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Swen On Fan Expectations For Baldur's Gate 3 #656918
16/11/19 01:02 PM
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korotama Offline OP
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Excerpt from IGN's interview with Swen Vincke:
https://sea.ign.com/baldurs-gate-ii...sia-and-the-complexity-of-baldurs-gate-3
Quote
IGN: Larian is making Baldur's Gate 3 now and Baldur's Gate is such a beloved franchise. How are you going to live up with the fans' expectations?

Swen: I don't think we can live up to the expectations. I think that's impossible. Those expectations are soaring through to the roof. What we're doing is we're making our type of Dungeons & Dragons with a lot of love for what came before and with also putting our own stamp on it.


I am sorry that Swen feels that way about BG fans. Permit me to speak freely about "fan expectations": This board has already discussed whether there is a significant overlap between D&D fans and longtime BG players so I am not going to steer the thread in that direction. What bugs me is that Swen and the dev team seem to be putting so much emphasis on innovation and translating 5E rules into a video game that I'm no longer certain if we will be getting a tabletop simulator or a role-playing game. To what extent a video game can capture the unpredictability and creativity of a D&D game master is beyond me.

For what it's worth, many great RPGs had poor or broken launches (which to my knowledge includes BG) but ultimately their saving grace was a skillful concoction of storytelling, writing and character development. Can we all agree that is what makes the difference between a game that will get shelved after one playthrough and one that is often revisited and has a vibrant modding community years after release? Being deeply immersed in a fictional setting is literally the only thing I expect of a
role-playing game
. As far as I'm concerned, Larian can screw up and cut corners on everything else. Thank you.

If you believe fan expectations are soaring through the roof, be a sweetheart and let me know how. There have been brainstorming sessions on here but trying to portray them as unreasonable fan expectations is a little underhanded in my view. I don't recall ever saying things like "I refuse to buy this game if you do not heed my suggestions" with the exception of one thread which coincidentally had to do with writing which I strongly believe is essential for an RPG and more important than any other component.

Re: Swen On Fan Expectations For Baldur's Gate 3 [Re: korotama] #656919
16/11/19 01:23 PM
16/11/19 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by korotama
There have been brainstorming sessions on here but trying to portray them as unreasonable fan expectations is a little underhanded in my view.

Swen was not referring to the entirety of speculation. The question was specifically about the highest expectations (living up to mild interest for a D&D game isn't a very high bar).
Would you claim no expectations are unreasonable? Or mutually exclusive with other expectations?

Re: Swen On Fan Expectations For Baldur's Gate 3 [Re: Raze] #656921
16/11/19 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Raze
Originally Posted by korotama
There have been brainstorming sessions on here but trying to portray them as unreasonable fan expectations is a little underhanded in my view.

Swen was not referring to the entirety of speculation. The question was specifically about the highest expectations (living up to mild interest for a D&D game isn't a very high bar).
Would you claim no expectations are unreasonable? Or mutually exclusive with other expectations?

No, I certainly would not claim no expectations are unreasonable although it is a very broad term, Raze. I think Swen means well but going on a war footing with fans whose ideas he disagrees with is poor form for a renowned company. I am certain that even those with supposedly unreasonable expectations care about the series and will end up buying BG3. The important thing is that everyone's views be acknowledged whether it's the guy threatening to set himself on fire if combat isn't RTWP or the forum user who wants tons of recruitable characters. I hope Swen does not see us as haters because creating rifts in the community will hurt everyone in the long run. That said, if you would release some gameplay footage or new trailers much of that speculation would probably be put to rest.

Last edited by korotama; 16/11/19 02:19 PM. Reason: typo
Re: Swen On Fan Expectations For Baldur's Gate 3 [Re: korotama] #656923
16/11/19 02:58 PM
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I certainly agree with Swen in my perspective. It's not either that some expectations are "too high", they are also very varied. Gather a group of 20 active discord users in the #BG3 channel, and they'll all have different opinions on whether it should be turn based, RTWP or some hybrid. They'll have mixed opinions on whether flying should be a level 3 spell, or a level 1. And then the discussion usually proceeds in a fashion as if they're the designers and trying to convince one another which is the best solution, and thus they build up a personal romantization of what is 'the ultimate BG3', even if subconsciously. Because when it lands, and it is not what they had personally settled through their countless discussions, that's against what they've made up their mind about wanting, and so it goes against their expectation.

There are only two things I am certain about with Baldur's Gate 3. It will be an amazing game, but it will also have a minority, but still a handful of reviews and forum threads about how it's not what it's "supposed to be" in the mind of the reader.

What I believe is rather the more underlying message from Swen is that there's no way all expectations can be met, you can't fill a bucket but empty it at the same time. There are binary expectations, where you can't meet both because they are direct opposites. There are considerations to be made between what makes gameplay fun (and work) contrary to the 5e ruleset it's inspired by, not followed as a Bible as some fans expect. There are people out there that expects a 5e interactive D&D campaign with a Baldur's Gate 3 stamp on it. Those are the expectations that should be curbed to some extent, because while 5e is absolutely fantastic as tabletop with friends over a late, long night, there are aspects that simply won't work as well in a video game medium, or will require considerable creative liberations to make it work. But if you do that, again, it'll upset some expectations.

Re: Swen On Fan Expectations For Baldur's Gate 3 [Re: The Composer] #656924
16/11/19 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by The Composer

There are only two things I am certain about with Baldur's Gate 3. It will be an amazing game...

Would you care to elaborate how you have arrived at this certainty? I only have one trailer, some concept art and a few gameplay/setting tidbits to go on.

Originally Posted by The Composer

What I believe is rather the more underlying message from Swen is that there's no way all expectations can be met, you can't fill a bucket but empty it at the same time.

Oh, I get it. He speaks in code.

Re: Swen On Fan Expectations For Baldur's Gate 3 [Re: korotama] #656925
16/11/19 03:48 PM
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This is a very uncharitable interpretation.Or more to the point a very charitabel interpretation of fan expactations.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, Sven obviously means that people love Baldurs Gate and Baldurs Gate 2 and thus their expectations are so ridiculuosly high that they cannot possibly be met by any developer.

And they are, even this board cannot decide on what it wants.
Does it want innovation? Does it want Obsidian style full use of the infinity engine?
Ive seen people taking offense at Sven saying THAC0 is a bad system (it is).

You simply cannot please the highest fan expectations if they are mutually exclusive.
And thats why they arent trying to, they are trying to make a good game. At least thasws my charitable interpretation of the last interview.

I dont wanna play larian defense force here, but come on, you cant act as if fans are easy to please

Last edited by Sordak; 16/11/19 03:51 PM.
Re: Swen On Fan Expectations For Baldur's Gate 3 [Re: Sordak] #656926
16/11/19 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Sordak
This is a very uncharitable interpretation.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, Sven obviously means that people love Baldurs Gate and Baldurs Gate 2 and thus their expectations are so ridiculuosly high that they cannot possibly be met by any developer.

Okay, let's agree this is all a matter of interpretation. In that case I hope Swen will revisit the things he said in this interview and clarify his stance towards BG fans because these days some devs think not having microtransactions are ridiculously high expectations on the consumer's part.

Last edited by korotama; 16/11/19 03:53 PM.
Re: Swen On Fan Expectations For Baldur's Gate 3 [Re: korotama] #656928
16/11/19 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by korotama
Originally Posted by Sordak
This is a very uncharitable interpretation.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, Sven obviously means that people love Baldurs Gate and Baldurs Gate 2 and thus their expectations are so ridiculuosly high that they cannot possibly be met by any developer.

Okay, let's agree this is all a matter of interpretation. In that case I hope Swen will revisit the things he said in this interview and clarify his stance towards BG fans because these days some devs think not having microtransactions are ridiculously high expectations on the consumer's part.



I might be mistaken, but it reads to me as if you feel personally targetted and expect/want a form of apology from Swen. I'd strongly disagree. You should at least clarify why it'd warrant an apology, preferably in an objective, rational presentation of your argument. With that said, I'd like to mention that pretty much every game development project faces the challenge of meeting and pleasing expectations. Swen is just open and honest about what his stance is on the matter. I think that's way better, than being fed hyperbolic false truths No Man's Sky style.

There's no particular targetted expectation or person in the statement, rather a general indication that we should invividually question ourselves and our expectations, if they're actually fair and reasonable or not. It sounds like you and I have similar expectations or wishes, so I don't think you fit the bill of 'unreasonable expectations' regardless.

Re: Swen On Fan Expectations For Baldur's Gate 3 [Re: korotama] #656929
16/11/19 04:17 PM
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I think in the abstract Swen is correct about unreasonable fan expectations. But I don't have any sympathy for him or his position re. expectations because he was the one who chose to make a game specifically titled "Baldur's Gate 3". The moment that "3" got added to the title, one has to expect extremely high fan expectations including even unreasonable expectations. The correct way this should have been done, imo, is for the project to have been titled "Baldur's Gate: subtitle". They are trying to have their cake and eat it too, and that will not turn out well.

Re: Swen On Fan Expectations For Baldur's Gate 3 [Re: The Composer] #656930
16/11/19 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by The Composer
[quote=korotama]

I might be mistaken, but it reads to me as if you feel personally targetted and expect/want a form of apology from Swen. I'd strongly disagree. You should at least clarify why it'd warrant an apology, preferably in an objective, rational presentation of your argument. With that said, I'd like to mention that pretty much every game development project faces the challenge of meeting and pleasing expectations. Swen is just open and honest about what his stance is on the matter. I think that's way better, than being fed hyperbolic false truths No Man's Sky style.

There's no particular targetted expectation or person in the statement, rather a general indication that we should invividually question ourselves and our expectations, if they're actually fair and reasonable or not. It sounds like you and I have similar expectations or wishes, so I don't think you fit the bill of 'unreasonable expectations' regardless.

Dude, a clarification is not an apology. It doesn't have to begin with I'm sorry or please forgive me, oh exalted fans! I'd like to know what he meant by the supposedly high expectations because he was referring to BG fans as per IGN's question after all.

Re: Swen On Fan Expectations For Baldur's Gate 3 [Re: kanisatha] #656931
16/11/19 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by kanisatha

[...] a game specifically titled "Baldur's Gate 3". The moment that "3" got added to the title, one has to expect extremely high fan expectations including even unreasonable expectations. [...]


Which is precisely the context of the answer this thread is about. Some expectations are so unreasonable, they're impossible to meet. So any sane developer would naturally focus on making a game they believe is fun and good, instead of stressing about trying to do the impossible. That's all there is to it, no ill meaning or 'at war' with anyone. It's a simple, rational reply from a developer's point of view. So if you read the quote again.

Originally Posted by Swen

I don't think we can live up to the expectations. I think that's impossible. Those expectations are soaring through to the roof. What we're doing is we're making our type of Dungeons & Dragons with a lot of love for what came before and with also putting our own stamp on it.


Then it should (hopefully) make a bit more sense. They're making a D&D style game in their vision and under their design philosophies, and has enough confidence and trust in that to believe it'll be a great adventure for the majority of us.

To draw some out of context but relevant comparisons, I'm making a mod for DOS2 that acts like an expansion. I've gotten emails from a select few players out in the world, having their own interpretations and expectations from what ever material I've put out there, sharing their own requests and ideas which I appreciate very much. Their interest flatters me, even though some of what they've mentioned in their mails just is way out of scope and beyond reasonable expectation. Now, my point is that this is for a simple large mod-project. There's already expectations I know I'll never meet. There's not a hair of doubt on my body that there are similar, probably a lot more well thought out feedback that Larian have gotten about Baldur's Gate 3, that might even be some really great ideas, but are way out of scope or not align with the game development they're going for. So that's what I base my perspective on, is what I'm trying to convey. My experiences tell me that Larian is certainly very aware of the various debates out there, and that not all of them are even remotely within reasonable scope.

Re: Swen On Fan Expectations For Baldur's Gate 3 [Re: korotama] #656933
16/11/19 04:45 PM
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But then why did they choose to (mis)title the game BG3? If making a D&D game in their own style and vision is what they want to do, that's great. Go make that game. But that game is NOT a game called BG3.

Re: Swen On Fan Expectations For Baldur's Gate 3 [Re: kanisatha] #656935
16/11/19 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by kanisatha
But then why did they choose to (mis)title the game BG3? If making a D&D game in their own style and vision is what they want to do, that's great. Go make that game. But that game is NOT a game called BG3.

Agreed... Baldur's Gate is a well-established albeit old franchise and messing with the brand alienates fans. I'm not mentally ill for wanting a little clarification.

Re: Swen On Fan Expectations For Baldur's Gate 3 [Re: kanisatha] #656936
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Originally Posted by kanisatha
But then why did they choose to (mis)title the game BG3? If making a D&D game in their own style and vision is what they want to do, that's great. Go make that game. But that game is NOT a game called BG3.


Sounds like a pre-determined subjective expectation that is impossible to meet.

Originally Posted by korotama

Agreed... Baldur's Gate is a well-established albeit old franchise and messing with the brand alienates fans. I'm not mentally ill for wanting a little clarification.


I don't think we have any verifiable reasons to make prejudice judgements like that.

Re: Swen On Fan Expectations For Baldur's Gate 3 [Re: korotama] #656937
16/11/19 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by korotama
Originally Posted by kanisatha
But then why did they choose to (mis)title the game BG3? If making a D&D game in their own style and vision is what they want to do, that's great. Go make that game. But that game is NOT a game called BG3.

Agreed... Baldur's Gate is a well-established albeit old franchise and messing with the brand alienates fans. I'm not mentally ill for wanting a little clarification.


Swen said in every single interview that he does not care about BG1+2 that he is making his own thing, he can safely ignore the BG fans since D&D has grown so much that he doesn't require them to make profit. Why ist that so hard to understand?

Re: Swen On Fan Expectations For Baldur's Gate 3 [Re: korotama] #656939
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Oh man, he never said that.
im not gonna beat you over the head with it, since aperently pointing this out is verboten here, so let me phrase it this way then: Sven obviously cares because he IS a baldurs gate fan.
He said so in several interviews now.

But as for him not caring about what the fans want? I dont think he does, but id like it if he did.
Why? Because Obsidian did that, beamdog did that, and it didnt work.

People need to start realizing that they like the thing they always liked for a reason, because its that thing. you cannot simply replicate it and get the same result.
You cannot recapture the magic of old, you can only try to create something new.

Re: Swen On Fan Expectations For Baldur's Gate 3 [Re: korotama] #656943
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I can say with absolute certainty that he never mentioned BG as one of his favourite games he always prefered system-driven games and his favourite RPG is Ultima 7.

Last edited by Hawke; 16/11/19 05:34 PM.
Re: Swen On Fan Expectations For Baldur's Gate 3 [Re: Sordak] #656944
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Originally Posted by Sordak
Oh man, he never said that.
im not gonna beat you over the head with it, since aperently pointing this out is verboten here, so let me phrase it this way then: Sven obviously cares because he IS a baldurs gate fan.
He said so in several interviews now.

But as for him not caring about what the fans want? I dont think he does, but id like it if he did.
Why? Because Obsidian did that, beamdog did that, and it didnt work.

People need to start realizing that they like the thing they always liked for a reason, because its that thing. you cannot simply replicate it and get the same result.
You cannot recapture the magic of old, you can only try to create something new.


Exactly. I think the high expectations the he knows he can't meet are the 2e RTwP isometic 2D fans who want BG3 to be an extension of BG1&2, but Sven has to balance that minority of BG fans with the much larger D&D 5e/Forgotten Realms fans that will make or break BG3s success.

You've got certain demographics that will be eyeing BG3, Baldur Gate 1 & 2 that are open to TB and other changes from BG1&2, BG 1&2 fans that want it to be functionally a large expansion pack for BG1&2, fans that play D&D, fans that watch D&D streaming and/or read FR novels, Larian Studios fans, and people who can be converted by their friends on Stadia. Most of these groups Larian is confident they can please, but they already know that BG traditionalists are going to be pised. It's not going to 2e rules, it's not going to use 2d graphics, it's not going to be RTwP, it's over a hundred years since BG ToB in game time, and it's going to use a host of systems that they are not familiar with. BUT this game will sell to the majority of BG fans, it will sell well to D&D fans, it will sell well be FR fans, it will sell great with Larian Studios fans, and it will sell well with Stadia users, so the loss of BG traditionalists of various types is acceptable in business terms, unfortunate, but acceptable. Larian Studios are making the game they like and they like turn-based and very tactical and very flexible in options. And big, this is going to be freaking huge.

Last edited by Omegaphallic; 16/11/19 05:46 PM.
Re: Swen On Fan Expectations For Baldur's Gate 3 [Re: Hawke] #656945
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Originally Posted by Hawke
Originally Posted by korotama
Originally Posted by kanisatha
But then why did they choose to (mis)title the game BG3? If making a D&D game in their own style and vision is what they want to do, that's great. Go make that game. But that game is NOT a game called BG3.

Agreed... Baldur's Gate is a well-established albeit old franchise and messing with the brand alienates fans. I'm not mentally ill for wanting a little clarification.


Swen said in every single interview that he does not care about BG1+2 that he is making his own thing, he can safely ignore the BG fans since D&D has grown so much that he doesn't require them to make profit. Why ist that so hard to understand?

Originally Posted by Hawke
I can say with absolute certainty that he never mentioned BG as one of his favourite games he always prefered system-driven games and his favourite RPG is Ultima 7.


If that is the case, would you even recommend BG3 to series veterans? Wiki says the series has sold some 5 million copies, if he wants to ignore that share of the gaming market that's his choice I guess.

Re: Swen On Fan Expectations For Baldur's Gate 3 [Re: korotama] #656948
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Who knows BG3 could be an Action game for all we know at the moment.

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