Baldur's Gate II modding

Last year I have written a personal guide how I modified my installation of "Baldur's Gate" and published it here. This year it would be prudent to repeat the same with its successor.

As I haven't used "Baldur's Gate Trilogy" or "Big World Project", I had to modify BG by myself and so I did the same with BGII. There are a shitload of similar guides on the net, so it's your choice if you pay even the slightest bit of attention to mine.

1.Acquire "Baldur's Gate II"
I'm sure that GOG or GamersGate will be sufficient toward your needs.
Baldur's Gate II on GOG / GamersGate.
Alternatively you might sail to a certain bay to get the games in a different way.

2. Install the game
If you got the game from the aforementioned sites, it comes with the expansion "Throne of Bhaal", is already patched to the latest official version and will do a full install.
If you got older version, you will have to make sure that you do a full install of the game and the expansion, and will have to apply the latest official patches.

3. Apply "Big World Fixpack"
Despite the name this fixpack is not necessarily used for BWP and can by applied to the manual installations.
Before applying it you have to download all the mods you would like to install and put them in the core directory of the game.
Download and extract to the BGII core directory the latest version of WeiDU (v231).
Download and extract the "Big World Fixpack (v12.2)". launch it and wait as it updates all your mods as needed.

4. Install "Ascension"
Ascension (v1.4.24) is a mod written by one of the former designers of BGII and changes the content present in "Throne of Bhaal". It should be installed very first before any fixpacks (except for the one above) or other mods. Note, that there are two different versions for Ascension: one is for manual install and the other one comes with BWP. The latter is not supposed to be installed the very first, thus there is some confusion about the installation order. There is no confusion if you do everything manually.

5. Apply BGII fixpack
Download the fixpack, extract it to the core folder and install the desired components. At the time of writing the fixpack is at v10.

6. Apply "Expanded Thief Stronghold"
Download, extract, install. At the time of writing the expansion is at v2.20.

7. Install Banter Pack
Semi optional, it expands the conversations between the characters. At the time of writing it's v13.

8. Install "The Gibberlings 3 Anniversary mod" (optional)
This is a very small fan created quest pack. Version v8.

9. Install "Colours of Infinity: Tales of the Deep Gardens" (optional)
One of the series of interconnected fan created adventures by Lava Del'Vortel. At the time of writing it's at v9.3.

10. Install "Colours of Infinity: Innershade" (optional)
The second adventure in a series by Lava Del'Vortel. At the time of writing it's at v6.0.

11. Install "Colours of Infinity: The White Queen" (optional)
The third adventure in a series. Version: v3.2.

12. Install "Eilistraee's Song" (optional)
Another adventure by Lava Del'Vortel. Version: v3.3.

13. Install Unfinished Business
This mod restores the material that was coded but for some reason not enabled within the game. At the time of writing it's at v19.

14. Install "Imoen Friendship" (optional)
An add-on which adds more banter for our favourite rogue. Currently at v2.1.

15. Install "Oversight"
This mod adds various tweaks. Note, that its component "Alignment Correction" is included in BGII fixpack. Install one or the other. Version: v13.

16. Install "Rogue Rebalancing"
A component that brings rogues closer to D&D rules. Note, that there are two versions of the mod: platform independent and Windows. I used the latter. Version: v4.61.

17. Install SimDing0's Miscellaneous Tweak Pack
Some tweaks. Do not install "Summons/NPCs Set Off Traps" component if Rogue Rebalancing has been installed. Also shares some components with BG2 Fixes: The "Corrected Demon Animations" component is included in the core fixes, "Corrected Summoned Demon Behavior" and "Ghrey's Holy Symbol Fix" are included as "Optional But Cool" components. Currently at v21.

18. Install Sword Coast Stratagems II
A very useful mod with many tweaks to the game's AI, making it more challenging. It should be installed almost at the very end of the modding. Currently at v21.

19. Install Baldur's Gate II Tweaks
You'll definitely will find something of interest within this tweak pack that will make your life more bearable. Currently at v13.

20. Install "One Pixel Productions" (optional)
This is a HUGE mod changing and tweaking many things with a complex installation with many options. It's purely optional and might not be to everyone's taste. Currently at v4.10.
NOTE: In the first "Baldur's Gate", component #400 "Core updates and item patches" created crashes within my game. I don't know what the problem was, but I didn't install this component during this modding either. Better safe than sorry.

21. Install High Quality Music
The original BG2 music was of low quality 22.05 kHz and so, the same girl who created "One Pixel Productions" made a patch that brings it up to 44.1 kHz. The installation of this mod is more complex than any other:
a) Download, extract and install the mod.
b) Go into the folder 1pp_hq_music_ToSC -> convert and launch the application "acm_upsample". Point it to the "music" folder and wait until the upsampling is complete (this way, any music that was added by mods will be upscaled to 44.1 kHz).
c) Go into the folder 1pp_hq_music_ToSC and copy the "music" folder into your core directory. Do a "replace all".

22. Install Widescreen Mod (optional)
Might be useful if you have a widescreen monitor. If you still have a 4:3, there is not much reason to use it as at resolutions higher than 800x600 BG2 cutscenes and graphical interface become very small. Currently at v3.05.

23. Apply Creature Fixer
A useful application that searches for incorrect assignments and tries to fix them if found. It found exactly one problem with my installation and patched it. Version: v2.2.

23. Apply Generalized Biffing
The application will help with possible lag and slowdown problems. The catch is, that you have to apply it the very last as you won't be able to install any fixes or mods after biffing your game.

24. Find a portrait for your character
Find and add the portrait for your character into the "portraits" folder (if the folder doesn't exist, create it). Remember that you have to add both a large and a small version.
You will find many portrait packs on the internet; here is one of them.

If you want to import your character from BG1, just copy the folder named "Final Save" into the saves folder and the game will let you do an import during the character creation.


There are many more mods that might be worth checking, but which I did not install. I'll mention some of them now.

The Longer Road (v1.5.1) and Redemption (v1.2) are fan add-ons to Ascension and give more characterisation to Jon Irenicus. Hell, TLR actually lets you recruit him. I didn't install either of them because I felt that they would change my first playthrough of BG way too much and because I don't need one more recruitable character - I already have a hard time choosing between the available ones. Note, that you have to install one or the other, not both of them. Also, I have no idea, where their place would be in the installation order.

Turnabout (v1) is another fan add-on to Ascension that allows you to call one long dead ally to help you in the final battle. From what I gather it should be installed somewhere before "Unfinished Business" and is only partially compatible with TLR.

Imoen Romance (v1.202) is a controversial mod (for obvious reasons) and is not compatible with Imoen friendship which I installed.

Romantic Encounters (v6) adds what every player wants - one night stands :-) I didn't install it, because I had no idea how it would affect the original romances.

And finally let's talk about NPC mods. Despite BG2 already having many joinable characters, it appears that the favourite pastime of the community is creating more and more additional companions. At least some of them are quite well regarded, though I wouldn't recommend installing them on your first run. The six that after reading the forums I gathered are considered the cream of the crop:
Kelsey (vSOA2.1/TOB2.2) (considered the very best NPC mod by virtually everyone)
Keto (v3)
Saerileth (v16) (the most controversial mod; everyone either loves or loathes it)
de'Arnise Romance (v3)
Solaufein (v103)
Valen (v45).
Some other NPC mods that are frequently mentioned in positive light: Kim (v1.62d), Fade (v3), Tashia (v1.3), Tsujatha (v13), Yasreana (v12), Chloe (v1.5).
Additionally, those that install a few fan-made NPCs should also install Crossmod Banter Pack (v14), so that they would talk to each other. Obviously, installing too many NPC mods is courting trouble.

And that is just about everything I wanted to say. Just sit back, launch the game and enjoy yourselves.

For those interested I attach my WeiDU log, showing what components I have installed from every mod:
» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «


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