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difficulty curve problem


Guest synthphase

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Guest synthphase

I love the mod but I think there is a difficulty curve problem with it.

There are areas a PC can choose during each chapter. I'm not sure on the design of the mod but my sense is that the original game design aimed to make all the areas of somewhat equal difficulty at a particular level, insofar as the plot is more or less linear. This is especially true in Chapter 2 when you're just starting out and have no immunities or even very good AC. Is SCS deliberately deviating from the difficulty curve of the original game?

I'm getting my ass handed to me by the spectral trolls in the Druid Grove. Even at AC -10 and fighting Badly Wounded spectral trolls brings me down to about 5 strength in no time while maybe killing one out of three. I remember the trolls being decently hard before and it's a chapter 2 fight so I would argue it shouldn't be THAT hard. Maybe have an original version of the spectral troll without the insane regeneration and THAC0 for this map and save the buffed ones for later? Unless this mod is only for vets of the game and not meant for new players at all..

TLDR: I'm finding great inconsistencies with the difficulty in one area vs. another when both can be accessed during chapter 2.

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It sounds as if you’ve got components from the “tactical challenges” section installed - in which case, no: those are not really aimed at new players, unless they want a very severe challenge. 

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Fighting Spirit Trolls in melee isn't exactly the best idea, unless you get yourself a weapon with low speed factor and kite them with it instead of taking the hits. You should also be using spells against them, and, yes, the Druid Grove is one of the areas that has it's difficulty increased the most out of all the tactical challenges. For the troll cove just get in and then get out as soon as you are spotted a few times so that you can fight the enemies in reduced groups instead.

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Oh boy, just wait until you meet Bodhi, or her mage Tanova. They're going to rip you a new one. I kinda had to edit some SCS encounters myself, because they were impossible to overcome with a RP party (no powergaming).

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People’s experience of which bits of SCS are easy or hard are very variable in my experience. FWIW my own playtests, on roughly what scs v32 would classify as ‘hardcore’ (but not ‘insane’) were with parties selected on mostly RP grounds, albeit with an eye to balance. So I’m sceptical of ‘impossible’ here.

 

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You know, that's what I am experiencing as well. The mod forces you not to:

---> don't go to spellhold Early. The mod actually railroads you to play in a certain way - that is, don't go to spellhold unless you finished all the various quests that you are suggested to.
I have installed Imoen Romance and it is imperative that you get her as soon as possible. You may imagine, being level 9 and facing Tactics Bodhi (that is my fault, though!: this proved to be outright impossible given that I was level 7-8) and then going under spellhold.
I had to spam rest a lot of times to actually choose every time the spells my other characters had to have, sometimes even being a little cheesy: like using imoen to lure enmies around and so on. In fact I even liked the fact that I have to think about things not straight, and I can actually acknowledge the mod succeeds in that. 

I guess it was my fault for going there so underleveled?

---> Bodhi fight was exctruciating:

I actually thought to ask DavidW to add another option for Bodhi fight, I mean, either you:
> almost kill her
> get hit enough times without dieing
> What about a third option where she leaves you with one hp? It would be also thematic and not forced. It would be a taunt on top of a taunt.

Beside, I had even thought to ask for Bodhi to be touched only on chapter 6-7 fight, instead of the early bodhi.... It would even make more sense, given that she has a bhaalspawn soul now.




 

Edited by Arthas
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If you can’t beat Bodhi in chapter 2, run away! She’s on a timer, after all. 

I don’t think SCS forces you to go to Spellhold late any more than the original game does. In either case, you’re going to find Spellhold and the underdark much harder if you go there earlier, because the game pays almost no attention to your level. SCS raises the overall difficulty but doesn’t change that tradeoff. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen plenty of write ups of people’s SCS playthroughs where they’ve gone early to Spellhold - I don’t tend to myself but that’s more for RP reasons, since doing side quests in chapters 6-7 seems unrealistic.

There is a broader point here: BG2 in general does not even faintly scale the difficulty to your character. The various stronghold quests are of radically variable difficulty and (mostly) don’t get any harder if you do them later in the game. That’s quite different from the norm in most modern CRPGs but SCS embraces it rather than trying to do something about it. If an encounter is too difficult, retreat and do something more level-appropriate, and come back later when you’re more powerful. If that doesn’t appeal to you, you are probably playing the wrong game and you are definitely using the wrong mod.

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I didn't think she was in a timer. I always thought she had to do X damage to you and if you survived you would have the dialogue right after.

Actually, for Roleplay, I would go there as fast as possible, provided that you have a good <charname>. That said, I don't think I'm going to do the optional quests in Underdark given that I'm having so many difficulties. 

My team consists of 
Myself (ranger)
Aerie (cleric\mage)
Minsc (ranger)
Jaheira (fighter\druid)
Imoen (swashbuckler\mage)

I totally agree with this vision though "SCS embraces it rather than trying to do something about it".
I'm just saying that currently, going early means lot of grinding.

Edited by Arthas
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Understood. But that clashes with other mods too (see store revisions) where you would find yourself deprived of precious money (I remember myself to be broke using that mod).

I'm just saying that not doing the quests would be actually a doom for any playthrough.

For example, I found other difficulties against Irenicus. Would I be able to beat him and the amount of thieves that starts to backstab you right after? I wouldn't. I had to CTRL+Y. There was no actual way that I could beat Irenicus, casting "Timestop". Add on top of that that for some strange reason one of the inmates started to target me (the bard) even if he was blue-circled.

Also... Irenicus didn't seem to be limited in his powers given that I got more than one of my characters to be completely gutted because of his spells. Read gutted as "Chunked". The encounter was turning into me trying to cheese by going out of his vision hoping that Wanev would take care of him.

Beside, when it actually happened that Wanev took care of him, the following assassins would have killed anyone given that they would always be able to go invisible and then backstab. I don't remember if it was because they had potions ( I think they did) or if they had the ability to go invisible, but given that in a single playthrough I even found myself with -3 npcs because they got chunked, my frustration started to rise and I actually used CTRL+Y.

Beside, if I remember correctly and they actually had potions, where did they find them. Meh.

Edited by Arthas
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Clash with other mods: well, sure, not all mods are mutually compatible, conceptually or technically. If you install a mod component that clearly describes itself as requiring you to acquire 100,000gp, don’t install other mods that mean you can’t do that.

”Not doing the quests would be actually a doom for any playthrough”.

I repeat: people have definitely played through SCS successfully while going to Spellhold fairly early. There are radical variations in how good BG2 players are at different kinds of battles: the inference from “I can’t currently see a way to do this” to “this is impossible” isn’t reliable. 

Thieves: they do have potions, which they’re assumed to have bought. If you don’t want thieves to have potions, you shouldn’t have installed “potions for NPCs” (I don’t think those NPCs get potions except from that component).

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What I'm referring to, is how do imprisoned thieves have these potions at all? And where did they buy them? 

Or are you telling me that these are thieves that are actually from shadow thieves and attacking the asylum? Because I had the impression they were imprisoned somewhere by Irenicus and he just let them go to kill you. 

An edit: I'm not telling you this is all impossible. I'm just telling that whenever I powerplayed through the game, SCS could match my expectations. But if I add in RP, I have to have self-imposed limits that have to be respected. And these make SCS extremely harder. 

Edited by Arthas
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I think they work for Irenicus. I don’t recall any solid evidence that they are escapees (If I’m forgetting that evidence, though, point it out and I’ll do an override: the problem with automated code is that it only knows what I know and has to make heuristic guesses.)

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You CAN hoard 100k even with Store Revisions (IIRC, it caps all +1 items to 250g per sell, +2 to 500 etc, right?). Did that back in v31. Come to think of it, you can even afford 50k Cowled Wizards ticket on top of that too.

 

Be really really considerate when dealing with money and loot literally every rusty short sword that ever drops. Buying the shinies can wait before Underdark.

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Try the relatively new "Imoen is Stone" mod to take pressure off going to Spellhold early. (No idea how it might interact with the Imoen Romance mod, I've never used it. Would Imien be subject to a Flesh To Stone spell, temporarily, mess up that story?)

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