Good morning everybody!
Every couple of years I make a full moded, full MP run of BaldursGate 2 with all my favourite classes and characters. Every couple of years I search the forums and find out what the up to date news are. This year I found out there is a BG2:EE which is amazing. Nice to see all those people back in the forums!
ATTENTION: This is not about Role Playing! It is about the optimal way to beat a difficult encounter.
ATTENTION 2: I'am not a native speeker and sorry of all spelling mistakes, I try my very best.
I dont want to talk too much because this should be about the SCS Mod component: Improved Ust Natha defences (or smth. like this). It appears that a lot of nice Mods are not played anymore or you cannot find information about them. Sadly the old forum posts with all these amazing guides to the most difficult BG2 encounters are gone, or I cannot find them anymore. One of these encounters is the Ust Natha Siege and I would like to reanimate this topic and share my experiences and memories of the old guides with you guys.
First of all the Mods: SCS, BG2 Tweakpack and Fixpack, a few components of TACTICS (my favourite mod), Improved Asylum (never use theirs items!!!) , Ascensions, Improved Item upgrades and G3 Spell revision. This last MOD causes the most problems, since it changes a ton of spells and changes the tactics which are available for some encounters. This is also one of the most important points right now for me as I'am writing this guide, since most people dont play the game with the Spell revision component installed, but dont worry, I still remember the original spells quite well.
Second: PREPARATION! You basically need to do ALL of the chapter 2 and 3 quest quests as well as the first 2 levels of watchers keep, to be able to clear the whole UST NATHA defence. You need the experience. And its simple: More MODs = More EXP, which is important for this challange. If you do all these quests included Watcher's Keep 1 and 2 you will be around 2.3- 2.5 million EXP. You will get 1 extra Million EXP during chapter 4 and 5 until the siege begins. Of course you need to have the EXP cap removed. Do not try to Siege Ust Natha with the natural Shadow of Amn EXP cap, I'am pretty shure it will be close to impossible.
Third: The Party composition: There was a genius guy in the old forums, but I forgott his name. It was something like Sforca or Smorca. He wrote a few super interesting guides about the TACTICS MOD and other difficult encounters. His basic Party composition was simple: 5 Melee Butchers and 1 Mage. I'am still playing like this and would never change it and it is simple. 1 Mage is enough magic power to whipe out all the "not magic immunes" in the game. For the rest you need brute force and maybe some dispelling spells (spell strike, Breach, etc.). I think it is a major mistake of the newest guides to the game to take 2 or 3 mages as well as more than 1 cleric with you. Somethink like Edwin + Imoen + Jaheria + Anomen is a total overkill i terms of magic power. Just too much, you have to much to controll and loose a lot of physical damage output. Take Edwin as your mage and add 1 cleric or druid. Thats totally enouch and will provide all the magic power you need. For the melee characters all multiclasses with fighter included are fine: F/T, F/C , F/M and F/D. As well as Dual Classing: Kensai->Mage or Kensai-> Thief is fine too, AntiPaladin, Archers and Paladin Kits too. Thats it.
PS: The party composition is one of the major things that will make the party fail at Ust Natha siege. IF there are too few fighters you will lack physical damage output and Hit Points. My major spell caster is a Sorcerer ALWAYS. i will come to this point.
The Fight: Basic tactic
Fight, fully protected from fire, in a cloud of fire, while meteors are falling down on you and the world is burning! This is not my idea, it is what I remember from the old guides. You need:
1. Incendiary Cloud: 1d4 fire damage per level as a cloud for once turn. A level 20 mage will do 20d4 damage per round, which is, lets say ~30 damage per tick (If they can save succesfully). It doesnt go thru magic resistance which the drows have, but they have only 65. So every third tick will damage them. If there are 10 drows on the screen and you can manage to hit them by the cloud, that will equal 90-120 damage per round. This is for 10 rounds. Thats 900-1200 damage from ONE SPELL. The spell revision which I have installed weakens this tactic by a lot, because the cloud now only does 4d6 damage per round but cuts thru magic resitance, which still is weaker than the original cloud. It sill will work. Of course you will need the fire protection for you whole party that will be running around thru burning hell.
2. Protection from fire: After clearing all the dungeons of chapter 2 and 3 like is said you will have a bunch of items that provide some fire resitance: Fire Scales armor (50), Ring of fire protection (40), both from Firgraags dungeon. Helm of defence (20) from the guarded compound. Protections from fire Ring (40) if you have the improved Twisted Rune component from the tactics installed. Anohter fire protection ring (50) from the Mind Flayer dungeon in the underdark (There is an imprisoned Drugaer somehwere). Now you can either stack protection items on one character or distribute the items among all your characters. It depends which fire resistance Spell you want to use. Protection from fire (lv3 arcane spell) With 100 resistance for 1turn/level or the priest spell which only willgive you 50 if i remember correctly. Then you have the green scroll from the shops that gives you 50 resistance for 12 hours (!!!) . Then there are potions of fire resistance which give you 50 for 10 turns. No matter what you use, just make shure everybody is protected from fire or the clouds will tear you down very fast.
3. Three times Sun fire in a spell trigger was the JOKER in the old guide. If the numbers of drow grew too fast and you were not able to kill them fast enough, just run with your mage protected by the staff a magi between the biggest pack of drows and burn them with Sun fires. Sadly, as i discovered, Sun fire doesnt cut thru magic resistance anymore or does it ? But even if it doesnt, it is a lot of damage to a huge number of drows. You can do the same with the spell sequencer and 3 fire balls of course.
4. Other area of effect spells with fire damage: If you have a druid, go with Fire storm, a high level mage can cast meteor storm. You can cast incendiary cloud from scrolls too if you have a bard or Thief with UAI
5. Basic combat preparations: Chaotic commands, Bless, Haste, Improved haste, Summons. Of course the summons are restricted to fire elementals since they are immune to fire. But you can still start the battle with a few skeletons, other elementals, devas or planetars or summon them later when all the Incendiary Clouds are used and you are fighting will the last bit of what is left.
For now i wanted to present you guys the basic tactics I remember from the old forum but I still would like to initiate a discussion how to beat this encounter. I think the original intend was to make this encounter impossible but it isn'T. I beat it twice in my older playthoughs of highest difficulty where the monsters did 100% more damage (it changed in the latest SCS MOD and I love it!). Back in those days a Horrid Willding could damage you for 80-120 damage because of that 100% increased damage but whatever.
With may latest party I just arrived at Ust Natha and I think I will do the Siege tomorrow or in a few days and can tell you guys how it went this time. As I said I have the G3 Spell revision MOD installed and I'am shure that I will try my luck with the 7th level Spell "Summon Death Khight". A truly overpower spell in my opinion! 3-4 of these guys were able to whipe out the whole beholder layer in the underdark. I know the MOD's intention was to make more spells interesting which is a great success but it still made other spell more powerfull or totally useless spells are now wy too powerfull for their level, etc...
I hope this little guide could help you guys and I'am hopefully looking forward some feedback and differecnt ideas of how to beat the Siege.