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RPGWatch Forums » Games » General RPG » Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn

Default Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn

December 15th, 2006, 19:18
I recently continued with this game after finishing Gothic II. As there is no BG2 forum here, it was high time to create a topic for this ultimate game of ultimate games.

I see that there are more mods than I expected, even a project that bundles BG1 + expansion, BG2 + expansion and several large mods into one giant game that can be played from start to finish. I mean, WTF!? That should be over 600 hours of gameplay!

Anyway, I bought this game when it first came out and then never played past the first intro dungeon where you were held prisoner. Now, I'm exploring Athkatla and I'm having a rare good time with it, one that I haven't seen since BG1. The side-quests are just so much fun and so well-written, that you cannot stop doing them! I mean, I spent an entire evening freeing some slaves that were kidnapped from the street (as witnessed by a playing boy on the street, you may find out) as entertainment for gladiatorial fights in an entire back section of the local ruffian tavern. Just exploring the dungeon they were kept prisoner in, talking to the customers about the semi-secret "special entertainment", the prisoners' story and the Beastmaster with his animals… That's not even talking about the D&D system with tons of skills and spells where you have actual choices in combat. Talk about strategic.

So what's up with this game? Is there still a community? What mods/improvements should I not miss?
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December 15th, 2006, 19:43
There's still quite a bit of BG2 development, yes. http://modlist.pocketplane.net is the master list of effectively everything that's been released over the years. There are still a few noteworthy development groups as well.

The Broken Hourglass, a new CRPG under development at Planewalker Games.
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December 16th, 2006, 06:14
Being one of the greatest, if not the very greatest, RPG of all time, the community is still very much alive. You can find all sorts of information about it on various sites such as http://www.gamebanshee.com, and a little google search will give you more mods than you will ever have need of.
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December 16th, 2006, 13:24
The greatest is Planescape Torment. BG2 are in the top five though, if not second.
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December 16th, 2006, 15:25
Yes, even with very little effort I found all sorts of mods. But it's a bit overwhelming, I mean I have yet to put serious time into the original game. Still there is this undefinable quality to this game that makes it simply pure fun to play and never boring. Very cool.
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December 17th, 2006, 09:03
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
The greatest is Planescape Torment. BG2 are in the top five though, if not second.

They are both great games. It comes down to what style you prefer. I would rate BG2 higher because of the variety of npc's and weapons\items, which is an area that PST was weak in.

But if you prefer story and dialog, then no doubt you will like PST better.
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December 17th, 2006, 11:39
So, in case there are any BG2 fanatics out there - which mods, if any, do you recommend, if one has already played through the original BG2 and is thinking of a replay? Also please give a short argument as to why you're recommending a specific mod…
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December 17th, 2006, 14:50
Unfinished Buisness adds some cool little Quests while keeping the Atmosphere.

The "Imoen Romance" (it turns only into a romance if you actively persue this Path) adds a lot of nice dialogue to this very important and very silent NPC.

Although the Banter-Packs and Flirtpacks are great for more dialogues without any Harm to the Story-line.

Even if WeiDu makes the mods theoreticaly compatible, there are some Places that would be used twice or more and the Game may break i.e. Check the Bodies and the Tashia Mod are using the same Cave near Suldanessar for their Plot and this breaks the Game… so it is important not to install to many Mods… I always install one to much and at some Point the Plot simply stops

Improved Illych from the Tactics-Mod is pure Horror though it feels great to kill these guys after 2 days or so of trying .

Edit: My favourite is the Tutu-Mod in combination with the BG1-NPC Mod - but you need to have BG 1 and BG 2 to install it.

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December 17th, 2006, 16:00
Imoen Romance? I found her so irritating that I've decided to role-play not wanting to rescue her. Well, maybe if I have to. *sigh*
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December 17th, 2006, 18:58
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
They are both great games. It comes down to what style you prefer. I would rate BG2 higher because of the variety of npc's and weapons\items, which is an area that PST was weak in.

But if you prefer story and dialog, then no doubt you will like PST better.
I disagree. In both NPC and equipment Planescape Torment outshines pretty much everything. I do not know a RPG that have that unique NPC's and that many wierd and twisted items with unique features.
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December 17th, 2006, 19:52
You just had to bring in Planescape: Torment, didn't you? That's another game I bought pretty much as soon as I laid my eyes on but never gave it the time it deserves. And now I'm into BG2, you just had to make me try out PS:T, too.
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December 17th, 2006, 19:56
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
I disagree. In both NPC and equipment Planescape Torment outshines pretty much everything. I do not know a RPG that have that unique NPC's and that many wierd and twisted items with unique features.
Huh? Did you play both games? PST had nowhere near the amount of weapons/items that BG2 did.

I'm talking about amount/quantity here, not uniqueness.
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December 17th, 2006, 23:41
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Huh? Did you play both games? PST had nowhere near the amount of weapons/items that BG2 did.
I'm talking about amount/quantity here, not uniqueness.
You mean like Long Sword, Long Sword +1, Long Sword +2, Long Sword +3, Long Sword +4, Long Sword +5, Long Sword +6, Long Sword +7, Long Sword +8 all in the same game?
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December 17th, 2006, 23:54
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
You mean like Long Sword, Long Sword +1, Long Sword +2, Long Sword +3, Long Sword +4, Long Sword +5, Long Sword +6, Long Sword +7, Long Sword +8 all in the same game?
Not at all. I'm talking about the variety of different weapons and armor period. It's not even close.
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December 17th, 2006, 23:56
A rather mundane mod, but I'd not play any of the Infinity Engine games without the Ease of Use mods. Infinite (or at least large) stacks of weightless items such as rings and arrows is a big step towards userfriendliness. Otherwise I havent played around much with mods (the game has enough content for a few replays on its own). But I'd like to check out Unfinished Business if I pick it up again.

Tutu is nice if you want to play through the whole saga again.
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December 18th, 2006, 03:41
JDR is right, if you look at a list over unique items, BG2 has, by far, the biggest list and the most loot. It is also considerably bigger, so it's fairly logical that you can get more varied loot. I agree with what he said: For dialogue and story, PS:T is the better game, but for items, freedom, size, NPCs, BG2 is the better game. It's a matter of taste. Someone is bound to bring up Fallout too, so let's stick to the main topic for now, hehe.

Personally I prefer to just use the original game + the two extra official merchants. From time to time I add an NPC or two because I need it for a particular class combination or want some new dialogue, but most of the time I play it virtually unmodded.

Edit: By the way - get the add-on. Even if you don't play through it, it adds quite a few things to the original game.
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December 18th, 2006, 10:59
Well, don't know for Fallout, but I'd sure bring ToEE - a far batter game than any Infinity engine game. Better combat, nuff said. Given that at least half of every Infinity-based game is combat …
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December 18th, 2006, 11:24
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Edit: By the way - get the add-on. Even if you don't play through it, it adds quite a few things to the original game.
You mean Throne of Bhaal? Like what does it add? Is it an add-in, a bit like Night of the Raven for Gothic 2? Oh, and can you keep your save games?

EDIT:
Originally Posted by Arma View Post
Well, don't know for Fallout, but I'd sure bring ToEE - a far batter game than any Infinity engine game. Better combat, nuff said. Given that at least half of every Infinity-based game is combat …
Better combat than BG2? You seem to imply that you think BG2's combat isn't very good— or is ToEE's so incomparably brilliant that it does put BG2's in the shadows? Because I haven't played many games with combat as varied, challenging and compelling at the same time as BG2's.
Last edited by Thaurin; December 18th, 2006 at 11:52.
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December 18th, 2006, 12:54
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
You mean Throne of Bhaal? Like what does it add? Is it an add-in, a bit like Night of the Raven for Gothic 2? Oh, and can you keep your save games?
Yes it does add quite a few improvements even over SoA - a new wizard kit, increased level cap to name a few. And the new dungeon that is quite tough for SoA characters, but still is available.

Better combat than BG2? You seem to imply that you think BG2's combat isn't very good— or is ToEE's so incomparably brilliant that it does put BG2's in the shadows? Because I haven't played many games with combat as varied, challenging and compelling at the same time as BG2's.
I actually ment both - BG2SoA has only one advantage over other Infinity games, mage duels. Otherwise, combat in it is sub-par, with few exceptions (like the Rogue Stone opened door in the Bridge fight that I mark as excellent), reliant on sheer numbers or equipment or levels. Dragon and Lich fights were near impossible, but otherwise a low level party can deal with any available quest i.e level scaling is missing from the game for the most part. A high level party moves around like a hot knife through butter.

ToEE may have plenty of bugs, a bit more shallow story and other problems, but the 3.5 DnD edition and the excellent combat make up for that. Yes, it is actually that good that it surpasses every other TBS combat in an RPG (well, my opinion, but still) and some of the most memorable fights ever. Even a simple fight against a few low level critters was quite enjoyable unlike most other RPG where it is cumbersome and boring.
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December 18th, 2006, 13:07
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
JDR is right, if you look at a list over unique items, BG2 has, by far, the biggest list and the most loot. It is also considerably bigger, so it's fairly logical that you can get more varied loot. I agree with what he said: For dialogue and story, PS:T is the better game, but for items, freedom, size, NPCs, BG2 is the better game. It's a matter of taste. Someone is bound to bring up Fallout too, so let's stick to the main topic for now, hehe.
There were more (amount) thanks to the Infinity engine's ability to create new Dungeons & Dragons items, but there were few items that was unique, original and had their own unique function unlike any other. In PS:T there were loads of items that had their own code written for them, items that had to be unlocked, that could be improved multiple times, wierd items, where BG2 just had the common stuff. The only unique item I remember from BG2 was the talking sword.
Same thing with the companions. The only ones I remember the full story for in BG2 was Minsc, Jaheira Keldorn and Imoen. In PS:T each character had a dark secret that would reveal itself in time, a massive long storyline, "unlocks" that could improve them and an unique race and finally custom coded functions that only that companion would be able to use.

So the only thing BG2 have over PS:T really is quantity of loot/cannonfodder but not the depth of items/npc's. That does not make it a bad game, it's just one step behind.
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