Guide to Tactical mods (spoilers)

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Stworca
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Postby Stworca » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:48 am

One hundredth post needs to be something special.

I've decided to make a remake of the first video : Nalmissra fight.
This time we face improved, SCSII version on insane difficulty. Our levels are all below twenty.

I've went with a party for this one, due to vote results.

It turned out to be a total slaughter. But this IS how the fight looks like when you're positioned correctly and pick up the right targets! Without further ado :

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSSWx2_wg0o&hd=1"]SCSII Nalmissra.. with a party of four.[/url]
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Postby Wagannath » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:16 am

Interrogations: AI and difficulty level/ mod installing order

Hi! From Paris.

As they say: 'Long-time reader, first-time poster'.

I have a couple questions for you, let me introduce the context.
After many (and many more) BG2 runs without tactical mods, I recently started a Tactics/SCSII run, with:
- a generic archer PC
- berserker/cleric Viconia (lvl1 NPCs ofc)
- sorcerer Edwin (idem)
- Valen
- Solaufein
- anti-paladin Korgan (still lvl1 NPCs)

I've been using pretty much the same configuration as you, except I play in Core instead of Insane (because I wanted to start slow). Does this have an effect on the AI of the enemies? Because after slaughtering Twisted Rune with very little difficulty, and without them using any HLA, I thought: 'What the hell, he describes it as a very tough fight, and I doomed them in five minutes (including shower)!!??'
Though it may also be caused by PfMW being broken on my install (I tested that just after Twisted Rune), or by my non-selecting 'SoA enemies have HLAs' while installing SCSII. Also, Valen and the Anti-Paladin dispel on hit are really powerful.

You don't write anything about the order in which to install mods, could you tell or point to the rules you follow in that regard?

Thanks for your time, and thank you for the tactical guides, they're pretty awesome! (especially the videos)
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Postby Stworca » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:31 am

I shall never reveal my secre.. oh, is that a pie?

Hello!

Ah yes, installation order. You wouldn't believe how many re-installs i had to make to have it all running.

After installing the last official ToB patch you should :
- Install Fixpack from G3 (some people install Ascension first, but i never had any problems with ascension after fixpack)
- Ascension
- Tactics - Do NOT install components such as "Smarter mages" or anything like that. Just Kuroisan, Red Badge, Ritual and so on.
- Everything that is not covered above or below (Valen, Sola etc. etc.)
- If you want it : Impr. Asylum.. HOWEVER! Make sure to replace the SpWi902 from Imp. Asylum installation folder with the vanilla SpWi902 (found in override folder), otherwise your spell trap will not work.
- SCSII (make sure there are no conflicts with Tactics. It's safe to install classes and optional encounters from tactics, everything else from SCSII. Illyich is a good pick too, but that's just personal preference. I also install streamlined trolls, and not more resilient ones.)
- G3 Tweaks.

The difficulty has absolutely no effect on enemy AI (it HAD in Tactics and Ascension, but with SCSII it does not), i play on insanity because i am used to it already. Played Tactics long before SCSII. and also.. Saladrex doing 200 damage post fire resistance? Hell yeah! THAT IS A PROPER DRAGON :D
Some things on insanity are not cool - like Mind Flayer ballistic attack, or Melissan beating your characters to death during time stops - but i like it nonetheless.

There are some console commands though that do increase difficulty, as well as some that reduce it. I'll quote just one. The rest you can find in SCSII readme.

DMWWIISpawn - set to 2 if you want all the fragments of Irenicus in Hell to spawn allies every few rounds (this was default behaviour on Insane difficulty in the Tactics version), or to 1 if you want to stop liches spawning but allow other spawns.


So, "CLUAConsole:SetGlobal("DMWWIISpawn",GLOBAL",2) makes Irenicus spawn liches, dragon wyverns, beholder other beholders etc. As it was in tactics.

Hope this helps.

Oi
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Postby Wagannath » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:25 am

potion question

Thanks!
I'll test the install order tonight.

I'm not asking for more difficulty though, I just can't believe I played through nearly all of SoA before finding out that PFMW was not working...

Something else that I didn't think of in my previous post: where do you find all the nice yellow potions (Magic Protection and Magic Shielding)? Back from the underdark I only have about 8 of each, and I nearly didn't use any. I know that with SCSII many enemies have such potions, but they nearly always use them before I can kill them.

Greetings
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Postby Stworca » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:31 am

The guy in the sewers sells some, i believe the raksasha merchant does so too and maybe the alchemist in bridge district.
Other than that - you have to kill the enemies before they use them, nothing more to be said here.

Athkatlan city guards are a good, steady source of potions. Drop your rep to 1 and farm :laugh: CH3 in my LP was for the first few parts guards, guards and more guards.
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Postby Mr.Waesel » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:17 am

I'm interested to see you tackle hell Irenicus on Nightmare.

I just can't see how a party could ever defeat that encounter. The normal version is hard enough but this one spawns liches (plural!). A single Lich at that level isn't very tough but they do require a spell protection remover each, and those aren't limitless in supply. And that's not even considering all the other adds!
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Postby Wagannath » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:56 am

WK maze 'review'

I just got out of Watcher's Keep's maze. It was pretty tough (but fun!). I play on Core, with access to lvl 7 arcane spells.

The hardest fights were the Glabrezu summoners (major pain!), and the fights with the demon lords. Especially one where you can't pre-buff because you come from a no- magic zone, and you get attacked right away if your PC is good.

The demon wraith was less difficult with a thief for the traps. Haste everyone, flee from the adds and dispel the protections while you take care of the traps. Then run in and kick his ass! I even killed his gated Balor before him.

Looking forward to Demi-Lich and Saladrex now.

I have a concern though, I don't know what to do with SI: divination combined with imp. Invisibility and PfMW. I managed to use normal weapons, and I know you can wait till it wears off, but I don't manage to dispel it... Would thief's detect illusions do the trick?
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Postby Stworca » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:14 am

I have a concern though, I don't know what to do with SI: divination combined with imp. Invisibility and PfMW. I managed to use normal weapons, and I know you can wait till it wears off, but I don't manage to dispel it... Would thief's detect illusions do the trick?


- Dispel/remove magic volley (ignores immunity : divination)
- Scroll-based anti-magic spell (ignores invisibility) followed by True Sight
- Anti magic via chain contingency (ignores invisibility)
- Thief dispel illusion (ignores immunity : divination)
- If you have the SCSII component ; some anti-magic spells have slight aoe (i use the one that gives secret word and ruby ray a small aoe)
- Anti-paladin with non-magical weapon (ignores pfmw)
..and more.

I hope that helps
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Postby Stworca » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:39 am

I'm interested to see you tackle hell Irenicus on Nightmare.

I just can't see how a party could ever defeat that encounter. The normal version is hard enough but this one spawns liches (plural!). A single Lich at that level isn't very tough but they do require a spell protection remover each, and those aren't limitless in supply. And that's not even considering all the other adds!


Speed, speed, speed and speed (have i mentioned speed?)

I'm going to tackle phase 1 just as i did Nalmissra. Correct positioning, swarming beholder with my melee chars, tanking with summons, more tanking with sorcerer.

Stworca will take on the left wing on his own, perhaps i'll have a simulacrum tank the dragon and wyverns. Useless summons will be sent one by one to die from Irenicus spells. Everyone else (and their moms) will kill the beholder.
Stworca will kill the sword and all sword adds with no problems.

From there it should be downhill. Liches drop like flies. I'll add only one lich-exclusive fight video to the LP. Three liches at once in Asylum to "show off" why they are a random spawn in dungeons :)

I don't remember if i have the "party does not rest between phases" installed. Oh well, i'll find out during the fight :laugh:
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Postby Wagannath » Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:11 am

Stworca wrote:- Dispel/remove magic volley (ignores immunity : divination)
- Scroll-based anti-magic spell (ignores invisibility) followed by True Sight
- Anti magic via chain contingency (ignores invisibility)
- Thief dispel illusion (ignores immunity : divination)
- If you have the SCSII component ; some anti-magic spells have slight aoe (i use the one that gives secret word and ruby ray a small aoe)
- Anti-paladin with non-magical weapon (ignores pfmw)
..and more.

I hope that helps


It should help, thanks!

85 in detect illusions and plenty of wands of spell striking in my bags, I guess I'll be fine.

Edit:
Both work fine!

Also I tried to kill Kangaxx in the same way as you showed in your Demi-Lich video. I would have tried it on that demi-lich, but I don't have lvl 9 spells yet (to imprison the summons). Anyway, after killing the lich form with the rest of my party, I used ring of the ram to move the boss in a corner of the room, while moving my party to the other end.
I had buffed my sorcerer with shield, stoneskin, mirror image, GoI, SI: abjuration, spell shield, pfmw and 100% save potion. I kept as many buffs up as possible, but I got a problem: Melf's meteors changed to +2 instead of +5 or +6 (by G3's tweaks I think) could'nt hit Kangaxx.
So instead I used Incendiary Cloud that kicked at about 20 per tick! The many Pierce Magic I used from the wand had apparently nullified (or greatly reduced) Kangaxx's MR. You just have to wait for the Protection from fire from his initial protections to fade (or dispel it) before using IC.

I don't think you mentioned this method for these particular bosses, so I thought I would share.
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Postby nokturn » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:05 am

Hi,

I was wondering with which party you normally do these tactics/ scsii runs. Please don't post solo :D

In the party stworca suggested I'm kinda missing a high level cleric. So, how do you handle the healing/party-buffing part? I can see ways to work around the party buffing, but how do you handle the healing? Sure, there's pots and the wand of resurrection but you do not find enough pots to chug a dozen after each little fight and I wouldn't want to run to a shop every 30 minutes to recharge the wand.

Thanks for your input.

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Postby Stworca » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:20 am

I did list "Swashbuckler dualed to Cleric" and "Viconia" as frequent visitors in my party. With this being said in WK / ToB you have to heavily rely on potions and the wand (there are 2 of them for sure, perhaps even 3 or more)

Keep in mind that your warriors can drink a 40 hp superior potion every 6 seconds

The problem with Heal spell is, naturally, the long cast time. This is why in boss fights you have to prevent or at least minimize the damage, because healing alone will simply not work.

Hence the Defender of Easthaven + Roranach Helmet + Hardiness + Barb levels combinations, OR using Sorcerer to tank the entire world.

Melissan in Ascension can dish out 200-400 (depending on difficulty) damage each round, there is no way to heal through that.

A live example is Saladrex fight video (Have you seen it? Go check it out if not)
Our druid was standing in the backline, and could heal properly only when warriors were out of danger.
I have used wand of resurrection in that fight once as well.
And then we have what i'm talking about, the single dragon breath that despite protections one-shot Monskine.

I never based my gameplay on healing. It is simply too unreliable, with long casting and interrupts.

The exception are, naturally, Cleric/Mage multi-class characters, with heal built in chain contingency.
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Postby nokturn » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:29 am

Stworca wrote:I never based my gameplay on healing. It is simply too unreliable, with long casting and interrupts.





That's exactly what I am feeling. I was talking rather about healing after fights. It annoys me to run around with a party that has only half of its HP and to rest during 20 days (I always play with "rest until healed").

Currently I have a party with Anti-paladin, Cleric dual to fighter, Wizard Slayer dual to thief and a sorceror. I liked this party as it is quite balanced and I feel it can handle anything.

I did include Viconia for the time being but I'm not entirely happy with this as she does not really do any damage and, with scsii scripting, does draw enemies with her low HP thus disturbing my tactic (fighters having to disengage in order to protect her,...etc).

Furthermore, where do you get spells such as Chaotic Commands, Death Ward,... etc from?

btw, where can I find the Saladrex video?

thanks

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Postby Stworca » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:45 am

[url="http://www.youtube.com/user/Tad30s"]My YT channel has the video (and a few others too)[/url] (Make sure to watch everything in HD and fullscreen.)

Cleric being focused is a pain for sure. I had it happen once or twice, and i could only work around it by sitting in sanctuary for most of the fight and running away for the other.

IIRC there is a belt of fortitude, that temporary helps with her low HP, but i don't remember the details.

Chaotic Commands, Death Ward etc are cleric spells. If you don't have one, you can not get them (sadly).
There are some walkarounds, mainly Spell Immunity and alike.
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Postby Rancid Sushi » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:59 pm

Am I the only one who didn't like the final battle in Ascension? I just wish it were more original, like having to fight some demon lords with unique abilities rather than everyone I've already beaten. What is this, a Capcom game?

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Postby Rancid Sushi » Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:34 pm

Decided to give Tactics another go with a Half-Orc Anti-Paladin. The dispel on hit makes this class a little too powerful. I wonder if it's possible to solo.

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Postby Yingchun5207 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:32 pm

I believe you also have to have 3 000 000 xp. But dont quote me on that, it may be 2 000 000.

As for the encounter itself, its hard only if you -dont- have protection from poison. There's ring of gaxx, and a necklage in SoA + scrolls / spells, ewentually potions of health.

What i normaly do is clearing WK up to Demogorgon (but not himself) to get gloves of extra-ordinary specialisation and wish scroll, and leave to Spellhold. Later in ToB, after Gromnir, i finish Demogorgon, Ritual and Red Badge.

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Postby Skorpijon » Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:45 am

For the poison encounter, i had my party teleported as soon as my main char had over 2,5 mill xp. They just introduced themselfs and then ported me back. Next time i got out of watchers keep was when my char was just a bit over 3 mill xp (others were below since i solo learned the scrolls (dualed kensai/mage)). I found out that oils of speed + protection from negative energy were enough to survive (buffed before leaving wk since i knew they are waiting for me). Poison clouds were healed through with pots and elixirs of healing/antidotes, one sword kept the right guy occupied while melees nuked down the caster and the hard hitter. Dont know what names there are since everyone was dead in 3 sec. Did had to ress my fighter/druid since hes the lowest in anything (multiclass).

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Postby Black_Majik » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:31 am

Hello everyone.

Can you give me some hints how to slay Improved Irenicus in Tactics? I've beat him a couple of times but I used cheesy, overpowered, green scroll of protection from magic. Battle went this way:
1. First round were very easy thanks to my time stops.I had two characters able to cast it. I completely owned my enemies at this stage. Irenicus stood some time but eventually his protections were gone and my butchers made him suffer.
2. Another easy round, my Sorc casted some buffs and turned into slayer.
3. The problem occurs here. Last incarnation of Irenicus is immune to simply everything. I used all my ruby rays, breaches and wands (these that cast breach or pierce magic). Also, my lovely, elven, antipaladin chick, with her anti-karsomir sword from WK, tried to remove these ridiculous protections from Irenicus. It haven't worked either. I got furious and used mentioned, green scroll on him. It finally made Irenicus vulnerable and my brave party was ready to get some Ascension.
But emerging victorious with such a method does not satisfy me at all. I want to beat the damned wizard by my own spells and swords, not with the help of an overpowered item.

How do you remove all these protections from Irenicus? Ruby ray, breach, remove magic, antipaladin, it all failed for me.

And one more question, this time to Stworca directly. How is it possible that you spawn two clones of your sorcerer by adding two project images into chain contigency? I tried this for fun but I got only one clone.

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Postby Rancid Sushi » Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:31 pm

First round is laughably easy if you have a regenerating tank and a high level cleric. Just have everyone retreat into the corridor to the right, the one nearest the dragon. Get them as far back as possible. Then you'll be out of the dragon's sight/attack range and all other enemies won't be able to move past the dragon blocking the corridor. From there, I summoned a couple Pit Fiends behind the dragon and they took out everything for me. 2nd stage is easy if your PC can use wizard spells, as you said. 3rd stage I just cheesed through it and used a Protection from Magic scroll through Simulacrum on JonBon, then had Minsc pelt him with arrows of biting until he died.