Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. Sign in or register to get started.

Categories

Attention, Beamdog forum-goers!📢Starting on November 8, our forums will be unavailable for a few weeks while we migrate to a self-hosted site.

Check out the full announcement for more information on forum features, data transfer, and 3rd party OAuth:

https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/83099/beamdog-forum-migration

Are enemies that are immune to backstab also immune to sneak attacks?

Hi!

I read that later in the game stronger enemies like dragons are usually immune to backstab. I wondered whether they are immune to sneak attacks too, if they are enabled?

Thanks and stuff

Comments

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,839
    since backstab and sneak attack are the same mechanic im going to go with; yes

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,323
    It's not so much "stronger enemies" as specific classes of enemies. Golems, beholders, dragons. It's far more common for enemies to see through invisibility, making them very hard to backstab.

    Also, it should be pretty easy to test. Pick up the +1 staff in the BG2 starting dungeon, then try for a sneak attack on the Jailkeep golem.

    sarevok57wavingbug
  • wavingbugwavingbug Member Posts: 59
    edited May 11
    jmerry wrote: »
    It's far more common for enemies to see through invisibility, making them very hard to backstab.

    Yes I noticed that some enemy mages instantly did cast True Seeing as soon as I entered a room with Valygar. Is it that they could hear Valygar's steps? Does Move Silently affect that somehow? I just thought that it was implemented in order to make encounters with mages harder (as if they were not annoying enough sometimes), because a successful backstab just kills them right away. Thought it is a bit cheesy (rules for thee but not for me) and wondered why they cast it instantly upon entering the room even though I am hidden. Something must trigger that.

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,323
    No. If a creature is scripted to use invisibility-breaking magic, it will do so based on knowing there's an invisible creature nearby. The AI always knows where everyone is at all times, but enemies will only react based on their scripts.
    And no, they don't cast instantly. True Sight takes around half a round to cast; a backstabber with boots of speed can usually get a stab off before they're finished casting.

    It's the creatures that innately see through invisibility with no need for spells that are the real trouble. You're only getting a stab on one of them if they're flanked.

    The Move Silently skill does absolutely nothing separate from Hide in Shadows; the two are averaged (and lighting modifiers applied) to determine the chance of success when the character tries to hide.

    wavingbug
  • wavingbugwavingbug Member Posts: 59
    edited May 11
    jmerry wrote: »
    The Move Silently skill does absolutely nothing separate from Hide in Shadows; the two are averaged (and lighting modifiers applied) to determine the chance of success when the character tries to hide.

    I know that their average is taken to determine whether you could hide or not. It would have been a cool thing though if Move Silently still would affect being heard, because you'd probably make a sound walking on gravel although invisible. As player you could see that in the chat window e.g. "You are hearing footsteps nearby." and for NPCs that are scripted to cast invisibility-breaking magic it could be one trigger (aside from others like seeing an enemy or engaging combat) to cast True Sight or similar spells.

    It's kind of lame that the AI is programmed to cast it right away when a stealthed player is nearby. Of course the AI knows you are there technically but you could make that behaviour more natural using other triggers than just location.

    Having two separate skills Hide in Shadows and Move Silently would make more sense then too. Otherwise just having Stealth like it was in BG1 back then would have been clearer.

    Post edited by wavingbug on
    HafirArvia
  • ArviaArvia Member, Moderator Posts: 1,972
    edited May 11
    wavingbug wrote: »
    jmerry wrote: »
    The Move Silently skill does absolutely nothing separate from Hide in Shadows; the two are averaged (and lighting modifiers applied) to determine the chance of success when the character tries to hide.

    I know that their average is taken to determine whether you could hide or not. It would have been a cool thing though if Move Silently still would affect being heard, because you'd probably make a sound walking on gravel although invisible. As player you could see that in the chat window e.g. "You are hearing footsteps nearby." and for NPCs that are scripted to cast invisibility-breaking magic it could be one trigger (aside from others like seeing an enemy or engaging combat) to cast True Sight or similar spells.

    It's kind of lame that the AI is programmed to cast it right away when a stealthed player is nearby. Of course the AI knows you are there technically but you could make that behaviour more natural using other triggers than just location.

    Having two separate skills Hide in Shadows and Move Silently would make more sense then too. Otherwise just having Stealth like it was in BG1 back then would have been clearer.

    As a player, you do hear footsteps when an invisible creature is nearby, for example an invisible stalker or ashirukuru. But that's not dependent on their Move Silently skill, it's just a hint to warn the player.

    Still, I agree it would be a neat implementation to make the probability of an enemy casting True Sight depend on it, at least theoretically. Practically it would be rather complicated, because only thieves and rangers get that skill in combination with Hide in Shadows, so magical invisibility, unless cast on one of those classes, would suddenly be weaker than Hide in Shadows, or we'd need to assume the spell automatically muffles your steps, too.

  • wavingbugwavingbug Member Posts: 59
    edited May 11
    Arvia wrote: »
    Still, I agree it would be a neat implementation to make the probability of an enemy casting True Sight depend on it, at least theoretically. Practically it would be rather complicated, because only thieves and rangers get that skill in combination with Hide in Shadows, so magical invisibility, unless cast on one of those classes, would suddenly be weaker than Hide in Shadows, or we'd need to assume the spell automatically muffles your steps, too.

    Wow, I never heard any footsteps at all in the game. I need to pay attention to that.

    That's right it would weaken Invisibility but classes that can cast spells are very versatile anyway and have more tools available than any other. In IWD there is a spell called Cat's Grace which is not available in BG. It raises your dexterity with a dice roll depending on your class. That would be a perfect spell that could also raise your Move Silently score. I know this will never be adjusted, but anyway. I always wondered why the split of Stealth into Move Silently and Hide in Shadows if their value is just averaged and they don't do something on their own. It's just confusing/complicating things without any benefit.

    Post edited by wavingbug on
  • ArviaArvia Member, Moderator Posts: 1,972
    wavingbug wrote: »
    Arvia wrote: »
    Still, I agree it would be a neat implementation to make the probability of an enemy casting True Sight depend on it, at least theoretically. Practically it would be rather complicated, because only thieves and rangers get that skill in combination with Hide in Shadows, so magical invisibility, unless cast on one of those classes, would suddenly be weaker than Hide in Shadows, or we'd need to assume the spell automatically muffles your steps, too.

    Wow, I never heard any footsteps at all in the game. I need to pay attention to that.

    That's right it would weaken Invisibility but classes that can cast spells are very versatile anyway and have more tools available than any other. In IWD there is a spell called Cat's Grace which is not available in BG. It raises your dexterity with a dice roll depending on your class. That would be a perfect spell that could also raise your Move Silently score. I know this will never be adjusted, but anyway. I always wondered why the split of Stealth into Move Silently and Hide in Shadows if their value is just averaged and they don't do something on their own. It's just confusing/complicating things without any benefit.

    IWD spells like Cat's Grace are available in BG through mods. There's IWDification, and SCS has a component to choose to add them for mages and clerics.

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,323
    I ran a few tests ... the only difference between normal backstabs and "3E sneak attacks" is the amount of damage dealt. You have to be behind the target and invisible to get the bonus damage, and backstab-immune targets don't take extra damage.

    Since, in virtually every case, backstabs deal more damage than sneak attacks, the option is basically a strict nerf to thieves and Stalkers. Sneak attacks keep scaling at higher levels than backstabs do, but backstabs also scale with your weapon's damage. If you just equip a strong weapon, you'll get more out of the stab. And if you really go out of your way (weapon mastery bonuses, kit bonuses, certain shapeshift forms), you can get enormous backstabs in a way that sneak attacks simply can't duplicate.

    JuliusBorisovSkatan
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 851
    edited May 12
    jmerry wrote: »
    I ran a few tests ... the only difference between normal backstabs and "3E sneak attacks" is the amount of damage dealt. You have to be behind the target and invisible to get the bonus damage, and backstab-immune targets don't take extra damage.
    Sneak Attacks are supposed to be available via flanking as well as by attacking from concealment/invisibility. The mechanical difference between the two should be that 3E sneak attacks are still available though other means after you break stealth, while a Backstab can only exist during the stealth/invisible round.

    I guess my question is: Do you get Sneak Attacks when not-stealthed/invisble if another melee combatant is engaged with and on the opposite side of the victim?

  • wavingbugwavingbug Member Posts: 59
    edited May 12
    I posted this on the BG Wiki in a related topic. I think damage is not the only thing to take into consideration when switching between Backstabs and Sneak Attacks:
    3E sneak attacks are, depending on your avg. damage and hit chance not that much of a buff over backstabs. Backstabs use a damage multiplier, opposed to sneak attacks which just adds an additional damage roll and cripples the enemy (hit and damage malus of 1 or 2, depending on your level).

    The important thing is, as the manual states, that a sneak attack can only occur *once* on an enemy. All subsequent attack do not get a bonus.

    So if your hit chance/damage is low using sneak attacks is better because it just adds a fixed roll to your damage and you get another chance for a successful sneak attack with your next hit attempt. Opposed to backstab; if you are hidden and miss your backstab attempt, for now your opportunty is gone (you would have to restealth), so you have to be able to hit reliably.

    Neither backstab or sneak attacks are better than the other, it really depends on your character. If your THAC0 is very good and your damage high, backstabbing is usually the better choice, damage wise at least.

    But there is always the problem on when to attempt a backstab attempt in general. If you initiate the backstab on a mage -- easy targets as long as they do not have their protections up and you generally want to take care of them first -- then you have to have a way to get out of there, if there are other enemies around (Boots of Speed certainly help here).

    Otherwise if you play it safe, let your fighters or protected mages initiate combat. The enemy mages usually cast all their protection spells right away (sequencer) and you would have to remove them beforehand in order for your backstab to be affective.
    That would mean for your Thief/Stalker to just wait for his opportunity. In that case sneak attacks might be better to manage, as you can easily hit different targets with it meanwhile, without having to restealth all the time. So its very situational. On lone mages I always use backstabs. On larger groups I think sneak attacks are just better to manage or I just risk my Thief/Stalker getting into trouble (although there of course are ways to protect your stalker from harm after initiating combat too).

    Though I have to admit that I really need to play more with Sneak Attacks enabled make a better comparison. Here I also copied some passages from the manual that might be helpful in making a decision. Keep in mind that you can of course just change between the options to use Backstabs or Sneak Attacks for each sitution, although that would be probably tedious.
    Sneak Attacks and Crippling Strikes

    If “3E Sneak Attack” is enabled in the Gameplay Options menu, backstabs (see below) are replaced with sneak attacks and crippling strikes.

    When sneak attacks are in effect, any time a Thief or Stalker attacks an opponent from a flank or rear position, they can do additional damage once (and only once) to that opponent. A sneak attack does not require the attacker to be hidden or moving silently in order to work (although these skills can help them get into position). Critical hits do not double sneak attack damage.

    Successful sneak attacks also cripple opponents, reducing their to-hit and damage rolls. Creatures affected by these crippling strikes regain their normal to-hit and damage rolls one turn after being struck.
    Sneak attacks and crippling strikes improve based on level and kit. See the kit descriptions for more details.

    There is nothing written on whether you would always get Sneak Attacks on an incapitated enemy. But you cannot miss (or perhaps only very rarely) miss an enemy that is being held or stunned, Sneak Attacks or not. Here are the numbers for thieves in general (also taken from the manual):
    May backstab for increased damage:

    * Level 1-4: x2
    * Level 5-8: x3
    * Level 9-12: x4
    * Level 13+: x5

    If 3E Sneak Attack is enabled, may sneak attack instead of backstab for increased damage:

    * Level 1-3: +1d6
    * Level 4-7: +2d6
    * Level 8-11: +3d6
    * Improves by +1d6 every 4 levels, up to +8d6 at level 30

    If 3E Sneak Attack is enabled, may deal crippling strikes upon successful sneak attacks. Crippling strikes last for 1 turn and have the following effects:

    * Level 5-8: -1 to target’s hit and damage rolls
    * Level 9-12: -2 to target’s hit and damage rolls

    I know you get a bonus of 4 to THAC0 when attacking while stealthed but especially early in the game pure Thiefs have a terrible THAC0. I think at least in that situation Sneak Attacks have a slight edge, because you can just keep trying. If you can hit reliably and can restealth, or are hasted Backstabs do sound like the better choice.

    JuliusBorisovSkatan
  • wavingbugwavingbug Member Posts: 59
    jmerry wrote: »
    I ran a few tests ... the only difference between normal backstabs and "3E sneak attacks" is the amount of damage dealt. You have to be behind the target and invisible to get the bonus damage, and backstab-immune targets don't take extra damage.

    I do not think that for Sneak Attacks you have to be stealthed. Just your position matters. That is an advantage because you can easily keep trying on your next attacks and move from target to target after you landed your sneak attack on one. Question is how good it is to not focus each target. Depends I guess.

    JuliusBorisov
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,323
    OK, checking again ... stealth is not needed for sneak attack damage.
    zj2yk8cwsyfm.jpg
    However, the "only once" part is a lie. You can get multiple sneak attacks on the same target.
    zqj3xuetzb9z.jpg

    When it comes to hitting things, backstabbers don't usually have much problem. After all, you don't just get the +4 to hit from invisibility - you also ignore the target's Dex modifier. And if the target doesn't have a melee weapon equipped, that's another +4 to hit and +4 (multiplied in the stab) damage.

    So, revised opinion: the two options favor different play styles. Backstabs are best used with a lone specialist heading out ahead of the party to strike and retreat, taking out key targets before the rest of the party engages. Sneak attacks are best used in the thick of melee, as your rogue weakens whoever's currently vulnerable. Multiple attacks per round help the sneak attacker more than the backstabber, because the sneak attacker doesn't have to disengage to reapply stealth. Both require significant player attention, of course.

    AerakarJuliusBorisovPokotaSkatan
  • kjeronkjeron Member Posts: 2,333
    It's the Crippling Strike ability that applies 70 rounds of further backstab/sneak attack immunity.

    The files for Crippling Strike do not exist in BG2EE by default, so you can spam sneak attacks.

    JuliusBorisovwavingbugSkatan
  • wavingbugwavingbug Member Posts: 59
    edited May 12
    kjeron wrote: »
    It's the Crippling Strike ability that applies 70 rounds of further backstab/sneak attack immunity.

    The files for Crippling Strike do not exist in BG2EE by default, so you can spam sneak attacks.

    This might be the reason multiple Sneak Attacks work in Baldur's Gate. I copied this part out of the Icewind Dale manual, where it seems that it actually works like that (I asked a question initually in the context of IWD in another thread). So in IWD only one Sneak Attack per target.

    You always could enable Sneak Attacks in IWD, even in the vanilla version of it. With the Enhanced Editions this settings has been added to BG as well and I thought it would work the same.
    So in IWD it works, because the files for Crippling Strike always had been there, in BG it does not because it seemingly got enabled without adding those files from IWD. That clearly sounds like a bug to me then.
    Sneak Attacks are not mentioned in the BG1/2:EE manuals at all, despite the existing setting.

    I mean ignoring that you could restealth and try to backstab again, which at some point will become a tedious; having a +3D6 added to all your attacks sounds way more powerful than doing x4 your damage once, even more so when having a high amount of attacks per round (talking about a level 10 rogue). Can't you get 10 ATP with haste?
    And all you have to do for that is make sure your rogue is flanking or behind the target. Easy I think.

  • wavingbugwavingbug Member Posts: 59
    edited May 12
    I just did see that you would have to enable Sneak Attacks in Baldur's Gate 1/2 by either using the console or editing a file. I could have sworn I remembered it to be different, but it seems I've been mistaken. Despite what I've been thinking this option is not available anyway through the GUI within the BG games. So it is no wonder it is not mentioned in the game manuals and also why it does not work properly in the BG games. I guess Sneak Attacks are just not intended to be used in BG other than being a experimental setting, not officially supported.

    Here is how this works properly in Icewind Dale:

    tp09ez9uggph.png

    You can clearly see, it only works once. The thief has not been stealthed. That being said I wish that option would be supported in BG1/2 too.

    Post edited by wavingbug on
  • _Luke__Luke_ Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,517
    kjeron wrote: »
    It's the Crippling Strike ability that applies 70 rounds of further backstab/sneak attack immunity.

    Kind of technical question for this thread, but anyway:

    Do you know why the 70 rounds immunity is implemented via opcode #292?
    Why not just applying a simple opcode #206 effect as the last effect...?

  • _Luke__Luke_ Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,517
    wavingbug wrote: »
    I just did see that you would have to enable Sneak Attacks in Baldur's Gate 1/2 by either using the console or editing a file. I could have sworn I remembered it to be different, but it seems I've been mistaken.

    Here.

  • kjeronkjeron Member Posts: 2,333
    _Luke_ wrote: »
    Kind of technical question for this thread, but anyway:

    Do you know why the 70 rounds immunity is implemented via opcode #292?
    Why not just applying a simple opcode #206 effect as the last effect...?
    op206 could only block the Crippling Strike penalties, not the extra Sneak Attack damage.

    _Luke_
  • _Luke__Luke_ Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,517
    kjeron wrote: »
    _Luke_ wrote: »
    Kind of technical question for this thread, but anyway:

    Do you know why the 70 rounds immunity is implemented via opcode #292?
    Why not just applying a simple opcode #206 effect as the last effect...?
    op206 could only block the Crippling Strike penalties, not the extra Sneak Attack damage.

    Yeah, me dumb...

    I mean, the "issue" here is that the AI is not required to flank their target when performing sneak attacks (the `BackStab()` script action does not work), so op#292 is necessary to balance things out...

Sign In or Register to comment.