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Old 06-17-2001, 05:11 AM   #1
ScottG
Drow Warrior
 

Join Date: June 13, 2003
Location: Never Never Land
Age: 47
Posts: 267
I have given this a lot of thought and played the game MANY times with different characters.

What is the best character? (asuming a fresh BG2 char.) - and best party combination? By "best" I mean a char. that could be used as a 1 player party char. as well as a char. that could best any other char. in your party and who works (meshs) well with your party.

First you have to realize that the game is party oriented, i.e. you should play with the characters that come your way (and that you like and want to keep). Why? - because otherwise you will miss out on many quests and overall immersion in the game (versus going it alone 1 player style), and of course because it is MUCH easier than 1 player style.

You will need a character that complements your other characters in your party. Read through the list of characters in the book. For a cohesive unit (that works well together) you must first consider your alignment (and your parties alignment), primarily Good Vs Evil. Most of the creatures you will be killing will be evil, although evil can certainly kill evil, it makes a bit more sense to choose neutral or good. Perhaps more importantly is the issue of questing (where you earn most of your exp. points). Almost every quest in the game is oriented toward a good char. (except for the bohdi quests & human skin armor), i.e. doing good deeds. Your reputation toward NPC's goes up with certain quests, and if it is up to high - evil characters start droping from your party. The increased reputation is VERY nice to have at the highest (20) level because you can buy things for 50% less than you normally could (at the various merchants). Additionally, an evil cleric cast spells that only hurts good characters - which is useless in the game, however a good cleric can cast some devistating spells to all those evil opponents in the game.

Rationally then, we choose a char. that is neutral or good. Additionally we do the same thing for the other char.'s we will keep in our party (for that cohesive unit).

But hey, some of the best char.'s are evil! - Korgan, is prob. the best fighter in the game, Edwin is prob. the best mage, and Vicona is prob. the best cleric. But look a little closer at these char.'s. Each of them are pretty much useless at anything else but there chosen class (w/out magical items), and most of the choicer magical items you won't get untill your pretty deep into the game (and you need to get a good party to get them). Korgan can't do any magic and can't specalize in ranged wepons (OK because you need at least one good tank). Edwin & Vicona are useless at melee (low hp & low str.) and neither are very good at ranged (missle) wepons, this really sucks in a combat situation because they are forced to rely primarily on spells (which run out fast). (There are other reasons also.) (Unfortunetly, Vicona is the only really hot chick - great voice too.)

Don't fret about loosing those evil char.'s, there just not worth it. There are plenty of more balanced char.s in other alignments. However, you will need to look at those other char.s (primarily class) to decide what yours will be.

Perhaps the most important class is the cleric/druid. The simple fact is that for most of the game you will need at least one healer (healing potions are nice but they cost money, take up space, run-out, and can be difficult to find in the quantity you need). Healing potions are really best when used during melee, and if possible this is the only time you should use them. After your done taking down an opponet you will prob. need to be healed, so you can battle the next opponent (which is sometimes around the next corner, literally). If I remember correctly the char.s (non-evil) who have healing abilities are Amoen, Aerie, and Jaheira. (I'm discounting the rangers because it takes too long in the game for them to heal.)

Amoen has some "quests", so you might want to include him at least for a small part of the time. He is also a possible love intrest for the ladies. His prob. is that he is a PRICK personality wise (and can't stay long in a party with Keldorn.) On the plus side a clerics hit dice scales very similarly to a fighter (meaning he can do melee & magic), unfortunetly he didn't really maximise his fighter class B4 he dualed to cleric.

Aerie, is just about useless for anything but magic (w/out magical enhancements). This means that if you use her you will just be using her for magic and hiding her from monsters (a couple of hits and she's dead). That said though, she is an awesome Bag-O-Spells offensivly and defensivly. (I can't think of any more important char., other than your own, during the first 3rd of the game). She is also a love intrest if your char. is male (which can be troublesome w/ the bard in your party).

Jaheira, isn't bad in melee (but not good), she isn't great with ranged wepons (darts), but she has some extra healing spells as well as the offensive swarm spells higher in level. Her personality isn't to swift either though, she treats your character like a toddler (when you could prob. smite her ass into oblivion), she also has a voice that I instantly think of as coming from a dike (very butch sounding) - which I didn't care for. Finally, w/out removing the experience point cap, she is stuck at a max of level 14 for the game.

What this means (in determing your class), is that either you should have 2 of these 3 char.s in your party (in a 4+ party) or your char. should be a cleric and you should have 1 of these char.s. (For 1 player party reasons your player should be a cleric.)

A theif is also a very important class for detecting traps, but this can be acomplished magically (and you can force many locks open with high str.).

Next you should think about the dynamics of combat and your class. (Remeber, to have the "best" char. we want a char. that can do it all - this pretty much means that your char. should be a cleric of some sort.)

Combat is composed of 3 offensive maneuvers: melee, missle, & area effect. You want to be able to do all 3 fairly well. Melee is almost always with wepons (using a spell where you need to touch a monster during combat is insane unless you have stopped time or have frozen them in some other manner). Missle is with wepons and magic. Area Effects are usually with magic. Of the three, Melee is overall the most important but you will usually need a healer/potion. It is usually preferable to use either Missle or Area Effect because you are minimizing you risk of being hit.

The idea when using wepons is to hit as often as possible. Low THAC0, haste/boots of speed, and dual-wielding all facilitate this. With missles - this is why people say that the Tongien bow and Light Crossbow of Speed are superior to their larger higher-damage bretheren, they hit more often because they fire more often.

Class routes:

Multi-class char.s arn't bad (and quite nice at the end of the game for continuation to throne of bhaal w/ experience point cap removed.) The prob. is that early on they are weak and they don't advance quickly, and the experience point cap is a complete killer on these char.s. These char.s will really only get you through the game on a 1 player scenario (with a ton of saved games - meaning you will be killed a lot).

Single class char.s except cleric and druid suffer from the inability to heal w/out potions. Single class char. really don't maximise there full potential either.

The best single class character is the Blade kit bard. He is good with dual-wield, has a deffensive and offensive capability (and the offensive is better than a Kensai's Kai ability). He has some thieving ability & the highest Lore. He has bard song capability (very nice with the harp of pandemonium). He is also a very good mage (not as good as a real mage relative to level). Unfortunetly he can't heal. If we were to remove his missle wepon capability, I would say dual-wield Katana's (Sword of the Heavens - awesom stun ability but subject to a save, & Sword of Zerth - for AC bonus of 2 and extra spells.) The problem here is that their is already this char. class in the game (Haler Daelis).

My pref. is for a dual classed char.,(as it is for many others as well). To properly dual class you will need to be human and you will rely on you other party members right after you dual-class (this can be hell for a bit if your going the 1 player route if you don't play the game right). (To play the game right for the 1 player you will need to boost your exp. points with the non-combat quests.)

A lot of people suggest that the best char. class is the Kensai fighter kit to 9th level dual classed to a mage. This is an excellent char., however there is a better dual class to-mage. (No, it isn' a Cleric dualed to a mage). If you go the route of dualing to a mage the best is the Swashbuckler theif kit to 10th level dualed to a mage. This gives you theiving skills, dual-wield wepon capability, several bonuses to AC (I think its -3 at level 10), and the ability to use ranged wepons. With the thief you can also use armor, blackdragon scale being the best (though you won't be able to remove the armor to cast spells during combat - which isn't as bad as it sounds because you can always move out of combat range and then remove the armor and come back and spell'em). There are only two things your missing out on: Kai ability (which doesn't last long enough) & THAC0 reduction (which is the biggest negative). Over all this combination is prob. the second best in the game, but again you will not have the healing spells, and therefor you should have two of the char.s previously mentioned (If I were choosing I would go for the two ladies for the simple fact that Keldorn is one of the best char.s and you can't have Amoen and Keldorn in the same party for long.) If you choose this class then go all 3 slots filled in dual-wield catagory and 1 slot in longswords or 1 slot in daggers, and 1 slot in short bow and 1 slot in single wepon.

A BIG prob. w/ a mage class is that you don't get as many spells (the amount you can use b4 you sleep relative to your level) as you do with a cleric (paticularly if your a cleric and you have 18 wisdom). The other more obvious is the lack of armor while in combat w/ magical abilities retained. ElvenChain +1 will work, but only a AC of 4 (the only way to get it early on is to go the Bohdi route and kill Aron Linval). Spells like Spirit Armor will work (but they cut down on the amount of spells you can use at that level - which really SUCKS). Or of course you can go w/out armor at all which doesn't work.

IMO, The best class is a Berserker fighter kit to 10th level dual classed to a cleric. Why not just have a single class cleric? There kits aren't great, but more importantly you are missing out on advanced wepons specialization & reductions in THAC0 (10th fighter level does this the best), and greater strength ability scores. Spend 2 slots on dual-wield, two on hammer, and three on flail B4 you dual class. Then, when you become a cleric but have lost you fighter skills untill 11th level, you will spend your slots on: 1 for staff, 1 for sling, 1 for single wepon, and I think 1 for shield bonus. Upon 11th level you are allowed to spend slots cumulativly on your previous areas of specialization. At 11th level you get another slot to spend - place it in the dual-wield for the max of 3, then as others come along place them in Hammer & Flail untill eventually in Throne of Bhaal you have 5 in each. BTW, clerics can't use stabing/sliceing wepons, but the two best melee wepons in the game are usable by a cleric (not a druid). Eventually you will dual-wield the Crom Faeyr and the Flail of Ages. You can get the Flail of Ages fairly early in the game and their is a good +1/+4 hammer (in the same quest). Nothing really needs to be said about the Crom - its virtues have been mentioned all over the place. The Flail of Ages has some VERY nice things going for it that most people don't fully appreciate. First of all it is a +3 wepon which is OK but not great - in that there are a few nastys that need more to hit (KanGaxx & Adamite Golems). However, even if it does no damage as a +3 wepon it will often still do damage from Acid, Fire, & Cold. MUCH more importantly it has a chance every hit that it will slow the monster W/ NO SAVE (this means that the worst monster can be slowed because there is no save). (There will also be extra heads for the Flail in the Throne of Bhaal.) The shield bonus you spent while a cleric will add to your use w/ the Shield of Harmony (when you get it in Trademeet) - the shield is good for preventing mind control when you need it (except for Stun). (Obviously you stow away the hammer and go with the Flail of Ages untill you have the Crom assembled.) Which brings us to why the Berserker is such an awesome kit, when you Enrage (beyond the combat bonuses) you are immune to just about everything (including imprisonement & stun). This is ideal for those hard-to-kill monsters - you summon up your immunity w/ Enrage and then you pummel the crap out of them with your dual-wield hammer and flail + haste/boots of speed, hiting as much as you can to kill them B4 Enrage wares off. (You will look like a windmill of destruction.) BTW, you won't be suffering w/out the Crom Faeyer because your 2nd level spells will be well stocked with the Power of One - which can dramatically boost str., con., & dex..

Other pluses to this dual class include that you can use any type of armor to drop that AC to really low levels & use helmets (paticularly the red dragon armor which is non-magical therefor allowing the use of other extra magial AC reducing devices such as the +2 ring of protection). Don't think that wearing a helmet is all that usefull?, then ask yourself this: what is better than 1 person dual-wielding the Crom Faeyr and the Flail of Ages? Answere: 2 people dual-wielding the Crom Faeyer and the Flail of Ages by using the Helm of Vailor (double your pleasure double your fun w/ Simulcrum once a day). You also Gate at 7th level (that a mage doesn't get untill 9th level) and the very hot Fire Storm. You have all manner of defensive spells (much better than a wizard). You can raise the dead & heal. You can have a lot more spells by using Wonderous Recall. And you have perhaps the most usefull offensive spell in the game: Holy Smite w/ damage that scales with the caster's level (by far better than cloudkill) - one of the nice things about this spell is that you can fire it near your party and have no one injured because no one in you party is evil. Finally, you don't have to learn spells.

So, what are the negatives? Can't use slicing/piercing wepons. Can't go beyond prof. in your only ranged wepon (the sling) - (it's to bad you can't use the dwarven thrower hammer). Your currently limited to 7th level (Throne of Bhaal will prob. chg. that). You don't have Time Stop. You only have Dispel Magic to try and remove magical defenses. You don't have Mirror Image (which is unbelievably powerful in BG2, but won't be in Throne of Bhaal). You can only detect traps (not disarm them). You can't pick locks (only force them). Thats about it.

When your rolling/allocating your ability scores get this (a beserker/cleric):
str. 18/91 or better (don't settle for less)
dex. 18
con. 18
int. 10 or better but it really isn't that important
wis. 18
cha. 3 (when you want to improve this score you will slip on the ring of Human Inffluence - located in the Circus/Arie quest)

With time spent (a lot) rolling I achieved (w/out cheating):
18/95
18
18
18
18
3
(this is when it pays to have a utility to cheat like ShadowKeeper - you can roll scores (w/allocation) like this, but why spend the time? Just use ShadowKeeper, but don't give higher scores than this - otherwise you really are cheating).

The best party:
My Berserker/Cleric
Keldorn
Haer'Dalis
Nalia
Imoen
Aerie

I'll say something a bit about Keldorn: He is a bad-ass. The true Mage Slayer kit in BG2 is an Inquisitor Paladin (especially when used w/ Carsomyer). W/ Dispel Magic at twice his level he can drop the protections off a lich and then wittle him down to size with the sword. If the liches start getting uppity and multiply via Simulcrum then he can make the twin vanish with True Sight. When its time to drop the Undead - put Azuredge Axe in his hand and watch him pop vampires like a bad zit from 30 feet away. Do you want to waste some monsters w/ out getting hit? - have a mage throw a Web and then have Keldorn go in with his Freedom armor and cut the monsters down to size. Don't let him go home to his family, have him turn in his wife instead (I know, nasty thing to say for a good char., but he is worth it.)

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Old 06-17-2001, 05:20 AM   #2
Djinn Raffo
Ra
 

Join Date: March 11, 2001
Location: Ant Hill
Age: 42
Posts: 2,397
Hello ScottG
You really did your research!!
I like the sound of a berzerker\cleric!
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Old 06-17-2001, 05:39 AM   #3
merc widowmaker
Dungeon Master
 

Join Date: March 1, 2001
Location: Israel
Posts: 76
Implaying through for the second time now. I played Evil b4 and now I wanna play good. Is there a fatal conflict between Keldorn and Amoen ?
My party:
John the Redeemer - Paladin
Keldorn
Valygar
Amoen
Yoshimo
Nalia

------------------

Nobody tells me what to do, not even me !
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Old 06-17-2001, 05:42 AM   #4
Sigmar
Unicorn
 

Join Date: May 17, 2001
Location: Gibraltar
Age: 30
Posts: 4,240
Very impressive, you bought up a lot of good points. If you want laughs
try starting the game as a wizard slayer and then dual-class to a mage, split personality.


------------------
Sigmar has only one foe,
and he is Tiax!
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Old 06-17-2001, 05:45 AM   #5
caleb
Horus - Egyptian Sky God
 

Join Date: April 10, 2001
Location: Tacoma, WA, U.S.A.
Age: 33
Posts: 2,615
Im just going to sit here in stunned silence for a moment...........ok how long did that take you!?!

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BOW TO THE BISCUIT KING AND HIS THRONE OF SCONE!!!
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Old 06-17-2001, 05:48 AM   #6
Sigmar
Unicorn
 

Join Date: May 17, 2001
Location: Gibraltar
Age: 30
Posts: 4,240
I just reliased you're new and that was your first post, now THAT is incredibly impressive!


------------------
Sigmar has only one foe,
and he is Tiax!
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Old 06-17-2001, 06:36 AM   #7
Sir Jaren Tor
Dungeon Master
 

Join Date: June 13, 2001
Location: Elizabethtown, PA USA
Posts: 78
No, there isnt any real conflict between keldorn and anomen that i know of. I do think, however, that i had anomen knighted before i picked up keldorn. After that they pretty much didnt say anything.
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Old 06-17-2001, 09:29 AM   #8
Shadow
Manshoon
 

Join Date: May 21, 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 230
Im doing pretty good with this combination.

Three ASSASSINS

One SWASHBUCKLER

ONE STALKER

ONE ARCHER

I do 75 damage of poison+backstab damage+bow and arrow backup= one dead (insert the name of any creature in the game)

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The Black Killer
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Old 06-17-2001, 09:37 AM   #9
Volourn
Manshoon
 

Join Date: June 1, 2001
Location: North Bay,Ontario,Canada
Posts: 177
Good job. You made some very good points. Not everyone will agree with you, but they'll have to admit that ya made some valid statements.
BTW: Wecome to the board!


GO DWARVES GO!

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"That didn't hurt!" - Volourn Honourblade after the red dragon breathed on him for 75% of his hp.
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Old 06-17-2001, 09:53 AM   #10
Jezzrian
Dungeon Master
 

Join Date: April 4, 2001
Location: London, England
Posts: 82
Now why didn't I think of that as a first post? That was amazing, not to mention logical, unlike most of the arguments around here of which character to play, which generally end up with 'coz I say so' j/k

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