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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.

Last edited by Van'tal; 12/05/22 01:17 AM.
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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).

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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.

Last edited by Van'tal; 12/05/22 11:19 AM.
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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".

Last edited by Van'tal; 12/05/22 11:56 AM.
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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


Short coment on my English. smile

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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Van'tal Offline OP
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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.

Last edited by Van'tal; 12/05/22 09:54 PM.
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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.

Last edited by mr_planescapist; 12/05/22 10:47 PM.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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


Alt+ left click in the inventory on an item while the camp stash is opened transfers the item there. Make it a reality.
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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.

Last edited by Van'tal; 14/05/22 07:14 AM.
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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!

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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+:


Alt+ left click in the inventory on an item while the camp stash is opened transfers the item there. Make it a reality.
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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?

Last edited by Van'tal; Yesterday at 10:59 PM.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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".

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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.

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