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Trying out an all-stealth party, my impressions

randomhero890randomhero890 Member Posts: 82
1. Backstab can be a LOT of fun....if your targets are stationary. My Fighter/thief can backstab almost 100% of the time on a stationary target. This is especially helpful in SCS because the target dies before it can use it's instant spell protections and potions. HOWEVER, if the target is moving....about 90% of the time my backstabber will swing, the target will have moved out of range, and the thief will become visible 3 steps behind the target, at which point the target spots the thief, and turns around to engage. I have almost never in an entire playthrough, gotten backstab to land on a moving target, and this is with a level 8/8 fighter thief with a THAC0 of like 6, so I know it's not an AC/miss issue. This is one of the biggest downsides of backstab

[note: using a melee weapon at all on a moving target can be an exercise in frustration. Your character has to pause, then swing, then resume chasing, it's extremely clunky. It is almost always more effective to switch to a bow on your fighters to deal with runners, it's about the only way to kill wolves and dogs in SCS lol]

2. Traps are OP. If you have 2 thieves in your party, and each can lay 2 traps....4 traps will pretty much decimate almost any encounter in the game. Graywolf wants to walk over and challenge you? Nope he's instant-dead. I even instant-killed that kid Albert, who's gotta be one of the toughest opponents in the early game - he is almost impossible to hit when he turns into a demon (he must have like AC -8 or something), and he hits for like 90+ damage on insane mode....too bad he doesn't use any spells/abilities however

3. Stealthing can be pretty challenging, and does not work well with SCS mod. I tried pumping up my hide in shadows/move silently and wore the boots and armor that aids in stealthing, and still was having trouble. I discovered that it takes a hide in shadows and move silently value of almost 250 each to be able to stealth during the day with no cover. This doesn't even help much vs most SCS encounters, because the enemies still somehow "know" where your stealther is, and will continue to chase him around and pile on top of him (still not being able to attack though) until one of them "sees" him. So any encounter with SCS artificial intelligence, don't bother with stealth

4. Find traps kind of sucks. You have to already "know" where the trap is, because even with a find traps skill of 100, there is a noticeable delay before the game reveals the trap on the ground. If you turn on find traps and start walking you will still walk right into the trap and activate it before you see it. You have to turn on find traps, step, pause, step, pause, step, pause...even doing that sometimes the trap isn't revealed to me until I was almost about to walk on it

5. Boots of speed really shine on thieves. Not only can you zip around a corner to re-stealth, but you can also run ahead of your party and cover a retreat with traps. All you have to do is run a tiny bit into fog of war and you can drop a trap. Re-stealthing and backstabbing would be a lot more effective if you could backstab a moving target

RaduzielLoldrupFinnTheHumanAerakar

Comments

  • KuronaKurona Member Posts: 853
    SCS enemies don't forget they were attacked so having everyone invisible will just make them super paranoid, either running around like headless chickens or casting crowd control spells at themselves in hope of catching someone. Doesn't mean stealth is useless, you just need to give them something to focus on. Either a beefy party member or summons. Running around is a effective counter to backstab that's true and this can also work in your favor when you're fighting SCS thieves (not many of these in BG1).

    But even without SCS a party full of backstabbers is more trouble than it's worth. You need constant micromanagement to make a backstabbing thief effective, so a party of them is a big headache. If you want stealth-only going solo is significantly more convenient.

    Find traps is indeed very cumbersome to use. While it does make sense on a conceptual level, in a computer game it just doesn't flow very well.

    Loldrup
  • TomarctusTomarctus Member Posts: 49
    As far as I know, having a lower weapon speed helps with backstabbing almost instantly. Maybe that'll help you on moving targets?

  • GriboeGriboe Member Posts: 47
    Regarding 4.: Find Traps "searches" once per round. So every six seconds.

  • randomhero890randomhero890 Member Posts: 82
    edited August 2016
    Kurona said:


    But even without SCS a party full of backstabbers is more trouble than it's worth. You need constant micromanagement to make a backstabbing thief effective, so a party of them is a big headache. If you want stealth-only going solo is significantly more convenient.

    Find traps is indeed very cumbersome to use. While it does make sense on a conceptual level, in a computer game it just doesn't flow very well.

    Thanks for the info on find traps you guys. Someone said that it only checks once/round, and that makes a lotta sense with how it "feels" in game

    And I agree with ya, multiple backstabbers is more trouble than it's worth. My original steather party was the unholy trio: My main char, F/T....then a M/T (not Imoen, but I'll use her in BG2) and a C/T. I ended up dropping the cleric/thief after a while, and just trying to do the healing with potions. The F/T has like 90% of the kills and like 140,000 worth of exp contributed, while the M/T has like 25,000 lol. What bums me out is that the M/T with only one proficiency point has a THAC0 that is too terrible for backstabbing with his staff, so he was regulated to a crossbow-using haste buff-bot for the F/T mostly :(

    Most fights go like this, both thieves put down 2 traps as "back-up" which we don't always have to use. F/T gets haste and gets into position. He backstabs a spellcaster, then if it is a tough fight, he uses an invis potion right after, then backstabs another lol. If the fight is still going badly, the M/T has his wand of monster summoning I found in a tomb, which is amazing because it summons 12HD of monsters, while the spells monster summoning I and II don't summon nearly that many. If the fight is still going south, both members run back to the traps, which kill the pursuing 1-2 opponents, then potion up and re-stealth to engage again

    I am discovering that if you supplement with potions and items and play carefully, thieves are almost too overpowered. My other run through has arguably more trouble with a balanced party of F/M, ranger/cleric, Mage, and shaman. The gap widens even more if I use the full 4 traps in a fight, which feels almost too cheesy lol

  • caescaes Member Posts: 28
    I remember, after trying the Tactics mod for the first time I was so afraid of night city ambushes, that my next created party had all characters capable of going invis. After so many years the best party composition I found for LoB mode so far is almost identical: f/m/t, r/c, kens/m (staff of magi) and shadowdancer/fighter. Main backstabber attacks the chosen foe. When the enemy turns, my second backstabber strikes, and then they both run)) I don't use normal traps, pursuing enemies are lured towards the summons, when they start to attack those, k/m and r/c come out from invis to flank the baddies, and backstabbers deliver the final blows.
    Honestly, to me backstabbing is not tedious, it is the part of the game that I enjoy the most.

    FinnTheHumanGreenWarlock
  • randomhero890randomhero890 Member Posts: 82
    edited August 2016
    caes said:

    I remember, after trying the Tactics mod for the first time I was so afraid of night city ambushes, that my next created party had all characters capable of going invis. After so many years the best party composition I found for LoB mode so far is almost identical: f/m/t, r/c, kens/m (staff of magi) and shadowdancer/fighter. Main backstabber attacks the chosen foe. When the enemy turns, my second backstabber strikes, and then they both run)) I don't use normal traps, pursuing enemies are lured towards the summons, when they start to attack those, k/m and r/c come out from invis to flank the baddies, and backstabbers deliver the final blows.
    Honestly, to me backstabbing is not tedious, it is the part of the game that I enjoy the most.

    I think we were just mentioning it as tedious the more backstabbers you have, my original post was about an entire party of stealthers, which could mean 5-6 backstabbers, but I was really only using 1 to backstab. My limit would be 2 as well

    I also greatly enjoy the stealth/backstabbing playstyle, although it takes a while to get your hide in shadows/move silently up so it requires a lot of potions to augment in the early game. I think what makes it harder for many backstabbers is the hitting a moving target. Someone mentioned using a fast weapon helps but that kind of goes against the goal of big backstab damage. One thing that has helped a little is to click to move up to the runner's back, but don't click the sword on them, just have your movement end right behind them or try to lead them a little. Then pause, then click to attack. When I click to attack from a distance my stealthers char just runs up to their back and swings at nothing since they are too far away at that point, and comes unstealthed...

    Btw, you did BG1 on LoB? Nice, what level were you guys when you went in and what level were you when you finished? I was thinking of finishing bg1 and taking my level 8-9 chars (I removed the exp cap) into a quick LoB run, myself. Although I don't want to level too high for SoD to lose its challenge, because that's next before bg2

  • caescaes Member Posts: 28
    Oh, I don't play BG1 on LoB - I'm not that hardcore!) And about moving targets: it's easy to block their paths and stop them for a second or two with one of the invisible chars. You are right of course about micromanaging more than two backstabers, and since there're exactly two pairs of cheetah boots in Alkathla - that is the number of thieves I like.

  • LarkusLarkus Member Posts: 51

    Someone mentioned using a fast weapon helps but that kind of goes against the goal of big backstab damage.

    As far as I know, the Staff of Striking +3 is the best back-"stab" weapon in BG1: 1d6+9 damage, speed factor 1. You can improve that even further by backstabbing with a Fighter->Thief that has at least four pips in the backstabbing weapon, which gives a one point bonus to weapon speed. Kensai->Thieves can improve weapon speed even further, getting an additional one point bonus to weapon speed every four Kensai-levels.

    4. Find traps kind of sucks. You have to already "know" where the trap is, because even with a find traps skill of 100, there is a noticeable delay before the game reveals the trap on the ground. If you turn on find traps and start walking you will still walk right into the trap and activate it before you see it. You have to turn on find traps, step, pause, step, pause, step, pause...even doing that sometimes the trap isn't revealed to me until I was almost about to walk on it

    Let Tiax cast the 2nd level divine spell Find Traps, which detects traps for the duration of the spell as soon as they come into the area of effect.

    randomhero890
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    1. I agree that backstabbing can be fun. To mitigate the misses on moving targets, use a longer weapon. Using a staff with pips in 2handed weapon style gives you reach and quickness.

    2. Traps are OP. But in a good way. Why not give thieves a nod for the most op class, does it have to be sorcerers?

    3. In daylight, if you go into a shadow of a tree or a wall, you no longer get the daylight penalty, so be sure to do that. This lets you get away with much lower Stealth skill points. Does SCS change the HiS mechanic?
    Anytime a mage magically knows to cast true sight when an invis/stealthed agent enters is unbearably broken. The whole point is that they don't know anyone is there. Many ToB encounters are broken in that soldiers swarm an invis person. I saw a discussion in which someone pointed out the actual script responsible.

    4. Yeah, good point. Kinda like my grumble about people knowing to cast true sight. However, your thief should normally know the situations in which he will encounter traps. So you might headcannon it as him being careful all the time, staying stealthed and hidden and detecting traps when leaving shadows, one tedious step at a time. However, since you want to enjoy playing, just detect traps when you need to.

    5. Agree.

    Aerakar
  • randomhero890randomhero890 Member Posts: 82
    edited August 2016
    The reason I made this group was to do Durlag's tower. My original party lacked a thief, but up until chapter 5, this really was no big deal. I would just wade into the traps and let them hit me in the face, heal up, and continue on. It was annoying but it was do-able. I heard this wouldn't work for durlag's tower, however

    I made an all-thief party for 2 reasons. The first was to just check out durlag's tower, to kinda poke my head in and see what it was all about. Then I was going to take whatever thief char of the new group I liked the most, and put it in my main party via the multiplayer save-swap trick. Unfortunately, I enjoyed playing an all-stealth group so much that it became my new "main" playthrough.

    And I also realized that yeah, my old plan of face-checking the traps would never have worked lolol. Not with those walls that smash you to bits, or how about the trap arrows that keep flying and hitting you in the face no matter where you run, over and over and over shooting you until you are dead. So cheap. I dunno if it was the SCS mod but the traps in durlag's are simply brutal....

    Aerakar
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