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How much to do before rescuing Imoen?

I've always kind of rushed to save Imoen, but it seems like maybe that's not the best way. How much do you guys do before going to rescue her? What level are you typically, and how many areas do you typically go to first? I've been doing basically just the bare minimum zones and leaving to get her around level 10 (give or take depending on class).
OrlonKronsteen

Comments

  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 1,641
    Honestly whether you rush or not depends more on whether you want to have Imoen in the party than any particular need to hurry, so you can do pretty much whatever you feel like.

    My last full runthrough, my CHARNAME laboured under the assumption that they had to garner 150,000 GP for the information, and spent a month going through every single area while not even spending gold on inn accommodation. The party was so beefed up that Yoshimo had successfully dualled into a mid-level fighter with the Celestial Fury, which led to a nice little mini boss fight in Spellhold.
    lolienMantis37OrlonKronsteen
  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 328
    The best way to do things is this: Escape Irenicus Dungeon (obviously) -> Do Copper Coronet quests (to get you some good equipment to start with) -> do Watcher's Keep (for kicks) -> Go and rescue Imoen (finally).
    lolienOrlonKronsteen
  • ValciValci Member Posts: 22
    I do everything I can. In my current play through I've little left to do. Done unseeing eye, killed firkraag and the shadow dragon, did nalia's keep, planar sphere etc. It's a neutral/evil play through with avenger protagonist (already great druid of the grove), dorn, korgan, haer, vikky and jan. I'm mostly unconcerned with imoen as I didn't use her in bg1 either with this charname. I guess as someone says above it depends on whether your charname cares so much about imoen or not and whether you intend to take her in the party or not...
    ZaghoulOrlonKronsteen
  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 483
    I usually do most of the "small" Athkatla quests (Circus, Slavers, Murder, Harpers, etc.) and 4/8 Strongholds quests. Which ones vary (usually Mae'var is included due to it being really easy). I usually let the dragons live until after Underdark and am at a bit over 1 Million XP when I start going the questions for Aran/Bodhi.

    I never touch Watcher's Keep in SoA - XP and equipment trivializes everything in SoA.
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,365
    I do everything because the game starts to feel done and dusted when you leave the Underdark. I feel that I have been put on a timer and am being pushed to finish off Irenicus.

    Have tried leaving quests till later but returning to Athkatla and getting back into the mindset of questing for money/xp just feels redundant.
    Plus, got no soul. :'(
    And that can't be healthy eventhough the game doesn't show the hacking cough, the disintegrating hair, the deseased and pox marked skin and the need to wear a hood, carry a bell and announce "souless" as people approach (hang on, am I getting leprosy and soulessness mixed up?...)
    dunbarredlineBelgarathMTHOrlonKronsteen
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,410
    FWIW I always take Imoen in my party, and leaving her for after all the chapter 2 quests doesn't really hurt. She is typically only about 2 levels behind any other party mages if I run with an extra. YMMV as I don't use caster heavy parties and its rare for me to rely on spells higher than level 6.
  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 328
    ThacoBell said:

    FWIW I always take Imoen in my party, and leaving her for after all the chapter 2 quests doesn't really hurt. She is typically only about 2 levels behind any other party mages if I run with an extra. YMMV as I don't use caster heavy parties and its rare for me to rely on spells higher than level 6.

    You must be running a practical Chaotic Neutral Bhaalspawn. From a role-playing point of view, the whole quest is about gathering enough money to get to Imoen. Otherwise, leaving her to rot in dungeon, because you have more important things to do, like killing monsters for loot and doing stronghold quests.
    "Imoen? Well, we'll get her back when we need her and not a minute earlier..."
  • malachi151malachi151 Member Posts: 120
    Yeah, I like Imoen and alwasy have tried to rescue her ASAP, but like UnderstandMouseMagic says, there are issues with the flow when you get her early, then need to come back to finish stuff out. Plus I always end up going to the Underdark pretty poorly geared. I think I'll try doing a little more before getting her, but still not too much.
  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 1,641
    Redrake said:

    ThacoBell said:

    FWIW I always take Imoen in my party, and leaving her for after all the chapter 2 quests doesn't really hurt. She is typically only about 2 levels behind any other party mages if I run with an extra. YMMV as I don't use caster heavy parties and its rare for me to rely on spells higher than level 6.

    You must be running a practical Chaotic Neutral Bhaalspawn. From a role-playing point of view, the whole quest is about gathering enough money to get to Imoen. Otherwise, leaving her to rot in dungeon, because you have more important things to do, like killing monsters for loot and doing stronghold quests.
    "Imoen? Well, we'll get her back when we need her and not a minute earlier..."
    Various Good: Imoen is important, but many people need me. I can't turn my back on them, and I have no reason to believe she is in any imminent danger right now.

    Lawful Neutral: Imoen broke the law, her incarceration is justified and she may remain where she is.

    Neutral: Imoen's fine to wait for a bit, she was pretty crazy sounding in Irenicus' dungeon, so maybe some time off of adventuring is just what she needs.

    Various Evil: Who the hell cares about Imoen? More money and power! I guess I'll go eventually to kill that guy who slighted me though.

    Genre Savvy Any: Meh, as soon as I turn up things will turn bad, may as well get more personal power and wealth first.
    ThacoBellAerakar
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,410
    Lawful Good (My signature alignment) : Imoen despite her and my party being accomplished adventurers, were effortlessly outclassed by a single mage, and she was captured effortlessly not once, but twice now in recent memory. We aren't as strong as we thought we were and need more power as well as information if we are going to succeed in rescuing her.
    OrlonKronsteen
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,365
    "Genre Savvy Any: Meh, as soon as I turn up things will turn bad, may as well get more personal power and wealth first."

    @Pantalion
    Love this. :)

    I tend to go with,

    Older sibling Exhasperation Any.

    "Magic Mssile? Magic Missile at a Mage who is disintegrating people right left and center? God I'm sick of babysitting that brat."
    ThacoBelltbone1Aerakar
  • Sylvus_MoonbowSylvus_Moonbow Member Posts: 743
    I do it all!

    You can't move forward without taking care of every single quest you have before heading off to Spellhold! Oh no, no, no! That's right! You have to grab the reigns by the reigns and reign those quests in before you set sail. Leave no rock flipped over! No bottle half-full!

    Imoen needs saving and she'll need all the power you can provide!
    ThacoBellAerakar
  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 328

    I do it all!

    You can't move forward without taking care of every single quest you have before heading off to Spellhold! Oh no, no, no! That's right! You have to grab the reigns by the reigns and reign those quests in before you set sail. Leave no rock flipped over! No bottle half-full!

    Imoen needs saving and she'll need all the power you can provide!

    Remember to also examine every hamster droppings in the city.
  • malachi151malachi151 Member Posts: 120
    Arg.Yeah, trying to do "some" before getting Imoen is frustrating because there are so many interconnected quests. I want to do X, Y, and Z quest, but in the mean time party members keep leaving and other side quests get forced upon you. Heh, so it's like you can either shoot straight for Imoen or do tons of quests first, but its hard to just do a moderate portion.
  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 180
    yeah i tend to do everything in Ch 2 myself regardless of alignment, it's simply a case of being shown Irenicus' power and doing the simple maths that more party power = less death chance lol.

    I like to get to the point where i deliberately stay in the Tanaari room in WK w/o killing the Boss, so i can keep killing the multiple demons he gates in for the easy XP, once i'm at that level of potency i feel ready to tustle with big Jon and whatever shady stuff he may have going on in Spellhold.
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 4,403
    I tried going straight for Imoen in my last BG2 run, because that's what I would really do, and I thought it was the only way the story made any sense. Then, I lost interest in the run as soon as I had Imoen and we were back in Athkatla. I had planned to do the many, many sidequests I had left undone, as well as try to get my stronghold timers to run out so I could finally see the bard play I was sponsoring in the Five Flagons, but the game felt finished except for heading straight to Suldanesselar and beating Irenicus, which I knew to be not that much left to do.

    It's like the whole object of the game was to rescue Imoen, and once that was done, I had no more motivation other than finishing the game and getting our souls back.

    I've always considered this issue a major problem with BG2. In fact, because of it, I rarely play BG2 and almost never finish a run when I start one. I greatly prefer BG1 and Icewind Dale, and I think they're the superior games.
    AerakarOrlonKronsteenBeetlethar_thaazdhen
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 4,523
    I just started Chapter 3 with an Undead Hunter. I did not do Trademeet, The Planar Sphere, or the Thieves Guild quests, nor any of the EE quests.

    I did all the paladin stronghold quests as well.

    I played through Nalia's storyline and up to sir Anomen's (whom I am romancing). Aerie, Yoshimo, and Haer are my other companions.

    I may go lich hunting to get a ring and will do the grave yard crypt when I get to that part in the chapter but I am all set to head to Brynlaww.

    Every play through I do roughly the same leaving out 3 or 4 stronghold and one or two secret areas or epic fights (IE dragons). To keep things different.

  • MirandelMirandel Member Posts: 349
    Unfortunately, after rescuing Imoen you have even more pressing issues - your soul is gone and you are literally dying with every passing second. Coming back to finish some quests for whatever reason - power or money - does not sim logical, dead do not need either. And to pretend that someone else's quest is so important that it outweighs Charnames death... I'd say is too stretchy.
    UnderstandMouseMagicBelgarathMTHOrlonKronsteen
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,365

    I tried going straight for Imoen in my last BG2 run, because that's what I would really do, and I thought it was the only way the story made any sense. Then, I lost interest in the run as soon as I had Imoen and we were back in Athkatla. I had planned to do the many, many sidequests I had left undone, as well as try to get my stronghold timers to run out so I could finally see the bard play I was sponsoring in the Five Flagons, but the game felt finished except for heading straight to Suldanesselar and beating Irenicus, which I knew to be not that much left to do.

    It's like the whole object of the game was to rescue Imoen, and once that was done, I had no more motivation other than finishing the game and getting our souls back.

    I've always considered this issue a major problem with BG2. In fact, because of it, I rarely play BG2 and almost never finish a run when I start one. I greatly prefer BG1 and Icewind Dale, and I think they're the superior games.

    ARRRRGHGHGH................just venting here as totally agree with you.

    The whole design with rescuing Imoen from SH was such a clumsy, ill thought out plot device.
    Time and again I wonder what they were thinking.
    It's a game, albeit a RPG.
    Why did they ever think players wouldn't go after Irenicus without shoehorning in the "rescue"?

    Should have been able to get Imoen back from the CW in Athkatla (and so then had her available to play with) and only Irenicus being imprisoned/transported.
    Or killed her off.
    BelgarathMTHOrlonKronsteenthar_thaazdhen
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,156
    IIRC, Imoen was going to die in Chateau Irenicus or just outside it. However, there was an out ry from the community and she was written back in. Nalia was originally going to be the Imoen replacement, hence her few levels of thieving.
    ThacoBelldeltagoBelgarathMTHOrlonKronsteen
  • unavailableunavailable Member Posts: 204
    I don't know how else the plot could have worked though... supposing Irenicus left Imoen behind and stole the soul all the way from spellhold anyway because Irenicus is just really that good: that would open other plot holes too, like if Irenicus is actually that strong why bother working with Bodhi at all? Certainly not out of affection. Why go to the trouble of such elaborate traps when clearly there is no getting away from him?
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,410

    I don't know how else the plot could have worked though... supposing Irenicus left Imoen behind and stole the soul all the way from spellhold anyway because Irenicus is just really that good: that would open other plot holes too, like if Irenicus is actually that strong why bother working with Bodhi at all? Certainly not out of affection. Why go to the trouble of such elaborate traps when clearly there is no getting away from him?

    He wouldn't have to steal it from a great distance,
    Imoen being a Bhaalspawn was added after the decision was made to keep her alive. If she was killed at Athkatla, the main reason to go after Irenicus would be revenge, leading you to spellhold and him taking your soul as usual.
    OrlonKronsteen
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 4,403
    @ThacoBell , You know, that would have been a far more compelling plot. It would have cast a depressing shadow over BG1, though, and would have made BG2 have an even darker tone than the revised version we got that includes Imoen not dying. I can understand why early testers didn't like it, with enough intensity and unanimity that the devs made the extensive revisions before releasing it.
    ThacoBellOrlonKronsteen
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,410
    @BelgarathMTH I have mixed feelings about it myself. Imoen is my favorite NPC in pretty much any game I've played, yet if the official story went that way, I wouldn't mod her back to life, because its a plot that I can respect and it does add more impact to the villain.
    BelgarathMTHMirandel
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,365

    I don't know how else the plot could have worked though... supposing Irenicus left Imoen behind and stole the soul all the way from spellhold anyway because Irenicus is just really that good: that would open other plot holes too, like if Irenicus is actually that strong why bother working with Bodhi at all? Certainly not out of affection. Why go to the trouble of such elaborate traps when clearly there is no getting away from him?

    Why would Irenicus need to steal the soul "long distance"?

    This is a game, and as a game people at all interested would have gone after Irenicus.
    It's not "War and Peace" the motivations are completely different.

    My overall thinking is that the developers underestimated their creation of something people actually wanted to play. And added in unecessary componants that seemed to them to make wanting to keep playing even more compelling.

    Perhaps that's the difference between BG and BG2?
    BG has a thread of conviction and confidence running through it. It allowed them to do absolutely ridiculous things when you look at the game, including poking a lot of fun at the game itself and the genre it's based on.

    For example, leaving players so much freedom, they believed players would stay with the game, not get bored, not get too confused, not want quick easy signposts telling them where to go, what to do otherwise they would lose them.
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,156


    Perhaps that's the difference between BG and BG2?
    BG has a thread of conviction and confidence running through it. It allowed them to do absolutely ridiculous things when you look at the game, including poking a lot of fun at the game itself and the genre it's based on.

    For example, leaving players so much freedom, they believed players would stay with the game, not get bored, not get too confused, not want quick easy signposts telling them where to go, what to do otherwise they would lose them.

    I respectfully question a good bit of this.

    First, the pervasiveness of restartitis implies a certain amount of boredom. There are also vast swaths of empty or unsatisfying space in the first game that make it feel like a slog. (All of the Cloakwood feels this way to me.)

    Second, ther are plenty of quick-and-easy signposts. Monty/Xzar want to go to Nashkel, as do Jaheira/Khalid. Finishing that, you are pointed to a contact, easily dispatched, who provides (one way or another) the location of a camp, which reveals a hidden operation, which points to something in the city (unavailable until that point) and so on. Not exactly railroading, true, but fairly linear and direct, wouldn’t you say? Admittedly, I didn’t really see this until i did a couple speed runs to pick up NPCs in Baldur’s Gate, but it seems obvious to me now.

    And might I add that a lack of that thread of confidence makes sense for BG2? Given what CHARNAME has just experienced in Chateau Irenicus, you would want the story to have a feeling of uncertainty and danger.
    ThacoBellBeetle
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