David Cook (davidcook) wrote,
David Cook

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BG progress ...

So, last night I finally finished BG I (plus the Secret of Bone Hill mod, which includes two old AD&D modules, L1 - The Secret of Bone Hill, and L2 - The Assasain's Knot). I don't think I finished (or found) every single quest, but I did a fair number of them, and I was getting itchy to move on to BG II.
Here are a few thoughts on the game so far:

  • the Baldur's Gate Trilogy (BGT) mod (plus Big Picture) seem to be behaving reasonably well. No major glitches, every now and then a misplaced line of dialog, and that's about it. One little issue after leaving Baldur's Gate city the first time, I couldn't get in to Candlekeep, even though I had the right book - checking the script for the area (using DLTCEP[1]) it was checking for the Chapter number to be 7, and for some reason it was still 6 for me, even after seeing the movie etc on leaving BG. Changed that and all continued normally.
  • one aspect of using the BG II engine which makes the game much easier - when mages scribe spells into their spellbook, and when thieves disarm traps or open locks, the party earns XP. For scrolls, 1000XP per level of the spell, up to 950 per lock, and up to 2750 per trap. Needless to say, at BG I levels these make a huge difference to the speed of progress, and between that and the extra quests, the party gained a lot more XP than usual for BG I. The original XP cap for BG I is 89,000, the updated cap with Tales of the Sword Coast installed is 161,000, and my party ended up with over 400,000. I believe there is a mod somewhere which reduces these rewards considerably.
  • The Secret of Bone Hill quests were quite good overall. I do wish mod authors would get someone to double-check their use of "your" versus "you're" and so on (wear/where/were, there/their/they're, to/too). Unfortunately, the balance wasn't quite right - tons of loot that wouldn't be out of place in BG II, and they used the BG II versions of some monsters, which meant that some had spell scrolls up to 8th level or so. Still, it was a nice diversion, and mostly good fun (the second part of the mod kicks in when you're heading back to BG city from Candlekeep - by then I was thinking the game would be over soon, but I had a whole new quest to solve first ... ).
  • The transition is fairly well done, and I had a couple of pleasant surprises :

    • Minsc had the same XP starting BG II as he'd finished with in BG I, and so did Imoen - and she was still a pure Thief class. This was somewhat unexpected, because in "pure" BG II she starts as Thief 7 dualled to Mage (lv 8 at the start), no matter what classes/levels she finished with in BG I. I didn't think about dualling her in BG I because I was expecting it to be undone by BG II, but that didn't happen ... now I have to decide if and when to dual ... hmmm.
    • One of the mods changes a couple of the encounters in the starting dungeon of BG II - but mostly in an interesting way, rather than the over-the-top excesses of the "Improved Ilyich" component of the Tactics mod (for example). However, there were Surprise!Ettins and LookBehindYou!Ogres in a sneaky little ambush right before the exit which were perhaps a little bit much ...
    • There's a nice little transition scene added between the end of BG I and the start of BG II, which mostly makes the start of BG II make sense - although when we meet Mae'Var later he should recognise us from then, which may make it a little tricky to infiltrate his organisation.

[1] DLTCEP - an editor for Infinity Engine games, originally created as part of the Dragonlance Total Conversion project, but useful for general editing use.

Edit: Disabled comments, as this post keeps attracting random spam comments.

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