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Tweak to Dual-classing

In PnP, you never lose your old abilities when dual-classing, but simply never gain xp if you use those abilities for stuff until your new class is higher level. It's well known that the current implementation is simply a work around for the mechanic.

I had an idea the other day....why not tweak the way Dual-classing works.

Instead of removing abilities, just give Dual-class characters a 66%-75% xp penalty, that lasts until their new class is higher then their old class.

While this would slow down advancement of the new class quite a bit, it would also completely remove the downtime that shouldn't exist anyway.



  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,682
    edited October 2013
    But there would be absolutely no downside to it.

    When you're gaining 30 000 experience for a quest in BG2, it's still very easy to reach level 5 as a mage when you're playing a kensai, and then you'll have all of your fighter abilities and Blur/Mirror image/Armor spells to take away your one weakness.

    Then you would be dual classing at level 13-20 easily and have no downsides. I would never ever multi class again if they made this possible.

    Dual class :

    1.) More health
    2.) Better Profficiency (Fighter 5*)
    3.) Quicker level up
    4.) Can be kitted

    And then throw in that you never lose your class.

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited October 2013
    Here's the thing....

    That is EXACTLY how Dual-classing is SUPPOSED to work. Humans don't get any benefits AT ALL, due to the removal of racial level caps and their one minor benefit, dual-classing, was smashed into the ground with the nerf bat for no reason.

    In PnP you aren't really focusing so much on the new class. You generally took it just to add some variety to the abilities you already had and felt you'd learned enough of the current class or simply got bored with it, the penalty being that you no longer progress as that class and couldn't gain xp when using your old abilities vs your new ones, until you were more proficient in your new class then your old one.

    Giving a large xp penalty, while unfair to people who are fine with focusing on only using their new class's abilties, is a nice compromise and eliminates one of the biggest complaints about BG's version of's stupid and doesn't make any sense that you "forget" how to do everything until a certain level. It doesn't make any sense, because that's not how it's supposed to work anyway.

    They've already greatly nerfed dual-classing by disallowing complete freedom (stats/alignment allowing) for what you dual as whatever you want, only being able to dual-class once, not being able to dual into a specialist mage or kit (provided you don't already have a kit). Which are pretty big nerfs already.

    Multi on the other hand had basically all of it's disadvantages removed completely, and was made even more powerful due to the way HLA acquisition is currently handled. They get around 7 more HLA then a dual or single class can, and get to pick from all their class pools. That they can't take kits is the only minor disadvantage. They also don't need good stats or any kind of pre-planning.

    (After digging through all the guides, only cleric kits, some bard kits, or a handful of racial-specific Multiclass-only kits, such as the Bladesinger, can be taken by Multiclasses. Mage, Druid, Fighter, Thief, Ranger all specifically say no multiclassing those kits, but dual-class is fine provided they don't already have a kit).

    Removing the downtime, and replacing it with a harsh xp penalty brings things a little closer to PnP, as well as restoring some of dual-classing's power.

    The instant you dual-classed you would start leveling slower then a 2-class multi (50%) if using a 66% penalty (about the same as a triple class if they went with a 75% penalty (I personally wouldn't mind a 75%, given the amounts of XP BG throws at you)).

    You're still your original character, but now it's gonna take MUCH longer to level up, so while you do have expanded benefits your power is going to come much slower until you surpass your old class.

    (assuming a 75% penalty, which I deem a fair compromise) Say you Dual at 7 Fighter, into a mage. In order to reach lvl 2 mage, you now need to earn 7500, instead of 2500. You're still a fighter and can still fulfill your job in the group, but your new classes growth is VERY stunted until you reach level 8 (270,000 vs 90,000).

    Going to a mage from 13 Fighter to 14 mage would require earning 4,500,000. Of course since you never lose your abilities there's no pressing reason to rush to a particular level, and you can simply set back and enjoy your powers as they come, though the earlier dualled out, the sooner you can get back to progressing at normal speed.

    9 Fighter > 10 mage would take 750,000.

    It's an interesting buffs low level duals, and nerfs high level duals.

    A High level dual gets the benefit of being a powerful character while adding a few new abilities on the side, but due to the penalty can never be able to really replace a true version of that class due to lacking their high level spells and capacity because of VERY slow advancement. Yes, they can pull a few tricks, and become powerful up to a point, but then they slam into a wall at 11>12 mage that makes the 14>15 druid bump look like a cakewalk and just gets worse from there.

    The only way to get around it would be to farm xp which is basically cheating and makes that an irrelevant point.

    A low level dual on the hand, picks up a few new benefits, and then learns their new class quickly and can become a true member of that new class in a reasonably amount of time.

    Which is how Dual-classing should be working. A High level character isn't going to abandon their training, they're still going to use it primarily and instead advance their 2ndry class more slowly between adventures.

    (Such as a 14 Fighter Deciding to dual to a mage. He's still going to be a fighter, but now has access to new perks and benefits, but since he's probably going to just continue to use his old skills during most situations, the bulk of his advancement in his new class will come from personal rewards (such as spell research, item crafting, etc) that he does between adventures leading to a much slower advancement.

    A low level dual though, was basically just trying the class out and decided they wanted to follow a different path, that they devote themselves to almost exclusively. They still have their old skills to back them up in a pinch, but generally prefer to use their new skills (until they run out), which means they typically level faster since a lot of the time they'll at least be gaining a fair amount xp during their adventures. This is already decently implemented due to how quickly classes level when at lower levels.

    Given the massive amounts of xp BG1 and especially 2 throws at you though, I don't see it as unfair to the low level dual, since they'll quickly lose their xp penalty and be able to advance normally, while a high level dual trades more power in their first class, for MUCH delayed acquisition of stronger powers in their 2nd class.

    Also don't discount the value of Demi-human benefits and penalties kits have vs vanilla classes. They generally win overall vs most duals by default. Slightly slower advancement, but they gain several extra perks from race and at the end game become utterly broken by gaining significantly more HLA then a dual or single class does, which more then make up for a lost spell slot or 3.

    The kensage doesn't even begin to match up to a F/M Gnome or Elf. And the HE isn't far behind.

    With this change could take your Kensage all the way up to 18 or beyond before dualing, and still be able to get some power in your new class, but the further you go before dualling, the less xp sources there are available to push you to higher levels in the 2nd class, and you'd end up weaker then a multiclass in your 2nd class. You'd gain some perks yes...but you'd be trading your possibly your 6th, and DEFINITELY your 7th level spells for it.

    Post edited by ZanathKariashi on
  • OlleDenStoreOlleDenStore Member Posts: 43
    I like this idea! They way dual classing currently works always seemed really dumb to me. There's no logical explanation for why a character would forget all he/she knows.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,086
    edited May 2017
    Necroing this thread, since I found it on @bengoshi's index of feature requests here:

    (Though, for some reason my feature requests are not included in bengoshi's list :( )

    Anyway, I really really like this idea by @ZanathKariashi, but I don't know if it's technically possible. Dual-classing mechanics seem pretty hard-coded. Here's my proposed alternative:

    If the devs introduce an opcode or script action that can flip the 'OriginalClass' bits in .cre files, I think it would be possible to switch a character from multiclass to dual-class. Mods could handle the specifics, but here how my mod would look:

    Demihumans would have level limits, but only in the context of multiclassing. Elf fighter/mages might be limited to level 12 as fighters; at that point, a .spl in the fighter CLAB file would trigger the new opcode to convert the elf from a multiclass fighter/mage, to a dual-class fighter>mage. He would continue advancing as a mage from that point on.

    Humans's special advantage would be to avoid any such limits and have complete control over the process. A human multiclass fighter/mage would have a pair of innate abilities: one would stop his advancement as a fighter, and one would stop his advancement as a mage. These abilities could be used at any time, or never.

    This would eliminate the 'downtime' issue, and would differentiate humand and demihumans in a way that doesn't leave either gimped. It would also prevent the exploit where you can have a fighter 2 > mage and continue spamming proficiencies up to GM even though you are no longer advancing as a fighter. (Using the original class's value in profsmax.2da instead of the 2nd class's max is a bug that has never been fixed in 15 years.)

    And, happily, this would be as simple as adding a single new opcode or script action to the game! And it would be totally moddable!

    Post edited by subtledoctor on
  • GrammarsaladGrammarsalad Member Posts: 2,160
    So, yeah, I would like to see something like the op or better, @subtledoctor 's solution, implemented

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,437
    I like @ZanathKariashi's solution better, primarily because it's more straight-forward. 75% seems a little extreme (I'd make it 50%, since the idea there is that you're splitting your focus exactly in half between the skills you've come to rely on and the skills you're actively developing), but I'd need to play around with it to see where the sweet spot is. It has a nice sort of elegance to it.

    Don't take this to mean that we'll be implementing either suggestion, though. The dual-classing code is...well, it's not friendly, let's say that. And this request would be a pretty massive change from the current behavior, which isn't necessarily a good thing.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,086
    Oh yeah it's a great idea... but it has 2 problems: 1) it seems extremely difficult to implement, given how entrenched the dual-class code is; and 2) it seems like it would be a major game change, not something you could flip on or off with an .ini option.

    The benefit of my idea is, it just involves adding a script action to flip a bit in .chr files. There would be no actual in-game change to disturb players... until modders get their hands on it and do cool stuff. So it would hopefully be easier to implement, as well less disruptive.


  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,147
    @subtledoctor - Are you talking about limiting an elf fighter/wizard to 12th/15th level, respectively, or would you do it as 12th/Unlimited? I would hope the latter, since the former would nerf non-humans from gaining HLAs (the only way I can think to achieve the latter would be to impose a 100% XP penalty to stop advancement).

    So, assuming the latter, how do you choose the "favored" class when the level limits are the same? Does an elf fighter/thief get limited as a fighter or a thief? (the level limit is 12 for both classes)

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,086
    edited May 2017
    My personal idea is, the latter. But IF there was a way in-game (an opcode or a script action) to tick the "OriginalClass" bit for a character; and IF doing so caused the character to switch from multiclass to dual-class; then any modder could arbitrarily set up how they want dual-classing to work.

    The simplest and most obvious would be to proceed as a multiclass character as long as you want, and then stop advancement in one of your classes whenever you feel like it, and proceed for the rest of the game in only one class. There would be zero "downtime." In a lot of ways it would be close to 3rd Edition multiclassing, where you could take a couple levels of one class while focusing mostly on another. Maybe to make it more like 3E, you could take away the ability to switch after 5th level or something. So it's a choice: either take just s few levels, or stay multiclass the whole game.

    To add some flavor, and as an homage to the level-limited source material, I might make a mod that causes the switchover to take place at different times for different class combinations and different races. So, single-class elven fighters would be unlimited; but multiclass elven fighter/mages would stop progressing in ther fighter class at 12th level, and proceed to unlimited advancement in their mage class. But maybe elven fighter/thieves would be limited to 12th level in their thief class, and proceed to unlimited advancement in their fighter class. Single-classed characters would be at a relative disadvantage, so I would probably add some goodies just for them. Actually I guess they get kits, so that's fine.

    But, I haven't bothered to think about the details too much, because it's not possible right now. And I have no idea whether the devs might ever make it possible. And honestly, even if they did add such a script action, I don't know whether it would actually work the way I describe. I just came up with the idea when I looked at .cre files in NI and realized that the only difference I could see between MC and DC characters is that OriginalClass byte. I have only done what limited has been possible, successfully changing the BG2 versions of Imoen into a multiclass mage/thief by unchecking the "OriginalClass: thief" byte.

    Post edited by subtledoctor on
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,275
    Interesting topic that I missed first time around. As a PnP purist, I am happier with the current mechanic than the proposed change, but it is interesting how it mixes up the game balance a bit, and might make an interesting option (just not the default please - if implemented!)

    This seems most beneficial for solo runs, and I think changes that encourage reduced engagement in the game are steps backwards - although I know many players enjoy the idea of solo runs. Why beneficial for solo? A solo is most affected by the downtime regaining the skills, especially if you dual at higher levels. This significantly reduces the penalty for a high-level dual, as long as there is sufficient xp to go around - which is always the case on a solo run.

    On a party run, the pressure is more the other way. Taking an xp penalty is removing xp budget from the final total, and I believe a party of 5/6 will not reach 8Mxp by the end of ToB. The higher the level you hit before dualing, the higher the eventual penalty will be. Meanwhile, you have a party to actively cover the skills you are lacking during your downtime, so the benefit is less (but still present).

    And of course, in a 6-person party with an xp penalty, it is going to take a significant amount of time to regain levels unless you dual in the first game, which are (for most builds) not the optimal levels - and while low level duals are fun, a low-level dual is exactly the kind of PC who will benefit least from the bonus effect during downtime.

    So while it would be interesting to experiment and play with this as an additional mode, I really would not want it as the default. Definitely a fun way to explore the ideas of game balance and design though :)

  • thelovebatthelovebat Member Posts: 218
    Dee said:

    I like @ZanathKariashi's solution better, primarily because it's more straight-forward. 75% seems a little extreme (I'd make it 50%, since the idea there is that you're splitting your focus exactly in half between the skills you've come to rely on and the skills you're actively developing), but I'd need to play around with it to see where the sweet spot is. It has a nice sort of elegance to it.

    Don't take this to mean that we'll be implementing either suggestion, though. The dual-classing code is...well, it's not friendly, let's say that. And this request would be a pretty massive change from the current behavior, which isn't necessarily a good thing.

    Well you're given an option to change the difficulty in the options menu (even mid game), maybe you could just implement suggestions like this with a checkbox at character creation somewhere for which dual classing method you would prefer. I know that the recent RPG release Underrail even uses two separate mechanics you can choose from for how you gain experience points and you can choose that at character creation.

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