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Order of major side quest progression?

The major side quests in BG2 (by which I mean the ones that give you a stronghold or are otherwise significantly large) are mostly independent of each other, allowing you to virtually do whichever you want in whatever order. That being said, I feel that some of the side quests are more difficult that others. For example, I find the De Arnise Keep and the Druid Grove pretty easy, but the Planar Sphere or the Unseeing Eye quest is significantly harder.

What is your general order of doing all these side quests? Also, do you finish all of a side quest area before heading out to Imoen's rescue, or do you leave the final part of it (like for example, leaving Firkraag or Thaxll'ssillyia or the Druid Grove Rakshasa) for later, after you return? Finally, what about Kangaxx and the Twisted Rune Hideout, before or after Spellhold?



  • AerieAerie Member Posts: 226
    The Twisted Rune hideout makes sense to do after Spellhold, especially if you get the
    Human Flesh amour
    where you have a run in with
    the guy who makes the amour and some other twisted rune members

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    I go with whatever quest makes sense for the character I'm playing. I just follow leads that seem like my character would follow with the information they have. For example, my character won't agree to help a cowled wizard without being told what the job is first, but they will drop everything when a child tells them that people are disappearing from their town. I also don't visit maps until given a reason to.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,012
    Normally I do the d'Arnise keep first. RP-wise she is easily the most sympathetic character at the Copper Coronet, strategy-wise she is a mage I want in the party, and metagame-wise FotA is a weapon I want as early as possible. Largely indifferent to ordering otherwise unless I am carrying Jaheira in the party in which case the druid grove is next on the list.

  • iosfrustrationiosfrustration Member Posts: 153
    Job number zero in every game - slice up that creep in the back of the copper coronet. Give the bear back to its rightful owner.

    The dialogue is also very meta.

    “You’re not worth the time it takes to explain why I’m killing you”

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    edited April 2020
    the order of the side quests completely depends on if i am playing vanilla or tactics mod.
    with tactics i simply feel that the d'arnise keep quest is just to hard as first big one, i can deal with those spirit trolls and the rest, but the tor gal regeneration rate is so fast that with my typical 3-4 men parties without a dedicated pure fighter i simply lack of the dpm to overcome it, even when i am able to kill all his helpers and survive, and with that mod in the last room there is way much then some giant trolls and doors can not be closed while opened, so you can not hope to lure some of them in the other room and kill them.
    when i played that mod the first time it was so frustrating to, after so many tries, finally have the boss alone surviving and not being able to drop his health to 0 as he was simply regenerating too fast.
    so i had to live him alive, nalia was not happy at all, and go to the umar hills and then to the temple ruins where the 2 liches and 2 demons (self replicating every few rounds) was refreshing and easy in comparison and the final bosses, big lizard and shadow boss, was almost a joke.

    when i play vanilla usually i have some priorities, the slavers in the cc, as i am already there and i hate slavers, then the d'arnise keep, i can not tell to that young lady that i am not interested in saving her father and people (and the FoA is so good) and i have also to go to see a show at the local theater, i love art and speed boots.
    then the order of the other main side quests depends on the npcs i have, the class charname has, he usually do quite early every quest related to his class somehow and even more if there is some stronghold to get, but i usually do them all before spellhood if i don't plan to have imoen in the party, then i want to get her sooner to have her gain more levels in soa.
    i feel that every quest is different depending on the party level, some of them more like the unseeing eye where you can face more beholders at higher levels, so often i keep them as the last ones, more for the xp then for the challenge as at higher party level are actually easier even if the enemies are more leveled.

    i almost always do the twisted rune and guarded compound quite early in chap 2 and often also all WK, even if sometimes i wait chap 3 for it. the only reason i see to do WK in ToB is if i plan to have mr ToB with the party, then he greatly benefits of the xp gotten there, but as i run small parties and i am quite a completionist he is so under leveled compared to the party that rarely i take him with me, if not to add him to a very little party as they are already at very high level, but 2 hands more are useful in ToB, but then i have to baby sit him for some time as he is the weakest link of the chain...
    Anyway if i go to WK for some reason i can not avoid to do it all at once, i know that the fights get harder as soon as you progress, if the first level is quite easy the last one before the boss is much harder, but as i am there i can not refrain me to enter the next level as soon as i have done one and i always find me to face the final boss.
    playing tactics i usually delay wk until i have enough resources and levels to do the ritual where i have to fight a large number of enemy parties in a limited amount of time, so the battles can not last forever and i can not rest between them, and to trigger the red badge, that triggers only when the party has a certain minimum level, i see no point in going to the WK area after, when everything else there is done, just to trigger that encounter.

    when i delay some side quests to after spellhood i feel that they become way less interesting, at least in vanilla, as my small parties level up fast and after all that xp become too easy, so i try to keep undone the hardest ones and to do also wk after i rescue imoen, i also try to not get the reward from the quests already done in chap 2 so also immy can benefit of them. but as i almost always have a proper thief, jan or charname, i find that mechanically nalia is better then imoen, as good as mage she will reach high levels sooner as i can have her with me from the beginning of chap 2, and being stronger is a better mule to carry around items.
    so sometimes i self mod my imoen to be some kind of bard as bards level up fast and to play always with haer dalis can get boring. in the not EE version, where the bards are not so nerfed, i sometimes run with 2 bards, sometimes charname is one of them, the other 3 candidates are the modded imoen, the tiefling and the mod npc keto, that i like very much.
    i have still to try a not EE run with all the 4 bards, probably with jan and aerie or jaheira as other npcs, 4 bards stacking their songs and attacking in the same round open some interesting options, a +16 in thac0, dmg and ac make everyone in the party a viable front liner. even if the party will lack of apr as in not EE is not possible to DW the returning daggers and there are only 5 speed weapons (tugian and the speed xbow become interesting as speed weapons with the stacked songs bonus, as well as darts and MMM).
    i almost never use the mislead clone to sing so for me having multiple bards is important to have their songs stacking, but also and mainly to have them sing and attack as my FM or aerie can cast and attack, this is the real reason why i play seldom bards in EE, while in the original game i almost always have at least a bard in the party.
    to have in EE let's say haer dalis and a skald imoen, that can stack their songs, without loosing 2 people just for it i should have them sing trough the clones and i find the invisibility given by having a mislead active too strong, it is something intended for a mage that use it while he cast, when used by someone that attacks without the enemy able to hit him i find it simply wrong and too overpowered.

    sorry for the little OT about bards, but as the bards are a class that i like(d) so much it is somehow related to the order of the side quests, as doing spellhood early to get my bard imoen or the planar prison early to get my haer dalis is important in the order of the quests, planning a run with multiple bards are priorities, playing without them not so much.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,565
    my order if i can recall;

    - circus tent
    - then take out mencar's group in the inn above circus tent
    - copper cohornet ( completely finish it up )
    - off to the graveyard and finish up all the areas
    - then the harper compound should open up, finish that up
    - then start thief stronghold quest
    - then when i reach temple ( from thief quest ) clean out the sewers and start the ryan thrawl quest
    - go to the bridge district and finish everything up there ( including skinned alive, but not twisted rune or shade lich )
    - then finish thief quest
    - then start chapter 3
    - finish all chapter 3 quests with aran
    - kill off all the cowled wizards ( making sure i get at least 12 000 XP from scrolls from every battle )
    - finish off the slavers in the temple district
    - then go to all the houses/homes/areas where i can get caught thieving and summon the "big group" of cowled wizards and amnish soldiers for more XP ( luckily you don't loose REP from stealing from houses )
    - at this point my team should just barely be around 1 000 000 xp so i have "improved" monsters for the rest;
    - then do the planar prison quest next and finish that off
    - start the limited wish quest for going on an adventure like i've never done before
    - then do the druid quest and finish that off
    - go to trademeet and finish off all small quests before leaving
    - then finish off the limited wish quest
    - then off to de'arnise hold and finish that off
    - then off to the temple district and finish off the cult of the unseeing eye and the small ones afterwards ( kill shade lich when doing the neb quest )
    - then finish off kangaxx
    - then go to the umar hills finish off area quests and off to shade lord temple
    - finish off shade lord temple
    - then off to windspear hills and finish off that area
    - then back to sewers for 3rd time to get the hammer of thunderbolts
    - then finish off the twisted rune
    - then start the planar sphere quest
    - around this time i hit the 2 000 000 XP mark so i can get the last "upgrade" in tougher monsters
    - finish off the planar sphere with around 2.1 million XP or so and then off to brynlaw

    * if i play a game where i want imoen in the party i will rush off to brynlaw as soon as possible so then i can get imoen at the lowest level possible ( and sometimes its fun going into chapter 4 with garbage equipment and low level, makes chapter 5 all that much more interesting )

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