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Best ranged weapons

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale 2' started by Cecily Griselda, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. Keneth Gems: 27/31
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    I can't even think how a throwing greataxe would work. That's gotta be one of the stupidest things, right after orc double axes. :lol:

    But yeah, if you can afford the ridiculous amount of feats and ability points required to make that work, it should be fairly decent.
     
  2. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    I never meant to imply that Sorcerers and Wizards should be primarily ranged attackers. Just that they should be ranged attackers instead of melee fighters when you are trying to conserve your spells.
    Casting buffing spells that don't buff the entire party on the sorcerer/wizard to allow them to be good with either ranged or melee weapons defeats the purpose of my statement about using missile weapons when conserving spells. Also for the dumb ones, so does casting spells that DO buff the party just to help the mage when the rest of the party doesn't need them at the moment.
     
  3. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored

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    I strongly disagree with the advice given about bards. I had a drow bard 6-20-16-14-4-20. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will quickly summarize why you shouldn't use ranged or melee with bards:

    1) Not enough feats. In order to be optimal spellcasters, they need a great deal of feats. This is the greatest reason they should specialize towards casting. And fighting without feats is not worth it. I didn't even get Rapid Shot for my bard, while it's one of the earlier feats for my other characters.
    2) Charisma improves casting but not fighting skill.
    3) Lingering feat is easy to combine with spellcasting (especially with AutoPause: Spell Cast), but attacking is a micromanagement nightmare.
    4) Stat allowance doesn't allow for optimal attacking. I could have used a bow (no STR bonus), but that wasn't worth it due to the above reasons.

    In short, paradoxical as it may seem, I ended up using my bard as primary spellcaster, and never resorted to fighting with her. In contrast, my druid, sorcerer, clerics and wizard all fought regularly with melee and ranged.
     
  4. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi ★ SPS Account Holder Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I don't see what the problem is.

    1) You do get enough feats. That's because being a good spellcaster as a bard requires a grand total of zero feats at the start. This is due to how the Bard spellcasting system works in IWD2, they can afford to go quality over quantity early on. So I just work on getting Greataxe specialization/Lingering Song, whichever I need more, and then Power Attack and Rapid Shot(optional). I usually work on improving the DC of offensive spells I use very late in the game.
    If you HAVE to rely on your bard as a main caster, for whatever reason, then you can simply reverse the order you take your feats. The implication there is that you already have a solid fighter base, so you should be fine in the meantime.
    2) So it does. Why is this an issue? How is it an issue if the bard is mostly focusing on summoning/buffing/illusion magic? And it's not like you'll be taking Scions of Storms/Spirit of Flame or anything, you'll be taking a few spell DC-increasing feats but that's it.
    3) Not really. Just use Lingering Song and do whatever. Pay attention to the buff icon and re-linger when it goes away.
    4) Again, why is this an issue? Is this an issue for all the clerics stacking wisdom to reach decoy AC or paladin/sorcerers? And we're talking about bards here. They get dozens of defensive illusion magic. So we're looking at a reach/ranged character with dozens of defensive options, songs/buffs (Bull'/Cat's) that give him/her good AB for early game, great buffs by mid game and a wall of powerful summons(they scale with levels)/Wail of the Banshee by late game.
    The only stat requirement here is that you need 14+ strength and charisma (for the feats you really need + decent to good/great attack damage and spell DC).

    The setup for a good melee/ranged fighting class is all there. I don't know about optimal, but it works great for me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
  5. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored

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    I'm not saying my playstyle is better or anything. I just felt that re-activating Lingering Song every 2 rounds is a lot of hassle (I have all spellcasters, I'm usually too proccupied to keep an eye on the song buff), and feels disingenuous. I liked how AutoPause allowed me to cast a spell, then return to singing.

    For feats, I like to develop 3 of the 4 Greater Spell Focuses. And other casting feats that a decoy can make good use of: Armoured Arcana 1, Expertise, Dash, Discipline, Combat Casting, Subvocal Casting and Blind Fight.
    Rapid Shot may seem more useful than some of those feats, but I reiterate that I NEVER attacked with the character. I originally tried a human bard with higher STR and lower INT, but I reinvented her to fit my gameplay style.

    Attacking was just so useless with her: No cleave, no specialization, power attack/expertise dilemma, armour/spellcasting dilemma, decoy with bow taking damage due to enemy targeting bonus, middling STR and songs expiring constantly whenever I got distracted in battle. I just felt that things would go better if she just focused on her best abilities: Singing and casting. That is what I did after that, and the Drow version has been a winner ever since.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  6. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi ★ SPS Account Holder Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Why Subvocal Casting and Blind Fight, though?
     
  7. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored

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    Blind Fight is defensive, a late choice. It prevents losing DEX bonus when being Sneak Attacked. She has 20DEX after all. Makes her a better decoy.

    Subvocal Casting is for keeping the songs and casting protected from Silence. She's completely disabled from Silence, and her Will save isn't super high.
     
  8. Cecily Griselda Gems: 3/31
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    I played with drow bard archer/caster and human bard fighter. They're great addition to party. I haven't play without a bard, so I can't compare, but I breezed through chapter 1 with party I mentioned in another topic.
     
  9. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    Rapid shot turns a lowly Sling into a much better weapon than a Greataxe, provided you have the STR for it. You just can't argue against +1 attack and sight range, at least not during Normal mode. And besides, as far as stats go, arcane casters only ever need INT or CHA and no WIS, whereas divine casters only need WIS. So whichever way you go, you have two mental dump stats, making maxed STR & DEX a reality for everyone. Diplomats are an exception, but you'll only ever need one of those.

    A caster most certainly isn't 'wasting' rounds by using ranged attacks, as long as you make sure to boost your party with buff spells (and if you aren't.. why not?). Of course it's hard to argue against cathing an entire screen full of monsters into one Fireball, but there are only precious few places in the entirety of the game where that's the most EFFICIENT way of doing things. As far as single target spells go, there's no competition: ranged attacks win six days of seven in any given week - the seventh being Finger of Death on a HOF monster.

    Edit: It also bears mentioning that casting spells and using ranged attacks are not exclusive actions. You can actually do both in IWD2 - you'll only lose a partial round of ranged attacks for casting a spell.
     
    coineineagh likes this.
  10. claudius Gems: 3/31
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    My comment would be that there are some cheap long lasting buffs that if you have a lot of casters you can buff everyone up to be ok ranged. Not awesome but steady damage and then use specific spells intermits casting. And then long duration single target buffs are good bang for buck. So cat's grace and bull's strength are worth 1 hour/ caster level so if you have a character that already has a good dexterity buff them further with cat's which also helps their AC if they do get attacked. I'm only at Ice Temple but off top of my head what my party uses: bless (recast when runs out), emotion: hope (+2 hit/damage! 50 rounds can recast), 1st level bardsong with lingering on my Bard 1/Druid 7 conversationalist.

    One thing I think is different from pen and paper and is relevant to this conversation. If my party advances and sees an enemy they all have long range weapons equipped... bard song is flickered... all fire at one target for probably some significant damage. Ok now if a dangerous enemy like a mage or shaman shows if this were pen and paper my casters would have to wait till next round to cast their spell. But not in this game. Sorcerer wants to throw a chromatic orb or a ice lance at the shown mage? Yes they will start casting right away and not wait until next round and their spell goes off according to casting time (1 chromatic orb 3 ice lance).

    So basically because you can min/max and buff whole party and individuals with buffs that help their archery it comes out pretty useful. When a caster uses ranged they still can cast their spells in the same round. I can't comment on what happens at higher levels as it's not on my mind though I have made full and near full playthroughs..
     
  11. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    This is precisely why I say that when your spellcasters aren't casting spells, they should be using ranged attacks. It costs you nothing, or virtually nothing. Especially if you use the Ease-of-Use, err, I mean G3 tweaks to increase the number of arrows you can carry or give you ammo belts.
    You pick up plenty of unenchanted arrows and bolts (but especially arrows) so as to never need to buy them, especially with the "target arrow".
    If your spellcaster can use a bow of any kind, it costs you nothing to take pot shots as you get more arrows than you can ever use. As long as not too many other party members are using them as well, the same can be said for using a crossbow.
    Once you get the returning frost dart, the same can be said of darts, although they have a shorter range.
    If they can throw axes, haft-over-hand can be acquired early on, although it's short range makes it less desirable and giving it to somebody who can go on the front might be a better choice.
    So, cast a spell, and as soon as it is cast, have them go back to shooting their weapon.
    Don't waste those expensive enchanted munitions on cannon fodder (unless they are of the returning variety), the bonus to hit and damage isn't worth it. Just take pot shots with normal missiles. Save the enchanted projectiles for the really tough bosses and battles that need them. Especially horde the +2 or better projectiles for foes that can only be hit by +2 or better weapons.
    On the other hand, if a mook can only be hit by +1 weapons, by all means, equip a +1 arrow and shoot him dead.
    Masterwork projectiles are best used on bosses that don't need special bonuses but are tough, so that extra to-hit might come in handy.

    This advice applies for all the infinity engine games, as the "arrow overload" happens in all of them, although PST takes a while.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
    claudius likes this.

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