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Reviews for NPC and Quest MODs for BGEE, BG2EE, IWDEE and IWD2


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Why I write this thread?

English is my third language, I can read, can write for my work, but I'm not good in writing reviews. It took me much more time than I have expected to write these reviews. Why I am doing something so difficult for me? I found that there is actually quite limited information on how good a mod is when I'm doing own research to find which mod I should try. Is the npc/ quest mod good? Is there many interjection? How is the writing? How is the area art? I have all questions but sometime the answers are nowhere. Those mod that I can find many reviews / opinions are basically either too bad or too impressive. Hence, in my opinion, writing some feedbacks is at least something I should do after enjoying these mods that the authors spent so much effort making them without asking anything for return. I really appreciate it, I can still enjoy this game like a new game after 20 years, thanks to their tremendous works. 

I was someone who used to dislike any unofficial content because I prefer to keep my games as vanilla as possible (for 18 years) and I thought mod written by non-professionals cannot be good. However, after my 2014 EE vanilla play through, I lack of interest to return to my favorite game because I saw everything, used every vanilla npc. I still want to play, but I don't have motivation. Mods rekindle my passion.

How I rate mods:

Spoiler

  a) Overall Experience
- This is just my personal opinion which emphasizes heavily on my own preference (e.g. I like interjections and reactions more than most people). It does not reflect the actual quality of a mod.
- I will consider many things when I rate this part, not only the writing or personality, how fun is the gameplay (e.g. interesting kits, quests / encounters) will also contribute to this.
- Vanilla npcs is rated as a whole (including vanilla content) instead of just rating the mod installed for them.

b) Lore Friendly:
- This is what I think how good is a mod fits the original game- does it feel like a vanilla content?
- Or whether I think it is believable to happen in Forgotten Realms
- Or is the DND lore same with what I know (or from own search online)

 c) Area Art:
- Does it integrate well with vanilla areas? 
- Does it look like copy paste from vanilla areas?
- Does it look like how it should be in the story?

Screenshots Warning

You may have a glimpse on the screenshots if you want to know how the writing / area arts are, but some definitely contain heavy spoilers. I suggest do not see the screenshots if you are someone prefer to explore yourself.

==========Scroll down to see review =========

 

Edited by marcnivar
Link to comment
Posted (edited)

A) BGEE NPCs (with SOD)

Sirene
(From Sirene, a tiefling paladin of Ilmater NPC for BG:EE and SoD)

Overall Experience: B
Lore Friendly: B+

Isra BG1
(From Isra, earnest, engaging female paladin of Sune for BG:EE)

Overall Experience: B
Lore Friendly: A

Spoiler

  I decided to write both of them together here as IMO they have some similarities yet different. I also found thread asking and comparing both. They are paladin from different faiths, both non-romancable in BG1 but will be in BG2, and they are also similar in their reaction when facing the cruel and evil plot of Iron Throne.

Both of them are very sweet, likeable and relatable. They have feeling and reaction like real people. However, sometime I feel that they spent too much time talking on similar topic of own worries, slightly more than what will happen in npc written by professionals. This especially happen more for Sirene, and I guess that’s why I saw some people said she is too whiny. 

Generally, character wise I like Sirene more than Isra because some her main concern on heritage is actually very relatable to my neutral good charname, who is actually facing a similar and even more terrible fate than Sirene. 

Isra is better in term of offering new lore, as she makes me understand more about Sune and another city in Amn, and Amn look bigger to me now. I love MOD that offer more lore from DND as in my opinion this is quite a weak point of vanilla NPC in BG series, BioWare didn’t offer more lore via companions like how they did in their newer games. 

Both of them do not have own quest in BG1. Sirene has a minor quest in SOD which I found it heart warming as it is related to a small story she told me long time ago in BG1.

Screenshots for Sirene

Spoiler

  Reactions
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Encounter
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Funny banters
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Screenshots for Isra

Spoiler

Banters
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  Drake
(from Drake, a human priest of Tyr NPC for BG:EE and SoD)

Overall Experience: B+
Lore Friendly: A+

Spoiler

  Most people hate the annoying Anomen. However, I always consider Anomen is well written and implemented character. He is unique and not some typical boring priest. 

And now we have another unorthodox cleric but is not annoying. I really like his personality. He is not as rigid as or keep talking about “blind” justice like some typical priest of Tyr (any justice god). I always welcome an experienced big bro who is sarcastic but humorous, always trying to make you drunk and have fun, but still has strong sense of justice and responsibility whenever it is needed. 

I also like how he brought out more of the politic and depth of the council and Order of Radiant Heart in Amn. His quest is also great, using some knowledge from bg2 to introduce some lore of Amn into BG1 before BG2 is a good idea, as this made the event in Baldur’s Gate more connected to our future adventure.

He is the only one NPC here that I really hope to have for my current BG2 playthrough as he is so connected to Athkatla and it will be cool to have a local big bro to introduce you to several places there (that is why we need so many taverns there!). Unfortunately his BG2 part is not available yet, and I will definitely bring him some day (after bg2 part is released).

 

 Screenshots for Drake

Spoiler

  Quest
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Reaction
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Reaction that involved vanilla npc
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Banter
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His quest has shop with cool items!
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  Aura
(From Aura, a gnome artificer NPC for BG:EE + SoD)

Overall Experience: A-
Lore Friendly: A-

Spoiler

  Aura is full of surprise in every single thing.

Most of the professionally written npc will only introduce lore from one place. I always feel like this is quite standard text book character design. Perhaps the authors don’t want to confuse the player with too many thing.

However, Aura brings lore from two rarely mentioned places/cultures in DND games (Lantan and Kara-tur) and it is well implemented. Having a clever gnome from Lantan is very interesting. BG series have several quests or art on the map that are related to Lantan, but to be honest, after so many playthrough of vanilla BG, I still cannot remember this country name. After playing with Aura, I will never forget Lantan. 

This is not only because of the lore from her talks, this is also due to the things she can do in the game. she is an artificer, she can create lot of cool scientific summon, traps, items which are so fun to play with. She can even modified some of the useless items in BG1 into something useful but not too powerful. 

For example, in my 2020 playthrough, there was one npc gave me a +3 sword with grandmastery, resistance without item description when I was just started in Candlekeep, without any good purpose (gameplay wise and story wise), that is what I consider as bad design.

As for Aura, after finishing a quite early vanilla quest, she will help you to modify an useless weapon into a cool +3 weapon with some restriction and penalty to use. +3 is definitely powerful in early game, but I still have to think how to use it properly due to the penalty and restriction. I even made some changes in my front liners setup so that Isra can use this +3 weapon better without worrying the potential harm it may cause. This is what I consider as a good design.

As someone from Asia and love eastern culture, I really appreciate the lore of Kozakura from Aura. We can always see how the elven npc use elven tongue in their dialogues. However, I almost never see any “Japanese” npc like Tamoko or Yoshimo do that. It’s quite fun to see Aura uses some real Japanese words in her speech when she is astonished. Kozakura and Shou Lung culture are rarely touched in DND games. The way the author is adding some lore friendly real world stuffs into her talk is amazing. Something like the story of a frog in the well is nice and it even makes me wondering whether the author is Chinese or Japanese.

Her quest story is more complicated and interesting at the same time. The assassination attempts and the bridge battle cutscene are pretty cool and also challenging.

 

Screenshots for Aura

Spoiler

  Quest
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Aura: I'm the godness of traps!
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New option for vanilla quest
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Funny banter
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Lore
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Aura: Great inventor turns useless junk into cool stuff~
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 Xan
(Vanilla NPC with MODs- BG1 NPC Project + Xan’s friendship path)

Overall Experience: B+
Lore Friendly: A-

Spoiler

Xan is a vanilla NPC with unique personality and voice acting. It is another great example of how BG1 NPC mod successfully brings out more of the potential of an underdeveloped vanilla npc. In my opinion the writing level is the best among the 5 npcs I brought this time (almost same level as the original BG1). His personal quest is not as dramatic as Drake’s or Aura’s, and Sirene, Drake, Aura and Isra may interject more frequently than him, but his dialogues are the most hilarious as he is the only one that made me laugh. He is whiny and gloomy but he never stops surprising me in how he has unlimited ways of converting everything into his own doomed world.

Unfortunately, I think his BG1 NPC contents and the Friendship mod are written by different authors. The npc-initiated talks from different mods seem to have different timers, so I always have the talk from friendship mod comes out immediately after the talk from BG1NPC mod. This has caused some inconsistencies in the topic that he brought out and can be confusing from a player point of view. This may also make me easily notice the difference in writing style as BG1NPC mod tends to use more big words for him compared to the friendship mod.

 

Screenshots for Xan

Spoiler

We are all doomed~
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Hilarious banters
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Beambod's NPCs (SOD part only):

Corwin: B-

Spoiler

Corwin has a lot of interjections (still fewer than Sirene, Drake, and Aura) and fully fit the story in SOD. However, her romance talks are so short and boring that I can’t believe it is written by professional...Romance from mod npc is actually much better..

Baeloth: C+

Spoiler

His appearance in BG1 and SOD is very fun actually. I also like his pretentious personality. I’m always anticipating what he will say, but...he is seriously lack of content. He is much more interesting than Corwin but he rarely interject. I don't even realize that he has any personal quest in SOD (correct me if I'm wrong). He is like not in the party most of the time. A wasted potential.

 

 

Edited by marcnivar
Link to comment
Posted (edited)

C) BG2EE NPCs:

Adrian
(from Adrian, a renegade Zhentarim sorcerer with a taste for decadence)

Overall Experience: B+
Lore friendly: A+

 

Spoiler

Sometime I feel evil NPCs could be easy to write as the authors just have to let them sarcastically criticize every single good deed from the protagonist, or with some chaotic mad talks just to make the NPCs look so evil that "everyone knows they are evil". This kind of evil npc can also be found in professionally written characters, you will know they are "evil" from your first impression, and they consistently "evil" in everything throughout the game.

I have expected something similar when I installed this MOD (my first evil NPC MOD). However, I am quite surprised with how the author characterizes Adrian. The first time you see him, he does not have such "evil aura". He looks like a generic poor guy being slaved who needs your help, and is obviously laying low when he joins my good alignment party for a certain amount of time, which I consider quite rare for an evil NPC. He may be irony or disagree with some of my decisions but he will make in a more subtle manner, until the charname triggered his first quest which uncovered his secret, and then he started to show more "evil" side of him. Even so, he appears to be a "smart evil" style compared to those typical evil character. He will understand why some good choices are needed, or if he disagrees, he criticizes mostly in a more logically manner instead of a pure evil intention (to be honest there are some kind-hearted options in vanilla quests can make the charname looks quite inexperienced or naive). He is also not the type that prefers every evil choice, since there are something even he disdains to do. Adrian acted perfectly as someone with "lawful evil" alignment.

I always curious about Zhentarim / Zhentil keep as it is mentioned in vanilla BG1, but those names are just "name", and there is nothing much to bring out more lore from these places in the vanilla game. Having someone from this origin has sated my curiosity to know more, as he brought some short but good quests that the dialogues gave me a clearer understanding on how wicked those places operate. His quest is pretty cool and very lore friendly to happen secretly in a city like Athkatla. I would say it has the quality that meets vanilla quests, probably due to the good writing of the author as well. Unfortunately, after killing someone, the story seems to stop there, and I has been expected to have subsequent quests, such as someone else is trailing him and lead to more of his backstory. Perhaps there is such quest, but it didn't happen in my game because my charname did not romance him. I think I may rate him higher if I have female charname who romances him some day.

Both Isra and Adrian (from same authors) may initiate some small talks after certain side quests, which I found more immersive than solely interact with interjections. I will hardly forget his comment regarding dragon meat after killing Firkraag, as this is the only time I really laughed in this BG2 playthrough.

Screenshots for Adrian

SpoilerQuest
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Quest
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Reaction
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Banter
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Lore
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Isra
(From Isra, earnest, engaging female paladin of Sune for BG2:EE)

Overall Experience: B+
Lore friendly: A

Spoiler

Isra gave me a an impression that her contents improve significantly in BG2 when I was just started. This is mainly due to her great quests in early game. I have to do a quest to let her joins, and this quest has follow-up quest after sometime in SOA. I'm quite impressed with those quests which in my opinion are as good as vanilla quests and such nobility intrigue story fits the theme in Athkatla very well. She started off stronger than anyone else in my party.

However, as I see more contents from her, it is actually still similar to what she has offered in BG1, which is good, but not particularly outstanding. Things that she said in interjections are also not so flesh out compared to the others (I have in this playthrough), but fortunately she has several immersive small talks after certain quests which  makes up for this. Her personality is still same, she still conflicted a lot, and can be a bit too whiny sometime. Sometime I think she is lack of personal development compared to Sirene and Xan. Both of them may still be conflicted sometime, but I can still see how they had changed, developed and gained confidence in charname in a certain way. Anyway, this probably is not a shortcoming, considering most of the vanilla npcs also do not really show much development, and it is still great to have someone who reacts and conflicted like normal people when more and more of the crazy things happened (especially in TOB). 

Generally I like Isra character but occasionally certain part of her romance may not to my liking. She is someone romantic but does not commit to everlasting love. She is quite open-minded in relationship and sometime I feel awkward when she initiated some talks about her "past" suddenly. I didn't have chance to see her bodhi-napping content this time, so I consider I didn't fully experience all of her romance content. Fortunately, I still find some satisfaction from her ending with charname. This is the type of relationship that takes really long time to blossom, and the journey in BG1+BG2 is just a small part of their life. I would say her romance story was told in a much different way compared to most crpgs.

Screenshots for Isra

Spoiler

 

Reaction
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Quest
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Banter
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Sirene
(From Sirene, a tiefling paladin of Ilmater NPC for BG2:EE)

Overall Experience: A-
Lore friendly: A-

Spoiler

I must admit I thought Sirene may not be as good as the other members in my party when I just started BG2. She appeared to be the same person she was in BG1- always lack of confidence and could not anticipate to have something good in her life, her insecurity continued. Additionally, her first encounter (quest) was not as impressive as those I had experienced from Xan, Isra and Adrian. 

However, she has gradually changed after her relationship with charname has developed further. After their relationship "officially" established, this girl who has been alienated since young has finally found her happiness, I can really feel it, and feel so happy for her, this experiences is very heart-warming. I think this is due to two reasons- a relatable and likable character + good story pacing. You will only feel sad for someone that you really care for, and you will definitely be moved when you see someone that you sympathize finally gains her happiness. Additionally, I found it quite fun to tease her (dialogue options) after the relationship is established.

The author said Sirene technically does not have "quest", however, Sirene in fact has a complete and longer plot (compared to some NPC with quests) that I found slightly cliche but overall still interesting and enjoyable. Again, I can see good storytelling and pacing in Sirene's story. Her story is not just from one personal quest + numerous friendship / romance talks like what standard crpgs always have. Her story is slowly unfold via a mix of talks and several encounters that distributed throughout the whole game (there are encounters in SOD, Chapter 2 SOA, Chapter 6 SOA, TOB), instead of just focusing in the earlier part of SOA only, which in my opinion, has given her stronger existence in the whole game compared to some NPCs.

I also like her bodhi-napping part. The part that charname has to delve into fugue plane to get her back (and also the nice area art) makes me remember some old-fashioned jrpg story, yes, you can call it cliche, but it is also effective. 

I also like the battle in her Chapter 6 encounter. The author said it is a cheesy battle, but I had great experience in my game, there are twist and surprise, and the enemies fought smartly. Probably they are affected by the SCS mod as well. Anyway, I fought a great and challenging battle that is enjoyable, and that is good enough.

 

Screenshots for Sirene

Spoiler

Reaction
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Cute
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Encounters / quest with new area art
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Xan
(From Xan BG2 NPC)

Overall Experience: A
Lore friendly: A-

Spoiler

Xan in BG2 has both quantity and quality. This mod basically has everything we can expect from an NPC

You want more interjections? He interjects more frequently than everyone else. Sometime he just has one or two lines like how the other npcs react. Sometime he will have arguments/discussions in several lines with the npc. Sometime he will initiate some talks after certain quest. You can even ask him many things happened before via PID. His dialogues are extensive, he is fully aware of everything you are doing and has a varied ways of interactions.

You prefer good quests? He has four quests and several encounters which are written as good as the vanilla quests. You may not realize those quests are from MOD if he didn't intervene. Some quests have connection to your BG1 adventure, both vanilla quest and even MOD quest (BG1NPC Project), and vanilla companions will have interjections in his quest while staying true to their original character. He also has quest that offers me an opportunity to learn more elven lore from DND which I highly appreciate. He also has a quest that started seamlessly just after you trigger a vanilla main quest, which you may not realize it is from MOD if this is your first BG2 playthrough. The author wrote a lot of new lines for vanilla npcs in interjections, quests and encounters, and I never once felt that they are out of character, which is something really impressive that the author has achieved.

We can always see most authors tend to let their "fan fictional" characters stay true to original design, thus they will always react or say something in predictable way because they "must fit the original design". In a game as long as BG series, if an npc never changes, and always says similar thing for hundred hours of playthrough, it could be dull and repetitive, especially for those with more "comical" personality like BG1's Xan. Hence, I appreciate the effort the author tried to shape Xan slowly throughout the saga, and you can notice he has gradually gained confidence, trust and even some "hope". If we compare Xan from TOB with Xan from early BG1, they are actually quite different. However, the transition is slow and well written, hence I won't really feel that he has lost his original personality, I rather say he has developed as a person.

I must be honest, Xan has a personality that I may consider fun but generally I still don't like someone who is so whinny and always lecturing the charname. However, I really like him. This is probably due to his personal development as well. It is great to have someone in your party that does not approve most of your action, or does not blindly follow you in your suicidal hopeless quests without any worry or objection. He is quite realistic, he scared and said numerous times "I will leave after this bla bla bla", but eventually, he follows you until the end. Why? This is because charname needs help. He is indeed scared with our dangerous quests, he wants to leave for own safety, but he can't abandon someone who has faced a cruel fate like charname and Imoen, someone he was reluctant to trust initially but eventually recognize as his good friend. He will even outrage and berate his compatriot because he thinks whatever happened to charname is so unfair. If someone is willing to do everything he dislikes just to help you, I will say this is an invaluable friendship. Yes, Xan is a true friend. His friendship path is so well written and believable.

The only reason I did not rate him A+ is because there are moments of fourth wall breaking and also minor inconsistency in certain dialogue, which I don't really care. I know his romance path is highly rated, and I will definitely try it some day with a female charname.

Screenshots for Xan

Spoiler

Finally someone in the party refuses to sleep in the streets
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Reaction
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Quests are full of interjections from vanilla npcs
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Quest with interesting options
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Yoshimo
(Vanilla NPC with MODs- Yoshimo Friendship + Yoshimo's Remorse)

Overall Experience: A-
Lore friendly: A

Spoiler

Yoshimo is one of the best written npc in BG2. I still remember how shocked I was 20 years ago when he betrayed my charname after spending almost half of the game (SOA) with the party and gained my trust (I didn't trust him initially, possibly because he looks traitorous in the portrait). Only very few games will have similar plot (npc left permanently after spending so much time together), the closest one that I can remember is Final Fantasy VII. He appears only around 1/3 in whole BG2 (including TOB), but I remember him more than most other NPCs, and I always feel that it is a shame we can't do anything to bring him back. That is why I installed these mod once I found out there is a possibility to have him back in later game.

When I just started SOA, I found out that some of his talks are quite short and not particular interesting. I thought those are from the friendship MOD, thus I have minor disappointment. After some time, I saw longer and better dialogues from him, and I started to think, ah.. his MOD content is improving. After some time, I only found out that, Yoshimo in fact has a few talks from vanilla game, and those that I found slightly "underwhelming" are vanilla talks...Sometime I can't really even differentiate which one is from vanilla or mod, and I have to switch the language to check it. So I would say the writing of Yoshimo Friendship is good considering how well the talks from different sources blend so perfectly. Anyway, don't expect the friendship talks to be something very deep or extensive until both of you become the BBF though. It just added more talks to increase his presence in the group, added some situational talks which make the upcoming tragic event more sentimental, and it serves this purpose very well.

And finally, I can have my friend back in TOB. The way he returns is not as expected, but is this possible in Forgotten Realms? I think possibly. In my opinion, it is a very good idea to let him returns in TOB (late game) instead of rejoining immediately after the event in Spellhold. BG2 is very long, we still have to spend much time without him in SOA (especially with more MOD quests installed), so we will have sufficient time to feel the weight of his loss, so the original death scene won't be pointless. Additionally, no matter how good the writing of a MOD author is, there must be some inconsistency in the writing when it is handled by a different (or even a same) person. The more lines you write for him, the more obvious it is. We can compare the dialogues of some vanilla NPCs in BG1 and BG2 and see this. Hence, a good time gap before his return can minimize the difference noticed by the player.

I expected Yoshimo to be super apologetic after he rejoins. However, he did not. He is still chatting in his old way like nothing serious happened before. I found it quite weird and slightly disturbing initially. However, after reading more of his talks later, I can feel his deep regrets and self-blame that are hidden in most of his interjections, npc initiated talks, situational talks following some quests etc. He is tortured by his action in the past, and player has the options to show forgiveness or hates in most of his dialogues, and his reactions to those choices can be quite heartwarming or painful to see.
 
I think possibly this is the best way to write him, because this is actually how he is more likely to do rather than becomes super apologetic and with "remorse" written obviously all around his face all the time, which is too predictable and boring. 

I found relief in his ending (good alignment charname), hence for me this mod served its purpose. (Thanks!)

Screenshots for Yoshimo

Spoiler

Chit-chat
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He knew what is inevitable
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The day I lost a friend
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What a surprise!
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Yoshimo has dialogues and reactions in TOB finally
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 Imoen
(Vanilla NPC with MOD- Imoen Friendship)

Overall Experience: B+
Lore friendly: A+

Spoiler

I gave Imoen B+ only for the experience in my current game because she is in my party for Chapter 1 and from Spellhold to the start of TOB only (as I swap Yoshimo in for her in TOB). If I bring her for whole BG2 (SOA+TOB), together with the friendship / romance MOD or even extended dialogues from Ascension MOD, I think I can easily give her A to A+, since she is your dear sister and plays very important role in the main story in BG2. She is almost irreplaceable for a complete BG2 experience, especially for a good alignment charname.

Imoen's Friendship MOD does not add too many dialogues, but the contents integrate with the original one so well. To be honest, at some point I have totally forgotten that I have installed this MOD (after 70 or more hours in Chapter 2+3 without her). Some time after she returned to the party, I started to think "hmm...vanilla Imoen actually talks more than I remember, and she has more sisterly love than I remember, which is really heartwarming and the charname seems to have more options to roleplay as a caring brother, so I must be wrong in what I remember so far- BG2 NPCs without romance do not have many npc-initiated dialogues...". After that thought, I suddenly realized I had installed this mod...This was an impressive experience, I found myself started to change the language often, loaded an earlier save, triggered her dialogue again, so that I can find out whether such talks are from vanilla or MOD. Some are actually extension of vanilla dialogues and in my opinion this is a very good way to expand an existing character.

Screenshots for Imoen

Spoiler

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Edited by marcnivar
Link to comment
Posted (edited)

D) BG2EE Quests:

1) Tales of the Deep Gardens

Overall Experience: B+
Lore Friendly: B+
Area Art: B+

Spoiler

Countless beautiful dim lanterns in a dark ominous cavern, with everyone here sound crazy and you can't escape this world that everything looks like defying the logic you know. Color is essence, can even kill? A dark and intriguing concept which suit the puzzle solving nature of this quest mod perfectly. I appreciate the area art very much. The area here has great dark and foreboding atmosphere but what really impressive is the use of colorful elements everywhere which results in a synergy that make it looks peculiar and unique. I also like the experience of exploring this unknown place with uneasy feeling, which somehow reminded me how I felt when I played Demon Soul.

I'm not someone who likes puzzle solving in CRPG (especially those that are solely based on text). However, I still think the puzzle solving part of TODG offers much more fun compared to most of the vanilla quests with puzzles because the concept and design are quite creative. However, area from MOD sometime can be quite difficult to look for clues, for example, I spent around 1 hour looking for the NPC that you have to lure him to the fire area to get the yellow color. The walkthrough said where he is, but it is still difficult to find in my game, as I didn't realize that I can visit the place he is standing (didn't appear because of the fog of war). 

Story wise I think TODG has different flavor compared to original BG. However, can the things occur here happen in forgotten realm? Possibly, there are a lot of weird things happen in DND stories, so I would consider TODG still relatively lore friendly despite having a story with different style.

Interactions from my party:
- Sirene few times
- Xan few times and a great closing words which makes me feel "this is indeed a great adventure"

---updated after 2021 IWDEE playthrough---

I changed the score for area art significantly as I it rated highly initially mainly because of the first area with beautiful lantern, which I eventually found out that it is from IWDEE. However, the reuse of this area for this MOD is a very good idea as it fits the story and atmosphere perfectly. If you have not / are not going to play IWD1, the first impression of the area art from this MOD can be easily rated as A+.

Screenshots:

Spoiler

Areas that I like
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Dialogues
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Xan's interaction
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2) Innershade

Overall Experience: B
Lore Friendly: B
Area Art: A

Spoiler

Story wise perhaps it is not something very special, but what I like is the storytelling- the way the author uncover the story hidden in a small village with an ordinary first impression. Talking with NPC, learning about their simple life, helping with minor chores, everything very classic. However, after descending into the mine, everything turns abruptly into the dark, weird and confusing atmosphere that once I experienced in TODG. 

The way of having a boy who tells you a lot of stories that mostly are for flavor purpose, except one story is obscurely providing more insight on the main quest (from this mod) is kinda cool. It offers something for player to explore and guess what is actually happening based on different clues.

The talks with old lady offers something very different from vanilla. It is quite relaxing and heartwarming to have someone simply care for you due to pure kindness without expecting you to do anything for her like how most of the vanilla npcs are.

I expected there may be some follow-up content after leaving Innershade, but I forgot about it after some time actually, thus I was quite surprised when the follow-up encounter happened in TOB, though the ending is slightly confusing.

You may know where the materials of the area art comes from, but it still looks unique and gorgeous.

Interactions from my party:
- Sirene several times

Screenshot:

Spoiler

Cozy small village in the forest
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Dialogues
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Your amiable granny
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Sirene's Interaction
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3) The White Queen

Overall Experience: B+
Lore friendly: B+
Area art: A-

Spoiler

This quest is more like vanilla chapter 2 quests compared to TODG and Innershade. You found a quest in Athkatla, traveled all the way to some where else and helped someone to kill some evil bastards, but eventually you found more backstory behind it, something quite typical but still enjoyable. I always enjoy a story that you will eventually find out that both sides are not really good and you are looking for lesser evil. Unfortunately, if I understand correctly, this quest seems like does not offer more solutions (like how similar vanilla quest may have). It would be great if we can side with White Queen or deal with the hag. 

I may not think White Queen is as good as some of the best vanilla chapter 2 quests we have, but it is still good enough to at least play it once or twice, if we have more interjections from vanilla npcs. The only vanilla NPC I brought this time is Imoen, but she has one line here only. Hopefully we will have more interactions if I bring different vanilla NPCs next time. As I didn't bring Viconia this time (who I know has more content here), I will definitely play this again some day. Generally I think it has more replay value compared to the two previous COI mods because there are more battles (gameplay), and the loot are quite tempting, some I consider worth installing this mod just to have a look on the amusing item description (ya, the Ladykiller..). 

Interactions from my party:
- Imoen once

Screenshots:

Spoiler

Areas
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Dialogues
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Items
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4) I Shall Never Forget

Overally Experience: A-
Lore Friendly: B+
Area art: A

Spoiler

I think this has the best story among the 4 COI mods that I have installed. A sad love story could be cliche, but it is touching. Orion is a very well written character. I can deeply feel his grief as his dialogues focus on every single minor details. For example, he has a lot of things to say about his wife when player interacts with several things in his house. Player is helping him as a stranger for just a short time, but the dialogues written makes me feel like I have slowly gained his friendship, and this has given me a glimpse of hope that perhaps I can convince him to give up and accept the reality when he has to face the inevitable truth. Unfortunately and as expected, we can't really save him. The final reunion cutscene is kinda sad but relieving.

I also like the Incomplete one. This may be the only lich that I will remember (story wise) in BG series. Another sad character.

The purple themed area looks great.

Sune temple integrated into vanilla area seamlessly. I thought it is a vanilla area when I discovered it. This is because I rarely visit that part of map for almost 20 years and I thought I missed out. I only realized that it is a mod content until I saw some items in the store that I have never heard before.

The bird minor quest is quite surprising. I thought a vanilla npc that I could not remember approached me some time after releasing the bird. I even tried to find that npc name in Baldur's Gate wiki..

Interactions from my party:
- Sirene multiple times
- Imoen once

Screenshots:

Spoiler

Dialogues
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Areas
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Bird
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5) The Sellswords

Overall experience: A
Lore friendly: A+
Area art: A

Spoiler

As a fan of Drizzt's series, I think I could not ask for a quest mod that suits my taste more than this MOD. 

In my opinion Bioware did a great job in demonstrating the malicious atmosphere of an Underdark city that is so similar to what we have experienced in the novels from R.A. Salvatore. My only regret is the cameo of Jarlaxle and his friends are quite brief, and I always hope to have more after leaving Underdark, and so, this MOD satisfies my need perfectly. It is great to see Jarlaxle, Artemis Entreri and especially Kimmuriel have more contents, and they are so well-written and very believable. In my opinion it is crucial that the MOD content should not have anything contradicts with what I remember about them. In fact, some of the dialogues even reminded me why I love them, especially their interactions at the end of the story.

The first thing that impressed me is how the author set up a role-playing friendly reason for a good alignment charname to assist the notorious drow. I consider it a brilliant design. Generally, the quests and npcs are also quite lore friendly, occasionally some drows may look like they are "not too drow" in their talk, but still acceptable considering the story setting. I would say the content and overall design of the quests are very similar to the vanilla game, and can be easily treated as an extension of original Underdark questline.

This MOD also added a lot of interjections from vanilla NPCs. I will definitely install this MOD in almost every future playthrough after seeing Imoen has so many interjections that suit her personality very well (she was the only vanilla npc I brought this time). This is very immersive and has contributed significantly to the "vanilla feel" of the quests added.

Xan has crossmod content with this MOD. However, I found that some of his talks are actually quite fourth wall breaking. His approval of Bregan D'aerthe when we left Underdark also a bit inconsistent with how he dislikes the drows in Chapter 5. 

Screenshots:

Spoiler

Dialogues
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Iconic characters
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Vanilla NPC interjection
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Details
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Edited by marcnivar
Link to comment
Posted (edited)

E) IWDEE NPC

1) Dusky
(from Dusky NPC for IWD EE)

Overall Experience: B
Lore friendly: B+

Spoiler

Half-orc is always an unpopular race, as we can see, there is almost no joinable half-orc npc in vanilla BG series or from MOD. If we can have one, they always tend to be some brutal, savage and uncouth fellow that could be why most people don't like to write or use them. However, I decided to bring Dusky in this playthrough without any hesitation after I firstly met him during my test play. He is actually quite good looking and stylish for a half-orc (in his record portrait). His thief/cleric class (treasure hunter in story) is quite unexpected as most orc npc tend to have fighter type class to show their incredible strength. The way he talks has left quite a good impression to me as we rarely see a character that talks with a pleasant manner but will spilt out something rude occasionally ("after all, still an orc" feeling).

I enjoy talking with him very much, especially those friendship talks in tavern early game. The vanilla game is quite boring that time, as you have to visit several long dungeons and fight endless battles just for few short lines from the quest npcs in Kuldahar. Having a short break and chatting about something trivial or stupid with good drinks in between of those quest is quite enjoyable, and increase the immersion of the vanilla stories as well. 

The author also did a good job in writing an npc with wide repertoire of dirty jokes, which is the type of character that I normally not fond of in a CRPG. His humors fit his personality and race quite well as I may consider some of the things he said may make me feel low or awkward if those are not from a half-orc rogue (again, suit the "after all, still an orc" feeling quite well). The choices in his dialogues also deserve some praises, as there are quite a number of ridiculous choices and his reactions are very amusing. I enjoy picking all those funny choices with my chaotic good charname very much.

Unfortunately, I do not romance a male npc with male charname in any game, so I did not choose to proceed further in his romance path, and so no more tavern's talk, PID, friendship talks etc after telling him my charname prefers girls. I miss his content since then and almost regret for not romancing him just to see more of his backstory. Fortunately, he still have quite a number of location / story related talks here and there, and also one encounter near end game, so it is still quite fun to have him in the party if you do not romance him. Anyway, I will definitely rate him higher (maybe B+) if his romance path brings out more backstory.

In my opinion his banters with Karihi is as fun as professionally written one. I enjoy seeing how they mock each other in such clever way.

Screenshots:

Spoiler

Interesting dialogue choices and reaction
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Humorous guy
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This pair is very funny
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2) Holvir

(from Icewind Dale NPCs)

Overall Experience: B
Lore friendly: B

Spoiler

I appreciate IWDNPC MOD very much as I can't imagine how to finish the vanilla game without it 7 years ago. However, overall I think the character design is too conservative and thus most of its npcs personalities do not stand out very much. Holvir is actually one of the example, he is what you can expect from a typical paladin, ceremonious and has some "de facto leader" feel in early game (since it is their nature to lead). Things that he said in early games are quite dull and expectable. His backstory is also nothing special and feels like a mod level story. He didn't give me a good starting impression.

However, he also has everything that IWDNPC excelled. The level of interactions is implausibly impressive. Great amounts of interjections and reactions consistently from main game to TOTL, PID or location / story triggered friendship talks, banters with Nella that based on story / item / location instead of timer, the author did a great job in creating a very interactive character. His dialogues are also getting significantly better after the friendship developed, and he even started to show his own way of humor, so I quite enjoy his presence in my group eventually. The author tried to portray him as someone more mature and dependable compared to Nella, as a result the writing of his dialogues has more depth than Nella, who tends to say something too feminine and reminds you that she is not a professional writing. Occasionally, he will also say something sound wise, and generally he is getting more likable in later game.

After all, even it is just for a role play reason, a good nature party always needs someone who shouts righteous and justice when confronting all those malicious enemies or offers his help and compassion when it is needed in the story. He fits this role perfectly.

Screenshot:

Spoiler

Quite cold and formal initially
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Very paladin
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Banters with Nella
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Paladin can joke
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3) Nella

(from Icewind Dale NPCs)

Overall Experience: B
Lore friendly: B+

Spoiler

As mentioned above (under Holvir), not to be disrespect to the MOD author (I know how great the author can do in Xan BG2 NPC and The Sellswords), Nella is one of the NPCS from IWDNPC MOD that I consider generally good but the writing feels feminine and slightly amateurish sometime. Her personality has nothing too memorable and shows inconsistency sometime, especially the transition from friendship to romance does not look smooth to me. Her doubts and struggles sometime look childish to me.

I consider her writing weaker compared to Holvir and Dusky, however, I will still recommend to take her in your first MOD playthrough for IWD due to one reason- her story is integrated into the vanilla main story which makes her somehow like your Imoen in BG series (especially early game). She is from Kuldahar, she knows everyone there, she is closely related to Arundel. If you think there is insufficient motivation to fall into precarious situation repeatedly for a village that you simply don't care, then she will give you that. She also made the later event in Kuldahar more dramatic, which I consider quite important, as I don't think I will emotionally resonate with any vanilla npcs in early game (before Severed Hand) without Nella's involvement. Her mournful reactions can also make the player feels the significance of Arundel's loss and increase the depth of his character. Arundrel is no longer just a quest giver, instead, he is like Gorion in BG2.

As mentioned before, I consider the pacing of her romance a bit weird, but it is still fun to play with because some of the dialogue choices and reactions are quite fun especially after the relationship deepened.

Screenshots

Spoiler

Like Imoen in Candlekeep

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Sometime dramatic is necessary
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Banter
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Dialogues options are fun
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4) Karihi
(from Karihi, a fire genasi pyromancer NPC for IWD:EE)

Overall Experience: A-
Lore friendly: A

Spoiler

I would say Karihi NPC MOD is quite close to a professionally written NPC in most aspects.

Firstly, the idea of this NPC makes me feel like the author must think like a professional to come out with someone who is so suitable to have in IWD. What could be more interesting than having a Fire Genasi companion, who has inherent high fire resistance but pitiful cold resistance penalty in a frigid place like Icewind Dale? Just imagine how fun it is to see someone suffers and tries to adapt in a place that is against her nature completely. Yes, it is extremely amusing. Every single complaints she made in early game is very entertaining. Her personality is also the type of female character that I always like in CRPG. Her haughty demeanor, her sarcastic and snide reactions to almost everyone reminds me why I love NPCs like Viconia (BG Series) and Morrigan (DAO). I always anticipate what she will say when her portrait pops out.
 
The pacing of her story is also close to a  professionally designed one. She has several tavern's talks early game (like what Dusky has) which provides good break from adventure and opportunity to develop the relationship. The process of thawing her frozen heart may feel slightly too fast, but that is limited to the short adventure that the vanilla campaign provides. However, I enjoy how the authors made her romance path more dramatic. After the relationship developed, her romance will be stopped abruptly due to unexpected twist, and it remains so until a vanilla main plot reminds her of her own mistake, only then she opens up to charname and transpires the truth of her backstory.

Vanilla IWD1 does not have a long and epic quest line like what BG series offers. In my opinion, this has given NPC less opportunity to shine, because their reactions to dramatic main events are an effective way to let player remember the NPC. Hence, an NPC with a good backstory that can pique the player curiosity initially, and is indeed compelling after more stories are discovered can be quite important to make the NPC memorable in a game like IWD1. Karihi impressed me in this. I was quite surprised to find out that her arrogant and offensive attitude are actually a masquerade to hide her deeper torment, remorse and insecurity. She has a well written complex personality. She changed gradually and is actually quite cute and lovable just before the end game (gentle reminder: talk to her via PID after she initiates the talk at the point of no return). She displayed personality development in quite a short game like IWD, which could be something difficult to achieve. I couldn't stop thinking how much possibility the author may expand her story or how he will write her reactions if she has a long and great adventure with charname in BG series. I will possibly rate her much higher.

Her kit is creative. Well, she is indeed overpowered, especially in early chapters, where she kills faster and more than my ranger charname due to the fire damage bonus and long range staff she has. The long list of penalties is basically ignorable because she does not need anything else and it won't make her die faster. At end game, her fire power is god like (yes, please look at the description of blazing inferno and try it out!). I would normally dislike an overpower NPC design. However, IWD1 is simply too easy even at insane difficulty (without extra exp bonus) after middle of chapter 4 with or without her. I even tried doing TOTL at around level 10-11 and it is also not difficult. So, why not trying something different? I must admit throwing her powerful fire magic like fireball instead of boring melee hack and slash at that point of game offers me new fun that I have not experienced before in all these IE games.

*Notes: I can't remember if she talks in TOTL, her content there is like significantly reduced.

Screenshot

Spoiler

Fiery interjections
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"Before" and "after"
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Burn! Burn! Burn!
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Wow!
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See the AOE!
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And die!
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5) Orra
(Orra NPC for IWD EE)

Overall Experience: B-
Lore friendly: B+

Spoiler

I had quite high expectation for her initially. She came from Kozakura, a place that is rarely mentioned in official DND game, and I love eastern culture. I also quite like her tranquil personality who acts like an observer in the party. She has an aura that is similar to grieving mother from POE1. She may not have fascinating personality, but compared to those who are still uninteresting despite the efforts made to be fun, at least she looks like someone that is purposely designed in this way. As she is written by the author who created a lot of weird but interesting quest / character mods, and the readme mentioned something she is not romanceable due to her backstory, I have been anticipating some interesting stories will be revealed some day.

However, it didn't happen (in my game). Generally, she has fewer interjections and talks compared to the others from my party. Her PID may offer some interesting lore, but it can be easily exhausted very early game and is not updated later on. Her friendship talks are not so interesting, and I was quite disappointed when she explained why she left her home. The reason is...unexpectedly simple and worsen my opinion on her. Fortunately, some of her location based dialogues are still ok, and she is the only one who has some interactions in the quest mods from the same author, which I appreciate as it makes those quests look like part of the vanilla game (that mod npcs will normally react). Generally I still enjoy her presence in my party, but I hope she can have more contents and deeper backstory.

She is fun to have gameplay wise. I never use a charname with 3 multiclass and there is no such companion in BG2. I used to think this cannot be good for full party because they will level up slower. In fact, a fighter/ mage/ cleric in IWD1 can buff herself in so many ways that makes her invincible and I always enjoy trying to make her AC as high as possible. She is my best tank starting from the middle game to end game.

Screenshots

Spoiler

A good travelling companion
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She will tell you stories from Kozakura sometime
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Friendship talks
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Reactions in MOD quests
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Her AC!
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F) IWDEE Quests

1) Tale of Our Lady Dreamless

Overall Experience: B
Lore friendly: B
Area art: A+

Spoiler

I finished this quest with the violent route first and quite impressed with the mysterious atmosphere during my exploration. You found an area that the art is so beautiful and you may think it is vanilla area if nobody tells you it is from MOD. A snow-covered area with a frozen pond with numerous corpses inside it. The background of the story has been perfectly displayed via area art, which could be something difficult to achieve in MODs. The thing that you heard from the npc here sound strange, and this mysterious feeling is increasing when you further explore the other areas. The frozen grotto is using vanilla materials but it looks like an original area. Eventually you found a strange creature and fought a good fight. I consider it a good encounter on my road to Severed Hand. Anyway, similar to some BG2 MODs from the same author, I still don't know what this creature is, and it doesn't really look like something from this world.

After that only I found there is another "good route". This route has more dialogues and less fight. In my opinion, the experience of this route is not as good as the first one, as we have to run errands for slightly more story that is nothing particularly special.

Overall, this quest mod can be considered as a good additional short quest / encounter on your way to the southern part of map.

Screenshot

Spoiler

Dialogue
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Frozen Pond
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Grotto
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2) Below & Below Inn

Overall Experience: A-
Lore friendly: A-
Area art: A+

Spoiler

Another great additional content to have for the journey from Kuldahar to Severed Hand. This journey is supposed to be very long (according to the map), and in my opinion it is a very good idea to have a break at an inn like this. The idea of this unconventional inn is quite creative. It has somehow reminded me Friendly Arm inn (in BG1), which is also set up somewhere that is not supposed to be an inn. Visiting an underground inn that offers several services with shopping opportunity for some fancy items, learning some stories from the owners, chatting with the guests here, helping with the troubled npcs and doing some minor quests, a very classical fantasy game feeling. The stories here may not be very special, but it does not have to. Everything here feels like original contents and that is good enough for an inn.

I also appreciate the area art of this inn. A main door that looks like the entrance of some creepy old ruin and the first part of interior have been designed in a way to remind you it is located in a cavern, and once I proceed deeper, the shops, bars, kitchen and rooms have great art which looks luxurious and comfortable. Such design make me feel like the cave has been renovated heavily to be used as an inn. A mod area that looks exactly like how it is supposed to be in the story. Very immersive.

The quests from this mod also include something that you have to find during your journey in several vanilla areas, so it takes some time to finish. Such design makes those quests closer to the style like what vanilla game may have, and I have more reason to revisit the MOD area. 

The only lacking part is.. there is no rumors when you drink, which is something obviously different from the vanilla tavern. It would be great if the author can add some.

Screenshots

Spoiler

Entrance
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Greetings! Time for more quests~
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Area Art
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Shopping time
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3) Night of the Blinking Dead

Overall Experience: A-
Lore friendly: A+
Area art: A-

Spoiler

The story of this quest is actually very short and simple- helping someone to kill a horde of beholders and get your reward, that's all. However, this mod shines because of the extremely cute quest giver- a well mannered beholder with kinemortophobia.

As someone who had played Chapter 2 of SOA (BG2) for numerous times, sometime I may forget that beholder from DND is not only a vicious aberration that attacks mindlessly. In fact, BG2 also has encounters with a Spectator with several amusing lines, and this MOD makes me remember that funny beholder. A powerful beholder that needs your help because he afraid of zombies? This cool idea together with his decent courtesy in speech has resulted a hilarious character that reminds me the sense of humor that we can expect from a Black Isle's game. The reward that he gives is also very laughable. I enjoy this minor quest very much as it was one of the few times I chuckled during this IWD playthrough.

I almost tempted to rate the area art as B+ because the area art of beholder's lair is almost same (just slightly different colour) with BG2. However, his comment on how beholders like to copy design of their lairs made me laughed again. Well, indeed, the lairs in Athkatla and Underdark are EXACTLY same despite the fact that those places are so far away from each other. So...well, vanilla game recycles the area, why can't a MOD do that?  At least the colour is different, more effort than Bioware.

Orra has location dialogues here.

Screenshot

Spoiler

Quite surprising during a routine visit to Kuldahar
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Funny dialogues
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The quest reward is very funny
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Your companion reaction
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4) Terror of the Skin Eater

Overall Experience: B+
Lore friendly: B+
Area art: A-

Spoiler

A quest MOD that reminds me sometime we do not need to have thousand of lines or intricate plot to have an enjoyable adventure. This MOD has the best exploration experience in all of the four IWD quest MODs that I installed. The quest started when someone in the village asks for your help to kill a monster, who I didn't realize that he is a MOD NPCs at all, even the icon of the new area looks so authentic, everything fits the original flavor perfectly. 

Once I stepped in the Dark Forest, I was really impressed, the darkly foreboding and suspicious atmosphere are amazing. The small entrance area gave me the first impression that this is a carefully designed vanilla area, probably due to the smart greyscale recoloring of the materials used. Those dark and tall trees in snowy fields look very lore friendly as a vanilla area in Icewind Dale. Some areas are so dark and look so scary when everyone blacks out suddenly under the shadow of trees which made me stifled, and it is relieving when they appear normal again when sunlight comes through, this is called immersion.

I believe creating a dense forest area that is full of trees could be difficult in IWD, as we do not have so many trees material that would fit a snowy location easily as what we could have for BG series. The way the author made this area into several smaller forest areas which connect to each other like some old school maze-type dungeons, and we have to move from one small area to another through different exits without knowing where it would lead to, and thus can easily leave the other part of the area fully black is a very smart way to conceal the limitation of what a mod can do, while still be able to realize the concept of a mysterious cold dark forest. 

The story may be weaker / shorter in this MOD, such as the creature may not look like something from DND (correct me if I'm wrong), or it is ridiculous to see someone tries to kill the party who managed to kill the dreadful monster that he could not...but I don't really care. The overall experience is great.

Orra has interjections and story related dialogues in this MOD.

Screenshots

Spoiler

Let guess, which icon is not vanilla?
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Area Art
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Zoom out like this looks like some old school game
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Dialogue
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Edited by marcnivar
Link to comment
Posted (edited)

I have updated the following:

- How I rate mods-  added Area Art
- updated 5 new reviews for Quest MODs

And so I finished all my reviews for 2021 BG playthrough. To be honest there were moments I thought I could not finish these reviews due to poor writing. It is like taking forever for me to finish it.

Million thanks to all MOD authors. I like all of the MODs installed this time, including tweaks, UI, portrait, SCS etc which significantly improved my experience. I should probably write something for SCS (I installed it in BG2 only) as the gameplay has improved so much that I can't really go back to vanilla now. I think I might not be able to finish this BG2 playthrough without it because I played BG2 too many times. Perhaps I will leave it until the day I play a complete BG1 to TOB playthrough with SCS.

===

The next reviews will be IWDEE mods. 

If everything goes as planned, I will probably write for the NPC mods for IWD2 and some modules for NWN. Hopefully I won't get jaded or stuck somewhere.

Edited by marcnivar
Link to comment
Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Greenhorn said:

You are quite gifted at this. Thanks for your effort ( as I imagine it can't be easy to write all of this on your third language ) and interesting and enjoyable end result. 

Glad to know someone feels enjoyable😁

 

17 hours ago, Lava said:

Thanks for the reviews! I won't lie, I'm wondering what you'll write about Athkatlan Grounds mods once you try them out. I actually think they are better than my old CoI series.

I should be the one who say thanks, enjoying your MOD very much (including those I have played in IWDEE), I always prefer MODs that look like original content, really amazing.

Athkatlan Grounds MODs are in my "definitely will play list" for my next playthrough🙂

Not sure if you have any quest mods with interjections from your NPCs (I will bring Verr'sza next time). 

Edited by marcnivar
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Posted (edited)

I have updated the following:

- changed some scores for BG2EE mods

- added 5 reviews for IWDEE NPC mods 

- added 4 reviews for quest mods.

Thanks again to the modders. Replaying IWDEE made me remember how dull and monotonous most original contents are...There is no reason for me to replay it without new MODs from Lava and Aionz (I completed the game 7 years ago with Kulyok's npcs). It is great I can revisit those beautiful areas in IWD1 again due to the new contents added by the modders. I'm looking forward to my future playthrough as there are some npcs I really interested, especially Urchin, Ina, Minerva and Dendjelion. And I know Aionz is writing more npcs, really looking forward to it.

---

The next plan is for IWD2 with NPC mods from Domi. I hope I can finish it this time, old game on new system...hopefully no game breaking thing occurs.

Edited by marcnivar
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Thanks for the reviews! :) On Dusky and... well, Ina - I know those that do not romance them may get a bit less content, but those two mods were created to balance out options most other players have. I wanted to make sure that any IWD EE fan can get whatever he or she desires, who he/she is or how your feel. There are all kinds of players and they are great so... they kinda deserve a representation and acknowledgment.

Actually, Orra is a bit like that, too. I am unsure if you had that talk, but the reason why she does not romance you is because she's

asexual
. I create many mods that include romances but this one was to show that not every biography is about who you romantically desire. And I know she may be a bit less exciting, but... not everyone has to be strange like me Oak-Maw or Urchin or T'viy... yeah, I wrote many weird stories and characters, but there are normal people with quite normal aspirations.

As for my quest mods: I know they are shorter, but... well, they were basically designed as a kind of break from the main plot. A stop to buy thing, laugh, smile or at least to say "huh".

Anyway, thanks for playing my mods! I kinda hope to write/design something new for IWD when I have some time and when the inspiration comes :)

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On 3/17/2021 at 11:04 AM, marcnivar said:

I found that there is actually quite limited information on how good a mod is when I'm doing own research to find which mod I should try. Is the npc/ quest mod good? Is there many interjection? How is the writing? How is the area art? I have all questions but sometime the answers are nowhere. Those mod that I can find many reviews / opinions are basically either too bad or too impressive.

I wholeheartedly endorse everything you've said. People have different tastes, and hearing "this is amazing" without much else is not that helpful.

In fact, I would go one step further and say that on occasion mod authors post stuff in the readmes for their mods that is just obviously untrue or misleading. It's maddening, and it's all the more reason for there to be reviews out there for mod users.

I should add that I'm not taking aim at writers for quest mods who have made the effort to write an attractive-sounding blurb for their mini-quests without too many spoilers; that is totally okay (and in fact it's appreciated). And I should add, too, that I don't recall having this problem with any of the mods hosted on G3 that I've downloaded.

On 3/17/2021 at 11:04 AM, marcnivar said:

==Bad English warning before starting==

Your English is absolutely fine. And I am willing to bet that your language skills overall, taking into account other languages, are far superior to a very substantial majority of native English speakers, most of whom know English and nothing more. It's the native English speakers who should feel lucky that you've put the effort in so they can understand you!

So... if you want to cover yourself, you could always say that you're not a native English speaker. Or whatever - you do you. But I always hate the thought that people who have made the effort to communicate in my native language genuinely feel bad about, or feel they have to apologise for, any mistakes they might make.

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16 hours ago, Lava said:

Thanks for the reviews! :) On Dusky and... well, Ina - I know those that do not romance them may get a bit less content, but those two mods were created to balance out options most other players have. I wanted to make sure that any IWD EE fan can get whatever he or she desires, who he/she is or how your feel. There are all kinds of players and they are great so... they kinda deserve a representation and acknowledgment.

Actually, Orra is a bit like that, too. I am unsure if you had that talk, but the reason why she does not romance you is because she's

  Reveal hidden contents

asexual

. I create many mods that include romances but this one was to show that not every biography is about who you romantically desire. And I know she may be a bit less exciting, but... not everyone has to be strange like me Oak-Maw or Urchin or T'viy... yeah, I wrote many weird stories and characters, but there are normal people with quite normal aspirations.

As for my quest mods: I know they are shorter, but... well, they were basically designed as a kind of break from the main plot. A stop to buy thing, laugh, smile or at least to say "huh".

Anyway, thanks for playing my mods! I kinda hope to write/design something new for IWD when I have some time and when the inspiration comes :)


I can understand why we will have less content if we do not romance certain character. This happens in almost all games with companions. In fact, I consider Dusky has sufficient good content even if I do not romance him. It just I quite like him and so wanted to have more although I understand this.

The reason I still enjoy Orra is because I feel like she is purposely designed to be less exciting, her personality fits that, in fact, some dialogues choices have what I think about her, so it is actually quite obvious that the author has expected what others will think about her.

I agree that we need more variety of npcs. A party with everyone talks like Minsc or Viconia could be too unrealistic and even insufferable. That is always why I always bring at least one relatively "normal" npc in my game. For example this year:

BG1 and 2: Isra
IWD1 : Holvir

I consider this type of npc is needed, and I quite appreciate your effort in writting her, considering most your iwd npcs are quite unusual, its good to balance up. Its just.. when I rate them, generally I will still like those unusual one more😅

Perhaps I mentioned too many times short quests in my review. My intention was "quality and fun more important". Long and good quest is indeed impressive. However, sometime we need good and short quest, depending on the stories and other situations. In fact, I think I like your shorter quests more. As for 8 of your quest mods that I played this year, if I do not play these IE games starting from now, after 10 years, perhaps what I will vaguely remember are those shorter one:
- there was once I played a mod with many weird colors stuffs
- a funny behoulder who scared of zombie
- An underground inn

Yes, short and memorable. That is good enough.😀
 

Edited by marcnivar
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