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I still remain hopeful there will be many more ties to the stories of BG1 and 2. So far there seems to be a lot of story complexity hiding, just waiting to be revealed. Lots of promising stuff! I recommend Harbs Narbs videos on Youtube for lots of theories and lore! =)

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Originally Posted by Sozz
I've been comparing BG2 and BG3 almost solely on their stories but that's because it's the most interesting part to me. That said the differences between a 6 and 4 man squad can certainly change the tenor of combat encounters but I think this has more to do with the relative power curves between 2nd and 5th edition than anything

I would put Kingmaker much closer to BG:1 than BG:2 and really just the first Act of Baldur's Gate.

I agree with you the story is important but it doesn't really help in comparing the games I mean in that sense these are totally different games even if it references the original BG stories later as well as maybe its impact on the world is more like a backdrop to this story but still makes this its own story

Hmm I will have to disagree on Kingmaker I've played BG:1 Enhanced all the way through and it's got a different play style maybe the early levels feel more like BG1 but once your hitting 10+ lvs more like BG2 so could say both really.

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Originally Posted by Sozz
Originally Posted by ash elemental
Originally Posted by Sozz
you shouldn't really compare BG3 to BG2 yet. But as far as introductions go, the introduction of Irenicus and Imoen and dungeon crawl to the Promenade are head in shoulders above our brief jaunt through hell and all the vague Absolute stuff.

But I'm someone who still enjoys going back the BG2 so maybe my opinion is colored by years of hind-sight. I can't be really sure what my first impression of BG2's intro was, except that it was heady and made me want to rush through the game to save a friend from being tortured (I was a more naive gamer then). I'll have a better impression of BG3 when, or if, they make the tadpole into a more effective ticking clock.
I prefer BG1's intruduction.

BG2's assumed that you've travelled with this predefined partt (Imoen, Jaheira, Minsc, Khalid and Dynaheir) in BG1. Even if it happened that these npcs died in your BG1 playthrough, which is pretty immersion breaking right from the start, imo. And then they made Imoen a Bhaalspawn, never explaining why her essence didn't return to the throne upon death as with other Bhaalspawn characters, including the main one.

"Hello Xzar...I seem to remember you being dead..." ; "Nevermind that!...have a quest!" There were some things in Baldur's Gate you just had to roll with, the Heisenberg world-state of your BG1 narrative was one of those things :p but I get it.
I agree with you that making Imoen a secret child of Bhaal feels like a hasty story choice, but as far as death goes in D&D in general I tend to already be rolling my eyes, nobody really died, they're just mostly dead...except when you're gibbed of course.
And Imoen's revelation does nothing to detract from the introduction for me, I like BG:1's intro too but it doesn't get me as invested in the plot as the introduction in BG2 does.
Originally Posted by etonbears
Literally ticking clocks are actually quite rare as they can be very limiting in how a game is played. Neither BG1 nor BG2 had a ticking clock, even though they had day/night passage of time. And we already know that the BG3 tadpole is quiescent to some degree.

What all 3 games share is an underlying sense of peril ( Sarevok, Irenicus/Bodhi, Tadpole/Absolute ) that serves as a narrative hook. However, you can easily "bunk off" in all 3 games to investigate everything that is not gated behind story arcs. Usually, in a first playthrough, I will largely follow the central plot with few diversions; but you can easily justify a slower pace as needing to gain the additional power to succeed.

To me, the story elements so far look promising and potentially complex; but I will withold judgement, as many games start with interesting scene-setting, only to taper off into a bland finale.
Ticking clocks don't need to be literal to spur the narrative along, video games are interesting because they allow for them to actually be literal, but in most stories they serve as a way of adding tension and drama to every choice the character makes. If the tadpole in BG:3 was turned into a literal ticking clock, that would be fantastic but I would enjoy just as much a more clear introduction of their danger, as it is we have a scary thing in our head, everyone tell us how we need to be rushing to find a cure, but then everything else that happens in the first Act undercuts that as you dither around.
I was comparing introductions between BG2 and BG3, I was frustrated (in a good way) by the hurdles placed before me at the end of BG2's intro, while for BG3 I question the motivation of my character and the party.

At this stage, I'm not sure a "fair" comparison can be made. Even with potential plot holes of "but you were dead in BG 1", we still knew who these companions were. We had all the background information we needed, in the intro, to fall right back in "where we left off", even if it wasn't really where we left off. In this case, we're closer to what we had in BG 1 instead. We're learning who we are, and who the companions are, as we go. Gameplay mechanics aside, this is exactly the same situation we were in during the intro to BG 1. Sarevok wants to kill us, but why? Who is Sarevok? What's up with Naskell? All things that have parallels here, to one extent or another. The problem being, since this is EA, we're not going to get any satisfying answers. We are, after all, not getting enough of the game to have any chance at getting them. I'm not "blown away" by the current iteration, but, I didn't expect to be. I expected to get something along the lines of what we got, since it's literally for testing out things, and seeing what does and doesn't work. My interest is piqued, but that's about it, so far. I've made a conscious decision to avoid playing overmuch, because I don't want to burn out on it before release, and considering my history with the franchise, I really want to love it, but it's too early to tell, right now.

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Originally Posted by robertthebard
Originally Posted by Sozz
you shouldn't really compare BG3 to BG2 yet. But as far as introductions go, the introduction of Irenicus and Imoen and dungeon crawl to the Promenade are head in shoulders above our brief jaunt through hell and all the vague Absolute stuff.
...
At this stage, I'm not sure a "fair" comparison can be made. Even with potential plot holes of "but you were dead in BG 1", we still knew who these companions were. We had all the background information we needed, in the intro, to fall right back in "where we left off", even if it wasn't really where we left off. In this case, we're closer to what we had in BG 1 instead. We're learning who we are, and who the companions are, as we go. Gameplay mechanics aside, this is exactly the same situation we were in during the intro to BG 1. Sarevok wants to kill us, but why? Who is Sarevok? What's up with Naskell? All things that have parallels here, to one extent or another. The problem being, since this is EA, we're not going to get any satisfying answers. We are, after all, not getting enough of the game to have any chance at getting them. I'm not "blown away" by the current iteration, but, I didn't expect to be. I expected to get something along the lines of what we got, since it's literally for testing out things, and seeing what does and doesn't work. My interest is piqued, but that's about it, so far. I've made a conscious decision to avoid playing overmuch, because I don't want to burn out on it before release, and considering my history with the franchise, I really want to love it, but it's too early to tell, right now.

I agree with you, but it's also true that Baldur's Gate II was created to be accessible as a first game more than as a sequel, a short coming of a lot of multipart games (for people in for the long haul anyway). So for comparison I do think we can look at the intros of Baldur's Gate 1, 2 and 3 and how they do a few things, such as setting up your character, the world and your reason for adventure.
I think Baldur's Gate II's intro has the most distinct setting of the three, and does the best at tying your adventure with your narrative, Baldur's Gate 1 is the least linear when it starts out so it does the least to push you into its main story, which depending on how much of a sandbox player you are might make it the best of the three.

I too am happy with Baldur's Gate 3 but I find that the introduction does a lot to undercut the tension it starts to build up from its start being experimented on by Mind-Flayers, that ticking clock I was talking about. Something I think Baldur's Gate 3 does better in its first act than any of the other games is subtly cluing you in that all your companions have distinct pasts and are probably tied to the main story more than they know, or are letting on.

But the evolution of the NPC since the 90s has been pretty big.

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Originally Posted by Sozz
I don't think we disagree either, I'm sorry if I was coming across that way.

How about this, every long rest you take stat damage; such as -1 CON, or every use of the Tadpole tests WIS, on a fail you take 1 permanent WIS damage, until a point at which you no longer have the choice *not* to use the tadpole. All these healers we run to in Act 1 can't cure us, but they can heal some of this damage(resetting the clock somewhat), or give us a bonus during these rolls. Ability score damage is very outre in current D&D but it certainly would up the peril of having been experimented by some Illithids.
It's really the lack of fear where I have issues, you don't have to be good-aligned to not want to use the tadpole, especially after the first time, just look at our evil/neutral party, only Astarion is gung-ho about using the tadpole, and there's probably more going on there too.
If we were undergoing a clear process, one that active use of the tadpole accelerated, you'd be getting more out our "Hook"/ Ticking Clock.

As for BG2, like I said, I was a more naive gamer then, but even now, especially with the game "checking in" with Imoen at Spellhold, I am fully on board for making a bee-line to her rescue, but I understand how on a metanarrative level you understand that there is really no consequence for not saving Imoen as soon as possible, but in terms of having a clear goal and narrative justification to do so in a timely manner, BG:2 does it better than 1 or 3(so far)

No, we were just expressing similar things in a different way, but thankyou for your concern.

I agree, there is definitely something not quite right with the the way the tadpole is handled at the moment. All you seem to have is a binary choice to keep using it, gain benefits and go down the dark path, or ... not. There's also the fact that everyone in the party has a tadpole, yet all conversations seem to imply that only the face character matters, which doesn't sit particularly well in the narrative.

I'm prepared to believe that this is not how it will play out for the released game, and I do also understand that Larian are trying to weave together a fairly complex set of alternate paths, which is quite challenging when the most sophisticated tool you have is a branching dialog tree.

I'd certainly be happy with a tadpole-related debuff on long rest, if only to have something to point to for those that complain that you shouldn't be able to rest whenever you are tired. smile But I don't know how well this would sit with all players, as the player base is much wider and less geeky than it used to be. I can't imagine, for example, that the play difficulties imposed by the spirit-eater in Mask of the Betrayer would be seen veey positively by Larian's core co-op MP user base.

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Originally Posted by Sozz
Originally Posted by robertthebard
Originally Posted by Sozz
you shouldn't really compare BG3 to BG2 yet. But as far as introductions go, the introduction of Irenicus and Imoen and dungeon crawl to the Promenade are head in shoulders above our brief jaunt through hell and all the vague Absolute stuff.
...
At this stage, I'm not sure a "fair" comparison can be made. Even with potential plot holes of "but you were dead in BG 1", we still knew who these companions were. We had all the background information we needed, in the intro, to fall right back in "where we left off", even if it wasn't really where we left off. In this case, we're closer to what we had in BG 1 instead. We're learning who we are, and who the companions are, as we go. Gameplay mechanics aside, this is exactly the same situation we were in during the intro to BG 1. Sarevok wants to kill us, but why? Who is Sarevok? What's up with Naskell? All things that have parallels here, to one extent or another. The problem being, since this is EA, we're not going to get any satisfying answers. We are, after all, not getting enough of the game to have any chance at getting them. I'm not "blown away" by the current iteration, but, I didn't expect to be. I expected to get something along the lines of what we got, since it's literally for testing out things, and seeing what does and doesn't work. My interest is piqued, but that's about it, so far. I've made a conscious decision to avoid playing overmuch, because I don't want to burn out on it before release, and considering my history with the franchise, I really want to love it, but it's too early to tell, right now.

I agree with you, but it's also true that Baldur's Gate II was created to be accessible as a first game more than as a sequel, a short coming of a lot of multipart games (for people in for the long haul anyway). So for comparison I do think we can look at the intros of Baldur's Gate 1, 2 and 3 and how they do a few things, such as setting up your character, the world and your reason for adventure.
I think Baldur's Gate II's intro has the most distinct setting of the three, and does the best at tying your adventure with your narrative, Baldur's Gate 1 is the least linear when it starts out so it does the least to push you into its main story, which depending on how much of a sandbox player you are might make it the best of the three.

I too am happy with Baldur's Gate 3 but I find that the introduction does a lot to undercut the tension it starts to build up from its start being experimented on by Mind-Flayers, that ticking clock I was talking about. Something I think Baldur's Gate 3 does better in its first act than any of the other games is subtly cluing you in that all your companions have distinct pasts and are probably tied to the main story more than they know, or are letting on.

But the evolution of the NPC since the 90s has been pretty big.

I think anyone going into BG 2 as a new player to the franchise would find themselves in the same boat as those of us that played 1 did, finding out who we are, and who these people with us are. So, by that measure, all three games are equal. I can't "unplay" the originals, as much as I wish I could, it would be great to experience them for the first time, again. So when I look at what we have, I'm more inclined to compare to 1 than 2, that's why I said "fair" comparison. Someone coming in from 2 still has the "advantage" of "knowing" the comps, even if the player isn't invested in them, the PC is assumed to be, for obvious reasons. It's not much different from starting with Mass Effect 2, or, to a lesser degree, Dragon Age 2. Coming in in the middle, or at the end, as far as we knew with BG 2 means that stuff has already happened, and the story assumes a lot of it, especially w/out things like the Dragon Age Keep, that ties your narrative to Inquisition.

But yeah, I really do want this game to be great. It's tied to an important part of my gaming "career", as it were, and if it flops, it's going to be disappointing, to say the least. It's not looking like it will flop, from where I'm sitting, I just hope it can shine.

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Originally Posted by Black_Elk
One of the things that still stands out in my mind for the BG saga and all the old Infinity games, was just the steady clip at which its expansions and sequel were released.

For the time, and even by todays standards, they cranked those games out in what felt like a new entry like every six months for couple years running.
Yes, even as late as NWN2, once the engine was built, the subsequent stories came out quite quickly.

Obviously there have been changes in the last 15 years! I think it's partly the asset quality has increased so much that they are more time consuming to produce, partly the monetisation of engines is achieved through less substantial expanded content ( DLC rather than story episodes ), and partly engines seem to need updating more often to satisfy the current player base.

I have to say that I am more a fan of expansion stories than of the more common drip-drip DLC. The Witcher 3 "Blood and Wine" , for example, shows that it is still possible to do a good job with expansion stories, but it is a rare exception.

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The big difference for me is the characters. I genuinely cared about Minsc (and Boo), I kept Jaheira with me as Gorion would have wanted it. I loved Edwin's arrogance and I had a crush on Viconia (I was 14). At the moment I like Gale as a character, I find Astarion intriguing but I can't work out if he wants to escape his evil ways or not. Wyll is OK but no big impressions. Shadowheart and Lae'zel are just plain annoying. I have done several play throughs of the pre-release good and evil, and rather than relaxing and playing much like I did with BG1 and BG2 I find myself on edge playing this game. One misstep and you're dead, engage in melee and your dead. I have only played the NWN and BG series. Obviously graphics and stuff have come a long way, but decision trees in coding as well as building a good story are still the same. The characters and genuinely caring for them is where it is at. Zevlor is the only character I really seem to care about.

There is no equivalent of 'Magic is impressive, but now Misc leads swords for everyone!'.....well not yet anyway.

On a plus side I must say I am really pleased to have Larian do this. Everyone is talking about DOS and DOS2 but I have never heard of them or played them. Perhaps when i've finished BG3 I'll have a look.

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Originally Posted by Jalt
The big difference for me is the characters. I genuinely cared about Minsc (and Boo), I kept Jaheira with me as Gorion would have wanted it. I loved Edwin's arrogance and I had a crush on Viconia (I was 14). At the moment I like Gale as a character, I find Astarion intriguing but I can't work out if he wants to escape his evil ways or not. Wyll is OK but no big impressions. Shadowheart and Lae'zel are just plain annoying. I have done several play throughs of the pre-release good and evil, and rather than relaxing and playing much like I did with BG1 and BG2 I find myself on edge playing this game. One misstep and you're dead, engage in melee and your dead. I have only played the NWN and BG series. Obviously graphics and stuff have come a long way, but decision trees in coding as well as building a good story are still the same. The characters and genuinely caring for them is where it is at. Zevlor is the only character I really seem to care about.

There is no equivalent of 'Magic is impressive, but now Misc leads swords for everyone!'.....well not yet anyway.

On a plus side I must say I am really pleased to have Larian do this. Everyone is talking about DOS and DOS2 but I have never heard of them or played them. Perhaps when i've finished BG3 I'll have a look.


The start is definitely different, in that you create your own background and are thrown into the action. In BG 1 you are given a background in a town , and a quest to meet Harper contacts...it felt like a D&D story.

The characters in this story feel too much like modern day, Covid-19 era, rude and crude earthlings. Being thrown into the action is a great idea...however the developers did nothing to make us feel like we were in Faerun. I want to escape the stress of a society which is in an identity crisis.

The Adventurer's Club, in the old Disney Pleasure Island was immersive because there would be thespians wandering around that would convincingly act out their memes.

So far this doesn't feel like Faerun, nor does it feel like a D&D rule set like BG1-2 did (more like DOS). It feels like its having an identity crisis.


This is BETA, where comments like this are meant to matter...so lets not take offense please.

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"A linear approach to quests"? The Kagha storyline has at least a dozen possible resolutions. There are almost as many ways to deal with the Hag. With Minthara, you can just kill her, side with her and attack the Grove, decline her offer, pretend to side with her and betray her at the Grove ... There are even multiple outcomes for Barth's stolen amulet quest.

If by linearity you mean the game forces you to do things in a particular order, yes, it does, once, in that you have to battle the goblins outside the Druid grove before you can explore beyond. Once you've done that, you can literally go anywhere and take on any quest or battle you choose. This is one of the most open and least linear games I've ever played. The only limitations on freedom are your own style of gameplay. Experiment, and ye shall find.

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Originally Posted by Van'tal
Originally Posted by Jalt
The big difference for me is the characters. I genuinely cared about Minsc (and Boo), I kept Jaheira with me as Gorion would have wanted it. I loved Edwin's arrogance and I had a crush on Viconia (I was 14). At the moment I like Gale as a character, I find Astarion intriguing but I can't work out if he wants to escape his evil ways or not. Wyll is OK but no big impressions. Shadowheart and Lae'zel are just plain annoying. I have done several play throughs of the pre-release good and evil, and rather than relaxing and playing much like I did with BG1 and BG2 I find myself on edge playing this game. One misstep and you're dead, engage in melee and your dead. I have only played the NWN and BG series. Obviously graphics and stuff have come a long way, but decision trees in coding as well as building a good story are still the same. The characters and genuinely caring for them is where it is at. Zevlor is the only character I really seem to care about.

There is no equivalent of 'Magic is impressive, but now Misc leads swords for everyone!'.....well not yet anyway.

On a plus side I must say I am really pleased to have Larian do this. Everyone is talking about DOS and DOS2 but I have never heard of them or played them. Perhaps when i've finished BG3 I'll have a look.


The start is definitely different, in that you create your own background and are thrown into the action. In BG 1 you are given a background in a town , and a quest to meet Harper contacts...it felt like a D&D story.

The characters in this story feel too much like modern day, Covid-19 era, rude and crude earthlings. Being thrown into the action is a great idea...however the developers did nothing to make us feel like we were in Faerun. I want to escape the stress of a society which is in an identity crisis.

The Adventurer's Club, in the old Disney Pleasure Island was immersive because there would be thespians wandering around that would convincingly act out their memes.

So far this doesn't feel like Faerun, nor does it feel like a D&D rule set like BG1-2 did (more like DOS). It feels like its having an identity crisis.


This is BETA, where comments like this are meant to matter...so lets not take offense please.

You can choose to create your own background, or you can use one of potential party members, if you'd prefer someone else define the basics of your character. What's ironic about this is that, in every game I've played, "Playing the dev's character" was looked at as a bad thing, not as DnD. In PnP, the DM never defined our characters, that was up to us. In BG, I defined my character. Yes, I was Bhaalspawn, but I didn't know it, at first. I didn't even know it after the ambush outside of Candlekeep. I had a quest to meet Khalid and Jaheira, but that was it. We don't have a quest to meet anyone in particular, initially, but we do have a quest to figure out what's going on in our heads. I'm not sure how not having a quest to meet some harpers means it doesn't feel like Faerun?

The comps feel like people, to me. Just as comps in BG 1 and 2 did. In that vein, they're very much like the comps in Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2. They're not fawning pawns, but they weren't in BG either. You could literally drive comps off, or worse, by virtue of your actions, or lack of action, as the case may be. Which reminds me, my characters were never overly defined by the game in BG. I had Bhaalspawn, but that's what, not who, my character was. I could be a LG Paladin type, or a CE Assassin type, or anything in between. It was totally up to me.

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I think the tapole thing should be at 100% only a main character thing tbh. Strange choice to give it to everyone. Now every origin character has it's own backstory in the game + the tadpole and we are just the average Tav with a tadpole. And shadowheart hates us. Pyfekt.


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Originally Posted by virion
I think the tapole thing should be at 100% only a main character thing tbh. Strange choice to give it to everyone. Now every origin character has it's own backstory in the game + the tadpole and we are just the average Tav with a tadpole. And shadowheart hates us. Pyfekt.
If it would be so, Lae'zel would just kill your Tav on sight, Astarion wouldn't be even able to walk with you in the daylight, Shadowheart, Wyll and Gale would go away telling you "your problems aren't mine". It's part of their backstory that they won't be there and won't be your allies if not the tadpole.

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Originally Posted by Zellin
Originally Posted by virion
I think the tapole thing should be at 100% only a main character thing tbh. Strange choice to give it to everyone. Now every origin character has it's own backstory in the game + the tadpole and we are just the average Tav with a tadpole. And shadowheart hates us. Pyfekt.
If it would be so, Lae'zel would just kill your Tav on sight, Astarion wouldn't be even able to walk with you in the daylight, Shadowheart, Wyll and Gale would go away telling you "your problems aren't mine". It's part of their backstory that they won't be there and won't be your allies if not the tadpole.

Yes, and that's exactly why I don't like the origins approach.

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Yep, that pretty much sums up why i hate the companions. Why would i want to adventure with a bunch of selfish assholes? If the only reason I'm with someone is a mutual shitty situation, that's..awful.

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<The characters in this story feel too much like modern day, Covid-19 era, rude and crude earthlings.>

Yea that basically sums it up for me. Doesn't feel like your in a gritty Faerun high fanstasy setting; like all the characters are modern drama cosplayers from some <westworld> town in the USA.

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Originally Posted by mr_planescapist
<The characters in this story feel too much like modern day, Covid-19 era, rude and crude earthlings.>

Yea that basically sums it up for me. Doesn't feel like your in a gritty Faerun high fanstasy setting; like all the characters are modern drama cosplayers from some <westworld> town in the USA.

yeah but everything evolves and maybe when you are a child the characters in BG1-2 seem amazing and deep but then you grow up and you realize how shallow and simplistic they really are.

Because that's the key to universal likability in terms of writing. You make the characters as shallow as possible, or have them follow archetypes and then allow the reader to superimpose themselves onto the character. Its why Twilight was so popular, the main character was devoid of any actual personality or opinions.

And that's fine, its less of a risk for sure. What Larian is doing with these characters is the greater risk, and to some extent I think its a mistake. I don't think people are ready for this level of realism. Its why most people don't like Art. Art is work. Harry Potter is easy, Infinite Jest isn't.

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I thought the characters from BG:1 were typically pretty one dimensional, BG:2 by giving everyone an arc around trauma could be hit or miss depending on how much you bought into their stories, then there's Planescape. I think they make a pretty good range for character in crpg (from that era anyway), I'm liking all our companions in BG3 so far, I think games in the past, like you've said, have been too worried about making companions likeable to the detriment of the stories they tell.

Having a bunch of companions who don't open up to you like they've been waiting all their lives for a therapist to unburden to, and might even actively despise your character can be very interesting.

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I kinda feel like they are going the Mass Effect 2 route in terms of flawed chars who unburden their crap on you. All of them have issues that you help them resolve with a personal sidequest. Nothing too novel there. To me, the big difference is that your custom char is boring in contrast, and it is unclear why they follow you.

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Originally Posted by Blackheifer
I don't think people are ready for this level of realism. Its why most people don't like Art. Art is work.


I'm sorry, but seeing Shadowheart being written as a stereotypical tsundere character and trying to see that as "realism" or "art" is just...wow. I can't do it. You don't have to love Harry Potter ( i do! ) but saying these characters are art but Harry Potter characters childish or something is incorrect imo.

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