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I'm so lost...

PeldinPeldin Member Posts: 46
edited August 2016 in New Members Welcome Area
*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?

Post edited by Peldin on
RavenslightBelgarathMTHsparkleav

Comments

  • mf2112mf2112 Member, Moderator Posts: 1,919
    Hi @Peldin,

    You are a new member, so I would say this is the right area for your thread. Welcome to the forums!

    The EE editions of the games aren't that drastically different than the original versions plus some necessary fixpacks. It is a little work to get everything loaded with the originals but it isn't too bad if you already have them. I am lazy in my old age so I like the EE versions better, my time is worth more than a few bucks.

    I would generally suggest a well rounded party, a couple of front line fighter types, at least one cleric, at least one mage, and a thief. A full party splits experience and gains a bit more slowly, but will make fights more survivable overall. You can multiclass some together though. Make a fighter/mage, or a fighter/thief, or a fighter/cleric for strong options. You can make your own characters, but I always take mostly NPCs for the interparty banters.

    The issue with dual classing is that your character will be level 1 in a new class in what may be a prohibitively difficult area of the game for a level 1 character to survive. You will not regain the first class abilities until you gain enough experience points to have more levels in the second class. So if you take a fighter to second level, dual class to mage, then you need to become a level 3 mage to get your fighter weapon proficiencies back. That is an easy dual class and can help a mage survive quite nicely later on.

    Some people like to dual class when they reach level 9 or 13, so this means they may not get their first class back in BG1 at all, only once they get a ways into BG2. The tradeoff is those can be some powerful characters, but it isn't for everyone.

    There are indeed mods for many things. New characters, game behavior changes, convenience tweaks, all sorts of things. One important thing to remember about D&D is house rules. If you want to change how something works in your game, go for it. For instance, I always use the Tweaks anthology to Increase Ammo Stack Size. https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/50340/bg-ee-2-0-and-siege-of-dragonspear-compatible-mods/p1

    RavenslightPeldinsparkleav
  • lefreutlefreut Member Posts: 1,462
    edited November 2019
    ***

    Post edited by lefreut on
    Peldin
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,611
    The first to keep in mind is that any answers given here will be based on personal preference. If you ask any two people what is the best way to get started you are likely to get two different answers. You can find many threads on this forum talking about the ultimate setup, the best mods to use etc. In the end, they all boil down to the personal preferences of the person who is making the suggestions.

    The beauty of these games is how they can be approached in many different ways, by different types of players. I would suggest that you let people know a little more about what you personally enjoy in your game so that people with a similar play style will be prompted to make suggestions based on what they have found to be the most appealing.

    Mods are a wonderful thing. They allow you to add, or even take out, things in your own game that makes it more fun for you to play. But it is important that you know what each one of them does before you add it. I would never suggest that a new player add a big list of mods all at once just because they found that list in one enthusiastic thread.

    Once they feel that they are ready to try modding their game, I would suggest that a new player start off by adding one or two mods after first carefully reading the readme, along with any threads that they can find concerning the pros and cons of those mods.

    Here again you will find personal preference plays a big part in the recommendations that you will find. As odd as it may seem, you can sometimes find a mod that is perfect for you by reading a negative review made by someone else. What one person might absolutely hate, may be just the thing that you are looking for.

    It is also important to note that not all mods play well together. There can be conflicts between mods. One that might work perfectly by itself, or when combined with some other mods, may not work well when combined with others. It is always a good idea to make a note of it when players state that they have played certain mods together with no problems.

    I tend to agree with those that say it’s better not to use many mods when you first start paying the game. You need to first get an idea of what it is your changing. Not only that, but the base game is a wonderful experience all on it’s own. I would go so far as to suggest that you play the game as close to the original as possible.

    Of course to do this on modern computers requires that you first set up the game with some modding. If you want to go this route, I would suggest that you go with a setup like Tutu. You can find good information on how to do this on the Pocket Plane Group forums.

    Having said that, The EE editions are an excellent way to get started as well. The neat thing here is that it includes the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion and doesn’t require modding in order to get it up and running on modern computers. It does make some changes to the original game, for instance, how pickpocketing is handled, but for the most part, those are minor.

    As for class, go with what sounds like the most fun to you. Unless you are a power gamer, you are going to have the most fun with something that appeals to you on a personal level. Any class can do well in the game.

    mf2112BelgarathMTHsparkleavgorgonzola
  • ber5nie5ber5nie5 Member Posts: 308
    welcome! some really awesome input already given here. so i'll just add a link for you that's old, but has helped me alot over the years. not only as a walkthrough, but also different strategies and hints that you may find helpful. gamefaqs.com/pc/75251-baldurs-gate/faqs/60538

    as raven has already said, everybody's preferences are different. i'd recommend playing bgee, sod, and bg2ee. they've added new npc's to meet and party with. so you will totally miss out on that experience if you decide to go with the original game. the original npc's are still there as well as some added ones who have their own side quests as well. the more content, the better experience i always say. :)

    Ravenslight
  • PeldinPeldin Member Posts: 46
    Thank you for your response @mf2112
    I don't think I have the originals anymore. However, is it possible to buy the originals instead of the EE's? Is there any reason to do that instead of just buying the EE's? Also are there any other mods besides Tweaks you would suggest that aren't game-changing? Like aesthetic mods or other QoL mods that will just make things better?

    @lefreut thank you for responding. Do you enjoy the new expansion? I read that it goes chronologically between BG1 and BG2, so how does that work? Do I have to create a new character if I play BG1 -> BG2 -> SoD? As for mods, I'm not really interested in content-changing mods. Maybe I will be in the future, but I'm more interested in other mods that just improve quality of life or improved dialogue... ya know? Stuff like that. Also, do you have any recommendations as far as class goes for my main character? I'm leaning toward using the first people that join you and going as a Fighter/Thief. Is F/T going to be ok at the end of BG2 or am I going to drop off.

    I'm basically wanting to make a character that can get through the game relatively quickly for my first time to enjoy the story. Then I can go back and play through with other characters and/or mods to challenge myself or explore other parts of the game that I missed the first time.

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,611
    @Peldin said:
    I don't think I have the originals anymore. However, is it possible to buy the originals instead of the EE's?

    As for being able to buy the original games, you can still buy the entire series including BG and BGII along with their expansions through Amazon. It is called Baldur’s Gate 4 in one boxed set and costs $11.25, as of my search this morning.

    Peldin said:
    but I'm more interested in other mods that just improve quality of life or improved dialogue... ya know?

    For more dialogue with the NPCs, the NPC Project found at Gibberlings 3 is widely liked. This adds more dialogue to the base game NPCs. This can be used with most versions of the game.

    As BelgarathMTH mentioned, the EE editions also add 3 other new NPCs to the game.

    mf2112
  • lefreutlefreut Member Posts: 1,462
    edited November 2019
    ***

    Post edited by lefreut on
    mf2112
  • jobbyjobby Member Posts: 181
    Welcome @Pedlin !
    I will give you a slightly more prescriptive idea of how I think you could enjoy the series as an uninterrupted narrative, feel free to disregard any part or all of this and do your own thing though :)

    I would recommend for you're first play-through that you go with the good-aligned "canon" party, this involves picking up the first person you meet then going to meet the people Gorion suggests at the start of the game and finally recruiting a rather odd Ranger you will meet in Nashkel and joining him on his quest.

    If you go with this party you will have a:
    1. Theif
    2. Fighter
    3. Fighter/Druid multiclass
    4. Ranger; and a
    5. Mage
    This is a fairly balanced party for BG1 regardless of what you class you mainchar chooses, I would personally avoid dual-classing on a first play-through as the down time to re-activate your first class can be frustrating. If you are really desperate to create the best possible character then this site contains a lot of useful information:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20120325172757/http://playithardcore.com/pihwiki/index.php?title=Baldur's_Gate:_Classes_and_Kits

    Regarding mods I would wholeheartedly recommend the NPC project if you are looking for more NPC interaction.

    Unfortunately it may create slight inconsistencies between the characterisation of NPCs between BG1 (NPC mod - modders characterisations) and SOD (Beamdogs characterisations) which is something to consider.

    One other mod you may want to consider is Unfinished Business (UB) which restores some cut questlines.

    One other rather important thing, if you are playing on Steam and install the full series including SOD and want to utilise the aforementioned mods you will need to run "Modmerge" it is stickied at the top of the "General Modding" category.

    Don't feel bound to the "canon" party by any means especially if you do choose to utilise the NPC mod which adds personalities to all of the BG1 characters. One of the best things about the game is that there are so many different characters to choose from.

    Regardless, enjoy your return to the series and I hope it re-kindles the excitement you felt on your first playthrough. :)

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,238
    To put in short terms, no it is not going to be vastly different. The UI has been changed to an updated BG2 UI, classes and NPCS were added and new areas were added. The rules are the same, the plot was not changed, and things that were there before were not removed.

  • PeldinPeldin Member Posts: 46
    The responses here have been fantastic. I haven't had the time to respond to everyone individually but I have read every response and have been collaborating your input with other posts and threads on this forum and others. I guess all I'm trying to say is thank you so much for the answers and advice. It is very much appreciated!

    RavenslightZaramMaldovar
  • NimranNimran Member Posts: 4,848
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    Welcome!
    I am using the original not EE games and they are still great. They are also cheap, but I don't know if this is relevant to you.
    Using them you loose some new NPCs and reading the boards (as I did never tried them using not EE) I see that some players find them great and others are not happy about them. Beamdog creating them used its style, that is different from the style of the original developers. And when there is something new, different, as usual some people appreciate and others disagree. Loosing them you loose also their personal quests. But there is plenty of NPC mods for not EE, some of them well written and with the NPC personal quest.
    Anyway many mods, but not all, have been made compatible with EE, for others the conversion work is in progress, so if you choose EE you don't prevent yourself from modding the game.
    And you loose SoD, a completely new game. And LoB, a new super hard difficulty setting that give to the enemies a lot of HP and other bonuses, a thing for experienced players and not the only way to rise the challenge. Some players like it and others prefer mods that tone down OP spells and items and enhance their AI, making the mages smarter and preventing some cheap tactics.
    But using not EE you can use mods that are not EE compatible, so you loose but also gain something.
    I think that in the future the new content and the changes that will come will make the original games obsolete, but imho at now is really up to you and any way you'll choose you'll not be disappointed.

    About dual classing, as also others have told, wait until you know the game better.
    Playing a multi is different, you don't have a period when your first class is inactive and you play starting the second at level 1 with all the bonuses of the first inactive, you don't have to decide when to dual.
    Each of the classes will gain only half of the XP, so you will level up slower, but as the relation between XP and levels is not linear each class will be only 1 or 2 levels away from a single class. And at 3M XP, when you'll begin to gain HLA (High level abilities) you will have access at the pools of both the classes.
    Or just play a single class, that if you are not obsessed with the power, is just as funny and more than adeguate to beat the game as you have a party to help you and to do the things that your class can not do.

    About using mods they are completely different from using cheat codes or hacks. A mod changes the environment in which you play. It can do it adding a new NPC or a new quest, it can do it adding very powerful items or removing or toning down original items that are too powerful. And mods can enhance the enemies making them smarter, making them stronger and also making them cheat.
    Using the mods you can somehow shape your game as you like, you can fill the game with OP stuff and make everything easier or you can make the game a lot harder giving more power and/or intelligence to the enemies. Or maybe you can make the enemies harder and also give yourself some help, an item that in the vanilla game is OP in a game much harder then vanilla can be adequate.

    But to shape the game as you like you have first to know the game, find out how is hard to beat for you, discover what you like and what you want to have changed.......

    So I suggest to buy the games EE or originals is up to you, create a Charname and go trough an unmodded game.
    As class I suggest Fighter, Mage or Thief or a multi combining 2 of those 3 classes. And as in the party you will have anyway at least a Fighter and a Mage and a Thief is really not important which one is Charname, you will play and enjoy all of them. Choose the one that you feel more affine to you, so you'll have a better RP experience.

    And have a great fun plying those beautiful games!

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