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Availability of New Content Without NPCs

In original BG2 there was almost never a need to bring a specific NPC along in your party to do a certain quest, meaning that the questlines and loot were available to all. Failing actually getting a quest, it was usually true that the player could wander into the area and kill things and collect loot regardless. In the cases of the NPC storyline quests, where you do actually need them, they were typically very short and provided no novel items. In the enhanced editions you have to bring the specific NPCs along to access new content, and therefore a lot of the new quests and loot are only available if you take those NPCs into your party.

As to how exactly to fix this... well that is a pickle now that the game is already at this stage. Adding dialogue options to allow you to go undertake the quests without them doesn't really make sense in a lot of the cases, considering how the quests are setup, but it might be do-able with clever writing. Another option is simply opening the areas up for wandering and wanton slaughter and looting sans quests, making most items available via shop or body. For example, in BG1, have the people Dorn wants dead always be there so anyone interested in elven chain can get it without needed Dorn, assuming they're up to murdering some seemingly random punks.

Of course I can always edit in items I want really bad, but it would be nice to be able to get the stuff without cheats.



  • MordeusMordeus Member Posts: 460
    I'm a bit late to this since I just finished BG2:EE today but I agree 100%.

    I love how the new areas have fleshed out the SoA map but absolutely hate how they are tied to the new NPCs. It bugged me tremendously with BG1:EE and I was hoping the developers had learned from that with BG2:EE but alas...

    If the vanilla regions of the Temple Ruins, de'Arnise Hold, Druid Grove, etc... were tied to the respective NPCs of Mazzy, Nalia, Cernd it would be incredibly limiting to one's playthrough of the game. Having the ability to travel nonlinearly anywhere with anyone is what made BG1 and BG2 great. I don't understand why they had to link them in the first place, I've heard people bring up the contract but surely having the new regions be their own isolated area is enough.

    As for what could be done now, it is simple.

    - With Neera's regions you could run into her at the entrance of the Wild Forest agree to clear out the path for her while she waits back. Then when you arrive at the campsite she arrives shortly after to open gate to let you in. Then onwards you undertake the various quests to save the Wild Mages with Neera staying at the camp as a quest contact.

    - With Rasaad, you would run into him at Trademeet where he asks to join you. Instead you turn him down and offer to investigate the temple yourself. After completing the area, you return to brief him of what happened. He rewards you and decides to move on with his life.

    - With Dorn, you could stumble across the Helmite Camp by travelling or talking to those at the Temple of Helm. Instead of massacring them, they would task you with protecting their campsite from an invasion of monsters. After killing the horde they'd reward you and let you use their facilities, with the potential for them to be a Quest Hub for more quests (maybe one where you have to smite various villains throughout Amn, thus including Dorn as one of them). Would be interesting to have Dorn turn up at the camp to kill the Helmites but have you there instead to kill him.

    - As for Resurrection Gorge, you'd get there without Dorn by talking to a Nymph/Dryad at either Druid's Grove or Windspear Hills. They would lament about a great tree that was corrupted by a demon, that would add the location to your map. When you get there it unfolds like normal, you enter the tree's depths, collect the three summoning stones and enter the circle. Instead of binding one of Dorn's demon patrons you could instead perform a ritual that would transport the Druid's corpse to the Beastlands for an astral burial of sorts. This would allow his mother some comfort and allow you to later finish Dorn's quest if you choose to. Alternatively you could have the option to deactivate the summoning circle by destroying the stones.

    - With Hexxat's quest, you'd have the option to remove Hexxat's hold over Clara by enlisting some help from the Temple of Lathander. The dominated Clara goes all Linda Blair for a second and is momentarily freed from the hold on her. However the Lathander priest says that they will have to track down the vampire responsible, for it's hold may come back to Clara. So the priest agrees to meet you by Dragomir's Tomb where he uses his deity's power to open the portal inside. From there on you defeat Dragomir and cross the Hexxat barrier with some Lathander magic. Eventually find yourself at Hexxat's Coffin where you use a stake given to you by the Lathander priest to snuff her undead life out. As for Clara she would be taken in by the Temple of Lathander to live, thus giving a good-aligned outcome to this quest.

    It could be possible to link the other two SoA tombs by letting the player fiddle around with the Casque they found on Hexxat's corpse. But that would be a little too forced.

    As for the ToB quests, they are probably too linked to the NPCs. Which honestly isn't too bad since ToB is pretty much linear beyond repair. But the SoA ones are easy to get alternative methods worked out.

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