Ascension

Ascension is a collection of changes to Throne of Bhaal, aimed at providing a richer story and more tactically interesting gameplay. Its largest component completely rewrites the finale (chapter 10) of Throne of Bhaal, adding new enemies and new allies; other components enhance the tactical challenge of many of the key battles in Throne of Bhaal, improve plot-central dialogues and player abilities, and more.

Ascension dates back to the dawn of Baldur's Gate modding: the designers were Cuveronious, Quitch, Xyx, Spork, Vulgar Zildrah, and Kensai Ryu, and the project team leader was David Gaider, one of the writers on Throne of Bhaal itself (and later lead writer for the Dragon Age series). It has gone through many updates and many maintainers since then - Westley Weimer (original author of WEIDU); and Miloch; White Agnus and JediMindTrix; AlienQuake, and more - with contributions from many other modders.

This version is coded by DavidW (author of Sword Coast Stratagems and Wheels of Prophecy). It is a fairly systematic, ground-up rewrite of Ascension using modern coding techniques and taking advantage of Enhanced Edition functionality (while remaining backward-compatible with non-enhanced versions of Throne of Bhaal). In the rewrite, the component structure of Ascension was modified, breaking the main component into several sub-components (this was not possible in the original Ascension because of the very limited modding methods of the time), a very large number of small bugs were fixed, and some minor changes in implementation were made, reflecting modern coding methods and resources. I have tried to remain extremely faithful to the original Ascension.

Components

The Ascension

  • Rewritten final chapter
  • Redeemable Balthazar
  • Improved Sarevok-player interactions
  • Improved Imoen-player interactions
  • Restored Bhaalspawn powers
  • Improved Slayer transformation
  • Expanded epilogues (choose either David Gaider's original epilogues, or the subsequent alternatives by Shawnee)

Tougher Enemies

  • Tougher Abazigal
  • Tougher Balthazar
  • Tougher Demogorgon
  • Tougher Gromnir
  • Tougher Illasera
  • Tougher Yaga-Shura

Additional content (added to the mod after its original release)

  • Full-body portrait for Bodhi
  • Alternative portrait for Balthazar, by Cuv
  • Extended epilogues for Beamdog NPCs, by Shawnee (EE only)
  • Sharpened portraits for Gromnir and Abazigal, by DavidW (EE only)
  • Slightly improved Bhaalspawn cutscenes, by DavidW¬†