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LoB players, how far are you and what do you think?

So with LoB finally being fixed and playable, I thought it'd be neat if we have a thread where we can gather and discuss things, keep up with each other, and so on. So, for all of you who are currently playing through this mode, a little about what you play, how far you are, and what you think so far if you wouldn't mind!



Personally I'm playing a custom party, F/T/M, F/C/M, Inquisitor, Bard, Shaman, Sorcerer. My thoughts are that normal tanking will be close to impossible, so I'm going for a dual F/M frontline, who are sort of my core characters. The party is optimized for a full playthrough and will only shine once HLAs sets in, but the plan is F/M prowess+mass summons by sorc and shaman, all boosted by a dual bard song. The downside to the setup, and I've noticed right now, is that it's shit in BG1.

I havn't gotten so far yet, because due to my party setup it's kind of hard to get going. I'm at 3k exp per char. My idea of farming ankhegs with "command" proved near impossible since you need it to hit three times in a row, and they resist it about 70% of the times. So right now I've been doing the "equip all with bows and kite things that can't shoot or cast spells" strategy, killing wolves and bears and stuffs.

I've managed to down Bassilus, Greywolf and that ogre with the +1 2H-sword for some nice equipment, but I don't dare enter the mines yet since the kobolds have arrows, and my triple class chars still have around 10 HP. I imagine I'll level a bit first, so I don't instadie to an arrow.

Thoughts about the mode is that so far, it's a boring kind of challenge, and a bit overtuned. Kiting is really the only option so far, since everything takes years to kill and one-shots you. I imagine it will even out later on, and that BG2+ToB is really fun in this mode, but right now, with the limited tools you have on the early levels, there's not much skill involved, just kiting, luck and reloading so far. And it's a bit boring that things with melee attacks = auto win, things with range attacks = auto death.

But then again, it has definitely forced me to reconsider how I can play the game, and forced me to abandon cheesier strategies, such as ankheg-farming. I've actually had to run around and do quests now, which I havn't done in a decade at least. It's a fresh breath of air and definitely something different so far. :)

JuliusBorisov

Comments

  • MastablasterMastablaster Member Posts: 7
    edited April 2016
    Im playing SoA on LoB, and its interesting. I rly like the challenge but few bugs that are left are very transparent on that difficulty. Im using very dirty tricks, my party is evil constructed (Korgan Dorn Viconia Edwin and Hexat). Unfortunately most of my party has very low hp, Edvin Viconia and Hexat have 50 hp~ 10 lvl. Enemies can 2-3 shot even korgan with over 100 hp.

    My dirty early game tactic:
    My charname Barbarian wears Vailors Helm and Cloak of Sewers. When I summon clone, he changes to rat and does tanking. When he sees enemy mage he casts protection from magic on him. In undead battles he casts on my best fighter protection from undead. When i couldnt afford vailors helm,I summoned skeletons to kill mages, they will waste most of spells on them. My cleric spams hold and mage fear, confusion or other crowd control. Melee party members only enters vs 1 enemy or when almost everybody has hold or fear/confuse. Only downside is that often enemies goes berserk when feared and kill party members.


    After few days playing this difficulty aint so hard when u have access to spells, it will get easier with hla. So i will not post my progress cuz its like playing on insane or core just with little more reloads and more spohisticated tactics.

    I will start new thread with hints how to solo it.



    Post edited by Mastablaster on
    JuliusBorisov
  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265

    Enemies can 2-3 shot even korgan with over 100 hp.

    Thanks for confirming my tanking suspicions. also, kodus for running with vanilla NPCs. But smart move to play evil SoA, those guys are wicked strong.

    My dirty early game tactic: My charname Barbarian wears Vailors Helm and Cloak of Sewers. When I summon clone, he changes to rat and does tanking. When he sees enemy mage he casts protection from magic on him. In undead battles he casts on my best fighter protection from undead.

    It's a bit dirty indeed. But with a difficulty this overtuned, some kind of cheese is probably required. I'm hoping to avoid having to use simulacrums and sleep/summon spam on mages, but who knows. Really have no idea how difficult the game will provide in later stages.

  • MastablasterMastablaster Member Posts: 7
    edited April 2016


    My first big victory - party lvl 11-12 and shadow dragon gone. Used tactic I invented during my first playthrough many years ago, looks im getting nostalgic. Dragons are very hard to hit at that lvl on LoB setting heh. Guess who is next.

  • MastablasterMastablaster Member Posts: 7


    Lvl 12 Edwin took care of Firkraag. Korgan did killing so he wouldnt feel bad. Skeletons cheered for him.

  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    Had a pretty neat victory myself recently. :D



    I was right that the game got easier the further you got though, but the last chapter was quite challenging too. Slythe, dobblegangers and Sarevok all required some neat tinkering. Really love the mode right now, it forced me to use potions and scrolls and wands that I wouldn't normally bother with, and I have to dig reallllly deep into my bag of tricks to beat things.

    So, starting up BG2 soon enough. Thinking it'll be a whole different challenge tbh.

  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,761
    edited April 2016
    I've started LoB mode playthrough yesterday, and for now I'm in chapter III, after killing Tranzig, and currently I'm doing side quest and side areas, before I enter bandit camp.

    At the beginning the game requires insane ammount of cheese to progress. At first there is no way to tank anything - you have either to kite enemies, or render them useless. Fortunately, I had enchanter as CHARNAME, so it worked quite well for me. I suspect that things are going to only get easier (or - less hard) as I progress and level up. The mode definitely makes me question my decisions and to go to various areas (for example, I've killed ogre mage and wizard in the under Firewine Bridge Ruins at level 1, using the halfling village entrance) in different order than usually do (and often, I tend to avoid unecessary fights).
    The mode can be fun to play, but not to roleplay. For majority of playthrought, I would always pick SCS over LoB.

    While I'm at it, I have a question. LoB is like a HoF for Icewind Dale, right? And so, do summoned creatures are boosted in similar way to the enemies?

    JuliusBorisov
  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    O_Bruce said:

    I've started LoB mode playthrough yesterday, and for now I'm in chapter III, after killing Tranzig, and currently I'm doing side quest and side areas, before I enter bandit camp.

    Welcome to the thread. :) Let me know how the bandit camp went, I found that to be one of the most difficult parts of the entire game. Difficult to kite enemies, and they are all range and often hit targets with up to -8 AC.
    O_Bruce said:

    At the beginning the game requires insane ammount of cheese to progress. At first there is no way to tank anything - you have either to kite enemies, or render them useless. Fortunately, I had enchanter as CHARNAME, so it worked quite well for me. I suspect that things are going to only get easier (or - less hard) as I progress and level up.

    Same experience as me. And yeah, the middle part of the game is by far the easiest. Chapter 1 and 7 are the most difficult, but for different reasons, obviously.
    O_Bruce said:

    The mode can be fun to play, but not to roleplay. For majority of playthrought, I would always pick SCS over LoB.

    I've heard people mention SCS quite a lot lately. I think it's the only difficulty mode I havn't tried yet. How would you rate it in comparison to other challenge mods, LoB, tactics, ascension, solaufein, anvil etc?
    O_Bruce said:

    While I'm at it, I have a question. LoB is like a HoF for Icewind Dale, right? And so, do summoned creatures are boosted in similar way to the enemies?

    Nope. Just reloaded my final save, Sarevok slayed a wolf in 2 hits with 20 and 19 damage, and the wolf would've had at least 100 hp if it had the same buffs as the enemies.

    Worth to notice is that Belm and that girl does have the improved HP though. Otherwise I fear the dobbleganger encounter would've been close to impossible.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,739
    I suggest this thread https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/39319/the-nightmare-mode-thread#latest if you want to see what people think about LoB (it began before the 2.0 patch because it was possible to activate the mode in 1.3 BG2EE).

    As for the LoB stats:

    player summons get *2+20 hp
    max rest encounters increases by 1
    +75 gold per pickup
    creature levels are treated as level + 12 for some checks
    non controlled sprites cannot fail morale checks

    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/717207/#Comment_717207

    mf2112
  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    Thanks, that's some interesting stats. I did think the summons were a tad strong. Guess it's a good thing I was planning a summer route then. :)

    What does "max rest encounters" and "gold per per pickup" mean though? Never heard that before.

    JuliusBorisov
  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,761
    Tenrecc said:

    I've heard people mention SCS quite a lot lately. I think it's the only difficulty mode I havn't tried yet. How would you rate it in comparison to other challenge mods, LoB, tactics, ascension, solaufein, anvil etc?

    Unlike others you mentioned - SCS plays the most fair. Many of changes in SCS are based on AI, giving enemies proper weapon skills, special abillities (like Ogre berserks actually being berserks and using Enrage), number of HPs, specialization for mages (and adjusting their spells to the specializations, etc) giving option to use items. Things like that. There are also "tactical challenges" components, but they didn't really seem to do much, minus chapter 5 and 7 final fights. What they did to the final fight is awesome.

    For the most part, SCS enables you to face SMARTER and more logically designed creatures, that can call for help (no ktting one by one). There are some components that I don't recommend for BG1, like mages and priests pre-buffing. It's not fair when you are facing mage with lot of protective spells on him that you can't do anything about, given your lack of resources and low levels in BG1.

    JuliusBorisovDexter
  • chaos286chaos286 Member Posts: 21
    I'm in chapter 9 of SOD. I play with a full party and "Nightmare Bonus XP" is enabled, but only the protagonist (a monk) is allowed to fight. I'm ready to advance to 20th level, but I've hit a snag. After I select my weapon proficiency and assign my 10 thieving points, the game engine fails to activate the Done button (apparently recognizing that I need to select an HLA.) However, the level up screen in BGEE doesn't have the Abilities button that it does in BG2EE, which takes you to the HLA screen.

    As a result, I can't level up or even back out of the level up screen. I can't do anything but close the window and restart. This appears to be an engine limitation, so there may not be an easy way to fix it with a mod. Enhanced Edition Trilogy (EET) may solve it, since it uses the BG2 engine. However, EET won't be ready for quite some time.

  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    chaos286 said:

    I'm in chapter 9 of SOD. I play with a full party and "Nightmare Bonus XP" is enabled, but only the protagonist (a monk) is allowed to fight.

    That sounds like a very specific playthrough. What does the rest of your party do? Buff? Dispell? Summon? Or are they just there to soak exp?

  • chaos286chaos286 Member Posts: 21
    Tenrecc said:

    chaos286 said:

    I'm in chapter 9 of SOD. I play with a full party and "Nightmare Bonus XP" is enabled, but only the protagonist (a monk) is allowed to fight.

    That sounds like a very specific playthrough. What does the rest of your party do? Buff? Dispell? Summon? Or are they just there to soak exp?
    Tenrecc said:

    chaos286 said:

    I'm in chapter 9 of SOD. I play with a full party and "Nightmare Bonus XP" is enabled, but only the protagonist (a monk) is allowed to fight.

    That sounds like a very specific playthrough. What does the rest of your party do? Buff? Dispell? Summon? Or are they just there to soak exp?
    They're mainly there for roleplaying purposes (quests, banter and romances) and to further increase the challenge of a solo run by soaking up xp. They can't participate in combat directly or indirectly, but they can provide support. Imoen can remove locks and traps, Dynaheir can cast Remove Curse to unequip cursed items, Jaheira can cast Pixie Dust to hide the rest of the party etc. No summons allowed or anything else that affects combat. They can buff themselves if necessary for protection, but they can't buff the protagonist.

    BTW, I have a work around for the level-up issue that occurs when you're eligible for HLAs. I simply removed the entries in LUABBR.2DA, which indicates the LU file to use for HLAs. This keeps the game from knowing about HLAs, so it activates the Done button when you finish assigning weapon proficiencies and skill points. This allows the level-up process to complete normally and do everything except HLAs. My next step was to use a mod to copy all the SPL files for the HLAs into override. I still have to manually assign my HLA after each level up with an IE editor, but at least I can move forward now.

    Even with the immunity to normal weapons that I got at 20th level and the other abilities of a high level monk, I'm still having to work hard on most encounters. The main problem for me is that most mob type monsters in SOD swarm around me forever even if I'm hidden, which defeats my usual tactic of luring them away from the mob one at a time. However, I have noticed that monsters don't follow you into another area the way they do in regular BGEE. That means the best tactic against a mob is to enter the area while hidden, attack for a short period, exit, hide in shadows, and repeat. I'm also playing a no damage game, meaning I reload if any party member takes any damage. I have to reload a lot, especially when I'm fighting an army in a phone booth.

    JuliusBorisov
  • fujisanfujisan Member Posts: 30
    So far i've solo'd Firkraag, Shadow Dragon, Kangaxx, Twisted Rune, Druid Grove and Watchers Keep + Demogorgon. Currently lvl 21 Sorcerer and finding it extremely easy so won't bother with rest of SoA and import directly into ToB but bit am tempted to just quickly cheat the 2nd Bohdi and final irenicus battle just because.

    Gotural
  • Ark_ToleiArk_Tolei Member Posts: 69
    I'm getting close to finishing my full clear of BG1. I've done just about all the pre-ToTSC content and just finished the 2nd basement level of Durlag's tower. and it's been pretty good so far.

    The start was slow since I didn't allow myself to go farm easy exp/loot before doing the nashkel mines, and I had a low reload challenge built in due to the old LoB bug but after that things moved forward much faster with only a few hiccups. I don't mind kiting at all really, so the early game was fun.

    I'm not letting myself use summons because increasing the power of your own abilities defeats the entire point of a hardmode, and makes an already ludicrously unbalanced tactic even more powerful instead of less. I did the same thing in my heart of fury run, and it leads to actually needing to understand how tanking works in these games to survive.

    My protagonist has a passive -17 slashing AC, -13 piercing, and -14 blunt (not at the same time, but you can flip whenever you want). My piercing is terrible because I don't have the girdle (it doesn't belong to me)and you can't steal the girdle of piercing back, you get another girdle of gender bending for some reason). Spiders, wolves, and a few other key enemy types have really been making my life miserable with their 17's.

    The thaco bonus enemies have is really painful for certain creatures, but if you stack your ac bonuses appropriately almost everything is tankable with only 20's hitting. Granted, with stronger enemies having upward of 300 hp they're still reasonably likely to get a hit or two in. I love how enemies being able to hit on a 19 means they're almost guaranteed to deal massive damage and hitting the magic 20 threshold is so critical, whereas in vanilla it's pretty easy to cheese things with minimal reloading due to tiny hp pools (if an enemy only attacks 4 times in a fight you can easily get by with them hitting on a 15-16 with minimal reloading).

    Blind is probably the MVP of my run so far, and it's the only 1st level spell my mages bother with aside from a few identifies. 2 hour duration means it's a better save or die effect than even hold spells under some circumstances, and having 9 per day means i can nearly guarantee it lands on 2-3 strong enemies.

    I avoid resting more than absolutely necessary, and the longest I went without was over a week tromping through the entire cloakwood and back. Overall it's been a good challenge, and makes BG1 more similar to BG2 in that enemies have enough hp that you can't just reload cheese 2 lucky hits to chunk them.

    I've found myself actually using backstab. I've also been Kiting where necessary (flesh golems have ludicrous thacos and are immune to CC/debuffs), and utilizing spellcasters to incapacitate particularly strong enemies rather than just nuke for the heck of it. For Kahrk I needed to use instant cast nukes to interrupt mirror image, invis interrupts for the 3rd level spells, shield for magic missile, and arrows of biting to help interrupt the acid arrows i had no answer for. It was the most tactically satisfying fight I've ever had in an infinity engine game finding ways to consistently counterspell 70% of his abilities so i only needed to rely on unreliable damage interrupts for the acid arrows.

    So uh...Big fan of LoB mode. I do think the +12 level modifier unduly restricts strategic choices since it eliminates several mechanics from the game, and obviously your own summons shouldn't get any bonus at all. Aside from those things and not fixing rat damage resistance (last I checked) I've been very happy with my run. It's been dramatically more fun that Heart of Fury ever was, since BG has more powerful enemies and fewer swarms to slog through.

    JuliusBorisovFinnTheHuman
  • BubblesBubbles Member Posts: 589
    LoB mode is really fun ^^, make me used up consumables (so I am no longer a pack rat ^^).

    FinnTheHuman
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