Help an Old Dog learn New Tricks

This forum is to be used for all discussions pertaining to BioWare's Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn.
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two
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Help an Old Dog learn New Tricks

Postby two » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:07 am

Hi, old-school SOA gamer here.

I used to play a lot. Posted here a lot. Then I thought I was playing too much and broke my CD's and threw them away.

I went and had a productive few years. Now I am back, and rewarded myself for a recent project completion by buying the Baldur's Gate 4 pack thing (BG, Sword Coast, BGII, TOB).

Now, "back in the day" I used to be pretty good at this game. I soloed a bard without once dying. I Soloed a Beastmaster because I needed more of a challenge. I min/maxxed what could be min/maxxed and threw down.

I don't like BGI nor Throne of Cheeze much.

So, this is what I need help with.

When I played, there were no mods! Or not many. Now there are a million mods and tweaks.

I would like to play Tales of the Sword Coast and BGII with tweaks and mods added to the game, enough to make it "different" and more challenging than before.

More quests. More difficulty. More challenge. But not so difficult that I am forced to cheeze out.

But I've been searching the mod lists and I'm overwhelmed.

WeiMu? Increased graphical resolution for the engine modifications?

Infinity Engine Modlist - BG2 Mods

WTF?

So essentially I'm calling for help at sorting out the dross.

What would make an awesome set of mods which would make my "old" BG II experience new?

I don't care AT ALL about romance pack and dialogue fixes. They are secondary. More fun to me would be new quests, items, NPCs, enemies, bug fixes, etc.

So... yeah. I know it's asking a lot.

But HELP!

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Postby willsanders84 » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:29 pm

*bump* and 'ditto' please. I'd love to know the answer to this guy's question. I also hate ToB, and found BG1 to resemble slightly a cardboard box (apart from Xan and Monty, oh those two...)

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Stworca
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Postby Stworca » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:52 pm

First mod that you should have, regardless of anything else you install is [url="http://www.gibberlings3.net/bg2fixpack/"]G3 Fixpack[/url] it fixes more buggs than i thought its possible *POST* official patch :)

As for the mods. There are many NPC mods, few that come to mind (and that i recommend) are : [url="http://www.shsforums.net/index.php?automodule=downloads&showfile=33"]Tashia[/url] the good Sorceress who romanced a Bhaalspawn before, [url="http://weidu.org/valen.html"]Valen[/url] THE evil character mod for now, chaotic evil vampir assassin who will make some decisions for you, and turn you into persona non-grata in many, many places.
[url="http://www.gilalion.com/saerilethmod.htm"]Saerileth[/url] young paladin of Tyr, who was sent by her god to find you. True force of good.
[url="http://www.gibberlings3.net/amber/"]Amber[/url]the fiery thiefling rogue with tongue sharper even than her weapon..

And many, many more including Fade, Tyris Flare, Ninde... (yes, there seem to be more FEMALE NPC mods released fully completed)

If you want some additional content in BG2 there is [url="http://www.pocketplane.net/mambo/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=177&Itemid=121"]Assassinations[/url]mod, that allows you to become a ruthless killer, clearing the streets of both poor and rich, harpers and paladins.

If.. You want to face tougher enemies (but tougher thanks to their script, not cheese) there is [url="http://www.gibberlings3.net/scsii/"]Sword Coast Stratagems 2[/url], a well made tactical mod

..and if you wish to change some game mechanics.. We have [url="http://www.gibberlings3.net/spell_rev/"]Spell Revisions[/url] that alter many spells both cleric and mage ones... And [url="http://www.gibberlings3.net/bg2tweaks/"]BG2 Tweaks[/url], that alter everything else

[SIZE="4"](tip : Install Fixpack as first, then everything else, then SCSII, and as last Tweaks)[/size]

There ARE ofcourse dozens of other mods worth try, but those here are ones from the top shelf.
Other than SCS2 from tactical shelf there is Ascension that changes ToB battles into more challenging. (cheesy)
Improved Anvil that changes almost everything in BG2, but is the cheesiest mod released so far.
[url="http://www.gamebanshee.com/forums/baldurs-gate-ii-shadows-of-amn-9/guide-to-tactical-mods-spoilers-116063.html#post1068546"]BG2 tactical mods guide[/url]
What? You're still here? Go write a review![url="http://www.gamebanshee.com/forums/rpg-user-reviews-118/"]Here[/url]
Insane Ironman BG2 let's play! [url="http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=81201.msg2140894#msg2140894"]Here[/url]

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willsanders84
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Postby willsanders84 » Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:19 pm

Thanks! Much appreciated.

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Postby Phantom Lord » Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:04 pm

Two? As in "[color="Red"]No death, no reload[/color]"?? Man, I certainly loved that thread of yours!!!

I just logged in for the first time since long ago myself. I played BG2 around the same time like you and got a little hooked on Dragon Age during the last weeks. Otherwise I didn't play much between 2003 and now (Wii Sports don't count, right).

How to get addicted by BG2 again, well, the last time this worked for me: you may just want to install BG2 plus ToB (doesn't mean you have to play ToB as such, but you want the improvements and higher level abilities that come with it, and Watcher's Keep is fun as well) and patch it to latest version. Then you may want to beef it up with [url="http://weidu.org/tactics.html"]Tactics[/url], which somewhat raises the difficulty of all major offenders / encounters and introduces some new kits and minor modifications, plus one rather difficult sub quest. The effect of the mod is great though, the game becomes quite challenging again.

From there you could just have a go at it, unless you look for major story or content change.

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Postby Curry » Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:32 pm

Stworca wrote:[url="http://weidu.org/valen.html"]Valen[/url] THE evil character mod for now, chaotic evil vampir assassin who will make some decisions for you, and turn you into persona non-grata in many, many places.


I don't understand why Valen is a vampire in the mod, when in the vanilla game she's clearly not.
The problem is that the people with the most ridiculous ideas are always the people who are most certain of them.

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Postby Sain » Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:21 pm

If you don't like the original BG, install Tutu, and the NPC mod.
I've tried Amber, Tashia, and Saerileth for BG:2, and they are all very good.
What exactly didn't you like about ToB, because there are a few storyline/difficulty enhancers.
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Postby Nightmare » Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:24 am

I generally consider Ascension to be a necessary mod, as I think it greatly improves the overall ending and story of ToB. It also has optional harder versions of all the battles, which makes them somewhat more fun (though some of them are too difficult for me).
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Postby NiteWulf » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:13 am

I just started playing BG2 again recently and came across your questions. So here's another old-school fan happy to read the answers here! :laugh:
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Postby two » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:57 am

Phantom Lord wrote:Two? As in "[color="Red"]No death, no reload[/color]"?? Man, I certainly loved that thread of yours!!!

I just logged in for the first time since long ago myself. I played BG2 around the same time like you and got a little hooked on Dragon Age during the last weeks. Otherwise I didn't play much between 2003 and now (Wii Sports don't count, right).

How to get addicted by BG2 again, well, the last time this worked for me: you may just want to install BG2 plus ToB (doesn't mean you have to play ToB as such, but you want the improvements and higher level abilities that come with it, and Watcher's Keep is fun as well) and patch it to latest version. Then you may want to beef it up with [url="http://weidu.org/tactics.html"]Tactics[/url], which somewhat raises the difficulty of all major offenders / encounters and introduces some new kits and minor modifications, plus one rather difficult sub quest. The effect of the mod is great though, the game becomes quite challenging again.

From there you could just have a go at it, unless you look for major story or content change.


Ha ha, yeah that was me, good times.

I'm in the process of making a big list of things I am going to add to my first game back... I'll post the "list in the making" later today. Different mods, tweaks, enhancements...

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Postby Phantom Lord » Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:03 pm

Great, guess I have to monitor this forum a bit in the future then. ;)

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Postby two » Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:06 pm

This is what I have so far

I've going to install the BG 4 pack which installes BGI, Tales of the SC, BGII, and TOB.

I patch them all with official patches.

Then I will do the following. Not in this order.


+++++++++++++++++THE ROUGH PLAN SO FAR+++++++++


Enhancements / fixes to the Core Game

Ease-of-Use: some of them, leaving off the cheese
Ease-of-Use Mod

House of Sim
Pocket Plane Group - Bending Baldur's Gate 2 and the Infinity Engine

Six's Kitpack Some additional kits
Pocket Plane Group - Bending Baldur's Gate 2 and the Infinity Engine

Tactics: possibly some of them, leaving off the most ridiculously difficult The Tactics Mod

Sword Coast Stratagems II sounds badass! tactical fixes but without cheeze
G3 Sword Coast Stratagems II

Song and Silence new kits and crap for bards/thieves G3: Song and Silence

BG2 Tweak Pack (non cheeze)
G3: BG2 Tweak Pack Overview

Oversight fixes stupid alignment issues
G3: Oversight

BG Fix Pack replaces Baldurdash fix pack, install after clean BG install
G3 BG2 Fixpack

Item Revisions Make items less cheezy and more interesting
G3: Item Revisions

One Pixel Productions cosmetic
Spellhold Studios - One Pixel Productions / Baldur's Gate II Mod

Refinements Spellhold Studios - Refinements / Baldur's Gate II Mod

Rogue Rebalancing Make rogues less lame
Spellhold Studios - Rogue Rebalancing / Baldur's Gate II Mod

the Bigg House (selected) Various fixes
Spellhold Studios - the Bigg House / Baldur's Gate II Mods

Unfinished Business Finishes various unfinished quests that the dev's didn't have time for
Pocket Plane Group - Bending Baldur's Gate 2 and the Infinity Engine

Divine remix Divine class love
G3: Divine Remix

Subrace adds subraces, eh, whatever.
Chosen of Mystra :: View topic - FinnJO's Subrace Mod for BG2

Sword and Fist monks.n.stuff
G3: Sword and Fist

Spell Revisions Make sucky spells better, nerf powerful ones
G3: Spell Revisions

Ahses of Embars: some new kits, and refinements
Pocket Plane Group - Bending Baldur's Gate 2 and the Infinity Engine

BGII Improvements Mod Well, IMPROVEMENTS, right?
Azure NPC & BG2 Improvements Homepage


MODULES which add Quests

G3 Anniversary: Some kind of fun bar-crawling adventure. Can't say no. G3: Anniversary Mod


Baldur's Gate Trilogy - WeiDU (BGT-WeiDU)
Baldur’s Gate Trilogy - WeiDU Readme
SPELLHOLD STUDIOS - BGT-WeiDU
Spellhold Studios -> Download Manager -> BGT-WeiDU -> Baldur's Gate Trilogy-WeiDU (1.08)

NO DON’T WANT OR NEED IT, not doing BGI, seems awesome if you are into the grand epic.


BIG PICTURE http://america.iegmc.net/bigpicture/BigPicture161G_Manual.pdf
Spellhold Studios -> Download Manager -> Big Picture -> The Big Picture v179e

NO DON’T NEED THIS YET, too messy and hella confusing install, too big

assassinations lots of nasty assasin quests
Pocket Plane Group - Bending Baldur's Gate 2 and the Infinity Engine

Quest Pack various fun ones
Pocket Plane Group - Bending Baldur's Gate 2 and the Infinity Engine

Dark Horizons Badass

Section One --AKA-- Dark Horizons

The Fields of the Dead big one lots to choose

Pocket Plane Group - Bending Baldur's Gate 2 and the Infinity Engine

Secret of Bone Hill remake of the classic AD&D
Spellhold Studios - The Secret of Bonehill / Baldur's Gate II Mod

Fading Promises EH
Spellhold Studios - Fading Promises / Baldur's Gate II Mod

Tales of the Deep Gardens (not totally sure, sounds a little …. Lame)
Spellhold Studios - Tales of the Deep Gardens / Baldur's Gate II Mod


Dark Side of the Sword Coast Tales of the sC love
Spellhold Studios - Dark Side of the Sword Coast / Baldur's Gate Trilogy Mod

Shadows over Soubar Look it up.

Spellhold Studios - Shadows over Soubar / Baldur's Gate II Mod

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

OK what do you think?

TOO MUCH?

Will my computer EXPLODE?

Will BG simply crash?

Some stuff to delete off?

To add?

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Postby Jordoo » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:52 pm

LOL, dude your game will crash all the time with all of those mods! Start small. Read all the read me's and make sure your mods will be compatable.

I'd recomend something like this.

Official patch
G3 fix
Some sort of tactical mod to make you think since your an experianced player
Some sort of game expantion conversion mod (unfinished businmess ect)
Flirt Pack
Banter Pack
A couple new NPC's (but not too many)

NPC's I highly recomend: Saerileth, Amber, Tyris Flare
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Postby Nightmare » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:12 pm

You will definitely need to make sure each mod is compatible with one another (all mods that use WeiDu are compatible with each other).

Also, an important note, do not use the Ease-of-use mod, the G3 Tweak Pack is roughly the same thing. Using both will likely mess things up.

Make sure you install the Tweak Pack last, as well.
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Postby two » Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:36 pm

Too much

Ok that was too much.

This is my current much smaller plan.

+++++++++++++++++THE ROUGH PLAN SO FAR+++++++++

Enhancements / fixes to the Core Game

House of Sim WeiDU
Pocket Plane Group - Bending Baldur's Gate 2 and the Infinity Engine

Six's Kitpack Some additional kits WeiDU
Pocket Plane Group - Bending Baldur's Gate 2 and the Infinity Engine

Sword Coast Stratagems II sounds badass! tactical fixes but without cheeze WeiDU
G3 Sword Coast Stratagems II

Song and Silence new kits and crap for bards/thieves G3: Song and Silence WeiDU

BG2 Tweak Pack (non cheeze)
G3: BG2 Tweak Pack Overview WeiDU

BG Fix Pack replaces Baldurdash fix pack, install after clean BG install
G3 BG2 Fixpack WeiDU

Item Revisions Make items less cheezy and more interesting
G3: Item Revisions WeiDU

One Pixel Productions cosmetic
Spellhold Studios - One Pixel Productions / Baldur's Gate II Mod WeiDU

Refinements Spellhold Studios - Refinements / Baldur's Gate II Mod WeiDU

Rogue Rebalancing Make rogues less lame
Spellhold Studios - Rogue Rebalancing / Baldur's Gate II Mod WeiDU but detailed install info

Unfinished Business Finishes various unfinished quests that the dev's didn't have time for
Pocket Plane Group - Bending Baldur's Gate 2 and the Infinity Engine WeiDU

Sword and Fist monks.n.stuff
G3: Sword and Fist WeiDU

Spell Revisions Make sucky spells better, nerf powerful ones
G3: Spell Revisions WeiDU

BGII Improvements Mod Well, IMPROVEMENTS, right?
Azure NPC & BG2 Improvements Homepage WeiDU


MODULES which add Quests

G3 Anniversary: Some kind of fun bar-crawling adventure. Can't say no. G3: Anniversary Mod WeiDU


assassinations lots of nasty assasin quests
Pocket Plane Group - Bending Baldur's Gate 2 and the Infinity Engine WeiDU

Quest Pack various fun ones
Pocket Plane Group - Bending Baldur's Gate 2 and the Infinity Engine WeiDU

Dark Horizons Badass

Section One --AKA-- Dark Horizons

For BGI and Tales of the Sword Coast, old-school, not WeiDU

Secret of Bone Hill remake of the classic AD&D
Spellhold Studios - The Secret of Bonehill / Baldur's Gate II Mod WeiDU


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

INSTALLATION ORDER:

Clean Game Install
Official patches

G3 fix (WeiDU)

Dark Horizons (for BG I Tales of the SC)

ALL Other Core Enhancements (WeiDU) except SWSII (see below)

All Quest type Mods (WeiDU)

Sword Coast Stratagems II

G3 Tweak Pack (WeiDU)


IS this more reasonable?


PS I guess I would like to get Rogue Rebalancing in there, because I like the idea of a Jester Bard very much.

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Postby two » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:28 am

What is this widescreen MOD crap whatever?

I don't really care much about graphics, I thought BGII was fine as is. But should I look into this?

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Postby Stworca » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:15 pm

two wrote:What is this widescreen MOD crap whatever?

I don't really care much about graphics, I thought BGII was fine as is. But should I look into this?


If You plan on installing SCS2, then no. SCS2 will slow Your PC enough. But bear in mind that i play BG2 on laptop (while working), which aint high end (or even low end) and i might be wrong.
[url="http://www.gamebanshee.com/forums/baldurs-gate-ii-shadows-of-amn-9/guide-to-tactical-mods-spoilers-116063.html#post1068546"]BG2 tactical mods guide[/url]
What? You're still here? Go write a review![url="http://www.gamebanshee.com/forums/rpg-user-reviews-118/"]Here[/url]
Insane Ironman BG2 let's play! [url="http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=81201.msg2140894#msg2140894"]Here[/url]

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Phantom Lord
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Postby Phantom Lord » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:36 pm

... more important than the mods - what character class it's gonna be?

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two
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Postby two » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:01 pm

Hard to say. If all the new kit stuff works, geez, I dunno. There will be a lot of options!

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Postby two » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:05 pm

Stworca wrote:If You plan on installing SCS2, then no. SCS2 will slow Your PC enough. But bear in mind that i play BG2 on laptop (while working), which aint high end (or even low end) and i might be wrong.


I'm kinda surprised. I thought modern computers were able to handle lots of stuff. My computer is about 2 years old, maybe 3. Pentium 4 3.2 Ghz 2GB RAM. I don't give a rat's ass about that stuff, except to know, is it sufficient you think?