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Polymorph: Self (current status: v2.5)

BorcoBorco Member Posts: 108
The purpose of this thread is to summarize known properties and issues of Polymorph: Self spell in BGEE and BG2EE.

@SionIV's great guide has become little outdated and I thought we could use a fresh summary. It seems to me that PlayItHardcore currently provides the most correct description of the spell, even though some points are no longer true in v2.5 (such as APR of the spider form). I'll try to do some more testing and highlight the differences applicable to the respective special forms.

In BG2EE, the main difference from the previous versions of the game is that any buffs that increase or decrease attributes (e.g. Strength spell) will "survive" the transformation and will apply to the respective form even after morphing. Therefore, it's no longer necessary to use sequencers to buff your stats after you've changed the form. In BGEE this seems to work as in the original game.

As a general rule, the caster's equipment (other than weapons) is not affected by the polymorph and he/she may rely on items' effects and special abilities when morphed. However, polymorphing from one special form (i.e. other than human) to another special form results in unequipping the entire inventory (apparently a bug). The items are not removed from their respective inventory slots, however, any effect they have is lost unless and until re-equipped. This is especially tricky with cursed items (the Claw of Kazgaroth) that become "unequipped" but may not be removed from the respective inventory slots without Remove Curse. Therefore, switching in between the special forms is currently very suboptimal, since you either have to deal with the inventory bug or take two rounds to get there. EDIT: Seems to be fixed in BG2EE.

I'll be happy for any comments or additional input which could be then consolidated into a guide of a sort :smile:.

Regards,

B.
____________________
EDIT

I've done some testing in both BGEE and BG2EE and the results are following:

Spider: STR 15, DEX 17, APR 2, base AC 4, base dmg 1d4+1 (piercing), save vs. death poison, immunities: web (with the exception of web tangle used by SCS Giant Spiders)

Flind: STR 17, DEX 17, APR 2, base AC 1, base dmg 1d10+1 (piercing, magical halberd +1), +1 fire damage

Jelly: STR 14, DEX 9, APR 1, base AC 4, base dmg 5d4 (crushing)*, save vs. death poison, save vs. death slow, resistances: cold/magic cold (50), electricity (100), magic (100), slashing (30), crushing (60), piercing (100), missile (85), immunities: normal weapons, stun, petrification, poison, charm, fear, hold, confusion, sleep, level drain (maybe others)

*ranged weapon but STR modifiers apply (THAC0, damage) in addition to DEX modifiers (THAC0)

Ogre: STR 18/00, DEX 9, APR 1, base AC 5, base dmg 4d6+1 (crushing)

Wolf: STR 15, DEX 18, APR 2, base AC 6, base dmg 1d8+1 (piercing), resistances: cold/magic cold (100), electricity (50)

Brown Bear/Black Bear: STR 18/00, DEX 12, APR 3, base AC 7, base dmg 1d6+1 (piercing),

Additional notes:
  • All the forms use your base THAC0.
  • All the forms have movement speed bonus, but none of them are truly hasted (despite the icon). This means it is possible to apply haste / improved haste to increase APR.
  • Weapons used by all the forms strike as +1 (+3 in the case of Flind).
  • Weapon style bonuses apply, e.g. single weapon for Spider and Ogre and two-handed for Flind. In BGEE, these may not be listed on the character record but still apply.
  • Main hand weapons equipped prior to morphing do not provide bonuses (if any), but you may still access their special abilities.
  • Off-hand weapons equipped prior to morphing do not provide off-hand attacks (despite the character record). However, their equipped effects (if any) will still apply and you may use their special abilities as well. Shields are treated in a similar manner. Note that in my install morphing to Flind (wielding a two-handed weapon) while using off-hand breaks the game.
  • When polymorphed, weapons may only be un-equipped and not vice versa.
  • While morphed, it's possible to use thieving skills, HiS, Find Traps, Bard Song, Turn Undead and special abilities.
  • If your character is eligible for backstabs, all the forms (except for jelly, which uses ranged attack) are able perform backstabs as well.
  • The jelly animation is rather big and it makes it rather difficult to move around obstacles and in narrow corridors.

Post edited by Borco on
gorgonzolaGusindalolienFlashburndeltagoAerakarJuliusBorisovBlackraven

Comments

  • BorcoBorco Member Posts: 108
    I have edited the original post to include my initial findings.

    Regards,

    B.

    lolien
  • FlashburnFlashburn Member Posts: 1,545
    What's up with the nerfs to Spider form? It's like they want me to stick with v2.3.

    gorgonzola
  • kjeronkjeron Member Posts: 1,389
    edited October 13
    The Mustard jelly attack:
    Borco said:

    *ranged weapon but STR modifiers apply instead of DEX (THAC0, damage)

    It still gets modified by DEX for THAC0, the base Mustard Jelly form just doesn't have a DEX score that normally provides a bonus/penalty.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,703
    Flashburn said:

    What's up with the nerfs to Spider form? It's like they want me to stick with v2.3.

    for me is only one more reason to avoid upgrading, it seems to me that the EE developers are confusing their role of "enhancers", that is to give a modern interface, new content and fix bugs that in original had never been fixed, with the modder's role, that is altering the game balance to make the game something different from the original one, not an enhanced version of it.
    closing well known exploits, optional and part of the flavor of the original, and, as in the case of the spider form, changing something that was surely intended by the original game creators, not a bug, not an exploit and surely not a game breaking thing, is something that i really don't appreciate.

    i appreciated how they dealt with R/C giving the freedom to the player to have him learn all the druid spells like in not EE or making him learn only the druid spells a ranger should learn ( i don't even know if it is still possible with the latest updates). that way made possible to play it in a new way, as learning spells beyond the ranger capability was somehow a bug, and also to play the good old R/C the way we use(d) to do in the original version. this imho is enhancing, leaving to the player freedom of choice.
    to change a spell that was not bugged is modding, not enhancing, even if the modding action is done by the developers and not by an independent modder.

    BorcoFlashburn
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 449
    I used that old table for that. http://www.gamebanshee.com/baldursgateii/shapeshifting.php

    When and why they nerf sword spider ?

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,703
    when: update 2.5?
    in my 2.3 is not nerfed.
    why: the developers should tell you, and also i would like to know the reason...

  • BorcoBorco Member Posts: 108
    edited October 14
    kjeron said:

    The Mustard jelly attack:

    Borco said:

    *ranged weapon but STR modifiers apply instead of DEX (THAC0, damage)

    It still gets modified by DEX for THAC0, the base Mustard Jelly form just doesn't have a DEX score that normally provides a bonus/penalty.
    I've double checked this to confirm that in my BG2EE install (unmodified with the exception of SCS) the game does use STR to calculate Mustard Jelly's to hit / damage as demonstrated below:

    Unbuffed jelly with base 14 STR score attacks Viconia with no bonus:



    Jelly running Strength spell (18/50 STR) attacks Viconia with +1 bonus:



    Could it be that it behaves differently in BGEE/SoD?

  • BorcoBorco Member Posts: 108
    Maybe @JuliusBorisov could point to us as to where to seek answers to the above questions regarding the nerfs/changes? :)

    JuliusBorisov
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,695
    edited October 14
    Sword spiders don't do poison damage.

    No spiders that do poison damage have 4 APR.

    I dunno, I feel like a "Polymorph: ____" should polymorph you into a ____, not into some other monster.

    Should the ogre form have 20 STR? Ogres have 18/00. If the spell in 2.3 gave you 20 STR and in 2.5 they dropped it down to 18/00, my response would probably be "oh, I see the ogre form is correct now."

    gorgonzolaThacoBell
  • kjeronkjeron Member Posts: 1,389
    Borco said:

    I've double checked this to confirm that in my BG2EE install (unmodified with the exception of SCS) the game does use STR to calculate Mustard Jelly's to hit / damage as demonstrated below:

    I wasn't arguing against STR, only that it also gets DEX modifiers. The DEX modifier just isn't normally shown because the form sets DEX to 9, which has no bonus/penalty.

    Borco
  • kjeronkjeron Member Posts: 1,389
    (Polymorph) Shapeshift, (Giant) Spider: Is not hasted, but has 2 APR and a movement rate bonus. Enemy/summoned Giant Spiders have only 1 APR.

    (Avenger) Shapeshift, Sword Spider: Is still hasted, netting 5 APR total, matching the enemy/summoned Sword Spider. Not that there's any reason for them to be hasted.

    BorcoBlackraven
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 16,304
    Borco said:

    Maybe @JuliusBorisov could point to us as to where to seek answers to the above questions regarding the nerfs/changes? :)

    I've asked around. @subtledoctor is correct:

    Sword spiders don't do poison damage.

    BorcoThacoBell
  • BorcoBorco Member Posts: 108
    I've edited the original post to include my findings from testing the spell in BGEE (v2.5).

    There seem to be two major differences regarding (i) pre-buffing STR and DEX stats prior to morphing and (ii) switching in-between the special forms (which is bugged in BGEE).

  • BorcoBorco Member Posts: 108
    kjeron said:

    Borco said:

    I've double checked this to confirm that in my BG2EE install (unmodified with the exception of SCS) the game does use STR to calculate Mustard Jelly's to hit / damage as demonstrated below:

    I wasn't arguing against STR, only that it also gets DEX modifiers. The DEX modifier just isn't normally shown because the form sets DEX to 9, which has no bonus/penalty.
    Thanks for pointing this out - you're correct. I've edited the summary.

  • FlashburnFlashburn Member Posts: 1,545

    Borco said:

    Maybe @JuliusBorisov could point to us as to where to seek answers to the above questions regarding the nerfs/changes? :)

    I've asked around. @subtledoctor is correct:

    Sword spiders don't do poison damage.

    And Beamdog has only realized that now, when it could've been changed a long time ago? I thought it was pretty well-known that BG2 Spider form does automatic poison on hit. At any rate, I do not appreciate "fixes" like this that step outside the bounds of bugfixing and into the realm of balance changes and curation, such as v2.3's Poison Weapon. (Though I play with Rogue Rebalancing which changes Poison Weapon anyway, but I dislike v2.3's change to it on principle.)

    gorgonzola
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,695
    edited October 18
    Flashburn said:

    I thought it was pretty well-known that BG2 Spider form does automatic poison on hit.

    What BG2 spider does poison on hit?
    - Giant Spider
    - Huge Spider
    - Phase Spider
    - Wraith Spider

    What BG2 spider does not do poison on hit?
    - Sword Spider

    I thought that was pretty well- known...

    ThacoBellJuliusBorisovRaduzielgorgonzola
  • FlashburnFlashburn Member Posts: 1,545

    Flashburn said:

    I thought it was pretty well-known that BG2 Spider form does automatic poison on hit.

    What BG2 spider does not do poison on hit?
    - Sword Spider

    I thought that was pretty well- known...
    That does not invalidate my point.

    A sword spider it may be, but if they bothered to add a description to every shapeshifting subspell where there previously were none, and they didn't say to themselves, "Hey, while we're at it, shouldn't we do something about this on-hit poison since it's a sword spider?", then it should stay. That they're changing it now (or at all, really) reeks of rebalancing which falls outside the purview of bugfixing, as I said.

    Though I can understand your point of view that this counts as a bug because it's a sword spider, I consider this a feature of the form.

    gorgonzola
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,695
    But... it's not a feature of the form. I mean, poison is not a feature of sword spiders. Stop and think about it for a second: spiders poison their prey when they bite them. Sword spiders don't have a bite attack - they have sword-like talons. Not even a biological mechanism for poison delivery. So it just doesn't make sense.

    And honestly, I actually get it if the complaint is simply "but I liked it that way!" It was senseless and wrong, but that doesn't make it not likeable. What I don't get is this talk about "balance." What does this have to do with balance? Who ever said it had anything to do with balance? It seems like you're creating a boogeyman to argue against - balance changes bad! - when in fact it is totally irrelevant.

    ThacoBell
  • Luke93Luke93 Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 950
    edited October 20
    Borco said:

    EDIT: Seems to be fixed in BG2EE.

    Sadly, you're wrong: it's not fixed in BG2:EE......

    The only way to rely on items' effects when polymorphing from one special form (i.e. other than human) to another special form is to set param2 of opcode #135 to 1 (Appearance Only) or use opcode #53 as an equipping effect on the creature's weapon.....

  • WatchForWolvesWatchForWolves Member Posts: 156
    edited October 24

    By the way we're discussing nerfs here, but what about tweaks? The cloak of the sewers description says it allows the wearer to change into a mustard jelly. But afaik the cloak's mustard jelly form does not nearly have the resistances of an actual mustard jelly. Or has that been changed as well?

    Hm, I haven't noticed anything different between cloak Mustard Jelly and Polymorph Self Mustard Jelly. At least, both slaughter Beholders and high level mages just fine.

    On a side note: polymorphing self into a Flind seems to hard-crash the game(no way to salvage it, have to restart the PC) It happened to me twice in de'Arnise keep upstairs and I hope you understand why I wasn't keen on further testing...

  • BorcoBorco Member Posts: 108


    On a side note: polymorphing self into a Flind seems to hard-crash the game(no way to salvage it, have to restart the PC) It happened to me twice in de'Arnise keep upstairs and I hope you understand why I wasn't keen on further testing...

    In my install this happens when you morph into Flind while carrying an off-hand weapon...

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