The focus of the mod
Originally our goal with LoI was simply "to make an expansion pack". There were plans to include almost everything you can think of, with both new and improved areas, quests, creatures, NPCs, spells, items, kits, and so on.
Over time, however, many of these elements splintered off to become mods of their own. First there was Divine Remix, then Song & Silence, Sword & Fist, and the upcoming Arcane Remix.
We're now left with the focus on areas, quests, creatures, NPCs, and items. There will still be new kits in the mod, but they won't be available to the player; rather, they will be used by certain NPCs, both joinable and non-joinable. For the most part the same is true of spells; however, if both Arcane Remix and LoI are installed, AR spell scrolls will be dropped by certain LoI enemies. In fact, use of both Arcane Remix and Divine Remix will be highly recommended if you're playing LoI, though neither will be required.
As with the overall goal of the mod, over time our vision for the release of LoI has changed. We had planned to simply make a single major release once absolutely everything were complete, with future versions containing only bug fixes and perhaps a few more minor additions.
However, we've since adopted the approach more typical of the modern WeiDU mods: there'll be initial release with a reasonable number of features, but future versions will contain many more additions. We currently have a firm set of goals for v1, a pretty good idea of what will be in v2, and many ideas for v3+.
So, without further ado, here's what you should expect in LoI version 1:
- 1 major quest, "The King of Amn"
- 6 minor quests and encounters
- Pen and paper SoA dragons
- Around 100 new items
- Item revisions (see below)
- Names for over 80 formerly generic characters
- Portraits for over 100 non-joinable characters
- 41 new character generation portraits
What of this is already complete, you ask? Well, the pnp SoA dragons are finished (though untested), the item revisions are done, the names for formerly generic character are in place, and all the portraits have been implemented. Of the remainder, a good 80% of the quest dialogue has been writen (though so far it's completely uncoded), and around 90% of the new items planned for this version have been created.
Once v1 is released, work will immediately begin on v2, which should include the following:
- Another major quest, "A Dragon's Favour"
- At least 5 more minor quests and encounters
- Expanded Underdark
- New creature animations, including bug bears and driders
- Pen and paper ToB dragons, rakshasa, and kuo-toa
- More new items, including some of the new weapon and armour types (see below)
- Additional dialogue for formerly generic characters
Beyond that, you can expect:
- At least four more major quests
- Numerous medium-sized and minor quests
- "Consequences" (see below)
- Several new world map areas
- Expanded De'Arnise keep
- At least three new party members
- More pnp-based creature revisions
- The remaining new weapon and armour types
Something that I haven't revealed thus far is that LoI will make a number of changes to existing items. These changes generally fall into two areas: bringing the items more in-line with their pen 'n' paper counterparts, and making costs, weights, lore requirements, usability, and even names more consistent.
You will particularly notice the changes to bows, crossbows, and their associated ammunition, which feature extensive revisions to range, speed, and damage.
Another area I've given attention to regarding existing items is icons. Items which originally shared icons, such as the Cloak of Bravery and the Cloak of the Sewers, now have unique icons. Several of these are BG1 icons which are inexplicably missing from BG2, such as the Helm of Balduran, and Varscona +2.
(It should be noted that Galactygon has made similar (even identical in a few cases ) changes in Lost Crossroads, though these are entirely co-incidental.)
New weapons and armour
Our aim is to introduce not just a large number of new magical variations of existing weapons and armour, but also a wide variety of new types of weapons and armour. Expect to be able wield new weapons such as broad swords, cutlasses, falchions, stilettos, pikes, glaives, and composite short bows, and to wear new types of armour like scale mail, banded mail, and field plate.
Due to limitations placed on us by both time and the IE engine, these new item types will use the same animations as the stanard weapons and armour; however, their stats will most definitely be different.
"Consequences" is an attempt to do two things: firstly, to show that events in the country of Amn are capable of proceeding without the PC's direct interference, and secondly to have quests provide more of a challenge if you leave them until after you return from the Underdark.
Essentially, the chapter number will have a bearing on the number and strength of enemies in certain areas, such as the druid grove and Windspear Hills. It isn't quite that simple, however, as the storyline will also progress. For example, if Trademeet is still in danger when you leave for Brynnlaw, you will find that the town has been completely over-run by enemies when you finally arrive there. Note that quest giving NPCs won't be killed off in such events, so you won't have to worry about not being able to receive certain quests.
Edited by NiGHTMARE, 15 January 2007 - 04:30 PM.