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Ranged Kensai is awesome

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Comments

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 10,932
    @DreadKhan: Yep. One of the many things we'd have to weigh. We'd really need a separate discussion for this, I think, lest we derail the whole thread.

    @Arunsun: I don't believe vanilla enemies use True Sight to dispel the clones from Vhailor's Helm, or even a normal Simulacrum spell. I think they only use it to dispel invisibility. And I'm not sure True Sight does dispel that clone, since item-based spells sometimes operate differently.

    I played through all of SoA with a solo Archer using Vhailor's Helm for clones, and I never once lost a clone to True Sight. I was playing in vanilla, with SCS2, but the same may well apply for EE.

  • TredvoltTredvolt Member Posts: 62
    I run a 4 man group normally but I've recently started running 5 man to include a kensai that specializes in daggers. Ever since they included a strength bonus to a ranged weapon that starts with 2 apr, it has clearly been the strongest over time damage solution in most areas of the game.

    I use an archer already. This is not a mutually exclusive choice HOWEVER as some want to make a comparison, I would choose the archer even if the math supports kensai as being more damaging. The archer just has so many other benefits than just damage.

    Anyways just to create context, I play on nightmare mode with insane difficulty and my most recent play-through cleared to the end of TOB in just 29 days and 16 hours. (a feat I'm quite proud of). I use only a few convenience options from the tweakpack but otherwise keep everything un-modded. SCS would be a totally different story.

    Ranged damage solutions are the best way to go if you want to clear the game the fastest with the fewest sleeps (until i find compelling evidence to the contrary). Kensai that starts with boomerang and later switches to the firetooth+3 will see some of the craziest damage numbers out there.

    In Nightmare the dragons can have 1000 hit points, and with a kensai + archer you can kill them in just 2-3 rounds. You don't NEED to tank anything if stuff dies that quickly.

    If you want a real test of sustained damage output capability go to sendai's enclave to the slave quarters where the endless slaves spawn and see how long you can hold out (on nightmare).

    My opinion on the change............

    Daggers shouldn't get str bonus - its crazy for a 2apr weapon to get them, and don't you dare give it to darts. Axes and hammers should definitely get str bonuses. And to be thorough, bows should not, crossbows should not (but they shoudl get higher base damages), and slings should (due again with apr).

    Lastly, I'll just fully endorse utilizing the daggers. Klogaroth is good but it arrives way too late and it loses 1 apr for it to compete. ALSO keep in mind you don't have to use a kensai with the daggers. In my standard 4 person party my fighter/thief uses the dagger and gets to 4.0 apr with the gauntlets. This allows you to use haste pots for 5 per round throughout most of TOB.

    Southpaw
  • SouthpawSouthpaw Member Posts: 2,026
    @Tredvolt - I agree with most, just the part "Daggers shouldn't get str bonus" and "don't you dare give it to darts". Maybe from game-balancing perspective, but in real life, that does make a lot of sense.
    Daggers, just as darts are in reality just pieces of iron/steel that you throw. The more force you use in the throw, the more damage/kinetic force you exert at the target location = the more damage you do.
    Of course, kinetic energy (1/2mv^2) does grow with speed and weight of the thing you throw. Strength directly influences the speed you can throw items with and their weight also directly influences the damage done. The max speed of throwing is finite for a person, more strength just means you can throw heavy items with the same speed as light items.

    Darts are usually very light (even though a half-orc with strength 19 could theoretically throw that dart through a squishy wizard thus causing tremendous amount of damage) Daggers are much more heavy, so the increase of speed does make a much bigger difference than with darts.
    Theoretically, throwing axes should get even bigger strength bonuses as they are very heavy in comparison.


    TL;DR - makes sense to add strength-based damage to throwing daggers and axes. Not so much for darts.


    Source: I know how to throw daggers.

    DreadKhansemiticgodNoobaccaGawdzilla
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 10,932
    The throwing speed is indeed the limit. You can only throw a dart as fast as you can move your arm, and even if you're incredibly strong, you can't get that dart moving much faster than anyone else. Twice as much power in your arm doesn't mean your hand is moving twice as fast, so that extra strength is wasted.

    That's why slings were invented. They allow you to swing the rock in a wider arc than you could do with your arm alone. If you imagine the arc in your arm when throwing a rock, and the arc when using a sling, the sling's arc is much longer, but you can make the motion in the same amount of time. This means the rock in your sling is traveling a greater distance in a shorter period--moving faster, and therefore going farther, with greater momentum.

    If we bring magic into the equation, then we could justify adding STR bonuses to enchanted darts. We could say a dart (say, the Crimson Dart) changes its weight based on the strength of the wielder. For the normal guy, the dart weighs as much as a normal dart. For an ogre, the dart weighs as much as a throwing axe.

    SouthpawDreadKhan
  • TredvoltTredvolt Member Posts: 62
    I tend to stay away from the real life comparisons because there are so many factors involved. Your assessments may be perfect but I spoke mainly from a game balance perspective.

    I don't care if we are throwing bunny rabbits and turtles but if bunnies get strength bonuses and you can throw 2 bunnies per round then they are going to be the superior ranged weapon vs turtles that can only be thrown once per round. And lets not get started on frogs that can be thrown 3 times in one round.

    Don't misunderstand - I'm not trying to "Fix" bg2. It is a masterpiece of chaos and making all weapons equal would actually make the game a lot less fun.... there is a lesson there for modern games somewhere. ....

    That being said, the dagger situation creates a different power gaming dynamic than in the previous 10 years of this game.

    semiticgod
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,567
    This reminds me of a relevant piece of information... ever wonder why most of the speed/distance records in baseball haven't been blown away due to the prevalence of steroids that allowed the Home Run record to be obliterated? Its because the human body, as @semiticgod is pointing out, can only throw a ball so fast, regardless of how strong you are. Friction also means that if the ball moves any faster, it requires much more force. If you compare the speed of a properly trained but not talented pitcher to a major league pro, the speed isn't actually THAT different. Its easy to throw up a certain speed with basic training (IE 70-80), but its human maximum not THAT much further beyond.

    This is ALSO why baseball until quite recently completely eschewed weights from training iirc, as extra bulk would be pointless, and potentially pretty counter-productive.

    The key to all this, is that for something to be able to bypass the issue of friction, it's have to be dense and or aerodynamic, not just heavy. A dagger is going to be much more dense than a dart, compare how far you can throw an air-filled hard-plastic children's ball vs a hardball, or how much further a hardball can be thrown vs a softball which has significantly more drag. That extra drag puts a speed limit on how fast a human can throw it... meaning throwing weapons should have a maximum strength bonus to make sense, similar to how 3rd ed offered heavier Composite Longbows that could add some strength bonus (and made heavier whips to add str bonus for them too).

    Too. Much. Introductory physics.

    semiticgodYannirGrum
  • BGLover1981BGLover1981 Member Posts: 13
    The concept of the ranged kensai is fascinating. I have a few questions...

    1. How viable would it be for BGEE? Would it be too squishy, and are there any decent weapons to keep it on par with other damage dealers in the first game?

    2. How best to distribute weapon pips? What level of mastery for each weapon and when?

    3. Would it be a good idea to dual a ranged kensai at some point?

  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 1,944
    @BGLover1981:
    1. The only ranged weapons a Kensai can use in BGEE are regular throwing knives and axes, throwing axes +1, and a returning throwing axe +2 that's not available until the end of Chapter 6. You'll be a little squishy, but the Shield Amulet can help with that.

    2. For the ranged part, you should probably pick either daggers or axes and go straight for grandmastery. For melee, it might make sense to go with dual-wielding instead of two-handed weapons since you'll have all those dagger or axe pips. And eventually you'll want to use blunt weapons sometimes. The order is going to depend on how often you plan to enter melee. For a solo Kensai focused on throwing axes, I might do something like axe, axe, DW, DW, axe, axe, axe, flail, flail, DW, and then whatever.

    3. Absolutely. If you want a caster, Kensai bonuses with Melf's Minute Meteors or Energy blades are amazing. Or dual to thief and let UAI cancel out the kit's item restrictions.

    Fenghoang
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,567
    I've never understood why they allowed UAI to negate the Kensai restrictions. Pretty silly.

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,186
    how would it work in iwd:ee? i don't remember the thrown weapons there, never used them.

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,567
    There is a +4 throwing dagger and a +2 returning axe iirc, though neither was early in vanilla. Waiting until the basement of Dragons Eye for a magic weapon would suck.

  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 1,944
    That +4 throwing dagger is *very* late in HoW, and I don't know of any other magic daggers. In addition to the one in Dragon's Eye, Tiernon sells a +2 throwing axe.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,884
    also, when you cast simulacrum, and then cast lesser restoration on your duplicate, they will now be back to max level ( at least back in the olden days, when you cast simulacrum the duplicate was just level drained down to 60%) so if you are a level 34 archer use the helm to create your duplicate and cast lesser restoration on it, you now have 2 level 34 archers, shazam

    semiticgodMalacPokBlackravenFenghoang
  • MalacPokMalacPok Member Posts: 86
    Just checked this. It's not working in BG2EE.

    Skatan
  • supposedlysupposedly Member Posts: 206
    joluv said:

    bengoshi said:

    I have to mention that there're returning axes in BGEE as well:

    Beruel's retort (Throwing axes +1) - Blacksmith in Beregost

    I thought those weren't returning.
    It returns in Baldur's Gate II

    Southpaw
  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 1,944
    @supposedly: Throwing axes +1 are in BG2? Where?

  • supposedlysupposedly Member Posts: 206
    joluv said:

    @supposedly: Throwing axes +1 are in BG2? Where?

    That was a pun

  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 1,944
    @supposedly: I figured, but if they don't actually return in BG2 in either sense, then it's not much of a pun.

  • VakarianVakarian Member Posts: 94
    @bob_veng @DreadKhan @joluv

    AFAIK, the ranged Kensai doesn't work in IWD:EE. They actually code the thrown weapons so that Kensai (and Cavaliers) can't use them.

    DreadKhanjoluvJuliusBorisovFenghoang
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,567
    Sounds like a good call probably.

  • SouthpawSouthpaw Member Posts: 2,026

    The concept of the ranged kensai is fascinating. I have a few questions...

    1. How viable would it be for BGEE? Would it be too squishy, and are there any decent weapons to keep it on par with other damage dealers in the first game?

    2. How best to distribute weapon pips? What level of mastery for each weapon and when?

    3. Would it be a good idea to dual a ranged kensai at some point?


    1) I've played with a similar build - but it was a Berserker kit warrior. Even with normal unenchanted daggers, he was a beast. Also had the same with an Assassin - poisoned throwing daggers, anyone?
    (Especially killing Sirens. Pop berserk and just go to town.) I think one of the "BG1 Unfinished business" or "BG1 NPC project" mods introduce a returning magical dagger...not sure though.

    2) all into the weapon you want to use to get GW asap. Then weapon styles.

    3) Thieves or mages go well with the Kensai.

    JuliusBorisov
  • ArthasArthas Member Posts: 501
    In baldur's gate 1, is a ranged kensai viable?

    butteredsoul
  • Durmir46Durmir46 Member Posts: 110
    Now THAT is necroposting.
    To answer however: yes, but you'll have to buy throwing daggers a lot, they drop only very sparsely by mobs (notably by undeads in High Hedge, so clean the map from time to time to refill your stock), and there is no dagger coming back to you. Ammunition management will be the limitation. You'll need a good team to support you as well, with strong frontliners.

    butteredsoul
  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,025
    edited August 2
    Arthas said:

    In baldur's gate 1, is a ranged kensai viable?

    I had a lot of fun soloing as a dagger-throwing Kensai after being inspired to give it a try by @Icecreamtub's thread:

    Throwing Dagger(s)- Yours and my Guide to a Knife Storm! {Spoiler Warning!}

    ThacoBell
  • borntodieborntodie Member Posts: 126
    Raw damage calculations are not the right way to compare kensai and archers.

    The real difference between those classes is tactical. Archers have a substantially longer range. Kensai are much better in melee. They fullfill different roles in a party and support different playing styles.

    ThacoBell
  • ArthasArthas Member Posts: 501
    MalacPok said:

    This is how my kensai ended up with only two pips in axes:

    image

    It was totally badass. :D

    What the fuck, when I read -26 I thought it was referring to AC, but I now read that it is reffered to Thaco. When was the ac moved? I would prefer to know AC over thaco..

    Skatan
  • ArunsunArunsun Member Posts: 1,571
    Arthas said:

    MalacPok said:

    This is how my kensai ended up with only two pips in axes:

    image

    It was totally badass. :D

    What the fuck, when I read -26 I thought it was referring to AC, but I now read that it is reffered to Thaco. When was the ac moved? I would prefer to know AC over thaco..
    AC's the 0 on the top right.

    ArthasSkatan
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