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Advice for experiencing almost everything in BG1 in one playthrough

Hi

My topic is a bit long and incoherent, but please bear with me.

A bit of background info on how I play and how I view the game:
I have completed BG1 a few times before but I decided to give it another go - a proper, thorough playthrough that focuses on nostalgia, role playing and getting the most out of the game to the point, where thinking about it in the future will feel sickening. I want to "get it out of my system". But a game like this has such an immense depth to it that even after 20 years it still blows my mind. Which is why I refuse to simply rush through it again like I did in my younger years, where I perceived the game as "some Diablo clone with simply too much text to read". I want to feel that my arduous effort of "squeezing the most juice out of this lemon" (meaning, playing as completionist as possible without burning out from OCD) adds to my passion for my character, companions and that I feel involved and care about the story.

I play a Good party (Imoen, Khalid, Jaheira, Minsc and Dynaheir) that stays as true to the beginning of BG2 as possible. Heck, I even dual classed Imoen at exactly the same level as she appears in BG2.

I plan on importing my char into BG2 and continue from there. But before I do so, I want to experience as much as possible in BG1 without over-exhausting myself in the process. I even want to explore houses in the cities and finish as many meaningful quests as possible, but I imagine that most of the locations (and NPCs inside them) are rather generic. So I am willing to assess, what is worth doing and what is not. And I am willing to be more selective about what is worth doing and what I should let go. Sounds easy but it's not, which is why I could use some advice from some of you who has a lot of experience with the game.

To put it in other words. Has anyone in here played entire BG1 completionist-style, and is it worth it? Are there some cool and unexpected encounters or quests rather than the generic "hey, I don't like you, so now you die" encounters? Or "fetch me this item from this location" quests. I am talking mainly about exploring cities, walking inside the houses and talking with NPCs that don't start the conversation on their own.

I looked at http://mikesrpgcenter.com/bgate/maps.html and http://www.forgottenwars.com/bg1/index.htm but I can't decide. With a game like BG1 there are just an insane amount of possibilities. I have gotten to the point of my gaming life, where instead of just jumping into it naively and hoping to be surprised positively, I would rather like to know, if I am "wasting my time" doing something specific or rather, if it's worth it.

Take the city of Baldur's Gate, for instance. It's a huge city with tons of buildings to enter and tons of generic NPCs to talk to. If a (sub- or main-) quest points me towards a building, or my journal says that I should visit a place, I will go there. But inviting my OCD-Fairy to explore every single building, talk with every single NPC and read every single line, just for the sake of it. Then the madness begins. Then I could even take it to the next level and make sure that there is no Fog of War left.


So please tell me, dear RPGers, do you have some advice for me? Should I just stick to the main quest and do any sub-quests that I come across? Or is there actually a chance of something truly interesting on the locations of the map that are not marked (named map markers)?


Thanks for reading and may your OCD be dispelled.


Rodion

Comments

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,522
    well actually every single play through i have of bg1 that is exactly what i do, i uncover EVERY single piece of fog of war as possible, visit EVERY single area ( although there is a house i don't enter in BG the city since it doesn't have any treasure, not even 1 GP ) and the reason why i do this is because i play Gold Piece runs, because for whatever reason, that is the only way i can play bg1 now

    and the conclusion to this is; is it necessary to play this way? and the answer is; no, in fact, there is enough experience in the game where if you only went to the major areas to get the items of value/finish quests for XP/items and skipped out on werewolf island ( which in of itself is virtually pointless in going there because unless the staff mace is a useful weapon you can actually use then there is never any reason to go there ) you can still grab all the useful items and still gain enough XP to be at the level cap the time you hit the thief warrens/undercity

    so for example:

    how i used to play was i would visit ALL the areas ( except werewolf island ) and when i visited the area i would only do the special encounters/quests and only grab items that were worth more than say 25 GP, i wouldnt uncover any unnecessary fog of war and even with that said i would usually hit the XP cap of 161 000 the time i hit the thief maze/ underground city every time, and i would still have all the best items the game had to offer and i would still have around 350-500 gold pieces left over ( these runs would also include durlag's tower and i would usually end just right before the final battle there, and hence not need to go back to ulgoth's beard to finish up the quest )

    but now adays i play gold piece runs and it's a different story, now when i go to an area, i uncover every single piece of fog of war as possible, i go to werewolf island, i finish the durlag's tower quest all the way, and i loot everyone/everything and pick pocket a lot of people for more said items, and with that being said i will usually hit the XP cap in durlags tower ( right before the final battle in durlag's tower) in chapter 5 and that is still not going to werewolf island yet, and when i play those runs i will hit 660 000 gold pieces or more on average

    and i think the reason why i play like this now is because it gives me something to strive for, to see if i can break that gold piece record per se ( without exploits mind you ) before when i would just grab good items and just play through the game it started to get boring for me because there was no real satisfaction or goal to strive for that made it feel worth while, and even uncovering every single bit of fog of war and going to every single map and doing every single quest, and looting absolutely everything possible, my play throughs are still around 16 hours long, but then again, i have played this game 1000s of times ( and that is not even remotely an exaggeration ) so i suppose im very efficient when i play bg1

    so a normal playthrough will work like this:
    - never buy anything unless REP is 20 and have 20+ charisma unless the items is 1 GP or if it's the gem bag ( although i did buy the battle axe +1 today with 21 CHA and only 18 REP, but minsc direly needed a magical axe )
    - i will grab all my party members as soon as possible and then once i have them all i will go back to the areas that i have been to previously ( starting with the area that gorion was killed in ) and start uncovering all fog of war
    - i finish up every single area possible before i go the bandit camp ( including the frozen dungeon from ulgoth's beard but not durlag's tower except on very rare occasions ) or unless if kivan is on my team then i rush over to the bandit camp and once i fish that off i go back to the beginning of this step
    - usually the time i hit BG the city ( so absolutely everything is finished up by now, except for durlag's tower ) my team XP will be around 81 000+ per character and i will have 200 000+ gold with all necessary items bought
    - then depending on if i have a custom team or non custom team i will continue as follows; once my custom team completes the cloakwood mines i will go straight to durlag's tower and finish that up before i go to BG the city or if i play a non custom team, i will finish up all of BG the city first and then head over to durlag's tower and finish all of that up
    - once that step is complete and just before i go chapter 6, i will go off and do the werewolf island quest ( and usually around this time i will have around 500 000+ gold, and i've already hit the XP cap per character )
    - then after that is done i come back to BG then city go to chapter 6, do that stuff, then go to chapter 7, meet up with a certain someone in the ducal palace and once that is all done i say; "I've seen enough killing" so then i can tie up some loose ends and get some more treasure

    and then when all is said and done i will be at around 660 000+ gold and here i am at the undercity temple

    Grond0lefreutProont
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 3,215
    I've done plenty of runs in the way @sarevok57 describes, though I don't normally play that way these days. I don't though (and suspect he doesn't) talk to every unnamed individual in the game. If you're already unsure that you want to do that you may well find the benefits (in terms of quests you're not used to or amusing dialogue) are not worth the hassle.

  • SkatanSkatan Member Posts: 3,056
    There's houses with characters in them that add quests. To give you just one example:

    Baldur's gate NE: http://www.forgottenwars.com/bg1/ar0100.htm

    There's three very notable quests and cool encounters in houses there that you don't want to miss, but might miss if you don't have a habit of just barging into unknown people's houses (which is kinda wierd behavoir actually. "Hero coming through, open your door, let me in, I'm in search of evil and loots!".

    I totally understand what you mean about the experience and think you should either:
    A: Just do a complete run and clean out everything yourself. If you miss one or two things, it doesn't matter since you won't know you missed them.
    B: Follow a guide and clean out map by map. I've done this in other games, ie Fallout etc and it gives me a good experience even if some ppl scoff at it.

    Cheers.

    Grond0Proont
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,522
    also sometimes pick pocketing randoms can be rewarding, especially for one of the best items in the game ( if not THE best item in the game ) you have to pick pocket for it, or at least if you dont want to take a REP hit that is :)

  • ThelsThels Member Posts: 1,128
    Just remember to kill Jacil and Wiven before talking to Mendas and Sorrem!

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,834

    From the OP it was a bit hard to understand what you wanted, quite a lot of contradictory aims.

    First off, if you want to experience the game thoroughly, move away from having the same NPC in your party at all times. The straightforward canon party is the most straightforward boring party, mix the NPC up a bit.
    You will get a different take on different scenarios and fights will be different.
    And I suggest using the NPC Project mod, get those banters and backstories.

    Secondly, you want to do everything yet don't want to do everything?
    OK, well then do everything efficiently.

    You don't have to slog around dragging the whole party with you at all times. Park them in a corner of the map and then use a quicksave. Then use one hasted character to have a quick run round and see what you are going to enconter or if there is anything to encounter.

    If you find anything, revert to your save and do the area properly with everybody.

    This is particularly useful in BG city, and with the Boots of Speed, a lot of fun.
    It takes minutes at most to open everydoor and have a quick look to find out what's behind the door. And RPG style that fits, your thief wouldn't drag everybody with them while they were out thieving or casing locations. They would go out alone and then comeback and tell the party whether they had found something worth investigating.

    BG completionist style is worth it. I personally enjoy wandering through the wilderness areas anyway. I find if you play on harder levels and the fights are that bit harder to survive, uncovering trees and rocks and flowers always strikes me as a welcome break from the fighting.

    Grond0Proont
  • AlequeAleque Member Posts: 146
    No, I am keeping my current companions. I am playing a good, loyal character and I want to stick with my group no matter how much some of them can annoy me sometimes (especially Khalid). I just wish I could mute their voices without muting everyone else's voice: fatigued, banters, Jaheira's constant complaints about my 20 rep, etc.

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,834
    Aleque said:

    No, I am keeping my current companions. I am playing a good, loyal character and I want to stick with my group no matter how much some of them can annoy me sometimes (especially Khalid). I just wish I could mute their voices without muting everyone else's voice: fatigued, banters, Jaheira's constant complaints about my 20 rep, etc.

    Fair enough. :)
    But then you won't experience all BG has to offer.

  • DhariusDharius Member Posts: 156
    Despite what you've just said, for the sake of completion, it might be a good idea to run a 4 member party of whoever you like, then keep the other 2 slots free to rotate all NPCs to get their quests and dialogues. In terms of special dialogues and/or quests that specifically require having someone in your party and unlock unique information or items you'd be advised to have the following in your party at certain times in the game:

    Dorn (EE)
    Neera (EE)
    Rasaad (EE)
    Eldoth AND Skie (for a quest that only they can do)
    Jaheira and/or Khalid (special dialogues in BG and Nashkel)
    Xzar and/or Montaron (special dialogue in BG)
    Shar-Teel (special event)

    Don't want to give too much away as it'd be spoiling. Most other quests that give tangible rewards/info are available to any party.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,522
    Dharius said:

    Despite what you've just said, for the sake of completion, it might be a good idea to run a 4 member party of whoever you like, then keep the other 2 slots free to rotate all NPCs to get their quests and dialogues. In terms of special dialogues and/or quests that specifically require having someone in your party and unlock unique information or items you'd be advised to have the following in your party at certain times in the game:

    Dorn (EE)
    Neera (EE)
    Rasaad (EE)
    Eldoth AND Skie (for a quest that only they can do)
    Jaheira and/or Khalid (special dialogues in BG and Nashkel)
    Xzar and/or Montaron (special dialogue in BG)
    Shar-Teel (special event)

    Don't want to give too much away as it'd be spoiling. Most other quests that give tangible rewards/info are available to any party.

    also if Edwin is in your group there is a special dialogue with him in the woods of sharp teeth
    Coran also has a special dialogue with Brielbara in BG the city

  • AlequeAleque Member Posts: 146

    Aleque said:

    No, I am keeping my current companions. I am playing a good, loyal character and I want to stick with my group no matter how much some of them can annoy me sometimes (especially Khalid). I just wish I could mute their voices without muting everyone else's voice: fatigued, banters, Jaheira's constant complaints about my 20 rep, etc.

    Fair enough. :)
    But then you won't experience all BG has to offer.
    When I wrote "experience almost everything", I knew that I had to sacrifice certain aspects of that experience in this particular playthrough, especially regarding other party-NPCs, evil/neutral choices, dialogues, etc. If I decide to play an evil or neutral char one day, I will do the corresponding choices, replies and have NPCs with similar alignment or philosophies as myself (or as my character). But for now I will stick to the regular "vanilla" experience of good alignment and characters that are actually there at the beginning of BG2 :)

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