Mega Mod Installs

Looking for a general "opinion" here, not necessarily a specific mod install or anything.

I'm going to install EET with the 2.5 patch and was going to include a more "streamlined" version of installs I have done before.  In the past I have installed EET with multiple Mega Mods installed together, i.e. Sandrah, CtB, Drizzt, etc., along with a large collection of NPC's, and tweaks for what turns out to be a rather big platform.  I have 3 versions of this type of install currently running with play through's at different points in each one.

My primary question as I start doing things with the 2.5 update is would it be better, easier, or just no different if I scaled back on the # of MegaMods I install all at once?  Maybe just install Darkest Day, NPC's, Kits, and tweaks, as an example?

I wasn't sure if scaling back on the amount I'm including in a BWS or EET Tool install would make a difference, and part of this is me just understanding how the mod system functions.  Again, I'm not necessarily looking for advice of one Mod being better than another, just trying to wrap my mind around how the Mods all work together.  Thanks for your answers.
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Comments

  • The main difference - and this is just as personal an opinion as yours- is in the use of "Global" mods in EET.

    What makes the game different is not the Mega Mods, NPCs or quests because you can always decide in game which route you follow and which quest you accept and who joins your party. Only exception here are a few assassin encounters from e.g. Dark Horizons.

    What I call "Global" mods here are mods that change game aspects regardless of which choices you make in the story itself. If you change items or spells for EET, this is for all of the game. Same is true for SCS behaviour of your enemies, harder spawns or even tactical mods.

    To be understood, I like some of those "Global" changes and never play without them. It is just that you make your decisions up front and it affects your whole game. If you dislike an NPC you kick him out. If you dislike how enemy spellcasters act, you need to re-install.
  • Thanks Roxanne, that helps quite a bit.  On that note, is there any "technical" difference on how big the install is?  i.e., number of mods being included, amounts to be downloaded, etc. 

    Ultimately is there  any reason that the engine and/or game function better with a lesser number of mods installed, regardless of their status (expert, tactical, global) or does it really not matter?  I'm thinking some things are limited by the infinity engine itself, where others may be limited by hardware and/or space limits.
  • With EE game generation I have not encountered such problems with large installations yet. The lag or stutter cases that I analyzed always had other reasons. In the end, the amount of data handled at one time does not increase that much.
    If you play for a long time, your saves get bigger and the time to save and reload increases. But no impact in game.
    In the end, the limit of mods installed lies in the mods itself. The number you can use at one time without getting conflicts and bugs between them will make you consider to stop at some point.
  • edited January 9
    Hello,

    long time player of BG series looking for some guidance and tips regarding my first EET installation.
    I am well familiar with BGT-BWS, but was absent from forums for quite some time.
    Last few days I read lot of threads here, on SHS and Beamdog forums to familiarize myself with current situation on modding scene.

    I was planning to go with two options for my installation, one more compact, with only rule changes and maybe with just few content and NPC mods. Other, mega installation that would include as much quality content as possible.
    But, since I don't have any experience with EE versions of the mods, or EET I would appreciate any info you could give me.

    For my mega installation i decided to use ''Explore the EET World'' selection as base and go from there.
    My first question is regarding big mods and quest mods. I remember some of them having NPCs without
    much content, lots of rehashed areas (I remember one having map of Beregost as new town, wich for me totally brake immersion), or having lost of overpowered and unbalanced items.
    Last few days I was searching forums to find any reviews on latest version of this mods, but without much success. What was changed with updating this mods to EE versions?
    In ''Explore the EET World'' selection, Shadows over Soubar has been the only big mod that is not selected. Why is that so?

    I managed to find some reviews on some of the quest mods, but even for some with very interesting locations and quests there were comments about overpowered items and similar. For example this was the case with Colours of Infinity quest mods, that look rather interesting to me.
    Is this something that EET tries to rectify by changing item stats or removing it altogether? 

    I also noticed that in ''Explore the EET World'' some of the starting patch components, are not selected.
    Does this mean some other mod will fix the same problem? Or maybe this bug has been removed in EE versions of the game?

    For mega installation 50% is default for experience reduction. What would be recommended for version without big mods, with only few quest mods, 75% ?

    I understand that EET has its own world map. I saw it on the forums and looks beautiful. There is no option to select it, or is it installed by default if ''world map mod'' is not selected? But since some of the big mods are dependant on ''worldmap mod'' does this mean EET map cant be used for mega installation?

    I think this is it for now. Sorry for long post and so many questions, but as with previous installations I like to have as much info possible before deciding on my mod selection.


    Thank you in advance for your time and help. 

    Regards,
    Februarius
  • edited January 9

    I will try to answer some of your more technical questions (- I leave your mod related ones aside for the moment because I am not neutral/too biased probably in that respect.)

    Is this something that EET tries to rectify by changing item stats or removing it altogether?
    EET is a mod that unifies the different games into one continuous game. It changes as little as possible (almost nothing) in the vanilla game content and it changes nothing in mods. Mods are added as the are designed by author or maintainer. EET only removes some redundant/conflicting items from BG1 vs BG2, if unique items technically exist in both parts. It also unifies the scripts, dialogues and level progress of NPCs that appear in all parts of the game.

    I also noticed that in ''Explore the EET World'' some of the starting patch components, are not selected.
    Does this mean some other mod will fix the same problem? Or maybe this bug has been removed in EE versions of the game?
    The selection of patches was done for the content that was actually chosen for installation (e.g. why use Breagar item patcher if I do not install Breagar because he is in German language only?)

    For mega installation 50% is default for experience reduction. What would be recommended for version without big mods, with only few quest mods, 75% ?
    The 50% is a setting I tested myself in three highly modded play-throughs of EET and which has been confirmed by a significant number of players meanwhile. I would also use the 75% for a game with less mods. There is still the BG1 to SoD to SoA sequence in EET and the 75% makes you start SoA at a level that makes the early part still challenging.
    Personally, I also disable the game play option that gives you max HP on level up.

    I understand that EET has its own world map. I saw it on the forums and looks beautiful. There is no option to select it, or is it installed by default if ''world map mod'' is not selected? But since some of the big mods are dependant on ''worldmap mod'' does this mean EET map cant be used for mega installation?
    The default map in EET is the one you call "beautiful". It is used for all of the game except the city chapter at the start of SoD where you have no access to most areas outside of 5 city areas. Some of the big mods have areas beyond the limits of the EET map - or areas that are in the "fold" between the northern Sword Coast Areas and the Icewind Dale Areas (EET map has stitched IWD onto the north of the SC and omits the area in between, e.g. Waterdeep etc).
    The Install Tool will recognize if your mod selection requires the worldmap mod or not and ask you add it if necessary.

    I remember one having map of Beregost as new town, wich for me totally brake immersion)
    More than one, actually. At least Soubar (SoS mod) and Riativin (TDD) use Beregost map, even if slightly revised. Some other mods use smaller snippets of it. Creating new maps is very difficult and time consuming and if you are not an artist who can create a new background picture in BG style there is little you can do if you need a town for your mod. Many mods use IWD area graphics which are at least technically compatible. Many mods would never have been created and the mod choices would be significantly less if you ask every modder to create their own area graphics.    
  • edited January 10
    @Februarius, since you already know BGT I think that you are probably familiar with most of the mods. If a mod existed for BGT the EET-adaption usually doesn't change much content wise. Therefore a mod that broke immersion for you in BGT because of either reusing maps, non canon or bad dialog/story, overpowered items, etc., will probably do so again in ETT. Regarding the mods from colors of infinity (e.g. 'Tales of the deep garden'), these mods don't mess to much with power levels in my opinion, are well written and include new maps. But for some players they are to divergent from the vanilla game from a story telling point.
    Then again I do play with scs on almost max difficulty settings which counters some of the more powerful items from mods.

    In general for my immersion I usually stay away from big mods (except if necessary e.g. for Sandrah Saga). Without big mods 75% xp are usually enough, maybe in addition to the BG1/SOD xp cap from EET-Tweaks which is a really god addition to limit power levels at the start of BG2.

    Regarding npcs I think that most of the time less is more because of the 6 npc cap. I like banter/interjection heavy parties and I'm a bit reluctant to switch party composition on a regular basis. A single npc from a well written mod usually banters with most/all vanilla npcs in the game. However crossmod banter is fairly limited and usually applies to the authors other npc (if any) or npc mods from some selected authors. If I want to fully experience a mod npc over the course of the the whole saga I usually have only a limited pool of other npc mods to take along, otherwise I risk skipping some/most of the banters. Usually I only select one npc mod that I really want to try and select additional npc mods based on banters/interaction with my 'main' npc mod. There are two exceptions to this rule (Affaq and Solaufein's Rescue) which add npcs that don't count against the 6 npc slots and are therefore part of my standard installation.

    And one additional npc I really can't go without anymore is Breagar ;). However the english translation I remember was not that good and there is only VO for the german version. But if you speak german I highly recommend this character.

  • Throari said:
    @Februarius, since you already know BGT I think that you are probably familiar with most of the mods. If a mod existed for BGT the EET-adaption usually doesn't change much content wise. Therefore a mod that broke immersion for you in BGT because of either reusing maps, non canon or bad dialog/story, overpowered items, etc., will probably do so again in ETT.

    I cannot agree to this statement.
    The EET adaptation (and for some mods even the classic version derived thereof) has helped to make some big old mods far more compatible with the rest of the game.
    - Many overdone items or enemies have either been adapted or removed or put into optional components
    - the rule and spell changes from some have been deprecated
    - story holes and bugs have been fixed

    Some others fit into EET quite well if you use a challenging (not necessarily the hardest) SCS setting - which I would recommend highly for any large modded EET anyway.

    Mods that fall under the above (my personal assessment) are:
    - Dark Side of the Sword Coast
    - Northern Tales of the Sword Coast
    - The Vault
    - Secret of Bone Hill
    - Grey Clan
    - Stone of Askavar
    - Check the Bodies
    - Region of Terror
    - The Darkest Day
    - Mage Stronghold (the tuned down former Planar Sphere mod)

    Mods that are slightly harder than average but may fit into an SCS challenging environment are
    - Dark Horizons (you may not want to pick all the items they drop)
    - Dizzt Saga (always choose the option "after Durlag's Tower")
  • Hi Roxane and Throari,
    thank you for your time and comments. 

    In the end I decided to avoid installing Big mods for this playthrough. But installed most of the Quest mods.
    After reading mod forums I decided for the next:

    Alternatives
    Ascalons Quest
    BG1 Mini Quests
    BG1UB
    d0 Questpack
    Dungeon Crawl
    Eilistraee Song
    Extended Thief Stronghold
    Fading Promises
    Fishing for Trouble
    I Shall Never Forget
    Innershade
    Sirines Call
    Mage Stronghold
    Reunion
    Tales of Anegh
    Tales of Deep Gardens
    Test Your Mettle
    The Gray Clan Episode 1
    Sellswords
    Stone of Askavar
    WhiteQueen
    UB

    Two that looked interesting but skipped: Back to Brynlaw, and Tower of Deception.

    Read comments how Back to Brynnlaw general tone of dialogue is not in the line with BG2 writing. Also about too much XP rewards.
    Tower of Deception if I remember correctly, read comments about overpowered items, one sword in particular.
    I avoided most of the NPC's, installed ones that provide BG1 NPC's in BG2, Finch, Foundling and Isra as new ones.

    Any comments or suggestion on listed selection would be highly appreciated.

    One question regarding Item Revisions, does it balance out items from mods also?

    I also selected Multiple Strongholds option in some of the tweaks. Seems like this would provide additional content. But I am unsure will it give me to much advantage.

    For XP reduction I left default 50%, even without Big Mods. Since I plan to complete every possible quest, will I be able to level up in the line of vanilla games, or should I select 75% instead?

    Thank you for your help.
  • I would rather use Brynnlaw and Tower of Deception (main component only) than Anegh.

    Brynnlaw is a kulyok mod originally so blaming her for bad writing can only come from some jealous modder or such.

    Tower of Deception item is a plot item and if you only use the main component you do not not to keep it once it has done its job in the quest.

    As for XP, you do not have too much additional mods in BG1. The too much XP is mainly an issue for BG2 start and not too important afterwards anymore. You may consider 75%, I would leave it at 50% but that is really personal preference.
  • Thanks for the tip, I will include Brynnlaw in my installation. Now that you mentioned Anegh, I actually couldn't find much info about it. Any particular reason why to avoid it?

  • Thanks for the tip, I will include Brynnlaw in my installation. Now that you mentioned Anegh, I actually couldn't find much info about it. Any particular reason why to avoid it?
    It still has many bugs, the translation is from (German?) and not very good. The second part of the plot is overpowered and pretty wild (the planes are about to be destroyed and gods are killed etc such stuff). The internal logic is well, not very logic.
  • Roxanne, if I can ask, are there any other questmod you feel has those kinds of issues? It's not easy to know about some of them

  • d2freak said:
    Roxanne, if I can ask, are there any other questmod you feel has those kinds of issues? It's not easy to know about some of them
    I discussed Check the Bodies with another player here and gave my opinion

    I cannot recommend Shadow over Soubar for the fact that there is no active maintenance for the mod and it still (after all these years) has a lot of bugs. You need to be fit with the console and some code to go through it.

    Otherwise I like nearly every mod that adds quests/content to the game.
  • edited January 27
    Just finished EET installation without any problems (btw thanks for providing missing mods),
    but when I started new game, I have graphical glitches:



    Could this be due to Lefreut's enhanced UI?




  • It is best to post your weidu.log from BG2EE to see which graphic mods you may have installed. I have never seen this (I mean not on that map).
  • edited January 27
    Here is the log. Graphical issues are also present on the area map of Candlekeep, and map becomes laggy. Issues disappear when I enter the inn.

    Also, the water graphics in fountains are disordered.
  • edited January 27

    Here is the log. Graphical issues are also present on the area map of Candlekeep, and map becomes laggy. Issues disappear when I enter the inn.

    Also, the water graphics in fountains are disordered.
    ~BGGOEET/SETUP-BGGOEET.TP2~ #0 #0 // Baldur's Gate Graphics Overhaul for EET -> Purple Patches: v2.0 beta

    Possible solution:
    Go to BG2EE/BGGOEET/backup/0.
    Copy all files except the system files to BG2EE/override

  • Does this mean I should have selected option that doesn't remove purple patches? Do I need to reinstall?

  • Does this mean I should have selected option that doesn't remove purple patches? Do I need to reinstall?
    I was still editing the previous post, I posted a possible solution there.
    (The mod, it seems, is of no use anymore after the game updated to version 2.5 and causes trouble now.)
  • Sorry, not sure which files inside folder are system files.

  • Sorry, not sure which files inside folder are system files.
    There may be some like MOVE.0 or MAPPINGS.0
    It may not cause any issue if you just copy everything, I cannot imagine the game will do anything with files in override that it does not know, they most likely will be just ignored.
  • edited January 27
    Unfortunately didn't help. I will do a fresh install without BGGOEET.
  • Removing BGGOEET from my new installation solved the graphic issues. Thanks for your help Roxanne!
    Maybe it would be good to remove this mod from install tool. I am sure most new users will select the mod after reading its description.

  • Setting it to Expert status with this reason:

    ATTENTION - The mod causes graphical issues on games as of EE v2.5. The issues initially addressed by the mod have been corrected in the vanilla game by now.
  • Roxanne said:

    d2freak said:
    Roxanne, if I can ask, are there any other questmod you feel has those kinds of issues? It's not easy to know about some of them
    I discussed Check the Bodies with another player here and gave my opinion

    I cannot recommend Shadow over Soubar for the fact that there is no active maintenance for the mod and it still (after all these years) has a lot of bugs. You need to be fit with the console and some code to go through it.

    Otherwise I like nearly every mod that adds quests/content to the game.
    I just observed in your own compilation (I load it to cross check some of my own selections) that you do not select Ajocs Minimod or Shards of Ice. May I ask why?

  • d2freak said:
    I just observed in your own compilation (I load it to cross check some of my own selections) that you do not select Ajocs Minimod or Shards of Ice. May I ask why?
    Shards of Ice was a one-time joke made for some forum's competition. You do it once and forget it.
    Ajocs is a weird experiment and was never finished. It does not really fit into the game and if you ever did it once (and I did) you probably see no need to include it next time.
  • edited January 29
    Hi Roxanne,

    I would be so free to ask, did you ever considered doing something like short reviews of mods? I mean content mods (big and quest mods). For NPC-s it is really easy to find lots of comments and reviews. And for tweaks most of the components are in detail explained in their readmes.

    You are ever so helpful, I still remember your advices for BGT, long ago on SHS forums. For this, me and many others could never be grateful enough. For most of us, this is game of our childhood, that had such impact on our lives. Modding comunity has done so much to shed new light on this timeless masterpiece. 

    You really look like someone competent and experienced enough to do such reviews. I presume you probably played all the mods more than once. These reviews wouldn't need to be lengthy, just some short facts in few important categories.
    I read so much same questions on all BG forums about content mods: how buggy are they, how is the writing, are there to much deviations from vanilla feel of the game, are there overpowered items, recycled maps (using same assets is not the probelm, but when you have complete replica of Beregost as new town, this for me was a big no)...

    I presume that most of the new EET players want the same, more content similar to vanilla experience. But then you have to search net for all these mods and find out what they are all about, and at the same time avoid reading spoilers. But then you find out, there is no enough info about them, especially for the EE versions.

    I think I spent like two weeks, slowly researching all mods in my free time, before I decided to drop all big mods and go with most of the quest mods. I still feel like I should have at least included NTotSC and DSotSC. For my next playthrough I will definitely go with Sandrah and few other big mods.

    ps. Do you have any insights about progress of IWD in EET implementation? This alone would be enough to easily let go all other big mods, concerning how much new content would bring to EET. Such enormous IE world is for sure wet dream for so many BG players.

  • I have already broken my own vow never to review other mods to some extend and I regret it. It is not a good idea from one as biased and biased and biased as me.

    You cannot create mods yourself or restore older mods for the new game (and player ) generation and at the same time claim to be an objective reviewer.

    My taste in the game is not shared by many and anything I say is tinted by my preferences. This is why Install Tool does not have recommended selections - nobody can claim they know enough to come up with something like that. Instead I introduced the "compilations" that clearly say "This is my choice for my 2019 EET campaign".

    There are little snippets of why I included that mod into my selection or why I take some specific NPC along or not. But it is clearly my choice at that time to enjoy my 2019 game. It is also to some extend one possible game walkthrough with all the big and smaller mods included. I think this is a valid approach to share information while still saying it is just one of thousands of variations to configure and play the game.

    I do not like any mod reviews I found anywhere on the different forums. I never learned anything about any mod from them - all I learned was something about the author of the review (not that I cared for it).
    There are carefully crafted mods of high quality that I put aside as being ultimately boring although as a modder I valued the work that went into them. And on the other hand I enjoyed The Vault, Yasraena or The Darkest Day every time I played them while you can read everywhere how abysmal bad they are.


    PS - no, I have no insight into IWD-in-EET. My own *Sandrah goes to IWD-in-EET* is waiting since almost two years to be tested under real conditions, so far I always needed to export my party to IWD and bring them back to BG to simulate it.
  • edited January 30
    I got your point, thanks for detailed reply. I was reading through your EET log for the comments you mention. Those are really helpful. I noticed your comment about Item revisions: 

    ''I do not use item revision anymore, for a) it is outdated b) even if technically compatible, it does not recognize EET or add specific value and c) I do not put much emphasis on items lately.''

    What do you mean by not recognizing EET? Since I installed it in my last EET setup. If the item components are outdated, could the changes for shield and armor be kept? Will installing this mod cause possible bugs in the game?

    Also I noticed comment about NPC-s from BG1 apearing in BG2:

    ''There is a mod that continues Branwen in SoA, but it was done in the days before SoD and does not really fit into an EET setup. This is the case for some older mods that tried to continue BG1 NPCs into SoA. Ajantis and Tiax are the only exception I know that fit into a continuous game. Coran works if you use the BG1NPC component for him together with the BG2 Coran mod.''

    I thought that all NPC mods that are part of EET setup are continuous. I am a bit confused here. Most NPC-s in my setup are NPC-s from BG1 imported to BG2: Ajantis, Alora, Branwen, Coran, Kivan, Tiax, Xan. I also added Finch and Isra. 

    I was thinking of doing new installation and including NTotSC. I read lot of good comments about it and how it fits the main game well. Don't ask for full review, but would be grateful for few comments:)

    I think that should be it, for the rest I will have to check by myself. Appreciate your help!



  • NTotSC has elements from unused BG1 content. Not in the same way as UB-mods but in a way that makes it fit well into the overall context of BG1. The Northern Citadel for example is based on some ideas for a paladin quest. The encounters are fitting for a party at chapter 5 and later. The new areas, items and creatures have much of a vanilla feeling to them.
    Same is true for Stone of Askavar.

    Continuous NPCs. There may still be some misunderstanding of what it means in EET context. There are mod NPCs that are made to appear in BG1 and BG2 (or mod NPCs that continue BG1 vanilla NPCs). They spawn somewhere in the second part of the game but they are not the same creatures. They are two mods or two mod campaigns with a BG1 and a BG2 character of the same name. They emulate continuity by giving the BG2 version a higher level and more XP etc, but it is a new creature with a different "Script Name". Some mods do that better than others but still...
    Continuous EET NPCs are those where in fact the same creature you left behind earlier appears fully intact when you meet them again (or does not appear because he or she died before). Those are mainly the original NPCs that have content in all parts and some very few mod NPCs. Most mod NPCs are designed to be installed on the separated game parts and EET compatibility is often just a bi-product.
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