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The Party of Spiders: No-reload SCS2 run

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Comments

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,339
    I don't like the trap option, so I think I'll avoid using clones for that purpose--testing found that the traps do in fact function correctly, and a set of 4 normal traps and one spike trap was sufficient to bring Abazigal to Injured, and lightly damage Balthazar as well. It seems like it takes a moment for Abazigal to get his Stoneskins.

    A Protection from Magic scroll will prevent some of Sendai's spellcasting, but it won't stop her from casting Freedom on an Imprisoned Balthazar, nor will it stop her Heal Contingency, or her sequencers, and it seems like she can either retain or refresh a Stoneskin spell despite the Protection from Magic scroll. She can also still teleport, which further complicates things. The scroll might still neutralize her as an offensive threat, and setting traps to the north could slay her when she tries to run and her Stoneskins are down.

    The weird thing is that Sendai has no Freedom spell either in her spellbook or her script. But somehow she could still cast the spell to free Balthazar. I have no explanation for this.

    Abazigal is another candidate for the Protection from Magic scroll. He's an aggressive debuffer, but maybe we just need to spend more resources on our defenses. In the last two test runs, I've been hesitant to use buff spells during the fight with the Five out of an instinct to conserve our resources, but really, I only need so many resources for Melissan herself, since we'll be using flashers on her. The scroll would reduce him to a fighter-type role, and unlike Sendai, he cannot teleport, rendering him relatively ineffective. Still, he should be easier to debuff than Sendai. We can, of course, use the Wand of Lightning trick to hit EVERYONE with the Protection from Magic scroll, but that wouldn't be very interesting, much like the trap option. Perhaps we could have Nalia use Improved Alacrity to debuff Abazigal, though I've long been leery of using Improved Alacrity in SCS2, as it can't be used by clones in my install, and I want to preserve those spells for clone summoning.

    I was wrong on Illasera. She cripples the party. Her arrows dispel magic as a level 30 spell. They also tack on 40% spell failure for 3 rounds. Both effects are unacceptable. Only PFMW will block this, because somehow we don't have the Shield of Reflection. We therefore must take down Illasera within the first four rounds of combat. This will require Jan's attention, unless we make Illasera the focus of our trap setting.

    Nobody in this fight has Remove Magic, nor is it mentioned in anybody's scripts. All Sendai has is Dispel Magic, which she casts at level 20. This means we could free up our 5th-level spell slots for Spell Shield rather than SI: Abjuration, or use SI: Evocation to ward off Solar Stance. Sendai does have True Seeing, which would warrant SI: Divination, but I believe a Protection from Magic scroll would prevent this.

    Perhaps a better plan would be to kill Illasera with pre-set Spike Traps, have Haer'dalis kill Yaga-Shura during Time Trap with DEX drain, use the Protection from Magic scroll on Sendai, and then spawn in some clones to debuff Abazigal. Once Abazigal is dead, we must kill Sendai to make sure Melissan's saves are high enough for us to stun her. Balthazar and Gromnir can be killed or ignored, but not Imprisoned, as Melissan will cast Freedom on them.

    kcwiselolienCrevsDaakJuliusBorisov
  • Alesia_BHAlesia_BH Member Posts: 408
    edited June 2015
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,834
    Very nice work, not sure if you can top this run! ;)

    semiticgodkcwiselolienJuliusBorisov
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    I think it's time for you to upgrade to the EE version, lots of the exploits get closed!

    kcwiselolienJuliusBorisov
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,339
    I appreciate the support, everybody. I'm very happy with how this went.

    I don't know why Melissan only appeared after all of the Five were dead. It may have had something to do with the Time Stop, or the DEX drain kill, or it might have just been a fluke. The battle could have gotten more complicated had Melissan arrived earlier, though it wouldn't have been that much harder.

    We did have tons of resources left over, with most of our strongest spells still intact, including all of our Summon (Fallen) Planetar spells. Each party member had Spell Shield and Spell Turning, with the exception of Haer'dalis, who only had the former, and Aerie, who also had Shield of the Archons. A good defensive barrier, in the scheme of things. 12 rounds of PFMW across the board, 2 spare Spell Immunity spells apiece, some PFMW and Absolute Immunity scrolls, three Rods of Resurrection... we saved up a lot for this fight.

    Oh, and the secret weapon I mentioned... Sil could use the Wand of Lightning trick to summon 6 Project Image clones at once, and the clones could use their own Wands of Lightning to cast Wish 6 times, as well, for 36 Wish spells in one round, which we could do twice for each of Sil's three Project Image spells. That would be a guaranteed reset if things went wrong, but it would entail using a game-breaking exploit. I'd rather win it without the Wand of Lightning, as much as I love that trick.

    The best thing to do, if Melissan returned right after Jan's Time Stop, would be to take down Illasera early on, as before, ignoring Abazigal. We'd keep Melissan off our backs with PFMW, then start chasing down Sendai. Once Sendai was gone, we could concentrate on stunning Melissan, using Teleport Field to keep Abazigal at bay (Melissan is immune to Teleport Field) rather than spending valuable time killing him.

    Speaking of stunning Melissan, I realized earlier that we could have stunned Melissan longer and more reliably using the Improved Alacrity+Shapechange trick. Sil could cast Improved Alacrity after casting Shapechange, then switch to Mind Flayer form repeatedly so she could chain multiple Psionic Blasts, one after another. They don't have the -1 save penalty that Jan's flashers do, and we'd still have to lower her MR to hit her with Greater Malison, but Sil could fire off over 30 Psionic Blasts before IA ends, for over a 99% chance of stunning Melissan for 10 rounds, a guaranteed death--even more so than the flashers.

    @Wowo: Which of the exploits were closed? Some of them I like.

    kcwiselolienJuliusBorisov
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    @semiticgod I'm not sure of the exact list but quite a few of them.

    Off the top of my head:
    - UAI not bypassing NPCs unique items
    - bag of holding not making items permanent

    How we feel about exploits is less important than the fact that they are exploits and we should be able to beat the game without them if an updated version of the game removes them.

    kcwiseJuliusBorisov
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,339
    @Wowo: For what it's worth, I already did beat the game without any of these exploits--in a separate run, a long time ago. I'm not sure why you brought it up. Does it matter?
    Wowo said:

    @semiticgod I'm not sure of the exact list but quite a few of them.

    Off the top of my head:
    - UAI not bypassing NPCs unique items
    - bag of holding not making items permanent

    How we feel about exploits is less important than the fact that they are exploits and we should be able to beat the game without them if an updated version of the game removes them.

    Incidentally... if somebody isn't isn't able to beat the game without exploits... is there anything you feel that we should say about that? Is it a good thing? A bad thing? Or does it not matter to us, how somebody else plays BG2?

    I ask because, speaking as somebody who can beat the game without exploits, it doesn't matter to me.

    kcwiseJuliusBorisov
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    @semiticgod my tone was intended to be playful and I would never detract from your accomplishment.

    Personally, I, like you, think exploits have their place. However, exploits get fixed in later versions of the game and then new exploits are found and they, in turn, are fixed and so the cycle continues in the ever seeking quest for perfection. In this way finding an exploit improves the game experience for future players who benefit from a more refined game experience. The same can be said for some game choices which might not be exploits but are still game breaking due to how powerful they are. This is obviously a perspective created from playing online games with more frequent patch cycles but it is somewhat applicable to these games as well I think.

    semiticgodkcwiseJuliusBorisov
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,339
    edited June 2015
    Sorry. I'm a tad prickly when it comes to debates over exploits, even when it's exploits I don't like using. My apologies for being prickly.

    I'm not familiar with online games, where exploits affect other players and revisions occur frequently. I like to dissect systems like BG2, and having the model change constantly would make things really difficult to pin down. I can't help but wonder how people powergame in an online game where the most powerful things get nerfed once people realize how overpowered they are.

    If BG2 were like that, PFMW probably wouldn't even exist!

    kcwiselolienJuliusBorisov
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058

    Sorry. I'm a tad prickly when it comes to debates over exploits, even when it's exploits I don't like using. My apologies for being prickly.

    I'm not familiar with online games, where exploits affect other players and revisions occur frequently. I like to dissect systems like BG2, and having the model change constantly would make things really difficult to pin down. I can't help but wonder how people powergame in an online game where the most powerful things get nerfed once people realize how overpowered they are.

    If BG2 were like that, PFMW probably wouldn't even exist!

    I played DDO for 5 odd years and there was a fantastic struggle to stay ahead of the curve as different OP strategies became too popular and were subsequently nerfed and then you'd look for new options for the devs to later nerf.

    That said, DDO isn't anywhere near as bad as most other games in that sphere as there was very little focus on PvP.

    Occasionally actual exploits would surface. I have fond memories of the cold down bug which let you bypass the cool down of any ability. Nothing like unlimited many shot giving your archer 4x the arrows permanently instead of just for 20 seconds every 2 minutes (or whatever it was).

    semiticgodkcwiseJuliusBorisov
  • Alesia_BHAlesia_BH Member Posts: 408
    edited June 2015

    I don't know why Melissan only appeared after all of the Five were dead. It may have had something to do with the Time Stop, or the DEX drain kill, or it might have just been a fluke.

    Neither stat drain kills nor time stops have that effect in my experience. A kill during time stop will typically force an early end to the time stop.

    Of course, Mel didn't arrive at all during the first run, which suggests that something was awry. And in the second run, the five had been Ctrl-Yed, presumably near simultaneously.

    What happened in your test runs? Did she appear after the second death in those?

    The battle could have gotten more complicated had Melissan arrived earlier, though it wouldn't have been that much harder.

    Agreed.

    Speaking of stunning Melissan, I realized earlier that we could have stunned Melissan longer and more reliably using the Improved Alacrity+Shapechange trick.

    Yes. I've never been fond of the infinite blast, personally. I could see myself using flashers though. Again, nice work!

    Best,

    A.

    Post edited by Alesia_BH on
    semiticgodkcwiselolienJuliusBorisov
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