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#699896 15/10/20 05:10 PM
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I grew up playing the Baldurs gate games. I've sank years of my childhood into them. I've played a little bit of the DnD Tablestop stuff, but this is not a DnD Tabletop, it's supposed to be a baldurs gate game. Not a tabletop simulator. I've sank 130+ hours gameplay into the windows steam version, and I will continue to play it and provide as much feedback as I can. I understand glitches and what not. Those are not going to be in this. instead I'm going to review the fundamental differences between what a baldurs gate game is, and what we have here in Early Access. It's a bit ranty, but still makes my points.

Amazing narrator?
Nah. You get a 20s something euro chick. She's not a storyteller. She's not a DM.

Real time with pause?
Nah. You get turn based bs that only allows you to do 1 action give or take. And then continue to take turns slapping each other.

Fog of war keeping you on your toes?
Nah. You can see everything and freely move your camera everywhere. Nothing is mysterious or adventurous. The only fog of war you have is on your minimap/map, but that's pointless and removes the need for a fog of war entirely. Fog of war is meant to remove one of your senses, and to give you a sense of unease as you venture into the unknown. Bring it back.

Select all adventurers?
Nope. Single character at a time. The rest follow. You have to pull them out of the group to give individual commands otherwise as soon as you change to the new leader they are all fumbling to move with that one. Makes jumping out doing anything independently a bitch.

Starting the game off right?
Nuh Uh. Wishing for a nice relaxing slow pace, such as candlekeep or even a relaxing dungeon escape? Nah. Get the same crappy intro from divinity 2? Yep! I'd have been fine with a crashed ship and laying on the beach as a good starting point. Like in path of exile. But the same bullshit escape from a burning/crashing ship... Come on.

Good Strong Music?
The music isn't even reminiscent of baldurs gate. Big Drums, Big Brass. Listen to the into music of both 1 and 2. It immediately takes your soul into adventure mode.

,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸-(_BG1_Intro_)-,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸


,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸-(_BG2_Intro_)-,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸


Or the battle music of the originals, oh my God you felt like you were going to die, adrenaline pumping. Leave it to Michael Hoenig to make a mine full of kolbolds intimidating.

,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸-(_BG Battle Music_)-,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸

Full Battle Music Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8fw7GQg6C4&list=PLDC2AC611405A5646

With BG3, I feel like I'm watching a movie, like a pirates of the caribbean movie... Not making life or death decisions in a scary situtation.

Conversation history?
Nooope! Even the in-party banter was done better in the originals. How hard is it to make a scrolling chat box with your previous choices and dialogs? Instead I have to open the history box, (that is only available during that dialog), after which it's all gone. You can't read anything from the past.

Anybody Read?
The books you read in the originals have pages. The most you'll get here is one page and a sentence on page 2. Which in itself is ridiculous. Cut it to 1 page. It's a kick in the teeth to turn a page just to read a few more words...

Max party?
4? Really? Wtf happened to having 6 active characters in the party?

Sleeping...
Why am I running clear back to the same camp site every day? What happened to camping where you are? What happened to getting ambushed and the fear of sleeping in stupid places? Where's the Brothels or Hotels? Where's the night life?

The character / inventory page...
How 20 years later can we be at this point? This inventory page is a box of boxes. It's ugly. Disgusting. And with a box full of boxes, there's no sorting options. I want to see a pretty dnd 5e character sheet when looking at my character information. Like they did in the originals. Wizards has a 5e pdf character sheet on their site. Showing it like that would even be better. Additionally, where's the Mage book or Priest Scrolls? The entire UI needs redesigned to look much more baldur's gate.

The Dice...
Come on... I never once ever felt the need to save scum the originals. I was content with my choices. They made the impact I wanted to make because of the skill points my character had, Make it stat driven, CHA, INT, STR, Etc based on the choice. There was nothing I could do if I didn't have the stats for it. The choice was in stone because of my characters limitations. This is not the case here. You just roll the dice and RNG everything from walking and talking to fighting and death.

Loot?
Yawn... An over abundance of boring meaningless loot. Even the better gear, green or blue are only +1 on stats making them essentially worthless upgrades as the stats for the dice rolls mean nothing anyways. Taking on one of the hardest quests in the entire Early Access to create an ultimate weapon, and you may as well just use a different white weapon with much higher dice rolls. +1/+2/+3 blah blah blah. meaningless stat numbers. Give them something unique and usable. A good DM works the upgrade path by changing the dice, not making math harder on the players. Change the dice roll completely instead of just lumping a +1/2/3 on them. Change the weapon from a 1d4+1 to maybe a 1d6 or a 2d4 depending on the kind of upgrades you want. And where is the auto loot feature that was introduced into the enhanced editions for QoL? I hope larian looks to the past for guidance and plans on adding that as a feature.

Additionally, I run evil characters. I don't give a crap if someone is standing there watching me open a chest or looting a corpse. Why are they talking to me and stopping my actions? I'm going to steal the item, and wait for their response. They can get scared and run away, say nothing, alert the guards or I can threaten them to stay quiet. I want that option. Instead they converse with you and it stops your actions completely. The only way to loot a dead corpse in someones vision is to kill them, which alerts everyone around you for no reason even with a stealth backstab. It's ridiculous.

-----------------------------------------

When looking at the Steam Game Page, there's a reason under "More like this" The original/enhanced baldurs gate games are not listed. This is not a baldurs gate game. Make it more like a baldurs gate game.

Last edited by Dirin Tenshinibo; 17/10/20 11:57 AM.
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First of all this is Larian studios creating the game and not bioware. any resemblance to BG1 and 2 (over 20 years old) is not realistic.


You may not be understanding what you seeing in the turn based thing. Most of the time each character does 2 or more actiions depending on the action. And in combat is always paused for me when it was my turn.

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Hey there Dirin, thanks for your thoughts, and for taking the time to write it up.

You come off as very aggressive, and that's probably going to incline more people to react against you, even where they might otherwise agree.

- I'm not a fan of the narrator's voice, personally - it's too sultry for my preference. Your choice of wording, however, just makes me want to call you down anyway. If the narrator is telling us a story, then the voice they use to do so is indicative of the sort of story they're telling ,or the type of scene they are portraying - the current narrator's voice suggests that the story being told is an erotic novel, and every scene - even speaking with the animated corpse of a dead Illithid, is dripping in honey, and it's just not appropriate. The voice is appropriate for other scenes in the game... because it seems that Larian is, indeed, writing a cut-price erotic novel as part of the game, for better or worse.

- Not a fan of real-time-with-pasue, at all. No thanks. I like Turn based, I want turn base, and I'm happy with turn based - it makes it feel more like D&D, to me, something that this game has in preciously low quantity at the moment. There's a divide of opinions over this, though, and a good many people agree with you as well; there's a very large on-going discussion thread about it if you're interested.

- I'd agree they need to do abetter job of keeping the map hidden when you're exploring a space, but the important details remain phased out until you draw close, so having no fog in the over-land outside world is not a problem, in my view; I feel like having black blanket of fog rather than letting me see the shape of the valley I'm walking down into, would be more immersion-breaking than not having it. The map phasing and camera AI definitely need a lot of work still, but again, this is a topic that people are somewhat divided on, and many folks agree with you on this matter.

- It's pretty universally agreed by everyone that their party selection controls and UI are pretty unacceptable at the moment; you won't find much argument here, but it's always good to have another data point adding their view.

- Absolutely agree with you on the copy-paste Divinty2 intro... they put a lot of time effort and work into making something that ultimately, because of what it is and how it's directed and progresses, comes off as a cheap and tacky reskin of the exact same intro they've used before. Prisoner aboard a ship against your will! Meet other captive and hatch a plan to escape! Encounter powerful figures! Explosion! Ship crashes before you can actually escape! Saved from certain death by mysterious unknown power! Wake up on a beach! It's really unfortunate that they couldn't do ANYTHING else at all to prevent it coming off that way.

- Can't really comment on the music, personally it hasn't bothered me, but it hasn't inspired me either. there are a few places where it's over-hammed quite badly, but that's more to do with scene direction than it is the music itself.

- I'd love more books that explained more of the background world lore for those unfamiliar with it. I don't think the book situation is quite as bad as you make out, but it's definitely not on the same level as other D&D video games in the past that have offered a rich written world.

- Party size is another mostly agreed-upon thing; most tabletop games are 4-5, but most video game renditions of D&D settings typically offer 6-8, and this game probably should too.

- The fixed camp is another more or less universally agreed upon sticking point. It's poorly handled. The brothels and night life are probably waiting for us in Baldur's gate, when we get there.

- Inventory is clunky and messy and is a severely archaic system, no arguments there. I don't know that it necessarily should have a book-and-scroll aesthetic, per se - that also feels archaic to me... but the current UI and inventory management system is pretty bad. It's an interface - it's not part of the world, so I'm fine with it being clean and uncluttered by functionless visuals... but it needs a lot of work either way.

- What I will say about the dice is that it's less about having to roll for things itself, and more about the way that LArian have handled it that makes it unsatisfying; failure is not interesting or different - nine times out of ten failure is just the same result as if you hadn't tried at all, so it just feels punishing. They also flood dialogue with far, far too many checks that are broken up by the big immersion-interrupting die roll splash... when the majority of what they make us roll for should be simply RP and character choice, with outcomes. Yes we should makes checks in conversations at times, but right now it's being overdone on trivial things and it makes the entire system drag. It would be good if they'd introduce passive checks (that are actually passive checks) out of combat for much of this. Older editions called it a take10, and it's functionally the same thing in 5e.

- Gear and Loot-wise, you shouldn't be getting more than a +1 anything before level 5. 5e's bounded accuracy generally means that small bonuses like that have more weight than they have had in earlier systems... however, this is thrown off by the haphazard and slap-dash implementation of the rules, modded over from divinity rather than being made fresh. Having other interesting effects instead is a nice way to go, and they've actually tried to do some of that... however, they've displayed that right now they don't have a good enough understanding of the rule set they're supposed to be working in to do that in a balanced way.

A calm and thoughtful voice will generally get you more ears than a ranty one here, but thanks for taking the time to write up your feedback - every voice that does so is useful!

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Originally Posted by Niara
...Can't really comment on the music, personally it hasn't bothered me, but it hasn't inspired me either...

It seems this website is using the embed feature with Shockwave Flash, which is blocked by every common browser. Links to the music below, tell me how inspired you are while listening to these:

,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸-(_BG1_Intro_)-,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸


,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸-(_BG2_Intro_)-,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸


,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸-(_BG Battle Music_)-,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸


Originally Posted by Niara
...Yes we should makes checks in conversations at times, but right now it's being overdone on trivial things and it makes the entire system drag....

I agree, check out this well done video explaining how just 1 example of a quest plays out in the original Baldurs Gate, and how dialog choices are yours to make, not the Dice in this video:


Originally Posted by Niara
...Not a fan of real-time-with-pasue, at all. No thanks. I like Turn based, I want turn base, and I'm happy with turn based...

I agree with what you like, and I'm not saying to get rid of it. There should be a choice. We should have both options, just like in the original Baldurs Gate games.

Originally Posted by Niara
...thanks for taking the time to write up your feedback - every voice that does so is useful!...

Thanks Niara for your thoughts as well!

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Originally Posted by Bobberuchi
First of all this is Larian studios creating the game and not bioware. any resemblance to BG1 and 2 (over 20 years old) is not realistic.


I find that a strange train of thought; why on earth would you not try to respect the legacy of one of the greatest and most revered CRPGs of all time and integrate some of the strongest aspects of those games in a new sequel? Nobody is suggesting a replica of a 20 year old game but at present there is little that is reminiscent of the original games.

With regard to the OP, the tone might be a little forthright but I do agree broadly with the points.

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Originally Posted by Dirin Tenshinibo
I agree, check out this well done video explaining how just 1 example of a quest plays out in the original Baldurs Gate, and how dialog choices are yours to make, not the Dice in this video:
I like the video. I think, overall, it is under appreciated how BG1&2 delivers its quest - games can feel chaotic and unpredictable but have this organic feel and still are secretly convenient (aka. You won’t miss anything major). It avoids artificiality of modern design, while not being obtuse as, let’s say Kingmaker.

Another thing, while Umbra Colossi are tough, it is not a balls-breaking encounter. I didn’t discover the dog trick until my latest playthrough. While it feels good to outsmart those guys, it is not an obtuse but mandatory puzzle - killing them is very much in player’s power.

Maybe that’s why Witcher3 reminded me so much of BG2. I thought its quests were also very organic - delivered to player in a natural, unpredictable but reliable way, and while one could always simply push forward,there are many touches for those who think and explore.

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Great video showing how great game design is timeless. For one thing BG2 does <poorly> it has a dozen things is does right.
People aren't asking for a 20 year old BG2 clone, fans wanted all the elements of these prior Baldurs gate games and take it up a notch!
Larian could of EASILY improved even further on all the systems for a modern game audience but instead elected to just keep the story, copy paste DOS2 and add some truncated form of turn base D&D in the background. I still have my doubts that the team even played and finished BG2...I mean, do the prior games even come up much in interviews?

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Originally Posted by Wormerine
Originally Posted by Dirin Tenshinibo
I agree, check out this well done video explaining how just 1 example of a quest plays out in the original Baldurs Gate, and how dialog choices are yours to make, not the Dice in this video:
I like the video. I think, overall, it is under appreciated how BG1&2 delivers its quest - games can feel chaotic and unpredictable but have this organic feel and still are secretly convenient (aka. You won’t miss anything major). It avoids artificiality of modern design, while not being obtuse as, let’s say Kingmaker.
Well, my most unpredictable moment in BG2 was running into Arkanis Gath, so I can't say I agree. The "game doesn't stop you from doing things" is not quite true, because that was a cheated character wielding an "instakill" weapon. At least the reputation system mentioned in the video you could influence, even if the temple donations system didn't make any sense.

It's also showcases how BG2 went back on some good design from BG1. Nalia's castle is the only time you can use charm to talk to an NPC, while in BG1 you could find many tidbits of lore by charming people.

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Originally Posted by ash elemental
I like the video. I think, overall, it is under appreciated how BG1&2 delivers its quest - games can feel chaotic and unpredictable but have this organic feel and still are secretly convenient (aka. You won’t miss anything major). It avoids artificiality of modern design, while not being obtuse as, let’s say Kingmaker.
Well, my most unpredictable moment in BG2 was running into Arkanis Gath, so I can't say I agree. The "game doesn't stop you from doing things" is not quite true, because that was a cheated character wielding an "instakill" weapon.[/quote]
I had to google him. He seems to indeed exist to protect crit path. Not ideal - I think ideally, the guilt should be robust enough to kill you. And if you do manage to overcome the odds, the game should be designed to progress regardless.

I refered to the crit path - Umbra fight isn't something found off the beaten path (like some lich fights), nor is designed to stop your progress - they are on the way. And while the game gives a satisfying option to bypass them, it is also not that hard, so the players should get stuck for long if they want to kill them. That's a "reward for being clever" and "good pacing" balance that few games can achieve.

Originally Posted by ash elemental
Nalia's castle is the only time you can use charm to talk to an NPC, while in BG1 you could find many tidbits of lore by charming people.
Anything substantial I missed? I must say, I never encountered anything of that sort in BG1, but then again, I don't go out of my way to mess with games unless I am pushed toward it.

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Originally Posted by Wormerine
Anything substantial I missed? I must say, I never encountered anything of that sort in BG1, but then again, I don't go out of my way to mess with games unless I am pushed toward it.

Arkanis is there not as much to protect the critical path (as there are two possible ways into Spellhold) , as to make sure you don't step out of bounds during the main quest. You can attack and destroy the thieves guild, but only if you do the main quest in the correct order. Which I didn't. smirk

Regarding charm, it wasn't anything big; BG1 was more sparse on dialogues than BG2. For me it was learning that Dynaheir was sent there to learn about the prophecy and Bhaalspawn. I'd have preferred if she was the one to survive in BG2, because there seemed to be more to her character than Minsc' comic relief.

So I have to correct myself here: it was rather tidbits of memorable conversation than lore. The assassin in Nashkel was probably the most memorable one, because he is hilarious.

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Arkanis is definitely there to protect the critical path, that's why he's the only character in both games that always instakills you. Even if you don't side with the thieves you can only progress when Aran Linvauil dies and you can only do this when you get the quest to do so and rather than make him unkillable up to that point they created Arkanis to let you know you couldn't do this willy nilly. It was a limitation of the game engine that it couldn't keep track of characters until they went into the questlog. That's probably why the main quest in the first game progressed not by killing the leaders, but by picking up their letters.

In the original BG1 you could charm Centeol the spider woman in cloakwood and she tells you she was cursed by Jon Irenicus and she hates her new form and asks you to kill her.

It irks me when people like the op compare the game to BG2. BG2 was the game where they already had the engine and most of the core mechanics and just needed to tweak and work on high level spells and abilities and quests and story. And it shows.

If anything it should be compared with BG1 and it compares well. There are a lot of different ways to play the game, lots of different ways to get core information. For all that video he posted did, the fact remains that BG1 and 2 plays more or less the same as an evil character as with a good one. A few quests here and there, a few different enemies, but more or less the same game. And the fact that BG2's party members had their own agendas seems to be the main criticism that the companions in EA get! In BG1 the quest and level design was extremely shallow until they added Durlags in the expansion.

I have a feeling that when it's released we'll be able to see vastly different play throughs of this game, depending on character alignment, companions, class and story choices.

I absolutely love the original series, but I couldn't disagree with his critique more. I mean describing the start of BG2 as a relaxing intro, where you're literally being tortured in a hellish archmage's lair is really not relaxing!

As for the start, you're captured by mindflayers. You have to escape or else there's no story. Throw in the fact that both the Hells/devils and the githyanki are and will be crucial elements of the story and it basically writes itself. His main gripe is you land on a beach for about 20 seconds of act 1.

I love the music in all the games, but the harpy encounter is next level music/sound design. But BG's music was iconic, I agree.

I do completely agree that the party formation/selection isn't great though. Last night I killed Priestess Gut's ogre and one of my characters was on the ledge. The stairs were burnt by the flaming sphere and I had to jump down and proned myself. However, when I switched to the character on the ledge, two party members jumped UP! I had to swap to them and they fell prone then another one jumped up too. 2 party members died from falling damage and I had to unchain the whole party to prevent them from following. It's not a great system.

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Yeah, but this "critical path" is critical only because the writers decided so. You need to side with the vamps first, then you are allowed to fight the shadow thieves, but not the other way around. Storywise it doesn't make sense, because Bodhi could have offered a free ride either way. She has to get the main character to Spellhold anyway, if Irenicus is to proceed.

But I agree with all of your points regarding the comparison with BG1, especially the lacking evil path and the quiet npcs. And the terrible-no-good party controls in BG3. The follow jump system only made it worse, they keep hurting themselves with jumps.

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Originally Posted by mr_planescapist
Great video showing how great game design is timeless. For one thing BG2 does <poorly> it has a dozen things is does right.
People aren't asking for a 20 year old BG2 clone, fans wanted all the elements of these prior Baldurs gate games and take it up a notch!
Larian could of EASILY improved even further on all the systems for a modern game audience but instead elected to just keep the story, copy paste DOS2 and add some truncated form of turn base D&D in the background. I still have my doubts that the team even played and finished BG2...I mean, do the prior games even come up much in interviews?

Exactly my thoughts. I mean Beamdog did the Enhanced Editions of the earlier games and they were done pretty good in my opinion. They kept a nice stylish UI and all the foundational elements that makes the games definitively "Baldur's Gate." They even expanded on some of those elements and improved upon it.

I think everyone doing the interviews should start asking more questions about inspiration from the previous games and if they are going to play any role in the future improvements to the game.

Last edited by Dirin Tenshinibo; 26/03/21 05:23 PM.
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Originally Posted by Dirin Tenshinibo
Exactly my thoughts. I mean Beamdog did the Enhanced Editions of the earlier games and they were done pretty good in my opinion. They kept a nice stylish UI and all the foundational elements that makes the games definitively "Baldur's Gate." They even expanded on some of those elements and improved upon it.

I think everyone doing the interviews should start asking more questions about inspiration from the previous games and if they are going to play any role in the future improvements to the game.
Beamdog's example showcases why it is not worth trying to follow exactly in the footsteps of the original games. They received so much negative feedback it was ridiculous, and it was often contradictory: the EEs were a rip-off, because not enough changes to the originals; the EEs were not true to the originals, because too many things were changed.

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I created a wizard character against my better judgment to see if I could win by thinking about it. After spending 2 or 3 hours experimenting with the cat familiar’s “meow” ability, I decided that no amount of thought makes the wizard better.

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Sleeping...
Why am I running clear back to the same camp site every day? What happened to camping where you are? What happened to getting ambushed and the fear of sleeping in stupid places? Where's the Brothels or Hotels? Where's the night life?


Oh man i so want Inns or hotels to stay in not the campsite. This point is what i can agree on. We need that

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Originally Posted by Dirin Tenshinibo
Starting the game off right?
Nuh Uh. Wishing for a nice relaxing slow pace, such as candlekeep or even a relaxing dungeon escape? Nah. Get the same crappy intro from divinity 2? Yep! I'd have been fine with a crashed ship and laying on the beach as a good starting point. Like in path of exile. But the same bullshit escape from a burning/crashing ship... Come on.

When looking at the Steam Game Page, there's a reason under "More like this" The original/enhanced baldurs gate games are not listed. This is not a baldurs gate game. Make it more like a baldurs gate game.

I agree that the game's start and world design are major weak points. However, it is difficult to design a consistent world.

Someone on the owlcat forums compared it to diskworld. BG3 is not bad, it's just appealing to a different crowd. And the graphics are certainly nicer.

If you want classic Baldur's Gate feeling - slow start, real time combat, consistent, classic D&D world design - you have Pathfinder Kingmaker.

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I also do not want real time with pause. Still trying to play through Icelandair on my tablet. Controlling the characters is so frustrating. Scripts drive me nuts. Characters get caught on each other, the walls, etc. Carrion crawler chases my people and we're playing ring around the tomb trying to fire arrows and hit the thing from a distance. It's just annoying.

So many people like RTWP, but I never have. In NWN2, half the time Qara decides to cast magic missile after an enemy has only like 2 HP. I wind up killing them before the first missile strikes. Waste of a spell.

And we all criticize resting in BG3, but NW and NWN were 10 times worse. You could rest after every fight for 15 seconds and regain everything.

I'm not a fan of the current rest system, but my point is that sometimes we think these older games were so much better. Were they really? Were they really more immersive? Was the gameplay really better? How many times did you have to reload because some idiot party member got too close to the red dragon in BG2 because you didn't hit pause fast enough or some script made them do something dumb? I can't tell you how many times I had a character step in the way of a lightning bolt because of some dumb script or because I thought the trajectory was right but it wasn't because there was no real way to know where a spell was really going to go. No highlighted area to tell you just how big a fireball blast might be.

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Originally Posted by Gagandeep Singh
Sleeping...
Why am I running clear back to the same camp site every day? What happened to camping where you are? What happened to getting ambushed and the fear of sleeping in stupid places? Where's the Brothels or Hotels? Where's the night life?

Oh man i so want Inns or hotels to stay in not the campsite. This point is what i can agree on. We need that
This could be potentialy resolved with adding waystone to our camp ...
As it was few times metioned around here. laugh


I liked original spellcasting system more ... frown

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Originally Posted by Gagandeep Singh
Sleeping...
Why am I running clear back to the same camp site every day? What happened to camping where you are? What happened to getting ambushed and the fear of sleeping in stupid places? Where's the Brothels or Hotels? Where's the night life?

Oh man i so want Inns or hotels to stay in not the campsite. This point is what i can agree on. We need that
This could be potentialy resolved with adding waystone to our camp ...
As it was few times metioned around here. laugh

Fast travelling through the worldmap instead of those horrible TP could probably a bit.

Those easy and "convenient" TP breaks a lot of things. The same mechanic with other tools (worldmap >< waystone) would give a way better feeling

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