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Power of each of The 3 Infinity Engine Games

DKnightDKnight Member Posts: 307
edited March 2013 in New Players (NO SPOILERS!)
So Ive been getting through 2 games with a party. This game Ive been using a skald archer and Planescape Torment a melee Nameless one.

One of the things Ive noticed about the difference between games is that Baldurs Gate favors melee, but in those big battles where melee is harder to position, ranged combat is better through either bows or magic.

However, one thing Ive noticed about Planescape is not all that is true for that game. In planescape, the characters move further on the map than BG or even IWD making melee much more favorable.

Has anyone else noticed this? Im currently just finished in the bandit camp battle and my missile weapons have been a real lifesaver.

I have never really played/gotten far in Icewind Dale series. Would anyone say if they favor melee or ranged weapons.


  • ryuken87ryuken87 Member Posts: 563
    edited March 2013
    BG1 certainly favours missile weapons, but in BG2 melee is favoured. There are several of reasons for this:

    - Bows, throwing daggers and the Light Crossbow of Speed give 2 apr and darts 3. To dual wield effectively in melee you need 2/3 proficiency points and then still suffer a penalty. With no Belm/Kundane/Improved Haste it means missile weapons give the most attacks per round.
    - Thac0 bonuses from both the launcher and the ammunition.
    - Even basic non-magical (composite) long bows have +1 thac0.
    - Generally characters are going to receive more ranged thac0 bonuses from dex than melee thac0 bonuses from str (see the tables).
    - Arrows of Detonation are available in BG1 but very scarce in BG2 (only random drops I think, you will lucky to see 5 the whole game).
    - Str enhancing items are harder to come by until BG2.
    - In BG2 bows suffer because of certain enemies being immune to missile weapons, not having ammunition greater than +2 until ToB (although Gesen and Tansheron's can get around that), losing the damage bonus on Arrows+1/+2, and falling behind the damage output of warriors with 10 apr and massive strength enhancing items for big damage.

    I pretty much ignored combat in PST, but since you are so limited in party members you don't really have much choice in tactics anyway.

    I've only played IWD1 once but the same pattern should apply if not more so since it's more akin to vanilla BG1 without things like dual wielding and 19 str half-orcs.

    I've only done the first few chapters of IWD2 before getting bored, but since it uses a different rule set the above isn't applicable necessarily.

  • MadhaxMadhax Member Posts: 1,416
    edited March 2013
    BG1 definitely favors missile weapons. The risk of dying in a melee is quite high with such low HP.

    PS:T's combat is pretty trivial, so I can't say if it favors melee vs. magic (and of course, there's no way to make Nameless One into an archer, unfortunately). But I'd say magic is the best way to go, since having a high INT helps with your conversation options, as does having magical capabilities.

    BG2 favors magic and melee. Debatable which is better. Melee certainly has by far the highest damage potential, but smart mages are all but invincible and their damage is still quite high.

    The Icewind Dale series tends to have swarms of weak enemies rather than individually difficult fights like in the BG series. The favored combat style depends on what level of difficulty you play at. Playing the game normally, a group of badass melee folks with some Bard backup is probably the most powerful lineup (Bardsong is much better in the IWD series than in BG). On Insane mode, or especially on Heart of Fury mode, it's all but impossible to have more than one person in melee at a time without everyone taking critical amounts of damage. Magical crowd-control and AoE damage is the best bet then, possibly with a shapeshifted druid stacking %-resistance items for damage immunity as the tank. Tanks in HoF mode in IWD2 tend to be bizarrely multi-classed abominations built purely for the sake of achieving absurdly high AC.

  • DKnightDKnight Member Posts: 307
    So Im guessing that the Icewind dale series is the hardest. I'd hope to try a party of 2 in Icewind dale 1 but doubt its possible so I might just skip it. I had the right tactics but Icewind Dale (if I remember corrrectly) is too linear.

  • MadhaxMadhax Member Posts: 1,416
    Icewind Dale probably isn't the most difficult, but it is quite linear. I've beaten it solo and in small parties, so a 2-character approach is possible. I'd probably recommend building a full party, though. The IWD series has no NPCs and instead makes you build all of your characters, which many don't like compared to BG/PST, but I enjoy the opportunity to perfectly balance my party's strengths and weaknesses, as well as to experiment with builds.

    This is especially true in IWD2, as 3rd edition allows for much more customization with your characters.

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