for EasyTutu, by Macready
One thing that's always bothered me about
Baldur's Gate is that even with everything that's going on within the
game, the Sword Coast region doesn't really feel like it's in crisis.
Sure, all of the commoners and townsfolk talk a good game about iron shortages
and the like, but any time that you walk into a store, metal gear can be had for very reasonable prices. Even magical items
are readily purchased in stores! And the problem of ubiquitous magic
equipment is exacerbated by all of
the freebies that the game throws at you early on (now made obvious by Throne
of Bhaal's TAB key highlighting). You are supposed to feel like a
sheltered kid thrust suddenly into a hostile world with only the clothes on his
or her back, but with the easily obtainable "presents" to be had early in the
going, you are empowered to afford the finer things in life before you've even
reached the Friendly Arm for the first time.
aims to address these issues. Here are some of the highlights:
- Almost all of the stores you'll visit will
charge substantially more for their wares (although they won't pay you
any more for things you are selling). This is intended to reflect the
severe economic pinch caused by the iron crisis. An effort has been made
to tailor the increases to some of the observations made within the game.
For example, we are told that Winthrop has been trying to keep his prices as
low as he can manage; hence, the Candlekeep Inn is noticeably less expensive
than the other stores in the area. We are also told that Feldepost's Inn
charges exorbitant prices, and you'll now find this to be true as well.
Ideally, I'd have liked to have the prices seen in stores react to the game's
events as they unfold, with costs easing as your party works to unwind the
economic tensions in the area. Unfortunately, I could find no way to do
this without swapping in new stores as the game progresses, an approach which
would disrupt the continuity of those stores' inventory (e.g., items you sold
there previously would be gone, and items you'd purchased would be back in
stock). So instead, I tailored the price markups to match the time frame
when you'd first encounter the stores. Baldur's Gate stores will be less
expensive, because by the time you are patronizing them you will already have
taken significant steps in solving the region's problems.
- Some item price adjustments have been
made to counterbalance the global price increases (when necessary).
- You will find that many stores either no longer sell
magic items, or have far less magic equipment in stock. The primary
exceptions to this change are stores themed specifically
around magic (e.g., High Hedge, Sorcerous Sundries, etc.), and Feldepost's Inn, which we
are told deals in some "trophy" magic items.
- Renting rooms at an inn will cost more than a
mere pittance, with the nicest rooms costing a pretty penny indeed.
- Many of the exceptional or magic items that
are just lying around the game world, particularly in the early game, have
been replaced with less valuable items. This is intended to slow your
party's accumulation of wealth such that you too feel the pain of what is
happening in the area, to some degree. Furthermore, significant steps
have been taken to reduce the proliferation of magic items
throughout the game world. Some of these removed items, as well as some of
the items you will no longer find within stores, can fall into your hands as
loot obtained from your adventures. To spice things up a bit, the
distribution of these items will not be static. Although the pool of
items and the creatures who can drop them (essentially the "chapter bosses")
will remain constant, the loot drops will
be randomized such that you never know which of the creatures will yield what
item from game to game.
- Items which can easily upset the balance of
the game (Algernon's cloak, the various magic wands) have been toned down
The point of all this is, quite simply, to
have the game's economy and environs reflect the difficulties inherent in the
crisis being experienced along the Sword Coast.
Furthermore, I've always enjoyed games where you start with nothing and
have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and I believe that Baldur's Gate is intended to be one of those games. By removing the early game
gifts and toning down the supply (and occasionally, the power level) of magic items, you experience the region's
troubles a bit more directly, and are forced to earn your rewards in a more honest fashion than
simply by plucking diamonds and magic rings from the surrounding foliage. The
end result is, for me at least, a more satisfying feeling when I've succeeded.
Hard Times is intended for everyone who feels the same.
NOTE: In order to help showcase EasyTutu's
switch to the Baldur's Gate 2 spell system, I've included a second,
optional component which adds a "boss" type encounter to the Ulcaster School
ruins. I've designed this to be a higher level encounter, so if you
install the component, I recommend avoiding the Ulcaster School until your party
is at or near the level cap. Be advised that this component is solely
about adding a challenging combat and one additional chance to dip into the loot
table mentioned above. If combat and items are not your thing, avoid this
like the plague.
- Any version of EasyTutu released in 2008 or
later. You'll need to start a new game once the mod is installed
in order to see its effects.
- This mod accomplishes its changes exclusively
via interactive file patching, so it really shouldn't matter when it is
installed in terms of overall mod installation order. Because it was
developed against a clean installation of EasyTutu, the absolute safest bet
is to install it early (say, right after the "Degreenifier" if you're using
Download the self-extracting package and extract
it to your EasyTutu folder. The setup program will run automatically. Run the Setup-HardTimes.exe installer (WeiDU,
of course) to uninstall it.
HardTimes-v2.exe (last updated
08 February 2009)