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Originally Posted by Black_Elk
The other night I had the experience of offing Shadowheart immediately for the first time on the Nautiloid. She went instantly hostile after being released from her pod, I think because I had accidentally whacked one of the experiment bodies lying on the ground nearby for that 1 xp, and so I guess that must have pissed her off?
Be careful. You may end up triggering some people on this forum with your talk of killing off SH. How could you?! How dare you?! You animal! wink

Originally Posted by Black_Elk
Origin Companions are pretty lame as a concept. They smack of the DM trying to noodle into the party to show off their own Player Character ideas or to influence the party's decisions directly by becoming part of it, when that's not really the DMs job.
^This is it exactly.

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I doubt it. Other than killing Gale which has a logical consequence, you can pretty much murder everyone without any "punishment." In fact often times the game rewards you in a way. Killing SH brings the artifact to you. Killing Lae with the tieflings is a solution to that encounter. Killing Wyll can be part of the gobbo path. Killing Astarion is justified by him putting a knife to your throat. And to "future" origin companions, Killing Karlach is also a solution to her quest which can be the easier option for some. Heck, each (current) origin companion also drops a rez scroll and potion which is super convenient.
I don't think Larian has any Scruples about us murdering their custom characters. Heck, DOS2 was very similar and it was rewarding to "take care of your competition" as it were and kill the extra 2+ companions before they get murdered anyways.

tldr/ I think larian is totally fine with us murdering their custom characters.

That said, going back to main topic of party size, if they really wanted us to experience their characters, then a larger party size would ensure that those who want to can experience more of the characters. And even more so, they should not pull a DOS2 situation cause that'll be worse than a player choosing to kill the companions on sight because then larian takes away the option to experience all of them.

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Originally Posted by Black_Elk
The other night I had the experience of offing Shadowheart immediately for the first time on the Nautiloid. She went instantly hostile after being released from her pod, I think because I had accidentally whacked one of the experiment bodies lying on the ground nearby for that 1 xp, and so I guess that must have pissed her off?

The artifact floated up with a choice to "take it, or leave it..." How apt! lol

Origin Companions are pretty lame as a concept. They smack of the DM trying to noodle into the party to show off their own Player Character ideas or to influence the party's decisions directly by becoming part of it, when that's not really the DMs job. It's better when that energy goes into developing compelling Non Player Characters or Villains that the party is meant to face down.

Sure in BG1/2 the designers had to supply us with companions, since everyone knew it was basically a single player game at bedrock. The internet still barely existed when it came out, and the idea that you were going to have a LAN session with any more than like one other person at a time was kind of laughable. But the way they approached Companion design (especially in BG1) still seemed tasteful and tactful. They were just broad sketches on class archetypes and a dime a dozen, with only the bare minimum fleshed out in terms of characterization. They didn't overshadow the protagonist, because there just wasn't enough there to cast a very long shadow in the first place.

In BG2 this changed somewhat. The companion characters loomed larger, and there was the suggestion of a "Canonical" party carrying over from BG1, (certainly not the party I used in BG1) and it began to feel like if you didn't bring along certain companions, you'd be missing out on a fairly significant amount of game content. Even with more VA work though, the companions in BG2 were still more 'throw-away' than the Origins seem to be here, and at least there were more than a dozen to choose from.

That said, Larian clearly went through a lot of trouble of making these 5 Origin companions for the EA, and from the splash screens and all the promo art it's obvious they really want us to play with them. I mean take away the Origins, and there's not much art left to even define what the game is about. Seriously, if you axe Lae'zel and Shadowheart and the Origin companions in that banner above, what's left?

Get rid of the Origins, and there is literally no promo Art for this game left lol.

Not to get too left field here, but I'm pretty disappointed with the promotional art direction for this game for that reason. I've heard a lot of people saying AAA this and that, but honestly I feel like a AAA studio would have hired a couple illustrators and updated their banners and splash art by now. Show us something else? I know it's probably a pain to get art approved by the Wizards, but if they can't do it with the 2D illustration, then maybe let your 3D modellers go to town with it instead? Show us the BG3 Monstrous Manual in splash, some equipment, some environments? Pretty much anything other than that same Struzan style banner with the Origins characters again for the thousandth time.

It would be like if BG1 and BG2 just kept showing the same screens over and over, with Imoen and Jaheira, Edwin, Viconia, and Misc... each doing their "best pose" hehe. Nothing in the BG1 or BG2 promo art indicated a particular party or set of characters that the game was about. They just showed off the Realms and Dragons and general D&D type stuff. This game needs more of that, and less of these Origins. But since they're already here... You'd think the least they could do is have a party size large enough to accommodate them all in single run.

It really feels like the game is not being designed for full party control at all, but more like co-op double dragon, where we're just supposed to control our MC and maybe 1 other hanger on. Anything more and the weight of UI snafus is just crushing. I want them to aim for 6, not just because that would be more BG, but also because it would force fixes for all the other things that currently give me headaches. 6 throws that stuff in starker relief, so perhaps they'd actually have to address it, instead of sweeping it all under the rug.

Returning briefly to a previous conversation, 6 is sentimental, sure, but it's also a pretext and challenge for the developers. Just to ensure that the UI and broader game actually works for a larger party and doesn't fall apart into total chaos at that scale. Right now I believe the extended party mod is totally busted since patch 5, because of how the rest mechanic works, but prior to that, by playing with 6, you can see what works well and what really doesn't. Like not just with inventory management or the chain, but for a whole host of little things that could use improvement. Capped at 4 they are just barely skirting by with it, so I really don't think mods will be able to fix everything if it comes out of EA like this. The developer has to provide more support. I don't get it. Even purely from an optics standpoint, a Party of 6 would differentiate BG3 from Solasta, and shore up the constant refrains of BG3 feeling more like a sequel to DOS2 or Dragon Age than Baldur's Gate.

+1 basically i have the same thoughts exactly. i think what poe2 did worst was that they purposely made the UI to cap the party to be at 5 where they intentionally not allow people to increase the party size. that's really a bad move IMHO. if bg3 latest patch according to you are heading that direction, then larian is basically doing the wrong thing which i hope they are not.

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I've not read all 65 pages of comments here, so some of this might have been touched on elsewhere, but I'm not troubled by a small party size. It forces some creativity about who you use for which encounters, which in turn means you have to make better use of each character's available abilities. If I could run a party of six instead of four, I'd probably only make use of one or two abilities from each character 90% of the time. The smaller party forces me to make broader, better use of the available resources.

I disagree with the idea that origin companions are lame as a concept. They're the people you meet along the way, each with their own personality, agendas, etc. When every companion is home-rolled, that can be great for a specific playthrough concept you want to do, but since it's impossible to give a home-rolled companion a personality, dialog, etc, that aspect of the game vanishes. Sure, I'll eventually cook up a party tailor-made for a few specific difficult encounters at higher difficulty settings, but I absolutely want to get to know the stock companions, do their quests, see how they react to different choices, etc.

Also, could you imagine the howls of outrage if a AAA crpg *didn't* offer origin companions? It would be a sin on par with not having a rogue class, it's just too standard a concept to chuck away without an obviously-compelling reason.

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lol *67 pages - a lot of this has been talked about...

having six party slots available in the base game does not preclude you from still only taking four (while the reverse cant be said).

id argue that by having six party slots youd then be able to have more origin/npc characters in your party so you can experience more of 'the ppl you meet along the way' and i dont know why both 'Tav' and the origin companions cant get the same level of mechanical attention. personally, bg and to a greater extent dnd has always been about creating and playing my own pc as opposed to stock DM/larian npcs.

also, we may have different definitions of origin companions, but is that really a rpg gaming standard now? the way larian implements origin characters narratively makes me feel like 'Tav' surviving the ship crash is inconsequential to the plot - the story of bg3 would continue regardless without your character and instead just follow larian's origin characters, which i dont think is a great game design for a bg game.

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The issue to be aware of:

These forums are a tiny fraction of the people that picked up the game.

The people talking in this forum are mostly the same people repeating themselves (myself included, and note I'm on the 5-6 party please). So we're a fraction of the forum which is a fraction of the audience.

So, the large amount of pages seen here probably don't amount to a particularly large demand... sadly.

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They do display that some people want it, and with it talked about elsewhere it is an ongoing conversation. I don't think either side of 4 or 6 are small, its just not most are vocal.

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Originally Posted by Thrythlind
The issue to be aware of:

These forums are a tiny fraction of the people that picked up the game.

The people talking in this forum are mostly the same people repeating themselves (myself included, and note I'm on the 5-6 party please). So we're a fraction of the forum which is a fraction of the audience.

So, the large amount of pages seen here probably don't amount to a particularly large demand... sadly.

Quoting Josh Sawyer from his Pillars of Eternity 2 post-mortem: "Just because a complaint about your game comes from a vocal minority, it doesn't mean it's wrong".
He was speaking about "hard lessons" learned from that game development', beta test and release, for the record.

Originally Posted by Archaven
+1 basically i have the same thoughts exactly. i think what poe2 did worst was that they purposely made the UI to cap the party to be at 5 where they intentionally not allow people to increase the party size. that's really a bad move IMHO. if bg3 latest patch according to you are heading that direction, then larian is basically doing the wrong thing which i hope they are not.
Ironically enough Sawyer also stated that the decision was dictated by the game being real-time and making following all the characters hard to follow for some testers, and that if it was turn-based (which it happened to become as an optional mode later) he would have made an entirely different decision. He even joked about Battle Brothers let you control 12 mercenaries and it's perfectly fine (and it is, play Battle Brothers, people!).

it seems like focus testing leads almost invariably to terrible short term decisions, somehow far worse for the game that what the "vocal minorities" suggest.
See how Larian decided to add levels to the enemies in the game even if they aren't a thing in D&D because "because gamers these days expect to see them and some internal testers complained about it" before EA even started.
D/D games went on just fine without leveled enemies for 30 years or so, but now they are a necessity because people can't tell apart Baldur's Gate from World of Warcraft or something.

EDIT - Fuck it, I'm getting senile. Apparently I already talked about some of this stuff barely one page ago.

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Originally Posted by colinl8
I've not read all 65 pages of comments here, so some of this might have been touched on elsewhere, but I'm not troubled by a small party size. It forces some creativity about who you use for which encounters, which in turn means you have to make better use of each character's available abilities. If I could run a party of six instead of four, I'd probably only make use of one or two abilities from each character 90% of the time. The smaller party forces me to make broader, better use of the available resources.

I disagree with the idea that origin companions are lame as a concept. They're the people you meet along the way, each with their own personality, agendas, etc. When every companion is home-rolled, that can be great for a specific playthrough concept you want to do, but since it's impossible to give a home-rolled companion a personality, dialog, etc, that aspect of the game vanishes. Sure, I'll eventually cook up a party tailor-made for a few specific difficult encounters at higher difficulty settings, but I absolutely want to get to know the stock companions, do their quests, see how they react to different choices, etc.

Also, could you imagine the howls of outrage if a AAA crpg *didn't* offer origin companions? It would be a sin on par with not having a rogue class, it's just too standard a concept to chuck away without an obviously-compelling reason.

I think the part people are complaining about isn't the concept of companions, it's Larian's specific inclusion of ORIGIN companions, which is their name for companions who you will also have the option of playing as a ready-made character, engaging with their storyline from a "first person" perspective rather than as an outside influencer. A lot of people are complaining-with some merit-that the fact all these companions need to work as playable main characters means that they get written in a way that's overbearing and overshadows a custom created player character, which is a whole other topic of contention on these forums.

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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Originally Posted by colinl8
I've not read all 65 pages of comments here, so some of this might have been touched on elsewhere, but I'm not troubled by a small party size. It forces some creativity about who you use for which encounters, which in turn means you have to make better use of each character's available abilities. If I could run a party of six instead of four, I'd probably only make use of one or two abilities from each character 90% of the time. The smaller party forces me to make broader, better use of the available resources.

I disagree with the idea that origin companions are lame as a concept. They're the people you meet along the way, each with their own personality, agendas, etc. When every companion is home-rolled, that can be great for a specific playthrough concept you want to do, but since it's impossible to give a home-rolled companion a personality, dialog, etc, that aspect of the game vanishes. Sure, I'll eventually cook up a party tailor-made for a few specific difficult encounters at higher difficulty settings, but I absolutely want to get to know the stock companions, do their quests, see how they react to different choices, etc.

Also, could you imagine the howls of outrage if a AAA crpg *didn't* offer origin companions? It would be a sin on par with not having a rogue class, it's just too standard a concept to chuck away without an obviously-compelling reason.

I think the part people are complaining about isn't the concept of companions, it's Larian's specific inclusion of ORIGIN companions, which is their name for companions who you will also have the option of playing as a ready-made character, engaging with their storyline from a "first person" perspective rather than as an outside influencer. A lot of people are complaining-with some merit-that the fact all these companions need to work as playable main characters means that they get written in a way that's overbearing and overshadows a custom created player character, which is a whole other topic of contention on these forums.
Ha. You beat me to it, @Gray Ghost.

@colinl8 is conflating NPC companions with origin companions when the two concepts are not at all the same thing.

NO to origin companions. YES to (traditional) NPC companions.

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I think if someone bothers to show up here, it probably means they are into game design and old school forums communication, which I'm sure is an even narrower subset. But they did say they wanted a gang to iterate with, so even a fraction of a fraction is better than nothing. I mean it's all just in the vain hope, that the developers might be more inclined to at least check out their own forums, if not endless reddit and steam threads. Even here the stuff just comes flying daily, so perhaps its just a repetitive bump echo chamber, but at least it keeps the thread title in view.

I still see party size 6 as the benchmark for EA feedback responsiveness. They said it would be mod'able, or Swen did in a glancing comment from one of the earliest promo vids, but honestly it would be so much better if the devs just built it in, so we could have native UI support. I understand the point about being forced to use more of the characters' abilities with the cap at 4, that's fine, roll with 4 then if its more fun. But for those of us who want the gold box vibe 4 is never going to cut it. 6 for the win!

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Originally Posted by kanisatha
My point was that I could picture the BG3 devs wringing their hands and whining and crying that they put so much time and energy and effort and love into creating these awesome and wonderful and amazing origin characters and a bunch of horrible players just blatantly killed them all off the moment they met them. I can even picture the devs putting in place some sort of *punishment* for those players who do such an appalling thing. I mean it is extremely obvious the devs WANT us to play with their silly origin characters, that they are trying to PUSH us into using their stupid-ass origin characters. And this irks me.
You assume Larian actually care about them more than a nice gimmick


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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All valid points my friends. smile

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Originally Posted by Black_Elk
I think if someone bothers to show up here, it probably means they are into game design and old school forums communication, which I'm sure is an even narrower subset. But they did say they wanted a gang to iterate with, so even a fraction of a fraction is better than nothing. I mean it's all just in the vain hope, that the developers might be more inclined to at least check out their own forums, if not endless reddit and steam threads. Even here the stuff just comes flying daily, so perhaps its just a repetitive bump echo chamber, but at least it keeps the thread title in view.

I still see party size 6 as the benchmark for EA feedback responsiveness. They said it would be mod'able, or Swen did in a glancing comment from one of the earliest promo vids, but honestly it would be so much better if the devs just built it in, so we could have native UI support. I understand the point about being forced to use more of the characters' abilities with the cap at 4, that's fine, roll with 4 then if its more fun. But for those of us who want the gold box vibe 4 is never going to cut it. 6 for the win!

i only play bg3 EA and completed it just once before the druid reveal. did larian made some changes to the UI that purposely restrict the modding of adding party characters more than 4? if larian did that on purpose like how obsidian did with pillars of eternity 2, that is a real bummer. i may not trust larian anymore.

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Originally Posted by Archaven
Originally Posted by Black_Elk
I think if someone bothers to show up here, it probably means they are into game design and old school forums communication, which I'm sure is an even narrower subset. But they did say they wanted a gang to iterate with, so even a fraction of a fraction is better than nothing. I mean it's all just in the vain hope, that the developers might be more inclined to at least check out their own forums, if not endless reddit and steam threads. Even here the stuff just comes flying daily, so perhaps its just a repetitive bump echo chamber, but at least it keeps the thread title in view.

I still see party size 6 as the benchmark for EA feedback responsiveness. They said it would be mod'able, or Swen did in a glancing comment from one of the earliest promo vids, but honestly it would be so much better if the devs just built it in, so we could have native UI support. I understand the point about being forced to use more of the characters' abilities with the cap at 4, that's fine, roll with 4 then if its more fun. But for those of us who want the gold box vibe 4 is never going to cut it. 6 for the win!

i only play bg3 EA and completed it just once before the druid reveal. did larian made some changes to the UI that purposely restrict the modding of adding party characters more than 4? if larian did that on purpose like how obsidian did with pillars of eternity 2, that is a real bummer. i may not trust larian anymore.

There has been steps towards the opposite, however some elements in-game are only designed for parties of four, such as beds at camp causing some known issues with 6-player mods. I faintly remember some comments of aiming to open up modding more for user content such as that, but also modding support isn't provided until sometime after full release. Right now modding only consists of user-created applications to unpack .pak files from the game directory, and edit files in text editors. Unlike actual mod support similar to Dos2, which would allow modders to take the rest into account, such as placing down two more beds at camp, etc.

So Larian isn't actively trying to combat modders, but supporting it isn't on the agenda until full release either. (Which is why I'm saving my energy until full release, personally.)

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For sure! Most of my hopes for the game are probably hinging on how deep the modding capabilities end up going. Like if they're flexible enough and delve deep enough, I can imagine people trying to remake the classics again, or at least do some vignettes that hint in that direction. That comment several pages back, (or maybe in another thread?) that tuco brought up, the idea of origin companions as like playing the BG saga again, but "this time as Viconia" hehe. But like I could actually see that going somewhere, if it was all deadpan and done right. Especially if we are already getting Minsc here lol. Like the latter day adventures of Minsc and Viconia or some wonky spin-off? But I think even with a lot of flex for the modding, it probably won't go to a Neverwinter level like "build as we go" much as I might wish it did. I think a game like NWN3 might be more up my alley than this one, though I really wish the NWN idea of a toolset and campaign design studio could be married to the idea in Baldur's Gate or the old Gold Boxes of controlling more than 1 character at a time. Designing modules and tactical challenges for a large party with diverse char abilities, and a large level spread too. That's how we eventually get to the insane ass stuff like the Throne of Bloodstone, which incidentally still had like the best cover illustration of all the old FR Faerun modules! haha. Like I wish someone could make that one someday, as it was beyond ridiculous and I never got a chance to actually play it (if anyone ever did?) but we'd know we'd never get there without a big old party and an engine that could at least do 6 + as many summons. I feel like the Throne of Bloodstone was the homage they were trying to with the BG games, especially at the end, like TOB which even used the same acronym. The skulls were there from day 1. Like even just comparing the OG box art for BG, its sort of baked in from the start. Least in my head. Then the Balors like the pewters from the 80s might be playing some serious tricks. But yeah I think saving some energy for post release makes sense. I have dialed back my engagement with the actual game quite a bit, just cause I'm not sure I really want to see all these mid-way permutations or muddle through much more of the UI till the kinks are ironed out. Patch 5 feels more cohesive than the previous 4 patches though, just as an overall experience out the gate, and I almost wish I hadn't played out the first act 6 months ago. I give it a whirl every time a new patch drops, but I know I'll have to play through this whole game at least once after its fully cooked, just on general principle, so letting it ride until the EA is dunzo before diving in too hard seems like a smart plan. heheh I think Keith Parkinson is just my favorite D&D illustrator of the golden age, so that probably colors it some. But while kicking on forums shouting "6! 66!" on the regular couldn't hurt right?

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Originally Posted by Black_Elk
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Off-topic: Love that artwork, kinda miss that kind of gritty occult evilness, the kind that caused all the Christians to go crazy and start court cases calling metal songs or magic cards instruments of Satan to corrupt youth and made it feel like something special and counter-cultural. Maybe i'm just old, but modern fantasy doesn't have that same effect on me, it's as if we went from Bathory to Lordi metaphorically speaking. Thanks for sharing these images !

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Originally Posted by The Composer
Originally Posted by Archaven
Originally Posted by Black_Elk
I think if someone bothers to show up here, it probably means they are into game design and old school forums communication, which I'm sure is an even narrower subset. But they did say they wanted a gang to iterate with, so even a fraction of a fraction is better than nothing. I mean it's all just in the vain hope, that the developers might be more inclined to at least check out their own forums, if not endless reddit and steam threads. Even here the stuff just comes flying daily, so perhaps its just a repetitive bump echo chamber, but at least it keeps the thread title in view.

I still see party size 6 as the benchmark for EA feedback responsiveness. They said it would be mod'able, or Swen did in a glancing comment from one of the earliest promo vids, but honestly it would be so much better if the devs just built it in, so we could have native UI support. I understand the point about being forced to use more of the characters' abilities with the cap at 4, that's fine, roll with 4 then if its more fun. But for those of us who want the gold box vibe 4 is never going to cut it. 6 for the win!

i only play bg3 EA and completed it just once before the druid reveal. did larian made some changes to the UI that purposely restrict the modding of adding party characters more than 4? if larian did that on purpose like how obsidian did with pillars of eternity 2, that is a real bummer. i may not trust larian anymore.

There has been steps towards the opposite, however some elements in-game are only designed for parties of four, such as beds at camp causing some known issues with 6-player mods. I faintly remember some comments of aiming to open up modding more for user content such as that, but also modding support isn't provided until sometime after full release. Right now modding only consists of user-created applications to unpack .pak files from the game directory, and edit files in text editors. Unlike actual mod support similar to Dos2, which would allow modders to take the rest into account, such as placing down two more beds at camp, etc.

So Larian isn't actively trying to combat modders, but supporting it isn't on the agenda until full release either. (Which is why I'm saving my energy until full release, personally.)

thanks! but just wondering if they could have just make something different than bedrolls which restrict the number of party members? just wondering. if so then there may not have a need to mod the expanded bedrolls at all?

just wondering did anyone from mod community actually did rebalance combat in DOS2 for expanded party? i think it's not a difficult thing to do as i think it's only about rebalancing the enemy stats or placing more different/same enemies to the combat encounter to make the battle more challenging or rebalance for party of 6 instead of 4. also the number of battles in bg3 / DOS2 i believe are limited and no random encounters so i think it may not be a difficult thing i suppsoed.

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Anytime SerraSerra

Definitely, I have the same predisposition. Backwards records all day! lol. Probably a better way to take the argument at this point. Just with like Parkinson illustration mic drops, and kinda non sequitur. We need a party of six, cause...

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and

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haha sorry, the load for page 68 will now be a few seconds longer, but it was totally worth it lol

I think BG2 definitely went there, even if it was for sure more mid-late 90s in the look, with the giger style biomechanic influence ascendant and like the nightmare on elmstreet latex stretch, which BG3 definitely does at the start too. A crew of villains at 6 is the ideal. Like you need the spare slots for the knock off, and the expendables. Even if you like Penta pile on, or a final foursome, a triumphant trio, or a dynamic deadly duo. I just think the party with a fifth slot is better than just four, and a sixth would be even more epic than that! I hope it goes there in the afterlife at least.

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Oh hey, that Dungeon magazine cover pick was the design drawing for my tattoo.

Have a great day !

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