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BG2/ToB - Solaufein Romance Modification Pack Review

Discussion in 'Mod Reviews' started by Aldeth the Foppish Idiot, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Solaufein Romance Modification Pack
    Version: v100
    Review First Posted On: April 8, 2004
    Review Updated On:
    Download the Mod here: http://www.weidu.org/main.html

    I guess we need a few preliminaries before we get into anything. There is so much work that goes into the creation of a successful mod that it is nearly impossible to touch upon all aspects of it in a quick easy-to-read review. With that in mind, I am going to try to touch upon the major points that many serious BG2 players would be most interested in when making a decision to try a new mod or not. For Solaufein, the main points I will be considering include the integration of his character into the game, the playability of his character, and Solaufein-specific quests.

    Solaufein is integrated into the game seamlessly, but the timing of when you pick him up is important. To get the most out of the mod, I highly recommend that you get to him as soon as possible. You will be able to pick up Solaufein at the end of Chapter 5. As this is rather late in SoA, you should do as few of the optional quests as possible in Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 before leaving for Spellhold. Solaufein has several banters with every other original NPC (except Yoshimo), and some specific dialogs for nearly every optional quest you encounter, as well as with some merchants and other characters that are not directly related to the story-line. There are also banters with Kelsey (a Compton mod), but he does not have banters for the majority of the other NPC mods. The level of emersion you get with Solaufein is entirely up to you, so get him as early as possible if you want the full experience.

    As far as the playability is concerned, Solaufein’s a whole lot of fun. For those of you who don’t know, Solaufein is a male drow elf, multi-classed fighter/mage, who can be romanced regardless of gender or alignment. Anyone who has played a multi-classed fighter/mage or a dual-classed kensai/mage knows how fun these characters are to play. If you haven’t played one of these combinations, prepare to enjoy the experience.

    Solaufein comes locked and loaded so there’s no need to immediately run to a merchant as soon as he joins your party. In addition to being fully equipped, he has some really high stats, with 18’s in strength, dexterity, and intelligence. He already has most of the spells that players tend to use most often in his spell book, and he has proficiencies (2 stars) in long swords, flails, and two weapon style.

    One of the best points about the Solaufein character is he readily fits into any party or any PC that you are playing. When you download the mod, the Solaufein character you encounter in the game depends upon your main character’s alignment and experience points at the time that he joins. First, his experience points are tailored to be about the same as the rest of your party. For me, most of my NPCs had about 1.8 million XP at the end of chapter 5 and were single-classed characters. Solaufein joined with 1 million XP in each class, which would correspond to 2 million XP if he were single-classed. So he actually came in a little higher than most of the NPCs that were with me. The other unusual thing about Solaufein is his alignment is based on your PC’s alignment. If you are playing a good or neutral PC, Solaufein will be chaotic good. If you are playing an evil PC, Solaufein will be chaotic neutral. As far as I know, this is a unique characteristic among NPCs.

    There are also Solaufein-specific quests in SoA, and this is where Solaufein shines the most. The Solaufein-specific quests are nothing like the other NPC-specific quests you have encountered up to this point. They all involve combat, and they are all moderately to extremely difficult encounters. You will have to be quite the expert at combat in BG2 to handle some of these battles, especially on your first try. New BG2 players will find the battles nearly impossible, and even seasoned BG2 players will find themselves getting reacquainted with the reload button.

    The Solaufein-specific quests are another reason why it is highly recommended that you get him as early as possible. The quests occur at an interval of about one week of game time, with the first encounter occurring about one week after Solaufein joins your party. So, if you’ve already completed all of the Chapter 2 quests, finished your stronghold quests, and only have to do the core story-line of Chapters 6 and 7, it is highly unlikely that you will get through all of the Solaufein-specific quests before you reach the end of SoA. You can also completely forget about completing the romance. The rewards you get at the end of the Solaufein-specific quests include a Solaufein-specific item, innate abilities and a considerable amount of XPs. So skipping the Solaufein-specific quests is not advisable. His quests are arguably the best part of the mod, so skipping them is really going to cut down on a lot of the enjoyment (or frustration depending upon your point of view).

    Once you reach ToB, it’s more of the same. There are some additional banters and encounters that you only get with Solaufein, with a similar level of difficulty as you encountered in SoA. I do not know if the encounters you get in SoA carry over into ToB if you didn’t finish all of them during SoA, as I’ve always picked up Solaufein early enough to complete them.

    Overall, I enjoyed the mod. I would rate it at 7 of a possible 10. The only mod that I enjoyed more was the Kelsey mod. Solaufein rates lower for a few reasons. First, the fact that you can’t get him until the end of Chapter 5 is a real bummer. It requires you to either only take 5 NPCs with you, or drop an NPC that you have already invested a considerable amount of time and effort into by the time you get to Solaufein. The other thing that I didn’t like is the Solaufein-specific items and innate abilities make Solaufein very overpowered. Let’s put it this way, even before I buff up Solaufein before a major battle, the icons on his portrait on the side of the screen completely cover his face. You literally have three or four full rows of modifiers on him just from his equipment and abilities. When I buff him up, you can’t even see all of the icons on his picture because they don’t fit in the room provided, although they do show up if you right-click on his portrait to get a detailed look at his character sheet. The fact that the encounters you need to complete to get these items are very difficult erases some of the pangs of guilt you would otherwise feel for using some of these items. Still, it doesn’t seem right that even though Solaufein is multi-classed, he can very well be the most powerful fighter and most powerful mage in your party, even if you have single-classed variants who are of a considerably higher level. Even if you powergame, Solaufein will put your PC to shame by the end of SoA.

    None of these criticisms I have are big enough reasons to not try out the mod. Overall, I enjoyed the mod, and while I am in no hurry to go through it again, I eventually will just to see the interactions he has with some of the other NPCs that weren’t in one of my previous parties. To sum it up, the mod was very good, but not quite great.

    [ April 09, 2004, 20:37: Message edited by: Aldeth the Foppish Idiot ]
     
  2. david w Gems: 19/31
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    I've not tried the Solufein mod yet (it's one of about half a dozen on my To-Get-Round-To-Trying-Out list) but the comments about how overpowered he is seem to affect every mod I've ever tried - with the exception being Ascension. It seems that when people create a mod, they can't just settle for creating a balanced one but have to throw the whole game off-kilter by making it uber-powerful.

    It's certainly one I'm going to try though. The Eclipse fight sounds like an interesting one.
     
  3. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
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    Undead Sola and the Eclipse crew. Hardest battles ever to cross my screen.
     
  4. Rastor Gems: 30/31
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    I'd argue the seemless integration part, as, with no voicing at all, everything in the Sola mod screams "Mod Material Alert!"
     
  5. casey Gems: 15/31
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    Well I didn't find the Bodhi fight to be so hard, with the right party, a bit of going back to the outer sanctum and good use of some meat shields, so I finished it on my third or fourth try on insane.

    The Eclipse fight however, left me feeling so overwhelmed by the difficulty that I simply gave up after the fourth or try :mad: I still have nightmares over that fight :(

    Sola had his own bit of original voicing in the Underdark when you first meet him, after saving Phaere(sp?) and a few other times when you force talk or right click him, and I'm assuming the creator doesnt have any professional training in voicing. The only way it would be possible to give him voicing without making it unrealistic, would be for somebody to to their own voicing and delete the original files (are you reading this JCompton :D )
     
  6. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    My meaning was that the effort was made to involve diaglogs and banters as often as possible, to give the feel that Solaufein was involved in the game. Yes, in the banters, there is no voice, but I can read just fine, so it doesn't bother me.

    [ April 09, 2004, 20:38: Message edited by: Aldeth the Foppish Idiot ]
     
  7. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
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    I didn't find the lack of voicing distracting at all, although it would've been really great for him to be able to read his poems out loud.
     
  8. Razal'dar Gems: 6/31
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    I've got the Solaufein mod installed and I really want to romance Jaheira. However I also want to experience the undead Solaufein battle. The question I am asking is, is the Solaufein mod compatible with the multiple romances mod found in ease-of-use?
     
  9. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
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    You don't need to be romancing Sola because Bodhi takes him anyway (she just thinks he's neat.)

    And if it's WieDU, which the Ease-Of-Use mod is, then it should work with Sola.
     
  10. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Yes, the Eclipse crew is tough. Has anyone ever defeated that battle on insane difficulty? I can't. I can beat it on core difficulty, and I've never tried on hard.
     
  11. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
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    I did it on hard. It took me about 30 reloads (that's right... 30) to find a strategy against them. Funny thing was that I never even though about changing the difficulty.

    Anyway, I think I could've done it on insane because I Mazed a bunch of 'em, killed the mages, then was able to pick one fighter off at a time while they were coming back. No one died, or was really even close.

    But then again, I didn't do it on insane, so...
     
  12. Death Whisper Gems: 9/31
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    this mod seems to be uncompatible with shadows over soubar due to dialogue problems.

    (gaelan bayle and that crazy thief suddenly gets the minsc-solaufein dialogue!, in waukeens promenda that is...not the slums version of gaelan)
     
  13. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I never installed SoS, so it is entirely possible that they are incompatible.
     
  14. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    Where in chapter five do you get him? I have just refused to kill him and he told me to he would go away and find likeminded people.
     
  15. JSBB Gems: 31/31
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    After you leave complete and leave the drow city he should appear and chat after which he will dimension door up to the surface to avoid the elves. After you complete your pow-wow with the elven generals you can find him somewhere on that map and get him to join your party.
     
  16. charname Gems: 1/31
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    The mod also includes a very useful auto-buffing AI script that's very useful for people who've never used fighter/mages (or class combinations like that) before.
     
  17. Saber

    Saber A revolution without dancing is not worth having!

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    Eh, not enough voices, poetry gets old after you've heard every piece ever written by anyone repeated, and although the fights are fun (to a point), he is way too powerful, and he ruins my other romance(s). I prefer Kelsey.

    [ October 29, 2005, 07:43: Message edited by: Saber ]
     
  18. kimmuryiel Gems: 1/31
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    my only complaint with Solaufein is that whether you pick him up in ToB or in SoA, dialogue starts out exactly the same and even his non-romanced vs. romanced epilogue is nearly identical. The only real difference is that if he isn't romanced, he won't stay in the drow city he founds on the surface. Otherwise Sola is a good mod, but I prefer Edwin's romance
     

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