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Half-Orc vs. Shield Dwarf

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale 2' started by adyghost, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. Xindell Gems: 6/31
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    @Gothmog
    I have to disagree with you on this one, at least when you take into consideration the topic of this thread.
    In order to get your AC to a level that has ANY significance in HoF, you need to work some very detailed Multiclass characters, with very specific equipment and heavy buffs. The JUPP will tell you how to do this, and if you're someone who wants to take it to that level, then by all means, AC is the way to go. (This is why I'd said it was tough, but not impossible to do).
    However, for your regular everyday players who want to put together a solid tank using a basic Fig/Bbn build (remember the topic here) with a SD or HO, you simply are not going to get AC high enough to have ANY significance in HoF. So you need to make sure your tank can truly take a pounding.

    [ April 01, 2006, 18:57: Message edited by: Xindell ]
     
  2. Darkstrike Gems: 5/31
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    Why not have 10 lvls of rogue in there for the Evasion. Won't have any problems from your arcane's then. For that sake I have found a rogue to be very powerfull.. but then that is in Normal mode.
     
  3. crucis

    crucis Fighting the undead in Selune's name Veteran

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    Actually, Darkstrike, you can play a pure rogue right on thru HOF mode. A pure rogue can deal out a LOT of Sneak Attack damage, if you are willing to micromanage him and run from target to target. SA, run, SA, run, and so on. Add in the 12 paces Longspear, and some boots of speed and you have one uber-sneak attacker.
     
  4. Faraaz Gems: 26/31
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    You're going to have helluva time with Undead, Golems...and massive battles such as the Crossroads Guardian, Post Crossroads battle at Kuldahar, etc...
     
  5. adyghost Gems: 1/31
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    If I understand correctly ,while a DG would give an inherent +4 AC, so would a level in monk, does it not? But I always came across mixed opinions regarding monks... could some of you share experiences playing the monk? I'd like to take a few levels, but not just for the heck of roleplaying (no offense T2Bruno ;) )
     
  6. Shrikant

    Shrikant Swords! Not words! Veteran

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    No no ... A DG gets a +4 Generic AC. A monk gets the ability to add WIS modifyier to AC in case the charecter is not wearing anything in the armour slot nor carrying a shield.

    A frontliner who can take or avoid a lot of damage and offence is disregarded is a Decoy.
    A frontliner who concentrates on defence but isn't a slacker in the offence department is a Tank.
    A frontliner who concentrates on offence to the detriment of defence is a Beserker.

    The fact is that the third type with high Str does the most damage using a two-handed weapon. A Dwarf using a halberd looks rediculous. Thats why I would use a HalfOrc over a Sheild Dwarf.
     
  7. adyghost Gems: 1/31
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    So one level of monk for say a Battleguard of Tempus wouldn't do much, unless I wouldn't wear any armour as I will increase Wisdom all the way... and I probably will wear armour....
     
  8. JT Gems: 12/31
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    Xindell, ECL on a noncaster isn't a disadvantage, regardless of the party makeup. In fact, it is an advantage, because it will make the 0-ECL characters advance faster.
     
  9. Xindell Gems: 6/31
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    JT: I'm sorry, but that is simply untrue. The 'faster' advance you suggest is really only evident very early on. As XP requirements grow, and AVERAGE party levels increase, this becomes less and less significant.

    Let me remind you this came up because we were discussing a DG as a tank. That 1 character being behind the rest of the party in levels is going to have a minimal impact on the total party XP. It might make the other characters increase their level by 1 a SHORT time before they otherwise would have, but it is a negligible difference. Think about it like this. Lets assume a party of 4 (6 makes it have even less of an impact, so we'll use 4... which helps your point, not mine). A DG in a NON-ECL party means that '1' character is 3 levels behind the rest. That means that XP earned is earned with an average character level of "usually" 1 lower than it would be in an all non-ECL party. (ex: 3 level 10 characters, and 1 level 7 DG... average party level is 37/4 = 9. A '1' level difference. Higher XP, but not by a significantly large amount.) However, a party of ALL ECL characters (lets say 2 Drow, 1 DG and an Aasimar)at the same XP level would have an average party level 8, and would be gaining a 2 level difference in XP, thereby making the DG's -3 level penalty less important.

    However, those THREE levels of difference on your DG tank (which again, is what THIS thread is about) in your non-ECL party is a huge difference in HP. Between 30 and 36 HP, depending on if you're using Fig or Bbn levels.

    Remember, folks, keep on topic here. We are talking about the tank of the party. And I said the ECL penalty could cause a problem. It can seriously hurt your tanking ability. If your tank is 30-36 HP behind where it could be as a non-ECL character, that HAS to be considered. This was my point.

    Think about it, the higher your levels get, the less that the small difference a level X party gets in XP from a level X-1 matters. However, I've played this game enough times to know that your tank having 30 HP more than he otherwise would've had can often mean the difference between a battle that lasts that 1 round more you need for your bombers to wipe out the enemy before they knock out your tank and make a mess of your party.

    And remember, I said that this was only a disadvantage in a NON-ECL party. In an all ECL party, this becomes much less significant.
     
  10. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    The monk level will weaken your party seriously. You want your cleric to level up as fast as possible.
    Spells like animate dead, raise dead, champion's strength, mass heal are just too useful.
    The best full plate is AC10, so you'll have problems to even out this withourt armor.
    You won't get an AB for the monk level so you'll also weaken your offensive abilities.
    Another drawback is that you can't use a dwarf without getting an ECL penalty.
    The racial bonusses compared to humans are immense, clerics don't need more than 1 skill point/level.

    @Xindell: What JT wrote is simply true, what you wrote isn't.

    [ April 02, 2006, 15:06: Message edited by: kmonster ]
     
  11. JT Gems: 12/31
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    Xindell, IWD2's (flawed) xp system means that parties will _more or less_ level up at the same rate. "Lighter" parties without ECL characters will jump ahead at first because they need less exp, but that will reduce their combat exp gains, allowing the ECL-heavy parties to catch up.

    Quest exp doesn't use the ECL formula, so that would be an opportunity for the light party to jump ahead and stay ahead... but unfortunately there is a lot more combat exp than quest exp, so the heavy party just earns even more combat exp, and catches up anyway.

    Examples:

    Party A: four humans
    Party B: DG, Asimaar, human, human

    Party B will reach _average_ level 10 very shortly after party A does. The DG will be 8, the Asimaar 10 , and both humans _11_. Sure, the DG is short some HP, but this is made up for by his abilities and the fact that his two human buddies are a level ahead. If they are spellcasters, this is a big advantage.

    Party C: six humans
    Party D: two DG, four humans
    Party E: four DG, two humans
    Party F: six DG

    When party C is level 10,
    Party D's DGs will be level 8 and the humans 11
    Party E's DGs will be level 9 and the humans 12
    and Party F will also be level 10.
     
  12. adyghost Gems: 1/31
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    Speaking of experience, how much level squating should a party of 6 do? I went through the game once leveling up as it came, and in general, about 5% of the creatures didn't earn any experience, not to mention how much of the exp. points I lost on the others.
     
  13. crucis

    crucis Fighting the undead in Selune's name Veteran

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    I agree that taking a monk level is probably worthless. Unlike some other classes, a single monk level doesn't really give all that much benefit, since the classes benefits aren't particularly frontloaded. Monks are much better when you take a lot of monk levels.

    And as you said, the meager benefits are not balanced by the loss of higher level cleric spells. And, to actually get the benefit of what few monk benefits you *do* get with a single level, requires your character to dump all of his or her armor. Dumping all armor and shields, etc. just isn't much of a trade off the getting the WIS bonus added to AC and some extra footspeed. Good clerics are better off focusing on being better divine spellcasters. And perhaps better melee or ranged warriors, within reason. And this can be done without multiclassing a cleric.
     
  14. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    No level squatting at all. The game difficulty is perfectly balanced for a non level squatting party.
    My non level squatting party only lost 1 battle in my first game.
    If you replay your game will probably be even easier since you know when you have to prepare for hard battles and how to get the best items and rewards.
     
  15. Xindell Gems: 6/31
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    Did you guys NOT read everything I've said before? I'm not sure why this is difficult to understand. My original statement was, and I quote "That ECL penalty for DGs of 3 can hurt, unless you are playing an all ECL party, in which case that penalty is greatly minimized." You've run off on a tangent which is causing us to butt heads for no reason. The examples you gave me have no real bearing on what 'I' was talking about. We're disagreeing about different things.

    Aside from your 6 human party, every example you gave me included multiple ECL characters, which continues to bring average party level down. The entire point of my statement that playing an all ECL party minimizes the penalty (see quote above) is because of the same reasons for your different parties.

    Again I quote myself "That 1 character being behind the rest of the party in levels is going to have a minimal impact on the total party XP." I am talking about a party with 1 DG being the only ECL character there is. That "1" character is not going to have a major impact on total party earned XP (I never said it would have NO impact). Heck, in your party B example, you even stated that they'll be RIGHT BEHIND party A. So the XP difference is negligible. However, that "1" DG IS going to be a ways behind the other characters in levels. If that "1" character is your "Tank," that substantial HP difference can be a problem. You say it is made up for by the DG's racial abilities. To an extent I agree, and this is why I once again quote myself with "...a DG CAN be a nasty tanker..." However, I am of the opinion that in a NON-ECL party (how many times do I have to say that Non-ECL party is what I'm referring to?... meaning the DG is the ONLY ECL character) the DGs penalties are not worth the benefits. That, of course, is a matter of opinion tho.

    Oh, and I know exactly how the XP system in IWDII works. I also know exactly how to exploit it.

    Now, all of this being said, this portion of our disagreement started with the statement that "ECL on a noncaster isn't a disadvantage, regardless of the party makeup." Regardless of party make-up? THAT is what I'm arguing against.

    Anyways, I hope you actually understand the point I'm trying to make now. If I haven't articulated my point well, then that's my fault. If you still disagree with me, so be it. I don't want this to turn into a pointless back and forth, and we've already strayed from the original intent of the thread so I'll leave it alone with this.
     
  16. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    @Xindell: I read everything you wrote before. You made the first mistake at the start already.
    This is wrong. The correct version would be:

    "The 'faster' advance you suggest is NOT there very early on. As XP requirements grow, and AVERAGE party levels increase, this becomes MORE significant."

    Take a look at the moncrate.2da file.
    A level6 party gets as many XP (300) for killing a level1 monster as a level1 party.
    A level 15 party gets 0 XP for killing a level7 monster, while a level 14 party gets 350 for the same monster.

    What is more significant ?

    You usually get XP for killing monsters until your average party level gets too high and you gain no XP any more.
    You will meet hundreds of monsters with levels at the "XP/no XP" split. They will lead any ECL/non ECL party to the same rounded down average party level at certain points in the game.

    The best tank is the tank who makes the party as strong as possible, not only himself. This is probably where our opinions differ.
    Let's say you have a standard party of 6 consisting of a mage,druid,cleric,bard and rogue besides your tank.

    If your tank is a dwarf and you play "normal" without level squatting, you will have 6 level 16 characters near the end.

    If your tank is deep gnome you will have 5 level 17 characters and a level 14 tank.

    The second party is far stronger since your mage, cleric, bard and druid will be able to cast more and higher level spells.

    If you compare the level 16 dwarf with the level 14 DG, the dwarf is better at the offense but the DG is still better as defensive tank.

    The dwarf gets extra 44 HP, but the DG gets mirror images. Each of the mirror images can absorb hits which do more than 30 damage, making the ability more useful than the extra HP.

    The DG does not only get +4 AC and magic resistance, he also can use blur for even better AC.

    If you have a DG tank in a party of DGs, everyone will have level 16 near the end, if you have a dwarf tank with the same companions he'll be level 19 at the end while the others have level 16.

    So the ECL penalty for your tank is even worse in a party of deep gnomes than in a non ECL party.

    The dwarf would only be a better choice for a tank than the deep gnome if you want an offensive tank (then I would prefer an half-orc)AND the 3 level ECL penalty wouldn't affect the average party level, for example in a party consisting of 1 drow and 4 humans. (But most parties aren't so.)

    JT's statement wasn't "simply true", I admit I was wrong in that point.
     
  17. JT Gems: 12/31
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    Xindell, clearly gaining more levels is good for every character class, because you get more HP and saves and feats. But leveling up is more important for spellcasters than for fighters. So it is worthwhile for the tank to be several levels behind because it means the spellcasters are a little ahead.

    Sure, the tank loses out on some HP, but those aren't even the most important part of tanking -- AC is.


    RE: the squatting question. You can beat the game without squatting at all. The more you squat, the more you gain, BUT keep in mind that once you de-squat, the advantage you gained will start to slip away, because your higher level will cause your combat exp to be reduced. So with "reasonable" amounts of squatting, the boost is only temporary.

    Of course, you could squat till near the end of the game (pretty much the same as muling). Or you could do extreme squatting and gain a ton of levels farily early, and then desquat once you are far ahead enough that you don't mind not getting any combat exp for the rest of the game.

    I did this in HoF; half my the six-man party was fully squatted, and a fourth character partially squatted most of the time, while the final two characters did all the work. After killing Sherincal, everybody had enough exp for level 30.
    http://www.sorcerers.net/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/14/2648.html
     
  18. crucis

    crucis Fighting the undead in Selune's name Veteran

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    JT, I wouldn't outright say that AC is the most important part of tanking. I'd say that it's a general combo of AC, BAB, good weapons, and HP, and your STR, DEX, and CON.

    However, it should be remembered that a tank's progression is very, very linear. The tank is only going to gain +1 AB per 1 level, the same X hp per level, another feat every couple of levels or so.

    OTOH, spellcasters' power makes great leaps and bounds as their levels progress since they gain access to spells that give them power that grows at a different proportion than a tank's power progresses. A tank's general potency increases at a constant rate, no matter where they are in their progression. OTOH, spellcasters often grow in power by big leaps at certain levels as they gain access to particular spells. For example, a sorc's power really increases the moment that he can cast a fireball, when he progresses from 4th to 5th level. But is there a huge difference between a 4th and 5th level fighter? Not so much.


    I guess that this is why I tend to not like ECL races for my spellcasters, but don't mind ECL as much for tanks. I just don't tend to think that ECL races' benefits are as good as the earlier access to the upper level spells, whereas OTOH, the racial benefits tend to be more beneficial to characters who will be mixing it up in melee.
     
  19. Faraaz Gems: 26/31
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    I agree with what crucis says ^ there...and I have implemented this strategy in my games, by making a tank a spell caster.

    90% of the time, my main tanker is a Cleric, fully buffed. When multiclassed sometimes into sorcerer or wizard for a few levels...the results can be overwhelming to say the least.

    Someone who can cast Mirror Image, Improved Invisibility (if you're feeling cheesy), Haste themselves, HEAL themselves(!!), BUFF themselves to damage someone TWICE of what any other tank class can dream of doing...and all this with an AC of say 50-60, which can be further pushed up if required...needless to say, this sort of character is going to last a LOT longer and be able to kill a LOT faster compared to a traditional Fighter, Barbarian, Paladin, Ranger etc...

    Fighters (lvls > 4), Barbarians, Paladins (lvls >2), Rangers (lvls >1) are all redundant in this game IMO...
     
  20. crucis

    crucis Fighting the undead in Selune's name Veteran

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    "Fighters (lvls > 4), Barbarians, Paladins (lvls >2), Rangers (lvls >1) are all redundant in this game IMO..."

    That may or may not be true, but it's just not as much fun to me to powergame like crazy and ignore tanks.


    The scenario you describe would probably be much different if enemy spellcasters made much heavier use of Dispel Magic spells. It would be a lot harder to maintain a party's buffs. And would probably make normal tanks more valuable, since they would be fairly tough without any buffs.
     
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