Well... the flaming sword is just a visual tweak, doesn't affect game play, so I can't see the harm.
As for throwing hammers, the game has them, or more precisely, has *one*. Which can only be used by Dwarves. :( Throwing hammers [including a thrown version of the Spiritual Hammer] are something my PnP characters have used in the past, especially my Cleric/Ranger. Game didn't feel complete without them, personally.
But as always, to each their own! :) Glad you are enjoying your run-through. :)
That isn't what I meant. (this will teach me to post on 2AM) Those 2 mods you mentioned are actually very tame. I meant I was going to get even more mods than that... but when so doing avoid breaking the "feel" of the game. (and I was only saying it as a "let me share too" rather than a "I think you are playing it wrong")
Don't worry, I didn't read it that way at all! :) All I heard was "Let me share...". :)
What I meant with "The way it was meant to be played" (+ enhancements) would be:
1. Get all the visual enhancements you can
2. Get all the rule improvements you can.
3. Get ease of use scripts (NPCs go to inns when dismissed, etc).
4. Leave the plot intact (NO: NPC banter, romances, new quests, new NPCs, loot randomizing, enemy rebalancing, early access to zones, etc)
5. Avoid major balance changes.
As I said, to each their own. The best advice for new players is a fairly un-modded game, I agree. However, I would slightly disagree about your #4 with regards to banters, romances and new NPCs. Much of this adds to the game greatly, with no change to the plot at all. Having more conversations is simply that, more talking, it doesn't alter the game play or the plot of the game, as far as I can see. The better NPCs also don't change things re: the plot, either significantly or at all, IMO.
Even someone playing for the first time can [but certainly doesn't *have* to] utilize and enjoy some of the better mods, especially for BG2. For example, if someone used and liked Xan, in BG1, they might be very happy to find the Xan for BG2 mod, so that they could adventure with the moody Elf again. Keto is another excellent NPC who integrates seemlessly into BG2 - so well in fact that one would be hard pressed to know that she wasn't an original game NPC!
Other mods, I agree, can change things in ways that a first time player would be best to leave to subsequent run-throughs. But for women, or people playing as female, the core game romance choices are pathetic, in that it isn't a choice - you have one shot at romance with one, not particularly attractive fellow [IMHO] and that's it. Adding in a well done NPC with a romance does much to increase the enjoyment of the game, for those not enamoured of Anomen [Xan is an excellent alternative. I'm running through my first time at the Haer'Dalis romance right now and am very impressed so far.]
However, we are mostly in agreement on new comers being best off experiencing BG2 as it was designed. Personally, I just *really* like well done mods that add to the interplay between NPCs and the PC. This makes the game much more enjoyable for me; I'm not a powergamer or a min-maxer or a "tactical challenge" fan - what I really enjoy is the role-playing. So anything that adds to that aspect of the game is good, as far as I'm concerned. I only wish I had had the choice to take Kelsey, for instance, on my first play through as a female, rather than having to suffer trhrough Anomen as my only choice for lovin'. :)
But again, to each their own. Whatever works for the individual and gets them the most entertainment is the *only* right way to play, right? :)