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Mod Talk - Favorite & Best Mods

PausePause Member Posts: 40
I am new to Baldur's Gate, this is my first time playing it, so I am discovering everything for the first time. I know that there are other posts like this, but I wanted to start a new one because by now new/updated mods have come out fixing issues such as compatibility and adding content.

Someone on another topic showed me the BG1 NPC Project and I love it, which got me thinking what other must have mods do I not have or know about?
Post edited by Pause on
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Comments

  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 319
    edited June 8
    In BG1 specifically?

    1)
    - Two mods that expand Neera in the way the others are enhanced https://github.com/AstroBryGuy/NeeraBanters and http://forum.baldursgate.com/discussion/10145/mod-neera-dialogue-expansion-and-flirts/p1
    - Ajantis BG1 expansion

    2) In the *tradition* of BG1NPC Project (but also adding new NPCs) there are:
    - Gavin
    - Isra
    - Sirene (who also has SoD contents)
    - Valerie

    3) Adding new NPC and their talks, interaction but with a specific *extra* flair
    - Finch
    - Vynd
    - White
    - Tenya (makes the Umberlee girl joinable)

    There are other, lesser mods all all sorts but I just listed those that have some distinct contents, provide an own personality to the NPCs etc. Of course, the is a very personal selection.
    Pause
  • PausePause Member Posts: 40

    In BG1 specifically?

    I will play BG2:EE after I finish this game, I don't have them combined as the BGT though. So yes, I will eventually want to know about BG2 mods also, for future reference.
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 319
    edited June 8
    In BG2 the situation is a bit different.
    1) there is no equivalent to BG1NPC Project just because by this time the original developpers had adopted those ideas themself and the vanilla cast of NPCs already comes with far more detail, banters and even romances (Jaheira, Viconia, Aerie, Anomen etc).
    2) there are numerous mods that extend the vanilla cast (Viconia friendship, Yoshimo, Edwin friendship/romance, Keldorn romance and more)
    3) there are mods that extend BG1 characters into BG2 (Kivan, Xan for example)
    4) Some of the new NPCs I had listed in category 2) for BG1 have a BG2 part to continue (Gavin, Isra, Sirene) others may get one over time.
    5) There is a BG2 mod for Ajantis, that a) makes Ajantis available in BG2 and b) continues the Ajantis mod I had listed above for BG1 - for those who play the EET (*the BGT for EE*), Ajantis has recently been made a continuos character by those mods.
    6) There is a legion of new NPCs for BG2 with romances, quests new kits and whatever you wish for. BG2 and BG2EE has been the main modders playground since its original release. Make your own choice or read on.
    My personal favourites (from those already available in BG2EE
    - Angelo (yes that scoundrel from the flaming fist)
    - Afaaq, the Djinni Companion - the special thing about him is that he is a 7th companion, acts like a joined NPC but does not require a party slot
    - Amber
    - Sheena
    - Foundling
    - Chloe (romances only females)
    - Sarevok (In ToB only)
    - Irenicus (via Longer Road in ToB)
    outside of those lists I currently use Sandrah in my party who contains all of this and much more and spans the whole game but is a pure EET mod. With her countless quests, areas and an excessive main plot she maybe not count as a pure NPC mod.
    Pause
  • PausePause Member Posts: 40
    edited June 8
    @PaulaMigrate thank you so much for all of your information. You have helped me in not only this thread but others as well and I value your input. I will check out (and test out) all/most of the mods you have mentioned. After reading this comment I can't wait to get to BG2, lol.

    That being said, I have to admit that I am surprised at how active a community BG has. This is a wonderful game, and I understand why people are driven to this game, but with a game as dated as this it just surprises me.
    Post edited by Pause on
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 319
    edited June 8
    but with a game as dated as this it just surprises me.


    There is nothing *dated* in a game that is infused with new blood (via the mods) constantly.

    And...maybe you should take a look at the BWS tool for your next install. You find the whole spectrum of mods for your choice there and furthermore you need not care to search all the download links etc. Just read the short descriptions and choose.
    Pause
  • PausePause Member Posts: 40
    edited June 8

    There is nothing *dated* in a game that is infused with new blood (via the mods) constantly.

    Hahahaha true - that's one reason I love mods.
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 945
    Specifically for BG.

    Unfinished Business, adds some nice touches.

    And at least played once,

    Romantic Encounters

    (RE is just far too exhausting if playing as female charname, honestly, you wouldn't be in a fit state to do anything after working your way through all those on the Sword Coast)

    PauseLoldrupsemiticgod
  • PausePause Member Posts: 40
    Is there a specific link to where all mods are located for BG:EE? or are there multiple places?
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 319
    edited June 8
    Pause said:

    Is there a specific link to where all mods are located for BG:EE? or are there multiple places?

    There is no such place. Modders publish and post their stuff at the various forums they got aquainted with over time. There are several attempts to maintain overview lists of all available mods but there is no *central* place, nor will there likely ever be. The main issue is to keep such a thing up-to-date.
    There is a BWP = Big World Picture (if you google for it) which has a pdf manual with a comprehensive description of most mods, however no links to the downloads and always about 6 months outdated (no blame, it is a single person effort trying to keep track). Kerzenburg forum once tried to keep a link repository to accompany BWP, but my last view at it showed it is outdated by now. (In addition it is german and focusses on mods supporting their language.)
    The other is the BWS tool, I have mentioned already. It has an in-build link list to the mods download links and websites. It is far more up-to-date than BWP and it fully supports EE games. It is not perfect and needs some getting used to it, but currently is the best choice I know of.
    Pause
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,436
    There are several threads in the modding sections of this forum that try to keep an up to date list of compatible mods and links to where to get them. This is the first place I check when looking for new mods to try.

    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/50340/bg-ee-2-0-and-siege-of-dragonspear-compatible-mods/p1

    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/34882/list-of-bg2ee-compatible-mods/p1
    PauseThacoBell
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 319

    There are several threads in the modding sections of this forum that try to keep an up to date list of compatible mods and links to where to get them. This is the first place I check when looking for new mods to try.

    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/50340/bg-ee-2-0-and-siege-of-dragonspear-compatible-mods/p1

    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/34882/list-of-bg2ee-compatible-mods/p1

    (Interesting lists, especially for what is not listed.)
    Pause
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,436
    I find it interesting for what is listed. :)

    As you have already mentioned, @PaulaMigrate there is no one source where every mod can be found. I find it helpful to check several places when searching for mods. I hope that others may find the links that I provided to be a helpful addition to their own lists.

    What I personally like about these threads is that many currently active modders have links to their current work in those lists. Not all, of course.
    Pause
  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,013
    edited June 8
    My *favorite* hasn't been released yet...

    Of those that are currently available, aTWEAKS and Rogue Rebalancing get my vote as I love mods that bring the game closer to P&P rules.

    Tweaks Anthology, Unfinished Business, and Sword Coast Strategems are also mods I'd dearly endorse.

    If we extende this to BGII as well, Almateria's Restorations is a mod that doesn't quite get the attention it deserves imo.
    PauseJuliusBorisov
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,339
    I'll second Rogue Rebalancing and Tweaks Anthology. Ascension is how I got into mods in the first place, but you will want to leave that one for a another playthrough. Ascension has some nice story extensions but it makes the final battle of Throne of Bhaal far more difficult.
    PauseJuliusBorisov
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 319
    My *favorite* hasn't been released yet...


    Sure? Which one is it?

    Tweaks Anthology, Unfinished Business, and Sword Coast Strategems are also mods I'd dearly endorse.


    However, of those three only UB adds contents (that's how I understood the initial question), the others are tweak mods which is something different.
    Almateria is a mod that restores stuff left out of the initial original game but found in (unused) game files. Consequently it is quite a mixed bag, which is not to blame the modder who just restored but did not invent the things. Some of the restored things may have been left out for a reason while others are interesting fragments.
    Pause
  • CamDawgCamDawg Member, Developer Posts: 2,565

    My *favorite* hasn't been released yet...

    Of those that are currently available, aTWEAKS and Rogue Rebalancing get my vote as I love mods that bring the game closer to P&P rules.

    Tweaks Anthology, Unfinished Business, and Sword Coast Strategems are also mods I'd dearly endorse.

    If we extende this to BGII as well, Almateria's Restorations is a mod that doesn't quite get the attention it deserves imo.

    I'll second all of these, especially the ones I've authored. :tongue: I would strike a cautionary note with SCS--it has a lot of great components and is really well done, but a lot of the tactical stuff can really make the game difficult so make sure that's what you want before diving in. BGQE and Sirine's Call are also well-done content mods worth installing.
    PauseJuliusBorisov
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 319
    ThacoBell said:

    I'll second Rogue Rebalancing and Tweaks Anthology. Ascension is how I got into mods in the first place, but you will want to leave that one for a another playthrough. Ascension has some nice story extensions but it makes the final battle of Throne of Bhaal far more difficult.

    Ascension is special in the fact that it was done by someone directly involved in the original ToB development and largely contains how that part of the game was intended. But due to budget and time constraints the game was released with less content. The guy thus released his stuff as a mod (look for the story in the mod's readme).
    For me the trio of Ascension, Wheels of Prophesy (more choices and variations to the final chapter) and Longer Road (with Irenicus as a joinable NPC) make ToB a valid ending for the trilogy, despite the slightly harder final battle.
    Ascension is as essential for ToB as BG1NPCs is for BG1.
    Pause
  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,013
    edited June 8

    Sure? Which one is it?

    That was a bit of shameless self-promotion. It's the mod I'm working on with @Soulmarine, @Kilivitz, and @skellytz. I've dropped a couple screenshots on the boards rather surreptitiously ;)

    However, of those three only UB adds contents (that's how I understood the initial question), the others are tweak mods which is something different.
    Almateria is a mod that restores stuff left out of the initial original game but found in (unused) game files. Consequently it is quite a mixed bag, which is not to blame the modder who just restored but did not invent the things. Some of the restored things may have been left out for a reason while others are interesting fragments.

    I understood the original question as relating to mods in a broader sense; if I misinterpreted of course my suggestions can/should be disregarded. I see your point on restored content, but most people (including me) are very enthusiastic of Unfinished Business which is the same kind of mod, and I feel Almateria's pretty good too and deserves more attention than it's getting. Besides, many things that mod restores could easily qualify as bugfixes (e.g. restoring icons that aren't used; reinstating content that is missed due to scripting typos; etc.)
    KilivitzPauseJuliusBorisov
  • CamDawgCamDawg Member, Developer Posts: 2,565

    Ascension is special in the fact that it was done by someone directly involved in the original ToB development and largely contains how that part of the game was intended. But due to budget and time constraints the game was released with less content. The guy thus released his stuff as a mod (look for the story in the mod's readme).

    No matter how many times this gets repeated, it remains untrue. Gaider is an original ToB developer, this is accurate, but the ideas that eventually came to be the Ascension mod were formed as Gaider discussed ideas on the old Black Isle boards with players. They were neither intended nor cut from the original ToB. The readme you cite actually has this to say:
    The whole thing started on Black Isle's BG2 message boards. A friend of mine, Kevin Dorner had expressed a bit of disappointment at the fact that he had had no choice but to fight the strongest member of the Five, Balthazar. Balthazar was a Lawful Good monk, after all, and wouldn't a charismatic and heroic Lawful Good character be able to maybe talk some sense into him? He suggested that it would have been better to offer a non-fighting alternative or, hey, how about getting Balthazar to fight with you in the final battle?

    Another poster (alas, I forget who exactly) offered another idea that it would have been a great idea if the Five had been resurrected in the final battle...that it would be cool to face them all at once. And I agreed...that was a very interesting idea.
    RavenslightThacoBellPauseJuliusBorisov
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 319
    Just in the paragraph before your citation from the readme is this:
    Some people like the ending to Throne of Bhaal well enough, I guess. I
    liked it well enough (I did a lot of the work on it, after all), but I
    remember wishing that we had had the time to tinker with it more. At
    Bioware we never seemed to have enough time to tinker with the Infinity
    Engine scripting language as much as I might have liked. With better AI
    and some leisurely time spent considering various options, the ending might
    have been more fully realized. That's a game designer's fantasy,
    obviously, especially when you're working within the time-frame of an
    expansion (which must come out while the game's still on peoples'
    hard-drives)...but seeing as a mod like this can be done in one's spare
    time, it doesn't have to be. Consider this my offering of what might have
    been. You might not necessarily like it better...heck, you might not even
    like it at all...but I think it shows off what the Infinity Engine can do
    when stretched to its limit and offers a bit more bite to Throne of Bhaal's
    climax for those who think that's not a bad idea.


    This is why I said that Ascension is as essential for ToB as BG1NPCs is for BG1. After all, it's those *classic* mods that are responsible for the game to still exist today, having the EE update and having still an active modding community - and player who enjoy all of it.
    Pause
  • CamDawgCamDawg Member, Developer Posts: 2,565

    Just in the paragraph before your citation from the readme is this:This is why I said that Ascension is as essential for ToB as BG1NPCs is for BG1. After all, it's those *classic* mods that are responsible for the game to still exist today, having the EE update and having still an active modding community - and player who enjoy all of it.

    ...none of which contradicts what I said.

    I have no problem with its characterization as 'essential' or 'classic' or whatever other adjective you wish to attach to it. I object, quite narrowly, to the perpetuation of the myth that it was cut content or the original intended ending.

    ThacoBellPauseJuliusBorisov
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 319
    edited June 8
    CamDawg said:

    Just in the paragraph before your citation from the readme is this:This is why I said that Ascension is as essential for ToB as BG1NPCs is for BG1. After all, it's those *classic* mods that are responsible for the game to still exist today, having the EE update and having still an active modding community - and player who enjoy all of it.

    ...none of which contradicts what I said.

    I have no problem with its characterization as 'essential' or 'classic' or whatever other adjective you wish to attach to it. I object, quite narrowly, to the perpetuation of the myth that it was cut content or the original intended ending.

    You are right - the words *the original intended ending* are misleading, as the stuff in Ascension wasn't yet developped at that time. It is more to express the feeling that many had when ToB was released (originally as an expansion for BG2) that the final chapter was somehow rushed and missing the quality of the rest of the game. Afterwards I found Ascension with the notes that even developpers felt the same. It filled that gap *as if it belonged there.*
    It's a bit like SoD. There was always this missing piece between BG1 and BG2, which in fact wasn't missing because it never had existed. You just felt it should be there. Then BGT filled something in, it was better but not yet there. Even if nobody thought of SoD until recently, still a lot of players felt *it* should be there.

    And now I should stop - this thread was about something else in the first place.
    PauseJuliusBorisov
  • PausePause Member Posts: 40
    edited June 9
    @CamDawg @PaulaMigrate I enjoyed this discussion about this mod Ascension, it sounds interesting, but I think on my first playthrough I will stick to how the game was released. This mod sounds like it only affects the very last battle, does it do more than that?

    This thread is not just about mods that add extra content, but all mods:

    Content & Stories
    UI
    Tweaks
    NPC's
    Items & Weapons
    Bugfixes
    Kits & Class Changes
    Rebalances
    Portraits

    Or anything else I haven't named. I basically am looking for everyone's favorite mods regardless of the category.
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member Posts: 863
    My standard go to mods for BG1, given the classes I prefer (meaning they get the most use and are favorites-so far). More wanted but some are in development, not personally tested (at all or enough to say), or have not been updated/work with EE yet. Others are nice but do not get much use for my usual runs.

    Classic Spellcasting sounds
    Classic movies
    Lure of the Sirine's Call
    Stone of Askavar
    Quests and Encounters
    Romantic Encounters
    Unfinished Business
    NPC Project
    White
    Verr'sza
    Mur'neth
    Tenya
    Ishlilka
    Coran Friendship
    Xan Friendship
    Willow Wisp (new shaman)
    Distinguishable Clubs
    Javelins
    Silver Staff of Aule
    Staff of Withering
    Wand Case
    Club Of Pain
    Animal Companions (druids/rangers)
    Critter Parts (fits EVERY character group)
    Lost Druid
    Wizard Slayer Rebalancing
    BGEE NPC Tweaks
    Song and Silence (dirgesinger and items)
    Rogue Rebalancing (rogue items, HLA and class adj.)
    CD Tweaks
    A Tweaks
    Divine Remix(oozemaster-needs some work)
    Hivemaster (needs a little fine tuning)
    Palemaster
    Herbs and Potions (awesome for ANYONE)
    Shadow Adept (very nice, being reworked-will see after changes)









    Pause
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 319
    Pause said:

    @CamDawg @PaulaMigrate I enjoyed this discussion about this mod Ascension, it sounds interesting, but I think on my first playthrough I will stick to how the game was released. This mod sounds like it only affects the very last battle, does it do more than that?

    This thread is not just about mods that add extra content, but all mods:

    Content & Stories
    UI
    Tweaks
    NPC's
    Items & Weapons
    Bugfixes
    Kits & Class Changes
    Rebalances
    Portraits

    Or anything else I haven't named. I basically am looking for everyone's favorite mods regardless of the category.

    1. Ascension is more than the final battle. It also adds more contents to the final chapter of ToB including another path.
    Most important: When you fight the last five bhaalspawns and find out about the BIG deceit behind it all, you can persuade the *good* bhaalspawn, Balthazar who wants to stop Bhaal's return, to side with you. The battle is harder but you have an ally and there is one less opponent.



    2. Aside from the NPC mods I have named earlier, there are some big contents adding mods I never play without
    - In BG1 part
    1. Dark Side of the Sword Coast
    2. Drizzt Saga
    3. Northern Tales of the Sword Coast (maybe only available for EET at the moment?)
    4. BGQE (a collection of smaller quests)
    5. The Grey Clan
    6. Siren's Call
    7. Unfinished Business
    8. The Stone of Askavar
    9. (Dark Horizon - if you restrain yourself to pick up dropped items from foe)
    10. still missing for EE is Secret of Bone Hill - it was announced for conversion some time ago but did not yet happen as far as I know
    - In BG2
    • Druid Grove Area Visual Makeover
    • Alternatives (allows additional choices to get to the Asylum aside from Thieves/Bodhi)
    • Adalon's Blood (to finish the skinner quest)
    • Southern Edge: the new district of Athkatla
    • Tower Of Deception
    • Afaaq, the Djinni Companion
    • DQ Questpack
    • Expanded Thief Stronghold
    • Tales of Anegh (high level adventure that triggers late in BG2 or can be delayed until ToB)
    • Region Of Terror (at this moment the EE conversion is still experimental)
    • The Darkest Day
    • Fishing for Trouble
    • Selected components from ATweaks and SCS
    • Romantic Encounters (My personal choice is the BG2 version, the BG1 version I omit)
    • Almateria's restauration
    • Chloe
    • Yasraena
    • Foundling (this is part of a larger mod *family* colours of infinity, this is the only one from it I personally choose, but I know the others have a large fan base, so it's probably just not my taste)
    • the various banter packs for BG2

    - also in BG2 but affecting ToB
    • Ascension
    • Wheels of Prophesy
    • Longer Road
    • Illyos (not sure he is officially EE already)
    - Since I play the EET version of the game, I also use some mods that may not be available otherwise
    • Deep Gnomes (formerly part of Aurora Shoes and Boots)
    • SoD Banter Restauration
    • Northern Tales of the Sword Coast
    • The Sandrah Saga
    • Move Items to Irenicus Dungeon
    • Worldmap!!!!
    This is a very long list (and those are just my favourites), I have much more installed and I decide during game what I really use of it, e.g. which NPC I take along or which quest I follow. I always play my games from beginning to end, so I take as much as sensible in my install
    PauseJuliusBorisovcreateaccountMyrag
  • PausePause Member Posts: 40
    @PaulaMigrate Nice list there, and thanks for this, I would like to take all the mods listed in this thread and on my first post, edit it, and add all the links for easy access. But I don't know if I will make the time for it or not.
    JuliusBorisovLoldrup
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 319
    Pause said:

    @PaulaMigrate Nice list there, and thanks for this, I would like to take all the mods listed in this thread and on my first post, edit it, and add all the links for easy access. But I don't know if I will make the time for it or not.

    You may want to add things from other categories to it, I have not mentioned the tweaks, AI, Spells or items as I leave this to the BWS trusted and conflict free selection. I have them installed but care very little for what they actually do (unless they produce bugs), there are experts out there who can assist you better in this aspect. For myself, I take the impact of such mods as a means for surprises to encounter different behaviour in a situation I have played through before.
    Pausecbarker15
  • PausePause Member Posts: 40
    So, with all the talk about mods people like and recommend, let me ask this. If a mod doesn't come with an uninstaller, how do we uninstall the mod? Is just removing the files enough? Such as a mod like XP Cap Remover?
  • CamDawgCamDawg Member, Developer Posts: 2,565
    Pause said:

    So, with all the talk about mods people like and recommend, let me ask this. If a mod doesn't come with an uninstaller, how do we uninstall the mod? Is just removing the files enough? Such as a mod like XP Cap Remover?

    Tweaks Anthology has an XP cap remover that can be uninstalled and covers a lot more stuff.
    PauseRavenslightJuliusBorisov
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 319
    edited June 9
    Pause said:

    So, with all the talk about mods people like and recommend, let me ask this. If a mod doesn't come with an uninstaller, how do we uninstall the mod? Is just removing the files enough? Such as a mod like XP Cap Remover?

    Weidu mods install by a file called setup-Modname.exe. To uninstall a mod just use this a second time and you should get the uninstall action in the window that opens. Removing the file does nothing but corrupt your install. The uninstall process removes files from the game files and restores the backup of files the mod has changed. It also removes entries from a file named Weidu.log.
    Be cautious when uninstalling stuff. Mods are installed one after another in a sequence logged in the Weidu.log. To uninstall a mod that is somewhere in a sequence, the operation needs first to uninstall ALL mods that were installed behind it, then removes your selected mod and finally re-installs the remaining mods once again. This is only successful if the Weidu a) finds all the backup files and b) all mods were installed with Weidu. There are a few (big, older) mods that do extra operations (like biffing files) and those can cause problems.
    If in doubt, read the readme's or ask on a forum.

    Finally, if a mod is not to your liking. there may be other options to restore your game besides uninstalling. e.g. if a mod is very early in the sequence. Your example with XPCap remover can also be undone by changing just one or two files that are affected. A corrupted spell for example can be easily repaired by just restoring a single file from the backup of the mod which changed it. Just ask if you run into a specific problem.
    JuliusBorisovPausesemiticgod
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