Balder's Gate 2 Sucks? Please motivate me to go on

This forum is to be used for all discussions pertaining to BioWare's Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn.
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Brevan
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Postby Brevan » Sun May 12, 2013 1:20 pm

[QUOTE=LastDanceSaloon]who should I dump in favour of a decent Mage?[/QUOTE]Edwin is surely the most powerful mage NPC (his amulet gives him bonus spell-boxes), but he's evil so you might prefer Nalia, Imoen, Aerie (Minsc's Witch), or Jan (the gnome). I've never understood why Nalia and Imoen were designed as such similar characters, but they both have interesting bits of story to enjoy while they're around, and as single-class mages they level up relatively quickly and get plenty of high-level spell boxes. Aerie is decent since she's the only mage (aside from Jan if he has the Use Any Item thief ability) able to use shields and helmets and the only cleric able to use the Robe of Veccna (Bonus Merchants needed) or Staff of the Magi; there's also plenty of fun to be had inserting cleric spells into mage-spell-sequencers. Jan has amusing dialogue and good thieving abilities (Belm+Kundane+Mislead+Backstabs = rofl), and I think his spell book always comes with Project Image (probably the most powerful mage spell), but he can't easily use Abi-Dalsim's Horrid Wilting or Summon Skeleton (These are probably what you'd want to be casting with your projected image). Since all the characters have strengths and weaknesses, you may as well stick with Aerie for this play through. If you are still in Chapter 2, then Aerie has some nice dialogue with Haer'Dalis (the Bard. Having these two together will remove some dialogue options, so consider this duo for another time).

Personally I'd keep your current party, it looks fun. Don't forget to abuse Yoshimo's special traps ability by casting just far enough away that enemies can't see him do it, but close enough that it explodes and hurts/holds/kills all of them, like a stunningly-strong enemy-specific FireBall.
[QUOTE=LastDanceSaloon]Is the Bard better than Yashimo for roguing[/QUOTE]No, in BG2 a Bard's only thievery is pick pockets. Haer'Dalis is a type of bard that doesn't get to sing well until he gets a high-level ability. He can fight well, but his THAC0 isn't great unless he's using Mislead (+4 THAC0... also, his Mislead-clones can sing for the party, which is game-breakingly powerful). Bards are nice for their high Lore (item identification), high spell-level (stronger Fireballs, earlier Skeleton Warriors, etc), and slightly improved THAC0 (unlike Mages, their Melf's Minute Meteors hit quite often).

If you eventually lose Yoshimo, then any of the thief/mage options are fine, but you should start saving items (some rings, potions of +3Dex, etc) that boost thief skills (at least for dealing with traps/locks). It's not that critical though, since high strength (Cleric's Holy Power + Draw Upon Holy Might or Righteous Magic) will break most (all?) locks, and you'll get items to regenerate any HP lost to traps.
[QUOTE=LastDanceSaloon]Will I find any tanks in the 'good' branch who will be better than the one's I've got or am I now set in this regard? ... [I need] to avoid all the confusions, stuns, chaotics, beserks, Holds, etc etc etc[/QUOTE]Keldorn is pretty decent with the bracers that raise his Dexterity to 18. If he's closest to an enemy spell caster, they will futilely cast spells like Charm and Hold-person on him, and later items give him upwards of 50% magic resistance (so he's a good spell-tank). If you've got time to buff, then you can always convert a mage to a tank via the weapon-protection spells (surely the fight will be over before the 4 or so rounds that these spells last. Summoned skeletons are immune to all the spells quoted above, and they can be cast beside the enemy spell casters so they're sure to be the targets of the spells. Skeleton Warriors (when you're level 15) are fantastic tanks (their weapons count as +3, they're immune to normal weapons and several spells, and have around 40% magic resistance). Minsc (in D&D all rangers start with a free dual-wield proficiency, which many players complained was lacking in BG1) is alright for tanking mages when he's alone and berserked. When you start finding weapons that give him immunities, then his affinity for dual-wielding can make him extra resistant. Also, consider giving Minsc a point or two in Katanas for when you find Celestial Fury (it's stun effect works against the Spell saving throw, so it's very good against enemy fighters and clerics), alternatively you can later find a character to replace Minsc that already likes Katanas (but his hitpoints and personality are not as nice as Minsc's).

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Claudius
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Postby Claudius » Sun May 12, 2013 3:25 pm

For both questions there is a companion but I don't want to spoil your game if it is not needed.

Spoiler Jan is a mage/ thief with special exploding ammo a special damage resistant suit. He is also a hoot. You might change your mind on banter :)
Right Speech has four aspects: 1. Not lying, but speaking the truth, 2. Avoiding rude and coarse words, but using gentle speech beneficial to the listener, 3. Not slandering, but promoting friendliness and unity, 4. Avoiding frivolous speech, but saying only what is appropriate and beneficial.

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galraen
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Postby galraen » Mon May 13, 2013 3:01 am

Why are Nalia and Imoen almost identical? Because in the original game concept Imoen was going to be killed off.

Aerie becomes one of the most powerful NPCs in the game eventually, just takes bit of micro-management.

On the subject of micro-management, the ultimate test of your skills/patience with that approach is Haer'Dalis. With proper management he is an unstoppable tank, and in some ways the most powerful spell caster in the game.

If you intend to rescue Imoen then the answer to
who should I dump in favour of a decent Mage?
the answer is no one, unless you want to experience the delightful (note sarcasm) interaction between Edwin and any good characters in your party.

Are any of my current party likely to vanish for reasons beyond my control?


Yes (Massive spoiler, using black text so highlight to read) Yoshimo will betray you when you reach Imoen, hence my suggestion not to replace any other [arty member for a mage yet.

If you want an alternative thief before reaching Imoen then unless you install a third party mod (unadvisable at this stage), either getting Nalia back or hiring Jan are your only choices. The latter is a far better option if you're picking up Imoen, and is the only character that might just persuade you that the interaction and interjections aren't a complete waste of time. I love Jan for that reason, although Korgan also has some amusing banter, in fact I'd dump Minsc for him in a heart beat. Alignment isn't everything for all characters in this game, and Korgan has never caused any problems in my experience, Minsc on the other hand has always caused problems for me.
[QUOTE=Darth Gavinius;1096098]Distrbution of games, is becoming a little like Democracy (all about money and control) - in the end choice is an illusion and you have to choose your lesser evil.

And everything is hidden in the fine print.[/QUOTE]

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mrdeluxe
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Postby mrdeluxe » Tue May 14, 2013 4:10 pm

galraen wrote:Why are Nalia and Imoen almost identical? Because in the original game concept Imoen was going to be killed off.


I'm playing this game since 2001 and never knew that. What a great piece of trivia! Do you have more info on that?