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4 Person or 6 Person Party?

I normally solo the game with an inquisitor or a fighter/mage/thief and my power level is absurd, however this time I am playing a cavalier (endgame: Carsomyr) and was playing with a 4 person party in BGEE of Minsc, Imoen, and Branwen. It was great, but not much dialogue occured even though I did most of the quests in the game.

I am now looking to do SOA+TOB and will be not accustomed to the slower progressing power level of my character. I was wondering if it will make much difference between having a 4 person or 6 person party? 6 seems kinda unweildy to manage but I keep telling myself I will be taking this run slow and reading/exploring everything rather than powering through it and picking up the powerful items solo.

I like to hack and slash with mage spells to augment like improved haste. Was recommended to get anomen and aerie. Will definitely be using Imoen when I get her, not sure if I should rush her. I will be using Yoshimo until then.

Thanks in advance!



  • YamchaYamcha Member Posts: 484
    6. Party banthers are one of the best things in the game. Also even with 5 you progress much to fast, gaining HLA and making portions of the game trivial.

  • ahhyepahhyep Member Posts: 114
    I was thinking the same thing. However this means it will be tight on gold and gear... but that's ok.

    Now I need to figure out what kind of party I want. I don't think I want to pause a lot and manage a lot of spellcasters... suggestions for a Cavalier?

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,198
    In terms of power, there are many various factors to take into account when determining "optimal" party size.

    First and foremost, it is important to note that enemies do not scale with party size in any way whatsoever (barring total damage output through AoE, which is largely irrelevant but sure to be pointed out by the nit-pickers). That means that having more party members to deal damage means a proportionate increase for overall party damage output. So far so good, bigger = more damage.

    Where things get complicated, however, is XP scaling. Because XP is shared and because all the various character setups between classes, dual, multi, etc. have such wildly varying XP progression curves, it is not in fact simply a matter of linear scaling between party size and damage. Furthermore, even given one particular setup, the scaling varies throughout the level progression, as some levels are a lot more valuable than others (doubly so when dual-class is involved).

    There isn't really a sensible heuristic that goes beyond the broadest of strokes (e.g. something along the lines of "anything from 2-6"), meaning you will have to look at the particular setup in question to make even a rough determination for optimal size. There are, however, some general rules of thumb that you should be aware of:

    - the more multiclass, the smaller the optimal party size; note however that this doesn't usually mean 2 multis and nothing else, but probably more in the ~4 size territory if everyone is a multi

    - the easier the game setup, the smaller you can make the party and the more damage potential is wasted; while it's true that larger parties generally have higher throughput, that means very little if you kill everything in 2 rounds flat. Highly aggressive setups on a low enough difficulty can do much better with small groups, where you can reach your full offensive potential more quickly and thus be more efficient; the inverse is true as well, meaning that for something like SCS-cranked-to-11 with LoB mode on you will probably want the full 6 most of the time

    - XP scaling is VERY MUCH non-linear; this not only means higher gains per level at lower levels (e.g. through things like getting to GM, or hit dice) but it also means tapering off towards the end; there is not a particularly big difference in power between a lvl 30 character and a lvl 40 character, but a lvl 10 vs. a lvl 20 is WORLDS apart

    - always keep in mind the value of optimization for your particular setup; do not let "optimal" routes deter you from making choices you enjoy more, because chances are that the game is just not demanding enough for the majority of these optimizations to be anything more than academic; that's not to say you can't tweak the game to make small differences more pronounced (you can, I do and love it) but most people are better off working on other aspects of gameplay first (such as spell selection or general combat tactics e.g.) before trying to puzzle out the minutiae of party composition

    As always, the game is very deep and complex, and exponentially more so once mods etc. enter the equation. And there is always the RP aspect as mentioned above: more people means more character interaction, means more banter, or more interjections. For a lot of people, that alone is worth much more for their own personal enjoyment than having all the numbers tweaked right - not that there is anything wrong with that approach, either. To each their own.

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,147
    Just finished BG2 with 6 NPC, usually play with 3/4 NPC.

    In broad terms I have found that although everybody levels slower, simply having more NPC doing anything makes the game easier.

    So, for example, whereas I usually rely on Edwin as sole caster leaping up levels so he has this vast array of spells, don't need that as one of the others will do the "lower magic resistance" while he does the dispells ect. or vice versa.
    All the dragons so far have been trivial, first round they get hit with Breach, 2 xLMR, Malison, Doom.
    Second round, Rigid Thinking, Emotion, Feeble Mind and whetever else to throw into the mix for the sheer hell of it.
    Then it's ADHW, 4XMM or 3 throwing Melf's ect.
    Meanwhile various summons make themselves useful.

    My front liners make the tea and take a nap.
    (playing SCS/insane)

    So find myself doing stuff like ensuring each NPC has a named "biggie" kill on their information, one dragon each or Kangaax ect., (that's harder than it looks sometimes as the buggers can die a bit unexpectedly from a hit from the wrong NPC if you time it wrong).

    Hope this helps to give an overview.

  • ahhyepahhyep Member Posts: 114
    edited December 2016
    Well... a little update to this thread.

    I rushed to get my sister Imoen back and had gifts for her. A Robe of Vecna and a Gesen Bow Component.

    Ran through the asylum most effectively, finding a nice regenerative ring for Minsc, some nice Doomplate for Anomen, and some broken boots of speed for CHARNAME, and then was forced to kill Yoshimo. Thankfully Imoen is able to lockpick. Aerie didn't make it, as she foolishly gave Imoen all her gear and then walked into a corridor that smashed her to pieces ;)

    CHARNAME hated the underdark so he rushed out as soon as possible, but not before he got Minsc a Skullcrusher +3 (for when he is not disrupting undead), and himself some some shiny new Armor of the Hart, a 21 strength belt, and a ring that will help him resist fire dragons and kill trolls easier.

    Got back to Athkatla and built Imoen her +4 bow, recruited Drizzt and went to the order where Sir Anomen was knighted. The order will be helping us slay the vampires, although I doubt we will need their help.

    So right now, I have Imoen, Charname Cavalier, Minsc who is dual wielding maces (but did see an expensive 1d12+4 2h sword at the adventurers mart) and Sir Anomen who is in a wierd little spot weilding a +1 warhammer and not much else of note. No one has any gloves yet, either.

    We have a majority of quests to do in the game, thinking of checking out Lord Jeirdan to see what our charname could possibly do to help... not to mention perhaps a 2h paladin sword may be lurking around? :) ... heard there was also a powerful lich who's golden body needs releasing, as well as helping trademeet and potentially picking up a midget and an offhand for minsc, even though he doesn't use scimitars.

    I am just wondering if I even need Mazzy at this point, and if I even need anyone else in the party... I'd like to have more but am having trouble gearing anomen and still don't really know what the end items are for minsc. I don't really even like Minsc that much to be honest, I'd rather have a better badass melee damage dealer for my party but I don't know of one. Keldorn comes to mind but the gauntlet of dex will be used on Anomen... not really sure how I am going to get him to start doing real damage to things, either. I added 1 pip to flails for anomen, and 1 pip to axes for minsc, which was probably a mistake because I don't know if I'll use him in ToB... definitely gonna get Sarevok.

    Thoughts on Mazzy, Minsc, any new party members, and good items for the aforementioned?

    For reference:
    Cavalier lvl 12
    Minsc Ranger lvl 11
    Sir Anomen Cleric 16/Fighter 7
    Imoen: Mage 12/Thief 7

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,611
    I'm always torn about this. I prefer the gameplay of a four person party, and I like the xp bonus. But I hate to miss the extra banters that come from having a full six.

    In Icewind Dale, it's no contest. I much prefer a four person party, since there's no worry about missing character development and banter.

  • ahhyepahhyep Member Posts: 114
    edited December 2016
    I think I am OK/leaning towards with a 4 person party, but I just don't know how valuable Mazzy will be to the party. I mean I already have my Cavalier who could pretty much solo at this point anyways. I'm looking to maybe replace Minsc, I really dont like him... or if there is a good reason for Mazzy to be an addition? Also not sure about any Evil PCs, because Anomen is annoying. I actually don't even use healing spells (except upon rest) but do like to have the cleric spellkit available to me.

    I could remove Anomen though... but he seems like he would be a good tank with the gauntlets of dex. 25 str and maybe some hasted APR could do him wonders. Flail +4 maybe IDK? Sarevok is gonna come into my party in TOB for sure, so IDK. Maybe say goodbye to anomen and pick up viconia and keldorn? Ugh IDK what to do =/

    I am basing a lot of my knowledge off this:
    Play it hardcore BG2 NPC rundown, so if you know some things I do not, I would appreciate any input.

  • OrlonKronsteenOrlonKronsteen Member Posts: 838
    I definitely find a party of four is more powerful than a party of six, and much easier to manage in terms of movement and path finding, etc., but I've gotten soft in my old age and I feel guilty if I don't take certain characters (Imoen and Wilson, for instance). And as everyone else has mentioned, you can be dominant with any party size and if this is a flavour run you might want more characters.

    I can't stand Minsc or Anomen either. Mazzy definitely can replace Minsc. As a pure fighter with good stats and special abilities she can tank or be your party sniper. Gesen Bow and Tugian are great weapons for her. She starts with short swords for melee but you can start training her in something else (flails for Flail of Ages is a great choice). She has a fun personality, too (though this is of course subjective).

    Anomen on the other hand... Well, you're in a pinch because you don't have many other clerics to choose from. Aerie is dead, so that leaves you with Jaheira or Cernd, unless I'm forgetting someone. You could indeed get Viconia, I suppose, but you'll have to carefully manage party rep since she's evil. Personally, I find this hard from a RP perspective when playing paladins, but it's technically doable.

  • Yulaw9460Yulaw9460 Member Posts: 634
    edited November 2018

    Post edited by Yulaw9460 on
  • ifupaulineifupauline Member Posts: 405
    ahhyep said:

    6 seems kinda unweildy to manage

    Not so much if you have 3 fighters it will be like you are microing just one :)

  • CastersCasters Member Posts: 20
    I"m playing Baldur's Gate II now I have finished the 1st game. So far I've tried to keep it a party of 4 with a 5th temporary member who is involved in a quest for the sake of the story.

  • ahhyepahhyep Member Posts: 114
    Actually ditched minsc for mazzy and am using foebane + belm on her. full pips into bastard swords soon! 19 str belt from adventurers mart

  • CastersCasters Member Posts: 20
    ahhyep said:

    Actually ditched minsc for mazzy and am using foebane + belm on her. full pips into bastard swords soon! 19 str belt from adventurers mart

    I feel like if I remove Jaheira or Minsc from my party I won't get remarks on events as much from anyone.

  • PentiumDPentiumD Member Posts: 62
    Party of 6 is better the dialogue is fun and gold is easy to get, it's the gear distribution that is the real challenge.

  • unavailableunavailable Member Posts: 265
    You're right about 6 people been cumbersome to manage. I often take a full group just for the fun of it, and have 2 or 3 of people contributing far more than their fair share to the fighting. My style is to simply hit things until they die, with my less active members just summoning henchmen constantly, protecting from unwanted effects to my fighters health and mental wellbeing and sometimes going on the offense.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited December 2016
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

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