*EDIT* I realize this is a HUGE wall of text, so I will do a TLDR:
TLDR - I have no idea what's happened to Baldur's Gate since like 2001. I only played through BG1/2 once each and I would like to start playing again but I don't know where to begin. Is BGEE and BG2EE going to be drastically different? What are mods and should I use them or wait until I've played through? For a more detailed background and for anyone who's feeling really helpful, please continue to read.
I feel like I should clarify that I have no Dungeons and Dragons background. I just really liked BG when I was in high school and I've always like RPG games ever since Dragon Warrior on the Nintendo. I probably would have played more with Icewind Dale and Neverwinter Nights and anything else BioWare developed if I hadn't got caught up in MMORPGs like Everquest, World of Warcraft, and Final Fantasy 11.
Well, now I'm married. I'm not only married. I have 3 kids and 1 on the way. That means MMORPG's and mainly online games in general are basically a thing of the past for me. There is no time in my life for me to be a good husband, good father, and a reliable gamer all at the same time. It's taken me a 4th pregnancy to finally realize this, but better late than never. So back to single-player games that I can pause at a moment's notice when one of my kids gets hurt, or my pregnant wife needs help with the pickle jar so she can dip her pickles in ice cream, etc.
Ok so yesterday I was thinking I wanted to try Baldur's Gate again. It's been a decade or so. I thought "I could probably find a cheap/free download on Steam or something." I decided to google "Baldur's Gate" and HOLY CRAP!
I've been constantly reading Baldur's Gate stuff all day today, almost exclusively on this forum. Apparently there is this new expansion out now, but a lot of people don't like what Amber what's-her-face did with some kind of political agenda shoutout or something. I need to read more up on it but it doesn't look like I'll be interested in the expansion either. Apparently both BG1 and BG2 have expansions that came out in '99 and '01??? I don't know how I missed that!
Anyway, I played BG1 and BG2 years and YEARS ago. I don't think I ever actually beat BG1 though. I know I remember getting in to the city of Baldur's Gate itself but I don't remember anything after that. I'm like 90% sure I played through and beat BG2 but it was while I was in Iraq and there were a lot of distractions for me so I don't really remember it too well. I honestly can't even remember what class I was when I played through BG2.
So anyway, after reading through a lot of discussion threads here, I really want to play through again. I want to make sure to get the expansions and stuff too. But where do I even begin? Apparently there is this whole BG:EE and BG2:EE thing going on now too. But a lot of people still play the original versions. Also, apparently there are these things called mods that people use instead of playing the EE versions and they call them mods instead of cheat codes or hacks because it's like more legit or something. I don't know.
I'm honestly just pretty confused. I actually read through a post on a different forum about the "Ultimate Baldur's Gate Experience." Here's the link: http://tamrielfoundry.com/topic/the-ultimate-baldurs-gate-experience/
So the thing is, this post was like almost 3 years go. Is this something I should consider? Can anyone here give me a pros/cons on doing this as opposed to just buying BG:EE and BG2:EE and playing legit? I'm also wondering if there is a website that is more for beginner/returning players. I'm interested in reading through beginner guides and stuff like that. Also, where do I even go to get started on learning about mods?? Should I even bother with mods yet or just play through the game once?
I've also been thinking a lot today about what I want to play when I start again. I've read through a lot of posts on here and people suggest all sorts of different classes for beginners, returning players, roleplayers, etc. Dual classing is almost never suggested for beginners but it sounds like a lot of fun to me, although I have no idea when I "should" dual class. Maybe I should just go the multi-class route? I don't really even know the difference except that multi-class basically keeps splitting the xp between the two classes while dual class completely stops xp in one class and starts in another. But I have no idea what kind of implications that has for me later on. I don't want to find myself half way through BG2 before I realize I dual classed too early or too late or that I chose a multi-class that kinda sucks later on.
I'm really sorry for this huge wall of text. I feel like I've spent all day reading about Baldur's Gate and I honestly feel like I have a lot more questions than when I started and by tomorrow I'm sure I'll have even more as I keep reading stuff.
*EDIT* I just realized this post probably didn't even go to the right category. Would anyone be willing to tell me how I can move my post to the appropriate category?