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Hey all!

I skipped out on getting BG 1 & 2 here on several occasions because I figured an enhanced edition exists, and that is enhanced, so it must be better, right?

Well, after a little research (mostly people in the unofficial GOG IRC channel yelling at me) it seems that the technical enhancements done to the games (higher resolution, level cap increased, bigger text) is available to do through mods to the original games as well.

Other than those, there is also a new renderer and revamped user interface in the EE. Do these make it better than what is available on GOG with mods?

Finally, the story changes: The EE has new party characters, new classes, new quests and new areas to explore. The originals on GOG can be modded to add new party characters, new classes and new quests as well, but obviously not the same (or are they?). Are the EE ones good? Should I play them? Are they available to add to the originals on GOG? Are the mods mentioned in the mod instruction list usable on the EE?

I realise if I get the EE, I'd have to do that off steam, but if it is better, I don't mind that specific point.

In conclusion: Which one should I get?
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babark: and that is enhanced, so it must be better, right?
Wrong. You're using faulty logic. Enhanced does not necessarily mean better... in anything.

In conclusion: Which one should I get?
You do realise that you're going to get a slew of conflicting answers, right? The sensible thing to do is to start with the original, play that yourself, then get the EE and make your own mind up.
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Hickory: You do realise that you're going to get a slew of conflicting answers, right? The sensible thing to do is to start with the original, play that yourself, then get the EE and make your own mind up.
Hardly sensible, if it involves me getting 4 games (currently totalling at about $65), 2 of which will be redundant.

If no one can objectively answer my final question, perhaps they can answer the ones that lead up to it, so I can answer the final question myself.
Post edited February 19, 2014 by babark
As Hickory noted, you're going to get a ton of different answers on this. I've not played the EE, since I own the originals and have played through them vanilla and modded. As you stated, you can mod in pretty much anything the EE offers, so I personally felt no need to get the EE. I've been able to mod the games to make them into anything I want and the EE doesn't seem to me to offer anything compelling enough to buy it yet again.

In the end, you'll be best served by considering what each path offers and deciding for yourself what you think is best value for your money and time.

My vote, of course, goes for the originals with mods.
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babark: If no one can objectively answer my final question, perhaps they can answer the ones that lead up to it, so I can answer the final question myself.
You are entirely missing the point: you are asking things like 'do they make it better', 'are the EE ones good', 'should I play them'. Virtually all of your questions are utterly subjective, and that is why I answered the way I did.

I own all of them, and the EE versions I play hardly at all. Mostly because they are NOT the same as the originals. And I don't mean the added content (companions, Black Pits etc.). I mean that parts of the game have been arbitrarily changed -- playing EE is a completely different experience from the originals. THAT is why I said you need to decide for yourself.
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Hickory: You are entirely missing the point: you are asking things like 'do they make it better', 'are the EE ones good', 'should I play them'. Virtually all of your questions are utterly subjective, and that is why I answered the way I did.
I fear there has been a misunderstanding here. In case you are not aware, my first statement in my first post, where I said "It says 'enhanced', so it must be better, right?" was rhetorical, and obviously I know it is not automatically better, (as can be seen by my following statement, and the fact that I started this thread :D).
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Hickory: I own all of them, and the EE versions I play hardly at all. Mostly because they are NOT the same as the originals. And I don't mean the added content (companions, Black Pits etc.). I mean that parts of the game have been arbitrarily changed -- playing EE is a completely different experience from the originals.
Since you've played them both, and specifically mention that there are "arbitrary changes", perhaps you can help me, then. WHAT arbitrary changes? Since you call them arbitrary, I guess you didn't much care for the EE?

Some of the "objective" questions from my initial post, that would help me decide:
Are there mods available for GOG BG that add the same content as exists in the EE (The Black Pit, character classes, PCs, new areas etc.)?
Are there mods available for GOG BG that add the same renderer and user interface as is in the EE?
Are the mods mentioned in the mod instruction list (and other mods available for the original BG1 &2) usable on the EE?

Some "subjective" questions from my initial post that I don't mind getting conflicting answers to, especially if reasons are given:
Is the renderer and UI in the EE better than any available mods for the GOG BG1&2?
If the quests/areas/PCs/classes in EE are not available as mods for the GOG BG1&2, are there any that are really that good that would be a point in the EEs favour?
Likewise, if the quests/areas/PCs/classes available as mods for GOG BG1&2 are not usable in the EE, are there any that are really good that would be a point in the GOG BG1&2's favour?


Thanks!
My impression is that most of the "hardcore" bg-players are pretty darn dissapointed with the whole enhanced thing.
Read www.sorcerers.net if you need more info

Though I haven't played the enhanced myself (1 or 2), I see no reason to pay extra for something that is mostly considered worse than the original. (maybe some of this has changed with the later patches... don't know)
I have played both EE and original of BG1. Didn't have problem's with any of them. My opinion is:
1. If you want to play classic the way it was designed, go with Original from GOG and apply baldurdash patches.

2. If you want to play the story and don't care about the original experience, go with EE. The price point is up to you - if $20 is too much, wait for a discount - but in the end I think it would be worth getting it at least for general ease of use.

The added BG playable content is so-so. Worth playing, but mediocre at best. New portraits and sounds are a welcomed addition. I have never finished Black Pits, but seems fun if you have the right party (going for raw firepower is the way here).

I cannot say anything about BG2EE. I will probably buy it eventually, but will wait for a much lower price.
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babark: Since you've played them both, and specifically mention that there are "arbitrary changes", perhaps you can help me, then. WHAT arbitrary changes? Since you call them arbitrary, I guess you didn't much care for the EE?
There are too many, and I don't keep a list of them. Even if I did, I would not feel inclined to list them all here.

No, I don't care for the EE versions. I also don't care for the misleading name. In my opinion, it's not an enhanced version of BG, it's a butchered version of BG with multi OS and platform support. It's pushed as mod friendly, and yet if you install any mods they are all summarily removed at every update... no exceptions. That's not mod friendly at all.

Some of the "objective" questions from my initial post, that would help me decide:
Are there mods available for GOG BG that add the same content as exists in the EE (The Black Pit, character classes, PCs, new areas etc.)?
Similar, often much better, but not the same. But definitely not the Black Pits.

Are there mods available for GOG BG that add the same renderer and user interface as is in the EE?
No. That IS the EE edition.

Are the mods mentioned in the mod instruction list (and other mods available for the original BG1 &2) usable on the EE?
Vast majority, no.

Some "subjective" questions from my initial post that I don't mind getting conflicting answers to, especially if reasons are given:
Is the renderer and UI in the EE better than any available mods for the GOG BG1&2?
I hate it (the EE UI).

If the quests/areas/PCs/classes in EE are not available as mods for the GOG BG1&2, are there any that are really that good that would be a point in the EEs favour?
I don't know of any mods available for EE that are superior to BG1/2 mods.

Likewise, if the quests/areas/PCs/classes available as mods for GOG BG1&2 are not usable in the EE, are there any that are really good that would be a point in the GOG BG1&2's favour?
There are hundreds of mods available, many with content far exceeding anything that EE has. It's why you don't need EE.
I sort of oppose playing the Enhanced Editions on principle. For the regular, non-sale price of BG1 EE ($20) I can buy both BG1 and 2 here and install a handful of mods to do such things as add widescreen and play BG1 with all the enhancements of its sequel.

In a world where these mods didn't exist, maybe there would be a reason to get the EE versions, but as it stands now what one would actually be missing out on by going with the vanilla versions just seems like a handful of environments (wave-based arenas?) and NPCs, both of which I haven't heard especially great things about regardless (i.e. they don't mesh with the original cast of either game very well).
I have the EE editions as well as the GOG original versions (and the CD versions).

Here are the pros and cons from my perspective:

GOG pros
Cheaper
More mods available
The 'original' experience

GOG cons
Widescreen mod is great, but it your monitor resolution is above 1280x1024, the GUI gets real small, real quick. Plus the fog of war (I think that's the term, the area that you can see whats going on) ends up smaller than the viewable screen, so a lot of the extra real estate you gain isn't usable anyway
To get it running, particularly BG1, on a modern system with all the various community fixes takes a while and you can screw it up and have to start over. I don't have much time to game anymore, so the faster I can get it running, the better

EE pros
Quick to install and run. No need for mods like widescreen or fixpacks
The GUI scales with the resolution so it does not get too small at higher resolutions
Zoom feature. Very useful in some areas
New content - there wasn't as much as I would have liked in BG1, but it was nice to have professionally done areas and NPCs. No offense to the modders (they do amazing work), but there is a difference
Load times are virtually non-existant. Even on a modern machine, the load times for areas or save games are long for the original. By rewriting the engine, they made them near instantaneous

EE cons
Higher cost
They were unable to find the original art assets, so its not a HD remake, which would have been nice
Less mods available

Overhaul games has been saying that there will be some extra downloadable content, but so far I have not seen any (granted its been a few months since I played either).

For me, the price was worth simply being able to get it installed and running so easily. Time is at a permium these days for me.

Realistically, if you've never played either before, you're not likely going to heavily mod it anyway beyond widescreen and tweakpaks, so content wise, you're not going to see much difference between the two.
Post edited February 21, 2014 by ncarty97
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ncarty97: Load times are virtually non-existant. Even on a modern machine, the load times for areas or save games are long for the original. By rewriting the engine, they made them near instantaneous
I have no idea what you are on about here to be honest. I have an ancient PC, and the load and save times in the originals are maybe 1 second, probably less.

Frankly, I think the EE is a rip-off. You get a worse product for twice the price. And that's not counting the fairly frequent 80% offers you get here at GOG.

A look at the bugs list on the EE homepage can be instructive.
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ncarty97: Load times are virtually non-existant. Even on a modern machine, the load times for areas or save games are long for the original. By rewriting the engine, they made them near instantaneous
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Pangaea666: I have no idea what you are on about here to be honest. I have an ancient PC, and the load and save times in the originals are maybe 1 second, probably less.

Frankly, I think the EE is a rip-off. You get a worse product for twice the price. And that's not counting the fairly frequent 80% offers you get here at GOG.

A look at the bugs list on the EE homepage can be instructive.
The bigger areas and the farther you get into the game the load screens (both for loading an area or reloading a game) get longer and longer. We're not talking about 10 minutes or something, but at its worse the difference is between 15-20 seconds and less than a second. Not a big deal to some people, a bigger deal to others.

As for it being a rip-off, that's certainly an opinion, but you certainly do not get a worse product out of it. Yes it has bugs, so does the original. There's an entire, large, community of people that have purchased and are happy with the EE editions.

For me, not having to deal with a bunch of mods and a tiny GUI was worth the price. Maybe it isn't for you.
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Pangaea666: I have no idea what you are on about here to be honest. I have an ancient PC, and the load and save times in the originals are maybe 1 second, probably less.

Frankly, I think the EE is a rip-off. You get a worse product for twice the price. And that's not counting the fairly frequent 80% offers you get here at GOG.

A look at the bugs list on the EE homepage can be instructive.
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ncarty97: The bigger areas and the farther you get into the game the load screens (both for loading an area or reloading a game) get longer and longer. We're not talking about 10 minutes or something, but at its worse the difference is between 15-20 seconds and less than a second. Not a big deal to some people, a bigger deal to others.

As for it being a rip-off, that's certainly an opinion, but you certainly do not get a worse product out of it. Yes it has bugs, so does the original. There's an entire, large, community of people that have purchased and are happy with the EE editions.

For me, not having to deal with a bunch of mods and a tiny GUI was worth the price. Maybe it isn't for you.
That's absurd. In all the years I've been playing BG1 and BG2, I have never had a saved game, nor any area, in any game, take anywhere near 3 or 4 seconds to load, let alone 15-20. That's just nonsense in a stable installation.

As for bugs, the EE version has far more than the original does -- I do own both, and EE is a worse product. An opinion, yes, but no less valid than yours. And I suspect the EE community is not quite a large as some people would like to believe.
Not having to deal with pretty serious bugs is certainly an argument for saying the original (and cheaper, I might add) games are better products. Tastes obviously differ and some like the EE, but a cheaper game with fewer bugs and more options in terms of mods sounds like a winning combination to me.

15-20 seconds? I've never seen anything like that. I'm quicksaving and sometimes loading a LOT during gameplay, and it takes a fraction of a second. The only delay is when loading a save for the first time upon starting the game if there is a TON of savegames (as I generally have), because there are so many saves in the save folder. Sometimes I move out saves for this reason, for example everything of a previous playthrough.

Edit: Crossposted with Hickory, but suffice to say, I share his experience.
Post edited March 07, 2014 by Pangaea666