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How do y’all handle beholders without the shield of Balduran?

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Comments

  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,346
    edited June 4
    A high level dwarf warrior with good gear can wade through them easily. High level Korgan is my go-to guy against those, when his saves are below zero thanks to gear and high levels and that good ole dwarven consitution, and he has high amount of hp and damage output, he can kill beholders faster than they can kill him. A few potions help against cause wounds/lightning damage. Berserk also helps against elder orb imprisonment.

    Mzzy can also work, being another shorty with good saves, but Korgan kills stuff much faster, there is no contest.

    Or if you have a protection from magic scroll use it on a capable fighter and clean the area asap. Though some beholder rays were bugged to bypass that. (death ray IIRC) dunno if it is fixed in ee. (or is it a feature, maybe it is just non-magical mundane heart-attack)

    StummvonBordwehr
  • HenryNYHenryNY Member Posts: 42
    Grond0 said:


    In the original game the cloak jelly only had MR of 10%, but presumably Beamdog decided that was a bug and upgraded it to 100%.


    Original BG2 - a screenshot:

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 4,037
    edited June 4
    Unmodded BG2 behavior for Cloak of the Sewers.
    Also see those stats for the jelly shape within Shadowkeeper:

  • the_sexteinthe_sextein Member Posts: 591
    edited June 5
    Grond0 said:

    Unmodded BG2 behavior for Cloak of the Sewers.
    Also see those stats for the jelly shape within Shadowkeeper:



    I don't know why anyone would play a party based game solo for the first time. Missing out on 5/6 the character building, all class synergy, half of the items and all of the RTS elements. While missing out on many of the quests and losing out on half the impact of the story. You are a known solo player maybe you have some insight? I don't know why anyone would claim to have beaten BG2 on the first try on insane difficulty while only dying 25 times. I don't know why they would post pictures that prove nothing while trying to defend poor tactics that end in death and lies for the sake of arguing with people. You can simply click on the beholders and watch your melee fighters kill them in these situations. Those small battles don't require strategy because you will be high enough level to steam role them at that point in the game.

    Not only is this guy trolling but I can't believe he hasn't been banned yet. If I went into a "how to kill dragons" thread and accused everyone of failing to answer the question because they didn't include "how to kill dragons without weapons or armor". I would be trashed in a hurry. When people pointed out that going up against dragons without armor or weapons is stupid and poor advice I could spend pages posting pictures of a group of all mage parties fighting dragons in stubborn defiance but I'm pretty sure I would get banned for it. I'm pretty sure I would be warned multiple times if I repeatedly tried to derail OP's thread and make a list that deliberately goes against what the OP asked.

    I'd like to see an SCS user on LOB mode wipe out the beholder hive in the underdark as a jelly. I want to see the 25 hour long video of it lol. Outside of over leveled solo characters and custom multiplayer cheese you are left using meta knowledge to build a team with the highest magic resistances possible just for the beholder hive regardless of how you choose to play. Or you could deal with them logically, IE the way everyone suggested in the first place. I'm sure it's possible to play the game anyway you want if you really want to TRY HARD. All advice is welcome I suppose but this seems like an intentional effort to troll if you ask me and common sense tells me that OP was obviously asking for good advice. Speaking of good advice, I've demonstrated that proving this guy wrong and pointing it out to him only makes him more stubborn. I would suggest not feeding him until he goes away. You can still defend yourself and point out the hypocrisy. Just don't acknowledge him on a personal level. Like I am doing.

    Post edited by the_sextein on
    ThacoBell
  • HenryNYHenryNY Member Posts: 42
    Klorox said:

    I can honestly say I’ve *always* taken the easy way out when fighting beholders by leading the way with a character who has this shield equipped.

    How do y’all handle beholders without the shield of Balduran?

    - For sorcerers and single-classed mages, using a physical shield is not a legit option. For a mage party, though some of them may be able to equip a shield, relying on a unique shield (rather than magic) doesn't feel right with the theme of the party. For a full-mage party, relying on weapon damage is also not a good option, though unlike physical shields everybody can at least use a weapon or two.

    - For working out other ways to defeat beholders, here is a question (as food for thought): In order for Shield of Balduran to work in the game, what must beholders be vulnerable to? Of course, their own attacks! In terms of damage types, what are the most frequent damage types that beholders do with their attacks? Fire and magic damage, of course! Therefore, they must be vulnerable to fire and/or magic damage. For a full-mage party, spells that do those two types of damage are plenty.

    Unlike someone using the Shield of Balduran while facing beholders, magic users don't have to go melee, so they take less risk of being targeted with the Imprisonment spell or other less nasty spells (Flesh to Stone, Disintegrate, etc.). A mage party, by dishing out a decent amount of effective fire and/or magic damage, can (more safely than a shielded fighter going melee) take down beholders with ease. The Shield of Balduran is never needed by them.


    =========

    OK - time for Neera's mage party vs. 3x Elder Orbs:


    Screenshot at the start of the encounter:


    Aerie doing magic damage:


    Sarevok doing fire damage:


    Neera concluding the battle, which lasted no longer than 10 seconds:

  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 502
    Just curious, you speak about not using overly powerful spells like Time Stop, then drop Dragon's Breath 3 times and a Planetar...

    Also you using Neera is amusing as heck, Wild Mages are by far the most OP once they reach higher levels and Nahals becomes less of a gamble and more of a standard operating procedure.

    In this battle you used 3x Fireball sequencer, 3x Holy Smite Sequencer, 1 Animate Dead (seemed to start off with party invisible, but not sure about that), 1 Planetar and 3x Dragons Breath.

    So you knew the encounter was there, prepped for it, went in invisible, pre-summoned a Skele warrior and what looks like the Planetar, before refusing to use Timestop because apparently that was your "it's too easy" game changing decision...then dumped 2 pre-made (and i will point out less than optimal) sequencers and 3 HLA mage spells.

    Also the amount of pre-buffing you had in place is insane, most definitely does NOT meet the criteria of an "unexpected" encounter.

    Most people struggle with beholders when they 1st meet them because they are still in SoA and do not have the levels to allow the amount of pre-buffing, damage dealing, spell choices and saving throws your party has in ToB.

    FYI skull traps in sequencers, each once caps at 20d6 rather than 10d6 like fireball, just harder to protect the party from so need to watch your positioning/use minor globe. Also at that level may as well just chuck 3x ADHW into a chain contingency. A single mage character can have 60d8 preloaded into the Chain contingency and another 60d6 loaded into the sequencer, way more than enough unless you have the unluckiest magic resistance rolls ever, at which point you still have your entire spell book left.

    Everyone knows it's easy when prepared as a Mage which is why the question was asked about how to deal with them when the party is jumped and isn't expecting it.

    Great work on the fight and thanks for the screenies and details, it's useful to prove that a variety of tactics can work and that a Mage can and often is a game changer, also that Neera is the best NPC, obviously :)

  • the_sexteinthe_sextein Member Posts: 591
    edited June 6
    Borek said:

    Just curious, you speak about not using overly powerful spells like Time Stop, then drop Dragon's Breath 3 times and a Planetar...

    Also you using Neera is amusing as heck, Wild Mages are by far the most OP once they reach higher levels and Nahals becomes less of a gamble and more of a standard operating procedure.

    In this battle you used 3x Fireball sequencer, 3x Holy Smite Sequencer, 1 Animate Dead (seemed to start off with party invisible, but not sure about that), 1 Planetar and 3x Dragons Breath.

    So you knew the encounter was there, prepped for it, went in invisible, pre-summoned a Skele warrior and what looks like the Planetar, before refusing to use Timestop because apparently that was your "it's too easy" game changing decision...then dumped 2 pre-made (and i will point out less than optimal) sequencers and 3 HLA mage spells.

    Also the amount of pre-buffing you had in place is insane, most definitely does NOT meet the criteria of an "unexpected" encounter.

    Most people struggle with beholders when they 1st meet them because they are still in SoA and do not have the levels to allow the amount of pre-buffing, damage dealing, spell choices and saving throws your party has in ToB.

    FYI skull traps in sequencers, each once caps at 20d6 rather than 10d6 like fireball, just harder to protect the party from so need to watch your positioning/use minor globe. Also at that level may as well just chuck 3x ADHW into a chain contingency. A single mage character can have 60d8 preloaded into the Chain contingency and another 60d6 loaded into the sequencer, way more than enough unless you have the unluckiest magic resistance rolls ever, at which point you still have your entire spell book left.

    Everyone knows it's easy when prepared as a Mage which is why the question was asked about how to deal with them when the party is jumped and isn't expecting it.

    Great work on the fight and thanks for the screenies and details, it's useful to prove that a variety of tactics can work and that a Mage can and often is a game changer, also that Neera is the best NPC, obviously :)

    In my current playthrough I am using:
    FMT
    Minsc
    Jahiera
    Nalia
    Imoen
    Neera
    In TOB I swapped out Neera for Serevok.
    I would use the spider figurine from the graveyard, the genie bottle from the Djinn in Trademeet, and the Berzerker horn from Walkeen's promenade. If you have been to watchers keep then I would use the book of golem summoning as well. This will instantly give you 4 combatants for the beholders to lock onto and then I would lead my melee characters into battle after the beholders have locked onto my summons. I would have Imoen cast haste and Nalia quickly follow it up with mass improved invisibility. This gives me 8-9 invisible and hasted combatants with two mages in the back. If HLA's were available, all melee characters would enable critical strike. This will beat all small beholder battles that are sprung on you in the game and requires no pre-buff. The portals in watchers keep required some pre-buff like a planateer, greater elemental summons and improved haste on all melee characters with some breech spells for the hive mother but you are releasing enemies when you take the spheres from the machine so common sense would tell you to pre buff in this circumstance. Even then, this is on LOB with a full install of SCS. Characters that have a wand of striking can use this to cast breech even if they get spell failure from miscast magic ect... not a bad idea to pick one up from the red wizard enclave in the promenade.

    If you are in a hive it would be smart to switch all warriors helmets to protection from charm helms just in case you run into a hive mother. Hive battles that have 10 beholders or more at a time will require long range tactics or hit and run tactics especially on LOB mode with SCS.

    Using 6 spell casters will probably make these battles slightly harder where mass damage is required. It's an obviously unbalanced party so one should expect things to be difficult though. It's also important to note that a full SCS install will not allow multiple dragon breath spells to be used. Each HLA can only be selected once. That means at level 25 your mages will have attained all of the HLA's that they can. More mages can gain you more dragon breath spells but at the expense of much more useful melee power. A contingency with 3X ABHW is great if you are higher level I would agree. If you have 6 mages this will insta kill everything unless you are on LOB mode with SCS. You can setup contingencies in the heat of battle to go off instantly so you don't need to pre-buff a contingency. Skull traps are capped just a few levels higher than fireballs if you are using SCS. (I think Klorax is.) It doesn't hurt to use mislead and simulacrum if you position your mages out of harms way after they fire off their first spells. Using sequencers to do damage faster is always a plus. If you use a planateer, utilize it's blade barrier and insect swarm spells and also fire storm if you are using long range tactics.

    Fighting small battles against beholders isn't that hard if you are prepared and doesn't require too much planning or any pre-buff. Large battles will wreck you regardless of your party makeup if you just charge in and attack them. Luckily, all large battles can be scouted out in advance and smart tactics can be used to avoid being slaughtered in direct battle. With the SOB you could use a single character to fight in direct battle in large fights on core rules if you used RTS elements correctly while using long range tactics with the rest of your party simultaneously . On higher levels the SOB doesn't make much of a difference in direct combat with large groups(you will die in direct combat on advanced difficulty levels like LOB and SCS no matter what.) All of the above is with a full 6 person party using balanced NPC's from the vanilla game on LOB with SCS full install. You could attack in direct combat on higher difficulty levels using a solo character but chances are you will not have the power to kill an entire hive solo and even if you could it would take a very long time. Some characters will get stunned or confused every once in a while but you will come out fine in small battles using direct approach by simply steam rolling them like I have said before and once again above.

    EDIT: Also there is a horn of blasting that will knock back all enemies in the area like a dragon does. This can give you extra time or allow you to form a wall with your summons so they don't attack your party right away. There is also a horn of silencing in spellhold that will mute all enemies in an area. I haven't tried that one on beholders but it may be worth a shot to slow them down momentarily. It works great against the litch in the drow city.

    Post edited by the_sextein on
    StummvonBordwehr
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,776
    Yes yes, being over-leveled makes everything easy. How about tackling the beholder hive under the Temple District at level ~12?

    ThacoBell
  • the_sexteinthe_sextein Member Posts: 591
    edited June 6

    Yes yes, being over-leveled makes everything easy. How about tackling the beholder hive under the Temple District at level ~12?

    heh, that lich battle in ghoul town on LOB / SCS is so brutal when you are low level. I think I was level 14 this time because of SOD boosting my early levels but it's still a bruiser and I needed the gauntlets of dex for Minsc. That was much worse than the beholder lair and the unseeing eye boss battle. SCS Liches are tough when you only have a couple level 6 slots for casting but all of those high level undead that surround him really makes that battle scream. Still, the hive in the under dark has more powerful beholders and way more of them. The mind flayer battle in the beholder hive puts up a solid fight and many powerful beholders are in the stalks of the hive. Level really does make a difference until you hit TOB though that is for sure.

    I know it's kind of off topic but not being able to rest in the mind flayer prison in the under dark strikes a nice challenge as well. If you are high enough level to summon a planateer, it helps immensely. Flayers mind drain was never a problem for me, even when I installed SCS it required a little more optimization but LOB mode tipped the scales. You have to keep on the move if you don't want to be mind drained to death in seconds. They take so much longer to kill and the improved AI allows them to teleport instantly. If a big group of them gets close to you...it's all over. Those big summons and uber armor class levels can make a difference. Even the amped armor is less useful now that they have boosted THAC0.

    Post edited by the_sextein on
  • HenryNYHenryNY Member Posts: 42
    Borek said:

    ...the amount of pre-buffing you had in place is insane...

    Please note the fact: this is a full-mage party. Every mage routinely needs Stoneskin, Protection from Fire, etc. all the time, and they also routinely needs extra spells such as Blur, Mirror Image, etc. before going to battles or switching areas. If 1 of them needs say 6 protective spells, then 5 of them will need 6 x 5 = 30 such spells. When Aerie protects everyone with say Chaos Command, she alone has to cast each such spell a few times! So, the amount of spell-based buffing is ALWAYS insane.... It takes time, and occasionally feels very, very boring! But, all these are "standard" routines.
    Borek said:

    ...the question was asked about how to deal with them when the party is jumped and isn't expecting it.

    For each party, one best and hardest thing to do is allocate gear items among party members, such that they don't compete for any single item. But for a full-mage party, how to allocate, say, a single Staff of the Magi among all of them?? A full-mage party is technically unbalanced. They always compete for same/similar items. So, to protect themselves, they have to heavily rely on their own spells - ideally, ALL THE TIME!

    That's why I no longer use quick slots (except Magic Flute) - not even potions except a handful just in case one gets poisoned. If you have ever stopped using potions, scrolls, wands, Golem Manual, Spider Figurine, and all such items, you'll quickly notice a nice side effect: now, you have to be almost always prepared - unless you are comfortable letting your characters walk around with no Stoneskin, no Protection from Fire, etc. Technically, the net result from the side effect is: no more surprises!!!
    Borek said:

    Just curious, you speak about not using overly powerful spells like Time Stop...

    Re: Time Stop - Had I allowed it, as beholders are not immune to it - now, first imagine: how many beholders could be hurt or killed during a single Time Stop. Then, imagine: what if a full-mage party take turns to cast Time Stop! After up to 5 Time Stops, which beholds could still be standing?! If each mage casts say 5 offensive spells in a Time Stop, after 5 Time Stops, the party would cast 5 x 5 = 25 offensive spells. These spells would be cast without your enemies having a chance to fight back!

    Time Stop is extremely unfair!
    So I don't use it in BG2EE at all.

  • HenryNYHenryNY Member Posts: 42

    How about tackling the beholder hive under the Temple District at level ~12?

    How hard/easy to do the Unseeing Eye quest mainly depends on your party, including their gear, their levels, as well as how familiar you are with each of your party members. Other things, such as which mods you choose to install and which difficulty you choose to play on, can also affect your game profoundly.

    I know for a fact: in official BG2/BG2EE, regardless your difficulty settings, a Sorcerer can start the quest anytime and safely finish it at level 14 (or above) - with ease and with virtually no chance to fail/die. To me, the only dreadful thing during this quest is actually not beholders at all, but a tiny room where you can turn a wheel in the center area. I don't remember how dangerous it was in original BG2, but in BG2EE there would definitely be a BIG nasty surprise to any char around level 12 or lower.

  • QuickbladeQuickblade Member Posts: 602
    HenryNY said:

    - Neera (party leader, mage level = ~24)
    - Aerie (mage level = 15)
    - Jan (mage level = 15)
    - Sarevok (mage level = 15)
    - Haer'Dalis (Bard level ~29: a half-mage, recruited specifically for Aerie's romance)
    -
    Note: this is only a mid-level party, as only Neera could cast level 8/9/10 spells. Yet, they killed a Hive Mother-supported drow party with no trouble at all.

    Your "mid-level" party here is averaging a bit over 4 million XP per character.
    Borek said:

    Also the amount of pre-buffing you had in place is insane, most definitely does NOT meet the criteria of an "unexpected" encounter.

    Yeah, I can't even tell who character #2 is behind the wall of icons. It must be Haer'Dalis though given his name drop in Pic #1's text bar and the previous post reporting this party roster, and that he's clearly not any OTHER character.

    Still, don't you (@HenryNY) think this is a bit insane having 5 mages, which have been admitted to being the most OP class in BG2 since at the very least the Prima Strategy Guide when BG2 first came out 18 years ago?

    Yes, mages are OP and can chew through everything. So having 5 of them and keeping your party permabuffed with everything is...yay?

    And I thought I was unbalanced when I had 3.5 mages (Imoen, Tashia, Nalia, Aerie).
    HenryNY said:

    Borek said:

    ...the amount of pre-buffing you had in place is insane...

    Please note the fact: this is a full-mage party. Every mage routinely needs Stoneskin, Protection from Fire, etc. all the time, and they also routinely needs extra spells such as Blur, Mirror Image, etc. before going to battles or switching areas. If 1 of them needs say 6 protective spells, then 5 of them will need 6 x 5 = 30 such spells. When Aerie protects everyone with say Chaos Command, she alone has to cast each such spell a few times! So, the amount of spell-based buffing is ALWAYS insane.... It takes time, and occasionally feels very, very boring! But, all these are "standard" routines.
    So? This is true even when your party ISN'T "full-mage".

    Stoneskins last an eternity (relatively). Everyone, mages or no, need Protection spells anyways. Blurs and Mirror Images are very low level spells anyways and self-only, so you will cast twice per mage, however many mages you have.

    Aerie has to cast Chaos Commands 6 times anyways unless you have Berserkers/Barbs.
    HenryNY said:

    Borek said:

    ...the question was asked about how to deal with them when the party is jumped and isn't expecting it.

    For each party, one best and hardest thing to do is allocate gear items among party members, such that they don't compete for any single item. But for a full-mage party, how to allocate, say, a single Staff of the Magi among all of them?? A full-mage party is technically unbalanced. They always compete for same/similar items. So, to protect themselves, they have to heavily rely on their own spells - ideally, ALL THE TIME!

    That's why I no longer use quick slots (except Magic Flute) - not even potions except a handful just in case one gets poisoned. If you have ever stopped using potions, scrolls, wands, Golem Manual, Spider Figurine, and all such items, you'll quickly notice a nice side effect: now, you have to be almost always prepared - unless you are comfortable letting your characters walk around with no Stoneskin, no Protection from Fire, etc. Technically, the net result from the side effect is: no more surprises!!!
    This does not answer the text you quote, and IMO is actually a better reply to the first text you quote with regards to overbuffing.

    I'm curious what difficulty+mods you play. I personally do not go with all the craziness. I do go with heavy mods (SCS+Tactics+ATweaks+loads more), but merely stay on the lowly Core Difficulty.

  • the_sexteinthe_sextein Member Posts: 591
    edited June 7

    I personally do not go with all the craziness. I do go with heavy mods (SCS+Tactics+ATweaks+loads more), but merely stay on the lowly Core Difficulty.

    I haven't used ATweaks but a full install of SCS+ tactics is good stuff. LOB is understandably not everyone's cup of tea. It's use of brute force enemy enhancement doesn't do much for me but combining it with SCS is great once you reform new strategies to handle the extra load. I was having a discussion with Grond0 about improved dragons from SCS in LOB mode. SCS triples their HP and LOB then triples it again and adds 80 on top. Roughly 9.5X more HP. So dragons that had 200HP now have 2,100 HP. The SCS encounter at Abizigal's lair that replaces the dragon encounter with 5 dragons is absolutely awesome now. You have to deflect roughly 500% more damage while dealing 50X more damage to the dragons in order to enter the cavern.

    Yeah it's ridiculous but it really challenges you to utilize class synergy and every item in the game to the fullest and even then...it leaves you at such a huge disadvantage that it makes what used to be exploitive behavior seem tame. For example, you could set 7 time stop traps with a FMT who has improved haste at 10 APR and a 24 strength using a potion. Cast mislead and enable critical strike to backstab for quintuple double critical strike damage 10 times a round for 70 seconds and still feel like you have a whole mountain to climb. It's something to do if you have beaten the game with mods so many times that even they seem boring. I really think LOB breathed new life into the game for me personally. It's worth keeping in mind if you ever get bored but still want to play some IE action. The more people who play it, the more people there is to chat up about certain ludicrous situations in the game and creative ways to get around them.

    EDIT: Another good mod is Ascension. This one makes the five boss battles in TOB more difficult and adds a new dimension to the role playing of the final chapter. I'm almost to the final battle and this is the first time I have attempted Ascension on LOB mode so it's going to challenge me in ways I haven't been challenged for probably 10 years. This last play though has been a blast and is one of the best if not the best run of the game I have ever had. I would recommend EET and wheels of prophecy as well. They don't add any difficulty but they make the game feel more consistent and better established story wise. Pretty cool stuff.

    Post edited by the_sextein on
    Grond0
  • HenryNYHenryNY Member Posts: 42


    - Neera (party leader, mage level = ~24)
    - Aerie (mage level = 15)
    - Jan (mage level = 15)
    - Sarevok (mage level = 15)
    - Haer'Dalis (Bard level ~29: a half-mage, recruited specifically for Aerie's romance)

    ....

    Your "mid-level" party here is averaging a bit over 4 million XP per character.

    But they are still a mid-level party, right?

    (1) Everyone can get 8 million XP. But this party, at the time of your quote, most were having about half of the 8 million XP. It is right at the mid point, right?

    (2) All mages can get to level 31. But this party, at the time of your quote, were mostly having mage level of 15. It is right at the mid-level point, right?

    (3) Without TOB, a full party can get 3 million XP per member at the end of SoA, provided that they try to do all quests and don't shuffle party too often. With TOB, a full party can get MORE than 3 million XP per member before the end of SoA. At (or shortly after) the start of ToB, Jan and Aerie should be able to cast at least 1 level 9/10 spell per day. Yet, both of them could not even cast L8 spells - at the time of your quote. There were still at their mid-levels, right?
    Borek said:


    Still, don't you (@HenryNY) think this is a bit insane having 5 mages... Yes, mages are OP and can chew through everything...

    Well, playing a single Wild Mage while don't want to reload a single time is already insane - can we go even crazier? Yes, mages are OP, but let's not forget: warriors are OP too. Monks chew through everything with fists and maybe feet too - Is there anything even more crazier than that? Well, here is more: with Spike Traps and UAI and all such, rogues can be more OP than everyone else right? They are (or were) capable of instantly killing Ravager at least deserves some serious respect! Actually, I think even Cernd (widely considered the most "useless" NPC in BG2) can be insanely OP, too! I did hear players arguing for his late-game powers (I personally took him from SoA to end of ToB at least once).
    Borek said:


    So having 5 of them and keeping your party permabuffed with everything is...yay?

    Permabuffed? Only possible with items. Not possible with spells (except cursed spells or something like that). Unless you have your party running around totally naked, all of your parties can all be permabuffed. There is no trick here. In fact, you cannot avoid being permabuffed, can you?

    Permabuffed vs. spell-based buffing
    => totally different things!!!
    Borek said:


    Stoneskins last an eternity (relatively). Everyone, mages or no, need Protection spells anyways...

    No, spell-based buffing don't last forever.

    Additionally, arcane magic users have buffing that no other classes/kits can access on a routine basis. One such example is: Spell Shield. Only mages and sorcerers can cast it routinely. For dangerous encounters at high levels, Spell Trap can be another example (well, this may be overkill in vanilla game, but it's there and it helps too).

    A full-mage party can and should use all such mage-only buffing, just like players having Keldorn wield pally-only swords (instead of having him use fists like a monk or a weapon that all fighters can use).

    Using mage-specific buffing is not overbuffing, if it's done on a daily/routine basis. If Keldorn wields his Holy Avenger all the time, we don't say he is "overequipped" right?

    Lastly, mages have extra work to do on a daily/routine basis for upcoming combat, that is: prepare their spell slots, sequencers, and contingencies. Your warriors don't and can't do all that.

    Playing a mage party takes a lot of extra time. However, the end result (in terms of how powerful) isn't too much different, compared to other types of party. In fact, if you spend xtra time with your own party, your own party (regardless how you assembled it) could be equally powerful, too. In the end, the only major difference between a mage party and a balanced party (or a warrior-based party) is: it's mandatory to spend more time playing all 5/6 mages.

  • HenryNYHenryNY Member Posts: 42
    I guess we all tend to forget what this thread was created for in the first place. Let's back to the topic:

    How do y’all handle beholders without the shield of Balduran?

    The above is the title of the thread (i know we all can read it). Here is another screenshot illustrating an answer to the above question, in terms of how to avoid getting imprisoned:


    Here's an explanation -

    The two Demiliches in BG2 don't try to strip you of your protection from Imprisonment, but beholders' Anti-Magic Ray does. In my opinion, that makes beholders way more dangerous than Demiliches.

    However, BG2 designers cannot let beholders be that smart. So, like in the case of Demiliches, BG2 designers make beholders only smart enough to use their smartest lethal tactic occasionally, but stupid enough to either completely forget the tactic or use it only improperly (e.g., by picking a wrong target).

    So, once you mind-read BG2 designers, you know fighting beholders without a Shield of Balduran is almost always doable to anyone well-equipped and well-played. So long as you can do enough damage quickly, you don't have to run around too much. You know, beholders are meant to be stupid enough to pick a wrong target, provided that you can supply such a target for him to pick. To counter their Imprisonment, even if you are a fighter, you can at least provide a spider, a beserker, or a golem, by using one of those quick items. That summon is a perfect target for beholders to imprison! Even when your summon is being imprisoned, you summon can still deliver a hit or two for some damage before vanishing from the battle field.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,776
    edited June 8
    HenryNY said:

    Your "mid-level" party here is averaging a bit over 4 million XP per character.

    But they are still a mid-level party, right?
    No. 4 million XP = epic-level party, even if you are multiclass. You have HLAs. That means you are deity-level. That's why I asked someone to answer the OP's question for situations where you are actually mid-level. Mid-level means level 9-12.
    HenryNY said:

    The two Demiliches in BG2 don't try to strip you of your protection from Imprisonment, but beholders' Anti-Magic Ray does. In my opinion, that makes beholders way more dangerous than Demiliches.

    However, BG2 designers cannot let beholders be that smart. So, like in the case of Demiliches, BG2 designers make beholders only smart enough to use their smartest lethal tactic occasionally, but stupid enough to either completely forget the tactic or use it only improperly (e.g., by picking a wrong target).

    Thank you for succinctly pointing out how the BG2 devs did a particularly shitty job of bringing some aspects of AD&D into a computer game.

    Post edited by subtledoctor on
  • QuickbladeQuickblade Member Posts: 602
    edited June 7
    HenryNY said:

    But they are still a mid-level party, right?

    For ToB content, sure, they're mid-level. But there's more beholder encounters in SoA than there are in ToB, and that's where the Shield of Balduran is available.
    HenryNY said:

    Permabuffed? Only possible with items. Not possible with spells (except cursed spells or something like that). Unless you have your party running around totally naked, all of your parties can all be permabuffed. There is no trick here. In fact, you cannot avoid being permabuffed, can you?

    Permabuffed vs. spell-based buffing
    => totally different things!!!

    Permabuffed means always keeping your buffs up, whether they come from items or spells. Which you admit to doing. So you permabuff, with spells.
    HenryNY said:

    Additionally, arcane magic users have buffing that no other classes/kits can access on a routine basis. One such example is: Spell Shield. Only mages and sorcerers can cast it routinely. For dangerous encounters at high levels, Spell Trap can be another example (well, this may be overkill in vanilla game, but it's there and it helps too).

    A full-mage party can and should use all such mage-only buffing, just like players having Keldorn wield pally-only swords (instead of having him use fists like a monk or a weapon that all fighters can use).

    Using mage-specific buffing is not overbuffing, if it's done on a daily/routine basis. If Keldorn wields his Holy Avenger all the time, we don't say he is "overequipped" right?

    Lastly, mages have extra work to do on a daily/routine basis for upcoming combat, that is: prepare their spell slots, sequencers, and contingencies. Your warriors don't and can't do all that.

    Playing a mage party takes a lot of extra time. However, the end result (in terms of how powerful) isn't too much different, compared to other types of party. In fact, if you spend xtra time with your own party, your own party (regardless how you assembled it) could be equally powerful, too. In the end, the only major difference between a mage party and a balanced party (or a warrior-based party) is: it's mandatory to spend more time playing all 5/6 mages.

    No, Keldorn wielding the Holy Avenger all the time is not "overequipping". Fighters since time immemorial in video games have been a source of constant, unending damage.

    But mages can be overbuffed. The balance of mage's superior burst power and defenses is that they shouldn't be able to keep it up all the time, at least in theory.

    Of course, the reality is that using game tricks it's possible by several methods to keep mage's eternally full of spells.

    ThacoBell
  • HenryNYHenryNY Member Posts: 42

    No, Keldorn wielding the Holy Avenger all the time is not "overequipping". Fighters since time immemorial in video games have been a source of constant, unending damage.

    This is conveniently making up a definition for the term "overequipping" and then claiming Keldorn is not overequipped by the definition just made up. I guess, by a different definition, Keldorn must be always overequipped.

    FYI: in certain RPG games, weapons/armor deteriorate over time and become less and less useful/usable and may be broken - unlike in this BG2.

    But mages can be overbuffed. The balance of mage's superior burst power and defenses is that they shouldn't be able to keep it up all the time, at least in theory.

    Again, this is conveniently making up a definition for a term like "overbuffing" and then claiming mages can be overbuffed by the definition just made up. I guess, by a different definition, mages can never, ever be overbuffed.

    Of course, the reality is that using game tricks it's possible by several methods to keep mage's eternally full of spells.

    Out of curiosity: (1) what is the definition of "game tricks"? Also, (2) what is "keep mage's eternally full of spells"?

    ==
    Hehe, I guess the "how you fight beholders without a special shield" thread is now being turned into to a debate over personal definitions over certain words.

  • HenryNYHenryNY Member Posts: 42


    Permabuffed means always keeping your buffs up, whether they come from items or spells. Which you admit to doing. So you permabuff, with spells.

    You have just defined the word "permabuffed" and then you claim that I had admitted to YOUR definition of that term?! I guess, your way of handling the debate is not totally honest.

    By your definition just made up, Keldorn having 50% MR is not permabuffed, but a mage having Stoneskin on is permabuffed. I got YOUR definition now, but I have never, ever, ever said anything like you just put in my mouth...

    Well, on the other hand - So what? Is that cheating, exploiting, or what? What all this "your definitions vs. mine" have to do with "how to handle beholders"?

  • HenryNYHenryNY Member Posts: 42

    HenryNY said:

    Your "mid-level" party here is averaging a bit over 4 million XP per character.

    But they are still a mid-level party, right?
    No. 4 million XP = epic-level party, even if you are multiclass. You have HLAs. That means you are deity-level. That's why I asked someone to answer the OP's question for situations where you are actually mid-level. Mid-level means level 9-12.
    1) You must be fully aware that "Mid-level means level 9-12" is absolutely just one of the possible definitions of the term "mid-levels" right? And it's YOUR definition.

    2) your definition of mid-levels being 9-12 is technically flawed due to the sole fact that different classes/kits may have drastically different level progressions.

    3) If this thread were indeed about how to handle beholders with level 9-12 characters, why don't you change the title of the thread?


    HenryNY said:

    The two Demiliches in BG2 don't try to strip you of your protection from Imprisonment, but beholders' Anti-Magic Ray does. In my opinion, that makes beholders way more dangerous than Demiliches.

    However, BG2 designers cannot let beholders be that smart. So, like in the case of Demiliches, BG2 designers make beholders only smart enough to use their smartest lethal tactic occasionally, but stupid enough to either completely forget the tactic or use it only improperly (e.g., by picking a wrong target).

    Thank you for succinctly pointing out how the BG2 devs did a particularly shitty job of bringing AD&D into a computer game.
    I guess you are also fully aware that using the phrase "shitty job" here is a 100% personal opinion right? BG2 is widely considered as the very best of all AD&D based games. BG2 devs did a particularly great job of bringing AD&D into a computer game - that's the widely held, time proven consensus about this game right?

  • QuickbladeQuickblade Member Posts: 602
    HenryNY said:


    Permabuffed means always keeping your buffs up, whether they come from items or spells. Which you admit to doing. So you permabuff, with spells.

    You have just defined the word "permabuffed" and then you claim that I had admitted to YOUR definition of that term?! I guess, your way of handling the debate is not totally honest.

    By your definition just made up, Keldorn having 50% MR is not permabuffed, but a mage having Stoneskin on is permabuffed. I got YOUR definition now, but I have never, ever, ever said anything like you just put in my mouth...
    By your own words I quote below. There's not much "defining" of "permabuffed" necessary, it's just a portmanteau of "permanent buff". It's been a gaming term I'm familiar with since at least 2009 when speaking about class and build optimizations in MMOs.
    HenryNY said:

    So, to protect themselves, they have to heavily rely on their own spells - ideally, ALL THE TIME!

    ...

    now, you have to be almost always prepared - unless you are comfortable letting your characters walk around with no Stoneskin, no Protection from Fire, etc. Technically, the net result from the side effect is: no more surprises!!!

    HenryNY said:

    Well, on the other hand - So what? Is that cheating, exploiting, or what? What all this "your definitions vs. mine" have to do with "how to handle beholders"?

    No, since we're not playing multiplayer, it' s all how you want to play your game. Technically, we ARE playing different games given different game versions, mod setups, difficulties, and protagonists.

    But anyways, "take 5 mages, know the encounter is there, buff to impenetrability then fire 3 Sequencers and Improved Alacrity with triple Epic spells to flatten them in 10 seconds" is not far removed from "Use the Shield of Balduran to be immune, then chop them up".

    The point is, using 5+ mages is a very odd, imbalanced party. I have never had more than 4, ever, because my protagonists are never mages and I always take Jaheira.

    My method is to use a F/(T or Shadowdancer) or Ranger with a combination of backstabs and archery to break up groups across a map and then defeat them individually. So the very first thing I do is scout out the entire map, clearing small random encounters as encountered, then lead bigger mobs on chases across cleared areas, then individual fights.

    Rather than be mage heavy, I am slightly Thief heavy. Typical "ideal" setup for me is:
    F/Shadowdancer (Protagonist)
    F/D (Jaheira)
    Sorc (Tashia)
    M/T (Nalia or Imoen)
    Cleric (Viconia)
    T (Hexxat)

    ThacoBell
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,776
    edited June 8
    HenryNY said:

    "Mid-level means level 9-12" is absolutely just one of the possible definitions of the term "mid-levels" right? And it's YOUR definition.

    2) your definition of mid-levels being 9-12 is technically flawed due to the sole fact that different classes/kits may have drastically different level progressions.

    Just general (A)D&D nomenclature. Admittedly perhaps old-fashioned, but levels 1 to ~8 are roughly "low-level play" (think BG1); level 9 is "name level" where you might acquire a title and maybe a domain and followers; level 15+ is high-level play where you are reaching the highest levels of power and your adventures can have far-reaching consequences. Level 21+ was nonexistent to begin with, until various supplements introduced rules for it. But it was always acknowkedged as levels of power on par with deities. (Or their avatars anyway.)

    The XP tables didn't even go to 4 million... so no, I don't think 4 million XP reasonably counts as "mid-level" and my interpretation comes straight from the PHB.
    HenryNY said:

    If this thread were indeed about how to handle beholders with level 9-12 characters, why don't you change the title of the thread?

    How or why would I change the thread title? It's not my thread.

    All I'm saying is, the thread asks a very general question: how do you handle beholders w/o the SoB? And you gave a very informative answer, but limited to very particular circumstances (having 4 million+ XP). I asked for elaboration - whether you have similar ideas for what to do when you only have, say, 750K XP.

    You seem to have taken that as invitation to a fight, though I'm not sure why. I was just curious about people's thoughts about other (non-HLA-level) situations that fall under the OP's question.
    HenryNY said:

    BG2 is widely considered as the very best of all AD&D based games. BG2 devs did a particularly great job of bringing AD&D into a computer game - that's the widely held, time proven consensus about this game right?

    Getting a lot of things right doesn't mean they didn't get some things very wrong... (And let's be honest it's not hard to get a lot of things right when you are building on the foundation established by BG1 and IWD, which are in fact the best of all AD&D-based computer games.)

    lolienThacoBell
  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 781
    It strikes me that Beholders coming in groups is kind've the wrong approach. These paranoid xenophobic geniuses aren't really even suited to hanging in groups. They are better used as end or sub-bosses supported by minions I think, a decent climactic challenge for an SoD level party on a quest (like Eye of the Beholder perhaps). We don't really have enough chances to listen to their megalomaniacal ramblings in the series either...

    StummvonBordwehrRaduzielbleusteelThacoBell
  • QuickbladeQuickblade Member Posts: 602
    Mantis37 said:

    It strikes me that Beholders coming in groups is kind've the wrong approach. These paranoid xenophobic geniuses aren't really even suited to hanging in groups. They are better used as end or sub-bosses supported by minions I think, a decent climactic challenge for an SoD level party on a quest (like Eye of the Beholder perhaps). We don't really have enough chances to listen to their megalomaniacal ramblings in the series either...

    Funny you mention that. That reminded me that it's similar to what the Justicar says in 'Descent into the Depths of the Earth' novel, where he instantly recognizes that three "beholders" can't be beholders, because beholders wouldn't stand to be in a group. There IS a beholder later encountered, and it is indeed single.

    Which begs the question of how beholders reproduce if they're never found more than alone...

    Mantis37ThacoBell
  • the_sexteinthe_sextein Member Posts: 591
    edited June 8
    The remark about mid level parties was posted with a few screen shots demonstrating how mid level parties can easily kill beholders. Those screen shots were from Sendia's lair, which is either the second to last or the last area of the game. This was obviously bait to troll people with. It's easy to win arguments that are set up to annoy people on purpose but it's never a troll's purpose to win the argument, it's too annoy people. This usually happens when they are proven wrong and have no other way to take it out on others than to act childish. I haven't seen a single post that didn't intentionally troll at least one of us and again, not a single dependable strategy has been posted from him. He simply says things like "see, I was right" while posting screenshots that prove nothing. Saying that time stop is too cheezy to use while using 3 dragons heads was some bait that Borek took him up on. My last post was harsh but factual in every way. I know he read it and I am glad. It's too bad it was removed.

    I hang out in two types of places. Un-moded places where trolls are eaten alive by people like me or places that are moderated so that trolls are removed. I tried to stay within the rules of this place for 3 pages of this abuse but at some point someone needs to say it like it is. I am certainly not going to stick around while someone smears feces in my face. So I'm out of here.

    ThacoBell
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,776
    FWIW I don't think "Henry" is a troll.

    (I don't think their name is "Henry" either but... whatever.)

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