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Unkinhead

How would one prevent making IWD-in-EET too easy?

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While I really love the idea of combining IWDEE and HoW into EET (what a sick RPG mega-game it would be), it got me to thinking how it would be possible to optimize it so that no section of BG1 nor IWD is remarkably easy from the experience of the other game (assuming EET Tweaks fixes the XP cap removal). Any ideas for the most likely optimal chronology for retaining original difficulty? Maybe I'm over thinking it but that's an issue that I've been considering.

 

Bonus Question: About how long would EET+IWD take to complete? Or rather, how many hours of gameplay would it be to finish the entire...Uh...tetralogy (pentalogy?):D

Edited by Unkinhead

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it's best to lower total game experience by 40% or 50%. remember that iwd isn't rhe only unbalancing addition. there's SoD and SoA+ToB new EE content which is fairly rewarding. Also more items make it easier. The existence of all the new kits and combined spells also make it easier. but don't increase difficulty with mods too much in that case (not the hardest scs options).

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I figured the XP additions from siege and bg2+tob additions wouldn't be really much of an issue because the experience is rather exponentially increasing iirc. Meaning I don't think the extra XP from Siege or IWD would really upset the balance in the later games too much because at that point IWD quest experience is so little compared to what a level 18 char needs for any substantial progress if that makes sense. It seems to me the bigger issue would be with each other as they have a similar level range throughout (IWD and BGEE) (but to be fair I am talking with no immediate numbers/out of my ass so I could be wrong)

Edited by Unkinhead

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Presumably people will make mods tailored to this progression. I noticed that a lot of XP in IWDEE comes in the form of quest XP. In Wyrm's Tooth, you talk to a slave about escaping, boom, 60k XP. Talk to the salamanders about stopping the escape, boom, another 60k. Double-cross the salamanders and help the escape, boom, another 80k. That's 200k earned from a few conversations! And you can do the same with the frost giants.

 

Someone will likely be able to do something like reducing quest XP to keep things balanced. Get through BG1 like the old pre-TotSC days, at 6th/7th level. Play through some of IWDEE and reach about 10th level. Come back south and do SoD. Transition to SoA at about 12th level. Play HoW somewhere in (former) chapter 2, then go to Spellhold at high level... finish Irenicus right around 20th, and then do TOB. TotLM and Watcher's Keep can be optional high-level "anytime you're ready" dungeons.

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yeah IWD has blatant force-levelling. an argument to remove it in EET is that since ToTL has been released "in the meantime" this artificial experience has been effectively supplanted with real, earned experience, and remaining irrational rewards are ugly leftovers that need to be amended.

 

a similar case can be made for BG2, compared to it's current shape in eet.

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when it comes to IWD1 content total quest rewards looks roughly like this (files are patched so that each quest distributes XP per character regardless of how large is your party, so the values below are already divided by 6):
Prologue: Easthaven - 2400
Chapter 1: Kuldahar - 9017
Chapter 2: Dragon's Eye - 21167
Chapter 3: The Severed Hand - 46167
Chapter 4: Dorn's Deep - 48917
Chapter 5: Wyrm's Tooth - 258083
Chapter 6: Lower Dorn's Deep - 353417
---------
Heart of Winter - 886042
Trials of the Luremaster - 205000

From my calculations XP rewards in IWD1 are about 4 times as high compared to rewards usually received in particular chapters in BG1 and early BG2. So by default XP rewards in IWD content is reduced to 25% in IWD-in-EET during installation (this may change in future) which means at the end of vanilla IWD1 campaign (without expansions, so content that most players will finish during BG1) your character will have 182 92 more XP from quests alone. As for IWD2 content the XP rewards are not that much of a problem considering 3rd dnd values are kept and they are really low compared to 2nd dnd rules (it may change in future though, especially for monsters considering it's not that hard to give them 2nd rules values based on official dnd monster manual or calculation based on hit dices).

 

It's recommended to install global XP reduction for killing monsters - not sure what will be the suggested value. Global XP change for quest can be installed too but I don't think it will be suggested for small installation that includes IWD-in-EET. The monster XP value will be far more important.

Edited by K4thos

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wow great! just what is needed in my opinion

 

do you think you can reduce xp by just 50% in chapters 1-4?

the rewards at 50% would be still stupidly high by BG standards, imo. Notice that only IWD content beaing adjusted during installation, nothing else in the main game. Take a look at rewards during IWD prologue:

Prologue: Easthaven    
1 200 - Because you bashed the bottle-bogarting basement beetles
1 200 - For whuppin' the wild Wolf in the workshop
1 200 - For lying to Jhonen or For telling Jhonen the truth
1 200 - For telling Elisia you delivered the blade of Aihonen to Johnen
1 200 - For helping Old Jeb stay off the wagon
1 200 - For giving Damien the remains of his fish
1 200 - For showing Gaspar evidence of the caravan's demise
2 400 - For telling Hrothgar about the caravan
1 200 - For giving the shopping list to Pomab
2 400 - For rescuing Jermsy

in BG1 during prologue / chapter 1 equivalent for doing quests like these would be roughly 25% XP compared to IWD, at least from what I remember (did that calculation a while ago).

Edited by K4thos

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i agree about the prologue

 

severed hand and dorn's deep are very epic places, and in severed hand in particular there's (for a change) some actual roleplaying-kinda dramatic development, you learn a lot about the history of the place, you talk with the interesting elven ghosts etc

 

going away from there with just ~12k exp feels inappropriate

 

you get that kind of exp for the circus tent quest

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It'll be interesting to see how the XP issues get addressed. I can see the need to adjust quest rewards for IWD. I recall they seemed to serve the purpose of guaranteeing character levels at certain points -- a problem EET won't have.

 

 

i agree about the prologue

severed hand and dorn's deep are very epic places, and in severed hand in particular there's (for a change) some actual roleplaying-kinda dramatic development, you learn a lot about the history of the place, you talk with the interesting elven ghosts etc

going away from there with just ~12k exp feels inappropriate

you get that kind of exp for the circus tent quest

 

I agree whole-heartedly with the sentiment, but keep in mind that 12k is already divided by 6. That would be 72k xp as a raw total. Whether or not that is appropriate for Severed Hand is one issue, but IIRC it is far higher than the circus tent :)

 

In my current playthrough of EET (which includes NTotSC, DTotSC, TDDz, FFT, and most of the quest mods), I am not only keeping XP at 100%, I am also keeping BG2 style xp for spell learning, locks and traps.

 

It has gone exceptionally well so far. What I did to keep it from being obscene is to have almost every character multi-class. The only exceptions are my CHARNAME, who is a monk, and a paladin (because Inquisitor, ya know?). I'd make my monk a monk/thief and the pally a paladin/cleric if I could. Oh well.

 

After a full TuTu run a while ago (with no relevant mods), my monk reached lvl 9 just before fighting Sarevok. That's 250k XP for a baseline.

 

I just reached that in my EET game, having defeated the cloakwood mines (and everything else pre-city and non-ToTSC), and the first few quests of DSotSC. My multiclass characters are all lvl 7-8 in each of their classes. Very respectable.

 

A few odd notes:

Thanks to a created NPC picking the locks in Candlekeep inn and barracks, my monk reached level 2 before leaving :p

Also, thanks to some scrolls dropped by some gibberlings and xvarts (and learned by Imoen the swashbuckler/mage), my monk was level 3 before the FAI, and my other two multiclassed allies were level 2 each. Very different, but quite welcome. That initial journey to FAI was a little more enjoyable than normal.

 

From what I've experienced so far, a global reduction in XP -- monsters or otherwise -- would have been very unwelcome. I might be able to tolerate a 75% global, but only just barely. I would want to add in IWD to make up for the reduction. That may change as I continue the saga, but that's my experience so far. In any case, I'm glad these are all toggle-able options.

Edited by Lightbringer

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Maybe we should wait until IWD in EET is in a playable state to give it a try and experiment? There's so many different ways to go about doing quests/playing the game, it seems very hard and unwelcome to try to offer a one size fits all solution.

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I just reached [level 9] in my EET game, having defeated the cloakwood mines

 

From what I've experienced so far, a global reduction in XP -- monsters or otherwise -- would have been very unwelcome.

See that is too fast for me. At this point you'll be level ~11 before starting SoD, and 13 or so starting SoA. Add IWD into the mix, and increase those levels by 4. Personally I'd rather stay a bit under-leveled to get more of an organic challenge (versus the dumb artificial challenge given by the difficulty slider).

 

But I don't think anyone's talking about doing this by default. Only as an optional tweak. And what would be an appropriate reduction for such a tweak.

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I just reached [level 9] in my EET game, having defeated the cloakwood mines

 

From what I've experienced so far, a global reduction in XP -- monsters or otherwise -- would have been very unwelcome.

See that is too fast for me. At this point you'll be level ~11 before starting SoD, and 13 or so starting SoA. Add IWD into the mix, and increase those levels by 4. Personally I'd rather stay a bit under-leveled to get more of an organic challenge (versus the dumb artificial challenge given by the difficulty slider).

 

But I don't think anyone's talking about doing this by default. Only as an optional tweak. And what would be an appropriate reduction for such a tweak.

 

 

from what I understand such values in Lightbringer's game are mostly caused by BG2 rewards for thieving skills and spell learning (thousands per activity) which by no means are recommended for BG1 portion of the game. It's unlikely that BG1 mods changes progression so much but if that's the case it would be good to highlight which ones are most offending when it comes to XP rewards. Maximum XP values after doing everything in vanilla BG:EE with a party of 6 is about 227k per character according to this post.

 

--------

Not sure how much XP can be acquired during SoD. This will be important to figure out suggested values for global XP reduction so if someone can provide such data (preferably separate for quests and monster kills) it would be useful. I think the overall goal when all is said and done should be not more than 500k total before starting BG2 portion of the game (vanilla SoD XP Cap)

Edited by K4thos

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Maximum XP values after doing everything in vanilla BG:EE with a party of 6 is about 227k per character according to this post.

And it's roughly correct. I played a completionist run once (solo) which ended with cca 1,3 million XP. Divided by 6, you get approx this number. SoD would be a bit harder to estimate, but I reckon a party of 6 can get up to 350K XP in SoD alone.

At max, a party of 6 could finsih BG1+SoD at just below 600 000 XP.

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But remember that BG1 is designed to be finishable with 90K XP.

 

So the calculus for a long combined game could be something like, -30% adjustment to BG1, to put you in the range of 100-150k. Then adjust IWDEE values so that your total is something like 200-250K. (That would be a big adjustment! But could largely accomplished by a severe, ~80-90% reduction in quest XP.)

 

Now you head into SoD with ~350-400K XP. Another moderate ~30% reduction there would have you at ~600K going into SoA. Which seems just about perfect.

 

Note, this would mean omitting HOW and TotLM from the early-stage trip to the North. Which is fine. It's been a long time since you saved Easthaven, you've been abducted and then escaped, you're doing stuff in Amn, when suddenly this northern barbarian shows up in Athkatla and asks for your help. He can "Wind Walk" you to Lonelywood. And meanwhile there's this halfling talking about treasure in the desert...

 

And of course we're not talking about doing any of this by default. But it would be cool if an add-on mod could accomplish all of this in a nice seamless way:

- slight XP modification in the south

- major XP modification in the north

- separation of the three IWDEE campaigns

- probably, adjustment of the final IWDEE fight

- do something about item/money accumulation in the main IWD campaign - doable by simply rewriting the random loot tables and replacing particular weapons with +1 and +2 stuff, with a very very very few +3 weapons findable in Lower Dorn's Deep. Honestly this probably wouldn't be very hard.

Edited by subtledoctor

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