Larian Studios
Posted By: Marktheshark Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 09/10/20 11:02 PM
This is a pretty spot-on review. I hope someone from the dev team takes a moment to watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0yVkPncoYs


EDIT:
I've included my biggest concerns after 30 hours of gameplay so far.

1) Perks / abilities / passives / etc DO NOT appear in the character sheet. For example, at level 2 for warlock I chose "Agonizing Blast" and "Devil's Sight" as additional passives. However, NOWHERE in the character sheet (or entire game) does it display that I now have these for my warlock. I would only know I have them because I remember picking them. It is a serious oversight to not have ALL of the character progressions and advancements display in the character sheet.

2) Unclear status effects on spells, lack of a compendium. Many spells that cause status effects are unclear in what they actually do. For example, "Blind." The tooltip on this spell states it causes "Blindness" that can be shaken off with a saving throw, but it does not state what the actual effects of Blindness are. Does Blindness mean that attacks can't be made? Or does it mean they just have less of a chance to hit? The tooltip on the spell is incomplete in this sense, and the lack of a compendium means that I cannot look it up anywhere in the game. Another example is "Silence," which creates a sphere in which all creatures are "Silenced." What does Silenced mean? Does it mean they are literally silent, or does it mean they cannot cast abilities? Again, the spell tooltip is unclear. This is true for MANY spells. Either expand the tooltips, or create a compendium where the player can read about status effects and what they do.

3) Hidden details on spells / abilities that are not listed in the tooltip. One example here being "Hex." If the concentration of Hex is ever broken, Hex can be recast on another target without the use of a spell slot. This is not mentioned on the tooltip. Another example is "Shatter," which is an AoE spell, but nowhere on the tooltip is it actually listed as AoE. It makes me wonder how many other spells have hidden effects that I am unaware of.

4) Inconsistent rules. The example here being if I cast "Darkness," why is it that my warlock with Devil's Sight cannot see or attack in the zone of Darkness? If the rules are supposed to follow D&D, then my warlock SHOULD BE ABLE to see and attack in the Darkness spell effect. In this game, that is not the case, and it is unclear why. Furthermore, how does this make "Darkness" any different from "Fog?" Perhaps this is a simple oversight in game design and programming.

5) Lack of a rulebook. If the entire game is based on the rules of D&D and even plays exactly like D&D with dice rolls, why not include an in-game rulebook? It's easy enough to google all sorts of rules, but at least including the basics would make sense. This of course would simply be a quality of life change, and an optional compendium that exists for players that want it.
Posted By: Tuco Re: Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 09/10/20 11:54 PM
Can't really say I'm particularly impressed with how "spot on" it was.

- He spent half of the review basically crying that he paid the game 60 dollars. It may be a hefty pricetag (and one that usually I never bother paying, because quite simply I'm rarely interested in anything enough to pay that much) but it's also the standard pricetag of any triple A these days, and since no one forced him to do it he could stop whining as it was some sort of travesty.

- I can sympathize to a limited extent with his inability to understand how D&D works without assistance, but his bitching about the game not having a good tutorial yet is a bit ridiculous. It's an early access build and tutorials are quite literally among the last things game developers bother implementing.

- "D&D expert" or not, mechanics are really NOT that obscure if you pay attention to what the game is telling you. Maybe don't approach a type of game you have no familiarity with by "streaming it", paying more attention to your user base than its content and then bitch incessantly about not understanding things.

Posted By: CamKitty Re: Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 10/10/20 12:00 AM
Originally Posted by Tuco
Can't really say I'm particularly impressed with how "spot on" it was.

- He spent half of the review basically crying that he paid the game 60 dollars. It may be a hefty pricetag (and one that usually I never bother paying, because quite simply I'm rarely interested in anything enough to pay that much) but it's also the standard pricetag of any triple A these days, and since no one forced him to do it he could stop whining as it was some sort of travesty.

- I can sympathize to a limited extent with his inability to understand how D&D works without assistance, but his bitching about the game not having a good tutorial yet is a bit ridiculous. It's an early access build and tutorials are quite literally among the last things game developers bother implementing.

- "D&D expert" or not, mechanics are really NOT that obscure if you pay attention to what the game is telling you. Maybe don't approach a type of game you have no familiarity with by "streaming it", paying more attention to your user base than its content and then bitch incessantly about not understanding things.



Don't pretend a game this broken at EA launch deserves a pass on the price because "that is the price of a normal game". It's not a complete or even working game yet.

So it's a complete game until you needed to excuse the lack of tutorials?
Posted By: Tuco Re: Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 10/10/20 12:10 AM
Originally Posted by CamKitty


Don't pretend a game this broken at EA launch deserves a pass on the price because "that is the price of a normal game". It's not a complete or even working game yet.

So it's a complete game until you needed to excuse the lack of tutorials?

I'm not "pretending" anything. Just understanding what the actual deal was.

And the deal was "Buy the full game now and we let you access its EA builds along the way. Or you can buy it at the same price when releases in a year or more".
It was never "Please, spare a free offer, just how much do you think the current build may be worth for you".
Posted By: Denzla Re: Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 10/10/20 12:12 AM
I agree with Tuco here, they told you what you were getting into.
Posted By: BrianDavion Re: Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 10/10/20 12:33 AM
BG1 and 2 didn't have much of a tutorial eaither.
Posted By: Minsc1122 Re: Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 10/10/20 12:56 AM
Originally Posted by BrianDavion
BG1 and 2 didn't have much of a tutorial eaither.


Those were in the times, when people were not too lazy to read and figure out things by themself. smile
I think the way pathfinder is doing it now is really cool, when you hover over the icons and they explain everything. I was curious to see, some info about my classes or subclasses in character creation or at level up, but I guess they add it later.
Posted By: Jargoyle Re: Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 10/10/20 04:27 AM
I was in his live stream. Not being a D&D guy, and knowing how things worked, was a real frustration for him.

Things like the spell description of Magic missile. No where does it state that is an always hit spell. He asked us where do you see that? Just trust us, we know this stuff by heart. But for non D&D people, even 5E is a complicated system to learn.

Brian Davion "BG1 and 2 didn't have much of a tutorial eaither." While true, that was a time when the game came with a thick manual to explain things. And a very nice cloth map that is still on my wall today smile

There are lost of people whining about the $60 (Have you been on the Steam forum?) Dos2 you could by in at $27.00 on kickstarter

"Pledge US$ 27 or more
Bye Bye Birdy Offer
Divinity: Original Sin 2 as a digital download for PC, available from Steam with Alpha and Beta access included, or DRM-free from GOG.com. Also comes with a Digital Game Manual, a 'Backer' Forum Badge, and behind-the-scenes footage."
I'm not saying this should be the case on this game but it is what it was.

"He spent half of the review basically crying that he paid the game 60 dollars" Little hyperbolic Tuco?

If you watch the whole video it is overwhelmingly positive, and his criticisms are completely valid. It's not like he doesn't know what an early access game is.
Posted By: Labayu Re: Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 10/10/20 05:25 AM
Originally Posted by Jargoyle
I was in his live stream. Not being a D&D guy, and knowing how things worked, was a real frustration for him.
I watched about half of his livestream after the fact. I got the impression that almost everything is a frustration for him due to his lack of patience. Better documentation is a good suggestion, but I'm not sure it would help anyone with no patience for reading.
Posted By: UnderworldHades Re: Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 10/10/20 05:41 AM
Originally Posted by Jargoyle
There are lost of people whining about the $60 (Have you been on the Steam forum?) Dos2 you could by in at $27.00 on kickstarter

"Pledge US$ 27 or more
Bye Bye Birdy Offer
Divinity: Original Sin 2 as a digital download for PC, available from Steam with Alpha and Beta access included, or DRM-free from GOG.com. Also comes with a Digital Game Manual, a 'Backer' Forum Badge, and behind-the-scenes footage."
I'm not saying this should be the case on this game but it is what it was.

"He spent half of the review basically crying that he paid the game 60 dollars"


OS2 was a kickstarter game, this isn't. This is a full fledge Triple A game with the license from WoTC. People must be crazy if they think WoTC/Hasbro will let Larian sell this game for less then $60. You're basically pre-ordering the game and getting to play a slice before it's out.
Posted By: Marktheshark Re: Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 10/10/20 05:51 AM
I came from a background of having very little knowledge on D&D, but know a lot about other tabletop games and have always loved them. Thus when I started playing BG3, I enjoyed googling and looking up the rules of D&D 5e and learning them quite extensively. Quite literally I've spent many hours just learning these rules while playing through BG3 so far. However, were it not for me learning these rules, I'd have absolutely no clue about why or how the game functions. Even in spite of my extensive research, there were many times where I became frustrated with not understanding how certain mechanics worked. I'd say a player like myself is probably in the bottom 10% (or less) in terms of patience and willingness to learn the game.

Early access or not, when a game is released, it's released. The vast majority of players will make up their mind about this game within the next week or so. If I'm being objective, a lack of explanation for the most basic fundamentals behind the core of the game is an extremely poor choice on the dev's part, and one that is rather surprising considering how easy it would be to implement. If players find themselves becoming frustrated this early, it is unlikely they'll bother to come back. This concerns me because I immensely enjoy this game, but potentially foresee poor sales due to a poor initial reception.

Keep in mind that youtubers and twitch streamers have tremendous influence on sales and the overall reception of a game, and so reviews like UEG's are significant. And his review is not the only one that has such a harsh critique on the lack of proper tutorials in the game.
Posted By: MarcHicks Re: Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 10/10/20 05:53 AM
Originally Posted by Tuco
Can't really say I'm particularly impressed with how "spot on" it was.

- He spent half of the review basically crying that he paid the game 60 dollars. It may be a hefty pricetag (and one that usually I never bother paying, because quite simply I'm rarely interested in anything enough to pay that much) but it's also the standard pricetag of any triple A these days, and since no one forced him to do it he could stop whining as it was some sort of travesty.

- I can sympathize to a limited extent with his inability to understand how D&D works without assistance, but his bitching about the game not having a good tutorial yet is a bit ridiculous. It's an early access build and tutorials are quite literally among the last things game developers bother implementing.

- "D&D expert" or not, mechanics are really NOT that obscure if you pay attention to what the game is telling you. Maybe don't approach a type of game you have no familiarity with by "streaming it", paying more attention to your user base than its content and then bitch incessantly about not understanding things.



Yep, personally I am totally over these whiners bemoaning the price tag of the Early Access version of the game. Their store page & Dev Diaries have made it blindingly obvious-for over 3 months-that those wanting a complete, polished, bug-free experience should NOT buy the game during the EA period. I went into this with my eyes completely wide open, & yet have found it more complete, smoother & less buggy than a whole host of AAA games released by other publishers over the last couple of years. 6 hours into the game, & the only glaring issues I have had are during cut-scenes, with occasional lip synch issues, glitched objects & clipping. FIFA & Madden have more problems at launch, & those are allegedly v1.0 of annualized franchises.
Posted By: MarcHicks Re: Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 10/10/20 05:57 AM
Originally Posted by Marktheshark
I came from a background of having very little knowledge on D&D, but know a lot about other tabletop games and have always loved them. Thus when I started playing BG3, I enjoyed googling and looking up the rules of D&D 5e and learning them quite extensively. Quite literally I've spent many hours just learning these rules while playing through BG3 so far. However, were it not for me learning these rules, I'd have absolutely no clue about why or how the game functions. Even in spite of my extensive research, there were many times where I became frustrated with not understanding how certain mechanics worked. I'd say a player like myself is probably in the bottom 10% (or less) in terms of patience and willingness to learn the game.

Early access or not, when a game is released, it's released. The vast majority of players will make up their mind about this game within the next week or so. If I'm being objective, a lack of explanation for the most basic fundamentals behind the core of the game is an extremely poor choice on the dev's part, and one that is rather surprising considering how easy it would be to implement. If players find themselves becoming frustrated this early, it is unlikely they'll bother to come back. This concerns me because I immensely enjoy this game, but potentially foresee poor sales due to a poor initial reception.

Keep in mind that youtubers and twitch streamers have tremendous influence on sales and the overall reception of a game, and so reviews like UEG's are significant. And his review is not the only one that has such a harsh critique on the lack of proper tutorials in the game.


I haven't played D&D since 2nd Edition, & I find the rule set very easy to understand. I have navigated my way through the game without once having to look up the 5e rules. Swords, Maces, Bows etc do precisely what they say on the tin....& you get a list of the modifiers that make up your to hit chance in the bottom left hand of the screen. Spells & Cantrips are also pretty easy to understand. Personally, anyone who has played ANY CRPG shouldn't be struggling with BG3 IMHO.
Posted By: Marktheshark Re: Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 10/10/20 06:25 AM
Originally Posted by MarcHicks

I haven't played D&D since 2nd Edition, & I find the rule set very easy to understand. I have navigated my way through the game without once having to look up the 5e rules. Swords, Maces, Bows etc do precisely what they say on the tin....& you get a list of the modifiers that make up your to hit chance in the bottom left hand of the screen. Spells & Cantrips are also pretty easy to understand. Personally, anyone who has played ANY CRPG shouldn't be struggling with BG3 IMHO.


My friend, I think your passion to see this game succeed is clouding your objectivity. The lack of an in-game compendium at launch is a massive blunder. It would be easy to implement, and would solve many of the issues that the vocal majority have with the game.

Modern-day FPS games still explain the concepts of "aim and shoot". There is a reason for that.
Posted By: rfuzzo Re: Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 10/10/20 06:32 AM
I don't think it has anything to do with "passion to see this game succeed", but it is a fact that a lot is unexplained. Fore example, on levelling up my Warlock, when you pick from the Eldritch Invocations, nothing is explained. There need to be tooltips there in the level up UI! ("You can cast Mage Armour on yourself at will" - if you have no idea what Mage Armor does, how am I supposed to make a decision here?)
Posted By: MarcHicks Re: Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 10/10/20 06:33 AM
Originally Posted by Marktheshark
Originally Posted by MarcHicks

I haven't played D&D since 2nd Edition, & I find the rule set very easy to understand. I have navigated my way through the game without once having to look up the 5e rules. Swords, Maces, Bows etc do precisely what they say on the tin....& you get a list of the modifiers that make up your to hit chance in the bottom left hand of the screen. Spells & Cantrips are also pretty easy to understand. Personally, anyone who has played ANY CRPG shouldn't be struggling with BG3 IMHO.


My friend, I think your passion to see this game succeed is clouding your objectivity. The lack of an in-game compendium at launch is a massive blunder. It would be easy to implement, and would solve many of the issues that the vocal majority have with the game.

Modern-day FPS games still explain the concepts of "aim and shoot". There is a reason for that.


Did you & UpperEchelon not read all the detailed explanations given for basic functionality during the tutorial on board the Nautilus? I am beginning to think that your passion to see this game fail is clouding your objectivity. See, I too can make bold generalizations.
Posted By: Jargoyle Re: Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 10/10/20 06:36 AM
"OS2 was a kickstarter game, this isn't. This is a full fledge Triple A game with the license from WoTC. People must be crazy if they think WoTC/Hasbro will let Larian sell this game for less then $60. You're basically pre-ordering the game and getting to play a slice before it's out."

"I'm not saying this should be the case on this game but it is what it was."

I do not have any problem with the price. People that do should wait for the finished product.
Your reply is 100% correct.
This is simply what a lot of people think when they see the price tag.


Posted By: MarcHicks Re: Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 10/10/20 06:36 AM
Originally Posted by rfuzzo
I don't think it has anything to do with "passion to see this game succeed", but it is a fact that a lot is unexplained. Fore example, on levelling up my Warlock, when you pick from the Eldritch Invocations, nothing is explained. There need to be tooltips there in the level up UI! ("You can cast Mage Armour on yourself at will" - if you have no idea what Mage Armor does, how am I supposed to make a decision here?)


Now you see yours is a better & more accurate point. Tool-tips, even if they were an option you could select at the start of the game, would be a welcome addition for the later stages of the game. However I still believe that all the more basic concepts of the game are explained perfectly fine during the tutorial (just as they were in DOS 1 & 2).

Anyway, all this arguing is taking up time I could be spending playing the game.
Posted By: MarcHicks Re: Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 10/10/20 06:39 AM
Just as a basis for comparison-CohhCarnage is a self-confessed Newbie when it comes to all things D&D (Table-top version), yet he is finding very few issues with his current playthrough of BG3.....& is apparently having a ball with the game (after more than 20 episodes IIRC). However, he also paid close attention during the tutorial.
Posted By: Jargoyle Re: Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 10/10/20 07:00 AM
That's fair. But he's not wrong.
I watch smaller streamers like Raphael Perry who has a firm grasp of RPG's and can't figure out how to pick locks as a rogue.
Why? Because the game does not show you need tools in your inventory bar to open a locked door. Why would you think you would when you automatically spot traps?
Pointing out what is frustrating now is how things get fixed.
Posted By: Marktheshark Re: Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 10/10/20 02:51 PM
After 30 hours of gameplay thus far, here are my biggest concerns:


1) Perks / abilities / passives / etc DO NOT appear in the character sheet. For example, at level 2 for warlock I chose "Agonizing Blast" and "Devil's Sight" as additional passives. However, NOWHERE in the character sheet (or entire game) does it display that I now have these for my warlock. I would only know I have them because I remember picking them. It is a serious oversight to not have ALL of the character progressions and advancements display in the character sheet.

2) Unclear status effects on spells, lack of a compendium. Many spells that cause status effects are unclear in what they actually do. For example, "Blind." The tooltip on this spell states it causes "Blindness" that can be shaken off with a saving throw, but it does not state what the actual effects of Blindness are. Does Blindness mean that attacks can't be made? Or does it mean they just have less of a chance to hit? The tooltip on the spell is incomplete in this sense, and the lack of a compendium means that I cannot look it up anywhere in the game. Another example is "Silence," which creates a sphere in which all creatures are "Silenced." What does Silenced mean? Does it mean they are literally silent, or does it mean they cannot cast abilities? Again, the spell tooltip is unclear. This is true for MANY spells. Either expand the tooltips, or create a compendium where the player can read about status effects and what they do.

3) Hidden details on spells / abilities that are not listed in the tooltip. One example here being "Hex." If the concentration of Hex is ever broken, Hex can be recast on another target without the use of a spell slot. This is not mentioned on the tooltip. Another example is "Shatter," which is an AoE spell, but nowhere on the tooltip is it actually listed as AoE. It makes me wonder how many other spells have hidden effects that I am unaware of.

4) Inconsistent rules. The example here being if I cast "Darkness," why is it that my warlock with Devil's Sight cannot see or attack in the zone of Darkness? If the rules are supposed to follow D&D, then my warlock SHOULD BE ABLE to see and attack in the Darkness spell effect. In this game, that is not the case, and it is unclear why. Furthermore, how does this make "Darkness" any different from "Fog?" Perhaps this is a simple oversight in game design and programming.

5) Lack of a rulebook. If the entire game is based on the rules of D&D and even plays exactly like D&D with dice rolls, why not include an in-game rulebook? It's easy enough to google all sorts of rules, but at least including the basics would make sense. This of course would simply be a quality of life change, and an optional compendium that exists for players that want it.




Originally Posted by MarcHicks
I am beginning to think that your passion to see this game fail is clouding your objectivity. See, I too can make bold generalizations.

You are a very strange person, sir. I've already stated in a prior post that I want to see the game succeed, but am concerned that some very blatant issues will prevent that.

The bottom line is, a game as complex as BG3 with an intricate ruleset should provide that entire ruleset to its player. Period. Posters here, such as MarcHicks, are making some of the most irrational arguments I've ever seen. You honestly believe that the game is better without the option for additional learning materials? And you further believe that it is both an intelligent and correct decision for the game to be released without a rule compendium? How exactly would that help the game make more sales? Why would anyone argue that it is bad for a player to be able to learn more about the game that he or she is playing?

Posted By: VaxVires Re: Upper Echelon Gamer's BG3 Review - 10/10/20 06:40 PM
The game in its current state is an absolute joke. It has solid gameplay and is very fun, but it's just pathetic that AAA titles can be released in such an unfinished state, all under the excuse of "it's early access." Based on Larian's past, though, they'll likely fix this game up quite a bit. I'd guess that WOTC forced them to release this game in its current state. But seriously...there are just SO MANY PROBLEMS with the game right now that it's going to give the majority of people a sour taste with their initial experience. It's a shame.
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