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|Tales of the Sword Coast|
Tales of the Sword Coast (TotSC) is an expansion pack for Baldur's Gate that adds 20-40 hours worth of new areas to explore that was released in May 1999. Not only does it provide more quests, items and monsters, but also improvements to the game engine.
New Design Features
TotSC builds upon Baldur's Gate adding four new map areas as well as numerous interiors and dungeons. The new areas are the small town Ulgoth's Beard, an ice cavern, the dwarven fortress Durlag's Tower to the east in the Woods of Sharp Teeth, and an uncharted island off the coast to the west. The original game must be installed to use the expansion as they share resources and the older areas are still accessible. The expansion inserts prior to the final battle with Sarevok which would have to be refought at the end of the expansion in order to have the accumulated experience count towards the sequel. The reason that TotSC does not take place after the final battle of BG is that it would require rewriting and retesting the dialog from the entire game to take into account the absence of Sarevok and his threat, the changed political climate, your knowledge of your past and the fact you saved the day.
If you have not yet completed the game when you install the expansion, then the new areas are added in and you just continue your game as normal. There will be new high level areas, but they should be avoided until your party is stronger. This scenario is also true if you start with a saved game that is not the final save.
If you have already completed the game when you install the expansion, your final save will direct you to appear in the town of Ulgoth's Beard when you load it. This situates you in the new areas so you can only explore those or go back to areas of the original game with the only difference being that the final battle with Sarevok has been made more difficult.
The expansion occupies 1 full CD, and comes with a 40 page manual and an improved command card. Depending on your current installation, the expansion will add 5 MB if you did the recommended install for the main game or 150 MB if you had done the minimum install. The system specifications necessary to play TotSC are identical to BG. Once the expansion in installed, all players in multiplayer must have it even if you are not in the new areas (because it updates the game engine). TotSC has versions available in French, German, Spanish and Italian as with BG.
The maximum total experience points a character in Baldur's Gate could earn was 89,000. This cap was introduced so that BioWare could design and balance the game for characters of the appropriate levels (in both the main game and the expansion). Once TotSC is installed, the cap rises to 161,000.
The following features have been added or changed in the expansion. These changes would be expected to affect all areas after the expansion is installed.