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Thoughts on conserving enchanted missiles

Discussion in 'BG2: Shadows of Amn (Classic)' started by SlickRCBD, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    This is partially in reply to DMC and Henkie in this thread, but anybody is free to comment on my thoughts on conservation of scarce and expensive enchanted arrows, bolts, darts, and bullets.

    I don't bother to conserve normal, unenchanted missiles at all. With the ease-of-use/G3 Tweaks arrow stacking mod, I manage to collect a virtually infinite amount of normal arrows such that once I installed that mod (and I technically had it from the very beginning since I was aware of it after installing the BG1 counterpart) I've never run out of normal arrows and never had to buy any.

    Crossbow bolts, while not as plentiful, are still plentiful enough that I never have to buy normal quarrels as long as I don't have more than 2 crossbowmen in the party. Given the number of arrows and good bows, I feel pressured to go with bowmen when possible, but take one crossbowman just to use the bolts I find.

    Slings, darts, and daggers on the other hand aren't as plentiful.
    It is not unusual to have 4 slingers in the party due to weapon restrictions, causing me to have to buy bullets from time to time. Not as often as darts or daggers however. However, at 1gp for 100 bullets (or 40 without ease-of-use/G3 tweaks) they are dirt cheap and I like to make a habit of buying one set of 100 from each merchant that sells them the first time I meet them. That usually has me set for the entire game. No need to conserve bullets.

    Darts are relatively rare, with few enchanted darts available and with the high rate of fire of up to 3 per round, the few you pick up are used quickly, so if I take that proficiency I have to buy them. Again, while darts being sold isn't as common as bullets, at 100 for 1gp (or 40), they are dirt cheap. I stock up when available and don't worry about conserving normal darts. Once I get the crimson dart, I stop buying normal ones and let them run out. Another strike against darts is that you can only buy regular darts and darts+1, and only by braving Watcher's Keep early can you get something better than a +1 dart. Worse, it's probably a mage who will be using them, which has the lowest THAC0. They need the THAC0 bonus from an enchanted launcher very badly along with enchanted missiles from the "X of plenty" items. For this reason, I tend to favor slings over darts.

    Finally with throwing daggers, unlike in BG1 when you can farm the area around the High Hedge, the drops for throwing daggers aren't that plentiful and I find them relatively expensive to use since you have to purchase much lower quantities, and IIRC most stores have limited supplies unlike the above basic missiles. It's not as economical until you get the returning daggers. This is the only one I'll conserve missiles on.
    A mage might be forced to use this if you don't take darts of slings. I try to make a point of doing so. It's not as big an issue for a kensai, the choice is throwing axes or daggers, but most of the time a kensai will be in melee as your glass cannon. I've done just fine taking proficiencies in both axes and daggers and using the throwing axes and daggers I picked up in Irenicus' dungeon and along the way until I could get Azuredge or that other returning axe from the sewers.

    Of course, once you get the items of plenty I'll happily use them to shoot enchanted missiles. Ditto for Gensen Bow, Tasheron's Bow, Firetooth, Crimson Dart, and Everard's Sling. Although since I have 6 party members and a limited number of Quivers/Cases/Bags of plenty, I'll give the "of plenty" to whoever has the highest (worst) THAC0 that uses that type of missile and let the person with the lower (better) THAC0 continue to use the normal missiles.

    It is the expensive magical missiles that I conserve. I'll try to use the missile with the lowest enchantment necessary to damage the target. That isn't to say I'll hold back the +1 arrows/darts/bolts/bullets when a mage has protection from normal missiles up and running, but anything that can be hit by a normal arrow, I'll use normal arrows on.
    Also some of the really tough fights I'll use the more expensive missiles on, but I try to hold onto them and ONLY use them in really dangerous fights. Arrows and bolts of biting for instance are wonderful for disrupting spellcasters of both divine and arcane natures. Arrows of detonation are like fireballs spells that aren't inhibited by globes of invulnerability, with obvious usage for disrupting closely packed spellcasters. Acid arrows and fire arrows get used to kill trolls, although often I'll pelt them with normal arrows and then use the fire/acid arrow to administer the coup de grace.
    Lightning bolts I rarely wind up using until one of the "final battles" or one I'm having trouble winning since nothing is especially vulnerable to lightning. They don't do much in elemental weakness in the Baldur's Gate games, and it seems only the fire and ice weaknesses in Icewind Dale.
     
  2. Keneth Gems: 27/31
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    I collect everything, then end up using virtually nothing. Even on higher difficulties, computer games spoil the player quite a bit.
     
  3. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    What he said. I always wind up with so many unused items, like potions, scrolls and ammo, that I wonder why I bother.
     
  4. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    In BG1 / Tutu I might pay attention to what I'm shooting with, as ranged weapons are actually useful there. Arrow of biting are plentiful as well, and supremely useful against spellcasters. And unlike BG2, arrows of boom are actually fairly easy to find. In BG2 arrows of boom and dispelling are rare enough that if I don't go out to look for / buy them, I'm likely never to have them.

    In BG2 I don't really pay attention to what consumables I use, as the main damage comes from the melee people anyway. For the ranged people (single class thiefs/clerics/druids/mages) I will normally only change ammo if their ammo is currently ineffective. I the party is in an area with trolls I might change ammo just to finish them off, or if I have lots of fire/acid arrows, I will just leave them on for the whole area.

    I'm such a hoarder that I usually end up with such a stockpile that conserving ammo at that point is really pretty moot. Although I should probably use certain types more often. Like the stunning darts, which are actually pretty convenient. It might not stun very often, but with three tries per round, it's bound to pay off at some point.

    If I have a party member that uses one of the more inconvenient ranged types, like axes or daggers (not that I really ever use throwing daggers), I will try to get a returning one as soon as I can.
     
  5. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    I admit, I too tend to be a hoarder and wind up like that. Then I unload at the final battle, but still have tons of reserves.
    Still, if I don't make some effort to economize, I wind up running out of the things I need in those rare times when I need them.

    I just don't need to conserve normal arrows at all, so I make a point to use them whenever possible.

    I might have a different view if I didn't use the ease-of-use patch from within the first month of owning Baldur's Gate I over a decade ago and could only keep a few arrows around at a time, but then I'd REALLY need to conserve ammo as opposed to using the normal arrows all the time.
     
  6. Yoshimo's Heart Gems: 12/31
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    I have been a hoarder but after realizing that I never seem to run out of special arrows (especially since I tend to get the special bows or ammo for unlimited ammo fairly early) I now just use them all the time until I get my special ammo or bows.
     

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