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I find it absolutely awesome that someone was actually able to solo IA v5 with the current MODs and kits, and has tried it to achieve the same with v6.

I was able to achieve the same four years ago on v5, but only through a powerful kit, which allows the PC to change at will into a golden dragon that becomes more powerful with each level. The MOD was actually designed to solo Improved Anvil v5 while keeping a great deal of challenge. Something I kept until now as a personal MOD, but for those interested:

Download link: check attached file

 

Cheers,

Red Knight

(I’m not modding anymore, so I don’t intend to provide support for the attached file)

DragKit3.rar

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(I’m not modding anymore, so I don’t intend to provide support for the attached file)
Yeah... you might notice there's a few (6) files that are totally wrong files in the mod, the files are in the "backup" folder, which tells us that you first installed the mod and then packed it. And you had best just put the .tp2 file to the mod folder...

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Wow, this thread was enlightening.

 

I guess I didn't realize how long this nonsense had been going on.

 

I happened across the BWL site recently, perhaps by luck not long after it appears to have been removed from paywall. I downloaded the IA V6 mod and enjoyed the challenge for a while, but of course agree with most of what's been said here. Maybe the only way to have a harder challenge than SCS+Ascension is to start giving enemies spells not available to the PC, enforce level and class restrictions, etc. It would be a bummer if that were the case.

 

Within, I dunno, 24 hours of joining BWL and making my first post, I had both Saros and Sikret PMing me with tales of how awful each other is. Frankly I think you both could use a dose of humility and a chill pill.

 

Indeed I agree with DavidW's comments a while back, that IA is essentially a different game than BG2; infinitely more linear and forced (I mean, at this point, even the wide open Chapter 2/3 is largely scripted in terms of the order you can do things). Which of course is the opposite of why BG2 is still being played and modded these days.

 

The fundamental problem is that "difficulty" and "number of ways to solve an encounter" seem to be viewed as mutually exclusive. I.E., if there's 5 ways to beat something, it can't be that hard, and if there's only one way to beat it then it's as hard as it can be. I don't particularly think this is true, but it certainly makes for an un-fun game - it's basically a crossword puzzle at that point.

 

I am bummed that this mod - which attempts to tackle many things that no other mod I've seen has, such as the heightened focus on managing your money and special items for upgrades such that you can't possibly gain every upgrade and must plan and choose - has so many other failings. It is pretty tedious in my opinion, and would be even moreso if I didn't recently discover Near Infinity to quickly check and see what all the ridiculous resistances and abilities of these enemies are actually doing. Even then, it's still a drag, as I don't even bother testing spells like Emotion, Slow, or thief traps to see if they work on new enemies, since virtually every IA-created creature seems immune to all of those and more.

 

There is probably some combination of IA and SCSII in which a happy medium is reached... difficulty is increased (fairly), upgrades are available but not in an unlimited manner, and battles can be beaten by different classes with multiple styles and tactics, and there aren't these utterly ridiculous "anti-cheat" protections... but at this point in the game's life it doesn't look like there's anyone with the time or inclination to build something like that.

Edited by mikel123

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Wow, this thread was enlightening.

It is, indeed.

 

I guess I didn't realize how long this nonsense had been going on.

7, 8 years or so?

 

 

Within, I dunno, 24 hours of joining BWL and making my first post, I had both Saros and Sikret PMing me with tales of how awful each other is. Frankly I think you both could use a dose of humility and a chill pill.

....

 

Indeed I agree with DavidW's comments a while back, that IA is essentially a different game than BG2; infinitely more linear and forced (I mean, at this point, even the wide open Chapter 2/3 is largely scripted in terms of the order you can do things). Which of course is the opposite of why BG2 is still being played and modded these days.

What bothers me about Anvil are many things, above all:

Some things Sikret improves, like Mists gain "envelop" ability. He says: "It's PnP". Fine. Then he removes Fear immunity from Cavalier Paladins. Cool...

It's becoming an arbitrary mishmash of P'n'P tweaks, uber-items (and people were thinking Holy Avenger is powerful. Meet mr.Judgement Day. Btw, it's far less powerful in-game than on paper, but the same is true for all Anvil items.), Golems, crazy kits with no place in BG2, even less in P'n'P, Grandmastery Rangers (in P'nP, they can't even become Specialized in weapons) etc. Definitely not for everyone. I liked it, but it gets boring far too soon. Sometimes I really want to play BG2 with tons of NPC mods, banters, Ascension Yaga etc.

P.S.

It's newest version features an exe hack, even if it's "dangerous". Perhaps one day he will include TOBeX as well to fix that prehistoric problem with Spell Shield/mirror images etc. finally.

 

The fundamental problem is that "difficulty" and "number of ways to solve an encounter" seem to be viewed as mutually exclusive. I.E., if there's 5 ways to beat something, it can't be that hard, and if there's only one way to beat it then it's as hard as it can be. I don't particularly think this is true, but it certainly makes for an un-fun game - it's basically a crossword puzzle at that point.

Generally speaking, in most IA battles, you will still have several options. In those really hard ones, only one.

 

I am bummed that this mod - which attempts to tackle many things that no other mod I've seen has, such as the heightened focus on managing your money and special items for upgrades such that you can't possibly gain every upgrade and must plan and choose - has so many other failings. It is pretty tedious in my opinion, and would be even moreso if I didn't recently discover Near Infinity to quickly check and see what all the ridiculous resistances and abilities of these enemies are actually doing. Even then, it's still a drag, as I don't even bother testing spells like Emotion, Slow, or thief traps to see if they work on new enemies, since virtually every IA-created creature seems immune to all of those and more.

Not all of them.. What bothered me are simple things. Why are so many humans immune to Chaos, and not Emotion? Why is Conster vulnerable to Hold Person, and yet cannot be confused? What's wrong with him? Why are certain mages immune to slashing damage? How come, if I hit a Gem Golem with a piercing weapon, he takes 0 damage? He should be hurt, chipped at least. Insane THAC0 and damage (5D10 Two-handed sword? Can I pick it up, please?) from some creatures (even multi-class f/m's) is also very difficult to comprehend.

 

There is probably some combination of IA and SCSII in which a happy medium is reached... difficulty is increased (fairly), upgrades are available but not in an unlimited manner, and battles can be beaten by different classes with multiple styles and tactics, and there aren't these utterly ridiculous "anti-cheat" protections... but at this point in the game's life it doesn't look like there's anyone with the time or inclination to build something like that.

It would be a nice mod. It will never happen.

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Yeah, mod is free. about time for fucks sake!

 

In IA no enemy has spells not avaiable to PC. Exept special abilities like "grave silence", "stellar comet", etc. but that's a different thing.

 

Problem is mod author is so deep in the woods (forest) he can't see the trees. Mod is hard at first but once you find the "right" tactic, quickly becomes ridiculously easy. If you of course can spare a couple of hours to find it. I cant. The blueprint is: toss a couple of ruby rays and then hit them with a riskbreaker wielding (usually) blunt weapon. That's it. There are some jokers immune to breach (and I dont mean liches and rakshasas) which is cheating and some with really funneh immunities like for exemple during guildmaster fight there is this bloke assassin coordinator - you can spend all eternity hiting him with your sword doing no damage at all, hes 100% immune to slashing. nice joke LOL anti-slashing-wizard. In IA6 there is also someting called Draco Ferrus, ehheheheh, golem dragon? what a suprise!! Guys you must do someting in IA7. I mean you hitting the wall with you heads, at least stop doing this...Make the mod FUN again.

 

Overall IA is pretty good mod if you really and I mean REALLY want someting different. but if you really want to plat SCS just...dunno...play SCS.

Edited by InKal

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In IA no enemy has spells not avaiable to PC. Exept special abilities like "grave silence", "stellar comet", etc. but that's a different thing.

 

Well no, that's exactly the same thing. There's also Amber Golems and their electricity resistance reduction, "Improved Chain Lightning" and "Improved Web", all of the "lariat" spells/abilities, Dispel-on-hit, etc.

 

Yes, my general playstyle is:

 

1) haste party and try a battle to see if it's modded or not

2) if modded, put up enough of a fight to figure out what new abilities the enemies have

3) CTRL-Q the enemies to see what resistances they have

4) reload, use appropriate weapon types, begin firing off Ruby Rays (as you mention)

 

It is also silly to have a bunch of enemies with absurd AR in the early game, which is a not-so-subtle suggestion to use the Riskbreaker because they can still hit 20% of the time with their criticals.

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Within, I dunno, 24 hours of joining BWL and making my first post, I had both Saros and Sikret PMing me with tales of how awful each other is. Frankly I think you both could use a dose of humility and a chill pill.

 

 

Err, as I remember correctly, I just told you that you'll get no detailed info about this mod from Sikret (specific tactic info, specific monster improvements, way to collect ingredients for items, randomized item locations, stuff like that). That was all :)

 

Indeed I agree with DavidW's comments a while back, that IA is essentially a different game than BG2; infinitely more linear and forced (I mean, at this point, even the wide open Chapter 2/3 is largely scripted in terms of the order you can do things). Which of course is the opposite of why BG2 is still being played and modded these days.

 

 

DavidW's comment on this mod is perhaps the most realistic and free of prejudice. In order to break free of the linear way of this mod, the only option is applying an endless xp exploit. Then even the Twisted Rune can be defeated easily in chapter 3 without reloading. Of course it will also make the easier fights too easy.

 

In IA no enemy has spells not avaiable to PC. Exept special abilities like "grave silence", "stellar comet", etc. but that's a different thing.

 

Well no, that's exactly the same thing. There's also Amber Golems and their electricity resistance reduction, "Improved Chain Lightning" and "Improved Web", all of the "lariat" spells/abilities, Dispel-on-hit, etc.

 

 

Those are special abilities, they don't count as spells. Except (probably) Stellar Gravestone (don't use Near Infinity), but it's actually a version of the Comet spell.

 

I admit there are lots of innate enemy abilities that seem to be unfair, like that Asssassin Coordinators being immune to slashing damage, but actually they make the fights more difficult in a reasonably realistic way, forcing the party to pick adequate proficiencies in all three weapon damage types. Later in the game, for example, there is a certain powerful golem vulnerable only to slashing damage (Sendai's Web golems).

 

Certain enemies DO cheat with their special abilities, though. Take dragons for example. They have Greater Doom that's identical to the Doom spell, but twice as strong and stacks with itself. Works on a target, but despite that bypasses Improved Invisibility, which no other targeted spell or ability cannot do (even such with some area of effect like Creeping Doom or Chain Lightning).

Other cheats (or rather unfixed vanilla game bugs) - the infamous "enemy-go-invisible-while-party member-casting targeted spell" like RRR or Breach-spell immediately cancelled. Party member trying the same (meaning to hide from enemy Breach for example before Breach casting is finished - checked with regular Invisibility, potion, Improved and Mass Invisibility) - spell takes effect nonetheless.

 

Another remark, may I remind you that this thread was about the Premium version (so-called Beta) of IA v6. However, concerning endless exploits, certain tactics, powerful enemies' abilities and scripting, and various other (item) exploits, I find the mod to be the same. Some spells are changed a bit (MGoI and GoI last 15 rounds for any mage level), maybe some other minor tweaks, but generally, I think 95% of the info written here (spoiled mainly by the Bigg, thanks to him we have most of it) is true for the v6 now downloadable at BWL.

 

Lastly, I am currently developing no-reload Insane strategies with no-endless-gold or xp-exploit party. So far way ahead, lvl 5 WK, end of SoA. Probably (despite Sikret's claims) this mod can be won in a no-reload without endless exploits. Although it's sometimes fun to use one and the same Permanency scroll for 20 item upgrades...

 

 

I am bummed that this mod - which attempts to tackle many things that no other mod I've seen has, such as the heightened focus on managing your money and special items for upgrades such that you can't possibly gain every upgrade and must plan and choose - has so many other failings. It is pretty tedious in my opinion, and would be even moreso if I didn't recently discover Near Infinity to quickly check and see what all the ridiculous resistances and abilities of these enemies are actually doing. Even then, it's still a drag, as I don't even bother testing spells like Emotion, Slow, or thief traps to see if they work on new enemies, since virtually every IA-created creature seems immune to all of those and more.

Not all of them.. What bothered me are simple things. Why are so many humans immune to Chaos, and not Emotion? Why is Conster vulnerable to Hold Person, and yet cannot be confused? What's wrong with him? Why are certain mages immune to slashing damage? How come, if I hit a Gem Golem with a piercing weapon, he takes 0 damage? He should be hurt, chipped at least. Insane THAC0 and damage (5D10 Two-handed sword? Can I pick it up, please?) from some creatures (even multi-class f/m's) is also very difficult to comprehend.

 

 

Not that you can't gain every upgrade, but the fact that you have to think which upgrade is most needed. But still you have to collect stuff neglected in the vanilla or slightly modded game, like nonenchanted splint, chain or plate mails, and sell them as best as you can, in order to fix your balance (gold will never be enough though, I've recently collected every bit of gold in Athkatla and WK up to level 5, and still can't afford certain upgrades. Most notably, the +3 and especially +4 protective rings are way too expensive, beware of these. A +3 ring costs 120 750 gp, a +4 costs 333 000 gp. Maybe these are the most expensive items, most players don't even realize it:

 

ring/+3/ = 2* rings/+2/ + rogue stone + 60 000 = 2*30 000 + 750 + 60 000 = 120 750 gp

ring/+4/ = 2* rings/+3/ +2*rogue stone + 90 000 = 2* 120 750 + 2*750 + 90 000 = 333 000 gp

 

And the ring of Gaxx beats them all, being an upgrade over a +4 ring, it actually costs more than 450 000 gp.

 

If you stay out of the more powerful rings and focus money on other upgrades, you'll get the gold to upgrade the rings eventually, but it will be late in ToB probably. And you still have to pick and sell those nonenchanted chains and plates until the very end...

 

As for "which spells work vs whom" - well, the mod is devised to force you to play a lot, replay certain battle a lot, before finding enemy vulnerabilities (to certain spells too). That can be evaded by applying standard tactics more or less, which in my recent run included:

 

Enough fighters and arcane casters (best 4 fighter-types, best 2 mages, including dualclasses here supplies you with both on one character and divine support too - R-C, B-M are both essential party members)

RRR, Breach

Grandmastery from the very begining, Improved Haste

Switch to Normal weapons when needed.

Ganging powerful enemy casters (liches) at the right time (when PFMW expires) and with all active buffs (don't show fighters to powerful enemy casters prematurely, keep them safely behind, let mages occupy enemy's attention)

Splitting enemies effectively (lich is slow, accompanying skeleton lords/warlords are fast, lead them away towards your warrior ambush, lich will come too late when skeletons are long dead). Another effective splitting can be applied in the battle vs Alhoon and his (greater) elemental golem.

Taking advantage of certain enemies' poor scripting (Dracolich has Death Fog, will not use it to kill summons if it doesn't see a party member first - so keeping party members away protects summons, three Grave Liches casting True Sight at the same time to dispel lame Invisibility, etc)

Eliminating the randomness effect in a fight (example - Whisper Spiders that dispel specific protections on hit, have a chance to confuse with Vexing Whisper, and can drag a character with Web Lariat in an unfavourable location - those are suckers for a PFMWed Berserker-Mage taking them all by himself).

Forcing high-level mages to cast in a predictable way (if an enemy high-level mage sees a Stone/Ironskined character who is not protected from Abjuration, first spell of order will be Breach, if any available, if that mage sees only a character under Immunity Abjuration and other spell protections, first action will be Ruby Ray of Reversal, if a high-level mage's Mirror Image is dispelled by Remove Magic, he will make top priority recasting it if any copies available in his spellbook, etc, etc)

Controlling effectively summons under Farsight. Extremely useful, very underestimated and not widely used as far as I can see.

Engaging certain enemies with immune to their effects characters ONLY. Example - vampires and vampiric mists being eliminated in large quantities only by R-C, B-M and summons.

 

There are several more IA basic tactical principles. More or less all tactics are a variable mix of the abovementioned.

 

@kreso - first, glad to see you around again. Second, a long time ago I stopped looking for logic or reason in Sikret's modifications. You shouldn't try as well. There is some twisted logic, but on a way different level - the kind of logic that tries to force you to fight 'fair', whatever he means by that.

Edited by Saros

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Are you saying that as long as the enemy is not casting it like a spell, but rather insta-casting it like an ability, it's not "cheating"? Abilities are spells, I fail to see the difference. I mean this literally, too... it sounds like most people here don't use Near Infinity (hence Bigg seeming like an oracle in this thread), but abilities and spells are literally coded the exact same way in this game. They're all called "spells", you just "cast" them in different ways from different menus. I also found the Dracolich to cast spells and use abilities much faster than one-per-6-seconds. Whether this is intentional or not, I don't know, but it's not due to an Improved Alacrity cast.

 

I agree with most of your strategy points. The weapon and spell immunities are more annoying than anything, unfortunately. I suppose not as much on 2nd and subsequent playthroughs, but I fail to see the point of spending 20 minutes in a battle to determine what arbitrary resistances and immunities an enemy has. It doesn't take any particular cleverness to use a crushing weapon against someone who is immune to slashing, nor to avoid using Confusion against someone immune to it. Just seems like a time sink to me.

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Are you saying that as long as the enemy is not casting it like a spell, but rather insta-casting it like an ability, it's not "cheating"? Abilities are spells, I fail to see the difference. I mean this literally, too... it sounds like most people here don't use Near Infinity (hence Bigg seeming like an oracle in this thread), but abilities and spells are literally coded the exact same way in this game. They're all called "spells", you just "cast" them in different ways from different menus. I also found the Dracolich to cast spells and use abilities much faster than one-per-6-seconds. Whether this is intentional or not, I don't know, but it's not due to an Improved Alacrity cast.

 

I agree with most of your strategy points. The weapon and spell immunities are more annoying than anything, unfortunately. I suppose not as much on 2nd and subsequent playthroughs, but I fail to see the point of spending 20 minutes in a battle to determine what arbitrary resistances and immunities an enemy has. It doesn't take any particular cleverness to use a crushing weapon against someone who is immune to slashing, nor to avoid using Confusion against someone immune to it. Just seems like a time sink to me.

 

I'm just saying that many powerful enemies have unique abilities which shouldn't be labelled as "cheating". It's actually how they use their abilities described as "cheating". Concernind that, most times they play "fair" with what they have at their disposal. The only "unfair" thing may seem the fact that they know the target's current resistances/immunities/vulnerabilities and will act accordingly (hence no ADHW cast on the target if it's protected from Magical Energy for example, or FoD cast on someone protected by Death Ward).

 

The Dracolich and all other Anvil dragons have permanent Improved Alacrity in their dragon form (but not in their human form, you will see that when you get to Abazigal and Draconis). IA dragons use it to utmost efficiency with devastating short time-casting spells and abilities (Armor of Faith, Dragon Fear, Greater Silence, Wing Buffet, Stoneskin, PFMW, Spell Trigger/Sequencer, Lower Fire/Acid/Electrical/Cold resistance, breath attack, etc). This makes them truly formidable, but dragons should be like that. Barring the Shadow Dragon, there is no "easy" dragon fight in IA v6 (Firkraag has 3 waves of minions, Saladrex is in a dead-arcane magic zone which allows only his arcane magicks to work, Dracolich is immune to Breach & all spells 1-5 level, Ancient dragon is a nightmare, other dragons have certain improvements too).

 

IA is designed to be a "time sink" mod. That's why Sikret hates when info about certain tactics/vulnerabilities/item locations and special quests is being leaked. BTW I don't use NI simply because I like discovering stuff by myself, by testing it. Let me tell you that all endless xp, gold or item exploits cannot be discovered via Near Infinity. But I guess a lot of time is wasted like that indeed.

 

No it doesn't require any cleverness to deploy crushing damage to anyone who's most vulnerable to it or lightning damage to one who's immune to everything else, but it does require certain experience with the IA mod to put proficiencies/pick sorcerer spells right. Another "time sink" feature. For example you play a lot, go real far ahead, then suddenly understand that you cannot win a certain very hard battle because your sorcerer didn't make an important spell pick 7 days (real-life time) ago, or your warrior didn't pick the right weapon proficiency about that same time. What you do? Curse a lot, then either start anew (that's for diamond psyche players) or throw away your computer out of the window, or simply forget about IA and start again with SCS II.

Edited by Saros

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Interesting to note about the dragons and IA.

 

As for the picked-the-wrong-sorceror-spell scenario, you're forgetting option D which is "fix it via Shadow Keeper and move on". To each his own, but I find this infinitely less "cheating" than looking for and using infinite gold and experience exploits.

 

Bummer to hear it was *designed* as a time sink. I think maybe that's a good indication that we've done about all we can with BG2 and might want to start looking at some other pastimes. Life is full of time sinks that are unavoidable; anything I can do to avoid adding one more is something I actively seek.

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Hey Saros, long time indeed...I ain't playing IA anymore. Finished it, deleted it and emptied my Recycle Bin. That little spare time of my life I devote to BG2 I mainly test Kit Revisions, all testers are welcome btw. It was a fun ride, IA6, but only for an uber-party of mine (2 riskbreakers, Necro protag, sorcerer and Cernd). Would not play that mod again, anyway...2 much crap happened to Anvil already and I want no part of it anymore.

I even wrote a little song for people reading about Anvil here, hope you will all like it:

 

Come play Anvil

Take your time

Meet your Golem

Has lots of style.

 

Immune to magic

Slice and Pierce

Throw away your bow

It won't touch him.

 

Nerco stands supreme

Touch attack is the win

Mages won't hurt, I mean

When Alacrity is with him.

 

Vagrant, is, oh my

Way, way out of style

Axes and flails, friend

Won't help much today.

 

Take your risk

In Anvil, bro

Give him swords

Dual-wield from the go.

 

Valy and Cernd

Both are Nature's friend

Immunity, oh yeah

Both of them have.

 

 

 

 

P.S.

Dragons had Alacrity in vanilla as well.

Whole mod is a "time-sink".

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Nice song :) like it, maybe requires just a bit of polish to be a hit :)

 

As for dragons in vanilla - yes, I simply didn't state it clear above. What I meant is that dragons always had permanent Alacrity in dragon form, but they use it to utmost efficiency with IA's added modifications, abilities and scripts.

 

I agree on the "time-sink" idea, this mod is only for players who get easily addicted to certain things and have the time to spare, playing and exploring it. It may be a loooong time, I remember first time completing IA v5 solo no-reload, took me 8-9 months of playing.

Edited by Saros

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Nice song :) like it, maybe requires just a bit of polish to be a hit :)

 

Thank you. Yes, it does. I wrote it in 10 minutes so.... :D

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