The optimal number of divine spellcasters

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kenderes
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The optimal number of divine spellcasters

Postby kenderes » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:30 am

Hello.

I am planning a tactical playthrough of BGT, using Ascension, Tactics, D0Quest Pack and SCS+SCS2 to enhance the difficulty. I have a question for the local gurus, though: will just one divine spellcaster in a party be enough to survive those mods?
I mostly have in mind a party of:

Charname (Inquisitor, Cavalier OR Berserker->Druid OR Ranger/Cleric)
Imoen
Angelo (F/M from mod)
Korgan -> Sarevok
Viconia
Valygar

So, as you can see, I can't decide if the aforementioned mods demand one divine spellcaster or two. I imagine that the need for buffing and debuffing in the boss fights of those tactical mods will be tremendous. Also, I've read the guide of Stworca and he mentions that even Ascension is doable with just one arcane caster - but he makes a point to recommend to dual as much of PC from the cleric class as possible. I guess that druidic spells would be useful, but the abilities of paladins are also good, and Cavalier is capable of some useful low-level divine spellcasting. What do you think?

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Postby Stworca » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:51 am

will just one divine spellcaster in a party be enough to survive those mods?


Yes, but do grab rods of resurrection as well.

Also, I've read the guide of Stworca and he mentions that even Ascension is doable with just one arcane caster - but he makes a point to recommend to dual as much of PC from the cleric class as possible.


That's for the useful, low level spells. You only require 1 high-level cleric. With some caution you can even beat all those mods without any healers, but require more mages and barbarians in that case.

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Postby kenderes » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:51 am

Thank you!

It'll be a while until I finally start that run, and longer still before I reach the ToB portion of the game, but I hope your guide will make it doable at least.

To be honest, I mostly only lurk on the BG forums, but I'll try to write some thoughts on that tactical playthrough or perhaps to provide my impressions on the mods I use now (Colours of Infinity + Yvette + Kelsey). So far:
Kelsey - better than I've thought
Yvette - worse
CoI - rather nice

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Postby roller1234 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:40 am

you need at least two divine casters. Why? because 2 is a 100% increase from 1, no other number will give such a huge gain, double the available divine spell pool. But of course even more casters never hurt, so preferably everybody should be able to cast something, it really opens a way to some interesting tactics, and lots, lots, of spells to play with. Just imagine an opening - 6 fireballs. :)

(edit: for clerics that would be holy smite)

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Postby JohannesNilsson » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:50 pm

Why stop at 6 fireballs when you can do 18 horrid wiltings with 6 mages/sorceressess.
Or make create quite many mages at your level with projected image and chain contigency .

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Postby sear » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:04 pm

JohannesNilsson wrote:Why stop at 6 fireballs when you can do 18 horrid wiltings with 6 mages/sorceressess.
Or make create quite many mages at your level with projected image and chain contigency .

Because that gets really difficult to level up. You can definitely play for the endgame if you want but I'd rather have a slightly sub-optimal but balanced and capable party, vs. one that's only good when everyone's hit level 8+.

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Postby Black_Majik » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:50 pm

One priest/druid is perfectly enough for me. And I rather go with dual or multi classes like:
(Multi) Cleric/Mage
(Multi) Fighter/Cleric (cleric buffs plus fighter's HLA's)
(Dual) Berserker/Druid (I use him as an "archer" with throwing spears in Tactics mod)
(Dual) Berserker/Cleric
I never use pure clerics.

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Postby roller1234 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:15 pm

JohannesNilsson wrote:Why stop at 6 fireballs when you can do 18 horrid wiltings with 6 mages/sorceressess.
Or make create quite many mages at your level with projected image and chain contigency .

Not enough gear in the game for 6 sorcs. And specifically horrid wiltings have horrid casting times, its a bad spell, fireball is better. skull trap later.

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Postby Aeronth » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:55 am

Excuse me sir, I believe you have inverted "fireball" and "horrid wilting" there.

Horrid wilting ignores magic resistance, does not harm party members, and deals magic damage, which is *far* more reliable than fire.
And skull trap without fix is quite cheesy.

Oh, and do sorcs even need gear?
We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting. -- Khalil Gibran

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Postby roller1234 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:33 am

All these benefits(which are not quite correct btw) dont matter because its not instant cast like most other spells. And by instant cast i mean it is possible to empty an entire spell book in 1 round which is what gear is needed for. The other mages would be just tag-alongs, by the time they finish their casttime 8 horrid wiltings everything which can be killed with magic is already gone. There is really no need for more than 1-2 arcane casters, that having said anyone who can cast stoneskin/pfmw/si is on the top of the character chart, provided he can do something useful with it.

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Postby Aeronth » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:06 am

What's wrong with Chain Contingency?
We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting. -- Khalil Gibran

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Postby roller1234 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:10 am

Aside from the fact that it should have a one round cast like the rest of the contingency spells there is nothing wrong with it, im not quite following.

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Postby Aeronth » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:00 am

Well, you can use it to cast up to three Horrid Wiltings at once disregarding the casting time, if it bothers you so much.
We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting. -- Khalil Gibran

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Postby Blomdor » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:43 am

Sorcerers do not even notice gear other than stuff like the robe of Vecna, rings of Wizardry/Alacrity, etc. Once a sorcerer gets PfMW alone, his powers exceed that of any item in the game. As for horrid wilting, I don't recall it bypassing magic resistance, but I think you vastly overstate the level 3 fireball's usefulness; between the low damage cap, exclusively fire-based damage that many things are immune to, and the high magic resistance of many later enemies, I found it pretty difficult to get all that much usefulness out of it towards the mid-late game. Horrid wilting's casting time is a bit long, but it hits so much harder than fireball with an immensely more reliable type of damage that it more than makes up for it. It also doesn't hurt party members, so it's much easier to hit a large number of enemies without hurting your own guys.

Fireball is the AOE damage spell of choice in low level DnD, but once efreetis, demons, and rakshasas become commonplace enemies it begins to lose effectiveness.

As an aside, the other five *anything* become tagalongs in a party with a sorcerer in it. They are nigh-indestructible time traveling superhumans in a pre-industrial world. If the other five guys are sorcerers too, it's like having 5 boring invincible superheros and Galactus. They can all destroy planets, but Galactus does it faster so they all sit around contemplating their navels until he gets hungry and needs to re-memorize his cheesy powers. If they aren't sorcerers, then Galactus might as well be soloing most of the time. You might think I'm exaggerating, but I've gotten a lot of sorcerers through the game with 6 people of various different classes; they're just there to make the early game bearable.

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Postby roller1234 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:58 pm

Its the Vecna grade gear which is overpowered, not the actual sorcerer, put it on anyone and he will become "Galactus", most notably a cleric/mage. Having a party full of mages brings absolutely nothing but disadvantages, get hit by a fireball, entire party gets interrupted, get hit by insect plaque and the party is a goner. Not to say there are areas completely blocking magic. Since the mages have low heath lots of spells will simply instakill them, again most notably powerwords unless con is maxed. Summon limit is party shared so cant even get a disposable army. Useless.


GWWing melee fighters are much better than any damage spell.


Yes, Horrid Wilting doesnt bypass magic resistance, making this spell pretty useless as i said earlier. Dragons breath does that, but it cant be put into contigency. If you really dont want to hurt party members cast protection from magic energy, it grants 100% protection vs magical damage, spam skulls traps afterwards to win. I personally dont use PfME, its too powerful and use a spell which grants 75% protection vs everything instead. Saves time actually.

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Postby Aeronth » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:39 pm

roller1234 wrote:Yes, Horrid Wilting doesnt bypass magic resistance

Indeed, my mistake. I don't know why I was convinced it did.
You're still wrong about Fireball/Skull Trap (PfME on the whole party... that was funny actually) and Horrid Wilting, but I think there's little we can do about it.
We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting. -- Khalil Gibran

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Postby roller1234 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:37 am

Casting PfME on the whole party takes less than a round and lasts 20 minutes of real time, making mage fights a joke, this spell is actually completely broken since according to the description it is supposed to only protect from 50% of damage. Same issue with fire.

Horrid Wilting is 20d8, 160damage.
Skull trap is 20d6, 120 damage

In the same time frame it is possible to either cast 1 HW or 7 skull traps. In other words 160 vs 840 damage. Its not even debatable really.

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Postby Aeronth » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:20 am

Skull Trap deals 12d6 damage when you consider fixing it.

I understand you spend ALL of your level 6 slots for PfME and cast Improved Alacrity every time you use magic, even when buffing your party? Interesting idea...
We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting. -- Khalil Gibran

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Postby roller1234 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:00 am

Who says skull trap is broken? and why 12d6? And even with 10d6 fireballs 420 is still more than 160, even if enemy is resistant to fire. In short, what do you think are the actual advantages of ever using Horrid Wilting on anything?

Horrid wilting ignores magic resistance, does not harm party members, and deals magic damage, which is *far* more reliable than fire.

We just proved all this to be false.

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Postby Aeronth » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:16 am

Horrid Wilting doesn't need to bypass magic resistance to be better than Fireball. Everything else is true.

If your goal is to unleash massive area damage as quickly as possible, nothing will be better than Chain Contingency, not even casting instant Fireballs one by one with Improved Alacrity (which only lasts 2 rounds, you shouldn't be using it to buff your party, hahaha).
Since Contingency instantly casts any spell, Horrid Wilting's only flaw is negated.
We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting. -- Khalil Gibran