Baldur's Gate I playthrough: 1

Posted by meatsounds (62 posts) -

Rocking it old-school! 
 
I've created a WinXP virtual machine on my 64bit Win7 install, and into that install I put that wonderful, wonderful fan creation, Tutu ( http://www.usoutpost31.com/easytutu/  ). TuTu allows you to play BG1 on the BG2 engine, which is mostly the same but with two major improvements: firstly, a higher resolution allows you to see more of the map at the glance; secondly, a bunch of UI improvements, like revealing all containers and doorways with the 'Tab' key. Using Tutu also spruces up the graphics a bit, but if you're playing Baldur's Gate I, you're quite likely to not be the type of gamer who is too worried about that. 
 
Baldur's Gate is also home to a burgeoning mod scene (well, burgeoned...). I installed the BG1NPC pack ( http://www.gibberlings3.net/bg1npc/ ) which tries to make up for BG1's real shortcoming compared to BG2: the relative lack of NPC interaction. It includes everything from random banter to intra-party conflict to romances. I'll report back on how good/bad/embarrassingly the fan-created content is, but  I can already vouch that everything is super-polished.
 
I rolled a single-class thief, because BG doesn't really have a thief NPC for you. Also, rogues are my favourite classes, and I'm one of those people that loves to backstab. I'm also playing evil for the first time. Face it, the alignment that most closely matched RPG playing is evil, what with all the merciless pursuit of one's own benefit, ransacking homes, hoarding all the wealth that's available, and cutting a bloody swathe of destruction through the world. Also, it's possible to make a classic DnD party in Bg2 with Korgan, Viconia and Edwin (the best fighter, cleric and mage NPCs, respectively) if you provide the thief. They just happen to be evil. Yes, I'm playing this with the long haul in mind. In BG1 Kagain the Amazing Regenerating Meat-Shield and Shar-Teel have to play the role of fighter. 
 
I haven't cleared the Nashkel mines yet, and already I'm reminded of just how enormous, wide-ranging and deep this game is. Definitely one to play with the FAQ open in the window next to you, to make sure you don't miss anything.

#1 Posted by meatsounds (62 posts) -

Rocking it old-school! 
 
I've created a WinXP virtual machine on my 64bit Win7 install, and into that install I put that wonderful, wonderful fan creation, Tutu ( http://www.usoutpost31.com/easytutu/  ). TuTu allows you to play BG1 on the BG2 engine, which is mostly the same but with two major improvements: firstly, a higher resolution allows you to see more of the map at the glance; secondly, a bunch of UI improvements, like revealing all containers and doorways with the 'Tab' key. Using Tutu also spruces up the graphics a bit, but if you're playing Baldur's Gate I, you're quite likely to not be the type of gamer who is too worried about that. 
 
Baldur's Gate is also home to a burgeoning mod scene (well, burgeoned...). I installed the BG1NPC pack ( http://www.gibberlings3.net/bg1npc/ ) which tries to make up for BG1's real shortcoming compared to BG2: the relative lack of NPC interaction. It includes everything from random banter to intra-party conflict to romances. I'll report back on how good/bad/embarrassingly the fan-created content is, but  I can already vouch that everything is super-polished.
 
I rolled a single-class thief, because BG doesn't really have a thief NPC for you. Also, rogues are my favourite classes, and I'm one of those people that loves to backstab. I'm also playing evil for the first time. Face it, the alignment that most closely matched RPG playing is evil, what with all the merciless pursuit of one's own benefit, ransacking homes, hoarding all the wealth that's available, and cutting a bloody swathe of destruction through the world. Also, it's possible to make a classic DnD party in Bg2 with Korgan, Viconia and Edwin (the best fighter, cleric and mage NPCs, respectively) if you provide the thief. They just happen to be evil. Yes, I'm playing this with the long haul in mind. In BG1 Kagain the Amazing Regenerating Meat-Shield and Shar-Teel have to play the role of fighter. 
 
I haven't cleared the Nashkel mines yet, and already I'm reminded of just how enormous, wide-ranging and deep this game is. Definitely one to play with the FAQ open in the window next to you, to make sure you don't miss anything.

#2 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11991 posts) -

Trying a little BG1, eh? I wish you luck. The way the difficulty skews in that game is... less than awesome. I hope you enjoy reloading your save.

#3 Posted by meatsounds (62 posts) -

Oh, over the years I've spent a lot of time reloading BG saves. As for the difficulty, there are normally ways to game the system so that you come out on top. Stealth + boots of speed + backstab will see you through most of the game -- poke someone in the kidney, run around a corner, stealth, backstab again, etc. Using traps also helps. The 'cast Cloudkill while they're out of visual range' trick is a winner. But, yeah, BG will punish you severely if you try to go at something the wrong way. It has been years since I've played it, though, so maybe it'll give me a few nasty surprises.

#4 Posted by superpope (129 posts) -

The way to go is always a warhammer dual-wielding warrior so that by the time you get to the end of BG2 you can used Crom Faer and the Runehammer. You will chew up anything in your way. That class rarely leaves a non gibbed corpse on the field.
#5 Posted by NoXious (1353 posts) -

Oh god, single-class thief? Good luck with that! I hate em end-game if you don't dual / multi class a thief.
I personally loved rocking a ** / Mage combi. Whether it is thief or fighter, spells always complimented the abilities. Shadow Door for a Thief was insane!

#6 Posted by meatsounds (62 posts) -

Oh, yeah, I've done that. Last year I played through BG2 and ToB, completing them with a dual-classed ranger-cleric PC in a Good party. As powerful as a Ironskinned, Insect Plague throwing, juggernaut of divine bludgeoning is, Kelgorn the inquisitor was not much weaker at all, and the strongest characters of all are probably sorcerors. There's a guy who soloed BG2 + ToB with a sorceror, on Insane difficulty, without any equipment. He allowed himself just a plain quarterstaff for the Magic Golems and the two or three other such spots, and the 15k in gold to advance to the plot (but didn't spend any). Holy. Shit.

#7 Posted by meatsounds (62 posts) -

NoXious, you just lack a proper respect for Bane's blessed arts. Yes, the duals and multis are very powerful: I first wanted to have a fighter to dual-class to thief after hitting grandmastery with two-handers -- backstab with Carsomyr, baby! But, this is a BG1 playthrough after all, and the thought of having to wait till well into BG2 to get by avatar of silent death just wasn't appealing. Late-game thieves do offer rewards for those of us so inclined: the various traps you get as high-level abilities are perhaps the most powerful HLAs, Use Any Item.

#8 Posted by RipperSU (44 posts) -

Just curious as to why you're running it through a virtual machine? I'm currently playing through Tutu on 64bit Windows 7 and it's remarkably compatible.

#9 Posted by meatsounds (62 posts) -

The video card on the laptop I'm forced to play on (long story) has real problems with legacy code on Win64. Since I've been very slack with this playthrough (which I was thinking of starting up again), the drivers have been updated in the meantime, so maybe it won't be so bad any more.

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