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Going (almost) directly to Spellhold so Imoen can be in party sooner. Thoughts?

Hi there
I was thinking of running a party composed by Charname (Half orc Fighter/Thief) , Minsc, Skie (From Cost of a Soul mod) , Viconia and Yoshimo (temporarily, as you know). I know that I lack an arcane spellcaster and I've got a lot of thieves , but I really want Skie in the party and I I'm used to making thieves more useful by giving them stuff like elemental arrows and potions to increase their effectiveness in direct combat. I'm also leaving a sixth slot for NPC quests (Nalia, Valygar etc).

However, I feel that I might get a bit frustrated doing all Chapter 2 (completionist here) without a wizard, so I though of picking Imoen a bit earlier . I think I'll do the thief stronghold quest (and maybe a sidequest or two) and go straight to chapter 3 + spellhold so I can have Imoen back quicker.

Question: Is there any mod that adds more comments from Imoen during all CH2 quests? From an RP point of view I'll just headcanon that we really don't know where the Rhynn Lantorn is , so we'll keep doing quests till we find it, but I'd really like to do it alonside Imoen.

Thoughts?


JuliusBorisovWormking

Comments

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,141

    I find there are two main issues that affect when to go to Spellhold.

    1) it's not just SH, it's the whole of the Underdark and the story really gaining momentum.

    2) Being souless. Just because the game doesn't implement any negative consequences, can't help but feel it makes no sense to go on all those side missions under the circumstances.

    I wish the game did allow you to simply collect money to bribe the CW to release her.

    It would take some rewriting, but there's something very, very clumsy about the whole rescue Imoen, SH, UD, back to Athkatla.



    ArtonaStummvonBordwehr
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,085


    I find there are two main issues that affect when to go to Spellhold.

    1) it's not just SH, it's the whole of the Underdark and the story really gaining momentum.

    2) Being souless. Just because the game doesn't implement any negative consequences, can't help but feel it makes no sense to go on all those side missions under the circumstances.

    I wish the game did allow you to simply collect money to bribe the CW to release her.

    It would take some rewriting, but there's something very, very clumsy about the whole rescue Imoen, SH, UD, back to Athkatla.



    Thanks for the answer , @UnderstandMouseMagic .
    Well, normally I do all major chapter 2 quests before heading to Spellhold and to avoid lack of immersion I headcanon that I haven't been given a positive feedback from the Shadow Thieves yet. So this time I was just thinking how it could be to headcanon that the Lanthorn is not that easy to find and I might have to look around, I understand that going through the Underdark earlier might be both challenging and affect the plot as it was supposed to be, but I also installed the mod "Imoen Romance" so I can make use of some more banters and party interaction while having Imoen around in Athkatla.

    UnderstandMouseMagic
  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 7,590
    I tried that mod too once. I went to rescue Imoen fairly early then, as I recall. Never did finish the run (restartitis) but I thought it worked out quite well with the mod to get Imoen ASAP. I think I only made diversions for extremely essential items.

  • James_MJames_M Member Posts: 126
    Sounds like a plan. We want to rescue Imoen asap! She is also a core party member for us. I just gather my party in a direct manner, get the Flail of Ages +3/Fighter Stronghold, get the Belm +2 and the Shield of Harmony, do Linvail's quests and then off we go to Spellhold!

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 963
    I found the Skie mod a bit iffy. Besides the writer obviously not being an English native speaker, there were a few bugs. (you didn't get the Soultaker dagger back at the end of the quest, though that may be for the better, see below; the Garrick romance in the temple district won't progress either)

    Also, it dumps heaps of overpowered items on you. At the very least, you probably do not want the second component of the mod "Add brand new SoD-oriented items to BG2".

    As for content for Imoen, if you are fine with the Imoen Romance, I felt that gave her plenty.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,630
    in the vanilla game, imoen actually does have a banter for the windspear hills quest which i thought was kind of neat, but as far as i know that is the only one

    i've had many a play through where i went to spell hold right away ( and when i say right away i mean accelerator pedal to the floor full speed ahead captain ) and the problem i have with doing this, is the time i get back i finish off bodhi's quest and now my characters are at 2 million XP each, and im doing quests like the hendak slavers and such, and doing all the stuff that i missed out on before i went to spell hold and its all way too easy, to the point where it just makes those quests boring or a chore, in fact my team was so strong that the time i hit valygar's planar sphere i completed the entire quest without resting once, and thats killing all the baddies collecting all the goodies

    so now, i never rush over to spell hold for that reason, so imoen will forever never join my team in SoA ( although if i ever do a fresh ToB game, she has a chance to hit that team combo )

    jsavingThacoBell
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 603
    edited February 19
    Could not agree more. If you rush to Spellhold then Trademeet/Windspear/Umar are so easy that you find yourself wondering why you're even bothering to do them. On the other hand the Underdark remains at least somewhat challenging if you postpone Spellhold as long as possible.

    If you're worried about Imoen's XP being too low if you postpone Spellhold, you could treat Nalia as a replacement Imoen for the first part of the game, then give Nalia's XP to Imoen once you get her back in the party.

    Post edited by jsaving on
    sarevok57ThacoBell
  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 963
    Loot is subpar?
    Carsomyr, Belm, dragon scales and the Crom Faeyr scroll, subpar?
    I think the density of end-game capable equipment is pretty decent at ~2 items per dungeon, and not really that much lower than the Underdark.
    Just mop them up, take what valuables you find and move on. Since they really are not challenging for an overleveled party, they do not take too much time either. It's much more annoying when it's your stronghold and then you are stuck for weeks doing nothing while waiting for it to complete (unless you are willing to employ cheats which I very much am in this case).

    I have recently come to like the SCS component "Increase the price asked by Gaelan Bayle -> Gaelan wants 120,000 gold pieces". Such an excellent reason to stick around a little longer in chapter 2.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,630
    Loot is subpar?
    Carsomyr, Belm, dragon scales and the Crom Faeyr scroll, subpar?
    I think the density of end-game capable equipment is pretty decent at ~2 items per dungeon, and not really that much lower than the Underdark.
    Just mop them up, take what valuables you find and move on. Since they really are not challenging for an overleveled party, they do not take too much time either. It's much more annoying when it's your stronghold and then you are stuck for weeks doing nothing while waiting for it to complete (unless you are willing to employ cheats which I very much am in this case).

    I have recently come to like the SCS component "Increase the price asked by Gaelan Bayle -> Gaelan wants 120,000 gold pieces". Such an excellent reason to stick around a little longer in chapter 2.

    ironically all those items you mentioned i never use ( and i only use carsomyr with fighter/thieves and that is IF they are using 2 handed weapons ) in my opinion crom faeyr is over rated, the red dragon scale armor in reality isn't that great because its a +4 plate mail, which has inferior armor modifiers compared to full plate, and there is 2 easy items of protection +2 and tons of full plate sticky around ( and the plate of balduran +2 ) but by chapter 6 you have armor of the heart +3 and a cloak of protection +2 making the red dragon scales even more useless ( in my opinion gorgon plate +4 is better since it gives a wicked modifier against slashing weapons )

    belm in my opinion is also over rated as well, and its only +2 , by chapter 6 i already have the +3 scimitar, or if i don't, i would rather use blackblood club +3

    but with that being said, i dont use SCS so my play throughs and character build ups will differ no doubt

    in my experience, if i go to spell hold right away and then do all the quests that i missed in chapter 2/3 afterwards the only real items of note are; earth elemental ring, belt of interior barrier, cloak of displacement, ring of gaxx, and the ring of acuity, everything else just gets added to the gold piece pile

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,085
    @jsaving I did the planar prison quest to get Haer and Maevar's quests for my fighter/thief,then headed to Spellhold. In spellhold I had to avoid certain enemies because I have a mod that strips you naked while doing bodhi's gauntlet, but the ring of regeneration found there was such an essential item !
    In the Underdark I had about 500.000 xp , so it wasn't as easy but it was surely doable by an experienced player who knows the right tactics against drow, beholders and mind flayers. The items you get there are better than most found in Chapter 2 so I agree that certain stronghold quests become pointless afterwards.

    @Humanoid_Taifun ,I chose the "Gaelan asks for 40.000" option , which ain't really hard,in fact I just didn't want to be bothered by Valen 1 or 2 days after chapter 2 starts.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,630
    500 000 XP by the underdark? with me sprinting to spellhold the lowest i could get landing on brynlaw island is 500 000 xp

    do you have some sort of mod on that makes it so you dont get XP or lowers your XP? especially if you finished the planar prison and maevar's quest which is 200 000 XP each, 89 000 XP at the least for starting bg2 then being at 160 000 XP when you leave the first dungeon, you are already close to 400 000, and then the 100 000+ per character for doing the chapter 3 stuff, plus baddie killin', you would be hardpressed to be below 500 000 XP per character the time you leave for spell hold, and then all the XP that dungeon has, which is like 200 000 XP each and then using the portal to go there

    or am i missing something here?

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,085
    edited February 19
    @sarevok57 ,yes!
    I forgot to mention that,but I use a mod that reduces quest XP to 10% of its original value. With that mod, starting at 160.000 xp if you do all chapter 2 quests you might go to spellhold with about 600.000 xp , instead of 1.5 million . I like it because it makes all stronghold quests somewhat challenging .

    (I usually play SoD before that,but I manually set the cap to 160.000 . It doesn't change much because most of SoD's power comes from items and potions.)

    sarevok57
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,630
    ah interesting, when i leave for spell hold i reach just over 2 million XP per character and thats without going to watcher's keep or scroll scribing exploiting ( although, scroll wise, i write every scroll i find, but i don't intentionally buy ( or steal ) scrolls for XP )

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,085
    sarevok57 wrote: »
    ah interesting, when i leave for spell hold i reach just over 2 million XP per character and thats without going to watcher's keep or scroll scribing exploiting ( although, scroll wise, i write every scroll i find, but i don't intentionally buy ( or steal ) scrolls for XP )

    Not to mention that it's quite possible to leave the Underdark having reached SoA's XP cap (2700000) and above . I didn't mind it when I had lots of difficulty and tactics mods installed (smarter mages, tactics mod etc) ,in fact it was more interesting to fight improved Bodhi and Irenicus with a powerful party , but then I began to feel that even that needs some balancing.

    sarevok57
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,475
    It's been years since I last rushed to rescue Imoen. Normally by the time I reach her Nalia is such a powerful wizard that I wouldn't allow myself to take Imoen back and either Charname or another party member is providing the thief skills.

    sarevok57
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,085
    mlnevese wrote: »
    It's been years since I last rushed to rescue Imoen. Normally by the time I reach her Nalia is such a powerful wizard that I wouldn't allow myself to take Imoen back and either Charname or another party member is providing the thief skills.

    But the EE's level adjustment makes Imoen's level closer than before, doesn't it?

    ThacoBell
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,475
    DJKajuru wrote: »
    mlnevese wrote: »
    It's been years since I last rushed to rescue Imoen. Normally by the time I reach her Nalia is such a powerful wizard that I wouldn't allow myself to take Imoen back and either Charname or another party member is providing the thief skills.

    But the EE's level adjustment makes Imoen's level closer than before, doesn't it?

    Yes but what about all those nice spells Nalia learned along the way?

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,085
    mlnevese wrote: »
    DJKajuru wrote: »
    mlnevese wrote: »
    It's been years since I last rushed to rescue Imoen. Normally by the time I reach her Nalia is such a powerful wizard that I wouldn't allow myself to take Imoen back and either Charname or another party member is providing the thief skills.

    But the EE's level adjustment makes Imoen's level closer than before, doesn't it?

    Yes but what about all those nice spells Nalia learned along the way?

    Touchée. Actually I like bringing both Imoen and Nalia. Every mage needs a backup mage s2

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 4,988
    mlnevese wrote: »
    DJKajuru wrote: »
    mlnevese wrote: »
    It's been years since I last rushed to rescue Imoen. Normally by the time I reach her Nalia is such a powerful wizard that I wouldn't allow myself to take Imoen back and either Charname or another party member is providing the thief skills.

    But the EE's level adjustment makes Imoen's level closer than before, doesn't it?

    Yes but what about all those nice spells Nalia learned along the way?

    More experience for Charname when Imoen eventually adds those same spells to her spellbook! ;)

    ThacoBell
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,630
    DJKajuru wrote: »
    mlnevese wrote: »
    It's been years since I last rushed to rescue Imoen. Normally by the time I reach her Nalia is such a powerful wizard that I wouldn't allow myself to take Imoen back and either Charname or another party member is providing the thief skills.

    But the EE's level adjustment makes Imoen's level closer than before, doesn't it?

    its not much better, in the originals imoen's max catch up was 1.2 million, in the EEs its 1.25 million

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 963
    @mlnevese There is an aTweaks component called "Allow Mages to scribe memorized spells onto scrolls". Copying an entire spellbook is costly, yes, but you don't need every spell in the book. Just copy what spells you want and then when you get to Lazarus empty your potion bag of Potions of Master Thievery and collect all the spells that you missed.

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