Larian Banner
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Joined: Feb 2021
GM4Him Offline OP
veteran
OP Offline
veteran
Joined: Feb 2021
I was giving this a lot more thought, and I realized that I think we're being a bit hard on Larian when it comes to BG3 compared to BG1 and 2.

Similarities between the 3 games:

- Few timed events (there were maybe a few in BG1 and 2, but nothing substantial). You, the player, could literally go to the manor with the trolls infesting it, fight a few trolls, leave, sleep for a few days, go do a bunch of other things and come back and the trolls would still be exactly where they were before. Staged enemies was something BG1 and 2 both had. So, nothing new with BG3. If they decide to do some timed events, it may not be very many.

- Long rest at minimal cost or with minimal limits. Yes, there were random encounters, but to the point of a lot of people, that was a VERY annoying game mechanic for me. If you really think about it, what was the point? It was there to prevent you from long resting after every battle. If you tried, you might get attacked by baby monsters you could usually wipe out easily enough for very little experience. Then long rest again, fight some more random monsters, long rest again, oh! Finally! It went through. Either that or you had to slowly and painstakingly walk back to the area map exit and then fast travel back to an area where there was a rest area and then painstakingly go through that area to the inn, pay a very few gold coins, then painstakingly go back to the area map gate, fast travel back to the exploration map, painstakingly walk back to where you were, and then resume your adventure. In short, you could still long rest as much as you wanted, but you were discouraged by the sheer annoyance or it. So, nothing's really changed here either between BG1, 2 and 3. Long rest as much as you want, but it'll cost you in Camping Supplies that you get plenty of and can keep in a camp storage chest and pull out just before you click on your bedding to rest for the night. Minimal cost and the only deterrent is that it's annoying.

- Picking up and reading lots of books and tomes. Oh man! BG1 and 2 had LOTS of books and tomes. Nothing new here.

- Picking up lots of useless stuff. Yep. BG1 and 2 had that too. Inventory Management was 50% of the game. How many big suits of armor can I carry along with greatswords, shortswords and so forth until my people became encumbered? Most of these were 100% pointless to really carry around, as they were worth like next to no gold. In the beginning, worth it because you hardly had anything. Mid-Late game, worthless, but we did it anyway because you can't leave anything lying around! It's a video game. You have to take ALL the things.

- Exploration Maps with Map Gates. The only difference between BG1, 2 and 3 is that right now everything in EA is one great big ginormous Exploration Map. The Map Gates are there and even pop up the regional map. We just can't use them yet to move to other areas. Yes, BG3 feels a bit crammed together, since it's all one ginormous Exploration Map instead of one we can explore in a matter of minutes, but it is still the same basic concept. As far as multiple geographical locations on a single Exploration Map, that was also in various Exploration Map Locations in both BG1 and 2. First you go around a square surface map. Then you go into the first layer of a dungeon. Then you go into a second layer of a dungeon. Then you go back to the surface. Then you maybe find another dungeon entrance. Then you go into that dungeon and explore it, etc., etc., etc.

- Made up monsters. Weren't sword spiders and phase spiders first invented for BG1 and 2? I thought I read that somewhere. Could be wrong. Either way, the point is, Larian is doing their own thing with monsters, just like all cRPGs do their own things with the monsters. Not all goblins are standard goblins. Not all spiders are standard spiders.

- Standard D&D rules with some tweaks. Come on, now. You can't tell me that BG1 and 2 used absolute standard D&D rules. The entire RTWP system called for a revamp of some of the most basic fundamental D&D game elements: Initiative Order, Action Count, etc. You weren't really playing by the traditional D&D rules. It was an entirely different experience because it was NOT turn-based. So, you had to rethink how you played D&D when you played BG1 and 2.

- Varied Dialogues. BG1 and 2 is well-known for its dialogues and game choices. BG3 has that and then some. Larian seems to be adding more with each patch. This is one of the most amazing enhancements for a BG sequel, and probably the most important. In this area, Larian is creating a sequel that is hugely replayable. Nevertheless, they are handling dialogues very similarly to BG1 and 2. The only major difference with dialogues is that BG1 and 2 didn't have dice rolls so much with dialogues. But think about it! That's a HUGE part of D&D. What's the point of having a Persuasion skill if you never use it in dialogues, or you use it very infrequently?

I think there are more, but the point is to get people thinking more about the similarities as opposed to how upset they are that the game doesn't have this or that mechanic.

Here are the major differences I really see:

- No true day/night cycle. Players have no option to travel about the map by night, thus using the darkness to cloak you for stealth purposes, and thus adding better ambiances to spookier settings like the toll house with all the dead bodies and such. Oh how cool that would be with a bit of ominous music, fog, grim corpses hacked to pieces just barely seen by moonlight... Also, Drow sun sensitivity is either totally nasty because the entire EA is in broad daylight or like they have it now, totally removed from the MC because it would hurt their ability to do anything in EA. Day/night cycle would allow Drow to move about by night and do everything by night, and then feel the serious ramifications of that weakness if they tried to go about by day.

- All the characters we can have in our party right now are "special". There is no one like Minsc who is just some fighter guy who is trying to kick evil's butt. However, this is EA, so who knows what characters we could actually enlist for the final version.

- Party of 4 instead of Party of 6. This hurts me. Party of 4 is too limiting. I don't care what people say. The game would be so much better with a party of 6. Either way, whether you agree or not, it is a difference.

- Unlimited arrows. I'm okay with this. I hate arrow counting and managing. I always thought it was a huge annoyance, and again, what was the point. They were so cheap that you could buy them in massive bulk, and the biggest limit was inventory space which certain items could help you with. Again, whether you agree or not, it's a difference.

- Items with history. This could change because it's still in EA, but every item in BG1 and 2 had a story behind it. That was fun. I'd love to read where the item came from, who owned it, what they did with it. That was fun. Seems like BG3 is kinda doing this. Like the Blooded Greataxe. I just hope they continue to do more of it.

- Fast Travel. So, at first I thought that Fast Travel in BG3 was bad. It allows you to do so many things instantly and therefore breaks immersion. But, when you really think about it, again, how tedious was it to have to play walking simulator to reach the edge of the area map? How much better is it to just make it so you, the player don't have to experience every walking, waking moment as you slowly walk back to the edge of the map? Fast Travel just speeds up the process so you aren't wasting your time.

- Character models and portraits. So, in BG1 and 2, you had to pick a portrait. In BG3, you create your portrait and it actually looks like the character model you created. So, unlike in BG1 and 2, where you have a very basic model that might or might not look like your portrait, you actually have a portrait that matches. The models are WAY better. Are they perfectly rendered versions of elves, dwarves, halflings, etc.? Maybe not based on your opinion, but they certainly are different and far better than the originals (naturally). So, the point is, what are the differences and similarities. Are the differences better? Do they make the game somehow NOT a BG game? I don't think that character models/portraits not looking like elves/dwarves/etc. destroy the BG-feel. In fact, I hated the portrait selection in BG1 and 2 and Icwind Dale and such. There were hardly ever any portraits that really spoke to me. Most bothered me. I'd much prefer custom-made portraits/models.

- RTWP versus Turn-Based. Yes, this is probably the biggest difference. This changes the entire feel of the game. Is it a bad difference? In my opinion, no, but I know there are various threads and various opinions on this. Regardless, it is a major difference. Does it make it any less a BG game or sequel? No. It is just a different play style and ruleset.

So overall, the point of this entire thread is that when you get down to it, BG3 actually has a lot more similarities to its predecessors than many would like you to believe. It isn't really all THAT different, when the rubber meets the pavement. There are a few differences, but most are minor, and none of them would scream that this is not a true BG sequel because of said difference. Not having Day/Night, a 6 person party, etc. sucks, in my opinion, but if they don't implement these things, it will still be a pretty good successor to the series... as long as they finish the game and finish it well.

Joined: Mar 2020
Location: Belfast
veteran
Online Confused
veteran
Joined: Mar 2020
Location: Belfast
Originally Posted by GM4Him
So overall, the point of this entire thread is that when you get down to it, BG3 actually has a lot more similarities to its predecessors than many would like you to believe. It isn't really all THAT different, when the rubber meets the pavement.
I disagree. Of course there are similarities. There are similarities between games from different genres, even more so between two titles within same broad cRPG categorization. Many designs are universal across many games. The fact that the same or similar elements are present doesn't mean that they fulfil same function or achieve similar effect.


Originally Posted by GM4Him
- Few timed events (there were maybe a few in BG1 and 2, but nothing substantial). You, the player, could literally go to the manor with the trolls infesting it, fight a few trolls, leave, sleep for a few days, go do a bunch of other things and come back and the trolls would still be exactly where they were before. Staged enemies was something BG1 and 2 both had. So, nothing new with BG3. If they decide to do some timed events, it may not be very many.
I will not disagree - while BG1&2 had some timed quest I don't think they were defining the experience. Still, it doesn't change that BG3 has timeline issue, which you yourself explored in a different thread. While you can point out issues with BG2 quests not progressing, it is not something that activaly creates a problem. Yes, from metaknowledge you know that things won't progress without you, but from playing experience nothing sticks out as particularly wrong.


Originally Posted by GM4Him
- Long rest at minimal cost or with minimal limits.
Yes, I strongly believe that rest system doesn't work well with handcrafted and limited content of cRPGs - limited resources, with an unlimited ability to replenish those resources is simply a bad system. It was problematic in BG1&2 nd it is problematic in BG3. I frankly didn't like BG1&2 solution, and I am not fond of camp of BG3. Now with minicamps it is more "immersive" but I have FOMO when it comes to story content that happens in "real" camp only.



Originally Posted by GM4Him
- Picking up and reading lots of books and tomes. Oh man! BG1 and 2 had LOTS of books and tomes. Nothing new here.
Books, even well written and interesting books aren't replacement for good story telling though (looking at you Pillars of Eternity1). I also think you oversell how many and how long BG1&2 books were. More importantly I never really read any of those - those were a side addition, not main story exposition dump.



Originally Posted by GM4Him
- Picking up lots of useless stuff. Yep. BG1 and 2 had that too. Inventory Management was 50% of the game.
No it wasn't. Even playing recently on iPad BG1&2 inventory managemenet is very modest when compared to BG3 or Pathfinders (albeit mass looting feature accelerated looting quite significantly) - there is no stash for one, so you carry only what you need. Containers for valuables, scrolls and potions are vast enough to last between visit from one shop to another, as you mention basic items have little to no value, and once you have enough interesting items to carry the game gives you bag of holding - essencially limitless stash. The only management to make are projectiless - which apply to only some of your characters. Yes BG1&2 also had inventory. But no, it wasn't as tedious.


Originally Posted by GM4Him
- Exploration Maps with Map Gates. The only difference between BG1, 2 and 3 is that right now everything in EA is one great big ginormous Exploration Map. The Map Gates are there and even pop up the regional map. We just can't use them yet to move to other areas. Yes, BG3 feels a bit crammed together, since it's all one ginormous Exploration Map instead of one we can explore in a matter of minutes, but it is still the same basic concept.

Well, no it's not. One big map, and bunch of smaller maps aren't the same thing. Not that I necessary think BG3 would be better of using smaller locations connected via world-map, but as a single map location Act1 has serious issue (as had D:OS2). Mostly - It doesnt' reinforce the narrative. Once again the game seems to exist in "zones" which character simingly unaware of what is happening a minute away from them. Goblins can't find a grove, with a road leading straight to it. A series can make a good transition into openish design (cough, witcher3, cough) but it needs to know what it is doing. It doesn't seem to me like narrative is driving the map design, and in story focused game like an RPG IMO it's a big issue.


Originally Posted by GM4Him
- Made up monsters.
But as far as I am aware the criticism isn't that Larian is making up new stuff - it's that instead of making up new stuff they use existing monster and change them entirely. And it's coming on top of all the other changes Larian is making to the IP. Not something I am terribly concerned about, but I faithful or not, I didn't think that the spider fight sucked.


Originally Posted by GM4Him
- Standard D&D rules with some tweaks.
I don't care for D&D, but Larian's combat is baaad. It's better now, but homebrews aren't good modification. I didn't like Larian stuff before I played Solasta and tasted something more faithful to the original, and now I really don't like Larian stuff. And while they made steps in the right directions, high-ground is still OP, shove should still be an action, and reactions are still a gutted system. To me it's not being faithful to D&D - I am first one to criticise it's systems. But changes need to make the game better, not worse. BG1&2 combat wasn't great IMO, but being real time and vague it hurt less. Turn based games live or die on good combat system - you can't help but notice the problems.


Originally Posted by GM4Him
- Varied Dialogues. BG1 and 2 is well-known for its dialogues and game choices.
Well, no they are not. They are know for a pretty well told adventures. As far as variety and reactivity BG3 might as well top any other RPG in history. Unfortunately, personally I will take less choices that I care about, then plenty of choices I don't care for.

Joined: Sep 2021
Location: Ukraine
apprentice
Offline
apprentice
Joined: Sep 2021
Location: Ukraine
Never played BG2, but BG1 had tons of meaningless, horribly written dialogue that led to the same result (you being attacked). There were a few notable exceptions, but overall I found the dialogue section of the game to be one of it's weakest points. Just remembering that conversation with Angelo, where the only upstanding option was to call him smelly makes my head hurt. And you could say that that was because MC is just a kid, but considering all he's been through, he should be a shellshocked veteran with a thousand yard stare, not a child with a penchant for petty insults.

I hope to see as little BG1 in BG3 as possible. Barely got through that game, would not like to have the same experience with this one.

Joined: Feb 2021
Location: Alaska
member
Offline
member
Joined: Feb 2021
Location: Alaska
You forgot one thing... In BG1 and BG2 you did not need Lockpicks and Trap kits. You could just do deal with them without any tools. In BG3 they are there, and are a total pain the arse (because of weight).

Joined: Oct 2020
old hand
Offline
old hand
Joined: Oct 2020
Originally Posted by Moradin's hammer
I hope to see as little BG1 in BG3 as possible. Barely got through that game, would not like to have the same experience with this one.

BG1 came out in Highschool for me, and it was a watershed game. Its like Super Mario Bros or Goldeneye, but the D&D crpg equivalent. Legendary for the times and basically beyond reproach. I don't know how I feel about BG1 being rereleased and represented by Beamdog though. BG1 is very similar to Star Wars in my mind. Star Wars the motion picture I mean. The BG enhanced editions are pretty analogous to Star Wars special editions. Like instead of just holding it at restoration with the fine grain coffee beans, they went that extra step and added a bunch of stuff. Like quite a considerable amount of stuff. I get playing BG1 using the BG2 engine ala Tutu, or with weidu mods in the afterlife since that kept it going in the aughts, but the EEs went rather further by becoming total replacements. Suggesting they'd still hold up like 25 years later, blending old stuff with new stuff, I'm not so sure. I like old games and still think they're worth having on the hard drive, but I'm not sure I could really recommend BG1 as a time machine for anything much beyond historical fascination, or at least not to someone who didn't have an experience with it growing up. Same as Star Wars.

One thing BG1 did do though, is give off a strong impression that the peeps who made it had played and loved like all the D&D crpg games that came before. You could just feel the love and the reference, but at the same time it wasn't just another PnP campaign translation like the old SSI gold boxes. It basically synthesized them all into a perfect FR pastiche. Again very much like Star Wars the motion picture did with the serial cinema recyclatron. It's just such a tall order for it to come back after two decades and expect it to recapture the essence of the original, but that's nevertheless what I do expect hehe.

I can only guess that trying to play BG1, after already having been exposed to more modern fair, would be a little disappointing. Most of the compare contrasts above, you could plug in Dragon Age and get much the same. With a shoulder shrug for the D&D rules and setting I guess, but it was the D&D and FR setting that made BG1 what it was. I'm still not sure why they aren't reping more FR in the art direction for BG3? Like using the legit logos and putting them up top. If I imagined this box coming out on a shelf, right now it feels like "from Larian: the studio that brought you Divinity Original Sin II!" is emblazoned in giant print where we'd expect to see the "Forgotten Realms" and the D&D5e logos going hehe.

For infinity engine gameplay Pillars and Pathfinder have basically given it to us, absent only the FR setting. What I wanted from BG3 is rather different, to bridge the divide between games like that and the modern 3D AAA heavy hitters, but within the Realms setting and using the D&D systems. The problem I think is that D&D games always assume too much prior familiarity with the rulebooks and have a hard time introducing the systems and explaining how things work or translate into the gameplay. BG1 didn't do a particularly stellar job there either hehe. What they did do though was provide a lot of companion and party combinations to introduce each class and all the various spells and abilities on offer. I still think the best thing they could do for BG3 would be aim for a dozen classes out the PHB and a companion to showcase for each. I think the quickest thing they could do to make it feel more BG1/2 would just be to add 2 more party slots and allow for a larger party. It would probably decrease difficulty but the trade off in pacing and general BG vibe would be worth it without costing anything for peeps who like a tighter party of 4. Most times the last 2 slots are the rotating ones anyway. I think it would work better like that in SP, and in MP too for still taking along a couple story characters.

Last edited by Black_Elk; 05/10/21 04:37 AM.
Joined: Apr 2020
Location: Boston , MA
addict
Offline
addict
Joined: Apr 2020
Location: Boston , MA
Just considering BG3 is coming 20 years after BG2 with similar design problems is just atrocious.

Originally Posted by GM4Him
So overall, the point of this entire thread is that when you get down to it, BG3 actually has a lot more similarities to its predecessors than many would like you to believe. It isn't really all THAT different, when the rubber meets the pavement.

I don't think we played the same games.


Originally Posted by GM4Him
- Picking up and reading lots of books and tomes. Oh man! BG1 and 2 had LOTS of books and tomes. Nothing new here.
That was actually a quality for BG1/2. BG3 books are far simpler and probably a work-in-progress.


Originally Posted by GM4Him
- Exploration Maps with Map Gates. The only difference between BG1, 2 and 3 is that right now everything in EA is one great big ginormous Exploration Map. The Map Gates are there and even pop up the regional map. We just can't use them yet to move to other areas. Yes, BG3 feels a bit crammed together, since it's all one ginormous Exploration Map instead of one we can explore in a matter of minutes, but it is still the same basic concept.

Completely different systems and scope. Plus, Larian stated there will be no backtracking to prior areas.


Originally Posted by GM4Him
RTWP versus Turn-Based. Does it make it any less a BG game or sequel? No. It is just a different play style and ruleset.
It does make a huge difference, it was innovative and it did define BG as it made BG stand out from other RPGs at that era which were TB in their vast majority. It was a big selling point for me. It still surprises me how people defend TB these days.


Originally Posted by Wormerine
Originally Posted by GM4Him
- Varied Dialogues. BG1 and 2 is well-known for its dialogues and game choices.
Well, no they are not. They are know for a pretty well told adventures. As far as variety and reactivity BG3 might as well top any other RPG in history. Unfortunately, personally I will take less choices that I care about, then plenty of choices I don't care for.

Completely agree. BG3 has the most reactivity I ever saw in a RPG, including Fallouts. But the narrative, dialogues and immersion in the game are so lacking that the choices lose their meaning.

Joined: Dec 2020
addict
Offline
addict
Joined: Dec 2020
that's such a disingenuous take. With your "logic" all video games are "basically the same". You control a character, you do stuff, you either win or lose.


Link Copied to Clipboard
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5