...and what an amazing journey it has been! From level 1 in Candlekeep all the way into ToB. Unless you've yet to figure it out, I've finally beaten ToB for the very first time. And before I write anything else, I'd like to warn you that this topic will contain major spoilers about the endgame of ToB, so if you have yet to beat the game I strongly advise you to stop reading here!!
What an amazing experience this has been, honestly. I'm glad I took the time to look these old games up eventually, as this is probably one of the best gaming experiences I've had in my 26year long gaming caréer. But my purpose for this thread was not to lavish praise upon the BG series, rather to adress some inconsistencies and questions etc I'd like answered. As I tend to write long posts, I'd best get started.
The first thing that comes to mind is Sarevok... How do you change the portraits for NPCs during the ending cutscene? I'd like to give Sarevok more of a "good-guy" look. As I've been playing a good protagonist with similarly good-aligned npcs, I was overjoyed that I was actually able to change Sarevok to Chaotic Good. I pondered if I should have had him kicked out of the party many times, believe you me. The game represents this poorly, though. Like Anomen, he retained his old voice and even still complained about the party being too goody goody. When I turned him, it was just before the battle with Melissan, so really, the game was almost over. I'm wondering if that conversion is random, or is there a particular time or event that triggers his conversations with the PC?
Furthermore, will his interactions with the party and the PC be different if you do not make him swear a geas? DON'T answer this straightforwardly; I'd like to see it for myself if he betrays the party or something like that, just a "Yes" or "No" answer will do.
Next, I'm abit dissapointed that none of my chars was able to reach the xp cap. The closest was Minsc with some 6,900,000 xp which is still a whole million to go. I'd kept Minsc from the very beginning of SoA (I didn't import mainchar from BG, and I altered her levels and xp via Shadowkeeper before starting ToB), I don't think he ever left the party or missed any xp. Honestly, I was surprised at how short ToB really was; Chapter 10 was just the final battle and Chapter 9's dungeons where ridicilously small... I don't think I spent more than 2 hours real time in each of Sendai and Abazigals lairs. And that's including looting every damn item and exploring every inch...
In SoA, the cap was 2,950,000 xp if I'me correct; Since i played with ToB installed, I ended SoA with some 3,500,000 xp. That's doing every quest but 1 (Mazzy's quest, never bothered much with her) and 3 Arcane Casters learning every spell they could find... I thought I'd ATLEAST be able to cap at 8,000,000 and possibly earning even more as there was more xp than the cap in SoA... Now I see why many of you guys prefer smaller parties.. :S
Personally, I'd never play with anything other than a 6man party. It's just my preference; loads of interactions and playing the game it was meant to be played, imo. So how should I plan my next playthrough? Is it even possible to ultimately get 6 characters capped in ToB?
Which leads me to the final question: Is there any overt difference playing the game on Hard or Insanity? The game just states that the damage done by monsters increases; I felt that the monsters were actually dishing out quite a bit of damage on the Core Rules setting, but if there are other differences, like more and/or tougher monsters to fight, I might give it a try. Just upping the damage done by monsters is a bad way to increase the difficulty of a game, imo. And many of the later fights in ToB were very hard as it was; I'm not sure if I'd survive them on higher difficulty settings.
Finally, I must say I'm alittle dissapointed at the ending. Even though my PC chose to reject the taint of Bhaal and remain a mortal, the epilouge spoke of how everyone left the company of the mainchar after the Bhaalspawn events. I tried the other path aswell afterwards, but nothing changed except for the romance ending, naturally. You'd think Aerie would tag along with Minsc to Rashemen, atleast.
Anyways if you read all this... then thanks for reading!!