So despite having rolled more than a few characters in BG:EE and finishing the game a couple of times, I haven't gotten my feet wet with regards to the Black Pits yet. I've rolled up a party and done 2-3 fights but nothing too serious. I don't want a huge amount of foreknowledge but I had a few questions to help plan out a party.
1. Is the game mode balanced for strong parties? Will I be in for an excessively easy game if I min/max my rolls?
2. Are there any disadvantages for resting? Are you rewarded for conserving health/magic in fights?
3. Which thief skills (if any) are good to focus on?
4. Are the weapons/armor about the same as those found in the main campaign? Anything in particular that I should prepare for?
Any other general tips would be helpful too. For curiosity's sake, here's the party I've been mulling over:
Human Cavalier :: Two-Handed Swords, Halberds
Half-Orc Barbarian :: Dual-Wielding Long Swords, ????
Dwarf Fighter/Cleric :: Blunt Weapons, Shields
Elf Archer :: Composite Long Bows
Gnome Thief/Illusionist :: Short Bows, Quarterstaves
Elf Sorcerer :: Darts