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Mod Reviews

PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 2,137
edited January 2016 in General Modding
Since we don't appear to have such a thing, and I was feeling opinionated, herein lies a thread for people to wax lyrical about mods so others need not pick from them randomly. Feel free to add your own, and don't feel the need to do it in the same format as I.

BG2:

NPC mods:

Kelsey:

The mercantile sorcerer.

Plot and Immersion: B (A) - Kelsey has a lot of immersive comments, he talks to traders he knows, he greets his friends, and he shares his opinion on a lot of quests, as well as a lot of flavourful talk (and a few items) with Jan Jansen who was in my party for this runthrough. I'd even go so far as to say that though his personality comes off as a bit... Weedy, his lovetalks were for the most part pretty decent, though {some hugging} appears, it's not a huge amount in his main talk.

The reason he gets a B is that his flirts can get pretty damn creepy. Wandering around dungeons, he would periodically stop to muck with CHARNAME's hair, {shuddering} as he fingers her earlobe. Give her a "friendly kiss on the cheek" - repeatedly kissing your work colleague on the face doesn't strike me as friendly, so much as sexual harassment, but I'm British, the personal space on my character is the size of Firkraag's, so maybe that's just me. Walking next to you so he can brush your arm as he points which way to go next, while actively trying to smell your hair? Running his finger along your arm and grunting? Brrr.

It was also strange how talking to him informed CHARNAME that she felt a strong mutual attraction towards him, and that she found him uncontrollably rolling his eyes (not kidding) to be adorable. Thanks for letting me know how CHARNAME feels, Kelsey!

What's possibly worst is that his flirts progress into unsolicited makeout and groping long before the romance progresses to a place where that would be appropriate, particularly since my Wizard Slayer/Mage/Thief CHARNAME (I don't recommend it, by the way, constantly low level Wizard Slayer that can't even wear armour or bracers = Nightmare mode) always picked the rather stand-offish, ambivalent answers rather than {sweaty hugging} the red headed gentleman, but apparently after saying "Yeah, you're pretty much sticking around for the six fireballs a day" so many times, he decided that meant CHARNAME thought he was hot, grabbed her posterior and forced her to French kiss in the middle of Spellhold's dungeon.

Thankfully if you're not reviewing the mod, there is a permanent off-switch (unlike with Isra, who you can bring back online if you miss {free candy}). Without it, Kelsey gets an A for being almost offensively inoffensive.

Content and Consistency: B - While Kelsey's personality and behaviour was pretty good, and he's had a few comparatively minor plot fights so far (I'm expecting something larger come Chapter 6), there were a few niggles where the other characters were a bit off model. Jan's a little more abrasive than usual, and Anomen, who I had the curious privilege of running through the romance of with my last male elf CHARNAME, was clearly written by someone who didn't care for the cleriknight, amping his ego from "kind of has an inferiority complex but generally tries his best not to be a boob about it" to where "The Radiant Heart, of which I am a squire in my proudest achievement which means a lot to me" becomes "My own significant contributions to the Radiant Heart shall not be insulted!", rendering a realistically imperfect character into an almost cartoonish version at times.

Secondly, he doesn't really seem to take CHARNAME's class into account (though this may be different for a Sorcerous CHARNAME). How special Kelsey is is a commonplace theme, even wild mages are super dull and common compared to sorcerers in the Kelseyverse. Frequently he'll talk about protecting her with his spells and asking her if she can imagine what it's like to be able to shoot fire across the room... Sirrah, CHARNAME has three levels on you and has three fireballs prepped, pretty sure that she has an inkling.

Bonus points for Elven CHARNAME being able to point out that Kelsey will be dead and buried long, long before she manages to grow old with him, but loses a few points where he mentions her becoming a silver haired seer immediately after. Not unless you perfect lichdom, Kelsey, and even then probably not.

I was expecting some post underdark content with the Kelster, but unfortunately nothing. Maybe I broke him with my extensive polyamory?

Power Creep: D- - What is it with Sorcerers and overpowered gear? Kelsey's stats are as irrelevant as any sorcerer, but he comes replete with a cloak of 20% MR, +1 to saves, +1 to AC, casts a unique Fireshield(Green/Acid) and level 1 and level 2 spell slots... and is upgradeable with your favourite pocket imp and is usable by "Sorcerers". Yeah, it's 5% MR vs two levels of spell slots and a Fireshield off being the Cloak of Balduran. So guess what's mine as soon as I get UAI?
The other things he's granted so far are comparatively tame. A necklace of 1/day NRD, which, given he's not a Wild Mage, works about as well as one might expect. "Makeup of +2 Charisma" he decided to give 17 Cha CHARNAME (not sure if should be insulted, gave it to Jan, who rather enjoyed it), and a strobe light helmet (granted via a chat with Jan).

Melodrama: B+ - Kelsey dips into the occasional whine, and it's sad seeing him behave like a bit of a doormat at times, but generally he's pretty low drama, doesn't angst over everything, and doesn't tell me not to waste healing spells so I can waste fabric bandaging his pectorals. Some of the dialogue responses to him just wandered into absurdly hostile for no reason, though, which was just plain weird.

Bugginess: A - I didn't notice any outright glitches due to Kelsey, asides from the occasional {backrub} while I'm trying to buff up for a dungeon boss.

Overall: B- - If I were going to pick a sorcerer to fill that barren niche, I'd go with Tashia for being slightly less abusable with her one encounter per day megacat, but Kelsey's romance is pretty decent if you're running a female toon and can put up with his 7 spell slots per day and the fact he picked up Burning Hands (which overrides all other spells in the AI so he can wander into melee and use it against a Fire Elemental). Once his romance "concludes" with the traditional coitus, he becomes a lot quieter for the rest of SoA.

@Notabarbiegirl says about Kelsey:
Kelsey is pure fun for anyone who tends to get tired of Anomens attitude. There are some interesting additions with Kelsey, I recommend getting him asap. Also do not let him leave the first time he mentions going away.

Nephele

The adventuring midget grandma.

Plot and Immersion: A- - Nephele talks, and shares her opinion, constantly. In fact, her interjections are almost too frequent in a few talks, where she takes over a the conversation a little.

There were a few niggles where she started teaching CHARNAME how to cast Mage spells, which was coming on a little strong considering Mage CHARNAME learned from CHARNAME, but generally she was a delight, mothering Imoen and CHARNAME, making her presence felt and generally chipping in for all sorts of quests, making her presence very much known, without being a know-it-all most of the time, though she's a little more quiet in the underdark.

Content and Consistency: B - While she has a lot to say, Nephy doesn't have any unfinished quests I've seen so far, making her content pretty much non-existent, unless she's holding out for Chapter 6.

Power Creep: A+ - Her stats are beyond mediocre for BG2, with the highest being Wisdom at 15. She gets no earth shattering equipment, no mind boggling necklace of immortality, just a single class cleric with a hidden kit, the Cleric of Yondalla, which has granted thus far: Goodberries as an innate, Zone of Sweet Air, and Entangle. Zone is situationally handy to have as an innate, but Nephele is if anything too modest to be mucking it up in BG2's high level environment.

Melodrama: A - Drama free, angst free, {shivery hugs} free, and angst-ridden backstory free. She's a halfling widow with grandkids and wanderlust. It's refreshing to see an older character getting such a solid representation.

Bugginess: A- - Her kit doesn't have a kit description or show up on her character record. Other than that, she's pretty much glitch free aside from the odd typo.

Overall: A - She's not a powergamer's choice, but I found her presence surprisingly enjoyable. Well worth a try, if you aren't fashed by the fact she's outright worse than Viconia's MR heavy self or are willing to Keeper her into something a little stronger if you are. She honestly had so much to say through her various banters and friendship tracks that I never forgot she was in the party, which is more than I could say about most characters.

Ninde:

The unapologetically evil necromancer elf.

Plot and Immersion: B - Asides from the usual "late NPC syndrome", Ninde is plenty chatty, has quite a few banters, and actively sabotages the player at least once that I've come across, forcing them down the evil path purely because she was feeling bratty (a little IC annoyance never hurts).

Otherwise, she's happy to spread a little fatalistic cheer in banters and dialogues (plenty of which occur in the underdark, which is nice considering that's just where a lot of vanilla NPCs turn quiet). She noticably has no dialogue with the Phaere encounter (unusual for a romance partner, though to be fair it may just be her entirely characteristic apathy towards the notion), and she gives plenty of scope for CHARNAME to run a gamut of characterisations, which is the kind of RP heavy interaction I prefer, and while her Player-Initiated-Dialogues included {flirty activities}, they also included a wide range of conversation options to ask her about herself, to which she shares a short reply.

One thing of note is that in two places it felt like I skipped a conversation or two explaining what her deal was, first one being her first recruitment where she refers to Lassal as "late", second when she leapt into revealing her mysterious malady before I even knew she had a malady in the first place.

Content and Consistency: B - A bit of a mixed bag. Generally, Ninde strikes me far more as chaotic evil than neutral. She's capricious, changeable and mischievous, disloyal and thoroughly self-interested - consistently so, but at odds with her character sheet. At one point CHARNAME, an elf, dissed elves as a species and made fun of Ninde's pointy ears. Later she talks about how she's an elf raised by humans and CHARNAME gets to say they're an elf, but... Apparently forgets that the entire population of Candlekeep is human or doppleganger, or that they're bizarrely underage, missing out an interesting avenue of interaction.

Otherwise, purists might have trouble with the fact that Ninde mentions stories when she was a fifteen year old elfin child which, for elves, even human raised ones, is probably still pre-pubescent unless you happen to be a Bhaalspawn, but easily enough ignored.

I haven't noticed any particular quests or other content for Ninde, though she's happy enough to pipe up during other questlines.

Power Creep: A+ - She has a unique amulet that grants Negative Plane Protection, Protection from Evil and such, which isn't world shaking considering you have to have an amulet of power guaranteed at this point and probably won't have your mage in melee range anyway, particularly in return for an unusable amulet slot.

In terms of her class, not only does Necromancy lock her out of some of the best mage spells, she gets none of the boosts that Edwin enjoys for his magery, leaving her with a decent but not fantastic, intelligence, wisdom and charisma and pretty middling stats.

I actually Keepered her into a Fighter/Mage in my game to make use of a bow (since a pure cleric, sorcerer, Bard Imoen and Jan Jansen doesn't make for the most balanced of parties), and never once felt like she was pushing the envelope.

Melodrama: A - Ninde is cheerfully fatalistic about your shared fate of dooooooom.

Bugginess: B - One underdark lovetalk crashed my game, but sleeping mid conversation, while perhaps a little rude, got around the bug with no console editing necessary. Otherwise there are a few typos, but nothing extreme.

Overall: B - Her talks have plenty of dialogue and a wide range of options which are novel, and she's refreshingly content to let you have an opinion she doesn't share, so I'd say she's worth a try, at least if you're looking for her personality, which I found quite palatable, and definitely not stupid evil. Some of the post underdark stuff got a little in-your-face for my preferences, but it had a decently rewarding post Irenicus bit which you don't often see.


Tyris Flare

Plot and Immersion: B - Pretty well done for a canon crossover, Tyris pipes up in a few quests, such as the Planar Sphere - particularly with a mage CHARNAME. Periodically she'll have a "flirt" conversation trigger when she gets near enough to CHARNAME, heavy on action tags, and for me, frequently repeated. I'm not much of a {hugger}, so that didn't add much for me, nor did the various action tag "flirts" your character could perform while speaking to her.

Content and Consistency: C - Her romance is pretty straight forward and pretty short. I had covered the entirety in Chapter 2, and though her banters with the vanilla NPCs typically felt in character and her dialogue well written, she has comparatively few interjections once it's over with, which left her as one of the quietest members of the party. There were a few conversations where I didn't feel she was representing her middling wisdom and charisma stats, but nothing too glaring.

I will note that she doesn't have any ToB content to my knowledge, and by the time I reached the underdark I was all kinds of ready to help Tyris find her way home, though she apparently has a few more dialogues in ToB.

Power Creep: B+ - A mostly straight forward Fighter -> Mage dual class with no illegal perks and modest stats. She fills a niche that was pretty much bare in the base game, which is always a plus for me. The only extra that Tyris brings is a set of Leather which is like a diet Robe of Vecna, -1 Casting Time and not restricted to her, and can be upgraded by Cromwell to boost its AC and give it some fire resistance.

Melodrama: A - Despite losing home, friends, and family, Tyris is very low on the melodrama. She has a few moments where she worries about the life she's left behind, but generally the angst is kept to a minimum and makes up comparatively little of her dialogue.

Bugginess: A- - Besides an unfortunate tendency to flirt in the middle of dungeons, picking up imaginary objects ad nauseam and telling me incessantly how fantastic the view her armour provides,

Overall: B+ A solid NPC, somewhat marred by the constant, repetitive flirting and limited content.


Fade

Plot and Immersion: B+ - Fade the Fey'rii pipes up frequently, and for the most part she's well integrated (asides from the ever popular action tags), with her own side quests which fit in well with the rest of the game. Unfortunately because of her placement, a lot of her content is in the later chapters, where the plot should be racing along I found myself wandering around waiting for her romance to progress instead.

Content and Consistency: D - Fade frequently seems to pay less attention to mechanics than she should. Despite being Chaotic Neutral, her behaviour borders on Neutral Good, with a supposed temper she never actually displayed. She constantly complains about being full of dark and eeeeeevil temptations, but never actually does much along those lines.

There's a place in her plot where she is badly beaten and injured, and a whole awkward wound cleaning scene comes out of it the next time you rest - ostensibly because expending the spells (that you're about to rest and recover anyway) is a waste? But in truth because if you cast Heal, you couldn't check out her boobs while you bandage her up. There's another place where she decides to give her amulet to CHARNAME to protect him from vampires... This being directly after CHARNAME just picked up Chapter 3's free Amulet o' Power.

Finally, I had quite a bit of trouble picking an appropriately in character response a few times, including several mandatory {Hugs} during the progression of the romance and strangely placed ellipses as CHARNAME is forced into some very specific, often stilted dialogue.

Power Creep: C - Fade is a single class non-kitted thief. Thieves are pretty terrible, overall, and Fade is certainly no exception, charm and invisibility innates not-withstanding, but she does get a few powerful items I consider a little excessive. She starts with an amulet that grants immunity to charm, drain and permanent protection from evil, shortly after being made equippable by either CHARNAME or herself, an exclusive wedding ring which doubles up on the charm protection with permanent Chaotic Commands (methinks the author hated illithids?) along with being a ring of regeneration and fire resistance. Finally, she can acquire a +4 short sword with +1D4 acid damage and a 5% chance to cast a mini time stop every time she hits with it - available from the vast and difficult quest of "Checking Ribald's special stock", and upgradeable to a 5% chance to drain levels to boot.

Melodrama: E - Oh gods, the whining, the angst, the dark and tortured past. Fade starts pretty mellow but swiftly mires herself in full-on bawfest that's like the unholy lovechild of Aerie and Viconia. She even whines about her evil sword of timestop when you buy it, and some of CHARNAME's responses are outright teenage. The only thing she doesn't wax melancholic upon is CHARNAME's own, not insignificant, problem of having his soul ripped out, which she very much takes in stride with barely so much as a murmur. Thanks, Fade.

Bugginess: A - Asides from the occasional typo, I didn't see any particular glitches from Fade or her quests, though I somehow managed to trigger a random ambush that instantly lost her as a party member while I was just out of the underdark, which was just peachy.

Overall: C - I'm not big on thieves, special snowflake races, excessive emotes, dark and brooding pasts or the temptation to pick up a Fighter/Mage/Thief, skip Fade altogether and just grab her exclusive sword of timestop, so she's not really my cup of tea. She's certainly not the worst NPC mod out there by any stretch of the imagination.


Isra

Plot and Immersion: A- - Isra introduces a few small sidequests, nothing particularly onerous, though the second quest doesn't really give much clue that you're supposed to chat to an easily ignored NPC, or mention anything in the journal to get you going if you leave it for a bit. She chats pleasantly with the vanilla and EE NPCs and is generally pretty cool to have around, though her refusal to work with Hexxat at least long enough to grab her bag is obnoxious. She also has {flirty hugs}, but they can be disabled by talking to her, and she actually has a full conversation tree in there to boot, rather than just a list of physical molestations to inflict upon her. The only thing I felt was out of place was her portrait, which looks a little cartoony compared to the regular style.

Content and Consistency: A - I didn't really have anything to complain about, which is strange considering I hate paladins. Isra has plenty of interjections, yet always manages to carry herself as a paladin without the stick and without taking the limelight, and not only do the NPCs she banters with keep their personalities straight, she even allows CHARNAME a range of responses to interacting with her that rarely made me blanch.

Power Creep: A - Isra is a Cavalier, and whatever stats she has that matter are worse than Keldorn's. Her items - a unique ring of protection +1, a cloak of +1 Charisma and Confusion resistance and a suit of dragonscale, are well in keeping with existing gear, and having a ringslot occupied by a weak ring actually makes her worse than she could be. My main concern would be more that she's too much like Keldorn, focused in two handed swords and long swords rather than bastard swords or maces.

Melodrama - A - Isra doesn't have a particularly dark and troubled past, a strange and unhealthy relationship with the opposite sex, or require CHARNAME to soothe her broken heart and save her with his genitals.

Bugginess: B - Isra suffered a bug in her quest which required some googling and console commands to resolve, but generally nothing insurmountable.

Overall: A. Isra fit very naturally into my playthrough once I turned off the flirting, and it's nice to have a Paladin that I don't feel like I'm turning on Easy Mode by bringing along.


Tashia

Plot and Immersion: B - This gets a lower score because I simply couldn't get her plotline to progress beyond a single random encounter with some goons, probably because of the same bug that caused her to keep repeating a conversation about poison ivy ad nauseam, She has a quirk that her romance track and plot both stop at some point in Chapter 2, and won't resume until you progress into the later chapters, which as with the other late chapter NPCs is a little jarring when you're supposed to be chasing after your immortal soul, but generally not {hugging}, {kissing} and {tap dancing} more than makes up for that for me.

Her portraits did feel a little out of place for me, but the alternative, non-digital, portrait fit at least well enough to not be distracting.

Content and Consistency: A - Tashia asks riddles, talks to the other NPCs without derailing them, develops a little buddyship with Imoen, and doesn't she occasionally pipes up with her opinion without hogging the spotlight. Generally she fits her alignment and stats (though the flirt menu in the force talk is a little creepy to do to a person you just met), and she had plenty of friendship/romance chats before the glitch hit me and locked me into talking about poison ivy. I perhaps might have preferred there to be a short timer break between her riddles to stop me from going through the lot of them all at once, but overall there's plenty of Tashia-talky going on.

Power Creep: D - Tashia is a sorcerer, a powergamer's favourite, with almost perfect stats for it - 19 Dex and 15 Con who cares about the rest you're a sorcerer. What's more, she starts out with a "Scrimshaw Figurine", an exclusive once per day summoning item that summons Peanawlwaiahan or whatever. Paen is a 20 Strength, 0 THAC0, 3 APR, -7 AC abomination with immunity to magic, acid, lightning, and Timestop, not to mention 90% resistance to physical damage, so its 20 HP might as well be 200 unless it's facing off against those rare opponents with MR bypassing fire or cold damage. She also apparently picks up a frost resisting cloak of protection +1 that gives three Frost Wand charges per day, though I think that's a romance thing I couldn't get thanks to the glitch.

Melodrama: B - Tashia starts out gloomy and morose, complains at length about her troubled past with her abusive ex-Bhaalspawn and so on, but she more or less gets over it and never really chews the scenery or has deep shuddering sobs requiring CHARNAME to salve her broken heart, which is oh so very refreshing.

Bugginess: C - Tashia's talks stalled a few times, the last of which was fatal, at least to the ongoing quest and romance, but even without it she was still capable of getting through the whole game, just with less content than she should have.

Overall: B - I couldn't bring myself to ever use her item, but even without it Tashia felt like a solid member of the team. If only she'd shut up about poison ivy so I could cover the rest of her content.


Wings

I had high hopes for this mod, but unfortunately it conked out somewhere in the first few friendship talks preventing it from progressing. What I saw was decent, but I was forced to uninstall it to fix that up, at which point I believe it made Anomen decide to start hitting on M!CHARNAME something fierce, which was... interesting, I suppose? I'd like to give it another try to get it working sometime, at which point I'll update this.


Imoen Romance

The weird "not quite incest maybe" mod for Imoen.

Plot and Consistency: B- - There's a few weird things in this mod. Imoen apparently plays guitar and sings - gods I hate singing and poetry, Jaheira tells you it's unnatural to have feelings for a foster sister - who as far as she should know is, y'know, just an attractive woman your own age who grew up in the same castle and who lived with an Innkeeper who was your neighbour. The starting dreams are pretty weird in and of themselves, particularly since they're lengthy and unskippable, which makes me die a little bit inside.

A lot of the interactions with Imoen are both {huggy} and, at times, downright silly, though CHARNAME can get in on the fun at times with some irreverent banter they share between one another. There's also some nice friendship track stuff in there with none of the awkwardness of the romance itself, and it helps give Imoen more interactions, more personality and just generally *more* of everything that she sorely lacked in the vanilla games, and yes, you can point out that it's ridiculous to be "siblings" from two different species.

On consistency, there seems to be a strange amount of "what will people think" in the romantic tracks, because either apparently people can tell on sight that a dwarf and a human walking together are spiritually related or because Imoen is strongly against interracial relationships. Likewise we already know how Imoen acts after being molested and tortured for long periods of time, since vanilla already has her suffer through both in the prologue, so her far stronger reaction to a far shorter time period comes off a little strange.

Power Creep: B - While Imoen is largely unchanged, she can pick up a supposedly but not really exclusive bracelet with the new content by trolling around Athkatla if you've got the right variables achieved. This double speed ring of regeneration gives +1 Dexterity and a +2 Casting Speed bonus, which on a Mage/Thief with the Robe of Vecna and Amulet of Power means casting Horrid Wiltings as fast as everyone else is dropping Magic Missile. Still, it's not dropping Timestops every other round or an unkillable tiger summon, so I was pretty much okay with it.

Melodrama: D - While Imoen is generally a fun loving, easy-going sort, her romance gets pretty overwrought at times. A big deal is made out of the "incestuous" aspects, despite the "completely different species with no shared genetics" thing, and "friends raised by two different people in the same small town" gets stretched into lengthy conversations about being siblings, and turning into an emotional wreck about going to face Irenicus because of all the torture in Spellhold "because you took too long to get there" (aka 10 days because Irenicus escapes at the beginning of the mandatory tenday boat trip). Honestly I'd have given her a pass for a little angsting, given the whole "soul torn out, tortured for an extra week" deal, but the fact she's only an emotional wreck during the romance is just eyerolling.

Bugginess: B - Thanks, presumably, to my lengthy time spent paused without playing, Imoen managed to exhaust all her underdark dialogue and invite me to camp out in that nice field at the underdark exit shortly before I entered Ust Natha for the first time. That stopped the game entering Chapter 6 for a bit and generally got a bit strange, but it worked itself out in the end by travelling back there, so not a deal breaker.

Overall: B- - Some of the stuff is corny, awkward and melodramatic, other stuff is cute, fun and entertaining, while the extra dialogues and interjections are things that should really have been included in the original. A bit of a mixed bag, but overall worth a try, if only for the extra Imoen banters.


Quest and Content Mods moved for length:

https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/702460/#Comment_702460

Post edited by Pantalion on
agb1Kamigoroshishawnemoody_mageamyaeThacoBellStummvonBordwehr
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Comments

  • agb1agb1 Member Posts: 249
    Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    What versions of these mods did you use? There is a new beta version of Ascension now available for EE and Imoen Romance was recently updated also.

    Also, were you using the latest BiG World Fixpack patches for these mods?

    For Isra's portrait, I usually use the one from PaintBG.

    Pantalion
  • AquadrizztAquadrizzt Member Posts: 896
    @Pantalion , thanks for the review of Tome and Blood. I'm glad you've enjoyed it thus far. The mages being able to wear helmets is a side effect of doing stuff like the Magus and Oracles, because item usability is generally on a class basis (rather than a kit basis).

    If you have anything you would like to see in the mod, or something that you think should be changed, please post in the Tome and Blood forum and I'll see what I can do.
    Pantalion said:

    Still holding out for that Monk/Sorcerer hybrid though, just saying.

    Who knows what the future will hold? Perhaps a Monk/Sorcerer is already waiting in the wings... :wink:

    Pantalion
  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    Excellent reviews - well done! :)

    Pantalion
  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 2,137
    edited January 2016
    Quest Mods

    Tower of Deception

    The supposedly short quest mod, I've dabbled in it, but not gone any deeper than the first two maps at this point.



    Plot: Pretty simple fair, overall, go find a magic book in a tower on a deserted island.

    Loot: Fairly modest, overall, a Ring of Protection +2, a few potions, and random drops... except for THE BLADE, "The Warblade of Twilight" is a +5 two handed sword with a 5% chance of causing berserk if the wielder is hit and -1 Dexterity when wielded.

    That's the downside. The plus side is: 30% MR, two casts of DUHM per day, +5 damage against chaotic evil, and the TWoT functions as a mini Alacrity, allowing the wielding to cast two spell per round.

    As you might gather, the TWoT is ridiculous. It should never be used in melee, but nothing else compares for a backliner mage (though it requires a dual or a multiclass to have one that can use it, Jan's bad vanilla self can UAI it.

    Enemies: Asides from the -11 AC, 5 APR "Baloar" as the tower's first encounter, there's a Lich with double contingency Mislead, a Marilith with SI: Divination, contingencied invisibility and all the usual protections, and a few group encounters. There didn't appear to be any rest encounters or random spawns.

    Locks and Traps: Trivial. There are a few container traps only, and no locks, either to progress or on containers.

    Difficulty: I rolled in with a non-optimised party with 3e6ish Exp as the last thing before facing Irenicus and managed with little difficulty. Generally the encounter should be avoided until at least later in Chapter 2, level 10+, since there's no escape until you finish the content, nowhere to retreat and recover your resources if you take a beating, and if you don't have the gear to pierce through weapon immunities or handle half a dozen salamanders.

    NB: If you don't have the capacity to cast fireball, you'll miss out on some content. This mod cannot be completed by a solo Wizard Slayer.

    Overall: B- - The quest isn't bad, though it felt like a bit of a slog at times. The blade, however, is potentially an absolute gamebreaker, letting you get 70-75% MR (95% if you "borrow" Kelsey's cloak from his mod) while doubling your casting rate, and there's no way the quest is either long or hard enough to justify that.


    Content Mods:


    Ascension

    The quintessential ToB overhaul, this added cheap battles, extra Bhaal powers, and more roleplaying options to the ToB aspect of the game.

    Challenge: B - I felt a few of the encounters were overall just plain cheesy, bordering on ridiculous, rather than entertaining, but most weren't too bad overall, though the final battle was just plain ridiculous with potentially a third of your party leaving or betraying you along with every single notable boss of the expansion and two old favourites whaling on you at once along with your own party members.

    Immersion: B - This would be a D for Draconis' infinite invisibility spam, Abazigal's illegal wyvern posse and all the other shenanigans, but honestly I really liked some of the things it added for Imoen and CHARNAME as each came into their own in terms of powers, as well as the whole Sarevok plotline.

    Bugginess: C - I experienced a repeated bug where it was both impossible to save during the lulls in the final battle and during the encounter with the five the map would change to the pocket plane with no selectable characters, requiring a reload and rerunning of the entire thing multiple times to get anywhere. This, coupled with the occasional absurdity of the encounters, eventually forced me to remove the whole thing just so I could end the game and stop playing ToB.


    Overall: B - There were some frustrating hoops to jump through at times, but generally I'd recommend this just for the alignment based Bhaalspawn powers you can pick up to feel a bit more "Ascendy".


    Tome and Blood

    Generally for kit and content packs like this, I'm more interested in what shenanigans I can set up with Keeper for interesting new character archetypes I haven't played to death, rather than the "intended use", but generally I found this to add a lot of interesting choices, particularly to sorcerers. The Magus kit, in particular, stands out as an interesting concept as a Fighter/Sorcerer without the THAC0 or, despite the kit description, the attacks. I also liked the Divine/Arcane spell overlaps, which was a cool concept, and having Tashia play Groveborn Sorcerer - a Druid/Sorcerer hybrid, was pretty awesome.

    Still holding out for that Monk/Sorcerer hybrid though, just saying.

    Overall: B+ - There are a few kits I could never see myself using, and some of the features (like mages wearing helmets while thieves still couldn't) I could do without, but there's some solid options in here that really opened up sorcerers to me, I wholeheartedly recommend it.


    Might and Guile

    A complete overhaul with kits and all.

    I really liked several aspects of this.

    Weapon Styles:

    TWF making your main hand attack worse makes a lot of sense (though I'd have liked to have seen "parrying" be more of a thing with your offhand, since that's a lot of what offhand dangers are about). This makes every pip in TWF style worthwhile, which is great.

    Single Weapon Style (Finesse) is still underpowered compared to every other style at present, since the additional 5% crit chance doesn't compensate for the loss of AC or damage output from having a two handed weapon, second weapon, or a shield. It could probably use an extra bonus for specialisation in the style, perhaps an extra 1/2 APR.

    Sword and Shield gives AC and crit chance, making it actually worth taking, while zweihander style gives potent damage bonuses for specialisation, making it worth the second pip for a change.

    Unfortunately these changes come part and parcel with the proficiency overhaul, and this I couldn't get along with. Since the system ties APR to specialisation pips it removed a standard strategy of switching to unfamiliar weapons (say, untrained flails to handle Clay Golems), since even my fighters were stuck at 1 APR with them. Overall it worked out as giving fewer attacks per round in a more limited range of weapons than the default, as well as a nerf against Fighter/Mages, F/M/Ts and Fighter/Clerics by taking away their 1/2 APR from specialisation, though this is apparently a bug, rather than intentional.

    The kits were interesting, the most intriguing being the Multiclass sets, though hardcoded engine limitations stopped the Bladesinger from being all it could be. There's also some strangeness about who can use the kits (by the rules a multiclass kit can be useable by any combination, so an F/M/T should be able to pick up an F/T, F/M or M/T kit, while UAI, obviously, lets them use any of the multikit tokens which can get a little weird), and I never quite figured out where to find the kit tokens - nor liked that humans got to multiclass as a result of the change.

    In the end I had to uninstall the whole thing multiple times trying to remove the proficiency system and never reinstalled it (and the descriptions of which refuse to get off my game even after wiping my override folder and reinstalling everything from scratch), but hopefully later versions will tweak things a bit, since the saves, HP and stat revisions were all things I'd like to make part of my regular game (and styles too, if they can be separated from the rest of the proficiency system).


    Not rated due to bug trouble. Potentially an A for some of the content if it gets fixed to work as intended.

    Post edited by Pantalion on
  • agb1agb1 Member Posts: 249
    edited January 2016
    The version of Ascension in Big Picture is old. Try this new version next time: https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/45563/ascension-v1-5-beta-enhanced-edition-release-updated-1-14-2016/p1

    BiG World Fixpack included patches are listed here: https://github.com/BiGWorldProject/BiG-World-Fixpack/blob/master/BiG World Fixpack/_BWP fixes.txt

    Tyris - no patches yet

    Fade - 2 patches

    :: Argent77's missing WAV uninstall fix
    :: micbaldur's AR0900 script typo fix

    Isra - 2 patches

    :: dialogue token fix (incorrect pronoun)
    :: Roxanne's looping dialogue fix

    Tashia - 5 patches

    :: Lollorian's corrected "LE#tbody " -> "LE#tbody" typos - LE#Cleanse.baf
    :: the bigg's KIT.IDS ToBEx compatibility fix
    :: Lollorian's missing final battle pep-talk fix
    :: Lollorian's fix for bug in TOB dialogue
    :: lynx's looping cutscene fix

    Wings - no patches yet

    Imoen Romance - no patches yet

    NOTE: Imoen Romance v3.3 is currently available (newer than what you used) -- http://imoen.blindmonkey.org/downloads.php (it says 3.2 on the page but the version is 3.3)

    Post edited by agb1 on
    Pantalion
  • agb1agb1 Member Posts: 249
    @Pentalion can you give any details about the bug you encountered with Isra?

  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 2,137
    Thanks. I'll be sure to grab the later version of Ascension, hopefully it will have fixed the final battle at least, and see if I can get Tashia working smoothly at some later point (though there's apparently a conflict between Imoen Romance and Tashia, so I'd need to juggle files). Fade... Yeah, I won't be running Fade again.

    Regarding the Imoen Romance, yeah, might have been 3.2 I was on, I was just going from the Readme's version number, which says 3.0 at present. I'll try redownloading it at some point.

    Isra's glitch was during her questline:

    While proving her BiL's innocence, one either visits the prisoner or the BiL's family for documents. I did both, first prisoner, then the family, then got the booze for the prisoner... And then the quest talked about visiting the BiL's family as well, at which point it just repeated the first, financial document, dialogue over and over until I changed the variable responsible and she jumped straight into dialogue about reading the documents instead.

  • agb1agb1 Member Posts: 249
    edited January 2016
    The Imoen Romance and Tashia conflict was resolved in 3.3. Also the conflict took the form of an install failure for Imoen Romance (so you'd know if you ran into it). And it only affected the final dialogue in TOB.

    Pantalion
  • agb1agb1 Member Posts: 249
    edited January 2016
    @Pentalion thanks for your report on Isra for BG2 - Roxanne at SHSForums has identified a fix and the fix has been added to the BiG World Fixpack and reported to the mod's author

    Pantalion
  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    @Pantalion: Well, bearing in mind this is just my curiosity in terms of hearing what another player thinks of these in detail: Vynd, perhaps? Kelsey? Or - while I don't know if she'd even work in BG2:EE - Valen?

    Pantalion
  • CahirCahir Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 2,033
    @Pantalion I'd very much love to read about your opinion about Tower of Deception. I wasn't play it yet, but I'm thinking of including it in my future EET run. I heard it's very good mod.

    Pantalion
  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 2,137
    Vynd is out, on grounds of being BG1:EE and me not being bothered to run through BG1 for longer than it takes to speedrun the tomes for a new run.

    I looked for Valen, but alas I couldn't find an EE compatible version.

    Kelsey, however, I have grabbed. I shall be bringing Anomen and the ginger sorcerer along together for some of those Critically Acclaimed Arguments.

    Tower of Deception installed.

    Might and Guile grabbed - This looks very promising to me, opening up combat (and apparently higher APR?) to the non-fighter classes as well as Bladesinger some interesting item and engine changes (I steered clear of some of the more extreme ones, like MR being done away with), Bladesinger weapon changes, and some interesting kits... Like Bladesinger.

    And since I'll have a spare slot or two, I'll also pick up Nephele and Ninde (and continue mucking with variables to follow her romance track at the same time). I considered trying to grab Chloe to review as well, the legendary kensai with 25 Dexterity, but strangely nobody seems to have bothered to update her to EE yet.

    Anyway, don't be shy about giving your own reviews on any mods you run through, I'll be happy to put them into the original post with your name attached.

    Notabarbiegirl
  • NotabarbiegirlNotabarbiegirl Member Posts: 143
    Kelsey is pure fun for anyone who tends to get tired of Anomens attitude. There are some interesting additions with Kelsey, I recommend getting him asap. Also do not let him leave the first time he mentions going away.

  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    Come to think of it, there's one mod I've been contemplating for a while now as a replacement for Hexxat in an Evil run, and I'd really like to hear what someone else thinks about it before I commit: Dace.

  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 2,137
    edited January 2016
    Alright, halfway through the underdark, and here's my preliminary reviews. Once I get through the remainder of the game, I'll put finalised ones up in the OP.


    Kelsey:

    The mercantile sorcerer.

    Plot and Immersion: B (A) - Kelsey has a lot of immersive comments, he talks to traders he knows, he greets his friends, and he shares his opinion on a lot of quests, as well as a lot of flavourful talk (and a few items) with Jan Jansen who was in my party for this runthrough. I'd even go so far as to say that though his personality comes off as a bit... Weedy, his lovetalks were for the most part pretty decent, though {some hugging} appears, it's not a huge amount in his main talk.

    The reason he gets a B is that his flirts can get pretty damn creepy. Wandering around dungeons, he would periodically stop to muck with CHARNAME's hair, {shuddering} as he fingers her earlobe. Give her a "friendly kiss on the cheek" - repeatedly kissing your work colleague on the face doesn't strike me as friendly, so much as sexual harassment, but I'm British, the personal space on my character is the size of Firkraag's, so maybe that's just me. Walking next to you so he can brush your arm as he points which way to go next, while actively trying to smell your hair? Running his finger along your arm and grunting? Brrr.

    It was also strange how talking to him informed CHARNAME that she felt a strong mutual attraction towards him, and that she found him uncontrollably rolling his eyes (not kidding) to be adorable. Thanks for letting me know how CHARNAME feels, Kelsey!

    What's possibly worst is that his flirts progress into unsolicited makeout and groping long before the romance progresses to a place where that would be appropriate, particularly since my Wizard Slayer/Mage/Thief CHARNAME (I don't recommend it, by the way, constantly low level Wizard Slayer that can't even wear armour or bracers = Nightmare mode) always picked the rather stand-offish, ambivalent answers rather than {sweaty hugging} the red headed gentleman, but apparently after saying "Yeah, you're pretty much sticking around for the six fireballs a day" so many times, he decided that meant CHARNAME thought he was hot, grabbed her posterior and forced her to French kiss in the middle of Spellhold's dungeon.

    Thankfully if you're not reviewing the mod, there is a permanent off-switch (unlike with Isra, who you can bring back online if you miss {free candy}). Without it, Kelsey gets an A.

    Content and Consistency: B - While Kelsey's personality and behaviour was pretty good, and he's had a few comparatively minor plot fights so far (I'm expecting something larger come Chapter 6), there were a few niggles where the other characters were a bit off model. Jan's a little more abrasive than usual, and Anomen, who I had the curious privilege of running through the romance of with my last male elf CHARNAME, was clearly written by someone who didn't care for the cleriknight, amping his ego from "kind of has an inferiority complex but generally tries his best not to be a boob about it" to where "The Radiant Heart, of which I am a squire in my proudest achievement which means a lot to me" becomes "My own significant contributions to the Radiant Heart shall not be insulted!", rendering a realistically imperfect character into an almost cartoonish version at times.

    Secondly, he doesn't really seem to take CHARNAME's class into account (though this may be different for a Sorcerous CHARNAME). How special Kelsey is is a commonplace theme, even wild mages are super dull and common compared to sorcerers in the Kelseyverse. Frequently he'll talk about protecting her with his spells and asking her if she can imagine what it's like to be able to shoot fire across the room... Sirrah, CHARNAME has three levels on you and has three fireballs prepped, pretty sure that she has an inkling.

    Bonus points for Elven CHARNAME being able to point out that Kelsey will be dead and buried long, long before she manages to grow old with him, but loses a few points where he mentions her becoming a silver haired seer immediately after. Not unless you perfect lichdom, Kelsey, and even then probably not.

    Power Creep: D- - What is it with Sorcerers and overpowered gear? Kelsey's stats are as irrelevant as any sorcerer, but he comes replete with a cloak of 20% MR, +1 to saves, +1 to AC, casts a unique Fireshield(Green/Acid) and level 1 and level 2 spell slots... and is upgradeable with your favourite pocket imp and is usable by "Sorcerers". Yeah, it's 5% MR vs two levels of spell slots and a Fireshield off being the Cloak of Balduran. So guess what's mine as soon as I get UAI?
    The other things he's granted so far are comparatively tame. A necklace of 1/day NRD, which, given he's not a Wild Mage, works about as well as one might expect. "Makeup of +2 Charisma" he decided to give 17 Cha CHARNAME (not sure if should be insulted, gave it to Jan, who rather enjoyed it), and a strobe light helmet (granted via a chat with Jan).

    Melodrama: B+ - Kelsey dips into the occasional whine, and it's sad seeing him behave like a bit of a doormat at times, but generally he's pretty low drama, doesn't angst over everything, and doesn't tell me not to waste healing spells so I can waste fabric bandaging his pectorals. Some of the dialogue responses to him just wandered into absurdly hostile for no reason, though, which was just plain weird.

    Bugginess: A - I didn't notice any outright glitches due to Kelsey, asides from the occasional {backrub} while I'm trying to buff up for a dungeon boss.


    Overall: B- - If I were going to pick a sorcerer to fill that barren niche, I'd go with Tashia for being slightly less abusable with her one encounter per day megacat, but Kelsey's romance is pretty decent if you're running a female toon and can put up with his 7 spell slots per day and the fact he picked up Burning Hands (which overrides all other spells in the AI so he can wander into melee and use it against a Fire Elemental).

    Nephele

    The adventuring midget grandma.

    Plot and Immersion: A- - Nephele talks, and shares her opinion, constantly. In fact, her interjections are almost too frequent in a few talks, where she takes over a the conversation a little.

    There were a few niggles where she started teaching CHARNAME how to cast Mage spells, which was coming on a little strong considering Mage CHARNAME learned from CHARNAME, but generally she was a delight, mothering Imoen and CHARNAME, making her presence felt and generally chipping in for all sorts of quests, making her presence very much known, without being a know-it-all most of the time, though she's a little more quiet in the underdark.

    Content and Consistency: B - While she has a lot to say, Nephy doesn't have any unfinished quests I've seen so far, making her content pretty much non-existent, unless she's holding out for Chapter 6.

    Power Creep: A+ - Her stats are beyond mediocre for BG2, with the highest being Wisdom at 15. She gets no earth shattering equipment, no mind boggling necklace of immortality, just a single class cleric with a hidden kit, the Cleric of Yondalla, which has granted thus far: Goodberries as an innate, Zone of Sweet Air, and Entangle. Zone is situationally handy to have as an innate, but Nephele is if anything too modest to be mucking it up in BG2's high level environment.

    Melodrama: A - Drama free, angst free, {shivery hugs} free, and angst-ridden backstory free. She's a halfling widow with grandkids and wanderlust. It's refreshing to see an older character getting such a solid representation.

    Bugginess: A- - Her kit doesn't have a kit description or show up on her character record. Other than that, she's pretty much glitch free aside from the odd typo.


    Overall: A - She's not a powergamer's choice, but I found her presence surprisingly enjoyable. Well worth a try, if you aren't fashed by the fact she's outright worse than Viconia's MR heavy self or are willing to Keeper her into something a little stronger if you are.

    Ninde:

    The unapologetically evil necromancer elf.

    Plot and Immersion: B - Asides from the usual "late NPC syndrome", Ninde is plenty chatty, has quite a few banters, and actively sabotages the player at least once that I've come across, forcing them down the evil path purely because she was feeling bratty (a little IC annoyance never hurts).

    Otherwise, she's happy to spread a little fatalistic cheer in banters and dialogues (plenty of which occur in the underdark, which is nice considering that's just where a lot of vanilla NPCs turn quiet). She noticably has no dialogue with the Phaere encounter (unusual for a romance partner, though to be fair it may just be her entirely characteristic apathy towards the notion), and she gives plenty of scope for CHARNAME to run a gamut of characterisations, which is the kind of RP heavy interaction I prefer, and while her Player-Initiated-Dialogues included {flirty activities}, they also included a wide range of conversation options to ask her about herself, to which she shares a short reply.

    One thing of note is that in two places it felt like I skipped a conversation or two explaining what her deal was, first one being her first recruitment where she refers to Lassal as "late", second when she leapt into revealing her mysterious malady before I even knew she had a malady in the first place.

    Content and Consistency: B - A bit of a mixed bag. Generally, Ninde strikes me far more as chaotic evil than neutral. She's capricious, changeable and mischievous, disloyal and thoroughly self-interested - consistently so, but at odds with her character sheet. At one point CHARNAME, an elf, dissed elves as a species and made fun of Ninde's pointy ears. Later she talks about how she's an elf raised by humans and CHARNAME gets to say they're an elf, but... Apparently forgets that the entire population of Candlekeep is human or doppleganger, or that they're bizarrely underage, missing out an interesting avenue of interaction.

    Otherwise, purists might have trouble with the fact that Ninde mentions stories when she was a fifteen year old elfin child which, for elves, even human raised ones, is probably still pre-pubescent unless you happen to be a Bhaalspawn, but easily enough ignored.

    I haven't noticed any particular quests or other content for Ninde, though she's happy enough to pipe up during other questlines.

    Power Creep: A+ - She has a unique amulet that grants Negative Plane Protection and the like, which considering you have to have an amulet of power guaranteed and probably won't have your mage in melee range anyway, is pretty tame overall, particularly in return for an unusable amulet slot.

    In terms of her class, not only does Necromancy lock her out of some of the best mage spells, she gets none of the boosts that Edwin enjoys for his magery, leaving her with a decent but not fantastic, intelligence, wisdom and charisma and pretty middling stats.

    I actually Keepered her into a Fighter/Mage in my game to make use of a bow (since a pure cleric, sorcerer, Bard Imoen and Jan Jansen doesn't make for the most balanced of parties), and never once felt like she was pushing the envelope.

    Melodrama: A - Ninde is cheerfully fatalistic about your shared fate of dooooooom.

    Bugginess: B - One underdark lovetalk crashed my game, but sleeping mid conversation, while perhaps a little rude, got around the bug with no console editing necessary. Otherwise there are a few typos, but nothing extreme.


    Overall: B - Her talks have plenty of dialogue and a wide range of options which are novel, and she's refreshingly content to let you have an opinion she doesn't share, so I'd say she's worth a try, at least if you're looking for her personality, which I found quite palatable, and definitely not stupid evil.


    Tower of Deception

    The supposedly short quest mod, I've dabbled in it, but not gone any deeper than the first two maps at this point.



    Plot: Pretty simple fair, overall, go find a magic book in a tower on a deserted island.

    Loot: Fairly modest, overall, a Ring of Protection +2, a few potions, and random drops... except for THE BLADE, "The Warblade of Twilight" is a +5 two handed sword with a 5% chance of causing berserk if the wielder is hit and -1 Dexterity when wielded.

    That's the downside. The plus side is: 30% MR, two casts of DUHM per day, +5 damage against chaotic evil, and the TWoT functions as a mini Alacrity, allowing the wielding to cast two spell per round.

    As you might gather, the TWoT is ridiculous. It should never be used in melee, but nothing else compares for a backliner mage (though it requires a dual or a multiclass to have one that can use it, Jan's bad vanilla self can UAI it.

    Enemies: Asides from the -11 AC, 5 APR "Baloar" as the tower's first encounter, there's a Lich with double contingency Mislead, a Marilith with SI: Divination, contingencied invisibility and all the usual protections, and a few group encounters. There didn't appear to be any rest encounters or random spawns.

    Locks and Traps: Trivial. There are a few container traps only, and no locks, either to progress or on containers.

    Difficulty: I rolled in with a non-optimised party with 3e6ish Exp as the last thing before facing Irenicus and managed with little difficulty. Generally the encounter should be avoided until at least later in Chapter 2, level 10+, since there's no escape until you finish the content, nowhere to retreat and recover your resources if you take a beating, and if you don't have the gear to pierce through weapon immunities or handle half a dozen salamanders.

    NB: If you don't have the capacity to cast fireball, you'll miss out on some content. This mod cannot be completed by a solo Wizard Slayer.



    Rating pending.

    Might and Guile

    A complete overhaul with kits and all.

    I really liked several aspects of this.

    Weapon Styles:

    TWF making your main hand attack worse makes a lot of sense (though I'd have liked to have seen "parrying" be more of a thing with your offhand, since that's a lot of what offhand dangers are about). This makes every pip in TWF style worthwhile, which is great.

    Single Weapon Style (Finesse) is still underpowered compared to every other style at present, since the additional 5% crit chance doesn't compensate for the loss of AC or damage output from having a two handed weapon, second weapon, or a shield. It could probably use an extra bonus for specialisation in the style, perhaps an extra 1/2 APR.

    Sword and Shield gives AC and crit chance, making it actually worth taking, while zweihander style gives potent damage bonuses for specialisation, making it worth the second pip for a change.

    Unfortunately these changes come part and parcel with the proficiency overhaul, and this I couldn't get along with. Since the system ties APR to specialisation pips it removed a standard strategy of switching to unfamiliar weapons (say, untrained flails to handle Clay Golems), since even my fighters were stuck at 1 APR with them. Overall it worked out as giving fewer attacks per round in a more limited range of weapons than the default, as well as a nerf against Fighter/Mages, F/M/Ts and Fighter/Clerics by taking away their 1/2 APR from specialisation, though this is apparently a bug, rather than intentional.

    The kits were interesting, the most intriguing being the Multiclass sets, though hardcoded engine limitations stopped the Bladesinger from being all it could be. There's also some strangeness about who can use the kits (by the rules a multiclass kit can be useable by any combination, so an F/M/T should be able to pick up an F/T, F/M or M/T kit, while UAI, obviously, lets them use any of the multikit tokens which can get a little weird), and I never quite figured out where to find the kit tokens - nor liked that humans got to multiclass as a result of the change.

    In the end I had to uninstall the whole thing multiple times trying to remove the proficiency system and never reinstalled it (and the descriptions of which refuse to get off my game even after wiping my override folder and reinstalling everything from scratch), but hopefully later versions will tweak things a bit, since the saves, HP and stat revisions were all things I'd like to make part of my regular game (and styles too, if they can be separated from the rest of the proficiency system).

    Post edited by Pantalion on
    JuliusBorisovsemiticgodshawne
  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 2,137
    edited January 2016
    Alrighty, main post updated with completed reviews and a slight modification to the Imoen Romance now I've actually delved deeper into the romantic side of it. Also added in Notabarbiegirl's Kelsey review.

    I suppose I have one more run through in me, so next I suppose I have to play Saerileth, Dace, Chloe and "Coondred the raccoon" or something, right?

    Notabarbiegirl
  • agb1agb1 Member Posts: 249
    @Pentalion - I've referenced this post over at SHSForums - http://www.shsforums.net/topic/58523-new-paintbg-portraits - please consider taking Amber and Keto (has cross-mod with Kelsey) on your next run.

    Pantalion
  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    edited January 2016
    ... In all honesty, I'd scrap Saerileth - there's a text/screenshot Let's Play up at the LP Archive that lays the whole horrific experience out in explicit detail. Save the spot for someone who won't make your eyes bleed. :)

    SpaceInvader
  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,020
    Hey keep up the awesome reviews!

  • CahirCahir Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 2,033
    @Pantalion I'd recommend Foundling by @LavaDelVortel . I have a fond memories betatesting this mod.

    elminster
  • AionZAionZ Member Posts: 2,990
    shawne said:

    ... In all honesty, I'd scrap Saerileth - there's a text/screenshot Let's Play up at the LP Archive that lays the whole horrific experience out in explicit detail. Save the spot for someone who won't make your eyes bleed. :)

    For all you masochists out there (or just those with an unusual sense of humor): http://lparchive.org/Baldurs-Gate-2-and-Throne-of-Bhaal/

    mashedtatersshawneSpaceInvaderThacoBell
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,125
    I never finished the Keldorn romance mod due to playing no-reload, but I would like to say that it was very well-written, realistic, and matches Keldorn's character perfectly. Brilliant, immersive, endearing, and true to character.

    JuliusBorisovNotabarbiegirl
  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 2,137
    Okay, so Keto, briefly Kelsey for a little crossmod action, Amber, Keldorn and Petsy Chattertone, the illegally bardic halfling. CHARNAME will have to use all of his shapeshifting powers to their fullest for this one. Once Kelsey has had a bit of interaction I'll maybe try a Nalia romance since she's apparently EE compatible. Of course I loathe her, so this may be a pretty torturous affair, if so I'll abort and flee to try and pick up Foundling.

    And in the name of efficiency, Quest mods Tales of the Deep Gardens and I Shall Never Forget have been installed as well.


    I also ran through TOB with Kelsey, Imoen Romance, Ninde and Nephele. Since I hate ToB I didn't, and won't, go into much detail for most of them.


    Ascension: X - Even the new version conked out at the final battle with the bridges failing to appear. I'm cursed.

    Nephele: A - Nephele remains just as solid as ever, with many great interjections and a nice, fitting epilogue.

    Kelsey: C - Kelsey breaks into full blown novella for ToB. I was just clicking through at the end of it, trying to get through it all. Some of it wasn't bad, just so, so long I started to die a little inside.

    Ninde: C - Perhaps because she was conflicting with my many romances, Ninde was pretty quiet throughout, briefly mentioning avoiding a relationship because she's done with Powerful Men controlling her life. More power to you, sister, but not great for producing much content.

    Imoen Romance: A+ - I feel I should qualify this one, since there was kind of a lot of downsides for this, including some weirdly detailed fanfic backstory insert for Imoen and an all too common case where the human 20% of the way through their lifespan and the elf 2% of the way through their lifespan forget this and "live out the rest of their lives together". In the discussion as to whether CHARNAME and she should pop out a few demigod babies, I would have really liked to have seen something along the lines of "What else will I have to remember you?" or "well if you don't want to that's fine, I guess I can always remarry at two hundred" as motivators, since elven CHARNAMEs are generally guaranteed widowers before they hit full adulthood.

    These, and {flirty hugs} aside, however, a stunning amount of work seems to have gone into making Imoen feel like a balanced individual who is shaped and moulded by her relationship with CHARNAME and his alignment, giving a massive range of potential epilogues depending on how attentive and affectionate you were, how you guide her through the realisation of her Bhaalspawn heritage, how comfortable she is with her divine taint, whether she's friends with Aerie or not, and whether you decide to ascend with her as your dualistic equal or with a fraction to become your "divine handmaiden". Her personality is a lot less angsty than she was during SoA, and you and she can even bicker if you offend her. It's almost a reason to play ToB in itself (but not quite, I really, really hate ToB).

    Tower of Deception - B+ - In a nice, unexpected twist ToD produced a bonus encounter in Amkethran for me based on how I completed the quest. It wasn't much, loot or challengewise, but it was certainly a cool bonus.

    shawneJuliusBorisov
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,596
    Tower of Deception , also I liked the unexpected encounter that for me happen always in the elven city at the end of SoA, maybe is level related and my parties level fast.

    About the OP item
    Did you ever manage to have the 2 spells/round feature working? I did not. I did also some resarch in the net and AFAIK other people had my same problem and no one reported it to Work. But I use the old not EE compatible version in a not EE engine, maybe in EE it has been fixed.
    But I tried to use the sword with a FMT, every few battles he become enraged and killed half of the party.
    the MR that give and the other bonuses alone, in a weapon that you can not use unles soloing in an area with only enemies, and even so without control on charname, and that don't give the mini IA, don't seem to OP. I regard it as useless and don't ever carry it in my BoH.


    About the challenge
    I go there as 3rd or 4rt quest, including circus tent and CC sewers that don't give much xp, and at that level I find it quite challenging, maybe that Tactics improoved demons and liches components have a part in it, but I alwais have to sweat and bleed to return to town. So maybe half of chapter 2 is the right moment, not so easy as you had found it, not so hard as I found.
    .

    PantalionJuliusBorisov
  • AWizardDidItAWizardDidIt Member Posts: 120
    I really enjoy these kinds of in depth reviews of mods in the community. Nice work Pantalion

    JuliusBorisov
  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 2,137
    @gorgonzola

    I had some limited success rapid casting buffs, with which I did manage to get several off per round, but since I was running my melee heavy Wizard Slayer/M/T myself, it wasn't really suitable for testing. If it doesn't work, it's just terrible, though no big loss to lose such a gamebreaker. Maybe for a solo Ranger or Paladin.

    Regardless, brief pause in reviewing thanks to having to reinstall my game until it turned out that the problem was a corrupted .cha file. Hopefully it's fixed my proficiencies at least.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,596
    edited January 2016
    @Pantalion, I think that the "item" (as I am talking without using spoilers let's call it so :smile: ) is intended to be a sort of replacement for the pally item usable by other fighting classes.
    The type of item is the same, the added benefits are so similar to native pally bonuses or bonuses of the pally item. On top the not working benefit and the risk of 5% chance benefit occourring to balance.
    Something to run a party without paladin, and it was long before blackguards, having the benefits of a paladin.

    To me the idea seem a good one and in that contest the item is not so OP or gamebreaking.
    But the idea was implemented in a very bad way, by a modder that had proved elsewhere to be very capable. At the time the mod was created was something very special, a cutscene and new areas at the level of the best original ones, no recicled areas, good combat scripts and challenge, a good plot. In a time where most mods was like "let's spawn an OP stats monster in some recicled place, give him some cheating scripts and the minimum level of plot to make it all not too arbitrary and unrealistic".

    When reviewing mods I think that is good to consider also this kind of things, otherway we risk to review the whole game we love so much as a lame 2D graphic, limited AI filth.*

    *Telling this I don't want to decrease the value of your work, also I, as @AWizardDidIt, really enjoy these kinds of in depth reviews of mods, I really appreciate your work.

    PantalionNotabarbiegirl
  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 2,137
    @gorgonzola - No problem, I have been trying to divorce item and balance concerns from the rest. If it works as intended, the item is overpowered for an F->M or M/T backliner who won't take many hits since makes them up that much more likely to resist any spells creeping past and doubles their casting output.
    If anything, it not working would merit a slight boost in my score. It's pretty mediocre and not worth the risk for your average unarmoured mage, but it's potentially something to give Minsc (or sell as vendor trash) for its enhancement and stat boosts.


    Has anyone played "Yvette", by the way? I've never heard of the mod at all, but it's apparently EE compatible and part of the Colours of Infinity collection, so I'm inclined to take her along instead of Nalia or Keldorn, neither of whom have any CoI content.

    gorgonzola
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