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Getting Owned Late-Game

In the last two fights, I'm finding myself frustrated with accusations of ridiculousness. I only played BG all the way through once before (I'm horrible at this, as I tend to re-start with new characters a lot), but do not remember the ending being so rough (either I was lucky the first time, or shifting to the BG2 engine made some encounters tougher.

Side note - I did win; it just took a lot of cheesiness on my part.

First: Outside the final scene


Specifically the group of baddies, including the Ogre Berserkers, the druid, the mage, the thief and (worst of all) the detonation arrows archer.

I realize I can shift spells and make people fire resistant, etc. It's fine if the game is a 'figure out what killed you, load a save, and go forth' sort of affair, but I doubt this to really be the case. I think I'm doing something wrong in this game and can't figure out what (this group finished Durlag's Tower, top to bottom, and also slew Aec'Lectec)...

Charname (Berserker halberdier)
Yeslick
Ajantis
Viconia (slings, but has the stunning mace)
Imoen (short bow)
Neera (slings and whatever spell substitutes itself for what I've told her to cast)

I ended up moving slowly, aggravating one enemy at a time for as long as I could. The mages and archer started, so I rushed to stop the explosions. It ended up working after most of the party was almost dead.



Then, the confrontation


The un-disarm-able traps in the middle are cheese of the foulest sort! Anyway, I figured it wouldn't be meta-knowledge to buff like crazy (I also disarmed the traps to the sides, which brought one of the doom knight thingies against us) before the fight. Another detonation arrow was unleashed upon us here.

Anyway, I used CloudKill (it seemed to weaken Sarevok aka Koveras) and did all I can to keep CHARNAME alive (rage plus DUHM with Regeneration Potion and Chant). The dimension door mage skipped past CloudKill, and was tough. I think we kept far enough south to avoid Aggravating the other two lackeys, and, as such, we were able to win.

I think the not-aggro'ing unseen opponents is cheese in a case where they're a group, but it's also sound tactics in that you shouldn't bite off more than you can chew. Is this winnable without cheese? I hear about solo players taking this group out and it seems impossible (what character can take two arrows of detonation, for instance)?



Just curious. I like challenging games, but this is more an exercise in frustration than anything else.

Comments

  • ajwzajwz Member Posts: 4,122
    Summoning monsters in the final battle is very powerful, if nothing else because they can take aggro.
    Also, haste and potion spam

  • nanonano Member Posts: 1,632
    For some reason the arrows of detonation aren't always used against me. I'm not sure why. But why not turn it around? You've seen how dangerous fireballs are... so hit them with six before they launch their one. Who doesn't love a little game of global thermonuclear warfare in Baldur's Gate? I send a stealthed thief ahead (standard practice) and when she sees enemies she calls in the artillery.

    Another option is to make them hurt themselves more than they hurt you. Send a fire resistant tank in first. If they want to shoot you they'll hit their own party. No one wants to nuke their own troops... though the AI isn't that smart and does it anyway. As a bonus the others will probably beat the crap out of him for hitting them.

    A third option is to assassinate the guy with the arrows before he shoots them. It helps to split the group up a little beforehand with some spells or movement.

    As for solo, it's a different endeavor from party play. It's easy to make one character immune to whatever the enemy throws at you; much harder to do for six. As such detonation arrows are kind of a joke, and solo characters can just make themselves immune to magic and waltz across the trapped floor and use it to kill Sarevok's friends. That's probably one of the reasons it was removed in SCS.

    reedmilfamCorvino
  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,823
    edited December 2013
    For the next to last battle, Imoen really came into her own.

    I had her pre-stealth ahead with the limited charges invis ring from Ulgoth's Beard. After she found "da squishy one" aka the mage, the rest of my party got just outside of LoS. She backstabbed, then quickly hit the ring again (note: she did lose about 75% of her health doing it, in retrospect it was SO worth it), as "team meatshield" moved forward (Wizard Slayer PC + Yeslick, Ajantis and Rasaad right behind them), Xan was all like "I do love me some chaos in the morning". Ya chaos is stupidly good against them.

    As far as the final battle, Imoen was stealthing again looking for traps (yes she was her canon 7 thief/8 mage at this point), the wizard pulled by himself. I merely smiled at my good fortune, killed him, finished disarming traps, then opened up a can of dwarven whoopass ale on the crew.

    Disclaimers: I was playing on core, I was mad that Yeslick got the kill on him the first time, so I reloaded and managed to get Big Bad with the Wand of Paralyzation. Fun fact: you have to wait for said wand to run out before you can actually kill him (although my WZ had beat him down to 1 health by this point).

    typo_tilly
  • Durlag_ThunderaxeDurlag_Thunderaxe Member Posts: 71
    Are u playing with SCS or on a very high difficulty? Sarevok and his crew have always been ridiculously hard unless u try to cheese it, but i never remembered the group outside causing a problem. Admittedly I've never played on anything more than Core Rules, and I only remember getting Arrow of Detonationed by Angelo in the final battle.

  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,823
    @Durlag_Thunderaxe

    In the group before him there are actually two archers with Arrows of Detonation which can wipe a party pretty hard if you don't properly scout etc. As it is, that is the first time in game you encounters Arrows of Det and how can you know that "oh hey both these archers are going to be shooting fireballs at me twice a round until they die".

    typo_tillyDurlag_Thunderaxe
  • CandleBesideCandleBeside Member Posts: 38
    I must say that on the first playthrough of bgee I also got owned at the final battle. I only did durlag's tower of totsc, but it wouldn't have changed much if I did all I assume.
    I didn't remember much of the final battle, and so to keep all my party members alive it took me at least 6 retries.

    I read somewhere, the final battle got harder with the enhanced edition, isn't it?

  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959

    I must say that on the first playthrough of bgee I also got owned at the final battle. I only did durlag's tower of totsc, but it wouldn't have changed much if I did all I assume.
    I didn't remember much of the final battle, and so to keep all my party members alive it took me at least 6 retries.

    I read somewhere, the final battle got harder with the enhanced edition, isn't it?

    @CandleBeside
    I think it got harder with TotSC, cos Sarevok has haste, and possibly other buffs he didn't have originally. BG EE of course included TotSC, so Sarevok has the full range of buffs regardless of if u did TotSC content.

  • CandleBesideCandleBeside Member Posts: 38
    @Heindrich1988 I see, then I must have mixed that up with something.

    So I would have had a better chance to survive in the forgotten realms in my youth, than I would have now :).

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,399
    I've feared and banged my head against the final battle of BG1 for years. I only recently discovered a trick in my last run - save up potions of grounding and fire resistance (or green scrolls of fire and lightning), for the last battle. I skipped lower Durlag's and Aec Latec, because I knew I needed *all* of these resources for the final battle, and I decided to prioritize Sarevok over sub-bosses that might expend precious resources.

    Once you have your whole party immune to fire and lightning, you can spam arrows of detonation and fireballs with every party member who can hold a bow or swing a wand, with impunity. Someone can deliberately set off all the lightning traps on the Bhaal symbol - it'll hurt them bad and you not at all. All those wands of lightning you were afraid to use through the whole game? - Start waving them over and over.

    Have one good archer switch to an arrow or two of dispelling, and watch Semaj's many-layered defenses go down in one hit, and his death on the next round.

    This strategy is fairly foolproof - unless, and it's a big "unless", you have used up all your fire protection against the Durlag's demon knight and Aec Latec. Then, you may be screwed.

    But mine is only one of many strategies that can win.

    Luckily for me, though, I don't need bragging rights about Durlag's or Aec Latec. Meh, I just want to get past Sarevok and get to BG2, by that point in the game. And you can't take anything from Durlag's with you, anyway.

    reedmilfamDurlag_Thunderaxe
  • nanonano Member Posts: 1,632
    Yep, arrows of dispelling are very useful for this fight.

    I must say that on the first playthrough of bgee I also got owned at the final battle. I only did durlag's tower of totsc, but it wouldn't have changed much if I did all I assume.
    I didn't remember much of the final battle, and so to keep all my party members alive it took me at least 6 retries.

    I read somewhere, the final battle got harder with the enhanced edition, isn't it?

    @CandleBeside
    I think it got harder with TotSC, cos Sarevok has haste, and possibly other buffs he didn't have originally. BG EE of course included TotSC, so Sarevok has the full range of buffs regardless of if u did TotSC content.
    .... as much for this as for the mages.

    Durlag_Thunderaxe
  • reedmilfamreedmilfam Member Posts: 2,808
    So Xan was right. We were all doomed...

    typo_tillyWolk
  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,823
    @Reedmilfam

    Xan kicked ass in those fights.........even with his measly 21 hp =/

    Wolk
  • Midget_GemsMidget_Gems Member Posts: 8
    Once you've completed the last fights a few times then you get more creative and want to win with a bit of style. so reloading just for fun to try out a couple of things can be interesting. Especially if (like me) you have a weak, unbalanced party that is easily wiped out.

    A couple of my favorites:
    For the battle outside I once got stuck and my work around was to unload a whole wand of lightening into them from just out of sight. But you need an aim point so someone downed a potion and stood in front as a target and the lightening when through and hit the bad guys behind.

    And for the final battle I get a kick out of humiliating Sarevok. Paralyzing him and feeding him to a pack of dogs is nice. As is using Chaos & Confusion to get the bad guys to fight amongst themselves. Recently I was able to charm Sarevok and have him kill his friends. I can't remember the last time I got into a clean fight with all those nasty people who want to kill you, sounds too dangerous to me. I usually stand back and watch the action from a safe place.

    Montresor_SP
  • kaffekoppenkaffekoppen Member Posts: 377
    The last fight is a clear difficulty spike. It's so much more difficult than the rest of the game, even without mods. I've said this before, but perhaps the game should have had increasing difficulty up to that point rather than just being easy, easy, easy, *SPLAT*. Then again, part of the difficulty for me was simply realizing that yes, I actually need buffs, which I only did for maybe two other fights in the entire game (Aec and Demon Knight).

    Anyway, I think the standard and easiest way to beat it is to get all relevant potions on your fighters (most of all, you need Oil of Speed) and just whack at Sarevok, ignoring everything else. He will go down rather quickly with any luck. Straightforward and extremely unsatisfying!

    PS: I didn't use any resistance potions in Durlag's Tower. Are they really necessary?

  • AigleborgneAigleborgne Member Posts: 24
    The fact is this game is an old-school RPG game, it was meant to be difficult, especially in the end.
    For a casual gamer that barely know the rules and spell system, it can be extremely difficult to beat without external help (hints, advices, ...)

    And this is only vanilla game, if we add some mods like SCS, it's another story.
    Back to the subject, end game is using overpowered items like arrows of detonation, I have already said that in another post. Good news is you can use them too.

    I don't know how you are dealing with difficult battles, but here is a few advices:
    - pause often. I personally pause almost every 6 seconds to plan my next spells or adapting my strategy. I'm obviously playing spellcasters group :)
    - kill casters fast, they should be a top priority
    - distract melee with summons to buy you a few rounds
    - beware of dangerous archers, same thing as melee: use summons, but you sometimes need to replace your group behind the fight (vanilla scripts use nearest target)
    - build a tank and use him to absorb all damage and spells. For this matter, I highly suggest a mage level 8-9. You will use protection from fire, mirror image, minor globe, blur, free action, and haste. Then send him alone to run around foes, avoiding melee ones. Recast mirror image when needed. Once minor globe or image run out, bring your party, your foes should have unleash most of their power. This is really a cheese strategy that I don't use anymore because it makes all battles very easy.

  • Midget_GemsMidget_Gems Member Posts: 8
    Maybe I can see too many predictable ideas. Often the advice is buff up your best fighter to protect him/her because this is a difficult fight. Well yes it is if you go straight at it just like all the previous ones. And suppose I don't have a fighter or a tank because I am roleplaying without one. It may be a bit cheesy to reload a couple of times until an important save is made (or failed) but the result can be satisfying. There is usually a good solution to most battles in BG1 using magic, if you can find a weakness and exploit it then you are well on the way to victory.

    Two other strategies that re-occur often in BG1 that apply here are:
    - divide and conquer.
    - if it's dangerous get someone else to do it for you.

  • devinlcdevinlc Member Posts: 3
    I dunno. I just finished BGEE for the first time after only having finished the original once many many years ago. I played on the higher than normal difficulty where you roll for your hit points. The final battle against Saravok was horribly easy...and my party was not optimized by any means. The key to most big battles is to scout ahead. Imoen does that. She saw Saravok on his throne and spotted the traps. Seeing those, I decided to let the fight come to me. My dudes spread out near the door with spellcasters to the sides and fighters in the middle. Imoen activates Sarevok and then flees back to the center.

    I have a spider, skeleton warrior, and nymph presummoned and a few minor buffs. Senaj appears right in my midst. Idiot! My warriors disrupt his spells and a magic missile barrage from Neera keeps him busy. Sarevok and Tazok soon follow, but my bard (yeah my Charname is a bard/blade...I told you I don't optimize!) uses that magical harp from Ulgoths to dominate Tazok, who then beats on Sarevok. Senaj dies real quick, and then it is ram on Sarevok, tag teaming warriors (removing one when he gets low on hp to get healed while the other takes it from Sarevok) and Neera (who mems 10 magic missiles) just pelts him with MMs until he just dies. Sarevok really needs some magic resistance. Tazok came out of the harp influence but by then Sarevok was doomed.

    As far as the penultimate battle, yeah you are gonna need to basically get wiped by Mr. Detonation Arrows once to find out what he does. After that, you can just deal with him. I tend to find that in mixed bad guy groups the mages stay back and the warriors move forward. So I am always a fan of letting them come to me. Popped a web and sent my freedom of movement person through it to activate the bad guys...then run back, leading them through the web. When my FoM is past a cloudkill takes care of anyone stuck in the webs. Mr. Detonation Arrows didn't stand much of a chance.

  • kaffekoppenkaffekoppen Member Posts: 377
    Well if you pull Sarevok's lackeys to you, they don't even all come at once (and some might not even come). First Semaj teleports in (always to the same location). Then Sarevok and perhaps Tazok lazily wander over to you and you can just beat on Sarevok until he's dead. In fact, I just did this. Very very easy.

    The fight is quite a bit more challenging if you charge in.

    Durlag_Thunderaxe
  • DungeonnoobDungeonnoob Member Posts: 315
    Next time i see Sarevok i will turn him into a squirrel if i can.*Grrr*

  • AigleborgneAigleborgne Member Posts: 24
    Exactly as he said. Plus, you did not mention Angelo and he is really dangerous too.
    The way you described your battle implies you are not a rookie in RPG. You scouted, disrupted mages, charmed fighters. Honestly, as a baldur veteran, I wouldn't have done it better.

    Now for you, I suggest you try a mod like SCS. you will see a big difference. Semaj, for example, as a level 12 mage, should be a lot more dangerous. But average spells selection with a very basic script can't make him good. And none of them use items like potions, wands, ...
    Also, you mentioned you prepared yourself for the battle and you was right because it was obvious. But... your enemies didn't ! What if they have also prepared their summons and spells at the same time as you?

    There are also a few other things that make this battle easy. Battle horrors for example are not very dangerous but they are mightier in P&P. They can cast magic missile, immune to many spells, have a more powerful weapon that can't be dispelled... This is exactly why I have started an AI mod and P&P monsters.

    Well if you pull Sarevok's lackeys to you, they don't even all come at once (and some might not even come). First Semaj teleports in (always to the same location). Then Sarevok and perhaps Tazok lazily wander over to you and you can just beat on Sarevok until he's dead. In fact, I just did this. Very very easy.

    The fight is quite a bit more challenging if you charge in.

  • moody_magemoody_mage Member Posts: 2,052
    Potion everyone up to the wazoo, Speed, Heroisms, Defense, Protection from Fires etc... Potions when used in plentiful amounts are a real game-breaker and should allow you to roflstomp pretty much any group.

  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    @decado has the right of it. Potions can make a real difference if you're got a tough fight on your hands, as can Wands and party buffing.

    Save up your potions of Heroism for tough fights, ditto potions of power, potions of fire giant strength and above and potions of invulnerability.

    Wands of paralysation are great. Use them, love them. Greater Malison, Doom and then Wand of paralysation and even Aec'Letec can end up paralysed fairly regularly.

    And just make sure that you're fully buffed before any major fight. Remove fear, Bless, Chant, Haste, Defensive Harmony and Protection from Evil 10' radius are all good. Extras like Improved invisibility can really help on your melee as well (It gives a -4 AC bonus).

  • Ziva75Ziva75 Member Posts: 25
    Before EE, summon monster II would summon hoards of hobgoblins. (not sure if it still does, since EE makes BG 1 and BG 2 spells similar, I think). So now Summon Monster II might just summon one really tough guy.

    Anyway, in the old system, I could spam a few of these spells and have a veritable army of hobgoblins as a result... which was plenty, plenty of buffer. While Sarevok took his time chewing through him, Kivan would pelt him with arrows until he went down. IIRC, I didn't even have to kill the other members of his group.

    Anyway, the fact that your same party which took out Alec'letec is having trouble with Sarevok scares me... as I had a -very- hard time with Alec'letec! Is EE actually harder than the original?

  • BigfishBigfish Member Posts: 368
    I don't know that it's harder. I think part of it is BG was designed with the old system in mind, so more shields, no dual-wielding, and magic working a bit different, summons in particular.

    The nature of the system also means there are huge differences in levels and what a +1 will do for you.

    It also makes a difference how you treat reloads. If you are used to constant reloading, you tend to not pay that much attention to what is killing you. I find very few resources on what enemies do and tons of strats that involve reload-until-you-roll-well.

    Durlag_Thunderaxe
  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,471


    The un-disarm-able traps in the middle are cheese of the foulest sort!

    Try luring Sarevok and his crew onto the traps.

    This guy did it to great success, playing as a solo bard.

    jackjackCrevsDaakBlackraven
  • mumumomomumumomo Member Posts: 635
    Safe method with a solo sorc (or mage, or bard)

    1- Buff :
    - stoneskin and mirror image
    - 2 potions of magic resistance (immune to the mage and explosive arrows)
    if you get dispelled, get invisble (potion or ring) and take 2 more potions of magic res.

    2- let them kill themselves
    Just keep running while angelo shoots arrow of detonation at you : he will damage everyone so they will turn on him and kill him.
    From there you face a useless mage (thanks to 100MR), tazok and sarevok (all of them have taken some damage because of angelo).

    3- kill the remaining guys
    You can then proceed to kill sarevok using magic missile/MMM while you summon fodder to keep them busy using a wand of monster summoning. You have to kill angelo first or his arrow of detonation will slaughter the summonned monsters.

    This shows once more than the limited charged items (potions, wands) completely break game balance in BG1 (probably less in BG2 since selfmade spells become much more powerful).


    Safe method with a backstabbing character :

    1- get behind sarevok and backstab him (preferaby with the staff of striking but anything would work).
    2- Drink potion of invisibility or use ring of invisibility
    3- Rinse and repeat until he dies (quite fast)

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