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A fun romp in EET SoD

MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 1,090
I just wrapped up SoD last night (after a marathon evening) with my EET install, and wow, that was a fun romp! However, I believe it was fun because it was challenging, but not insane. I am playing on SCS "improved" for the record.

This party did almost every quest in BGEE, including Rasaad's journey through the mountains, so they were slightly over the BG+TOSC XP cap when they faced Sarevok - though that battle was made easy by cheesing the fact that the party could go outside and sleep as long as they didn't make him aware of their presence. Imoen still has Sarevok as her "most powerful killed".

They also did *most* of the quests in SoD, though the dragon in the wyrm lair turned out to be too much for them. Which is kind of odd, because they pretty competently cleaned out the lich laboratory. Even the spider cave wasn't that bad, though the party cheesed invisibility pretty hard to create "invisible walls" between the spiders and the archers. (I consider this a valid tactic, though - it uses in-game resources as intended)

By the time they got to the last battles, they were now above the SoD cap, and this is where things started to get interesting. My PC is a mage/thief, and was rolling at 9/10. Imoen, who has been with the party the whole time, thanks to Imoen 4 Ever, dualed at thief level 10 and got her abilities back shortly before the final battles - so mage level 11. Even Khalid, who sat out a good chunk of SoD at Bridgefort, was rolling at 8/9. Jaheira was doing a bit better at 8/10.

The four mini battles in the allied camp went swimmingly, as my PC chose wisely from the help. Layers of web followed by layers of stinging insects. Then a good pelting from four archers, one of whom, Shael Corwin, had grandmastery and a belt of strength 19, and loads of magic missile. Imoen had trapped the area just in case, but the traps never got triggered. Only the fourth battle got a bit hinky, and then only because my PC didn't save vs spell and wandered around in a daze while Jaheira's AOE spells were still active. Fortunately she was invisible, so other than damage from the spell, no one hit her.

Then the main set piece. THAT was a glorious romp! Obviously some tactics had to change, since friendly fire is frowned upon. The party stuck with the many layers of web and stinging insects, but this time went with massive numbers of phase spiders, targeting named enemies. (This tactic also worked exceedingly well at Bridgefort) When those were depleted, they were followed up with other summons while the archers took pot shots. The allied forces lost amazingly few men in that battle, though all but my PC pretty much depleted their spells.

The first real "um, this could be a problem..." moment came with Ashatiel. My PC naturally took her challenge for a duel seriously, and unloaded all of her remaining magic on her, but wow, she was still standing and only "injured". Ice arrows helped deplete her health potions, but she hits *hard*. After kiting her around for a bit, it occurred to my PC to use that wand of summoning (yes, I know - this was obvious in hindsight). With a steady supply of other things to worry about, my PC was finally able to pelt her with arrows without getting pounded herself.

With that taken care of, the party went around mopping up the side wing, which curiously *STILL* had a large war party, despite Ashatiel's deal. I forgot how hard that party hits, and my party nearly depleted the last of their fire and ice arrows on them. They were completely out of healing spells, and were chugging potions of health almost as fast as they were finding them. It was mildly nuts.

Fortunately, the party was able to rest and resupply (after selling *most* of the gems and lesser gear) and stock back up on supplies for the trip to Avernus. Which, at this point, was almost a let down. They had blown past the XP cap by now, so while they weren't trivial, they were easily dealing with the fiends. Not fast enough to save the crusader party, but fast enough that no one lost any health until the bridge. Having two archers with master and grandmastery made quick work of most of them. Sirene was invaluable with her natural immunities, and tore things up with the Dragon Blade +3 sword. She was able to keep the fiends away from the rest of the party, who did not fare so well with fear.

Then, the final battle. This was the one time where I worried that blasting past the XP cap may have made things too easy. The party nuked Fluffernaan almost as soon as the punk stopped talking. My PC, Imoen, and Khalid all unloaded with magic missile, instantly dropping him to "badly injured". Caelar was keeping Bellyfat busy, so Sirene and Shael pelted him with fire and ice arrows until he went down like a one-egg pudding.

Beliphet did take a significant chunk of the party out, though. Khalid spent most of the battle being magically held, and my PC was apparently scared to death. This left Jaheira to keep the PC properly healed, while Caelar, Sirene, and Shael Corwin went in with +3 weapons. Imoen really didn't have much of a role, other than to cast invisibility on disabled party members, though she did do her part by pelting him with +3 bullets. As an aside, I realized in hindsight that protection of fear was an obvious, and sadly overlooked, buff...

All in all, a fun night. I hate that Beamdog took so much grief over SoD, as it really is an amazingly fun game, especially at the end. Being able to really unload those AOE spells in a large set-piece combat scenario is deeply satisfying. However, I do feel like the XP cap was set a bit low. I removed it in this game, and the result was challenging, but not annoyingly so.

I do wonder if EET will let the party pick up their gear, which they stowed in the castle before the end of SoD...
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