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Posting on official boards and reddit. Spoilers abound leave now if you don't want any.

I decided to do some testing with Omeluum and his Ring of Psyonic Protection so I went to visit him(her? it?) immediately after starting on the beach. Before patch 3 I had played using the tadpole basically every chance I could and using the new powers that unlocked, so I decided for this go I wanted to try not utilizing the tadpole at all.
One of the things I remembered from my earlier play was Omeluum's initial checkup and being told the tadpole was "10 times its size. Awake, aware and smug". I figured well crap that can't be good so what about if I don't use it. That line "10 times its size. Awake, aware and smug. is part of Omeluum's initial check before you do the quest to allow Omeluum a deeper read on the tadpole and it does NOT change if you've used the tadpole previously or not. I got the exact same line right after I got off the Nautaloid as I did after completing the entire surface world of EA using the tadpole left and right. It could just be an EA thing and not finished yet, but to me it seems to imply that regardless of if you use the tadpole or not we all finish the first act with the same level of tadpole progression. I can only hope that Larian has something in the works to differentiate between those who actually use the tadpole versus those that decide not to.
I found it particularly ironic when I was able to use a tadpole wisdom option and got the first dream sequence. I didn't notice the quest log update when I first used the tadpole in previous games, but it states something about how we should be careful cause we don't want to wake the tadpole up. I actually chuckled a little when I saw that this go since I had already had the checkup with Omeluum and found out it was awake.

Once I completed Omeluum's quest and managed to get the ring I then equipped it and went topside to see what changes I could find. Finishing Omeluum's quest gives just the MC a new tadpole power. Wearing the ring makes you unable to use the tadpole power and is suppose to shield you from psyonics which is why Omeluum had it. Playing through the game wearing the ring I noted the following which I'm actually not sure if intended or bugs.
1. You still do the mindlink with each person you encounter who also has a tadpole.
2. You still have access to and can use the [Illithid] Wisdom options in dialogue.
3. If you use the tadpole you can still get the class specific tadpole powers(though they too will be greyed out and unable to be used like the MC specific power). I did forget to check if the others can still use their powers if the MC is wearing the ring, but I'd guess since they are not wearing the ring themselves it doesn't affect them.
Like I said I'm not sure if the above 3 things are working as intended or not but seem like bugs to me and I really do hope that Larian has something specific in mind for players who absolutely do not do anything to advance the tadpole's growth.

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Nice catch, OcO


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Really good catch!

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Admittedly it is entirely possible I've missed something that was removed as a result of wearing the ring, but I've not noticed any differences in the game wearing the ring the entire time. In this EA the only thing the ring appears to do is remove the ability to use the tadpole super powers. Someone on Steam suggested it may help destroy the tadpole in the Edowin encounter but I can confirm it still takes multiple skill checks to actually destroy that tadpole using the dialogue options.

I'm eager to check the initial Omeluum encounter after each new patch to see if Larian changes the dialogue and tadpole growth levels to reflect those players to do everything they can to avoid furthering the ceremorphosis process. As it is there does not seem to be any reason NOT to take advantage of the tadpole's abilities in the first act since it reaches a specific growth level by the end of the act regardless of player activity.

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It really seems like Larian wants and expects the player to exploit the tadpole. Using it leads to new powers, new companion interactions, all sorts of new content, and then you can just get Omeluum's ring to (presumably?) negate any negative effects later. Not using the tadpole leads to.... nothing. A much emptier game.

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If the game expects and requires you to use the tadpole repeatedly in order to have fulfilling game experience, that's honestly just bad writing in my opinion. Any sane character that genuinely wants to keep a hold of their sense of self, or who just doesn't want to be the kind of person who literally brain-rapes other people into doing what they say (not persuade, not convince, not intimidate, but to forcefully dominate and take their free will away from them)... which, you know, will be the majority of neutral to good aligned people, most of the time... is going to want to resist any impulse or urge from the tadpole. Even darker or more selfish characters may be inclined to avoid its use more often than to abuse it, if self-preservation is their main goal.

Even look at our companions: We have in our stable right now, a classically neutral evil, a classically lawful evil, and a classically chaotic evil (With hints that the neutral, shadow, may be suffering a dissonance with that, and may have different inclinations underneath). Even of those three, ONLY the chaotic evil, Astarion, is game to push the tadpole and utilise its powers... so to be using them, the game is saying that we are at least as red leaning as Astarion.

Most players are not going to be playing that kind of a character most of the time. People will feel driven to use the tadpole out-of-character because 'it's just how you see more of the game' but that's NOT a good reason, and it's not good writing.

the first time I played, I was playing a character that, amongst other things, was not the sort of person who would willingly dominate another person's mind or force their will on them - and certainly wasn't the sort of person who would risk exploding their own skull using an unknown element to do it; SHE doesn't know that it's perfectly safe because of "plot". The game felt kind of bland as a result. That's a major problem.

Incidentally, that character was also disappointed that there was no dialogue option to tell Ormellum that she didn't want to take the ring from him, since it was what kept him and his quest for a better way of living, safe from any elder brain...

To the thread topic, I agree that having the ring should absolutely disable all tadpole prompts and prevent them from appearing at all... it really should, since that's what it's meant to be doing.

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On a different note, just how did you visit Omeluum just off the beach? The closest underdark access would be the Blighted Village, but that would require at least one major encounter (the initial goblin ambush), plus dealing with the ettercap and phase spiders.

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I really hope you aren't plot forced into using the tadpole to move the story forward, that'd be frustrating.

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Originally Posted by RBarbare
On a different note, just how did you visit Omeluum just off the beach? The closest underdark access would be the Blighted Village, but that would require at least one major encounter (the initial goblin ambush), plus dealing with the ettercap and phase spiders.

Let me copy over my reply to that question from reddit and then expand on it.


"I did the Druid Grove fight and ran inside to buy a potion of invisibility from Ethel. You could skip this part if you wanted. It is possible to sneak past the attacking goblins at the Grove if you wanted to by sneaking along the path furthest from the gate. The cut screen will play but the Grove and goblins fight without you.

Go to the Blighted Village and fight or talk your way in. I was a Drow so just talked my way past.

Interact with the well in the middle of the village to go down to where the spider den is.

At this point you'll need either that potion of invisibility or you'll need to sneak past the spiders and ettercap to get to the hole that leads down to the UD.

The one thing you absolutely have to have is Feather Fall. What I did was had Gale cast the spell on me, then drank the potion and immediately went into turn mode. On each of the MC's turns I used dash to go as far as possible each round(dash does not break invisible). It took me 6 rounds to get to and jump down the hole(still in turn mode). The rest of the party went back up the well and waited for me by the warp stone(the vision cone of the mino ends just behind where you start in the UD. If you bring your whole party at least 1 will likely be in the cone and you'll get jumped).

Once I got into the UD since I was still in turn mode and had Feather Fall still running I just jumped from where you enter down to the hostile mushrooms in front of the Myconid Village. There is enough room there to safely land without triggering everything. Then just leave turn mode, ranged clear the mushrooms and walz right up to the Myconids. I found if you don't leave turn mode before clearing the mushrooms, they can bug out and their aoe will linger in place and not dissipate.

Edit: I ended up doing it as a Drow ranger cause I wanted to try that class. Since time passes regardless of if you camp rest or not, a Drow wizard could have gotten down there a bit faster by completely skipping the Grove fight and buying the potion. You can sneak your way from the beach to the Blighted Village with out engaging anyone."


To expand on what I said in that final Edit, a solo Drow wizard with Feather Fall could carefully but rapidly go from starting on the beach directly to the UD and speaking with Omeluum and never enter combat or much time except clearing the shrooms from in front of the Myconid village. Speed runners probably have some tricks too, I haven't looked.

Getting past the Goblins at the Blighted Village, the ettercap and spiders are all possible with sneak. I did it on my first attempt where I was going to try this playing as a Gith Ranger. I got to the point in the Matriarchs lair where I could jump in and realized I'd die without Feather Fall. I decided to try Drow out instead so I could quickly talk past the Goblins though and have their dark vision down the well and in the UD. In my first run to bypass the Goblins I came up the vines from down near Scratch and was in sneak mode from there where the sleeping bugbear is to the well and down.

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As others have noted, it would be a real shame if the PC was railroaded into using the tadpole for fear of missing out on content and also frankly piss poor design especially for a role playing game where we are supposed to have freedom of choice. I'd have to give Larian the benefit of the doubt that this is purely a symptom of the game being in EA.

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This information is troublesome for me as well. I play my characters as "good" and try not to utilize the tadpole.

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Yeah i really hope we aren't forced to use the tadpole. Didn't use it during any playthroughs, for simple reason of it being dormant and thinking: "Let's not poke the parasite in our heads.".

P.S.
What do i need to do to get the dreams?

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Originally Posted by Necrosian
P.S.
What do i need to do to get the dreams?

Use the tadpole I believe. Could be wrong on that.

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Originally Posted by Etruscan
Use the tadpole I believe. Could be wrong on that.

This is correct. The more you use the tadpole, the more dreams you get. No tadpole use, no dreams.

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Originally Posted by Etruscan
Originally Posted by Necrosian
P.S.
What do i need to do to get the dreams?

Use the tadpole I believe. Could be wrong on that.
Originally Posted by Tarlonniel
Originally Posted by Etruscan
Use the tadpole I believe. Could be wrong on that.

This is correct. The more you use the tadpole, the more dreams you get. No tadpole use, no dreams.

Well that kinda explains it. Never thought that poking brain eating parasite was a smart idea. Shame tho, dreams could have happened passively and offered ever increasing benefits for a Faustian bargain of sorts.

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But isn't that the Gretchen Frage?
(Sorry, german is my native language, and you were quoting Goethe, I don't know the proper translation)

I think they did that part quite well.

You have this tadpole in your head, and a lot of people tell you, it's bad.

On the other hand, there are people (e.g. Astarion) who obviously profit from it.

So if course you know from the beginning, it's a Faustian bargain, as you put it.

So, the Gretchen Frage is: do you want to use that power or not?
Faust had the same decision to make. Use the power of the devil or not?


Of course, using the powers of the devil has it's benefits, you see a lot of things you could never imagine!
At least at the beginning, it seems nice ... Be it dreams, or whatever

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Being that it is not a finished game, I expect there will be some consequences much later on either way; not using the tadpole now may open up story that tadpole users don’t get to see. I hope anyway.

Looks like there are oversights that need addressing, however!

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Originally Posted by daMichi
Of course, using the powers of the devil has it's benefits, you see a lot of things you could never imagine!
At least at the beginning, it seems nice ... Be it dreams, or whatever

That certainly applies to the powers granted by the tadpole. If you use it, you get cool abilities; if you don't, you don't. Makes sense. But locking a significant portion of the game's content - the dreams, the companion discussions afterwards - behind its use isn't a good strategy because those things are not tied to the deal you're making with this particular devil. It's just the devs deciding to develop one path more fully than another one. Not a great decision in a choice-heavy RPG.

You should still get dreams if you don't use the tadpole - different dreams, ones where the tadpole is tempting or taunting or otherwise trying to convince you to use its powers. And you should be having appropriate discussions with your companions afterwards. This is more or less how the dreams worked in the first two games of this series (and you didn't get stiffed on powers depending on your chosen path).

Also, I really think your companions should be making their own decisions about whether to use their tadpoles or not instead of following whatever the PC does, but I guess that's not going to happen.

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Originally Posted by Niara
the chaotic evil, Astarion

lol he's not chaotic evil, not even close.

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Originally Posted by T2aV
Originally Posted by Niara
the chaotic evil, Astarion

lol he's not chaotic evil, not even close.

Try playing first act only with him, and you'll see from his comments and what he approves - he's a chaotic evil.


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