Baldur's Gate II Turns 20

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the launch of Baldur's Gate II, BioWare's D&D Forgotten Realms RPG sequel. To celebrate, the game is on sale on GOG.com for 50% off. A bunch of other RPGs are likewise discounted, including Divinity: Original Sin 2, Pillars of Eternity, Neverwinter Nights, and Icewind Dale 2. GOG.com also offers a Baldur’s Gate II Retrospective.
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Re: Baldur's Gate II Turns 20
Sep 22, 2020, 02:19
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Re: Baldur's Gate II Turns 20 Sep 22, 2020, 02:19
Sep 22, 2020, 02:19
 
Acleacius - > oh yeah, of course NWN2, I probably played that and all of its expansions 4x more than NWN1, honestly.

MeanJim -> mods for BGEE and BG2EE, let's see: Sword Coast Stratagems ( gibberlings3.net ), Weimer's Item Upgrade (BG2EE version on Beamdog Forums), Gibberlings BG2Tweaks, small mods like Improved Horns of Valhalla (changes the horns in BG1 and BG2), Item Revisions(some pieces, from gibbgerlings3)... and I think that's it this time around. Not all of the 'classic' Weimer mods work on the EE versions. Ascension is baked into SCS or one of the gibberlings3 fixpacks, I forget where. A lot of the old school Weimer little mods got worked into the massive gibberlings3 mods, for that matter. Also, Level 1 NPCs, so you respec each NPC as you meet them the first time, I can't remember if that's baked into one of the gibberlings tweakpacks, I believe it is.

For Classic BG1 and BG2, I usually used Weimer Tactics (with Ascension), which is crazily unbalanced compared to Sword Coast Stratagems. SCS, based on my BGEE experience so far, is a lot more fair, but adds quite a bit to the base games.

Install time for the mods gets a little ridiculous, you can just put it all in, but I usually go item by item, and try to not to mod anything twice, however it's still not that hard to break the game with conflicting mods. I've tried some of the NPC add-ons in the old days, but I didn't bother this time around for BGEE and BG2EE, since they add new NPCs anyway.

mirthy -> Yeah, I usually try to run a different party and different PC pretty much every time, although I gravitate towards melee setups mostly, since I enjoy that more than pure casters, or ranged based. This particular BGEE to BG2EE run (which is my first complete playthrough of both with the same character, or will be) is Human Chaotic Good Berserker (dual wield, blades and maces), going to Dual Class in BG2EE to Berserker/Thief, and probably use ShadowKeeper to make him a Berserker/Assassin. Melee powerhouse with insane AC with Thief HLA Use All Items in BG2, ends up ridiculously strong with great backstab for first strike. I have played a variation of this in the past, in non-EE BG2, Kensai/Thief or Fighter/Assassin? I forget.

My first ever playthrough in vanilla BG2 was a CG Wizard Slayer, with a mostly good party, Minsc, Aerie, Jaheira, Jan, Anomen.

I've only done one fully evil party, with a Fighter/Bounty Hunter PC, Korgan, Viconia, Edwin, ******(Spoiler character), and Cernd as backup healer, with the Shapeshifter rebalancing mod. Full Evil party is pretty damned strong, but Keldorn + anything beats most vanilla encounters.

After using Keldorn once, I usually just do his quests and leave him behind, his insta-cast double-level Dispel Magic just breaks the vanilla game, and even makes Weimer Tactics or SCS a lot easier.

Dual Class Fighter (archer) to Conjurer Mage is a fun one too, there are plenty of great bows in the game. Dual Class Fighter with Staff/2h focus is great too, if you're planning on the end game BG2 weapons like Staff of Magi or The Ram.

I think I did one run as a Paladin Undead Hunter, with focus on 2H Swords for Carsomyr abuse.

*EDIT* Oh yeah, left out the classic overpowered PCs of the past, Berserker/Cleric, and Ranger/Cleric. Did at least one run of each, BG2EE by default disables Ranger/Cleric full Druid spell list, but you can enable it with a text file edit or command line entry, I believe. I did do one run also as a Kensai Mage with katanas(Celestial Fury) but that was a little too meta for me, and I think I gave up on that run. Kensai isn't that good, old Bioware BG2 forum people.

This is part of the problem for me, there are so many good weapons, so many good class combos, so many good party combos, every time I do one playthrough I start planning my next one halfway through!

My current BG2 target party is most likely: the Berserker/Assassin PC(various Blades and maces / Crom Faeyr offhand), Valygar(Flail of Ages/Axe of the Unyielding /shield), Mazzy (straight 5 star Archer build, Bows, 2 handers), Aerie(hammer/sling/shield), Jaheira(sling/throwing dagger/Club/shield), and Nalia(respecced into dual class Fighter-Archer/Mage, instead of useless L4 thief mage) (Bows and Staff of Magi/Cloak of Nondetection for disappearance cast strikes on Beholders, etc.).

Shadowkeeper lets you really play around with your class and NPC class setups, I highly recommend it after to everybody after the first vanilla run through.

The only BG2 npc I amost never take along for longer than his quest: Haer Dalis, that stationary spinning joker. Bards in general in the BG engine.. are sub optimal, since they can't sing AND fight simultaneously. Hopefully BG3 Bards are a LOT better. Although now that I say that, I probably should do a Weakest Party Possible + Haer Dalis playthrough at some point. No Fighters, all the thieves/mages/bards, or something, with no Timestop or Sequencers. That'll be a lot of summons(no Devas) and running around, probably.

Also after the first few playthroughs, I usually skip using the game breaking items, Shield of Balduran, Cloak of Mirroring, Carsomyr, Celestial Fury, sometimes even Staff of Magi, although I still kill the bastards who have the items, of course. Some of the add-on weapon mods are about as strong, so be careful there as well, for people thinking about modding their game up.

As far as vanilla BGEE and BG2EE, most or even all mods can really be skipped, aside from maybe the gibberlings3 BG2Fixpack. SCS and Weimer Tactics change a LOT; Tactics especially, has some deliberately broken encounters, because the end game power level for BG2 parties is ridiculous.

Hrm, I need to finish up BGEE and get into BG2EE finally, I've been side tracked with some other games lately.

This comment was edited on Sep 22, 2020, 02:38.
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