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Party Builds

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition' started by Blades of Vanatar, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I couldn't do a monk. Finding cool gear is the big draw for me. Also why, despite their power, I have always avoided Kensais.

    Haven't started my playthrough yet (combination of being too busy at work and chronic party re-rolling), but when I do, I think my team will be:

    • Undead Hunter – Two-handers, Bows
    - Dwarven Defender - Axes, Hammers, Shields
    • Fighter 3 / Druid X - Spears, Slings, Scimitars
    - Half-Orc Fighter / Cleric* - Flails/MoStars, Slings, Shields
    • Bard - Crossbows, Longswords
    - Illustionist/Thief - Shortbows, Daggers

    Part of my paralysis - since I know how powerful bows are in this game, i don't currently have a ranged specialist. I really want to play an archer, I just don't feel I have room for him. In the above party, the members with a • are the ones I 100% want in the group - the others can be subbed. I also wonder, with the half-orc's 19 in both Str and Con, can I go with a vanilla Cleric (or kit) and be close to as viable in melee as a Fighter/Cleric of another race?

    An alternate party I'm looking at:

    Undead Hunter - Long sword and shield
    Fighter 3 / Druid X - Sling, Spears
    Half-orc Fighter/Thief - Two-handers, Bows
    Dward Fighter/Cleric - flails, Mornies, Shields
    Bard - Xbows
    Mage/Thief - short bows

    OR

    Undead Hunter - Long sword and shield, Sling
    Fighter 3 / Druid X - Sling, Spears
    Elf Archer - Longbows
    Gnome Cleric/Thief - Slings, Staffs, Maces
    Bard - Xbows
    Dragon Desciple - Sling

    But that's a lotta slings...
     
  2. Blades of Vanatar

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

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    Personally, I always preferred at least 2 single classed warriors in my parties as a must starting point for a party build. This is a hack n slash game after all....(Long live SSI and the Gold Box games!) but the addition of an Archer changes that build. IMO, the Archer should replace a front-liner, making my Cleric or mutli/dualled Clerics an instant frontliner, requiring a 2nd healer type, usually a Druid mix in.

    DR,

    Party 1 is a winner.

    Party 2 composition - 2 thieves are not necessary. I would possibly make the Half-Orc a Berserker or Barbarian (or Blackguard with EE Keeper). Or possibly a Cleric of Tempus. Another healer never hurts and Half-Orcs can deal it.

    Party 3 composition - You're right, too many slingers. Not enough good ammo for that many slingers to go around. Not much of a Front-line either. You'll be using summons later on in the vanilla game.
     
  3. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Good point – how about this.

    Undead Hunter - Sword, Shield, Sling
    Half-orc Barbarian - Two-handers, Bows
    Fighter 3 / Druid X - Sling, Spear, Scims
    Fighter/Cleric - Flail, Mace, Sling
    Bard - Xbows, Swords
    Illusionist/Thief - Short Bows, Daggers, Staff

    So it really seems, as per my playstyle (thematically balanced above all things) that the second slot is really the wildcard. Do I want the ultimate tank (Dwarven Defender), a damage madman in melee (Barb Half-Orc), or a ranged madman (Elf Archer).
     
  4. Blades of Vanatar

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

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    I have the same problem with BG2. This is "the" reason many of us are chronic re-rollers/re-starters. Can't friggin decide which party rocks the most.

    Not that I am trying to cause more party build indecision on our end...but...youcouldalwaysdumpthePallyandtaketwoofthethree...(runs away before DR reaches through the screen to throttle me....):D
     
  5. Yoshimo's Heart Gems: 12/31
    Latest gem: Moonstone


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    Ever think of using the swash as a primary archer type? You can't specialize in a bow but you can get that tasty bonus to damage on each shot and bonus accuracy which can add up and is worth giving up back stab in this game. Also in the late game you could switch to daggers since there is a magic throwing dagger eventually (though in the original IWD the dagger did not get 2 attacks per round as it should when used ranged hopefully they fixed that).
     
  6. Proteus_za

    Proteus_za

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    There are a lot of very good long bows in this game. I haven't seen a good short bow yet.
     
  7. Ineth

    Ineth Instigator Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Looks like a kick-ass party... :)

    With my current party I did notice that a single-class thief, even with kit, is a little underwhelming, so going for a Mage/Thief multi-class and thereby freeing up a slot for an additional tank / healer / summoner, sounds like a smart move.

    Note that your Fighter3->Druid probably won't be doing much melee fighting though (except temporarily with Stoneskins) - you'll probably end up using him/her as a dedicated crowd-control caster, summoner, and healer instead. It's the Fighter/Cleric who'll end up being the no.3 front-line warrior.

    Also it looks like no one in your party will be able to make use of the +2 returning throwing axe which can be found at the bottom of Dragon's Eye, which imo beats all other ranged weapons of the vanilla portion of the game. Maybe this would be an option for your Undead Hunter, instead of slings? Non-magical, non-returning throwing axes aren't bad either and can be bought in every town; their only downside is their massive weight which effectively limits how many you can carry with you, but since EE adds more containers (including a Bag of Holding) to stores, that's less of a problem than it used to be in the original game.

    Yeah I considered using an Archer myself, but I'm not sure if his ranged bonuses are worth loosing a front-line warrior. My Paladin equipped with the best long-bow available at any given point in the game, could hit pretty much anything that wasn't outright immune to missiles...
    Although I found always switching between longbow and dual-wielding swords and sword+shield in the inventory screen, to be pretty annoying... I really wish the EE had added IWD2-style weapon combo support to the UI.

    Same experience here, and even more so with long-vs-short swords...

    My Pali found a "High-quality/Excellent Long Sword" pretty soon, then a +1 one, and then multiple +2 ones, all the while my poor thief was still carrying the same crappy plain Short Sword bought at the start of the game from Pomab's Emporium.

    At some point I did start finding magical Short Swords, but by then I had already switched my thief over to Daggers (of which I had found several +1/+2 +special effect ones) and Katana (of which I only found a single magical one, but it did more damage than any Shord Sword while having a lower speed factor - thus great for backstabbing).

    Dunno, maybe I just got unlucky with the random loot tables...
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014
  8. Proteus_za

    Proteus_za

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    I eventually did find some good short swords, but it took a while. I found there were more daggers with special effects than short swords, but later on, the short swords were decent.

    Short bows however, are terrible. If you want your thief to use a ranged weapon, try making him a fighter/thief, either dual or multiclass, so that he can use long bows.

    I haven't noticed any good cross bows.

    I've come across decent blunt weapons of all kinds. I found a Warhammer that gives extra priest spells for level 1-4 - unfortunately, my Fighter/Cleric uses maces, not hammers. He is currently using Three White Doves.
     
  9. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    This is a great point, and something I always forgot about since I rarely took along someone who could specialize in axes. Hrm...this is making the Dwarven Defender ever more appealing.

    Hrm. Hrm!!

    Ok. Try this party.

    Undy Hunny - Greatswords, Bows
    Dwarven Def - Axes, Hammers, Shields
    Fighter / Druid (may multi vs dual) - Slings, Spears, Scims
    Fighter/Cleric - Flails, Maces, Slings, Shields
    Bard - Longbow, Swords
    Mage/Thief - Xbows, Daggers, Staffs

    or - if I do without the Undy Hunny...

    Bard - Longbow, Sword (spokesman)
    Barbarian - Greatswords, Longswords, Bows
    Dwarven Def - Axes, Hammers, Shields
    Fighter / Druid (may multi vs dual) - Slings, Spears, Scims
    Fighter/Cleric - Flails, Maces, Slings, Shields
    Mage/Thief - XBows, Daggers

    Also - you (Proteus) are right about short bows - I've only ever found a +1 Short Bow, which usually took my Mage/Thief through the whole game. Crossbows are a better option - as there are 3 (but only 3) really good ones, and they're all light. LC of Defense, LC of Speed (extra attacks) and Repeating Light Xbow (which, despite the name, doesn't repeat - but it does have a +5 to hit.

    Long bows are where it's at.
     
  10. Paracelsi

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

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    Undead Hunter - Good great swords are rare. If you want this character to be an effective melee combatant from the start I'd suggest getting a backup weapon proficiency like Long Swords instead of Bows. You can always get Bows later.
    Fighter/Druid - prioritize Scimitars and Clubs. There are a several very good scimitars (guaranteed ones you can either buy from NPCS like Conlan or summon using a spell) and good spears are extremely rare. Club proficiency is important for a druid because of Star Metal Cudgel, arguably one of the strongest weapons in the original game.
    Fighter/Cleric - Hammer proficiency is important on a cleric because of Spiritual Hammer. IWD Spiritual Hammer is ranged (unless they changed it in EE) and benefits from strength bonuses (clerics can potentially reach 25 strength with the right starting stats/spells).
    Bard - Your bard can always use his high level Magic Missiles/songs/some other spell to bring down really dangerous enemies instead of trying to melee them. I would suggest getting Crossbows as a backup proficiency so you can start using bolts should you run out of arrows (and vice versa). Consider that if your Bard ever gets his hands on bows like Sseth's Messenger (3 attacks per round unhasted) or the Hammer (4 attacks per round unhasted) then he's going to burn through your ammo supplies very quickly. I suppose you could also give him axe proficiency so he can use the returning throwing axe.
    Unless he's a Blade, I'd never want my Bard to try and melee anything in IWD.
    Mage/Thief - Staves/Long Swords instead of daggers. Staves for reach, in case you ever want to melee/backstab someone, or Long Swords because they're everywhere. While there are a few daggers that give mage spell slots note that you actually have to constantly equip those daggers to keep those spell slots.
    Note that thieves cannot use Heavy Crossbows. This is important because most crossbows are random drops and this character only has access to half of them. Repeating crossbows set your base attacks per round to 3.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014
  11. Blades of Vanatar

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

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    Short bows... Isn't "Messenger of Seth" a shortbow from the original IWD game that is +2 to hit, +1 damage and 3 AT/round, found on your way to kill the Marilith in the Dragon's Eye? I also found another shortbow that had much higher + to AT and Damage. I will check tonight when I get home and post it's particulars.

    There are good clubs in IWDEE....

    There are "some" decent Great Swords in IWDEE....

    There are GREAT AXES in IWDEE....

    Longbows you get spoiled with choices. It's what makes the Archer so appealing....

    Bards - Skalds definitely can fight up front with an extra +1/+1 as a kit bonus. I don't sing a lot with my Skald. At the end of HoW he was AC-8 "un-buffed", ** Single-hand wielding any of the many great long swords adn scimitars. When buffed, WATCH OUT! I was criting a lot with him. I'm sure any of the Bards can hold their own with the proper equipment and buff spells. I saved the singing/offensive spells for Burial Island and the HoW final battle with the dragon. Sorcy's can handle the magic....

    ---------- Added 1 hours, 25 minutes and 39 seconds later... ----------

    Without being "spoilerish"...

    Shortbows = The Stormbow is a nice addition.

    Bastard Swords - Plenty of nice ones to choose from. Amaunatar's Legacy is a good one for starters...

    2-handed Swords - Hand of the Gloomfrost is pretty awesome.

    The only weapons I found lacking good choices were Katanas...

    Oh...and the SUMMONER'S STAFF! I found it cool as hell. Not OP.
     
  12. Paracelsi

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

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    Bards can do well in melee but only the Blade gets significant bonuses to offense attack-wise. I agree that there is merit in using a bard to soak up melee hits, but there's just so many ways to keep enemies busy while all your other party members are wailing on them that I didn't think we needed to discuss this part.
    If you were arguing solo then yes, I would have agreed that a non-Blade bard would definitely be a good frontliner. But this isn't solo, which is why a lot of other characters (especially ones that get significant attack/damage bonuses) are more ideal.
    Outside of a few situations, I don't think any non-Blade bard should stay in melee long.

    The few times I brought a Skald in BG2 he sticked to ranged attacks. Melf's Magic Meteors was particularly effective with a Mislead image/singer up. Otherwise, he was either casting/singing. Singing is a viable action since an extra +2 damage from 10 sources (5 summons + 5 other party members) means an extra 20 damage per attack. At higher levels that's 40 damage per attack. We're not even considering stuff like Haste, warrior class number of attacks, extra attacks from weapon specialization, extra attacks from spells, etc yet.

    Backup specializations were important in the original IWD because a lot of (in fact most of, if you don't count weapons brought from stores) the weapons you actually got were random (very unlike the BG games). There's no point drooling over that +2 Long Sword with fire damage you got from a random barrel just because none of your other characters picked up Long Sword proficiency.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2014
  13. Blades of Vanatar

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

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    Bards get a small spell allotment per day. I never understood why people talk about them as handling the casting. Spells per day suck when compared to a Sorcy. Later in the game, you need to rest constantly to replenish teir spell selection if you are using them as magic damage-dealers or disablers. It's why I usually use my Bards in melee except whenI am fighting "exceptional" enemies. Teh you switch your spell selection to handle the other roles. IT's why they are a "jack of all trades" class. Singing is a viable option, no doubt about it, but why have all of that good equipment and not put it to use? Between Haste, Arcane self-buffs, weapons that add extra attacks, fighting styles that allow for better crits and Luck, Bards can easily handle themselves in melee. Unlike the various Thief kits, who can't self-buff.
     
  14. Paracelsi

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

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    The fact that you are arguing that a buffed non-Blade bard can actually do well in melee only further drives home the point that other characters (like Swashbucklers) can actually make pretty good melee attackers as long as someone/something else is keeping your enemies busy (as is the case in non-solo runs), considering that these characters get significantly better offense bonuses.

    Most arcane melee-enhancing buffs are not caster-only.
     
  15. Blades of Vanatar

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

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    Who's arguing....:p

    I am referring to Stoneskin, Luck, Mirror Image type spells. Spells that give the bards survivability. No doubt Swashys can deal more damage, but they can't go toe to toe for a full battle. A self buffed bard can. And once they get Tenser's Transformation, Trollish Fortitude, etc....they can really shine.

    I'm not a Swashy hater... Loved them in SoA. But in more of a hack n slash fest like IWD, thieves need more abilities, at least to suit my play style. That's why I like multi/dualled thieves a lot more.

    I am on my second run thru now. Using a Bounty Hunter to cover my thieving needs( as this conversation is making me wonder...). Hopefully I will find his trap laying ability worthwhile. Otherwise he is just an average bowman and a bodyguard for my Wild Mage in emergencies....this playthru is more of an Ironman type run thru from ToEE. Makes pick pocketing a lot hairier....

    Party is...

    Dwarf Defender
    Human Bounty Hunter
    Human Wild Mage
    Human Fighter3/ClericX
    Human Sun Soul Monk
    Elf Archer

    Puts a lot on my Dwarf in melee.... Monk seems to get chewed up quickly. Goblins we're pin cushioning him regularly.
     
  16. Paracelsi

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

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    You are. We're not a couple afaik heh, so the intransitive definition of the word doesn't apply. The transitive "trying to present a viewpoint" definition does and is what I'm using (The fact that you are arguing that...).
     
  17. Blades of Vanatar

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

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    It's called a discussion.... Exchange of viewpoints. If I was arguing I would definitively tell you that you are wrong. Instead I reached out and told you I am going with a single classed thief in my next run through to see how they pan out in a hack n slash. Maybe your point of view will convince me. It's why I am a member on SP. I enjoy the discussion and the viewpoints of others. I am most definitely NOT a power gamer. I don't enjoy the min/maxing in my gaming experiences. It's why I don't get into heavy conversations with Coin and Sir Rechet. They enjoy it. Not my cup of tea. I'm a bit too involved with fatherhood to have the time to do so...priorities....
     
  18. Paracelsi

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

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    "Arguing" has several definitions, FYI. You seem to think the word only means "heated debate" but the only time the word actually means that is if nothing follows after to receive the action, ie, the verb is intransitive (example: The children are arguing. Those people are arguing. Those people are arguing about something.)
    When used as a transitive verb (meaning something follows to receive/support the action) it means you are trying to prove something, using evidence to support an opinion/idea (example: The fact that you are arguing that....).

    You are being too defensive.
     
  19. Blades of Vanatar

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

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    And.....so much for a fun gaming conversation. Happy gaming Paracelsi.
     
  20. Sloty Gems: 5/31
    Latest gem: Andar


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    What would be a very good 4 character party for this game?
    In BG2 I liked sorcerers and Kensai the most.
     
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