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Just finished my second playthrough today, played a good durge this time. Every complain I have and every complain everyone else here have regarding how they handled karlach and act 3 are absolutely valid, on a second run it becomes even more apparent the amount of stuff that went wrong in act 3, both technically and narratively. I still feel like I'm grieving and It feels really hard to try and put together a comment that properly expresses how I feel regarding this whole matter, it's crazy to feel this way about a crpg missing a proper epilogue but that's who I am now I guess.
I guess I'll never be able to put into words how much the ending (or epilogue, or lack thereof) fucked up an otherwise amazing experience overall.

I open this thread 4-5 times a day just to read new comments and to feel validated by the fact that someone else is sharing in this torment lmao.

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Originally Posted by Enerif
Just finished my second playthrough today, played a good durge this time. Every complain I have and every complain everyone else here have regarding how they handled karlach and act 3 are absolutely valid, on a second run it becomes even more apparent the amount of stuff that went wrong in act 3, both technically and narratively. I still feel like I'm grieving and It feels really hard to try and put together a comment that properly expresses how I feel regarding this whole matter, it's crazy to feel this way about a crpg missing a proper epilogue but that's who I am now I guess.
I guess I'll never be able to put into words how much the ending (or epilogue, or lack thereof) fucked up an otherwise amazing experience overall.

I open this thread 4-5 times a day just to read new comments and to feel validated by the fact that someone else is sharing in this torment lmao.

You're not alone, brother... You're not alone.

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I was spending hours upon hours in the game exploring Act 1 and recently got to Act 2. Then I found out about what changed with the recent patch and how that didn't do anything better for Karlach's matter. I fell into some sort of grief mode because I couldn't believe that everyone has two main paths and multiple choices for ending each, but she only has one and that's the doom. Like I get it, I get they wanted to go with some sort of acceptance route, but the entire narrative leads up to a possible cure and solution. The way they ended it is a cheap cop-out for not being able to change or add in things in time for release. Yes, they're badasses in Avernus. But Avernus FUCKING SUCKS. And it's just throwing her back into hell.

Look, I just can't unsee the fact that she's genuinely a person fighting for her damn needed freedom, finally getting it, finally feeling like she fights for something that matters and for people she LOVES, only to break down because soon it will all be taken away from her. How can Gale deus ex his way out of his baddabingbaddaboom, how can Wyll get out of his pact, how can Shadowheart do what she gets to do, how does Astarion get to take two very different paths, how does Lae'zel get to pick between such major figures and what to fight for.

How are our other companions presented with long questlogs filling as we pursue the story, and Karlach's just boop, completed, when you barely did anything at all???

Larian please I'm on my knees here. I'm so done with tragedy. I need some hope in life. At least in my own choice-based fantasy world. Please.

Last edited by NomTheBurritos; 19/09/23 02:00 PM.
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Originally Posted by NomTheBurritos
Look, I just can't unsee the fact that she's genuinely a person fighting for her damn needed freedom, finally getting it, finally feeling like she fights for something that matters and for people she LOVES, only to break down because soon it will all be taken away from her. How can Gale deus ex his way out of his baddabingbaddaboom, how can Wyll get out of his pact, how can Shadowheart do what she gets to do, how does Astarion get to take two very different paths, how does Lae'zel get to pick between such major figures and what to fight for.

How are our other companions presented with long questlogs filling as we pursue the story, and Karlach's just boop, completed, when you barely did anything at all???

That's the whole problem, everyone has close to impossibile odds and they get a solution or a least you actively work towards one, more often than not going actively out of your way (considering narratively you should be pursuing a cure and stopping the big baddies).
During my first playthrough Gale felt way more doomed than Karlach, i mean fuck mate i am going to help but what can we really do about it? let's see where things go, maybe you'll get deus ex'd by your former lover at the last moment. and would you look at that, you have been granted this gift lmao.
Everyone else? Oh you need to go kill your vampire master? Oh you need to find out about your past? Oh you need to lead a revolution against the lich queen? Oh you need to free the shadow cursed lands from corruption? Oh you need to go and free your father and maybe snivel your way out of your contract on the way? Oh you need to go free your old friend Minsc? No sweat at all, let's fix all these situations, maybe i'll even get myself a nice sweet little epilogue where i am reminded of everthing i did (Doesn't happen tho.)

But Karlach?
"My heart is exploding"
"Sounds bad, we are looking for a solution, hope the little infernal patches dammon applied are holding up well"
"can we find something better while we run around fixing everyone else's problems?"
"We are working on a solution :)"
"Are we?"
"Maybe we will find a solution, who knows :)"
"I'm literally dying"
"I wish i could do anything to change it, but i just CAN'T" (after fixing nearly everything else.)

You're the shining light in all of these character lives, yet for Karlach you're reduced to a parent that just got asked "Can we go to disneyland" and you can only answer "i don't know, can we? we'll see :)"

Then you go bonk Gortash and you get hit with a "We did everything we could for Karlach. All she wants now is to see the city saved."

I DON'T KNOW MAN, DID WE? WHO'S WE? I CERTAINLY DIDN'T DO EVERYTHING I COULD FOR KARLACH, I CERTAINLY DIDN'T ASK TOBIN FOR ADVICE ON INFERNAL MACHINERY WITH TEARS STREAMING DOWN MY GODDAMN FACE.
AND THAT'S NOT EVERYTHING SHE WANTS, SHE SAID A MOMENT AGO THAT SHE WANTS TO LIVE AND SHE WANTS TO STAY, IN PROBABLY THE BEST ACTED SCENE THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE GAME.

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Like I get it, I get they wanted to go with some sort of acceptance route, but the entire narrative leads up to a possible cure and solution. The way they ended it is a cheap cop-out for not being able to change or add in things in time for release. Yes, they're badasses in Avernus. But Avernus FUCKING SUCKS. And it's just throwing her back into hell.

And I LOVE that there's an acceptance arc for Karlach. It's so important, and something a resonate with a lot. I come from a background of childhood trauma, and had to go through a sort of acceptance arc of my own--accepting that what happened, happened, and I can't undo that--was huge for my growth as a person. But at times, I still felt I was "doomed by the narrative," in a sense. I can never be who I would have been without the trauma. I'll have to live with it forever.

I worked hard, and things got better for me. The fact that things got better does not, in any way, cheapen the importance of acceptance! I had accepted that I would live a difficult, isolated life--and now that I don't, I appreciate what I have so much more. And the work I did to accept and move on still guides me when I struggle. Fixing Karlach's heart doesn't mean her arc is wasted. I hope Larian sees that.

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FIXING KARLACH'S HEART DOESN'T MEAN HER [acceptance] ARC IS WASTED

Preach preach PREACH! All of this.

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WHY DID THEY CUT KARLACH'S GOOD ENDING? WHY DID THEY CUT HER? WHY IS SHE DOOMED AND NOT SOME GALE OR WYLL?


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Last edited by Sad_Pepe1992; 19/09/23 04:05 PM.
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Originally Posted by Sad_Pepe1992
WHY DID THEY CUT KARLACH'S GOOD ENDING? WHY DID THEY CUT HER? WHY IS SHE DOOMED AND NOT SOME GALE OR WYLL?


THE SHEER SIZE OF THAT WOJAK MADE ME CHOKE HASDHSAHAH

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Because it is almost 100% sure, that fixing engine quest and good ending was in the game, but was removed due to removing Avernus and Upper city locations from the game frown .Now we have to hope for Definitive edition and restoring these locations back. But unfortunately this will take long time.

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I remember looking at the branching choices board of Dontnod when they were talking ehind the scenes of Life is Strange (1) and how the tree of one choice beanched out into so many others. How hard it must've been to make it all work.

Now I imagine the tree of choices and consequences for a game the size of BG3 is ENORMOUS but I just don't understand. Are we really given any choice with Karlach like we are with the others?

It's pointless isn't it? Every companion has AT LEAST two main sways of story, a better and a worse (good/evil, whatever you wanna call them, I say shades of grey and complexity) ending but also multiple ways of doing that.

Karlach's end is not dependant on anything we do in the game. She will live even if we don't repair her, though her longing for touch and love would be left aside (can't hsve that can we!). But regardless of the upgrade, she will make it til the end and then we will be presented with the same choies as if we took her with us everywhere, talked to Dammon, Gondians, Steel Watchers and stocked up on a pile of enriched infernal iron. Nothing, and I repeat, nothing, changes the outcome for Karlach, until the very last minute when her time is up. Only thing we get as we progress her quest and meet all these people is more explanation to the same: she's burning up on the upper plane because of her engine basically being outdated.

And then they present you with choices:
Choice A: Karlach from earlier in the game would be satisfied because she had the autonomy over her fate and could dictate her final choice without the threat of Zariel. Burning up in agony after a battle, in accomplishment, but also personal failure if we look at post-Gortash Karlach.

Choice B: We let Tav and/or Blade of Avernus Wyll to go with her back to Zariel's layer of hell. The one place she swore on everything she'd never want to set her foot back in. Though, she gets to live. And if we let her choose and have romanced her, she will tell us that we have to go, now. That too is a choice, even though in Avernus she peeks at Tav and says "remember, you chose this". 12 levels higher and yes sure badasses, but back in the last place she as a former slave would want to return to. Good for a DLC, looks badass, but in truth just says "you can live but only if you go to hell which you did everything to escape".

Choice C: Let her become a Mindflayer. She'll shed her former self, keep some sense of who she used to be but become eternally different. Sure, having many choices is fun, but this ain't anything I'd ever choose in any of my playthroughs as it basically takes away everything Karlach is and stands for.

Now imagine choice D:
You come across the Steel Watchers who tell us to go to check Karlach's heart. We do that, but they themselves cannot help per se - however, they can introduce thw enriched inferlan iron to the plot and we set off on a subquest to find x amount. Everything we've gathered and learned, we'd take to Dammon, who would try to do something but it would ultimately be out of his skillset, in which he would have to team up with either the Gondians or Karlach's friend in upper city. Together with a fallen Steel Watcher, we'd be able to crack the idea of how to solve Karlach's predicament and she'd get repaired.

It could come at a cost of course, if one wanted to write that. Be it that she'd lose the ability to rage like she did, becoming a different kind of warrior, would likely affect the final battle and/or how she perceives herself as a fighter. It still comes at a cost, and is a change to the character, but her heart is stabilised and she is no less fierce and strong, just no longer flaming hot. I imagine an emotional scene, in Origin Karlach story maybe she could have a go at kissing Dammon as a thank you (for all you Kammon lovers) and for Tav romancers she could finally exhale and say that there was a hope for the future she didn't think she'd get to see.

There's a story to be told and still beauty in everything. Karlach doesn't have to die in the most tragic way to show a story of acceptance. Finding a cure for her flaming heart could tell a story of how trying to fight and having friends to support you can achieve great things. That wrongs done against you can be healed from, redeemed, and that there's a future to be had despite (or in spite of) the years you've lost to something totally out of your control. You can still live if you put your life in the hands of the right people, and you can fight to see another day without having to do so by going back to your abuser's turf.

I don't know. I just KNOW there's more to be told than just the ends we recieved. Karlach feels empty and left out and if she truly was a creation adjusted for the fans to enjoy and balance the rest of the squad, then why on earth would we want our precious girl to die?? Larian KNEW she would be important, they hsd to know based on fan feedback during EA. Samantha did a fantastic job in all the lines and it hurts me to know we can do SO MUCH for everyone, even outside of our own camp, but not enough for her.

I've survived one Chloe Price already. I don't want to hear her scream that she wants to live, and be doomed by the narrative. Because that's what she is. She "accepts" her fate and dies because what else is there? Or goes back to Avernus where life is shit, food tastes disgusting and everyone is out to get her, only to get more time to *offscreen figure out what to do next*.

If Avernus is the best ending we can get, then it must get a DLC continuation. If not, then they better patch this mess up. It's not right, Larian. I get the idea but it's not right. Not compared to the complexity of choices for the other characters, not right toward the fanbase this joyous beast of a woman enthralled with her presence.

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Any sort of meaningful "fix" for her heart would likely have to happen near the very end, or even in an epilogue. The disaster and emotional roller coaster of facing no solutions to her problem are what elicit everyone's passionate interest in this character, why throw that out? The writers nailed it, don't take that experience away. Make it an inevitable choice everyone has to live through, this content is too rich and fits the tragedy I believe the writers were going for, last minute or not. The reason so many people have grown attached to Karlach is yes, the journey along the way, but the reality of her condition takes it to another level, don't reject this! This is critical.

Wouldn't you rather feel profoundly elated realizing that the doom you were set up for were met by say, Dammon with a crew of Gondians by his side showing up on the docks end scene? Having it be him instead of Wyll or a variation of the two that says "No Karlach, you don't have to do this, we found a way to fix you!" Wouldn't that open the door to a more rewarding conclusion than finding a fix somewhere in early to mid act 3? Missing out on the hope that kills? The reward of a solution needs a suitable climax, Karlach deserves this in respect to her already established position, her writing.

Of course choosing returning to Avernus over allowing Dammon and the Gondians to replace her heart immediately would have to have it's perks. Something along the lines of Karlach has greatly diminished capabilities with the new engine or the recovery isn't a guarantee and she may he handicapped in some way, there is an unknown future unless they had more time to come up with a solid design. Karlach would have to go from Barbarian level 12 to civilian level 3. Installing a temporary new engine to stay in Faerun while they perfect the design also incurs the higher likelihood of the transplant exploding and killing everyone in the attempt. So repeat attempts come with high risk. Make the choice a heavy and impactful one, do you let emotions running high override the logical long-term solution for an immediate solution to avoid Avernus? Or continue the adventure with peace of mind knowing there is something actively being worked on to fix the engine once and for all.

Her going to Avernus may be the time they need to come up with a perfect new engine, in the the meantime she's rocking the Doom soundtrack casually dismembering pit fiends for fun with her legendaries rather than just hamstringing them . While Tav and Wyll are casually one-rounding Raphael level encounters with whatever build they're running. Razing the hells with Zariel trembling in fear, to quote Wither's cut epilogue voice files.

Remember Karlach is the type for adventure and living a physically engaging life, she lives for combat and excitement, even if she has a house in Balder's Gate, she will definitely be taking up mercenary work or adventuring with Tav taking on hill giants or tracking down devils, fiends, etc.

What I think people are asking for and they don't know it, is keep the emotions running high, keep the hope that kills theme until the very end, but make it complicated and rewarding.

Edit: Also a good way for Karlach to address any unfinished business in Avernus, that is her style after all. Some check-list items crossed off.

Last edited by indomitnotable; 19/09/23 04:48 PM.
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Originally Posted by NomTheBurritos
I've survived one Chloe Price already. I don't want to hear her scream that she wants to live, and be doomed by the narrative. Because that's what she is. She "accepts" her fate and dies because what else is there? Or goes back to Avernus where life is shit, food tastes disgusting and everyone is out to get her, only to get more time to *offscreen figure out what to do next*.

This LIS parallel really spoke to me, it's been 8 years but i still curl up in a little ball and cry myself to sleep if i happen to listen to spanish sahara by accident.
If only karlach was wrote to die in a meaningful way i'm sure it would hurt less, or at least make a little amount of sense.

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Originally Posted by indomitnotable
What I think people are asking for and they don't know it, is keep the emotions running high, keep the hope that kills theme until the very end, but make it complicated and rewarding.

100% this. when i beg for a fix this is exactly what i mean.

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I second this. Make us fight for it. Make it a last Hail Mary. But make us all do whatever it takes and make it rewarding even if complicated.

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Do I really have to time and time again mention a god damned dating sim, because it did better job at storytelling than an RPG? How exactly should the good ending at the end, if an ending epilogue should be made to actually BE GOOD? How it can we a well written story if we are still ignoring billions of easy and lore accurate solutions?

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Originally Posted by indomitnotable
Any sort of meaningful "fix" for her heart would likely have to happen near the very end, or even in an epilogue. The disaster and emotional roller coaster of facing no solutions to her problem are what elicit everyone's passionate interest in this character, why throw that out? The writers nailed it, don't take that experience away. Make it an inevitable choice everyone has to live through, this content is too rich and fits the tragedy I believe the writers were going for, last minute or not. The reason so many people have grown attached to Karlach is yes, the journey along the way, but the reality of her condition takes it to another level, don't reject this! This is critical.

Absolutely agree with all this. I don't want the current story changed, I just want it expanded and to have a chance to fight for her.

Rake my soul over the damn coals with the sheer terror of my friend or lover dying with no salvation in sight just the same, just give me an option to dig my heels in like I did for others.


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Originally Posted by NomTheBurritos
I've survived one Chloe Price already.

also pardon the double-posting, but as someone who chose to sacrifice Arcadia Bay I'll very much take questionable means to save Karlach over nothing (she'll likely break up with me for something like that, unlike Chloe, but what matters is she lives), do not tempt me (I mean please, do tempt me, if I'll have to roleplay my Tav going mad with desperation as my only option then by gods I will)


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Bae over Bay people know that we will do everything to change the so-called given fate for the girl we love.

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Originally Posted by indomitnotable
Edit: Also a good way for Karlach to address any unfinished business in Avernus, that is her style after all. Some check-list items crossed off.

I was with you up until this part.

I think it's a very jarring tonal shift to have her lusting for life and deathly afraid of returning to Avernus most of the run until the last act where she does a complete 180 and becomes a doomer who's suddenly fine with their fate and fine with going back there.

The whiplash that this tonal shift creates kills much of the rich emotional story beats that you referred to in your post. They need to either do away with that shift or lay the seeds for it in earlier acts depending on your choices.

The prime reason people love Karlach so much is her energy and her personality. She's a gentle giant who doesn't take any shit. And she looks damn hot to boot. That's what made most people fall in love with her. The infernal engine story takes a back seat to that.

What Larian did with Patch 2 was to suck out her vivacious and upbeat attitude and replace it with a somber, downer attitude that doesn't fit her at all.

I agree that keeping the drama is important, but it can't be at the expense of the character.

Last edited by Walking Kole; 19/09/23 06:11 PM.
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Originally Posted by Walking Kole
I think it's a very jarring tonal shift to have her lusting for life and deathly afraid of returning to Avernus most of the run until the last act where she does a complete 180 and becomes a doomer who's suddenly fine with their fate and fine with going back there.

Okay full disclosure I was already in the middle of Act 3 when Patch 2 dropped, so I'm not aware of whatever lines were added in Act 2 or at the start of Act 3 and can't say anything about the general 'doomer attitude' or not, but I'm not seeing any of "suddenly fine going back there" you mentioned? I am currently right on the threshold of the final battle and by this point she's still
adamant about dying rather than going back (in fact briefly being back gave her a panic attack and a determined "NEVER AGAIN I'd rather die in the world I love than live in the one I hate" which is pretty consistent with everything she was saying before). And the opportunity to convince her otherwise at the very end was there before the patch I'm pretty sure, so that also didn't change.

Also considering the post-Gortash scene and the current absence of solutions I think the 'doomer' shift is appropriate. Even people who manage to live in the present and find the little joys in life start to break when death is quite literally breathing down their neck with no hope in sight. She has to stuff all the negative feelings inside to enjoy the positive ones while she can, 'cause that's who she is - but they're still there, and they start to show. Seems like a natural progression to me - made only more heartbreaking by the contrast.

(Although I will say, I'm also not seeing Avernus as "well she loves action and adventure, so it's a good way to check some stuff off of her list". The way I see it, multiple things across the game (in banters, in her origin's dialogue options, etc) imply that in actuality Karlach very much longs for a quieter/simpler/normal-er life down the road, but it's 1. unfamiliar and scary because she hasn't had it for so long and doesn't feel like she could fit in all that, and 2. not something she can really afford to think about, 'cause it's a life that involves time and future she's lacking. (Also 3. not something she readily admits 'cause looking tough and ready to throw down is something that kept her alive for more than a decade - like an armor.) So instead she opts for collecting as many adventures and experiences as she possibly can in the short time she has - but had she had a choice, it would hardly be constant fighting. Not in the long run, anyway. But that's just my interpretation, to be fair.)

Last edited by tarraxahum; 19/09/23 06:38 PM.

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