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My first IWD playthrough - few questions

Gonzo100100Gonzo100100 Member Posts: 30
Hi,

I just bought IWD:EE and I am going to play the game for the first time really. However, I am not fresh to classic D&D games as I played most of them a number of times. For example, I played BG 1 & 2 with Tactics on so I would consider myself an intermediate player.


Because I will play the game for the first time, I am not looking for a hard challenge but still I want to make the game more… interesting by introducing some rules above default way of playing the game.

1. Minimum reloads, perhaps only after a full wipe, that would mean that I would accept deaths in my party, but I am not sure if I will go that far. Maybe I’ll go for something like 2 reloads per character per game.

2. Team, an easy mode party but I simply selected my favourite classes: bard, sorcerer, Kensai /mage, berserker/druid, FT, FC

3. Max of 17 strength for multiclass and dual class characters.

4. I am not sure about it, so I would like to ask. I am thinking about Insane difficulty with “no difficulty damage increase” and “No difficulty-based XP bonus” checked. That would leave me with more enemies to fight only, right? But I will still get more XP than usual for killing those extra monsters, right? Will that be a significant/meaningful amount of extra XP?


Also, I would like to ask, if someone could estimate for me a percentage of game completed when my fighter characters will hit level a) 7; b) 9; c) 13. That question is obviously to help me decide when to break my kensai and berserker.


Also, what would be the best weapon specializations? At the moment I am in the dark, but I am planning quarterstaff and sling for sorcerer, katana for kensai, scimitar for berserker, short bow and bastard sword for bard, short sword for FT and hammer and flail for FC. Are there some very good weapons of different proficiencies that would warrant me to reconsider my plan for specializations?


Finally, would you recommend to instal some mods, especially aTweaks + some others or leave it as it is for the first playthrough?


What do you think about my playthrough plan? Do you have any suggestions?

Comments

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,048
    I hope you enjoy IWD as much as I did coming from BG/BG2. A couple of key differences you'll want to be aware of:

    * Role-playing is minimal in IWD and thief skills provide 0 XP per use.

    * Flails and longswords are by far the most common weapons in IWD.

    * Scrolls are few and far between, which makes sorcerer a great choice for your first run-through.

    * Mage battles are simplistic even by BG1 standards and don't remotely compare to BG2's intricate mage-on-mage duels. As such, spells like breach that were absolutely essential in BG2 barely matter in IWD.

    * For the same reason, strong BG2 kits like berserker and inquisitor barely matter here. If no one is throwing spells at you, you don't need berserker immunities, and if no one is buffing themselves then you don't need the inquisitor's dispel. (Exception, there are a couple of boss fights where these can be somewhat helpful.)

    * You can expect to spend a large chunk of the game under half a million XP. I definitely wouldn't wait until 13th level to dual a fighter, unless you're planning to do several replays with the same party.

    Good luck!

    PokotaJuliusBorisovAerakar
  • ThoriumThorium Member Posts: 26
    Some thoughts:
    As jsaving said, mage scroll availability in IWD is poor if compared to BG games, but that is how original developers planned it. By having a sorcerer you don't have to deal with that, but it will also make the game easier if you know what you are doing. If you are fine with that, I think it is ok to have one (especially when trying minimal reload run).
    I am not sure about it, so I would like to ask. I am thinking about Insane difficulty with “no difficulty damage increase” and “No difficulty-based XP bonus” checked. That would leave me with more enemies to fight only, right? But I will still get more XP than usual for killing those extra monsters, right? Will that be a significant/meaningful amount of extra XP?
    Yeah, that is correct. There will be more enemies and certain fights will be noticeably more difficult. The extra XP will help a bit, but I do not think it is a significant amount.
    Also, I would like to ask, if someone could estimate for me a percentage of game completed when my fighter characters will hit level a) 7; b) 9; c) 13.
    With 6 character party, I usually like to dual-class warriors at level 7 (at the latest, also lower levels are fine depending on the character role). I would estimate that would be roughly 25 % of the game completed. Level 9 would be somewhere around 50 %, and level 13 somewhere near the end.
    Finally, would you recommend to instal some mods, especially aTweaks + some others or leave it as it is for the first playthrough?
    I think vanilla game is quite enjoyable in the first runs. The only mod I always use is Remove Blur Effect from Items (from Tweaks Anthology).

  • IseweinIsewein Member Posts: 399
    If you enjoy story content, I would recommend installing the IWD NPC mod even on a first run. Its provided characters are highly customisable and actually mostly fit your class preferences above, and the dialogue ties in very well with the game.

    marcnivarJuliusBorisovAerakar
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,775
    1. when it comes to reloads, thats really up to you, whether you want to do the "only 2 reloads per char" or only reload on party wipes, will probably give you the same gameplay experience, although if you are going to play on insane, you might need to reload a couple of more times than you think from the hordes of enemies that you may not be ready for ( ah dragon's eye level 2, have fun with that one )

    2. jsaving was right, unlike bg1 & 2 spell scrolls are a little bit more hard to come by ( usually there is only 1 copy each for each spell, unless you plan on playing HoW and ToTLM then you may find 2nd copies ) so having a bard, MT and kensai/mage might be a little much when it comes to arcane power, although, with that being said, doesn't mean its going to be impossible, but you are really going to have to micro manage who you give what spell scroll because as jsaving and I are saying, the selection is going to be tight

    3. completely up to you if you want to max it out to 17, i suppose with DuHM and potions you can get STR up for those really important fights, and there are an item or 2 that can increase your STR to 19 or +1, but on the flip side, don't be afraid to set some warriors to 18/91+ if need be, because you are going to be facing swarms of enemies in this game, and dishing out damage as quickly as possible is going to be key to win some of these battles

    4. completely perfect way to do things, although for me, i prefer to keep double damage on, just because i can be a masochist that way, but certainly, insane difficulty with double XP turned off, is definitely the way to go, although with this being your first play through i suppose not keeping double damage on would be an alright idea

    when it comes to XP for your fighter depending on "accidental average grind" you will be at those levels at these thresholds;
    a) you will hit level 7 nearish the beginning of dragon's eye in chapter 2, and hit level 8 somewhere near the end of dragon's eye
    b) you will hit level 9 near the endish of the severed hand in chapter 3 and will hit level 10 somewhere near the beginning of dorn's deep in chapter 4
    c) you will hit level 13 near the end of the game in chapter 6 ( and that is IF you pretty do every quest/ bonus quest possible ) and to hit level 14 you will be near the end of HoW and that's even going through TotLM as well

    so with that, i would either do the level 7 or 9 varient if you wish to dual class, or worse case scenario you could be a half-elf and be a fighter/druid multiclass

    weapon specs;

    to be honest the weapons that you want to choose can get the job done, but for some hindsight;

    long swords, axes, morningstars/flails are the most common weapons in the game

    for ranged weapons, i would say crossbow is the most common, and if you luck out, you may even find some that give extra APR, although there are also some bows that can do that as well ( although they are all longbows )

    giving the sorcerer sling and stick works ( and or even dagger, there are lots of daggers to be found as well )

    katana can work with your kensai, although there are only 4 magical katanas in the entire game ( IWD, HoW, TotLM ) so maybe longsword would be a better choice since there are so many of those

    fighter/druid duals are tricky in IWD because the scimitar selection is pretty crap in IWD, especially when you have to wait until all the way until chapter 5 before you even get a good one ( in fact it is entirely possible that you will not find a magical scimitar until you hit chapter 5 ) so worse case, you could also go with daggers, especially those daggers that deal extra poison or phasing damage, i played a fighter/druid with daggers once, and he was kicking some serious but with daggers, dealing all that extra poison/phasing damage was pretty good, but if you have the patience there is a nice scimitar with your name on in chapter 5 so its up to you what you want to do

    for you bard, i would do longbow instead of shortbow ( as mentioned above, there are better longbows than shortbows in IWD ) and as for a melee weapon, axe might be a good idea, because there are a couple of axes that give an AC bonus when wielded so that is always a plus if your bard finds their way into melee combat, and then perhaps flail/morningstar next or even longsword next, while bastard swords do exist, they tend to be random, so you may find some good ones, or you may find some crap ones, so that choice is up to you

    for melee for your FT longsword may be a better choice, while there are short swords, in general, the longswords are going to be better, although if you have plenty of proficiency to max out both weapons, so bonus on that, for ranged weapons though, you can either go crossbow or longbow, both would be good options

    and for FC going flails/morningstars is an excellent choice, and i would say hammers is a good second choice because if you can find that defending +4 warhammer, she gives some nice resistances, although for HoW and TotLM if you have some mace proficiency there is a mace in HoW that just curb stomps undead and even can give some outsiders a hard time ( but definitely do flail/morning star first )

    mod wise, IWD by itself is good enough, especially for a first time play through, although once you get some familiarity under your belt then perhaps you can install some mods later for later play throughs

    the gameplay experience of IWD is going to be different than the BG games, but if you understood how to play the BG games, then you should be good going into the world of IWD

    jsavingJuliusBorisovAerakar
  • marcnivarmarcnivar Member Posts: 132
    edited June 15
    If you like companions with banters, interjections and talks such as BG2, you may consider have a look here. There are download links for NPCs from 3 different great authors.

    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/79347/the-new-light-collective-thread-for-lavas-and-aionzs-mods/p1

    JuliusBorisovAerakar
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 816
    edited June 15
    You will need +3 or better weaponry to beat the game, so if you get +3 projectiles hold on to them. You will also need +2 or better by the time you reach level 7. (Remember, it's not the launcher that counts, it's the projectile. Messenger of Sseth with +1 Arrows won't do jack squat)

    there is also a chance that you'll get a weapon that bypasses these requirements, but trying to use it - especially before being familiar with what this game does to you - just makes things harder overall rather than easier.

    JuliusBorisov
  • Gonzo100100Gonzo100100 Member Posts: 30
    Thank you very much for your comments. I played a while up to act 3 with slightly changed team. Sorcerer, kensai with intention to dual at 9 to mage (+1 to attack on 5-star grand mastery is too tempting compared to +0.5 in BG2), Berserker with intention to dual at 9 to druid, bard, c/t and archer.
    I have to say archer is AMAZING!!! I have never played an archer in BG1 or 2 because they apparently become very weak later on. However, in IWD1:EE he is really, really good. Even if he will stop being useful in later chapters, he is still worth it. He makes it possible to try some crazy builds with other party members that are dead weight at the beginning and pick up on power later on. My archer in prologue and chapter 1 has something like 90% of kills, in chapter 2 something like 80% and in chapter 3 so far just below 70%. There could be an argument made that I use him so much only because it’s safer to kill most enemies from a distance instead from up close.
    Anyway, I reloaded the game few times (3 or 4) and discovered that I didn’t have to because there is an option to rise the dead in the city 0_o I have no idea how I could forget about that. It’s expensive but still I could complete the game on ironman mode (almost because I allow myself to reload once when I level up and get very low hp increase roll – I prefer that then playing on max hp per level option).
    Anyway, I want to start the game again because of that and also because I am disappointed with my bard and cleric/thief. I’m going to change them for cleric fighter and thief 7 -> mage dual class. I will have to relay on summons to go through traps in dragon’s eye.

    Also, this time I am considering to dual the berserker at level 3 to druid (just to get +0.5 attack and 1 rage). That would make me a stronger version of a druid than the basic one. Or is it essential to go at least to level 7? What do you think?
    I still would go with kensai up to level 9 before dual classing.

  • ThoriumThorium Member Posts: 26
    Anyway, I reloaded the game few times (3 or 4) and discovered that I didn’t have to because there is an option to rise the dead in the city 0_o I have no idea how I could forget about that.

    Yeah, Raise Dead cast by temples is important when playing with minimal reloads, although it becomes more costly when characters advance in levels. Luckily temples also sell Raise dead scrolls that can be cast by non-evil clerics and the price of the scroll is static (something like 500-700 gp depending on charisma). The only problem is that if your characters drop to -10 hp or are hit by certain spells, they die permanently and cannot be raised or resurrected.
    I’m going to change them for cleric fighter and thief 7 -> mage dual class. I will have to relay on summons to go through traps in dragon’s eye.

    Fighter/Cleric is a solid character that can also be your main tank / melee attacker.

    I think you cannot use summoned monsters to trigger traps, so you would have to rely on other means to survive the traps in Dragon's eye (like using a Rabbit familiar that is available to True Neutral characters). I think the best alternative to Thief -> Mage dual class would be T/M multi-class. T/M could also feel more effective than C/T as a ranged weapon user since T/Ms can use shortbows (2 attacks per round) and crossbows (usually deal more damage than slings).
    Also, this time I am considering to dual the berserker at level 3 to druid (just to get +0.5 attack and 1 rage). That would make me a stronger version of a druid than the basic one. Or is it essential to go at least to level 7? What do you think?

    I think the most important thing to consider here is that you have enough melee/tank characters. I would probably dual at level 7 since druid levels up really fast anyway (level 8 at only 60k XP) and your party is pretty strong in the early game. In my experience, melee becomes more important later in the game when the enemies have much more HPs and sometimes require to be hit by magical weapons. But I also think that dualling the berserker at level 3 is ok if you like to play spellcasters and are fine with slightly weaker party when it comes to melee.

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