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Ranged weapons + one or two "tank"(low armour class, low THACO ) characters should be enough for most of the early encounters.

But I don't really understand why do You all stroll so much. You do know from the experience that it can be very annoying to die time after time during battle with ogres,gnolls, xvarts etc. You should go straight to Nashkel, solve problems there and by that time You are ready for some serious exploration (and if You worry about advancing the plot to much - from game point of view - finishing quest in mines is as early as leaving Candlekeep).

Friendly advice - No Spoilers - while exploring the map you should start from bottom (Nashkel) and move to the west. Check every area carefully (some caves on the coast are really easy to miss)
Then slowly progress to the north (check every area between coast and main road, go back to towns to sell loot).
If you meet something that You can't handle (and You will) it's better to run away and comeback later with more experienced party and better weapons.
One of the NPCs you meet just outside Candlekeep has some advice about running away from difficult battles. I pretty much do a Quicksave as often as I remember to, and any time I stumble across monsters, I'll back off a bit to let my ranged attacks hit first. You can outrun most monsters, so this seems to give me a bit of an edge. It's pretty frustrating to die, but I find that Quicksaving keeps me from having to replay all that much. A lot of the successful battles I've had so far have come down to dumb luck (fewer misses and such). I've only just started playing BG1, but I did have BG2 when it came out and the gameplay seems very similar.
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Dandarez: Me too man, getting killed over and over, started as a monk too, but heh, I don't mind it really. Just be sure to use quicksave a lot.

Playing on core difficulty myself, trying not to set it to easy, ever, but at points I really want to.
The one thing I'll say to this is that monks are INCREDIBLY hard to play at low levels; they simply don't get any real useful skills by level 8 (i.e., the level they'll max at with BG's level cap). That said, they really start coming into power towards the end of BG2 and into ToB.

/end_off_topic
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KielGuy: A lot of the successful battles I've had so far have come down to dumb luck (fewer misses and such). I've only just started playing BG1, but I did have BG2 when it came out and the gameplay seems very similar.
Yes it's true but there is certain creature which as I remember was nowhere to be found in BG II but in BG I it can be found in some areas (one most critical). It's very mean and can instantly kill you in "one shot" - high save rolls needed. So without further ado: Antipetrification potions,scrolls and Stone to Flesh scrolls are a must have for every party.
Also lookout for Dryads/Sirens. They can turn your party members against each other quite easily (when You see more than two You're in trouble).
Generally in BG I enemies which posses some kind of special abilities are more dangerous
than in sequel. Low level party = lame saving throws.
I don't say that this game is extremely hard but it's better to "level" party on some less dangerous enemies. I believe BG plays more "smoothly" this way.
Post edited November 22, 2010 by Mal_Khar
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Dandarez: Me too man, getting killed over and over, started as a monk too, but heh, I don't mind it really. Just be sure to use quicksave a lot.

Playing on core difficulty myself, trying not to set it to easy, ever, but at points I really want to.
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Shadowsetzer: The one thing I'll say to this is that monks are INCREDIBLY hard to play at low levels; they simply don't get any real useful skills by level 8 (i.e., the level they'll max at with BG's level cap). That said, they really start coming into power towards the end of BG2 and into ToB.

/end_off_topic
Aye, he is level 7 now and doing much better.

What is very annoying is that he walks faster than the rest of my party, or well, till now, cause I gave Minsc Boots of Speed.

Khalid also walks faster in my game, but I kicked him out of my party.
I think that some of the rule changes and improved AI actually make playing with BGT easier than basic Baldur's Gate. I found myself ploughing through fights which I normally had a lot of trouble with, barely even needing to pause and give orders. Sounds to me like maybe you've got a poor character build on your hands - this game can be very punishing to parties who don't min/max or follow the "ideal" spec.
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TParis: Is it normal that any enemy at the beginning of the game is able to kill any party member with 1-2 hits?... I the game really supposed to be that hard on normal difficulty?
One tip not already mentioned is Bless and Bard's Song. YMMV, but for me one key to surviving combat in the early part of the game was having Jaheira cast 'Bless' on the party before a fight, or having Garrick the Bard cower in the back and play his Bard's Song while the rest of the party fought. Sniping and strategic use of formations were critical too. But the combat benefits from bless and/or BS <ahem> often provided the last, necessary boost in the harder fights.

Admittedly, Garrick can't fight while singing. But even so, in the early chapters I still found him to be more useful than a low-level mage, especially when fighting large groups. Once Xzar shot off his couple of spells, he was pretty much useless, while, for me, Garrick's Bard-Song was the gift that kept giving.
Without wishing to be either confrontational or patronising I despair when I see so many modern gamers complaining about how supposedly difficult certain older games like the Infinity Engine games are. When I bought Baldur's Gate back in 1998 I took PLEASURE in reading the (lovingly written and illustrated) manual before I started the game, to set the scene for myself by learning some background about the game world I was about to venture into and to learn as much as I could about the game mechanics (the combat mechanics mainly, namely D&D rules).

When it came to playing the game I didn't moan and whinge every time I lost a battle, I tried to determine what I had been doing wrong and I always eventually found the right solution because these games were beautifully crafted and balanced and there always WAS a right solution. I even ENJOYED being bested in battle because even though I was no D&D veteran it became clear to me very early on that the battles in this game (and indeed all the IE games) were all winnable but that some of them were designed to be particularly challenging. And if a battle had been very difficult that could mean only one thing : better rewards (more XP, more gold and better items). I lapped the whole experience up, learning a good deal before I started the game and more and more as the game progressed. But that is because I wanted to and was prepared to put in some effort. It strikes me that the majority of modern gamers - yes, EVEN PC GAMERS ! - just "can't be bothered" any more and want too easy a ride. If I had to sum up how PC gaming has changed since I first played Baldur's Gate back in 1998 I would use this title : "From AD&D to ADHD : The Decline and Fall of PC Gaming". Seriously, some of the opinions being shouted today wouldn't have been even whispered back in 1998. You should try some of the games pre-1998 : they were even harder !
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Theoclymenus: Without wishing to be either confrontational or patronising I despair when I see so many modern gamers complaining about how supposedly difficult certain older games like the Infinity Engine games are. ...

When it came to playing the game I didn't moan and whinge every time I lost a battle, I tried to determine what I had been doing wrong and I always eventually found the right solution because these games were beautifully crafted and balanced and there always WAS a right solution... It strikes me that the majority of modern gamers - yes, EVEN PC GAMERS ! - just "can't be bothered" any more and want too easy a ride....
If that was you trying not to be patronizing I'd hate to see you trying to be. The TC wasn't "moaning or whining" he was asking what the game's difficulty should be. He was, in fact, trying to "determine what [he] had been doing wrong". The plain answer is that is is supposed to be that hard and he has to gain some XP and come back and/or adjust his tactics.

Telling him this didn't require going on an insulting rant about gamers having ADHD, thereby insulting people who have an actual medical problem AND people who actually like some of the new games coming out all at once!

As an aside, I love this game but a lot of the difficulty is fake difficulty (for instance, being entirely luck based, and purposely putting monsters you can't defeat into areas as shmuck bait). The only reason modern games seem 'easier' is because they present a fair challenge instead of artificially extending the game length with tedious bullcrap.

This game would be just as good without random vampires wandering the wilderness and a high level mage at the place your supposed to go who cant be easily beaten before going to the place your supposed to go after that.
Post edited April 06, 2013 by wombatkidd
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Theoclymenus: Without wishing to be either confrontational or patronising I despair when I see so many modern gamers complaining about how supposedly difficult certain older games like the Infinity Engine games are. ...

When it came to playing the game I didn't moan and whinge every time I lost a battle, I tried to determine what I had been doing wrong and I always eventually found the right solution because these games were beautifully crafted and balanced and there always WAS a right solution... It strikes me that the majority of modern gamers - yes, EVEN PC GAMERS ! - just "can't be bothered" any more and want too easy a ride....
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wombatkidd: If that was you trying not to be patronizing I'd hate to see you trying to be. The TC wasn't "moaning or whining" he was asking what the game's difficulty should be. He was, in fact, trying to "determine what [he] had been doing wrong". The plain answer is that is is supposed to be that hard and he has to gain some XP and come back and/or adjust his tactics.

Telling him this didn't require going on an insulting rant about gamers having ADHD, thereby insulting people who have an actual medical problem AND people who actually like some of the new games coming out all at once!

As an aside, I love this game but a lot of the difficulty is fake difficulty (for instance, being entirely luck based, and purposely putting monsters you can't defeat into areas as shmuck bait). The only reason modern games seem 'easier' is because they present a fair challenge instead of artificially extending the game length with tedious bullcrap.

This game would be just as good without random vampires wandering the wilderness and a high level mage at the place your supposed to go who cant be easily beaten before going to the place your supposed to go after that.
Well I beg to differ on several points. Not all newer games are inferior (as games, not merely in terms of graphics etc.) to the stuff which was coming out in, for instance, the late '90s but I have definitely noticed that PC games have, generally speaking, gradually become less challenging since those days. We refer to this process as "dumbing down" and for some of us this has spoilt gaming and made it more boring.

I put this down to the growth of gaming as a popular pastime (it was very much a niche pastime to begin with) and the consequent (and depressingly predictable) need for developers to make more games "accessible" (i.e. easier) so that they can keep a wider audience interested, sell more copies and make more profit. And since this has made games less challenging and more boring in my experience I think I have every right to complain about it, and if that includes criticising the kind of gamer who in my opinion is making all the wrong noises about how games ought to be then I'll complain about if I feel like it. It's not as if it's going to make any difference anyway, since I feel pretty certain that this trend of dumbing is here to stay. There used to a vast difference between the PC gamer and the console gamer - now I don't think there's much difference at all : they're nearly the same animal.

"From AD&D to ADHD : The Decline and Fall of PC Gaming" just seemed like a snappy way of summing up the situation to me. People shouldn't be so easily offended.

As regards what you say about the supposedly "fake" difficulty in these games, I just totally disagree. There is nearly perfect balance in these games between character progression (levelling up, finding new armour and weapons) and the difficulty of battles all the way through the game. They were well written games and they were meant to be challenging all the way through, though of course you can change the difficulty level if you want to. Compare games such as Oblivion (which is okay in my opinion) and Fallout New Vegas (which is brilliant) : the balance between character progression and battle difficulty in these games is AWFUL. I am currently playing FNV ; I have reached level 47 and it is just TOO EASY.
I am not sure...
Well for this game anyway, i think i missed Minc or i waited to long and now he is out of the picture. Supposedly Minc was or is an important character.

Anyway, BG is a hard game, especially for new gamers and the once that did not grow up with the more strategic games.
If i play Skyrim i play it for its beauty, the fast landscape and some of the roleplaying aspects. But i never really felt in a roleplaying game in the sense that i have a party and roll stats.

But on the other hand, the majority of players today (my assumption) want to bigger pictures and less complicated material. A game like any other of the like like BG will require a player to invest a lot of time to build a good party and to fight certain fight over and over to advance.

Hard is good but it needs to be fair.

FNV was mentioned. I thought it was a good game storywise. But besides crashing often it was also quite easy to complete. But its more of an action game with roleplaying aspects in my opinion anyway and for that it was great.

I do hope that i will see again some old school crpg's like the coming of Wasteland 2 or perhaps a rebirth with BG3.

In the 90s i loved the SSI crpg's they were so great. Haven't touched Legend of Grimrock so far but this looks like oldschool as well. Not sure if its as great as Dungeon Master.

There is a sense in me that modern Crpgs are getting easier and more are for entertainment with action. Maybe i am wrong.

btw. i did not use any bard in this game. I will try that in my next attempt. Sounds promising.
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yester64: Hard is good but it needs to be fair.
No, it doesn't. Hard is never fair. If it was fair, it wouldn't be hard. Easy is fair.

The problem with most games and many gamers nowadays is consoles. Games consoles are not suited to complicated interfaces and gameplay (just look at Skyrim), and the young generation don't want it anyway, and the developers like that -- it's cheaper and easier to make games that way.
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yester64: I am not sure...
Well for this game anyway, i think i missed Minc or i waited to long and now he is out of the picture. Supposedly Minc was or is an important character.

Anyway, BG is a hard game, especially for new gamers and the once that did not grow up with the more strategic games.
If i play Skyrim i play it for its beauty, the fast landscape and some of the roleplaying aspects. But i never really felt in a roleplaying game in the sense that i have a party and roll stats.

But on the other hand, the majority of players today (my assumption) want to bigger pictures and less complicated material. A game like any other of the like like BG will require a player to invest a lot of time to build a good party and to fight certain fight over and over to advance.

Hard is good but it needs to be fair.

FNV was mentioned. I thought it was a good game storywise. But besides crashing often it was also quite easy to complete. But its more of an action game with roleplaying aspects in my opinion anyway and for that it was great.

I do hope that i will see again some old school crpg's like the coming of Wasteland 2 or perhaps a rebirth with BG3.

In the 90s i loved the SSI crpg's they were so great. Haven't touched Legend of Grimrock so far but this looks like oldschool as well. Not sure if its as great as Dungeon Master.

There is a sense in me that modern Crpgs are getting easier and more are for entertainment with action. Maybe i am wrong.

btw. i did not use any bard in this game. I will try that in my next attempt. Sounds promising.
Minsc is great as a character but he is no more essential from a gameplay point of view than some of the other NPC "tanks". But yes, a game of BG without Minsc in your party is not quite the same : he's such a great creation. I love the humour in these games.

My initial experience of BG and the other Infinity Engine games is that I had so badly wanted to play something like this for so long (I didn't own my first PC until 1998 and had only had a Dragon 32 (!), a Sega Megadrive and a PlayStation beforehand, so I missed out on games such as the Ultima series) that reading the manuals and learning not only something about the setting but also about the game mechanics (D&D rules) was a PLEASURE for me, and not at all a chore. It depresses me that many gamers are not prepared to approach games in this way these days but prefer "quick fix gaming" and that consequently games in general, being designed with the masses in mind, have become more simplified, "streamlined" and have less depth and capacity to totally absorb the gamer.

I don't think that ANY of the battles in ANY of the Infinity Engine games are "unfair" : you just need to understand what you need to do to win and keep trying if at first you don't succeed. Personally I LOVE party-based D&D combat and never feel like giving up if I'm getting beaten. There are so many memorable battles in both Baldur's Gate games and they have been designed to be tough but winnable, which is exactly what I like. The combat in these games is vastly superior to that in games such as Morrowind, Oblivion and FNV. Having said that, I can't help admiring FNV (especially) for its general brilliance : you can tell that some of the people involved in making the Infinity Engine games had a hand in making it. But I agree with you, it's not really what I would class as an RPG.

What a person finds to be "entertaining", by the way, is VERY subjective. For my part I do not find games which do not present me with a challenge "entertaining", I find them boring and pointless.
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yester64: Hard is good but it needs to be fair.
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Hickory: No, it doesn't. Hard is never fair. If it was fair, it wouldn't be hard. Easy is fair.

The problem with most games and many gamers nowadays is consoles. Games consoles are not suited to complicated interfaces and gameplay (just look at Skyrim), and the young generation don't want it anyway, and the developers like that -- it's cheaper and easier to make games that way.
In that case you don't want to try nethack but you miss out on an experience.
Hard can be a good lessons tool. But it nevertheless reminds me about the same discussion people had with resident evil games. Main complaint was ammo. Now check what resident evil game evolved too. Horrible.
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yester64: I am not sure...
Well for this game anyway, i think i missed Minc or i waited to long and now he is out of the picture. Supposedly Minc was or is an important character.

Anyway, BG is a hard game, especially for new gamers and the once that did not grow up with the more strategic games.
If i play Skyrim i play it for its beauty, the fast landscape and some of the roleplaying aspects. But i never really felt in a roleplaying game in the sense that i have a party and roll stats.

But on the other hand, the majority of players today (my assumption) want to bigger pictures and less complicated material. A game like any other of the like like BG will require a player to invest a lot of time to build a good party and to fight certain fight over and over to advance.

Hard is good but it needs to be fair.

FNV was mentioned. I thought it was a good game storywise. But besides crashing often it was also quite easy to complete. But its more of an action game with roleplaying aspects in my opinion anyway and for that it was great.

I do hope that i will see again some old school crpg's like the coming of Wasteland 2 or perhaps a rebirth with BG3.

In the 90s i loved the SSI crpg's they were so great. Haven't touched Legend of Grimrock so far but this looks like oldschool as well. Not sure if its as great as Dungeon Master.

There is a sense in me that modern Crpgs are getting easier and more are for entertainment with action. Maybe i am wrong.

btw. i did not use any bard in this game. I will try that in my next attempt. Sounds promising.
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Theoclymenus: Minsc is great as a character but he is no more essential from a gameplay point of view than some of the other NPC "tanks". But yes, a game of BG without Minsc in your party is not quite the same : he's such a great creation. I love the humour in these games.

My initial experience of BG and the other Infinity Engine games is that I had so badly wanted to play something like this for so long (I didn't own my first PC until 1998 and had only had a Dragon 32 (!), a Sega Megadrive and a PlayStation beforehand, so I missed out on games such as the Ultima series) that reading the manuals and learning not only something about the setting but also about the game mechanics (D&D rules) was a PLEASURE for me, and not at all a chore. It depresses me that many gamers are not prepared to approach games in this way these days but prefer "quick fix gaming" and that consequently games in general, being designed with the masses in mind, have become more simplified, "streamlined" and have less depth and capacity to totally absorb the gamer.

I don't think that ANY of the battles in ANY of the Infinity Engine games are "unfair" : you just need to understand what you need to do to win and keep trying if at first you don't succeed. Personally I LOVE party-based D&D combat and never feel like giving up if I'm getting beaten. There are so many memorable battles in both Baldur's Gate games and they have been designed to be tough but winnable, which is exactly what I like. The combat in these games is vastly superior to that in games such as Morrowind, Oblivion and FNV. Having said that, I can't help admiring FNV (especially) for its general brilliance : you can tell that some of the people involved in making the Infinity Engine games had a hand in making it. But I agree with you, it's not really what I would class as an RPG.

What a person finds to be "entertaining", by the way, is VERY subjective. For my part I do not find games which do not present me with a challenge "entertaining", I find them boring and pointless.
I did start out on Dungeon Master on an Amiga. That was around 89 i think. Some of the real good games i missed at that time even on the C64 like Wasteland.
In case of BG, i did own it but never finished it. Time.... well..
Anyway, i replay some of the games now and if i compare a game like BG with a game like Skyrim it is apparent that there are world in between.
Of course the obvious like environment and such but also the fact that you are a loner in the game.
To be fair, Skyrim gives anyone a nice story and lots of conversation and you do have a lot of choices. Besides, its a sandbox game in were you have no need to go from point a to b and rather travel first point o.
I did like that experience a lot.
But leveling is quite easy. Dragons were also easily dispatched and did not pose a big challenge. It was worse in FO:NW. Hardcore was to watch your health.

Other games that i played before were not realtime like BG. I think these were the game i grew up with.

Talking about challenge. My worst experience was Diablo 2. World 2 if i am correctly. Durial, thats his name. This boss can drive you nuts. No easy fight and it took me several attempts to beat him. Compared to him BG is actually fairly easy. For real. At least you have a band of 6 compared to be alone.

My party consists of
Ajantis, Dynaheir, Imoen, Khalid, Jaheira and me (of course).
Not the best mix but ok. Ajantis can annoy sometimes but he is a fairly good fighter. Even though Minsc got angry and fought me, i still was able to get Dynaheir.

ps. one of the tough games i played was Bards Tale. Never finished since there was only one way to save progress and sometimes you did not get there since you were already slain somewhere. maybe i play that in the future again.