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Baldur's Gate 2 - am I doing something wrong?

dighn

Lifer
Aug 12, 2001
22,820
4
81
so I decided to play Baldur's Gate 2, for the first time. Great game and all but the difficulty is unexpected. More than once I've had to abandon a current quest and go back to an earlier one, or survived some encounters only barely after multiple tries - this really kills the immersion for me. I'm not a total newb at this D&D-style CRPG, having played NWN and NWN2 before (which were admittedly too easy).

Minor Spoilers:
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- Did Nalia's quest as the first quest in chapter 2, could not kill the boss trolls no matter what I tried. Loaded an earlier save, got some more experiences and weapons and such and had relatively little trouble then. but I didn't like this from an RP perspective because that quest seemed very urgent.
- Windspear Hills, barely survived the nest of undead, 4/6 party members are level drained, some severely. only member with restoration spell is drained so... subsequent encounters are kicking my ass and I can't rest safely - yes I know I could probably leave the whole town and get restoration/rest but from a RP perspective I'd rather not do that. pre-drain levels are around 9-11. party make up: main char (mage), minsc, jaheira, aerie, nalia, cernd - nalia I swap around with anomen depending on mood, cernd is there temporarily because of the trademeet quest, in place of yoshi. I know the make up is not optimal, but I would think that an optimal make up should not be required.
- some other encounters that kicked my butt repeatedly before I managed to survive barely, like the temple district sewer encounter with the group of evil adventurers, the vampire encounter in athkatla city (Del), vampire nest in chapter 3 (which I abandoned to complete more side quests in chapter 2, like the trademeet ones and windspear hills)

What am I doing wrong? Should I find an optimal party make up and stick with it? Do quests in a specific order? or just suck it up, ignore the repeated slaughtering and keep trying because the whole game is like that?

 

Fenixgoon

Lifer
Jun 30, 2003
28,494
4,103
126
level drain is a pain and can be removed by temples (greater restoration.. 700g i think). what difficulty do you have the game on? since BG IS HARD, you will end up reloading a lot. once you get the feel for it though, you dont have to reload as much.

quests can be done in any order, although there will be sections that may prove incredibly difficult (ie, cult of the eyeless quest w/o the shield of balduran is a bitch. doable, but 100x harder). dragon fights at low level will be close to impossible. i typically wait till later in the game.

to be honest, it looks like you have too many casters in your group. you only have 1 fighter - minsc. i usually take 3-4 (me as monk, minsc, keldorn, anomen). keep trying if that's the party you like though.

don't forget to use spells and buffs - they can make all the difference in the world. good luck :)
 

Dumac

Diamond Member
Dec 31, 2005
9,391
1
0
I believe I tried Baldur's Gate 2 and kept dying in the opening dungeon. I felt like a retard.

I also had easily aced NWN and NWN 2.
 

dighn

Lifer
Aug 12, 2001
22,820
4
81
I play on Normal difficulty. Hmm I was just planning to try Cult of the Eyeless next, and I've never heard of the shield of balduran, LOL! The party is a little unbalanced yes, though I use Jaheira for front line (she has great AC, and flame blad makes her pretty lethal), and always shape-shift Cernd. Minsc with the speed boots and sentient sword is a mean killing machine all by himself. I do plan to make Anomen a more permanent member though. When my mages level up and get higher level spells I should be able to dish out more hurt from that part.

Dumac: I died a few times in the opening dungeon too :D this is significantly harder than NWNx.
 

Borealis7

Platinum Member
Oct 19, 2006
2,816
148
106
are you playing good or evil?
if youre evil, you could take Viconia with you. she's very nice and of course Edwin the Ev0le$7 N3Cr0/\/\@nC3R 3\/@ (tm)

make sure to read all the spell descriptions and try to get every lat bit of advantage in any situation. rest before big fights and adopt a "morning ritual" (after resting buff the party up, this could take several minutes).

druids are useless. monks, mages and clerics pwn.

what else?...you can get easy XP by having you mages learning new spells even useless ones (but later in the game you run the risk of having a book full of useless spells...)

steal from stores! clean them out! pickpocket everyone! and i do mean EVERYONE! (but save first in case you fail).

and dont be afraid to restart the game, you'll find that replaying the beginning is not that bad. picking a mage as your characters could make the game harder, i would go with a pure fighter, monk or theif.

my fav good party: me (monk or fighter) , Minsc, Anomen, Aerie, Nalia and Imoen.

ev0lest party: me(thief) , that dwarf from the copper coronet (forgot his name), Viconia :heart: Edwin, Nalia and Aerie if she doesnt run away from all the Ev0l.

yes i know i love spellcasters.

i hope this helps, my BG2 knowledge is perhaps not updated.

the only thing (that i know of...) that i havent been able to do in this game is kill the demi-lich. he nasty.
 

dighn

Lifer
Aug 12, 2001
22,820
4
81
I play a goodie two shoes and even give gold to beggars! :laugh:
Anyway I realize playing a mage makes it harder, but I really like mages: "vita. mortis. careo! ... something evil dies". That's just so bad ass ;)
 

DangerAardvark

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2004
7,581
0
0
I'm a bit of a powergamer so the game was pretty easy for me. In retrospect I'd probably have enjoyed the game more if I didn't read any FAQs, but I can't help it- GAMES ARE MEANT TO BE WON!
 

Fenixgoon

Lifer
Jun 30, 2003
28,494
4,103
126
Originally posted by: Borealis7
are you playing good or evil?
if youre evil, you could take Viconia with you. she's very nice and of course Edwin the Ev0le$7 N3Cr0/\/\@nC3R 3\/@ (tm)

make sure to read all the spell descriptions and try to get every lat bit of advantage in any situation. rest before big fights and adopt a "morning ritual" (after resting buff the party up, this could take several minutes).

druids are useless. monks, mages and clerics pwn.

what else?...you can get easy XP by having you mages learning new spells even useless ones (but later in the game you run the risk of having a book full of useless spells...)

steal from stores! clean them out! pickpocket everyone! and i do mean EVERYONE! (but save first in case you fail).

and dont be afraid to restart the game, you'll find that replaying the beginning is not that bad. picking a mage as your characters could make the game harder, i would go with a pure fighter, monk or theif.

my fav good party: me (monk or fighter) , Minsc, Anomen, Aerie, Nalia and Imoen.

ev0lest party: me(thief) , that dwarf from the copper coronet (forgot his name), Viconia :heart: Edwin, Nalia and Aerie if she doesnt run away from all the Ev0l.

yes i know i love spellcasters.

i hope this helps, my BG2 knowledge is perhaps not updated.

the only thing (that i know of...) that i havent been able to do in this game is kill the demi-lich. he nasty.
druids still have some decent spells, although I agree that they are not nearly as handy as a fighter (especially minsc and keldorn).

cast defensive harmony, barkskin, bless, sanctuary, etc. also, plague of insects (lvl5) is a HUGE help for disrupting casters and other mobs, since the plague spreads from person to person as long as they're close.

have your mages cast haste on the entire party. stoneskin your mages. mirror image, fireshield, spell turning, globe of invulnerability. (to be honest, i only really used stoneskin, mirror image, fireshield and haste, but the others come in handy on occasion).

the more buffs you have, the greater your chance of winning, generally. some buffs last a while (stoneskin) so don't hesitate to cast that after resting. others (bless) will run out in no time.
 

XMan

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
12,508
46
91
I beat the game with a paladin so I could use the +5 sword and the dragon plate . . .
 

Ika

Lifer
Mar 22, 2006
14,267
3
81
Originally posted by: XMan
I beat the game with a paladin so I could use the +5 sword and the dragon plate . . .
I'm currently playing with a stalker/cleric in my party, so I can stealth and backstab with... CROM FAEYR WOOT! A scimitar/crom faeyr stalker, even with only triple backstab, can do MONSTROUS damage. Her damage was almost on par with my assassin, who duals katanas and short swords. Plus if I don't feel like stealthing, she can wear full plate mail, and has access to every cleric spell in the game (except Harper''s Call... but that doesn't count). This means I have four party members who can stoneskin/ironskin (me as sorcerer, me as assassin/mage, me as cleric/mage, and me as stalker/cleric). I love my party.

The remaining two members are me as Inquisitor, and me as an archer. Interestingly enough, these two guys have by the far the most kills - 26% and 33%, respectively.
 

Bateluer

Lifer
Jun 23, 2001
27,730
7
0
Originally posted by: dighn


Minor Spoilers: Comments added. Its been a while since I've played BG2, brings back memories.
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.
.
.
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- Did Nalia's quest as the first quest in chapter 2, could not kill the boss trolls no matter what I tried. Loaded an earlier save, got some more experiences and weapons and such and had relatively little trouble then. but I didn't like this from an RP perspective because that quest seemed very urgent.

Use traps. Plant a several traps in a room, then lure the trolls into the trapped room with a party member. Its cheap, but it works. Its also effective against dragons, though even cheaper.

- Windspear Hills, barely survived the nest of undead, 4/6 party members are level drained, some severely. only member with restoration spell is drained so... subsequent encounters are kicking my ass and I can't rest safely - yes I know I could probably leave the whole town and get restoration/rest but from a RP perspective I'd rather not do that. pre-drain levels are around 9-11. party make up: main char (mage), minsc, jaheira, aerie, nalia, cernd - nalia I swap around with anomen depending on mood, cernd is there temporarily because of the trademeet quest, in place of yoshi. I know the make up is not optimal, but I would think that an optimal make up should not be required.

That was a pain to get through, as I recall. I didn't enter until Aerie had a restoration spell though. You should be able to pull out and head back to town to restore and bank, if memory serves, you were put on a probation after killing the disguised knights. I usually prefer to keep the same party for the bulk of the game. After I get out of the main dungeon, I begin making trips to get my desired party members and I usually keep them throughout the game, as necessity dictates. Yoshimo's traps come in handy, but when he betrays you in Spellhold, you can fill his slot with Imoen.

- some other encounters that kicked my butt repeatedly before I managed to survive barely, like the temple district sewer encounter with the group of evil adventurers, the vampire encounter in athkatla city (Del), vampire nest in chapter 3 (which I abandoned to complete more side quests in chapter 2, like the trademeet ones and windspear hills)

God, I hate fighting vamps in that game. Don't even bother until you are a fairly high level, well equipped, and carry lots of holy water and fire based spells. There are also some sun effect weapons in the game that are useful. One of them in the second floor of a building in the temple quarter. Be ready for a very tough fight.

What am I doing wrong? Should I find an optimal party make up and stick with it? Do quests in a specific order? or just suck it up, ignore the repeated slaughtering and keep trying because the whole game is like that?

Save frequentyly, use your potions, and vary your tactics.
 

Borealis7

Platinum Member
Oct 19, 2006
2,816
148
106
pleeeeaaaseee Bateluer for all that is holy and rightous remove what you wrote about yoshimo!!! i dont think he's seen it yet!
 

dighn

Lifer
Aug 12, 2001
22,820
4
81
hahaha yes I haven't seen that twist yet, though I know of it from various sources because people like to talk about replacing Yoshimo with Imoen... There was a bit of foreshadowing from an exchange between Haer'Dalis and Yoshimo anyway. Though further spoilers are preferably avoided :)

I think part of the problem is that I make it artificially harder by sticking to role-playing principles and avoiding "meta-gaming" (using knowledge that the characters wouldn't have). I can be a little obsessive there. Anyway I think I could really use another fighter in my party.
 

skace

Lifer
Jan 23, 2001
14,488
7
81
It's not a forgiving, hold-your-hand style game. Which is what makes it memorable. For what it's worth, I played through with a pretty unorthodox main character and did OK. Remember, when comparing this game to NWN and NWN2, in BG2, the game is balanced on the expectation that will you use every member of your party to 100% efficiency.

The only suggestion I can give is to have a balanced group and play to every classes strengths.
 

AlphaNex

Senior member
Mar 13, 2001
257
0
0
BG2 is not easy. Just expect to have to reload alot more than most modern games that are more forgiving. Also, DO NOT accept level drain. NEVER walk around with more than 1 level drained. Go back to town and restore. Roleplaying is fun, but remember your party is a group of hardened killers and adventurers, they would know when to back out and reapproach things. BG2 is not leveled like Oblivion or anything like that, meaning that the creatures and encounters are mostly static, and just because you can go there, doesnt mean you should yet.

Dont worry, stick with it, mages become Elminster like mass killing machines later on with spells like timestop, dragons breath, etc... In fact mages are one of the most popular classes to "solo" the game with.

Also, dont be afraid to be a cheap ass sometimes. Walk into a room and get rolled by something godawful and unfathomably beyond your scope? Reload and fill the room before it with traps and lure them out, instant win.

I would like to take this opportunity to just recount one of my most memorable gaming moments, and perhaps in the process letting you know your not the only one to get rolled :D

The first dragon i fought (I think it was the red, Firkraag or whatever, its been a long time) totally annihilated my party multiple times. I was so totally outclassed it was sad and i was getting ready to reload and leave the area when i decided to give it one more go with a fairly unorthodox tactic. I took aerie, gave her every potion i could(heroism, giant strenght, invuln, basically every potion everyone had in my party that i could force down her throat)buffed her with every spell i had that i could possibly buff her with. My aim was to increase her thaco as much as possible. I then had her cast Slay Living on herself. I marched her, all alone in her frilly little robe of paper armor, with her little club, all alone into the dragons lair. The dragon did his speech and she procceeded to touch him on the toe and he dropped like a felled oak, dead as a doornail. One hit. I was shocked, and immediately saved. I reloaded the prior save just to see if I could do it again, and probably reloaded 20 or 30 times just to try and she never could roll a hit ever again. When I completed Throne of Bhaal in her record sheet Firkraag was still the most powerful slain creature of hers :D




 

Ika

Lifer
Mar 22, 2006
14,267
3
81
Originally posted by: AlphaNex
BG2 is not easy. Just expect to have to reload alot more than most modern games that are more forgiving. Also, DO NOT accept level drain. NEVER walk around with more than 1 level drained. Go back to town and restore. Roleplaying is fun, but remember your party is a group of hardened killers and adventurers, they would know when to back out and reapproach things. BG2 is not leveled like Oblivion or anything like that, meaning that the creatures and encounters are mostly static, and just because you can go there, doesnt mean you should yet.

Dont worry, stick with it, mages become Elminster like mass killing machines later on with spells like timestop, dragons breath, etc... In fact mages are one of the most popular classes to "solo" the game with.

Also, dont be afraid to be a cheap ass sometimes. Walk into a room and get rolled by something godawful and unfathomably beyond your scope? Reload and fill the room before it with traps and lure them out, instant win.

I would like to take this opportunity to just recount one of my most memorable gaming moments, and perhaps in the process letting you know your not the only one to get rolled :D

The first dragon i fought (I think it was the red, Firkraag or whatever, its been a long time) totally annihilated my party multiple times. I was so totally outclassed it was sad and i was getting ready to reload and leave the area when i decided to give it one more go with a fairly unorthodox tactic. I took aerie, gave her every potion i could(heroism, giant strenght, invuln, basically every potion everyone had in my party that i could force down her throat)buffed her with every spell i had that i could possibly buff her with. My aim was to increase her thaco as much as possible. I then had her cast Slay Living on herself. I marched her, all alone in her frilly little robe of paper armor, with her little club, all alone into the dragons lair. The dragon did his speech and she procceeded to touch him on the toe and he dropped like a felled oak, dead as a doornail. One hit. I was shocked, and immediately saved. I reloaded the prior save just to see if I could do it again, and probably reloaded 20 or 30 times just to try and she never could roll a hit ever again. When I completed Throne of Bhaal in her record sheet Firkraag was still the most powerful slain creature of hers :D
Another easier way to do basically the same thing is to Doom and Greater Malison the dragon as much as you can, then have a mage lv12 or higher cast Chromatic Orb. The Orb's save is +6, but if you have enough Dooms and Greater Malisons on it (lowers saving throws), at lv12, Chromatic Orb's special effect is... instant death :shocked:
 

Mem

Lifer
Apr 23, 2000
21,476
13
81
BG2 is a great game however it can be very hard for new players that are not use to the gameplay,even experience players can have trouble if they have wrong party balance or wonder into areas that are a bit high for their current level.
We all have different skill levels,there's no shame in finding some games hard.

I just save often and if I find an area too hard I either go back to it later or try and get better equipment,remember buffs can help turn the tide in battles,buffs are easy to forget.

Last resort is BG forums for battle tips etc...
 

dighn

Lifer
Aug 12, 2001
22,820
4
81
Tried the vampire nest in chap 3 again with a more balanced party, replacing Haer'Dalis/Yoshimo with Anomen/Nalia, and the whole thing was a lot easier. Got wiped out "only" twice. Thanks for the tips/encouragement.
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
80,109
12,914
126
There is an amulet which protects against Negative Energy (level drain). Its called the Amulet of Power and while only certain classes can wear it, the item makes vampires and other major undead enemies a lot easier.

You can either kill Aran Linvail (the real leader of the shadow thieves) for it, but I have also been told a thief with an amazing amount of points in Pick Pocket can also get it from him. You would probably need a thief of high level with all his skill points in PP and any items which would give a bonus to that skill.

Also, if you upgrade the Mace Of Distruption it will give level drain protection to whoever wields it.
In order to upgrade it, grab the mace from the northwest blood pool in the vampire lair underneath the City Graveyard. Then talk with one of the churches in the Temple district about doing a good deed for them. They will ask you to get an artist to make a scuplture for them. The artist will want a special ore. You tack down the ore by talking to the special merchant in Waukeens Promenade. She will direct you to a dwarf in the Copper Coronet. The dwarf will direct you to a murderer in the Bridge District, named Neb.
Kill Neb, get the ore, take both the club and the ore to the smith in the southeast section of the Docks District. He will offer to make you a Mace of Disruption +2. It costs a pretty penny, but it well worth it.

I think there might also be an item or two in the Expansion which protects against level drain, but by that time it wasnt a big deal for me so I never relied on it. Runehammer is one, but you dont find it until the end of Throne of Bhaal, so it wont help you.

The easy way of course is to get a cleric (Anomen or Viconia) up to a level where they can cast Protection from Negative Energy. Aerie could do it too, but she is a multiclass and it will take forever to get her to the level where she can use that cleric spell.

EDIT: If someone does get level drained, use a scroll of Restoration on them before diving deeper into the dungeon.
You can buy those scrolls at many Temples in town. You will be fatigued after using it but thats much less severe than a lost level.
When you clear the vampires, rest to regain your fatigue and spells.

Also note that the Mace of Disruption and Azure Axe have a chance to instantly kill undead. Giving Korgan a few skill points in Mace or Mazzy some skill points in Mace or Axe may be worth your while. (Korgan is evil and cant use that particular axe.)


EDIT 2: My current party is Korgan, Keldorn, Mazzy, Valygar, Haer' Dalis, and me (barbarian).
Despite what people have said, an all warrior party is suprisingly easy. But I would not recommend for beginners. Also I have the Bottomless Scroll cases installed so my Bard can keep and use ALL of the scrolls I find, not just the ones that fit into those tiny scroll cases.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
5
0
Someone send a copy of this thread to Bioware.

The game is 8 years old and we are still talking about it. How many other games released in 2000 can claim this?

I wish we could get a spiritual successor to this game. A large party of NPCs who interact with you and each other. An open ended campaign where you can pick and choose what you want to do next, at least for the first 5 chapters. BG was by far the most enjoyable RPG game I have seen and the only one I have played through more than once.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
5
0
I am thinking a Kensi with Celestial Fury in one hand and Daystar in the other, should end your undead problems :)
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
80,109
12,914
126
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Someone send a copy of this thread to Bioware.

The game is 8 years old and we are still talking about it. How many other games released in 2000 can claim this?

I wish we could get a spiritual successor to this game. A large party of NPCs who interact with you and each other. An open ended campaign where you can pick and choose what you want to do next, at least for the first 5 chapters. BG was by far the most enjoyable RPG game I have seen and the only one I have played through more than once.
The Bioware forums are filled with people shouting their love for BG. But its also filled with people shouting their love for more recent games.
Newer games with bright pretty colors and shapes make more money.

Thats the effect the modern console player has had on the industry. Make it shiny and pretty and put gameplay in the backseat.
People will buy.
 

larry89

Senior member
Feb 8, 2005
639
0
0
If you want to play BG2 go here http://spellholdstudios.com/ie

There are mods that can add BG1 + Tales of the Sword Coast + BG2 and Throne of bhaal and make it into one game, and it can also turn BG1 into the Bg2 ENGINE

Then you can add tweaks and fix packs and player made expansions.

It has a bit of a learning curve but once you do it, IT KICKS ASS
 

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