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Optimal Charname Class/Character

DullSkullTheSecondDullSkullTheSecond Member Posts: 243
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 :wink: 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 :smiley:

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?
Discuss.

JuliusBorisov

Comments

  • HoopleDoopleHoopleDoople Member Posts: 23
    I find it very hard to argue with a multiclass Fighter/Mage as the clear choice for the PC. There simply aren't any NPCs that can fill this role, and a Fighter/Mage is likely the most powerful class in the game. The closest you can come is dual-classing an NPC in BG, Voghiln in SoD, Haer'Dalis in BG2, or dual-classing Sarevok in ToB.

    Personally I also enjoy picking a backstab focused thief for BG2 runs, as the existing options are pretty marginal for this IMO. A Fighter/Thief in particular is great for better combat abilities and the Fighter HLAs. The Shadowdancer or Assassin have amazing backstabbing but are less durable and versatile. A Fighter/Mage/Thief grows a bit slowly but can do just about everything.

    gorgonzolaJuliusBorisovFinneousPJ
  • JumboWheat01JumboWheat01 Member Posts: 1,028
    I'd say Cleric/Thief. It ensures that you are NEVER without a healer and a lock picker / trap disarmer. It allows you to freely form your party for whatever else you want. Want a melee-centric party? You've got the heals and the burst damage via backstabs. Want a caster-centric party? You have supportive spells and thiefy skills. Want a balanced party? You bring two of the most needed things to a party.

    And if you want to do a cannon-party run in BG, it lacks a cleric, and if you multi-class Imoen, a thief for a fair length of time. You slide into that niche quite nicely.

    gorgonzola[Deleted User]dunbarJuliusBorisov
  • JumboWheat01JumboWheat01 Member Posts: 1,028
    Having a beard is always a good point, it's one thing that's starting to slide up gnomes in my "favorite D&D race scale." They're actually getting pretty close to booting halflings down, from their top slot, and I love playing halflings.

    GrumJuliusBorisov
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678


    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

    Are you sure? A F/M with lev13 have 1.5 APR more and can put 3 pips in DW. He can cast while he is fighting, a new stoneskin when the old get consumed, a PFMW or whatever is needed. Or can just cast himself tenser's to double his HP, but starting from a much better HP base, and wear an armor.
    The F/M will have better APR and better tanking capability. The only way a T/M can compete in that is casting mislead and then tenser and go for a backstab spam with fighter's thac0.

    I am not saying that F/M>T/M, but that a T/M with tenser is only a pale imitation of a F/M when he try to replicate the usual tactics of the F/M.


    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

    Nahal's is a very risky spell, that can be used safely only at high levels, and even then is not completely risk free. And a surge will happen every 20 spells on average even without using dweomers.
    And you can reload how many times you like, but to use the reload power to avoid the bad of a class and have only the good is different from failing and having an other chance to try. If you don't abuse reload to cast with a wild mage in areas where neutral people is present is problematic, to cast self buffs or buff the party is problematic. This with the normal chance of 1/20 surge, using dweomers in those situations is almost suicidal, if you are not planning in advance to ignore completely the possibility of surges because if they are bad you reload.
    But then why to use a wild mage at all?

    About thieves and dual or multi with thief is true that in the game there is plenty, but there is not a real thief that you can carry trough the whole saga, Imoen is just a lock opener and someone that can deal with traps. And a properly played thief is much more than that.

  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,596
    How about an assassin, or even better an assassin dualed to mage? An assassin/mage is really fun to play and certainly ticks the 'not already covered by an npc' box. If you get the weapon proficiencies "right" (depending on your style of play) they make great mage disrupters in BG1/SoA and then when their high level mage spells kick in in ToB they can be awesome (and even tank a bit).

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    Optimal in what way? Maximising a melee group's potential? Maybe scald. Minimising damage suffered? An arcane caster.

  • DullSkullTheSecondDullSkullTheSecond Member Posts: 243
    edited November 2016
    Woah this got quite a bit attention :smile:


    Are you sure? A F/M with lev13 have 1.5 APR more and can put 3 pips in DW. He can cast while he is fighting, a new stoneskin when the old get consumed, a PFMW or whatever is needed. Or can just cast himself tenser's to double his HP, but starting from a much better HP base, and wear an armor.
    The F/M will have better APR and better tanking capability. The only way a T/M can compete in that is casting mislead and then tenser and go for a backstab spam with fighter's thac0.

    I am not saying that F/M>T/M, but that a T/M with tenser is only a pale imitation of a F/M when he try to replicate the usual tactics of the F/M.

    But a thief/mage brings a lot more than just raw "tanking". They bring stealth, backstabs, traps, pickpocket and later on the incredible use any item. On top of that a tenser's in my opinion would make them massively more useful than a fighter/mage in a group. After all the best defence is dead enemies.

    But if we put them up against each other in a "1v1" the fighter/mage would end up being more tanky.


    Nahal's is a very risky spell, that can be used safely only at high levels, and even then is not completely risk free. And a surge will happen every 20 spells on average even without using dweomers.
    And you can reload how many times you like, but to use the reload power to avoid the bad of a class and have only the good is different from failing and having an other chance to try. If you don't abuse reload to cast with a wild mage in areas where neutral people is present is problematic, to cast self buffs or buff the party is problematic. This with the normal chance of 1/20 surge, using dweomers in those situations is almost suicidal, if you are not planning in advance to ignore completely the possibility of surges because if they are bad you reload.
    But then why to use a wild mage at all?

    If a wild surge would result in the death of several group members I would probably reload, if the spell ends up making a few pretty sparkles then I would probably keep going. And I would probably never play with only Neera as the arcane user. Generally avoid letting her cast defensives. But in the end you are right, a wild mage is probably too risky compared to a sorcerer. Sadly the sorcerer will always be the best class in this game so I tried to pass the obvious choice :tongue: Should have banned sorcerer in this thread lol
    Grum said:

    Dwarven Defender.

    With one I solo'd both Drizzt and Sarevok.
    In BG2 mainhand Crom and offhand the defender of easthaven. Wear the helm of dumathoin. 38% base damage resistance, jumps up to 88% with the click of a button.
    As a dwarf you get shorty saves. Throw on the girdle that gives 50% magic damage resistance.
    Add on other items for elemental resistances.

    You've now got a charname who is able to tank anything and anyone. He's hitting with Str25. He's got a beard.

    Everyone else who tries to be cheesy is only good for 1-2 fights before needing to rest. This dwarf? He'll tank a dragon, smack him in the face, and call it's brother down for round 2.

    he's a beast I tell you. A beast!

    But how much do you really gain by making charname the tank? First of all it's very risky because game over on death and then we have all the other available NPCs like Dorn or Korgan that will get pretty close to a charname dwarven defender. Especially Dorn or Keldorn with armor of faith. Or even Jan with his special armor combined with protective spells? Wouldn't it then be better to give charname another class?

    gorgonzola
  • DullSkullTheSecondDullSkullTheSecond Member Posts: 243

    Optimal in what way? Maximising a melee group's potential? Maybe scald. Minimising damage suffered? An arcane caster.

    Balance is optimal. A melee group is never optimal :smile: But it's up to you what you find best. Charname is the only one you can tailor and gain several other perks like attribute points so what class benefits the most from it

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 21,649
    One observation. Usually when discussing such topics people may think about a canon party. And for a canon party, which has Dynaheir and thus no enchantment spells, also taking into account the need for clerical spells, a cleric/mage multiclass seems like a natural choice.

    That character is also very powerful, no matter the group.

    So I vote C/M multiclass.

    DullSkullTheSecondgorgonzola
  • DullSkullTheSecondDullSkullTheSecond Member Posts: 243

    One observation. Usually when discussing such topics people may think about a canon party. And for a canon party, which has Dynaheir and thus no enchantment spells, also taking into account the need for clerical spells, a cleric/mage multiclass seems like a natural choice.

    That character is also very powerful, no matter the group.

    So I vote C/M multiclass.

    I'm just a bit sceptical at how useful divine spells really are. When I need healing I usually use potions and for restoration there are scrolls. Making enemies die quicker is also healing in a way because less damage will be taken. Almost feels like a must to have a thief, a cleric, a mage and a fighter. I usually go with druid for divine spells but I feel like I could do without them. Mages/wizards on the other hand I could probably not do without :neutral:

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 21,649
    I find such spells as Remove Paralysis, Negative Plane Protection, Death Ward and Chaotic Commands to be absolutely essential in BG2. Having a cleric part can be looked at as not only diminishing the mage part, but also as helping it.

    Blackravendunbar
  • NeverusedNeverused Member Posts: 785
    Chaotic Command and Death Ward say hello. Also Raise Dead, to avoid burning Rod of Resurrection Charges. And on the Cleric side, Remove Paralysis... Arcane protections are almost all selfish, for caster only, whereas Cleric really plays towards the party. Arcane protections for the party are Improved Invisibility and... Spirit Armor?

    It's hard to say what the best group charname is though precisely because there's so many options for groups. I'd say some sort of Thief, since only Jan and Hexxat levels in Thief in BG2. Cleric/Thief, perhaps, taking up the party roles of secondary divine caster, lock picker, trap finder, trap layer, invisibility detector, and whatnot.

  • GrumGrum Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,100

    Woah this got quite a bit attention :smile:


    Are you sure? A F/M with lev13 have 1.5 APR more and can put 3 pips in DW. He can cast while he is fighting, a new stoneskin when the old get consumed, a PFMW or whatever is needed. Or can just cast himself tenser's to double his HP, but starting from a much better HP base, and wear an armor.
    The F/M will have better APR and better tanking capability. The only way a T/M can compete in that is casting mislead and then tenser and go for a backstab spam with fighter's thac0.

    I am not saying that F/M>T/M, but that a T/M with tenser is only a pale imitation of a F/M when he try to replicate the usual tactics of the F/M.

    But a thief/mage brings a lot more than just raw "tanking". They bring stealth, backstabs, traps, pickpocket and later on the incredible use any item. On top of that a tenser's in my opinion would make them massively more useful than a fighter/mage in a group. After all the best defence is dead enemies.

    But if we put them up against each other in a "1v1" the fighter/mage would end up being more tanky.


    Nahal's is a very risky spell, that can be used safely only at high levels, and even then is not completely risk free. And a surge will happen every 20 spells on average even without using dweomers.
    And you can reload how many times you like, but to use the reload power to avoid the bad of a class and have only the good is different from failing and having an other chance to try. If you don't abuse reload to cast with a wild mage in areas where neutral people is present is problematic, to cast self buffs or buff the party is problematic. This with the normal chance of 1/20 surge, using dweomers in those situations is almost suicidal, if you are not planning in advance to ignore completely the possibility of surges because if they are bad you reload.
    But then why to use a wild mage at all?

    If a wild surge would result in the death of several group members I would probably reload, if the spell ends up making a few pretty sparkles then I would probably keep going. And I would probably never play with only Neera as the arcane user. Generally avoid letting her cast defensives. But in the end you are right, a wild mage is probably too risky compared to a sorcerer. Sadly the sorcerer will always be the best class in this game so I tried to pass the obvious choice :tongue: Should have banned sorcerer in this thread lol
    Grum said:

    Dwarven Defender.

    With one I solo'd both Drizzt and Sarevok.
    In BG2 mainhand Crom and offhand the defender of easthaven. Wear the helm of dumathoin. 38% base damage resistance, jumps up to 88% with the click of a button.
    As a dwarf you get shorty saves. Throw on the girdle that gives 50% magic damage resistance.
    Add on other items for elemental resistances.

    You've now got a charname who is able to tank anything and anyone. He's hitting with Str25. He's got a beard.

    Everyone else who tries to be cheesy is only good for 1-2 fights before needing to rest. This dwarf? He'll tank a dragon, smack him in the face, and call it's brother down for round 2.

    he's a beast I tell you. A beast!

    But how much do you really gain by making charname the tank? First of all it's very risky because game over on death and then we have all the other available NPCs like Dorn or Korgan that will get pretty close to a charname dwarven defender. Especially Dorn or Keldorn with armor of faith. Or even Jan with his special armor combined with protective spells? Wouldn't it then be better to give charname another class?
    Because Charname is the leader of the party. He should walk in front. He should defend his comrades as they follow him. A leader should never ask anyone to do what he won't.

    That, and Dorn is not defensive. His Dex and Con isn't up to the task. Korgan is great, hands down. But I still find that he and a dwarven defender make for a great hammer and anvil. As for using a mage to tank...that works, but feels thematically wrong to me.

    Also, the game is overflowing with powerful mages. It even has a cleric/mage! Charname isn't needed to sling arcane magic around because so many are already good at it.

    Finally...a godling leading a group of heroes. Which feels more heroic? Hiding behind comrades while you sling spells, or walking up to the greatest threats in Faerun and saying "Come at me and die."?

    BlackravenElysianEchoes
  • JumboWheat01JumboWheat01 Member Posts: 1,028
    Heroic is leading the charge.

    Logic is letting the heroes lead the charge while you bend reality to your whim.

    Pragmatic is letting the "heroes" "lead" the charge, where you've already scouted so you can stab things in the butt.

    gorgonzola
  • DullSkullTheSecondDullSkullTheSecond Member Posts: 243

    Heroic is leading the charge.

    Logic is letting the heroes lead the charge while you bend reality to your whim.

    Pragmatic is letting the "heroes" "lead" the charge, where you've already scouted so you can stab things in the butt.

    Stabbing things in the butt is fun.

    ...I didn't say that.

    ElysianEchoes
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
  • AionZAionZ Member Posts: 3,247
    Petition to replace the backstab strings in the game with buttstab.

    "Buttstab Octuple Damage!"

    JuliusBorisovGallowglassElysianEchoes
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    Shorties should get the buttstab. Tall ones can keep the backstab.

    gorgonzola
  • JumboWheat01JumboWheat01 Member Posts: 1,028
    And now we all know how you can "backstab" with a club or a quarterstaff. Just a good ol' fashion butt shove.

    MacHurtoGrumElysianEchoes
  • GrumGrum Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,100
    edited November 2016
    *Poke poke*

    "Stop that."

    *Poke* "Triple damage!"

    *Sigh* "This is now my life."

    *Poke*

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