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Originally Posted by Nyloth
Originally Posted by NoCTuRNa
Originally Posted by Maiandra
This is why it's too bad to hear Astarion is so obviously evil.

that is an opinion that is not shared by everyone. if you dig deeper into astarion there is a justification for a lot of his behavior. a lot of people confuse self-serving with evil, but as i said, once you dig deep enough, you understand all the motivations behind a lot of what he does or says, & he is by far the best romance option & the only one that even acts like a romance even happened after the fact. with the right options, there are chances to read his mind, dig much deeper, see how truly damaged, regretful & pained & just plain sad he really is, & to have him open up to you about the horrific things he has been through, had to do, or had done to him. he has many, many, many layers & definitely puts up a wall & acts a certain way to hide what is behind it all... & of course, he is hands down, the funniest character, with the best dialogue & an amazing voice, which easily makes him the most interesting companion & the one i sympathise/empathise with the most... so there's that lol (in other words, not everyone believes he is the most evil, & again, there's a difference between being evil & being more interested in your own freedom & survival than any other concerns).

Well, that's probably because he's manipulative and hot. Or because you turn a blind eye to things he approves. He may be damaged, but I've never seen him regret what he did. Any hero act causes him to vomit. In addition, it says a lot that Astarion's "evil" and "selfishness" do not come from his vampirism, at least the fact that he is an obvious xenophobe.

Many people have a strange idea of "evil", like from Marvel movies, as if evil is necessarily something that needs to be defeated. Astarion is not sorry, he IS AFRAID! This is a different feeling, fear is driven by selfishness. He feels sorry only for himself and his ego. He's a terrible coward.

Of course, I understand that this may change. We have too little information and I try not to read date spoilers. But I still don't understand those who try to make Astarion a "Fallen Angel" because we have 1-2 cutscenes we're he's looks 'damaged'.

We don't have any good characters in early access (that's what Swen said). Thats mean, Lae and Astarion are evil characters, only they fully approve of the destruction of the grove. I believe that both can be won over to "neutral" side, but I do not believe that either of them was originally "good/kind".


The logic you quoted is just a variant of the same people who say murderers and psychopaths are just misunderstood survivors with troubled pasts.

I don't give a rat's ass what troubled past you have, it gives you no right to be callous towards others.

Countless immigrants, victims, people of low socioeconomic means who don't go through life trying to excuse destructive, petty, selfish behavior with their origins. They just do the right thing because they don't wish on others what they themselves have gone through.

This constant apologia for awful cynical assholes gets tiring.

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Originally Posted by Zenith
The logic you quoted is just a variant of the same people who say murderers and psychopaths are just misunderstood survivors with troubled pasts.

I don't give a rat's ass what troubled past you have, it gives you no right to be callous towards others.

Countless immigrants, victims, people of low socioeconomic means who don't go through life trying to excuse destructive, petty, selfish behavior with their origins. They just do the right thing because they don't wish on others what they themselves have gone through.

This constant apologia for awful cynical assholes gets tiring.
Leave the real-life moral theories out of these forums, please. This is a place to discuss BG3, and not a place to grandstand your own views on the wider world.

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Originally Posted by Killerrabbit
Shadowheart had the same potential but Patch 3 kinda ruined her. She went from being a tough nut to crack, the person who lets very few people past her armor, to someone who gets gushy and cuddly after a night of kissing.

Notice how Shadowheart's meme economy has fallen while Astarian's has risen? Before the SH changes people were making goth-shadowheart / shadowheart disapproves memes. Now that she's gotten so darn agreeable people have turned their attention to the traumatized vampire spawn.

Originally Posted by AvatarOfSHODAN
Is that a fair assessment though? Patch 3's disapproval change was for all the characters, which implied that the even the developers felt that the gateway to getting to know the characters was a tad too narrow. It was something even said in their recent interview. Hell, even Patch 4 added reading Astarion's mind, which made me sympathize for him in a scene I had otherwise read him as wholly manipulative before. The patch didn't ruin her.

I think it's more than just the gating, it's a) the change of facial expressions and b) dialogues on the day after. I see SH as the nod to Viconia. Both clerics of Shar, same dark-seeking-the-light theme, same divide between the persona and the private. If you played the Viconia romance she spends about half of it trying push you away -- every other conversation ends with an insult. The last thing she says before abandoning her hard shell is "in trust lies death" apparently a drow saying and a foreshadowing since your romance does lead her to her death.

Yes, SH was always intended to be Tsundre but after patch 3 she lost the on-again / off-again quality of the Viconia romance and Shadowheart dropped the hard shell waaay to easily and waaay too quickly.

This is a crisis of faith story. Shar isn't about hope and new beginnings -- that's Lathander. Shar is about loss, pain and hidden resentments. What do you do when you worship loss and find hope?

Pretty sure the answer isn't: spend the next day smiling and flirting.

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Originally Posted by Rack
Originally Posted by AvatarOfSHODAN
I also think romances are most popular with women, and online fandom participation is more popular with women. So it does not surprise me that Astarion fans eclipse the fans of other characters in fandom spaces. No hate on that since I am part of that demographic. But I wouldn't use that as a metric of which character is the best written since I've seen many of these same fans boot or kill Shadowheart because she overrides Astarion's scenes. Give Astarion a chance by all means, but do the same to the others lol.

I don't think so. Bioware have a history of releasing stats on their romances and players have always tended towards their straight dudebros. Astarion is eclipsing Lae'zel and Shadowheart because Lae'zel and Shadowheart are disasters of character writing. The fact that no-one is romancing Shadowheart in spite of the fact she's the only human looking option available for the largest section of the playerbase is a sign of quite what a mess she is.

Quote
"Check out last week’s update for the stats on that. Somewhat contradicturally, [Gale]’s the most “romanced” of the party. He’s been “romanced” by 33% of players. Shadowheart came second, falling in love with 31% of players, and in return 31% of players fell in love with Shadowheart.

1.37% of players chose to sleep alone. Which is cool too! We have the other stats, but thought it might be fun if you gave it a shot and guessed them. One thing we’re seeing is the stan memes aren’t correlating with the actual “romance data”. For sure, there’s enough tinder in the campfire to ignite some flames.
"
- Patch 2 Notes

A third of people who participate in romances are romancing Shadowheart. This is Larian's own data. So again, please do not assume the loudest voices in the room is equivalent to the majority.

Neither of these character have disastrous writing, and I rather enjoy discussions on their character and where their plot lines will go in forums and group chats elsewhere. I've done the most character analysis on Lae'zel in particular, so you mentioning her as poorly written is personally entertaining.

Again, the game is designed for people to have different takeaways of these characters, and its within your right to dislike them, but clinging to first impressions doesn't mean they are poorly written. There is so much content in the game in regards to the characters that you are guaranteed to miss something. The order you talk to them changes how much they say, who you have recruited changes what they might say, how often you camp, how you resolve certain quest lines, who you have in your active party, etc.

Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
This is a crisis of faith story. Shar isn't about hope and new beginnings -- that's Lathander. Shar is about loss, pain and hidden resentments. What do you do when you worship loss and find hope?

Pretty sure the answer isn't: spend the next day smiling and flirting.
That's because she probably
isn't a diehard Shar worshipper and is under some one else's deception or maybe a bit of her own.
Much of the dialogue and the story was probably written and recorded ages ago. SH's romance scene is more than enough evidence of her true nature for me.

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Originally Posted by AvatarOfSHODAN
I've done the most character analysis on Lae'zel in particular, so you mentioning her as poorly written is personally entertaining.

I don't agree that Lae'zel is poorly written, but she does seem to lack content - particularly camp cutscenes - when compared with the other companions, so she feels less fully developed. I hope they've got more stuff in the works for her.

Originally Posted by ash elemental
Years later I've found one of the very few (since I generally avoid them in games) romances in crpgs I've enjoyed and it was a fanmade mod.

My favorite LI in the first two BG games is from a mod. Of course, if Anomen is your only competition...

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Originally Posted by AvatarOfSHODAN
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
This is a crisis of faith story. Shar isn't about hope and new beginnings -- that's Lathander. Shar is about loss, pain and hidden resentments. What do you do when you worship loss and find hope?

Pretty sure the answer isn't: spend the next day smiling and flirting.
That's because she probably
isn't a diehard Shar worshipper and is under some one else's deception or maybe a bit of her own.
Much of the dialogue and the story was probably written and recorded ages ago. SH's romance scene is more than enough evidence of her true nature for me.

Sure if you look at my comment history you can see I was pretty early on the
SH has been captured and forced to convert train. But even if she is Patty Hearst, she's a Sharran for the time being . . . unless something persuades her to seek the light. Perhaps something that makes her glow with moonlight colors?

Bring back the frowns! On again / off again. Trust, retreat, repeat.

Don't have strong opinions on Lae'zel, she's just not my thing. I'll wait for the experts in D/s to tell me if her romance is true to form or not.

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Originally Posted by Nyloth
We don't have any good characters in early access (that's what Swen said). Thats mean, Lae and Astarion are evil characters, only they fully approve of the destruction of the grove. I believe that both can be won over to "neutral" side, but I do not believe that either of them was originally "good/kind".

It would certainly be interesting to compare the current romances to the romances with 'good' characters. Just to get a feeling of the writing. Maybe my confusion with the present character options is solely because they are the supposedly 'evil' ones.

I mean, no one is supposed to genuinely like evil characters. Except Viconia of course. And president Snow. And...

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Originally Posted by AvatarOfSHODAN
A third of people who participate in romances are romancing Shadowheart. This is Larian's own data. So again, please do not assume the loudest voices in the room is equivalent to the majority.

The thing is Shadowheart is obviously the default romance for male characters and we've already seen the average player is a human male fighter. That she only managed to net 31% of players is seriously weird. It's an open goal, no-one else is even on the pitch yet she's still managing to miss more than half the shots. Even if you assume the male female split is 51/49 Shadowheart should still be the breakout most popular choice. The dudebros have spoken and they are not impressed.

Originally Posted by AvatarOfSHODAN
Again, the game is designed for people to have different takeaways of these characters, and its within your right to dislike them, but clinging to first impressions doesn't mean they are poorly written. There is so much content in the game in regards to the characters that you are guaranteed to miss something. The order you talk to them changes how much they say, who you have recruited changes what they might say, how often you camp, how you resolve certain quest lines, who you have in your active party, etc.

I'm not sure what alternative takeaway there really is to have of Lae'zel. Bag of angry rats on the outside, bag of insecure angry rats on the inside is about as deep as she seems to get. Shadowheart has the kind of depth an angsty teen might make their first character
She's a priest of Lathander who thinks she's a priest of Shar and pretending to be a priest of someone else but she hasn't really put any thought into who.
but I'm not sure how you spin that in a good light.

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Originally Posted by Arne
Originally Posted by Nyloth
We don't have any good characters in early access (that's what Swen said). Thats mean, Lae and Astarion are evil characters, only they fully approve of the destruction of the grove. I believe that both can be won over to "neutral" side, but I do not believe that either of them was originally "good/kind".

It would certainly be interesting to compare the current romances to the romances with 'good' characters. Just to get a feeling of the writing. Maybe my confusion with the present character options is solely because they are the supposedly 'evil' ones.

I mean, no one is supposed to genuinely like evil characters. Except Viconia of course. And president Snow. And...

I like villains, I like evil characters. So? This is bad? Huh. Also Gale 'romance' look pretty 'good', but he's more like a neutral character who can be bent into evil.

I also like that fact that I deleted my post because I thought it was unnecessarily ... rude? But someone still managed to answer it, while comparing fiction with reality, how sad. I'm not trying to justify villains, I love villains. I like evil characters. That's why I really don't want Astarion to be made into a "Fallen Angel" who just "made a mistake" or who was "traumatized", I don't like it.


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Imo Astarion is just less hiding about his nature, meanwhile e. g. Gale will compliment your character on their good deeds if you play a hero, so a lot of players consider him good. But after taking Gale on an evil playthrough at best I could say about him is that he is a neutral character who abandons his principles after one conversation.

The only companion whom I couldn't keep on the full evil playthrough was Wyll*. So it looks like to me we have one companion who is good-leaning, and the rest is either evil, or neutral with weak morals.

*Not counting bugs here. I've had one conversation with Zevlor where he asked Wyll something but Wyll's response didn't trigger, and the tieflings in the cave went hostile. But this dialogue worked on patch 4, so perhaps there are other instances where companions don't react properly yet.

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Originally Posted by AvatarOfSHODAN
Quote
"Check out last week’s update for the stats on that. Somewhat contradicturally, [Gale]’s the most “romanced” of the party. He’s been “romanced” by 33% of players. Shadowheart came second, falling in love with 31% of players, and in return 31% of players fell in love with Shadowheart.

1.37% of players chose to sleep alone. Which is cool too! We have the other stats, but thought it might be fun if you gave it a shot and guessed them. One thing we’re seeing is the stan memes aren’t correlating with the actual “romance data”. For sure, there’s enough tinder in the campfire to ignite some flames.
"
- Patch 2 Notes

A third of people who participate in romances are romancing Shadowheart. This is Larian's own data. So again, please do not assume the loudest voices in the room is equivalent to the majority.
I agree it's very important not to mistake the loudest as the most representative. However, right now they know what people are deciding, but not why they decide it.

For example, I have been playing charcters and making choices I wouldn't normally make, both to experiment and to leave my final experience with the game as somewhat new. I feel like asking people what they think directly would be more accurate than making assumptions about their decision-making based on in-game choices. At least with regard to some game elements.

A survey linked through the launcher so everyone has access to it would be a good way to do that. Then it doesn't require people to go to a certain board/site to have access to it, and it would be limited to people participating in early access.

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Because it would never happen to me if this was real life, because everyone around me would know from the point they met me or pretty early on where I stand with that. I feel Larian should keep choices in this matter what the player finds the least offensive. Its no different then asking for a profanity toggle switch option. And for this one it should be made clear what each player wants as far as this by what they choose at character creation with the question proposed there with " Who do you love?"
Originally Posted by classl3ss
Originally Posted by soulstalker
Ok, I have been playing this early access for a while and its getting pretty annoying when my character as a male is getting male admirers during the party scene. There should be a toggle switch in options to remove that possibility and you only receive love interests from the opposite sex. The last time that happened I reloaded an old save and tried as i might to sway it to a female choice ( character was male), but eventually it came back to him asking to sleep with my character or kicking him out of camp permanently. I suppose I could just not meet/ remove any of the male allied characters and use configuration of the 2 female choices, but that would be both drastic and put my party on a disadvantage... but might be worth it in the long run if Larion doesn't put the option to filter out same sex allies as love interests.

Why does it bother you that men are hitting on men? Meaning, why is it not enough simply to say you are not interested? It is a fact of life that some people are queer, and it seems odd to think that in a game one should be able to 'turn off' queerness.


Because it would never happen to me if this was real life, because everyone around me would know from the point they met me or pretty early on where I stand with that. I feel Larian should keep choices in this matter what the player finds the least offensive. Its no different then asking for a profanity toggle switch option. And for this one it should be made clear what each player wants as far as this by what they choose at character creation with the question proposed there with " Who do you love?"

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Originally Posted by Arne
Originally Posted by Nyloth
We don't have any good characters in early access (that's what Swen said). Thats mean, Lae and Astarion are evil characters, only they fully approve of the destruction of the grove. I believe that both can be won over to "neutral" side, but I do not believe that either of them was originally "good/kind".

It would certainly be interesting to compare the current romances to the romances with 'good' characters. Just to get a feeling of the writing. Maybe my confusion with the present character options is solely because they are the supposedly 'evil' ones.

I mean, no one is supposed to genuinely like evil characters. Except Viconia of course. And president Snow. And...


I don't know if that is fully true, i mean Wyll is most likely good aligned. thats why if you do all that is required to get Minthera he automatically and permanently leaves the party

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Gale probably doesn't leave you because, unlike Wyll, he will literally blow up if you're not there to feed him magical artifacts. Wyll knows he can at least look for Mizora himself. Gale is more pragmatic, even though like Kagha he would deem you a monster.

Either way, the reason so many people choose Shadowheart is because many people are unwilling to take the alternative of angry Janet Jackson.

And while the male prospects have fairly mediocre looks and even less flattering attire, none of them are as abrasive as Lazael.

I do bet a male githyanki prospect would be even less favored than Lazael because men that look like spaghetti noodles with no muscular bodies look far worse than thin women.

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Originally Posted by Zenith
Gale probably doesn't leave you because, unlike Wyll, he will literally blow up if you're not there to feed him magical artifacts.
When my evil warlock convinced Gale to stay, which happens at the goblin party, Gale has not yet confessed or asked for any magical items. At this point he doesn't even know if the main character will agree to provide any artifacts for him. And an evil character ruthless enough to destroy the grove and kill the refugees is unlikely to care about his plight.

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Originally Posted by soulstalker
I don't know if that is fully true, i mean Wyll is most likely good aligned. thats why if you do all that is required to get Minthera he automatically and permanently leaves the party

Wyll is probably the closest one to being good, but I don't think he quite makes it over the line. He's willing to torture an innocent guy for information, and his hatred of goblins seems to run very, very deep.

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Wyll is motivated by his own, very selfish, reasons: revenge and finding his patron. He certainly has some mean traits as suggested by that officer of the Flaming Fist at Waukeens Rest, if Wyll is in the party there.
So I'm pretty sure, he is a neutral character.


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Originally Posted by fylimar
Wyll is motivated by his own, very selfish, reasons: revenge and finding his patron. He certainly has some mean traits as suggested by that officer of the Flaming Fist at Waukeens Rest, if Wyll is in the party there.
So I'm pretty sure, he is a neutral character.
I agree that Wyll is neutral, but I'd not say getting revenge for being mutilated is a selfish act in itself (unlike trying to find his patron). There is no possibility to get justice from goblins, since this particular tribe seems to be on the far end of chaotic evil.

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Wyll is hard to put on the alignment grid because he wants to be chaotic good but keeps making evil choices. In the old 1st ed rules I put him as chaotic good with evil tendencies.

Torturing an innocent and killing someone after they have surrendered are evils acts. Choosing a devil as a patron and binding an evil creature to you (an imp) are also evil. I never let him summon the imp when he's in my party.

So you're right, my chaotic good toon clears the entire temple of Selune of the evil goblins. I even clean up the statues when Shadowheart isn't looking. So killing evil creatures isn't a bad act but the way you do it counts and killing any creature after it surrenders is evil. It's the same dilemma we see with the caged goblin -- the girl with the crossbow has a good reason to want revenge but good characters stop her before she can kill a defenseless prisoner.

And that's why I like Wyll. He's on the edge -- I can see him either as hero or villain by the end of the story.

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I leave for six weeks and this thread about which companion is the most worthy of our sexy chars is still going? And nobody is pointing at the obvious, which is that Jergal should be the One Night Stand by excellence?
Think about it:

1) He has EXPERIENCE
2) Screw Astarion's "little death", we can get Big Daddy Death himself.
3) Same goes for Gale's Thousand Honeymoons Tome -- Jergal has read AND written more than Gale ever could, and knows what makes a killer romp
4) He's been sleeping and resting, so he's refreshed
5) If his approval goes up, he might give you a discount on those precious resurrection scrolls
6) FANE ROMANCE WAS THE BEST ROMANCE
7) He's so tall. Like, so tall. So. Tall. You. Guys.
8) And that long, long, unused staff.
9) And that low-cut tunic -- sexier than the Nightsong's bikini.
10) Think of the challenge!
11) He definitely knows what's going on, that pillow talk could be precious for your journey

Other than that, I'm going to pick my lovaaaaahs based on their hotness and experience because everyone is a backstabbing bastard. So:

1) Astarion, duh.

2) Shadowheart -- yes, she only kisses you, but she's had practical training in torture and infiltration, like James Bond, and she has the clearest emotional arc and connection with your char.

3) **gritting teeth*** Gale, because at the very least you can reach for that Kamasutra book of his, but he's still hooked on Mystra and is totally comparing your performance to that of a goddess. Still, I would like to "borrow" that book.

4) Wyll -- same issue as Shadowheart, BUT I'd bet my Menzonerranzan Hoodie that Mizora taught him some interesting tricks, and SHE, as a cambion, seems game for a threesome.

5) Lae'zel -- She seems a bit selfish and, despite her spitting bravado, a bit inexperienced in bed. Plus she's unfamiliar with "Faerûn Culture" and even dislikes it when you go through the Loviathar scene. Only if she reads Gale's book first.

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