Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Categories

Dark Dreams of Furiae - a new module for NWN:EE! Buy now
Attention, new and old users! Please read the new rules of conduct for the forums, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

Druid kit viability late game

Upon strong recommendations from many veterans, I created a Avenger druid charname and she did awesome in the first 2 games. Web + Baby Wyvern + Improved Invis was super good throughout the game, but I found late SoD enemies very hard to hit due to the Thac0.

Thankfully, 1 successful poison fail was enough to kill almost everything in the game and multiple web castings helped a ton too. Playing with a full party but mostly facing all the battles solo with the avenger.

Was wondering whether this kit could go toe to toe with the enemies in late Bg2 and ToB or should I just use him as a druidic spellcaster later on? Thac0 and enemy saves would be a problem late game right?

And how does Totemic druids, Fighter/Druids MC/DC fare in similar situations?

So many questions, I know :hushed: !!!

Aerakar

Comments

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 7,001
    It only matters in a solo campaign anyway. I like Totemic Druid myself just because the summon immunities make battles against many of the trash mobs a joke. I have no problem letting Korgan/Anomen/Keldorn/Minsc do the heavy lifting!

    ShadowBlazeAerakar
  • ShadowBlazeShadowBlaze Member Posts: 39
    edited July 16
    jmerry wrote: »
    In the long run, all the druid kits are going to be more spellcasters than anything else. Only a fighter/druid that can use weapons well will actually buck this trend. (Unless you use a mod that tweaks shapeshifting - my last party had Jaheira and Cernd spend almost all their time in fire elemental form at high levels)

    So the kit advantages becomes kinda mellows out late game right, I see. I too thought that the shapeshift tweak was super good so didn't add it. Single classed characters do get the short end of the stick late game BG2 over MC/Dualled characters if I think about it.

    Would you recommend a fighter/druid or a Berserker(9)->Druid? Are fighter HLA's worth crippling the druid's progress to Lv-15? Same question for Clerics and Thief kits as well. I think many of them also mellow down late game compared to their dual/multi cousins?

    Balrog99 wrote: »
    It only matters in a solo campaign anyway. I like Totemic Druid myself just because the summon immunities make battles against many of the trash mobs a joke. I have no problem letting Korgan/Anomen/Keldorn/Minsc do the heavy lifting!

    I was kinda doing it solo in a weird way, letting the charname do all the fights while others are just mules or prebuff casters. Druids level up so fast so I didn't have a problem with the xp splitting.


    I know thinking solely about ToB/Late SoA viability is not a way to be looking at classes, but I just can't help overthinking about it!

  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 212
    I played Kensai(9) -> Druid dual from BG1 till mid SoA before coming down with restartitis. It was lots of fun and quite unusual. Compared to Berserker, he had +3 to hit and damage and 3xKai. On the downside, no cool immunities from Enrage or wearing any armour, shields, gauntlets/bracers or helmets. Berserk is definitely better, but this char was a damage dealing monstrosity. I had him dual wield clubs and he did tons of damage with pretty low thac0, Barkskin could give him somewhat acceptable AC for SoA and Ironskins were a godsend.

    With Ring of Gaax, excellent dexterity, potions etc etc it is possible to have acceptable AC, but nothing more - in ToB everything will hit you, but this is pretty much the case with all non-mage chars. But he will be able to outdamage almost everything.

    As for losing fighter HLAs...If you play with a party, I don't find them crucial. Dual wielding Belm with 5 pips in clubs gives you 4.5 APR, which becomes 9 with Improved Haste, just one short of Greater Whirlwind and much longer lasting. Armour of Faith somewhat compensates for Hardiness, Magic Resistance for the...Magic Resistance HLA thingy and you don't need any other fighter HLAs in a party anyway. So, that part is okay.

  • ShadowBlazeShadowBlaze Member Posts: 39
    VanDerBerg wrote: »
    As for losing fighter HLAs...If you play with a party, I don't find them crucial. Dual wielding Belm with 5 pips in clubs gives you 4.5 APR, which becomes 9 with Improved Haste, just one short of Greater Whirlwind and much longer lasting. Armour of Faith somewhat compensates for Hardiness, Magic Resistance for the...Magic Resistance HLA thingy and you don't need any other fighter HLAs in a party anyway. So, that part is okay.

    I am kinda doing it a solo run. Plus I read that Critical strike was better than any other fighter HLA offensively.

    Berserker 9/13 -> X seems to be more viable in solo than any other kits for single classes late game wise?

  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 212
    Yes, of course, I forgot about Critical (it's been a while since I had a fighter HLA because I play solo too mostly as of late). It is good, though whether it is better than Greater Whirlwind highly depends on the enemy. With such a low thac0 late in the game, you will be hitting enemies most of the time and most of the badass enemies at that stage will be immune to crits, in which case GW (or good ol' Improved Haste) will be better.

    For soloing, I would personally go with multiclass F/D. Jump from 14 to 15 as a Druid will be far less painful and you get other good powers that you cannot compensate for without a party. Also, Hardiness + Armour of Faith sounds pretty cool.

    Berserker -> X is, for me, the best combo overall, but if you are superpowergaming, you will roll Berserker -> Cleric or Berserker -> Mage :)

    ShadowBlaze
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,048
    Yeah, I have no idea who the "many veterans" would be who'd claim avenger is among the game's strongest choices. Berserker/mage is much stronger overall though avengers aren't "bad" and do make for an entertaining playthrough.

  • DinoDinDinoDin Member Posts: 1,366
    edited July 18
    As Jmerry said, most late game druids are going to be primarily casters. The bonus spell unlock is quite nice. I'll just add that the various summon insect spells are insanely useful and probably your main "offensive" game changer in the late game. Assuming you're playing unmodded. I'd for sure stock up on Insect Plague and Creeping Doom as much and as early as possible. The spells are borderline broken in their power, to be quite honest, just because of their ability to neutralize a number of dangerous enemies. Little else they have offensive-wise compares. Even the single target level three spell can be decent if you run out of the higher ones.

    Aside from that most of your important late game usage is going to be utility or summoning. Healing party members perhaps, adding buffs and resistances, dispelling invisibility or certain magic effects. The poor Thac0 can be somewhat overcome with the sling. There's a couple cheap high enchantment ones available in early SoA and the game tends to dole out high enchantment bullets more generously than other ammo. So that can help at least making the occasional attack to chip in on damage and interrupting.

    Aerakar
  • ShadowBlazeShadowBlaze Member Posts: 39
    edited July 18
    jsaving wrote: »
    Yeah, I have no idea who the "many veterans" would be who'd claim avenger is among the game's strongest choices. Berserker/mage is much stronger overall though avengers aren't "bad" and do make for an entertaining playthrough.

    None of them claimed that Druids/Avenger are among the strongest choices. What they did say was it was very interesting and fun to use Insect Plague, Iron Skins, (Web and Sword spider for avenger) etc in BG1 plus Fire Elemental and Fire seeds etc in SoD and early BG2.

    We have all heard about the Magezerker/Kensage combo over a million times now I believe. No need to diss on every other class option.

    shylaman
  • ShadowBlazeShadowBlaze Member Posts: 39
    DinoDin wrote: »
    As Jmerry said, most late game druids are going to be primarily casters. The bonus spell unlock is quite nice. I'll just add that the various summon insect spells are insanely useful and probably your main "offensive" game changer in the late game. Assuming you're playing unmodded. I'd for sure stock up on Insect Plague and Creeping Doom as much and as early as possible. The spells are borderline broken in their power, to be quite honest, just because of their ability to neutralize a number of dangerous enemies. Little else they have offensive-wise compares. Even the single target level three spell can be decent if you run out of the higher ones.

    Aside from that most of your important late game usage is going to be utility or summoning. Healing party members perhaps, adding buffs and resistances, dispelling invisibility or certain magic effects. The poor Thac0 can be somewhat overcome with the sling. There's a couple cheap high enchantment ones available in early SoA and the game tends to dole out high enchantment bullets more generously than other ammo. So that can help at least making the occasional attack to chip in on damage and interrupting.

    I really liked how the Avenger kit allowed Druid to be a very good frontliner and being able to almost kill anyone with some decent spell selections in BG1 + SoD. I guess it just reverts to a vanilla class like many other kits for their respective classes late SoA & ToB.

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,882
    Druid shapeshifting in general doesn't scale very well. You get your forms at level 7 ... and that's pretty much it. Eventually, your gear is going to be better than that form for general use.

    There are the high-level forms, but they're limited.
    Earth elemental form is solid on offense (19 avg damage per hit, 2 APR, +4 enchantment) but also big so it gets stuck all the time. On defense, it's -5 AC but no Dex bonus, normal weapon immunity, and nothing else.
    Fire elemental form goes up to 22 damage per hit with part of that fire, but only has 1 APR. It's also smaller so you won't get stuck, with the same physical defenses plus added fire immunity.

    For contrast, let's compare what a typical BG series protagonist can pull off in the late game without shifting. AC? Cast Barkskin for AC 1, add in 18 dexterity for AC -3 before accessories. Two points worse. Weapon immunity? Hell trials, for immunity to normal and +1 weapons superseding the elemental forms. Damage? Let's use the Firetooth dagger, and assume 19 strength (either the belt which should be easy to spare by this point, or starting with 18 in BG1 and using a tome. 2d4+3+1d2+7 = 16.5 damage per hit at 2 APR, hits as +3. With ranged capability. You don't get the base THAC0 of 2, but you get +3 to hit from the weapon itself, which covers a good chunk of the difference. Overall, this setup is a little weaker than the elemental forms, but infinitely more flexible with the ability to cast spells, make ranged attacks, or even switch to a different weapon if the need arises.

    The one exception here is the Shapeshifter's level 13+ greater werewolf form. That one does some truly unique things. It has just about the best AC around with -6 base, -4 from 20 Dex, and the ability to wear a shield (I recommend the Shield of the Lost). It has massive elemental and magic resistances, allowing you to reach immunity to fire, cold, and lightning with ease. And as of 2.6, it even grants regeneration. Just an amazing tank.
    Incidentally, a Shapeshifter continues to get additional daily uses of greater werewolf form after level 13. One every two levels, up to seven total at level 25. At high levels, you get plenty of chances to shift back and forth.

    The Avenger doesn't exactly revert to being vanilla either; you still have those extra spells known. You really can't go wrong memorizing a few instances of each of them.

    Grond0ShadowBlazeDinoDin
  • ShadowBlazeShadowBlaze Member Posts: 39
    @jmerry How do the kits fare compared to a Zerker9 -> Druid or a Fighter/Druid late game wise?

    I guess if I am not inclined to melee with a druid, any druid kit would be good enough as a caster-only role?

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,882
    I don't know. I've never run a druid protagonist, after all. The only druids I've had in the late game of the main campaign are Cernd and Jaheira.

    Also, that's just not the way I think about builds. I plan parties around a theme, and fitting the theme is more important than raw power. I'll optimize within those constraints, but they're still there. My last run chose Nalia as the party's sole thief over Imoen and Jan, for example. Why? Because she has that signet ring with 50% fire resistance, of course.

    ShadowBlaze
  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 212
    If your druid will be mostly spellcaster and avoid melee, there is no reason to pick anything other than Avenger. I played one through the whole saga and the extra mage spells are extremely useful. Improved Invisibility is awesome, Web is consistently very useful throughout the whole saga, having tons of castings of Lightning Bolt paired with Protection from Lightning allows you to create havoc to anything that is not immune to electric damage (which is, sadly, one of the most common resistances). Chaos is also very useful, in case you can find space for it, but I never did because pretty much all the best druid spells are level 5.

    ShadowBlaze
  • ShadowBlazeShadowBlaze Member Posts: 39
    VanDerBerg wrote: »
    If your druid will be mostly spellcaster and avoid melee, there is no reason to pick anything other than Avenger. I played one through the whole saga and the extra mage spells are extremely useful. Improved Invisibility is awesome, Web is consistently very useful throughout the whole saga, having tons of castings of Lightning Bolt paired with Protection from Lightning allows you to create havoc to anything that is not immune to electric damage (which is, sadly, one of the most common resistances). Chaos is also very useful, in case you can find space for it, but I never did because pretty much all the best druid spells are level 5.

    Yes, that was why I chose avenger over totemic. The summons don't level up past Lv 10 at all, and are WAY underpowered in the late game compared to the reliable Skeletons and Elementals.

    I am now wondering whether to create a Berz9->Druid or F/D for my second playthrough. Maybe I will make up my mind after finishing the game first :D

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,048
    Jaheira is better than a player-created fighter/druid because of her expanded spell list, so I would personally suggest berserker9/druid.

    ShadowBlaze
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,882
    The expanded spell list? Nah. Zone of Sweet Air and Harper's Call aren't that great. It's the Harper Pin that really makes Jaheira better. +5 to spell saves eliminates the greatest weakness of the class choice.

    The other weakness? Way too many important stats. You might need to make hard choices, like dumping Dex down to something middling in favor of the other important stats. Jaheira deals with this by shaving a bit off everything, which isn't optimal because of the way stat bonuses are set up.
    I am now wondering whether to create a Berz9->Druid or F/D for my second playthrough. Maybe I will make up my mind after finishing the game first :D
    You could always go for something that isn't a druid the second time around. Personally, I've always been fond of fighter/thief combinations as protagonists. Just a thought...

    ShadowBlazeDinoDin
  • DinoDinDinoDin Member Posts: 1,366
    Agreed, Jaheira's raise dead is maybe good for first time players. But BG2 has so many options for resurrection that I think experienced players can do just fine without wasting a high level slot on that. The rod of resurrection, at the adventurer's mart, is a great investment imo.

Sign In or Register to comment.