Questions about Avernum 2 Melee Combat

AuthorTopic: Questions about Avernum 2 Melee Combat
Apprentice
Member # 4902
Profile #0
I don't get it, and I'm hoping someone can help me out. I have a Party that's beaten all 3 "game-winning" quests, Level 47-49, with (most of) the best weapons in the game. Here's my problem:

We'll start with my Fighter-type, Dirk.

Dirk, Level 49. Strength: 16. Melee Weapons skill: 16. Weapon: Flaming Sword (2-20+3, additional Fire damage).

Now, when Dirk attacks, he does about 35 damage on average. With Blessing, 45 or so. With Blessing AND Divine Warrior, up to 70 damage.

Here's my problem: Dirk, after having drained my Priestess and Mage of almost 20 SP (2 for Bless, 14 for Divine Warrior, 3 for Haste), can attack 3 times per round and deal 70-100 damage per attack, for a total of 210-300 damage. Fine. However, my Mage can, with NO buffing from other characters, cast Level 3 Fireblast for a mere 10 SP and hit 8 Targets for 80-110 damage, for a (possible) total of 640-880 damage. Now, if you Haste him (only 3 SP), he can do that TWICE A ROUND, for a grand total of 1280-1760 damage.

So, my Fighter, fully buffed, can deal 210-330 damage a round. Without buffs, he deals a rather pitiful 35-55 (70-110 with Haste) damage.

Whereas my Mage, buffed with only Haste, can deal 1280-1760 per round.

Is melee that underpowered, or am I doing something wrong? Is my Strength or my Melee stat too low? Is it because I'm not using a 2-Handed Greatsword or Polearm of some sort? Any info you can give me would be appreciated.

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Your training was extensive...
"This... is a tree!"
"...what's it for?"
...and confusing.
---Avernum 3 Intro
Posts: 42 | Registered: Thursday, August 26 2004 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 2123
Profile #1
I would try boosting your strength up and melee. Also, blademaster is helpful as is two handed weapons

~I always found magic to be way to powerful. The melee comes in handy though when I can't kill something with magic.
Posts: 228 | Registered: Monday, October 21 2002 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 3368
Profile #2
#1: It is very hard to get a decent amount of dmg without assasination. Anatomy helps too.

#2: Pole weapons, in my experience, do alot more damage.

#3: Mages are better. :D

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"Like most of life's problems, this one can be solved with bending"
Posts: 287 | Registered: Tuesday, August 19 2003 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 4902
Profile #3
I suppose it might help if I gave you ALL of Dirk's relevant stats instead of only half, eh?

Let's try this again...

Dirk, Warrior-type, Level 49

Strength 16, Dexterity 8, Melee Weapons 16, Bows 15, Hardiness 11, Defense 11, Assassination 5.

Blademaster 6, Anatomy 6, Gymnastics 8, Parry 6.

This guy, as far as I can tell from what I know about the game's stats, should be a pretty darn good fighter. I mean, come on, 16 Str, 16 Melee, Blademaster 6, Anatomy 6 and I'm still barely breaking 50 damage to the average humanoid with an unbuffed attack? Is melee just that underpowered?

I realize that Mages typically carry the day, but their damage output potential compared to your fighter-types borders on the ridiculous sometimes...

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Your training was extensive...
"This... is a tree!"
"...what's it for?"
...and confusing.
---Avernum 3 Intro
Posts: 42 | Registered: Thursday, August 26 2004 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #4
You're right that he should be doing more damage than he is. Are you sure he actually has a weapon equipped, as opposed to merely carrying it around?

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #5
I found it useful to get Assassination up to about 8 or 10 at the very least, and sometimes 12 or so. Lower than that, and the chances of actually assassinating anything are too small to count on the skill being consistently helpful. I think 5 will do not do much for you.

Also I never brought Melee Weapons past about 12 or 13, and usually not even that far.

And really, a lot of creatures are magic-immune or fire-immune or cold-immune, so that the amount of damage that you're intending to do with Fireblast will reduce down to 0. I was always somewhat surprised when I found creatures that I could take out with spells.

[ Monday, September 06, 2004 00:52: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #6
Another consideration is that while mages can dish out lots of damage quickly, a buffed fighter can keep on dealing damage indefinitely. With Divine Warrior, he's invulnerable, too. Keep tossing Fireblasts at every Empire soldier that comes your way and you'll run out quickly or spend a fortune in potions.

—Alorael, who always had higher damage from his casters as well, assuming no resistances. Still, his unbuffed fighters were a bit more impressive, and they had the key advantage of almost never taking a hit in melee.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Apprentice
Member # 4902
Profile #7
I think what I'm getting at here is that you shouldn't need to have Divine Warrior cast on your Warrior to make him viable. Dirk sucks - hard - unless he's buffed to high heaven. You'd think with all those points in Gymnastics he would occasionally get 5 AP per round, but no. Unbuffed, Dirk gets 1 attack per round and does very mediocre damage. I'm just wondering if there was something I could have done to make him better...

Someone suggested more points in Assassination, but the whole "you need to be a higher Level than your foe" aspect of it really limits it's usefullness, imho. Sure, it's great when you're Level 49 and Assassinating Dervishes for double damage, but it's one of those skills that isn't reliable when you really need it.

Would more Dexterity have helped, perhaps? Can you get the occasional "extra" AP with a high enough Dex, you do you HAVE to have Fast on Feet and/or be a Kitty?

I dunno. I did everything I could to make Dirk this powerhouse in both Melee and Ranged combat, and I'm not sure if I spread him too thin (and thus failed somewhat in my build) or if it's just the game itself that's limiting him...

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Your training was extensive...
"This... is a tree!"
"...what's it for?"
...and confusing.
---Avernum 3 Intro
Posts: 42 | Registered: Thursday, August 26 2004 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #8
You can actually assassinate creatures that are near or even slightly above your level if you have high enough Assassination, I think. I found that I did absolutely junk damage until I got high levels of the skill -- I would get it just about as soon as possible. It was also the only skill out of Strength, Melee Weapons, Gymnastics, Blademaster, or just about any other combat skill that I would choose to bring above 10 or 12. (Still, Blademaster at 6 may be a bad idea -- I liked to get it up to 10 or so and then leave it alone.)

Fast on Feet rocks, by the way. To the best of my knowledge, Gymnastics ONLY makes you harder (much harder) to hit and act sooner, but it doesn't actually supply the extra AP that it advertises. Dexterity has no effect on this from what I can tell.

As a sidenote about spelling them up: unblessed warriors pretty well suck as far as I've seen, but I never found Divine Warrior necessary for anything except the extra AP that it gives. (And how cool is it to have 12 AP per turn? :P )

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Apprentice
Member # 4902
Profile #9
Are you kidding? Divine Warrior also gives you a HUGE damage boost... like Bless, only about 3x stronger! Of course, it slowly wears off over the next 6 rounds or so, but it's great for beating down Demons and Doomguards and the like.

I probably should have trained in Blademaster, too. But it's too late now, I'm only going to get 6 Skill Points, and that's only if I somehow find a way to get enough XP to advance Dirk to Level 50 (unlikely. Even slaughtering Athron and all her cronies wasn't enough XP - not that I saved with Athron dead or anything, I just wanted to see if I could win the fight).

But yeah, the nice thing is that the damage bonuses from Divine Warrior and Bless stack. But the point still remains... the only way to do good damage is to spend 20 MP on your fighter for Divine Warrior, Haste, and Bless, and even then they only REALLY shine for a few rounds until the damage bonuses from Divine Warrior start to wear off.

Bleah. I'm glad they fixed this for Avernum 3. It's SO nice to have my Str 10, Level 12 Fighter doing close to a 100 damage per attack with his Shining Slith Spear.

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Your training was extensive...
"This... is a tree!"
"...what's it for?"
...and confusing.
---Avernum 3 Intro
Posts: 42 | Registered: Thursday, August 26 2004 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #10
My point was just that the way my warriors are set up, I hit the damage cap with just Bless, without Divine Warrior.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Apprentice
Member # 4902
Profile #11
Could you fire off your skill set, like I did above with Dirk? I'd like to see one of your fighter-types full set of stats, for comparison purposes.

--------------------
Your training was extensive...
"This... is a tree!"
"...what's it for?"
...and confusing.
---Avernum 3 Intro
Posts: 42 | Registered: Thursday, August 26 2004 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #12
I'm breaking my own posts-in-a-row rule here, but meh. It's for a good cause.

I think this was a pretty decent fighter, if I remember correctly:

Strength 13
Dexterity 10
Int 3
End 12

Melee 12
Pole 10
Bows 13
Thrown 11
Hardiness 6
Defense 12
Assassination 8 (this is rather low, for me)

Mage 1 (to deflect Mung demons -- don't actually need a level in it, but I felt like it)
Priest 0
Arcane Lore 5
Potion 0

Tool Use 11
Cave Lore 5
First Aid 3 (was default -- MOST USELESS SKILL EVER)
Luck 5 (this may also affect something, not sure)

Barter 2
Find Herbs 1
Blademaster 10
Anatomy 5
Gymnastics 6
Resistance 3

Level 34

Not sure why this char is so much better -- I had no trouble finishing off dervishes just with Bless and Haste, possibly because he just about never gets hit. Other than a slightly higher Blademaster and Assassination, this seems just about the same as yours. Eh, I should probably go back and re-do some fights to see if he really is as strong as I remember, but I'm feeling lazy right now.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Apprentice
Member # 4902
Profile #13
Well, if you do, let me know how it turns out. I'm curious.

--------------------
Your training was extensive...
"This... is a tree!"
"...what's it for?"
...and confusing.
---Avernum 3 Intro
Posts: 42 | Registered: Thursday, August 26 2004 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 4239
Profile #14
I could be wrong (and I'm surprised nobody else noticed this) but I think you really ought to have a two-handed weapon. They get you way up to the damage caps much better than even that lovely (starter) flaming sword.

I had an all-around singleton (he did everything: mage and priest to ~level 15 and melee) who was pretty much constantly hitting the damage caps on normal difficulty by the end of the game, and I don't think his fighting stats were any better than yours.

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There are two kinds of game players...those who are newbies, and those who were.
Posts: 322 | Registered: Monday, April 12 2004 07:00
Agent
Member # 3349
Profile Homepage #15
I say find a blessed pole-arm and get a priest that can power them up.

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And everybody say....Yatta!
Posts: 1287 | Registered: Thursday, August 14 2003 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 4256
Profile #16
Another thing to consider is that the difficulty does have an effect on the damage that you do. So if your on torment you probably will hit lower and less often. However the mage will always do a lot more damage per turn because of the damage cap on fighters. Even if you cheat your fighter into godmode he will never do more than about 100 damage per hit if I remember correctly. But the post about twohanded weapons is totally correct. If you still want it to be flaming I believe that the efreet on the opposite side of the river from Erika's Tower will make any non-magical weapon a flaming one. -OOPS sorry I was thinking of just A2 so if your not playing that--- A3 does have a place but I can't remember where.

[ Monday, September 06, 2004 15:43: Message edited by: macrsp ]

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"Let's just say that if complete and utter chaos was lightning, he'd be the sort to stand on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour and shouting 'All gods are false'."
Posts: 564 | Registered: Wednesday, April 14 2004 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 4902
Profile #17
I'm a wuss and am playing on Normal, so that shouldn't be a factor.

Slasher: No, that would be my Priestess, who doubles as my other fighter-type for when things get hairy. :P
She does some decent damage, but again, only shines when under the influence of Divine Warrior.

Macrsp: I'll have to get some more coinage and try that. Thanks for the tip.

[ Monday, September 06, 2004 15:30: Message edited by: Marak ]

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Your training was extensive...
"This... is a tree!"
"...what's it for?"
...and confusing.
---Avernum 3 Intro
Posts: 42 | Registered: Thursday, August 26 2004 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #18
Oh right, the weapon. The char I described is using a Jade Halberd, 2-32 + 3 damage, acid-dripping. Since we're working with multipliers here (with skills and spell-ups and whatever, he does, say, 3x that damage), that's a huge difference from 2-20 + 3 flaming. The extra 12 points multiply by a significant amount.

EDIT: Also using Gauntlets of Might, Warrior's Ring, Strength Bracelet, and a few other misc items that shouldn't make a difference.

[ Monday, September 06, 2004 15:38: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 3368
Profile #19
Did they actually change the amount of dmg that fighters do in A3? Or did they just make assasination better?

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"Like most of life's problems, this one can be solved with bending"
Posts: 287 | Registered: Tuesday, August 19 2003 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #20
The former. Damage bonuses from Strength and weapon skills are very significant in A3 and BoA.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Apprentice
Member # 4932
Profile #21
<sinp>

Hmm i'll dl A2 and check it out... and compare it to an A3 fighter. I'll let you know if you want...

Edit: answered my own question, when i looked at the topic name.

-Kelar

[ Thursday, September 09, 2004 16:59: Message edited by: Kelar The Druid ]

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-Kelar of the Blue Traken Druid Order
Ambrosia SW Webboards Acoount name: Dark Jet
I post under The EV and Cythera Boards...
Posts: 6 | Registered: Friday, September 3 2004 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 4902
Profile #22
Yeah, Melee is much fixed in A3. My 30th Level Fighter with a Shining Slith Spear, 10 Str, 6 Polearm, and various Str/Blademaster/Anatomy/Assassination-boosting jewelry can Assassinate for over 175 damage now, and he typically deals 140 damage normally (that is, with Bless, which I almost always cast on him first thing). High-level Magic still kills things faster, but at least my fighters can actually make themselves useful against magic-resistant and boss-type monsters.

Interesting note: for whatever reason, every time one of your Big Four stats (Str, Dex, Int, End) increases to an even number (6, 8, 10, etc), you seem to get some MAJOR bonuses. This is especially true for Intelligence: that "every other point boost" will typically grant all your offensive spells an additional target. Dexterity boosts make you noticably faster in combat. Stuff like that.

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Your training was extensive...
"This... is a tree!"
"...what's it for?"
...and confusing.
---Avernum 3 Intro
Posts: 42 | Registered: Thursday, August 26 2004 07:00