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another point I didnt mention, dialog should start randomly like in bg2, and the music should change when this happens

A sad backstory?
let the music help us feel it, and let the npcs start the interactions dont just put a explanation mark above the companions heads

actually have companions seek the main character out and start speaking to us.

npcs talking in permant loops is emmersion breaking after one loop have the npcs actually talk to us
Or end the argument/conversation and talk about something else

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@ Zerubbabel: +1 , that's a nice way to put it into words, indeed I would also like them to focus on world/immersion building.
However, given:
- D/N is apparently impossible somehow for larian
- static NPC's with no schedule or activity they are carrying out except playing statue until you meet them & very compressed 'abstract' world building seem to be Larian trademark design choices
- the story boiling down to a kind of plot armour for the world to be as desolate, abandoned and empty as it is because of the conflict going on (e.g. the inn is burning, the grove is besieged) and the fact we know from the trailers that the city of baldurs gate is probably destroyed or also under siege or abandoned when we reach it

I'm kinda convinced that we won't get something as immersive, living/moving as Athkathla in BG3 but simply an 'urban' version of the CH1 map
Edit: * Athkatla

Last edited by SerraSerra; 27/06/22 11:10 AM.
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Athkathla was great.
Athkathla with mods (more quests, stuff to do...) was bloody amazing.

Modded BG3 sadly will be like modded DOS2 : SHIT. No quests, no extra characters, no story expansions...

Last edited by mr_planescapist; 27/06/22 10:45 AM.
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Originally Posted by SerraSerra
@ Zerubbabel: +1 , that's a nice way to put it into words, indeed I would also like them to focus on world/immersion building.
However, given:
- D/N is apparently impossible somehow for larian
- static NPC's with no schedule or activity they are carrying out except playing statue until you meet them & very compressed 'abstract' world building seem to be Larian trademark design choices
- the story boiling down to a kind of plot armour for the world to be as desolate, abandoned and empty as it is because of the conflict going on (e.g. the inn is burning, the grove is besieged) and the fact we know from the trailers that the city of baldurs gate is probably destroyed or also under siege or abandoned when we reach it

I'm kinda convinced that we won't get something as immersive, living/moving as Athkathla in BG3 but simply an 'urban' version of the CH1 map
Edit: * Athkatla

I don't want to knock Larian because I DO like what they've made since DOS2, but these are very valid concerns. I suppose I could make my peace with no D/N cycle if they had other ways of expressing the passage of time in an immersive manner (*cough* a weather system would allow for more diverse ambient sounds and could be random based on long rests *cough*). My least favorite part of the Larin style would be the NPCs that just wait around for you to interact with them, having a lot to say when you click on them to talk alone, but absolutely nothing to say to other NPCs or about changes in the world around them (See: the party in DOS2 basically being cardboard cutouts that have a PC-to-companion interactivity only based on their backstory with no banter or companion-to-companion interactivity, even when their major quests literally overlapped and contradicted each other, like Ifan and Sebille and Red Prince except for that Dreamer in Act 1). I guess I could make my peace with the theme park style map if it has a lot of content... maybe they can make it make sense by keeping us in certain districts of the city? I'll always prefer DOS2 gameplay because it's just FUN, but I wish they targeted the immersive aspects of BG2 in their game philosophy a bit more here. JUST for Baldur's Gate, just the city, I'd prefer more Athkatla and less Arx.


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Originally Posted by Xzoviac
A sad backstory?
let the music help us feel it

You gave me Deja Vu...

So Planescape Torment, among its many great bullet points has an amazing music score: Listen a few seconds or enjoy it (point to follow).



When we first meet our former dead lover, who we don't remember (cuz we have amnesia). We get this variation on the main theme...this song still elicites an emotional response...just genius! Look at the bones! I mean read the responses.


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Of course there was Fall-From-Grace (The Lawful Neutral [with a good bent] Cleric / Succubus). This was here theme, and she was an amazing character (Jennifer Hale before Titles like Mass-Effect or KOTOR).

What was really unique was:

The Brothel for Slating Intellectual Lusts (a brothel with no sex)

Even though the building is a brothel, the "prostitutes" within it are actually aspiring sensates. They do not serve their patrons physically. Instead, they learn to identify with others so that they can better understand themselves and the Planes.

It's like the writers would come up with the most bizarre ideas they could think of and then make them work. This was a different setting of course: Sigil at the center of the multiverse, and they wanted to create an otherworldly setting.

Still, if you want inspiration, then visit the masters....and by the way, this was not a big budget production.


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You can click on the other Torment themes if you like...they are all masterpieces.

Not straying too far from the point, music is indeed powerful. It doesn't even have to over the top, just appropriate to the character or location. The Under-dark city music was awesome...but I like the point of changing music when emphasizing a given situation, character or mood.

Last edited by Van'tal; 28/06/22 04:35 PM.
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oh, another one I just remembered. BG1/2 and Icewind dale still have better item flavour text than BG3 atm. They need to write these so that any non standard items gains a unique feeling trough it's backstory. Like maybe I want to wear the Baldurian shield, not because of it's ability to reflect beholder rays, but simply because I made it as an adventurer and I want to show of what crazy stuff I've bought at the adventurers market. This shouldn't be so hard, either tie in with main story, or give items a seprate story of their own (e.g. connect items to the region to tie in with world, or simply relate them to a character that died long time ago and has no real connection to this story but at least give the items a self-contained backstory and 'raison d'être'.

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It was a good game, it's a shame that when it came out it sold so badly frown

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I'd like to add Kirkwall to the mix. I know DA:II has a certain reputation, but I really enjoyed the world-building in it, and the move to have an entire game center around a decade of living in one city.

Amn is still the best.

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Originally Posted by Rhobar121
It was a good game, it's a shame that when it came out it sold so badly frown

I got my copy in the bargain bin at Walmart. Isn't great when you expect nothing and get something so over the top?



"They need to write these so that any non standard items gains a unique feeling trough it's backstory."

~Flavor is good, especially when helping to write our own story:)


I missed Kirkwall Sozz...any more details?

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Kirkwall was the setting of Dragon Age II. It was a densely packed urban setting, with a lot of verticality. If I'm remembering it correctly, it was a built on top of mines, during the Tevinter Imperium this made it a major entrepot for slaves, with a lot of those trappings still present in it's design and aesthetic, giving it a very realized history of oppression and class conflict that played well into the overarching narrative of DA:II.

Considering how miserable mining was during the Roman Empire, the idea of what slave mines in a fantasy, blood-magocracy, Roman Empire is interesting.

And I also liked about DA:II that apart from a few short jaunts, inbetween acts, the game takes place in one setting, and over a long period of time, allowing for decisions and characters to develop over time.

Last edited by Sozz; 28/06/22 06:07 PM.
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Originally Posted by Sozz
Kirkwall was the setting of Dragon Age II. It was a densely packed urban setting, with a lot of verticality. If I'm remembering it correctly, it was a built on top of mines, during the Tevinter Imperium this made it a major entrepot for slaves, with a lot of those trappings still present in it's design and aesthetic, giving it a very realized history of oppression and class conflict that played well into the overarching narrative of DA:II.

Considering how miserable mining was during the Roman Empire, the idea of what slave mines in a fantasy, blood-magocracy, Roman Empire is interesting.

And I also liked about DA:II that apart from a few short jaunts, inbetween acts, the game takes place in one setting, and over a long period of time, allowing for decisions and characters to develop over time.

The question is, how much was this intended and how much caused by short production times and cuts.

Last edited by Rhobar121; 28/06/22 06:14 PM.
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Dragon Age was a strong story...haven't replayed that in a long while.

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Necessity is the mother of invention as they say. I think the reuse of assets was the meme that came out of DA:II, but I still think each area of the city areas had their own thing going, from the port area to the honey-comb mines turned slums; and even having the nicer parts of the city, still have the kind of oppressive feel of a slave-quarry/turned city-state, worked for me.

I haven't played DA:II in some time though, so I'm certainly adding a little to it on my end. Regardless, the concept of a building a world 'tall' instead of 'wide', and then adding to it a story that takes place over a longer period of time, is still interesting to me, especially because you don't see it very often in RPGs for some reason.

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Originally Posted by Sozz
Necessity is the mother of invention as they say. I think the reuse of assets was the meme that came out of DA:II, but I still think each area of the city areas had their own thing going, from the port area to the honey-comb mines turned slums; and even having the nicer parts of the city, still have the kind of oppressive feel of a slave-quarry/turned city-state, worked for me.

I haven't played DA:II in some time though, so I'm certainly adding a little to it on my end. Regardless, the concept of a building a world 'tall' instead of 'wide', and then adding to it a story that takes place over a longer period of time, is still interesting to me, especially because you don't see it very often in RPGs for some reason.

Most likely, the point is not to get the player bored with too much monotony of areas.
I suspect this is the main reason because reusing areas would make it easier for developers.

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Originally Posted by Van'tal
Originally Posted by Xzoviac
A sad backstory?
let the music help us feel it

You gave me Deja Vu...

So Planescape Torment, among its many great bullet points has an amazing music score: Listen a few seconds or enjoy it (point to follow).



When we first meet our former dead lover, who we don't remember (cuz we have amnesia). We get this variation on the main theme...this song still elicites an emotional response...just genius! Look at the bones! I mean read the responses.

this is the high fantasy music I want the kind that makes you feel something deep and emotional.

I think one of the things bg3 is lacking is emotional depth from the characters, I Still remember, in The last of us 1
the final scene Ellie asks Jole to swear to her, it stuck with me for years, the music the emotion the characters give off, this depth imo is what bg3 needs


this has been edited a bit - but the last scene is right

Last edited by Xzoviac; 28/06/22 06:54 PM.
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The music in DOS2 was good, and Boris Slavov is really talented so I'm not that worried about the music. Could there be more specialized or context-specific tracks for narrative/characterization purposes? Probably. But I don't think the quality of the soundtrack is in question, just its breadth and usage. Having tracks at major story points which are variations of a track at another similar story point is a good idea for unifying the two moments musically (In the words of George Lucas: It's like poetry. It rhymes). DOS2 did this to some extent. Having music tell a story is also cool. Giving characters and locations their own themes is also good, and having major locations associated with certain character's backstories borrow motifs from those character's themes could also be a good idea. All in all though, I think the music folks have it handled, but it would be nice if they worked with the writing team more to musically unify characters, themes, and events a bit more. But don't underestimate the power of silence. Sometimes, a moment surrounded by soundtrack can be punctuated by a single point of dramatic silence. On the other hand, given this is BG3, having a soundtrack that resembles its predecessor's era of CRPGs is a good idea, giving musical references to the styles of BG, BG2, Icewind, Planescape, and Neverwinter.

Also think there's a bit of rose-colored glasses for DA2 in the forum. Let's remember what initial impressions were like, with the outrage at simplified mechanics and recycled assets. There's a lot to love about that game, but I wouldn't point at it and say, "Hey Larian! That's the kind of game we want!" On the other hand, Sozz has a good point in that looking at games centered around a city or a few cities might be wise for designing a major city in the game (Baldur's Gate, or whatever the last act is, depending on if it's an urban setting).


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Thanks for the great feedback!

I Larian explores some simple ways to connect with their audience they will have hit a whole new level in their game development.

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Haven't heard it mentioned here, but a quality of life matter from BG2 Enhanced Edition:
If you select an item in the party's inventory, characters that cannot use that item (due to a lack of proficiency or other reasons) have their portraits highlighted in red, while characters that can use the item in question have normal portraits. This is good for sorting loot without having to check who can do what.


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