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Solo Opinions

Long-time players of the game have more than likely challenged themselves with a solo run.

After perusing the various threads addressing this topic, it seems to be the consensus of the general community that the following three classes present the most difficult solo challenge:

- Wizard Slayer
- Druid (any kit)
- Beastmaster

I don't see how Druid could possibly be hardest, since they have great summons, healing, and good offensive/defensive options.

Wizard Slayer I can definitely see because it can't use any magical items aside from weapons and armour, but the usage of these is enough to have a great Thac0 and AC, making you a formidable warrior. There are many amazing weapons and armour to be found, and the wizard slayer has access to all of these. Not to mention they can achieve grand mastery in weapons. BG1 would be a cakewalk, and I don't foresee many problems for the class until ToB.

Beastmaster, on the other hand just seems impossible beyond BG1 (and even there it would be a challenge). I've done several solo runs, but never with this class. It has severe weapon and armour restrictions, it can't cast druid spells beyond level 3 (and only a handful of spells at that). Its "strength" is the fact that it can summon animals, but these spells are really bad. If it could cast "conjure animals" for example, it would be really good, because those bears are powerhouses. But it can't. It can only cast Animal Summoning I, II, and III. These animals are weak and will get one-shotted most of the time by enemies. Thieves could be said to be in a similar position, but they can do a crazy amount of damage via backstab, can set traps and disarm them, as well as finding lots of great items via their lockpick/pickpocket ability. They even get "use ANY item" at later levels, making them close to overpowered.

The only utility Beastmaster has is stealth and a few weak spells. They can only specialise in weapons. Only leather armour. Only non-metal weapons.

Has anyone done such a run? What items did you use? What advice can be given?

Borco

Comments

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 21,492
    edited February 2017



    I don't see how Druid could possibly be hardest, since they have great summons, healing, and good offensive/defensive options.

    A blocking figure for a solo druid is the final ToB battle.

    Interesting that you mention a Beastmaster, as @Borco has just decided to go with a solo Beastmaster in a no-reload attempt after the poll here: https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/63487/which-class-would-like-to-see-in-the-no-reload-thread.

    As for the most difficult choice, I suggest looking at this thread: http://forum.baldursgate.com/discussion/30508/which-is-the-most-difficult-solo-single-class-kit-or-no-kit-for-bg-saga

    To me, a Wizard Slayer wouldn't be easier than a Beastmaster, as all those potions and consumable items are really the difference both in BG1 and BG2. We've had a documented attempt about solo WS by @Blackraven from Candlekeep to the Watcher's Keep (it ended there).

    Post edited by JuliusBorisov on
    CrevsDaakBorco
  • Wandering_RangerWandering_Ranger Member Posts: 169
    Thanks, will check them out and will be keen to see information on Borco's run.

    In what areas would consumables make a difference to overcome the poor armour and weapon choices of the Beastmaster as compared to the Wizard Slayer? I can certainly imagine very particular scenarios like Kangaxx and using the anti-undead protection scroll, but on a consistent basis I just can't see how a Beastmaster would be better than a Wizard Slayer.

    CrevsDaak
  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,153
    Beastmasters' weapon restrictions aren't that bad, specially if you go staves cause you can hit and run for almost zero melee damage in return (although I recommend you save all those healing potions to deal with archers, since your AC is rather trashy). Staves are CRAZY in ToB/SoA. And you can dual wield clubs/staff mace in BG1, or just clubs in BG2. No metal weapons isn't that harsh tbh, GWW with the Staff of the Ram+6 is just too good, and you can get the Staff of the Rynn from the Adventurer's Mart really early on as well. Besides you can still use clubs and slings. BG1 is a bit harder because of the armour restriction, but in case you feel like you need more AC, just use Potions of Defense/Invulnerability liberally and you should be good. Also, hoard Invisibility/Healing potions in case you're badly hurt, makes the game a joke. Honestly, their only weakness is the Ranger's terrible high level XP progression and abilities, and the lack of good armour.

    Wizard Slayers are just underrated. Actually, the hardest part for me is early game SoA, since in ToB you should have at least 98% MR, or more if you're playing with WSR (which IMO makes WS a bit too powerful), and in SoA the threat of spellcasters of way higher level than you is more common than in ToB, and getting gold/xp in SoA is hard when you're low level. As the game goes on it starts getting easier and easier IMO. BG1 is a joke, like it always was with a Warrior class solo (except for Kensai/Beastmasters tbh).

    Druids... Druids are hard. BG1 is tough depending on your setup (no SCS = free, with SCS it's rather harsh), SoA is ok except for the part in which you are level 13 and need to get to level 14, although if you're playing BG1 without the XP cap you get around a million just from BG1, and that's without putting SoD in question. As bengoshi said, the hardest for them is ToB. Their summons get you through SoA basically for free, and in ToB you need something else than summons because they'll get killed very easily. Shapeshifter is probably the worst after vanilla Druid (or before vanilla Druid, dunno), Avenger is pretty good, once you get past level 7 BG1 is a complete cakewalk (web+sword spider = free win), and has decent spell damage as well (Chromatic Orb, Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning) in mid BG1/early SoA. Totemic Druids are the best, their summons are great, specially at low levels, but much more in SoA/late BG1, when they get a good bunch of immunities and a rather large HP pool. Also, this http://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/30553/the-tale-of-the-totemic-druid/p1, I'm not sure why @JuliusBorisov (AKA bengoshi) didn't link it, I think he's avoiding self-promotion. It proves how increasingly difficult ToB becomes for Druid as well.

    BorcoJuliusBorisovArctodussemiticgoddess
  • Wandering_RangerWandering_Ranger Member Posts: 169
    @Grond0 what items did you use on your WS? How did you get your MR to 100%?

    @CrevsDaak I realise the weapon selection is not thatbad, but it is still very restricted, especially considering how many other great items they miss out on that Wizard Slayer can use.

    The armour quality is horrendous. Beastmaster, at least in the early game, can use its familiar to dance around enemies while standing back and firing arrows. This is a particularly useful strategy to use until you have a few levels under your belt. This quickly becomes a non-option though, so other tactics will need to be used.

    "Honestly, their only weakness is the Ranger's terrible high level XP progression and abilities, and the lack of good armour."

    In other words, their only strength is the ability to use certain magic items.

    As for druids, they just have so many useful abilities that I can't imagine it would be anywhere as difficult as BM and WS, but I suppose Borisov should know since he has done it.

  • Wandering_RangerWandering_Ranger Member Posts: 169
    Thanks for taking an interest and sharing your opinions!

    It's funny you mentioned rangers/druids, as those are usually my go-to classes as well (I'm an RP-er, and so they are right up my alley for thematic quality). However, unlike you, my favourite Druid is the Avenger, not because it is considered the best, but because it is the most militant of the lot, which I admire. I always wished you could somehow join Faldorn or have some other way or resolving her quest in SoA. It would be great is she was a recruitable NPC.

    Shapeshifter I will agree with you on - that class is incredible. It never stops being useful. The only argument people use against it is "well, it's not as powerful as the other werewolves in game." So what?? That doesn't mean the Shapeshifter is bad.

    I think the main problem people have with it is they don't know how to use it adequately. With most classes in the game, they have a specific role to fulfill - their speciality, their niche. The Shapeshifter's role actually changes and the player must be able to adapt to the change. In BG1, it is most useful to be used in shifted form, as another fighter. In BG2, the shifted form is still useful, though it drops off a bit before level 13, at which point you get the greater werewolf with its obscene armour class. Cast iron skins and shift, and you have a tank ready for any encounter.

    During the "off-time" that the Shapeshifter has, simply use them as a caster. "It can't wear armour" people lament. Well, neither can mages! Shapeshifters when not shifted should be nowhere near the front lines. If attacked, Iron Skins should be sufficient to get them out of danger before the skins are used up.

    In ToB, the Shapeshifter should be almost exclusively used as a caster, since its viability as a tank drops off due to AC not mattering much anymore (though occasionally, it can serve that role well, especially early ToB). In short, Shapeshifter is a 2-for-1 deal.

    There are two things which annoy me about the class, and that is the GW should be +3 claws (not +2), and it should have at least some regeneration, even just 1hp per round. Aside from that, it's a great class.

    JuliusBorisovBorcosemiticgoddess
  • JasperRaithJasperRaith Member Posts: 22
    @Wandering_Ranger ah, a kindred spirit!
    The Avenger was my first kit play through when BG2 - loved it, favourite moment was when, having no metgame knowledge, I was ambushed by a vampire. It was destroying my party and I was out of options, as a last ditch attempt to do some damage, I cast a Chromatic Orb - instant death! Best.BG2.Moment. Real shame about the level 14 cap until ToB came out. Always liked Faldorn as well - and the idea of an aggressive approach to protection, but then I work in the environmental area, so no surprise there!

    Same views on the Shapeshifter weaknesses, it doesn't seem to matter to me and you get a really competent fighter that is highly resistant so all is well! And the AC thing does make a difference imo - for instance going into the fire giant stronghold can be a painful encounter, but with the huge AC, Destroyer of Hills and the AC bonus from the Improved Invis spell in the improved CoR+2 for 23 rounds and you will not get hit enough to get through your stoneskins. The only time it really matters is some of the really tough encounters with dragons, demogorgon, final boss, which are relatively few and far between.

    Dualling to a fighter really helps focus the Shapeshifter on tanking, which I like for its efficiency! But yeah, real shame the paws haven't been implemented properly...had they been though, I'd wonder if it is a little OP...

    Borcosemiticgoddess
  • Wandering_RangerWandering_Ranger Member Posts: 169
    It wouldn't be OP, it would just mean it could actually hit some of the tougher creatures in the game instead of having to find various ways around them. In IWD:EE, I'm pretty sure it got a +3 GW claw bonus.

    As for your avenger tale, see? They're a class made of pure gold! Totemic druid I've never gotten into, though they are certainly an improvement over the normal druid, since the shapeshifts for normal druids really suck. I literally cannot think of even one situation where they are useful in any way, shape, or form.

    Borco
  • JasperRaithJasperRaith Member Posts: 22
    I guess I figure that no one class should be able to do it all and I think you'd be pretty close to perfection with a Shapeshifter if you could hit almost everything...well maybe not perfection ;-) That said, the biggest thing I found that ruined my attempts to solo no reload was no protection from fear. Especially as dragons dragon fear comes with a ridiculous penalty. Nymph Cloak it is...

    The druid shapeshifting is useful in BG1, but yeah...never been a fan. I was intrigued by some of the things you can do with the Avenger new forms, but I confess I haven't tested them...web and sword spider and there was something cool I read, but can't remember that you can do with a fire salamander. Still, level 10 at the end of BG1 is really impressive!

  • Wandering_RangerWandering_Ranger Member Posts: 169
    The sword spider is amazing in BG2, because it has haste and a poison attack (no save). It shuts down casters immediately, as the poison goes through stoneskin, and its rapid attack gets rid of mirror images quickly. It also has immunity to web in both games, which is a nice combo with the avenger's web spell. Cast it and destroy!

    The Salamander is better in BG1 because it has haste (spider form gives no haste in BG1). It can shoot 3 fire bolts at a single target per day, which is useful for interrupting spells or killing trolls in a pinch.

    Baby wyvern is pretty crap. It has a large form, which means navigation is impossible through doorways, and it has no special abilities aside from poison (however, unlike spider form, it offers the victim a chance to save).

  • BorcoBorco Member Posts: 204
    If you would asked me some time ago which class is most difficult for solo run, I'd say "Well of course Beast Master". Its limitations had seemed too severe and its pros unconvincing, which was sufficient to discourage me from even trying it (despite its RP potential).

    That was before I started following the old BioWare forums. There I found my opinion challenged by @Alesia_B_H, who argued (and proved) that anyone who can use bows, wear shields and use potions is able to succeed.

    Therefore, I totally agree with @CrevsDaak and @JasperRaith - a closer look reveals very solid and playable class for the entire sage.

    Concerned about AC? There are many ways to mitigate exposure to range damage (including the use of shields) and you’ll have your helmet and deep HP pool to rely on in the event of crits. The reach and the speed factor of your staff will in turn make AC much less relevant in melee.

    Available weapon pool gives you access to plenty of tactical ammunition (including darts) and stealth provides you with the means of using it effectively.

    Could I get a familiar with group invisibility? Will I be able to summon fodder to eat out some enemy spells? Why yes - I like that. What about the druid spells, anything useful? You’re not a fighter/mage but I can think of few.

    That said, the things that beast masters CANNOT do are - to a significant extent - irrelevant in the context of what they CAN do.

    After perusing the various threads addressing this topic, it seems to be the consensus of the general community that the following three classes present the most difficult solo challenge:

    - Wizard Slayer
    - Druid (any kit)
    - Beastmaster

    Speaking of what we see as challenging, I, for instance, am terrified by Transmuter’s lack of abjuration spells ...

    JasperRaithCrevsDaaksemiticgoddess
  • JasperRaithJasperRaith Member Posts: 22
    @Borco Do you by any chance remember the subject re: bows, shields, potions as that sounds like an interesting read!
    Goodness, I dread to think how one would handle that...I guess mirror image...summons, hmm, I wouldn't try it I have to say. That said Project Image is horrendously powerful and would at least give you extra spells and greater survivability. That and access to the Staff of the Magi. I wouldn't want to attempt a no reload challenge with that though!
    @Wandering_Ranger you've sold me on the avenger, that sounds like a lot of fun in bg2

  • BorcoBorco Member Posts: 204

    Do you by any chance remember the subject re: bows, shields, potions as that sounds like an interesting read!

    As far as I remember it was a part of Alesia's coverage of her beast master run in the BG 1 no-reload thread.

    (OT: Is there any mirror of the BioWare forum content?)

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 21,492
    Borco said:



    (OT: Is there any mirror of the BioWare forum content?)

    @Serg_BlackStrider and his friend have managed to archive old BioWare no-reload threads: https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/802644#Comment_802644

    BorcoCrevsDaaksemiticgoddess
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 854
    I alwayd think that if totemic druids spirit animals have +6 weapon, shapeshifter werewolf forms and other druid shapeshifts why not have at least +3/+4? Its only to hit things, not actual combat bonuses.

    Wandering_RangerCrevsDaak
  • Wandering_RangerWandering_Ranger Member Posts: 169
    To my knowledge, Alesia has done a transmuter solo. Transmuters, like any mage, are very powerful. I have done a mage solo and it was a breeze after gaining just a few levels. The Planetar alone as a summon can nearly take on a dragon. Also, polymorph self does so much work for you. Whenever facing mages, for example, just shift to a mustard jelly and sit there for a few minutes while they blow their spells on your 100% magic resistance they can do nothing about.

    Mages are a swiss army knife that can deal with practically anything. Tonnes of crowd control, tonnes of AoE damage, tonnes of great summons, tones of buffs/debuffs. Plus the Transmuter isn't without protections such as stoneskin, mirror image mislead, project image, simulacrum, and so forth. Sure, I would say that the lack of abjuration spells makes it more difficult, but I wouldn't put this class up there as comparable with solo druid, WS, or BM. It just has way too much at its disposal.

    CrevsDaaksemiticgoddessmonico
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,613
    Since druids were brought up, has anyone tried to solo a shaman?

  • Wandering_RangerWandering_Ranger Member Posts: 169
    Good question, Belgarath.

    I may attempt this instead of a BM solo run, since everyone seems convinced that BM is not all that difficult to do, and I am looking for a challenge.

    That being said, Alesia's opinion should be taken into account here. As Borco said: "That was before I started following the old BioWare forums. There I found my opinion challenged by @Alesia_B_H, who argued (and proved) that anyone who can use bows, wear shields and use potions is able to succeed," then shaman shouldn't be too hard. After all, it can use bows, wear bucklers, and use potions. Not to mention it uses the druid pool of spells and can spam summons due to having more casts per day.

    CrevsDaakBelgarathMTH
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 854
    edited February 2017
    Than what single class meats that criteria ? Vanilla monk ? :D Cant use bow, shields and potions. maybe vanilla thief.

    edit: i think druids are fine, they have lots of options to success.

    Post edited by Danacm on
  • StefanOStefanO Member Posts: 345
    There is a Monk solo guide at gamefaqs. Shouldn't be a challenge for you guys. But for me.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,875

    Good question, Belgarath. That being said, Alesia's opinion should be taken into account here. As Borco said: "That was before I started following the old BioWare forums. There I found my opinion challenged by @Alesia_B_H, who argued (and proved) that anyone who can use bows, wear shields and use potions is able to succeed," then shaman shouldn't be too hard. After all, it can use bows, wear bucklers, and use potions. Not to mention it uses the druid pool of spells and can spam summons due to having more casts per day.

    Alesia's reference to shields is not really related to their AC benefit, but their tactical use. For instance the Fallen Solar at the Throne is much more of a problem if you can't use the Reflection Shield (which a shaman couldn't).

    JuliusBorisovStummvonBordwehrsemiticgoddessCrevsDaak
  • Wandering_RangerWandering_Ranger Member Posts: 169
    I didn't say it was, and you are right. Many shields are useful, such as shield of harmony, Balduran's shield, and reflection shield in the same way many weapons are. Arbane's sword is always good to have on hand, Peridan, Silver sword, and so on (none of which BM can use).

    This is the reason I disagree that a WS would be a very challenging run. Many (steel) weapons and armour provide huge bonuses to the point they make the game a stroll through the woods. I suppose the BM can use some of these too, and perhaps their usage of potions/some items can make the game a bit easier situationally, but I can't see them packing the same punch as a full-plate-and-packing-steel warrior who has access to all these valuable sets of weaponry and armour.

    CrevsDaak
  • iNtuiNtu Member Posts: 37
    I am greatly enjoying my Bounty Hunter 11 -> Fighter babe right now










    :'(:'(:'(

    Longbow / Melee Weapon & Shield

    Locks? - No Problem
    Traps? - No Problem
    Stealth? - No Problem

    Draw Upon Holy Might + Rings (forget about thief potions for a while :wink:)

    I know its cheesy, but its a legit kit =)

    Very good, very fast, rarely pausing




    tbone1
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