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#722075 29/10/20 07:24 PM
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Who is this for: Anyone struggling with combat in BG3.

Don't hate the player, hate the game. I.E. I know Larian implemented controversial mechanics in order to make a more tactical game. Until the mechanics are changed, use them to your advantage. I LOVE the tactical combat in this game. IMO its fine as is. In the long runit could be improved to please more people. Instead of a simple difficulty setting (Easy, Medium, Hard), Larian could implement a complex difficulty mechanism allowing for example to individually turn on/off: Dis/Advantage from height, ground effects, cantrip ground effects, hide as a bonus action, etc.

Note: I will try to avoid spoilers and be vague, sorry if I fail.

With over 240 hours (some of them certainly AFK), here are my general tips for combat...

Useables. At the start of the game on the ship...pickup everything. The "usables" available there and nowhere else are AMAZING. For example: Let’s say you are in a battle saving a birdie or against some hyena spawns and you have archers/casters that have the high ground on you. Throw a caustic bulb up there for a nice AoE (Area of Effect) to damage them and make them move. Once they do, throw a void bulb to suck them back into it for more damage. Nautaloid tanks are amazing and act like oil barrels. Pick up as many as you can using Lae'zel as needed for her carrying capacity then once off the ship send them to camp for storage along with any oil barrel. Sneak in and drop one by a group of enemies, sneak out and hit them with a fire dipped arrow, fire bolt cantrip, etc. Big Boom. Later on, you get acid flasks, acid arrows, alchemists' fire, etc. Don’t forget you can move oil barrels. This + sneak/invisibility is VERY useful.

Jump. Use Jump a lot. Jump to the back side of a melee character for advantage. Jump them to cover more distance, etc. Combine with Jump spell/ability to triple the distance. Use Misty Step if/when available.

Be Ranged. All characters need a ranged weapon. Even casters that have cantrips. Shadowheart sucks with a bow, but if you want to save her spells for heals and you get tired of always missing with Sacred Flame cantrip, use a short/long/cross bow. Yes, she will miss with it a lot too, but she will hit sometimes. Other characters like Lae’zel need to do something when they are getting into position.

Shields. All characters that can use a shield, should at the end of their turn. Since there is no cost/penalty (yet? Add to difficulty?) for swapping weapons, take advantage of the +2 AC from the shield. I usually play Lae’zel with a 2-handed weapon. After she attacks, I switch her to a using a shield before ending my turn.

Dip. Dip often/always. Keep a candle/torch on each character. Before they attack, drop the candle/torch, dip, pick it back up, then attack. Extra fire damage is good. If you are standing in/near other sources of fire, poison, etc...use those to dip.

Terrain/cover. Elevation is good and should be obvious. Use it especially with ranged and casters. But there are other ways too. LoS – Line of Sight. If you are on a roof, move back from the edge between shot/spells to break LoS so the enemy can’t return fire. The same applies to rooms with doorways and other choke points. It is very effective to fight from the other side of a doorway. Move less than 1/2 of your move distance into the doorway, shoot/cast, then move back out of LoS. Block a doorway/choke point with one or more characters to keep them from attacking your ranged/casters.

Focus fire. Less enemies attacking you at once is better. Yes the big one hits hard, but frequently it's better to quickly kill the easy/low HP ones first. Focus on one at a time unless you have a low HP one and maybe your wizard hasn’t cast yet, so you knock a 2nd to low HP so your wizard can split his Magic Missile and kill 2.

Scout. Use hide with sneak. Use pets. Use Mage Hand. Use Shadowheart’s Blessing of the Trickster. Use Invisibility spell/potion. Know what is where.

Stealth/Hide. Start combat from stealth. Break your party into individuals and position each before starting combat. Enter turn-based mode manually if needed. (Beware, this mechanism - starting battle from stealth is currently clunky and takes some getting used to. Make sure all your characters enter combat, etc.).

Explore alternate options. Persuasion, intimidation, deception, disguise, etc. Others react differently to Githyanki, Drow, etc. I can think of 4 different ways to enter the temple/crypt as an example. Try others.

COMBOS! Have your cleric cast create water on your target(s) and then have your wizard cast Witchbolt or Ray of Frost at someone standing in the water. Grease then later Fire Bolt. Move a pet next to an enemy so your rogue can sneak attack it from range. Have raven blind so you have advantage and they have disadvantage. Use Ray of Frost to knock someone prone so a melee character gets advantage on their strike.

Buffs/Debuffs. After resting, Wizards should immediately cast Mage Armor. Shadowheart should cast Shield of Faith. First action upon starting a medium/hard battle is to cast defensive spells like Mirror Image. Then cast buffs like Bless. Then Debufs like Bane or Fairey Fire. Pay attention to which require concentration…for example it takes 2 clerics to keep up Bless and Fairey Fire and they lose Shield of Faith, but the combo is so strong that it is worth it. Other spells like True Strike, Hunters Mark, Hex, etc. are important to get up too.

Try other attacks. Different forms of attack have different hit chances. Different spells have different hit chances. If you have multiple ways of attacking, see which one has the best chance of hitting. For example, I know you like to blast away with your warlock, but sometimes other spells or melee attacks have a much better hit chance.

Hope this helps, and I am happy to update with more GENERAL tips. I.e. not race/class/encounter specific.

Good Luck!



Last edited by RumRunner151; 29/10/20 08:28 PM.
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thank you


Great last words.

Oh no. Not again...
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Great info, thanks for taking the time to lay this all out! cool


“When drinking poison, lick the bowl."---Yoritomo Tarao, Small Enlightenment's by Nancy Sauer
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You forgot on Shove from invisibility. First, Shove doesn't cancel concentration on Invisibility and second, while invisible, you can always Hide and when Hidden, you have 100% to succeed in Shove.

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Can you use shield of faith AND bless? I thought they both used concentration.

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It is possible to have both effect on one character but you need at least 2 casters. Both Shield of Faith and Bless is targetable. For example one cleric cast Bless on warrior and the warrior cast Shield of Faith on himself (via magic item of feat which gives you one cleric spell). With 4 party members you are limited to 4 concentration spell, which all can target one character.

Last edited by Zahur; 02/11/20 09:04 PM.
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Originally Posted by Imora DalSyn
Can you use shield of faith AND bless? I thought they both used concentration.


"for example it takes 2 clerics to keep up Bless and Fairey Fire and they lose Shield of Faith, but the combo is so strong that it is worth it"

Walk around with SoF up so you start an encounter with +2 AC. Then up to you if you want to replace it w/ Bane, Bless, FairyFire, etc.

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Aaah thank you, so now i know why Shadowheat has this water spell memorised, I allways removed it immediatly, because I found it stupid to hold a spell slot to douse fire.
-Facepalm- silly me. I should have known better after playing DOS ;-)

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Since I can't seem to edit my post above:

PETS. At low-level Gale should have Magic Missile and Mage Armor (you find a scrolls early on) and Find Familiar. The spider pet has great mobility. The raven does too and can blind. For Warlocks, pact gives you the IMP which is awesome. For Rangers, the Spider Companion is the best in the game. I will frequently have Gale summon a spider and cast mage armor then use arcane recovery to get the spell slots back.

Last edited by RumRunner151; 03/11/20 03:43 PM.
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I really hope stuff like height advantage or surpise attack can be tweaked. Im honestly tired of the DoS2 system making every encounter already decided by first turn.

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Originally Posted by RumRunner151
Who is this for: Anyone struggling with combat in BG3.

Don't hate the player, hate the game. I.E. I know Larian implemented controversial mechanics in order to make a more tactical game. Until the mechanics are changed, use them to your advantage.


Completely modifying the D&D 5th Edition rules doesn't make it more tactical, on the contrary, it doesn't force the user to choose between different types of actions by redistributing the categories and allowing actions as bonus action, and so on. For the rogue, it's not even tactical anymore, they do as they please since they are sure to completely cripple their target and go away wink

So I'd say at best it's a different, downsized tactic.

Was there any response from their part regarding this, whether they would fix it, or acknowledge they're departing from D&D?

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Originally Posted by Redglyph

For the rogue, it's not even tactical anymore, they do as they please since they are sure to completely cripple their target and go away wink

I find it surprinsing that the enemies seem to have no actions to deal with a stealthy attacker. They just stand there shouting threats if you manage to hide successfuly. Even if hidden, the enemies should at least be able to tell the general direction an attack came from. So they should either move in that direction during they turn, or use aoe spells or items to try to locate the hidden character.

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The 5e rules with regards to stealth are - not good. I've had tabletop games which have got silly with stealthing PCs. Pass without Trace spell makes things worse.

This is somewhere Larian could use their obsession with grenades - equip goblins with flour grenades that reveal stealthy targets within the AoE.

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Thank you for this! I haven't had to use any of these strategies yet, but I'm not very far in at all. I'm a hoarder, rather than a user, so I'm curious if I'll be able to play through the entire game without exploiting any of these. While they might be interesting for some players, the extra mechanics of most of these seems like they'd be a real hassle to use.

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Tried to see if I could go through the game with just two characters with the following (cheese minimizing) rules:

No Barrels
No Scrolls
No Food
No Stealth
No Dip
No Pets or Summons
No Arcane Magic
No micromanaged pre-combat setup or positioning
All difficult combats done
No surfaces except for the odd alchemists fire - I think I've used them 3 times.

I have found that the following combo absolutely wrecks things even without much optimization:

Lae'zel Battlemaster + Light Cleric PC, both speced for major damage. Running Lae'zel dual wield Axe + 1 and Burning Axe and PC with dual regular longswords. Even managed to do the Gnoll fight at lvl 3, fighting them outside the cave (sword and board PC at this point). Such savagery.

I hate to think how destructive this will be if I optimized it.

Last edited by alice_ashpool; 08/11/20 11:15 AM.
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Originally Posted by alice_ashpool
Tried to see if I could go through the game with just two characters with the following (cheese minimizing) rules:

No Barrels
No Scrolls
No Food
No Stealth
No Dip
No Pets or Summons
No Arcane Magic
No micromanaged pre-combat setup or positioning
All difficult combats done
No surfaces except for the odd alchemists fire - I think I've used them 3 times.

I have found that the following combo absolutely wrecks things even without much optimization:

Lae'zel Battlemaster + Light Cleric PC, both speced for major damage. Running Lae'zel dual wield Axe + 1 and Burning Axe and PC with dual regular longswords. Even managed to do the Gnoll fight at lvl 3, fighting them outside the cave (sword and board PC at this point). Such savagery.

I hate to think how destructive this will be if I optimized it.


Again this was for people having trouble....that does not include you. smile

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@OP: those are very good tips.

Here are some tactics I found useful in some (not all) fights.

- shoot and hide:
In dark areas you need a char with high stealth skill. Let this char fight alone, hide and sneak in shooting range while staying out of the enemy field of view. Shoot at them, hide and move a bit. Make sure to be in a dark area and you press hide when you are outside enemy field of view. Some enemies move to a specific position when under attack but they do not see their attacker.

- Shoot and run
If the area is not dark, try this: Use a char with high movement rate, e.g. rogue with dash as bonus action. Sneak in shooting range, shoot and run away. You will exit combat when the enemy is too far away. This is very easy when the fight is near an area transition. Shoot, then run through the door. Changing map does often reset enemy position.

Pet warrior:
Your party stays in the distance. Your ranger summons an animal and sends it to combat. When it dies, summon a new one and repeat.

Quadruple alpha strike:
Separate your chars. Char one sneaks in a good position and starts with his best attack. Then char 2 sneaks in a good position and uses the best attack, then come characters 3 and 4 and maybe the pet too, depending on the chars you use. If you do it right, you should be able to kill most bosses before they can act, then you finish the remaining enemies.

This is complete cheese and it does not always work (e.g. enemies that regenerate health or call adds or you have other objectives during this fight like saving somebody else ) but it can make some hard fights very easy.
The first 3 methods usually take a long time even if they work well.


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all my caustic bulbs are gone have killing the commander and the two cambions in the beginning......


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