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Is there a mod that undoes Beamdog's gameplay changes in BG?

chimericchimeric Member Posts: 1,163
edited October 2016 in General Modding
I like most convenience changes Beamdog has brought to mechanics, although I think the character sheets are too cluttered with information, kind of hard on the eyes and not at all necessary. I can tolerate their ideas of re-balancing spells, too, now that I've played the game up and down (although I think I would bitterly complain how they nerfed so many spells for the sake of balance and took their coolness away if I were only recently exposed to BGEE and one of the old editions). I would probably bitterly complain about a lot of things in BGEE if I were new.

But I'm a little tattered around the edges, and I care more about inventing something for the game than about playing it now. Still, I would like to install something that rolls back gameplay alterations such as: the sling proficiency for Montaron instead of the crossbow; that Taerom makes the ankheg armor in three days instead of a tenday, or in just one day for more money; that a party traveling south from Beregost to Nashkel encounters not one but three Flaming Fist officers who can be killed with impunity, which means three suits of plate mail for free; the ninja-to proficiency for Safana (?!?) and so on.

I don't want to rage against Beamdog as others have done a couple of years ago, especially on their own forums. A thing of beauty is a joy forever, and nothing can change that. But as for me, the difference between the old game and the new game is like the difference between reading a fine classic novel you know too well to get any fresh enjoyment from, but one that still delights you with its spot-on wording, its masterful, luxurious style, all of which reminds you of a time when such things could be expected to appear on the shelves regularly, as a matter of course, and did indeed appear - and that memory is like a gulp of air today; the difference between that and a "renovation" of that novel by a young, not too educated hired writer who thinks nothing of throwing out old strange words and putting his simple new ones instead. I don't want to trace that line of thinking to the end - I have to ignore the enhanced parts, and, honestly, that's something of a burden...

Beamdog's new engine has to be the vehicle for new mods, there is no other. And I hope they keep improving it. But I'd like to find a mod that takes that burden of having to tolerate content that repulses me, having to anticipate it, off my heart. Because there are not going to be any really wonderful ideas here, let's be clear on that. There is nothing ahead. You won't see a true return to the spirit of D&D anywhere in the franchise. D&D is light, it's fun, nonchalance and glory. For foolish boys around a table, by a detail-obsessed world-author. That's what D&D is. Beamdog tries, but they don't know how to be either. Is there a mod that will help me ignore these "good intentions"?

Post edited by chimeric on


  • GodGod Member Posts: 1,150
    There might be a few mods that address select concerns but no complete retroactive overhaul as such. A proper reVanillization with all the legacy sauce, old-style UI, rules, and without both the new content and the old technical shortcomings would be super cool. Pretty doable for any dedicated modder. If I didn't have a major modding project underway, I'd probably be doing something in these lines. Or at least I would be doing the UI. It was seriously awesome and just needs some love to look stunning, even in 4k.

  • chimericchimeric Member Posts: 1,163
    edited October 2016
    I don't think I would want a whole-cloth rollback. I prefer the old look, for example, but I don't want to denounce all of Beamdog's efforts to rationalize the interface. Or the "Healing spells cast on rest." That's from BG2, I think. No matter. It's convenient in the right way, and any normal Dungeon Master would let the players assume they healed up, if they are not in the middle of an adventure. But there is a clear area where decisions were made to make the game easier or less time-consuming. And good stories should consume time, that's the fun of them... That's what I would undo.

    Here is a less than obvious example: Goodberry. That spell used to produce 8, or was it 5, separate berries. You had to go in the inventory and put them in a stock by hand. Plunk, plunk. It actually felt like handling berries. And you would divide them between party members, too. 3 to Imoen, 2 to Khalid. Gulp! Along comes Beamdog and, with the best intentions, makes the berries all appear as a pile, which works exactly as a very weak potion. Who even bothers with those berries now? Half of the fun was in the physical immersion, and that's what I wish was back. Every freaking berry I pick up convinces me a little more that I'm in the Forgotten Realms.

    There is probably also an excess of flashly, too-long spell visuals. In the original many spells were nothing more than a sparkle, and imagination filled out the rest. But the sequel began to have those animated movies - flying pigeons, a rising gate, which then opens etc... They are still rarely interesting, and they actually feel like a drag. (If you ask me, spells also don't make enough use of sound. Interesting sounds - not something as obvious as a roar of the undead - would feed the fantasy more. But I digress.)

    Now relative power of things and balance is more of a gray zone. Were the original Sleep and Mirror Image overpowered? I don't know. The new versions don't bother me, but neither do they excite me. I don't build tactics around them, I just assume they will be somewhat helpful... How much power is too much? Well, if you've read "The Dragons of Autumn Twilight" by Weiss and Hickman, in the beginning there is a scene where the characters are rowing away in a boat from some hobgoblin archers. Arrows are whooshing by and Raistlin gets up, throws up a pinch of sand - and all of the archers fall face down. That's the Sleep spell used to effect! Imagine what that scene would be like if an editor said "No, that's too powerful" and only a couple of hobgoblins went down. :s

    So I think what I would like to play is the new game MINUS every, or almost every, new feature about which you can say "it's a time-saver" or "it makes for a lower learning curve" or "it adds consistency" or "it adds variety." Consistency is just boredom, and variety should come from real new ideas, not randomized dispersion of assets.

    There are obvious places where Beamdog can be inventive, like loot. Have you noticed there is no D&D-style random loot in the games, except gems? It was a weak point in the original, too. Some of the fun of dungeon-delving comes from finding statues, dishes of porcelain, a 500 pounds stained-glass window, ancient coins, ingots of platinum or maybe just the orc chieftain's gilded helmet - then trying to sell this crap. Beamdog could easily make loot tables more interesting, but, I fear, in their eyes this would be too messy and time-consuming. Different prices, the strain on memory... They want to keep streamlining things.

    That's why I'm looking to get retro-active.

  • GodGod Member Posts: 1,150
    chimeric said:

    I prefer the old look, for example, but I don't want to denounce all of Beamdog's efforts to rationalize the interface.

    Neither do I. Beamdog's technical changes to the UI are very welcome, though I still keep wondering why they are developing the old BG2 interface, rather than using IWD2's better, customizable implementation as a starting point. What I was referring to is just the visual style, not the features, mechanics or layout. Somebody was working on bringing that style to BGEE a long time back but I don't think that project was ever finished.

    While Beamdog's style is not exceedingly ugly, the bland blue hues and buttons copied from the SoA interface simply don't cut the mustard compared to the aesthetic appeal of the original. For me, at least.

  • chimericchimeric Member Posts: 1,163
    For me too. And that interface mod was never finished.

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  • chimericchimeric Member Posts: 1,163
    Charm has been nerfed. Sleep used to fell a group of kobolds, now only a couple. Mirror Images had to be put out to the last one before the caster could be hurt, and now they only give a 50% miss chance, no matter how many are left.

    Is this a test question or have you just never paid attention?

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  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,611
    If someone decides to make a mod offering older versions of spells etc., I’d love to see the druid entangle spell be made party friendly again. Druids did not need nurffing, in my opinion.

    I’d also love to see a mod option that un-nurfs the pick-pocket skill.

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  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,611
    In vanilla BG it was party friendly. Change was made in BGII.

    Entangle Spell as discussed here.

    Thieving skill.

    The EEs made changes to how this skill works. What you can and cannot pickpocket from what slots etc. And no, I have never pick-pocketed Drizzt and never will. Others did enjoy this however.

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  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,611
    Yes, I was saying that I would like it to be one of the optional components, should someone decide to make a mod that reverts some of the changes made to the games.

    I suspect that someone eventually will. I believe that such a mod would be very popular if it was modular, like the Tweaks mod is, allowing players to pick which changes they wanted to bring back.

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  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,611
    Ummm… I can only assume that modders would make components that people would actually want. Though truth be told, I’m sure that someone out there would like that one too. :)

  • chimericchimeric Member Posts: 1,163
    This was not a thread about spells - or thieving. But if people want to enumerate their rollback dreams, hijack away.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited October 2016
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

  • chimericchimeric Member Posts: 1,163
    Yada yada. Are you going to continue wasting my time? I made the thread to ask if there is a mod that undoes the content "improvement" and dumbing-down - sorry, Beamdog. Apparently not. Changes to mechanics and balance have nothing to do with it.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited October 2016
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on
  • artificial_sunlightartificial_sunlight Member Posts: 601
    I see wat you want, and I think it’s a great idea to make a mod that:
    - Brings the stone gui back
    - Brings the old movies back
    - Reverts the spells back to BG2
    - Reverts the spells back to BG1
    - Removes exotic weapons
    - Removes Beamdog NPC’s
    - Makes all items pick-pocketable again
    - …
    But I don’t have time to mod and play 
    And I like the most changes Beamdog has made, so i think my Javelis, and Club Mods will have priority.

    I think you should search the forums, G3 en SHS for those components. Gather them, ask the modders if its ok to create a single mod with their components and release it.

  • chimericchimeric Member Posts: 1,163
    It's strangely difficult to get a simple idea across in this place sometimes. What I want rolled back are the gameplay simplifications, shortcuts and "common sense" changes of Beamdog. For example, that they gave Montaron a sling proficiency instead of the crossbow. The line of thinking must have been: he's a halfling, halflings use slings, ergo slings for Montaron. This is not, in truth, any kind of common sense at all, it's just foolish and primitive. The same way they must have thought: a lone Flaming Fist officer on the road is not menacing enough, let's make it three officers. And so on, and so forth. They did not understand the effects of such decisions on pace and atmosphere.

    This is completely distinct from actual common sense like not allowing you to backstab with a two-handed sword or not letting you steal boots off people's feet, and has nothing at all to do with restoring the interface or even spells, whether I would like them back as they were or not. I'm not nostalgic, I look forward to new and new good features, and the only thing I'm unhappy about in this game is what amounts to this:

  • GrimLefourbeGrimLefourbe Member Posts: 637
    I think subtledoctor's message was pretty clear though a bit rough. It doesn't exist, this thread shows you're not the only one interested, go make such a mod and share it with other people interested in the same things.

  • chimericchimeric Member Posts: 1,163
    Yes, you're right. It was called Missile Weapons... That was a long time ago. Perhaps I remember him with the crossbow because it was a natural choice. Darts... no, and the sling - not likely. He is a sinister back-stabber, well-travelled, and a fighter too in his other class.

  • KuronaKurona Member Posts: 881
    Darts are a pretty good assassin weapon actually, because there are poisoned ones and they are extremely powerful in BG1.

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  • HudzyHudzy Member Posts: 297
    Must admit, I always gave him a crossbow back in the day, because I hated crossbows, and I hated Montaron.

  • chimericchimeric Member Posts: 1,163
    No they aren't, but you have to know this to know this. It's like bad writing. Those who can't write think "bad" is subjective and rebel against standards to high heaven. They'd have to become good to know what good is, and then - what is better than good. Yep, it's a catch 22 and completely non-democratic and unfair. ;)

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