Larian Studios
Posted By: Van'tal Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 11/05/22 11:46 PM
OK, so I have seen threads on things that break immersion. What would make the game feel more like the setting we remember.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression...so focus on the only chapter we know.

Small things can make a huge impact.
Posted By: Van'tal Re: Making it feel like BG 1 & 2 - 11/05/22 11:59 PM
I am currently playing through BG 1 to refresh my memory.

The world felt lived in and alive from the beginning, but why?

Well we don't start at Candle-keep or an established background, so that immediately needs to be compensated for in big or small ways.

The sound effects are spot on: crickets at night, rocks falling near rock formations, background animal sounds in abundance, and other miscellaneous. (BG3 should step up in this area).

NPCs (there can be small but important improvements here).
Posted By: Van'tal Re: Making it feel like BG 1 & 2 - 12/05/22 12:45 AM
Inns and taverns!

Waukeens Rest is a huge missed opportunity.

Of all the quests, it outright sucks, and I avoid it.


FIX: Rethink the area and make it a thriving little outpost!

Fill it with patrons en-route to Elturel (and all points East) and those traveling from these places to the West.

The original game was so great at being aware of not only other places, but of future titles...dropping hints of Alm and Neverwinter, ect.

Mercs and quests! A place to make this chapter feel alive and lived in.

Here is a character that you can have for free: "The Storyteller". He sits by the hearth (as the fire cracks and roars) and tells stories from all the books he has read. Any book on the shelf he seems to know by heart. Remember all those interesting books from BG 1 & 2 that were great, but a little tedious to read.

Now you could stop there OR...

In Balder's Gate, at one of the Taverns...lo and behold, another great story teller.

Want to make it more fun? Its a changeling cursed to travel time and the Multiverse and experience events, yet is powerless to change anything.

A lot of what D&D is was imagined by H.P. Lovecraft, J.R.R.Tolkien, and Michael Moorcock (before my time, but I read them in High School).

Now Moorcock first imagined the alignment system (Good, Neutral, Evil, Chaos, The Grey Lords, and Law). The Eternal Champion was imagined in almost all of his books in his many Incarnations (Elric Corum, ect). Moorcock has been winked at in many titles, including Planescape Torment. He also coined the term Multiverse.

OK, so Moorcock's vision of time travel was refreshing, in that time was fixed. Powerful Beings sailed the Seas of Fate and would pull aspects of the Eternal Champion to fight at key points in History. It was interesting to read about the same encounter from two different points of view and through different eyes.

Have the changeling develop and at some point tell the main character that he has read about their story.

If Tav convinces the Storyteller to reveal what they know, then they excite the imagination but fall short of a final reveal. They suddenly shimmer out of existence. as their clothes fall limp and a small leather bound book tumbles to the floor.

The book is a biography of the Storyteller (Less than more). It's pages only open as their life unfolded (this was explained to you). The last page can final be turned...the one describing you and his end (still no reveal), but room for fun and creativity here.
Posted By: Van'tal Re: Making it feel like BG 1 & 2 - 12/05/22 11:55 AM
Elminster...He really isn't expensive to hire.

Just dress up the homeless guy down the street for his big debut, and go to a voice acting "temp agency" for the voice-over.

Exaggerating a little, however adding interesting NPCs does not require "big name" people.

Hell, you may discover someone.

Look at "Back-pack" man, and erm, The Waterboy!


Anyway..."Ho there traveler".
Posted By: RagnarokCzD Re: Making it feel like BG 1 & 2 - 12/05/22 03:56 PM
Originally Posted by Van'tal
Mercs and quests!
Mercs means mercenaries?

If so ... i really hope we get in the full game option to hire certain NPCs from first act as Mercenaries ...
NPCs like: Nettie, most of armed Tieflings, some armed Goblins even (aka Crusher!), some Duergars, etc. smile

Most of them is slacking in the Grove anyway! laugh
Posted By: Van'tal Re: Making it feel like BG 1 & 2 - 12/05/22 09:53 PM
Yes, the Wakeen's Rest would be a nice place to meet a hireling, or a non-origin NPC potential group member (If that's a thing).

The grove too.
Posted By: mr_planescapist Re: Making it feel like BG 1 & 2 - 12/05/22 10:35 PM
Class specific strongholds like BG2 (fighters had a keep, druid cove for druids, Mage tower/Planar sphere, Inn/Playhouse for the bard etc..all had specific quest related stuff etc...) but improved upon.
You don't have to force on a player a certain stronghold because of class...thats one thing I did not like but still was great for immersion. I always used a mod to open up all strongholds for whatever class/ or have multiple strongholds.
Knowing Larian they will probably implement a simple non immersive solution : 1 <stronghold> for everybody like DOS2 and call it a day. Hopefull at least there will be class specific quests...not holding my breath on that too.
Posted By: Van'tal Re: Making it feel like BG 1 & 2 - 13/05/22 01:19 AM
Strongholds were awesome if we get that high level.

I also liked your comment:

friendly interesting and unique random world battles based on areas, time of day etc...> aka : random encounters.

*Why they should add certain features first (like day/night) because they inspire creative story elements in time to flush them out.

Your other comment of feeling like a "pocket universe" is not good first impression. The first area needs to feel lived in, even if has been disrupted by recent events.

spot on though.
Posted By: Van'tal Re: Making it feel like BG 1 & 2 - 13/05/22 01:39 AM
Now I do like that the characters discover quickly enough that ceramorphosis is not progressing as it should.

It relaxes the whole rush rush rush! vibe. It was really messing with my Zen thing.

Now to smell the roses:

Bounties were good.

A quest to reopen the road, so travelers can move on from Wakeen's Rest (seriously, please renovate).
We would probably need to progress to Balder's Gate to send help...and a road crew.
Posted By: Xzoviac Re: Making it feel like BG 1 & 2 - 13/05/22 10:08 AM
I think adding some drawn portraits of the npcs as a nod to the old bg1/2 - they can still get steadily bloodier, but be in a painted art form

magical scrolls should be class specific - everyone being able to cast every spell in game as long as they have a scroll is immersion breaking

A few quests interactions should be class dependent - a thief could maybe teach the kids in the grove to be better thieves for example, at the moment I don't feel like I'm part of the world when I'm interacting and my class does not matter past combat

Because "everyone" you recruit is infected with the tadpole, it makes the situation feel very gamey.
not everyone that wants to help you needs to be in same situation with a different side quest?


where are all the slave collars the mind flayers use?

Larian is great at focusing on detail - please add this to things like your god choice for your cleric/paladin/warlock - it should effect more then combat, let our thoughts/prayers be influenced by our deity choices

in bg1 we jumped from map to map in to different parts of the wilderness, having a world map and locations being fairly far apart each area having secrets npcs encounters and magical equipment to find scattered around ( and multiple types of towns) made the world feel lived in - atm act one feels very close together
towns destroyed or on fire , the npcs that create the world feel like they are in an unknow wilderness just because we are, the world does not feel lived in.

Even the druids grove doesn't feel like a druids grove to me where are the druids patrolling the area , looking after the wildlife, why would an owl bear be left stabbed right next to the grove with out the druids doing something about it, where are the druids phycological dilemmas, the grove should be split in what to do about the refugees , on what will keep the balance, only one druid cares and wants to do the "good" thing

they dont feel like they want to keep the balance at all they just want to hide away inside there grove locked away from the outside world (nature included)

why is everyone getting drawn to a druid grove? even the mercenary's from Baldur's gate sent out by a wizard - the only reason everyone is at the grove is because there is no other "civilisation" even though there is a nearby destroyed town ( the goblins are in) and the burning down inn,

I feel like the Destroyed town would be so much more interesting if it was under siege by goblins, and the town was not abandoned, it had NPCS/villagers and the mercs could be in this town then getting dragged in to a goblin war, the town could be asking the grove for help , and halsin could have been captured trying to help them.
Posted By: virion Re: Making it feel like BG 1 & 2 - 14/05/22 03:47 AM
I have to say from immersion perspective BG3 EA is lacking so far and I think that's the only thing BG3 should really take from BG1 +2 ( Especially 2....I never liked the #1 tbh. Too old for comfort).

Most of those things were mentioned above. Few of my most missed friends from BG2:
1) Day night cycle[It didn't change anything gameplay wise almost....some missions were doable only at night etc but it didn't affect combat. It was just for immersion].
2) Ambient sounds TERRIBLY lacking in BG3( You basically walk through the map with only the soundtrack playing...Soundtrack is dope but gimme environmental sounds).
3) Those little events left and right with people asking for your help. Sometimes trying to manipulate you. Sometimes being 100% honest. Sometimes beeing to busy with their own things to look at you.( Early stages of Thieves vs Vampires guild war, the guy in the government district).

All those little things just made the world feel...authentic. While the whole game was almost entirely a straight corridor( Apart from the main city). All those little things are present in Mass Effect ( Bioware's production) and so far aren't to be found in BG3.

I hope "It's still EA" is the explanation but time is slowly running out and I doubt it's about EA. Shame. frown
Posted By: Van'tal Re: Making it feel like BG 1 & 2 - 14/05/22 07:11 AM
Thank-you Virion!

Right on the head! It's the little things that can be game changers. I am hoping Larion sees that everyone has blind spots and that it is no shame to acknowledge them by hiring people who do NOT think like you to make all of the other efforts shine.

Running out of time Larian...tick tock.
Posted By: Van'tal Re: Making it feel like BG 1 & 2 - 15/05/22 02:00 AM
OK...signing off till nest update.

I seriously don't have anything more terribly useful to contribute until I see the next iteration.

Immersion, immersion, immersion is the key.

There is plenty of good feedback for you (Larian) to look at.

Make the world feel alive, tone down the drama, and balance the mood with sound effects, humor, interesting NPCs,

an Inn, a few more side quests, and acknowledge your fans who take the time to post.

See you soon!
Posted By: virion Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 17/05/22 03:33 PM
Small correction regarding ambient sounds : Turns out they are present even in character creation including with little birds singing and all.. it's just they are barely audible. I guess I have to turn down the music next time. I have a weird fetish of ambient sounds.

12 minutes+:
Posted By: Van'tal Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 26/06/22 10:58 PM
Found it!

Another thread I wanted to bump.

We all want a deep story, and yet ironically it's ultimately the finer details that can make a story engaging.

What about Wakeen's Rest? In the original series there were more Inns and Taverns than most people can remember (myself included). Like boat loads...including a boat!


Should Wakeen's Rest be re-thought to make an early cultural connection and a hub for questing and gathering?
Posted By: Zerubbabel Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 26/06/22 11:57 PM
Recently played BG2 for the first time, so I am not going into this based on nostalgia. That game is GREAT on certain things and absolutely terrible on others. And something that makes it great is its characters and characterization. We were discussing this on the party banter topic. Your party members in BG2 have in-depth conversations with each other, not just a line apiece. Dragon Age: Origins was its spiritual successor, and influences from that game are clear here. Party banter in DA:O sometimes concerned decisions you made in the game (like a romance choice), which is a great way to make the characters feel active in the world and ALIVE. At camp in DA:O, party members would interact with each other, like the Dog and everyone else. Furthermore, you could facilitate relationships and interactions between certain characters in both BG2 and DA:O (e.g. Aerie and Haer, or arguments between companions in the games). Larian is already putting a lot of work into these characters as a selling point of the game, so why not go that extra mile?

Another thing BG2 did well was a sense of time and space. The world felt like a world, and the distances you traveled from place to place felt meaningful, even if they were just a zone and a path apart. I loved the tightness of the world in DOS2 for fun play, but I'm not sure it works as well here, when we are supposedly traveling great distances in a matter of moments, and structures we travel on aren't that big in scope. Now, that might mean the world is more "symbolic," but I think there is one location that absolutely should feel big and sprawling and bustling with great distances and dense interactions: The City of Baldur's Gate. Just one place, the title location, should feel absolutely massive, broad, and dense with possibility.

On the matter of time, I understand implementing a day/night cycle may not be feasible with the type of game Larian is making, but it would be nice if certain things shifted the lighting to indicate the passage of time. You get two short rests, and a short rest probably takes time. The long rest takes us to camp at nighttime, while the world is in daytime, so the long rest is already great at indicating the passage of time. Perhaps you can start the day in the morning, and each short rest shifts the lighting from morning to noon, and then noon to evening. It would make short rests feel like more than just "replenish slots and health." Perhaps certain events may only be possible at certain times of the day or certain characters will appear at certain times (like vampire lady at crypt in BG2), but instead of having a day/night cycle, Larian should base it on morning-noon-evening, which shift along short rests.

To echo what many are saying here: What BG2 did right was immersion. Immersion in environment, immersion in characterization, immersion in the flow of spacetime, immersion in equipment. There was a clear attempt at getting the player "lost" in the totality of the experience of the world. The Larian style of game set by DOS1+2 is more fun to be sure, but it is not as immersive. I wouldn't even argue that one style is better than the other, just that they reflect different priorities.
Posted By: Zerubbabel Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 27/06/22 01:16 AM
I would also like to present an argument as to why BG3, a Larian Game, should be like its predecessors made from another studio. One can easily think the following: BG3 is a Larian game, which will operate as a spiritual successor to DOS2, and they are not bound by the actions of another studio twenty years ago. While this point is valid, and DOS2 is very much the core DNA of BG3 (and rightfully so), I think the line of thinking is misguided. The game is called Baldur's Gate 3, implying some line of succession from the previous two games, and it is not called Baldur's Gate: Ascent from Avernus or Baldur's Gate: Divine Conspiracy. While story-based continuity or style-based continuity is not necessary between BG2 and BG3, I think some level of immersion-continuity and thematic/tonal continuity would be nice. I think it is wrong to dismiss the concerns and critiques of fans of BG1+2 out of hand (as hardline as some of them may be), as I used to see on the subreddit last year (to be fair, the folks on r/baldursgate aren't much nicer to BG3 fans). At the same time, Larian should not be discouraged from using a system and style with which they have already found success and warm reception.

If I could ask Larian to take away anything from the feedback here, it is to work on immersion, characterization, and the "living world," and how all three of those things create a feedback loop for each other.
Posted By: Sozz Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 27/06/22 02:40 AM
Very good points Zerubbabel. I think we're pretty sympatico on BG:II; I always viewed BG:II as a 'characters first' game, and I think that's why I find it much easier to pop back in and replay it over Baldur's Gate I.

I think a lot of the points you've made about our companions, their interactions, and immersion in the world, have been echoed by more than a few people here, so I can only hope that means good things in the long run.
Posted By: Van'tal Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 27/06/22 04:35 AM
Originally Posted by Zerubbabel
I would also like to present an argument as to why BG3, a Larian Game, should be like its predecessors made from another studio. One can easily think the following: BG3 is a Larian game, which will operate as a spiritual successor to DOS2, and they are not bound by the actions of another studio twenty years ago. While this point is valid, and DOS2 is very much the core DNA of BG3 (and rightfully so), I think the line of thinking is misguided. The game is called Baldur's Gate 3, implying some line of succession from the previous two games, and it is not called Baldur's Gate: Ascent from Avernus or Baldur's Gate: Divine Conspiracy. While story-based continuity or style-based continuity is not necessary between BG2 and BG3, I think some level of immersion-continuity and thematic/tonal continuity would be nice. I think it is wrong to dismiss the concerns and critiques of fans of BG1+2 out of hand (as hardline as some of them may be), as I used to see on the subreddit last year (to be fair, the folks on r/baldursgate aren't much nicer to BG3 fans). At the same time, Larian should not be discouraged from using a system and style with which they have already found success and warm reception.

If I could ask Larian to take away anything from the feedback here, it is to work on immersion, characterization, and the "living world," and how all three of those things create a feedback loop for each other.

Ah...fan bashing...not the age of understanding that we live in, for sure.

Now creating the "living world"...this will be the new challenge for Larian. How much they are willing to leave their comfort zone will be a huge factor. The benefits to this and all of their future games will be huge. Create an immersive world and diverse fans will give you completely different answers, as to what they liked about the game.

Some details people take for granted until they go missing, like the day/night cycle you mentioned. It's been in most RPGs in general and like EVERY D&D title I can think of. They should probably not even debate it, and find a painless and cost effective way to make it happen. It's an investment really.

I also agree it is not necessary to be overburdened to to create forced connections to the other titles outside of "immersion-continuity and thematic/tonal continuity".
Posted By: Zerubbabel Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 27/06/22 06:57 AM
I think the crown of the character-driven CRPG has been in the gutter since DA:O (and the certain purchase of a certain studio by a certain company), and Larian has a real opportunity to take it for themselves. I don't see why they can't do it, given they played such a massive role in the CRPG renaissance and are clearly laying claim to it by making Baldur's Gate 3. It is simply a matter of ambition.

Of course, part of "character-driven" means immersing the player in the world and making its characters react to said world, to create the illusion of living characters in a living world, whether that's decision-reactivity, intra-party interactions (companion-to-companion, PC-to-companion, and PC-to-companion-to-companion), environment-reactivity, event-reactivity, or conversational continuity (like when Shadowheart says she couldn't help but overhear after the PC discusses tadpoles with another, or if one companion says one thing after story point A, it would be nice if another companion had a reason to bring it up after story point B). Also, giving the companions substance and personality, combined with making them talkative, is just fun, and it was fun in BG2. Actually, it was more than fun: It was a driving factor of replayability, making different party combinations and quest combinations to make different kinds of stories.

I, for one, believe in the dream of Emperor Larian. Or Empress.
Posted By: Xzoviac Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 27/06/22 07:19 AM
another point I didnt mention, dialog should start randomly like in bg2, and the music should change when this happens

A sad backstory?
let the music help us feel it, and let the npcs start the interactions dont just put a explanation mark above the companions heads

actually have companions seek the main character out and start speaking to us.

npcs talking in permant loops is emmersion breaking after one loop have the npcs actually talk to us
Or end the argument/conversation and talk about something else
Posted By: SerraSerra Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 27/06/22 10:26 AM
@ Zerubbabel: +1 , that's a nice way to put it into words, indeed I would also like them to focus on world/immersion building.
However, given:
- D/N is apparently impossible somehow for larian
- static NPC's with no schedule or activity they are carrying out except playing statue until you meet them & very compressed 'abstract' world building seem to be Larian trademark design choices
- the story boiling down to a kind of plot armour for the world to be as desolate, abandoned and empty as it is because of the conflict going on (e.g. the inn is burning, the grove is besieged) and the fact we know from the trailers that the city of baldurs gate is probably destroyed or also under siege or abandoned when we reach it

I'm kinda convinced that we won't get something as immersive, living/moving as Athkathla in BG3 but simply an 'urban' version of the CH1 map
Edit: * Athkatla
Athkathla was great.
Athkathla with mods (more quests, stuff to do...) was bloody amazing.

Modded BG3 sadly will be like modded DOS2 : SHIT. No quests, no extra characters, no story expansions...
Posted By: Zerubbabel Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 27/06/22 04:57 PM
Originally Posted by SerraSerra
@ Zerubbabel: +1 , that's a nice way to put it into words, indeed I would also like them to focus on world/immersion building.
However, given:
- D/N is apparently impossible somehow for larian
- static NPC's with no schedule or activity they are carrying out except playing statue until you meet them & very compressed 'abstract' world building seem to be Larian trademark design choices
- the story boiling down to a kind of plot armour for the world to be as desolate, abandoned and empty as it is because of the conflict going on (e.g. the inn is burning, the grove is besieged) and the fact we know from the trailers that the city of baldurs gate is probably destroyed or also under siege or abandoned when we reach it

I'm kinda convinced that we won't get something as immersive, living/moving as Athkathla in BG3 but simply an 'urban' version of the CH1 map
Edit: * Athkatla

I don't want to knock Larian because I DO like what they've made since DOS2, but these are very valid concerns. I suppose I could make my peace with no D/N cycle if they had other ways of expressing the passage of time in an immersive manner (*cough* a weather system would allow for more diverse ambient sounds and could be random based on long rests *cough*). My least favorite part of the Larin style would be the NPCs that just wait around for you to interact with them, having a lot to say when you click on them to talk alone, but absolutely nothing to say to other NPCs or about changes in the world around them (See: the party in DOS2 basically being cardboard cutouts that have a PC-to-companion interactivity only based on their backstory with no banter or companion-to-companion interactivity, even when their major quests literally overlapped and contradicted each other, like Ifan and Sebille and Red Prince except for that Dreamer in Act 1). I guess I could make my peace with the theme park style map if it has a lot of content... maybe they can make it make sense by keeping us in certain districts of the city? I'll always prefer DOS2 gameplay because it's just FUN, but I wish they targeted the immersive aspects of BG2 in their game philosophy a bit more here. JUST for Baldur's Gate, just the city, I'd prefer more Athkatla and less Arx.
Posted By: Van'tal Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 28/06/22 04:46 AM
Originally Posted by Xzoviac
A sad backstory?
let the music help us feel it

You gave me Deja Vu...

So Planescape Torment, among its many great bullet points has an amazing music score: Listen a few seconds or enjoy it (point to follow).



When we first meet our former dead lover, who we don't remember (cuz we have amnesia). We get this variation on the main theme...this song still elicites an emotional response...just genius! Look at the bones! I mean read the responses.

Posted By: Van'tal Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 28/06/22 05:21 AM
Of course there was Fall-From-Grace (The Lawful Neutral [with a good bent] Cleric / Succubus). This was here theme, and she was an amazing character (Jennifer Hale before Titles like Mass-Effect or KOTOR).

What was really unique was:

The Brothel for Slating Intellectual Lusts (a brothel with no sex)

Even though the building is a brothel, the "prostitutes" within it are actually aspiring sensates. They do not serve their patrons physically. Instead, they learn to identify with others so that they can better understand themselves and the Planes.

It's like the writers would come up with the most bizarre ideas they could think of and then make them work. This was a different setting of course: Sigil at the center of the multiverse, and they wanted to create an otherworldly setting.

Still, if you want inspiration, then visit the masters....and by the way, this was not a big budget production.

Posted By: Van'tal Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 28/06/22 05:35 AM
You can click on the other Torment themes if you like...they are all masterpieces.

Not straying too far from the point, music is indeed powerful. It doesn't even have to over the top, just appropriate to the character or location. The Under-dark city music was awesome...but I like the point of changing music when emphasizing a given situation, character or mood.
Posted By: SerraSerra Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 28/06/22 09:38 AM
oh, another one I just remembered. BG1/2 and Icewind dale still have better item flavour text than BG3 atm. They need to write these so that any non standard items gains a unique feeling trough it's backstory. Like maybe I want to wear the Baldurian shield, not because of it's ability to reflect beholder rays, but simply because I made it as an adventurer and I want to show of what crazy stuff I've bought at the adventurers market. This shouldn't be so hard, either tie in with main story, or give items a seprate story of their own (e.g. connect items to the region to tie in with world, or simply relate them to a character that died long time ago and has no real connection to this story but at least give the items a self-contained backstory and 'raison d'ĂȘtre'.
Posted By: Rhobar121 Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 28/06/22 11:12 AM
It was a good game, it's a shame that when it came out it sold so badly frown
Posted By: Sozz Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 28/06/22 02:52 PM
I'd like to add Kirkwall to the mix. I know DA:II has a certain reputation, but I really enjoyed the world-building in it, and the move to have an entire game center around a decade of living in one city.

Amn is still the best.
Posted By: Van'tal Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 28/06/22 04:33 PM
Originally Posted by Rhobar121
It was a good game, it's a shame that when it came out it sold so badly frown

I got my copy in the bargain bin at Walmart. Isn't great when you expect nothing and get something so over the top?



"They need to write these so that any non standard items gains a unique feeling trough it's backstory."

~Flavor is good, especially when helping to write our own story:)


I missed Kirkwall Sozz...any more details?
Posted By: Sozz Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 28/06/22 06:05 PM
Kirkwall was the setting of Dragon Age II. It was a densely packed urban setting, with a lot of verticality. If I'm remembering it correctly, it was a built on top of mines, during the Tevinter Imperium this made it a major entrepot for slaves, with a lot of those trappings still present in it's design and aesthetic, giving it a very realized history of oppression and class conflict that played well into the overarching narrative of DA:II.

Considering how miserable mining was during the Roman Empire, the idea of what slave mines in a fantasy, blood-magocracy, Roman Empire is interesting.

And I also liked about DA:II that apart from a few short jaunts, inbetween acts, the game takes place in one setting, and over a long period of time, allowing for decisions and characters to develop over time.
Posted By: Rhobar121 Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 28/06/22 06:13 PM
Originally Posted by Sozz
Kirkwall was the setting of Dragon Age II. It was a densely packed urban setting, with a lot of verticality. If I'm remembering it correctly, it was a built on top of mines, during the Tevinter Imperium this made it a major entrepot for slaves, with a lot of those trappings still present in it's design and aesthetic, giving it a very realized history of oppression and class conflict that played well into the overarching narrative of DA:II.

Considering how miserable mining was during the Roman Empire, the idea of what slave mines in a fantasy, blood-magocracy, Roman Empire is interesting.

And I also liked about DA:II that apart from a few short jaunts, inbetween acts, the game takes place in one setting, and over a long period of time, allowing for decisions and characters to develop over time.

The question is, how much was this intended and how much caused by short production times and cuts.
Posted By: Van'tal Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 28/06/22 06:15 PM
Dragon Age was a strong story...haven't replayed that in a long while.
Posted By: Sozz Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 28/06/22 06:28 PM
Necessity is the mother of invention as they say. I think the reuse of assets was the meme that came out of DA:II, but I still think each area of the city areas had their own thing going, from the port area to the honey-comb mines turned slums; and even having the nicer parts of the city, still have the kind of oppressive feel of a slave-quarry/turned city-state, worked for me.

I haven't played DA:II in some time though, so I'm certainly adding a little to it on my end. Regardless, the concept of a building a world 'tall' instead of 'wide', and then adding to it a story that takes place over a longer period of time, is still interesting to me, especially because you don't see it very often in RPGs for some reason.
Posted By: Rhobar121 Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 28/06/22 06:32 PM
Originally Posted by Sozz
Necessity is the mother of invention as they say. I think the reuse of assets was the meme that came out of DA:II, but I still think each area of the city areas had their own thing going, from the port area to the honey-comb mines turned slums; and even having the nicer parts of the city, still have the kind of oppressive feel of a slave-quarry/turned city-state, worked for me.

I haven't played DA:II in some time though, so I'm certainly adding a little to it on my end. Regardless, the concept of a building a world 'tall' instead of 'wide', and then adding to it a story that takes place over a longer period of time, is still interesting to me, especially because you don't see it very often in RPGs for some reason.

Most likely, the point is not to get the player bored with too much monotony of areas.
I suspect this is the main reason because reusing areas would make it easier for developers.
Posted By: Xzoviac Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 28/06/22 06:43 PM
Originally Posted by Van'tal
Originally Posted by Xzoviac
A sad backstory?
let the music help us feel it

You gave me Deja Vu...

So Planescape Torment, among its many great bullet points has an amazing music score: Listen a few seconds or enjoy it (point to follow).



When we first meet our former dead lover, who we don't remember (cuz we have amnesia). We get this variation on the main theme...this song still elicites an emotional response...just genius! Look at the bones! I mean read the responses.

this is the high fantasy music I want the kind that makes you feel something deep and emotional.

I think one of the things bg3 is lacking is emotional depth from the characters, I Still remember, in The last of us 1
the final scene Ellie asks Jole to swear to her, it stuck with me for years, the music the emotion the characters give off, this depth imo is what bg3 needs


this has been edited a bit - but the last scene is right
Posted By: Zerubbabel Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 29/06/22 05:38 AM
The music in DOS2 was good, and Boris Slavov is really talented so I'm not that worried about the music. Could there be more specialized or context-specific tracks for narrative/characterization purposes? Probably. But I don't think the quality of the soundtrack is in question, just its breadth and usage. Having tracks at major story points which are variations of a track at another similar story point is a good idea for unifying the two moments musically (In the words of George Lucas: It's like poetry. It rhymes). DOS2 did this to some extent. Having music tell a story is also cool. Giving characters and locations their own themes is also good, and having major locations associated with certain character's backstories borrow motifs from those character's themes could also be a good idea. All in all though, I think the music folks have it handled, but it would be nice if they worked with the writing team more to musically unify characters, themes, and events a bit more. But don't underestimate the power of silence. Sometimes, a moment surrounded by soundtrack can be punctuated by a single point of dramatic silence. On the other hand, given this is BG3, having a soundtrack that resembles its predecessor's era of CRPGs is a good idea, giving musical references to the styles of BG, BG2, Icewind, Planescape, and Neverwinter.

Also think there's a bit of rose-colored glasses for DA2 in the forum. Let's remember what initial impressions were like, with the outrage at simplified mechanics and recycled assets. There's a lot to love about that game, but I wouldn't point at it and say, "Hey Larian! That's the kind of game we want!" On the other hand, Sozz has a good point in that looking at games centered around a city or a few cities might be wise for designing a major city in the game (Baldur's Gate, or whatever the last act is, depending on if it's an urban setting).
Posted By: Van'tal Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 02/07/22 02:02 PM
Thanks for the great feedback!

I Larian explores some simple ways to connect with their audience they will have hit a whole new level in their game development.
Posted By: Zerubbabel Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 02/07/22 09:06 PM
Haven't heard it mentioned here, but a quality of life matter from BG2 Enhanced Edition:
If you select an item in the party's inventory, characters that cannot use that item (due to a lack of proficiency or other reasons) have their portraits highlighted in red, while characters that can use the item in question have normal portraits. This is good for sorting loot without having to check who can do what.
Posted By: Zerubbabel Re: Making BG3 feel more like BG 1 & 2 - 03/07/22 09:03 PM
Should there be areas that before entering or leaving the narrator mentions in a cinematic, "You must gather your party." ?
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