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Final Update: Constantia, Priestess of Tyr
SoA Part 1: https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/1087371#Comment_1087371
SoA Part 2: https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/1087704/#Comment_1087704
ToB Part 1: https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/1088796/#Comment_1088796 [/spoiler]
What's going on with the new UI for posting forum comments? Very strange. I hope this post doesn't look terrible.
In any case, the party started doing the minor Amkethran sidequests, with Vongoethe being the only one of potential interest. The lich made the mistake of allowing us to return with Marlowe, though, which gave Jan and Carpani the time to plant some deadly spike traps, allowing us to easily claim the Cloak of Mirroring:
After all that, I also completed Hexxats ToB quest (the quest wouldn't trigger at first, but restarting the game solved the problem). Some easy mummies, golems, death tyrants and a lich who couldn't stand against our buff-dispelling sequencers - not much to say about that one. We traveled to Sendai's next, going through most of the dungeon with our initial buffs at a fast pace. Odamaron and his disciples were mostly killed by Korgan and a few spells from a safe range, as I didn't want to expose potentially vulnerable party members to timestops and hard-hitting damage spells:
Diaytha's minions were lured into spike traps via summons, and a planetar actually took down the hive mother by itself:
Constantia won her duel via energy blades, and the mind flayers (in much fewer numbers compared to WK lvl 3) failed to provide any substantial challenge, so it was time to face Sendai. Fun fact: Upon first entering her room, I was able to pause before she started talking, and some very strange creatures - 2 unseen Balors and, for some reason, Marlowe - were present in her room (all three disappeared from the screen right after that):
The SCS version of this battle is a bit different from Ascension: The Sendai clones seem to activate even faster, but are weaker; The drow teleport into the center of the room, they don't appear at the door, and they appear upon each Sendai activation, not upon the death of a clone, so the room is filled by enemies very quickly, especially as the activations and spawn-ins don't stop during a timestop, which the first mage-Sendai used (but wasted, mostly for buffing herself up):
There were also no mages included with the spawning drow, making it much easier to take those down. With the weaker clones, this battle was honestly much easier than I first expected upon seeing the sheer number of enemies. I was simply able to take them all down one by one, as their aggressive potential was very minimal against my well-buffed party. The real Sendai, upon re-appearing, didn't even get to use her pre-buffs:
Draconis was the next one to go - one of the few dragons for which I actually bothered to protect everyone against his breath weapon element. However, having two spellcasters with sequencers and two gems of true seeing allowed for a quick takedown of the dangerous dragon, as he was unable to dispel the protected buffs of everyone but Korgan, who has the hitpoints to survive (he's also using the DoE +3 when fighting hard-hitting enemies such as dragons):
In Abazigal's Lair, I had a prolonged battle against a group of lizardman shamans who kept casting timestop and spamming creeping doom, really testing the strength of my spell protections and the abundance of my healing potions for a while:
I don't actually remember encountering this fight before, but my memory might be failing me. Anyway, I dealt with the yellow dragon, talked to the monk, got the rope at Amkethran and returned for the quadruple dragon ambush (with one of the dragons dying to spike traps that I had prepared for this encounter). I didn't even prepare against the breath weapons and kept my buffs active througout the battle. Only Korgan had to deal with a lot of physical damage, countered by hardiness + DoE:
Korgan used the Cloak of Mirroring to fight his way to the tyrant golems on the eye-map. The tyrant golems (despite eventually snatching his cloak) were basically unable to do anything to hurt him, but it took a while to take them down:
Abazigal himself turned out to be not quite at his Ascension level, with no other dragons by his side. The fight felt basically like the vanilla battle, and I had full electricity immunity for everyone prepared (plus a bunch of potions of absorption in my potion bags):
I don't have any screenshots of the Balthazar fight. I didn't notice any major difference compared to what he usually brings to the table, which isn't a lot against a full party (though he wasn't even able to heal to full once this time around). Now, it was time to face the Ravager - relatively easy for this party, though - multiple ways to go about it with two high-level mages, but I decided to just cheese the fight and prepare traps (the battle doesn't trigger unless the main character walks into the room, everyone else can just go up there and start preparing the battlefield). 7 spike traps don't quite kill the Ravager, but only a few hits are needed after that:
Now, the big question - what does SCS Amelyssan without Ascension actually do? I had no idea, and I still don't really know. I didn't see any cool new special abilties, but I didn't give her a lot of time to fight. The basic way the battle works is the same as in the unmodded game, so three pools with monsters guarding them, and a battle against Mel each time one of them is deactivated. I included a few potion buffs in addition to my usual routine. During the first Mel battle, all she got the chance to do was gate in a few Glabrezus and dispel some of Korgan's buffs (again, the only one vulnerable to dispel effects) - I re-applied improved haste and just beat her down until she retreated, not casting a single spell except for improved haste during the fight and simply just attacking:
After that, I just defaulted to using 4 spike traps each for Mel's appearances, while taking down the first two pools with ease. For the third pool, I decided to charge at the fallen solar, ready to swap around the Cloak of the Lich if needed, but no one lost their death wards, so we didn't face any trouble.
Some breaches for the Mariliths, and that was it: Mel once again fell to a few spike traps, and Constantia claimed godhood.
And there we go. After some big trouble and two chunkings plus a few deaths in early ToB and Watcher's Keep, we didn't face much trouble in the lategame, mainly due to the lack of Ascenion I would guess. Of course, the new spells were a huge factor here as well - being able to protect your buffs on divine spellcasters is kind of a gamechanger. I would certainly say that, at least on tactical difficulty, the IWD spells do make this challenge a bit easier in general. While enemy clerics get them as well, they still don't seem to be huge threats (maybe they are more deadly on insane, though I wouldn't count on it), while players can count on Shield of Entropy and ISOM to be amazing additional protections against all kinds of threats. Full parties also profit a lot from the sheer amount of new powerful AoE buffs, while druids have a much better early game in general thanks to some decent nukes. I'm still not too happy with my setup for this run, but I will be taking a break for a while now: Got some work-related things to do, and after that, I'm going to play WoW: Classic for a long while. I'll still be reading, of course, and when I return to BG, I will certainly play with the SCS-slider on insane and possibly Ascension installed once again. I might also look for a mod to increase BG1 difficulty specifically, though I don't want it to be one that adds a bunch of new experience and items - no content pack, some other type of difficulty-improving thing, like the old Hard Times mod (which sadly doesn't work on the EE).
Good luck to everyone,
Edit: No idea why my spoiler tags aren't working. Something is very strange with the forum UI.
Here's the info for the Hall of Heroes:
Constantia, the Priestess of Tyr: @Enuhal
Notable mods: SCS (tactical difficulty)
Difficulty: Core rules
Start: https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/1080293/#Comment_1080293 (June 2019)
Finish: https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/1089182/#Comment_1089182 (August 2019)
Corey_Russell wrote: »
@ussnorway you know with Thac0 of 22, he's going to have some LONG combats...guess you're hoping for good rolls.
jmerry wrote: »
You can't dual to a spellcasting class, as one of the kit's features is to completely remove the spellcasting button.
jmerry wrote: »
I've got a WS/thief planned for a future no-spellcaster party, and that's the only dual class I'm likely to consider sith the kit.
semiticgod wrote: »
@Serg_BlackStrider: I have 1.4 terabytes on my hard drive, so I'll host a spare copy of the thread if I can download the thing.
Gate70 wrote: »
Harvey - male human Sun Soul Monk (Grond0)
Grond0 recently answered some questions Corey_Russell had about Rasaad and evidently piqued his interest in this monk kit.