Larian Studios
Prologue encounter with intelectual companion is way too creepy.
Please, make us skip dialogue till we can choose our dialogue swiftly, or lower the checks needed. It's way way too much for beginning.
You mean intellect devourer? You can completely ignore it or kill it, you don't need any checks.
Originally Posted by Kadajko
You mean intellect devourer? You can completely ignore it or kill it, you don't need any checks.

I'm not fine with that.
Yeah, I just avoid it. Squick isn't my thing. Also take off the headphones so I can't hear the creepy voice.
You can avoid the scene just ignore the call from Us. In the case you want to add the brainy companion you can skip all the cut scenes.
I just walk past it. Nope nope nope.
Originally Posted by EstherEloise
Originally Posted by Kadajko
You mean intellect devourer? You can completely ignore it or kill it, you don't need any checks.

I'm not fine with that.

You're not fine with what? Walking past what you are not fine with? Just walk away from it lol, it is not crucial to the plot in any way shape or form.
Originally Posted by Kadajko
Originally Posted by EstherEloise
Originally Posted by Kadajko
You mean intellect devourer? You can completely ignore it or kill it, you don't need any checks.

I'm not fine with that.

You're not fine with what? Walking past what you are not fine with? Just walk away from it lol, it is not crucial to the plot in any way shape or form.


Indeed. Everytime I go through the tutorial i feel sad cause I would love to have Us as a pet companion. I wonder if one of the intellectual devourers that fight the party in the crash site is Us.
You realise your playing a game right...
Originally Posted by EstherEloise
Prologue encounter with intelectual companion is way too creepy.
Please, make us skip dialogue till we can choose our dialogue swiftly, or lower the checks needed. It's way way too much for beginning.

Random wandering demands change. Make it so Larian. fuck.
Originally Posted by Bufotenina
Originally Posted by Kadajko
Originally Posted by EstherEloise
Originally Posted by Kadajko
You mean intellect devourer? You can completely ignore it or kill it, you don't need any checks.

I'm not fine with that.

You're not fine with what? Walking past what you are not fine with? Just walk away from it lol, it is not crucial to the plot in any way shape or form.


Indeed. Everytime I go through the tutorial i feel sad cause I would love to have Us as a pet companion. I wonder if one of the intellectual devourers that fight the party in the crash site is Us.

Call me creepy, but I went to the dialog options and ..

yes, you can have that intellect in your party, and control it, while you are on the ship (only). smile
By the way I didn't intend my comment to be dismissive. I think letting Larian know that scene was a bit too creepy is a good thing. Yes, BG2 started with scenes of torture and had a darker tone than bg1, but like the op, I thought this was over the top and I didn't like the squick.
Originally Posted by EstherEloise
Originally Posted by Kadajko
You mean intellect devourer? You can completely ignore it or kill it, you don't need any checks.

I'm not fine with that.

Why not?
I liked that scene. One of the reasons is that it gives you a chance to see how your character turned out before you get too far in, so if you accidentally made Frankenstein’s monster you can restart and try again. It is kind of ... squishy ... but a good character test and intro to the dialogue checks too.
It is a creepy scene. I don't mind it, but the oddness of the scene sometimes makes me laugh. Especially when you fail the rolls and dig your fingers into it and just cant pry it out. It's not really a normal thing that happens.
I love the creepiness of the scene, but the dice rolls are a little demanding unless you specifically make your character competent in the exact traits you need for those dice rolls (I've forgotten what they were already).

I can see people just reloading their saves over and over and over just to get the little brain guy helper while on the ship.
Originally Posted by VioletGrey
I love the creepiness of the scene, but the dice rolls are a little demanding unless you specifically make your character competent in the exact traits you need for those dice rolls (I've forgotten what they were already).

I can see people just reloading their saves over and over and over just to get the little brain guy helper while on the ship.


Especially with as long as it takes to re-load the game each time
Originally Posted by Topper
Originally Posted by EstherEloise
Prologue encounter with intelectual companion is way too creepy.
Please, make us skip dialogue till we can choose our dialogue swiftly, or lower the checks needed. It's way way too much for beginning.

Random wandering demands change. Make it so Larian. fuck.

Don't get me wrong, but that scene is over the top. Irrelevant how much time I spent here, I still think Larian can lower some dice rolls.
and I'm not OK with missing content just because I can't stomac it. I can endure it, but it's still over the top.
I'm sorry if I'm bit harsh, but pulsating brain?
I thought it was cute... creepy, but cute too.
With the Mind Flayers as protagonists you should probably brace yourself for more creepy weird stuff.

I also think Us would be a great familiar for the GOO Warlock.
Originally Posted by Starlights
Originally Posted by Bufotenina
Indeed. Everytime I go through the tutorial i feel sad cause I would love to have Us as a pet companion. I wonder if one of the intellectual devourers that fight the party in the crash site is Us.

Call me creepy, but I went to the dialog options and ..

yes, you can have that intellect in your party, and control it, while you are on the ship (only). smile

That I know, is in the proper game adter the crash that I would love to have they as pet in the camp laugh
I mean... put ourselves in that situation.

If a brain asks you (while in your mind) pull it out of a body. As a normal day to day person that was just abducted by aliens?

The DC should be high to not be losing our minds let alone popping a brain out of a living being.

I'm fine with the scene, even if it is OTT, because frankly the game is immediately OTT.
If anything the prologue should be creepier, it's a mind flayer ship
Originally Posted by EstherEloise
and I'm not OK with missing content just because I can't stomac it. I can endure it, but it's still over the top.

Treating content like a checklist bewilders me.
Over the top? (seriously people stop making hard for us no native English users, and older too, with all this acronyms -.-' )

Nah. In the opening video the scene of a soldier that tranforms into a mindflier is more, way more, creepy and frightening we can see the fear of the soldier while he run for his life, the panic in his eyes when he start to become a mindflier in paragon the birth of Us the intellectual devourer is almost cute.

I dare to say that the intro made quite clear what to expect.


Furthermore the main character is the protagonist of the story, that means that they are not your average John/Jane easy to be startled or terrified, furthermore one way or anoher the main character are adventurers that reached level one in a specific class.
Am I in the minority here? That was one of my favorite scenes. I love Us! I wish it could be a permanent party member.
Originally Posted by Bufotenina
Over the top? (seriously people stop making hard for us no native English users, and older too, with all this acronyms -.-' )

Nah. In the opening video the scene of a soldier that tranforms into a mindflier is more, way more, creepy and frightening we can see the fear of the soldier while he run for his life, the panic in his eyes when he start to become a mindflier in paragon the birth of Us the intellectual devourer is almost cute.

I dare to say that the intro made quite clear what to expect.


Furthermore the main character is the protagonist of the story, that means that they are not your average John/Jane easy to be startled or terrified, furthermore one way or anoher the main character are adventurers that reached level one in a specific class.

Not too well versed in DnD stuff, but i'm pretty sure a lvl 1 in a mindflayer ship might as well be a peasant.

I do agree with the sentiment, though. MC really doesn't feel like a young adventurer, which is pretty enjoyable, so it's easy for me to look past that aspect and just headcanon that the tadpole is tampering with my char's abilities.
To weigh in here, I actually pretty much enjoyed the darker tone of the intro.
GAH! waiting on inventory to buy a computer that can run this but based on the demo reels and intro play-through video I saw:

intellect devourer! Kill on sight! Although it did remind me of the Scrivener from Hordes of the Underdark (because they re-used their intellect devourer model). As the PC I probably would have thought the guy in the chair a sick experiment and looked for a way to put him out of his misery. As the human playing the game, after seeing it might help me navigate the intro I'll definitely do a play through with it. It was it's voice that made it creepy. Should sound more like a disembodied adult and less like some child trying to sucker you in to something your shouldn't do.
Originally Posted by EstherEloise
and I'm not OK with missing content just because I can't stomac it. I can endure it, but it's still over the top.

My question to you would be, why is your personal specific definition of what can be stomached and what can't be, the one that should be listened to?

If someone else has an even lower tolerance for squeam than you, but still really wants to play the game, would you support all of the elements that you like or appreciate being toned down into non-events and blandly neutral-to-positive scenes? Then the person who wants to play the game, but can't stomach it being anything other than a happy fantasy adventure where none of the good people get hurt and the bad guys are obviously bad guys who just fall down and then learn their lessons, and everyone is friends by the end? If they really want to play this game, but can't bear it to be dark in the slightest, would you want the game tuned to their needs? Or would you perhaps suggest that if they want to experience this particular story, it will have those kinds of elements, and they have to make a choice about whether this is the game for them instead?

I don't wish to seem aggressive or harsh here, but unless you're trying to say that your perspective is objectively true as the line for what is okay and what is too much (and no one person is special enough to claim that), then just not engaging with the content that you don't personally want to see, while allowing others who can or do appreciate it to do so, is the only really sensible solution.

You personally felt it was past your comfort zone; that's feedback and that's great! I'm sure it's appreciated as another data point, but your truth is yours alone in that respect, and many will not agree.

In terms of the rolls, you have a number of different options for how to acquire the ally if you want it - different ones to suite a couple of different builds (strong characters can win by being strong and smashing the skull, wise characters can win by being wise and perceptive - noting the issues and doing a planned extraction, nimble characters can win by being nimble, doing the extraction straight up), and the checks never seemed too high to me; I think in all of my play-throughs (and I have run through that intro a lot...), I've failed to acquire Us once and once alone.
Originally Posted by Niara
My question to you would be, why is your personal specific definition of what can be stomached and what can't be, the one that should be listened to?
Just a friendly reminder that this forum is for discussion of the BG3 game and your reactions to it. Posters are free to express any opinion they like about the game (with the limits of reasonable), and such posts should be taken as just that, their opinion.

It is not for others to ask them to justify that opinion. If you do not agree then explain why, but do not suggest that it is unreasonable for someone to be expressing an opinion on the very place set up to receive them.
Originally Posted by wizard0013
Am I in the minority here? That was one of my favorite scenes. I love Us! I wish it could be a permanent party member.


My weird party would like this: Sazza the goblin, Us the intellectual devourer, Astarion the pale elf, my main character \m/
As a horror fan, I'm not grossed out by what happened so far in the game, but I can understand, that someone, who is not used to such graphic pictures might be put off by the way, you obtain Us. I have a very good friend, who would have stopped playing while watching the intro, because she can't stomach it.
As a Lovecraft fan, I appreciate the whole look and feeling of the Mindflayers ship, but I know, that it is very dark and grim. I was a bit shocked, when I approached a desk, clicked something and a poor woman instantly turned into a mindflayer - with a lot of screaming.
So I think, it is ok to voice those concerns.
The way the story is going, I don't think, those horror elements will be toned down.

However, demanding to make the rolls easier is a bit more complicated. Roleplaying games are all about dice luck. I got my character in Call of Cthulhu killed, because I managed to botch every roll and saving throw, I had to make - and the GM gave me a lot of chances - and I did put a lot of work in this characters story.

I don't think, you really miss out, if you botch a roll, things just go down differently. Maybe you have to fight, maybe an NPC don't tell you something - in the latter case, you often have numerous ways to get information anyway. For example Nettie: if you can't convince the two Tieflings to tell you about her, just ask the halfling trader in the Grove, he tells you willingly about Nettie, the healer.

In my first playthrough I just did go with the flow and took the dice rolls, as they came. In my newer playthroughs I sometimes save and reload, if I want a specific outcome for roleplaying reasons (this also can mean, that I want to botch a persuasion check).

The point is: if you want to get Us as a companion, save and reload and maybe space bar through the whole thing, so you don't have to see the scene that grossed you out. Or just ignore Us, you don't really need him to fight the imps.
Point is, seriously scenes can be skipped. The same image of the game (that reminds Chtul'hu) implies horror, the opening scene is creepy, furthermore is not a game that has just popped out, there are a lot of images, videos, articles that can let people to take the measures of the game.

I find quite weird, in this days when information is easily to find, to arrive at a game and then get surprised by the content and thus asking for it to be toned down because personal sensibility.

To me more changes ruled by this kind of pressure would make the game less interesting. Already Lae'zel and Shadowheart have been toned down, the gith patrol leader sounded less menacing that when I did play my first run.

Furthermore unless there's a phobia involved I don't understand how it seems impossible to control some reactions specially since no matter how immersive this is still a video game with a fake 3D feeling, that is clearly fantasy, in all the cut scenes the birth of Us is one of the most obviously fake.
Originally Posted by EstherEloise
Prologue encounter with intelectual companion is way too creepy.
Please, make us skip dialogue till we can choose our dialogue swiftly, or lower the checks needed. It's way way too much for beginning.

it's a 50/50 roll at base 10 (str/dex). 16 dex/str makes it 7 or higher needed to roll. not that difficult sunshine. you can always f5/f8 . press spacebar to skip dialogue
Personally I love the tone that it sets.

Mind Flayers/Intellect Devourers are alien and creepy.
Would love it if Us was a full fledged companion.
Originally Posted by T2aV
Originally Posted by EstherEloise
....

not that difficult sunshine.

I'm sorry, but this is way condescending. Nobody's forcing you to write here, right? Same goes for other toxic comments.
Originally Posted by wizard0013
Am I in the minority here? That was one of my favorite scenes. I love Us! I wish it could be a permanent party member.
Eh, I'm not a fan, personally. I do find it a bit nauseating as I'm not that much into gore in general, so I've always been glad to get rid of the creepy little fucker as soon as possible.

But still, no idea why the OP seems to think he/she is in the position to DEMAND for its removal just because of a personal dislike.
Games rated M 17+ BLOOD AND GORE, PARTIAL NUDITY, SEXUAL CONTENT, STRONG LANGUAGE, AND VIOLENCE.

I'm expecting more to come.
It's a nice change of pace from the typical flowery uwu butterflies and sunshine stuff that's prevalent in the world.
Getting Us isn't mandatory. If it icks you, just skip it.
Developers shouldn't be expected to tweak their vision for something based on how the minority of players perceive it.
Us, and that scene in general, is overwhelmingly popular.
Maybe M-rated games aren't for you? May I suggest trying some JRPGs? Plenty of pretty colors and the "power of friendship" tropes without a dark theme in sight.
Originally Posted by Tzelanit
It's a nice change of pace from the typical flowery uwu butterflies and sunshine stuff that's prevalent in the world.
Getting Us isn't mandatory. If it icks you, just skip it.
Developers shouldn't be expected to tweak their vision for something based on how the minority of players perceive it.
Us, and that scene in general, is overwhelmingly popular.
Maybe M-rated games aren't for you? May I suggest trying some JRPGs? Plenty of pretty colors and the "power of friendship" tropes without a dark theme in sight.

Yup, totally agree. The scene is a difficult one to stomach (for some) but that is the point.
I think it's funny looking at this thread and contrasting it with the complaints I've seen in other spaces saying that BG 1 & 2 were really dark and BG3 is too "light".

Baldur's Gate generally is and always has been borderline dark fantasy, in my view.
Originally Posted by Ayvah
I think it's funny looking at this thread and contrasting it with the complaints I've seen in other spaces saying that BG 1 & 2 were really dark and BG3 is too "light".

Baldur's Gate generally is and always has been borderline dark fantasy, in my view.

Yeah, in BG2 the game opens with you being tortured and not long after finding Khalid’s mutilated body. BG has always been quite dark but balanced with plenty of tongue and cheek absurdity.
I do not really see the Us brain thing as "dark" personally. Just "gross" in a way, though it almost looks comedic (why would you just pull out a brain with your bare hands like that and not wash them after!). I am personally not bothered by it, though I can see why others might be. In light of what I have seen so far of stuff it does kind of feel out of place as it is the only thing that goes to those extremes
Originally Posted by Warlocke
Originally Posted by Ayvah
I think it's funny looking at this thread and contrasting it with the complaints I've seen in other spaces saying that BG 1 & 2 were really dark and BG3 is too "light".

Baldur's Gate generally is and always has been borderline dark fantasy, in my view.

Yeah, in BG2 the game opens with you being tortured and not long after finding Khalid’s mutilated body. BG has always been quite dark but balanced with plenty of tongue and cheek absurdity.

I feel the need to raise the point that there is a huge difference between seeing something from a far up top down perspective and seeing some visceral up close with closeups and details and everything.


Originally Posted by TheFoxWhisperer
I do not really see the Us brain thing as "dark" personally. Just "gross" in a way, though it almost looks comedic (why would you just pull out a brain with your bare hands like that and not wash them after!). I am personally not bothered by it, though I can see why others might be. In light of what I have seen so far of stuff it does kind of feel out of place as it is the only thing that goes to those extremes

I agree completely. It's the gross out factor that's shared with movies that goes in that direction too. It's not dark, rather, it feels a bit immature.
What and roast Dwarf leg isnt? Where should (if any) the line be drawn on this? Go ask every single person on the planet that might possibly play this game if something offends or upsets them?? These games arent meant to appeal to everyone. Thats what fortnight and DOTA are for. But of course, this thread will go down yet another moral/sensitivity pit so...
Originally Posted by Topper
What and roast Dwarf leg isnt?

That is kind of similar to finding corpses in games, or body parts, or skeletal remains. It is more background and kind of a common thing that does not really show much (and often more implies how they died), rather than "in your face gore" that the brain scene is more similar too, that is shown in a pretty close up camera.

If BG3 was this kind of game, one focussed on getting that Ick-Experience for people with gore and viscera a-plenty with this being the theme of the game (Mindflayers eating brains in a way like the Starship Troopers brain bug scene for example), then I would agree with it not being a game for everyone. But, this scene is kind of a one of its kind so far and feels out of place. Even with the mind flayers about that literally eat brains, stuff is not really overly detailed. BG3 does not really seem like the kind of game where these Ick-inspiring sort of scenes feel at home.
Originally Posted by TheFoxWhisperer
But, this scene is kind of a one of its kind so far and feels out of place.

I agree, and it's sort of oddly placed right at the beginning of the tutorial. When I saw it on my first playthrough I was very worried that the whole game was going to be a similar gore fest, but nope - everything afterward is much more toned down.
But thats the point is it not?????? The mind flayers are meant to be alien, freakish and gut churning. That scene quickly and effectively demonstrates just how horrible the mind flayers are. They prey on intelligent beings and destroy them utterly in the process, taking everything that makes them human. Kudos yet again to Larian.
It is supposed to show Mindflayers are this, yes. Alien, eldritch creatures that are meant to be feared. But it kind of fails to do so, really. It is just a "gross" scene. Nothing creepy, alien or freakish really. In ways it can even be seen as comedic or immersion breaking (just grabbing inside a skull to remove a brain like that, with your bare hands? That is just silly).

I would love for mindflayers to appear more allien and more like the abberations they are. More eldritch horror elements would be cool. This scene kind of misses that mark by just being an isolated ick-event that feels out of place, both in theme of the game regarding gore and creepy events as well as immersion.

Even the creatures breaking out of the skull offscreen (while possibly showing the main character's disgusted face recoiling back, and just that accompanied by ick sounds) would be better, and would make it a lot creepier to me. The implied skullbreaking and a brain wiggling out and growing feet and legs. (it goes with the more eldritch horror feel that fits mindflayers well I think. "less is more" and keep the mystery and creepiness rather than have it be all up in your face.)
I liked that scene. Thought it was a good way to show some of the weird stuff that mind flayers do.

Originally Posted by EstherEloise
and I'm not OK with missing content just because I can't stomac it. I can endure it, but it's still over the top.
I am not ok with content being removed or watered down just because some people can't deal with it. You are not missing anything by skipping this part, you unfortunately don't even see Us again after the crash. I think with your issue, it might be helpful for you to look up guides and gameplay after it is released. There will most likely be more of this, we are dealing with mindflayers who do much worse than intellect devourers, and knowing alternate quest paths or what dialogue to skip would probably be helpful.

Originally Posted by TheFoxWhisperer
I would love for mindflayers to appear more allien and more like the abberations they are. More eldritch horror elements would be cool. This scene kind of misses that mark by just being an isolated ick-event that feels out of place, both in theme of the game regarding gore and creepy events as well as immersion.

Even the creatures breaking out of the skull offscreen (while possibly showing the main character's disgusted face recoiling back, and just that accompanied by ick sounds) would be better, and would make it a lot creepier to me. The implied skullbreaking and a brain wiggling out and growing feet and legs. (it goes with the more eldritch horror feel that fits mindflayers well I think. "less is more" and keep the mystery and creepiness rather than have it be all up in your face.)
I hope they leave it as it is. If they must change it, at least leave out the immersion breaking facial expressions. Pretty sure most of my characters would be curious or amused, not disgusted. I agree there should be more eldritch horror elements. Pretty sure we will get them, mind flayers are a central theme. smile
I mean, it kinda has grown on me....
Originally Posted by TheFoxWhisperer
It is supposed to show Mindflayers are this, yes. Alien, eldritch creatures that are meant to be feared. But it kind of fails to do so, really. It is just a "gross" scene. Nothing creepy, alien or freakish really. In ways it can even be seen as comedic or immersion breaking (just grabbing inside a skull to remove a brain like that, with your bare hands? That is just silly).

I would love for mindflayers to appear more allien and more like the abberations they are. More eldritch horror elements would be cool. This scene kind of misses that mark by just being an isolated ick-event that feels out of place, both in theme of the game regarding gore and creepy events as well as immersion.

Even the creatures breaking out of the skull offscreen (while possibly showing the main character's disgusted face recoiling back, and just that accompanied by ick sounds) would be better, and would make it a lot creepier to me. The implied skullbreaking and a brain wiggling out and growing feet and legs. (it goes with the more eldritch horror feel that fits mindflayers well I think. "less is more" and keep the mystery and creepiness rather than have it be all up in your face.)

I do see your point and i think its something I share with regards to RPG's in general. That scene does not "fit" "your" idea of what should happen in the RPG fantasy world of your mind. I totally agree and I stopped playing Pathfinder KM and never tried Outward for very similar reasons. I like what Larian are doing in this game and so do a lot of people that will remain invested in the game and developers for years to come. I doubt they will be able to or willing to tick everyones "ideal" RPG boxes.
I was testing the options to this encounter when my 8 year old popped into the room to watch. She decided to show pity to the Mind Flayer and had Shadowheart 'feed' it. Well we failed the saves so had a party wipe. In the end, a group of level 2s are no match for a healthy mind flayer intent on ganking. Though I found this encounter mildly disturbing for a child to watch (moreso for the unsuspecting parent) but my daughter burst into laughter, proclaiming that I "HAD TO" convince Mommy to let her play the game with the parental controls off. Due to my aiding a child's turn to the dark side, I'm fairly certain I will not get the Parent-of-the-Year Award this year...perhaps never.
Originally Posted by Stim#66
I was testing the options to this encounter when my 8 year old popped into the room to watch. She decided to show pity to the Mind Flayer and had Shadowheart 'feed' it.

That's not the encounter this thread is discussing....
I think it does make a good point though. The intellect devourer is certainly not the only thing that's horrific/disgusting in the game.

I really think it's pretty consistent with the tone of other parts of the game. Some people will react to some parts more than other parts, I imagine. However, if you're not prepared to feel a somewhat disgusted or horrified during some scenes of the game then I think it's best that you sit this one out. There's no reason to believe it won't get worse at some point later in the game.
I did find it pretty viscerally disgusting first time it happened. I prefer my horror elements a little more understated, what the imagination conjures can be far more scary than having all the gory details shoved in your face. I suppose this is another symptom of Larian's penchant for the kaboom, in-your-face style. Subtlety or leaving things to the imagination seems rare in this game.

Originally Posted by Topper
But thats the point is it not?????? The mind flayers are meant to be alien, freakish and gut churning. That scene quickly and effectively demonstrates just how horrible the mind flayers are. They prey on intelligent beings and destroy them utterly in the process, taking everything that makes them human. Kudos yet again to Larian.

I agree on your description of them but somehow I found them more menacing in BG2...

***SPOILER BELOW***

And then later in BG3 in the Underdark we meet a nice friendly mindflayer. I'm no DnD lore aficionado but is there any reason why there is a friendly one all of a sudden?
To the spoilered question,

Unusual exceptions to standard norms are just that - unusual exceptions. There's nothing wrong with having something that is distinctly not the norm, and indeed, if we never encountered such things, the world would be a much more boring, drab and mundane place. As such, an individual example of something that stands starkly against the normative established lore, and is clearly noted out and lamp-shaded as being so, is perfectly fine; it is its unusual nature that is interesting.

In the case of the Ormellum, he is an illithid arcanist; illithids have a strong distaste, almost disgust, for those with arcane abilities that occur with their own; one of the less stated reasons for this, however, is that these unusual individuals usually have a more pronounced sense of self and are far more likely to find themselves at odds with the will of the elder brain. Those that do find themselves at odds with the will of the elder brain, or craving more free will of their own are either executed, or else they escape and break free, going to ground and trying to make sure they don't come back into the influence of their, or any other, elder brain ever again. they become rogue, independent illithids. This is very rare, but not unprecedented.

As such, finding this rogue illithid down here, hiding and doing research as he looks for a 'better way' to be and to live, is extremely unusual and a very unlikely thing, but it is also entirely believable within the realm space.
Originally Posted by Niara
To the spoilered question,

Thank you for taking the time to provide such an in depth response and analysis. I would totally agree that having an exception to the norm can make for an interesting and integral part of a story; I guess my reticence towards is it that so much seems exceptional in this game that there is little in the way of 'normal', so far at least in EA (we start the game experiencing planar travel, visit the Underdark all in Act 1 and our party members include a vampire thrall,
a werewolf (apparently from the datamine)
, a mage who requires magical items for sustenance and a human pact-sworn to a devil)...but I am digressing here and they are personal preferences after all.
Originally Posted by Ayvah
I think it does make a good point though. The intellect devourer is certainly not the only thing that's horrific/disgusting in the game.

No one said it was. The argument is that it goes to a different level than scenes like the one with the fishermen, and is the only scene so far that does so.

Originally Posted by Ayvah
However, if you're not prepared to feel a somewhat disgusted or horrified during some scenes of the game then I think it's best that you sit this one out.

And the argument here is that digging someone's brain out of their skull with your bare hands in a cutscene close-up goes beyond being somewhat disgusting. I played both Divinity: Original Sin games, both rated M, neither went for gross-out horror on this scale. Maybe they would have if cutscenes were a thing in those games - close-ups of elves feasting on body parts anyone? - and they're taking advantage of their new toy to play around in a way they couldn't before, I dunno, but I hope it's out of their system.
I personally really appreciated the gruesome body horror especially since it sets the tone for the whole brain tadpole kind of activity, though the thumb jab was hilariously comical and not at all what I expected after the medicine check and careful removal process.

Maybe Larian could introduce a low violence mode with less blood, brains and the like somewhere down the line for the more easily disturbed?
I still do not think the issue is that it is disturbing (in my opinion it isn't). It is just "gross" in a horror/gore-fest B-movie kind of way. In a way, it is even comical and silly, that our character would just... grab into a skull to wiggle out a brain like that. It does nothing to make the Mindflayer thing creepy, it actually distracts from all that with cheap gore/in-your-face grossness. In light with what else is shown in the game and how other events that are meant to be creepy/disturbing are handled, this scene just looks out of place. Not in a good way and not creepy at all, it makes it hard to take the scene or this intellect devourer seriously, which is kind of the opposite of what is intended (the intention being creepy stuff, I figure).

For me, it kind of breaks immersion and it makes it harder to take the main character seriously too, for just grabbing into a brain after waking up in a alien ship that is literally in hell, where you want to likely escape from. I skip that part for this very reason, not because it creeps me out.
Originally Posted by Etruscan
I prefer my horror elements a little more understated, what the imagination conjures can be far more scary than having all the gory details shoved in your face.
Yeah, but I mean... BG3 has graphics, and has committed to taking advantage of using a cinematic camera perspective during interactions. They didn't do this with DOS2, and I really think DOS2 suffered for it. It was a lot harder to relate to characters because you couldn't see them emote from a top-down perspective.

Of course, this doesn't mean it'll be Metal Gear Solid tier professional cinematography, so there will be scenes that would be better if the camera were used more creatively. I'm just not expecting that kind of sophistication so I'm not going to complain about the cinematography being a bit clumsy.

I will again contradict everyone's disgust about the intellect devourer by saying I found other things more disturbing. For example, the original trailer showed a character transforming into a mindflayer. Additionally, there was the sequence with the tadpole entering an eyeball portrayed both from first-person and third-person perspective. I personally found these more horrifying, though less squicky.

Originally Posted by Niara
To the spoilered question,

Unusual exceptions to standard norms are just that - unusual exceptions. There's nothing wrong with having something that is distinctly not the norm, and indeed, if we never encountered such things, the world would be a much more boring, drab and mundane place. As such, an individual example of something that stands starkly against the normative established lore, and is clearly noted out and lamp-shaded as being so, is perfectly fine; it is its unusual nature that is interesting.

In the case of the Ormellum, he is an illithid arcanist; illithids have a strong distaste, almost disgust, for those with arcane abilities that occur with their own; one of the less stated reasons for this, however, is that these unusual individuals usually have a more pronounced sense of self and are far more likely to find themselves at odds with the will of the elder brain. Those that do find themselves at odds with the will of the elder brain, or craving more free will of their own are either executed, or else they escape and break free, going to ground and trying to make sure they don't come back into the influence of their, or any other, elder brain ever again. they become rogue, independent illithids. This is very rare, but not unprecedented.

As such, finding this rogue illithid down here, hiding and doing research as he looks for a 'better way' to be and to live, is extremely unusual and a very unlikely thing, but it is also entirely believable within the realm space.
I think that having one explicitly good Illithid leaves open the question as to whether the other Illithid who captured you may have some kind of "good" motive. End justifies the means kind of thing. It could lead to some interesting moral dilemmas.
I really like the nuance that Larian has brought to all the "evilness" stuff in BG3. The introduction of Viconia in BG2 (and the drow in general) was very poorly written.
From my perspective, I rock up to this group of people about to burn her at the stake literally just for being a drow. My only option is to let her be murdered or kill the crowd of bloodthirsty peasants. I rescue her and then immediately she makes it clear that no, she really is a remorseless murderer.

Anyway, I shouldn't dwell on this too much in this thread. I'm just very happy about Larian going all-in on the idea of having characters who have agency as individuals and are able to act counter to their default alignment. (Evil druids, rebellious goblins, good mindflayers, etc.)
Originally Posted by Ayvah
Yeah, but I mean... BG3 has graphics, and has committed to taking advantage of using a cinematic camera perspective during interactions. They didn't do this with DOS2, and I really think DOS2 suffered for it. It was a lot harder to relate to characters because you couldn't see them emote from a top-down perspective.

Of course, this doesn't mean it'll be Metal Gear Solid tier professional cinematography, so there will be scenes that would be better if the camera were used more creatively. I'm just not expecting that kind of sophistication so I'm not going to complain about the cinematography being a bit clumsy.

I never played DOS2 so cannot share an opinion on the point you made about companions and emotes but what I would say is that BG2 did not have cinematics and I found that the writing was enough to convey the companions' personalities and enough for me to relate to the ones I liked to travel with. The issue with the cinematics at present is that the main protagonist is mute and expressionless for almost all of the interactions which just totally sours the experience for me. I'd rather just read some dialogue quite frankly.
Originally Posted by Etruscan
I would totally agree that having an exception to the norm can make for an interesting and integral part of a story; I guess my reticence towards is it that so much seems exceptional in this game that there is little in the way of 'normal', so far at least in EA (we start the game experiencing planar travel, visit the Underdark all in Act 1 and our party members include a [redacted]

Yes, that is very much a concern for many and a problem with the writing direction, as many people have voiced their opinion on. It's hard to make anything really feel special or unusual at all when literally everything you encounter is exceptional unusual and special and amazing and unique. The epic mary-sue-ness of our companions characters is a sore point for many, and even outside of them, they've gone out of their way to throw so many strange exceptions on us that the game struggles to ground itself with any kind of baseline at all.


... and yes, they absolutely need to get someone on board who can talk to them about cutscene direction and cinematography while there's still room to fix thigns, because they simply do not know what they're doing with them; another person has made an excellent video that highlights all the ways in which their scene direction is a complete flop, and I've put up a similar analysis on their very flat and ignorant design of other scenes available in game (https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=739556&page=1) and (https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=750763#Post750763) for those interested.
Originally Posted by Ayvah
I think that having one explicitly good Illithid leaves open the question as to whether the other Illithid who captured you may have some kind of "good" motive. End justifies the means kind of thing. It could lead to some interesting moral dilemmas.
I really like the nuance that Larian has brought to all the "evilness" stuff in BG3. The introduction of Viconia in BG2 (and the drow in general) was very poorly written.
From my perspective, I rock up to this group of people about to burn her at the stake literally just for being a drow. My only option is to let her be murdered or kill the crowd of bloodthirsty peasants. I rescue her and then immediately she makes it clear that no, she really is a remorseless murderer.

Anyway, I shouldn't dwell on this too much in this thread. I'm just very happy about Larian going all-in on the idea of having characters who have agency as individuals and are able to act counter to their default alignment. (Evil druids, rebellious goblins, good mindflayers, etc.)

As I said previously, I have no issue at all with characters written into the story who defy convention; my reservations are that when there are so many exceptional stories/characters then nothing is truly 'special' anymore, everything is suddenly the exception...in my opinion anyway.
Originally Posted by Etruscan
As I said previously, I have no issue at all with characters written into the story who defy convention; my reservations are that when there are so many exceptional stories/characters then nothing is truly 'special' anymore, everything is suddenly the exception...in my opinion anyway.

Agreed.

I’d say subverting expectations is so common now in modern writing that it’s practically a cliche.
Originally Posted by Etruscan
what I would say is that BG2 did not have cinematics and I found that the writing was enough to convey the companions' personalities
I agree. But I think you need to commit to it properly. The Baldur's Gate games did a much better job of balancing this in my view. In DOS2 I found the visuals were empty and boring and only really distracted from the text/dialogue.

For example, with Pathfinder: Kingmaker I found that the [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuGEUdtIW0I]storybook events[/url were the best part of the storytelling.

BG3 has vastly better storytelling than DOS2 in my view, because it commits to cinematic storytelling properly.

Originally Posted by Niara
... and yes, they absolutely need to get someone on board who can talk to them about cutscene direction and cinematography while there's still room to fix thigns,

I just think it's not a priority. I think the cinematography is adequate. Meantwhile, I think they've done a pretty good job of putting resources into the story/dialogue trees, and I want them to double-down on that immersion. I like that my drow can walk up to a certain goblin camp and the goblins just assume I'm their friend. But there are broken bits -- like where later I got attacked in another part of the same camp for no reason.

So yeah, I think better cinematography would be "nice to have", but there are other things I care about more.
Originally Posted by Ayvah
I really like the nuance that Larian has brought to all the "evilness" stuff in BG3. The introduction of Viconia in BG2 (and the drow in general) was very poorly written.
From my perspective, I rock up to this group of people about to burn her at the stake literally just for being a drow. My only option is to let her be murdered or kill the crowd of bloodthirsty peasants. I rescue her and then immediately she makes it clear that no, she really is a remorseless murderer.

What? I think it's an pretty good twist on the "poor innocent woman about to be burned on the stake" stereotype.
They were lynching her literally because she was a dark-skinned elf (with no evidence of wrongdoing). In order to prevent her lynching, you have to murder a crowd of people and gain evil reputation. Then the "twist" is that their racism was completely justified and she deserved it.

Not a fan.
They are lynching her because she is a dark elf. That is how drow were treated in FR. In bg1 you have to fight a Flaming Fist as well to recruit her. It makes perfect sense in the setting.

Neither situation makes you lose reputation though. You get a -2 rep penalty when she joins the party (it goes away when she leaves too) which is again representing the setting with drow feared and treated with suspicion, disdain and outright hate.
Originally Posted by TheFoxWhisperer
They are lynching her because she is a dark elf. That is how drow were treated in FR. In bg1 you have to fight a Flaming Fist as well to recruit her. It makes perfect sense in the setting.
Kind of getting off track here. I think the Minthara thread covers some of my criticism of the alignment system in case you want to discuss that. Anyway, while usually the alignment system can just be excused as a lazy way to identify enemy encounters; in this scene it became directly allegorical to racism in the real world. I can't speak for her introduction in BG1 because I don't remember it clearly enough. From what I've read though, the dude trying to kill her has an excuse though.

Originally Posted by TheFoxWhisperer
Neither situation makes you lose reputation though. You get a -2 rep penalty when she joins the party (it goes away when she leaves too) which is again representing the setting with drow feared and treated with suspicion, disdain and outright hate.
Fair point. I just remember losing reputation. That might have been the actual reason.

Bringing this back on topic, I like to imagine that the intellect devourer and I can be friends again after the prologue. Some people have cat familiars. Some people have cute squishy intellect devourers. lol.

[Linked Image from pbs.twimg.com]
Originally Posted by Ayvah
They were lynching her literally because she was a dark-skinned elf (with no evidence of wrongdoing). In order to prevent her lynching, you have to murder a crowd of people and gain evil reputation. Then the "twist" is that their racism was completely justified and she deserved it.

Not a fan.

The while encounter is set up to make you think she is an innocent fair maiden victim of oppression who you can run in and rescue in your shining armour. The twist is that she ain't none and you were a fool, not a knight.

I mean it's fair if you prefer the old stereotypes and tropes to inversions of them. I can agree to disagree about that.
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