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Is powergaming worth it?

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale 2' started by Klorox, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. Klorox

    Klorox Baruk Khazad! Khazad ai-mênu! Veteran

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    Just wanted to get some idea from regulars around here. Is powergaming worth it? Do you notice a difference in gameplay if you take characters with "realistic" stats vs. those with powergamed stats (reducing INT and CHA as low as possible for those characters who do not need it, for example)?

    TIA
     
  2. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I have more fun with whacky, flawed characters than I do with optimal ones.
     
  3. Disciple of The Watch

    Disciple of The Watch Preparing The Coming of The New Order Veteran

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    Like your SP themed run?
     
  4. Acrux Gems: 8/31
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    I suppose that depends on how you define "a difference in gameplay". Obviously, higher stats mean higher attack bonuses, DCs, and what not.

    But, as HB says, "flawed" characters can be much more fun to play. After all, aren't those the best characters in literatue and cinema?
     
  5. Goli Ironhead Gems: 16/31
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    Yeah, and with flawed characters (like low CON or others stats or other weaknesses) you have to develop strategies.
    But still, powergaming will only make it easier, there won't be any other differences beyond that.
     
  6. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    IMHO powergaming can be fun if you know where to stop.

    I mean creating a tank with low INT, low CHA and low WIS (ouch) can make sense for a really dumb warrior with the appropriate sound set (Minsc anyone?).

    On the other hand creating a Drow with 5 points in INT so you can min max the rest doesn't feel right to me (dark elves are not reputed for being that dumb).

    It's fun to have a character with some uber stats when you play the game and if you try to roleplay a little you can find explanations for very low (below 8) and very high stats...

    What I find rather difficult to justify is mixing too many alignments in one party... especially the extremes.

    I can understand that a LG character can work with a CE because they share a past and went through a lot together but you can assume that there would be some tension between them and that the CE will keep a low profile (at least when the others are watching). If the evil character suddenly walked up to the party with some new loot he may come up with a plausible justification for the good character, but at the end of the day this justification would be tantamount to: "don't ask, you don't want to know."

    Such an attitude could pose problems anyway but the good character could believe that it's still better to keep the evil character in the party to keep him in check and to make sure this one doesn't create too much problem (while he would certainly wreak havoc and mayhem if he was left on his own). The good character may even recognize that the evil character's abilities are put to better use within the group.

    Here's the snag. Many powergaming parties include Paladins and evil characters and that is harder to justify. Paladins are more likely to destroy evil rather than making friends with evil creatures. The "redemption" theme could be used for such a party but still it's not easy to get away with that kind of things... It is more likely that in order to travel together the evil character would have to stop acting evil.

    Not that a true powergamer would worry about any of this. ;)
     
  7. Von'Meyer Gems: 3/31
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    At the end of the day, you should try both. Plan out a power game group and use them to "test the waters." Use the power group to see what is what and where in the course of the game. They will tell you what stats, skills, and feats are the most valuable when it comes to defeating certain enemy types.

    Then, once you feel that you've got a handle on the challenges to come, make a "realistic" group with average stats and theme. This group may be a the source of more headaches, but it will probably be the group that you feel has accomplished a lot more. Because they aren't the best of the best, then they defeat something or solve some puzzle, the rewards will be that much better.

    In theory, at least.
     
  8. raptor Gems: 16/31
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    Several ways of seeing this though. One way is to use a powerplay party as an "easy game setting", so want to have a minimum fuzz game ? go powerplay. I have often included one powerplay kinda character in teams to sort of have a "headache solver" when I just grow to frustrated with things.

    Where a normal game can be more of a normal difficulty, and creating themed/flawed parties can turn the game into hard. As you have to find lots of new ways to solve things and problems. For example try play the game (normal) without a tank, or any game withouta cleric or a sorcerer etc.

    Personally I play mre to try to define the characters roleplay personalities. So to me the challenge is more to make the characters as "correct" to how they was played in pen&paper, or in the books i copied them from or how i have made them up in my mind (I never make characters "on the go", I always have to sit and plan them out and make up personality and background story etc.).

    If your goal is to "beat the game the best!" then naturally powergaming is the way to go. Personally I can't for the life figure out what fun you have with beating the same game over and over again with the same tactics and near identical parties ;)
     
  9. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    In normal game you can have an effective party without a Cleric... I wouldn't advise you to play Tal Rasha's Tactics4IWD2 without at least one cleric in your party though (I lost my saves but I'm not sure I could have done it anyway, it was HARD).
     
  10. Silverstar Gems: 31/31
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    To me playing with not-so-perfect characters make no sense, but I am currently enjoying Tal Rasha's Tactics mod, so I need solid characters who are very good at their jobs to be able to survive the cool battles.

    You can have perfect characters, ie:mage with 18+ INT and right feats at the start, so why do you want to weaken them/create less useful characters delibarately? (assuming it is not your first time, ofcourse, everything is OK at the very first time! ;) ) I see no sense in applying something you know (cool race&class combos, feat/spell ideas, etc.) to the game to show your skills. Do you want to make your game harder? Then try Tal Rasha's mod and/or raise the difficulty to insane and test your limits:see how good you are as a real (power)player. And power playing certainly does not mean sacrificing role playing aspects, well at least not for me. I love my current party, and each of my characters already has a personality IMHO. (love interests, love/hate relationships, trusty friends etc.) It is fun to write biographies and change them during the course of the game! I love it!

    See, I am both (somewhat) powergaming and also role-playing and having tons of fun! I dare say this run is the most I enjoyed so far, IWD2 has never been this 'cool' and fun! :thumb:
     
  11. Gavial Gems: 1/31
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    Reopening old thread and at the same time new to the board. A daring newbie I am.

    I just read this thread (have been reading a lot when lacking things to do) and I just wanted to know if anyone has tried created a character like fumbles (that is his name IIRC). http://goblinscomic.com/

    That is, a character which has an even distribution of every class (within possibilities of course, alignment restrictions could screw things up).

    [EDIT]Now when I think about it, why did I post this question here. Well well.
     
  12. Proteus_za

    Proteus_za

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    I think it depends on how far you go.

    Some powergaming is advisable - you get interesting multi class combos, which leads to different tactics and ingeniuty. Figuring out how best to use your 4-6 character slots is enjoyable in itself, for both role playing and powergaming purposes. You have to remember that unless there was something fairly unique about your band of heroes, they would not succeed and would be forgotten (although arguably their sucess might be more related to the talents of the Invisible Hand That Guides All than their own combat skills, but...)

    As soon as you give a specialist wizard 1 level of sorcerer so that he can use every spell you have gone too far.
     
  13. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    You can only chooce 9 classes during the game since paladin/bard and monk/barbarian have opposite alignment restrictions.
    Paladins and monks also can't level up any more once you gained a level in another class, the closest you get to your superstar is 9 classes.
    In this case start with a rogue for the skillpoints and take a druid compatible alignment.

    Saves will be extremely good, but in the beginning the BAB progression will be even slower than a wizard's since most classes get their first BAB at level 2.
    At the end of the game you'll have a character with the BAB and HP of a cleric who can only cast level 1 spells while your main casters can already cast powerful level 9 spells.

    So this character will be less powerful than any pure class character. His most powerful ability will probably be the (often underrated) bard song. But you can afford to have such a character in the party. As long as you have a cleric and a mage/sorc in your party the game shouldn't be too hard.
     
  14. nunsbane

    nunsbane

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    It may be impossible to create such a flawed party that it could not be used, by an experienced player, to beat the game on normal mode. So, if you have fun playing dumb mages who can't cast spells or wimpy fighters who can't lift a massive great axe or bards who possess all the charm of oatmeal - then do so.

    I once took a solo 3rd level DG monk all the way to Sherincal at the entrance to the ice palace. I can't recall why I stopped there, probably lost interest during the exceedingly tough fight with Sherincal...I believe I could have gone further. There are many ways to progress through each area which don't necessarily depend upon competent characters.
     
  15. Gavial Gems: 1/31
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    The thing is that it is so hard for me to make a "flawed" character. I just can't create a flawed hero beyond the scope of class weakness. I guess I am just to much of a power gamer, although I can't see myself as one. I think I have decided that for my next round I will create a half-and-half party. 3 power gaming characters and 3 based on a theme. Power gaming are surely worth it in my opinion, heavy mix-in multiclassing a character to get the best from some class features (monk for example). Only raising a stat with 2 or 4 points does not make much of a difference in the long run. So to me that is not power gaming at all. min-maxing is what it is all about :p
     
  16. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    I fear that your so-called "powergaming characters" will be weaker than standard characters. Heavy mix-in multiclassing actually weakens your party power.
     
  17. Gavial Gems: 1/31
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    Even with builds like those in JUPP? Designed for HOF mode? Maybe for a while.
     
  18. Fly2tHeSkY

    Fly2tHeSkY Southern Comfort Veteran

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    Ughh.. those JUPP builds are basically the ultimate powergaming parties and you can see why they would not be much fun. Well OK having an AC of 70+ WOULD be useful and imo if every melee character aimed for him then entire game, I guess the enemy wouldn't get very far now would they. Although considering you have to take around 5 classes just doesn't seem right to me..

    I guess I fell in love with the 2e rules but still a character with more than three classes is just wrong. Think about how tough a F/M/T would have it in the real world. Mages alone have to dedicate basically their whole LIVES just in order to cast a few spells. So where does that leave room for thievery and mastering melee?? SO theorectically a character with 3+ classes just wouldn't work..

    I havn't tried tal rasha's mod yet so I can't exactly say it would be more fun with a normal party, but I'm guessing it would be. There's nothing really wrong with powergaming, I feel it shouldn't be done untill you've exhausted your creative mind and gotten sick of the game (which granted the majority of people here havn't yet).

    But hey, if it's within the rules then who cares.. If you enjoy powergaming then by all means play :)
     
  19. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    Those JUPP characters are biased towards level30. But in a normal game most of your characters won't even reach level 17.(unless you cheat)
     
  20. Klorox

    Klorox Baruk Khazad! Khazad ai-mênu! Veteran

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    They will in HoF mode, which is what JUPP is geared towards.
     
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