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Just a thought: for those playing through BGEE for SoD, a good choice would be to take Safana

JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 21,991
Currently I'm on a BGEE run with a party that I plan to import into SoD once it's released. For my first playthough of SoD, I'm thinking about taking exactly the party that has defeated Sarevok, was victorious in the Durlag's Tower and the Werewolves' Island, with all items and abilities on the party's NPCs as I want them.

The latest Dragon+ interview about SoD includes a new screenshot, with what was confirmed to be a neutral party for SoD: Khalid, Dorn, Jaheira, Safana, Neera (https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/656010/#Comment_656010). So Safana is a thief in the neutral SoD party.

Other screenshots, avalable at http://www.siegeofdragonspear.com/, also have Safana. We still don't know which BG1 NPCs will be available in SoD, and what good or evil party for SoD will be, but on this forum an idea has been shared that Imoen won't be available as an NPC in SoD (or, at least, for a major part of SoD), becoming a quest figure instead.

And it has struck me that my party (the canon BG1 party of Jaheira, Khalid, Imoen, Minsc and Dynaheir) actually has a thief (who also is dualled into a mage, with precise planning of thieving skills, and lots of learned spells) that presumable won't be available in SoD, so that I will have to take another thief, with Safana the most likely option). Glint Gardnersonson will also be an option, but you can't influence his skill distribution in BG1EE.

In my case, if Imoen really won't be available, I will lose all that has been put into her, instead getting another NPC with thieving skills I didn't distribute and without a wizard part (because it requires the INT tome).

Of course, it won't be a BIG deal, but still it is needed to be considered.

So, if anyone else has the same concerns, maybe it's better to include Safana into your pre-SoD BG1EE party which you're planning to import into SoD (you could even dualclass the moment you exactly want), so that in SoD you had a thief with that skill distribution you consider the best (maybe you like setting traps, for example, and like to put 100 into ST).

As a bonus for Imoen, though, I'm awaiting for those dialogues and events explaining why she can't continue with Charname in SoD.

FaydarkbrusSkatanGallowglasslolientypo_tillyVasculio
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Comments

  • FaydarkFaydark Member Posts: 279
    I'm just going to stick with my usual party of Imoen, Jaheira, Minsc, Neera and see what that brings for my first playthrough. If it turns out to not work out very well, then I'll do another playthrough with a different party. Then I'll do some other playthroughs, with different parties and solo. Then some more playthroughs with different parties and solo. Then some.. you get the idea.

    It's not like we don't like playing these games ;)

    JuliusBorisovGallowglassjackjackWinterisle
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 2,381
    I am certain that they will not just remove imoen (or any other thief/class one is worried about) from the party at a time when no alternatives are around. Or maybe they will but then I am positive there will not be exceptionally difficult encounters on the road to the alternatives.

  • jackjackjackjack Member Posts: 3,251
    I almost always take Safana anyhow.

    JuliusBorisovMathsorcererAbi_Dalzim
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    bengoshi said:

    ... on this forum an idea has been shared that Imoen won't be available as an NPC in SoD (or, at least, for a major part of SoD), becoming a quest figure instead ...

    IIRC, I was the one who pointed out that possibility :smile:

    I certainly take the point that it could be pretty frustrating to have to replace carefully-developed characters with characters whose proficiencies and skills are pre-assigned (and inevitably won't be quite what you want!) This will be especially relevant for Thieves, since we may have only a couple of Thief levels-up to re-balance the Thieving skills to the pattern we want, which might not be enough even by the end of the game (let alone at the start!)

    A way around (or at least partly around) this difficulty would be for those continuing characters who aren't imported at the start to be recruited ToB-style, i.e. with a bunch of XP but not yet fully levelled up, so that we can immediately allocate a couple of levels-worth of their skills and proficiencies ourselves at the time of recruitment.

    dunbarJuliusBorisov
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 2,381
    Yet that takes away party of their personality, which is not the case for tob.

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    lroumen said:

    Yet that takes away party of their personality, which is not the case for tob.

    In what way? It shouldn't be necessary to take away any XP or proficiencies or skills which they already had.

    Remember that I'm talking about doing this only for those characters which we didn't bring with us in the party at the start of SoD (but which will nevertheless be available in SoD).

    Since SoD is running as an expansion of BG1ee, it knows where you left or rejected those characters in BG1ee and what XP/proficiencies/skills the character had at that time (or if you play SoD as a new game, then it knows what the starting setup of each BG1ee character would have been). Therefore it can easily copy the same set of proficiencies and skills to those same characters when you meet them (wherever that turns out to be) in SoD, and increase their XP to a suitable amount (which would be 161K if we meet them right at the start of SoD, but more like 200K if we meet them a little later, and so on) but without actually levelling them up (so that you can immediately level them up yourself and allocate any skills etc.)

    Come to think of it, with this mechanism of copying the recruitable characters from their last state in (the main campaign of) BG1ee, it'd be equally simple to copy across whatever equipment (if any) we left them carrying ... hmmm, that might be popular ...

    This mechanism would also mean that if a character permanently died in the main campaign, then they'll likewise be unavailable in SoD, which seems sensible (except perhaps for members of the BG2ee canon starting party, who might need to be forcibly plot-resurrected even if they got chunked earlier, but we'll have to wait to see how the SoD plot handles this).

    In fact, this mechanism tidily solves so many problems that I reckon I may have stumbled across what the devs are actually going to do!

  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 7,809
    bengoshi said:



    As a bonus for Imoen, though, I'm awaiting for those dialogues and events explaining why she can't continue with Charname in SoD.

    They need to forcefully make her a mage. If she is a playable character, the player can choose to keep her as a thief and therefore breaking the continuity they are attempting to create.

    GallowglassJuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 21,991
    Yes, the best option will be to implement a ToB-style NPCs appoach, not just in terms of Safana, but all other NPCs in SoD, and subsequently (through patches) in BGEE and BG2EE as well.

    Gallowglass
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 2,381
    Well, I prefer the level-pregenerated npcs and their skills. For instance, I like that alora goes pick locks and pick pockets, it is part of her personality. However if I were to meet her at level 7 without having met her in bgee then I expect her to be an advanced version of her level 6 pregenerated character, and not either a level 6 npc with 200k unspent xp or a level 8 npc with totally different thieving distribution. It just makes no sense from a role play perspective.

    So I actually expect higher level pregenerated npc levels which are advancements of their personalities.

    For tob itself, the npcs are near epic levels, there is not much story there. The most important character development is in the lowest levels.

    thar_thaazdhen
  • TymakerTymaker Member Posts: 105
    Wait, wait.. There is no such thing as a neutral party in MO. There is ether good or evil, at the end of the day 'Neutral' prefers to have good neabours over evil - would rather that life wins over death - they are just less concerned about it unless it effects them directly. Hence, true natural druid rises to action after her forest is mutilated by an ogre tripe... an so how would a druid rise to action over good characters who bless her forest?

  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 2,381
    edited December 2015
    If the good characters are on the verge of wiping out the ogre tribe, she will stand in their way and give the ogres a chance. Never will she kill the ogres who mutilated the forest anyway unless there is no other choice. Reasoning and coexistence are the motto of a neutral druid.

    Post edited by lroumen on
  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 3,009
    edited December 2015
    I'm with @jackjack. Safana winds up in most of the parties I run through BGEE, unless I am specifically trying to go all good, in which case I stick with Alora. Safana fits is easily enough with evil parties and, truthfully, I do not like Imoen at all.

    jackjackdunbar
  • MrBungleMrBungle Member Posts: 50
    I always run Imoen. If charname is a thief it is a bounty hunter, shadow dancer, or assassin. If so Imoen picks locks while charname builds intrinsic abilities. If charname is not a thief Imoen still works as
    LP, DT. She is the best choice as a roleplaying consideration as she is your childhood friend. She works with a party of any alignment and becomes more interesting from a role playing perspective in an evil party. Also, there is rumor that she maybe allowed to import stats to BG2 in the future. I wish there was more info about how NPC stats might transfer from BGEE to SoD and possible on to BG2EE. I am sitting on tomes of int and wis in my Dwarven Defender playthrough. Not sure where they should go.

    ronaldo
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    MrBungle said:

    Also, there is rumor that she maybe allowed to import stats to BG2 in the future.

    Really? Oh, well you're ahead of me there then, I hadn't heard that one.
    MrBungle said:

    I wish there was more info about how NPC stats might transfer from BGEE to SoD and possible on to BG2EE.

    Since SoD will run as part of BG1ee, it's a good default assumption that any character you take with you into SoD will automatically start with whatever stats they had at the end of BG1ee.

    However, since some (but not all) of the recurring characters have better stats in BG2 than they did in BG1, I suppose it's possible that they'll use the BG2 stats on import into SoD instead of the end-BG1 stats, or otherwise they might have some story-event during SoD to explain how some characters improve their stats. (I reckon the latter would make more sense, but of course I've no idea what they actually intend.)

    Transferring from SoD to BG2ee will probably continue to work exactly as it currently does. The NPCs will all have the same stats as in the existing version of BG2ee, because Beamdog aren't supposed to change existing content (at least, not for the old Bioware characters, although they might adjust their own-brand characters).

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 21,991
    If Safana is really going to be an important part of SoD, maybe a patch for BG2EE should include some tweaking into the Safana's quest in the Forest of Tethyr, to reflect on how a member of the SoD party could betray the Bhaalspawn (I always felt that quest didn't have enough explanation).

    jackjackGallowglassdunbar
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 2,381
    Or maybe at the end of SoD something happens that changes her.

    JuliusBorisovjackjackGallowglass
  • Abi_DalzimAbi_Dalzim Member Posts: 1,425
    I'm pretty sure I'll go Fighter/Thief for my first SOD run-through, but after that, I'll check out what Safana can do. Or maybe I'll do that anyways, since I like her to begin with. :wink:

    JuliusBorisov
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    lroumen said:

    Or maybe at the end of SoD something happens that changes her.

    Perhaps as part of setting the stage for the start of BG2, it might be the case near to the end of SoD that Imoen not only eventually becomes joinable but actually joins compulsorily ... and compulsorily displaces Safana (if present). That might leave Safana well pissed off at us, and thereby set the stage for her behaviour in BG2.

    JuliusBorisovjackjack
  • MusignyMusigny Member Posts: 1,027
    Perhaps playing SoD does not specifically require a thief.
    Many sections of the original games can be played without a thief. You certainly can beat both BGEE and BG2EE with no thief in your team.
    Back to Imoen and SoD... I like to dual Imoen to a mage anyway, SoD may simply have no impact on many of our favorite strategies. (evil team or not so evil team can dual class Shar-Teel to a thief IRCC, good team can rely on Alora, everyone can get Safana on board, multi-class PC thieves are amongst the most enjoyable classes to play, who knows: perhaps turnip-fanatic shorties also make an appearance in SoD etc...)

  • NhullNhull Member Posts: 37
    I'm really torn on how to handle this. I'm running a few games at the same time, and my Good party has Imoen for canonical sake. We know the level she is in BG2, and the class, but in BG1, with Tales, we can surpass that already.

    It would be really really really nice, if we cannot change the party members in BG2 starting out, to at least let them import with the applicable stats and such from BG1/Tales/SoD. Even if Imoen needs to be Thief/Mage, at least let her be appropriately leveled.

    Musigny
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    No thanks, @Nhull. I see the point of consistency, but I don't want the start of BG2ee rendered too trivial.

  • NhullNhull Member Posts: 37
    Yeah I thought about it while playing, and eventually just dropped Imoen. I'll bring up Safana and handwave Imoen so it works for BG2. She's going to be way behind the main character though, and everyone else will be...odd as well since they are going to de-level if you run the same party from start to finish. :disappointed:

  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 2,381
    The endboss of SoD should permanently leveldrain everybody then ;)

    typo_tillyjackjack
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 21,991
    Musigny said:

    Perhaps playing SoD does not specifically require a thief.
    Many sections of the original games can be played without a thief. You certainly can beat both BGEE and BG2EE with no thief in your team.

    I'll be disappointed if SoD dungeons (and the large part of the game will be in dungeons) didn't have deadly traps. It's the old castle, the old ruins, the old tunnels. They just scream: TPAPS!

    So, in fact, I expect a lot of dangerous traps in SoD.

    MusignyGallowglassjackjack
  • MusignyMusigny Member Posts: 1,027
    bengoshi said:

    So, in fact, I expect a lot of dangerous traps in SoD.

    I am with you on this one but from a design perspective this would be a non neglectable bias.
    I don't see it as Durlag's tower, an optional dungeon.

    Gallowglass
  • NhullNhull Member Posts: 37
    lroumen said:

    The endboss of SoD should permanently leveldrain everybody then ;)

    I would really hate that. :]

    Thinking on it further last night, I'm just going to run through with characters you cannot pick up again in BG2, its the only 'consistent' way to make it work out to me.

    typo_tillyGallowglassMusigny
  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702
    *-) That's a good point. I normally take Imoen to level 10, but she's going to undergo a forced switch, eh? I may just switch her manually in BG1 at level 7 to mage to avoid any problems.

    How are Coran's locks and traps skills?

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356

    I may just switch her manually in BG1 at level 7 to mage to avoid any problems.

    I've almost always done that with Imoen all along, for canonical consistency with BG2, even without the new prospect of SoD.

    How are Coran's locks and traps skills?

    Already good with locks when you first meet him, but poor on traps. When using him to cover for Imoen's dual-classing downtime, traps are where you'll urgently need to invest all of his first Thief level-up, and at least some of his second Thief level-up, and then he'll have enough to keep you fairly safe until Imoen is back.

    I often use Coran that way, and it's viable, but don't rush to tackle Durlag's Tower until Imoen's presumably-superior trap-finding is again available. Collect Coran quite early, so that you can get his first Thief level-up by (or even before) the time to dual-class Imoen, and then you'll be fine.

    typo_tilly
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 2,381
    Coran is stealth and locks if I recall correctly. As a multi he may take some time to develop (but he does have nice dex bonus to get started with).

    The real question is timing. Do you use imoen or safana early on as pure thieves with all customizable skills, take a slower option in montaron, rush for a later npc (coran needs to learn traps, as does alora, skie needs specialization, tiax needs a lot of guidance), or go for some dual classing early game (shar-teel, branwen)... or be the thief yourself.

    (might have missed an npc)

    Anything will work but what is acceptable to you as continuity is probably most important.

    typo_tilly
  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702
    Yeah, all true. *-)

    I could almost see going with Shar-Teel, except for her Evilness. Safana is definitely the easiest and earliest after Imoen and Montaron. With Branwen, you'd need to reach Baldur's Gate and by then you've got all the other options.

    It's fun with so many characters! :)

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