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How can I improve Haer Dalis?

drumcoolerdrumcooler Member Posts: 239
I recruited for the first time Haer Dalis. At first I didn't like him so much but I think, with the correct equipment and the correct proficiences, he'll be a great npc in melee thanks to protection spells.

Any advice about his optimisation?

About prof. i think to give him 3 points in 2 weapons and give the others in long sword and bow. Do you think other weapons are better for him?

About equipment i think to give him:

- Melodic Chainmail +3. Are there other better armors wich allow to cast spells?
- Girdle of Fortitude
- In Tob the Wonderous Gloves but in SoA i don't know... Gauntlets of Ogre Power or Gauntlets of Weapons Skill?
- Weapons... mmm. There are many long Swords, probably have a collection of them and use according to circumstances would be an interesting option.
- Kundane as off-hand weapon

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Comments

  • NecomancerNecomancer Member Posts: 622
    Give him a top hat. Everything is improved with a top hat.

    jacobtanjackjackCrevsDaaklolien
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    edited April 2014
    jacobtan said:

    @drumcooler‌

    Haer'Dalis is not an easy character to use, but if used right, he is able to match up with the best characters. I assume you are inviting comments on how to equip him, so I'll comment accordingly.

    1. For starters, you need to be sure about what you want him to achieve. He is not a fighter. Neither is he a fighter/mage. He is a bard with some special abilities from his kit that helps him in combat. The complaints about him often arise because he's expected to perform as a fighter or fighter/mage when he's not.

    Remember: just because he can tank does not mean that he is designed to be a tank. He can tank if needed, but that is underutilizing his bard abilities.

    2. For defense, in the SOA part of the game, sadly, there isn't much in available armors. But he has Stoneskin, and he can cast it at high levels. In a pinch, use the Defensive Spin. Once he gets UAI, he can use Robes of the Archmagi, regardless of alignment. For fun, you can also get him to use Jan's armor.

    3. Girdle of Fortitude isn't very important for him. All that it offers is 20HP at best. If you have it, use it, but it's not a big deal. If you want him to be at the front, a Strength belt is better since it adds to his THAC0 and damage. Otherwise, girdle of piercing (protects him from stray missiles) or some other AC girdle.

    4. Gauntlets of Ogre Power only if you want him to be at the front line or if you want him to use slings, you do not have any more girdles of giant strength, you are willing to give up Crom Faeyr. Otherwise, Gauntlets of Weapon Skill or Expertise are fine.

    5. Once you get Enhanced Bard Song for him, consider not using him at the front line at all. His THAC0 is Rogue THAC0 and won't be as good as a pure fighter's and he doesn't get extra attacks or grandmastery, but singing the enhanced bard song boosts all allies' THAC0 and damage tremendously (+4).

    Note that the enhanced bard song, even without the clone-singing exploit, is extremely strong for melee-oriented parties. If you have three front-liners with a combined 15 attacks total, the enhanced bard song adds a full 15x4=60 damage, and better hit rate too. If Haer'Dalis cannot hit for this damage by himself, sing.

    6. If you do want him to be at the front line, you can use Short Sword of Mask +4 (you can buy it at Watcher's Keep early) with Kundane +2 (if no one else is using it). In TOB, you can also use Answerer +4 and Angurvadal +5. If no one else can use it, Haer'Dalis can use the Scarlet Ninja-To +3.

    No scimitars in main hand. Base THAC0 for bards cap at 10. You'll need all the THAC0 bonus you can get, else he won't be able to hit consistently. Long Swords are different because they do offer a better spread of bonuses as compared to scimitars, so it's okay.

    7. If you are happy with him at the back, his high number of weapon proficiencies should allow you to be proficient in any missile weapon with proficiencies to spare. Tuigan Bow +1, Gesen Bow, and Fire Tooth +4 (you can buy this at Watcher's Keep too) are all good.

    8. He's great with wands. Keep the best ones with him (wand of spell striking, rod of reversal, rod of resurrection) and let him fire off from behind while your fighters at the front are busy hitting and swigging potions. Note that you need UAI for some of these wands.

    The blade is an amazing damage dealer and the best tank you can get in the game. I would agree with pretty much every point you make if you were talking about Bard, Skald or Jester. But the blade can very easily be up there with a fighter in efficiency.

    The moment you give him Kundane or Belm he'll sit with 4 APR while using offensive spin. That's 4 APR with max damage on every hit. With Improved haste you'll be sitting on 6 APR. This isn't as much or as powerful as a 10 APR whirlwind warrior. But you have to remember that it takes time to get a warrior to 10 APR, and even when he does the bard will not only be dealing a decent amount of damage, he'll survive like a champ. Throw in a skulltrap or two in the middle of a pile of enemies and you'll have very high damage there as well.

    And his Thac0 won't be a problem as Tensers will give him the same Thac0 as a fighter of equal level.

    drumcoolerJuliusBorisov
  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    The problem with Blades, and bards in general, is that a F/M/T is superior in every aspect except he can't sing.

    drumcooler
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    Gotural said:

    The problem with Blades, and bards in general, is that a F/M/T is superior in every aspect except he can't sing.

    And the level you're casting spells at.

    But i agree that if you're looking at the classes on their own, the F/M/T is more powerful. But if you're running with a party of 4,5 or 6 the Blade will be better.

    Solo -> F/M/T
    Party -> Blade.

    drumcoolerelminsterjackjack
  • jacobtanjacobtan Member Posts: 655
    edited April 2014
    @Gotural‌

    That much is true, though the Enhanced Bard Song is that powerful, even without using the clone-singing exploit. The song scales up in effectiveness as you have more party members. @SionIV‌ makes a sound conclusion here.

    @SionIV‌

    If you want to use him as a F/M, then you need to consider what @Gotural‌ pointed out - F/M/Ts are just about superior in every aspect except for song, so if you are using a bard, not milking his bardic abilities for what they are worth is a waste.

    drumcooler
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    jacobtan said:

    @Gotural‌

    That much is true, though the Enhanced Bard Song is that powerful, even without using the clone-singing exploit.

    @SionIV‌

    If you want to use him as a F/M, then you need to consider what @Gotural‌ pointed out - F/M/Ts are just about superior in every aspect except for song, so if you are using a bard, not milking his bardic abilities for what they are worth is a waste.

    As i explained the level progression makes the blade much more powerful in parties. And we don't have any F/M NPC's in the game but we do have a blade, Haer'Dalis.

    And the fact that F/M and F/M/T are over the top powerful doesn't make the blade bad. Haer'Dalis will outperform pretty much every single other NPC's out there if you know how to play him.

    drumcoolerJuliusBorisov
  • drumcoolerdrumcooler Member Posts: 239
    edited April 2014
    Gotural said:

    The problem with Blades, and bards in general, is that a F/M/T is superior in every aspect except he can't sing.

    Ok surely pcs are better than npcs but if i want to play with a party, i have to choose some npc and the idea of a Blade like Haer Dalis is not bad. I dropped Dorn for him because in SCS it's hard for simple fighters, they can't cast protection spells and for every fight i have to prebuff them a lot.
    I Keep Korgan because i like him so much but i want other fighters able to cast stoneskin, mirror image, ecc..

    SionIV
  • jacobtanjacobtan Member Posts: 655
    @drumcooler‌

    A word of caution though, if you are using Haer'Dalis as a fighter/mage, you may be underwhelmed. His THAC0 is really terrible, and not enough to deal with the late-game monsters.

    drumcooler
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    jacobtan said:

    @drumcooler‌

    A word of caution though, if you are using Haer'Dalis as a fighter/mage, you may be underwhelmed. His THAC0 is really terrible, and not enough to deal with the late-game monsters.

    As i mentioned above with Tensers he has the same Thac0 as a fighter of equal level, and damage won't be a problem at all.

    drumcoolerjackjack
  • jacobtanjacobtan Member Posts: 655
    edited April 2014
    @SionIV‌

    Tenser's will disable spells, at least in vanilla. I will grant you this point, but I am not one who fancies building houses out of cards :)

    drumcooler
  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    I agree that a Blade isn't bad in itself. Still I think I would prefer to play a F/M/T in a full party istead of a Blade.

    drumcooler
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    edited April 2014
    jacobtan said:

    @SionIV‌

    Tenser's disable spells, at least in vanilla. I will grant you this point, but I am not one who fancies building houses out of cards :)

    The blade is high enough level that his spells will have a long duration. You won't need Tensers before end game, and then you'll do fine with putting it up after your protective spells. A contingency will still go through tensers for a second Stoneskin/Mirror image.
    Gotural said:

    I agree that a Blade isn't bad in itself. Still I think I would prefer to play a F/M/T in a full party istead of a Blade.

    A F/M/T is going to be much less powerful than the blade for a 5-6 man party. You'll already be behind a blade when you're pure class mage, you'll be so much behind the blade with a F/M/T that he'll outperform you from level 1 to pretty much the last boss in ToB when you're doing a full party.

    When the F/M/T reach level 12 mage the blade will be level 20.

    Let's look at their spell casting.

    [Mage]

    Level 1 - 4
    Level 2 - 4
    Level 3 - 4
    Level 4 - 4
    Level 5 - 4
    Level 6 - 1

    [Blade]

    Level 1 - 4
    Level 2 - 4
    Level 3 - 4
    Level 4 - 4
    Level 5 - 4
    Level 6 - 3

    So not only does the blade have MORE spells than your F/M/T he'll also cast with 8 levels higher. You'll notice an even bigger difference on earlier levels.

    drumcoolerelminsterJuliusBorisov
  • jacobtanjacobtan Member Posts: 655
    SionIV said:

    jacobtan said:

    @SionIV‌

    Tenser's disable spells, at least in vanilla. I will grant you this point, but I am not one who fancies building houses out of cards :)

    The blade is high enough level that his spells will have a long duration. You won't need Tensers before end game, and then you'll do fine with putting it up after your protective spells. A contingency will still go through tensers for a second Stoneskin/Mirror image.
    I use Haer'Dalis frequently and I am not contesting the possibilities that you are laying out, so there is no need for you to rebut me here.

    I am referring to the micromanagement that is required to make Haer'Dalis viable as a tank, and even after setting him up to be a viable tank, he requires more care to manage. In no way am I saying your argument is unsound, but I will say there is a safer, easier way to use him effectively.

    drumcooler
  • drumcoolerdrumcooler Member Posts: 239
    I put a like in every single comment you posted. I learn more reding your comments than with hours of gameplay :D

    SionIVluskan
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    jacobtan said:

    SionIV said:

    jacobtan said:

    @SionIV‌

    Tenser's disable spells, at least in vanilla. I will grant you this point, but I am not one who fancies building houses out of cards :)

    The blade is high enough level that his spells will have a long duration. You won't need Tensers before end game, and then you'll do fine with putting it up after your protective spells. A contingency will still go through tensers for a second Stoneskin/Mirror image.
    I use Haer'Dalis frequently and I am not contesting the possibilities that you are laying out, so there is no need for you to rebut me here.

    I am referring to the micromanagement that is required to make Haer'Dalis viable as a tank, and even after setting him up to be a viable tank, he requires more care to manage. In no way am I saying your argument is unsound, but I will say there is a safer, easier way to use him effectively.
    I agree with you here, that he requires a huge amount of micromanagement and pre buffing for every single fight. He has a very high 'skill roof' and you'll have to put both time and knowledge if you want to make him work like a F/M.

    As i said i agree 110% with what you say if we talk about any other bard. I just feel that it's a shame to play with a blade and not use him to his most, even if it requires a shit load of micromanagement.

    jacobtan
  • jacobtanjacobtan Member Posts: 655
    @SionIV‌

    I will admit that the real reason why I use Haer'Dalis often is... I hate micromanaging a full party of six. I get him to go invisible and sing, then hide him far away from any battle, so that I only need to manage five characters XD

    SionIV
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    jacobtan said:

    @SionIV‌

    I will admit that the real reason why I use Haer'Dalis often is... I hate micromanaging a full party of six. I get him to go invisible and sing, then hide him far away from any battle, so that I only need to manage five characters XD

    I know exactly what you mean. I'll play with a party size of 4 at the most, which makes it easier for me to play with Haer'Dalis as i have to focus on less party members. 6 party members can turn into a cluster **** very quickly.

    jacobtan
  • styggastygga Member Posts: 467
    Cut his head off. That'll improve him.

    elminsterjackjackjacobtan
  • jackjackjackjack Member Posts: 3,249
    I highly recommend installing the Rogue Rebalancing mod, as it gives Blades, (and other Bards), their proper PnP progression to level 8 spells. This brings them even closer to FMTs, and in a 5-6 person party, helps to pull them even further ahead. They cast like a mage, but level like a thief.
    The problems with Haer'Dalis and all other Blades, are that their lore and song suffer greatly, but both of these issues are nullified toward the end of the game, with the enhanced Bard song HLA, along with an obscene amount of gold, allowing you to identify anything your party can't figure out on its own.

    JuliusBorisov
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,019
    Well blades (and Skalds) at the moment have a bug effecting their lore. I'm not sure how much it impacts Haer'Dalis since he's a Tiefling race wise (I'm not sure if they get any racial bonuses towards pickpocket) and he only has 17 dexterity.

    jackjack
  • iavasechuiiavasechui Member Posts: 273
    Is Rouge Rebalancing compatible with EE? I would love to use it if so.

  • fauxreal12fauxreal12 Member Posts: 2
    Pretty much all the important tricks have been mentioned already, but one thing that i haven't seen anybody mention is that he is an excellent candidate for celestial fury. Combine that with an offensive spin and strength boosting item and he will easily out damage any of the other front lining npcs that are available... except maybe Sarevok.

    I've also once pitted Haer Dalis against Minsc with just a tensor's buff beforehand and poor Minsc didn't stand a chance.

  • jackjackjackjack Member Posts: 3,249

    Is Rouge Rebalancing compatible with EE? I would love to use it if so.

    It's working perfectly for me. You can grab it over at Spellhold Studios - version 4.70 is the one you want, I believe.

  • LoubLoub Member Posts: 471

    Is Rouge Rebalancing compatible with EE? I would love to use it if so.

    I honestly have no idea why someone would rebalance makeup.

  • iavasechuiiavasechui Member Posts: 273
    XD I meant Rogue so I can't spell right 100% of the time, sue me

    jackjackelminsterjacobtan
  • jacobtanjacobtan Member Posts: 655
    edited April 2014
    Rogue Rebalancing changes both thieves and bards drastically, including removal of the bard traps iirc. You should pick and choose what you want if you want Haer'Dalis to retain the ability to set traps.

    elminsterjackjack
  • drumcoolerdrumcooler Member Posts: 239
    edited April 2014
    I'm playing with the SCS mod, is the rogue mod compatible? What are the changes in the Blade class with Rogue?
    I have to say that i don't like playing with a too much patched game.
    Traps are not a problem, another thief is in my party.

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