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Originally Posted by Miravlix
Music made by past generation is no different than music made tomorrow, because our hearing and understanding of sound doesn't evolve
lol

As if millions of DMA [Doctors of Musical Arts] roared out in laughter

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Fun vid. I've never used the dark arts of trap spamming but it's fun to see in action anyway.

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The only BG game I've actually replayed multiple times so far is BG1 (which I had bought shortly after the initial release).

I tried re-doing BG2 again some time ago, but whilst a good game with superior technicals and quest design, it reminded me that everybody seems to think about the 2nd chapter when gushing about it most of the time. The entire middle section is a fairly linear combat heavy dungeon romp not lending itself as well to replayability imo, which technically, Icewind Dale also did better, as far as I am concerned. Throne Of Bhaal in terms of structure / gameplay I generally didn't much like even back in the day, despite the excellent wrap-up of the adventure at the end.

The following is less about replayability, but more a prefence: To me BG2 also marked the beginning of Bioware moving away from recreating a TT adventure feel and going into a more "interactive movie" kind of direction, as not only did they introduce more traditional cutscenes (as far as the Infinity Engine could handle them), proabably in parts influenced by JRPGs back then, which provided very different experiences back then when compared to contemporary Western CRPGs. They also got rid of "downtimes" / "travel" or anything in between adventures/quests, plus you exclusively find new locations on the map solely via getting a quest. Locations that also are chock full of "points of interest", which mostly seem to serve the sole purpose of advancing the quest's story most of the time. No more houses, locations or huts in a forest / settlement forest existing because they may just do that, existing.

More recently, an experience that oft reminded me of BG1 was Kingdom Come Deliverance, in particular as to its exploration, albeit in a different first-person solo character format. I don't expect many developers to recreate a similar feel outside maybe of smaller indies, as a majority deemed that a bit borderline "boring" even back in the day apparently -- the devs of KCD were also aware of that they may "bore" players with their world design. Currently pondering about whether Wartales may also fit that bill.


RE: Inventory management, it's funny reading about it here. But BG et all still plays tons nicer in that regard than say DOS1 ever did. In terms of inventory management DOS is absolutely painful to play, even if you don't loot everything dropping to the ground. Despite the years in between those games, the amount of clicking in DOS required is absolutely bonkers insane, even for something as simple as swapping items between characters (which in BG, is but like two clicks). Part of that is due to the optional coop, but not all of it.

But then I only found out later that people in the IE games in general would loot literally any random crap (as enemies would naturally drop everything they would carry), having to travel between looting location and the next shop over and over again because of the limited inventory space. It was pretty clear to me early on that this was done for "simulational reasons" back in the day, rather than a looting requirement for (even more) money to be had. Like, why shouldn't everybody drop what they were carrying? This was a CRPG proper, not some hack&slash Diablo clone, where frantic arcade-style looing and leveling was intended to be the core gameplay loop. Speaking of which, it was pretty refreshing for Pathfinder to introduce another layer on top of that. Whilst you have huge pockets, carry weight can still cause various nerfs, including travel speed (with time being a ressource to ponder about in general, rather than the game world freezing in an endless loop just waiting for the player to complete every single task).

Naturally also something not liked by everyone, but meh. wink

The IE games in general, whilst dated, play far nicer than what their age suggests in general, which in a huge part is because of their RTS influence, a general control scheme that doesn't get much more easy/intuitive on keyboard+mouse in particular -- there's a good reason why there were so many RTS clones. Go a generation of Western RPGs back, or even two (Ultima 7, 8 and the like), and the difference is striking.

Last edited by Sven_; 11/05/22 05:30 AM.
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Originally Posted by Moradin's hammer
I'm glad that Larian decided to fuse their own style with Forgotten Realms.

I never played BG2, but I have played BG1, and I hate it with a passion. I hate clunky controls, where you can't have a thief check for traps and sneak at the same time, I hate Tarnesh at the Friendly Arm's Inn, I hate the chess level in Durlag's Tower, I hate random encounters with web traps that just turn your entire group off for about 5 mins of irl time. I didn't use any guides for the game, and learned to deal with every challenge with minimal losses, but it didn't feel like a victory. It felt like learning to live with a serious case of hemorrhoids. I also am not fond of the fact that nobody cares about your race/class, and the awful, juvenile dialogue with about 5 instances in the entire game where your choice affects the outcome (yes, that includes the Marl dialogue).

I'm no stranger to games that don't hold your hand much. I'm a huge fan of Morrowind, VtMB, both KotORs and many other old titles. When I play them, I feel that these games genuinely want to pull me into their atmosphere and provide reasonable chanllenge. And when I play BG1, it feels like the game wants to fuck with me just for the sake of it. To make the journey as bland, tedious and harrowing as possible. I hope to God that BG3 is nothing like at least one of it's predecessors.

Rofl alright then. You hate Baldurs gate with a passion yet love....... wait for it.....Morrowind...?!? Really?!?! What does this have to do with anything? Apart for SORTA being an RPG, the similarities end there lol.
So basically you despise isometric rpg games and love 3d open world hack N slash games.
I can come up with dozens of reasons why Baldur's gate is BETTER than Morrowind. And hundreds more that BG2 is even better.
BG has clunky controls...give me a break. And Morrowind doesnt???! Its a UI nightmare. A dialogues nightmare. A bug infested AI nightmare. Pointless <RPG> abilities. Shallow combat. etc etc....Apart from the 3D world to explore part, Im not sure what Morrowind DOES better?

Last edited by mr_planescapist; 11/05/22 07:05 AM.
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Yet another individual that slights the older Baldur's Gate titles in favor of the new Frankenstein's Monster. I guarantee you this effort by Larian is going to age poorly by comparison.

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"The following is less about replayability, but more a prefence: To me BG2 also marked the beginning of Bioware moving away from recreating a TT adventure feel and going into a more "interactive movie" kind of direction, as not only did they introduce more traditional cutscenes (as far as the Infinity Engine could handle them), proabably in parts influenced by JRPGs back then, which provided very different experiences back then when compared to contemporary Western CRPGs. They also got rid of "downtimes" / "travel" or anything in between adventures/quests, plus you exclusively find new locations on the map solely via getting a quest. Locations that also are chock full of "points of interest", which mostly seem to serve the sole purpose of advancing the quest's story most of the time. No more houses, locations or huts in a forest / settlement forest existing because they may just do that, existing."

WOW, this is an excellent explanation how BG I differs from BG II. A lot of people felt this way, but few have been able put it into words so well. BG I had a relatively open world, where you did not have to follow the main road on that first map. Exploration simply for its own sake was mostly lost in BG II, in favor of a tighter story-line.

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Originally Posted by Sven_
I tried re-doing BG2 again some time ago, but whilst a good game with superior technicals and quest design, it reminded me that everybody seems to think about the 2nd chapter when gushing about it most of the time. The entire middle section is a fairly linear combat heavy dungeon romp not lending itself as well to replayability imo, which technically, Icewind Dale also did better, as far as I am concerned.
I enjoyed most of BG2 with only couple exceptions and did multiple runs of it, but I do agree that replayability isn't its strong point - neither it is in BG1 I don't think. Areas are less structured, but I never felt BGs offered a nice variety of approaching the situation, nor had much reactivity to our character. Replayability for me came from different party compositions, and content being enjoyable enough to warrant returning to it throughout the years.

Originally Posted by Sven_
To me BG2 also marked the beginning of Bioware moving away from recreating a TT adventure feel and going into a more "interactive movie" kind of direction
Absolutely. I also thought that BG2 was better for it, as BG1 just wasn't systemic enough to result in anything interesting. I see it as Bioware trying to create TT adventure simulator in BG1, then looked at worked and what didn't and created a better sequel. There are of course those lovely small touches in BG1 that I missed in the sequel, but overall the trade off was well worth it. Success of BG2 also shaped the company going forward, with exceptiong of NWN1 which approached TT simulator from a different angle. That's pretty much why playing WItcher3 game me vibes of playing BG2 for the first time in early 2000s, more so then any actual BG-wanna-be.

That's of course my personal perception - one thing I learned in recent years, is that people liked those games for variety of reasons. Pathfinders have their audience, and to me they miss every good thing about BG1&2.

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I agree that there is a wide difference between the more open world and random traveling in BG 1 versus the more focused outdoor areas and quest in BG 2 and that it is a matter of preference which you like more. There are a lot of people who prefer BG 1 over BG 2 - and that is fine, I am on the edge myself.

But I want to propose that this difference is not due to them moving away from a TT adventure, but instead of them properly adjusting the scope of the campaign as the characters become powerful and wealthy. While in BG 1 much of the outdoor content could be right out of a random encounter table, it just doesn't make (speaking from an immersion point of view) sense for a high-level party to just randomly stumble across interesting adventures by trekking through the wilderness of Amn. You'd be much more likely to stumble across another Xvart village than across a dragon's lair, or something else level appropriate. That is why high-level characters in 2nd edition D&D are supposed to have strongholds, fame, wealth, followers and property per the written rules - and as you can see, true to TT, BG 2 did implement those. In terms of adventure what happens is that you get sought out for challenges beyond the capabilities of low-level parties.

This kind of progression is not unusual for D&D computer games either - see for example NWN 2 where you start with a travel adventure to the city but end up managing a keep and only going on important quests at the end. Even within Baldur's Gate 1 you already see this progression start. If you don't do this, you often end up with a game where you fight level 2 wolves at the start and level 60 wolves at the end. Or you level-scale and have the bandits all equipped with extremely valuable daedric weapons as in Oblivion.

In conclusion, this change of scope - whether per your preference or not - is entirely TT appropriate. In my own P&P games most of them stopped before reaching this level range. The ones which didn't, either skipped over a lot of mundane travelling like BG 2 does, put you in special environments where everything is more exotic and dangerous (e.g., other planes) or focused on social interactions while traveling.

Regarding the cutscenes, it is a different story - but I think outside of the somewhat annoying dream sequences they never took control from your character away for long.

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Originally Posted by Wormerine
Absolutely. I also thought that BG2 was better for it, as BG1 just wasn't systemic enough to result in anything interesting. I see it as Bioware trying to create TT adventure simulator in BG1, then looked at worked and what didn't and created a better sequel. There are of course those lovely small touches in BG1 that I missed in the sequel, but overall the trade off was well worth it. Success of BG2 also shaped the company going forward, with exceptiong of NWN1 which approached TT simulator from a different angle. That's pretty much why playing WItcher3 game me vibes of playing BG2 for the first time in early 2000s, more so then any actual BG-wanna-be.

CD Projekt were hugely influenced by Bioware in general, in particular their subsequent even more "cinematic" games, so that makes total sense. (They also see games as sort of movie-like, which personally I've come to grow tired of in more recent years, as it's become such a "lazy" trend, at least from my perception. I think games can do a whole lotta more than aping merely movies -- the industry isn't merely aping movies, it's aping Hollywood blockbuster movies to boot, which narrows things down even more.). hehe

(Mechanically, there still is very little in Witcher (3) that compares to any of the BGs, naturally. With its barebones character system, progression and the like, It's pretty much RPG-light, if any, but then that's probably as much a deliberate design decision as much as a a commercial one dictated by huge budgets: You can't afford to merely cater to core RPG fans anymore if you go that huge -- which naturally has also been the story of Bethesda et all for like, I don't know how long). As a consequence, whilst I can see why it's that popular, I found my time with Witcher to be pretty underwhelming for both of those reasons (the combat I didn't like to boot very much, and the quests sorta played themselves outside of combat -- a thing that was subsequently "streamlined" from the very first game also, apparently).

The RPG genre in particular to me is pretty much lacking games in between the larger than life blockbusters (which aim to go even bigger with every new release/sequel) and the Kickstarters in general outside a few exceptions, but that's probably because of its history, considering how many former publishers / developers died around the 2000s. That may change though in the coming years, who knows. smile So long I'm glad that Kickstarter and the like revived it all for me.

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I am doing my homework now.

BG3 is a remarkable upgrade in the graphics department that was long overdue.

As for the rest? They are the little engine that could. Little feet in BIG shoes!


Bio-ware was in its prime and making some of the best RPGs, like EVER. Larian is certainly starting to mature in the story telling department, again, this is their best title yet.

I can't shake the add I saw of them looking for a writer that thinks like them. They seriously need a rogue on their team to develop in parallel with them and bring some fresh thinking.

Fresh thinking that does its homework and looks backwards and forwards at the same time.

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So the graphics and engine are dated but the game is not. It is still fun to play even though I have played it too many times to be surprised by anything. It has been long enough for an "OH yea!".

It is much more alive and breathing than the bg3 world. The writing is a class ahead...I am still impressed with the dreams that are described after each step in the journey...pure genius.

The villains are even more polite before you kill them.

Great Humor (all characters).

"You point, I punch!" "The squeaky wheel get's the kick" ...gotta love Minsk.

There is quality everywhere!


Now Larian doesn't have to be Bioware (nor should they try). They should however try to check certain boxes that people expect (well voiced here on the forums) and it should feel like Faerun.

What is it that makes it feel that way? Well it has always been an other worldly fantasy setting. Generally medieval.
There are some minor 4th wall breaking jokes, but never any current real world issues creeping in.

People want to leave the real world behind.

Now Larian has very much intrigued me with the Drow city I can't reach.

Me hopes the Drow are Drowven! The Deurgar need some work! They made them out to be terrorists...faux pas (To much real world) tsk tsk.

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Originally Posted by Van'tal
So the graphics and engine are dated but the game is not. It is still fun to play even though I have played it too many times to be surprised by anything. It has been long enough for an "OH yea!".

It is much more alive and breathing than the bg3 world. The writing is a class ahead...I am still impressed with the dreams that are described after each step in the journey...pure genius.

The villains are even more polite before you kill them.

Great Humor (all characters).

"You point, I punch!" "The squeaky wheel get's the kick" ...gotta love Minsk.

There is quality everywhere!


Now Larian doesn't have to be Bioware (nor should they try). They should however try to check certain boxes that people expect (well voiced here on the forums) and it should feel like Faerun.

What is it that makes it feel that way? Well it has always been an other worldly fantasy setting. Generally medieval.
There are some minor 4th wall breaking jokes, but never any current real world issues creeping in.

People want to leave the real world behind.

Now Larian has very much intrigued me with the Drow city I can't reach.

Me hopes the Drow are Drowven! The Deurgar need some work! They made them out to be terrorists...faux pas (To much real world) tsk tsk.
Where in the real world do you find underground-dwelling evil midgets?

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Where in the real world do you find underground-dwelling evil midgets?

Where else?

There are several entrances to the subterranean realm...which is quite a bit of content.

At least two involve the leap of faith feather-fall method.

The others can be found with google or by looking in basementy type areas.

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Originally Posted by Moradin's hammer
I'm glad that Larian decided to fuse their own style with Forgotten Realms.

I never played BG2, but I have played BG1, and I hate it with a passion. I hate clunky controls, where you can't have a thief check for traps and sneak at the same time, I hate Tarnesh at the Friendly Arm's Inn, I hate the chess level in Durlag's Tower, I hate random encounters with web traps that just turn your entire group off for about 5 mins of irl time. I didn't use any guides for the game, and learned to deal with every challenge with minimal losses, but it didn't feel like a victory. It felt like learning to live with a serious case of hemorrhoids. I also am not fond of the fact that nobody cares about your race/class, and the awful, juvenile dialogue with about 5 instances in the entire game where your choice affects the outcome (yes, that includes the Marl dialogue).

I'm no stranger to games that don't hold your hand much. I'm a huge fan of Morrowind, VtMB, both KotORs and many other old titles. When I play them, I feel that these games genuinely want to pull me into their atmosphere and provide reasonable chanllenge. And when I play BG1, it feels like the game wants to fuck with me just for the sake of it. To make the journey as bland, tedious and harrowing as possible. I hope to God that BG3 is nothing like at least one of it's predecessors.

Pearls before the swine.

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