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Originally Posted by robertthebard
If this were some standalone IP, I'd agree 100%. The problem is, "the world" is Dungeons and Dragons, not just BG 3. There are 10s of thousands of stories that are part of "the world" that may not have any impact at all on BG 3, and every time I see "there's a disconnect", I wholeheartedly agree, there is a disconnect. People are always trying to disconnect BG 3 from the thousands of years of history in the Forgotten Realms. Or, more accurately I guess, they want that history outlined for them, because this is the "assumed knowledge" that the characters have, or that some of them will have. In the case of people that have no knowledge at all about the setting, yes, they should be hitting "outside" resources, because the outline could be a real slog to sit through.
Even though DnD is becoming more popular, we can't expect everyone to be familiar with the setting or to want to do outside research. Too much work to understand things will make for less sales. Basic information should be given to the player, more detailed information should be found in books. If the basic information was offered with a mouseover then it wouldn't clutter up the screen for those who don't care about it or already know it.

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mrfuji3, Wormerine, Gray Ghost, I would be more inclined to agree if the games were self-contained. But they aren't, and I said BG3 is a sequel (contentious, I know, but there are hints even without touching on the datamined content) and taking place in an established setting purposefully. For better or worse, BG1 and 2 were at least in part canonized, so they are now one piece of the history of Forgotten Realms. They are not their own thing, they are a part of the larger whole, like novels, comic books, and other supplemental media. And just like I don't think it's unreasobale of, for example, a novel taking place in Waterdeep to expect its readers to have some basic knowledge of what Waterdeep is, I don't think it's unreasonable of BG3 to expect its players to have some basic knowledge of its setting either.

For the record, I'm not styling myself as some sort of lore expert here, I've had to look things up over the course of playing EA. I just don't believe it's a fault with the game that I had to.

I also disagree that only videogames can age poorly. This is something inherent to every living medium. Both language and literary conventions change over time, and new filmmaking techniques are being constantly developed as well. Just as with videogames, these changes can make it hard to come back to older works. Regardless, once again, I don't believe it's a fault with the third game if people can't be bothered to play the first two.

What is reasonable in my opinion is explaining whatever homebrew changes Larian makes to the existing lore (such as the changes they made to ceremorphosis), and things an average Baldurian would not know. On principle, more expository dialogue is not bad either, but as was pointed out, when everyone is willing and able to give a lecture on whatever part of the setting they're connected to, it can come off very unnatural. It's something that has to be utilized with care.

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Originally Posted by MrToucan
mrfuji3, Wormerine, Gray Ghost, I would be more inclined to agree if the games were self-contained. But they aren't, and I said BG3 is a sequel (contentious, I know, but there are hints even without touching on the datamined content) and taking place in an established setting purposefully.
BG1&2 are mostly self contained, in the same way Marvel films are self contained. You don't need to play BG1 to enjoy BG2 (I know I didn't). And while it seems there will be returning characters in BG3 we didn't even get to those. Perhaps you could make an argument that players are expected to know who Bhaal, Mincs or Jaheira are, but so far all we have is new stuff unrelated to BG1&2. BG3 isn't failing to bring new players to the existing story, it fails in telling it's own story.

Originally Posted by MrToucan
And just like I don't think it's unreasobale of, for example, a novel taking place in Waterdeep to expect its readers to have some basic knowledge of what Waterdeep is, I don't think it's unreasonable of BG3 to expect its players to have some basic knowledge of its setting either.
lol really? So a novel about Waterdeep is not an appropriate place to learn about Waterdeep? So what is the book about?

EDIT. I suppose it comes down to knowing your audience. If Larian and WotC intends for BG3 to be a tie-in to table-top campaign (they definitely don't intend it to be a sequel of BG3 as it isn't even if they shove familiar faces into their bastard child of D:OS and DnD), then I suppose that's fine, though a massive miscalculation IMO. However, I don't think it's intended. D:OS had poor woldbuilding as well, with some gaping plotholes being point out even by people who liked the games far more then I did. I imagine Larian's writing process and priorities are at fault, rather then particular intent.

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Originally Posted by Zarna
Originally Posted by robertthebard
If this were some standalone IP, I'd agree 100%. The problem is, "the world" is Dungeons and Dragons, not just BG 3. There are 10s of thousands of stories that are part of "the world" that may not have any impact at all on BG 3, and every time I see "there's a disconnect", I wholeheartedly agree, there is a disconnect. People are always trying to disconnect BG 3 from the thousands of years of history in the Forgotten Realms. Or, more accurately I guess, they want that history outlined for them, because this is the "assumed knowledge" that the characters have, or that some of them will have. In the case of people that have no knowledge at all about the setting, yes, they should be hitting "outside" resources, because the outline could be a real slog to sit through.
Even though DnD is becoming more popular, we can't expect everyone to be familiar with the setting or to want to do outside research. Too much work to understand things will make for less sales. Basic information should be given to the player, more detailed information should be found in books. If the basic information was offered with a mouseover then it wouldn't clutter up the screen for those who don't care about it or already know it.

I guess that depends on how much they really want (insert whatever they think is missing here) then. We've had a tangent about Waterdeep, since Gale is from there, but is talking about the Weave and Mystra instead. If I were really curious about Waterdeep, I'd go look some stuff up. We absolutely can, and should, expect players that want to be more informed than is required to play the game, we're no where near Waterdeep, for example, then it should be on them to do the footwork. As I said, there's 1000s of years of history in the FRs, and someone that's not been in it long, or at all, isn't going to know a lot of stuff, so how do we put in that exposition, and where do we draw the line? I said earlier that Dark Horse could make a 36 hour comic for "the story so far", and I'd be willing to bet that even that would leave a lot of stuff out. You do, of course, realize that that's why there are tons of books, put out by Hasbro et al, that cover all of this lore for a reason, right? There's a lot of it, and if we're going to ask that they cater to this subset, then we're going to have to do the same for the next subset, and the next. It won't take long before all we'll get is a summary, instead of a new game in the franchise.

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I enjoy it.

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Originally Posted by Wormerine
BG1&2 are mostly self contained, in the same way Marvel films are self contained. You don't need to play BG1 to enjoy BG2 (I know I didn't). And while it seems there will be returning characters in BG3 we didn't even get to those. Perhaps you could make an argument that players are expected to know who Bhaal, Mincs or Jaheira are, but so far all we have is new stuff unrelated to BG1&2. BG3 isn't failing to bring new players to the existing story, it fails in telling it's own story.

Self-contained in the sense of being "non-canon", apologies for my clumsy wording. BG1 and 2 were written to be self-contained in this sense, but they stopped being that the moment they got integrated into the larger history of the Forgotten Realms.

I don't deny that Larian's writing isn't the best (I didn't finish either DOS or DOS2, in large part because neither's writing appealed to me), but I don't think adding more exposition will make it better.

And this does come down to exposition. To take an example from the OP, netherese magic. True, I don't think it's ever explicitly defined in the game, so we can try that. Netherese magic is magic practiced by the people of Netheril. Netheril used to be a powerful human empire thousands of years ago. Will this kind of short, to-the-point explanation really make the setting more compelling for the OP? I don't think so. We'll need more, like what makes this magic different from regular magic. We may have to explain the Nether Scrolls, the mythallars, the raw magic and the Weave, and if we're explaining Weave we'll have to explain Mystra, and by the way she used to be Mystryl back then, and then the Netherese... it goes on and on. A short explanation does not make the setting more compelling, and a long explanation is an infodump. Neither changes the writing for the better.

Originally Posted by Wormerine
lol really? So a novel about Waterdeep is not an appropriate place to learn about Waterdeep? So what is the book about?

Well, that depends on the book. They usually have plots wink
In seriousness, I did say basic knowledge, not extensive. You get basic knowledge of the setting by reading the appropriate sourcebooks, then deepen that knowledge (if you want to) through other supplemental media, novels among them. Can someone read a novel to learn about Waterdeep from scratch? Sure, but they shouldn't be surprised if they don't understand everything, and they shouldn't fault the book for that. Are some novels meant to be introductory? Sure, but is BG3 meant to be an introductory game in that way? The 3 in the title says no.

This circles back to the tired discussion of whether this game should be called BG3 in the first place. Without beating a dead horse, as long as the game does wear the markings of a sequel, people shouldn't expect it to explain everything as if it's an introductory title.

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Good points in this thread... Then again, I'm not sure if the original games were that much better in this regard.

I played BG1 and 2 for quite a bit, and still can't easily remember which deity stands for what. The ones I remember are: Bhaal, duh. Myrkul and whats-his-name from reading the in-game book The Dead Three. The Bitch Queen whose name escapes me right now but I'll recognize easily because we have repeated involvement in BG1 side-quests with her priestesses. Waukeen because Waukeen's Promenade. And Lolth because Drow City. I should probably remember the names of the three deities represented in the Temple District of Athkatla, but they were frankly too forgettable for me. I also never played Cleric or Paladin much or interacted with many Clerics or Paladins in-game so I don't even remember what deities they tend to worship. The names Helm, Lathander, and Cyric all ring a bell (maybe those were the three in the temple district?), and I know enough to know that Lathander represents good and Cyric evil, but that's about it. Maybe Helm was the neutral one? Oh yeah and I've picked up a thing or two about Selune and Shar from talking to Rasaad a few times but that knowledge has only solidified now thanks to BG3, and were it not for Rasaad who was only added by the Enhanced Editions, I wouldn't know anything about Selune and Shar from playing BG1 and 2.

So much for the pantheon. As for geography, in BG1 we just travel around these small towns and eventually reach Baldur's Gate, which is all seen on the simple rectangular world map, and I seem to remember being told in-game that Amn is in the south, but that's all. You never get a sense for the broader world in BG1. Even the overseas travel in TotSC don't help much since we don't actually get to see a map or anything. When we find ourselves in Athkatla in BG2, we don't even get a sense of how far away or in which direction we are from the regions we've traveled in BG1. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't remember much in-game information in BG2 that would tell us that. All I know is that Athkatla is in the Amn region and that's all to the south of the BG1 regions.

Any D&D game is probably bound to be lacking in the in-game world building department simply because it's written by D&D enthusiasts who assume some amount of knowledge from the player-base. I would certainly love BG3 to improve on this front, though I'm not sure how it would best be done.

Here's an idea: add an intro/tutorial kind of thing one can optionally go through before starting the game, or pop back into whenever one feels like it. This could be kind of "on the meta level" and doesn't have to be related in any way to the actual story. For instance, within this tutorial mode, you might just play as a young student in Candlekeep who knows nothing but has access to all kinds of archives and sages who will tell him about the whole world, show you world maps, and so on, and maybe there's a combat training area too. This way you can dump all the knowledge on the player that the player wants without breaking immersion and also without forcing it on them. As a counter-example, it would be quite silly if Shadowheart went on a history lesson about Selune and Shar when prompted about her beliefs. Or if Lae'zel suddenly became all patient and explained you the whole history of Mind Flayers and Githyanki. These kind of things break immersion because they make the character go out of character, so we don't want that.

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How about having the PC interact with a variety of NPCs in a tavern? You learn quite a bit by talking to people from all walks of life.

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Originally Posted by robertthebard
If this were some standalone IP, I'd agree 100%. The problem is, "the world" is Dungeons and Dragons, not just BG 3. There are 10s of thousands of stories that are part of "the world" that may not have any impact at all on BG 3, and every time I see "there's a disconnect", I wholeheartedly agree, there is a disconnect. People are always trying to disconnect BG 3 from the thousands of years of history in the Forgotten Realms. Or, more accurately I guess, they want that history outlined for them, because this is the "assumed knowledge" that the characters have, or that some of them will have. In the case of people that have no knowledge at all about the setting, yes, they should be hitting "outside" resources, because the outline could be a real slog to sit through.
Finding the outside resources would be the real slog when basic information could simply be in the game. Pulled up this example from Pathfinder: Kingmaker where I have my cursor over The Aldori Swordlords to pull up the tiny window. Extremely non intrusive considering it is a concise description and you don't have to see it if you don't want to.

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Originally Posted by Zarna
Originally Posted by robertthebard
If this were some standalone IP, I'd agree 100%. The problem is, "the world" is Dungeons and Dragons, not just BG 3. There are 10s of thousands of stories that are part of "the world" that may not have any impact at all on BG 3, and every time I see "there's a disconnect", I wholeheartedly agree, there is a disconnect. People are always trying to disconnect BG 3 from the thousands of years of history in the Forgotten Realms. Or, more accurately I guess, they want that history outlined for them, because this is the "assumed knowledge" that the characters have, or that some of them will have. In the case of people that have no knowledge at all about the setting, yes, they should be hitting "outside" resources, because the outline could be a real slog to sit through.
Even though DnD is becoming more popular, we can't expect everyone to be familiar with the setting or to want to do outside research. Too much work to understand things will make for less sales. Basic information should be given to the player, more detailed information should be found in books. If the basic information was offered with a mouseover then it wouldn't clutter up the screen for those who don't care about it or already know it.

I dont think "too much work" was DOS'2 problem. It wasnt a game if asked from me, they went too deep into RP, or somewhere I dont know for sure, and forgot its meant to be a video game. RPG comes from words Role Playing GAME.

Thats why I think they got 93 metacritic, because it was so epic, it wasnt a game. At least thats my theory. Im not trying to sound like a dick, but games should be games foremost.

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Not sure what DOS 2 has to do with what I said. The point I think people are trying to make is that it is hard to get immersed in a game if it doesn't give you any world information. Helping people with this has nothing to do with "epicness" or lack thereof.

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Originally Posted by Zarna
Not sure what DOS 2 has to do with what I said. The point I think people are trying to make is that it is hard to get immersed in a game if it doesn't give you any world information. Helping people with this has nothing to do with "epicness" or lack thereof.

Immersion is justa buzz word in game industry. if you want immersion go larping.

In CPRG, Characters are main source of Immersion imho. Larian seems to be focusing too much on other things.

Speaking of Immersion, Virtual Worlds has been suggested to game industry million time, but they dont want to get into it. Therefore, Larian should keep "game mechanics" important. DOS2 was somekind of seamless-game.

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Originally Posted by Zarna
Not sure what DOS 2 has to do with what I said. The point I think people are trying to make is that it is hard to get immersed in a game if it doesn't give you any world information. Helping people with this has nothing to do with "epicness" or lack thereof.

I can really agree with this, and the example from pathfinder you brought up demonstrates this quite well I think. More information about the world can never hurt, especially if players aren't forced to read it. But for those who want it, it can be a game changer in terms of enjoyment.

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Originally Posted by GreatWarrioX
Immersion is justa buzz word in game industry. if you want immersion go larping.

In CPRG, Characters are main source of Immersion imho. Larian seems to be focusing too much on other things.

Speaking of Immersion, Virtual Worlds has been suggested to game industry million time, but they dont want to get into it. Therefore, Larian should keep "game mechanics" important. DOS2 was somekind of seamless-game.

It is a bit difficult to become immersed (or whatever word you want to use) in your character if you do not understand the world they are in. Adding information and worldbuilding for people who need it doesn't take away from game mechanics. Never played DOS 1 or 2, is there anything in those games you can give as examples of how your character learned about the world, especially deities if there are any and locations they should be familiar with?

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Originally Posted by Zarna
Originally Posted by GreatWarrioX
Immersion is justa buzz word in game industry. if you want immersion go larping.

In CPRG, Characters are main source of Immersion imho. Larian seems to be focusing too much on other things.

Speaking of Immersion, Virtual Worlds has been suggested to game industry million time, but they dont want to get into it. Therefore, Larian should keep "game mechanics" important. DOS2 was somekind of seamless-game.

It is a bit difficult to become immersed (or whatever word you want to use) in your character if you do not understand the world they are in. Adding information and worldbuilding for people who need it doesn't take away from game mechanics. Never played DOS 1 or 2, is there anything in those games you can give as examples of how your character learned about the world, especially deities if there are any and locations they should be familiar with?

People get immersed with movies, even they dont know the world or lore. Characters are the Face and Voice of the world/lore, and music. Especially CRPG with its bird view. I would go full on Characters and Narrator myself, but of course its Larian's call. Good Character Design and Narrator can bring it, especially if its kinda dance they dance. 1 Narrator and 6 Character should give you tons of stuff to play with. Games like Skyrim cant do it.


Ive never played WoW myself, (Well, 1 month at launch..) but yet I felt extremely immersived when I was watchign the movie.

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+1 , although I can appreciate Larian's style which I would describe as original, daring, spontaneous and non-cliché, I do think they (and the game and BG as an IP) would really benefit from having the people who write at WotC have a go at the game to fill in the gaps and adjust some of the contradictions, plot holes and easy deus ex-machina/plot armor solutions the game's narrative currently contains. I really hope Larian can swallow its pride in this and accept that notwithstanding their successes, their writing/narrative/world building has its limitations and that WotC has much more experience and in-house know how about how to make build and narrate a compelling world trough games...

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Originally Posted by GreatWarrioX
Originally Posted by Zarna
Originally Posted by GreatWarrioX
Immersion is justa buzz word in game industry. if you want immersion go larping.

In CPRG, Characters are main source of Immersion imho. Larian seems to be focusing too much on other things.

Speaking of Immersion, Virtual Worlds has been suggested to game industry million time, but they dont want to get into it. Therefore, Larian should keep "game mechanics" important. DOS2 was somekind of seamless-game.

It is a bit difficult to become immersed (or whatever word you want to use) in your character if you do not understand the world they are in. Adding information and worldbuilding for people who need it doesn't take away from game mechanics. Never played DOS 1 or 2, is there anything in those games you can give as examples of how your character learned about the world, especially deities if there are any and locations they should be familiar with?

People get immersed with movies, even they dont know the world or lore. Characters are the Face and Voice of the world/lore, and music. Especially CRPG with its bird view. I would go full on Characters and Narrator myself, but of course its Larian's call. Good Character Design and Narrator can bring it, especially if its kinda dance they dance. 1 Narrator and 6 Character should give you tons of stuff to play with. Games like Skyrim cant do it.

Firstly, movies worldbuild too. To use Star Wars as an example, the first movie used iconography that audiences would get due to the fact that it was just putting a spin on concepts that were already somewhat familiar. Cantina's instead of old west saloons, moisture farming sounding weird but still looking like some sort of farming, the idea of an evil empire and a rebellion, Lightsabers being, at their core, swords. It showed people a lot of stuff, but did so in a way that for the most part let them fall back and understand "okay, so it's like this thing I know, but in space." And that allowed the more weird and out there concepts to be taken in easier because the audience had a framework to try to fit them into already.

Furthermore, the difference between a movie and a crpg is that in a movie, you can see the main character's reactions and take your cues there for how strange or normal a new concept is. With a crpg, we're playing the main character and can't take those cues. It's why you so often see in a movie about a weird, unknown world, either the main character or one of the main characters will be someone new to that world, so they can be the audience surrogate that things get explained to, while more experienced characters can convey through performance what is and isn't normal to their world. We don't get that sort of character in BG3. I wouldn't strictly say we need one, but we do lack any sort of baseline normal situations that we as an audience can lean on to compare the stranger events to. We barely even see enough to beable to say that this is just a standard fantasy setting, because right away we're introduced to a lot of incredibly weird and unique lore bits that arguably make assuming that it's a fantasy setting with some unique bits and bobs unwise. As a result, I don't really care about the world at this point. Compared to WotR, which actually made me want to go and browse the pathfinder wiki because I found so much stuff within it to be cool and interesting and I wanted to know more about it.

And I'm just realizing as I type that that what my biggest problem with the way the setting has been presented is. It's not that I know so little that I can't continue with the game. It's that the game isn't making me care about the setting. I like the various characters, but the world the story inhabits feels...meh, to me. I can follow the story for the most part, but it feels like I shouldn't care about the world, and given everything going on is happening in the world, it makes it a little harder to care about everything going on. When I run into weird stuff at this point, I kinda just shrug, or if it's really weird, I marvel at the weirdness, but it feels like it's in a vacuum almost. Like the entire area of act one is in some kind of glass dome, not part of a cohesive setting.

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I think there is a confusion between “Larian should explain everything about DnD” and “Larian should set up things necessary for their narrative to work”. So far I don’t see Waterdeep to be important to the story. I would like to know what Weave is though. Maybe Gale would be less ridiculous if it was set up at all. Maybe not.

Of course, a simpler way would be having companion with more universal appeal, then weird magic atom bomb thing.

Less memes, more worldbuilding.

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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Originally Posted by GreatWarrioX
Originally Posted by Zarna
Originally Posted by GreatWarrioX
Immersion is justa buzz word in game industry. if you want immersion go larping.

In CPRG, Characters are main source of Immersion imho. Larian seems to be focusing too much on other things.

Speaking of Immersion, Virtual Worlds has been suggested to game industry million time, but they dont want to get into it. Therefore, Larian should keep "game mechanics" important. DOS2 was somekind of seamless-game.

It is a bit difficult to become immersed (or whatever word you want to use) in your character if you do not understand the world they are in. Adding information and worldbuilding for people who need it doesn't take away from game mechanics. Never played DOS 1 or 2, is there anything in those games you can give as examples of how your character learned about the world, especially deities if there are any and locations they should be familiar with?

People get immersed with movies, even they dont know the world or lore. Characters are the Face and Voice of the world/lore, and music. Especially CRPG with its bird view. I would go full on Characters and Narrator myself, but of course its Larian's call. Good Character Design and Narrator can bring it, especially if its kinda dance they dance. 1 Narrator and 6 Character should give you tons of stuff to play with. Games like Skyrim cant do it.

Firstly, movies worldbuild too. To use Star Wars as an example, the first movie used iconography that audiences would get due to the fact that it was just putting a spin on concepts that were already somewhat familiar. Cantina's instead of old west saloons, moisture farming sounding weird but still looking like some sort of farming, the idea of an evil empire and a rebellion, Lightsabers being, at their core, swords. It showed people a lot of stuff, but did so in a way that for the most part let them fall back and understand "okay, so it's like this thing I know, but in space." And that allowed the more weird and out there concepts to be taken in easier because the audience had a framework to try to fit them into already.

Furthermore, the difference between a movie and a crpg is that in a movie, you can see the main character's reactions and take your cues there for how strange or normal a new concept is. With a crpg, we're playing the main character and can't take those cues. It's why you so often see in a movie about a weird, unknown world, either the main character or one of the main characters will be someone new to that world, so they can be the audience surrogate that things get explained to, while more experienced characters can convey through performance what is and isn't normal to their world. We don't get that sort of character in BG3. I wouldn't strictly say we need one, but we do lack any sort of baseline normal situations that we as an audience can lean on to compare the stranger events to. We barely even see enough to beable to say that this is just a standard fantasy setting, because right away we're introduced to a lot of incredibly weird and unique lore bits that arguably make assuming that it's a fantasy setting with some unique bits and bobs unwise. As a result, I don't really care about the world at this point. Compared to WotR, which actually made me want to go and browse the pathfinder wiki because I found so much stuff within it to be cool and interesting and I wanted to know more about it.

And I'm just realizing as I type that that what my biggest problem with the way the setting has been presented is. It's not that I know so little that I can't continue with the game. It's that the game isn't making me care about the setting. I like the various characters, but the world the story inhabits feels...meh, to me. I can follow the story for the most part, but it feels like I shouldn't care about the world, and given everything going on is happening in the world, it makes it a little harder to care about everything going on. When I run into weird stuff at this point, I kinda just shrug, or if it's really weird, I marvel at the weirdness, but it feels like it's in a vacuum almost. Like the entire area of act one is in some kind of glass dome, not part of a cohesive setting.

If people want "characters reactions" Ive suggested Battle Personalities. Characters behave differently in combat or outside of combat. Its very easy to extent that idea to other stuff. Character should change significantly if he/she falls in love etc. But everything cost money.

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I'm curious what you think battle personalities should entail. In my mind it wouldn't really be anything beyond a couple phrase barks characters shout out in combat, and I don't really see how that would contribute to world building. Though it would be good for characterizations, which I also fully support.

Originally Posted by Wormerine
I think there is a confusion between “Larian should explain everything about DnD” and “Larian should set up things necessary for their narrative to work”. So far I don’t see Waterdeep to be important to the story. I would like to know what Weave is though. Maybe Gale would be less ridiculous if it was set up at all. Maybe not.

Of course, a simpler way would be having companion with more universal appeal, then weird magic atom bomb thing.

Less memes, more worldbuilding.

I used not learning about Waterdeep from Gale as an example since I'm used to being able to ask characters in CRPGs about that sort of thing, and I like having it as an optionto learn more about the world. Though I do agree that it's not actually necessary to the story to know about it. However I maintain that not being able to talk with Asterion about Baldur's Gate is a massive missed opportunity that I hope gets ammended by the time of full release.

But yeah, I do think that overall, the game isn't presenting enough information to make the narrative work, I agree with you there.

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