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How much hide in shadows and move silently is enough for a thief?

I’m looking at having a shadowdancer in my party, who will dual class to fighter.

I basically want the ability to teleport over the battlefield and backstab a lot with celestial fury.

How much is enough in these two thief skills to do it reliably? I’m not really sure on how the mechanics work for this ability in this game, as I’m sure there are many factors that affect it, like lighting and being outdoors, for example.

TIA

Comments

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 7,288
    In a dungeon or at night you'd probably do OK with just over 100 in both. If you want to be able to hide outside in broad daylight you'll need much higher, maybe even over 200 in both to have no worries of being caught with your pants down in the middle of a horde...
  • masteralephmasteraleph Member Posts: 227
    To be guaranteed to succeed, 400 total in hide in shadows and move silently total (200 on average) for outdoors in bright sublight. For indoors but not in shadow, about 270-300 total. For in shadows or at night, 200 total. But note that some areas are mis coded, so you can have a room indoors that the game thinks is bright and sunny
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,211
    There is no effective difference between Hide in Shadows and Move Silently. The reason is simple: to check if you hide successfully, the game simply takes the average of BOTH Hide and Move to check against. Which means that it doesn't matter which one you increase, it'll come out to the same average.

    Let me repeat: NO difference. People used to believe that Move Silently is "better" because it's used to check for ongoing stealth; but that's not true. It's always (HiS + MS)/2 for any stealth check, whether that's initial stealth or remaining in stealth (each round). Which means the only purpose of separating the two is to effectively make you spend 2 thief skill points to improve stealth by 1. Where you spend those points is irrelevant.

    That being said, how much TOTAL you need depends on factors like lighting, which can be tricky to see. The game will "shade" the character sprite if you're standing in shadowed areas, but that can be difficult to see. There's also a penalty for being outside during the daytime (50% iirc) that affects the final stealth value; and, lastly, I do believe (but am not sure) that there's a small "critical failure" chance for stealth even at max values.

    For most single/multi-class Thieves, in practice you just dump the leftovers into either Hide or Move so at some point it'll just be practically irrelevant in BG2, as you've maxed everything else anyway - practically none of the other thief skills benefit from going over 100, and realistically many don't even need 100 (pick pockets caps at 95, open locks caps at 100 for guaranteed success and 91 for guaranteed chance at success, disarm traps is 102 for guaranteed success and 93 for guaranteed chance, and both set traps and detect illusions simply cap at 100).

    For a dual-class it's more complicated. Depending on when you dual, you need to decide what to prioritize. This takes into account both the party setup and your stats/equipment - there's several useful items that boost specific skills, which you may want to equip as needed to save on points. Pick pockets in particular is tricky, as there's only very few very specific things worth PPing, so it may not warrant much of an investment (and in the EE you can no longer "clone" certain items by PPing before they drop as loot later, as you could in the original game).

    My advice would be to tally the items you're likely to get that will help you with your thief skills, and think about what you want your thief to do. If you have another thief, for example, it would be a waste to have BOTH go full on open locks/find traps - one of them doing it is enough. If you can reliably deal with invisibility (e.g. you may have an Inquisitor or Priest of Helm with their innate True Sight abilities) you may not need Detect Illusions. If you don't value traps outside of the HLA ones and won't get those because you're dualing away from Thief, maybe you don't need Set Traps. And so on.

    TL;DR: It's probably most useful to simply figure out your thief points in reverse order: get everything EXCEPT stealth to where you think you will need it, and then simply dump everything left over into stealth. It doesn't matter if you put them in Hide or Move, they are worth the exact same with zero difference.
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 3,024
    ... pick pockets caps at 95...

    Pick pockets in particular is tricky, as there's only very few very specific things worth PPing, so it may not warrant much of an investment (and in the EE you can no longer "clone" certain items by PPing before they drop as loot later, as you could in the original game).

    Not exactly. 95 is the minimum required to have a chance at stealing the toughest items that can be stolen (weapons not in active use), but it's not the cap for actual success chance. While picking pockets is subject to a critical failure chance so you can't get the chance to 100%, you also have to beat the opponent's skill if they have any; I think the success chance is (picker skill) minus (target skill). For example, you can have a familiar steal Slythe's documents (quickslot and inventory, minimum skill to reach those slots 50) to avoid the fight, but he has 85 skill (60 base, +10 for Dex 18, +15 for being a human thief) so trying to steal with a 50 skill unbuffed ferret will always get you caught. I had to feed my ferret a bunch of master thievery potions when I used this trick in my speedrun.

    Also, the Pick Pockets skill is very useful for shoplifting, and you need well over 100 skill to do that reliably. Your chance is (shoplifter skill) minus (store difficulty) without critical failure, with difficulties ranging from 5 for Well-Adjusted Al in BG1 to 98 for Karthis al-Hezzar in ToB and 128 for Bernard in SoA.

    Fortunately, you usually have the time to buff with potions when you want to pick pockets or shoplift. At 40 points each, a few potions of master thievery will get you to the success caps no matter what. Only a few cases like Terminsel and his +2 protection items are too time-sensitive for that.

    ...

    Open Locks - there's one lock in ToB (a non-essential door in Saradush) that has difficulty 150. Everything else that can be unlocked with the skill at all has difficulty at most 99 and can be unlocked with skill 90+ given enough tries, or with skill 99+ on the first try.

    Find/Disarm Traps - finding traps in the first place is a straight check against skill with no random element. And that goes all the way up to 99 for one trap in Durlag's Tower. 99 skill is required to detect everything that can be detected, and will disarm everything that can be disarmed on the first try. With the exception of one trap in ToB (the entrance to Sendai's lair) that has disarm difficulty 110.

    Don't bother getting skill for those difficulty>100 exceptions unless you don't have anything better to do with your points. Just buff with a potion or two.

    ...

    Stealth checks made in sight of enemies automatically fail for anyone that's not a shadowdancer. For shadowdancers, the presence of an enemy has no effect on your success chance. However, the various auto-hide options in the standard party AI scripts do not take this ability into account. Even if you're a shadowdancer, the script will check for enemies and not even try. If you want to take advantage of this kit feature, you'll have to hit the button manually.
    This does make things a little harder for you; you can ordinarily combine the scripts and manual hiding to try twice in quick succession and effectively gain advantage on your hide checks, but that's not an option when you're up close to the enemies.
  • AerakarAerakar Member Posts: 878
    I play thief types exclusively these days and I am still learning from you guys, thanks for the rundown.
  • masteralephmasteraleph Member Posts: 227
    One minor note on what jmerry said above- the game determines "in sight of enemies" in terms of whether you can hide based on whether they are in your sight, rather than you being in their sight. The result is that if your thief is blinded they can functionally hide in plain sight or set traps wherever they want. This is obviously abusing the system a bit, but it's worth noting
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 3,024
    Yeah. I've had an idea for a joke item based on that tidbit: the "Hood of Shadows". A cursed hat that grants a stealth bonus and blinds the user. Because it's rather hard to see anything through the magical darkness covering your head, you see. Or don't see.

    I never actually implemented it, though.
  • RidcullyRidcully Member Posts: 136
    jmerry wrote: »
    Yeah. I've had an idea for a joke item based on that tidbit: the "Hood of Shadows". A cursed hat that grants a stealth bonus and blinds the user. Because it's rather hard to see anything through the magical darkness covering your head, you see. Or don't see.

    I never actually implemented it, though.

    If you do there has to be some HHGTTG reference in the name "Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses"
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