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The flip side of mods

Having played through the vanilla game several times, I decided to start trying mods. All in all, I have loved them. Isra has been fantastic, and Lava's mods have really added a lot of flavor to the game. (I really wanted more places to visit) It has been a really fun play through so far. From the fun perspective, I have zero regrets - these mods have been amazing.

However, I realized that everyone but Imoen had advanced REALLY far when we got to the Underdark. My PC conjurer hit level 19 shortly after they arrived, Mazzy and Isra were getting their HLA's about that time as well, and Jaheira and Aerie had long ago gotten access to all 7 cleric/druid spell levels. Immy is about 2 levels behind, but even she's hitting pretty hard.

Which made the Underdark fairly easy. Admittedly, I could have toned it down a bit - I love using Planetars and Devas - but so far there hasn't been a single "hard" fight. Deirex got a lucky shot the first time and killed Imoen, and I didn't have easy access to resurrection, but the second time he went down with barely a struggle. (I have tried to avoid reloads, but I wasn't sure if I could find a cleric to raise her in Ust Natha)

The upside is that not caring about XP means I can RP situations the way I would prefer. The fish in Ust Natha, for example. I usually take his quest for the XP. This time I told him to stuff it and walked away. I also chose to go full stealth on the scrambled eggs quest - even if I did have to waste three potions of invisibility in the process.

Perhaps it's time to up the difficulty...

gorgonzolatypo_tillyMantis37leeux

Comments

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,596
    edited June 8
    yep quest mods can add quite a bit of xp, not that the starting xp is even for everybody, to start in bg2 or importing from bg or sod mean to start in a range that goes from less then 90k up to 500k.

    there are many ways to keep the challenge as the bg2 enemies (and npcs) vary their level according to the party xp, but only partially and in some quests, the unseeing eye one can become much more difficult at high level, to fight a dragon is not changed at all.

    one way can be the mods @subtledoctor linked, an other way is to use a harder difficulty setting and difficulty increasing mods.
    two less self apparent ways are to don't roll super stats for charname and don't use the maxed hp increase roll on level up. the latter ramps up the challenge quite a bit, more then most players probably are aware of. for a fighter there can be like 50 or more hp less, and that can be the difference between a badly injured party that wins the battle and a party that starts to have people killed and collapse, less hp need a much more careful game play as every error has less margin of recovering.

    for the problem of imoen under leveled is possible to delay some quests to after you rescue her or to use some quest mods whose quest happens after you rescue her , mods like elistrae's song or sellswords.
    she will catch up anyway as she has to rise a single class, that continue to grow up to lev 40, while your multi casters split the xp between 2 classes and the fighter types after a certain point gain mostly only hlas, as their thac0 is capped at level 20 and their apr even before.

    also i like to add content with the quest mods and i think that some of them are made in a way that doesn't give me the feeling of an inferior quality compared to the vanilla parts of the game.

    about the npc mods i really like tashia, a romanceable female sorcerer, good banters, good romance (you can even start banters by yourself, and a personal quest with a quite challenging battle and keto, a female not kitted bard with a personal quest all based on rp choices, without a single battle, you have to help her to set up her show for a bard competition. at least once it is worth to play a quest where only the rp side matters.

    typo_tillyleeuxJuliusBorisov
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,026
    I tend to only install very small quest mods for this reason. The exp curve in BG2 is already jacked.

    gorgonzolatypo_tilly
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,596
    about the xp curve i would say that quest mods are only one of the factors that affect it, and maybe not the main one, as the starting xp is not the main one.

    a solo sorcerer has a leveling speed completely different of the one of a triple class in a full party, even if the quest rewards are not dependent from the party size the sorcerer grows probably like 12x faster...

    if smart leveling strategies are used (mine is here https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/68460/effective-leveling-strategy-for-the-party-my-way) is possible to share the benefits of the fast leveling of a little party with the benefits of a large one.
    and there are ways to legally generate more xp then expected, turning to stone and then to flash mob or using the limited wish to summon vampires, that give xp if killed, are 2 very efficient ways to do it.
    to fight over and over the demogorgon ever spawning minions is more challenging , but once doing it i had the 6 people party hit the level cap in chap 2, even a couple of freshly recruited npcs, so probably each party member earned something like 7M xp in a single, very long, battle.

    so a charname and his party can have a completely different level in the same point of the game even if no quest mods are added, there is not a thing like a standard xp growing curve, it is completely up to the player, his style and what he likes.

    to have the party hit the level cap in chap 2 was fun done once, as the battle was very challenging as the party must have a lot of stamina to fight for some rl hours and i did not use the trick to create reload points with the auto save leaving the area, so every single bad error would have been the waste of hours of effort. but obviously the balance after that was totally messed up, to go to spellhood with a 6 men party of higher level then most tob end parties made even a modded for difficulty run too easy until i faced the late game enemies.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,131
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    two less self apparent ways are to don't roll super stats for charname and don't use the maxed hp increase roll on level up. the latter ramps up the challenge quite a bit, more then most players probably are aware of. for a fighter there can be like 50 or more hp less, and that can be the difference between a badly injured party that wins the battle and a party that starts to have people killed and collapse, less hp need a much more careful game play as every error has less margin of recovering.

    Indeed - in fact the game was designed for characters with average hp rolls, not max rolls. So this is not even so much "ramping up the difficulty" as it is removing that makes the game easy.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 215
    I try not to super roll characters, but I do try to make sure I cover the bases for that class. My current sorcerer has 20 INT, 20 WIS, but low STR and DEX. That optimized for magic use, while still keeping a slightly above average roll. Yes, I know 19 would have been adequate.

  • Gatekeep3rGatekeep3r Member Posts: 123
    Maurvir wrote: »
    I try not to super roll characters, but I do try to make sure I cover the bases for that class. My current sorcerer has 20 INT, 20 WIS, but low STR and DEX. That optimized for magic use, while still keeping a slightly above average roll. Yes, I know 19 would have been adequate.

    Could be wrong here, but why would you max out INT as a sorcerer? Wouldn't DEX make more sense for the AC bonus?

    ThacoBell
  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 901
    It can be an issue, yes. Personally I mostly avoid mods that offer new content.

    Only in rare cases do they integrate relatively seamlessly & they usually upset the balance with new items and the XP curve.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 215
    Gatekeep3r wrote: »
    Maurvir wrote: »
    I try not to super roll characters, but I do try to make sure I cover the bases for that class. My current sorcerer has 20 INT, 20 WIS, but low STR and DEX. That optimized for magic use, while still keeping a slightly above average roll. Yes, I know 19 would have been adequate.

    Could be wrong here, but why would you max out INT as a sorcerer? Wouldn't DEX make more sense for the AC bonus?

    Because I screwed up and misspoke - she's a conjurer, not a sorcerer.

    ThacoBellgorgonzola
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 215
    Ammar wrote: »
    It can be an issue, yes. Personally I mostly avoid mods that offer new content.

    Only in rare cases do they integrate relatively seamlessly & they usually upset the balance with new items and the XP curve.

    I have been playing most of Lava's mods, as I enjoy new areas (one of the few things I preferred about BG to BG2). While the stories do take you out of the main path, I felt the integrated very well. However, they do have battles, which give you XP, so yeah... I still think they have been worth it, though. Innershade is a very special place, and once I realized you can continue having chats over snacks with one of the residents there, it became one of my must haves in future games.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,596
    Ammar wrote: »
    It can be an issue, yes. Personally I mostly avoid mods that offer new content.

    Only in rare cases do they integrate relatively seamlessly & they usually upset the balance with new items and the XP curve.
    about the new items some of them are really too good, but no one compel to use them after all...

    about the xp curve i don't think that there is such thing, as the party composition and other factors can have a huge impact on the xp every toon has at a certain point.
    a solo sorcerer can possibly cast wish and improved alacrity in soa chap 2, while with a 6 people party in a not completionist run he will do it at some point of tob, and is only an example.

    also starting from a game or importing from previous ones affects the xp, as well as smart leveling tactics, i can have at the end of soa a 6 people party with way more levels then usual at the end of soa if i want, without using ways to farm more xp like learning and erasing spells, turning critters into stone and then into flash or using ever spawning enemies.
    but if someone feels not comfortable with the xp given by quest mods there are mods to decrease the xp gain rate.

    to like or dislike the new content is something completely different, i like the quest mods, lava's ones and others, some players are of different opinion, but as those are opinions, taste, are all completely legittimate...

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 1,672
    i acualy don't have that many quest mods. most of my mods are npc mods and friend/romance mods.

    ThacoBellArvia
  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 1,672
    edited June 13
    alot of my favorite mods tend to be the one that expands on characters. yoshimo's friend hip mod expands the character and makes me like him alot more. wings does the same for aerie. and imoen romance for imoen [ despite the name alot of it's content is non romance related]

    theres also reunion which adds a nice little quest to throne of bhaal and goes more into your mother.

    i'd also recommend xan's bg 2 mod. he is up there with isra as one of the best npc mods.

    Post edited by megamike15 on
    gorgonzolaThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,026
    @LavaDelVortel does some very nice small scale quest mods that don't upset the balance of things.

    leeux
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,375
    Zyraen's miscellany. mod has a stage based xp cap. I never used it but it may balance mega modded games somewhat, so that you don't get hlas until the end of soa no matter what.

    gorgonzola
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,315
    I used to really enjoy using Gavin and Finch. By the way, did Berelinde ever make Gavin compatible with the EE's?

  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 601
    edited June 14
    @BelgarathMTH , several, perhaps all, of Berelinde's mods have been adapted for the EE. Gavin, too, the BG:EE and also the continuation for BG2:EE.

    gorgonzolamegamike15BelgarathMTH
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