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DavidNowlin

The Mod I'd Like to See

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You ever feel a little funny about doing side quests? I mean, it doesn't really make much sense, does it? You're a man (or woman) on a mission and you take time out of your busy revenging schedule to go explore the Cloudpeak Mountains? What's that about?

 

The game is set up in such a way that you sort of have to ignore what would be any rational (or at least properly motivated) main character's fairly pressing agenda. I come to this from an RP background (rather than a strictly computer game background) and that's always just bothered the hell out of me.

 

Seriously, let's take a look at what the game *should* look like. Spoilers.

 

You walk out of Candlekeep and Gorion tells you "When I die here in about ten seconds, go to the Friendly Arm Inn."

So you go there and you meet Kahlid and Jaheira and they say "Let's go to Nashkel."

So you go there and you're not in town eight seconds before Berrun runs right up to you waving his arms and screaming "Can you go to the mines? People are dying."

So you go there and you kill Mullahey and you find a note that says "Tranzig is in the Feldepost's Inn. Kill him and all will be revealed."

Who would go anywhere but *right* there? So you do it and Tranzig tells you with his dying breath where the Bandit Camp is.

So you do it and you kill the baddies and you find another letter that says "Go to Cloakwood."

So you do it and you kill Davaeorn and you find out that the rest of the mystery is in Baldur's Gate.

Again, who would go anywhere but *right* there? So you do it and the first person you meet is Scar and he tells you to go to the Flaming Fist headquarters. The fate of the world may depend upon it.

So you go there and he says to look into the Seven Suns and report back.

So you go and kill the dopplegangers and head back and he tells you that there's something in the Sewers that's killing folk.

So you go down there and kill everything you can find and go back and Scar tells you that he's going to work on some paperwork and then he'll meet you outside the Fist (presumably he means in a few hours, not weeks).

It ain't much, but hey, FINALLY you can take a nap. So you go to an Inn and get up bright and early and go talk to him again and he sends you to the Iron Throne.

From there it's on to Candlekeep.

From there back to the Gate to tell everyone what Sarevok's up to.

You save Eltan and find out that Sarevok is about to be crowned king so you go to stop it.

From there into the Maze and the Undercity and the final battle.

And then, of course, back to the city to talk to the Duke and you know what happens next.

 

There are very few places in there where you can say "Oh, okay, I've got some time now, so I'm going to go steal everything I can find in Beregost," or "I'm going to go help Drizzt kill some Gnolls," or "I'm going to go spelunking along the sword coast with Safana."

 

The great thing about SoA is it takes care of this for you. You can take as much or as little time as you want accumulating that 10000 gold you need to move on with the plot and you can do every side quest in the game.

 

But in BG1, when I want to do those things I usually have to just 'pretend' that I don't have the information that I have. And, yes, I know the game is all about pretending stuff, but for some reason it just bothers me to go around exploring and racking up experience and shopping and questing when there's evil afoot in the realm. So here's what I'd do if I were a modder (which I'm not, btw):

 

I'd create the "Realistic RPer Mod" or the "Wanting to Wander Mod" or whatever and what it would do would be pretty simple. It would give you the chance to avoid getting critical information until you want it. You'd have to change about four or five things.

 

First, Tranzig, Vai and Elminster:

 

I'd take out Tranzig's ability to give you the location of the Bandit Camp and give that to Vai instead. Every time you talk to Vai to sell her bandit scalps you'd have a new OOC option that says something like "[i'm ready to move on]" or an IC option where you say something like, "*whistles and looks around* Lovely day we're having," and when you click on it, she says "Hey, we got some new info on where these SOBs are coming from. There's some kind of camp somewhere up in the Northeast... Lemme show you on your map. Bet you could get a bunch of scalps there! I'd go myself, but, frankly that's why I've got you." Also, you'd want to make Elminster's Beregost spawn contingent on this instead of whatever it's contingent upon now because he sends you northeast as well and if you really want the freedom to go southwest, it'd be best if he didn't do that 'till you were ready.

 

Second, Scar:

 

When you finish Scar's little quests, you should have the option of not getting the next one for a while. And I don't mean an option like where Scar says "I've got another job for you cause people are dying" and you say, "Yeah, not right now man, I'm sorta hungry." I mean an option not to know about the next job. Like, every time you finish a quest for Scar (the Seven Suns and the Ogre Mage in the Sewers) he should give you your reward and then shut up. Or say something like, "If you need anything, I'll be here." And, again, there's the obvious "I'm ready to move on" option that you can click and start the ball rolling again. If you don't click it, he stands there and waits for you to get ready.

 

Finally, Duke Eltan:

 

Same thing. When you've killed Sarevok and you're ready to move on to SoA you go back and talk to the Duke and he says "Thanks, kid. Ya done good," pats you on the head and says, "If you ever need anything else, come see me."

 

You can see what I'm going for here, right? With this installed, you could go through the Nashkel mines at the appropriate pace and then wander around as long as you want "hunting bandits" while you do everything you want in the southern part of the map before heading off back to the north. Then you go do the Bandit Camp and Cloakwood at the normal pace and then wander around Baldur's gate and all the other areas in the north doing whatever there is to do because you can legitmately say "I don't know *what* I'm supposed to do now... so I guess I'll help this guy kidnap that other guy's nymph" or whatever. Then you do the end game and kill Sarevok and, instead of getting whisked off to Amn that very day (without resting or relearning spells or stashing your valuables someplace safe), you can head out to Ulgoth's Beard and Durlag's Tower and do everything there is left to do from BG1 and TotSC with this calm feeling in your heart that you saved the day and you don't have any more obligations.

 

You can spend (in game) months exploring around or doing romances and sidequests and relaxing by the beach with a pina colada in your hand or spending the merry bushels of gold you've accumulated on your quests. Maybe open a store or tavern in a quiet little corner of the city where you trade stories with the locals over a mug of mead ("You think *your* dad was a bastard, wait'll ya hear how *mine* screwed me over!") while you sell off all of those halberds and swords and short bows you've got in your bag of holding. Hell, there's lots of empty space around now that you've killed so many people.

 

So you go to Duke Eltan to ask him who you talk to if you wanna get a building permit around here and he says, "CHARNAME! I'm so glad you're here! Amn's about to invade!"

 

I haven't played all the way through to Throne of Bhaal in BGT yet so I don't know if there's an option after you defeat Irenicus that lets you just mill around in Amn before moving on to the last chapter of the saga, but if there isn't, I'd create one. And also I'd like to have more of a pause to do stuff after you get out of the underdark. As I recall it's pretty much go go go from the moment you get Imoen back.

 

Seriously, I'd do this myself if I could, but I don't know how. Hell, I'd be happy to do it myself if someone would just promise to tell me how and help me through it, but I don't know the first thing about coding. Would this be hard? I mean, you really just have to change a five things in BG1:

 

1. Elminster's Beregost Spawn

2. Tranzig's Map Update (and really, this one doesn't matter, having it on the map doesn't mean my character really knows it's there if he hasn't read it a letter or heard someone say it).

3. Officer Vai's Bandit Scalp Buyer Dialogue

4. Scar's Congrats on Finishing the Seven Suns/Ogre Mage Quest Dialogue

5. Duke Eltan's Congrats on Killing Sarevok Dialogue

 

That's it. Maybe one thing in SoA giving you more time after Irenicus is dead. How tough could that be?

 

Maybe I'm crazy, though, and this doesn't bother anybody else. Or maybe it would be a lot of work and not worth it. But if anyone else has always felt a little rushed-through-it-all (preferably someone with some modding knowledge) maybe we could get together and try to fix it.

Edited by DavidNowlin

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Huh? BG1 is like the *least* rushed game of all times. :cool: Yes, there are main story-line quests, but they are not pressing like in BG2. I never really feel that there was any need whatsoever to listen to Gorion or do whatever at a speed (with the exception of a couple of quests in the end.). The entire Chapter 2 was one glorious exploration at your own leasure thinggie....

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Huh? BG1 is like the *least* rushed game of all times. :cool: Yes, there are main story-line quests, but they are not pressing like in BG2. I never really feel that there was any need whatsoever to listen to Gorion or do whatever at a speed (with the exception of a couple of quests in the end.). The entire Chapter 2 was one glorious exploration at your own leasure thinggie....

 

;) You didn't feel like maybe you should do something about those guys dying down in that mine? Or about those bandits killing all those people on the road? Or your evil half-brother who's trying to start that war with that other country?

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Er... on second thought, I think I see what you mean. If you don't pick up Xzar and Montaron and you don't go to the Friendly Arm Inn and get Jaheira and Khalid, you can wander around doing whatever you like for as long as you like with no clue that you should be heading for Nashkel.

 

I hadn't really thought about that. But I've never played the game where I didn't go pick up J&K immediately. It'd be easy not to. You get to the Friendly Arm and you talk to everyone from the second floor on up, but you just never run into the people Gorion told you to find.

 

How you'd survive at level 1 long enough to go find other NPCs, I don't know. You'd have to run straight to Beregost and pick up Garrick and Kagain, probably. And then if you wanted Minsc or Edwin, you'd have to avoid Berrun Ghastkill in Nashkill and go around the river to the south bridge to pick them up, but aside from that, yeah, you'd be pretty free to do whatever the hell you wanted for as long as you wanted.

 

I'll have to try that on my next run through.

 

But I stand by my original post. :cool: I'd still like to have the mod that gives you total freedom to roam.

Edited by DavidNowlin

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Well at the beginning you don't really know much of what's going on. For starters you don't have to head to the Friendly Arm Inn if you are of the opinion that you want to forge your own destiny. From an RP perspective, it could be an exciting time. Finally free of the shackles of Candlekeep and the tutors.

 

If you do join up with Khalid and Jaheira (which you don't have to, even they tell you that) there's no massive urgency to rush to Nashkel because all you know of is some disappearing miners and iron poisoning. In fact, you may think the bandits on the road are a bigger problem and so run around the various areas trying to clear them out.

 

The only type of character I can imagine desperately rushing around trying to completely solve all the Sword Coasts problems is a Paladin. He would feel duty-bound to stop the disappearing miners as soon as possible.

 

I mean, your character would have to be a bit arrogant to think that they are the *only* solution to Nashkel's problems.

 

A chaotic good ranger would tell Jaheira and Khalid to get stuffed if they told him where to go and would do what he thought would be most beneficial. If that means stopping in Beregost and sorting out that mad cleric who's been turning people into the undead then that's what he'll do.

 

Edit: You got another post in before me >_<

Edited by Fyorl

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Cuz.... For one thing, it doesn't fix the biggest problem. The Baldur's Gate problem. You walk into Baldur's Gate and Scar tells you "come see me at the Fist" and from there it's quest, quest, Iron Throne, Candlekeep, Endgame.

 

Like half of the stuff there is to do in the game that isn't hunting gibberlings is in the big city and you'd miss almost all of it if you just did what Scar told you to do when he told you to do it.

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The only type of character I can imagine desperately rushing around trying to completely solve all the Sword Coasts problems is a Paladin. He would feel duty-bound to stop the disappearing miners as soon as possible.

 

I mean, your character would have to be a bit arrogant to think that they are the *only* solution to Nashkel's problems.

 

I definitely see your point. But remember that it's only about five or ten in-game days before Jaheira and Khalid tell you "Hey, you said we'd go to Nashkel, remember?" But, yeah, if you don't have them with you, that's not a problem. And I've never explored what happens if you just ignore them and just don't go to Nashkel. Do they leave? Anybody know?

Edited by DavidNowlin

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What Fyorl said, plus BG1 does not stick Imoen into your nose every three seconds, you are not really a witness to a war a-la Suldanesselar, there is no Saradush burning behind your nack, and the problems that face the region as far as you know are not connected to you, and you are really a little gal in the big scary world in BG1, so it will be a top of arrogance to assume that you can deal with all that big-scale problems. So, doing a bit of travelling fits perfectly with most characters. I never really pick Xzar and Montaron. If you can shut down Kivan's timer he, Branwen and Minsc are easy to recruit early, then do a run for Dynaheir and tip-toe your ways around the map to the NPCs like Shar and Ajantis... and with the NPC moved by BG1, there are even more choices with Alora, Eldoth and Tiax being available relatively early on.

 

Do they leave? Anybody know?

 

They are scripted to leave if you do Nashkel without them.

 

I usually do Nashkel relatively early on, but then I scour countryside, or I do it after Bandit Camp.

Edited by Domi

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And I still think this doesn't really solve the problem. You still have to avoid certain places, or certain people, or avoid learning certain things or pretend you don't know them.

 

You have to avoid Jaheira and Khalid in the beginning.

Then you have to avoid Nashkel (or at least Berrun Ghastkill).

Then you have to avoid Beregost after the mines.

Then you have to avoid Scar in Baldur's gate.

Then you have to avoid Duke Eltan after you kill Sarevok.

 

I'd just rather have the option to do those things and still get to choose when I get sent on another mission of dire importance.

 

But really, now it's starting to sound like I want to have my cake and eat it too, so I'll just shut up. :cool:

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I think you are over-drammatize the situation. Yes, those are quests, but nobody expects you to do them immediately. Again, you are not Elminster. For me it makes a perfect sense to linger in the beginning of the game and rush it after Cloackwood.

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You ever feel a little funny about doing side quests? I mean, it doesn't really make much sense, does it? You're a man (or woman) on a mission and you take time out of your busy revenging schedule to go explore the Cloudpeak Mountains? What's that about?
You've never gotten sidetracked IRL?

 

The game is set up in such a way that you sort of have to ignore what would be any rational (or at least properly motivated) main character's fairly pressing agenda. I come to this from an RP background (rather than a strictly computer game background) and that's always just bothered the hell out of me.
I know that's what we're taught in our formative years: get an education... find a job... get married and settle down, and so on. But how many of us, I wonder, actually can say RL has been like that? There are many twists and turns, some of our own choosing; some we had no control over. So no, I wasn't bothered by the side quests, at all.

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...BG1 does not stick Imoen into your nose every three seconds, you are not really a witness to a war a-la Suldanesselar, there is no Saradush burning behind your nack, and the problems that face the region as far as you know are not connected to you, and you are really a little gal in the big scary world in BG1, so it will be a top of arrogance to assume that you can deal with all that big-scale problems. So, doing a bit of travelling fits perfectly with most characters.

 

Yeah... I mean, I know what you mean. But in SoA, I was always able to say to myself "I really *want* to go save Imoen, but I don't have the cash yet." And as for Suldanesselar, I usually tried to finish as much of the game as I could before I got there.

 

But I agree with you. Things are dire...er in the later games. Which is why I'd want something like this in those games too. A way to keep going in SoA after Irenicus was dead, for one thing, would be perfect. Do a bunch of quests that don't get you a bunch of money so that you don't get sent to Spellhold until you're ready. Then finish the game. Then troll around and do the subquests there too. That's kinda what I'm after in both of the games. A time when there's no weight of the world issue pressing on you so can just do what you want.

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They are scripted to leave if you do Nashkel without them.

 

I mean, if you go pick them up but ignore them when they say "Why aren't we going to nashkel?" Will they leave the party?

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I guess, ultimately what I'm hearing is that this isn't a problem for most people, and that's fine. I was just thinking, if it was easy... you know, something that could be done in an afternoon or something, I'd really like to have it. But it's obviously not as important (even to me) as other interesting NPCs or new side quests, so it doesn't bother me (much) to have to pretend.

 

I do appreciate the responses, though.

 

I really wish I'd come across this place years ago. You guys are fun to talk to and you help me see things from a different perspective. So thanks for that, and for all the cool mods you guys have made.

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I mean, if you go pick them up but ignore them when they say "Why aren't we going to nashkel?" Will they leave the party?

 

Yes. Jaheira and Khalid, Kivan, Minsc and Coran are on timered quests. I think that Edwin will leave as well, but Xzar and Monty will stay iirc.

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