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geekoo Offline OP
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Here are my thoughts after about 15h00 of gameplay.

I will develop this in the few next days. I will try to make it concese with + points and - points.

Where to start…
The first thing I would like to say is that the game is rather a good game and for sure not a bad game at all in the current state (beta).
But to be honest I do not find the magic of the Baldur's gate series (or Icewindale). I remember at the time when I played all those titles I was so WOW. The atmosphere was there, the lore, the environments. I loved actually Icewindale for the beautiful environments. Strangely I do not find them really here. I would say that that the interiors are usually great but the exteriors not so much. I have a little a feeling that it's a "reskin" of Divinity in some ways. I can't really point out what is wrong but does not feel really "baldury". Idon't often feel the sense of danger. It's not the case for the interiors. I could definily sense the danger when I got down in the well and spiders were everywhere!

The +

+ Love the voice over. It adds Something.
+ The music/soundtrack in general!
+ The choices and interaction in general (dialogs, paths, combat).
+ The turn to turn combat. Like it a lot. Perhaps the active pose could be implemented also.
+ the 3D levels (but also a minus see further down)
+ Objects design/illustration/3d
+ It's baldur gate?

The-

- I really but really dislike the dialog cut scenes. The animations are dated and stiff. The mise en scène is not good at all. It kills for me the "immersiveness of the game. I would prefer rather no cuts scenes.
- Combat heavy. A little too much. Would love more intrigue.
- UI is not great at all. But guess this will be corrected. I have a lot of difficulties as an example to check my character, leveling, skills etc. 5guess this is work in progress)
- The leveling of characters seems really poor. Not many options or things to choose when you level. It's seems almost an automatic leveling system. Is it due to the D&D5 rules? Not sure. But I miss the older school leveling.
- No ammo count?
- The 3D level. I think it's sometimes not easy when you are in combat to have a good view of where are the opponents. I had that problem for instance against the phase spiders.
- Would love to have a view slightly further up of my party.
- I think you need a really strong computer at the moment to play the game. I have a decent computer (I5 9400 / 24 Go / Gtx1660S) and when I am in game my computer gets really Noisy.
- the spells effects. Specially on characters (mage armour etc...)
- Is it Baldur's gate really?
- Jumps out of combat
- Pushes in combat are nice but they should be adjusted.


Voilà for now. I will add a few more things in the days to come and a more in depth feeling in french also.

I am to be honest a little disapointed at the moment.
Something is missing and can't oint out what excatly. I really Don't want to play a Divinity reskin…

I really Don't find the magic and the atmosphere of what made baldur's gate great…

Nevertheless thanks for the efforts Larian team and what you have achieved so far.

Last edited by geekoo; 21/10/20 11:29 AM.
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Baldur's Gate is a city in the Forgotten Realms setting of Dungeons and Dragons.
It's not just two games that came out many years ago.

And to me the magic of the setting is there in spades. Remember first time you played BG1? Act1 didn't have a lot of atmosphere either. After watching your father die at the hands of evil doers you are off to investigate an iron shortage.
I think for me the "magic and atmosphere" was in the fact that it was something very "new" to me, never really seen before. I think this is why many people talk about the rose colored glasses.


I would say though: I wish and hope that after act 1 that we get a bigger world to explore.

On some of your other points:

Leveling: Did ADnD really have a lot more choices at level up? I seem to recall some classes only getting HP. DnD isn't a huge "player choice on level up" sort of game. Your biggest choice is done at lvl 1, and then sometime before level 3 you pick a sub class. Clerics pick it at character creation, most other classes pick it at level 3.
Some subclasses get more choices later on. Level 6 usually has a choice for some.
Spell casters usually get the most choices, since they get spells on level up.
The game is missing some components of 5e though, which I think adds to the feeling of few choices, or rather meaningfulness to level up. Rogue level 2 is gutted because Larian gave all of the Rogues ability to everyone.

Jumping: Jumping isn't the problem, jumping as a bonus action is.

Ammo count: Seriously? Does anyone ever miss ammo count? Wow. It makes some sense on the tabletop where resource management matters a lot more, but in a computer game it tends to end up just being an annoyance. there's a reason most games does away with it.


"Reskinned Divinity": This one I never get. Sure it has some surface level similarities. But the game mechanics are different. The atmosphere is different. The way social interactions work are different. This feels very little like Divinity and a whole lot like DnD (Which I gather you don't play?)



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I feel this edition has more options than previous ones-- I remember playing Icewind Dale back in the day and you barely had any options at level ups.
Ammo - no thanks
Cutscenes - i find this one to be the oddest complaint-- i mean yes some of the animations and dialog are messed up, it's early access, but to remove them all? The cutscenes look great and add much more depth than just hearing/reading from a top down view.

I guess to the OP I ask- do you actually play D&D? This game feels very much D&D to me.

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Great post OP.

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AD&D 2nd Edition is very different from D&D 5th.

D&D evolved (unfortunately) to be more like a simple tabletop game. Compared to D&D 3.5, the latest D&D edition could be easily named "Hero Quest, Advanced Edition" - that made the game reach more people and sell more (because it becomes MUCH easier to grasp), and made a lot of the hardcore fans scatter to other systems like Pathfinder 1st edition.

Said that you are probably not lacking the option when you level up (that indeed have not changed much), you're probably lacking character complexity.

It is important to note that up to D&D 3.5, we could easily find magic stuff in every single corner and quickly munchkin up weapons, armors, rings, staves... (ok, not staves XD); while on Baldur's 3 we still can find lots of magic stuff (compared to tabletop D&D 5th), it's not even close to the previous games. Pilling up magic items, and aiming for "char features + item" synergy played a great role in character customization on previous systems - and we will probably not see that on Baldur's 3.




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In general I agree with the OP statement but I disagree with the “reasons why”

The games currently feel like an overloaded world full of meaningless content. The magic of the discovery and exploration was obliterated by this no-fog-of-war map, where you can even see what’s waiting behind the door. The magic of the face to face battle was replaced to tactical advantage as a must to thrive.
The magic of that low level party that could’ve TPK by a single wolf in the wilderness replaced to fighting a whole city of goblinoids at level 3 that only can be accomplished because the mechanics have been altered. Would that be in tabletop the outcome would be TPK.

Larian lost the track of simplicity and the early access is delivering an unpolished world of Faerun. Is it a better game than 90% of the games in the market? Definitely. Will I remember it in 10 years like I do BG1/2? Definitely not

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Originally Posted by geekoo

- Is it Baldur's gate really?

Great point. So nuanced


Larian's Biggest Oversight, what to do about it, and My personal review of BG3 EA
"74.85% of you stood with the Tieflings, and 25.15% of you sided with Minthara. Good outweighs evil, it seems."
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Originally Posted by geekoo
Here are my thoughts after about 15h00 of gameplay.

I lly Don't want to play a Divinity reskin…

I really Don't find the magic and the atmosphere of what made baldur's gate great…

I think it's a combination of many things. The finer details.

Larian has injected too much cartoony stuff in the D&D DNA. The exaggerated shoves and jumps. Eating pig heads in combat. The explosive barrels everywhere.

The game is too easy and holds the players hand. You can teleport back to camp for a safe long rest no matter where you are. In original BG you could get ambushed for resting in a non-safe area. The world felt more dangerous and real.

Also the weather effects and day/night cycle made the world in original BG feel more real.

The story... the tadpoles don't feel like a horrible alien thing in your head but more of an excuse to give the player cool powers. Why doesn't the tadpole mind control you if it isn't turning you into a mind flayer? The main enemy in the beginning feels like a cartoon villain from Smurfs who always loses in the end. Because in this world there are only happy endings.

If I had to summarize: it's the level of realism.

The devs should really do another "realism" pass on the whole game to bring the look and feel closer to the original BG games. They need to take off the Divinity hats and put on the Baldur's Gate hats.

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The BG/FR atmosphere is hidden by the DoS atmosphere that emanates from everywhere when you play BG3.

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Personally my only gripe with the game, is not even so much a 'BG' one but a Forgotten Realms one. It's a tough adaptation to make, but I can't help to be a little bit disappointed that all races feel very human and alike. There is just so much nuance to be found in the manuals when it comes to race identity that I cannot seem to find in the game.

P.S: Except Githyankis. They're the only race that feels different so far.

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Originally Posted by geekoo

The +

+ Love the voice over. It adds Something.
+ The music/soundtrack in general!
+ The choices and interaction in general (dialogs, paths, combat).
+ The turn to turn combat. Like it a lot. Perhaps the active pose could be implemented also.
+ the 3D levels (but also a minus see further down)
+ Objects design/illustration/3d
+ It's baldur gate?

The-

- I really but really dislike the dialog cut scenes. The animations are dated and stiff. The mise en scène is not good at all. It kills for me the "immersiveness of the game. I would prefer rather no cuts scenes.
- Combat heavy. A little too much. Would love more intrigue.
- UI is not great at all. But guess this will be corrected. I have a lot of difficulties as an example to check my character, leveling, skills etc. 5guess this is work in progress)
- The leveling of characters seems really poor. Not many options or things to choose when you level. It's seems almost an automatic leveling system. Is it due to the D&D5 rules? Not sure. But I miss the older school leveling.
- No ammo count?
- The 3D level. I think it's sometimes not easy when you are in combat to have a good view of where are the opponents. I had that problem for instance against the phase spiders.
- Would love to have a view slightly further up of my party.
- I think you need a really strong computer at the moment to play the game. I have a decent computer (I5 9400 / 24 Go / Gtx1660S) and when I am in game my computer gets really Noisy.
- the spells effects. Specially on characters (mage armour etc...)
- Is it Baldur's gate really?
- Jumps out of combat
- Pushes in combat are nice but they should be adjusted.

Il start at the top smile with the good:

-yeah love the atmosphere. Voices are really well done, some lore things like the enviroment around the hag setting the hairs on your back upright. Done perfectly!
-Larian does do options to complete quests and/or dialogue nicely but in some areas im afraid they put some illusion of choice instead of actuall choice. Needs some ironing out imo.
-Turn based is true to DND and alot of mechanics simply wouldnt work in a true time system. They would need to rework or overhaul so much some entire class features would get tossed in the bin,. Glad they kept the game turn based.
-I love the verticality but holy shit they got to tweak that camera. Its a hot glitchy mess!
-Yeah their engine is great for very detailed enviroments.

And the bad:
-The cut scenes all bug out for me so I agree there. Like, quite literally ALL of them. Im either looking at a wall, some random character who decided to stand in the middle of the conversation or I have 10 second pauses between each sentance. It defenitly needs ironing out but the manner in which the conversations go are very akin to how they went into BG1+2, The conversations with your companions are a little bit more....dickish though but hopefully they can work on that.
-Combat is imo indeed abit on the heavy side and far to punishing atm. If you treat your players like this as a DM I doubt many will stay for very long. Currently fights are either super easy or soul crushingly hard. There is no in between. So we need to give them more feedback on that imo.
-Leveling is defenitly 5E atm but in the past we dident get much options to do with leveling either. HP was automaticly rolled and classes like fighter just got more HP, THACO and attacks (for BG1+2) only in Throne of baal did they actually get options for the heroic skills that they got. So in that regard its not just this game. Dnd as a whole is like this. Spellcasters have the most choice where they can pick new spells.
-Mundane arrows beeing infinitly available isent something that im worried about tbh. I guess they could require you to have a quiver available but alot of players will run into issues of 'book keeping' that ive heard people complain about around hte table. Honestly I dont mind myself if they did require us to buy arrows but a great deal of players seem to hate it.
-Like I said at the + point, the camera is glitchy as all hell. At times I believe its actively trying to give me seizures. If it works properly though we get to really appreciate the verticality ^_^
- vision is actually very constricted if you look at dnd rules. Well in darkness anyway. Darkvision (or god help you if you dont have that and are in darkness) really sucks and can put you at serious disadvantages against monsters (or humanoids) that have superior vision. Its rough and a pain in the ass, and its supposed to be like that. Some creatures have VERY good sight and use that to ambush their prey so im looking forward to see what kind of shenanigans they are going to pull out of their hat laugh
-Dont know about really strong. My pc is roughly 4 years old and is scheduled for recplacement next year but it can still run the game. It does hang from time to time but aside from that its fine. Mind you it was a good gaming pc at the time so maybe im just pampered? *shrug*
-You dislike the spell effects? I love how they portray them tbh. Is there anything in particular that you dislike about it? Aside from magic missle hitting terrain ( -.- ) I havent really found it to be an issue...
-Its not bg1 or bg2. If thats what you are asking. Nor did they say they were recreating those. I do agree that they need to give it more of a bg flavour compared to a DOS II flavour but not sure how they should accomplish that?
-You dislike the jumping outside of combat? Considering the freedom to explore that it gives the player im suprised that someone is bothered by that :o any reason why it bothers you?
-Yeah shove is really OP and needs a serious overhaul at the moment. Completly agree!

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I made a similar thread to this a couple of days ago. Didn't get any traction, so might as well leave a reply with the stuff here smile To some of the points, especially about the narrative part of the game, I must say that a lot is part of the game engine capabilities. The heavy dialogue and long reading was perfect for BG 1 and 2, would be very outdated for a BG3. The trick and hard part for Larian is to achieve the same feel despite the voice-overs, cinematics etc. I feel the narrator is nicely done and well written, adding a lot to that feel. It couldn't be perfect cause perfect is different for each of us. Especially for the cinematics, however, I would not even judge them as they are. They are obviously not working as intended in the final version so a simply "Hey guys! Don't forget to polish those!" is enough feedback.

WARNING: Spoilers. Suggest you have at least one play through before reading if you don’t like them. That includes BG 1 and 2 smile Also contains full plot speculation but not too obvious I think.

I overall loved the Early Access. But this did not happen immediately and I think that’s a great shame. That is not because the Early Access was initially bad, but because for the better part of my experience in the introduction, my head was engaged in a debate: “Is this Divinity 3 or BG 3?” Until I first visited the Grove, I was heavily leaning towards "Divinity 3" but the scales started tipping to a balance the more I played. I fully understand how premature it would be to decide on this matter based solely on an Early Access play through however first impressions matter and, considering the decades of history the franchise carries, it is as inevitable a comparison as, perhaps, it is unfair. So I hope this helps:


Feedback


Points that enhanced the “Divinity Feel”



1. Origin Character Option: Their very existence in the character creation screen felt very “Divinity” and very far away from BG. Your Bhaalspawn was always yours. While I can understand the thought process behind this choice, having a simple “one character” creation screen, would immediately take me away from Divinity. Their existence also immediately told me 2 things and made me speculate on a third, points 2, 3 and 4 below.

2. Limited NPCs: whether true or not in the full game, already by the Character Creation I “knew” or at least it was impressed upon me that the NPCs that would accompany me in this adventure would be 5 very specific characters… and I already knew their names. In the full version I would also know what they look like and their basic information. That made me feel I won't have the dozen or so NPCs you would randomly find all over the Sword Coast in previous BGs and the thrill and excitement you got when you saw a character portrait in a dialogue. Whether that was because you walked around the market or the sewers, hop!, that portrait would raise the inner exclamation: “oooohhhhh I found a guy/gal, they are cool, what do they do, who are they, can I keep them?”

3. I am not in this alone: again, without knowing how true it would be in the actual game, from the character screen I was left with the impression that my character was not alone in the whole situation. My suspicion was immediately that “hey, this feels like Divinity: trapped in a situation together with other people”. This greatly contradicted the feel you had when playing the Bhaalspawn: even if it lasted but a moment, when Gorion dies you are left with a feeling of “Holy cow. I am a level 1 noob in a forest. Alone. And obviously some pretty tough scary dude wants me dead” This feeling never truly left.

4. Meta-thoughts:(plot speculation. Kinda) because of the all the above, I started overthinking: suppose I am a THIS would the companions also be like THAT.... OK. I made a whole theory here. One that the game fed further so in the very very off-chance it could be true I'd rather not bask in the glory of "AHA! I was right!" and let people enjoy the game. Point is, my meta thoughts lead me close to Divinity 2, possibly because of points 1, 2 and 3.

These four, perhaps above all else, took me away from a “BG Feel”. Even as I recognize how much overthinking lies behind 4 and how far off the plot I probably am, they sunk the scales heavily towards a “Divinity Feel”, even before I pressed “Venture Forth”. Again, this is not a "good/bad" thing. This is feedback on how I felt.

5. The obvious: Game engine. That being said, the way I see it, it’s a. only natural and b. ultimately irrelevant. The nostalgia of Infinity Engine clones is only that: nostalgia. And while nostalgia can have immense value, I feel like it was a right call not to try and replicate it to a fault and frankly I loved the Divinity engine so couldn’t care less. The feel would be decided elsewhere for me, but I know that for some this could be a factor.

6. No obvious connection to BG (plot speculation. Kinda): There is no obvious connection to the plots of the previous games. If anything, any teases and hints in the content came a bit out of nowhere, at least in my play through – could be they mean nothing or could be I have missed something, even though I would think that such a hint would be offered much, much more openly, forced upon me even. That being said, perhaps the fact we haven’t changed means True Souls are special in a way that ties to BG and that thought spiraled into the abyss that was point 4. above etc etc…

7. You start at a beach laugh I mean, sure you don’t, not really, but you kinda do when it matters. This can very well be a signature move put deliberately (at least I thought it was so) or a nice way to more easily guide the player to a specific direction. But I actually chuckled when I thought “OK, here we go, the good part starts” then I landed on that beach. laugh


Points that enhanced the “BG Feel”



1. Exploration feel: From the very first play through of the Early Access, after –some- exploring, I felt the same need I felt in BG 2: any unexplored point on the area could contain a story and I want to see it. When I did see them, the actual stories did not fail to deliver.

2. Encounter feel: You can be a cruel DM, Larian. A cruel cruel DM that likes to see those players suffer. You feed off the tears of the very players that worship you and Bhaal was a slightly ill-mannered nun compared to your cruelty.
I LOVE IT. But that's just me.
Cruelty aside, every single encounter, combat or otherwise, felt like D&D – which was BG’s greatest success (for me at least). That (along with the rest of the Black Isle games), was BG’s THING: they were the closest one could get to a D&D experience. You have managed this superbly. Walking around Early Access was like browsing through a ready-made Adventure book. The shove thing annoys me, it's why it's also my first suggestion, but that was it. The encounters as adventure and atmosphere encounters, were well done - even if the cinematics and dialogue need some polishing, the core has quality.

3. Lore: Some could consider this “cheating”. An “easy” way to replicate the BG feel, cause the lore does it for you and it’s all ready. I don’t. It is done amazingly and that’s not an easy thing. The lore is there in an excellent manner that brings the FR to life, whether through History, Arcana or Nature checks or encounters, locations and books and even to aesthetics and design. I am sure different people have different images and experiences about how FR "should feel" but in this Larian presented their vision very well in my opinion.

4. Deep “random” NPCs: A specific story connected to Tyr followers is a prime example: a whole story is there, the quest opens a window for you to look through IF you pry it open. It made me wonder how much I could have missed in other similar quests, because I didn’t have the inspiration to do something similar to Speak with Dead.

5. Class can feel special: Was talking to a mate about the Hag. “Got so lucky and rolled a 20, amazing detail that and amazing luck” he said with his warlock. “…..I needed a 9 with my ranger/nature” I said. That felt FANTASTIC. As fantastic as Icewind Dale Paladin going “I see your evil aura” to the Yuan-Ti. Also: BAAAAAAH

6. World Map: This was a huge thing for me. When I clicked on the path and saw the world map I sighed with relief and went “OK, they know how to subtly make it feel BG”. The little things are big things. Those I’ve seen you’ve nailed, simply and efficiently.


Suggestions

Only three. That’s it.

1. Make “Shove” less powerful (maybe simply prone) or make it an action: right now, any elevated combat turns into a shoving contest. In many ways, it also makes a Dual-Wielder obsolete: why dedicate my feat to hold a longsword so I can waste my bonus to a XX% chance of doing 1d8+Y, when I can shove one to oblivion instead?

2. Alignment – Especially Alignment Dialogues: I know it’s been raised before, I know that 5th doesn’t make such a big deal out of it. And it doesn’t have to be, after all even in BG you had evil dialogue options with a LG Paladin. But it would feel better to have it there. BG is D&D – kind of. An essential part of that is to make the character and RP them. Even if I don’t have to be locked down by the alignment, some dialogues simply feel better if they are linked to the character concept you had when you made them. It also eliminates other problems: exactly because 5th doesn’t tie alignment to systemic classes, the existence solely of a “Ranger” option, doesn’t cover the array of options that differently aligned Rangers would have, in a moral situation. Would players feel “pushed” towards their alignment option? Maybe. But that simply adds to the replayability of the game: I played the game as a LG Devotion Paladin. Let’s try a LN Vengeance. Or a LE Warlock. Or or or…

3. God Specific Dialogues: Let me say that this might exist; the Selune ruins could be a prime place to trigger some, especially with priests or paladins or religion heavy classes: but I did not encounter any as my ranger, at least.


Hope this helps smile

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Maybe I'm bad at games (well I play for fun so I never have been into become a professionale world league level player :P ) but some affirmations in this thread make me raise a perplexed eyebrown.

I lost count of the times my party got killed (and I'm playing in classic mode that should be average difficulty), and in a lot of battles I have to reload to get the right strategy.

Also maybe I have bad luck in dice rolls but pushing alone has never been the easy way (specially if the enemies have ranged attackers or are able to teleport), to be useful you have to have a fught in a place that has the right height, with at least one border without protections so that the pushed enemy can fall (and again if the fall is not enough they wont die), sometimes its only a way to give some room to ranged attackers (that have a penalty if they are engaged on proximity battles), also you have to carefully use the barils to create damaging surfaces.

Now I am someone who loves videogames, but as I said I play for fun, I'm interested in the story and to engage in endless battles where I'm forced to reload again and again is not my turf.

I get it RPG have battles and so on, but they are a story in wich a character moves, not a virtual survival training. When I want to stress out the strategist or restless fighter or hypercoordinated sharpshooter I play other games (well I don't I already spend energy and effort in my work).

My point is that for an average user the difficulty of this game, in the "classic" difficulty mode, is enough.

I get the good old days of complicated games, that where niche. Well in those days computers were a niche product.

I'm not saying Larian or other game developpers should make the games obscenely easy (I got bored of the so much loved and acclaimed Skyrim because it was so user friendly that no action really have a consequence and in the end characters could do everything, same reason I only play occasionaly to ESO, and the story behind was not compelling enough) but neither as difficult as the old BG (never finished those one because i got pissed after have been killed about fifty times without even reach 3rd level and because, too, even to got to camp was an hazard), what I say is that developpers could add more choices in the gameplay options so that a player can make their own experience the more personalized possible.

Obviously I'm not a programmer so i don't know how much effort or tweaking it could take, but the best solution would be to add (like in the Age of Empires and Civilization of old) in the average difficulty set the option to switch off or on the fog of war, the possibility to switch on a "non safe fast travel/travel to camp", get prone instead of fall down borders.


(And, come on is funny to think Shadowheart eating a full roasted boar while in the battle, but still is the same as drinking a potion, the bottles of potion are not so little and woul require more than one action to dring them).

Up to now my concerns are about Larian not falling in the same issue, or at least what I felt like an issue, of Skyrim: the lack of repercussions of your moral choices or achievements, the fact that there were not limits that make really hard to made a character become a jack of all trades and a master of all (I had an Imperial Legionaire that was too higher in the thief guild ranking, I remember npc giving directions and gossip about the school fo magic even if my toon was the archmage etc etc.. ...) and that they don't use the tadpoles as an excuse to give to the main charcater and companions powers not enlisted in the D&D canon. It would be annoying to discover that it was all a ruse, we know indeed that something big is happening so I hope Larian is able to give a nice explanation (and make the "eliinate the parasite" only a founding stone and not a recurrent cliché).

I have to admitt that some issues are already there, for example (spoiler ahead)
in the swanp I killed the monster hunter after Astarion, him was in the party. when I interacted few game seasons after the dialogue was funny because it was like Astarion wasn't there to fight and kill the enemy :O :O


I agree with the complains of the cut scenes, I love them because they add deep to the characters but come on, talking to a wall? or a feet? os a chunk of chest hair? O.o (in the camp cutscenes supposedly important to the story are full of polygons intersecting, rigidity, walls.. ...).

Another thing I really find annoying and upsetting is the fact that my toon doesn't has a voice. So there are thuse discussions in wich I hear (and read) the phrase said by an NPC and jusr read both the text and the emoticon expression of my toon when it comes to its anwers.


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When the game releases probably they will put a "story mode" difficulty or something and you will be ok.

Just please, dont make this another walkover like DOS 2...


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