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Please rate my party!

I'm planning a Trilogy playthrough. All tactical mods possible, minimal (hopefully no-) reload, maximum difficulty. And I want to attempt the Siege of Ust Natha. I also want to experience the EE content (which I've never played before). How does the following team sound?

Korgan: Dwarven Defender
Damage resistance tank, awesome saves, general enemy distractor, and epic bants. (In BG1 I'll take a Berserker Kagain.)

Viconia: F/M/C
I'll need a Cleric, but without Mage spells they are weak in SCS and other tactical formulations, and I'll need Fighter melee power. Viconia rocks as an original character, plus she has that incredible 65% Magic Resistance.

Dorn Il-Khan: F/D
The first truly unorthodox choice. I want a F/D for the extra heals, high-level shape-shifting and damage resistance, plus other decent tanking/buffing/disabling spells. I want an evil crew, so D fits. What do you think? Can you picture him as a F/D? Do you have a better suggestion?

Hexxat: F/M/T
I don't know what race she was supposed to be, but I'm going to pretend it was Half-Elf, to allow this MC. I heard she's a bit Lara Croft-y, so I reckon it fits. Technically this MC is a slow-growing powerhouse, filling a lot of shoes and later utilising Mislead and backstabs to deal terrific damage. (In BG1 I'll take a Bounty Hunter Safana.)

Edwin: Sorcerer
His amulet coupled with the Sorcerer's spell-casting is simply ridiculous. I love his conversations, his quest, and his demeanour. He will focus on buffs and debuffs, winning the Mage chess game. (In BG1/SoD I'll take Baeloth, who has a similarly powerful ring, and whom I also want to experience!)

Charname: Dragon Disciple
I want a nuker, and I'm planning to use Wish resting. This guy will combine heavy damage spells, high-level Mage debuffs, and general self-protections, to stay alive and hit them where it hurts. It also gives me a chance to experience another of the EE classes. Moreover I find the idea of a dragon heritage entirely too fitting for the future successor of Bhaal. Starting with 18 CON will lead to regeneration by the end of BG1. Fire Resist./Regen. really doesn't hurt, either! :smile:

So there's the plan. I would be deeply appreciative if you have any thoughts or suggestions. Does Dorn fit F/D? Is the overall class synergy OK? Do you have a better suggestion for Charname? I was also considering Shaman or Shadowdancer, how would they compare in the above context?

Comments

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,865
    Assuming you're using SCS32 divine classes have more protection options. You might therefore consider not multi-classing Viconia in order to get earlier access to the higher level spells (you seem to have pretty strong fighter and mage elements in the party anyway).

    Stromaelsemiticgoddess
  • StromaelStromael Member Posts: 194
    @Grond0, Clerics have always in my opinion been weak on the physical damage reduction front. Is that also improved in SCS? I was planning to use the normal Mage options of Mirror Image, Stoneskin and PFMW, how do the Cleric options weigh up?

    They're also generally weak on the physical Damage Per Second front. Taking Fighter in a MC adds great physical DPS, and opens up amazing HLAs at 3 million XP. Does earlier access to higher-level Cleric spells offset losing that? I'm open to having my mind changed! :smile:

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,865
    Stromael wrote: »
    @Grond0, Clerics have always in my opinion been weak on the physical damage reduction front. Is that also improved in SCS? I was planning to use the normal Mage options of Mirror Image, Stoneskin and PFMW, how do the Cleric options weigh up?

    They're also generally weak on the physical Damage Per Second front. Taking Fighter in a MC adds great physical DPS, and opens up amazing HLAs at 3 million XP. Does earlier access to higher-level Cleric spells offset losing that? I'm open to having my mind changed! :smile:

    I was thinking of protections against spells and magical abilities rather than physical ones. With their good AC and higher HPs than mages I don't think clerics have the same need for physical defences.

    How you balance HLAs against other things is a question of personal taste and your play style. In a triple class the first HLA would be gained at cleric level 12, compared to level 22 for a single class. The former would have 2 6th level spells, the latter 6 6th level & 3 7th level. While it's true the triple class would have a bit more DPS with weapons (though remember the solo cleric would have a THAC0 advantage for much of the run), you're giving up quite a lot for that - even before you consider the possibilities of using turn undead. At the very highest levels the triple class becomes comparatively stronger, but even there I think I would personally prefer a solo cleric given the fighting ability of the rest of your party is so great.

    gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    Viconia: F/M/C :(
    why?
    a M/C can buff himself and be almost as good as a FMC while in mlee, better thac0 earlier, better buffs, faster leveling up, at the price of some apr less, 1.5 as lev 13 fighter is reached, thing that needs 3.75Mxp.
    a M/C viconia is basically a super aerie as she gets the drow MR and the utter versatility of aerie, i would trade access to lev 9 spells and faster leveling with the fewer attacks in most of the parties.

    for a FMT the thing is different, as nor a mage nor a thief can bring their thac0 to the one of a same level fighter, so the F component is a lot more then some more hp and attacks.

    Grond0
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    Stromael wrote: »
    They're also generally weak on the physical Damage Per Second front. Taking Fighter in a MC adds great physical DPS, and opens up amazing HLAs at 3 million XP. Does earlier access to higher-level Cleric spells offset losing that? I'm open to having my mind changed!
    an end game M/C and his simulacrum can pull out like 300-350dmg/round, an improved hasted M/C of lower level should hit 4 times/round with better then fighter thac0 and 25 str, with automatic maxed damage roll.
    if you learn to buff properly the M/C he has no problem dealing physical damage. this is also true for the single class cleric, that is the one that can go to mlee with good thac0 and 25 str earlier, but the single class lacks of the hp or arcane physical protections to really do it without risking too much.

    if you consider M/C is true that the fighter's HLA are lost, but to gain earlier access to high level divine and arcane spells earlier.


  • StromaelStromael Member Posts: 194
    @gorgonzola, I appreciate your reasoning about the C/M, but I still find it would be lacking in APR for me. At Fighter level 7 (64k x 3 = only 192k XP for the triple) the F/M/C gets that extra 1/2 APR, on top of the 1/2 from Specialisation. Dual wielding takes her to 3 APR unbuffed, 4 if Hasted and 6 if Improved. That's still well before the end of SoD. (My Sorcerer will take care of the Hasting.)

    High level Mage spells are strong for debuffing and nuking, but the buffs above 6th level spells are essentially a waste of space. (Except Shapechange for Intelligence-drain.)

    Holy Power, a solid extra Cleric THAC0 buff, comes in at just 4th level, and the triple-class will only be slightly behind the double at that stage. Champion's Strength requires immobilising the caster, so I assume that isn't one of the buffs, unless there's a cunning trick to avoid it. Then there's the heavy-weight Righteous Magic, admittedly awesome and requiring 225k x 3 = 775k XP for the triple to unlock. Still, that's not a huge deal more than for the double, so there won't be a long relative delay.

    Overall the F/M/C loses those high-level Mage spells and slightly earlier Cleric buffs, but makes up for it with consistently much higher APR and DPR. Also those Fighter levels allow DUHM to contribute to significantly higher HP.

    Let's consider F/M/C compared with C/M at 900k XP, not too far into the Chapter 2 of SoA.

    C/M has levels 10/11, with two 5th-level Cleric and three 5th-level Mage spells. Starting at 18 STR and 14 base THAC0 she can buff with DUHM, Holy P and RM for a solid 24 STR, 5 THAC0, +12 Dam and +20 HP. If starting at 18 Dex her AC will drop by 1 more point. All attacks do maximum damage. She can get 2 of these into a Sequencer and one in a Contingency to fire them all at once, followed by a Stoneskin of 5 skins. Dual wielding with Improved Haste nets the 4 APR, although for her lack of Fighter styles she does so at a +2/+4 THAC0 penalty for on-/off-hand. Against an opponent with AC -5, assuming FoA+3/Blackblood+3 (reasonable for that stage) she needs 9 or more 3 times per round and 11 or more once, on a D20, and we end up with (12 + 10 + 3E) * 3 * 9 / 20 + (12 + 9 + 3E) * 11 / 20 = 72.15 DPR (where E stands for elemental damage). Pretty good, I agree, but hear me out.

    F/M/C has levels 9/10/9, for one 5th level Cleric and two 5th level Mage spells. Starting from 18/XX Str and 12 base THAC0, she uses the same buffs for 24 Str, but her THAC0 only drops to 6, with the same +12 Dam and only +18HP from the spells. However if her Con starts at 16 (to make a fair comparison against the C/M) that boost to 19 gives her an extra 9HP (3/3 for each Fighter level), so the total extra is 27HP. She also dual-wields FoA and BB, but with Specialisation and Fighter level 7 she has an extra attack: 3 unbuffed, 4 with Haste and 6 with IH. She has an extra bonus of -1 to THAC0 and +2 to Dam from Spec, and she doesn't lose THAC0 by dual-wielding unproficiently. Now let's compare against that AC -5: she hits on 13/20 attacks, so damage comes to [(12 + 2 +10 +3E) x 5 + (12 + 2 + 9 + 3E) x 1] x 13 / 20 = 161 x 13 / 20 = 104.65 DPR.

    Unbuffed the triple is physically stronger, and fully buffed can dish out way more damage. I see the argument for high-level Cleric and Mage spells, but saying a C/M can melee like a F/M/C is not really true. (I know you didn't explicitly say that, but it felt like the implication.) And the physical DPR difference only grows when the triple unlocks Whirlwinds, Critical Strikes, etc.

    Please could you tell me a bit about what the high-level spells of the pure C/M bring to the mix, though? Of course my Sorcerer can bring the high-level Mage spells, but I've heard of the synergy of C/M when using things like Contingencies...

    Disclaimer: I did my best to get the numbers right, but my train commute with poor phone reception wasn't the best environment. :wink:

    @Grond0, I appreciate the pointer on pure Cleric THAC0, of course there is a small advantage earlier on, but I'm still fairly convinced of the superiority in DPS, essentially the entire way through, of the triple. You make a point on the melee nature of 3 other party members, but once again my experiences in the higher difficulties of this game tell me that melee prowess is never wasted. In particular for the Sieges (DS and Ust), relying on spells/per-rest abilities is arguably more perilous than physical damage, coupled with resistances and saving throws. Can you explain how a pure Cleric could contribute well in such situations?

    Of course I know in the end it's a matter of taste, and if we all just wanted a melee hack-fest we'd play Diablo II. :grin: I'm really glad to hear both your thoughts!

    gorgonzola
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,865
    edited June 2019
    Stromael wrote: »
    @Grond0, I appreciate the pointer on pure Cleric THAC0, of course there is a small advantage earlier on, but I'm still fairly convinced of the superiority in DPS, essentially the entire way through, of the triple. You make a point on the melee nature of 3 other party members, but once again my experiences in the higher difficulties of this game tell me that melee prowess is never wasted. In particular for the Sieges (DS and Ust), relying on spells/per-rest abilities is arguably more perilous than physical damage, coupled with resistances and saving throws. Can you explain how a pure Cleric could contribute well in such situations?

    Well I normally play solo and wouldn't expect to actually fight in either of those sieges ;). However, if you were fighting then the greater number of spells available to the pure cleric could be pretty useful - you can't quantify the effect of that though as a lot depends on your attitude to using magic items and resting.

    I'm not disputing that the triple class will nearly always be able to do more direct damage and I agree that melee ability is great - I tend to prefer that over spells myself. There are situations though where having a much higher level cleric is handy - for instance your spells are more difficult to dispel, but you can get rid of opponents' buffs easily; high-level undead can be destroyed or converted to your side; buffs last longer, meaning you can layer more spells on at one time; saving throws are better; you get more and higher level spells. If you would prefer the advantages of the triple-class though, go for it :p.

    gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    edited June 2019
    first important thing, both with C/M and FMC the correct buffing order is HP RM and DUHM as last.
    HP set a STR overriding the natural one and the one set by items or by other spells (only exception is the special cleric ring that is obtained at a certain level). so casting RM and DUHM and then HP mean loose all the str bonuses from the previous spells, but if HP is the first the others add the STR.
    DUHM is always the last because its duration is much lower so casting it last you gain a round of effect, and being really fast to cast can be used again mid combat if expires or in some situations even cast after the first round expires to buff a round faster.

    about the apr you are correct, but i was clear on it from the beginning. in end game the triple class will have an advantage of 1.5apr before haste.

    at the xp you are talking about the C/M thac0 (both buffed and assuming that the FMC has 3 pips in DW) is only inferior by 2 for the OH, the MH thac0 is the same, as the C/M has from the spell the thac0 of a lev 11 fighter, and the triple of a lev 9 one (both natural and from the spell).

    your example is right at the point where the C/M begins to be strong mlee wise, as the buffs from the spells are level dependent, so a dual being higher level gets better buffs, or better gets an increase in buffs earlier as for RM and HP the increase is every 4 levels.
    at that level of xp we are also at the point of the game where the relation between xp and levels start to change, so the triple begins to loose terrain, while before was only a little behind as levels.

    it is also true that a triple can go mlee less buffed or not buffed, while the dual has to buff to be effective, and my point is not that the dual is more damaging, it is that is a good damage dealer that trades attacks for some other things.
    things like casting the simulacrum, so doubling his dmg output, way sooner, reaching 25 str and spell levels sooner or having the access end game to up to 2 lev 9 arcane spells, that the triple never reach.

    it really depends on play style if the dual or the triple is more useful, i like versatility and in my style the dual works better, for you the triple can work better, if you are really focused on the mlee aspect, as mlee the dual becomes crazy strong only very late in the saga, when he and his clone can easily pull out more then 300 dmg/round (the simulacrum buffed and with a BBOD, from a quick slot scroll, MH and a weapon like runehammer OH is just as good as the original).

    the choice is between the triple, mlee effective from the beginning and when fighting without buffs and the dual that becomes mlee effective only in some point of soa chap 2 and HAS to be buffed, but is a better caster and can pull some combos earlier or at high level using CC.

    about the uses of a C/M and the spell combos i give you a couple of links, much better then try to answer directly here, i hope it helps.
    here we share our best uses for the M/C:
    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/47354/superaerie-power-tactics-for-the-c-m-spoilers
    the next link is not specific but there are other hints on C/M combos:
    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/75404/contingencies-and-sequencers-what-do-you-use/p1


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