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How many ways are there of getting enough AC for the ending with the five Bhaal armies?

All of them, plus the ones you fight in the ascension mod. What is the thac0 of those people, -8? -12? I know from a bit of testing that the swashbuckler can manage -30AC with equipment, HLA and slayer transformation. I'm out of practice when it comes to the higher levels of BG2 however, it isn't something that interests me that often so I have a less clear idea about other methods. I know that the blade with the defensive spin is worth -10 AC, but the people who make tactical challenges in this game are very innovative programmers and will probably just ignore my blade rooted to the spot most likely. Spells like blur add 3AC, improved invisibility -4AC, and do these things stack with themselves in beamdogs current BG2EE? I'm sure they did in my memories. I recall in the very misty haze of my long term memory also that the big metal unit adds a huge amount of AC, but something about it bothered me and turned me off of using it after the first times I built the thing.

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  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,439
    lollers wrote: »
    I know from a bit of testing that the swashbuckler can manage -30AC with equipment, HLA and slayer transformation.
    Your combined AC from all sources is capped at -20 before Dex modifiers. You can have bonuses to individual types on top of that, but those are fairly limited in most cases.

    Anyway, Melissan's minions in that fight:
    - Abazigal: base THAC0 -8, 25 strength, weapon +5 to hit, grand mastery, two-handed style. Overall THAC0 -23 (slashing), crit on a 19. The best possible slashing AC is -36 (-20 overall, -6 from 24+ Dex, -7 Gorgon Plate, -3 girdle), and he still hits you 40% of the time. You can't tank him with any amount of AC.
    - Balthazar: base THAC0 -10, 19 strength, fist +4 to hit. Overall THAC0 -17 (crushing). Since you can stack crushing bonuses with potions of absorption, it's theoretically possible to AC tank that and make him hit only on a 20. At least, until one of the enemies dispels you. Without those potions, you'll probably only have a -4 crushing modifier possible from that AC belt, leaving him hitting 40% of the time. Unless he does something like activate Hand of Murder for a round of automatic crits.
    - Gromnir: base THAC0 -2, 19 strength, weapon +4 to hit, grand mastery, single-weapon style. Overall THAC0 -12 (crushing), crit on a 19. And then he gets warrior HLAs, which can include Critical Strike.
    - Illasera: base THAC0 2, 18 dexterity, arrows +9 to hit, specialization. Overall THAC0 -10 (missile). Or -2 (piercing). Missile AC bonuses are pretty easy to come by, so you can actually AC tank that. Maybe.
    - Sarevok: base THAC0 -4, 18/00 strength, weapon +4 to hit, grand mastery, two-handed style. Overall THAC0 -14 (slashing). But of course, he gets warrior HLAs.
    - Sendai: Not a warrior. Her melee attacks are irrelevant.
    - Yaga-Shura: base THAC0 -5, 23 strength, weapons +5 to hit and +4 to hit, grand mastery, two-weapon style, rage. Overall THAC0 -20/-17 (crushing).

    So, the answer to your question? None at all. There is no way of getting enough AC to tank that fight. It's impossible. Aim for something more reasonable, like 100% physical resistance.
    YigorGrond0StummvonBordwehr
  • masteralephmasteraleph Member Posts: 194
    To elaborate a little bit on JMerry's post-

    A Dwarven Defender with the stance and Defender of Easthaven has 90% physical resistance. Helm of Dumathoin would give you another 3%, alternatively, Roranch's Horn would give you >100% resistance. A Fighter/Cleric with Hardiness, DoE, and Armor of Faith would get you to 85%. A Barbarian would get you to 80% with Hardiness and DoE. AionZ's Sirene NPC (which I mention because she's fairly popular) would, I believe, be able to get over 100% on her own- 20% from the kit, 40% from Hardiness, 20 % from DoE, 25% from Armor of Faith.
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,439
    Amateur.

    Fighter/Druid with Armor of Faith, Hardiness, then equip the SCS "improved shapeshifting" earth elemental token. 115% immunity to all physical damage.
    Fighter/cleric, paladin, or ranger protagonist with Armor of Faith, Hardiness, Defender of Easthaven, "evil" Ascension reward for the last pocket plane challenge. 110% immunity to all melee physical damage. Add the Belt of Inertial Barrier for missile damage immunity as well.
    Dwarven Defender or Barbarian with innate resistance, Hardiness, Defender of Easthaven, "evil" Ascension reward for the last pocket plane challenge. 105% immunity to all melee physical damage. The DD can substitute Defensive Stance here.

    Or, without any relevant mod resources at all...
    Party applies standard buffs, including Armor of Faith for the divine casters. Sorcerer calls up a projected image, which starts Wishing. And rolls party-wide Hardiness twice.
    6wekka4bfwuh.jpg
    (From my "Kill it With Fire" run)
    That particular spell is bugged; it applies the new Hardiness effect to all party members and removes existing Hardiness/Defensive Stance effects from the caster. Because of this targeting mismatch, it's the only version of Hardiness that can stack with itself or others.

    All of this, of course, is very unreasonable. But it's possible, which is more than can be said for AC tanking that fight.
    StummvonBordwehr
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 856
    but do you have any solutions that don't involve mods?
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,439
    Considering that the fight referenced here is itself from a mod ... not a particularly relevant question. But stacking wish Hardiness works without one.

    Oh, and if you'd rather play without that bug, here's a quick fix. I mention 2.5 in there, but the spell wasn't changed in 2.6.
    StummvonBordwehr
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,875
    jmerry wrote: »
    lollers wrote: »
    I know from a bit of testing that the swashbuckler can manage -30AC with equipment, HLA and slayer transformation.
    Your combined AC from all sources is capped at -20 before Dex modifiers. You can have bonuses to individual types on top of that, but those are fairly limited in most cases.

    Anyway, Melissan's minions in that fight:
    - Abazigal: base THAC0 -8, 25 strength, weapon +5 to hit, grand mastery, two-handed style. Overall THAC0 -23 (slashing), crit on a 19. The best possible slashing AC is -36 (-20 overall, -6 from 24+ Dex, -7 Gorgon Plate, -3 girdle), and he still hits you 40% of the time. You can't tank him with any amount of AC.
    - Balthazar: base THAC0 -10, 19 strength, fist +4 to hit. Overall THAC0 -17 (crushing). Since you can stack crushing bonuses with potions of absorption, it's theoretically possible to AC tank that and make him hit only on a 20. At least, until one of the enemies dispels you. Without those potions, you'll probably only have a -4 crushing modifier possible from that AC belt, leaving him hitting 40% of the time. Unless he does something like activate Hand of Murder for a round of automatic crits.
    - Gromnir: base THAC0 -2, 19 strength, weapon +4 to hit, grand mastery, single-weapon style. Overall THAC0 -12 (crushing), crit on a 19. And then he gets warrior HLAs, which can include Critical Strike.
    - Illasera: base THAC0 2, 18 dexterity, arrows +9 to hit, specialization. Overall THAC0 -10 (missile). Or -2 (piercing). Missile AC bonuses are pretty easy to come by, so you can actually AC tank that. Maybe.
    - Sarevok: base THAC0 -4, 18/00 strength, weapon +4 to hit, grand mastery, two-handed style. Overall THAC0 -14 (slashing). But of course, he gets warrior HLAs.
    - Sendai: Not a warrior. Her melee attacks are irrelevant.
    - Yaga-Shura: base THAC0 -5, 23 strength, weapons +5 to hit and +4 to hit, grand mastery, two-weapon style, rage. Overall THAC0 -20/-17 (crushing).

    So, the answer to your question? None at all. There is no way of getting enough AC to tank that fight. It's impossible. Aim for something more reasonable, like 100% physical resistance.

    actually in theory you could, the only 2 you really have to worry about ( it terms of baddies being to hit you without HLAs ) are sarevok and abizigal, for everyone else, as you said potions of absorbtion

    also being protected from evil gives you a +2 AC modifier vs evil attacks, and since im assuming all these baddies are evil you should be good to go

    also, if you can get improved invisible somehow, that gives enemies another -4 to hit factor, plus there is a difference between ( enemies being able to "see" invisible enemies, but still suffer the penalty ) and enemies that just blast true seeing non stop dispelling improved invisibility

    plus, if you only need +2 weapons to damage foes, there is a katana that gives you a +2 ac bonus vs slashing weapons in the asylum dungeon to have more AC vs slashing

    another thing to try is landing a ray of enfeeblement spell on abizigal, that will give him a -7 penalty to hit so his thac0 will only be -16, which means if you have -26 AC, gorgon plate, golden girdle and that special katana, abizigal will only be able to hit you with criticals

    although the best you can do for ac vs slashing is; -26 AC ( probably only swashbuckler getting that ) with gorgon plate, golden girdle ( which can only be obtained by doing the mage stronghold in SoA without mods ) the katana that gives you the slashing AC bonus, and protection from evil, if you can keep that together, abizigal needs 16 to hit you, and if you can get an improved invisibility in there as well, then the only time anyone will be able to hit is with critical hits

    although, i've never played the ascension mod before, so i have no idea what dispelling magics and chaos could be going on during that fight, so i don't know if improved invisibility could work, and how often they will dispel protection from evil

    although for protection from evil, you could use the sensate amulet that diedre sells since it is a permanent effect, but then you might not be able to hit -26 ac because you will not be wearing the harper amulet which gives a +3 bonus ( plus you are going to be loosing out on the bonus +2 hell AC bonus, since you need a mage to get the golden girdle ) unless of coarse you have some whacky mods installed to bypass this

    actually, i think you can hit -26 AC without the harper amulet; level 40 swashbuckler with 24 dex; -5 AC, gorgon plate; -16 AC, any shield +4; -21 AC, monk gloves from draconis; -22 AC, iounstone/helm of AC+1; -23 AC, ring of gaxx; -25 AC, or; ring of earth control; -26 AC, ranger cloak/cloak of sewers; -26 AC

    this allows the katana, belt and permanent protection from evil with a total vs slashing at; -39 AC vs slashing

    although, seems like a lot of work, as said before, i think having high damage resistance is the way to go, i remember having a dwarven defender hitting 321 HP at level 40 with damage resistance around 80 or 90% just using dwarven stance and defender of east haven, so perhaps that is the better route
    Grond0StummvonBordwehr
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,439
    edited October 2021
    I forgot that katana (Malakar +2) - but I also overstated the Gorgon Plate. It's only a -6 modifier against slashing (2 points better than full plate). Valygar's katana has that slashing bonus too, but it can't be used by anyone else and Valygar can't use the heavy armor with the best slashing AC modifiers. The theoretical limit for slashing AC is -37.
    Protection from Evil does seem to stack here; it modifies the attacker rather than boosting AC. Improved Invisibility ... that'll help against Abazigal, until somebody uses True Sight. The rest see right through it.

    Oh, and a blade trumps a swashbuckler. -10 AC from Defensive Spin, another -10 AC from Enhanced Bard Song. You can hit the cap at level 25 with just the armor and those two effects.

    The Golden Girdle is also available in Neera's ToB quest, from the shops at the Thayan arena.

    Dispels going around? Plenty of them. There are two mages that can cast Remove Magic and Breach, Illasera gets arrows that dispel and inflict spell failure, Melissan can cast Breach every three rounds once she shows up, and on high difficulties Melissan summons two fallen solars with arrows that dispel/breach/spellstrike what they hit 85% of the time. (THAC0 -5 ranged piercing, -8 melee slashing)

    Protecting yourself from missile attacks, ideally with an absolute effect like Physical Mirror or the shield of reflection, is worthwhile. Trying to protect against the melee attackers with extreme AC isn't. Remember, there are warrior HLAs going around too; no matter what AC you put together, Critical Strike means a 100% hit rate for a round.
    Grond0sarevok57StummvonBordwehr
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,875
    is there any exploits to move with defensive spin? if not i would rather have max AC and be able to move ( helps enemies waste their whirlwinds and critical strikes )
  • lollerslollers Member Posts: 190
    You people are good at this, thanks for the help. I think blade would be the best way to go as an AC tank to be honest. If defensive spin rooting you to the spot is a problem you could still have enough AC that Abazigal will miss half of the time and hit one of the 18 stone skins instead, which you can protect from dispelling.
  • gazoogazoo Member Posts: 5
    edited October 2021
    I did this battle with the Rogue rebalancing mod, which makes swashbucklers slightly weaker - depending on how you look at it.

    Fyi, I found a pure swash to be a decent tank/decoy. With UAI (or scrolls) they can cast all the necessary extra spells. Their dispelled AC is maxed and if they can cast Simulacrum (scroll), you immediately have an extra tank/decoy with just slightly less AC.

    I found it rather important to remain mobile in the final battle, as well. So perhaps defensive spin might be asking for trouble, depending on your composition and difficulty setting.

    I wrote a little bit about it in an earlier post (spoilers). It is out of date for current EE. : https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/66738/how-do-you-beat-the-final-battle-with-ascension-installed/p2
    Post edited by gazoo on
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