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Will I live long enough for this challenge?

Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,323
@bengoshi commented about me completing no-reload solo games with every class. In the thread I suggested I would need to live to about 293 to achieve that, but I wondered how accurate that would be :)

To check it out I thought I would set up a (very) long-term project to test it - though it's always possible I'll lose interest after only a year or two ... That will involve playing under core rules using whatever the latest unmodded version of BGEE, SoD and BG2EE is. Character classes will be chosen randomly from those where success has not yet been achieved (using the same Excel spreadsheet approach as in my multi-player games with @Gate70, where we're currently on our 96th pairing). I've never completed BG2EE (or even got to ToB in it) - so using that set-up will allow a clean start with all classes available for selection.

For dual classes I'll allow 2 different versions, i.e. both a cleric-thief and a thief-cleric. I make that a total listed below of 76 classes (increased from original post, with addition of Priest of Tyr, Priest of Tempus and shaman). I'll show the number of attempts required for success with each class below (and colour classes achieved successfully in gold), but won't do any detailed write-ups. However, I will outline the way each run ends and after each successful run do a quick summary of the main techniques used and the pitfalls associated with that class.

I rolled up the first 3 characters (sun soul monk, wizard slayer dualling to thief and true class mage) prior to the release of SoD and for those am only requiring the completion of the trilogy. All other classes have to complete SoD as well (which at the time of writing in November 2016 I've never made much progress in, so is likely to result in a hiatus in progress :cold_sweat: ).

Sole classes
Berserker 2 {5-37}
Kensai 12
Wizard slayer 35
Dwarven defender 24 {3-154}
Barbarian 2

Ranger 1
Beast Master 9

Cavalier 3
Inquisitor 6
Undead hunter 1
Blackguard 3

Cleric 1
Priest of Talos 1
Priest of Helm 1
Priest of Lathander
Priest of Tyr

Druid 1
Totemic druid 2
Shapeshifter 3
Avenger 5

Mage 66 {6-7}
Conjurer 1
Enchanter 1
Wild mage 26

Assassin 10
Bounty hunter 2
Shadowdancer 3

Bard 2
Blade 3

Sorcerer 10 {4-73}
Dragon disciple 1

Dark moon monk
Sun soul monk 13 {2-5}

Shaman 39

Fighter-cleric 1
Fighter-thief 7
Mage-thief 1
Fighter-mage-cleric 2
Fighter-mage-thief 1
Gnomes substitute illusionist for mage in multi-classes

Fighter-thief 53 {1-99}
Cleric-mage 3
Cleric-thief 11
Mage-thief 2
Druid-fighter 1
Mage-fighter 2
Cleric-ranger 2
Mage-cleric 1
Human dual classes must use a base 2-class combination listed above, but the first class only may be kitted.

Edit April 2017: - as the thread is getting longer and more difficult to navigate I thought I would add in direct short-cuts to each attempt. Clicking on the classes above will take you to the relevant post. I've also put in brackets against successful runs the order in which attempts have been completed and the total number of attempts (with all classes) since the previous successful run. Thus, for the fighter-thief, 53 {1-99} means that was the first run completed, after 99 attempts with all classes, though only 53 with that particular one.

While writing, perhaps I should also clarify that all runs are using my long-standing rules that characters may not:
- use any item based healing, e.g. potions, rod of resurrection, gloves of healing (regeneration is acceptable)
- use antidotes
- recruit any NPCs. There are 2 exceptions to this:
1) Imoen in BG2, as the game forces her on you for the purpose of opening your cell door, and
2) Caelar in SoD, as except in MP or with a full party she won't fight on your side without joining you (to compensate for that I'm not allowed to give her any orders after she joins).

Post edited by Grond0 on


  • moody_magemoody_mage Member Posts: 2,052
    That's a dedication to the BG cause I'll never have. I'm lucky if I can finish a single run these days.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,323
    edited March 2016
    decado said:

    That's a dedication to the BG cause I'll never have. I'm lucky if I can finish a single run these days.

    That can be a problem for me too and I'll still want to take on the more difficult challenges with mods and special restrictions. I'm not likely to do more than one of these basic attempts in a row, but that should add up over the years - like I said this will be a long-term challenge :)

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,323
    edited February 20
    I'm still plugging away at this - and still waiting for a first success (after 75 attempts as I write this) ...
    Recently I've been trying with a wild mage. That can potentially be done with pretty low risk by:
    - avoiding spell casting in BG1 (where items are plentiful and relatively very powerful to your own spells anyway).
    - avoiding casting spells in sight of enemies in SoA (summons can sort out all necessary encounters there).
    - keeping chaos shield up whenever casting in ToB (to prevent the no-save hold surge) and always having a back-up plan to deal with the inevitable spell failures.

    My first 5 attempts with that failed to get out of BG1 - due to:
    - one fatal archer ambush on the first area transition.
    - twice dying to not allowing for the fact that constitution changes alter HPs differently in EE to vanilla, making it very easy to die when using the violet potion (my first death to that effect I felt therefore was very forgivable, even if the second wasn't :blush: ).
    - twice failing to keep Belt alive at the Palace (this is considerably harder in EE than BGT).

    My sixth attempt was a decent one and got to the Throne - but failed pretty miserably there when my intended strategy of lowering the magic resistance of Mel's first incarnation failed and I was left with no quick way of killing her (and couldn't then deal with the infinite summons she produces). That attempt was documented on the no-reload thread here on the Beamdog forums.

    A seventh attempt again failed when Belt couldn't kill the dopplegangers at the palace, but an eighth one was looking promising when I went to tackle Abazigal. This time I felt I would be better prepared to meet Mel, but the possibility of glory was snuffed out when a wild surge resulted in me imprisoning myself!

    A ninth attempt after a break for a while made comfortable progress to the Palace, but a bit of bad luck / bad judgement was costly there. All but one of the dopplegangers were dead and the last one's morale broke and started running. I attacked with my sling, which proved costly when it ran up the stairs behind Sarevok before coming down again. As it reached the bottom I killed it with a critical hit, while Belt was right next to me - thus meaning I had no opportunity to drag him away from Sarevok before talking. Sarevok would have finished Belt off in, at most, a couple of hits so I put myself in the front line to distract him - with the aim of trying to get him to follow just out of his melee range. That's very difficult to do, however, as with any significant gap there's the chance he will switch targets and his melee range with a 2-handed sword is also long. On this occasion I failed - thinking I had moved just out of his range, but his sword licked out to take off my head ...

    And an immediate 10th attempt was another to end in the Cloakwood, though rather unfairly. When ambushed by 3 giant spiders I tried dodging past the one at the top (as I've done many hundreds of times before) only for the icon to get stuck. That's a bit of a feature of the EE, that the pathfinding can be really poor at moving past other icons, but normally you can unstick by moving directly away. Unfortunately, I was slightly slow in realising that there was a problem and by the time I tried doing that, one of the other spiders had moved up so close that I couldn't move directly away and the game persistently refused to allow me to move to either side. At that stage I was then poisoned and didn't have a green scroll to cure that (and don't allow the use of antidotes). I used a wand scorcher to kill one of the spiders, but it didn't die until the second round of damage and the delay meant I died just before reaching the safety of the map edge.

    Trying once more the same morning and this time I've at least got past Sarevok in the 11th attempt. At the palace all the dopplegangers were confused by chaos (my only spell of the run to date other than find familiar and a couple of friends), but still managed to kill Liia and badly wound Belt. Sarevok was nearly dead when Angelo and Tazok entered the combat and it was the latter's exploding arrows that actually finished off Sarevok - hence I missed the screenshot initially and had to take that from the final save.
    I had done most of the available work prior to Spellhold and already had my first HLA when a slight lapse in concentration proved costly in the Planar Sphere. After you've got decent HPs with a wild mage the most dangerous surge is the no-save hold. You can avoid that by having chaos shield up at all times while casting and always ensuring you cast chaos shield out of combat. In this case I forgot to put chaos shield up while in the previous area and tried to summon a planetar in the engine room. There was nothing visible when I was held, but unfortunately the golems decided to explore. I should also have had an invisible when helpless contingency, which would have saved me, but must have forgotten to renew that at some point ...

    Seeing it was more than 18 months since I tried this wild mage I started a 12th run. That hit problems immediately though, when I forgot I wasn't playing LoB. I attacked Xzar and Montaron with my familiar and killed the former before he could cast. After Montaron had already hit the familiar once though I suddenly realized how vulnerable it was in this game and pressed pause - just in time to freeze the action as the familiar died.
    Normally the loss of HPs from that would kill me as well, but level 1 protection kicked in to save me. I didn't take full advantage of that escape though. I had hit the level cap and was on my way to the Bandit Camp when I nodded off for a few seconds - coming back to awareness just in time to see the game over screen pop up.

    I started another run straight away and, so far, it's been a lucky 13th. Typically I hardly cast spells at all in BG1, but this time did quite a bit of casting once I hit the level cap. However, I never got any particularly nasty surges from that - this one could have been annoying earlier on, but by this point I'd already invested virtually all my money.
    In earlier runs with the wild mage I've gone straight from BG1 to BG2. I think that was because this character was generated before I'd started playing SoD. However, as it was created after SoD was released I should really be including SoD as well - so there's some more hard work to do before the wild mage has the chance to get to Athkatla.
    I continued casting spells in SoD without taking full care, but my luck ran out there. My basic spell save was down to 1 to provide protection against many dangerous surges, but that was no help against a no-save hold. There was only one bugbear just on the fringes of sight, so stoneskin would have saved me from death in that situation in BG1, but in SoD it called a couple of friends over to help it beat me up.

    After a further month a 14th run is under way. Up until getting to level 9 the only spell cast was find familiar, with most killing during that period being with my trusty sling. A few more spells were used towards the end though, along with increased item use. As usual though plenty of resources are being carried forward into SoD.
    Another mean ending - this time during the assault on the Coalition Camp. I had nearly died trying to get into the Underground River earlier when not realizing a mage had spell turning on and would reflect a wand scorcher. That would have been my fault, but at the Camp I was given no chance. The first 2 assaults were dealt with without problems and the third should have been the same with the enemies all wounded by a fireball and facing a full set of summons in addition to the warmages and me. One of them though decided to run straight through everyone (he wasn't affected by any spell) and trigger the assault by the final group just before I could finish him off.

    A few months later and there was plenty more sling action as the wild mage made her way through to Baldur's Gate, before falling to one of the Umberlee priestesses - that run was summarized on the no-reload thread.

    A 16th attempt was pretty similar. All the hard work had been done in getting to Baldur's Gate, but I took a chance in committing to a missile exchange with Lothander after he was out of spells - and lost out to a critical.

    Another month later and for a 17th attempt I used items a bit more than the last couple of runs, though still relatively sparingly. Sarevok is down with just a couple of wild surges to date - though one of those cost me 20k gold.
    For the first time with a wild mage I've taken down Belhifet (the character was originally rolled prior to SoD, so I wasn't doing that in early runs). There was again plenty of item use with stoneskin scrolls proving handy in the Coalition Camp and restoration scrolls keeping Caelar going against Belhifet.
    A momentary loss of concentration proved costly after some good play in getting up to level 16. I was clearing the Graveyard tombs and attacked the one with 2 shadow fiends in. I was concentrating on killing one of them with MMMs and didn't notice the other sneaking out of the shadow of the doorway to paralyze me ...

    A further month and an 18th attempt is underway. I couldn't resist taking some unnecessary risks to keep the adrenalin flowing, e.g. gambling on not running the wrong way after the last of the Red Wizards chucked a horror as he died, but got away with it and Sarevok is down.
    Another failure at Boareskyr Bridge as I failed to kill the mage quickly enough to prevent him summoning elemental supporters and failed to kill those quickly enough to prevent them detonating the barrels. Part of the problem was that in v2.5 the barrels are subject to both area damage and melee attacks - ruling out things like skull traps or confusion. It may be though that they're immune to poison, so cloudkill would be a potential tactic next time along with the ring of energy to try and disrupt the mage's spells (that strikes though mirror images and minor globe).

    A couple more months and my 19th attempt has once more defeated Sarevok. As usual I essentially didn't cast spells until up close to the XP cap. I had a few wild surges thereafter, but nothing nasty.
    I've got through SoD again as well. Belhifet's refusal to attack me and the relatively small amount of damage I could do him made the final fight difficult and I was down to my last couple of restoration scrolls for Caelar when the end came.
    Let's hope I can make some better progress in BG2 this time.
    A decent attempt annoyingly came to an end against the Demon Knights in the Underdark. The danger of mazing or imprisoning yourself when using 8th and 9th level spells meant I had been rationing those and decided to kill the demon knights using missiles. I was thinking that my spell save was good enough to avoid problems, but while that was a safe -3 while using the Staff of the Magi, it was only -1 with the sling equipped - which proved to be not good enough.

    A 20th attempt was done pretty safely up until encountering the Neothelid. That stunned me with an ego whip effect - I need to double-check for future reference what the saving throw is against that. The run was summarized on the no-reload thread.

    Six months later and I got caught out by my penchant for taking risks with traps. At level 8 I decided to go through the charm trap in the flesh golem cave without taking any precautions - and the 2% chance of getting caught out by that triggered ...

    Starting again almost immediately I was much more cautious for most of the run through BG1. The only mage spell I cast directly was find familiar, but I did have a couple of surges late on when using scrolls and DUHM. Sarevok was cheesed by just running through the lightning trap multiple times.
    A bit of cheese and lack of caution resulted in an early end to SoD though. I put stoneskin on before resting to take on the Neothelid, but one of the cutscenes triggered when resting - meaning that spell buffs didn't continue as normal. I did notice that, but decided to just try the fight anyway. I got the Neothelid to near death while taking minimal damage, but it then found a 46 damage critical to turn the fight on its head ...

    A couple of months later and a 23rd attempt is underway. As usual there was very limited use of my own spells and I haven't had a single wild surge so far. I did though take a slight risk of spoiling that record by deciding to go for extra style points by finishing Sarevok off with a Bhaal LMD (that still has a risk of a surge as it mimics the spell).
    Edit: I tried to use Bhaal horror at the start of the SoD dungeon and summoned a nabassu instead - good job that didn't happen at the coronation where I did the same thing :p.
    There was a disappointing end to this run at the crusader invasion of the camp. I hadn't bothered renewing stoneskin prior to the final encounter, which probably proved costly. I was still shocked though to apparently go from 73 HPs to zero in a single hit. There was no obvious attacker either on the screen or the text, but my guess is that Swift Rabbit got a critical backstab on me.

    There was more pain in a 24th attempt a couple of weeks later. After the usual sling-fest in BG1 I was working through SoD without apparent trouble. At Boareskyre Bridge I used the Ring of Energy to attack the mage. That's been a very reliable tactic for me and a few applications of that saw the mage dead without apparently completing a spell. I was thus shocked to find a fiery portal open after the mage was down. Defeating the stream of creatures coming through that quickly enough to stop them damaging the barrels is a tall order. A cloudkill helped keep mephits in order and I went through about a dozen of those, 3 elementals and 4 or 5 lesser elementals - but it still wasn't enough to save the bridge :s.

    Another couple of weeks and a 25th attempt failed at the Palace. As so often I left that largely up to chance and things were looking dodgy with Liia dead and Belt badly injured before a single doppleganger had died. I intervened by using a wand scorcher and that, together with wand summons rapidly downed opponents to leave only one doppleganger active - when I suddenly died. I suspect what must have happened is that Belt had taken damage from the scorcher and, even though he was still definitely not shown as hostile, reacted by unleashing an insta-kill.

    Two more months and I've once more completed BGEE. As usual I didn't use spells until my saving throws were as good as possible, but did cast quite a few after that - surprisingly only suffering a single surge as a result.
    Well, that was very annoying. I had a pretty smooth passage through SoD to find Belhifet and tried my normal tactic there of using Caelar to kill him. Unfortunately one of my attempted restorations on her surged (unfair both from the point of view of using a scroll and casting a divine spell) and as I don't allow Caelar to be controlled in that fight she was cut down before I could try again. I hadn't brought any Otiluke's scrolls, which meant using fire shield to wear down Belhifet was much more difficult. However, by using potions of power and restoring HPs I made decent progess and had him down to about 15 HPs while I still had plenty of resources. Trying to restore my HPs for what would probably have been the final time though, the delay been using the scroll and the spell actually casting proved costly. I still had about 40 HPs, so could survive a standard hit from Belhifet and quite possibly another hit from one of the other demons attacking. However, I failed to survive when Belhifet pulled a critical out of the bag.

    Post edited by Grond0 on
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    Just want to say "thanks for sharing", this is one of my favorite threads to follow, an inspiring challenge to take on for sure!

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,323
    Thanks for the encouragement - I'll see if I can reward it ...

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,323
    edited August 13
    Trying out another class I've had a number of goes with a shaman recently. I hadn't previously played with one of those at all, so the early attempts have had some painful learning experiences as well as my usual problems with (not) avoiding silly mistakes. Although I haven't got far enough to get a feel for how the class would perform in ToB the class seems pretty strong to me and completing SoA should be pretty easy in principle.

    I've recorded the first 9 runs on the no-reload thread (final post to date is here and has links to earlier posts). In summary runs ended as follows:
    1 - shot down by Baerin while experimenting with dancing to summon spirits.
    2 - failed to pause game while doing something else on the computer and returned to find character confused by Kysus and about to die to Drasus.
    3 - was going well when a bug auto-killed me in Candlekeep and I decided not to reload.
    4 - tried to get rid of nymph domination spells in the palace, but failed to realise that being dominated by your own summons is treated as game over in EE.
    5 - mis-clicked trying to run away from Bentan and got charmed.
    6 - went back to seek revenge on Bentan and failed miserably!
    7 - took a chance at the Bandit Camp and suffered one too many acid arrows from Venkt.
    8 - finally got into BG2 and was finding that pretty easy. Once I got 7th level spells I saw one called Ether Gate and cast that on myself to see what it did - it provides a maze effect!
    9 - playing quickly got through to BG2 again, but wasn't paying enough attention and was fatally poisoned by a phase spider early on.

    It's nearly 18 months since I tried the shaman, but I just had another go. After taking a while to remember a few tricks I started making good progress before getting tripped up at the Bandit Camp - Venkt landing a horror, which he started casting outside the tent, before following me inside, following me back outside and finally completing the spell.

    And an 11th attempt failed almost immediately afterwards. I got distracted and ran into Neera unexpectedly in Beregost and was shot down by the Thayan wizard. Must try harder!

    Attempt 12 has been better so far and I've just got past Sarevok. I'm not hopeful of getting too much further as I've still been less than halfway through SoD, but it would be nice if I could push on a bit further than I've been in that to date. I've got the advantages of having carried quite a bit of resources in and also having done rather more than required in BG1 - meaning I've got just enough XP to level up immediately in SoD.
    Unfortunately I failed to beat my previous target. After doing the dungeon easily enough I did all the quests in the opening area, including fairly laboriously clearing all the undead from the mines - except the lich. I then used a PfU scroll to try and kill him, but that didn't go well. I did that once before without any problem, but this time the lich immediately cast remove magic without me noticing and followed that up with PW:stun. The duration on that would only have been 1d4 rounds, so it wasn't necessarily an automatic death sentence. However, a malison was followed by ADHW and topped off with PW:kill before I could recover.

    After a 6 month break a 13th attempt proved short-lived when I was too slow retreating from a carrion crawler. An immediate 14th wasn't too much better. I got up to level 7 that time before trying to cast a Writhing Fog on some ghasts in Durlag's Tower basement and just catching Bayard in it. I tried to run, but the ghasts were blocking the stairs and Bayard then cast a horror which proved fatal. Starting again straight away the 15th also ended early - trying to kill a charmed sirine from Beregost temple I got a critical miss. It took a couple of seconds to go hostile and start casting a charm - giving me time to have run away. However, I chose to try and kill it - but critically missed for a second time!

    A 16th attempt was marginally better - getting through to SoD before another mistake saw me forget that immunities offered by a shield don't operate if you swap a sling for a bow. That run was documented on the no-reload thread.

    After a while doing other things a 17th attempt has completed BG1. Let's see if I can get further in SoD this time.
    Well I got further, but not far enough. At the Coalition Camp I was expecting to beat off an attack by trolls without problems and in fact I was comfortably winning the battle - but one of the enemy had slipped past me and the wimpish guards decided the battle was lost. I've got very little experience of this fight and obviously will have to be more careful in future.

    Six months after the previous attempt at this I had another go. That was immediately after losing a mage run a bit cheesily to a scripted kill by Irenicus and I wasn't being careful enough. I'd already had to save against a dire charm from Sil when going into the golem cave. While shooting the second of those, for some reason it decided to run away rather than attack me and I followed it just too far - activating the charm trap ...

    A couple more months and I've started a 19th attempt. That's not been particularly clean so far and I wasted a lot of money in BG1, but have at least made it into SoD.
    Another run fails in the process of learning a bit more, this time about the Neothelid. I was wary of domination type abilities and had used a potion of clarity against it. I hadn't realized though that an ability called "control body" was actually hold person ...

    Another month later and number 20 is under way. That feels significantly more like hard work after doing a couple of runs with a dwarven defender, but I've at least managed to get past Sarevok.
    Once more though I failed to get through SoD. I was fighting through the demons on the way to Belhifet when I got caught out (not for the first time) by my inability to remember that some of them can use hold person as well as charm.
    I had actually used a potion of magic shielding just before entering the demon portal, but that seemed to disappear as a result of the cut-scene and I'd only replaced it by a potion of clarity.

    A few more months and I tried once more, though with disappointing results. I'd just killed Nimbul and nipped into the inn to find Neira. I was too slow to dodge out of the way of her opening rigid thinking though and that took effect as I arrived outside - with a sling equipped and half a dozen guards waiting for me ...

    A 22nd attempt got past Sarevok, but crashed on entry to SoD. I see from this thread that it appears v2.5 crashes in SoD if you've used an earlier save, so will need to roll up all new starting characters in order to progress further :'(.

    Number 23 had finished pretty much everything prior to returning to Candlekeep, but I found myself taking increasing risks in the process. At the Iron Throne that finally cost me when I deliberately took a chance on resisting a horror spell - and didn't do so.

    Another risk failed to pay off when I remained on the map area after Peter cast a hold person at me from out of sight. I was a long way away from Lindin, but 4 or 5 rounds later he tracked me down ...

    A few weeks later and a 25th attempt has gone past Sarevok without too many alarms.
    Once more I failed in SoD though. At Boareskyr Bridge my nymphs confused the mage, but that didn't stop him casting - however, his spell was disrupted by a blast from the ring of energy. A couple of rounds later though the bridge exploded. I don't know why, but my guess is that confused guards attacked the exploding barrels - so that's another tactic to avoid in future ...

    Six weeks or so later and I'm trying again. I flirted with death a couple of times when going through lightning traps without any protection, but survived to see off Sarevok. The need to buff saving throws regularly makes SoD more of a pain for me, but let's see if I can get through it this time ...
    Again the answer is no and again I suffered from not buffing. I was trying to kill the Neothelid without using a PfP scroll (though they are plentiful). Spirit summons were reasonably effective against it when they had the chance and did get it to near death. However, it was constantly ducking back underground, so that combat took a while and the potion of stone form used to boost saving throws at the start of the combat ran out, allowing a hold effect to bite ...

    A 27th attempt got through BGEE and, finally, made it through SoD as well.
    I took a fair number of risks in BGEE, but was more cautious in SoD and had a relatively uneventful run through there this time. I've got no experience of higher level shamans, but in principle there should be no problem with SoA - though that doesn't mean there won't be in practice of course ...
    And the problem didn't take long to arise :p. After emerging from the dungeon I decided to see how a shaman would get on against the cowled wizards. The first group died easily enough, but I misjudged how many spells left the last wizard of the second group had and then failed to stay out of his sight when I decided it was time to run ...

    No. 28 was another to fail in SoD when being dire charmed by a trap just after the Neothelid. I think what happened was that I was about to use a potion of clarity as a buff for the Neothelid, before deciding I should make use of one of the scrolls of chaotic commands I'd bought instead - but then forgot to do that. That means I was probably lucky not to get charmed by the Neothelid, but luck can only take you so far.

    A couple of months later for the shaman (and after a few weeks break from BG generally) I've started a 29th attempt and completed BGEE. I forgot to pick up the violet potion and hence couldn't get the strength tome - that's a relatively minor issue for a half-orc with 19 strength already though. Let's see if I can actually get around to buffing in SoD this time ...
    Well, some buffing - but not enough. In the Belhifet fight I wasn't too far from victory when I noticed my oil of speed had run out. I took that and immediately noticed that potion of magic shielding had also expired. Unfortunately a cornugon had also noticed that and immediately took advantage with a dire charm while my aura was clouded ...

    Another month and a 30th attempt didn't get that far. A fairly typical end with no buffing done to take on the sirines at the lighthouse. One of them ignored damage from a Writhing Fog to cast a dire charm ...

    Three more months and number 31 has at least got past BG1. I did forget to pick up the violet potion and hence couldn't get the strength tome, but that's not as great a problem for half-orcs who already have 19 strength. There was a satisfying finish with a relatively rare successful hold on Sarevok.
    There was another disappointing end at Boareskyr Bridge though. The safest way I know to do that is to use the Ring of Energy - that reliably disrupts the mage's spells. This time though I decided to use nymphs along with dispelling arrows. The mage was confused and later dispelled, but that didn't prevent him continuing to cast his spell creating the fire rift. I've never fully understood how that works. I have successfully prevented the creatures from destroying the bridge several times, but I think they must do automatic damage to it over time - so need to be killed very quickly. Despite getting through them pretty quickly this time that proved to be not good enough and the bridge exploded, taking me with it.

    Another month and a 32nd attempt has also seen off Sarevok. The only slight concern was when I didn't monitor an attack from Drasus properly and was taken down to 9 HPs before realizing the danger.
    Belhifet is also history. Fighting his demons earlier on I think I had to save at least once against charm after I let a potion run out, but generally the run through SoD was trouble-free. Let's see if I can actually make decent progress in BG2 this time ...
    Once again the answer was no. I played pretty safely for a while, making a fair amount of use of summons. Against Mekrath though, his death spell got rid of my fire elementals. A succession of nymphs appeared to have depleted all his spells and I spotted him invisibly before dancing to produce some spirit summons. After a few rounds of him attacking them I moved into his sight so that the spirits could attack back - and he immediately produced a finger of death ...

    I started a 33rd attempt almost immediately and a few hours later am once more past Sarevok. There were no particularly close shaves, but I did again forget to pick up the violet potion - meaning I couldn't get the strength tome.
    Still on the same day and I've finished SoD once more. Hopefully this time I can do rather better in BG2 ...
    Well, I did a bit better - but still found a way to die in SoA. I was just short of getting HLAs and had already bought everything of possible benefit when starting the Unseeing Eye quest. The trap on the bridge just before the beholders is a prismatic spray and I wasn't sure whether Shield of the Archons would protect against that, but tried it anyway - and succumbed to the 10% chance of death when hit by a petrification ray.

    A 34th attempt was looking promising as that was cruising through SoA, having picked up a number of HLAs this time. In the Twisted Rune I got PfU dispelled by Vaxall just before it died in a Fire Storm. After apparently not being targeted with domination by Shyressa after a number of rounds, I opted to try using spirit summons against her without specific charm protection (though I did have chaotic commands available) - and paid the price for that. There was no apparent targeting there, so it may be she uses an aura effect, rather than a targeted domination. The run was documented here.

    Another month later (and a couple of weeks without playing BG at all) I'm trying again. BGEE and SoD didn't pose too many problems, so let's see if I can maintain concentration in SoA this time ...
    Sigh - it would appear not. This time I didn't even get out of the dungeon :s. I thought I was being careful in the mephit portal room when I sent a nymph well into the room with an insect plague following it, while I and 2 further nymphs stayed by the door. I've noticed before that color spray extends further than would be expected according to the spell description though and that once more proved to be the case as all 3 nymphs and myself collapsed. 3 mephits attacked at once and, even though they killed the nymphs first, the color spray lasted just long enough for them to finish me off as well.

    A further month and a 36th attempt was progressing without problems until I travelled to an area north of the basilisks without paying full attention. A basilisk ambush occurred and a gaze attack was on the way before I registered what was happening ...

    A couple more months and number 37 has gone past Sarevok. I've been doing a fair bit of playing around with this run so far and got in trouble a few times in BG1 when trying to use spirit summons to win fights where they were not really a suitable tactic. I toyed with the idea of killing Sarevok just with spirits, but after a bit decided that was going to take just too long - and shot him down as usual instead.
    It took me quite a long time to get around to playing in SoD, but once I started it didn't take long. I nearly failed at Boareskyr Bridge when the mage somehow managed to avoid 3 dispelling arrows, when I was buffed up, and opened a fire portal. I had 5 nymphs already summoned which helped occupy the summons, but I was still lucky that the mephits didn't do quite enough damage to destroy the barrels. On the downside I found when I went to fish the pantaloons out of my bag in the epilogue that they weren't there - so I must have forgotten them in BG1. That could be a problem in the unlikely event I get to Mel.
    I didn't need to worry about Mel. Towards the end of SoA, I was becoming conscious of the shaman's slight lack of ability to deal damage - particularly against things with magic resistance. I was exploring a couple of different things against the illithid in the temple sewers that might have helped with that, but got a bit too cute when trying to run past one of them and got my brains sucked out.

    Trying again almost immediately, everything went smoothly up to the Iron Throne. There though, I stayed too close to a nymph acting as a target for enemies following me between floors and was affected by a horror cast at it.#

    Four months later and I rolled for which character to try next after successfully completing the challenge with a berserker. I would have liked almost any other character than a shaman or druid, to give me a decent chance of getting 2 runs in a row. As it is I'm still unsure how realistic the chances of a shaman are against Mel. However, I'll try to concentrate and get far enough to find out. At least in this 39th attempt BGEE is done, without any major problems.
    SoD was also proceeding smoothly - until I got to Belhifet. I was again a victim there of a mysterious loss of buffs after the opening cut scene. The magic shielding potion I'd taken only a few rounds before disappeared and I was immediately affected by fear. By the time I recovered from that Caelar was dead and my stoneskins eroded. Even so, I should have won comfortably, but wasn't thinking straight as a result of my annoyance at what had happened. I had the battle tankard, so could have used greater restoration to heal myself without penalty. Instead though I tried just using potions of power to keep HPs up while tanking Belhifet. That had a pretty good chance of success I think, but at near death himself, Belhifet put together a string of high attack rolls and finished me off before succumbing himself.

    A couple of months later and I was in the mood for something a bit more sophisticated after a few attempts at a wizard slayer - hence this 40th attempt. The greater options provides more temptation to muck around and I was affected by horror at the Iron Throne as a result - only just surviving there. Eventually though Sarevok fell to open up SoD.
    I continued being a bit careless at the start of SoD and paid for that in the temple at the Forest of Wyrms. I was fighting through various bugbears there and was aware of the danger of a backstab from stalkers, but still hadn't got around to putting on the ironskins I had available ...

    Post edited by Grond0 on
  • LoldrupLoldrup Member Posts: 291
    why no healing/antidote potions?
    Running off the map seems more cheese-ish than using such potions..

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,323
    @Loldrup I've experimented with lots of gameplay restrictions over time. Not using item-based healing and antidotes just seemed to suit my play style (typically based around avoiding damage in the first place) and I've been using that restriction in almost all runs for some years now, though I still add in others in some runs as well.

    I know lots of people think running away is cheesy and that's a perfectly reasonable opinion. Personally it just seems sensible and realistic to me and in fact much less cheesy than alternatives such as:
    - instantly consuming magic potions of various sorts
    - switching boots or other equipment around as a spell is coming towards you
    - using autopause of any type
    - reloading when you die
    I could go on, but the basic point I suppose is that's it's a game and whatever rules make it enjoyable to you are fine ...

  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    Grond0 said:

    I know lots of people think running away is cheesy and that's a perfectly reasonable opinion. Personally it just seems sensible and realistic to me and in fact much less cheesy than alternatives such as:
    - using autopause of any type

    You have been doing all these runs without auto-pause? My already high level of respect just went up another 3 notches. Another 10 notches if you tell me you play without manual pauses as well!

    When I first got the game, I thought that any form of pausing was not exactly cheating, but the easy way out. Over time I relented and allowed pause-on-spot-enemy, and pause-on-spot-trap, but still no manual pauses. That game was hard, especially as I insisted on trying to co-ordinate a party of 6!

    These days, I am a lot more accommodating of the pause button/feature, and get a lot further in the game, but respect to anyone who plays without pause. I think this is much harder than no-reload, and the combination of both is quite frightening!

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,323
    Sorry to disappoint you, but I do use pause extensively - I was just using pausing as an example which can be considered as cheesy, rather than meaning I don't do it :blush:. Historically I always used auto-pause enemy on sight as well, but I have relatively recently tended to play without that because the last few EE patches have considerably extended the number of encounters where autopause is disabled - not knowing whether the game will pause or not can then make what should be straight-forward encounters dangerous.

    In multi-player games we only use pause rarely, but in single player I typically use it constantly during battle situations. I play at 60 fps, so there would be even less time to react to battle events than in a standard 30 fps game.

    Having said that I have experimented a bit in the past with no-pause games and might well have a more serious go at that in the future. For some character classes (like the berserker) that's easy to do as you can set up battles in advance to have minimal risk. For other classes with more vulnerability to both magic and physical damage I agree that not using pausing in a no-reload would be a major challenge. I was recently though trying a challenge of running a kensai through BG1 with the restriction that he could only kill anyone using the cursed berserking sword. I didn't complete that, but made enough progress to confirm it was entirely possible - and I'll probably go back to that at some point. Not allowing pausing in that game wouldn't make too much difference as all combats need to be planned in advance anyway. I think BG2 would be impossible to do with a kensai using the berserking sword (due to the huge number of encounters with disabling status effects), but without the sword (or using a barbarian or berserker) it would be at least possible.

  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    Just checking in to see if there has been any progress on my favorite thread...

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,323
    @GreenWarlock I've not given up on it, but the only change recently was to
    I know that I can be successful with the mage, if I can just avoid mistakes for long enough, so my thoughts are more about future attempts. The mage is the last of the classes generated prior to SoD, so all attempts after that will need to do SoD as well as BG1EE and BG2EE. The potential difficulty there is that I've never played past the early bits of SoD!

    Most of the BG gaming I've done in recent months has been trying to do a no-reload solo LoB SCS run through BG1. My progress with that has confirmed that's not particularly difficult in principle with a range of classes, but the extra time encounters take provides more opportunities for me to make mistakes ;). One possibility if I eventually succeed with that would be to continue on to SoD without playing no-reload (as the challenge from @Harpagornis is not a no-reload one anyway). That run would then act as a 'sighter' for my future attempts for this thread. It's also possible though that I will lose interest in a reloading game and just bite the bullet and get stuck into SoD without such a sighter ...

  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,148
    Grond0 said:

    That run would then act as a 'sighter' for my future attempts for this thread. It's also possible though that I will lose interest in a reloading game and just bite the bullet and get stuck into SoD without such a sighter ...

    I've tried doing this, but after my PC got killed by a trap (I mean, I DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS THERE!!) I pretty much abandoned it. It's pretty fun, but I've lost interest tbh.

  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    Thanks for the update - I'm still waiting on SoD to arrive in the Mac App Store, so trying hard to avoid spoilers. Hence, I am not around as frequently as I used to be, as the SoD part of the game becomes more casually integrated into the lore, and spoilers casually leak.

    Of course, it looks like I am still in for a long wait, was not expecting it to take 12 months or more when I self-imposed this exile :(

  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    Doh! I'm slow! Just realized we have two gold runs on the table at the top - the first being reported in detail last October. Belated congratulations, only 72 more to go! Just remember to keep adding gold faster than updates add new kits and classes ;)

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,323
    edited August 13
    I tried out another new class with a bard making his way through BG1 before meeting his doom from a SoD trap - that run was summarised in rhyme on the no-reload thread.

    A 2nd attempt two and a half years later ended quickly. I found a second scroll of stinking cloud, which persuaded me to send Korax in against Kirian & co. He died quickly, but I still didn't break off the attack while trying to shoot an unconscious Kirian down - but I succumbed to a rigid thinking from Peter.

    Ten months later and another run ended even more quickly. I'd already demonstrated I perhaps wasn't in the mood by accidentally trying to steal from Winthrop, but bought my way out of that trouble. There was no escape though when I carelessly allowed a carrion crawler near Shoal to get into attacking distance ...

    Post edited by Grond0 on
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,323
    edited July 4
    And despite making no more progress I thought I would try out another new class. That was a Priest of Lathander that would have dualled to thief in BG2, but fell to a bit of carelessness just before the end of SoD. That run was also documented on the no-reload thread and the silver lining there was that's the furthest I've been in SoD - largely because this time I was generally keeping things simple rather than exploring too many new things. On that evidence I feel as though it should be easy enough to no-reload SoD in future.

    A second run this morning has made pretty quick progress and just finished BG1 when a doomed Sarevok got stuck in a web trap for too long while surrounded by skeletons.
    I did somewhat less work than the first attempt with this character, but was still close to 300k XP when transferring to SoD - I must resist the temptation to hunt basilisks in future :D. Now, can I avoid mistakes in SoD this time?
    Unsurprisingly the answer to that is no :p. I wanted to kill Morentherene for the shield upgrade and with her at near death I was tempted into trying to run round a bit longer to get a killing blow in - but she managed to attack round a corner when I didn't expect it.

    Eight months later I thought it was time to have another go with this character. He's just gone past Sarevok, though annoyingly I forgot to pick up the wisdom tome from Candlekeep. He'll remain as a cleric in SoD, before dualling in BG2 (if he gets that far).
    In the event he didn't get that far. There seemed to be no danger as I worked through the last few guards around the entrance to the Underground River. However, there are a few traps scattered round the gateway and I had ignored those thinking they just did a bit of damage - but one proved to be hold person.

    Several more months and this character's having another go. He's done BG1 and I think remembered everything there this time.
    SoD is out of the way as well, though that felt pretty difficult this time. There were hard fights at Boareskyr Bridge, where I fought rather than surrendering the garrison, at the Coalition Camp where a scared crusader triggered the final group before I'd finished with the clerics and against Belhifet. Amusingly, he was eventually killed by his own Hamatula.
    And another run ends in disaster. I'd dualled at level 12 and was at thief level 11 when going into the underground tombs. A couple of backstabs killed Pai'Na, but I felt compelled to kill the spiders as well. As usual horror didn't work properly there and I had to run for it, but found there was no way out due to oddities about the way the web structure works. I wasted several seconds trying and failing to get through the apparent gap and lost the opportunity to get out using LMD. Things got worse when I started taking poison damage, despite not showing as being affected by poison. I tried to use a potion of firebreath to blast a way out, but ran out of time before I could get outside to rest.

    A 5th attempt has just defeated Sarevok. In writing this I've realized that I've again forgotten the pantaloons, though at least with a thief that wouldn't make much difference in ToB if I get that far ;).
    I'm through SoD again, though once more it wasn't particularly easy. I didn't use potions at Bridgefort and had a harder fight there than I might have as a result. I also forgot to renew protection against fear against Belhifet and, as a result, started running round there when Belhifet was at near death. However, Caelar survived long enough that I recovered almost straight after her death and was able to quickly finish Belhifet off by sling.
    A lack of concentration resulted in another death at a very similar stage to the last one. I was again just coming up to thief level 12 and had just gone to the lower crypts in the Graveyard. I backstabbed a sword spider there to put it to near death and then tried to finish it off in melee. It got lucky though and I didn't and I wasn't paying enough attention to run until too late.

    A 6th go has got past Sarevok, though once again I forgot something - this time failing to take the violet potion to Candlekeep and being unable to get the strength or wisdom tomes there.
    This time I failed to get through SoD. At the Coalition Camp I made the mistake of using horror - one of the mages then wandered too close to the fire and precipitated a general assault. I killed quite a few of them, but ultimately the last half dozen or so exploded the barrels.

    A month later and I made another start, only to rapidly come to a finish - I forgot to check the time before travelling and got ambushed by bandits on the way south from Beregost.

    Three months later and an 8th attempt has had a pretty smooth run through BGEE.
    Things were going smoothly through SoD as well - until I was trapped. At the Underground River I was aware of traps around the barricades near the compound entrance, but I hadn't previously realized there is actually a hold person trap directly in front of the cyclops - specifically placed to catch you if you try talking to it or attacking it in melee ...

    Another 10 months and attempt no. 9 is through BGEE and SoD. I forgot to pick up the Cloak of Balduran, but otherwise progress has been pretty comfortable so far. Let's see if I can actually get cleric abilities back in BG2EE this time ...
    Well I did get abilities back and got up to thief level 28, but not without making a number of mistakes. In the end another of those proved fatal when I went to the Twisted Rune without a scroll of PfU (I had filled one scroll case and put it into storage without transferring a PfU scroll). My experience of Shangalar without a scroll is limited and I was caught out when he used maze.

    A couple of months later and a 10th attempt failed at the palace. I've had a few failures there recently, so might have to resort to using the odd charm to tip the odds a bit more in my favor ...

    Another six months and I'm trying again. My previous run was with a kensai where I was taking lots of risks, but this attempt has been much more focused thus far and has come through BGEE without difficulty.
    I got diverted into a couple of different types of runs, so left this run at the start of SoD for the best part of a month. Getting under way again, it only took a couple of hours or so to complete SoD. There was a relatively narrow escape against Morentherene when I forgot to use PfP before the fight and got taken low on HPs. Other than that things were pretty smooth and Belhifet was an easy target using multiple Champion's Strength scrolls.
    Once more good progress in BG2 was thrown away. I was almost at the level cap when I tried failed to take care against a beholder and attacked in melee with a spell save of only 0. That left me vulnerable to domination and it duly took advantage ...

    Post edited by Grond0 on
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    Love getting the updates here, but I am still being careful to avoid SoD spoilers, in the hope that it one day becomes available on my platform.

    Curious to see how a post-SoD character will alter your approach to early SoA, starting with more xp and potentially more character-appropriate gear.

  • AerakarAerakar Member Posts: 697
    On the comment above, I just started playing in Amn after SoD and am now a 14th level thief after Chateau Irenicus and the Promenade, but still quite gearless for the most part. Oddly, I just got majorly shanked by a backstabbing foursome of thieves in the Slums during the daytime and it was brutal. I am with Korgan, Yoshimo and Jahiera.

    I do not remember this ever happening before. They hit us on the left side of the screen. They came out of nowhere and had my thief down to almost zero in two backstabs, plus they took out Korgan. They are using invisibility potions to keep backstabbing us en masse. Jahiera had to summon in an elemental blocking force to take them out.

    I am not sure if this is SCS30 behavior or just a result of SoD experience. Any clarity?

  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,996
    i had this happen on my first run with v2.4 on iOS, so it's definitely not you.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,323
    @Aerakar this particular challenge isn't with SCS, but I do play with that quite a lot. I think the thieves you're referring to are from original BG2, but SCS makes them far more dangerous by scripting them for backstabs and adding invisibility potions - previously they mainly shot with crossbows and were always visible so not really a threat. For a solo no-reload game I think SCS thieves in general are probably more dangerous than the mages.

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