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Beating the game with level caps?

Have anyone tried to impose a level cap throughout the game? I’m thinking of putting a level cap of 20 or 30 on my characters, and using EEKeeper to add one or two HLA’s (probably UAI and Improved Alacrity). I’m planning to play on Insane or LoB difficulty, and have SCS installed.

The reason I’m doing this is because the game is a bit too easy for my level 26-27 party, at chapter 6. I’m also thinking of starting over since my game has some issues with mods. Please give your opinion on whether this would be a reasonable challenge.

Also I’ve read some suggestions about self-imposing restrictions on spell use and such to make the game harder and I appreciate them all, but please just give your 2cents about the setup above if you can.



  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,901 did you get levels that high by chapter 6?

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,605
    If you are finding the game too easy at level 26-27 then I would think the level 20 level cap is the way to go.

    Or if you really need a challenge you could try to beat the game without leveling up at all:

    Mind you I doubt that would be possible on Insane or LoB with SCS installed.

    Personally, I find not being able to level up takes some of the fun and sense of achievement out of the game, so another thing you could consider is reducing the amount of XP you get for quests and killing creatures and maybe disabling it completely for learning spells, disarming traps and lock picking. That way you characters can still progress throughout the game but they will do so significantly more slowly than usual. There is an element in EET Tweaks (which is compatible with BG2EE) that allows you to choose the following options for the XP reward for killing creatures (and there is a similar one for quests):

    Increase to 150%
    Decrease to 75%
    Decrease to 50%
    Decrease to 25%
    Decrease to 10%
    Disable (no XP for killing creatures)
    Custom value (type in integer percentage value)

  • _Connacht__Connacht_ Member Posts: 154
    edited October 26
    Originally, vanilla SoA had a level cap at 2.950.000 XPs, which was raised to 8.000.000 when ToB was released. With the expansion installed you could already level up to epic levels during the SoA part and get the first HLAs by chapter 5 with a full party (not counting the Watcher's Keep that awarded tons of experience). IMHO this unbalanced the final battles against Bodhi and Irenicus to the point of making them quite less impressive and all of this returned with the EE.
    IMHO the best approach would have been what Beamdog did with SoD compared to BGEE: you hit the original level cap in the base game and then you are free to get other XPs when you enter the expansion part. I think that things were made the way they are because, back in the days, Bioware allowed to explore the Watcher's Keep right from SoA: having a level cap enforced before ToB would have meant wasting tons an tons of XPs. But then, the idea itself of farming the Keep threw everything up in the sky, particularly if you explored the first levels on chapter 2, which made everything a cakewalk thanks to the powerful items, the XPs and the money you can get there. I only tried once in my life because I wanted to do that with Yoshimo, but then chapter 3 became so easy that all the immersion and atmosphere vanished. Bodhi who? Vampires? I was an unstoppable killing machine.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    1. self restrain, even if the party has HLAs and the rest (high level spell slots for the casters no one compels the player to use them
    2. decreasing the xp rate in the way @Permidion_Stark suggests is a very good tool to delay HLA and high level spell slots. It is way more balanced then ramp up to lev 20 fast then basically stopping to progress.
    3. choosing to don't get the maxed hp gain on level up makes the game harder, more then how it is perceived by who don't do it. Every time a toon with maxed hp reaches low health without it the party has to deal with a dead or maybe chunked NPC. It forces you to a more sound play style where it is better to avoid risky tactics.
    4. starting the adventure in SoA and avoiding to go to WK from there also slows the level gaining, i would say that doing so a full party reaches the HLA and lev9 spells level a little before the last SoA battle.
    5. for that battle, if having HLA and super high level spells make it too easy the Tactics mod component can be installed, then SCS + Tactics Irenicus + insane level is doable, but surely not easy to beat, with LoB i doubt that it is even possible for regular humans...

  • ensbanaensbana Member Posts: 51
    Decreasing the rate exp gain is a great idea! My party actually hasn’t got to Watcher’s Keep yet. The exp I accumulate so far are mostly from a bunch of side quests and quest mods that I installed.

    I’m sort of a semi-perfectionist, so what would be a reasonable decrease rate to choose? Also, would late-game content pose a reasonable challenge to a party with a level 20 or 30 level cap?

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,605
    If you decrease the amount of XP you get to 75% for quests and killings and remove it completely (or use BG1 levels) for lock picking, disarming traps and scribing scrolls then I think you should find it significantly more challenging. If you still find it too easy then you could cut it to 50% (I'm not certain but I would have thought you could adjust the levels during the game and wouldn't have to start again).

  • masteralephmasteraleph Member Posts: 122
    IIRC Tweaks has a component that reduces XP earned if you want an easy all in one solution.

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