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Fighter/mage multi-class vs. Kensai/Mage dual-class?

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Comments

  • TomeTome Member Posts: 466
    Fighter/mage
    I think that in BG1 and ToB, Fighter/Mage is superior, but in SoA and early ToB Kensage has the advantage.

  • AmeraAmera Member Posts: 29
    Fighter/mage
    As with everything the discussion comes down to "at what exact point in the game is x stronger?" because the answer isn't always the same. Class combos peak at different points in the saga.

    But for someone wanting to legitimately play through the whole saga start to finish and play a consistent character, the straight multi-classes are probably the most "honest" way to go. No starting as one playstyle and finishing as another, no figuring out ways to cheese XP bonuses to activate your classes and/or sitting in the background leeching for x hours of gameplay. You are what you are the whole time and that's that.


    \

    lasombraStormvessel
  • toanwrathtoanwrath Member Posts: 621
    Kensai/Mage
    Both are very good, but for the the entire saga with the ~40 level cap, I would say that I prefer the Kensai/Mage.
    One, I like to play as a human rather than a Half/Elf or Elf (I suppose Gnome could do this, but with illusionist).
    Two, I prefer really powerful robes over armor that lets you cast spells, and Kensai get certain bonuses and can still robes but can't wear armor (even better for me!).
    Three, perhaps I am wrong, but I feel like you get more hitpoints out of it (if you dual at Level 10 or later).
    Four, with the right setup, that maximum damage strike can be pretty devastating. Combine that with the higher level of speciaization/mastery, your damage output can be pretty obscene even if your THAC0 is a bit lacking (though my Kensai 9/Mage Lots almost always hit).
    Five, I like the mages in BG:EE, so I prefer to use a Fighter-type in BG:EE, and then dual class over in BG2. It seems Imoen had the good idea: Let's be a thief for the game that NEEDS thief, and then a mage for the game that offers them more!

  • DjimmyDjimmy Member Posts: 749
    Thanks all for the replies. I didn't write it clear enough but the most important question I wanted to ask was: Which class is stronger at the end of the whole saga(after ToB is completed)? And by stronger I mean one class vs. the other and each class against mobs(mostly ToB boses). Thanks again :)

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited December 2012
    Fighter/mage
    Doubtful, unless you're soloing, you'd spend about 80% of SoA as a single class mage with no ranged weapons or bracers. So you get a tiny window right near the SoA xp cap, for about 1 level's worth of XP, that the Kensage is superior....not worth it.

    And only the 13 dual has that window. While the 9 dual would be complete faster, it loses just enough perks that a F/M is outright superior at all times. And a 7 dual isn't even in the running.

  • toanwrathtoanwrath Member Posts: 621
    edited December 2012
    Kensai/Mage

    Doubtful, unless you're soloing, you'd spend about 80% of SoA as a single class mage with no ranged weapons or bracers. So you get a tiny window right near the SoA xp cap, for about 1 level's worth of XP, that the Kensage is superior....not worth it.

    It depends on what level you dual at. I dualed at level 9 (I think), and I got my Fighter abilities back part way through chapter 3. EDIT: You edited while I was writing mine, glad to see you mentioned the level 9 dual, but I still prefer the Kensai/Mage to the 'outright superior' F/M.

    Also, while @Pantalion certainly makes an extremely good point that Fighter/Mages are better in combat, he also made the point that the Kensai/Mage does get a few more spells. For me, I started with the Kensai with the intent of dualing over to a mage so that as a mage I would be much more survivable, and be able to hit if necessary. Most of my time is spent casting spells anyways, so I don't feel like I am missing out on the crazy THAC0.

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    Fighter/mage
    The thac0 is over kill anyway. Anyone with fighter thac0 progression, with decent stats, at least specialization, wielding a good weapon will only miss on a 1, by lvl 16. Drizzt has the highest enemy AC in the game (-16, -14 vs blunt), and the next closest is only -10.

    That's why I always say fighter thac0 is overkill in general..by 22 even a cleric (or swashbuckler) can only miss on a 1.

  • AlexDeLargeAlexDeLarge Member Posts: 273
    edited December 2012
    Kensai/Mage
    I'd like to see a fighter/mage + party do the Improved Irenicus (tactics or scs) on no-reload challenge without level 9 spells. Because that is by far the hardest fight in the game, if you're playing hardcore. Not to mention the Improved Kangaxx/Firkraag/Beholder Lair in Underdark fights etc. SoA fights in general are way harder than ToB ones, if you're playing SCS mod, and guess what. In SoA, a Kensage totally outshines a F/M. in ToB, even if a F/M is SLIGHTLY stronger than a Kensage, they are both so grossly OP combined with your party that it doesn't really make a difference. All you F/M lovers need to look at the big picture, not just the end - max level - result. You gotta survive first to get there.

    P.S. Gnome mainchar is gay, and Elf can't romance Viconia. Humans all the way baby!

    athanas
  • UnknownQuantityUnknownQuantity Member Posts: 242
    I like multi classes a bit better as they don't require you to pass your original classes level to regain it's abilities. You are always able to use both classes abilities throughout the whole game.

  • KaigenKaigen Member Posts: 1,567
    Fighter/mage

    All you F/M lovers need to look at the big picture, not just the end - max level - result. You gotta survive first to get there.

    Which makes the difficulty of getting a single-classed Kensai through a hardcore BG1+SCS playthrough rather a relevant consideration, don't you think?

  • AlexDeLargeAlexDeLarge Member Posts: 273
    Kensai/Mage
    How so? A Kensai with Shield Amu is stronger than a F/M in vanilla. I actually did the hardcore challenge and it was pretty smooth (only had a few very difficult fights, like the party that guards Cloakwood mines and the ambush in Ulgoth's Beard after Durlag's tower).

    athanas
  • KaigenKaigen Member Posts: 1,567
    Fighter/mage

    How so? A Kensai with Shield Amu is stronger than a F/M in vanilla. I actually did the hardcore challenge and it was pretty smooth (only had a few very difficult fights, like the party that guards Cloakwood mines and the ambush in Ulgoth's Beard after Durlag's tower).

    Fair enough, I guess I must have assumed that if you were doing hardcore with difficulty increasing mods involved that you'd also be refraining from exploits such as unlimited sell/buy recharge.

    And say what you like about Gnomes, but I'd rather have the shorty save bonuses for a hardcore playthrough.

    toanwrath
  • AlexDeLargeAlexDeLarge Member Posts: 273
    edited December 2012
    Kensai/Mage
    I don't consider it an exploit if it's been in the game for so long and not even mods remove the recharge item thing. I actually play pretty clean games overall, i never kill Firebead or Drizzt, i never abuse Algernon Cloak (i don't think i used charm even once in my no reload runs), etc. And i only need Shield Amulet charges until Edwin gets Spirit Armor, after that i transition.

    Your power gaming choice is more exploitative than mine tbh, seeing as u would choose ugly unaesthetic gnomes as your main char for the entire game, just for a few extra saving throws.

  • toanwrathtoanwrath Member Posts: 621
    Kensai/Mage


    P.S. Gnome mainchar is gay, and Elf can't romance Viconia. Humans all the way baby!

    Gnome mainchar isn't necessarily gay, you can attempt to woo many a woman (even if they are all part elf). Also, if I chose a gnome, it would be not for the saves, but so that I could be part illusionist, or be a shorty fighter thief that could get 18 strength and isn't a dwarf.

  • KaigenKaigen Member Posts: 1,567
    Fighter/mage

    I don't consider it an exploit if it's been in the game for so long and not even mods remove the recharge item thing. I actually play pretty clean games overall, i never kill Firebead or Drizzt, i never abuse Algernon Cloak (i don't think i used charm even once in my no reload runs), etc. And i only need Shield Amulet charges until Edwin gets Spirit Armor, after that i transition.

    Your power gaming choice is more exploitative than mine tbh, seeing as u would choose ugly unaesthetic gnomes as your main char for the entire game, just for a few extra saving throws.

    Meh, "fake talk" has been in the game for a long time and I've never seen a mod that removes it, but that doesn't mean it's not an exploit.

    And we're just going to have to agree to disagree about Gnomes, as I don't find them unattractive at all.

  • AlexDeLargeAlexDeLarge Member Posts: 273
    Kensai/Mage
    You can't use fake talk in SCS afaik, all the creatures with hostile intentions after dialog from normal BG, become autohostile in SCS (that's how i remember it at least).

  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 7,742
    Fighter/mage
    I find the max damage thing from Kensai to be overrated, it's very short duration (compared to Blade's offensive spin for example).

    I'd rather not have to deal with regaining levels and not miss out on Fighter HLAs. I also don't see any reason against multiclass grandmastery and so I usually play with a mod that allows that (tobex I believe).

    Honestly, I wanted to believe in Dual classing but once you start losing out on HLAs, I don't see any of the kit special features being that great that you can't live without them. I want to believe in Berserker/Cleric dual but I really dislike the Cleric HLAs.

    I like Fighter/Thief combos but again, I don't find it worth it to lose the stat bonuses of the non-human races (half-orc 19 str, 19 con) for what the kits offer especially if you lose out on greater whirlwind, critical strike etc and have a completely viable character the whole journey.

    I'd consider some kinda cleric of lathander / fighter or thief dual but dualing from Cleric you get a somewhat gimped healer and get vanilla fighter or thief the rest of the way. Might be an interesting character if you don't mind mostly being one of those vanilla classes with a sprinkle of cleric.

    Djimmy
  • AlexDeLargeAlexDeLarge Member Posts: 273
    Kensai/Mage
    @Pantalion Unless we're talking about soloing the game (which i didn't see mentioned in this thread), your bias is rather ridiculous, not really worth a reply but i'll indulge you anyway.

    You say that gauntlets of extraordinary spec come close to matching Kensai's innate abilities + grandmastery. Well guess what, i can give the Gauntlets to Korgan or Sarevok or whatever else strong fighter i got in my group, and there's only one of these gauntlets (that also give more apr) in the game. So no loss here.

    Enchantment spells are indeed super strong in vanilla, real bummer that my Kensai can't cast anything. Oh wait, i hear Edwin is a pretty good spellcaster, and he's always in my party. Let Edwin do the CC, and my Kensai the huge dps, instead of having a sad mix of both coming from the same char. Synergy bitch!

    Now i'll give you my personal perspective, as i finished the game on Insane with SCS, and on Core no reload. SoA is hard as fuck. HARD. AS. FUCK. ToB becomes exponentially easier, once all your party kicks into high gear with HLA and whatnot. There is no SoA XP cap if you have ToB installed, meaning or Kensage will have level 9 spells by the time he reaches Irenicus. Huge, huge advantage to have in that fight, in fact it's exactly the edge you need to turn the tide on him.

    And to the people saying it's a struggle to regain your fighter skills back while dual'ing, i already mentioned earlier than if you kick all your party out while scribing every possible spell scroll you stole, you instantly get level 10, thus no transition time.

    I could point out a few more fallacies you've written Panta, but it's already turning into a wall of text. So let's just agree to disagree, it's quite obvious neither of us will change the others' mind, just hope some newer players here can learn more from our knowledge and use it to their benefit.

    Cheers,
    Alex

  • DjimmyDjimmy Member Posts: 749
    @Pantalion Thank you for your thorough explanations. Much appreciated!

  • KaigenKaigen Member Posts: 1,567
    Fighter/mage
    @AlexDeLarge The thing is, once you bring the rest of the party into it, it really doesn't matter if you're a F/M or Kensage. My F/M can't cast 9th level spells? Whatever, Edwin and Imoen have that covered. Your Kensage isn't as good in melee? You've got Korgan and Sarevok and any of the other NPC bruisers you feel like picking up.

    In a party of 5 or 6 characters, Charname's class really starts to not matter much at all.

    RAM021smeagolheartMalbortus
  • toanwrathtoanwrath Member Posts: 621
    edited December 2012
    Kensai/Mage
    @Kaigen
    If the class of CHARNAME doesn't matter, then perhaps CHARNAME should always be some unique class that doesn't exist as an NPC. I think it does matter, but more from a what you want to play as rather than a what you need perspective.
    Edit: though in terms of F/M or Kensage, it certainly matters Less (sorry I missed your point the first time)

  • KaigenKaigen Member Posts: 1,567
    Fighter/mage
    toanwrath said:

    @Kaigen
    If the class of CHARNAME doesn't matter, then perhaps CHARNAME should always be some unique class that doesn't exist as an NPC. I think it does matter, but more from a what you want to play as rather than a what you need perspective.

    I'm not saying it's irrelevant, I'm just saying that the gaps in any individual class's capabilities can easily be filled by the rest of the party. In this respect, I agree with you, and it's why this question is usually more about whether you want to be a Mage who can fight or a Fighter with Mage spellcasting than which one is more powerful (by whatever standard of power you hold dear). Personally, I'm dismissive of the Kensage's ability to use robes for the same reason Alex is dismissive of the F/M's ability to use the Gauntlets of Extraordinary Specialization. I'd rather put the Robes of Vecna on Edwin or Aerie, and all the Robes of XXX Archmagi do for you is put your AC where it would have been if you could have used Bracers of AC3 (or one of the magical Elven Chains) in the first place.

    toanwrath
  • AlexDeLargeAlexDeLarge Member Posts: 273
    edited December 2012
    Kensai/Mage
    Just remembered 1 thing (hopefully i'm not wrong). To the people arguing that Kensai dual at 13 is better for the extra 1/2 apr. By the end of the game, with True Grandmastery, dual wield Belm, and Improved Haste, u have the max 10 APR anyway, with a level 9/xx Kensage. This also makes G Whirlwind redundant for F/M. In fact, i'd go so far as to state that if you know how to build your F/M properly, choosing and using the right spells, pretty much all the fighter HLA's, except for Critical Strike/Smite, are redundant.

  • toanwrathtoanwrath Member Posts: 621
    Kensai/Mage
    Kaigen said:

    toanwrath said:

    @Kaigen
    If the class of CHARNAME doesn't matter, then perhaps CHARNAME should always be some unique class that doesn't exist as an NPC. I think it does matter, but more from a what you want to play as rather than a what you need perspective.

    I'm not saying it's irrelevant, I'm just saying that the gaps in any individual class's capabilities can easily be filled by the rest of the party. In this respect, I agree with you, and it's why this question is usually more about whether you want to be a Mage who can fight or a Fighter with Mage spellcasting than which one is more powerful (by whatever standard of power you hold dear). Personally, I'm dismissive of the Kensage's ability to use robes for the same reason Alex is dismissive of the F/M's ability to use the Gauntlets of Extraordinary Specialization. I'd rather put the Robes of Vecna on Edwin or Aerie, and all the Robes of XXX Archmagi do for you is put your AC where it would have been if you could have used Bracers of AC3 (or one of the magical Elven Chains) in the first place.
    Good call on the robe of Vecna on Edwin, but I refuse to use Aerie mostly. Perhaps Jan? But in my 'good' playthroughs, sometimes a kensage is my only arcane caster and so he gets the robe. Sorry if I sounded whiny in my earlier post, you do make a good point.

  • KaigenKaigen Member Posts: 1,567
    Fighter/mage

    Just remembered 1 thing (hopefully i'm not wrong). To the people arguing that Kensai dual at 13 is better for the extra 1/2 apr. By the end of the game, with True Grandmastery, dual wield Belm, and Improved Haste, u have the max 10 APR anyway, with a level 9/xx Kensage. This also makes G Whirlwind redundant for F/M. In fact, i'd go so far as to state that if you know how to build your F/M properly, choosing and using the right spells, pretty much all the fighter HLA's, except for Critical Strike/Smite, are redundant.

    This is a good point, although GW is only redundant to the extent that you are willing to tie up sixth level spell slots to enable yourself to hit that 10 attacks (and tie-up your off hand with Belm instead of the other weapons you could be using).

    It'll be interesting to see if Overhaul fixes Grandmastery for BG2EE. Until then, I'll see your True Grandmastery and raise you a Multiclass Grandmastery. ;)

  • AlexDeLargeAlexDeLarge Member Posts: 273
    Kensai/Mage
    Kaigen said:

    Just remembered 1 thing (hopefully i'm not wrong). To the people arguing that Kensai dual at 13 is better for the extra 1/2 apr. By the end of the game, with True Grandmastery, dual wield Belm, and Improved Haste, u have the max 10 APR anyway, with a level 9/xx Kensage. This also makes G Whirlwind redundant for F/M. In fact, i'd go so far as to state that if you know how to build your F/M properly, choosing and using the right spells, pretty much all the fighter HLA's, except for Critical Strike/Smite, are redundant.

    This is a good point, although GW is only redundant to the extent that you are willing to tie up sixth level spell slots to enable yourself to hit that 10 attacks (and tie-up your off hand with Belm instead of the other weapons you could be using).

    It'll be interesting to see if Overhaul fixes Grandmastery for BG2EE. Until then, I'll see your True Grandmastery and raise you a Multiclass Grandmastery. ;)
    The way i play the game is that i use almost all the Kensage spell slots to buff himself, meaning i will have plenty of points for Imp Haste, while using Edwin/Imoen or Jan to debuff enemies and evocation spells.

    If you want to use Multiclass Grandmastery, nobody's stopping you :P But imo, it's very close to cheating, seeing as multi-class characters weren't designed to do this, in fact this is one of the main advantages a dual-class should have over a multi. And if you're gonna go down this route, why stop here. U can use shadow keeper to get kits for multiclass, like a berserker/conjurer or whatever. Me personally, i'm trying to beat the game vs the hardest possible opponents, while changing as little as possible of the original content the game offers you.

  • KaigenKaigen Member Posts: 1,567
    Fighter/mage

    If you want to use Multiclass Grandmastery, nobody's stopping you :P But imo, it's very close to cheating, seeing as multi-class characters weren't designed to do this, in fact this is one of the main advantages a dual-class should have over a multi. And if you're gonna go down this route, why stop here. U can use shadow keeper to get kits for multiclass, like a berserker/conjurer or whatever. Me personally, i'm trying to beat the game vs the hardest possible opponents, while changing as little as possible of the original content the game offers you.

    Are you saying dual-classes need every advantage they can get to compete? ;) Seriously, though, by the original PnP rules, neither multi-class nor dual-class can even specialize. I would argue that Grandmastery should be one of the advantages only single-class fighters can get to give them something to recommend them over the dual/multi. So we're both changing the BG2 rules to suit our own needs with no justification other than it helps the class we prefer to play.

  • AlexDeLargeAlexDeLarge Member Posts: 273
    Kensai/Mage
    We're not playing PnP though, so it's kind of irrelevant. U can have Grandmastery before u dual into mage, so how would u propose the change? Once you dual, all your extra pips removed?

    And no, i'm not saying dual-classes need every advantage they need to compete with multi's, but having True Grandmastery is one of the major ones. At the end of the day, both kensai/mage and F/M multi's are extremely strong, top tier picks, nobody can argue with that. But i feel that, for the SoA segment of the game, which is imo the most challenging, Kensage helps you out more. And i also prefer playing Humans over any other race, not to mention i get to romance Viconia this way. And i'm pretty sure the canon mainchar was designed to be a human, so makes sense from many perspectives.

    All in all, the fact that we argue so intensely over such a minor aspect just goes to show you how great, engaging and immersive this game is!

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