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Ye olde obligatory newb question thread

Discussion in 'BG2: Shadows of Amn (Classic)' started by olik, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. olik Gems: 1/31
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    Hey folks. I'm new. Yeah, I just started playing BG2 again after getting half-way a few years back.

    Although I intend to do it "right" this time around, I'm already getting tired of the NPC banter and subquests. Ultimately because I, as a player, care basically nothing for the likes of Minsc, Jaheira, Nalia. But next time around, I'll be limiting my NPCs to the quest-oriented ones, while keeping a core of player created characters to maximize, yes, power. Cuz I hate dying, and thats that!

    So my typical question is what should be the core of my party? Or what could be an interesting set? I figure, the main character plus two or maybe three others. Then the rotating NPCs as guests.

    What about three fighters, all specializing in different weapons? Or okay, three mages, all specializing in different tactics (buffer, de-buffer, damager)? Or there's always the essentials. Fighter, Mage, Cleric, Thief.

    I'm a simple man and I dislike having too many multi- or dual-classes. But I do like that cleric/mage combo as exampled by Aerie...

    I like the "all X" type of party, like everyone's a ranged weapon specialist of some kind. Or all mages - but then thats a lot of spell juggling, which I don't like much. All priests/monks? It's hard to stick to one's religion in Amn, though..

    Thoughts on all this? I'm just looking for ideas.

    I do kind of roleplay my characters. The optimal path always seems to be kinda neutral, though. It'd be fun to be purely evil, but really that seems to get you killed off by Cowled Wizards early on, or you miss quests.
     
  2. Aerie's Number One Fan Gems: 6/31
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    If you go for three fighters, it would be a good idea to have them specialise in weapons in that do three different types of damage, as some enemies can only be damaged by certain types of weapons. If you intend to do the Nalia subquest, then one of those weapons specialised in should be the flail.
     
  3. Goli Ironhead Gems: 16/31
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    He doesn't like npc banters or romances? Oh my, those are a part of the games attraction :o
     
  4. olik Gems: 1/31
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    I like some of the NPC banter. A lot of it is annoying though. Like uh, Nalia. Or Aerie. And Minsc always does his "Ah, we're all heroes.." line much too much, I just want to clobber the oaf or feed him to a lich. Jaheira questions my authority too much and is far too environmentalist.

    Romances are something else, I guess, but I'm not going there since I've had half-orc main characters and so far no evil character to match Viconia.

    Anyway the different damage tip is good. Crushing, piercing and slashing no?

    Any other thoughts? I doubt I'd do a three fighter team, but if I did, any kit suggestions?
     
  5. Silverstar Gems: 31/31
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    Well yes different damage types are needed when battling strange monsters like golems. Plus you wlil find good weapons for all damage types, eventually.

    3 fighters, why don'T you get a kensai, they are truly powerful, but you have to learn how to control that power. You should send him as a back-up blitzer fighter, not the main tank or decoy, or he will be killed easily.

    Rangers are cool as they get bonus dual-wielding, very powerful offensive-wise!

    Ranger/clerics just kick a**! I know you dislike multi-classes, but they are the power-classes, especially if you ever think about getting ToB too! Seriously think about it BTW!
     
  6. Aerie's Number One Fan Gems: 6/31
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    If you want your main character to be able to deal out some hefty damage right away, you could go for 5 * in Two Handed Sword and one in two-handed weapon style because you can get the Sword of Chaos from Irenicus' dungeon. Alternatively, you could for 5 * in Long Sword or Bastard Sword and one in Weapon and Shield style, because you get a +1 Long Sword and +1 Bastard Sword in Irenicus dungeon as well.
     
  7. Silverstar Gems: 31/31
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    Well I don't think bastard sword is a nice choice, there are few magical ones.

    You SHOULD get TRUE Grand Mastery fix, it makes Grand Mastery worth 5 proficiency points. In the vanilla game, it is nerfed and very very useless. Get the fix ASAP!
     
  8. Argohir Gems: 10/31
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    I should advise this party: sorcerer + berserker + archer. They kick a**, it is so simple.
     
  9. olik Gems: 1/31
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    Is an archer really better than a fighter with a bow, though? Since a fighter could wear armor and handle himself in a melee situation.

    As for kensais, I have one, a half orc dual scimitar wielder. He's OK I guess, but he seems to miss a lot and doesn't do as much damage as I thought he would by all the hype...
     
  10. starwalker Gems: 16/31
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    Thanks to the special powers that ARchers can apply to shots. They are much better. Good way to pincushion a guy into a weakling really.
     
  11. Shrikant

    Shrikant Swords! Not words! Veteran

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    If you are only going to play SoA, you wont have enough levels for a fighter to master 2 weapons. As such an Archer would do more damage for longer than a Fighter GM in Bows. Archers get bonus to both THAC0 and damage.

    You could take a multiclassed C/R for the tank. These guys are tough as hell and can take a lot of damage.
     
  12. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    For a powerful NPC independent party you'll need:

    A high level cleric
    A high level mage
    A thief
    Some fighting power

    I'd try the following:
    - pure half-orc cleric (priest of something)
    - fighter9(pure,kensai or berserker)/mage
    - halfling fighter/thief multiclass
    Add a dwarf,gnome,halfling or half-orc berserker for additionaldestruction

    You might also consider replacing the first two characters with:

    berserker or fighter 7 or 9/cleric and
    cleric (priest of ...) 9/mage
     
  13. olik Gems: 1/31
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    Good point, Shrikant. I have only SoA, no expansions possible (I have a Mac, and no discretionary budget). I see how an Archer would be better at the ranged combat.

    A problem I have with a Fighter/Mage is the armor issue. He's never as good a fighter without armor, but putting on armor means he can't cast spells. So before every battle, I'd have to decide whether to have a mage or a fighter... and in any case he wouldn't be quite as good as a pure fighter or pure mage at either, right?
     
  14. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    The main reason for taking fighter levels before dualing to mage are the extra hitpoints you get.
    A level 9 fighter with 18 con gets 126 HP while a level 9 mage gets only 54, so you get more than twice as many HP.

    Once he has reached level 11 at 375,000 XP a mage needs 375,000 extra HP for each following level up.
    You only need 250,000 XP for the 9 fighter levels, so the F9>M will be less than 1 level behind.(If you dual at level 7 it's even less.)

    The XPCap doesn't allow to reach more than level 17 with a pure mage, but a fighter9>mage17 can be built.
    So you can reach all mage levels even if you take 9 fighter or cleric levels before.
    You gain a perfect mage with some other strengths.

    Fighters hit better and more often but mages can usually survive longer in combat than fighters because the protection spells are far more useful than the AC bonus full plate gives compared to the mage robes.

    So I wouldn't bother with armor switching for your fighter/mage.
     
  15. Silverstar Gems: 31/31
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    ^I totally agree kmonster, this is what made dual-class characters shine in pure SoA, they could still achieve highest mage level allowed and have amazing bonuses: better HP, THAC0, saving throws, (generally save vs death, as mages do excel in save vs spells due to their training and being in-tune with spells) and the ability to use helmets, shields, and many weapons! Plus a kit! It was so funny that pure mages were weak in SoA, and MC classes was a total joke thanks to ridiculously low XP cap. (well, at least to me.)

    So make extensive use of dual-classing in pure SoA, once you get ToB though, they fall plae in comparison to single or multi classes, IMHO ofcourse!
     
  16. 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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    At the risk of raising the wrath of Felinoid (again), the above point by Silverstar is the biggest thing I dislike about the rules in BGII - that there is almost no point in being a pure class specialist (except maybe a couple of the Paladin kits).
     
  17. Silverstar Gems: 31/31
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    NO no no I really really did not want to anger Felinoid. Sorry if I am going to do so, but the point is sooo obvious. Let us look into statistics:

    A pure specialist mage will reach 17th level in SoA.

    BONUS:
    -Can memorise 1 extra spell per level
    PENALTY:
    -Loses a school.

    Now let us look at a cleric9 dualled to a mage. He will still reach level 17th mage.

    BONUS:
    -Priest spells upto level 5, which includes most useful buffs and healing, even raise dead!
    -Priest kit, extra two ability at the cost of nothing!
    -Can use priest weapons which are BETTER than mage weapons.
    -Can use helmets&shields and if needed, armors.
    -Has a bigger HP, technically +36 HP than a pure mage.
    -Has a much better save vs paralyse/poison/death, which is vital for deadly tricks like poisons&paralysation, and Wail of the Banshee!
    -Has relatively better THAC0, a small but always useful bonus!
    -Can still reach 17th level in magehood!
    -Can learn ALL spell schools!

    PENALTY:
    -Umm, other than small waiting time when freshly dual-classed, I can't find one.

    It is obvious that dual class route gives much more useful bonuses than a simple 1 extra spell per level, and with no penalties as well!

    Other than RP possibilities, there is NO need to play a pure, single classed mage, or specialist. Ofcourse if a player is totally dedicated to magehood for RP reasons, I can'T say anything. I just looked with a powergamer's eyes, forgive me!

    So what say you? A dual-class character is superiour in SoA, but inferior to MCs when ToB is installed. I rest my case.
     
  18. Felinoid

    Felinoid Who did the what now? ★ SPS Account Holder

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    :heh: At the game, not at you. I'm not too fond of how single classes are relegated to obscurity in BG2, but them's the breaks. I'd rather play BG1 anyway. :p

    Dual and MC characters take the cake in BG2, but there are some exceptions. Monks can kick some serious a$$ in the later stages, and everyone goes on and on about how good sorcerers are. And barbarians with damage reduction make excellent meat shields. Some really good class combos are the Ranger/Cleric (for wide range of divine spells), a Kensai dualled to a thief (provided you have ToB you can eliminate the armor restriction, and kai backstabs do LOTS of damage), a Kensai->Mage (for buffing spells and an awesome frontliner who doesn't need armor), and a berserker dualled to pretty much anything (for the rages).

    My ultimate party that I put together and named after members of SP was:
    Inquisitor
    R/C
    Barbarian
    Monk
    Kensai->Thief
    Swashbuckler->Mage

    Even when spells run out, they can still kick your a$$ five ways 'til Tuesday. :evil:
     
  19. olik Gems: 1/31
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    Okay, I like the idea of double your pleasure. One sorceror is good... is four sorcerors 4 times as good?

    Same question with Monks or Archers?
     
  20. Silverstar Gems: 31/31
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    Well four sorcerers will easily lay waste to enemies with their spells, BUT, if they face a fight where their spells are useless, they will be in serious trouble! Though I can't really remember such a fight in vanilla SoA. But 4 sorcerers will be very unbalanced!..and a bit boring indeed! :(

    MOnks are, simply, w-e-a-k in low levels. I don't know how well they can do with SoA's pitiful XP cap and the absence of HLAs. Use it at your own risk!

    Archers, well, how should I put this, there are creatures which they can not hurt by arrows only, and their melee skills leave something to be desired.

    BUT a MC R/C is definitely powerful. He gets bonus two-weapon style, can specialise in weapons, can get ALL priest spells (BOTH useful cleric spells AND cool druid spells like Ironskins, InsectPlague, Elemental summonings etc.) so they are truly magnificient! Highly recommended! Get two points in flails and maces or hammers, dual-wield, and with usual buffs/healing/summoning he can even SOLO!
     
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