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Just finished my solo play through as a mage, while exploring the power and limit of each skills I discovered some very strong maybe even broken combinations, I'm here to share some of them and make some comments on the run. This will be a very long guide, expect walls of text. An image to start.

[Linked Image]


This is a screenshot taken from one of the final fights, I basically finished the fight in my first turn before I took any damage. The only time I needed a source skill in my run through, a bug made it took more effort than usual but it's still very clean. For anyone interested in the full fight, here are the rest of the screenshots http://imgur.com/a/ByPEs

Update, even cleaner version of the same fight can be found in comments featuring impalement.

First of all, the build, this build is a "glass cannon" build with "elemental affinity" as the second talent, the following talents should be "what a rush" or "executioner", I didn't get the 2nd talent point at level 8 like I thought. There are 3 extremely powerful skill combinations I'd like to discuss here, the 29 + 2n ap combo, the elemental affinity phoenix dive combo, and how to turn environment into hell.


The 29 + 2n ap combo.


This requires initiative higher than your enemies, and player being an elf, works for non mages too but wouldn't be as broken.(unless single target)

Glass cannon builds have base 6 ap per turn, what a rush raises this to 7ap. By delaying the first turn in invisbility and adding in time warp, 3 turns are chained together.
Flesh sacrifice not only immediately boosts 1 ap, but also gives a buff that increase max ap by 1 for 2 turns, adrenaline gives 2 ap immediately but also boosts max ap by 1 for 2 turns, this combined with the fact that glass cannon always regen to full ap, results in some weird interactions.


First delayed turn
7 base ap + 1 boost from flesh sacrifice
=8 ap

Second turn
7 base ap + 1 max bonus from flesh sacrifice, + 1 boost from 2nd flesh sacrifice + 4 boost from adrenaline - 1 from timewarp
=11 ap

Third timewarped turn
7 base ap + 1 max bonus from flesh sacrifice, + 2 max bonus from adrenaline
=10 ap

29 ap total

On the third turn, Glass cannon's "always start with max ap" rule beat adrenaline's "lose 2 ap next turn" rule, however this is not always the case. This method does not work if you cast spells in the same order but time warp on the first delayed turn, one would start with less than the right amount of ap on the 2nd timewarped turn, which is probably a bug, and the third turn "lose 2 ap next turn" rule will beat "always start with max ap" rule, this is probably something the devs need to fix, which rule goes first.

Here is a screenshot of me having 9 ap available on the third timewarped turn using the method above, this is without "what a rush" talent, with the talent one should have 10 ap.
[Linked Image]

If the player character level is high enough and took executioner as a talent, then one will probably gain 2 ap per kill on top of the 29 available ap.





The elemental affinity phoenix dive combo


This is basically the method I use for regular fights, no source or environment preparation required, it involves reducing 2 ap fire skills down to 1 ap and blast enemies with extremely high aoe damage, if this doesn't get nerfed then this build will be even stronger with the release of more 2 ap or 3 ap fire skills. I love how I came up with the whole elemental affinity + phoenix dive fire immunity thing, it just feels so...stylish, and spontaneous combustion turned out to be A LOT more stronger than I thought, although at times it bugs.

-Fight start

-Run out of line of sight and pull enemies out of hiding.(may not be required)

-Teleport enemies into each other on low ground, use teleport scrolls to teleport more if they happen to not cluster and you feel like cleaning them up all at once.

-Chameleon cloak, the teleported enemies will stand still, make sure you move after using this skill or they will know where you are.

-Wait for invisibility to have 1 turn left, delay the turn, (walk right next to enemies, netherswap with another enemy from afar, this step may not be needed, but you generally want to spend an ap before using flesh sacrifice)

-Flesh sacrifice

-Phoenix dive to high ground for 20% increased damage, you can teleport on this turn too if you had to stealth didn't get a chance earlier. High ground is important, not only does it provide damage bonus but skills seem to also gain bonus range, can teleport enemies very far away into the hell mentioned in the third method.


- Start with searing dagger to hit those with magic armor, then followed by impalement, doing massive base damage and surface damage, fossil strike/poison dart can be used here to break the magic armor further, then a fireball.

you generally want to teleport an enemy that have relatively low magic armour in in the middle of your cluster, so when you follow up with the fireball, the fireball will put 3 turns of burning debuff on him, epidemic of Flame can also be used here if you don't feel like saving source points.

- Spontaneous combustion on the burning enemy in the middle and witness some funny explosions, I don't fully understand this skill yet, but from my obeservations, it will detonate every enemy in the circle radius for the initial damage once to each of them, then the secondary damage will hit those right next to them and result in really funny damage, but sometimes this skill have a bug that cause the secondary damage to not trigger,this skill deals more damage to each target the more enemies you gather with teleport and netherswap, so grouping enemies next to a boss will burst the boss for very high damage. Some funny explosion images for those interested.

http://imgur.com/a/IQGJh


-Adrenaline

-Skin graft to reset all your cooldowns, can now teleport another enemy in if needed.

-Adrenaline

-Impalement to get enemies burning again after the first combustion to lower fire resistance.

-FIreball spontaneous combustion again, then hit whoever is left with searing daggers and flesh sacrifice, poison dart, if you managed to gather them all up and no one still has magic armor then you can probably rain and discharge to stun them all, and keep them stunned with a lightning wand for the rest of the fight, if they weren't all picked up then you can invis and run out to fight and come back, note that fire from phoenix dive will create smoke eventually, which should be taken into consideration.




How to turn environment into hell

While playing I encountered some really annoying bosses like the witch that have higher initative than me or just simply scripted to go first, when they open with electric discharge or any similar CC I'm pretty much done for. I did consider using a summoned minion to pull them, but I happen to find a broken combo while toying with skills I've never tried.

Contamination, I used to think this was a really bad skill, until I tried it.

Here is how this works

First, rain all over the place and fill everywhere with water, then contamination and create a huge poison zone that lasts permanently, enemies take damage standing in them, walking through them, they will die.

That sounds pretty easy but we are not done yet, although it's deadly enough as it is.

Although I don't think cursing is available yet, it's possible to obtain cursed effects if there are cursed ground nearby, or through the use of source skills, and there happen to be cursed blood by the shriekers before the Alexander fight, so we can do some funny stuff here.

By igniting cursed poison, cursed fire is created, cursed fire doesn't disappear by itself and make enemies immune to wet, then we cast rain on the cursed fire, this does not douse the cursed burning ground but creates steam, normally, rain + burning ground will creates a steam "loop" instead of a steam "circle" and leave water in the middle, but the cursed fire not only bypass that by creating a steam circle but also doesn't douse and last permanently, now if we shock the steam it'll be a another lightning zone that permanently stuns enemies after their magic armor wear off.

Start the show with poison.

[Linked Image]

Then we add fire rain and lightning, Notice how Alexander is stunned already on turn 2, and he will stay that way, can also teleport him all the way back if he still has magic armor.

[Linked Image]

Hell completed. Damage numbers for the zone is shown.

[Linked Image]

Poor Alexander didn't get a single skill off.

[Linked Image]

Invis after the worm shows up, your "teammates" will do the job for you and die after.

[Linked Image]


That's all three of the methods I've discovered, feels quite proud of myself actually, although it's just a video game hah, some of these possibly deserve some nerfs, but the devs will decide.

Early game is edited in comments below as the post is already too long.

Although I haven't played a rogue character personally, but I feels like rogues will be inferior when it comes to doing these massive aoe damage and clearing packs in this stylish and clean fashion, but may come ahead when it comes to pure single target damage, however most of the threats in this game consists of multiple enemies at once, I can only imagine a solo rogue player would need to burst a few enemies down and instantly teleport out, which is pretty awkward since the teleport thing is probably the most broken mechanic in the game but will likely stay.

Thanks to the devs for making such a great game and hopefully this post will help, to players or devs.






Last edited by sfzrx; 09/06/17 05:29 PM.
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Sounds pretty interesting.

For the guide part u could add ur start setup. U wrote that u start with the glass cannon talent but what about the skills? normal geo/pyro or take pyro/poly to get invis at the start?
Which is the best civil ability to invest to or is this up to preference?
also while it is obvious that that buldis insane once u get all the spells / lvl needed how is the early looking? can u easy go against the early mobs or is it better to use the quests that don´t require fighhting to gain lvl // do u take companions at the start?

But all in all it is a really nice guide and looks like a fun way of playing.

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Not that totally new at all. It's been that way for a long time.
As stuff you brought up is extremely op, other stuff is crazily underpowered, like summoner mechanics for example.
I several times pointed out a lot of meta problems that the different systems (spawning mechanic, armor, movement and it's iterations) create, but so far... no response, or any reaction at all.
Don't expect them to change anything. I'm actually starting to lose my hope tbh, and am almost regretting my pledge.

I really wish Larian would finally pay some attention to this. Even if it means reconsidering a gameplay aspect. (and mostly it wouldn't even be that much work)

Last edited by Seelenernter; 07/06/17 11:50 AM.

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Original post was too long so I'll add the early game related stuff here.

Early game

This is doable completely solo, but won't be as "op" until you reach level 4, when invis, cooldown reset, fireball, netherswap and impalement are available, so the goal is to reach level 4 while picking the easier fight encounters.


You want to start with a wizard preset during character creation for the double poison wand, and if you happen to come across a fire wand from Siwan's body like I did, you don't need to craft/buy a wand later, there is a "short stick" right after prologue on the ground, requires highlight to see it, can buy a skull from vendors, combining the two will create an elemental wand, probably need saving here to get a fire one. Starting with a fire wand preset is another option, trigger explosions with poison dart and get poison wand from turtle.

Skill wise it's a bit hard to decide, as we only need rain from hydro to do the rain contamination combo, it does make early game easier than water wand + contaminate, but will delay your other combos, so the skill order I would recommend is pyro/geo, searing daggers, contamination and poison dart, followed by aero and poly, and then warfare for phoenix dive, finally hydro, after that I threw all the points into aero, can get hydro before pyro and poly if you want to make early game easier, dumping later skill points into poly-int instead of aero for overall damage is another option.


As for civil skills I went with 3 ranks of sneak then found it pretty underwhelming and put 1 point in loremaster to see resistances and such, it would be useful to be able to see initiative with high ranks, thievery can also be taken consideration for reason below.



During the prologue, trade items with magisters and lizard, after they die you loot your items back, learn adrenaline from the chunk of flesh, kill the dog by filling the hallway with poison and shooting it from afar, same thing can be done with the two magisters but you want to persuade them for exp first and then kill them.

After prologue spec into aero and steal rain book from one of the tents for later, go for turtles' wand, first small turtle can be killed from high ground, sneak up the hill and the big turtle can be killed from high ground in 1 turn, and the smaller one left will die running towards you walking on poison, now we dual wield poison/fire wand, which creates fire ground and explosion every hit, poison/poison is good too but doesn't have the first explosion when starting a fight, although I think poison/poison trigger 2 explosions, poison/fire also trigger 2 explosions if the target is poisoned I think but I'm not entirely sure.

Other exp sources

- Digging the source hunter's place in the cave

- Sneaking to the frog place in the cave without triggering combat

- Giving migo yarrow flower and completing the quest ( we come back to kill them later, rest with bedroll before initiating the fight will make you immune to migo's first battering ram charge or cripple.

- Jester with kid in alcove

- Maybe healing the guy outside of cave

- During the orange quest, make sure you attack silence with wands long before she gets to lizard, make her waste her first action on stabbing lizard, this way you can get a full turn with adrenaline and hit her with 3 wand explosions before she goes invis, and stunning her with electric discharge, the reason for this is that she drops an invisibility potion, although I don't really know where to use this potion, maybe it's possible to pickpocket the key from the prison houndmaster without fighting? that might be a viable strategy should contamination be nerfed in the future.

-The character Narin also has an invisibility potion, steal maybe?

- Three thugs on roof, create poison ground with wands and try to burst the main guy down so you loot an extra grenade.

- After you get out of prison you can probably kill a lot of silent monks for exp, which is something I probably should've done, completing withermore's quest gives a good chunk of exp, won't have a source point tho, can save for later.

- Crocs, I actually did crocs by creating water with a water wand, which takes more effort and won't be able to create water as far, it's probably really easy using rain and contamination from very far away but should the method be nerfed crocs can be saved for later.

- Before you teleport the guy down at the alcove, you can water up the whole place and contaminate-sneak, if you traded all his books before you kill him you loot everything back.

- Prison fight, I think rain and contaminate will do the job, I didn't have rain and water wand worked for me by going into Verdas' room after pull, position yourself to lure the melee guys out, lit up the poison with wand and rain to make archers come, then discharge the clouds or water maybe.

- can probably go to shelter for exp after prison

I didn't really use much consumables during my run, But I can think of a few that might come in handy


Teleport scrolls - this is probably the most useful and the only one I really used, didn't realize how good it is until later in my run.
Smoke grenades
Stun grenades
Invisibility potion

Two images of my character's stats before the final fight
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

I personally don't really like relying on rng items from the game but I used them anyway as crafted gear with stats on them like those from the first game aren't available yet, should be doable with pure unique and crafted items later.

Some notable unique items

-Turtle's claw
Good poison wand early on.

-Gloves of teleportation
Equivalent to 1 memory.

- Galwin's robe
This gives +1 to aero boosting damage by a bit.

-Source hunter's belt
+1 memory, best in slot until we can craft something better.

- Ring from Braccus Vault
For the +2 int, it curses you but we don't get to use wands much later so the accuracy penalty isn't that big of an issue.

-There is a +1 int ring along with 2 other unique stat items buried at the salamander place, probably best in slot early on along with Braccus ring

-Witch's wand
For the 2 int, carried as a stat stick.

-Fang of the winter dragon
For the 2 int, dual wield with witch's wand, you can equip this by drinking blood rose and rest with bedroll.


Although our memory slots are limited, our spellbook isn't really limited, so we can learn many skills and swap them around, like swapping poison stuff out when fighting undead etc, haste is useful with combined with invisibility to stealth past the salamanders, grow wings is useful to travel around the map for exp and loot before warfare phoenix dive is learned. Shocking touch, fortify, armor of frost, restoration, global cooling, chain lightning, epidemic of flame are all situational skills.




Last edited by sfzrx; 09/06/17 05:43 PM.
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Very nice work, thanks for the write-up.

Several nice combos being utilized here.
1. High initiative + invisibility + delayed turn, grants 2 turns at once.
2. Phoenix Dive + Elemental Affinity + Pyro skills
3. Rain + Contamination
4. Glass Cannon + Max AP boosting abilities (Adrenaline/Flesh Sacrifice).
4b. This combos exceptionally well with Time Warp too

Of note, 1 and 4 are usable by basically any build and grant all of the AP. Leveraging them and swapping Elemental Affinity to Warlord and including Rage would make a great build for any Physical class too. Such a build would have the advantage of not requiring anywhere near as much Memory, as falling back to basic attacks would be stronger.
I'm interested in trying a build like this now smile

You mentioned several talents, but you'll really only get 2, Glass Cannon and eventually Elemental Affinity. Since Phoenix Dive comes at level 4, get EA second.
Do you know what level we get a 3rd talent? I think it's higher than level 8. Warlord would be the 3rd.

Trying to guess your build here, sounds like we'd need points in all of the following:
0 Scoundrel: Adrenaline (from Flesh Eater)
1+ Pyrokinetics: Combustion, Searing Daggers, Haste?(max AP increase), other damage skills for Affinity
1 Polymorph: Chameleon Cloak, Shed Skin
1 Geomancy: Poison Dart, Contamination, (Fossil Strike?)
1 Hydrosophist: Rain
1 Warfare: Phoenix Dive
1+ Aerothurge: Teleport (could be from gloves), Netherswap
I'd assume the extra points would either go into Aerothurge, for removing Magic Armor faster with all abilities, or Pyrokinetics for extra % Fire Damage.
Not a lot of free skill points to go around, as we need to gain access to tons of skills for comboing and to use our AP on.

Talents:
1. Glass Cannon (@ level 1)
2. Elemental Affinity (@ level 3)
3. Warlord or What A Rush (@ level ?)

Despite the other talents mentioned, we wouldn't really be able to pick up anything else until much later, and these seem like the most important.
To leverage "What A Rush", you'd have to intentionally lower your health to below 50% before starting the fight to get any benefit, so you'd be counting on finishing the fight before enemies act, or retreating/invis after some kills. Granted, because of Glass Cannon you already are, so this isn't much of an extra burden. Intentionally lowering the health before the fight would be a bit of a pain though.

Stats:
Lots of Wits is a must. Going 2nd with Glass Cannon is a fast death. After that, you might need some more memory for the large number of skills you'd want to leverage.
Any idea what the maximum wits required to always go first is during the current content? I don't think it's a ton.

Unfortunately this spread doesn't leave much for increasing damage, either from Intelligence or Skill passives, but this is probably offset from the large amount of AP.

Last edited by error3; 07/06/17 01:09 PM.
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I forgot about haste for max ap increase, was just using it to move faster when combined with invis.

As for initiative, I had 25 initiative for the final fight and one or two enemies still went earlier than me, but they never attacked me on the first turn, can't really use the invis delay method here since there are friendly units on the field and the enemies won't stay clustered, which is why I used time warp.

Last edited by sfzrx; 07/06/17 02:38 PM.
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Update 1

Just tested the power of impalement and the result was unexpected.

imgur link for bigger pictures

http://imgur.com/a/Vv6NR

I'm not even sure what happened here, but it seems like on top of the already high base damage of impalement, the oil being lit up caused surface fire damage twice to each of them, but where did those crazy magic armor damage numbers come from?

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Fireball

[Linked Image]

Spontaneous Combustion

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Killed pretty much all of them with 3 skills, something is wrong with oil interaction with fire and aero bonus it seems, I shouldn't be able to do that much magic armor damage.

Conclusion, even after the magic armor part gets fixed, impalement still looks extremely strong with the high base damage and oil causing surface damage twice.

However I fail to understand why fossil strike cost the same ap as impalement, doesn't have crippled status, (which is weird to begin with considering impalement deals magic damage and crippled is a physical status) have less area of effect than impalement, and deal less damage than impalement, the cooldown difference of 1 turn is pretty pointless when skin graft exist, there is the same issue with searing daggers vs fireball, the power level gap is simply huge. Perhaps there will be changes in the future.









Last edited by sfzrx; 09/06/17 01:31 AM.
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Originally Posted by sfzrx

However I fail to understand why fossil strike cost the same ap as impalement


It should probably cost 3ap

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Any build that can stack stupid amounts of AP is broken. There are probably a fair few of them specially with Elves but i wouldn't count on it staying the same. Executioner for example is massively powerful in the right hands. Cooldown reset abilities are also extremely strong.

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Another solution is to have a skill rank requirement for higher tiers skills, like requiring rank 3 or 4 pyro to use fireball and rank 4 geo to use impalement etc, 3ap for these non source spells seems kinda harsh if they plan on balancing the current ap boost issues.

Last edited by sfzrx; 19/06/17 10:42 PM.
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Since the game just launched I figured I should dig this up again, can't seem to see the patch notes for changes so I'm not sure how much of this stayed in the game, but there should at least be some broken combos left.

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Seems like phoenix dive was changed so it no longer leaves burning ground on landing and also gated behind high warfare skills.


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