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Vanilla EE, Heavily Modded, or EET?

BarachielBarachiel Member Posts: 24
edited September 13 in General Modding
I'm coming back to Baldur's Gate, after having spent a long time away. I did complete a BGEE/SoD playthrough last year, but I haven't touched BG2 since the Good Ole Days. Many *MANY* things have been added, and I'm just looking at all. I've spent two weeks just going over stuff, and I'm pretty much torn on where I should go.

NOTE: I'm not a Super-Pro-Dark-Souls-Wannabe player. I beat the trilogy mod-free years and years ago, but I'm an adult now, and the idea of turning every encounter into a soul-crushing micromanagement boss fight just leaves me weary. That said, the AI did suck, and some parts of SCS are appealing.

I'm looking at BWS, and so far, I like the Recommended Setup for BG2EE that includes EET, but it also includes a LOT of new NPCs and quest mods I'm not 100% sure I want. I mean, I do, and I don't. This is a huge trilogy, and i've been gone so long, I don't mind some new content for BG1 (God knows it needed it), but BG2 was HUGE. I feel overwhelmed looking at all this. Plus, I doubt I'd use more than a couple of these NPCs, especially with the 3 new official ones waiting for me.

So here's what I"m endlessly waffling over.

1) Just Vanilla EE with a few key mods like BG1NPC and Unfinished Business. If it restores content or adds stuff to the existing NPCs, that's fine.

2) EET - basically a BWS install with the "Recommended" setting, only with most of the new NPCs turned off.

3) MEGA MOD! I saw this NPC mega-mod called "Sandrah" and it looks really interesting, but it requires a lot of additional mod content, and I don't think BWS handles the installation order properly, so I'm kind of loathe to jump into it. But of all the "BIG" mods I've seen, this is the one I'd actually like to try.

Comments, recommendations? Multiple playthroughs right now aren't an option. I also find vanilla BG1 kinda boring now; I usually want to just jump straight into BG2.

Comments

  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 955
    Just one comment - if you go for an EET mega-mod install, this does not mean you are forced to play all of the offered contents. It just provides you with more choices once in the game. Most added stuff is optional and you can decide while playing. Not installing it means you close all doors up front.
    It may take a bit more preparation to install, but using e.g. BWS will help you to get it right. I'd rather have the choices and skip them than to have a lean game and finding halfway through how much I'm missing.
    tbone1semiticgod
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 7,842
    Although in counterpoint, at least with SCS you can get the broad AI benefits but you don't have to use the major changes to specific encounters. Some of those "mega" mods don't just add new content, but also alter base game encounters in ways that some players may not like (and cannot just skip).

    (Which touches on the core of the issue with them: while many mods are small and specific and clear in what they change or add, it seems, IMHO, that "mega" translates to something like "overly broad and lacking focus." Again, this is totally IMHO. Just providing another point of view.)
    ThacoBellsemiticgod
  • BarachielBarachiel Member Posts: 24

    Most added stuff is optional and you can decide while playing. Not installing it means you close all doors up front.

    Normally, I'd agree with you, but I noticed all kinds of bugs and glitches in my one attempt last week to skip BG1 and go straight to SoD in EET. I think it was probably because I wasn't supposed to do that, I figure if I only install what I need, there will be less issues overall.

    At first it was minor stuff, like corrupted item descriptions. Then the chapter numbers on the save files went all wonky (jumped from 9 to 23), then scripted encounters like the druids at the tree by the Underground River from the base game would "despawn" the main PC, leaving me with a 5 man party that couldn't leave the current map.
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 447
    edited September 13
    If you have never played the BG1 NPC Project, then in my opinion this mod alone adds enough content for a fun playthrough. Add unfinished business, the small questpacks that BWS recommends, only the basic SCS options (smarter general AI, better calls for help, potions for enemies, but leave out the rest) - and you are set.

    There is also unfishished business and a quest pack for BG2; that, plus SCS basics again should be enough. You can add a few NPC mods that you find interesting, because with mod NPCs, there is little issue - if you don't like them, don't recruit them. (Which is also why I don't recommend the BWS presets, as they containt tweaks to gameplay rules. Should you not like them, the only solution is to reinstall and start a new game, because you can't uninstall a mod halfway through the game.)
    subtledoctormf2112tbone1
  • BarachielBarachiel Member Posts: 24
    chimaera said:

    If you have never played the BG1 NPC Project, then in my opinion this mod alone adds enough content for a fun playthrough. Add unfinished business, the small questpacks that BWS recommends, only the basic SCS options (smarter general AI, better calls for help, potions for enemies, but leave out the rest) - and you are set.

    There is also unfishished business and a quest pack for BG2; that, plus SCS basics again should be enough. You can add a few NPC mods that you find interesting, because with mod NPCs, there is little issue - if you don't like them, don't recruit them. (Which is also why I don't recommend the BWS presets, as they containt tweaks to gameplay rules. Should you not like them, the only solution is to reinstall and start a new game, because you can't uninstall a mod halfway through the game.)

    I've done a single playthrough with BG1NPC, and I will never play without it. It is absolutely mandatory and I wish the mod author had given permission for it to be included when Beamdog asked, back during development.

    For rules mods, I stick to those that either tweak Ease of Use, restore the game to it's PNP counterpart, or add class kit options.
  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 745
    i personally find installing mods manually with out bws easier for me. i mean bws is nice and all but it just feels way to complicated for me and some mods i like to use are missing. and if you only want to use like 3 mods then just go to the the mod forum and get the exe files yourself and save yourself the trouble of haveing to go thought bws's interface.
    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,503
    I'd second @megamike15 here. Unless you intend to specifically use a megamod, just skip BWS. Its a a waste of time when you can just install individual mods yourself. BWS can take 2 days to set up. I spend half an hour adding all my mods when I need to change my setup.
  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 955
    edited September 14
    ThacoBell said:

    I'd second @megamike15 here. Unless you intend to specifically use a megamod, just skip BWS. Its a a waste of time when you can just install individual mods yourself. BWS can take 2 days to set up. I spend half an hour adding all my mods when I need to change my setup.

    The advantage of BWS becomes only visible when you install a large number of mods where dependencies, conflicts and install order become an issue. If you do simple mod install or you are experienced enough to have background knowledge, it may be faster to do it manually.
    I often used BWS to download and unpack and fixpack my mods prior to the actual installation, because that is a lot of cumbersome preparation work that the tool can do without getting a chance to really break anything. This way you also get the most recent mod versions all time.
    It is clearly overkill to use BWS to install BG1NPC and UB on a BGEE game.
    tbone1
  • ArdulArdul Member Posts: 171
    I would really recommend getting spell revisions and item revisions as well. In my opinion they vastly improve the game by both broadening the set of viable choices, as well as nerfing some op stuff. Some of the very best mods available.
    ronaldoAntipatikoMantis37
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