By Al Giovetti
Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coastby Chris Parker, Ben Smedstad and Al Giovetti
The First Adventure Pack for the 1998 Blockbuster RPG of the Year!
Continue on your travels on the Sword Coast with the next set of adventures in the award-winning Baldur's Gate role playing game series. Legends abound in the region. Almost all have at least some basis in truth and almost all speak of treasures lost and monsters to be defeated. Are you up to the task? Will you return with even more fame than you accumulated in your previous travels? Or will you journey off, never to be heard from again - the source of your own legend, in turn...?
New Items: There are going to be a lot of new items, but most of the items will exist within the same broad categories as the items from BG. As we get closer to the release of the project, we will make a smaller version of the Faerun Querum with pictures and descriptions of some of the new items.
New Spells: We will be adding a number of spells from the 4th and 5th level for both Priests and Mages. The number will not be huge however, somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 spells or about 1/5th of the spells in BG. There will likely be some new higher level spells, but unfortunately for the players, those spells will be used against you by NPCs.
The experience cap is going up. We haven't exactly decided what the new experience point cap is going to be however. In BG the cap was 89,000, this allowed characters to attain 7th or 8th level depending on their class. In our discussions it seems pretty well agreed upon that the cap will allow characters to get up into the 8/9th level range in TSC.
There are ways to modify the experience point cap in the game currently available on the internet. If you do in some way modify Baldur's Gate, you may make it impossible for your characters or your game to port to the adventure pack or any possible sequels. At the very least, your characters will be brought back down to 89k xp.
New Monsters: There will be some new monsters, but not a ton. We think there'll definitely be enough to keep you satisfied. Of the new monsters, only a few will actually be created from scratch with new models, animations, and all that. There will be new variations on many of the existing creatures in BG.
No New NPCs. There will be no new Non-Player Characters that you can take into your party.
New game play items: The game will have no changes in the rules but will have some changes to game mechanics. The majority of these things came from feedback directly from the message boards:
The setting: The adventure pack takes place on the Sword Coast in the exact same region as BG. Part of takes place to the west of the city of BG (on the high seas) and some takes place near the Wood of Sharp Teeth.
The time: The action is set within the game of Baldur's Gate before you defeat Sarevok, and somewhat after you go south to the Nashkell mines. The added areas of Ulgoth's Beard which is an island in the sea west of Baldur's Gate, Durlag's Tower, which is west of Beregost and south of the Wood of Sharp Teeth. It is not known if the area of Berdusk, a town near Durlag's Tower will also be in the game at this time.
There will be a lot of NPCs. As it stands there will likely be a hundred with 20-30 major parts.
There are 4 areas that are being added to the Sword Coast. There is a small town called Ulgoth's Beard, an Island, and the famed Durlag's Tower. All of these areas are complex, having multiple interiors and subterranean levels. Our estimation is that the adventure pack will add roughly 20 hours of gameplay into the world.
No, not yet. As it stands, 3d implementation will only happen if there is a sequel. We want to do it right, and to give the player the full potential of the 3d support, not just some hack to get it working.
Yes there are several pre-rendered cutscenes in TSC. They are placed as such to further the story and to immerse the player further into the game.
There will be new voice overs, but not a huge amount. The amount of voice overs per character will be roughly equivalent to the amount of voice overs that is currently in BG per character and it is likely to be for the major NPCs only.
We might do a small amount of new music, but it would be relatively brief and is likely to be very location specific.
The adventure pack will simply add areas into the currently existing world. That is, the world map will be replaced with a new world map with areas on it that weren't in BG. With the adventure pack, you will still be playing BG, it will just have a bigger world.
So there are 3 things that can happen:
You must have BG installed in order to play the adventure pack because it adds into the currently existing world. If you choose to uninstall BG until the adventure pack is released, keep your save games folder backed up someplace. There are two of them "/saves" and "/mp saves". After you get the adventure pack, reinstall BG and then install the add pack. By copying over your saves at that point, you could resume where you left off.
You must have BG installed in order to install TSC, but the adventure pack will only make a number of small modifications to your current installation. That is, if you choose a minimum installation where all of the SFX and music stay on the CD, then the adventure pack will be roughly equivalent to patching BG, less than 5 megs. If you choose to do a regular installation, the size will depend entirely upon the amount of new assets in sound and animations that we add into the game. It is likely to be less than 50 megs however.
The German/French/Italian/Spanish versions should be shipped one or two weeks after the English version is shipped. We're going to do the best we can. BG shipped out in the US on the 12/23/98, in the rest of the world it took around one or two weeks to arrive on the shelves. The reasons for this were primarily logistical. BG has 5 CDs (which means it takes a long time to duplicate and build units) and it silvered on what is probably the worst week in the entire year to try and get something done. Since TSC is only one CD, and since its not shipping in the middle of Christmas, we may be able to turn it around faster. However, because we are developing the adventure pack very quickly, we may not have time to produce all of the localized materials such as the box and manual fast enough. So there are a number of factors at play and all we can say is that we'll do the best we can.
Multiplayer will work exactly the same in TSC as it does in BG. If you have installed the adventure pack however, you will only be able to play with others who have it too. This is because game data has to be the same on all machines and TSC will be modifying some existing BG data when it installs.
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