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Playing BG2 For The First Time Ever

Storm Rider

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Hello everyone,


First of all, I apologise if somebody has already made a thread similar to this in the past. I ran a quick search but didn't find anything truly related.


I am about to play Baldur's Gate II for the first time, having only played the original Baldur's Gate (without the add-on) way back when it first came out. I have played other RPGs such as the Fallout series and the Knight Of The Old Republic games since, so I have general experience playing such games. The question I would like to ask is that I would like to play BG2 modded and I am overwhelmed by the number of mods available, here at G3 and at other sites. I'm also unsure if there is any required order to install these mods (which I expect you are probably bored of answering).


I bought The Collection edition of BG2 which has the Throne Of Bhaal add-on and the patches included. So far I have just installed those, prior to adding any mods. I would like to add any necessary mods that improve stability of play, increase interaction and involvement between NPCs and other characters and ones which enhance gameplay, without harming the experience for someone who has never played through BG2 before.


For the record, I intend for my main character to be a Paladin, most likely using the Undead Hunter kit.


I have downloaded from G3 the following:


BG2 Fixpack (I've actually held off playing the game until a non-beta version of this was ready.)

BG2 Tweak Pack

Crossmod Banter Pack

Divine Remix


Moinesse's Avatars

NPC Tweak


P&P Celestials


From Pocket Plane I have:


Banter Pack V6

Quest Pack V2.3

NPC Flirt Pack V1.01


Please could anybody tell me if there are any mods not listed that I should install, any mods listed that I should only install part of or leave out completely, and finally what order of installation would be best if necessary (especially if any of the above clash with each other). I have mods like Ascension that I downloaded some time ago in preparation for play (while I was waiting for the Fixpack to be ready) but I believe they would be better after I have been through once (unless anybody tells me otherwise).


Thanks in advance.

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Crossmod Banter Pack wont do you any good unless you download some modded NPCs. Though, since you're playing for the first time, you probably have enough to choose from with the original NPCs. ;)


EDIT Berelinde was faster!

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The unmodded endgame of the saga is so anticlimactic to me that I wouldn't dream of playing it without Ascension installed. On the other hand, when you haven't played through without it installed, you can't really notice the difference. Judgment call, I guess. If you do go with Ascension, I recommend installing Turnabout (from PPG) as well.

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Okay, I'll leave out the Crossmod Banter Pack for now. The Ascension mod I will have to think about. Although RPGs like Fallout and Knights Of The Old Republic were comfortable to get through, I remember finding some of the bosses at the end of the first Baldur's Gate to be pretty deadly. That said, it was some time ago that I played it and I hadn't had much experience with RPGs at the time except for first-person ones like Daggerfall and Eye Of The Beholder 2 and some top-down ones like Ultima 7 and Times Of Lore.


Does anybody have any advice on the other mods I mentioned? Also, seeing as the mods I listed are WeiDU-based, does it really matter what order these mods are installed? Would I be able to tell if one mod overwrites or affects the content of another?


Thanks again.

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Well, there is the option of skipping all the improved battle components of Ascension, in other words only installing the "actual" Ascension. Is the Ascension final battle hard? IMHO yes. Is the difficulty appropriate for the final battle of the saga? IMHO yes. (And Turnabout can help to even things out as well)


As for installation order, a good (albeit generic) one goes like this:


1. Fixpack

2. NPC mods

3. Banter / flirt packs

4. Quest / kit mods

5. Tweak mods

6. Virtue


I'd make sure to keep Fixpack first and Tweak Pack last, at the very least.


IIRC there's a potential conflict between gMinion and P & P Celestials, though it may have been resolved by now.

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Ascension is waaaay too difficult. Even using the Ctrl-Y instant-death key you still can't kill bosses sometimes. I wouldn't recommend it for a first timer, not ever. On the other hand you may want to go for some components from


G3 Tweaks


and if you're up for convenience or some challenges, you can get


Zyraen's Miscellaneous Mods from PPG ;)


(shameless plug)

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I don't think anyone's mentioned Unfinished Business as of yet, which, in my opinion, is one of the best mods out there. Also, if you've not played BGII before you may want to skip on Divine Remix, it's a great mod but you may want to experience the 'original' cleric, druid, etc classes. Also, you may want to check out the eSeries AI scripts as they also greatly improve playability.

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I'll have a closer look at the eSeries scripts. I saw them before but originally thought they might be a little excessive for first time play. Unfinished Business I was looking at as well but got put off due to some people complaining about bugs and other quirks. Seeing as I haven't played BG2 at all yet, I possibly wouldn't be able to tell if something was broken by one of the mods that I had added or whether it was there beforehand (I remember Fallout 2 having a few holes in it, even after patches).


As it is, I already have quite a lot of mods prepared. I need to make a clean reinstall of BG2 though because, by mistake, I installed the PPG Quest Pack before the NPC Flirt Pack. It was a bit annoying that the Quest Pack's readme tells you not to install it until after the Flirt Pack, but only mentions that right at the end of the document. It would have been more sensible to place compatibility issues towards the front of the Readme. I got the installation order that was listed here slightly mixed up in the first place, which didn't help. I'll be more careful in future.

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With regards to UB, as long as you skip the "Kidnapping of Boo", (current implementation is... faulty.), "Restored Minor Dialogues", and "Corrected BAMs and Scripts" (compatibility issues with the Fixpack, the former serious and the latter minor) components you most likely won't have any problems with it.


I'd agree that UB is one of the premier BG2 mods, but it's definitely due for an update.

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