Just to clarify from the start, this is not the usual "Best class in BG?" type discussion. Also there will be a lot of subjective opinions on my part so don't take anything I say as me stating some facts.
I consider myself someone with severe rerolleritis(and I'm fine with that). And after making a huge amount of different characters I've started to think about what type of character is "best" in BGEE+BG2EE. And by best I mean optimal with a group. For example a very "bad" character to make would be a (female)mage/thief. My reasoning would be how you are giving up a lot of story and choices by being female in BG(won't mention this again because it holds for any charname) and since there are a lot of mage/thief s and possible dual thief->mage there is no real point in making a mage/thief since charname will only be a slightly better version of those. An example of a "good" charname would be a (male)cleric. Reason being charname is the only character in the game to reach over 20 wisdom and therefore getting massively more casts per day than any other cleric NPC. Another "good" character would be any sorcerer because of the simple reason that it's the only sorcerer you will be able to both tailor with spells and carry between all three games.
But what is the overall most "optimal" character when in a group? We have Neera a wild mage that can absolutely rival a sorcerer in power(because nahal's) so maybe sorcerer is not a very optimal choice(unless of course more magic users the merrier)?Thief
is probably a pretty bad choice in itself because of how many thief type characters we already have(and how quickly they peak) so I'll skip this one.How about some type of frontliner type class?
Dorn must be considered one if not the best frontliner with very high strength and blackguardness. Can charname rival someone like that? A halforc berserker can reach 20 str and 20 con in bgee, which is in some ways better but a blackguard brings spells. A human blackguard could reach 19 in both and keep the immunities and cleric spells and probably end up better than Dorn. Then we also have the multiclass fighter/mage, a lot more utility as a frontliner than Dorn. But since we have so many mage/thieves already and a tenser's would at the very least make them equal. So there are already a lot of seriously good frontliners at our disposal. Making charname a frontliner seem to also be a pretty bad choice(especially since a charname death means game over).Then we have the divine casters
. As mentioned before a charname divine caster will be the best divine caster in the entire game and there really isn't anyone that could match the attributes and casts per day. So then we have druid and cleric. Out of the two druid brings some powerful anti caster spells(the most dangerous type of enemy in the game) while cleric brings powerful buffs and utility like resurrections(but we do get the rod of resurrection... So maybe we could live without it and frankly I tend to reload if I lose anyone
Don't judge). Out of the two I think a druid(my opinion, I think they become really good later on. Much better than a cleric) would come out on top because of how bad the druid NPCs are and how many clerics(if they even would be needed at that point) we have at our disposal. They also get call woodland beings, basically a pocket cleric. And out of the kits I would say avenger because of how many great mage spells they get.
So when I consider what we have on offer an avenger
seem like a pretty tempting choice because of how superior one would be compared to others of the same type. But do we even need a divine caster? Wouldn't simply another finely tailored arcane caster be better? We have a lot of great mages and half-mages already so does the need for yet another good mage outweigh the best divine caster we can possibly get? Unsure, I mean maybe because of a pretty recent(?) change to the mage kits, namely the change to the saving throws enemies make against specialists specialised spells(ssssssss). And to get to the point, enchanters
(there is a great playthrough thread on them, if you know of it please link it!). They now bring something very unique and powerful. A -2 save penalty for targets of your enchantment spells, as in your "control" type spells, as in the probably most powerful school in the game if the target fails their save. And to my knowledge there is only a single NPC enchanter in the trilogy, Xan. And you will only keep him in the first game. An enchanter would complement other arcane users wonderfully letting them devote more spell slots to flat damage, dispels and defence. Then we also have the mage/cleric
, directly competing for a spot with Aerie but with the advantage of being a much more powerful divine caster, probably being a better divine caster than any pure NPC because of interactions with arcane spells. But they end up a weaker mage and if divine spells aren't even needed at all with all the potions and scrolls that get tossed in our face maybe they are not very useful?My choice
So this long post brings me to Avenger, Enchanter or mage/cleric
as the most optimal class for charname. And just to clarify why I did not choose my beloved sorcerer for the finals, Neera combined with any mage/thief should bring enough spell diversity to take away the sorcerers advantage of flexibility. This in not a discussion of what is the best solo class in the game but what complements a group the best.
Which one I would say is the most optimal choice is pretty hard to say. There are no enchanters for most of the game but a divine caster charname could be a serious asset considering how strong one could be in their role. And then we have the possible peak of how useful more arcane spellcasters are. Two or three at the most must be it from my experience. After that I would rather have another simple pleb fighter because of how annoying it would be to waste powerful spells and (actual in-game)sleep on simple gibberlings because you don't have enough normal damage. Mage item and scroll starvation should also be a factor from there on as a further con of an arcane caster. But charname could fill the final third spot as an arcane caster. So it doesn't have to be problem. The arcane part of the group could be Neera(Only NPC wildmage), some mage/thief(Probably Jan because Illusionist spec and his insider knowledge of the turnip market, the latter being the superior asset of course) and an enchanter or mage/cleric charname. If mage/cleric is chosen there is no need for more divine casters and one could safely reduce party size for more xp or add another fighter or a paladin to make smaller encounters easier and less annoying another advantage would be the huge spell pool. Or one could take an enchanter making the most powerful spells even more effective. OR take an avenger, also allowing for a smaller group while also trivialising most mage encounters. And on top of that finally find some use for the druid only items. A very hard choice to pick the winner but in the end... I still have no idea
What do you guys think? What class would be the most optimal considering what we have on offer from NPCs? Am I missing some big advantage or disadvantage of having a X charname in a group?