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Joined: Oct 2020
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journeyman
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journeyman
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Joined: Oct 2020
No one can live in a world that itself hasn't been lived in. Armor can't be strong if it's never taken a blow, a warrior can't be fearsome if he's never fought. For a game about spilling a lot of innards, there's not a single rough edge on anyone's clothing, not a single nick in any blade. It's just world building 101. And respectfully, I think what started as an homage to high fantasy turned into an artistic failure to include adequate description, detail or explanation. High fantasy and sufficient world detail are not exclusive.

Where is the thread that leads from what I'm seeing back to the game I'm actually playing?

It doesn't take you long to figure out the difference from an Ikea showroom and a real apartment. In fact the discrepancy is jarring. Every time I see my characters tasseled, flawlessly-stitched leather helm in a dialogue screen it is like finding a stock family photo of clearly unrelated strangers hanging on my fridge. I found that helmet in a crate on a beach... but it wasn't just a crate on a beach. It was flotsom from some destroyed ship that washed onto the beach, the wood was swollen and warped from the saltwater, a slimy layer of sea scum coated the whole thing. And what do I pull out of it? This perfect. leather. hat.

Nothing in the game tells you the crate looks like that. We know crates, we know beaches, we know people don't randomly keep crates on beaches. The important lesson here is that no one told me it DIDNT look like that. If someone had described to me a perfectly dry crate, placed on a beach with no signs of wear or exposure to sand or water... I'd be like this is a demon-trap.

That sense of suspicion and incredulity is exactly what the art style of this game constantly injects. And it actively counters the games own narrative in tone and quite often literally.

Take for example the leather armor you start with. The description reads as 'well worn with stains under the armpits.' Yet, according to my 'lying eyes' that thing is tighter, cleaner and higher quality than any of my suits in real life.

Every close-in shot affirms this dissonance. A tasseled helmet? A hazard for battle... and dense shrubbery. I've seen plenty of both, but you wouldn't know it looking at my tassels.

Clearly the dev's get this concept in general. They put a scar on Shadowhearts face, no doubt meant to key us into the idea that she's been in some fights, or that she's a melee fighter. Yet... she's wearing overly ornate, non-functional, brand new armor. So... which is it? What is your message to me as a player when I meet her? Is Lea'Zal an end-game warrior, because that's what her half-plate looks like. Or are all the Githyanki wearing polished tin with red rocks stuck to it?... because that's lvl 1 armor. The second I see another Githyanki and he's shirtless, and/or kicks my ass... what are the implications?

Again, where is the thread that leads from what I'm seeing back to the game I'm actually playing?

Last edited by Stray952; 16/10/20 03:32 AM.
Joined: Aug 2015
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While I like the artistry in general, I agree that we just look too awesome at start and the gear is too neat. Very neat and clean and gorgeous stuff should be saved for later in the game. Getting that "gleaming" full plate that stands out and never gets dirty would then be very attractive. I think this could be a positive gold sink as well, seeing as how magical (buyable) loot should be kept at a minimum. Buying some new gorgeous armor in Baldurs Gate just because it looks good seems like something a newly rich adventurer would do.

Joined: Sep 2017
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It's Baldur's Gate, not Dragon Age. I'm fine with this art direction, I've seen enough "dark + gritty" aesthetic in major RPGs during the last ten years, I've had my fill.

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There is a lot of space between "dark + gritty" and "shiny, just out of the box". If most things looked a bit more lived in, it would make something being shiny much more meaningful.

Joined: Aug 2014
old hand
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I'm impressed by the design and level of quality this game has visually.
But there is a disconnect with the story when everyone is presented in fancy gear in pristine condition even if they live in a forest and are fighting for their lives on a daily basis.

Good catch with item descriptions that directly contradict what we actually see. Writing and art teams are on different pages here.


Joined: Oct 2020
apprentice
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Agreed OP, hopefully at launch there's more shitty gear


Tuuch! Tuuch! Tuuch!
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stranger
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I agree that this is needed. I think in the Hell Q&A they said that there's a muck & grime system they're pretty excited about in store but it isn't ready yet. I would hope this is true!

Joined: Oct 2020
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journeyman
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Well apparently you haven’t played Baldur’s Gate or Dragon Age, because one of them was decidedly gritty and it’s certainly not DA...


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