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Is the Shadow Dragon cheating?

Discussion in 'BG2: Throne of Bhaal (Classic)' started by kmonster, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    I'm currently replaying with BGT installed and my party (level 12-13) just fought him. It wasn't a good idea, 4 party members died, Jaheira forever, only Viconia (who wanted to leave afterwards, stupid romance talk) and my main character drained to level 1 were alive when a black bear (animal summoning 2) finished him off.

    My party members hit him without doing damage, no weapon ineffective message, just no damage for most of the time even directly after breach spells, it took a long time to do the first physical damage, why ?

    I've seen him casting stoneskin and protection from magical weapons, but breach should remove this according to the spell description.
    Does he have a natural immunity to +1 weapons (the staff mace +2 worked at the end) which could explain that the missiles in the beginning couldn't hurt him but why didn't the throwing axe +3 work ?
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  2. Proteus_za

    Proteus_za

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    Stoneskin probably. What mods do you have installed?
     
  3. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    Just BG Trilogy and a few non-combat fixes (max HP at level up, all strongholds, ...), nothing which should change the monsters.

    Doesn't breach work as described or does the dragon cast half his spells without message display ?
     
  4. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Breach should work against stoneskin - and a whole lot of other stuff. Level 12ish should be more than adequate to take out the Shadow Dragon. In fact, I usually do the Umar Hills as my 2nd major quest. I usually try and do my stronghold first, and then I head over to the Umar Hills. (OK, technically it's the 3rd major quest, as I do the Slavers in connection with the Copper Coronet as my first quest every game.)
     
  5. Yoshimo's Heart Gems: 13/31
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    I think the dragon has multiple stone skin spells and due to the fast casting time it would be easy to miss if it cast it again.

    Also do you have a thief or two in your party? If so one valid tactic is to set traps around the dragon. Since you are invisible to the dragon you can legitimately set all your traps, rest, and set more until you hit the max number of traps allowed in an area (which I think is 6-8 traps). With those traps set you can kill or nearly kill the dragon almost immediately.
     
  6. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    It's been many years since I played BG2 and now I'm trying to replay core rules ironman style without looking at walkthroughs or other stuff so it's almost a new experience for me.
    The dragon is already defeated, I just want to understand what was going on since I'll meet other dragons later in the game.


    My party consisted of my level 13 sorcerer, Jaheira (10/12), Viconia (13), Yoshimo (13), Mazzy (13) and Minsc (12).

    I didn't have Yoshimo (55 skill) set traps since I thought it wouldn't be necessary and the last time I did no one walked into them.

    After summoning and buffing 2 fire elementals, 2 air servants and 1 skeleton were sent to the dragon while the party members used missile weapons.
    I was surprised how hard it was to hit the dragon and that no damage was done with hits.
    The summons were removed instantly by the dragon (death spell ?) and the party was sent flying with wing buffet. Jaheira and Yoshimo got confused and stayed far away hitting each other until Yoshimo was dead.
    Viconia holding the improved mace of disruption cast a few animal summoning 2 spells, the other characters kept shooting, my sorcerer cast breach repeatedly but hits still didn't do damage, magic missile was blocked by magic resistance so I guess the vampiric touch special ability was the only thing doing damage.
    So I wrongly concluded (dragons are vulnerable to normal weapons, aren't they ?) that you need magical melee weapons, to hurt the dragon and sent Minsc, Mazzy, Jaheira and my sorcerer into melee where they didn't last very long. My sorcerer was targeted first and had to run away, followed by dragon breath and got drained to level 1, thanks to familiar and vampiric touch still with about 50 max HP.
    My characters were able to hit for damage now, first Mazzy fell, Jaheira was hit beyond resurrection, Minsc couldn't survive long afterwards either but the dragon got damaged enough to by the last remaining summon.

    Since my character survived and Viconia could fix everyone but Jaheira I had no excuse for reloading. Jaheira was the most powerful party member (tanking with ironskins, shield and staff mace) but secretly I'm happy to get rid of her, she's annoying and I'm going to get Cernd, as pure class he'll offer more druid power than her.
    I've already lost Aerie because I chose the wrong words, it's more interesting if you have to choose other NPCs as planned.
     
  7. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    On dragons and needing magical weapons - other than by casting a spell that gives them immunity to normal weapons, I didn't think you needed magic weapons to hit them. OTOH, this is a shadow dragon, and heck, even regular shadows and shadow wolves require magic weapons to be hit, so it wouldn't be completely shocking if they did need a magic weapon to be hit.

    To be honest, I never actually used non-magic weapons against the shadow dragon. While I am stingy with resources that are limited in supply - things like magic arrows - I have no compunction against using them in the more difficult fights. I mean, if you aren't going to use them in the hard fights, what's the point of using them at all? That is precisely the reason you saved them up in the first place.

    The only reason I wouldn't use magic arrows against the shadow dragon is in the event that I had run out, which given that you need magic weapons throughout the area, is a possibility if you didn't plan ahead. There are also more than a few missile weapons in the game that possess an unlimited supply of magic ammo, or weapons that "return to hand after being thrown". At the very least you could purchase Azuredge prior to going - it's only a few thousand gold - and the boomerang dagger is easy to acquire as well.

    EDIT: Apropos of little - you're the only person I know who prefers Cernd to Jaheira.
     
  8. Yoshimo's Heart Gems: 13/31
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    Traps do not need to be "walked over" you just set them while they are blue next to the target and then when he turns red they automatically go off. You can't set them while somebody is red nearby.
     
  9. Shaitan

    Shaitan Always forgive your enemies; it annoys them so

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    You haven't by any chance installed max HP for every creature?
     
  10. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    No, only for party member level ups.
     
  11. Samael Venom of God Gems: 2/31
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    I'm sorry if this has been mentioned but I only have a minute to post so I've not checked.

    Dragon's cast stoneskins in a weird way, it is counted as a spell protection in some cases. I think one of the fix or tweak packs fixes this but in vanilla you might want to try Pierce Magic or the like.
     
  12. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    Thanks, that explains it.
     
  13. Yoshimo's Heart Gems: 13/31
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    I always wondered why breach seemed to do nothing. I just assumed that I was missing due to high AC and low level. Is this true for all dragons or just some random few?
     
  14. Gafgorkion Gems: 4/31
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    I asked this same question a few years ago.

    http://www.sorcerers.net/forums/showthread.php?t=46165

    Basically it turns out that both a dragon's version of Stoneskin as well as the druid's Ironskin are bugged so that they are treated as spell protections rather than combat protections. So Breach does not remove them. However, the Pierce spells, Ruby Ray, Spellstrike, and such do remove them.

    Oddly that bug was never fixed by any patch, not even the Baldurdash or G3 fixpacks.
     
  15. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    But here's the other odd thing: If you have all of the dragon's other protections down, you should likewise burn through those stoneskins in short order. Especially with missile characters firing off several attacks per round. They should be gone in like, one round.
     
  16. Gafgorkion Gems: 4/31
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    That's true if you play with a large party. However, many people like to play with small parties or go solo. In those cases it can take several rounds to burn through all the stoneskins, and therefore using a Pierce spell would be a lot more efficient.

    Even with a large party of low level characters it can still be beneficial to use a Pierce spell. Dragons have the best AC of any enemy in the game at -12. Low level characters don't have a great THAC0, and therefore they have to get a pretty high roll to hit the dragon. So even if you are getting many attacks per round, many of them are probably missing.
     
  17. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    I agree if you are going solo. I assumed a party, as described in kmonster's first post, and that they weren't terribly low in level (12-13 in his party). I was unaware that the Shadow Dragon had an AC of -12 - that sounds like a ToB dragon's AC.
     
  18. Gafgorkion Gems: 4/31
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    All dragons in either SoA or ToB have either a -12 or -13 AC. Most are -12, but a few are -13, I don't know why. -13 is the best enemy AC in the game. Abazigal's human kensai form has the best THAC0 at a whopping -38. :aaa:

    If you have the cheat keys enabled, you can Ctrl+Q on any character to add him to your party and then you can look at his stats, inventory, and such.
     
  19. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Like I said - I never knew the SoA dragons had that kind of AC. Sure, I figured they were negative, but not that negative.

    I also did not know that Abazigal had a -38 THAC0, although I certainly knew there were extremely low THAC0s in ToB. In SoA, if you had an AC of around -10 or better, you had a reasonable chance of having an enemy attack and miss. Not so in ToB. Even with an AC of -15, you seem to get hit quite often - as in almost every attack. So while I have never bothered to check on ToB THAC0s, I would have guessed that a great many creatures had a THAC0 that was way into the negatives.

    Now -38 seems like overkill to me. Needing an AC of -40 (which I believe is unattainable) to get him to miss on anything short of a critical miss is ridiculous. They may as well give him a THAC0 is -3800 at that point - it would be the same thing as far as game application.
     
  20. Gafgorkion Gems: 4/31
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    Yeah, very few enemies in SoA have a negative THAC0 at all. A full plate warrior with a large shield can get a -16 AC and be practically unhittable by almost anything except on critical rolls. That completely changes in ToB when everyone has a THAC0 in the negative teens.

    AC is capped at -24, so yes, Abazigal's THAC0 is very much overkill. A blade kit could theoretically get the best AC in the game, and I wanted to test it out but unfortunately it was capped at -24 so it was all useless.

    What I did was this:

    UAI with full plate+3 and large shield+5 would give him -8 AC.
    Helm of Balduran -9
    Cloak of Sewers -10
    Ring of Gaxx -12
    Ring of Earth Control -13
    Blur -16
    Improved Invisibility -20
    Enhanced Bard Song -24
    Greater Evasion -30
    Defensive Spin -40

    Theoretically the blade could be an AC monster with -40 AC, but when I tried it was capped at -24 no matter what I did.
     
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