An immense unofficial upgrade for the classic RPG, staying mostly faithful and lore friendly to the game's source content, while fixing bugs and enhancing the gameplay.
The mod's finalized version of 2.5, with updated animations, items, meshes, NPCs, objects, SFXs, textures, and loads of bugfixes, plus many other improvements. English only, and will overwrite the captions, subtitles, and text descriptions for all other language versions of the game (but the installed voiceover will remain the same). Starting a new game is obligatory, and there is no backward compatibility with the saves from the mod's previous versions!
THE INSTALLATION GUIDE:
The installation guide is "stone set" and extensively tested for the best compatibility and performance, with constantly developed and updated Union being its base. If encountered any problems with crashes, lagging, launching, and/or stuttering, refer to the guide of "THE CRASHING, LAGGING, AND STUTTERING" section below. Do NOT install any script patches (like Fizzban's, Lord Sargon's, Gothic II Gold UnPatch, IronKeep Community Patch, etc.), script extenders (like Ninja/LeGo/Ikarus), non Union plugins/modkits/patches (like Free Aiming, Stamina, Better Torches, Lockpick Helper, First Mage Kit, Mana Regeneration, Item Map, Autosave, Show Game Time, Always Show Important Stats, etc.), various fixes (like Steam Fix, 4GB Patch, LAA Fix, Gothic Report v2.6 Revision 2, Final Gothic II Gold EXE, etc.), variables editor (GVE, etc.), saved games editors/fixers (GIISGE, guides, tutorials, etc.), or SystemPacks (of any versions), because none of these is supported in any form, since it is either incompatible/not needed, or is covered/superseded by either the mod or the Union (or Union plugins [or will be by them at some point in future]). Due to undocumented installation procedures the well known Spine mod manager is not supported and is discouraged.
Required (needed; must be installed before playing the mod):
1. Install clean Gothic II NotR/Gold as administrator. It may be from retail CD/DVD or GOG/Steam. It may be of any language, and it doesn't have to be in English. Make very sure it's NOT going to be installed in any Program Files folder. Make ultra sure the path does NOT contain any special ASCII characters of Russian, Polish, German, Spain, Romanian, Italian, etc. origin.
2. Download the Resource Manager v3.4 for Union's assets and packages, then move it to the Gothic II NotR/Gold root directory. Launch it as administrator, choose the English language from the initial menu (do NOT select any other language, even if it would match the one of the current Gothic II NotR/Gold installation), then select the "Union" directory from inside the manager that's to the left. // If having issues with running Union, download and install the latest Visual C++ Redistributables cumulative package from GitHub.
3. Download (click on the box), then install (click on the box again once this selection is downloaded) the "PlayerKit 2.8 + Patch for x64 systems" (or "PlayerKit 2.8 + Patch for x32 systems" if you have 32 bit OS) in the Gothic II NotR/Gold root directory.
4. Download (click on the box), then install (click on the box again once this selection is downloaded) the "Union v1.0j" package in the Gothic II NotR/Gold root directory.
5. If you didn't do that before, launch the game at least once, via Gothic2.exe or a shortcut leading to it, so it could create various required configuration files.
6. Download Yet Another Unofficial Patch v2.5 (780 MB), then unpack its contents into X:\Gothic II NotR/Gold\ main installation directory.
7. Launch GothicStarter.exe, select this mod, and play.
Optional (recommended; can be installed any time):
1. Download OptionalPlugins and unpack it to X:\Gothic II NotR/Gold\DATA\ installation sub directory and overwrite if needed; feel free to select only the desired plugins. The archive is the collection of the tested Union enhancement and bugfixing plugins in their newest versions:
- Union Sneak Fix (Union_SneakFix.vdf): fixes issues, bugs, and errors related to all, each, and every sneaking state(s)
- Union Timed Overlays (Union_TimedOverlays.vdf): fixes the bugs related to "timed" animation states not being saved on (re)load, like the effect of speed potions and some others
- Union Torch Hotkey (Union_TorchHotkey.vdf): enables the T keybinding for torches in the inventory
- Union Collide Fix (zVFXCollideFix.vdf): fixes the bug related to AoE spells inflicting doubled, tripled or quadrupled magic damage at times
- Union Trolls' Boulder Throw (zTrollStoneThrowing.vdf): enables trolls to hurl boulders, giving them a very brutal ranged attack
- Union Spell Fix (Union_SpellFix.vdf): fixes various collision issues with certain spells
- Union Underwater Plane Fix (zUnderWater.vdf): fixes the issue of being able to see underwater with no usual blurred visibility of liquid under certain angles and circumstances
- Union Miscellaneous Fixes (Union_MiscUtils.vdf): fixes lesser engine bugs, fixes the burning torches not being saved on (re)load, enables auto key removal, enables marking new or unread items in the inventory, enables new diary updates being shown first, fixes the infamous "too many keys softlock" bug, and etc. Fully configurable via Gothic.ini; the options' descriptions can be found in the Resource Manager, under "Top Layer", then "Union Misc Utils".
2. Download Upscaled Gothic II Gold Videos v1.0 (1.35 GB) and unpack it to X:\Gothic II NotR/Gold\ installation directory. //This patch upscales all the English Gothic II Gold videos to 720p resolution with addition of an advanced rescaler for better quality.
Supplementary (purely optional, since it's either still in development or not tested in depth for the best compatibility or will outright clash with YAUP's own assets; may result in errors and/or glitches and/or corrupted saves; can be installed any time):
1. Everything any D3D11 modkits related.
2. Everything any texture packs if they contain additional animations, objects, and/or meshes. // If they contain textures and textures only, then it's safe to install and use them.