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Magic or melee for the solo run?

Good day,

As I mentioned in another thread I used to play Baldur's Gate in the past, but had a long break, until I got BG:EE and BG2:EE. I don't know why, but I had an urge to solo the whole series, even though I understand that playing without more party members means you skip some content. So I choose Dwarven Fighter/Cleric (to gain as much immunity as possible and tank everything), but now I want something completely different - an ultimate spellcaster.

However, I've read somewhere on the forum that at the end of ToB rather melee is preferred. Does it mean casters are useless, or is it possible to solo with a mage? I am not using any mods yet, but am open for suggestions. Please bear in mind that I do not want the game to be too hardcore, I will introduce myself to powergaming later on, but right now I am still trying to remind myself the game more casually.

If it is possible to solo the game with a caster, then let me ask you about the class. I was thinking about Wild Mage or Sorcerer. It is NOT a no-reload game, so Wild Mage can be considered, but I am open for any suggestions.

Thank you in advance for any help.

lolien

Comments

  • RelSundanRelSundan Member Posts: 917
    Caster, Sorcerer. There are some guides on it.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,106
    Cnut said:

    However, I've read somewhere on the forum that at the end of ToB rather melee is preferred. Does it mean casters are useless, or is it possible to solo with a mage?

    Always be VERY careful about the statements people make. This game is very deep and complex, and things like "melee is preferred" can mean twelve dozen different things depending on the context. For example, I do agree with that general sentiment - melee offers the most reliable, no-questions-asked damage output outside of AoE scenarios. HOWEVER that does not by any means translate into "casters are useless" (why would you even think that). In fact, casters are phenomenal in BG2, and much of the game's difficulty derives from spellcasting. Also, this is by no means a dichotomy. You are not forced to choose between one or the other in a game with multiple ways of hybridizing characters. There is little reason you cannot be both a caster AND a melee, and get the best of both worlds.

    As for a solo game, there are undoubtedly several options that have been long-standing favorites. Sorcerer was already mentioned, and is certainly a great pick as they can adapt to anything. However you can just as easily use a Fighter/Mage hybrid (multi- or dual-class), or even a Fighter/Mage/Thief to get ALL THE THINGS. Similarly, Cleric hybrids can perform admirably as well (but I guess you did that already). The unmodded game is definitely not difficult enough to outright preclude pretty much ANYTHING. You should, therefore, try to find something you ENJOY first and foremost, and not worry about "power" until you've grown accustomed to the game enough to be ready to mod it for more challenging difficulty levels.

    FinneousPJThacoBell
  • matricematrice Member Posts: 86
    edited January 2017
    trying to solo with a melee is much MUCH MUCH harder than trying to solo with a mage (dunno about cleric, but imo it's still easier as cleric than with some fighter).


    The easiest to solo is probably a fighter/mage (if you know the game well) or a fmt.

    But if you choose between a spell caster or a figher, and don't allow mixing in between, (like mage cleric allowed, fighter thief allowed, but fighter mage not allowed) then go for magic.



    And last but not least, If you want the ultimate spell caster, go for the entropist (wild mage ?) after few lvl, it's like a sorcerer, exept that you have free alacrity and a much wider choice of spell.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,712
    I recommend RIghter/Mage/Thief. Do all the things! You will get up to level 8 spells by the exp cap.

    FinneousPJ
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,416
    matrice said:

    trying to solo with a melee is much MUCH MUCH harder than trying to solo with a mage (dunno about cleric, but imo it's still easier as cleric than with some fighter).

    I think the question of which is harder depends on your game style. If you're happy to spend a lot of time buffing and summoning before every fight (and know in advance just what you're going to face) I agree a mage type can be strong. However, if you want to make quicker progress and still have a resilient character than a shorty fighter-type is a better bet. Something like a dwarf berserker is far easier to play well than a mage and will make mincemeat of most opposition.

    I agree a wild mage offers a strong character and if you like mages then give it a shot. In a complete run wild surges are likely to kill you on the odd occasion, but as you're not doing a no-reload you can presumably just sit back and laugh when you do something like imprison yourself >:).

    ThacoBell
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 945
    Cnut said:

    Good day,

    If it is possible to solo the game with a caster, then let me ask you about the class. I was thinking about Wild Mage or Sorcerer. It is NOT a no-reload game, so Wild Mage can be considered, but I am open for any suggestions.

    Thank you in advance for any help.

    I think by now BG has been soloed by just any class and all possible combinations of them. Sorcerers are ridiculously powerful in BG2 (and not that difficult in BG1), but require some knowledge about the arcane spellcasting system. If you haven't played BG in a long time, I'd recommend either the wild mage, or the ultimate buffing machine: a gnomish cleric/illusionist.

  • SirBatinceSirBatince Member Posts: 792
    edited January 2017
    I'm probably really bad at the game but I don't see how solo magic casters can beat stuff like demogorgon or melissan or the planar hunters in bp2.

    i mean i haven't seen it without simulacrum shenanigans or other handfuls of exploits or w/e. eventually you're gonna run out of lower resis and pierce magic at some point.

    meanwhile bashing stuff can get you through all IE games as long as you have some potion backup and a brain.

  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 945
    The only solo mage I can think of having a difficult time in ToB would be the transmuter - and only if you play with SCS and/or Ascension installed.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,106
    edited January 2017

    I'm probably really bad at the game but I don't see how solo magic casters can beat stuff like demogorgon or melissan or the planar hunters in bp2.

    There is practically nothing in the (unmodded) game that a horde of summoned and buffed monsters and celestials doesn't plow through like demon piss through snow.

    ThacoBellSirBatincelolien
  • KuronaKurona Member Posts: 881
    The op mentions not having played the game in a while so a FMT would be the safe option.

  • SirBatinceSirBatince Member Posts: 792

    I'm probably really bad at the game but I don't see how solo magic casters can beat stuff like demogorgon or melissan or the planar hunters in bp2.

    There is practically nothing in the (unmodded) game that a horde of summoned and buffed monsters and celestials doesn't plow through like demon piss through snow.
    could you please direct me to a suitable guide? Anything I find always involves exploits.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,106

    could you please direct me to a suitable guide? Anything I find always involves exploits.

    Summon things. Put haste on them. Wait until everything is dead.

    That's pretty much it. Improved-Hasted Planetars can solo most things, as long as you dispel their protections.

    lolien
  • matricematrice Member Posts: 86
    Grond0 said:

    I think the question of which is harder depends on your game style. If you're happy to spend a lot of time buffing and summoning before every fight (and know in advance just what you're going to face) I agree a mage type can be strong. However, if you want to make quicker progress and still have a resilient character than a shorty fighter-type is a better bet. Something like a dwarf berserker is far easier to play well than a mage and will make mincemeat of most opposition.

    it's much easier and faster to go mage; you can end most fight with a single spell, somtime 2, you have access to scroll; and the only prebuff you actually need for the whole game is stone skin (which isn't time consumming to prebuff, considering it's cast time and duration).

    Tough fight are much harder for a solo fighter, since he'll either get swarmed, or need some sort of dispell;
    For example I still remember my first time versus tolgerias. which is supposed to be a very easy battle, but end up really hard if you aren't quick to kill them, or if you don't usedispell. A solo fighter cann't do one or the other, so unless you have way too much equipement/lvl, or end prebuff yourself, you are mostlikely going to fail, for such an easy encounter. While a mage, has just to cast 2 spell to finish the encounter, or simply use a protectiv spell and then send a summon easy as cake.

    In addition, when you play unmoded game (I assumed its the case here, cause well no magic in a difficulty moded game, is like asking for every minor encounter versus a mage to be 10 min long to wait for his protection to be down) you can sleep pretty much everywhere, and the few night encounter that are hard, are actually in De'Arnise, that's it (mmm, also in dungeon of the dark dragon, but if you go like 5 step back, you have the safe room to sleep anyway).


    Mage are pretty much better at everything when it comes to fight, if you compare them to fighter. But there's one single thing they have trouble with:
    Very very long fight, against "low" dps enemy but very durable/regenerativ one. and yeah, if you don't know about wish, those fight, especially those in several part, becomes really hard if you cast wrongly your spell.
    The 2nd point i also agree with you, is the fact that a tough fighter is easier to play, and you can almost always right click to death without having to think about anything but poison and your hp, while a missplay with a mage, can cause death, even versus the weakest encounter.

    Anyway, to me, if we want to have the "kind of easiest" character for a solo run, between mage or fighter, it would be the mage, cause very minor encounter should not even count (and fighter are at no risk in those), medium encounter are clearly mage favored, and very hard encounter depend on what spell you have and what encounter it is. For example, demongogorn is super super hard for a mage, due to the inability to have a high sustained dps (unless you bombard of summon), amelyssan is kind of even, mb slightly fighter favored if 0 prebuff and no contengency. But if you'd yaga sura, or irenicus for example, mage would be waaay easier. So in bulk : easy fight -> fighter, medium -> mage, hard -> kind of even/dipend.


  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,416
    edited January 2017
    matrice said:

    it's much easier and faster to go mage; you can end most fight with a single spell, somtime 2, you have access to scroll; and the only prebuff you actually need for the whole game is stone skin (which isn't time consumming to prebuff, considering it's cast time and duration).

    Tough fight are much harder for a solo fighter, since he'll either get swarmed, or need some sort of dispell;
    For example I still remember my first time versus tolgerias. which is supposed to be a very easy battle, but end up really hard if you aren't quick to kill them, or if you don't usedispell. A solo fighter cann't do one or the other, so unless you have way too much equipement/lvl, or end prebuff yourself, you are mostlikely going to fail, for such an easy encounter. While a mage, has just to cast 2 spell to finish the encounter, or simply use a protectiv spell and then send a summon easy as cake.

    In addition, when you play unmoded game (I assumed its the case here, cause well no magic in a difficulty moded game, is like asking for every minor encounter versus a mage to be 10 min long to wait for his protection to be down) you can sleep pretty much everywhere, and the few night encounter that are hard, are actually in De'Arnise, that's it (mmm, also in dungeon of the dark dragon, but if you go like 5 step back, you have the safe room to sleep anyway).

    @matrice As I said originally so much depends on play style, but I disagree that mages are quicker in general. I've soloed a range of characters no-reload through the whole game (not SoD) and my experience is that fighter characters are quicker - even though I do very little buffing as a mage. My experience is that any fights that a mage can finish with a single spell, a fighter can finish within seconds anyway - particularly once HLAs are available. That does depend how you play the game though. For instance you mentioned Tolgerias: a fighter can approach him invisibly and, while he's casting true sight, cut him down before he has time to buff. If you never attack unprovoked and believe that every enemy should have the opportunity to buff before fights then that would slow down progress with a fighter significantly more than with a mage.

    ThacoBellArctodus
  • unavailableunavailable Member Posts: 265
    edited January 2017
    mages are better for solos, but if you want melee only I suggest the dwarven defender, because he's tougher than a mastiff sized cockroach. Most powerful class overall though is the bards blade kit. He could fight draconis and abazigal at the same time without breaking a sweat.

    lolienThacoBellArctodus
  • luskanluskan Member Posts: 269
    I like the F/M/T solo when I can't decide what to be as every encounter you can choose how you'd like to handle it. Bash them, trap them, blow them away, summons to do it for you, etc. And being solo, you level up quickly so you won't feel that you're falling behind. Jack-of-all-trades indeed.

    There are threads on here for pretty much every class playing solo, they're great reads for ideas and strategy even if you don't plan on playing that class.

    ThacoBellFinneousPJShikao
  • ArchGhostArchGhost Member Posts: 28

    I'm probably really bad at the game but I don't see how solo magic casters can beat stuff like demogorgon or melissan or the planar hunters in bp2.

    i mean i haven't seen it without simulacrum shenanigans or other handfuls of exploits or w/e. eventually you're gonna run out of lower resis and pierce magic at some point.

    meanwhile bashing stuff can get you through all IE games as long as you have some potion backup and a brain.

    Yeah...no. Just straight bashing begins to stop solving your problems when AC means nothing anymore in ToB so enemy warriors beat the crap out of you, or you run into powerful spellcasters who will neuter a warrior class with no access to magic which can happen even early in SoA if you know where to look. Fighters and the like with no access to magic outside of exploits like the potion-use trick or a thief multiclass' UAI have a much tougher time than any spellcaster, and rely on much more metagame item knowledge and exploitation of mechanics to succeed. A lot of the time you're going to be just waiting around for enemy combat protections to wear off (which works with any class in the first place, if you want to play that way) but surviving to that point will be more difficult without protection magic or summon fodder as well. Potions go a long way but the amount of wands/charged equipment that a warrior class can utilize is criminally gimped except for the game breaking Protection scrolls that anybody can use. This is why warrior multiclasses and kits like the Inquistor are so much better than a simple brute for soloing, because of the magical utility they add above just beating on something and hoping not to be wiped out in the process.

    Even things like Demogorgon are easy for a caster. Most things in the (unmodded) game follow the same rules of resistances, saving throws, status effects/immunities, memorized spells, and the like. Demogorgon is vulnerable to cold, for example. You can lower his magic resistance with Wands of Spell Striking found in Watcher's Keep (which you can't use as anything other than a Mage/Bard/UAI thief) and kill him with Ice Storm/Cone of Cold (which Garlena sells at the keep rooftop) off screen if you want, or bring wands of frost. Not to mention you can use magic to protect yourself from the most dangerous effects in the game in the first place. Protection from Magical Weapons solves more problems than more HP and AC ever could, Spell Immunity just about nixs anything that is actually a spell, etc.

    Pretty much only demi-liches present a problem with lvl 8 and lower spell immunity, which frankly seems like fake difficulty similar to any creature that can target magic on concealed creatures. In fact, most of the real dangerous enemies are similar to demi-liches; they arbitrarily break the game's rules with things like infinite, no downtime script-based casting (the Aurumach Rilmani in Watcher's Keep or any Beholder is a great example) and canon-but-nowhere-explained spell immunities. You can still remove the demi-lich's threat with your own magic, take a another option to overcome the threat of an infinite spellcaster (like instagibbing him with traps or a backstab, etc), but it's still awkwardly presented and the workaround implementation of some of these PnP abilities are crazy in some cases.


    As for the issue of exploiting with Simulacrum or more accurately, Project Image, those spells work exactly as intended: they are meant to present copies of the caster with their own spellbooks. Wish is also a valid and legit option to get your spells back, exactly as fair as simply running until enemies are offscreen and resting... Cheesy? Maybe, but only because one chooses to view in such a light. It's allowed by the rules of the game even if the mechanical implementation is weird. I think it's cheesy that magic is limited for players but AIs can cast infinitely with scripts, or that warriors can potentially always make a saving throw if it's low enough while a mage could run of out spells trying to afflict them, etc. It's just the way the game is.

    It's a classic trope in D&D that spellcasters trump warriors after they both level up. After all, powerful wizards gain capabilities to effect the very fabric of the universe and probability, while priests are empowered by outsider beings (their gods) much more powerful than anything that walk the planes. In what way could a skullthumper with a sharp stick measure up to this when they move beyond the "fearing gibberlings" phase of low levels? I think ToB and the warrior HLAs do an admirable job at keeping warriors a bit more relevant, and of course, the release version of the game is appropriately balanced to allow less versed players to simply beat their heads against the proverbial wall by mashing the reload button, but one should never underestimate the power of magic in this setting.

    SirBatince
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    luskan said:

    I like the F/M/T solo when I can't decide what to be as every encounter you can choose how you'd like to handle it. Bash them, trap them, blow them away, summons to do it for you, etc. And being solo, you level up quickly so you won't feel that you're falling behind. Jack-of-all-trades indeed.

    There are threads on here for pretty much every class playing solo, they're great reads for ideas and strategy even if you don't plan on playing that class.

    @luskan I was going to say "magic or melee" -- why not both? But this is even better.

    luskanThacoBellShikao
  • WesboiWesboi Member Posts: 403
    F/M/T is pretty good for a series run just use xp removals and you end up insta gib everything later on quite amusing.

  • unavailableunavailable Member Posts: 265
    Do people just play solo until everything gets absurdly easy by chapter 4? You'd have HLA by then, and a long, long way to go before the ToB experience points cap where things start getting tough. It hardly seems worth enduring that long second phase for ToB.

    Gallowglass
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 1,677
    why not both? you can play Fighter/Mage and have the best of both worlds. You will still dominate in both fields as a solo character.

    Shikao
  • bdtgazobdtgazo Member Posts: 37
    edited July 2017

    I'm probably really bad at the game but I don't see how solo magic casters can beat stuff like demogorgon or melissan or the planar hunters in bp2.

    There is practically nothing in the (unmodded) game that a horde of summoned and buffed monsters and celestials doesn't plow through like demon piss through snow.
    could you please direct me to a suitable guide? Anything I find always involves exploits.
    When people give false information it kills me.

    Demon piss doesn't go through snow very fast. Demon piss is cold!

    If you want a guide on it, read Dragon Magazine issue 67b, Norway edition, article on demon biology.

    unavailable
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