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On the absence of arcane duels


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I'm not asking for enemy spellcasters that would require a wizard to take down, I'm saying I'd love to have those duels again.

In fact, I regularly replay BG2 specifically to be able to engage wizards (and dark elf priestesses) in fights of the mind.

It's probably one of my favoured things in BG2. Fight against mage is complex and fun minigames in BG2. But players have lots of tools to use in those combats. No game has ever repeat such complex approach to layers of defence's spell and ways to break those magic barriers.

 

But what about other games? Neverwinter Nights has counterspell system took from D&D 3.0 but I never really use it while playing this game. During p&p session of D&D 3x I occasionaly put counterspell in use.

 

It was quite good in The Temple of Elemental Evil but this game is the best adaptation of D&D ruleset ever (and first game based on D&D 3.5). Counterspell in pure turn based combat worked well, but still, it was only occasionally useful.

 

Second edition of AD&D wasn't balanced at all. D&D 3X is balanced but only at 8 character level (second attack for classes with BAB 3/4, stone skin for sorc etc). Before and after 8 level it's total mess with more and more additional prestige classes, feats, spells. I guess that's why Icewind Dale II offers set of feats which are basically Player's Handbook content - stricte basic stuff. Talents from first Pillars of Eternity are similar to feats from D&D 3X Player's Handbook with the same addition of features as Icewind Dale II has - so talents (feats) which boosts for example fire damage.

 

I don't see how arcane duels could work in PoE ruleset. Maybe like AndreaColombo said - Deafire's keywords or magic's schools are means to achiev cool new system. Sure, we don't have spells like Breach, Pierce Shield, Sequencers, Spells Immunity, Contingency etc but I think there is a potential.

Edited by Silvaren
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So, how many of you bros played Baldur's Gate 2 ?

 

 

Remember all these spell deflection, spell turning, school immunity, spell trap and all ?

Also remember spell thrust, khelben's warding whip, pierce magic, ruby ray of reversal... ?

 

 

Now these allowed a wizard to go spell for spell with an enemy caster.

 

With these, you could have true wizard duels.

 

 

While there are some (well, two, if memory serves) arcane deflection spells in the game, I do not remember seeing anything designed specifically to take them down ?

 

 

I miss that, those duels were just so cool.

I played BG2, and my first complete playthrough was as a pure sorc. However, I never bothered with that except for the liches. Mostly I just nuked the melee then dogpiled the casters.

 

Inelegant and inefficient, but successful.

Edited by Katarack21
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The mage duels were nice and all, but an aspect of how there wasn't much tactics or depth to anything except magic. There's a lot of classes in this game other than wizards and I like that Pillars doesn't put them on a pedestal and fawn over them, the way Baldur's Gate, and AD&D in general, did. Or... at least not quite as much.

 

As a matter of fact, wizards were vastly underpowered in Baldur's Gate 2, in comparison with :

- themselves in BG1 (lower hp pools, resistances, and save rolls)

- the Forgotten Realms lore (as in, the books)

 

Read yourself some War of the Spider Queen trilogy and see how Pharaun Mizzrym, Gromph Baenre or Lord Dyrr are instrumental in major battles.

And we're not talking only brute damage either, we're talking control, we're talking divination (if I remember correctly, Gromph is an especially skilled diviner), we're talking utility such as flying or leaping.

Even wands were instruments of devastation in the books; wands, not rods or scepters, mere wands...

 

 

The Forgotten Realms novels engage in some hardcore mage fanboyism, yes. I mean, the whole setting started out with Ed Greenwood's cool mage character. But it's not something games should emulate.

 

Also, I feel like I should point out that enemy mages in BG2 cheat. They regularly use multiple contingencies and spell triggers, which shouldn't be possible. And it isn't, for our own mages.

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**** BG II mage duels. By far the most tedious part of the game. I don't get how anyone can say it's epic after 1 or 2 fights with the same boring spells and counter spells. I really missed some powerhouse "legendary" npcs from other classes in BG II. Sadly PoE is following suit with the arch mage aspect. 

I can respect other people liking it, and it has the high fantasy thing going and all. But would it hurt with an insanely strong ranger with a special kind of animal companion, or a crazy powerful chanter with some unique and interesting summons and chants as bigger villains now and then.

Edited by TheisEjsing
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**** BG II mage duels. By far the most tedious part of the game. I don't get how anyone can say it's epic after 1 or 2 fights with the same boring spells and counter spells. I really missed some powerhouse "legendary" npcs from other classes in BG II. Sadly PoE is following suit with the arch mage aspect. 

 

I can respect other people liking it, and it has the high fantasy thing going and all. But would it hurt with an insanely strong ranger with a special kind of animal companion, or a crazy powerful chanter with some unique and interesting summons and chants as bigger villains now and then.

 

For what it's worth, here's what Josh has said:

 

YZ6NueG.png

 

And I suppose Thaos was sort of an Arch-Priest (even though he couldn't even cast Minor Avatar)

Edited by Lamppost in Winter
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So, how many of you bros played Baldur's Gate 2 ?

 

 

Remember all these spell deflection, spell turning, school immunity, spell trap and all ?

Also remember spell thrust, khelben's warding whip, pierce magic, ruby ray of reversal... ?

 

 

Now these allowed a wizard to go spell for spell with an enemy caster.

 

With these, you could have true wizard duels.

 

 

While there are some (well, two, if memory serves) arcane deflection spells in the game, I do not remember seeing anything designed specifically to take them down ?

 

 

I miss that, those duels were just so cool.

I played BG2, and my first complete playthrough was as a pure sorc. However, I never bothered with that except for the liches. Mostly I just nuked the melee then dogpiled the casters.

 

Inelegant and inefficient, but successful.

 

I was more an adept of... ah, let's say, clean dispatches here.

No messy fireballs or blobs of acid.

 

I'd resort to feeblemind, polymorph, imprisonment, disintegrate or the occasional finger of death.

 

No blood, no mess, no fuss.

Clean, professional style :p

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**** BG II mage duels. By far the most tedious part of the game. I don't get how anyone can say it's epic after 1 or 2 fights with the same boring spells and counter spells. I really missed some powerhouse "legendary" npcs from other classes in BG II. Sadly PoE is following suit with the arch mage aspect. 

 

I can respect other people liking it, and it has the high fantasy thing going and all. But would it hurt with an insanely strong ranger with a special kind of animal companion, or a crazy powerful chanter with some unique and interesting summons and chants as bigger villains now and then.

 

Now, I find you a bit unfair here !

 

First of all, BG one featured Drizzt, whom you had the option to either assist or attack, a Ranger of great renown :o

 

Second, while the arch-nemesis of BG2 SOA was indeed a mage, TOB introduced more diverse bosses, we had a monk, we had a dark elf priestess with a multi-stage fight, we had a dragon...

 

Hell, I found the fight against Balthazar to be amongst the hardest in the game to be honest.

Same as with POE1 if I'm going to be honest, there's nothing I fear more than enemy Monks in fights.

 

They abbey of the rose in WM2 is the part I "dislike" the most.

Dislike isn't the right term but I can't seem to find the appropriate word, it's just that these fights are so much more challenging than any other.

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Sorcerers lend themselves more towards nukes than battlefield manipulation, which is where wizards really shine. In that sense I suspect my magic-user experiences were very different from many.

Edited by Katarack21
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Sorcerers lend themselves more towards nukes than battlefield manipulation, which is where wizards really shine. In that sense I suspect my magic-user experiences were very different from many.

 

I've had my share of sorcerer playthroughs as well, in the end I'd always end up picking the same spells and I would experience very little variety, so after a time it got old.

It was very frustrating not being able to learn more spells.

 

 

I mean, sorcerers have their uses, that is a given, you have more flexibility, you can adapt on the spot.

After the 2k hours threshold though, you tend to know what spells you'll need for what part of the game, so mages having to commit them to memory isn't as much of an issue ;)

 

 

Besides, you do get to play fighter from time to time for a little change.

Haste, Black Blade of Bye Bye, Tenser's, poof...

 

 

Aaah, those were the days <3

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Sorcerers lend themselves more towards nukes than battlefield manipulation, which is where wizards really shine. In that sense I suspect my magic-user experiences were very different from many.

Nope. In BG2 you could pick spells for sorc and mage from the same list. Sorcerers lend themselves more towards nuke than battlefield manipulation? It's individual player's choice. It was D&D 4th edition which changed roles of sorcerers and wizards.

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Sorcerers lend themselves more towards nukes than battlefield manipulation, which is where wizards really shine. In that sense I suspect my magic-user experiences were very different from many.

Nope. In BG2 you could pick spells for sorc and mage from the same list. Sorcerers lend themselves more towards nuke than battlefield manipulation? It's individual player's choice. It was D&D 4th edition which changed roles of sorcerers and wizards.

4th ed changed them because of the way most people played them in 3.5. Same list, yes, but Sorcs pick fewer from that list and end up with a noticeably smaller spell selection that is capable more often.

 

Consequently, wizards tend to have much larger and more variable spell lists while sorcs tend to be narrowly focused. For a lot of 3.5 gamers, that focus was often nukes, especially if there is already a wizard in the party.

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Sorcerers lend themselves more towards nukes than battlefield manipulation, which is where wizards really shine. In that sense I suspect my magic-user experiences were very different from many.

Nope. In BG2 you could pick spells for sorc and mage from the same list. Sorcerers lend themselves more towards nuke than battlefield manipulation? It's individual player's choice. It was D&D 4th edition which changed roles of sorcerers and wizards.

 

4th ed changed them because of the way most people played them in 3.5. Same list, yes, but Sorcs pick fewer from that list and end up with a noticeably smaller spell selection that is capable more often.

 

Consequently, wizards tend to have much larger and more variable spell lists while sorcs tend to be narrowly focused. For a lot of 3.5 gamers, that focus was often nukes, especially if there is already a wizard in the party.

 

Still, before D&D 4th edition it all depended on player's choice. If you have favoured spells and know how to use them, then probably sorc is better. Especially in BG 2, where Int or charisma won't grant more slots per level or higher DC.

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