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Balancing DSotSC for BWP


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#1 OneEyedPhoenix

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 06:05 AM

Me and MM75 have recently undertaken a mod project to balance mods for use with the BWP (BW-Balancer) and the first mod up for revision is the Dsotsc.

As a means to that end we would like to give you all this opportunity to say what you think should be different in Dsotsc.
Is a certain item overpowered? Should some items/spells/etc be removed/revised? Do you have a suggestion for how the items/spells/etc should be altered?

We would like your input on this and if you provide us with good suggestions we might just include them in our mod. The more elaborate the reasoning and the suggestion(s) the better are the odds that we will use it.

Any thoughts?

Edit: Below follows some suggestions I made three years ago. Feel free to comment on those.

dsamul03

Original:

Special: 
  Double all 1, 2, and 3rd level priest spells
  +1 on all saves

My Version:
Special: 
  One extra 1, 2, 3 and 4th level priest spells
  +1 on all saves

Kind of like the ring of holiness. Not as insane as before, but still very good.

dsamul07

Original:
You are a very lucky adventurer indeed.  This Bluestone Necklace increases your Dexterity and gives you a +3 THAC0 bonus!  Just don't let it fall into the wrong hands.....  

Special:  
  +3 Dexterity Bonus and +3 THAC0 while wearing

My Version:
You are a very lucky adventurer indeed.  This Bluestone Necklace increases your Dexterity and gives you a +1 THAC0 bonus!  Just don't let it fall into the wrong hands.....  

Special:  
  +2 Dexterity Bonus and +1 THAC0 while wearing

Just a general down tuning.

dsamul08

This one I'm not quite sure about. Says that wizardslayers are the only ones not able to use it. Would it then give the +1 lvl1 priest spell to non-priests? Should be restricted to Cleric, Druid and ranger, single, dual and multi-classes if it does.

dsarrow1

Original:
This arrow will kill any minor dragon or wyvern outright, does extra damage larger dragons and wyrms and has a greater chance of slaying one of the greatest threats to elven forest, the Green or Forest Dragon.

STATISTICS:

Damage:  1D6 
Damage type:  missile (piercing) 

Special:  
  Slay Minor Dragons and Wyvern upon contact
  +3 Damage/+3 To Hit all Dragons
  10% chance to slay all Dragons

My Version:
This arrow will inflict extra damage on any dragon or wyvern.

STATISTICS:

Damage:  1D6 
Damage type:  missile (piercing) 

Special:  
  +3 Damage/+3 To Hit all Dragons

Ability to instantly slay Dragons is just stupid! I wanted to make this arrow able to penetrate any magical protection a Dragon might have, but I wouldn't know how to code it right...

dsbelt01

Seems to have haste as an equipping effect. Should be changed to a charged effect.

Original:
STATISTICS:

Armor Class Bonus:  
  +3 vs. piercing and missile weapons
Special: Haste

My version:
STATISTICS:

Armor Class Bonus:  
  +3 vs. piercing and missile weapons
Special: Haste (3 charges)

Not sure if I got the coding right. Just added 3 charges and made it rechargeable.

dsbook01

Original:
This tome contains within the finely leather bound cover, the magical runes and notes of the great mage Grun'lerthkin. Grun'lerthkin was a resident of Myth Drannor during its peak. As you read the magical scribbles and notes you begin to become more knowledgeable and somehow feel that you have the abilities of a mage of twice your level.

STATISTICS: 

Doubles all experience points upon reading

My version:
This tome contains within the finely leather bound cover, the magical runes and notes of the great mage Grun'lerthkin. Grun'lerthkin was a resident of Myth Drannor during its peak. As you read the magical scribbles and notes you become more knowledgeable.

STATISTICS: 

Adds 10000 exp upon reading

I don't like these kind of items at all! Seriously toned this one down...

dsbrac01

Original:
Even the most powerful of sages can at times find themselves unprepared for a battle and without the magic to defeat an opponent.  It was for just these times that Sharga commissioned these gloves to be made.  They provide a practitioner of magic with a little extra help when the fight degenerates to direct combat.

STATISTICS:

Armor Class: 0

Special:
  Increased Attacks
  Increased Saving Throws
  +25% to Magic Resistance

My version:
Even the most powerful of sages can at times find themselves unprepared for a battle and without the magic to defeat an opponent.  It was for just these times that Sharga commissioned these gloves to be made.  They provide a practitioner of magic with a little extra help when the fight degenerates to direct combat, unfortunately they prevent spells from being cast and must be removed by magical means.

STATISTICS:

Armor Class: 2

Special:
  Increased Attacks
  Increased Saving Throws
  +25% to Magic Resistance

Added 100% chance to miscast magic, and made it cursed.

dsbrac02

My version:
STATISTICS:

Special: 
  Increased Attacks
  Increased Resistance to Petrification

Original had +2ac, which I removed.

dsbrac04

Original:
STATISTICS: 

THAC0:   +3 bonus 
Damage:  +3 bonus

My version:
STATISTICS: 

THAC0:   +2 bonus 
Damage:  +2 bonus
Increased attacks

I slightly altered it, because in bg1 clerics would be quite useless as fighters, with just one lousy attack per round. Added 1 extra attack.

dsclck04[/i]

Just changed this from +3 to +2ac.

dscoswd

Original:
STATISTICS:

Damage: 1D10 + 4 (+3 vs All Dragons)
THAC0:  +4 (+3 vs All Dragons)
Special:
  AC Bonus +1
  Has a slight chance of slaying any dragon on contact
  50% Resistance to Fire and Acid
  Provides an Aura of Protection
  +2 Bonus to Save vs. Breath Weapons

My version:
STATISTICS:

Damage: 1D10 + 4 (+3 vs All Dragons)
THAC0:  +4 (+3 vs All Dragons)
Special:
  AC Bonus +1
  50% Resistance to Fire and Acid
  Provides an Aura of Protection
  +2 Bonus to Save vs. Breath Weapons

I still think that instant dragon slaying is a bad idea.

dscuswd

Changed it to +3 and removed undescribed ac bonus and bless effect.

dsdrgskn

Changed base ac to 4.

dsebplat

My version:
Not Usable By:
 Bard
 Druid
 Mage
 Thief
 Monk
 Archer
 Stalker
 Barbarian
 Beast Master
 Kensai
 Shapeshifter

Made it unusable by restricting kits.

dshamm02

Changed it's damage from 3d6+1 to 2d6+1

dskorim

Original:
Forged by the Netherese sorcerer/ranger Korim, this green tinged splint mail is imbued with strong enchantments. The strange metal (a copper and uranium mix) is light and supple, yet nearly impervious to blows of any kind. The mail allowed Korim to use his abilities to their fullest. Moreover, the strange metal has proven to have an extraordinary side-effect - it heals the wearer.  

STATISTICS:

Armor Class: 0
Special:  
  Regeneration 1HP every 2 rounds
  Mage Skills Unimpaired

My version:
Forged by the Netherese sorcerer/ranger Korim, this green tinged splint mail is imbued with strong enchantments. The strange metal (a copper and uranium mix) is light and supple, yet very resistant to blows of any kind. The mail allowed Korim to use his abilities to their fullest. Moreover, the strange metal has proven to have an extraordinary side-effect - it heals the wearer.  

STATISTICS:

Armor Class: 5
Special:  
  Regeneration 1HP every 2 rounds
  Mage Skills Unimpaired

Mage armors seriously shouldn't give this good ac.

dsrngfsh

Changed ac bonus from +4 to +2 and removed protection from non magical weapons.

dsrobe03

Original:
This powerful Mage Robe offers protection from all forms of physical attack while at the same time increasing one's magical resistance. Due to the nature of its enchantment, it can only be removed by remove curse.

STATISTICS:

Armor Class:  3
Magic Resistance: +50%
Special:  
  Immune to 1st, 2nd & 3rd level spells
  +4 to 1st, 2nd & 3rd level spells
  Sets Intelligence and Wisdom to 19
  Increased spell casting speed
  Immune to all non-magical weapons

Weight:  6

Usable by:
 All

I'm open to suggestions on this one. Should maybe restrict it to mage classes and give it some serious drawbacks to balance it's outrageous bonuses...? Personally I changed dsmortus.cre so that he wouldn't drop it at all.

dsrobe05

Original:
STATISTICS: 

Armor Class: 3 
Special: 
  Raises Intelligence by 2
  Memorize one extra spell per level up to level 9
  +6 Save vs. Breath Weapon
  +75% to Fire Resistance
  Non-Detection

This robe is also seriously overpowered, but I didn't change it as it disintegrates and is used by several creatures ingame. Should perhaps disintegrate as soon as it's hit by sunlight...?

dsrobe06

STATISTICS:

Armor Class:  +5 Bonus
Magic Resistance: +25%
Saving Throw:  +5 bonus 
Bonus Spells: +3(Lv 1-5)
			  +1(Lv 6-8) 
Constitution: -30% 
Special: Never Need Sleep

Does anybody seriously want to imagine a Neversleeping-ubergod-Edwin? I leave this one to you guys though...

dsswd07

Original:
STATISTICS:

Damage: 1D8 + 1
THAC0:  +5 bonus
Special:
   Dexterity bonus +2
   AC bonus +3
   1 extra attacks per round

My version:
STATISTICS:

Damage: 1D8 + 1
THAC0:  +2 bonus
Special:
   Dexterity bonus +2
   AC bonus +1
   1 extra attacks per round

dstears

Original:
STATISTICS:

Damage: 1D8 + 3
THAC0:  +3 bonus
Special:
  Ac +2
  Cast Charm Person or Mammal 3 times per day
  Stun target unless save vs. Spell

My version:
STATISTICS:

Damage: 1D8 + 3
THAC0:  +3 bonus
Special:
  Cast Charm Person or Mammal 3 times per day
  Stun target unless save vs. Spell at +4

Removed ac bonus and made it harder for the stun target to take effect.

dswrkarm

This one is coded wrong to begin with. Toned my version down to base ac 4.

DSWRLSTF

My version:
This staff is of the Chanah'Rea, forged by lightning striking the tree of power, Chitiruhkha is possessed of lightning.

STATISTICS:

Damage: 1D8 + 3
THAC0:  +3
Special:
  casts "Lightning Bolt" 1 time per day

Changed it to +3, removed ac bonus, removed +6d6 Electrical damage and reduced "Lightning Bolt" charges to 1 per day.


Edited by OneEyedPhoenix, 01 January 2010 - 03:00 PM.


#2 Hoppy

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 10:45 AM

I assume this inludes NTotSC or are you focusing solely on DSotSC as a start?
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#3 Chevalier

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 11:24 AM

I too think DSotSC/NTotSC items are over powered for most of BG1 and it's mods. I have been trying to have a play through that I could use them in the ToB part of the game. I would prefer a toned down version (fewer charges, less armor reduction), than one that truly fully balances things. I hope you get my meaning. :blink:
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#4 OneEyedPhoenix

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 11:24 AM

I assume this inludes NTotSC or are you focusing solely on DSotSC as a start?


It will include NtotSC eventually, but we will focus on DSotSC to begin with.
We would like suggestions for NTotSC as well however, so I will start a new thread for that mod.

#5 OneEyedPhoenix

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 11:32 AM

I too think DSotSC/NTotSC items are over powered for most of BG1 and it's mods. I have been trying to have a play through that I could use them in the ToB part of the game. I would prefer a toned down version (fewer charges, less armor reduction), than one that truly fully balances things. I hope you get my meaning. :blink:


Not really, except that you would like to see the unique items nerfed.

I agree fully that most of them are overpowered, and nerfing will likely be one of the methods used by our mod. Any concrete suggestions for revision?

#6 10th

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 12:38 PM

DSWRKARM - Stormcloud 'Kraken's Bane'
+7 Studded Leather, -2 AC vs all Weapons and -6 vs Missile on top of that.
Drop it to +3, grant normal Studded Leather AC bonuses and please implement its save vs bonuses according to its description, as the original item after all these years still doesn't grant them.

DSWRLSTF - Chitiruhkha - Warlock's Staff +4
First it's +3, the description is wrong, it does 6D6 electricity damage save vs wands on each hit, grants AC+2 and enables you to cast Lightning Bolt 3/day.
Leave it at +3 or drop it to +2, remove the 6D6 vs wands and replace it with normal bonus damage at each hit like Varsona (+1 original game or 1D6 item revisions).

DSTEARS - Scimitar +3 'Yarrow's Tears
Celestial Fury as a scimitar in BG1, 'nuff said. Drop to +2 or leave it at +3 due to strong enemies, change stun target to a 10-20% chance to trigger, reduce/remove AC-bonus, remove Charm Person or Mammal.

DSSWD01-10 and swords in general.
Change those weird damage numbers like 3D3 etc. to standard sword damage ranges like 1D8 and 2D4 and 1D10.

Armors in general
Either update those descriptions, as there is no such thing as a +1 Full Plate with AC 1 or modify the AC and leave the resistances alone.

DSRNGFSH - Ring of fire shielding
+4 AC, 100% fire resistance and immunity to normal weapons 1/day. Way over the top. Reduce AC to +1/+2, halve fire resistance and drop immunity to normal weapons. If immunity to normal weapons should stay, replace it with the ability to cast wraith form. With that it's a choice between casting spells or gaining some bonuses which won't make you immortal against experienced foes.

10th

Edited by 10th, 30 December 2009 - 12:40 PM.

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#7 Lollorian

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 12:54 PM

I too think DSotSC/NTotSC items are over powered for most of BG1 and it's mods. I have been trying to have a play through that I could use them in the ToB part of the game. I would prefer a toned down version (fewer charges, less armor reduction), than one that truly fully balances things. I hope you get my meaning. :blink:

Not really, except that you would like to see the unique items nerfed.

I agree fully that most of them are overpowered, and nerfing will likely be one of the methods used by our mod. Any concrete suggestions for revision?

Methinks he means - if the existing items are usable till ToB, nerf them to be usable till SoA ... and if they're viable till SoA, nerf them for TotSC ... and if they're viable till TotSC, well, they're pretty much balanced already :cheers:

Cheers,
Lol

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#8 10th

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 01:11 PM

@Lollorian/Chevalier
There's just one small and tiny problem:
By adding DSotSC, NTotSC, BGSpawn and SCS I, you're already fighting (some) SoA-level enemies. FYI in my current game with these mods and without XP-reducers and other big BG1 mods I'm in chapter 7 with ~850000 XP with each party member and I haven't done the last Quest of DSotSC, NTotSC, the rest of Durlags Tower and the Werewolf Isle.

10th
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#9 Chevalier

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 01:42 PM

I am not sure how much I should enter into this because I am likely not to use it. So don't go too far in pleasing me if you don't like what I have to say. Let me explain some more about what I think. Yes, many DSotSC items are unbalanced for the standard game and mods that tried to keep in balance with it. I was talking about nerfing items (say changing bracers AC 2 to say AC 3 or 4). This way they are still powerful and in the sprite of the mod and useful when facing very powerful mod added enemies (yes still out of balance with a standard game). 10th is very right, I have needed to use some of the over powered items myself (like with parts of the Grey Clan Episode One), but keep the items most of the time in my Bag of Holding and plan to use them more fully when/if I get to ToB and need them with all the tactical mods. :o

I know I would be most likely to use this type of mod it it only takes super powerful items and make them just over powered. ;)


Since this will and should be a separate mod that mods a mod do what ever you wish. It would be best you clearly stat what & how the mod changes things. :Poke:
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#10 OneEyedPhoenix

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 04:20 PM

Good suggestions 10th, keep them coming. If you were to post revised descriptions as well it would be even more helpful... ;)

10th is very right, I have needed to use some of the over powered items myself (like with parts of the Grey Clan Episode One), but keep the items most of the time in my Bag of Holding and plan to use them more fully when/if I get to ToB and need them with all the tactical mods. :o

I know I would be most likely to use this type of mod it it only takes super powerful items and make them just over powered. ;)


I believe 10th was more concerned with the huge amount of xp he had before he had even finished BG1.
Not everybody uses SCS and/or other tactical mods and those that do use them do so because they want a challenge. Overpowered items in a game will remove some of this challenge. This will suit the preferences of some but not others. As the main goal of this mod is to balance items, rather than nerfing them from "super powerful" to "over powered", you might not be using our mod Chevalier but your opinions are still welcome.

Methinks he means - if the existing items are usable till ToB, nerf them to be usable till SoA ... and if they're viable till SoA, nerf them for TotSC ... and if they're viable till TotSC, well, they're pretty much balanced already


As I general note I don't think items in BG1 should be useful in TOB. Furthermore all BG1 items are normally lost in transition to SoA, so we will not be nerfing them with SoA or ToB use in mind. Those players that import items from BG1 to BG2 are not really concerned with balance in the first place, so while these players will be free to use our mod I don't see myself designing the mod for them. You are however free to try to convince me otherwise...

#11 Lollorian

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 09:24 PM

Furthermore all BG1 items are normally lost in transition to SoA, so we will not be nerfing them with SoA or ToB use in mind.

Ah, forgot about that :doh:

Ok, then, make em all viable for BGI+TotSC. (and don't make the same mistake that BP-Balancer does ... it removes quest items :whistling:) If yu're only nerfing the items, that's good (BP-Balancer outright removes them from the game <_<)

Cheers and good luck,
Lol

Edited by Lollorian, 30 December 2009 - 09:25 PM.

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#12 Chevalier

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Posted 31 December 2009 - 05:33 AM

Furthermore all BG1 items are normally lost in transition to SoA, so we will not be nerfing them with SoA or ToB use in mind.


Not really. :whistling: There is a in game way (not a cheat) to keep items into SoA in a BGT game. Think about it for a bit and you might come up with how it is done. :whistling:
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#13 Lollorian

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Posted 31 December 2009 - 05:37 AM

Erm, the BWP-Balancer shouldn't really think about cheats now, should it?? :P

Cheers,
Lol

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#14 Chevalier

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Posted 31 December 2009 - 05:47 AM

I am not saying it should, just correcting a misstatement. It is not a cheat, it is part of a mod(s) intended by the author. It is not one of those keep items/find item in Irenacus' Dungeon mods. More clever and works roleplaying wise.
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#15 Lollorian

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Posted 31 December 2009 - 06:42 AM

Now that I think about it, there're some items in BGI (a rod in Konalan's Tweaks etc) that can be found in BGII too. These stuff teleport you to a haven type area for resting and stuff. So, anything that's dropped in these areas get carried over too, so no CLUAing necessary ^_^ So, items are actually transferrable without any consoling :coolthumb:

Cheers,
Lol

Edited by Lollorian, 31 December 2009 - 06:45 AM.

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#16 10th

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Posted 31 December 2009 - 06:43 AM

@OneEyedPhoenix
I didn't get those 850k XP just by playing DSotSC, NTotSC and BGSpawn. It was more to illustrate the point that just because you could only reach 161k XP in the original BG1 TotSC doesn't mean you were limited to it. Granted some of those XP were gained by original BG2 XP for spell-learning, disarming traps and picking locks.

Even in original BG1 TotSC you could get to the XP-Cap at the end of Chapter 4/5 if you seriously intended to do it.

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#17 OneEyedPhoenix

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 03:30 AM

It is not a cheat, it is part of a mod(s) intended by the author. It is not one of those keep items/find item in Irenacus' Dungeon mods. More clever and works roleplaying wise.


You could mod in books that increases your stats and experience intentionally as well (oh wait...). Just because something is done intentionally doesn't mean it's not cheating and/or cheesy. I remember a mod that added a "bank" to let you transfer all your money and items from BG1 to BG2 for instance. That might work role playing wise but it doesn't change the fact that players only use it because they know beforehand that they would loose all their items and money if they don't. Knowing what's going to happen beforehand isn't very "role playing wise" either. The main argument for me though is that BG2 is balanced for a party that has been jumped (granted like common level 1 characters) and stripped of all their items and money. Accepting this twist of the story is to role play the game properly, trying to circumvent it because you know what following the story entails is not!

Having said that I fully understand why people do such things. All your loot, that you have spent many hours collecting, does go to waste after all.
This does compromise the balance of the game however and to a big extent damages the point in balancing BWP for BG2. For these reasons we will design the mod with proper balance and a stripped party of adventurers at the beginning of BG2, in mind. This doesn't mean that our mod shouldn't be used by gamers such as you Chevalier. You might in fact find that you enjoy the game more with this higher level of challenge. Very powerful items and characters will still be available to you, you might just have to work a bit more to get them. ;)

I didn't get those 850k XP just by playing DSotSC, NTotSC and BGSpawn. It was more to illustrate the point that just because you could only reach 161k XP in the original BG1 TotSC doesn't mean you were limited to it. Granted some of those XP were gained by original BG2 XP for spell-learning, disarming traps and picking locks.

Even in original BG1 TotSC you could get to the XP-Cap at the end of Chapter 4/5 if you seriously intended to do it.


I didn't think you did, but with many content mods and no xp-reducing mods I fully believe that you could accumulate such an amount of xp in BG1.
Such high levels would significantly reduce the need for overpowered magical items to finish the mods I should think.
I might have missed your point though... Were you saying, like Lollorian suggested, that you need those items to complete the mods?

Edited by OneEyedPhoenix, 01 January 2010 - 04:44 AM.


#18 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 04:13 AM

I didn't get those 850k XP just by playing DSotSC, NTotSC and BGSpawn. It was more to illustrate the point that just because you could only reach 161k XP in the original BG1 TotSC doesn't mean you were limited to it. Granted some of those XP were gained by original BG2 XP for spell-learning, disarming traps and picking locks.

Even in original BG1 TotSC you could get to the XP-Cap at the end of Chapter 4/5 if you seriously intended to do it.


I didn't think so, but with many content mods and no xp-reducing mods I fully believe that you could accumulate such an amount of xp in BG1.
Such high levels would significantly reduce the need for overpowered magical items to finish the mods I should think.
I might have missed your point though... Were you saying, like Lollorian suggested, that you need those items to complete the mods?

What, could you quote a little better... cause I was able to reach the 89000xp when I played the plain old BG1 without mods the first time through before I was in even in Baldur's Gate, as I was resting in the right place... the TotSC didn't change the situation much as I was always able to get the limit before the Ulgoth's Beard... cause I was mages, and thus also needed the levels, but my group was always the same, so I know where to get them from... without too much extra kills on the way there, so I cleaned the monsters only after I had got my group together.
That's the truth about the BG1+BGTotSC.

Now, the moded BGT game without any XP reducing mods, a 850 000 xp is easy to get for everyone of the 6 group members, at least in average, and without much of an effort.
With the XP reducers, well, I have never played the whole BWSv8... game.
Cerberus v1.05, MegaModKits v1.01L, iiSpellSystemAdjustments v7.1; mods by Jarno Mikkola the Imp. FAQ for the Megamods. The Frequently Answered Questions.
BWS - Standard = not imba items spells or cheats. Tactical = AI hardly stupid = stupid hard. Expert = broke.
In case the BG2 game crashes post the content of your baldur.err file. To get it to record stuff, open up the 'baldur.ini' in your game folder with Notepad, and under the [Program Options] section in the file, make a new line and type in 'Logging On=1' (without the '' quotes, unless the line is already there)... Save the file and exit. Now go back into the game and try to reproduce the crash. Then look in your game folder again for the Baldur.err file and open it with the Notepad to analyze its contents, or let us do it.
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#19 10th

10th
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  • 617 posts

Posted 01 January 2010 - 07:49 AM

@OneEyedPhoenix
Up to now I thought you needed all those heavily enchanted weapons, because you'll encounter some demons. But after checking those creatures it seems, that they aren't required at all. And yes, I thought some of those items were required, which turned out to be wrong ^_^

10th
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#20 --prune1--

--prune1--
  • Guest

Posted 01 January 2010 - 08:12 AM

Can i just ask, have you consulted the mod author about these changes? It's one thing to make changes locally and keep them to yourselves with no one any the wiser, but to distribute something publicly is rather different.

Do you intend to ask all the authors of the mods you plan on "balancing" first if they are allright with such?

Balance is a very relative thing for one, anyways.



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