Hello all, just wanted to stop here real quick and share some thoughts I'm having. I recently began playing a "no reloads" game of BG:EE after having read about how much fun they were. I've beaten the game several times but have yet to move on to BG2 so I decided to give this a shot. Holy cow it is SUPER FUN!!! Here are the rules I've chosen to abide by:
Game Difficulty: Hard (I didn't disable the increased damage so enemies hit like runaway trucks)
Stats: Nothing above 80, I did allow myself a couple re-rolls because my first roll was like an 85 and I thought I'd try something a bit more within "normal range". I ended up with a 77-point roll, I did allocate an 18 to Wisdom (being the sane person that I am, I rolled a Druid lolz) but everything else is mostly 10's or 11's with Charisma being the prerequisite 15.
The gameplay is beyond wonderful! I feel like I'm playing D&D again and not some stupidly OP min-maxed character that instantaneously wipes the floor with everything in front of him. Now, when I go on an adventure, I have to CAREFULLY consider my equipment, check if I have enough potions of healing (just made it to Nashkel so my party is still low level), make sure that I am carefully prepared before leaving town. Not having the right gear/equipment or proper preparations literally means life or death. Normally I could just steamroll whatever the game throws at me but not anymore, now I have to actually be a frail, mortal adventurer and not some grossly overpowered superhero.
Combat feels very dicey, because I know if my charname dies that's it, game-over, I won't be reloading him from death. On the quest to the Gnoll Stronghold to rescue Dynaheir (I decided to go with the "canon party" of Khalid, Jaheira, Minsc, Dynaheir, Imoen, and Charname), we got bushwhacked while traveling there ("You have been waylaid and must defend yourself!) and my party was attacked by a winter wolf. Damn thing ran right up to Imoen and hit her with its cold attack, killing her instantaneously. I sighed and trekked all the way back to civilization and rezzed her. After returning and making it past the bridge with the two giants we encountered one lone Gnoll that got a crit on Imoen and dealt 27 damage, slaying her again. I wasn't about to waste more time and decided to press onward. After penetrating the stronghold and making my way inside, my party took on a few Xvarts but one managed to crit Khalid and he died. Seriously?! A FREAKING LOWLY XVART KILLED ONE OF MY TEAMMATES?! Normally I would've instantly reloaded but I did not as I was dedicated to the challenge. Down to just my charname (a Druid), Minsc, and Jaheira, all of whom are level 2 and don't have a ton of HP. At that point I was seriously considering retreating but I knew Dynaheir was nearby. My supplies were dwindling and I was out of healing spells. Normally I would've just slept and reloaded/save scummed if rest was interrupted by monsters but once again, NO RELOADING so that option was gone. I made the decision to press forward knowing that there were still several more Gnolls to contend with. We got into a fight with the last trio of gnolls guarding Dynaheir, and wouldn't you know it MINSC'S SWORD BREAKS. I have him pick up a halberd from a slain gnoll and he rejoins the right. My heart is pounding, both Minsc and Jaheira are down to half their HP and I'm out of healing spells and potions. If they die, my Charname is sure to go down quickly (he's only wearing studded leather armor and plus he has a severe allergic reaction to being stabbed by sharp pointy things). Suddenly, both Minsc and Jaheira score crits one after another and the two remaining Gnolls die!! I just about cheered and jumped out of my chair! Victory!! We grabbed Dynaheir and high-tailed it back to town to rezz Imoen and Khalid.
Seriously guys, THIS is how the game is supposed to be played. It's not fun to be some OP character that can dismiss most of the game's challenges easily. I mean, roll up such characters if you wish, but seriously there's a ton of fun to be had in playing the way the designers intended. Use the save/reload feature ONLY TO RESUME PLAYING YOUR GAME. If your Charname dies, bid him/her a fond farewell and ROLL UP A NEW ONE. Seriously, you'll appreciate the game much more