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Question about 2.5: Any story additions?

I'm not entirely up to date on the 2.5 version of BG2EE, except that it seems to be taking a good bit of time. I was wondering if anyone could answer if there's going to be any additions to the game to tie SoD into it. The fact that it's not well acknowledged that SoD was even a thing in BG2 is something that really bothers me about the latest chapter of the Bhaalspawn saga, making it feel more like a fan-fiction addition than a proper expansion.

Some things I was wondering about:
1) Viconia and Neera romances. Both Viconia and Neera have fairly important experiences that take place between BG1 and BG2, such as Neera's boyfriend and Viconia's attempt at farming. SoD, however, fills the gap right up until BG2, making those events difficult to fit into the timeline anymore. Viconia's can pretty easily be shoved to before BG1, but Neera's isn't so easy to headcanon around. Will either of these be addressed, even as a single throwaway line?

2) The Soultaker Dagger. Near the end of SoD, the Soultaker Dagger makes an appearance. In BG2, it is never mentioned. I would really like a chance to reclaim that dagger, if only to give it to Corwin for safe keeping. It's a particularly vexing loose end that nags at me. "I can kill a near divine mage, a practically divine cleric, and a literal king of demons, but I can't find one blasted dagger."

3) The Shining Lady. I know SoD has a couple different routes the Shining Lady can take, but some of them leave her a free agent able to return. I would be quite interested if she were to make a cameo in BG2, even as a recruitable allie in ToB, like Sarevok. Oh, can you imagine the banters between those two?

4) Corwin. It would be nice to get some closure with the Archer Queen, because of how things are left at the end of SoD. I know she doesn't always survive every game, but this is BG2, right? The game that coined the "Weren't you dead?" "I think so. Your point?" bit? You can still allow at least a final conversation between the two.

Also, while I know previous patches allowed the player to import certain SoD items into BG2, I'm curious if any more are to be added, like the Shield of Egon's. SoD had a lot of great items that served as small gamechangers by modifying how certain classes/kits worked. It'd be nice to use them in BG2.

Now, I know I'm much too late for these to be counted as suggestions. I'm just curious if there's anything that's going to be added to BG2EE beyond bug fixes and UI adjustments. You guys have snuck in cool things before, like Baeloth, Wilson, and the new kits. I'm just hoping this time we'll get something meaty as well.

the_sextein

Comments

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 5,616
    1) The Dukes conscripting you to move against Caelar happens several weeks after the final battle of BG1 and the looting of the tomb at the start of the expansion. Viconia could easily attempt some farming in that time. Its also undisclosed just exactly how long your charname is a guest at the chateu, so that gap could be significant as well.

    2) I have been buggin Beamdog for weeks to fix that.

    3) She is either dead or stuck in Hell after SoD. Not really a free agent or even capable of returning under her own power. Its a fairly closed end, but I see a lot of modding potential here.

    4) Considering her daughter, I would feel dirty trying to get her away from Baldur's Gate to join me in BG2. Even though she WAS one of my favorite npcs.

    the_sexteinStummvonBordwehr
  • the_sexteinthe_sextein Member Posts: 507
    edited June 6
    The soul taker dagger could simply be found in the starting dungeon of BG2 but it would take a mod like EET to allow you to bring it back to Baldur's Gate. You could get some closing words with Corwin while you were back in the great city to clear your name. You could also use the planer sphere to rescue the shining lady if you collected the extra demon hearts to power it's move to hell and back again. It would be great to see these things tied up by Beamdog but a mod would probably be neat too. Just some ideas off the top of my head. I have heard that Beamdog has no plans to do these types of things but I have also seen hints in some of the livestreams that further work in the Baldur's Gate series isn't totally out of the question so who knows. As for continuation of relationships both romantic and casual, could use some improvement in my opinion.

    BTW Calemyr, I like your avatar. I read the Cold fire trilogy when I was a teen. I liked it a lot and really love the cover art for the third book that you are using.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 5,616
    The really crappy part of it, is that at one point Beamdog DID plan to add more links with SoD into BG2.

  • CalemyrCalemyr Member Posts: 210
    1) The timing between BG1 and BG2 has always been awkward, I must admit. Viconia's issue, though, is the trauma related to it. She is clearly still scarred by the events of what happened to her on that farm. If it had happened over just a few weeks before SoD or BG2, she should be a far more broken wreck than she is. Trauma that leaves scars that deep doesn't just vanish overnight. And Neera... she's Beamdog's own work. She, at least, should be someone they can fix. "Yeah, I had a boyfriend in Baldur's Gate, but that didn't last a month before I fled to Bridgefort, and you saw what happened there. I ran for a while after that, until I decided I needed something to run to rather than away from. So I helped found that commune." Something like that would be enough, I should think.

    2) I don't mean going back to Baldur's Gate. That's a ship that's sailed in BG2 - no going back. However, I could see Corwin appearing in BG2. Pissed that Charname escaped, Entar resurrects or recruits Corwin to go after Charname, who is rumored to be in Amn. Conflicted with her own opinions of the fallen Hero of Baldur's Gate, she accepts if only to get closure of her own. When they meet, it's a complicated mess of resentment and regret on both sides. Charname gains the chance to reclaim the dagger and hand it to her. She returns home (either then and there or at the end of ToB if she's recruitable again) and uses the dagger to clear Charname's name. I mean, in canon Charname eventually returns to Baldur's Gate to become politician, so Entar had to either die for good or get over it at some point.

    The other way I could see it going is finding the dagger and using it to recruit Skie - the maturing, well meaning Skie of SoD rather than the spoiled brat of BG1. Ever since I played BG1 I've longed for a chance to continue that evolution. Having her join as a Shadowdancer or Swashbuckler would be pretty cool, too.

    3) I've argued this point before, but I still don't see a living high level fighter with divine power being trapped in Hell as a long term situation. Planes travelling is a key factor in the setting. Charname planehops a few times before it becomes an innate skill. The end of SoD makes it pretty clear that nothing in Avernus is a proper challenge to her, so until the boss of the level respawns she's pretty safe and just waiting for the next open door out of there. Heck, even if she's stuck there, Charname's pocketplane in ToB would be a perfect venue for finding and recruiting her. Their levels would mesh pretty well at that point, too.

    Much like Corwin and Skie, I think a lot more could be done with her. Were I a proper modder, I would write her along the lines of Redeemed Sarevok - a conflicted mess of opposing alignments that can't find peace in anything. A way to really dig in the knife on it would be for the demons to just accept her presence rather than fight her - considering her a blackguard because of her actions, even if her god doesn't. If that wasn't enough, pairing her with other evil characters (particularly Dorn, Hexxat, and Sarevok) could really screw with her. Basically, she'd be a cross between Aribeth of NWN and Sarevok: not entirely good, not entirely evil, and as a result burdened with incredible guilt for her actions. That's something we don't really see in BG at all, really. Viconia and Sarevok can be led to change their perspectives, and Sarevok struggles with his morality in epilogue, but neither of them truly regret their actions beyond consequences those actions had on them.

    Sadly, I am crap at modding the Infinity Engine. So any big ideas I might have are pretty much wasted.

    @the_sextein Thanks for the kind words, and for pointing out where the picture was from. I just found it back when I was playing BG2 back in the day and felt it was a good representation of a character from my own stories, a character whose skills and demeanor were perfect for Baldur's Gate. I'll have to look into the Cold Fire trilogy, if only for an opportunity to better appreciate.

  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 346
    Unfortunately i believe Beamdog have quite explicit limits on what they can and cannot do with the game, since they merely have a license deal rather than full ownership. The short version is that they are not ALLOWED to make adjustments to the current story, they are allowed to add NPC's and make their own game (SoD), but they are quite limited with what they can do to the original trilogy.

    That's not to say that you do not have some great points, just please be aware that it isn't as simple as tweaking the story, or rather it would be IF they were allowed to do so, which they are not.

  • the_sexteinthe_sextein Member Posts: 507
    edited June 6
    @Calemyr no problem. The artist's name is Michael Whelan. I own some of his art autographed. I purchased multiple prints from Stephen King's dark tower series that Michael Whelan painted. You can buy large prints directly from his store (I think his wife runs the store) I still get emails from them around Christmas time reminding me that they are there.

  • CalemyrCalemyr Member Posts: 210
    edited June 6
    @Borek Right. So, Viconia probably isn't going to be changed, except possibly in a banter with a Beamdog character.

    But most of this is tied to Beamdog content. The dagger, Corwin, Caelar, and even Skie's current status were Beamdog's content. That's content they should be able to extend in BG2, much like their EE characters.

  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 346
    Calemyr said:

    Right. So, Viconia probably isn't going to be changed, except possibly in a banter with a Beamdog character.

    But most of this is tied to Beamdog content. The dagger, Corwin, Caelar, and even Skie's current status were Beamdog's content. That's content they should be able to extend in BG2, much like their EE characters.

    Without knowing the exact terms of the licensing deal it's hard to say what they can and cannot do, but based on what they have done to date it would appear adding additional storylines based on SoD, to BG2, may be pushing the limits and/or require renegotiation. Bioware lawyers probably wouldn't permit that, at least not by default, perhaps it would be possible to get such a deal though especially with a history built up between the 2 companies.

    Think of it this way, if you owned a famous song then you can allow 3rd parties to make licensing agreements to play or use the song based on a pre-approved set of criteria. If they had a deal to distribute your song, would you allow them to re-mix the song, then release an Album with 3 official versions of your song plus their song?

  • CalemyrCalemyr Member Posts: 210
    edited June 6
    @Borek You're not wrong, the BG license has been tightly held. And it must be said that Beamdog additions tend to get mixed receptions, so I can see why someone might be reluctant to grant them even more free rein - particularly after Minsc's SoD comment on GamerGate showed how that freedom could be misused and lead to backlash. (Also, correct me if I'm wrong on this, guys, but I think it's Wizards of the Coast that's strangling Beamdog's freedom, not Bioware. If I remember correctly, the Wizards were a major reason Bioware longed to move to internal IPs. Lucas being the other reason.)

    Still, it would appear they were given leeway to add but not change. Black Isle characters were allowed to speak in banters with Beamdog characters. We got a hell of a lot of content with the Beamdog cast. Several new - and complex - locations added, like the Wild Mage commune or the heretic's temple. Or the numerous tombs that Hexxat calls you to explore. Large stories like Dorn's rebellion or, again, Hexxat's quest are also there. They were able to add a lot to the game, they just couldn't modify what was there.

    But the key thing here is that I hate unfinished stories, and SoD created too many of them. If even a few of them got resolved, be it in SoD or in BG2, I would have a much more charitable opinion of SoD.

    Borek
  • PekingduckmanPekingduckman Member Posts: 123
    IIRC BG1 and BG2 EE was initially limited by a license with Atari, which forbade modifying of existing content, and that includes restoring removed content. IWD EE was not published by Atari and did not have the restrictions, so some originally removed material were restored.

    Also apparently the 2.5 update for BG1 EE included some storyline additions:

    http://blog.beamdog.com/2018/04/baldurs-gate-enhanced-edition-25-beta.html


    Jaheira should recognize Seniyad during the encounter with Aldeth (35189)
    There should be a conclusion to the vial of mysterious liquid found in the Nashkel Mines (35148)
    Kivan should interject when you encounter Tazok at the bandit camp (35147)
    Branwen should interject when confronting Tranzig in Beregost (35121)
    Yeslick should confront Rieltar in the Candlekeep Library (35102)
    You should be able to finish Kagain's caravan quest (35003)
    Eldoth's special ability should create one stack of five arrows (34652)
    Shoal the Nereid should not kill Player1 (34275)
    You should be able to interact with Entar at his estate in NW Baldur's Gate (35176)

  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 1,475
    The cold fire trilogy is a very nice read. Very novel ideas about magic, and religion makes good sense.

    The protagonists and antagonists are well described and not your typical archetype.
    I should reread them....

    the_sextein
  • the_sexteinthe_sextein Member Posts: 507
    edited June 6

    IIRC BG1 and BG2 EE was initially limited by a license with Atari, which forbade modifying of existing content, and that includes restoring removed content. IWD EE was not published by Atari and did not have the restrictions, so some originally removed material were restored.

    Also apparently the 2.5 update for BG1 EE included some storyline additions:

    http://blog.beamdog.com/2018/04/baldurs-gate-enhanced-edition-25-beta.html


    Jaheira should recognize Seniyad during the encounter with Aldeth (35189)
    There should be a conclusion to the vial of mysterious liquid found in the Nashkel Mines (35148)
    Kivan should interject when you encounter Tazok at the bandit camp (35147)
    Branwen should interject when confronting Tranzig in Beregost (35121)
    Yeslick should confront Rieltar in the Candlekeep Library (35102)
    You should be able to finish Kagain's caravan quest (35003)
    Eldoth's special ability should create one stack of five arrows (34652)
    Shoal the Nereid should not kill Player1 (34275)
    You should be able to interact with Entar at his estate in NW Baldur's Gate (35176)

    When I read these in the patch notes I was surprised to see it. I have to question if the restrictions were lifted and they just never mentioned it to keep the fan base in check. Heh, you never know.

  • lefreutlefreut Member Posts: 985
    They can't change existing things but I think they were always allowed to add new things.

    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 5,616
    @Calemyr The thing about Viconia, is that you can't really trust anything she says. She spends the entirey of the series telling half truths and flat out lies to manipulate people to her advantage.

  • CalemyrCalemyr Member Posts: 210
    ThacoBell said:

    @Calemyr The thing about Viconia, is that you can't really trust anything she says. She spends the entirey of the series telling half truths and flat out lies to manipulate people to her advantage.

    A legit point. She is always playing people, so taking her at face value is a fool's game. I don't think she actually lies all that much, though. I think she likes to use the truth as a sledge hammer, throwing people off balance and driving them back. I always got the impression that the story about the farm was true, and that she was trying to paint herself as defiled and dirty to drive Charname away. "I'm not some fair maiden you can save. I'm already way too screwed up for you to fix. I'm not worth your time." That kind of thing.

    The thing about this is that she'd rather be a victim than be vulnerable. Lying about her victimhood weakens her position, though. She doesn't want to be weak, or seen as weak, but her stories frequently present her as such. If it were a lie, she'd be fabricating weakness, mentally placing herself in situations where she's powerless and abused. That doesn't sound right to me. If it were true, however, then her wounds become her weapon to fend off future weakness and her trauma becomes armor to reinforce her will to never be that weak or vulnerable again. That is the Viconia I see.

    To my mind, she seems to be a more complex version of Jack from Mass Effect 2. She tries to minimize her trauma by trivializing sex. "See? It's no big deal. It's not like I'm a victim or anything. Not like being burnt at the stake by Beshaba worshipers or hunted by racist mercenaries." Her drow upbringing helps with this, as they seem to see it as a transactional act and a relaxation tool rather than anything intimate, but Viconia doesn't fully accept drow mentality. That's why she's on the surface to begin with.

    I mean, personally speaking, my preferred romance of the original four was Jaheira. That was a relationship built on mutual trust and respect that only grew stronger in the fires of war. That said, Viconia's probably the most compelling option from a pure story-telling standpoint. Which is why I consider her the "canon" romance of the story, along with the fact that she's an early recruit in every game, making her an even more constant ally than Imoen.

    So... I guess my point is that I don't think she made the event up. It's not in her nature. As I perceive her nature, anyway. She's manipulative and deceitful, but not prone to bald-faced lies. The exact timing of her experience at the farm is probably irrelevant. I don't even remember if she actually says when the event happened, just that I got the impression it was between BG1 and BG2.

    Neera is more of a problem, because she explicitly states it was after BG1 (and thus painfully after your romance with her could have begun). Without SoD, that's just an unfortunate fact of life. Neera wants a boyfriend, but is prone to panicking and running away so it's not much of a surprise that Charname isn't the only guy she's left behind and a year is plenty of time for something like that to happen. With SoD, however, it becomes difficult to make it work, timing-wise, and should probably be re-written to before she met Charname. That sort of confuses the rather adolescent nature of BG1's chapter of the romance, but it still works better than the timeline we're forced to work with otherwise.

    ThacoBellBalrog99
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 5,616
    Also remember that one of Shar's domains is deception.

    WarChiefZeke
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 962
    edited June 7
    Calemyr said:


    I always got the impression that the story about the farm was true

    We can know for sure that it is partially true, but it is not the whole truth. Emblematic of Viconia, really.

    Charm the Flaming Fist looking for her in BG1. He mentions this murder, a drow who killed a farmer and his kids. This happens long before the end of BG1, when she claims it happens, so it is unlikely she was attempting to buy land at all or had the funds or reputation to do so, since she couldn't "drop your good name whenever possible". My theory always was she wanted to use the house for herself.

    ThacoBell
  • CalemyrCalemyr Member Posts: 210
    @WarChiefZeke Okay, that's handy. I didn't know about that, I never have charm handy that early in the game. (If I'm going to recruit her at all, I'm going to do so early.) I'd never heard of that conversation. Thanks for pointing it out.

    So it all does fit together, I guess. Viconia is always the injured party in her stories, after all. The Flaming Fist wanted to kill her because she was a drow (leaving out that she's a murder suspect). The followers of Beshaba just caught a glimpse of her face and decided to burn her at the stake. Of course she would frame the incident at the farm in a way she was entirely innocent.

    So she gets a house on the plains - maybe she bought it (more likely she killed the previous owner - that's probably a legitimate transaction by drow logic). She tries to get on with her life in exile. Her neighbors show her some kindness, then a lot of unkindness when her guard is down. She gets revenge and kills said neighbors, getting her in trouble with the Fist and runs for it. Charname swoops in (swooping isn't always bad) and saves the day.

    Yeah, that tracks. Lying about the timing to make herself look more innocent is more in character than making the event up from whole cloth, and SoD doesn't disrupt the narrative. And it's supported by in game content. I like it.

    WarChiefZekeThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 5,616
    Viconia is kind funky in that she IS evil, but not QUITE as evil as the standard Drow. I always end up saving her, as the FF simply her race as the reason for wanting to kill her (my goody two shoes charname never abides bigotry). But her constant lies and manipulation means she never stays with the party for long.

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