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Old Mon, 9th Apr '12, 3:25pm   #101
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Originally Posted by Ruben View Post

Valygar. ** in Katana, Club, Short Sword and Warhammers. * in Long Sword and Long Bow (thanks Sikret..) wields Cortala Family True Blade +5 and Crom Faeyr
Riskbreaker. ***** Flails **** Short Sword ** Bastard Sword (for Foebane) wields FoA +4 and Belm
Kensai ***** 2H swords **** Halberd ** Quarterstaff. Warblade +5 (upgraded with +10% physical resistance), Staff of Rynn +4, Wave halberd.


HLAs: the fighters have 3-4 hardiness and 4-5 Critical strikes. Valygar also has 1x Contact with nature.
Cernd has: 4 Natural restorations (Instant cast, ranged, single target heal). Sadly seems to be capped at 4. 2 Fist of Nature (Short cast-time, ranged, single target damage (crushing) spell, does 3x damage versus Rakashas. Also has Animal Summoning VII, which gates (can't be death-spelled) a Smildion - a large cat and a potent fighter. He also has several quest-level spells; storm of vengeance, energy blades and greater elemental summoning.
Necro and Sorc has nearly all Quest-level spells HLAs and Alchemy.

Sorc spell picks:
Lvl 1: LMD, MM, Chromatic Orb, Shield
Lvl 2: MI, Blur, M's Acid Arrow, Resist Fear
Lvl 3: Remove Magic, Haste, Vampiric Touch, Lightning Bolt
Lvl 4: Stoneskin, Emotion, Ice Storm, Ray of Fragmentation
Lvl 5: Sunfire, Spell Immunity, Lower Resistance, Breach
Lvl 6: Improved Haste, Giant Strength, GOI, PfMW
Lvl 7: Mass Invisibility, RRR, Spell Sequencer, Mordy Sword,
Lvl 8: Monster Summoning VI, ProEnergy, Spell Trigger, Foreknowledge
Lvl 9: Wish, Chain Contingency, Recast Vital Energy and nearly all mage HLA spells

Thoughts on my party:
Regrets: having Cernd, and to some extent Valygar. Reasons: in a party with 2 singleclass mages Cernds arcane spells (Mirror Image, Chain Lightning, Ruby Ray of Reversal) are really not needed. Immunity to silence is of course valuable, but its actual usefulness is limited since the Necro gets immunity as well, and he is without doubt the main actor in all fights involving silence (liches and dragons).Instead I would rather have a dualclass Ranger(7)->Cleric, whom could contribute somewhat to melee dps and has Greater Restoration.
Valygar is good enough, but suffers from not being able to get grandmastery in his weapons, in hindsight I would rather have had another Riskbreaker, since they are ridiculously powerful.

Thought I've been entertaining: dropping the Sorceress for Sarevok when I get to playing ToB. The Necro should be powerful enough to handle the arcane requirements on his own, even more so with some help from Cernd, and having another strong melee would help immensely.

A question about the "Squirreled away" quest: after cleaning out their base in the bridge district the nobleman (can't remember his name) says that they will likely attack you sometime in the future. When does this happen? Will I still see this fight even though I've finished the SoA portion of the game?
Valygar's actually useful on Core difficulty, when his katana can effectively keep him in good health. On Insane, his physical resistance is just too low, even with Armor of Faith and the Green Leaf armor (although of course his own improved armor is a must in many situations so the green leaf is out of question in many fights). In addition, many fights require that he switches to a good crushing weapon main-hand, which drastically decreases his healing rate in combat. All in all - he's a front-liner who's very weak - at least if you intend to play the game on insane difficulty.

If your riskbreaker has grandmastery in any given weapon class, then you should equip something else in his off-hand. A +4 weapon of some sort, or at least a +3 one. Even the Short sword of backstabbing is a better off-hand weapon than Belm in many fights, since many enemies are immune to +2 or lower weapons, and things are like that: With Belm and Improved Haste, your riskbreaker has 10 APR, from which 8 are with FoA and 2 with Belm (ineffective vs enemies under Mantle). With FoA main and a +3 weapon off - the Riskbreaker has 9 APR, all of which can harm enemies under permanent Mantle effect. I suggest you have collected at least a few other +3 or +4 weapons which the Riskbreaker can wield off-hand. Of course it would be best to equip an off-hand weapon in which the Riskbreaker has grandmastery, but I don't recall there being any other good flails in SoA except the Defender of Easthaven, and I suppose you didn't get it yet. You should wait until Gromnir drops his Ice star morningstar.

Sorceress spell picks - You should've chosen the Animal Summoning VII way sooner. Recast Vital Energy, while somewhat useful for a sorcerer, isn't nearly as useful as that powerful summoning spell. This should be picked even before Chain Contingency.

Indeed you have too few fighters. A Cleric-Ranger can most of the time fill in two spots - that of a decent frontline fighter in many occasions, and that of a very good healer (better than Cernd) in other. Cernd is good because he combines arcane spells with healing spells + immunity to silence, but as you stated - you don't need him when you have a Necromancer PC.

Unfortunately, things have gone too far. You should stick with this party, like it or not. They've attained too much experience for you to drop any of them. The xp and levels matter a lot in the long run. You can't afford to switch a 25th lvl sorcerer for an 18th lvl fighter. Besides, Sarevok has bad weapon proficiencies. You certainly don't need another two-handed weapon user but rather a frontliner.

About the 'squirreled away' subquest - it refers to the unfinished Twisted Rune in ToB encounter. It is rumored to be completed in IAv7.
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Old Mon, 9th Apr '12, 6:32pm   #102
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Valygar's actually useful on core difficulty, when his katana can effectively keep him in good health. On Insane, his physical resistance is just too low, even with Armor of Faith and the Green Leaf armor (although of course his own improved armor is a must in many situations so the green leaf is out of question in many fights). In addition, many fights require that he switches to a good crushing weapon main-hand, which drastically decreases his healing rate in combat. All in all - he's a front-liner who's very weak - at least if you intend to play the game on insane difficulty
Aye, he is decent, but there are other far more powerful alternatives. For the record, I play on core and consider myself in no form or shape ready to take on insane difficulty at this point. About his armor: Sadly, I haven't been able to forge it yet due to missing Aeger's Hide. I guess that one is in Watcher's Keep somewhere.


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Originally Posted by saros View Post
If your riskbreaker has grandmastery in any given weapon class, then you should equip something else in his off-hand. A +4 weapon of some sort, or at least a +3 one. Even the Short sword of backstabbing is a better off-hand weapon than Belm in many fights, since many enemies are immune to +2 or lower weapons, and things are like that: With Belm and Improved Haste, your riskbreaker has 10 APR, from which 8 are with FoA and 2 with Belm (ineffective vs enemies under Mantle). With FoA main and a +3 weapon off - the Riskbreaker has 9 APR, all of which can harm enemies under permanent Mantle effect. I suggest you have collected at least a few other +3 or +4 weapons which the Riskbreaker can wield off-hand. Of course it would be best to equip an off-hand weapon in which the Riskbreaker has grandmastery, but I don't recall there being any other good flails in SoA except the Defender of Easthaven, and I suppose you didn't get it yet. You should wait until Gromnir drops his Ice star morningstar.
Alright, thanks, I didn't know it worked like this. Is the Defender of Easthaven in SoA? If so I fear that it's lost forever. I guess I could forge a good flail for him, or wait a bit so he gets grandmastery in Short Swords and then forge and equip Cutthroat +5 on him.

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Originally Posted by saros View Post
Sorceress spell picks - You should've chosen the Animal Summoning VII way sooner. Recast Vital Energy, while somewhat useful for a sorcerer, isn't nearly as useful as that powerful summoning spell. This should be picked even before Chain Contingency.
Totally agree. I remember making a save called "MSVII or RVE" because I was so uncertain about what to choose. Went with RVE because it was new and fun (for a while), but now that my Necro has the spell my sorc (almost) never uses it and she would've been much, much better off with MSVII.

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Indeed you have too few fighters. A Cleric-Ranger can most of the time fill in two spots - that of a decent frontline fighter in many occasions, and that of a very good healer (better than Cernd) in other. Cernd is good because he combines arcane spells with healing spells + immunity to silence, but as you stated - you don't need him when you have a Necromancer PC.
Aye, I think that Cernd doesn't fit my party at all. Although having 3 casters under imp.alacrity slinging spells around is fun at times.

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Originally Posted by saros View Post
Unfortunately, things have gone too far. You should stick with this party, like it or not. They've attained too much experience for you to drop any of them. The xp and levels matter a lot in the long run. You can't afford to switch a 25th lvl sorcerer for an 18th lvl fighter. Besides, Sarevok has bad weapon proficiencies. You certainly don't need another two-handed weapon user but rather a frontliner.
I see your point. I guess I will stick with the sorceress and use her as a wishing, summoning and buffing machine that stares enviously at the Necro. But would 2x Two-handed weapon user be a problem? There are two good +4/5 weapons available for all damage types:
Kensai: Warblade +5, Adamantite Staff of Strenght +5, Poseidon halberd/Ravager
Sarevok: Gram Sword of the Grief +5, Staff of the Ram, Dragon Lord Halberd

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Originally Posted by saros View Post
About the 'squirreled away' subquest - it refers to the unfinished Twisted Rune in ToB encounter. It is rumored to be completed in IAv7.
I see. From the in-game text I got the impression that it was already implemented in this version.

Last edited by Taluntain; Mon, 9th Apr '12 at 9:38pm.
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Old Tue, 10th Apr '12, 1:24pm   #103
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You may equip even the Cutthroat +4 as an off-hand weapon for the RB, but my personal best choice is The Truth +5 longsword, because of the permanent bless and instant true sight. After all, that blade is easy to forge once you've slain the Chromatic demon. Grandmastery in longswords is good, but frankly The truth longsword is better than Kundane off-hand even if you have only two stars in longswords and five in short swords.

2-handed weapons are powerful, although my personal choices are a bit different than yours, but then again, I do have an Assassin-Fighter with grandmastery in all important polearms, so he usually prefers wielding Carsomyr or Staff of the Magi in many fights. Gram the sword of grief is just a silly +5 weapon not even worth mentioning - in addition to the fact that it comes too late in the game. You may use the Psion's blade prior to that but again - not much use of that either. The Adamantite staff of strength is inferior to the Staff of the ram, and costs too much resources to upgrade (2 permanency scrolls I think, and those are valuable). The Ravager halberd's ability is obsolete. Indeed, there are 2 powerful halberds, but usually one two-handed weapon user simply switches between those according to situation, since in many fights where one is useful, the other is almost obsolete because of enemy immunities. And there are many more 1-handed weapons which you shoud consider before worrying that there aren't two grandmasters of halberd to wield both Poseidon's wrath AND Dragon Lord. In addition, the latter comes far too late in the game.

The Defender of Easthaven can be found in the treasure pile of the demilich in WK lvl 4 (it's static in IA), but only after you defeat the demilich itself. Since that fight is after the Improved githyanki fight, my guess is you didn't do the gith yet. It's a scary fight in a no-reload, although quite doable with multiple reloading. The enemy gith inquisitors are vulnerable to lightning damage.

Aeger's hide, if you haven't found it already, is most probably in the possession of the Ancient dragon. Could be worse, after all - he could have the Robe of Vecna...

Last edited by saros; Tue, 10th Apr '12 at 1:36pm.
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Old Thu, 19th Apr '12, 2:49am   #104
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Played a bit today; did Illasera (a very easy fight imo) and cleared up to Gromnir, checked the fight out and the mage, Karun the Black, seems to be the most dangerous enemy - will try the fight tomorrow.

Good idea on the The Truth as an offhand weapon, I went with bastard sword on my RB though and Valygar doesn't have any profiencies in long swords either (and frankly has better options with his upgraded family blade and crom faeyr).

You also make good points on 2H-weapons usage, and I agree with them. I read about your Assassin(23)->Fighter char on the Bioware boards and he seems like a very strong late game character, but unless you're doing any xp exploits it must be a pain in the ass to babysit him for a long long time. As for my 2H user, the Kensai, the goal is to have Warblade +5 (+10% physres), Staff of the Ram and Poseidon (or Dragon Lord?)

About Poseidon/Dragon Lord: is it worth buying both? I can make Poseidon now, but I'm only missing Dragon's Bane to make Dragon Lord - so should I just skip Poseidon and go straight for DL, saving 150,000 gold? Where is my missing piece, Dragon's Bane, located? Is it randomized or static?

I've experimented some with Cernd as melee today - using shapeshift: Earth Elemental HLA. You can prebuff AoF, MI and Iron Skins then use his Aura of Invulnerability after you've shifted, giving him -21AC and 50% res to physical (he would have 70% if I upgraded his staff, but that's 80k gold) - since he also has ok'ish HP from his items he's quite tough, he can also use his heal, Natural Restoration, while shapeshifted. However I'm not sure what enchantment the Earth Elemental fists have (Edit: he can hit someone protected by Imp.Mantle, so atleast +4) and his thac0 is only -4 with 4apr (with IH), so I don't think it's worth the trouble since he won't be dealing a lot of damage.

Another question about items: I've been wanting to forge Mage Robe of Elemental Resistance, and I've had all the pieces for a long time, except one: the Robe of Fire Resistance. Have I just been unlucky with the randomizer or is it supposed to come this late in the game? Seems odd to me that it would come so late since it's not really that powerful.

Also, what is your opinion on the Royal Elemental Staff? In total it costs 260,000 gold - which seems too much, and it seems better to just have the Noble Staffs of Fire and Air and swap them around as needed.

And what about the Golem Slayer staff? Using Tensers to melee golems with it just seems gimmicky to me and not worth it at all.
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Old Thu, 19th Apr '12, 5:50pm   #105
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Played a bit today; did Illasera (a very easy fight imo) and cleared up to Gromnir, checked the fight out and the mage, Karun the Black, seems to be the most dangerous enemy - will try the fight tomorrow.

Good idea on the The Truth as an offhand weapon, I went with bastard sword on my RB though and Valygar doesn't have any profiencies in long swords either (and frankly has better options with his upgraded family blade and crom faeyr).

You also make good points on 2H-weapons usage, and I agree with them. I read about your Assassin(23)->Fighter char on the Bioware boards and he seems like a very strong late game character, but unless you're doing any xp exploits it must be a pain in the ass to babysit him for a long long time. As for my 2H user, the Kensai, the goal is to have Warblade +5 (+10% physres), Staff of the Ram and Poseidon (or Dragon Lord?)

About Poseidon/Dragon Lord: is it worth buying both? I can make Poseidon now, but I'm only missing Dragon's Bane to make Dragon Lord - so should I just skip Poseidon and go straight for DL, saving 150,000 gold? Where is my missing piece, Dragon's Bane, located? Is it randomized or static?

I've experimented some with Cernd as melee today - using shapeshift: Earth Elemental HLA. You can prebuff AoF, MI and Iron Skins then use his Aura of Invulnerability after you've shifted, giving him -21AC and 50% res to physical (he would have 70% if I upgraded his staff, but that's 80k gold) - since he also has ok'ish HP from his items he's quite tough, he can also use his heal, Natural Restoration, while shapeshifted. However I'm not sure what enchantment the Earth Elemental fists have (Edit: he can hit someone protected by Imp.Mantle, so atleast +4) and his thac0 is only -4 with 4apr (with IH), so I don't think it's worth the trouble since he won't be dealing a lot of damage. In addition, if he's hit by Dispel/Remove/Purge magic while shapeshifted, his magical claws will be dispelled, and with them the damage bonus as well.

Another question about items: I've been wanting to forge Mage Robe of Elemental Resistance, and I've had all the pieces for a long time, except one: the Robe of Fire Resistance. Have I just been unlucky with the randomizer or is it supposed to come this late in the game? Seems odd to me that it would come so late since it's not really that powerful.

Also, what is your opinion on the Royal Elemental Staff? In total it costs 260,000 gold - which seems too much, and it seems better to just have the Noble Staffs of Fire and Air and swap them around as needed.

And what about the Golem Slayer staff? Using Tensers to melee golems with it just seems gimmicky to me and not worth it at all.

The enemy mage, Karun the Black, is unfortunately modded after my own style of casting although Sikret will never admit it. In my Anvil v5 runs with a solo F/I (or F/M/T) in the toughest battles my top priority was always keeping Alacrity permanently running, and SI : D + illusions up (since my mage levels were always way above enemy ones), and used Alacrity to both refresh combat/other protections like mirror image and offensively - to cast spells with casting time 0-2 in fast sequence and finally, to combine fighter HLAs like Critical and GWW (of course, Karun cannot do that last thing). But he's casting pretty much the same. In addition, he is immune to Dispel/Remove magic. So you can't remove his buffs that way. Best way to deal with him I've found so far is separating them from the rest of the enemies (kill the other mage quick though), and then surround and occupy him with powerful summons - spider figurine, Skeleton lord from PC's amulet and of course, a Greater Djinni. Since you have Cernd, summon the Smilodon as well. Regular summons, powerful or no, will not last long vs his Death spell and other offensive magicks, but you may still try an Elemental prince. Never bothered with those myself. Keep him occupied for 20 rounds, btw watch over him constantly because if he manages to refresh SIivination and his illusion buffs, you're looking at another 20 rounds of battling him.

Poseidon's Wrath is a weapon that must be forged ASAP. It's probably even more powerful than the Dragon lord. I usually forge Poseidon's in chapter six, right after killing the githyanki (Kruin fight) and completing 'Hard nut to crack' quest, because someone in there drops a +3 halberd, which saves a valuable permanency scroll when forging the Poseidon's wrath.

Both halberds have their uses, but Poseidon's wrath will be your main weapon of choice in almost all battles. Except ones vs dragons. Frankly, Dragon Lord is good maybe only in Draconis and Abazigal fights. Still, it can be quite devastating vs the Improved Orcish horde with the Dragon Breaths' 10% chance on strike. Vs Yaga-Shura, things are gonna be tough without the ice halberd, which btw can kill him even on its own. I strongly advise turning off the 'gore' button when using Poseidon's wrath, otherwise enemies might be chunked by the thremendous ice damage and thus you may lose valuable items. In EDE fight, both halberds count as very important, since one grants immunity to ADHW, and second to Dragon Breath - both spells are used against your party in that fight, switch between halberds when necessary.

Anyway, you'll have a tough time vs the Ancient dragon without Poseidon's wrath (as a creature of fire, he's also quite vulnerable to ice, as are particularly his allies - the Noble Efreeti and the Fire Salamander prince), and he's (as you shoud've already guessed) the one holding the last piece of the Dragon Lord halberd - the Dragon's Bane +3, which, indeed, is static.

The other item you're questioning about, the Elemental resistance robe, is indeed a good item to have. It is one of the few IA upgraded items that can actually be used with UAI, if you happen to have a F/T multi or dual in the party. Still, most of the time I prefer having other robes on my spellcaster rather than this one. But without exploits, maybe this is the best robe for the party sorcerer. The last ingredient is in the posession of Saladrex, chapter 4 in WK, and indeed is supposed to come very late in the game, since the improved gith on that same level are scary.

Didn't know about Cernd's earth elemental shapeshift. BTW Sikret nerfed even the Iron Golem fists, setting them to be of +3 enchantment, so I'm astounded that the earth elemental ones are left untouched. Then again, I don't use that form in my IA v5 runs, so maybe that's the case. All in all, Cernd in IA is a very weak melee fighter, so don't bother trying to make him one. His staff is definitely worth upgrading though.

About the Royal Elemental Staff (or any Noble staff for that matter) - I'd say postpone them, since they require oh-so-valuable Permanency scrolls to forge, and there are other more significant items to forge first. One of my mages is armed with the Golem Slayer, and can't remember what the other one wields, since they don't mix in combat. Never. The Golem Slayer +6 or whatever was its name looks good on paper, until you realise that only a single-class mage can use the item. In which case, you still may make good use of the staff, but only via something like polymorph to sword spider - dispel magical claws - equip staff and attack with 10 APR with Improved Haste, casting combat protections from a scroll. Works in very limited cases, and frankly, if you don't have the warriors to do it several times faster, then you're doing something wrong. So the Golem Slayer +6 should be the last item on your list to forge.

Also, if you haven't forged the Noble Staff of Fire, you will still be able to use the Fire Staff to erect fireshields around your warriors whenever needed.

If you lack gold, and are unwilling to exploit 'gem drinking' or other infinite gold exploits still available in IA v6 - then at least spend some time creating potions via Wish, and sell those. Still sellable, yes.

As far as I've calculated, you'd need maybe 2-2.5 million gold to make all purchases/upgrades needed (maybe even 3 million).

Edit: You have a PM with an infinite gold/xp exploit. This isn't the best one, but offers both. Unfortunately, it's in SoA, so you'll either have to start anew if you want to use it, or at least load an older game.

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Last edited by saros; Thu, 19th Apr '12 at 6:26pm.
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Old Fri, 20th Apr '12, 2:02am   #106
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Thank you very much for your guidance, Saros. I will not use the exploit you taught me (and infact I cannot at this stage of the game, as you pointed out), but it's always interesting to know about.

Today I killed Gromnir, on the first try even, not a particulary tricky fight at all. Just keep Karun the Black occupied until he's out of protections. I killed the other mage very fast, then focused on Gromnirs guards, then the ancestor and Gromnir himself. Finally, I waited for Karun the Blacks SI:div to run out and killed him. Either I didn't notice that it ran out before he refreshed it, or he refreshed it before it ran out, because I had to wait for a hefty amount of time before it expired. That wasn't a problem however, as he didn't have any Alacrity left and posed little threat.

It was with a feeling of disappointment that I travelled to WK lvl 4 to kill the Supreme Leader. The lack of challenge from my last fights, Irenicus, Illasera and Gromnir, had brought this on, but I soon found myself amply challenged again.
Supreme Leader was a hell of a fight, and a very fun one. What won it for me in the end was timing my damage on the two summoners, Mlar and Hracknir, so they died together and at the same time casting alacrity on Cernd and Necro. Then managing to gather all the Anti-Inquisitors in one area (can be tricky) and unloading some 20 chain lightnings and quite a few lightning bolts on them. Cernd was great here, as I hadn't picked CL on my sorc. Even when the Supreme Leader was alone I struggled a bit. His protections were undispellable and with his Body Equilibrium ability he regened so fast that I couldn't get him below 'barely injured'. His regen lasted to long that I wondered if it was permanent and that me having used most of my criticals and having a melee weak party actually wouldn't be able to kill him, but thankfully Body Equilibrium expired at last and he fell.

Then I just tested the Demi-Lich and Saladrex fights one time each. Saladrex seems doable, will try him tomorrow. I think the Demi-Lich will have to wait though, until Cernd has levelled up atleast two more levels (he's 28 now), so his Death Ward won't be dispelled so easily.

I do struggle with gold. Today I forged Poseidon and two more +2 rings so everyone in the party has those, now I have 60k gold left. I tried wishing for potions, but 15 minutes of wishing yielded some 3k gold so that felt kinda slow. Don't know what 'gem drinking' is. I have hoarded some lvl 9 scrolls (AI, wish and Spellstrike etc) and other scrolls and consumables that I can sell for quite a lot of gold, but I've been keeping them incase they're needed for the tougher battles ahead.

Edit: Btw, I see that you're posting in the no-reload thread on Bioware again. Cool, I will follow your progress . Have you done it no-reload before?

Last edited by Ruben; Fri, 20th Apr '12 at 2:17am.
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Old Fri, 20th Apr '12, 9:32am   #107
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Yeah, after I do chapter 6 (I usually complete the entire Watcher's keep then), I have little challenge up until Yaga-Shura fight. Can't say that Sendai's much of a challenge either.

Saladrex IS doable, however arcane magic doesn't work in there, and I think he's immune to Breach. Dunno what level he is, supposedly 25th as is Firkraag, in short use Contingencies with Remove Magic to dispel his buffs. He's not neutral anymore, and comes at you with full force from the beginning.

Elite Inquisitors usually carry Insulation potions, so maybe a Remove Magic before unleashing the ton of lightning spells will yield better results with the damage. Killing them in melee is a very slow task indeed.

The Supreme Leader's buffs aren't undispellable. He's simply immune to Breach. I think he has only one Hardiness HLA, so simply force him to turn it on fast. Of course, if you don't dispel his buffs (Stoneskin, PfMW), you won't be able to get him to Injured and he won't activate Hardiness.

You may send good summons vs the Supreme Leader in order to tire him, best one being (again) the Skeleton Lord. The Supreme Leader and his gith allies wield slashing weapons, which don't do much damage vs a Skeleton Lord, and he's immune to their spells as well. But the Greater Yuanti are the most important ones - in fact they're the ones that help killing the Supreme Leader in the end.

I think Body Equilibrium isn't a spell buff and thus (IMO) is undispellable. Dunno how long it lasts, my guess is 1 turn, but that sometimes seems awfully long. The greatest trouble in that fight are the Stone Golems and their Slow-without-save, so use CF and kill any Clay or Stone golems that you see with it. This makes Hracknir the more dangerous golem maker, as he produces those. Don't rely on Free Action from the Cat figurine - it can be dispelled in a blink, rather use Cernd to cast it.

Dunno what lvl is Gaxx in Demilich form though. I think 27. So I think that WK demilich may be of the same level. But you can do it even this way. Cernd and Valygar are anyway immune to Imprisonment, as are your two arcane casters, leaving only the Riskbreaker and Kensai unprotected. You may use Cernd's Alacrity and refresh their Death Ward as soon as it's dispelled. In fact, all of your casters should be under Alacrity, and use it to:

Kill enemy golems fast. Really fast. You need to take those Coin + Gem golem in a blink. Use RVE before entering, focusing to make your Necromancer's casting speed -7 (well, hers should already be -4 with the robe, the amulet and Foreknowledge spell), then use that casting speed with Hands of Undoing, Rays of Fragmentation and Vampiric touch/LMD spells to quickly eliminate the two golems. Use all your contingencies, sequencers and triggers loaded with anti-golem spells. I think Cernd's useless here, and his main use will be casting quick (well, as quick as possible) Death ward to any one in need of one. You may summon his kitty and send it vs the Demilich though.

Did I forget to mention that you can't lay a single hit on the Demilich while the two golems are still alive? Sorry

If you enter and your entire party is under II, that is one round. If you have Death Ward running on everyone, that's two rounds. During that two rounds you oughtta not only have killed the two golems, but at least brought the Demilich to Near-Death. Use criticals of course. I use Mass Invisibility vs Demiliches, since even with True Sight running, that confuses their entire spell plan and they start casting something else instead of Imprisonment, for example. Of course, proper timing is needed, and it helps a lot if party mages are of higher-than-enemy level, so their other buffs (mainly Improved Haste) aren't dispelled. Use PC to refresh that if need be. Again - enter demilich's cave under Alacrity.

'Gem Drinking' is the oldest trick in the book. It is cheating IMO, but not labeled as such (i.e. the game engine allows it). Drink a potion in your inventory while paused-game and in inventory screen. Immediately shift the place of that potion and a gemstone of your choice (quantity of the gemstone - 1). The gemstone will now be of 0 value. Repeat the process. The value of the gemstone will wrap around, and since the max value of stacking a single slot is 256*256, you'll get about 65 000 of the same gem. Even the cheapest gem sold that way produces several million gold pieces, which should solve your money trouble for the rest of the game. I don't use that since there are several more infinite gold exploits. I don't sell potions either as you pointed out, it's very slow. There are a bit more faster ways of accumulating gold.

Spellstrike scrolls are useless, as you've already guessed. Maybe they're somewhat useful at lower levels of experience, but I always found it better to actually remove enemy dragon's spell shield by simply tossing an extra Ruby Ray at the dragon. I don't know why Sikret praises spellstrike so much. I've never, never used that spell. Sell the scrolls. However that will hardly solve your money trouble. I wouldn't sell Wish though. Maybe Limited Wish, if you have any left. Those are expensive enough, and frankly - since you've already used them whenever needed - obsolete.

Yeah, I did start a new no-reload group, however I tend to lose interest in IA v6 battles very fast. I do have a no-reload strategy for that kind of party up until the Oasis battle (entire WK included). We'll see if it works up to that moment. If it does, there are several more battles until the EDE. I have no experience with IA v6 EDE. Game becomes too boring for me and I usually drop long before that. In chapter 3 or 6. I have done a solo insane no-reload several times, however with IA v5 installed.

Edit: Failed in my no-reload Anvil attempt. Being a bit greedy there, but actually, joining with Bodhi early-game gives the party the following:

Easier battles (a couple of 13-level enemy mages can't compare to Tanova)
Important loot (five +1 cloaks of protection - equip your entire party kinda thing)
more items to sell
a +3 enchanted axe (although, it's a throwing one, but still)

However, siding with her is impossible if the party has high reputation. Dunno exactly how high.

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Old Sat, 21st Apr '12, 3:15pm   #108
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Did the Demi-Lich and Saladrex today. Both fights were ok, fun wise, but nothing extraordinary.

The demilich is higher than Kangaxx(27), because he dispelled Cernds lvl28 death ward most of the time with remove magic. Following your advice, the tactic was to enter with the Necro having -7 to casting speed and with all the casters under alacrity. In one round, or I guess even less, the two golems fell to his Anti-Golem spells. The fighters surronded the demilich and activated critical strike. They also had the support of some elite trolls (summoned via CC) and a Smildion. The lich started with true sight. The sorc started casting Mass Invisibility, timed to finish just after TS hit. Cernd was summoning a Greater Djinni and the necro one more elite troll. The lich then cast remove magic, which left the Riskbreaker and Kensai without any protection against imprisonment. Cernd had already started Death Ward on the Kensai when he saw the lich chanting an abjuration spell, but the RB was vulnerable. At this point the lich could've easily imprisoned the RB, but he chose to cast a death spell instead, bad move. From here on out it was easy sailing.

The Saladrex fight wasn't difficult either with the right tactic. I noticed that he doesn't have any immunity to normal weapons and he doesn't cast any mantle or Abs.Immunity. So the tactic was one of simple brute force. Heavily buffed the party fighters surronded him wielding normal weapons, activated their criticals and began the work of burning through his stoneskins. The casters distracted him what they could, summoning from items and via contingiencies, and of course their spell protection buffs made him waste lots of time casting Ruby Rays. With heavy regeneration from RVE and enormous resistances to mostly everything, Saladrex wasn't able to even scratch the party and within a few rounds fell.

Will explore WK lvl5 next. I really want Aegers hide so I can upgrade Valygars armor. Sorry to hear about your no-reload party.

So spellstrike scrolls are useless, what about other scrolls? I'm keeping the Wish scrolls and RRoR, PfMW and Breach. What about Absolute Immunity scrolls?
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Old Sat, 21st Apr '12, 8:55pm   #109
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Yeah, since I have some time now, will most probably run a new team through SCS BG1 and into anvil BG2.

Good job noticing the normal weapon vulnerability of Saladrex. I thought Sikret had made most of his improved enemies (especially dragons) immune to normal weapons, but I guess I was wrong. The gith captains are usually immune to normal weapons though. I personally use PC with enough Contingencies for Remove magic and summons to get rid of Saladrex's ProMW spells and then hit him with everything.

RRoR scrolls - always good to keep 10-15 of those, although my 7th lvl slots are usually enough and I never feel the need or urge to cast one from scroll. Absolute Immunity - an important pick for the Sorceress btw (my own sorceress picks lvl 9 are as follows: Wish - Monster Summoning VII - Chain Contingency - Absolute Immunity - Recast Vital Energy, and without exploits I'd pick MS VII first). In short, Absolute Immunity is an important buff versus certain enemies who wiled both magical and nonmagical weapons. You've met some of them - Twisted Rune Golem and Greater Twisted Golem, as well as Irenicus' Hardwood golems. As their attack has an unpleasant effect on any spellcaster, I'd advise to protect yourself via Absolute Immunity. In WK lvl 5, you will meet several more such enemies - the Elite Nishruu (a minion of the Ancient Dragon) and also the Orcish horde. I think the Elite Nishruu actually attacks with normal weapons, but the other monsters in that fight attack with magical ones. Same story with the Improved Orcish horde -orcish fighters attack with normal weapons, orcish archers - with +3 arrows, and orc mages with +4 bullets. So Improved Mantle is no good, because the Orc mages don't hit lightly at all, and their attack also renders an opponent unconscious for a round.

Other scrolls...hmph, well I wouldn't sell any extra Monster Summoning IV-VII scrolls, ProMW scrolls, Absolute Immunity scrolls, Free action/Chaotic Commands, even some Raise Dead ones. Keep Chain Contingency scrolls too. Can't remember about other scrolls being hepful, although I'd never sell a ProElements, ProMagicEnergy or ProEnergy scroll either. Then again, I have a non-arcane caster which may use these, whereas you do not, so maybe they're obsolete for you.

Do not underestimate the Ancient Dragon! The protagonist has to memorize several extra ProFire spells, several Protection from Elements and Protection from Energy spells, because once a fighter of yours is Breached, you should refresh these ASAP. Well, at least proFire and ProElements, for 175% fire res. The dragon will lower that pretty fast though. Keep him occupied on the Necro's spell protections. Refresh Spell turning when needed of course, he has 10 RRR spells. And kill the Noble Efreeti ASAP with Poseidon's wrath and Crom Faeyr. Up to this moment you should've upgraded it to Hammer of Thor, which will help enormously. You don't need to kill the Elite Nishruu - just keep the sorceress under Absolute Immunity. Cernd will most probably be targeted by the Elite Nishruu, since PC should also be under AI.

Edit: The Elite Nishruu will heal from any magical harm, inflicted upon it. This includes weapon elemental damage of any type. It is immune to weapons +2 or lower. You have to kill it via weapons that have no elemental damage whatsoever, like Phosphorous morningstar for example.

Now of course, when I fought the Ancient dragon, I had no worries with enemy Remove Magic, but you'll have great issues about that. Dunno what kind of advice I may give you here except one - make sure Remove magic affects only one target!

Your main concern should be forging the Hammer of Thor first anyways. For that, you should battle all of the Red challenges of the Globe machine, and those are tough! I surely hope you have 2 extra Girdles of Bluntness, they help in any golem fight. If you haven't bought these in SoA - bad.

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Old Sat, 21st Apr '12, 10:43pm   #110
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Thanks for the tips.

Fooling around with the Globe Machine now. Did all the fights except the 3 Grave Liches, they have mage lvl 28 and my mages are 26 so I'm struggling a bit since I can't dispel their PfMW. Ultra Golem + Greater Elemental Golem was tough, but sort of straight forward tactically. So I got Usuno's Blade and should have all parts for the Thor hammer, but I can't forge it. Either I miss some amber chunks or green scrolls of Prot from Electricity.

Edit: Hmmph, only have 7 chunks of Amber, in hindsight I should've let the Greater Elemental Golem from the Globe machine lived a bit longer so he would've summoned another amber.
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Old Sun, 22nd Apr '12, 3:47am   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruben View Post
Thanks for the tips.

Fooling around with the Globe Machine now. Did all the fights except the 3 Grave Liches, they have mage lvl 28 and my mages are 26 so I'm struggling a bit since I can't dispel their PfMW. Ultra Golem + Greater Elemental Golem was tough, but sort of straight forward tactically. So I got Usuno's Blade and should have all parts for the Thor hammer, but I can't forge it. Either I miss some amber chunks or green scrolls of Prot from Electricity.

Edit: Hmmph, only have 7 chunks of Amber, in hindsight I should've let the Greater Elemental Golem from the Globe machine lived a bit longer so he would've summoned another amber.
Yeah well, if you have a previous save - use that, because there aren't any Amber Golems soon. You really need the 8th chunk of amber. I suppose you didn't collect the easy ones - the ones in Slums and Spellhold. That's 4. The guarded compound Greater elemental golem also spawns Amber golems. Next Ultra golem is with Abazigal, and you definitely don't have the time to clear his minion amber golems. You need the hammer now.

BTW kill the Greater elemental golem first, and leave the ultra golem a bit longer alive. The Ultra golem gates in Amber golems only, while the Greater elemental golem gates in a coin or gem or amber one - so you can't be sure he'll summon the right one.

I thought grave liches are lvl 31, however I'm not certain. If you have checked it via some program, then they indeed may be 28th. Btw, they're not 3, but 4. All in all, you can definitely postpone the 4 grave liches fight. The important globes are the red ones. Can't say that you need the items dropped by that guardian group. You need the Gauntlets of extraordinary specialization, and their guardian spawns after you complete the Helmite Ghost tasks - Ancient Dragon, Orcish horde.
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Old Sun, 22nd Apr '12, 4:54pm   #112
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I reloaded and got the 8th chunk of Amber, so now have the hammer. Grave liches are Fighter(31)/Mage(28) according to Near Infinity, but there are several .CRE files named "Grave Lich" and I didn't check them all, just assumed they were the same.

Doing the Orcish Horde now, then trying Ancient Dragon.

Btw, something is slowing my game down. Loading a save game suddenly takes over 1 minute, where previously it was always less than 10 seconds. It's only when loading a save. Load screen when travelling to new areas are fine. Trying to fix this.
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Old Sun, 22nd Apr '12, 8:33pm   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruben View Post

Doing the Orcish Horde now, then trying Ancient Dragon.
Try it the other way around, because if you forge Dragon Lord halberd (after you kill the Ancient dragon) you'll get to test its power on the Horde. And there aren't some special items the Horde is guarding anyway, except for Ixil's spike, and it's obsolete.

Edit: My load games in IA take a lot of time, my personal view is that when you accumulate more saved files in IA, it always takes a lot of time to load a game. Reinstalling now won't help with that (did it in IA 5.0), but rather will create problems in your current run (in my case, some enemies got their names totally mixed up).

Last edited by saros; Mon, 23rd Apr '12 at 6:30pm.
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Old Tue, 24th Apr '12, 11:07pm   #114
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Ok, I fixed the loading thing by making a new and seperate install which was identical to my original in all ways except that I had also applied the Beta patch.

"Throne of Bhaal BETA Patch 26499 4.2MB

This BETA patch is being provided to fix a particular issue with the Throne of Bhaal 26498 patch (above). If you are having a problem with save and load times noticeably increasing, the new Throne of Bhaal 26499 BETA patch has been found to resolve the problem. The patch is applicable to the English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish versions of Throne of Bhaal.

Note: Please keep in mind that this patch has received limited testing and so is marked as BETA. You should only install this if you are having very slow save and load times in Throne of Bhaal. If you are not experiencing these problems, do not install this. Installation of the 26499 BETA patch must only be done after the 26498 patch is installed.

Instructions

To repair a slow saving/loading saved game, you must first have the BETA patch installed. The patch installer copies a new BGMain.exe into your Baldur’s Gate II root directory. Then start the game and load the affected game (with the slow loading time), and resave it (the saving time will continue to be slow at this point). The save game has now been fixed and future saving/loading of the saved game will now take the normal amount of time. This new BETA patched version of Throne of Bhaal is still multiplayer compatible with the 26498 patched version of the game. "

In this new install I copied one of my saves into the 'save" folder. I then loaded it up and saved it again (overwrite). Then I copied this save back to my original install, and lo, the game loaded in 6 or so seconds (where previously it was 3 minutes+).

Hopefully my game should continue without any of the odd changes you mentioned Saros, since this technically isn't a reinstall, my save has just been a trip to the cleaners and then returned to it's original home.

---------- Added 22 hours, 50 minutes and 25 seconds later... ----------

Hmmph, well I actually had to re-install. Hope this doesn't screw anything up.

Did the Orcish Horde, the Ancient Dragon and opened 2/3 keys at the Final Seal. Only the 4 Grave Liches, 1 seal key and Demogorgon left in WK. Necro is missing 90k exp to get lvl28, and thus have a 50% chance for a successfull remove magic on the liches so think I'll try Yaga-Shura first.

Actually didn't get Aeger's Hide from Ancient Dragon. Loot was: Hindo's Doom, Erienne Sling, Dragon's Bane + various treasures. Could the re-install have ****ed up the randomizer? Or is Erienne Sling actually inside the randomizer (and in the same pool as Vecna no less..)?

---------- Added 1 hours, 38 minutes and 38 seconds later... ----------

Yaga-Shura dropped: Shuruppak's Plate, Shield of the Order, Runehammer +4 and 3 barbarian essence potions. Which item here is from the randomizer?
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Old Wed, 25th Apr '12, 2:42am   #115
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Well, unless you skipped some treasures/enemies in SoA, or your reinstall mixed up something, I couldn't imagine why you didn't get the Aeger's Hide. It can be in the possession of the Greater Elemental Golem inside the Guarded Compound, or (these are not 100% sure places) in the loot pile of the Troll Mound AFTER you kill the enemies, or in the loot pile of the Illithid compartment in the sewers again after you kill Alhoon. Many items do not appear in the treasure pile until you defeat the 'boss' monsters, so if you loot the treasures prematurely, this may cause you to lose some items.

Erinne's Sling isn't in the Randomizer. Nor is it supposed to be dropped by the Ancient dragon. It's in the vanilla locations, one of the seal guardians has it. If the Ancient dragon dropped it, then your reinstall mixed up something.

All randomized items are located either in SoA or in WK. There are NO randomized items that could appear in ToB as far as I know. Not even one. All items in ToB are static.

You may actually take on the 4 Grave Liches anytime. You remember the fight with the Old one and the 3 Grave Liches? Well supposedly all you did was buff&debuff while Old One was casting Improved Disrupt Undead, thus killing the liches one by one. Do the same thing with your Necromancer. Use your fighters to close on the grave liches and thus win you 1 round, because the grave liches will actually cast ProMW when they see an enemy nearby. Start the fight under Improved Invisibility so that they waste 1 more round on 'True Sight' casting. You should be able to destroy 2 Grave Liches with all your Destroy Undead 7-lvl slots, and for the other 2 - either Wish with sorceress off-screen for Rest, or use Recast Vital Energy much with the same effect. BTW, you can simply use Cernd with his higher-level Dispel magic to get rid of enemy protections. Target the spell carefully though, and once the liches have no more combat protections, use Unleash Energy to kill them. In short, 4 Grave Liches are not that big a problem even at lower than 27th mage level.

Edit: You may use Tenser's partial transformation + Energy Blades, the liches won't cast Protection from Magical Weapons against that. keep your distance though when they approach to do melee, and keep spell protections and proMW up.
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Old Wed, 25th Apr '12, 1:42pm   #116
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Finished all of WK, Demogorgon is a funny fight now, generally WK lvl5 seemed a bit unfinished from an IA standpoint, with its odd mixing of improved and vanilla fights.

Anyway, Yaga-Shura fight was a well designed and fun battle. Died 10+ times on the Oasis fight, without being close to success. Considering using barb potions at this point, but I'm hesitant about that, will rather try a new tactic later.

Indeed, there's probably something that has gone wrong with the item randomizer after the reinstall. Not much to do about it now though, good thing all drops in ToB are static. Too bad about Aeger's Hide, however, if my memory serves me right, there was never a grt elem golem inside guarded compound in my game, so it might have been lost there?
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Old Wed, 25th Apr '12, 3:23pm   #117
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Quote:
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Indeed, there's probably something that has gone wrong with the item randomizer after the reinstall. Not much to do about it now though, good thing all drops in ToB are static. Too bad about Aeger's Hide, however, if my memory serves me right, there was never a grt elem golem inside guarded compound in my game, so it might have been lost there?
Nope. If you haven't battled the golem, this may be what you're missing. The golem is situationed in the 2nd lvl of the compound, guarding the safe to the right. He is not a part of Sion&co gang, is in a completely closed room, with 2 secret doors to open to gain entry. Unfortunately, I can't seem to be able to locate some picture to show it right now. That golem holds the scabbard of the Holy Avenger as a static loot, so if you haven't found that item at all - you haven't seen the golem either.


I have yet to battle the Oasis fight myself, I think I quit the testing right after Yaga-Shura died. But I most certainly have a saved game prior to the fight and may be able to give you some pointers, provided you haven't completed the battle yet. A word of advice - prepare Chain Contingencies and make sure you arrive at least 1 day later at the Oasis, this way you may use your CC again if need be.

Edit: You may also enter the Oasis while your entire party is under simple Invisibility spell, this may actually win you a round vs the enemy battlemages.


Edit: WK is that since IA 5.0 (maybe even before that). Instead of making thousand of bugs/precautions to destroy solo adventuring in IA, Sikret could've improved these instead. Otherwise it's stupid: after the ancient dragon and the orcish horde you get a fight which can be won with closed eyes, and by a party member of your choice.


--------------------------SEVERAL HOURS LATER----------------------

Yeah, the oasis fight is kinda tough, but I managed to pass it on my first try. So you should too, with a bit of effort. I personally used my R-C to distract most of the enemies (4 Gem Golems, captain Tombleten and several Captains and pikemen), while the rest were taken care of by the fighters & mages. Captain Tombleten is most vulnerable to slashing damage. No elemental damage will have any effect on him (in IA v5 he was vulnerable to cold, but not in IA v6). You cannot kill him under Hardiness. You can't breach him either. Best strategy to get rid of him fast is waiting for him to activate a HLA, then hit him with all fighters you got, with slashing weapons mostly. Unfortunately, you have only 3 fighters. If you're a moment too late, he'll manage to activate Hardiness and regenerate. He has more than 1 Hardiness, and is of course immune to Breach.

I will send you more cheesy details about this fight in a PM, so you may decide how to use them.

Edit: Here's another use of Cernd: Combine his Aura of Invulnerability, upgraded Staff of the high Forest +4 and Hardiness from Wish for 100% physical resistance for 10 rounds. Use him to distract as many enemy fighters as possible while he's like that. Make sure captain Tombleton also focuses his attacks on Cernd.

Edit: Re-did the fight again, That which actually wins the fight (this time all my fighters were cornered) was the stackable Regeneration for the entire party from Recast Vital Energy spell. Even on Insane, enemies just can't keep up with that enormous regeneration rate. If you manage to get the '50% extra HP' things are even easier. Then again, my party that just won the fight consisted of a Barbarian (has 20% innate resistances), a Riskbreaker wielding off-hand Defender of Easthaven (a total of 75% resistances with Hardiness and Chain Breaker Stance), an Assassin-Fighter (95% physical res with Hardiness, Warblade, Master of Disciplines, Scarlet Ioun Stone and Jansen's Adventurewear, and a Ranger-Cleric with multiple Iron Skin spells memorized, and Greater Restorations too (although didn't have to cast even one GR spell, just used the Cat figurine to heal the Barbarian once). The enemies in there are (counted post factum) 14 Gem Golems, 3 Tethyrian captains (their attack hits with electrical damage as well), 8 Tethyrian Pikemen (those don't come close unless you first get into their field of vision), Jamis Tomblethen (who wields the nerfed Answerer +4), 2 Battlepriests and 2 Battlemages. The Staff of the Ram inflicts terrible damage upon Gem Golems - my A-F did averagely 20 dmg with each Critical strike. Your Kensai should do even more.

Although my fighters' resistances are way better than yours, this wouldn't matter that much since you play on Core. For example, Valygar with 50% physical resistances will take the same amount damage as my Riskbreaker with 75%. Simply stack several RVE for Regeneration and all should be ok.

Edit: Just remembered why I don't want to forge the Noble Staff of Air +4. I'd rather have the Storm Star +5 mace for my Ranger-Cleric in ToB. Plus, immunity to electricity...seriously, why? The Noble Staff of Fire may have its uses in the final encounter, to counteract any surprising Dragon Breaths though.

Last edited by saros; Thu, 26th Apr '12 at 6:27pm.
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Old Fri, 27th Apr '12, 3:20am   #118
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I got the Oasis fight. 14 Gem Golems, 3 Tethyrian captains, 8 Tethyrian Pikemen, Jamis Tomblethen, 2 Battlepriests and 2 Battlemages all heavily improved by the IA mod and all rushing towards you once you enter the Oasis, quite tough considering you have no chance to prebuff having just travelled for 8 hours to reach the area (unless, as Saros pointed out, you instantly pause once the area loads and teleport to your pocket plane before the mobs turn hostile. I considered this a bit cheesy and didn't make use of it.)

Started with some summons and RVE, which yielded some 5x regen and +50% hp to the party. The fighters focused on Tombleten and luckily he fell before he could activate hardiness, which would have made him unkillable for its duration. My necro, under alacrity,foreknowlegde and mental agility, being done with his RVE casting then buffed the party and debuffed the enemies, as well as interupting the enemy battlepriests Storm of Vengeance castings. Having Tombleten out of the fight early was key. His smite can seriously screw up your positioning and free action seems to be dispelled sometimes, leaving you vulnerable to his stun as well. No storm of vengeance also ment that Cernd and the Sorc was free to summon at will and of course keep themselves well protected from melee. I focused on the gem golems first, which wasn't as much a choice as it was the only option seing as they had surronded everyone. My biggest fear was the regen from RVE running out while there still was a significant number of enemies left. However, midways through the fight my sorc wished for 'make as if rested' and the necro could refresh party buffs. As more and more golems fell, my fighters were eventually able to reach other enemies. Battlepriests, captains, battlemages and the like soon fell. The sorc actually died as I killed the first battlemage, because I had not anticipated their CC with 3x ADHW which triggered as they were close to death (In hindsight I should have seen this one coming).

All in all both the Oasis and Yaga-Shura fights were very exciting.

Progressing through Sendai's enclave at the moment. Had a hell of a fight with the lich, Odamaron, where the bodycount in the end must've been over 10 grandlords as well as a significant number of greater bone golems and bone devils. Exp was good though, mages have reached level 30, Cernd lvl 34 fighters 35 and Valygar 31.

Also have forged Dragon Lord Halberd, Boots of the Ranger Lord, The Truth +5 longsword (which Valygar wields in his off hand now having ** in long swords, all in all I consider this a better off-hand option than his family blade. The family blade imo has to be used in the main hand for its healing to have any effect, but now that I have the Hammer of Thor his main hand is almost exclusively reserved for that mighty hammer).

Just a note on your 100% physical resistance tactic for Cernd: actually Aura of Invulnerability does not stack with hardiness and thus such a tactic is sadly not possible.
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Old Wed, 2nd May '12, 12:32am   #119
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Hmph. In my install, Aura of Invulnerability stacks with Hardiness. Still, I tested only with an Auramaster-Fighter character, dunno if it would work with the Wish hardiness, but it should.

Odamaron is maybe the only lich that uses SI: Div and illusions. Still, in my games that is his downfall, since a single remove magic is enough to dispel his protections. However, in a non-exploit game supposedly his buffs allow him to last very long. I never knew he gated in more Skeleton Grandlords for example
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Old Sun, 6th May '12, 2:31am   #120
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I doublechecked and, in my install atleast, AoI does not stack with hardiness from wish. If AoI is active before you wish hardiness is not applied at all (to Cernd), if AoI is activated after wish, the hardiness buff stays, but the AoI buff is never applied.

Killed Sendai and Abazigail today. Balthasar next! Btw, as you can see in the screenshot, I nuked Aba to death with my necro, thus the fight was very short and the Ice and Ultra golem were not touched at all, and simply vanished when Abazigail died. Do they drop anything or did I just miss the exp they would've given if slain?
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Old Sun, 6th May '12, 11:17am   #121
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Good progress especially Abazigal. Didn't know you could nuke him that fast. What spells did you use? Multiple Magic Missiles?

Nope, the Ultra and Ice golem don't drop anything. At least in v5 they didn't. So you did the right thing. Azi must die fast, or the golems will overwhelm you (last but not least, because of their Purge Magic ability).

Balthazar is vanilla. He won't give you any trouble. Your next (and final) challenge will be the Epic Divine Encounter. That one's tough and I cannot give you any pointers because I haven't tried it in v6. If the Rakshasan prince has his 2 Ultra Golems and 1 Supreme elemental golem, then expect to be showered by Purge Magics. I assume it may be indeed a good idea to protect as many party members from fire and/or magic damage via static items. That means that you should also forge items like Royal Elemental Staff and give it to PC probably, for 100+% fire res. Also, I hope you've assembled enough Barbarian Essence potions. You should definitely use these, though how - do not now. Maybe it's wiser to keep the sorceress out of combat, and PC under Shapechange, so he could turn to Iron Golem if need be and thus evade ADHW spells.

The prince lowers all of target's resistances (physical, elemental, magical, magic) by 25% on successful hit. Dunno if this ability always triggers on each hit, but I guess it does. Also, don't know what's its duration. Maybe 1 turn. Maybe 2. Maybe it's tweaked in v6 to be less. The Supreme golem lowers the elemental resistances on each successful hit, but only by 10%.
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Old Sun, 6th May '12, 11:19pm   #122
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fml, just spent 2 hours on EDE. Most of the time alone with the prince after clearing up without too much problem. Can't kill him. 4 times atleast he's hid under undispellable Absolute Immunity and regened to full when he's badly injured. Now I'm out of most spells and it will most likely end in a failure.

http://i.imgur.com/FjWjO.jpg

---------- Added 1 hours, 35 minutes and 10 seconds later... ----------

Some context for those who haven't played IA. EDE (Epic Divine Encounter), is a fight inside your planer sphere nearly at the end of ToB, just before you leave for Melissan.

You are attacked by a Rakasha Prince, alongside him there's two Ultra Golems and a Supreme Golem. The Prince is unkillable until the mentioned golems are slain.

The Ultra golems are 100% resistant to all magic and elements. They are most vulnerable to crushing damage, having only 90% resistance to it. They have 300hp and -13AC. Every few rounds they gate in Amber golems, which are "lesser" golems, having 170hp -4 and 100% resistance to everything except crushing (90%) and slashing (75%) and an annoying, permanent lightning shield which damages attackers with electric damage and reduces the attackers electric resistance, cauing the attacker to take higher and higher amount of damage every time he hits it.

The Supreme golem is 100% resistant to all magic and elemental damage aswell (I think all golems in IA are). It has 95% resistance to all physical damage, 400hp and -13AC. Needless to say all the golems also hit incredibly hard, are permanent imp.hasted and have great thac0. The Supreme one is also a form of elemental golem, having heavy elemental damage added to its attack. On top of this he also gates in a Elemental Golem every few rounds. The elemental golem has "only" 90% resistance to physical damage, 300hp and -9AC. He aswell gates in a lesser golem every few rounds, namely a Gem or Coin Golem.

The Prince himself is a tremendous fighter as well as a high level mage. He has 383hp, -22AC,100% resistance to magic and elemental and 75% resistance to physical damage. He can gate in Noble Rakashas who in turn gates in Horrid Rakashas who loves to shower your party with ADHW. He's also at least immune to spell levels 1-7 as all Rakashas are. (not sure if he's immune to more). He also has several poweful unique abilities. Universal purge magic which removes all of your dispellable buffs and, annoyingly enough, interrupts your casting. Field of repulsion does heavy damage to a target, knocks him back and leaves him unconcious for a round (similar to wing buffet). Also, he has heavy, permanent regeneration and a seeminly unlimited supply of Absolute Immunity, Dragon's Breath, Remove Magic and ADHW spells.

Needless to say with all this gating in of new enemies things can quickly become overwhelming unless you act fast and precise. Note, you are also assisted in the fight by a fighter named Pasha Mahmoud who is a great help.

The party started lightly buffed, excpecting to have them dispelled not too soon anyway. 5xBarb potions for all three fighters (IA potion, undispellable +20% resistance to physical damage for 10 turns, stackable) Imp. Haste, Prot from Energy and Giant Strenght. CC were prepeared with Foreknowledge and 2x MSVI. As you can see I chose to focus on the Supreme Golem first.

As the Supreme guy neared death the prince gate in a group of rakashas. Ignoring them for know the fighters focused on the golem, and slew him shortly after, managing only to gate in one Elemental Golem before dying.

Focusing then on the annoying Rakashas, the party cleared them quickly and the fighters started working on one of the Ultra Golems while the casters continuously summoned up mobs to keep the rest of the enemies occupied. After a while the first Ultra Golem fell. Then the second one..

Clearing up the lesser golems the prince soon found himself alone.. Here you can see him using "Field of Repulsion" on one of my fighters, blowing him across the room..

Keeping imp.haste, Protection from Energy up and using criticals the party threw themselves at the prince with full force.

Bad timing. Karon, the riskbreaker, is low on health and the prince has just gated in a group of rakashas who are starting ADHW targeting him. He quaffs a Magic Shielding potion, but the Prince throws a remove magic at him which hits just before the ADHW, leaving him dead.

Clearing up the Rakashas, resurrecting Karon and summoning in more help the party quickly seems to have the upper hand again.

The Prince however, will not be bested so easily. Getting low on hp he hides behind Absolute Immunity and regens to full hp.

Being unable to do anything about his protections, the party has to wait it out, occupying him with summons in the meantime. When his AI fades, the party throws themselves at him with full force yet again, unfortunately with the exact same result.

Repeat. And again.

The party, out of spells, potions and HLAs are now in dire straits.

---------- Added 0 hours, 18 minutes and 34 seconds later... ----------

Pasha falls.

And bleh.

Well that was a days work. Not gonna bother with this more today.
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Old Mon, 7th May '12, 2:28am   #123
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And this is fun for you? Just asking, as it seems annoyingly tedious and silly to me.
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Old Mon, 7th May '12, 3:06am   #124
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Not a bad progress, slaying the three golems on your first attempt. Many people can't do that Anyway, don't despair. People in v5 claimed that without Wishing for Rest, this battle is nearly impossible. Try Wishing for Rest even if this means that hostile enemies appear. They would be only a fallen deva and an Elemental golem, and your undispellable buffs won't be dispelled by the Wish. You may save vs the Field of Repulse, although its save is with quite a penalty. It's not the field that's killing you, it's the Greater Malisons. You may apply Chaotic Commands to protect yourself vs the unconsciousness effect of the field, but this won't save you from the knockback effect. I am unsure if it's possible, but you may consider bringing the Prince to Badly Injured, yes he'll activate his undispellable Absolute Immunity, but you should hit him outright under Alacrity with Cernd's quest anti-rakshasa spell and also PC's Bigby's Clenched Fist and Bigby's Crushing Hand spells. I doubt that this will be enough damage though, but still you may try beforehand and see how much damage would such an assault inflict altogether. As far as i remember from IA v5, the Prince doesn't have an infinite number of Absolute Immunities - he had 14. Counted post factum. You may add PC to the melee offensive by turning into Mind Flayer and casting Black Blade of Disaster from a scroll (and hoping the enemy doesn't cast Remove Magic soon). BBoD is the most damaging 1-handed weapon you can use vs the prince anyway. But I think that when you finally leave the prince alone, you should simply refresh party spells/items via Rest, send some summons vs the prince, and force him to use his 14 absolute immunities, then he's yours.

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Old Tue, 8th May '12, 1:44am   #125
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@dmc Heh, well yeah, it was frustrating, but also very exhilarating. My heart was beating fast at many points, because of all the planning and the careful execution, and in the end you feel you're so close. After four Absolute Immunity castings and yet again bringing him to 'badly injured' and thinking "this is it. He can't possibly do that **** again, I've got this, I've actually got this." But then he did, so.. bleh

@Saros
Thanks for the tips. In all honesty I got a bit frustrated and impatient in the end, but my big mistake was using too many wishes and RVE's too early when it wasn't essential to use them, and they would've been much more useful later in the battle. Btw, this wasn't my first attempt, I had several learning runs, but this was the first proper one

Not sure when I'll have time to play again. Will take pics and update this post when I do, but atm I'm too busy.

Not sure about Bigby's spells, but Cernds HLA seems utterly useless.
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