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DavidW

SCS and the difficulty slider

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I think this would more or less suffice:

1) Replace lesser golems with normal versions

2) Add a bunch of various slimes to the Otyugh room

3) Replace mephits in the plane of air with air elementals (normal and greater)

4) Replace some goblins with aerial servants and/or invisible stalkers (instead of duergars)

5) Add a couple fighters and a mage to each vanilla duergar encounter

6) Add a couple levels to enemy thieves

7) Increase number/frequency of mephits spawning from the portals

 

Cambion, vampire and doppleganger are probably ok.

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I'm handicapped here because I haven't yet had a chance to play SoD (and anyone who reveals spoilers to me will be cast into the outer darkness, wherein there is a wailing and a gnashing of teeth).

 

If someone can give me spoiler-free information about the power boost from SoD, I'll have a look (but not for v32, which is feature-complete).

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About 300k XP per party member if you don't grind too much. No stat boosts.
With about 250k extra from BG1 part (assuming we're talking about EET here), that would be starting BG2 at about +3 levels compared to vanilla.

 

PS Also no level 6 wizard spells in SoD for party to find, unless I'm forgetting things.

Edited by Ardanis

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I think this would more or less suffice:

1) Replace lesser golems with normal versions

2) Add a bunch of various slimes to the Otyugh room

3) Replace mephits in the plane of air with air elementals (normal and greater)

4) Replace some goblins with aerial servants and/or invisible stalkers (instead of duergars)

5) Add a couple fighters and a mage to each vanilla duergar encounter

6) Add a couple levels to enemy thieves

7) Increase number/frequency of mephits spawning from the portals

 

Cambion, vampire and doppleganger are probably ok.

Changes like this I feel would address the problem in CI, though I'd probably leave out invisible stalkers. For CC/Slave boat I think there are a goodly # of enemies they just need their level/spell selection adjusted to reflect the new cap.

 

SoD experience cap is 500k. So I would use that as the assumed starting level for this particular component.

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Wait 500K XP vs. 161K XP is not really 3 extra levels is it?? I thought like 1 or 2.

 

Also I thought Beamdog wasgoing to address this?

1 for Paladin/Rangers, 2 for everyone else if you are going from TotSC cap to SoD cap on single class characters.

 

http://baldursgate.wikia.com/wiki/Experience_Tables

 

I haven't heard anything about Beamdog doing anything about this. Even if they did, it wouldn't happen for years and to be quite frank it probably would be handled poorly.

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Wait 500K XP vs. 161K XP is not really 3 extra levels is it?? I thought like 1 or 2.
Also I thought Beamdog wasgoing to address this?

I was assuming EET playthrough, i.e. without XP caps. So, you'd have about 300k-400k from uncapped BG1, and as much from SoD. Compared to BG2's starting 89k, that's about three extra levels.

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I'd say standard assumption should be XP cap. EET is not even working on all systems.

Agreed.

 

Also, rather than tuning up encounters to account for SoD's increase in the cap, I advocate for an (optional) alternate approach: make the soul-stealing process remove a dynamic amount of XP from the character, such that they're at the pre-SoD XP cap. This would add a bit of narrative heft to the soul stealing process by acting as a story-gated level drain, whereupon at the correct moment in the story (Asylum? It's been ~8 years..) that XP is returned.

 

There's already so much power bloat in BG2, mods that tone it down and restore some difficulty in the process are much preferred, to this player, than continuing to tune everything else up to match higher and higher player power planes.

Edited by agris

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I’m not super-interested in balancing EET because (a) it’s not my preferred play style and (b) I think if you write a mod that effectively removes the BG1 level cap, it’s your own responsibility to rebalance it.

 

It sounds like the power gap if you just import from SoD is more like 1-2 levels? I might look at that, but it’s not too drastic and I’m not sure a gentle introduction to SCS is such a bad idea anyway!

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When I played some years ago BGT with SCS, Revisions and UB, I ended up finishing BG1 with nearly 400k XP, and I hardly noticed any difference during first steps into BG2 with my previous BG2 SCS playthroughs. This in fact was the main argument during SoD development to not worry much about importing 500k characters into BG2EE, as the difference would be negligible.

So, for just 500k I wouldn't bother much either, but I thought EET wasn't forcing any XP caps? So it'd be actually about 700k, even without any quest mods.


It sounds like the power gap if you just import from SoD is more like 1-2 levels? I might look at that, but it’s not too drastic and I’m not sure a gentle introduction to SCS is such a bad idea anyway!

Pretty sure it should only be an option for trilogy installation, not an introduction for a new BG2EE playthrough :) And a transition from the brutality of insane SoD into gentle early stage of BG2 SCS :p as what I suggested for adjustments would be more appropriate for an SoD dungeon on normal/core.

Edited by Ardanis

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I’m not super-interested in balancing EET because (a) it’s not my preferred play style and (b) I think if you write a mod that effectively removes the BG1 level cap, it’s your own responsibility to rebalance it.

 

It sounds like the power gap if you just import from SoD is more like 1-2 levels? I might look at that, but it’s not too drastic and I’m not sure a gentle introduction to SCS is such a bad idea anyway!

I don't understand how this would be an introduction to SCS. A player would have had it through BG1 and SoD and know what to expect. Especially since the SoD content ramps up the difficulty pretty well. This is why it's such a dramatic drop going into BG2.

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SoA tries so hard to get the player out of the "boring level zone", according to the original developers who apparently saw no specific appeal to levels 6 through ~10 because they wanted to showcase their implementation of the fancy 2e spell system which only gets really intricate on higher levels.

 

in order to accomplish this, the game "force levels" you on many occasions, such as the gratuitously high rewards at the start of the game, when you exit the dungeon, complete the circus quest etc. also the massive XP reward when you pay gaelan. there are several such examples i can't remember right now.

 

as it turns out the "boring level zone" isn't boring at all. this has only been understood by modders and subsequent developers who created interesting mid-level content. also people have learned from IWD which did well in mid-level game flow and encounter design.

 

SoD has been developed as a sort of integration of all of this experience and nerdy affinity for balanced AD&D gameplay into a mid-level module that takes it to the max, really squeezing the last drop of challenge, and original AD&D epicness that is associated with this level range, which had previously been seen as "high", not "mid". it's like a thesis on "why levels 6-10 are NOT boring". I think it borrows a lot from IWD too.

 

so when you complete SoD and import into SoA, that makes you fight goblins while wanting to get you out of the level range you've already left, things make no sense whatsoever, and the flow and dynamics of getting XP gets really bad... that's why i think a lot of SoA quest XP rewards need to be a lot lower. The most problematic ones are when you exit Irenicus' dungeon, the reward from the circus quest, when you pay gaelan bayle and a few other distinct examples i can't remember right now. all of that "force leveling" needs to go away, and some of that brawny and tactical IWD feel needs to come into play in early portions of BG2.

 

all of this goes for EET as well, because the difference between a 500k import and ~650k (with no cap) is pretty small, while the difference between 500k and 161k is big.

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In my opinion what is really forced here is a false assumption that now Baldurs Gate is one big game rather than three actually different games. BG are still three different games, especially SoD. It was always funny for me how completely out of place are goblin and doge spawn points in Windspear Hills and Temple Sewers in BG2 I mean this is the situation when you use ctrl+Y. I used to actually charming all doges and sending them away for years haha I was sometimes recruiting Valygar just for that and then kicking him out. true story.

If you play SCS with full party on hardest difficulty what is how I personally just love to play, you need all xp you can get for all your multiclassed Jans and Viconias in order to even stand a chance with Liches, Dragons and high level mages before Spellhold. If you play solo you can ofcourse achieve lvl 40 right after escaping Irenicus prison but there is no fun in that imo. Lowering xp is a bad idea:

1) If you love tactical content for reasons above

2) If you don't play for a challenge what's the difference if you are lvl 4, 14 or 40 ?? The same content, talks, romances.

 

Really BG2 is a role playing game and rangers. We have Umar Hills, pretty nice area for rangers to do their ranger stuff. So we are there in Umar Hills, we took the quest from the Mayor, we are ranger and we are walking walking walking...and now we see a bear or tiger attacking the groundhog which is only natural, tiger needs to eat how the nature works all is ok to that point. But then after killing the rodent the tiger will start attacking the party because the game mechanics and he is wild animal. But we, rangers, are not wild animals. We are smart individuals who know our game mechanics and that we have that charm animal innate for a reason. So we use it on the tiger, calm him down and win. This kind of behavior is actually especially rewarding later when our party is challenging truly terrifying foe like Crooked Lich, Lavok or mutherfucking HLA enriched Tolgerias. What a nice feeling after we finally managed to win knowing that a couple of days earlier we spared some poor animal, like we are really there doing all that stuff, right Boo?

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