Magic is not that good

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Shadowwarrior
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Magic is not that good

Postby Shadowwarrior » Fri Sep 14, 2001 5:11 am

I have completed SoA and ToB with several different characters. To be honest, the least thing I used was magic. The only really powerful mage spell you nees is the level 5 breach, and true sight too if you don´t have an inquisitor. Tanking the way is the easy way, and unless you wan´t magic for fun I can´t see why sorcs are so good for example. Yeah yeah you say lower resistance, magic missile and abi-dahlzimm and so on but tanks are so much better. Even clericspells become worthless when you have about a tousand potions. (I filled more than 4 potion bags). Also with no cheating I´ve finished SoA+ToB in less than 35 days (in-game time) since I don´t need to rememorize spells all the time... Haha now everybody here is going to hate me or what =)
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Postby Rob-hin » Fri Sep 14, 2001 5:17 am

Wizzards in the game aren't as good as they could be because of their AI. Against real opponents it's mutch harder.

(I'm not saying this because I'm a wizzard, I'm a fighter to)
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Postby Delacroix » Fri Sep 14, 2001 6:15 am

Originally posted by Shadowwarrior:
<STRONG>I have completed SoA and ToB with several different characters. To be honest, the least thing I used was magic. The only really powerful mage spell you nees is the level 5 breach, and true sight too if you don´t have an inquisitor. Tanking the way is the easy way, and unless you wan´t magic for fun I can´t see why sorcs are so good for example. Yeah yeah you say lower resistance, magic missile and abi-dahlzimm and so on but tanks are so much better. Even clericspells become worthless when you have about a tousand potions. (I filled more than 4 potion bags). Also with no cheating I´ve finished SoA+ToB in less than 35 days (in-game time) since I don´t need to rememorize spells all the time... Haha now everybody here is going to hate me or what =)</STRONG>


I'm in the oposite side. With magic you can do anything. You play without magic. I only play with magic( solo sorcerer). Even on insane level it was easy (of course, if you know the game well). Try to solo a tank in insane level. Will be fun( for me) and dificult (for you).
[Sorry about my English]

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Postby Tutoric » Fri Sep 14, 2001 6:24 am

I use some magic but it often seems to be wasted effort because every enemy you face has 3-4 spell protections and in the fury of the ToB battles it is hard to even get them off. I only get about 25% of the spells I try in battle because the chance of getting whacked during casting are so high.

I like the tanks, and with that said I may dump a mage for another tank...hmmmm!
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Postby Saruman » Fri Sep 14, 2001 6:46 am

In my games tanks, while good for soaking up damage, are not the main stay of my attack formations, I usually use one tank (Korgan, or Kelddorn depending on party alignment) to meet the oposing forces head on and use the rest of the party consisting of bards (1), thieves (1), mages (2) and priests (1)to support the tank.
The only real time that I have problem with this kind of party is where you suddenly get attacked from all angles and none of the mages have got the right protections or contingencies ready.
Anyway, to conclude I guess what I'm saying is that with the right preperation and protective/offensive spells at the ready a mage dominant party whips a fighter patry everytime. Without the correct preperation a mage party is weak and a fighter dominant party should win a combat encounter.
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Postby Shadowwarrior » Fri Sep 14, 2001 9:18 am

Maybe player vs. player magical strong enemies are good, but as for the computer Magic is too slow to work (unless with Robe of Vecna+Improved Alacricy), and a good Fighter usually kills any enemy before any mage has even hit with their spells yet. Summon-spells are nice to get some more frontline fighters and an archer is better than a mage in the backline I think. Hmmm when soloing a sorc, I wonder how you get rid of traps, open locks, and kill for example golems without resting after every fight?
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Postby THE JAKER » Fri Sep 14, 2001 9:26 am

This is one of those yin and yang discussions:

Confucius say "warrior is good, mage is good...they are two great tastes, taste even better together."

And also, what about the warrior/mage???
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Postby Xyx » Fri Sep 14, 2001 10:25 am

Yes, tanks have it good in ToB. This is largely due to Bioware's design policy, though. +6 weapons lie in the streets, but no equivalent spellcaster items. Enemy spellcasters could have been nearly impossible to defeat without magic of your own, but lousy AI makes them almost worthless. Bioware has also kindly abstained of having enemies use Imprisonment, in order to avoid causing grief to low-magic parties.

Magic and tanking go together pretty well. Improved Haste almost makes Greater Whirlwind obsolete, Tenser's gives awesome combat bonuses, and Mirror Image, Stoneskin, Blur and Improved Invisibility make you nearly invulnerable. A Fighter/Mage's clones are incredibly powerful and can often kill bosses on their own.

Magic also has a number of convenient uses. Thieves can be made obsolete and some special fights can be made a lot easier.
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Postby two » Fri Sep 14, 2001 11:42 am

This may sound strange, but I agree: magic overall is not nearly as good as melee.

Why? It's simple. Numbers. And not having to sleep every other round!

A regular level 30 fighter can easily dish out a minimum - and I mean minimum -- of 100 points a round. With a little tweaking, this can hit 140/round on AVERAGE. CromF, dual-wield, etc. etc. Beyond the damage, add in environmental pain, and weapon no-save effects (slow, stun, need I mention vorpal!) and it's just silly. Throw in GreaterWhirlwind, and it's gross -- 200+ and instant vorpalization, usually.

Enemies have only ONE defense against this fighter. Stoneskin, and environmental/special effects still get through that (does vorpal?). AC does not count; you will hit 99% of the time at such high levels. After stoneskin goes away it's all over, of course.

Now what can a mage do to generate 140 points of damage/round? 3 skull traps is 60d6 maximum 360 damage (capped at 20). Sounds good, but monsters almost always save vs. spells (180) at TOB levels. And if they have Magic Resistance throw out 1 or 2 skulltraps. If they have resistance vs. magic damage throw out a percentage. If they are immune to spells throw it all out. Assume the monster saves, but does NOT have MR or other immunities (and lots do) you are doing 180 dam/round. MAX. On average it's more like 120. True, it is to an area (area effect) so you MIGHT effect more than one baddie. Maybe not. The point is you have used 4 spells (sequencer, 3 skull traps) and managed to do less damage than one round of melee with a fighter. If you use your level 8 spell Horrid Wilting you will probably do 200 or so if the monster is not immune or resistant etc. That uses 3 8th level spells, and a sequencer.

I know sorcerers have a lot of spells, but if you use up 4 every round to match a fighter dishing out damage, you won't have many left after 10 rounds. Does area effect equalize things? Somewhat. Skull trap WILL soften up bunched up baddies. But then you need to do another 3 skull traps, or send in a fighter to finish the job.

Spells are great, but greatest when they help the fighters. Use Improved Haste to give that fighter 8-10 attacks/round for like -- 30 rounds. Use simulacrum/mislead to give yourself another melee attacker. Use tensor's to make yourself better in melee and heal.

While a sorcerer can probably do more single-round damage than a figher ever could (the old time stop/improved alacrity/20 spells thing) this is a one-time blast. And if you kill your enemy in one round with spells, great. That's like what a fighter does using a vorpal weapon and greater whirlwind in one round.

And fighters go ALL DAY. I can't stress this enough. The fighter dishes out 100+ a round for 50+ rounds or more. If he's taking damage there are weapons that heal as they hit (foebane) that will keep you safe for quite a long time (also regeneration, etc. etc.)

Fighters can insta-kill EVERYTHING but a few select baddies. And those they just pound.

They can be self-healing, spell-disrupting, magic-dispelling monsters.

A few select spells can turn a fighter into an absolute nightmare. A fighter/mage is plain scary because he can cast stoneskin/other protections/imp. haste on himself. A fighter with basic spell protections is the uber, period.

Yeah yeah, spells are great and all that... but think about it. A one-handed weapon that is vorpal 10% of the time, every hit. And you hit 2-3 times a round (before haste or whirwind). What spell is the equal of that??? It's like a finger of death that kills 30% of the time, no save, on everything less than a dragon. And you "cast" this spell every round for free! What sorcerer would not give their left arm for such an ability? Well you can have it -- just give a fighter the right axe...

I like mages, I like spells, I don't actually like vanilla melee battles, but the way BGII and TOB are set up -- fighters rule. I think it's just the nature of BGII and the engine and AI limitations. And, of course, the power of great weapons and great armor.

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Postby Xandax » Fri Sep 14, 2001 12:06 pm

This discussion has been done to death.
There are some people that like playing with magic and some that like playing with tanks.
Both are great and both have their justification.
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Postby UserUnfriendly » Fri Sep 14, 2001 12:37 pm

What about the cheese factor?

project image, 5 planetars pretty much whomped demogorgona dn friends.

Helm of vilator and jaheira, 3-5 elemental princes.

My view is the best tanks are projected image- summons. I do firkraag in one rest onlu, asylum took 2 for me, and I did all of underdark in about 6.

anyway, for mass meelee fights, even a group of tanks just isn't as good as a flock of summons with sorc support. when I go and whomp dragons, projected image spell caster is the ultimate weapon. several elemental spells to get it good and pissed, whomp with abu dahzim, and watch it blacken.

well, most of the time korgan in my party just sits back and lobs axe throws or fires his crossbow at the enemy. His beer belly is getting bigger, and since I plan to sleep with jaheira in my new game, with my version of the uber party, ver. 5.2, he's been making lewd remarks to aerie to see if he can get an all over the body blush.
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Postby Dan53186 » Fri Sep 14, 2001 12:51 pm

In all honesty, I've found that both work well. A party with lots of magic power can kick butt as can a group of tanks. However, the best thing usually proves to be balance between the two. After all, that's what most people's parties have, no?

Sure, fighters could chop away through a mage's stoneskin or mirror image or what have you, but doesn't it make more sense to have a mage handy to take the protection down? Saves time, anyhow. Mages also end up in need to get through those high level spell protections like all of the protections from (whatever) weapons.

But then again, if a party of mages doesn't have the right or enough protections up, then a big bad fighter can quickly make chunky kibble of 'em.

To my experience, a happy medium works best. :D

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Postby Christian » Fri Sep 14, 2001 5:59 pm

There are just too many enemies with MR and high saves, and enemies just swarm. That means u have to use most of your spells in 1 or 2 battles. In BG1 or D&D mages are better since there are fewer enemies, less powerfull/frequent magical weapons and most monsters actually fail their saves!
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Postby Gomez » Fri Sep 14, 2001 7:21 pm

I think the main discussion is the player vs. monsters combat, not comparing whether the fighter or the mage is more effective.
I completely agree with Koren. ToB really went crazy in assigning MR and high saves to monsters. Most spells are useless now unless you bring their resistances down with Lower Resistance, and even then that's only one monster.
Some mage/cleric high-abilities are very good, I esp. like Comet, Implosion, and Dragon's Breath. But they're all still subject to MR, whereas a good sword whack hits anyone.

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Postby UserUnfriendly » Fri Sep 14, 2001 11:34 pm

True, too true. however korgy really appreciates having about 6-8 hasted and inv skellys to cover hit fat behind when he charges into battle.

And he appreciates the fact they don't drink his strong dwarven ale, and never want a split of the profits.

Think of it this way, a wise person never spends capitol, but lives off interest if possible.

So, think of your npcs as capitol, and summons as interest. you can conjure them all day, and they live and die at your command.

any uber magic resistant creature in the game will fall to uber cheese tactic of projected image and summon many planetars.

with demo gorgy, I summoned 5, and they were basically whaling on him and pets. all I had to do was breach and m summons made the kill. ticked me off, I wanted the kill stat myself!

Didn't get enough abu dahzims in, I guess.

hey, if your projected image makes the kill you do get the credit?
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Postby Xyx » Sat Sep 15, 2001 5:56 am

Imprisonment! Why bother with all the Time Stop-Improved Alacrity-Dragon's Breath-Drag... etc etc etc stuff? One level 9 spell (cast with Robe of Vecna) ends the battle instantly. No save, no MR.

As Fighter/Mage, you can both cast quick spells (CT 5 or less if you have the Robe), and still make all of your attacks that round (though no Whirlwinding).

Originally posted by two:
<STRONG>Enemies have only ONE defense against this fighter. Stoneskin</STRONG>


Protection from Magical Weapons...

Originally posted by Gomez:
<STRONG>Some mage/cleric high-abilities are very good, I esp. like Comet, Implosion, and Dragon's Breath. But they're all still subject to MR, whereas a good sword whack hits anyone.</STRONG>


Didn't these specifically ignore MR? I heard that a couple of times, though it's not in the manual. I'll have to test...

Originally posted by UserUnfriendly:
<STRONG>korgy really appreciates having about 6-8 hasted and inv skellys to cover hit fat behind when he charges into battle.</STRONG>


Or in front as a shield against all those nasty creatures that have insta-kill powers...

Originally posted by UserUnfriendly:
<STRONG>if your projected image makes the kill you do get the credit?</STRONG>


Of course! Only Demons take your XP. ;)
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Postby Izgoth » Sat Sep 15, 2001 9:51 am

The game is prpably easier with a soloing sorc than any other party combination. You need only a few spells, mordekaine, planetar, chain contigency, stone skin, breach, spell trap (staff of magi recommended) improved alacrity and timestop. If you use IA and TS you can beat ANY enemy who is not immune to TS during the timestop. I killed every dragon and liich +all other tough baddies (except demogorgon and melissan) with that combo. Casting stone skin+spell trap and chain contigency 3 mordekaines and you can win any regular battle. The swords are immune to almost everything including elemental and physichal damage. Then just blast away with your spells. With amu of power+robe of vecna you can take out most regular enemies as fast as a party of 6 tanks.

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Postby Shadowwarrior » Sat Sep 15, 2001 12:04 pm

Hmmm... I like magic but it should be more effective... Maybe more spells shouldn´t allow saving throws, less magic resistances and worse saving throws wuld make BG a more balanced game? and if there are +6 weapons, there should be even stronger spells.
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Postby UserUnfriendly » Sat Sep 15, 2001 12:10 pm

I don't know, without magic BG2/tob becomes a squad tactical real time war game...

I play those too, but in Xcom and Warhammer chaos gate, the psyckers and psionics was the funnest chars to play. magic is FUN!


I always have a mage heavy party, and always will.
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Postby Kovi » Mon Sep 17, 2001 4:48 am

Yes, the game be finished easily with either style and it is surely more "comfortable" to play with a fighter (heavy party).
But think about the toughest battles. Were there tough because of enemy hitters or because of magic users? And this is even in the case with the quite limited spellcaster AI.
And think about the magic itself. Are warriors really good themselves? How long they can get without their magical equipment?
Spellcasters were very strong in SoA (xp cap!). With the availability of 9th level mage spells (and special abilities) in ToB they became incredibly powerful, especially the sorcerers and mage/clerics. The minor battles can still be won without those spells and usually 1-2 is enough to win a major one (warriors might also use up their specials in those). With Project Image and/or Wish one can proceed without resting.

[ 09-17-2001: Message edited by: Kovi ]