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#481356 04/02/14 11:05 AM
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So after having a look on YouTube and deciding I liked the idea, I decided to give the game a try.

Bought it, downloaded it, launched it up. So far it's been a surprise, I've played a lot of early access games that are far worse than this. I've only had a few hours of play so far, and not gotten very far even in that (creating new characters is an addiction, please send help). But I'm looking forward to it.

I'll try and leave out obvious this-is-an-alpha issues (unequipping and dropping a summoned elementals "weapon" will crash the game, for example), and give my opinions on what's gone well and what's not.

Character Creation:

I'm pretty happy with character creation so far. The option to basically create whatever you want out of the initial stats is always welcome in an RPG. More than just that; what the stats do is clearly explained.

Some games go the woeful route of having no tooltips (in character creation, or in game at all) and though it's usually obvious, it is nice to have it confirmed exactly what is changing. Though they could use a bit more work (how much damage does 8 str give, compared to 9str?) overall it's sufficient.

The variety of visual options is always pleasant, though after a quick bit of testing, it seems the armour you choose in character creation, is the armour you get ingame. (launch a game with 2 rogues, for example, give one the plate armour visual and the other the half-naked leather one, and they'll start with different armour ingame). Not really that important, given that you'll replace your armour before level 3, most likely, but it still would be nice to have it clearly stated that the visuals impact the gameplay in that way.

On the topic of dynamic starting equipment, it would be nice to have your weapons/spells adjust depending on what you chose for stats. If I pick a warrior and go full two-hander, it would be nice to start with a two-hander, instead of a sword and shield. Though that option is perhaps planned, given the hand and feet toggles that do (as far as I can tell) nothing as-of-yet.

And on the same topic: The option to change abilities would be nice. If I want to start an Earth Mage, starting with an Earth spell, instead of a Fire one would be cool.

Initial Impressions:

The lack of a load between character creation and taking your first steps in the game is a great start to what ends up being a beautiful experience.

The movement so far has been my biggest gripe, gameplay-wise. It feels like the hold LMB to move activates just a little bit too quickly, leading to my character lurching forward half a step then stopping. Delaying the change from click-to-move to hold-LMB-to-follow by just a few more hundredths of a second would make me a lot happier with the movement.

But other than that, the movement is nice. Pathfinding does as I would like, finds the easiest way to places without me having to babysit my characters. Especially when it comes to opening all those boxes.

The inventory is a low point for me. The lack of an auto-sort (or even an auto-compress) can make it annoying to deal with once you get more than a handful of items. Though I assume that's coming in the future, given the variety of inventory tabs that don't do anything as-of-yet. Hopefully an easier way to trade items between your two characters will also make an appearance. Dropping and item on the ground, then switching character, then picking it up again is not very smooth (unless I'm missing something obvious). (EDIT: Oh it is obvious. Drag and drop to their portrait, not to the actual character).

The inter-character chat is interesting, and provides a little bit of character building outside the norm. I'm looking forward to seeing how many chances we'll get to use it, and how in depth/important it will be.

The chat with NPCs is mostly good, the numbered responses are, as always, appreciated. The lack of a hotkey to initiate/end trade, and end chat is a nuisance though. Letting escape end trade, and then escape to end chat would make everything a lot smoother in my opinion.

Levelling up and gaining power:

I only got to about level 5, I think, and didn't get to do too much combat yet, but so far it seems like a decent levelling system. The constant stream of ability points and the less-frequent stat and talent points could make for a system that both rewards each level up and still allows infrequent jumps in power.

Though I didn't find any skill books for my melee class (and not immediately finding any for my Earth Mage, both of which I've solved now), the first few upgrades for my Fire Mage felt powerful. Upgrading from the basic Flare to whatever-the-next Flare is was noticeable. Hopefully a similar pace is kept, in that my characters will continue to feel like they're growing in power, not just in meaningless numbers.

Further Impressions:

The first steps into the first city highlighted a minor problem that lead to a kind of bigger one later.

It can be hard to tell if you're stealing someone's property or not. Yeah, if you're in someone's house, picking up their plates and dinner, it's kind of a no-brainer. But picking up a hammer on a seat and only finding out it belongs to someone after you try to take it is kind of annoying. It would be nice to see the hand turn red if you're trying to take something that belongs to someone. Though I suppose that may be a design choice, you wouldn't have that kind of insight in real life.

But beyond that, holy cow is the city big. I spent far longer than I anticipated just walking through the city and opening random boxes/looking in what houses I could. I hope the city (and any other hubs that exist) are fleshed out and come to life. The few ongoing conversations and NPC actions gave some parts of the city a good vibe, while other parts were quite empty and barren.

Another issue I had with trading, is that there is no warning if you're being short changed. If you try to short change an NPC, you'll lose rep with them and obviously the trade won't go through. My initial trade consisted of my giving away a few hundred gold worth of junk, without realizing that I had to equalize before the NPC would give me any money. A simple "You're not getting you're money's worth!" warning would be a nice warning for new players. Perhaps another warning "Offering such a deal will anger this NPC" if you're attempting to unwittingly trade for less gold than you need, I don't know.

The other thing that I only barely started to get into was crafting. I don't know how many crafting recipes there currently are, and how many there plan to be, but I'm already lost with the number of them. I'd really like a separate window that displays all the crafting recipes you've "discovered" (preferably meaning all the ones you've seen in books/pages + all the ones you've discovered through experimentation). Having to keep half an inventory filled with books, or alt tab out and fill a notepad with the combinations is a little annoying.

Besides the actual collection and storage of the recipes, the crafting looks interesting. Combining pieces of junk to make useful items, then pouring more junk into them to make better items is interesting. Though it does lead to me hoarding everything I find. I'm interested to find out where crafted equipment will sit, compared to dropped loot.

Will it be equal to the best drops? Better than? Less than? Will it just end up as meaningless filler, or will I be able to craft God-shattering doomblades?

Combat:

So far I quite like the combat.

Having spells that interact with the environment, both in the sense of a fireball hitting a pillar, and an ice spell freezing a puddle, are very cool. I can't wait till I get enough AP to really make the most of the system.

It would be nice, though, to see the actual arc of spells and arrows. It's all nice and well having great curving fireballs, but it is kind of annoying when I fire them into a wall because I can't tell what angle they'll be fired at. Something that will probably come with time, but as a newbie, can be annoying. Even just a red patch/orb where the spell will land, if fired from the current trajectory would be highly beneficial.

Aside from mechanics, I love the AP/CD resource system, as opposed to mana. It allows growth in your character, as you have more access to AP, you can cast more basic spells, and the spells that once seemed like cataclysmic once-a-turn-if-everything-is-set-up-right spells turn into your new bread and butter. Being allowed to actually cast my spells, without fear that I need to save the mana just in case there's an even bigger enemy around the next corner is a welcome reprieve. Even the freedom of being able to heal outside of combat, instead of having to weigh up the pros and cons of consuming precious mana to heal, or quaffing a dwindling supply of health potions makes it a lot more fun, to me.

All in all:

I'm really enjoying what we have so far. This feels like a solid base for a great game, with the potential for a lot of depth and growth. I'm looking forward to what ends up being made from this, and how much the devs will be able to make improvements, not only in the obvious bug-fixing and content-growing fronts, but on the simple quality of life changes. I often find myself overlooking big flaws in a game, if the little things are done right. It's the constant little nagging that gets to you, rather than the big bang every now and again.

Here's to Larian Studios and what looks like an awesome game!

Last edited by Osmodius; 04/02/14 11:13 AM.
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Oh, one other importa (imo) QoL change has to do with weapon classes.

You see a weapon in a shop, and it's labelled "Executioners Sword". Is it a two-hander or a one-hander? No idea. Sometimes you can tell from the icon, sometimes. Would be nice to have (Two Handed Sword/Axe) or (One Handed Axe/Mace/etc.) under its fancy given name.

Just makes things a little clearer and prevents silly purchases.

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Items it's considered a crime to use or steal are Orange when you hover your cursor over them. Some people have had trouble seeing that though. I've recommended they make it red as well.

I agree that it's not always obvious what a weapon type is. Right now you have to look at the action points it costs to use. Daggers are 2 AP, single-handed weapons are 3 AP, two-handed weapons and bows are 4 AP, crossbows are 6 AP.

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It is possible to transfer items between inventories, but a bit clunky.

Click and drag the item up to the character avatar image on the inventory screen, then click the arrows to swap chars and drop it in. Items will "swap" if you drop an item on top of another one though, so make sure you drop it to an open slot unless you actually mean to swap them.

EDIT - sorry, didnt spot your edit to say you'd found it lol, apologies.

Also for stealing items, I've found the cursor/interaction cogs/etc do turn red if I'm about to steal something... my problem is that I often clip something by mistake and end up attempting to steal something I never intended, or get spotted mid move to the item and don't have enough time to cancel the action. As a result most of the npc's in town on my save have me at at least -10 rep frown

Last edited by DrNoesis; 04/02/14 12:55 PM.
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Ah the weapon AP usage does make sense. Perhaps a simple pop up the first time you open your inventory would be enough to clear it out. Seeing as there's no axe/sword/etc. mastery, only two-hand/one-hand/dagger, I can see it working.

As for the orange hand, now that you point it out, yes I can see it. (I also noticed that chest/etc. you've opened give a grey hand, instead of the normal light orange). I would definitely say there needs to be more difference between the colours for "You've not opened this" and "You've not opened this, it's also locked".

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Lol sorry, seem to keep posting/editing in between your own, OP, sorry for that.

I definitely agree about some form of recipe storage though, as I've found quite a few by accident that I'd have loved to repeat, and there are others I use reasonably often that I keep needing to look up.

Perhaps some form of character sheet based book that retains a list of recipes for you to refer to? Eventually inventory/weight constraints are going to mean I need to drop my current collection of crafting books to make room, and either keeping notes on a notepad or referring to an external site instead are a bit immersion breaking.

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While it's not an in game collection, here is a listing of things that we have found via crafting.
http://www.larian.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=477355#Post477355

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Perhaps a storage room in the fancy imp castle you get (named warehouse, like the inactive waypoint within it? Maybe the devs are 1 step ahead of us...) to store the recipe books, at least, would be nice.

If the inventory management was a little better (and you use the escape key to close books) storing recipes in books alone wouldn't be so bad.

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Useful, but I try to avoid just looking at a list of pre-found recipes. It kind of kills the fun of finding them, you know what I mean?

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What I really like is that I found a 30-92 dmg spear, which also increase ur fire magic, but u need 7 dex for it. I actually think a wizard with 9 str 7 dex, 2h skills and firemagic might actually be a strong character. I have also thought about making a cleric and just give him all the social skills (leadership, lockpicking etc.). When I finish the alpha i'm going to play again with 1 social cleric and 1 mixedclass warriormage. The knight henchman u get is already very very strong, phoenix and 2h weapons are really OP. I like that mixed classes really strong, btw this is the 1st weapon i found that really did anything useful to mage, i usually let them walk around with a quarterstaff, to let them be more magelike, but i could equip them with swords or cudgels that are more powerful. Btw all the robes in the game are invisible, all my mages are in underpants haha. I kinda regret I made scarlett a warrior now, she will be my cleric next time. There is not a lot of detail on the skills yet, I wanted to upgrade water magic to 4, but there is no plus sign anymore, I guess 3 is highest lvl for now. I don't know if the str lvl increase is linear or not.

Yeah, the inventory is kinda messy. Would be nice to have a key container and a recipelist, where every new recipe just get added.

Btw does anyone know if food does give you any permanent stats or something? Otherwise it's a bit useless, especially because the mages have no mana and can heal the team for free always.

Last edited by xardas22; 04/02/14 01:32 PM.
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Yeah I get it. I like it because there were times when one person figured out one step, then another person was able to figure out the next one. I prefer finding the combinations myself vs using the craft books found in game. When reading the books in game, I found that a majority of the info in the books were already found.

Originally Posted by xardas22
I wanted to upgrade water magic to 4, but there is no plus sign anymore, I guess 3 is highest lvl for now.


The max at the moment is 5. You probably just have enough points to level it to four at the moment.

Last edited by lokitrixter; 04/02/14 01:35 PM.
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Yeah, I'm enjoying the multiclassing as well. The option to have a warrior that can shoot an ice bolt if need be is quite fun. Not requiring pumping int for mana is also a nice break from most RPGs.

I've noticed the invisible robes bug as well. I wonder if they're invisible on males as well, or only on Scarlett?

Also: On the point of levelling up water magic. Keep in mind you only get 3 skill points/level up, and each level of mastery costs 1 more than the previous (level 1 costs 1, level 2 costs 2) so level 4 would cost 4, would it not? Meaning you'd have to wait an extra level up.

Last edited by Osmodius; 04/02/14 02:00 PM.
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Originally Posted by xardas22

Btw does anyone know if food does give you any permanent stats or something? Otherwise it's a bit useless, especially because the mages have no mana and can heal the team for free always.


I know that the clam shells give you water (resistance? I forget and am at work atm) +10

Last edited by DrNoesis; 04/02/14 04:00 PM.
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Good first impressions. I brought this up in another thread, but what do you think on the balance of potions? For 1 AP and pretty big healing they seem to be too strong relative to the heal spell. I think that's my biggest concern for balance right now. Most of the rest of my combat issues revolve around identifying spell effects as brought up.

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I've been pumping up my mage's Water mastery, so I find the heal spell to basically be a health potion that you can use on anyone in range, that acts on turns in the future as well.

My biggest problem related to healing has been having my characters die to focus fire inbetween my turns.


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