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What IA alternative?

Discussion in 'BG2: Throne of Bhaal (Classic)' started by elric13, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. elric13 Gems: 3/31
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    OK, so I have no intention a Mod war, but I'm just trying to gather info for my next modded runthrough.

    I've tried IA, and although I enjoyed the novelties in items etc... I just felt the difficulty was a bit over the top. By that I mean that if you're not constantlty buffed up, more times than not you'll end up re-loading, which kinds of ruins the experience after a while, and forces you to powergame like a maniac.

    I know this Mod is specifically tailored to make the game VERY difficult, I just think a few minor tweaks would make it a lot more "fun" to play (but I understand it's first intent is to be a challenging mod, and I respect that).

    For example, too many ennemies are hasted, magic resistant, dammage resistant, regenerating all the time. I don't mind the new mage AI, but it seems that every half-boss ennemy is resistant to too many things.

    And I feel it's note very RPG to start an "urgent" quest, but then return and finish it 2 months later because the end battle is impossible for your party - which is very much the case of many IA quests I felt. For example if you try the D'arnisse quest as one of your first quests, then very likely you won't survive the last battle. Which means you can finish out the whole quest, then come back later and wipe out Torgal when you're stronger: this makes no sense RPG wise that he would just sit around when all the other ennemies got wiped out.

    My ideal mod would be IA, revamped with more realistic ennemies (just a lowering of resistances, less regeneration, etc...). Wouldn't that be fun? All the IA improvements, new quests, better AI, the cheese reduction (potion of insigths, scrolls of udead), less the frustration of crazy hard ennemies with cheesy resistances. Would make for less reloads a a more enjoyable runthrough, no?

    This said, is their a MOD as well polished as IA, but with a less frustrating aspect (I'm not asking for easy stuff, just stuff I don't need to reload 10 times per battle to beat)

    Anyhow, I still think IA is probably the best Mod there, by its quality and detail. Too bad it is so powergamer exclusive.

    Thanks
     
  2. Baronius

    Baronius Mental harmony dispels the darkness ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    I don't think it helps you too much, but in IA v4.3 some enemies' certain resistances will be decreased. (You probably know this already, or read it on SP as I've posted it somewhere already.) However, IA will remain IA :) , I mean the most challenging mod that requires intensive focusing from the player (especially at the beginning, when tactics are learnt).
     
  3. elric13 Gems: 3/31
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    Thanks Baronius. Yes, I read that somewhere about the resistances.
    I don't mind a HARD mod, but I just fell high resistances, which are most often not linked to items, are unjustified in most cases and makes an already very hard battle, just soooooooo frustrating.
    Does everyone need to have such high saving throws and/or magic resistance ;)
     
  4. nataben1314 Gems: 10/31
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    Well, the problem is that you aren't going to find a mod out there with the intelligence of IA enemies, but with toned down resistances/regeneration/etc.. The only other difficulty enhancing mods that I'm aware of make liberal use of cheese and are easily beatable by certain tactics. Rogue Rebalancing has one encounter that is supposedly pretty good (haven't played it myself), but its only one encounter. Have you tried playing IA on the easy difficulty setting? That's what I think I'm going to be doing when I start my IA run, since I'm not a tactically amazing player.

    Quest pack has some AI improvements but in my experience they are nothing to write home about.

    One possibility to make the game harder is that there's a mod out there that tones down the amount of XP you get for each encounter and so means that you'll be at a lower level than you normally would. That might be worth looking into!

    Oh and this is just a side question that doesn't really warrant its own topic: What is cheesy about potions of insight? I'm just curious. :)
     
  5. elric13 Gems: 3/31
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    Hi nataben,
    I think the reason potions of insights were taken away in IA is that they are considered cheese for the following reasons:
    - they are abundant
    - they last a long time

    So basically, your character can have WIS 18 for stretches on end, and it becomes a dump stat (especially for wizards)

    Thanks for your other tips.
    Yeah, trying the game on easy is one solution and is "justifiable" in the sense: hey my ennemies are going to receive 50% less dammage, why shouldn't I ;)

    I guess I just HATE the fact everyone seems to have innate Magic Resistance and Dammage reduction, not related to race / class / items - I mean, a barbarian has dammage resistance, a drow has MR, but when humans, elves, etc.. have it, and then you kill them, and there is no item that gave them that special resistance, then it's cheesy... but that's just me rambling ;)
     
  6. SimDing0 Gems: 9/31
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    If you found anything specifically wrong with them, I'd be intrigued to know. I'm aware that they're notoriously half-assed, and probably don't actually make the game any more difficult, but if you're getting stuff like Irenicus inexplicably running round in circles then that's probably a bug.

    Yes, this is DEF JAM, and is found here:
    http://www.pocketplane.net/sim
     
  7. nataben1314 Gems: 10/31
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    No, no specific bugs, just that they don't improve the AI drastically enough to really alter the difficulty of the game. I'll add though that the rest of the Quest pack is friggen awesome, one of my favorite mods for sure. :)


    edit: As to the issue of the resistances being cheesy, you have to keep in mind that the AI can only be increased so much. Since IA was designed to be a challenge even for tactical geniuses like thetruth, it is inevitable that no scripting system, no matter how good (and by all accounts, IA's is awesome) will sufficiently increase the difficulty. Couple that with the fact that thief and mage classes can be exploited to extremely high degrees by tactically advanced players, and you end up having to give lots of regen and resistences in order to make the game challenging.

    edit2: ahh yes, DEF JAM! I had forgotten the name, thanks Sim. I think I might do a run with that on if I find IA to be too difficult for me even on easy (which is a real possibility being as I've never played a difficulty-enhancing mod before except a bit of tactics). Could I ask, Sim, if you know what XP% people are finding fun to play at? I don't know if I could play as low as 10%
     
  8. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    If you're looking for something that is challenging, but not quite to IA status, you might just do some research and install a variety of tactical mods, like Tactics, Improved Battles, etc.

    And if you're interested in some new items, there are mods to help with that as well.

    Place the difficulty slider wherever you're comfortable, and have fun.

    This is obviously a riskier approach since not all mods work well together (hence the recommendation to "research" this), but many seem to do these kinds of installs to great success. I'm not one of them, so I can only offer conceptual help. The first and only tactical mod I've played is IA.
     
  9. Baronius

    Baronius Mental harmony dispels the darkness ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    IA doesn't give that to enemies found in every corner... only to serious battles -- and these are which IA (also)improves! Just imagine that experienced human villains might have visited many places during their life, gained special, unique resistances etc. Think a bit more RP-ish :)

    IMO (original) BG2 is the game where the player can play the tough guy... divine blood, master of weapons, supreme archmage -- no matter how we call it. You just go and slay. In IA, you get enemies according to the size of your sword. God spawn or not, just like often in real life, you're not the top! ;)

    Don't get me wrong, this wasn't meant to criticize you elric -- it was just one of the justifications of increased difficulty. In your place, I would just play IA on Easy level. Contrary to the common belief that Easy is only for daft players (OK maybe it's not common belief), it's there and fills that space in BG2's GUI... to be used when needed :D
     
  10. Sikret Gems: 13/31
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    As for resistances, see this and this.

    Since everything mentioned in this thread is repettitive and discussed dozens of times before, I just wish good luck for elric in playing the game in any way he enjoys it (with or without IA).
     
  11. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    No offense but to me it sounds like a bit more "munchkin."

    Increasing difficulty by avoiding cheese is commendable, giving uber resistances to make NPCs tougher isn't that good IMHO.

    I don't see the point in the Bhaalspawn being turned into a wimp. As a player I want an epic dimension in the game, I don't want RL powerlessness. But that's just me.
     
  12. elric13 Gems: 3/31
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    Sikret,

    Yes I know this Mod is for expert palyers, and my intent was not to attack your mod, on the contrary: it is still in my mind the best product out there in terms of mods, be it solely by the amount of detail and finishing touches put into it.

    I tried IA, and I really enjoyed the new plots / items / AI (finally mages become "smart" alomost), and added difficulties in certain quests (beastmaster for example used to be way to easy for such a great reward).

    I just feel that the same game without the resistances would be a little more accessible / fun - but since this is not the intent, and that it will remain that way, I will just play the Mod on easy and enjoy SIkret's great work that way.

    Best, and can't wait for the new version with the improved Vagrant!
     
  13. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    I'm thinking that Improved Anvil on Easy would be very doable. I managed to get through it on "normal" without ever having playing a tactical mod in BG previously.

    You'll still want to be careful about the order in which you do certain quests I'm sure, as a party that is too low level isn't going to do well against some of the more powerful enemies, even on easy setting.

    I recommend after you get out of Irenicus' dungeon that you do the circus quest and anything else you want to take care of in the promenade. Then head to the slums (obviously) and do everything you want to do there (pick up NPCs, etc) -- leave the slavers alone, for now. Then head directly to the goverment district and do everything you want to do there (pick up Trademeet quest). From there head to the city gates (pick up Umar Hills quest) and then head to Umar Hills.

    This will ensure that you avoid a very powerful and difficult random encounter early on. From there, do the Umar Hills stuff (not the temple yet) and then head to Trademeet and take of the quests there.

    If you have Nalia, at that point you may be forced to head to her keep and get that started (eventually she'll up and leave you if you don't head there), but you probably aren't high enough level to finish that quest yet. So clear out the first 2 levels (don't open the gate yet, or head to the basement), forge flail of ages +2, if you want, then head back to Athkatla to do some of the easier quests there (thieves guild stuff, Harpers, Reijek and the bridge district stuff, etc). You may see that tough random encounter, but you should be much better prepared for it after Umar Hills, Trademeet, and a portion of De'Arnise Keep.
     
  14. Caedwyr Gems: 2/31
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    From what I understand, a BG2 version of Sword Coast Strategems is in development right now and will be coming out eventually. I've heard a lot of good things from people who played with the BG1 version, and this might be what you are looking for.

    I can also recommend the Chosen of Cyric encounter from Rogue Rebalancing, though it is only a single fight. Its a hard fight, but the computer uses the same rules as the player and there are no hacked resistances or armor classes.
     
  15. elric13 Gems: 3/31
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    Sword coast stratagems for BG2? is their a date on that?
     
  16. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Any time you here news about a development project tagged with the word "eventually," you're probably better off pretending it doesn't exist until eventually becomes now.

    It sounds like you're wanting to run your game sometime in the near term, yes?
     
  17. elric13 Gems: 3/31
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    yes, thanks.

    Here's how I might go at it - I will zap IA for the moment, since I'm afraid it is just not a mod for me, despite being a great creation:

    Please let me know if I should worry about compatibility issues:

    NPC mods:
    - Xan (latest version)
    - Kelsey
    - Kivan
    => any other well balanced / more quests NPC suggestions?

    Regular mods:
    - Unfinished Business
    - Quest Pack => compatible with UB ??
    - Tower of Deception

    That should be pretty good eh :)

    EDIT: I also plan on using Banter Pack. Also, is there a mod compatible with the above that would add cool item forging?

    [ July 10, 2007, 22:09: Message edited by: elric13 ]
     
  18. SimDing0 Gems: 9/31
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    I worked on UB too, so yes, it's compatible--and these complement each other nicely.

    Good old Item Upgrade? It seems to have been downtrodden a little of late. :)
     
  19. Sikret Gems: 13/31
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    To tell you the truth, Improved Anvil is the only mod in which enemies and players use (more or less) the same rules. In the vanilla game and in all other mods which I have checked (and I have checked lots of mods), enemies do things which are not normally available to players. I can offer a long list if needed. In Improved Anvil all of these things are fixed and enemies follow the same rules which are available to players (as far as the game's engine allows).

    Even the resistances are available to players gradually as they proceed in the game (and if they play long enough). Players who have played IA from beginning to the end know what I'm talking about. But unfortunately, some players just start the game and as soon as they see an enemy with some resistances they say: "Hey, why this guy has resistances which I don't have?" and then they quit the game and decide to write something in a forum. If they play long enough in the game, they will not only find justifications for those resistances but they will also find out that such resistances are also available to their own characters.

    @elric
    Thanks for the kind words, elric!
    The resistances are all well-justified (as you can see in my comments in the mod's FAQ) and we (IA fans, testers and myself) don't believe that the game will be more fun without them: If you can kill a mage too quickly, he will not find the time to run his script, no matter how well that script is written, and you will not enjoy that fight at all.
    I also hope that you will eventually return to the circle of tacticians (= IA players)
    Since you are not ready to play IA yet, I also recommend that you use some other mods just to be prepared for IA. Unfinished Business has some bugged components, so I don't really recommend it, but try it for yourself if you wish. The rest of mods you mentioned will work together as well (and will add some good content to your game), but let me tell you that the new content added to the game by the total sum of them together will be much less than the new content IA adds to the game (not even comparable).

    But if you want to prepare yourself for IA, why don't you try "Improved Battles" and "Tactics"? They are two other tactical mods which can at least improve your tactical skills to make you ready for a more difficult mod such as Improved Anvil.

    Cheers

    [ July 11, 2007, 14:01: Message edited by: Sikret ]
     
  20. elric13 Gems: 3/31
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    Sikret,

    I will try out the mods I mentionned, perhaps I'll come back to Improved Anvil later!

    Although when I played Improved Anvil, I managed to get through the battles after a while - alhtough I'm no tactical genius, I know a few tricks hehe, I'm more the kind of player that likes to play as if "PnP" I guess, by that I mean: rest only when players get tired, never reloading (except when main character dies of course ;) ), etc... So basically it means that in my games I arrive at most battles unbuffed and short on spells, so I guess that already kicks up difficulty somewhat - forces you to stretch out tactics since you arrive at battles with less spells, HP, abilities etc...!

    So for the moment what I'm looking for is to play the way I just mentionned, but with some added quests and NPCs.

    I can't play that way on IA, since I uderstand it is a tactical mod in which most battles surprise you and catch you off guard, and need to be prepared for beforehand - usually you get your butt kicked the first time and then reevaluate tactics ; you can't just walk into a battle and start buffing up there and then, you need to cast most buffing spells beforehand (which, in the style I play is contrary to line of conduct - why would the characters just buff up randomlly if they don't suspect danger or a battle - hence scouting justification to gather ennemy posistion info, etc... Just the way I enjoy playing the game.

    In any case, I'm sure somewhere down the line I'll play IA - pehaps v1.5? - since I really enjoy larger strongholds, plus all the rest of the great addons this Mod proposes - new items, randomizer, cheese reduction, new quests, etc...

    Too bad there isn't a install option in IA to ease it up - an reload light IA of sorts ;) - in which resistances are halved. For example I found it difficult when I played it to do much dammage with offensive spells, or missile weapons, and found that thieves and backstabbing less useful.

    Anyhow, kudos to you Sikret for putting so much time and effort of your own free will for creating IA! After all it's your mod, so it should be to your taste!

    Best
     
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