No deaths, no reloads

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two
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Postby two » Mon Jul 23, 2001 1:00 pm

Originally posted by Kovi:
<STRONG>Conratulations two!
Both for the play and for this thread. Just like in the "old" times...
Nice to see you again guys! Xyx, well done with the spell guides. I recommend you to try out the solo sorcerer, it is even more powerful than ever before.
As for me, I agree with one guy above: as I like to play strategy, so I play strategy games against human opponents (and won't play ToB)
Anyway have fun!</STRONG>



It IS more fun vs. humans...sigh. Wish they would make a computer game that's interactive, like, if a human took the place of the computer. They could call the human-computer a DM or something. Hey! That's a good idea. May have a future.

I'll have to investigate this!

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Postby EternalKnight » Mon Jul 23, 2001 1:58 pm

Hey, Two, I have no idea what I meant my no spwans, I was still waking up when I typed that. Although come to think of it, if I didn't spawn anything the game might be interesting. I'm not sure it's doable at all though. Ok, right now I'm leaning towards Swashbuckler, I want the items though I'm going to need to be able to make creatures help me. This'll be a challenge!

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Postby two » Mon Jul 23, 2001 2:32 pm

Originally posted by EternalKnight:
<STRONG>Hey, Two, I have no idea what I meant my no spwans, I was still waking up when I typed that. Although come to think of it, if I didn't spawn anything the game might be interesting. I'm not sure it's doable at all though. Ok, right now I'm leaning towards Swashbuckler, I want the items though I'm going to need to be able to make creatures help me. This'll be a challenge!</STRONG>



Yeah! Go for it! Non-reloaders unite!

What can we call ourselves...let's see... the Anti-Death League? The "realistic fantsy gamers?" Those suck. Any ideas?

My brief advice: get short bow proficiency, and don't be shy about stealthing around! Attack ranged as much as possible early. Also saving throws are more important than AC; a bad save can kill, getting hit just hurts. If it's a choice between AC and saves, go with the saves! (i.e. magic armor may be worse than non-magic armor with a ring of +1 protection).

Here is a longer bit I wrote up about soloing a Bard, most does NOT apply to soling a Swashbuckler (you don't got any spells) but some will still be useful, I hope.

__________________________________
Bard Solo Stuff
___________________________________
Bite the bullet. Start the game. Don’t worry about the hit point total, whatever you got. As long as you have more than 30 you are ok. Take a deep breath. OK no more reloads, no deaths. Go.

As soon as you send away the three NPCs at the very start, cast find familier. Put it in your backpack to stay there forever. Next sleep to get your spells charged. Next, cast Ghost armor, grab a katana, and work through the prison by doing the following:
1) Making sure Ghost armor is up and running.
2) Before tricky battles Draw upon Holy Might. Then sleep.
3) Using other innates like minor drain, etc. when required.
4) Magic missles vs. mephits.
5) Short bow +Web=dead kobolds and the like. Then sleep for spell-recharging.

Rest after every major battle, remembering to cast ghost armor when you wake. Hoard oil of speed potions. Keep every unknown scroll spell you find until your inventory is bulging. Don’t try to scribe any until later in the promenade. I gained 2 levels working through the prison. The worst battle was the mephit portals; you have to use lots of webs and then arrow the portal mephits. Do it one at a time using careful line-of-sight tactics. Beware of radiant mephits, they are the ones that can make you fall asleep, thus die.

If you go slowly and carefully, the prison is OK. Get to the promenade, go to slums, visit the GB guy, get through the boring dream scripts and all that. Then drink three potions of master thievery and steal from everyone is sight, then resell to the thieves’ guild. After you get all the money you need for a while, like 35,000, go to Ribalds, pickpocket his ring, and buy the girdle of hill giant strenth and the bracers AC3. I also bought that “hair” armor that protects against confusion. I’ll wear it vs. umber hulks. Buy Dzerth blade. You have to pickpocket/steal a lot for this nice gear, but hey Bards can do that, it’s “legit.” Just take care not to try and steal from the copper coronet. Put Dzerth off-hand. There it will stay for many moons.

Go to your nearest temple and buy 5 potions of genius. Drink until you have 25 int. Scribe. Go buy spells. Scribe. Buy more. Scribe. Steal arrows of dispelling, sell them, scribe more spells. Run about buying/scribing all the spells you can find. You will go up another level at some point, level 11. Lots of running around. It’s worth it though.

After scribing absolutely everything you can find, take a break. Re-set your spells. Get knock twice, haste, invisiblity. Then run to bridge district, go to inn. Stand by wall until a door appears. Cast haste, knock, open the door, then invisiblity. Run in, knock open chest, grab DayStar, RUN all the way back to the slums.

Ok you have Daystar main hand, Dzerth off. Your THATCO still sucks though unless you use Draw upon HM so use it before serious melee.

After this I did the easy Beastmaster quest at the back of the copper coronet, got the Tugian bow. Gained a level at some point, Then I did the more advanced slaver quest, plus the Lilcator thing. Be VERY careful in the sewers of those stupid kobolds. Use Web to slow them down, or scout them invisibly then web/fireball them dead. Draw the slavers into the sewers, separate them, and attack them one by one. Since they don’t cast spells, they should be fairly easy. The one cleric seems to only cast defensive spells.

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Postby smokealotabud » Mon Jul 23, 2001 3:39 pm

i am another no reloader/no dying type of person, i think soloing is the way to go, but i did it with a true class fighter, started in bg1, i could have dual classed to anythign becuz of my stats, but i chose not to, i think i rolled a 98 in all, anyways, i went through bg1, ToTSc, bg2, without dying but i did die like twice in ToB, i cant remember where, i beleive one was near the end of the game, and another was in watchers keep, anyways, i dunno what they were thinking that having a party makes it harder, it is way easier, having a couple tanks and then having spell casters back them up, u did that all by urself, so i personally think that soloing is the way to go and is alot harder than with a party
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Postby Bodhidharma » Mon Jul 23, 2001 6:15 pm

I tried playing a multi-class fighter/mage/cleric solo. Wanted it to be a no-reloads/death game, but at one point in the game, i opened a door and was killed instantly. So i decided to reload and keep playing because i wanted to see how powerful the character could become (since i removed xp cap).

At the time he got killed i think he was around level 10/10/10 which is pretty high for a multi-class. I think fighter/mage/clerics hit the SoA exp cap at around 11/12/12. My multi-class guy is now at 11/12/12 with a total of 2990000 exp. Since his first death, i've died a few times. So i gave up on the idea of no reloads and deaths, realizing that it is impossible to go through the game with no-deaths and reloads, unless you have EVERY square inch of the game MEMORIZED. Because he opened several doors and chests which killed him instantly. And theres no way that you can avoid that unless you have every chest and door memorized.

My rating of a fighter/mage/cleric for solo game so far is actually great in the first part of the game, difficult in mid-game. Irenicus dungeon was easy as cake. I did all the easy quests with no trouble. However, one of my goals for the game was not to use the 'cheese' exploit of stealing and reselling items to a fence to make tons of gold. Well, there was a point when i was kinda stuck. I couldn't really do several quests because my guy was too weak, combined with my limited knowledge of the game and ways to 'cheese' my way through nasty fights. So i gave in, and I 'hired' yoshimo to steal and resell enough stuff so i could have some serious spending gold. I used the gold to buy a good weapon from Joluv (as there are NO good cleric weapons that are easy to get early in the game other than buy one of joluv's maces/flails). I also bought the shield of balduran, in preparation for beholders (i had no idea how cheesy the shield of balduran is, now I know). And I also used the money to recharge my wand of summoning and wand of cloudkill. I must admit, without the wand of summoning, i would have died several more times. But somehow, everything that has kept me alive to this point seems pretty cheesy.

So I am wondering if it is even possible to solo a game without being cheesy. There were several fights I would have died if not for me summoning up a storm of creatures with my summon wand. Theres no way I would have survived some of the fights if i had not used all that cheesy stolen gold to buy some nice equipment early in the game.

Problem now is that the fights are getting tougher, but my guy isn't really any tougher than he was half-a-million experience ago. It usually takes about 300,000 xp for him just to gain one level in ONE level in one or two of his classes. Luckily, he just recently aquired summon arial servant, summon lesser elementals, and aquired the staff of air, and recently learned summon earth elemental. Also got him the boots of speed from the astral prison, so hes much faster now and can summon up some decent creatures to fight.

At this point, i've come across so many places i would have never gotten past, i have decided to allow myself to use NPC's if necessary to get past a certain area or do a certain task. So when I came across some buildings with literally dozens of locked chests, instead of having to go find a place to rest, and re-memorize 4 knock spells for every few chests, i just went and hired yoshimo, and he opened all the chests in one trip. When I had to battle an Iron golem and 3 stone golems to finish one of the quests, i just went and 'hired' Korgan to tank while i cast spells. Theres no way i would have been able to get past certain areas, steal and sell for gold, and open many trapped chests without occassionally using NPC's.

All in all i'd have to say fighter/mage/cleric isn't sufficient for a pure solo game. Perhaps figher/mage/theif would be better. But 3 classes is probably too many and takes too long to get powerful. I'd have been better off soloing a dual-classed character probably, or a pure class, as by now they'd already be level 20 or so.

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Postby ajpc » Thu Jul 26, 2001 11:42 am

:rolleyes:

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Postby Xyx » Thu Jul 26, 2001 2:29 pm

Originally posted by Bodhidharma:
<STRONG>it is impossible to go through the game with no-deaths and reloads, unless you have EVERY square inch of the game MEMORIZED.</STRONG>


Actually, Two demonstrated the opposite by soloing ToB without any advance info whatsoever.

Originally posted by Bodhidharma:
<STRONG>I am wondering if it is even possible to solo a game without being cheesy.</STRONG>


Is using stuff the way it was meant and made to be used cheesy?

Originally posted by Bodhidharma:
<STRONG>3 classes is probably too many and takes too long to get powerful.</STRONG>


All too true. The absolute horror is that you do not even get high level Mage stuff (no level 9 spells...).
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Postby Random » Thu Jul 26, 2001 2:34 pm

It is quite possible to go through solo without cheesing it. I went through with a fighter through irenicus dungeon and then dualed to a mage when i got outside. Using scrolls and quests I got my fighter skills back and then it was like playing a bard until level 9/14, when I got a leve l7 spell. When the mage reached level 20 (pretty easy when ur soloing) few opponents could last more than 5 rounds with me. Chain Contigency with my protections (mirror image, protection from magical weapons, shadow door) , Time Stop (optional), Improved Alracity, SPell Trigger(lower resist x3), Spell Sequencer (x3 Skull trap), abidalzims, then skull trap again, then magic missle and various damage spells until they fall dead. Melissan went down in 5 rounds, no cheese. Only Demogorgon defeated me with Spell Immunity: Abjuration so I couldn't lower his resist. Only a few times in the game I used mordenkainen's sword (Draconis, Sendai and her statues). It is possible to get through the game without cheesing it. I also don't like resting as it is easy for opponents to kill you in your sleep (and like they would wait for you to take a nap). I memorized wish twice as soon as I got it so I could "rest". With high wisdom 1 of 2 times I got the rest option. In my opinion the game is much harder with a full party because you have 1/6th the experience of a solo character. I don't think it is right to call ToB easy if you only soloed the game, although I don't think it is really that hard, just that several spots can be quite difficult if you play it the way it was meant to be played. I really enjoyed it personally. If you want a major challenge, try Soldier of Fortune on challenging mode. 2 saves per massive level. 1-2 shots= death. The Gold Patch for improved AI. That took a long time for me (2 months , I wasn't playing it non-stop, though).

[ 07-26-2001: Message edited by: Random ]

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Postby two » Sun Jul 29, 2001 12:27 pm

Originally posted by Random:
<STRONG>
...In my opinion the game is much harder with a full party because you have 1/6th the experience of a solo character. I don't think it is right to call ToB easy if you only soloed the game, although I don't think it is really that hard, just that several spots can be quite difficult if you play it the way it was meant to be played...</STRONG>


I hear this every once in a while and it still puzzles the heck out of me. Soloing is EASIER than a full party? What world are you living in? The bard maxes out at level 23 in SOA even with 5 party members along, after that (usually well before TOB) he gets his special ablilities one per level. A level 30 bard (7 specials) is pretty much the same as a level 40 bard, give or take a few traps. Take a level 25-30 bard, throw in a level 20 fighter, a level 18 sorcerer, a level 23 monk, mix, etc. and it's ugly. And that's their levels (rougly) at the START of TOB. And this is somehow more difficult than a solo bard? Nuts.

I've played with parties, small medium and big and the bigger they are, the less hard they fall. A party of 6 characters has so many more options than a single Bard it is not funny. Sure you will get more deaths from random nastiness, but hey -- if you ain't soloing, you can ressurect. This ALONE makes ANY party better than a solo.

There is also the extremely funny idea of running a party of 6 bards. They will all level up very rapidly, bard songs stack, etc. I suspect they would end TOB at about level 35 or so -- all SIX of them. Of course, this is absurd and would make the game absurdly easy. Oh yeah, except that a solo bard is easier. I forgot.

Oh -- and I would have played "the way it was meant to be played" except that the telepathy implant they sent along with SOA/TOB short-circuited; I was thus not able to discern the game developers intent regarding various battles. So I had to like, just go it alone.

Sheesh. Somebody hand me a fluffer-nutter.

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Postby two » Sun Jul 29, 2001 12:40 pm

whoa nelly. Sorry.
That sounds way crabby.
I guess the "old man before his morning prunes" syndrome got me. I ain't usually so testy!

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Postby Xyx » Sun Jul 29, 2001 3:03 pm

Originally posted by two:
<STRONG>There is also the extremely funny idea of running a party of 6 bards. They will all level up very rapidly, bard songs stack, etc.</STRONG>


This definitely sounds worth trying. :D Mix in all the kits for fun. Five guys/girls sing (with -30 AC), the Blade fights with -20 AC, +20 THAC0, +20 damage...

But, of course, soloing would be easier.
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Postby average joe » Sun Jul 29, 2001 3:15 pm

kind of funny that a group of travelling ministrels, more at home entertaining the average joe adventurer type at some inn to earn their meals and beds for the night, could take on the baddest that faerun could throw at them. those would be some interesting/hilarious fights to watch from the shadows.
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Postby Random » Sun Jul 29, 2001 11:46 pm

I see your point. It IS much harder once you got to ToB for a solo char, since all of the chars would have special abilities, etc.. In the beggining you will be walking around with low level bards until the middle of hte game. Much rather have a level 25 bard in Spellhold than 6 level 15 bards. But I would much rather have 6 level 25 bards then a level 40 bard. At least for half of the game it is easier soloing. And as for "playing the game is was meant to be played", that's not quite what I meant. I meant "playing the game it was designed to be played." If you notice, in SoA there are many people who refer to your group. It wouldn't have taken much for them to add in some dialog refering to you alone if you didn't have a group, but they didn't (probably didn't even think about it). I did notice that in ToB they simply refer to you as Bhaalspawn and I can't recall anyone mentioning your party. Also the designers most likely expected most players to use all 6 character slots, so why make monsters (for the middle part of the game at the very least) to fight one high level character rather than 6 low-mid level characters. I'm sure they would rather please "most players" than the odd man who likes to solo it. Anyways right now I just started soloing with a cleric/mage and I find it quite amusing to spend 5 minutes in a duel with a troll. Horror (innate) is a must for low level solo non-fighter with crappy weapons and out of spells.

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Postby KillerKid » Mon Jul 30, 2001 12:24 am

I have been reading most of yur posts on this thread damn there are alot but i think that two is probley playing on the easiest dificulty. You do know you can change it in the middle of a game. Because a solo player even with all that gay stuff cant be on a hard dif or hes just lieing. because i myself have a good berserker with -14 ac and thats pretty good or at least decent and still pretty much any good monster hits me once in a while. Now i easily moped the floor of the drow and all normal monsters. but like in the area with those gire giants they all hurt. i dont believe half the stuff two says or he is just on easy dif because with a party of 6 all with great stuff getting hurt alot i dout he can solo all that on hard
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Postby Random » Mon Jul 30, 2001 1:19 am

Its because he used cheap strategy, casting blur 5x (or whatever, u said nobody could hit you) in a row. No offense two, but that is cheap. Damn I might as well cast armor of faith 5 times in a row and walk around nude. If you don't know Armor of Faith level 20 cast 5 times = immunity to physical damage. I doubt the designers wanted that. Sure its only one thing, but damn does it make a difference. Still, two is a pretty good player and pretty good players can do suprising things that seem impossible at first glance.

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Postby Kekkonen » Mon Jul 30, 2001 3:29 am

Originally posted by Xyx:
[QB]
Strange that Bio didn't fix dragon AI to respond to trap setting... One of their developers said he had been working on it. [QB]


Well, the dragon in the githyanki lair did see buff-up spellcasting as a hostile act. I talked to him, sucked up to him a little bit just to squeeze information out of that evil bastard, and then had Anomen cast resist fear in order to take the dragon out. He turned red the second Anomen started waving his hands in the air.

Personally, I thought this was a major improvement. Maybe they only react to spellcasting because they know and respect the power of magic; on the other hand, some lower creature bending over and tinkering with some trappy thingy isn't worth their attention... :D
:D

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Postby two » Mon Jul 30, 2001 4:07 am

Originally posted by KillerKid:
<STRONG>I have been reading most of yur posts on this thread damn there are alot but i think that two is probley playing on the easiest dificulty. You do know you can change it in the middle of a game. Because a solo player even with all that gay stuff cant be on a hard dif or hes just lieing. because i myself have a good berserker with -14 ac and thats pretty good or at least decent and still pretty much any good monster hits me once in a while. Now i easily moped the floor of the drow and all normal monsters. but like in the area with those gire giants they all hurt. i dont believe half the stuff two says or he is just on easy dif because with a party of 6 all with great stuff getting hurt alot i dout he can solo all that on hard</STRONG>



No I played on Core. I also have experimented with insane difficulty (see my thread on soloing a beastmaster on insane difficulty) and it is slower, harder, but does not fundamentally change the game.

-14ac is pretty good. But the Bard can get AC-19 before he casts any spells (blur, etc.) when using a shield. And of course he has stoneskin. That's why I can stand in the middle of 5 fire giants and yawn. If they hit me eventually I just cast another stoneskin, you can do it right in the middle of combat.

If you install the patch that fixes blur stacking, it also fixes invisibility NOT giving you a -4ac bonus. Invis+GreaterEvasion+one blr can get any Bard to -25AC no problem.

One big reason my Bard did OK was I always used spells before combat, i.e. blur, stoneskin, improved haste, globe of invulnerbility. So when I was in the middle of 5 fire giants, I was hitting them 4 times/round with CromF due to haste, which kills them in about 2-3 rounds or so.

As I keep saying, it really is NOT that hard. See for yourself. Equip a level 30 bard with some gooddies using SK, cast appropriate spells, and go into he fire giant realm. Peice of cake.

Have fun!

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Postby Firecc » Mon Jul 30, 2001 4:09 am

Solo vs. group
I would guess (since I havn't solo'd) that soloing is the most difficult - to an extent. Defeating monsters and like is not too hard with a group but defeating monsters and not have your team mates blown to pieces is another thing.

That is what I think is the most difficult thing with playing with a group. Once in a while there is a "lucky strike" or a backstab that makes Minsc, or other non-mage NPC, look like mashed potatoes. Ah, and not to forget - imprisonment.


"Not challenging enough"
Another thing, being specifically prepared for just *that* encounter will make it soooo much easier. Try to play it as the first time, what the character knows it knows and nothing else. I don't mean you should walk in unprepared but since most (all?) players have played the game a least once certain things stuck in mind. Par example, it is not like it's a note on the door in Bridge D. saying: "Twisted Rune - very dangerous. Mage and monsters. Do not enter. Oh - and do not wear a rouge stone." How many survived that the first time and thought "No sweat!"?

Do not rest all the time. This "over-resting" is equal to reloading in my eyes. I doubt too many adventurers would sleep in a cavern full of beholders just because they run out of spells. (go out and sleep in a tavern).

In ToB I tries to defeat Draconis after Sendaii (no rest) since the urge in the story. I couldn't do it. But there was a true challenge in it and after resting the victory wasn't that sweet since it was cheese (IMPOW). I knew his weakness and stengths and could prepare just for him.


I wonder if anyone could play "no deaths, no reloads" with that premise? I, for one, would die very fast.
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Postby Xyx » Mon Jul 30, 2001 6:54 am

Originally posted by Firecc:
<STRONG>Do not rest all the time. This "over-resting" is equal to reloading in my eyes. I doubt too many adventurers would sleep in a cavern full of beholders just because they run out of spells. (go out and sleep in a tavern</STRONG>


I vividly remember several occasions in BG1 when I was desperate for a good night's sleep. Couldn't get any; I kept being attacked by hordes of monsters.

What happened to that in BG2? Apparently, those caverns aren't that full of Beholders... As with every easy to solve issue, the developers must have had specific thoughts about where you could or could not rest. If I was an adventurer out on some life-threatening adventure, I'd rest whenever I thought it would increase my chances of survival. In BG2, that means resting most of the time...
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Postby THE JAKER » Mon Jul 30, 2001 2:55 pm

On the subject of resting: BG vs. SOA

I think that the developers just wimped out and made it easy to rest in SOA. Probably too many people were whining about those attacks in the middle of the night in BG!

Personally, I thought it was cool that you couldn't just camp out anywhere you wanted. I remember that while doing the Cloakwood mines, I really needed to rest to get back some healing spells + chants etc. My party was frazzled! Anyway, I picked a nice quiet room in the mines, closed the door, and tried to camp. Something like 15 guards appeared and attacked! I thought that that was a really cool, realistic reaction of the game to me trying to rest in a enemy dungeon that I had not cleared yet.

Sadly, this does not happen in SOA, even though the means obviously exist. Xyx, could you by any chance implement it? I really do love the smart beholders!

Oh wait! I forgot...Smarter enemy Magic Users first!

[ 07-30-2001: Message edited by: THE JAKER ]
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