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Do you consider cleric/druid a spellcaster or a warrior?

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale 2' started by Gentleman Margaret Thatcher, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. Gentleman Margaret Thatcher Gems: 1/31
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    I have long considered them warriors with spellcasting ability, but it appears that is wrong. First because it just doesnt work sadly. Second because their spellcasting ability is very strong and easily equals the spellcasting ability of wizards.

    The most odd thing is, they have 1d8 hit die. Thats TWICE as much as wizards and sorceresses. They can also wear full armor while casting their spells in combat. So they are at least far better protected than wizards.

    This is, however somewhat less true in IWD2 where wearing armor is not that good. However, that little thing aside, clerics and druids are overall FAR better suited to (melee) combat than wizards could be. Yet in practice thats still not enough. In my practice they are still too vulnerable and somewhat useless as melee warriors. And also, often they are better off casting their spells in combat rather than fighting.

    But how are they not OP at the end of the day? May be they are? They have no real disadvantages over wizards and plenty of advantages. Their only potential disadvantage is that their magic is of a different type. But it is not any less powerful.

    Their other advantages actually relate to their spellcasting:

    1. They do not need to learn spells from scrolls (wizard)
    2. They are not limited with regards to spells memorized (like sorceress)
    3. They can cast multiple of the same spell per day (unlike wizards)

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    I was gonna say "a travesty" because cleric/druid is a really bad multiclass option, but then I noticed that's not what you're talking about.

    Let me put it this way: In PnP, clerics, druids, and wizards are what we call Tier 1 classes. Being full casters without limited spells, they are gods compared to everyone else. In computer games this is somewhat mitigated by poor implementations of their abilities and limited selection of resources. For instance, a druid, who in PnP stands above even the godly wizard, is much much weaker in all infinity games. They have fewer good spells, no real animal companion, and their wild shape is horrible.

    That said, even in Infinity Engine games, spellcasting is by far the best thing you can possibly do. So, even though clerics and druids have medium BAB progression, can wear armor, and have decent hp, their combat prowess is overshadowed by their ability to wreck everything with spells. They do make amazing warriors, far better than fighter, or ranger, or paladin could ever hope to be—So much so that they've earned the title "CoDzilla" (cleric-or-druid-zilla)—but they shine as full casters even if you completely ignore that aspect.

    So no, they are not warriors with spells. They are spellcasters with crazy warrior prowess.
     
  3. Yoshimo's Heart Gems: 13/31
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    Oddly I find that spellcasting is less effective in computer games than it is in PnP. Granted it is powerful but often spellcasting just isn't that special when you compare to the fact that casting in PnP allows you to end combat with no damage done (and sometimes without saves etc). That is one reason why melee classes seem to be fairly effective in the computer games but are totally owned in PnP.

    Now IWD2 messes with it a little bit because it was made before all the rules were fully realized for third edition leading to some unusual issues.
     
  4. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    The problem with melee classes was never efficiency, they can be extremely efficient both in video games and in PnP. I do agree that straight up damage dealing is far more effective in video games though, which is why a good fighter or a blaster sorcerer can really shine in them.

    Of course, even with the spellcasting being less dominating in computer games, full casters will still overshadow other classes when played right. All the major balance issues in the system are still there, and some, if not most, of the mundane classes get even more shafted than they do in PnP.
     
  5. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Balance has always favored spellcasters since, in the end, magic > everything else. I can believe that a warrior can successfully beat an archmage, but only because he was probably wearing some uber +xx greatsword enchanted with some of the most powerful spells on the planet. In the end, magic still wins. The only thing that ever seems to come close to magic is guile/cleverness, since even D&D gods are prone to fits of stupid.

    In IWD2 the druid and cleric both start out as competent warriors, though for the first several levels the druid can potentially dominate melee thanks to Beast Claw (two attacks per round, damage equivalent to bastard sword, +4 str). As they gain levels though, they evolve into very different caster types. The way their spell selections (and thus, their roles) make them distinct, I think, is much more important than how their medium BAB/HP makes them distinct from wizards/sorcerers.

    At higher levels the druid is basically a nuker/disabler/summoning type caster with some healing and situational melee capabilities. It's main weakness is that it lacks the powerful offensive/defensive buffs available to wizards, sorcerers and clerics. Druids specialize in dominating a specific location. In PnP druids are extremely powerful when fought from within their home territory. In IWD2 druids specialize in persistent (non-instant, long-lasting) effect spells, such that they are able to cast all sorts of heal/buff/debuff/damage spells that are pretty much independent and activate on their own, while the druid himself spams nukes or heals himself or his allies. The problem is that this type of spellcasting requires setup, that individual effects often do light damage (so that innate damage reduction can significantly reduce or even nullify damage done), and that many druid offense spells do physical damage (several powerful monsters have physical damage reduction). Druids are at their strongest in early-mid game.

    Clerics pretty much remain as buff/heal type casters with some nuke/debuff/summoning capability (actual focus/proficiency varies, depends on deity chosen) throughout the game. Unlike the druid, thanks to their buffs a cleric is ideal for melee combat even at higher levels. Clerics reach their full potential around mid-late game.

    Wizards and Sorcerers are unique because they have access to more instant-effect nukes than any other caster. They also have a long list of powerful buffs/debuffs only available to arcane casters or specific races/cleric types. Hypothetically, for example, the spells Mirror Image and Blur have a good chance of keeping you alive against a 5,000 damage hit (or more realistically, a string of high damage crits). There are no cleric/druid-specific spell equivalents of that.
     
  6. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    I find it amusing that you labeled druids as nukers. I also find it amusing that you take healing during combat as a matter of fact.

    In IWD2 anyway. In PnP, divine spellcasters are often just as durable.

    FTFY. :p
     
  7. Gentleman Margaret Thatcher Gems: 1/31
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    I think talking about IWD2, they are to a large degree.
     
  8. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Why would I talk predominantly about PnP in the IWD2 subsection? Yes my post was mostly about IWD2.

    And PnP druids/clerics being as durable as wizards/sorcerers? Considering foresight, contingencies, epic spells, etc? Since when? I know many people thought druids OP, but that was more because of an overwhelming combination of powerful abilities.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
  9. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    Really? They get a decent amount of evocations, but I'm not sure why you'd wanna play them like that unless you're lacking actual nukers. Seems like a waste of their potential.

    You're joking, right? A good cleric or druid is constantly on the front lines. They have to be as durable, from the 1st level with sanctuary for buffbots, to 9th level with—guess what—foresight, which is both a druid and cleric spell. :shake:

    Yeah, sure, they don't get quite as many blanket denials, like mirror image, but on the other hand, trying to keep up with mirror image on the frontlines is pretty pointless, you need more long-lasting and consistent spells.

    And I don't see your point about epic spells. Epic spells are a carte blanche, you can develop and cast any type of epic spell with any kind of class iirc (epic rules were horrible anyway).

    Because a hypothetical 5000 damage hit or a string of high-damage criticals aren't really a thing in IWD2.
     
  10. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    IWD2 system with high caster levels and piles of spells that stack on top of each other are kind of self-fulfilling prophecy of buffing - you'd like to get as many casting of the most relevant buffs per day as possible, ie. you have an incentive to fill the character roster with casters to begin with. It takes a while for them to regain the edge straight warriors have on them - mostly more HP and more attacks per round - but once you start stomping around with layers upon layers of buffs on a 24/7 basis, any such considerations fall into the background noise. Even more so when the really good buffs, such as Holy Aura and Executioner's Eyes become commonplace - you can't even cast them unless you have those 15 or 17 caster levels.
     
  11. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Considering druid spells like Thorn Spray/Smashing Wave as well as the higher level evocations and HoF mode, really? Are we even talking about the same game here?
     
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  12. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Games like IWD2 are using an Engine that is setup for standard DnD rules, then the Devs go and add HoF mode and insane difficulty. HoF and modified difficulty completely changes the game balance to a Spell-caster dominant status. The DnD system in general has always been implented to play best as a party-based system and has "tried" to balance the classes. The vanilla parts of the IWD series and BG series pretty much tow the same line. But when you enter HoF with creatures with ungodly HP amounts, they eliminate the Warriors as useful and make Rogues/Thieves pretty much worthless except for their basic lock/trap abilities.
     
  13. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Don't forget the low AC/high HP scaling introduced in HoF. That, I think, is what really skews game balance in favor of the medium BAB classes/casters (combined with extreme enemy damage/AB scaling).
    Basically, a high level (buffed) medium BAB class will have about as much chance to hit most things in HoF mode as a high BAB warrior class. If enemy AC scaled better then warrior classes might still be needed, and you'd probably do alright with a setup that utilizes casters capable of spamming insta-death/party-friendly nuke spells while your warriors deal with any survivors. This isn't the case though.
     
  14. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    Clerics in IWD2 are widely acknowledged as overpowered. They have the widest access to buff spells, and those remain useful against even the most powerful of opponents. Even more so if you take Heart of Fury mode into account (though most people don't).

    Since the bulk of clerical power lies in healing and buffing, it also isn't vital to keep their casting stat maxed to the extreme. I usually settle at 18-20WIS, and focus on CON instead. My 'battleclerics' have very high CON, allowing them to weather melee effectively, and also keeps their concentration high for in-combat casting. There is little risk involved, because there are just a few offensive spells that allow for a saving throw. Many cleric debuffs have no save, which means only Spell Resistance need be overcome if applicable. And SR checks the *cleric level*, not the caster's DC from WIS

    There's spontaneous casting (Shift-clicking a spell) into cure spells, mitigating the need to memorize them. And the Heal spell also casts instantly, which is against PnP rules. Excellent utility and survivability on the frontlines.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
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