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Dual Class Vs Multiclass, pros and cons for those of us who are new

perfectblueperfectblue Posts: 10Member
Back when the BG series first released I was very young, and as such did not have a good grasp on multiclass vs dual class and the advantages/disadvantageous each offer.

I would like to come into BG Enchanced armed with a much better understanding of why I would select one over another. Thanks in advance.
Quartz
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Comments

  • elminsterelminster Posts: 7,534Member, Beta Tester
    Dual class means you are giving up on your current class for a time and going to a second one. Eventually you will gain the abilities back of the first one, but only after your second class surpasses the first one in level. Dual class is good if you are more experienced at the game, you know what level you want to dual class in advance, and you know the attributes required for you to dual class. It also lets you have a kit for your first class, which is helpful. Especially in the case where the downsides of a kit are the same downsides as the class you are dual classing into.

    It's biggest downside is that if you advance your first class to too high a level before dual classing it means when you do dual class you will be lacking the abilities of your first class until your second class surpases the first class in level. Depending on the circumstances this could take a very long time.

    Multi class is good if you aren't as experience but want to gain the abilities of two separate classes. You can also can choose three class multi class characters (Fighter/Mage/Cleric or Fighter/Thief/Mage) though because experience would be split between each class I wouldn't recommend having 6 party members in that case. Unlike a dual class where experience is only gained in one class at any one time, for multi class characters experience is equally shared between the classes (not quite equally shared, but basically so).
    BjjorickFlameguard27
  • SchneidendSchneidend Posts: 2,662Member
    They're both for munchkin sissies.
    Space_hamsterSulla
  • Awong124Awong124 Posts: 2,505Member
    Dual class is probably more powerful later on, but suck for a possibly long period of time. Multiclass is useful all the time, but possibly not as powerful later depending on what you optimally want as a character. If you only want a small portion of the skills/benefits of a certain class, then dual class will be better once you get your old class abilities back. But if you want to have the same prowess in two classes anyway, then dualling would be horrible.

    And dual class fighters get grand mastery, whereas multiclass fighters can only get specialize.
  • raywindraywind Posts: 289Member
    Why multi when you can dual, i cant figure any reason for it exept that its easier for new players that dont know where everything is
  • SchneidendSchneidend Posts: 2,662Member
    raywind said:

    Why multi when you can dual, i cant figure any reason for it exept that its easier for new players that dont know where everything is

    Not all races can dual-class?

    Some people don't want to stop leveling as a particular class and would prefer to have equal abilities in both or all three of their classes?

    Multi-class can be three classes at once instead of just two?
  • BjjorickBjjorick Posts: 1,208Member
    hmmmm, was wondering, you're saying that multi class chars can't get mastery/grand mastery, so what's the point of fighter/cleric/mage as opposed to just mage/cleric?
  • AHFAHF Posts: 1,196Member
    In TOB, there is one huge benefit to multi-classing: HLA. A dual class fighter/mage gets mage HLA only. A multi-class fighter/mage can also unleash whirlwind attacks; multi-class thief gets UAI ability, ability to set devastating traps, etc.

    If you want your F/T to be able to backstab then use a timestop scroll then start whirlwinding Carsomyr, etc. that only happens if you multi-class.
  • SchneidendSchneidend Posts: 2,662Member
    Bjjorick said:

    hmmmm, was wondering, you're saying that multi class chars can't get mastery/grand mastery, so what's the point of fighter/cleric/mage as opposed to just mage/cleric?

    Fighter/mage/cleric can get Specialization in weapons, and has better THAC0

  • MalbortusMalbortus Posts: 106Member
    A dual-class A->B is essentially a full class B with some abilities of A. (Done right, it's always better than a single-class B.)

    A multi-class A/B is A and B at the same time. Compared to a dual-class A->B, the multi-class would be better at A and worse at B.
    giosantiBrimstone
  • BjjorickBjjorick Posts: 1,208Member
    so you're saying it's mostly pointless to play a fighter/mage/cleric.....honestly wish they allowed thief/mage/cleric, i seem to remember playing that in one of the dnd games on sns (4 party group, but i did a solo run at one point)
  • SchneidendSchneidend Posts: 2,662Member
    Bjjorick said:

    so you're saying it's mostly pointless to play a fighter/mage/cleric.....honestly wish they allowed thief/mage/cleric, i seem to remember playing that in one of the dnd games on sns (4 party group, but i did a solo run at one point)

    ...No. That's not what I'm saying. How would hitting more often and dealing more damage ever be pointless?

  • BjjorickBjjorick Posts: 1,208Member
    @schneidend well, the weapons you get with the fighter/cleric/mage are kinda lacking. i can understand not the bow, but it would be nice if at least a short sword/long sword if nothing else. maybe it's just me, but i was hoping for a little more. Especially considering that it takes 3 times as long to level up lol. It would take a long time for the char to become powerful. i'm trying to do a run right now and maybe i'm playing the char wrong?

    and which do you think is better, fig/the/mage or fig/cle/mage? i want to create a char i have in my mind, but guess it's not possible.

    and last thought, i can understand a thief not being able to be lawful good, but is there any kits that would allow you to? like maybe that would get rid of pick pocket as everything else i thief can do has uses that wouldn't get around the law (disarming traps in a dungeon/ hiding in shadows for combat purposes/ etc).
  • perfectblueperfectblue Posts: 10Member
    Malbortus said:

    A dual-class A->B is essentially a full class B with some abilities of A. (Done right, it's always better than a single-class B.)

    A multi-class A/B is A and B at the same time. Compared to a dual-class A->B, the multi-class would be better at A and worse at B.

    Thanks Malbortus, could you or anyone else chip in & clarify by providing a concrete example of a dual class. What class you would initially start as, and what level you dual class out to your 2nd class and why? What abilities are you trying to pick up etc. How does this affect your initial stat rolls. If you were a fighter/mage you would have to moderate stats between intelligence and strength, which are opposite ends of the spectrum. Seemingly becoming a jack of all trades master of none.
  • BjjorickBjjorick Posts: 1,208Member
    imoen vs aerie is a good example i can think of. imoen dual classes to mage when she reaches lvl 7 thief. She's then set a lvl 7 thief from the rest of the game, but she levels normally as a mage. At level 8 mage, she gets all her thief abilities back, like being able to use a short bow. By the end of the game, she's probalby going to be lvl 7 thief/lvl 25 mage.

    Aerie is a cleric/mage. She levels up both classes but mroe slowly because the xp is split (she gains 50 xp from a fight, so she gets 25 xp in cleric and 25 xp in mage). But unlike imoen, her two classes will stay close to the same level. Cleric usually requires less xp to level up, so a the end of the game, she's usually lvl 20 cleric/lvl 18 mage. Her total level is higher, and she has alot of abilities, but she doesn't have as many high level mage spells as imoen does. If the roles were reversed, here's how i see it.

    In the first setting, aerie has access to lvl 7 priest spells and lvl 9 mage spells, but let's say for instance that she was a human and was a cleric to lvl 11, then dual classed to a mage. She would lose all her cleric abilities (except for the hitpoints she had gained) until she reached level 12 as a mage, and then she would get it all back. It's kinda like you focus hard and heavy on your new abilities until you catch up to where you were.

    So, in this case, at the end of the game, she'll be a lvl 11 cleric/lvl 25 mage. She'll have decent healing magic, but she's be an awesome mage. Not sure if you ever played final fantasy 11, but to me, it's kinda like your sub class in that game. You get the bonuses/benefits of those abilities you earned, but your main focus is going to be on the class you dual TO.

    Best use of it is if you want to make a fighter that has some theiving skills. You would START as a thief, level up til you have all the skills that you want/think you'll need, then you dual class TO a warrior. Your career begins as a warrior, and when you level up enough, you'll unlock your thief abilities. Your focus is as a warrior, but once the thief abilities are unlocked, you can use them as any other thief could, including your back stab multiplier.

    Sorry if i confused you more, i honestly tried my best to break it down and i really hope it helps. :)
    RnRClownRetsuyama
  • BjjorickBjjorick Posts: 1,208Member
    also, it's up to you to choose which level you choose to dual class. If you want to go to a lvl 20 thief then dual to a warrior you can, but you'll start out as a lvl 1 warrior and you don't get any of your thief abilities until you reach level 21 as a warrior. this is to prevent dual classing from being cheap. If you don't reach level 21 by the end of the game, you'll never unlock your thief abilities.

    Special note. You level up as a fighter to level 10, and put all your points in daggers. IF YOU DON'T PUT ANY POINTS IN DAGGERS AS A THIEF, once you unlock your warrior abilities (by reaching lvl 11 as a thief, your points will still be there. So this can be used to be able to use weapons a class normally cant, such as making a warrior, puting points into long bows/composite bows, then dual to a thief and once you reach the level to unlock your warrior abilities, your thief can now use long bows.

    Do a run through of the game and try it out and all this will make sense.
  • MedillenMedillen Posts: 632Member, Moderator, Beta Tester
    edited August 2012
    Chances are, if you are new to BGEE, don't try either dual classing or multiclass ^_^

    And if I might say a good word of advice... The best way to understand how those two works... Is by creating virtual characters and CLUAConsole (it's a cheat) them to higher level, to see what they can actually do and how long that takes. (careful, to dual class you need minimum stats for the new class and being human. I've tried dual classing a gnome. Didn't realise it wasn't possible until level 11 mage. I hate them now) That will clear most of the understanding about the mechanism. For more advanced tips... pick any post up, they gave good depth on it.
    Post edited by Medillen on
  • perfectblueperfectblue Posts: 10Member
    edited August 2012
    Bjjorick, thats a lot of help thanks.

    My intention was to begin the game as a dwarf illusionist and then switch to one of the fighter kits around level 8 or so. From what I can remember dwarfs specifically gain a bonus in illusion magic, and it would be helpful to have as a fighter.
    Post edited by perfectblue on
  • MedillenMedillen Posts: 632Member, Moderator, Beta Tester
    edited August 2012
    You mean gnome right ? Dwarf can't play mage I think... let alone dual class

    EDIT : you NEED to be HUMAN to dual class (trust my experience of my gnome i couldn't dual >.>)
    Post edited by Medillen on
  • BjjorickBjjorick Posts: 1,208Member
    perfectblue, so you only want a level 8 mage? i don't think i said it but you can only dual class once, so once you do it, whatever you've done in the other class is all that you'll ever get. i need more experience dual classing myself, but i'm trying a fighter/cleric/mage walkthrough at the moment, and hoping i don't mess up. :)
  • Space_hamsterSpace_hamster Posts: 950Member
    IMO single classes have more potential ultimate power, though a Gnome Illusionist/thief becomes very powerful, especially with 19 int.

    Munchkin indeed!
  • ChippyChippy Posts: 162Member

    Back when the BG series first released I was very young, and as such did not have a good grasp on multiclass vs dual class and the advantages/disadvantageous each offer.

    I would like to come into BG Enchanced armed with a much better understanding of why I would select one over another. Thanks in advance.

    Regarding dual classing:
    It's good to have played the game once so you know what areas you can gain XP in for the reasons stated.
    If you want to really roleplay, then knowing the class xp tables is essential as you can plan ahead. An example would be Mage>Thief, the mage requires more XP to level up, the thief less. So you can level up to cast level 9 spells as a mage, then have enough xp left in the game (based on the cap) to surpass that level as a thief.

    Malbortus
  • Awong124Awong124 Posts: 2,505Member
    edited August 2012
    Thanks Malbortus, could you or anyone else chip in & clarify by providing a concrete example of a dual class. What class you would initially start as, and what level you dual class out to your 2nd class and why? What abilities are you trying to pick up etc. How does this affect your initial stat rolls. If you were a fighter/mage you would have to moderate stats between intelligence and strength, which are opposite ends of the spectrum. Seemingly becoming a jack of all trades master of none.
    I like to start as a Thief with >=17 STR and 18 DEX, then dual to fighter at level 9. At level 9 I just reach 4x backstab, and have enough skill points to max out 2 thief skills.
    Post edited by Awong124 on
  • SchneidendSchneidend Posts: 2,662Member
    Bjjorick said:

    @schneidend well, the weapons you get with the fighter/cleric/mage are kinda lacking. i can understand not the bow, but it would be nice if at least a short sword/long sword if nothing else. maybe it's just me, but i was hoping for a little more. Especially considering that it takes 3 times as long to level up lol. It would take a long time for the char to become powerful. i'm trying to do a run right now and maybe i'm playing the char wrong?

    and which do you think is better, fig/the/mage or fig/cle/mage? i want to create a char i have in my mind, but guess it's not possible.

    and last thought, i can understand a thief not being able to be lawful good, but is there any kits that would allow you to? like maybe that would get rid of pick pocket as everything else i thief can do has uses that wouldn't get around the law (disarming traps in a dungeon/ hiding in shadows for combat purposes/ etc).

    Cleric multi-classes can use flails and morningstars, which have some awesome instances in BG2.
  • MalbortusMalbortus Posts: 106Member
    edited August 2012

    Thanks Malbortus, could you or anyone else chip in & clarify by providing a concrete example of a dual class. What class you would initially start as, and what level you dual class out to your 2nd class and why? What abilities are you trying to pick up etc. How does this affect your initial stat rolls. If you were a fighter/mage you would have to moderate stats between intelligence and strength, which are opposite ends of the spectrum. Seemingly becoming a jack of all trades master of none.

    What has not been mentioned here, and it's rather essential in the dual class discussion, is that BG has an experience cap. This makes dual-classing free, to some extent.

    An example. Under the xp cap of 161,000 as in BG+TotSC, a mage can only ever level up to 9 (135,000 xp). He/she can never reach level 10 (250,000 xp). That means 161,000 - 135,000 = 26,000 xp remain unused as they do not lead to a higher level.
    This gap is where dual-classing comes in: those 26,000 xp will buy you a level 5 fighter (16,000 xp), a level 5 cleric (13,000 xp) or even a level 6 thief (20,000 xp)!

    In practice:
    - You start the character as a fighter, accumulating all the perks such as high hitpoints, 16 THAC0 and Grand Mastery in a weapon, ability to use armor...
    - At fighter level 5, you dual-class to mage. You lose the fighter perks and are strictly a mage until your mage level exceeds your fighter level.
    - At mage level 6, your fighter abilities reactivate and you're a level 5/6 fighter/mage with high hitpoints, better THAC0 and Grand Mastery. You progress further as a mage until you hit the xp cap as a level 5/9 fighter/mage.

    That's why dual-classing is such a powerful choice in a game with an xp cap. Instead of ending BG as a level 9 mage, you end it as a level 5 fighter/level 9 mage. You got those 5 fighter level and their perks practically for free.

    In response to your question about stats: dual-classing requires 17 in the class you want to dual-class to. In the above example, 17 INT. The rest of the abilities depends on what you want to do with the character. High STR and CON seem an obvious choice for a fighter, but suppose you have an arcane archer in mind? Then you might put less focus on STR and CON, and more on DEX. If the composite longbow didn't require 18 STR, that is. ;)


    Edit: missed Chippy's post, which makes the same point, only earlier. Liked! :)
    Post edited by Malbortus on
    giosantiChippyRetsuyama
  • e3r4t5yne3r4t5yn Posts: 42Member
    edited August 2012
    Dual is ideal for BG2: start with basic class, reach the required level, dual then and get your PC complete dualing in several hours (there's plenty exp. around everywhere).

    As far as exp. gathering in BG1 is much slower than in BG2, dualing becomes hard enough... the way I used for FAST dualing into a mage in BG1 is the following:

    * Temporary leave all your party members and move alone to the "Angheg Area" (anghegs are respawning there periodically);
    * Use scrolls and wand of fire to cope with anghegs (each worth 975 exp.);
    * Recharge wand of fire in the nearest "Friendly Arm Inn" (just sell one charge wand and buy it again);
    * When necessary exp. is gathered, return to your party members (if any, of course) and rejoin them.
    Post edited by e3r4t5yn on
    Kirinaldo
  • Roller12Roller12 Posts: 386Member
    quick review of class balance in bg series

    multi rox
    pure sux
    dual sux

    3 exceptions:
    offensive spellcasters go pure
    extreme powerplayers go dual(doubtful benefits though)
    solo players go whatever


    TL;DR if in doubt - go multiclass.
    10thLichDinsdalePiranha
  • perfectblueperfectblue Posts: 10Member
    e3r4t5yn said:

    Dual is ideal for BG2: start with basic class, reach the required level, dual then and get your PC complete dualing in several hours (there's plenty exp. around everywhere).

    As far as exp. gathering in BG1 is much slower than in BG2, dualing becomes hard enough... the way I used for FAST dualing into a mage in BG1 is the following:

    * Temporary leave all your party members and move alone to the "Angheg Area" (anghegs are respawning there periodically);
    * Use scrolls and wand of fire to cope with anghegs (each worth 975 exp.);
    * Recharge wand of fire in the nearest "Friendly Arm Inn" (just sell one charge wand and buy it again);
    * When necessary exp. is gathered, return to your party members (if any, of course) and rejoin them.

    Is that how many dual class characters gain the necessary experience required? If so I may have to rethink this idea since I will mainly be playing this co-op. And it will be no fun for my other friends to have to be dismissed several times while I go power level and get ahead of them and they are dismissed from the party.
  • lDanielHolmlDanielHolm Posts: 225Member
    It's not necessary to do so to get the XP required. There is enough XP that even split six ways, hitting the 161,000 XP cap is more than possible without farming respawns. I've heard numbers quoted as 1.75 million XP in BG+TotSC, but I honestly don't know.

    The main thing is not to swap party members (as they are essentially pits of XP you won't get back).
  • kilroy_was_herekilroy_was_here Posts: 455Member
    As has been said before only humans can dual class. However, what I don't think has been mentioned is that only non-humans can multiclass.

    IMO multiclassing is easier to play as because once you pick the class there's nothing else you need to worry about other than leveling somewhat more slowly. For a new player however you might want to avoid multiclass combinations like fighter/mage since their class roles are so different. Multiclassing with 3 classes is probably too much for a beginner too because of the relatively low abilities you will get from each class. As a bonus however a multiclass in TOB can obtain the high level abilities of each class you have, with the following caveat: you can only pick a HLA that matches the level you just gained. So if your multiclass fighter/thief gained a thief level you can choose use any item, if they gain a fighter level you can pick whirlwind. Wow, writing all this makes me think multiclassing is more complicated that I remembered.

    The one real problem with dual classing is the crippling weakness it gives you until your second class outlevels the first. If you are a level 5 fighter and dualclass into a thief you lose your weapon proficiencies, attack bonuses and can't even equip weapons or armor not allowed to thieves. Basically, you really are a level 1 thief running around in a level 5 party hoping that the rest of the group can carry you until you become a level 6 thief, one level higher than the class you set aside. Once that happens you get all of your old abilities etc. back but can never level the old class again. According to my 2e rulebook, in pnp you were actually allowed to use your old classes abilities in an emergency but if you did your character gained no XP for that day. I suppose they simplified that for gameplay reasons.
  • Dragonfolk2000Dragonfolk2000 Posts: 256Member
    I like multi-class more since it lets me be a thief/x. Vanilla BG2 lacks thieves that level up (save for Jan) so I normally play a thief, multi-class thief, or fighter dual-classed into thief if I don't want to pick up Jan. It's almost a necessity to do so in BG2. BG1 has a fair number of thieves though so it shouldn't matter as much there.

    I really really hope they add some thieves (kits or otherwise) into BG2:EE that aren't gonna be lost for story reasons and aren't dual-classed out of thief.
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