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Hardcore Playing

Discussion in 'BG2: Throne of Bhaal (Classic)' started by Red_Attack, Sep 25, 2003.

  1. Red_Attack Gems: 1/31
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    Saw this as a topic in the SOA forum and liked the idea. The basic concept is to play through without dying. If your main character dies you don't reload, its game over. Thought I'd better reply to it in the TOB forum as thats what I have installed. Im planning on making my first attempt with a totemic Druid I'll let you know how it goes.
     
  2. InquisitorX Gems: 4/31
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    It is extremely difficult, trust me.

    I had it on core rules, no rerolls (except on inital character creation :D ), no restarting, no abusing bugs (setting traps by dragons, etc). And if a character got chunked... too bad, they were gone permanently (minsc died permanently in the first vampire attack :D )

    I also installed the improved ToB boss fights.

    I got pretty far... I got through the entire Shadows of Amn (and watcher's... including the improved demon prince) without dying with my insane Inquistor paladin (something like: 20/18/20/19/21/23)
    who I boosted with Lum's machine and Tomes from BG1 and items like guants of dex (8-->18). (I did die three or four times in BG1, but that game was so boring towards the end that I was rushing through.)

    Furthermore I brought Haer'Dalis (probably most useful character... good HLA, traps, bard song [the best skill in the game is improved bard song], dual wield, spin, spells, very effective), Viconia (picked her over Anomen or other clerics because in 'hardcore mode' magic resistance is EXTREMELY important), Jan (for a great thief and another spellcaster), Imoen (need a fulltime spellcaster). I also brought Sarevok when I completed SoA.

    Everything was going great till I reached Gromnir. Some nymph like thing cast petrification on my main character and the game ended. She somehow bypassed not only my great saving throws, but also my 60%+ magic resistance (holy avenger + 1 or 2 other items). I cried for many hours after that.

    The moral of the story is it is very hard. ONE mistake and you lose. It could be a trap. It could be a death spell. It could be pretty much anything. But if you can somehow pull it off... you can declare yourself master of the universe. I may be trying again soon... this time more magic resistance (if only you could have a drow for your main character...). :D

    Good luck!
     
  3. Trydan Gems: 5/31
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    This sort of thing can be a most amazing challenge, and certainly add a lot of excitement to the game. It is certainly not something for the faint of heart!

    I tried it and got as far as the ship-battle just before the underwater city. My tactic had been to simply keep the main character out of the action and to rely on the NPCs to do all the work. My main character when I tried it was a wizard slayer, but in retrospect, it is clear that saving throws are more important than AC or attacks. Thus, I'd now advocate using a cleric.

    That actually makes a lot of sense, as in a non-battle situation, the cleric can do all the healing, as well as "buffing" the others prior to battles. As a result they are not just dead-weight. And, if you get ambushed, just cast sanctuary.

    As for the actual fights, well, just use the NPCs. You'll probably lose lots along the way, but you can always go and recruit some more.

    Still, I don't know whether I'd try this again. A single ambush and the whole thing is over.
     
  4. Trimm Gems: 2/31
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    I tried it solo and hardcore with a Blade last night, with the Tactics mod installed. It was humorous at best. Needless to say, I was obliterated by a cone of cold wand. I'm going to attempt it again with a Ranger/Cleric or some multi-classed clerical combination. Resting for three days and 12 hours is just plain silly. I think I'll uninstall Improved Illyich to. That is unless someone can tell me of a way to tackle Chateau Irenicus and it's improved elements with a level 7 Blade.....
     
  5. Menion Leah Gems: 9/31
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    I don't think I'll ever try this. Not only am I not good enough, but even if I were; it all comes down to luck.

    You can be the best of the best, but one ambush, one failed saving throw, one imprisonment spell etc. and it's all over. Like one of you guys said (don't remember who, the guy with the inquisitor).
     
  6. Trimm Gems: 2/31
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    It's the attempt that is interesting to me. Success is merely the stuff of legends that inspire us to take the chance. It's always impossible until someone does it. Regardless, you're right. The possibillity of being taken out by a lucky shot is discouraging enough to never make the attempt. But I've played through the game enough times that it's one of the few ways left to keep it challenging(aside from all of the wonderful mods). If I role play, I know most of the answers that must be chosen by heart in many scenarios. So, I usually press enter repeatedly until I have to push the number that my my finger is already resting on. Never having to reload is a good way to be realistic, and to prove that you are an awesome player(for lack of a more profanely intensified description). I think soloing a hardcore game is possible to an extent. I'm trying, but even without ambushes, you could still screw up in any number of ways. Therefore the game is played a lot slower and a lot more thought has to go into each encounter. "I don't care if I have to start the game from scratch 100 times, I will have Ribald's Ring of Regeneration before I leave The Promenade. There are others, but I want his." I'm feeling pretty confident about my assassin at this point. Once I get the boots of speed, it's all over. Hide, backstab, retreat. I'm already starting to worry about Firkraag though. That will be interesting, seeing how I don't use traps and all....
     
  7. RangerFox Gems: 4/31
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    I'm considering attempting it without pausing some day.

    No space bar, now THAT'S hardcore.
     
  8. Trimm Gems: 2/31
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    I bet you couldn't do it. I know the first time my character was in a close call situation I would tap the space bar out of habit. Only if it was in turn based mode....
     
  9. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    My opinion -

    Soloing - no way. I don't care what class or multi-class combination you take, there is fundamentally no way you can make it through the game without dying once. The deck is way stacked against you on that one.

    With a party - still very difficult, but conceivably possible. Especially if you are playing a character type (like say a cleric-mage) that tends to stay out of harm's way and increase the effectiveness of other characters in the party. It would in that case be theoretically possible, although still very difficult. Hell, it's obviously easier with a party - any party is far more powerful and versatile than even the most diverse multi-classed character.
     
  10. Menion Leah Gems: 9/31
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    That and the fact that you can let NPCs do dangerous stuff (like opening certain traps), so they risk death while you don't.
     
  11. Leslie Gems: 3/31
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    Hey, guys !

    This is my first post and here are my two cents about hardcore play:
    I don't think it's about luck - it's all about knowing the game and spells very well. Alson on Ironworks forum finished the game with F/M/T on Insane with Tactics installed. It's also much easier to protect one character than a full party. Soloing is much easier on hardcore especially with a F/M/T. Once you get Mislead, 99% of the game is easy - enemies can't see you backstabbing them. :)
    I tried one F/M/T solo and died against Improved Bodhi - in CH. 6 - on a mistake and bad planning. I am now having fun with a party trying to finish with no reloads.
    Oh, yeah - as Earl Gray posted - Sorcerer is also doable without luck - just knowledge, planning and concentration. ;)
     
  12. RangerFox Gems: 4/31
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    You're right, I probably can't do it. But I can have a lot of fun trying, I know it would certainly make things more interesting.
     
  13. Earl Grey

    Earl Grey Mmm... hot tea! Veteran

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    I will continue posting here about my solo sorceress no-reload, which was begun in the SoA forum here.

    My game will be without any ToB skills/HLA/spells etc for the entire SoA part even though I will post about it here. For example my sorceress is at the SoA xp limit and will remain so until ToB begins.

    Latest update:
    - Escaped Underdark
    - Drizzt and Shadow Thieves enlisted as allies vs Bohdi.
    - Temple Ruins cleared.

    Bohdi is next.

    Edited:
    Bohdi and Illithid lair (in the sewers) were done first. Then on to Suldanesselar. Had decided to give the dragon all my money, but something went wrong, so there was my sorceress with everything she owned in a neat little pile with a mad dragon staring her in the face. It was a mad scramble to run over and re-equip and after that it was easy. Stupid dragon, he should have known better than to fight. ;)

    I have (as usual) loads of scrolls (four full scroll cases!). In this case most notably three Time Stop scrolls, which came in handy when used by Project Images. :cool:

    Irenicus in the Tree was handled very easily mainly thanks to summoing a Hakeashar (as usual via Project Image and a scroll).

    Irenicus in Hell, was much harder than I remembered. After wasting two Project Images, trying to Time Stop/Abi-Dalzim the slayer to death, I realized that that wasn't going to work. Next up was a hasted Mordenkainen's Swords / Skeleteon Warriors simultaneous attack, combined with Melf's Minute Meteors (which I had used very rarely since getting the Staff of the Magi). It took only a few rounds and Slayer Irenicus was down.
    Total used up items: one scroll of Chain Contingency (3*Abi-Dalzims).

    She had plenty of spell power remaining so even though plan A failed, there was never a worry.

    Ready for ToB. :)

    [ October 05, 2003, 22:45: Message edited by: Earl Grey ]
     
  14. Leslie Gems: 3/31
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    Congrats, Earl Grey !

    That's a very impressive run !

    I'm still doing good by the way. Finished all the quests before Spellhold, only the two dragons still live and "the staff" is still there somewhere. ;)
    Spellhold went ok, I was a little afraid of that lich (he can cast teleport field - which dispels everything) but he didn's save vs death on my first attack with Azuredge. :)
    Also finished the Sahuagin city. My F/M and Blade used Mislead and Improved Haste and demolished everything. The Improved Priestess took a couple of round though.
     
  15. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I spent some time playing yesterday. I decided to ignore the SOA/TOB split and just level up my guy as I went along (sorry, Earl Grey, but I just didn't feel like stocking up on experience and then having a massive level-up fest, as that would force me to take HLA's that I did not want). This was also from a desire to clean up everything available before setting sail to rescue Imoen and I had a couple of specific dragon killing strategies I wanted to use. Thus, my whirlwinding, Deva-aided Ranger/Cleric mowed down both dragons with relative ease.

    It's funny, but the biggest danger was Conster (Firkraag's mage sidekick). He let off a finger of death and I was shocked to realize that I hadn't cast death ward on my guy ahead of time. Saved fortunately, and now I cast that spell before any mage battle, along with chaotic commands.

    As for what's left -- I have literally done everything that can be done in SOA before setting sail, with the exception of the Planar Sphere, Twisted Rune and Guarded Compound. I will do the sphere next, still see no reason to do the twisted rune and may do the compound for kicks.

    At this point it's a straight run through the rest of the game sticking to strategies as only carelessness like my boneheaded almost-mistake with Conster can get me killed now until some of the major baddies in TOB.

    I think I will need to carefully consider Sendai and Abaz (whatever his name is) ahead of time, as I usually beat them with brute strength and I am not so sure I have that any more with just this one guy.

    (BTW, the reason that I multi-classed this guy was exactly for the tank factor and the fighter-type HLA's.)
     
  16. Leslie Gems: 3/31
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    @dmc

    The only problem with R/C is that he cannot protect against "dispellers" !
    Of course if you play unmodded SOA and TOB that's not a big deal - not many enemies throw dispel magic (or remove magic or breach) at you. But when they do - all your Death Wards, Chaotic Commands, yada, yada ... are dispelled and you are standing "naked" there. You can only hope that you are high level enough and that you are a bit lucky. ;)
     
  17. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    @ Leslie - I am not unmodded, as I have installed some tactics, ease of use, items, etc. (sorry, posted all of that in the SOA thread). I use the Vhailor's Helm to create a simmie who's express purpose in life, most of the time, is to re-establish dispelled spells. As my character (and therefore the simmie) has boots of speed, I can run away far enough to do that. Also, one of my tactics with mage types is to wear the cloak of non-detection and stealth up to them, then whack them with the Gnasher (which does damage after round one), then run away. That causes all of their various triggers and contingencies to start, the extra damage causes spell failure if they try to retaliate while I am fleeing, then my summons go in to draw off the rest of their spells. This is similar to Earl Grey's tactics of projecting images and letting summons do the work, only I have fewer options without the arcane spell group.
     
  18. Earl Grey

    Earl Grey Mmm... hot tea! Veteran

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    [​IMG] Without a doubt the hardest part was before getting all the items and the higher level spells. After my sorceress reached level 17 (SoA limit) and got fully equipped the rest of SoA was easy.

    I understand that having some mods - like tactics for example - will change this, but had she levelled up to the ToB limit getting 9th and quest level spells it would have been ridiculously easy. Time Stop / Improved Alacrity / Chain Contingency / Wish will rule with ease quite some ways into ToB, so just imagine what it would do in SoA!
     
  19. Leslie Gems: 3/31
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    @dmc - nice tactic !
    I once played a solo R/C (Tactics, Insane, ...) but decided against summons ! I never summoned any helper (not even from items - Kitthix, ...) except Insect Plague and Creeping Doom. I wanted to hit every enemy with my weapons ! That R/C is still on hold at the first pool fight in Ascension. I especially liked the fights with Improved Irenicus and Improved Abazigal ! Wahoo ! ;)
     
  20. Crin The Master Theif Gems: 1/31
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    I almost did it once........got all the way to evil melissan at then end, but she killed me in like two minutes :whoa: ... That brought me much sorrow and pain, i shut up in my room and spoke to no one for like three days :wail: .......oh i was a Assassin....such fun those things..... :flaming:
     
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