned Shapeshifter much more. Do note that for all 3 "main" shapeshifter mods (TA, SCS and Saradas), your Greater Werewolf form has much worse AC compared to the vanilla Greater Werewolf, so don't play too aggressive in late SOA/TOB!

    But you are much much closer to a real lycan in the FR world. Especially someone who is supposed to be at the top of the lycan food chain.

    Have fun!

    Trouveur
  • TrouveurTrouveur Member Posts: 82
    Thank you, I will try it too then.

  • masteralephmasteraleph Member Posts: 142
    Trouveur wrote: »
    Fighter (Berserker even better)->Druid. But again, that's a BG2 piece.
    Berserker 7 => Druid 8 is doable in BG1.

    This is actually correct- and in fact, Berserker 7->Druid 9 is possible in BG1 (with the TotSC cap), which can give you grandmastery if you're careful about levelling up.

    Trouveur
  • TrouveurTrouveur Member Posts: 82
    Trouveur wrote: »
    Fighter (Berserker even better)->Druid. But again, that's a BG2 piece.
    Berserker 7 => Druid 8 is doable in BG1.

    This is actually correct- and in fact, Berserker 7->Druid 9 is possible in BG1 (with the TotSC cap), which can give you grandmastery if you're careful about levelling up.
    And access to level 5 spells. Combined with 21 wisdom thanks to the books, it allows to play a powerful druid as soon at the second part of BG1,who doesn't sacrifice spellcasting like a multiclass and can be a far better warrior than a true druid.

    The main drawback is the prerequisite in attributes (meaning dexterity or constitution will probably be low), and be able to choose one weapon to focus between dagger, scimetar and staff.

  • ShirakShirak Member Posts: 26
    Trouveur wrote: »
    Trouveur wrote: »
    Fighter (Berserker even better)->Druid. But again, that's a BG2 piece.
    Berserker 7 => Druid 8 is doable in BG1.

    This is actually correct- and in fact, Berserker 7->Druid 9 is possible in BG1 (with the TotSC cap), which can give you grandmastery if you're careful about levelling up.
    And access to level 5 spells. Combined with 21 wisdom thanks to the books, it allows to play a powerful druid as soon at the second part of BG1,who doesn't sacrifice spellcasting like a multiclass and can be a far better warrior than a true druid.

    The main drawback is the prerequisite in attributes (meaning dexterity or constitution will probably be low), and be able to choose one weapon to focus between dagger, scimetar and staff.

    GM in throwing daggers with giant-level strength = OP. Pixie Prick is also an underrated OP dagger, and for those selected +4 and better enemies, there's always Dagger of the Stars, or even the Boneblade, if you want a +4 weapon earlier.

    Reticent
  • ReticentReticent Member Posts: 122
    Yeah, and clubs and spears are honestly perfectly fine choices too.

    I mean, Club of Detonation is a little hard to work with in the very late game- but even then it can still put good work in against a lot of enemies as long as you accommodate the random fireballs well enough.

  • TrouveurTrouveur Member Posts: 82
    And staves are very good too :
    - Aule's Staff +3, Staff Mace +2, Staff Spear +2 and Staff of Striking in BG1
    - Staff +4, Staff of Arundel, Staff of the Woodlands and Staff of the Ram in BG2

    Reticent
  • ShirakShirak Member Posts: 26
    Yeah, but the other options all bring you into melee range, and for much of the game, it's better for spellcasters, even a dual-classed one to remain away from the frontline. If you want to be in melee range, in terms of status effects, you can't beat the daggers. Also, in terms of DPR, you aren't going to beat a GM dagger thrower with giant-level strength.

    If you play with BG1NPC, which is almost a basic core mod for many, Kivan gets you the Boomerang +2 as early as Chapter 2. You'll also be surprised how many enemies are NOT immune to sleep (including bosses), and the Pixie Prick basically allows you to sleep-lock them, ala Celestial Fury stun-lock style.

    Anyway, I was messing with Relair's Mistake in one of my current playthroughs and realised that, contrary to what is stated in the Wiki, you CAN cast spells in wolf form. So that's what my Edwin is doing now - permanently in wolf form lol. I guess furiously wagging your wolf tail = somatic component then.....

    So yup, it makes a lot of sense that a Shapeshifter cannot cast spells in werewolf/greater werewolf form.....

    Pokota
  • TrouveurTrouveur Member Posts: 82
    Yes, daggers are usually my top choice for Jaheira.

    Hum, now i can see a nice playthrough with a berserker 7 or 9/ druid X...

    And there is also Dagger of Venom, Longtooth and the Shades of the Sword Coast mod from @LavaDelVortel adds a very nice dagger, nature oriented.

    But first I will continue with my evil shapeshifter, now that she have access to the Werefolf form from SCS, she's not far behind Kagain and Verr'Sza in frontline usefulness. And spells from Spell Revisions and IWD really make druid spells so much more potent.

    Killing an invisible mage protected by a Minor Glob of Invulnerability with a single Static Charge cast is so much fun. Edwin was really jealous. ^^

    Grond0
  • MateoFrozenMateoFrozen Member Posts: 80
    @Shirak
    Of course I'm Cute, then from beginning.

    1.I was you who disagreed my comment and as a proof you giving a mod name(thats why i used "your), and then it's not a problem that it's one of the oldest weidu mods designed for tactics with fantasy stats and projected to bypass old bugs. But when i check and prove it my way, then suddenly this mod is old and i im cute and disrespects moders :D

    2.It looks like you don't know what you are writing, i checked this in bgsod and IWD with diffrents ver.
    Orginal Game
    In spell extended efects
    Polymorph into Specific [135] uses cre file
    Item: Create Magical Weapon [111] =>BRBRP
    BRBRP- ww claws NO Disable spellcasting when equipped which you mentioned

    BG2 using opcode 135 in claw effect but the concept is not diffrent.

    Tweaks Anthology
    In spell extended effect
    Item: Create Inventory Item (days) [255] => Equiping effect
    Graphics: Animation Change [53] , don't uses cre file stats and bonuses added manualy.
    There is no your Disable spellcasting when equipped becouse it not needed it only anim change.

    Do you see diffrence. Saradas also uses Animation Change
    and to block speelcasting Spell: Disable Spell Casting Abilities [145] :'(

    I pretty sure you will not belive me so i add this from iesdp so it will be harder to argue

    Polymorph into Specific [135]
    Polymorphs the targeted creature(s) into the creature specified by the resource key, in the style specified by the Type field.
    Known values for Type are:
    0 ⟶ Gain Resistances/statistics (spell-casting disabled)
    1 ⟶ Appearance only

    As you can see this is the opcode that disables spellcasting, so teoretically it indeed a easy option, the problem is that is buged, and animation change is better.

    3. I know what Animation Change doing, but do you know? Cuz it's looks like not.

    4. Indeed i'm not so familiar with NI since I prefer DLTC and this tool is not inferior to NI. But is prety funny how you trying to embarrass me. By the way my comment aside from my own attemps was partly based on one of old moder(beamdog staff) comments about shifting more precisely about old Relair's Mistake and its bugs what is ever more funny i'm pretty sure it's the same person who mainaining Tweaks Antology. So yes if relying on someone windom is disrespecting then yes i'm very disrespects >:)

    5. But lets say im total noob and can't find simple Disable spellcasting when equipped, i would be really grateful if someone as magnificent as you could make simple mod that allow shapesfiter to cast spell, off course it can't use Animation Change i can do that.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 21,499
    Before this escalates, please get yourself acquainted with the rules of conduct on this forum. In your comments, please try to focus on the subject that is being discussed, rather than on the other people who discuss it.

    StummvonBordwehrArviaAdam_en_tiumZaxares
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