Epic-Level Characters & Gameplay

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Magnakai, Mar 13, 2024.

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  1. Magnakai

    Magnakai Member

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    Hi, great work on these mods. Are there any plans for epic-level characters, gameplay and adventures?
    Epic level begins beyond the 20th character level right?

    Regards
     
  2. Endarire

    Endarire Ronald Rynnwrathi

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    In 3.x epic technically begins at level 21 assuming you have no racial hit dice nor level adjustment. If you do, things can get awkward. To my present understanding, while there has been talk of epic content for ToEE/Co8, none has been formally added likely due to the amount of work involved compared to the expected rewards of doing so.

    Baldur's Gate II is a game using adapted AD&D 2e rules intended for epic play eventually. The level cap depends on class, but 31 is the lowest max level for a single-classed character (Druid, Sor, or Wiz). There's a mod (Tweaks Anthology) which allows uncapping EXP and allowing all classes to reach the hardcoded limit of 50 in each of their classes if multiclassed. There are also many more mods for the BG game series which are interesting adventures which grant EXP and further facilitate reaching the high levels with a full team.

    DDO (Dungeons & Dragons Online) is a MMORPG that loosely uses the D&D 3.5 ruleset and has epic level content. Mind you, some of it is awkwardly scaled, like how you can teleport through time for the Chronoscope adventure at level 9ish but epic level content is often far more mundane.

    NWN 1 & 2 use D&D 3.0 and 3.5 rules respectively and have content above level 20. NWN1's level cap is 40 and NWN2's level cap is 30. Various user-made modules exist for epic content.

    In short, high-level D&D play has been rare just because characters and players have had a lot of options, balance has been difficult, and there's often difficulty for the devs in making something suitably grand-scaled instead of just the same as before but with higher numbers and maybe some minor new abilities.

    If you want a compressed epic-feeling experience over the course of 1 game, try the BGEE mod High Power Baldur's Gate. It's intended to be a high-powered, epic-like game from level 1 and is balanced around that.

    Thankee!
     
  3. Magnakai

    Magnakai Member

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    Hi yes, i see what you mean. the amount of work must be incredible. was just trying my luck, but i guess max at 20 is still very good. and i do like what was done to it very much.

    Yeah, i play all those too, but they are real time not turn-based. Also they are not set in Greyhawk, this is still ok, but i guess i was looking for good generic ad&d or d&d turn-based, but not those SSI ones: too old and played over them too many times. about 2-3 years ago, i replayed PoR the RoMD one, i would say it's closest to a toee type game, although definitely not so faithful to the rpg. although the reviews always bad for that one, i still enjoyed it very much, except for some reason, saves for this type of game always tend to corrupt. i don't know why. this happened to me few years back on an i7, and also in the early 2000s on some ancient amd pc...

    nwn is good, me and my brother play that too, mainly nwn 1 cos of the EE. but some 'nwn experience-only rules' are quite amusing, like devastating critical, prestige class going over 10 levels, and parry mode. still good. i wonder why they didn't pick NWN 2 for EE. BG 1 & 2 used to appeal to me, but now i'm sick of the entire son of bhaal bullshit. i mean, you HAVE to be that someone special, no choice to be a generic ad & d character. IWD seems to solve that, and also have epic levels, without superman powers, and u get to build a party. i would always prefer ad&d to d&d as i have p&p experience in 1e, 2e, 2e official. again wondering why beamdog did part 1 EE but not part 2. Have you had the chance to test the unofficial iwd 2 EE? they say it's very good.

    i play a lot of mmo's but have been warned by all my gaming associates to avoid that one, the DDO. i learnt about it while testing out SSG's LoTRO. Completely alien bullshit rules and it's all Pay 2 Win, it's not dungeons & dragons at all, and you need spend cash all the time.

    i haven't tried BG3 yet, as my pc is under-par to handle engines as new as this.
     
  4. hammyh

    hammyh Established Member

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    I think it is quite qood. It's not verbatum 3.5 for rules/feats but aims for a close experience with good replayability.

    I did a fair bit of testing for this beginning with the original author and through the final modder.

    The final author is the same author that wrote High Power BG mod. Imho, his style is fairly overpowered and tends not to notice many of the less obvious benefits and exploits. However, over the the last couple of years the testing base players have been very diligent and motivated to balance these issues. And the results are good.

    Further, after the official release the large influx of players have noticed even more balance issues and it is being addressed as it is found.

    Finally, it is quite customizable - and has been more-or-less made compatible with many original mods - such that those that want to be over-leveled can still play that way. And it can be challenging for those that don't.
    ___________________________

    Now my opinion on the lovely ToEE game:

    Personally I think lvl 9 cap until after Zugtmoy defeated, then lvl 12 cap for the additional content after...up until the demi-gods fight. For a party of ~ 6.

    This provides the most appropriate challenge and you still have plenty of abilities to play around with. And not too difficult. I don't enchant items for most playthroughs because it also tends to make the game too easy. (I do craft scrolls)

    Most of the time I play with 1 PC and an entourage of NPCs. The majority of the many Npcs are fairly flexible for customizing class mixes and add some flavor and variety. The various extra optional classes and Prcs add a lot of variety for replay. And an evil playthrough can dominate monsters for the entourage for even more npcs variety.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2024
  5. Endarire

    Endarire Ronald Rynnwrathi

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    @Magnakai
    Greyhawk was a popular setting before Faerun dominated. DDO has a Temple of Elemental Evil section which reuses a variety of item, location, and creature names from the original, but it's still primarily a MMO. Pay to win is somewhat accurate, but if you want to get significantly invested in it, expect to spend hundreds of USD to buy every expansion and unlock all classes and races you want.

    @hammyh
    OlvynChuru was a major contributor to IWDIIEE and High Powered BG. As likely his biggest fan, what do you mean by less obvious exploits for IWDIIEE, High Powered BG, OlvynSpells, and otherwise?

    Thankee!
     
  6. Magnakai

    Magnakai Member

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    Greyhawk yes, that's what appealed to me, other than the fact it was turn-based. until bg3 only RoMD and ToEE were turn-based (not counting old SSI). we have the 2nd edition boxed set for this campaign world, but early 80s for some reason tsr decided to go with the realms, which was also good, but greyhawk was older i think. Greyhawk and krynn were oldest i believe, after mystara (base dnd). i think maybe cos of ed greenwood books.

    but what i found strange about my greyhawk campaigns, well at least in the edition (ad&d) i played back then, was that oerth had no Broadswords (closest Longswords) or Full Plate (closest Platemail), and other variations of some basic gear. and it always gave me a more hyborian feel over the faerun, i don't know, maybe it's just a feeling i have no actual basis for it. kind of made me feel their tech-level was lower or different than that of faerun.

    we did play in kara-tur for 1st edition OA though.

    in dragon magazine, or maybe dungeon, can't remember, there used to be a column Wizards Three haha.. there's where Mordenkainen, Elminster, and Dalamar of Dragonlance (apprentice to the infamous raistlin majere) got together to discuss magic shit. at that time i realized, it may be good to play in all 3 of their worlds rather than choose a favourite.

    EDIT

    we must also not forget ravenloft haha
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2024
  7. Buffed Rabbit

    Buffed Rabbit Established Member

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    The last Co8 "boss-battle" could be classified as 'epic', as your characters need to be well above +20 lvl if you do not want to cheese the fight. But that is the limit for this game in regards to the epic levels. The chance for creating a 2nd expansion, in regards to epic gameplay, are slim to none. It is a massive undertaking, as it will need to add content, new monsters, additional questlines, rework the whole leveling system, etc.
     
  8. Shiningted

    Shiningted I want my goat back Administrator

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    I never got past the need for Seeds to create epic spells - a great idea, but very difficult to implement, and not one I would want to skip.
     
  9. hammyh

    hammyh Established Member

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    I'm not trying to be derogatory. He's full of imagination and works hard. And I like his work in general.

    IWD2EE had (has) a large number of motivated testers communicating on a dedicated development forum that enjoy trying all possible tricks and suggesting fixes. Whereas your typical basic mod usually only gets a very quick testing - and many unintended effects remain.

    OC's personal play style is straightforward AoE party type mechanics; he creates with this in mind and often tailors mob difficulty for this. More often than not, this is a very timid and basic damage style. That's only one of many styles that players enjoy.

    But as I'm sure you are aware... various combos and using spells/items/abilities in different ways can lead to incredibly OP manipulation. So much that in many mods new players sometimes start to feel they are expected to use these alternatives. There is nothing wrong with variety..but it needs to be tempered and avoid too much snowballing. Ofc, you can't catch everything.

    ToEE has stuff like this too. I imagine that the developers didn't expect players to quickly learn how to acquire Fragarach and Scather so early and easily, nor did they understand how excessive they were to the dynamics.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2024
  10. Endarire

    Endarire Ronald Rynnwrathi

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    Thankee for the clarification.
     
  11. Shiningted

    Shiningted I want my goat back Administrator

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    Very civil. Endarire. That one gets a thumbs up.
    Since we had a 'remove Fragarach' question elsewhere, I'll just throw in my $0.02 - as with the Smith and Wesson, I regard Fragarach as something OP that you use, or don't use, as you choose, knowing full well the consquences.

    But as for modding - we are massively limited in creating mods for multiple playstyles. Quests may have multiple conclusions (kill to get quest item / pickpocket quest item / intimdate or diplomacy to get quest item / convoluted sidequest to get quest item) but much of modding has to be a challenge for the average player, with an average party. We don't generally make encounters for min-maxxers, or people doing a solo run through, or speed runners, or anyone else playing for the upteenth time (although no doubt much of the late game for ToEE, such as taking on multiple St Cuthberts, was indeed added by Gaear for exactly these sort of players). How could we satisfy all of them, and the player playing that encounter for the first time, who is indeed the target audience?

    I can think of very few exceptions - in fact, the only exception that readily comes to mind is a KotB example, the Thieves' Guild fight, where if you are below a certain average level the thieves just go at you, assuming they can take you, but if you are above that level, they buff first and make for a tougher encounter.

    Generally speaking, one of the fun parts of games (for me) is the first play through, where you experience everything as intended, then later playthroughs you try things from devious directions to see what you can get away with. And saying that, I am thinking of Medal of Honour and Jedi Knight as much as Baldur's Gate.
     
  12. Endarire

    Endarire Ronald Rynnwrathi

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    Infinity Engine games just had more official and mod support. This also means things are more customizable to your preferences. Want a very easy or a very hard time? It's likely doable, and with the right mods installed the right way, someone's already probably providing you at least a similar experience to what you want.

    ToEE had fewer mods and less support and content overall.

    I've enjoyed each of these games with various configurations of mods, but I played through ToEE so much that there's just nothing more for me in the near-term short of a significant content update.

    In terms of what game is easier to mod from a technical level, I'm unsure.
     
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