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Newbie here, a couple of quick questions.

KaitekKaitek Member Posts: 42
edited April 2016 in General Modding
Hey guys, complete modding newbie here, I'm super excited to spice up this old game with a ton of new and awesome content. I've been reading stuff on this forum all day, I've read the instructions and I know what I need to do before I start installing mods etc but there's still a bit of information that I'm missing. I'm really sorry if I missed something obvious but I have a few questions before I can start modding.

1. My biggest concern is regarding Steam itself because I've read that every game patch/update that comes out totally wipes out every mod and ruins the savegames and thus the entire playthrough. That would be a nightmare scenario if it happened to me, if a random patch ruined my save and wiped all of my mods in the middle of my game. So I don't understand how people mod so much without fear of updates?!? I already know that I can't stop Steam from auto updating so I don't know what else am I missing here.

2. My second question is regarding the mods itself, I picked out a bunch of them (full list below) and was just wondering is it possible to install all of them at the same time without any issues? If I missed an awesome mod please let me know!

Sword Coast Stratagems
Battle Enhancer
Dark side of the Sword Coast
Dark Horizons
Drizzt Saga
Stone of Askavar
Romantic Encounters
Sirine's Call
BG1 NPC Project & Music
BG2 Tweak Pack
NPC MOD Installer (Gives NPCs kits)
Tenya, Valerie, Vynd and Helarine
Warsling Sniper KIT
TeamBG Weapons and Armors
Deidre & Joluv, Wand Case, Convinient Ammunition
Chatty Imoen, Neera Expansion and Xan's Friendship
Lighting Pack

3. Third and last question is regarding Siege of Dragonspear. I still haven't installed it, I only have BGEE installed. So what is the correct install order here, do I need to install SoD before I install any of those mods? I don't know what would happen if I install SoD AFTER all these mods, would that ruin everything?

Once again sorry if these are dumb questions but like I said I have no experience with modding in general so any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,468
    edited April 2016
    Rules to live by: 1) Don't patch in the middle of a game. 2) Don't change your mod setup in the middle of a game. 3) Reinstall your mod setup after you patch. 4) Start a new game after you patch or reinstall mods.

    It's that simple.

    The sequence should be something like this:
    - play a game
    - install mods
    - start a new game
    - reinstall mods differently
    - start a new game
    - patch your game
    - reinstall mods
    - start a new game
    - reinstall mods differently again
    - start a new game
    - etc.

    If you are contemplating something that would break one of those rules, or go out of that sequence, just don't do it. Simple!

    Post edited by subtledoctor on
    JuliusBorisov
  • argent77argent77 Member Posts: 2,809
    1. It's generally a good idea to start the game directly instead of using a game manager (such as Beamdog launcher or Steam client). That way you can't (accidently) update the game and invalidate your mod installation.

    2. Afaik, Sword Coast Stratagems has some issues with the latest game patch. There is already a fix for it available though. See this post for more information.
    Instead of BG2 Tweak Pack you should use the Tweaks Anthology. It's the successor of the BG2 Tweak Pack.
    I can't say much about the remaining mods in your list, except that the Lighting Pack has already been made compatible with the latest game patches.

    3. Installing SoD has the same effect as installing a new game patch. It will invalidate most or all of your mods. In the case of Steam (and GOG) you'll also have to run the modmerge tool before you can start modding the game, as the expansion is installed in a very mod-unfriendly manner.

    JuliusBorisov
  • KaitekKaitek Member Posts: 42
    Thanks for the replies guys, things are much clearer now. Can't honestly wait to start playing around with all these mods.
    argent77 said:

    1. It's generally a good idea to start the game directly instead of using a game manager (such as Beamdog launcher or Steam client). That way you can't (accidently) update the game and invalidate your mod installation.

    Wait, are you saying that if I launch the game from desktop then Steam WON'T update it (if there is an update available)? Does that mean that I can finish my save EVEN IF there is an update waiting to be patched on Steam? If so, that would be amazing, because I hate the idea of having to randomly restart a save just because Steam forces me to update my game to the latest version.
    argent77 said:

    3. Installing SoD has the same effect as installing a new game patch. It will invalidate most or all of your mods. In the case of Steam (and GOG) you'll also have to run the modmerge tool before you can start modding the game, as the expansion is installed in a very mod-unfriendly manner.

    Okay, so if I understood correctly I should install SoD right away BEFORE I start installing all of the above mods? Or are you suggesting that I don't install SoD no matter before/after because it will ruin most of those mods? Sorry, that part wasn't clear.

  • rapsam2003rapsam2003 Member Posts: 1,636
    Kaitek said:

    Wait, are you saying that if I launch the game from desktop then Steam WON'T update it (if there is an update available)? Does that mean that I can finish my save EVEN IF there is an update waiting to be patched on Steam?

    Yes. And yes. It is amazing.
    Kaitek said:

    Okay, so if I understood correctly I should install SoD right away BEFORE I start installing all of the above mods? Or are you suggesting that I don't install SoD no matter before/after because it will ruin most of those mods? Sorry, that part wasn't clear.

    Check here for a list of mods compatible with SoD: https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/50340/bg-ee-2-0-and-siege-of-dragonspear-compatible-mods

  • KaitekKaitek Member Posts: 42
    edited April 2016
    Thanks for a fast reply rapsam. How exactly do you guys run a modded game then to avoid Steam updates? Do I need to be in offline mode on Steam or create a special non-Steam shortcut for the game or something, I found a shortcut for BGEE that I put on desktop but the URL of it says "steam://rungameid/228280" so it may be the same as running the game from Steam client.

    Regarding SoD I already checked out that list of mods compatible with SoD earlier but I will simplify my question because I've not yet received a straight answer, if half of the answer is being implied that doesn't really help a newbie like myself, but I do appreciate the effort regardless! :) So the question was, is my game going to work fine if I first install BGEE, then SoD, then modmerge, then all of those mods that I listed in the 1st post? I don't care much if most of those mods don't work with SoD, as long as I can continue my BGEE save into SoD and later into BG2EE etc.

    Sorry for all the dumb questions, this is complicated stuff for a newcomer :blush:

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,468
    Kaitek said:

    So the question was, is my game going to work fine if I first
    - install BGEE,
    - then SoD,
    - then modmerge,
    - then all of those mods that I listed in the 1st post?

    This is the correct method, yes. (Hope you don't mind I chopped up your post for clarity and for other potential newbies out there. :smile:

  • rapsam2003rapsam2003 Member Posts: 1,636
    Kaitek said:

    Thanks for a fast reply rapsam. How exactly do you guys run a modded game then to avoid Steam updates?

    1. Go to the following directory:
      C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Baldur's Gate Siege of Dragonspear\Data\00806
    2. Find the file SiegeOfDragonspear.exe and create a shortcut for it.
    3. Place your shortcut wherever you want.
    Kaitek said:

    Sorry for all the dumb questions, this is complicated stuff for a newcomer :blush:

    No, you're fine. :)

  • BillyYankBillyYank Member Posts: 2,769
    Another thing to consider is that all versions of the games, even the ones from Steam, are DRM free. You can copy the entire game directory to a different location, install mods and create a new shortcut to run that installation directly. That way, Steam or the other vendors can update the original copy and it won't touch your working copy. They will share the Documents and save space, so you might need to manage your baldur.lua files.

    Gozeta
  • KaitekKaitek Member Posts: 42
    edited April 2016
    Thanks guys!

    Go to the following directory:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Baldur's Gate Siege of Dragonspear\Data\00806
    Find the file SiegeOfDragonspear.exe and create a shortcut for it.
    Place your shortcut wherever you want.
    I just installed SoD but I only have a Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition folder and a baldur.exe in it, did you mean that one? As far as I can tell SoD is just a DLC so it's part of the BGEE installation, it doesn't have it's own folder and it's own shortcut (on Windows 10).

    Btw, does anyone know when the next patch is coming out? I heard that it may be coming in the next few days so I don't know if I should wait for it before I start modding.

    Post edited by Kaitek on
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,468
    Use the modmerge utility (pinned in this forum). Then perform the steps that rapsam said, for your BGEE executable. I think that will then include SoD.

  • KaitekKaitek Member Posts: 42
    edited April 2016
    Welp, I installed everything perfectly and then I messed everything up at the very end so I'm starting over with a fresh install.

    I installed BGEE and SoD, linked the dialog.tlk, modmerged the DLC, and ended up installing the following mods, in the following order:

    - Lighting Pack
    - Convenient Ammunition
    - TeamBG Armor Pack
    - TeamBG Weapon Pack
    - Sirine's Call
    - BG1 Unfinished Business
    - BG Romantic Encounters
    - BG1 NPC
    - Vynd NPC
    - Tenya NPC
    - Chatty Imoen
    - A Simple XP Cap Remover
    - Tweaks Anthology
    - Sword Coast Stratagems
    - Non-Player Characters Enhanced, for Everyone

    Everything installed fine and seemed to work nicely, well everything except the Awesome Soundsets mod which I randomly installed on day one without really knowing anything about modding. The soundsets from that mod obviously didn't work anymore so I just wanted to quickly uninstall them before I started playing but then Weidu started uninstalling all sorts of things like SCS and then reinstalling them and I think there were numerous errors in the process, so yeah then I just uninstalled and deleted everything after a very long and awkward facepalm moment. I'm going to install the same above mods in the same order, please feel free to correct anything I might be doing wrong, or could do better.

    Also, somebody on Reddit told me this, and I was wondering if I should do that instead?

    "A better way to prevent updates from wiping out mods is to leave the install in the Steam folder clean, copy the game folder somewhere else and mod that. It will still hook into Steam and the game will still work properly but when updates come your modded install won't be wiped out."

    Don't know if that's true and if people do it with BGEE but it sounds like a much better way to mod.

  • BillyYankBillyYank Member Posts: 2,769
    That's always the way I do mods. Keep a clean install in the normal place and keep your mods safe in their own area. You can even do that multiple times to experiment with different mod combinations at the same time.

    argent77GenderNihilismGirdle
  • argent77argent77 Member Posts: 2,809
    edited April 2016
    The mod order looks fine to me. The Lighting Pack can be installed in any position. If you plan to reinstall it with different presets you should probably install it last though.

  • KaitekKaitek Member Posts: 42
    edited April 2016
    Awesome, thanks guys, I'll create a separate folder for the modded game tomorrow then. I understand now why the load order is important, I'm fine with Lighting Pack at recommended settings, I want the NPC Enhanced mod last so I can easily switch classes and kits for NPCs depending on how I want to play.

    Btw, if anyone knows the answer to my question at the end of this thread I'd appreciate it (https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/766246#Comment_766246), it's the last missing piece of the modding puzzle for me, I don't know if I'm "allowed" to mess around with the items in such manner.

  • BillyYankBillyYank Member Posts: 2,769
    You can edit your dialog.tlk to create a new item with Near Infinity or DLTCEP.

    If you want a safer way to do it, check out the instructions in this thread:
    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/55150/how-to-use-weidu-to-edit-carsomyr

    GenderNihilismGirdle
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