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(Warning, many spoilers ahead)

I'm just an old guy who started D&D in 2nd edition 30 years ago. I enjoyed Forgotten Realms and the classic "gathering my party to venture forth" from a tavern where we received a quest to go find some treasure. Usually an elf was the most exotic or strange party member who would garner attention from local villagers or farmers as they had never actually seen one in person before. If there were any Tiefling or Drow with us they would surely have worn a disguise to avoid drawing too much attention to themselves. Slaying an ogre or band of orcs was quite the accomplishment for a group of eager level 2 adventurers, enough to earn a reward from the local mayor and a reputation in the area. Finding a cache of magical items was quite rare and scrolls or potions were valuable assets to be used carefully. Eventually something would happen to thrust the party into the seat of danger and a plot would unfold which would lead to intrigue, greatness and powerful enemies. Back then, like in the original Baldur's Gate 1, our story began similarly to Gorion's Ward, a novice set off into the unknown on an adventure with their childhood companion Imoen. Can you imagine how boring characters like Imoen, Jaheira or Khalid would seem compared to those in "Baldur's Gate 3"?

In contrast, BG3 feels like some Michael Bay, Guardians of the Galaxy fever dream with flying ships and planar races being the new normal, throwing away the entire vibe set by the first 2 games. BG3 has the player fighting Beholders in the Underdark as early as level 2-3! It feels like someone who only just heard of Forgotten Realms wanted to take all the most over the top content and cram it all into the first chapter. By the time our characters set foot in a normal town or village (which currently doesn't even exist in Early Access) they will likely be in the double digit levels and have an entire troupe traveling in their camp. A camp which may consist (thus far) of a Lich, owlbear cub, The legendary Volo, a vampire, a gith, a druid, several magical humans and a dog. It makes deciding whether to spend extra gold for a nice room at the Friendly Arm Inn seem like an entirely different setting.

All of this leads to nothing in the current game feeling special or particularly noteworthy.
In the first BG1 game, our character discovered they are a descendant of the God of Murder much to their surprise as their life thus far has been relatively quiet and normal. They then slowly begin to manifest abilities and unravel the meaning of their lineage while being joined by an interesting cast of adventurers whose backgrounds never truly outshine that of the main character. All of this occurs while exploring the relatively quiet, pastoral wilderness of the Sword Coast.
In BG3 on the other hand, after our player crawls from the bowels of a gigantic nautiloid dimensional spaceship which is fighting dragon riding astral lizard people whom all escaped from the nine hells only to be marooned amidst a lost caravan of demon-folk battling a horde of magically enthralled goblins it is hard to imagine anything really standing out as unusual or particularly noteworthy. We are immediately joined by a wizard who has shacking up with the goddess Mystra herself and has now become a direct conduit for the weave, able to siphon seemingly infinite amounts of magic into himself. Yet he is somehow just probably the most mundane of our possible companions, all of whom have some absurdly complex story for level 1 characters. It is like every party member is competing to see who is the most special, edgy character that can subvert expectations, and this is all explained by the fact their minds were altered by psychic squid people but then further manipulated by an unknown magical entity known only as "The Absolute". Does anyone remember the Baldur's Gate games where you could recruit companions like the the ranger Kivan, a simple elf whose entire backstory was as complicated as revenge against a local bandit leader?

The entire premise of BG3 in this regard is absurd. Githyanki and Tieflings are more common than Humans or Elves in the current game. I was genuinely surprised when the player meets Mayrina's brothers in the swamp, who are two of the only non-magical, normal humans in the entire game thus far. This does not parallel BG1 & 2, both of which were centric around fairly mundane cities and towns. BG1 straight up went with the initial setting being a very quiet human castle/monastery of Candlekeep. BG2 got a little more exotic with the metropolitan city of Amn where magic was powerful just beneath the surface but it was still mostly grounded in traditional medieval fantasy. Part of the charm of Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 was interacting with townsfolk and playing the typical medieval hero (or villain). Hearing quips like "You tell 'em Marl" from drunken country bumpkins or deciding the quality of room you could afford at the local inn, created a backdrop of a living, believable and relatable world amidst the fantastic magical elements. Somehow BG3 seems more on par with the setting of Planescape or Throne of Bhaal which we didn't reach until level 18-20.

My character in BG3 has more potions, scrolls and magical items then I know what to do with. All of my party's gear slots are enchanted. Half the battles can be won by shoving the enemy off a cliff. Burning, acid or wet surfaces are such an important combat feature while game mechanics like alignment or reputation are ignored. Gone are character portraits. Gone are AI packages, formations, and 6 member parties. I played Divinity Original Sin 1 and 2 and enjoyed both but neither felt like Forgotten Realms, neither felt like D&D... This is, something else. Divinity Original Sin 3 maybe. Baldur's Gate 3, definitely not.

Last edited by Endlessdescent; 16/11/21 02:20 AM.
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Originally Posted by Endlessdescent
"You tell 'em Marl"

grin

But everything in this post does resonate with me, truly.

It really makes one wonder, if Charname appeared in this game as a companion, like "Hi, I'm the spawn of Bhaal. I remember you from the ship. We must have taken the same wrong left when exiting Hell, crazy huh. I'm looking for a healer, how bout you? Want to team up?" and we probably wouldn't skip a beat. 'Sorry, I got Lae'zel in the group and we're all full up. Good luck!" hehe

Ah, for the days of High Hedge, and good old show stoppers like Kivan! I miss it too

ps. also, makes me wonder how Bhaal is going to figure back in. I guess TAV could be the Bhaalspawn somehow. Like ATTN Throne of Murder: The matrix has decided you get wiped, reincarnated and reset to lvl1, but with all the same knowledge of your previous life, just garbled all to hell in the flayer acid trip. That would be amusing. There should be a cassandra dialog option in every convo where Tav is insistent that they can "remember it all!" And like 'why doesn't anyone believe?' And 'what happened to the power!?' That would at least make me chuckle. That should be a BG3 'origin', filed under leans chaotic alignment hehe

Last edited by Black_Elk; 16/11/21 04:41 AM.
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+1 for sure

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+1, without a doubt.

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Those characters are not there to be your companions. They are walking advertisements for playing an origin character instead of your own character.

I like to think of them as boneable billboards.

Last edited by timebean; 16/11/21 02:10 AM.
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Fantastic post OP. You hit all the right points.

Originally Posted by Endlessdescent
In contrast, BG3 feels like some Michael Bay, Guardians of the Galaxy fever dream with flying ships and planar races being the new normal, throwing away the entire vibe set by the first 2 games. A camp which may consist (thus far) of a Lich, owlbear cub, The legendary Volo, a vampire, a gith, a druid, several magical humans and a dog. It makes deciding whether to spend extra gold for a nice room at the Friendly Arm Inn seem like an entirely different setting.

Yep, the harsh truth.

Originally Posted by Endlessdescent
We are immediately joined by a wizard who has shacking up with the goddess Mystra herself and has now become a direct conduit for the weave, able to siphon seemingly infinite amounts of magic into himself.

Yep, it is just ridiculous. Such a poorly written character.

Originally Posted by Endlessdescent
The entire premise of BG3 in this regard is absurd. Githyanki and Tieflings are more common than Humans or Elves in the current game.

Yep, it feels more like Star Wars than Forgotten Realms.

Originally Posted by Endlessdescent
This does not parallel BG1 & 2, both of which were centric around fairly mundane cities and towns.

As I said in another thread, I miss how the originals intertwined the plot with the political intricacies of the Sword Coast.

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Was typing up a couple of paragraphs to express my thoughts but thought it would be rather redundant. So here just have my +1


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Hey there,

You're not the first, nor will you be the last to say these things, OP... much to many folks' collective chagrin. There is not really answer to everything you're saying here - there are no excuses or apologies to be made, because it's all just as you say, more or less.


Quote
It feels like someone who only just heard of Forgotten Realms wanted to take all the most over the top content and cram it all into the first chapter.

This in particular hits the nail very much on the head. It feels like this, because this is exactly what has happened.

Nevertheless, thank you for taking the time to sit and write this up- every voice counts, especially when it's anew voice chiming in fresh and coming to the same conclusion on their own. If you can spare the time and effort, I'd like to strongly encourage you to submit this to Larian's direct feedback form (from the launcher), just to send your particular voice to them directly.

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It says a lot to me that one of the most 'normal' companions right now is the Githyanki, because in all things except for her current circumstance with the tadpole, she's pretty much a completely normal Githyanki. BGIII is really missing out on having some more 'normal' companions. The Anomens and Nalias etc to balance out the characters with crazy backstories and/or personalities like Edwin and Minsc.

But that ties into a greater apprehension I have with the game. You compared it to Michael Bay & Guardians of the Galaxy. And while I absolutely adore so much of the game, I have to agree there. There's too much high stakes, too many big names-mindflayers, jergal, the nine hells, githyanki, the dead three, shar, selune, etc etc getting thrown at us right at the beginning. We aren't even half way through act I and we can already fight mindflayers, drow, githyanki, and a frickin *adamantine golem* The game has no chill, no patience. Plenty of other D&D games have had absurdly high stakes before, but they usually had the sense to build up to them up. I fear this is all too much for one game, and introduced at too much of a breakneck speed as well.

I'm absolutely loving the characters and their interactions, and the amount of intricacy Larian has built into some character interactions, quests, giving players chances to think outside the box etc, but the overall plot? That has me worried. The super special status of all of our companions is a bit offputting, their endearing personalities and interactions aside.

I think it's way too late for Larian to reverse course on a lot of the decisions they have made at this point since they are firmly woven into the dna of the game by now, but I do hope they at least consider moderating some of the excesses. I don't want to feel like I'm playing through three Realm-Shaking-Events simultaneously over the course of a single game, and I'd really appreciate some more normal party members later in the game.

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I really get what you mean. This all seems a bit overblown. Not because of one single thing but because everything seems out of what you think would be ordinary, or normal. I am with you that less is sometimes more. I wonder if our PC gets some special backstory, since why would Mind flayers abduct a totally ordinary character with all those oddballs smile.

If you have been around D&D an AD&D since 30 years, you are about the same as me. My first game beeing "pool of radiance" on the C64, where our party ended in the bowels of the dead god moander in space. So those overblown stories existed back then too. They started off a tad slower i guess. BG3 is a lot for new 1st level chars, and even more for people that are new to forgotten realms. Be that good or bad.

and if you read the realms novels of the last 20 years, the realms have changed quite a bit. We have earthmotes now (and i have not seen those in BG3 till now, nor spellscars).

All in all i agree on the fact that it may be a bit much for 1st act 1st level. That could have taken a bit longer smile

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Originally Posted by Endlessdescent
Burning, acid or wet surfaces are such an important combat feature while game mechanics like alignment or reputation are ignored.

Alignment is one of the richest and most-missed features of D&D. The CRPG format lays bare the importance and necessity of alignment mechanics for a variety of reasons. The game would undoubtedly be much better with more alignment in it.

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I am similar in terms of older gamer (50 yrs or so) played d&d mainly second and third edition - but I’ve put 280 hours into early access and on my 4th play through of patch six.

Whilst I agree with some of what you say I’m taking it for what it is under dark at lvl 4 & spectators I’ve killed two in this run they must be baby beholders as lvl 4 party would last 5 seconds normally..
Anyway Michael Bay or not this game is fantastic and the story will develop as it should it’s still early access and a good 12-18 months away from release in which time a lot can happen.

More Githyanki true but we are in the wilderness with a downed nautaloid ship makes sense gith would be in hot pursuit of their mortal enemy ..I can get with that…the start of a grand adventure & alot more interesting than 4 characters meet in a bar…lol but you are right was always the way

Tieflings in the modern game are common so are Dragonborn ? …as are druids, and a lot of other races/classes

And this story follows on from a city being dragged into avernus..I think ..so there is alot of scope for broader and more fantastical setting that perhaps would be the norm.


I’m enjoying the story - yes some of the traditionally higher level enemies are in early but they are weaker versions - I remember fighting small dragons in d&d in as low as level 4 ….dragonlance first module black dragon if my memory serves me correctly ..couple of other examples made things exciting..

It may also be in the final version that parts of what is early access areas may be level 5-6 in the end version with stronger versions of what we see now..

There are a number of magical items true but that’s the computer game aspect kicking in - can’t say I find any of the items overly powerful or unbalancing from a gameplay point of view. Larian have dialled things down a lot since early access began and I think they continue to listen to feedback

Shoving, surfaces …some will change some will not as it’s Larian game …I still think we are very lucky it’s them making this game if you look at some of the nonsense so called aaa studios are trotting out these days.

I was more of your view earlier on but as the game has evolved and improved and I’ve sunk alot more time into it I’m alot more accepting of the premise and the difference between table top d&d vs computer game d&d.

Last edited by Tarorn; 16/11/21 08:18 AM.
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I do agree with you, OP. I'm a long time D&D gamer too and loved BG 1&2.
I do like many things about the new game and I enjoy it, but I find the companions too much, basically Mary Sues and 'main characters'. The story is overblown, with too much high level stuff, that fit dumbed down and yes, I would like a little normal town with some small quests and lesser grand schemes in the first act.


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I dont want to sound harsh ... but maybe i will so i just state in advance that its not my intention.

It seems like nostalgia dreaming to me ... you know the kind old people have when they say that back in their days everything was right and better ... grass was greener, sun was warmer, politicians were honest ... that kind of stuff.
I mean i get it, kinda ... i also dislike what happened to my favorite settings (including games movies and books) but you cant stop progress and it just require changes ... only time will tell wich change will be remembered or fogotten.

Now lets look at sone specific points:
You were complaining about races ... i dont understand what should i take from that ... its somehow bothering you that there is more than just elves and humans?

Take Gith ... there are 4 in that cinematic as far as i know (including Lae'zel) and yes we later meet their patrol of 5 plus Kithrak if i remember corectly.
Thats not so much in my eyes. O_o
Also it kinda make sence that if your story include some cteature (a mind flayer in this case) you cant and possibly will also meet their forsworn enemies.

Tieflings being more common than humans ... this is just wrong observation ... i mean you are ignoring context here, you said it youreself we didnt even reach any settlement so far and as they tell us they are not even from here.
It makes to me as much sence as claiming that there is more Asians than Black people in Africa based on that you meet Chineese tourist group on airport. :-/

Companions ... well that is its own topic ... but are they really so special?
Lae'zel > totally regular and kinda boring among her own people ... i mean she is not even concidered adult. laugh all her specialness is that she separated from her flock ... isnt that the oldest story ever made?
Gale > i mean i can understand that he would seem little too much, banging a Goddess of magic herself is no small feat ... i must admit that i dont know how often Gods walk among meere mortals in this world ... but concidering that almost litteraly any cleric can chitchat with them, it just seem possible ... also as far as i know we were told that Gale loves her but not even a woed about hwr feelings ... i mean have you heard about Zeus? The guy who created basicaly whole Greece mythology bcs he had some bed adventure with mortal from time to time? I dunno why Gods so often have fetish for humans but concidering varoety of halfbreeds they are not the only one.
Astarion > only a spawn ... and Vampires are not uncommon in this setting ... so where is the problem? I mean yes he gets quite strong bonus action (i really wonder if that gets powerup in level 5) but except that? As far as i know vampire mind flayers are rare but not new in this world.
Wyll and Shadow are just regular persons in my opinion.

‐----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

But i dont want just criticize ...
I agree woth your point about scrolls and enchanted things being little too common ...
But personaly i believe (read as: hope) that this is just for EA purposes to find out vich magic effects people like.


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I tend to agree and disagree with OP, being an "old timer" who stayed up 'til 5am playing BG1 as a kid.

First off - BG3 is a sequel, even though it will start from scratch. It kinda sets the premises for "a little more right at the start". An introduction that sets the premises for future action is nice and attracts people. Just imagine the first Episode of Game of Thrones and the White Walkers in the woods - we didn't see them again for a loooong time. BG2 started with the most OP wizard we've ever encountered kicking ass and showing us how powerless we are.
The story takes off right after the official D&D campaign "Descent into Avernus", and that's where all your tieflings are coming from. For sure D&D has changes since 2E with a much wider mix of races.

Regarding magical items, in BG1 you find a Ring of Wizardry right outside one of the first friendly places, as lvl 1. You find an Ankheg armor before nashkel mines. You have a +2 hammer with lightning damage and a long sword +1 with frost damage. Not to mention you meet an elf with a moonblade, a super rare magical artifact. An all this before you have hit lvl 3. You can even run around with a 2-handed +3 cursed berserker sword. And don't forget the belt of gender swapping laugh
And BG2 basically drowned you in magical items to the point that even my Bag of Holding was full.
So far in BG3, we have a bunch of magical items with the odd "on use" effect that doesn't throw off balance but gives flavor.
I would like to see far less items using surfaces however. This is just not a thing in D&D. And booming arrows throwing people off ledges etc. is just silly at these levels.

Regarding our origin characters, the only one with a truly over the top story is Gale, but he is also a very grounded character in every other aspect.
The main reason they are all very "much" is simply because they can be played as an Origin character, and this is Larians thing.
Bumping into Gith when you deal with mind flayers is kinda a thing. Same thing happened in BG2.

So to summarize, even if the intro is Michael Bay-like and you realize you've been thrown into something big, the overall setting in Act 1 isn't over the top and I do believe things will feel more in place once level cap is increased outside of EA (or if we're lucky, still in EA).

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+1 , at this point I fear the best we can hope for is that they simply add some forgotten realms everyday life 'mundane, pastoralist, rural'-ordinariness to the current map. Suggestions I already made elsewhere which I think could somehow lessen the feelings described by OP and many others: add 'roaming' NPC of various kinds (e.g. merchant caravans, bandits, wildlife), add the necessities of life to make the world believable (e.g. an actual tavern, a farm - where do the people on the map grow their food?, some basic shops for clothes - see waukeens promenade in BG2 which had a lot of these, add some houses or other kinds of habitation structures - right now I simply wonder where all the grove NPC's are supposed to sleep, on the floor? - obviously atm there is no night so they don't "sleep",... etc etc etc.
I agree that a lot of this would amount to 'filler' and perhaps some players are more in favour of a really lean and stripped game where everything has a purpose but I hope they find some middleground and add some elements that suggest the game world is an actual world were people work, sleep, live their lives, etc.
An example to me would be the starting area(s) of Icewind Dale. IMO they did it better than BG1 in terms of starting areas that catapult you in a game world which is believable because of all the things that suggests what people do for a living and their 'way of life', e.g. fishing and fur trading, living in shacks with their kids, the alcoholic fisherman, villagers complaining in the tavern about the traderoute being blocked by harsh winter,etc.
If you compare this to BG3, for me, the BG3 world is super constructed, artificial, extremely meta-gamey, static, and overal giving the impression of a table-top dungeon or quest map instead of a 3d rendered fantasy world in which we as players can partake and explore but in which things also happen unrelated to our/the party's existence (everything has a quest related purpose, no 'flavour only' NPC's or structures: e.g. no farms, no housing, no tavern, no normal shops or markets, no travelers, no wildlife, no habitation outside of map 'hubs',...)


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Originally Posted by SerraSerra
no farms, no housing, no tavern, no normal shops or markets, no travelers, no wildlife
Well, after all we are suppose to be "in middle of nowhere" not "in middle of nowhere, just 5 minutes walk from supermarket" laugh

Originally Posted by SerraSerra
no habitation outside of map 'hubs',...)
There is fisherman village, up the river outside of map hub. O_o


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I made a post like the OP almost one year ago to the day,.

A 200 year old level 1 rouge, "but he was a slave" the defenders cry. If he gained 150xp per year from killing rats, bugs and reading books he would still be level 8.

A magical progeny so gifted and powerful the godess of magic gave him a free sample. Cough....level 1? But the orb thingy made him do it. Then how can he cast spells at all if it ate all his magic and knowledge?

A warrior trained from birth in every combat style and is required to bring back an illithid head for bragging rights gets caught by 2 teefling noobs and a gobbo cage.

They send a level 1 cleric of Shar and team into the Githyanki astral plane to obtain a mystery box guarded by a legion of Kith'rak. So a legion of CR 20+ dragon riders got fooled by the breakfast club. Gotcha!

Wyll, a legend with many heroic exploits and a demonic patron....Righhhhht

And Tav, the player character, the only true NPC in game without a voice over......lol

What I got 1 year ago was "but the tadpole did it, it makes perfect sense".

I mean you need acrobatics of the imagination to make ^^^^^ that make sense.

You cannot build a world based on a strict set of rules and 50 years of established lore and plonk a bunch of stuff on a static map and call it BG3. I like the Guardians of the galaxy comparison it is quite apt. Take your character in Bg1, you just left school and jumped out of the frying pan. Even a wolf proved challenging. From the moment you start anyone with a scrap of D&D knowledge is left scratching their heads.

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I agree.

The epicness of the game is so high right at the beginning that we'll probably loose an important part of such a game : the feeling our characters slowly become powerfull and that the story gains in intensity.

Story, visual effects, creatures, side quests/companions quests, world design, gameplay, cinematics,... They want our excitement gauge to stay at maximum all the time... As a consequence, I think the feelings we'll have playing the game are going to be very linear without a lot of surprise or emotional involvment.

We'll have to deal with it, guess it's Larian's style.

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