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First time playing, struggling in all aspects.

I tried playing through the tutorial for BGEE, as I've never played BG before, but I felt I wasn't understanding the instructions very well. I stumbled around the menus and eventually got my way through it but I'm feeling more confused then I did before I started. Spellcasters, how do they work?

I wanted to make a spellcaster for my first playthrough, but they seem complicated. All this stuff about memorization and meditating or resting before being able to use spells, and then I could only use that spell once before needing to rest for 8 hours. It seemed like a big headache so I tried out a Fighter instead. It's been alright but I find it a little boring? At the moment I'm bleeding my way through the Nashkel mines with little to no idea of anything that's going on. I just know Xzar and Khalid and his wife want to be here, and since Gorion told me to find Khalid I figured I'd just follow him. I've no idea who I'm supposed to be or who Gorion is or why I'm doing anything at all. I'm under the assunption I'm just supposed to learn as I go, so I've been trying to just bear through it in hopes everything will be made a bit clearer as I go. Next thing I know Xzar and Khalid start freaking out at each other and now Xzar is dead and his minion friend left us to die in the mines. I loved how that can happen though in the game, how the companions interact with one another like that, and it's got me excited to keep playing.

Maybe it's just the game, not the class, no offense to anyone out there. I've heard this is an amazing game and I enjoy reading about it a lot, but it's very complicated and maybe I'm not enjoying it because I simply don't know what's going on. I just find it a little underwhelming since all I'm doing is pausing the game and then assigning targets to my characters. I can barely tell what it is I'm attacking, or what class the humanoids I'm attacking are, or anything really. I realize that the darkening of a character's portrait signifies their health but other than that, I feel very, very lost, and am struggling to enjoy the game.

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Comments

  • secretmantrasecretmantra Member Posts: 259
    Sounds like you are overwhelmed by a completely different type of game play than you are familiar with.

    Baldur's Gate is essentially a turn-based tactics fantasy game with roleplaying elements, based on a rule set from the Dungeons & Dragons game system (which it seems you are unfamiliar with). Honestly, the game is designed to be hard even if you are familiar with this type of game system.

    My suggestions:
    Take it slower. Learn by experimentation. Keep in mind this game is primarily about tactics, so try to learn which tactics work. Try lowering your difficulty setting until you learn better how to play.



  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 7,741
    The game does take a bit of getting used to. There is a sticky thread at the top of this section of the forums that could potentially be helpful. There is a lot of reading but it explains much of the more complex rules and is probably the best BG101 on the entire forums. If I were to give some advice I would say don't let defeat get you down. Save frequently. Don't worry too much about the rules at first and just try to enjoy the ride; do that and you will learn the rules soon enough. If you have questions I, and I am sure many on the forum, would be happy to help. Go ahead and PM me if you want... I have nothing better to do...

  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 7,741
    Tresset said:

    Go ahead and PM me if you want... I have nothing better to do...

    By this I mean I have nothing better to do than BG all day.

    KidCarnival
  • LuigirulesLuigirules Member Posts: 415
    I would suggest exploring the wilderness more before attacking the main plot.

    You'll get some experience under your belt, which will make the plot more enjoyable because you're not stressing about actually being able to complete it without losing half your party.

    And if you run into something in the wilderness you can't defeat, don't despair. Just go around it and come back later! That's luxury you don't have with the plot.

  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    There is a lot of information to get used to, I can't imagine playing if I hadn't played the PnP game for years first. But a few things...
    A warrior type is the easiest for learning; especially Cavalier or Undead Hunter, they have some useful abilities but not too much to keep track of.
    Always use weapons you are specialized in (two proficiency slots or "pips").
    Wear the best armor you can find (lowest armor class).

    Try to keep characters of similar alignment in your party, especially in the good/evil axis; big differences will argue, and cause other problems, as you already saw.

    The best party is balanced among the character classes.

    Your spellcasters will get better as they go up levels. Low level mages are particularly weak.

    Be patient with yourself and the game. Read descriptions of things. The story is engaging and well written, but you do have to pay attention.
    You really can win with any type of character, its all about learning how to get the most out of them. And THAT, requires patience.

    Tressetsecretmantra
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    Backtits said:

    I've no idea who I'm supposed to be or who Gorion is or why I'm doing anything at all. I'm under the assunption I'm just supposed to learn as I go, so I've been trying to just bear through it in hopes everything will be made a bit clearer as I go.

    Correct. Half the point of the main plot, when you come to it as a new player, is discovering who you are and why you're doing these things. It's all explained by the end, and it's an exciting journey of discovery when you don't yet know. But yes, it can be mystifying and confusing in the early stages.

    Be aware also that this is a long game, the Nashkel mine is still very early in the story. Since you don't yet know all about where to go and what to do, it might well take you months to finish it (although many areas and quests are optional) ... but long before then, you'll have got the hang of the game mechanics and the story will be shaping up, so you'll be much less mystified.

    It's worth persisting. When the original version first came out, 15 years ago, this was the best game that had ever been made, no contest. Even today, it's still standing up pretty well, now that it's had this Enhanced Edition facelift.

    secretmantra
  • SirHablesSirHables Member Posts: 10
    My advice would to be a fighter/cleric, or perhaps a ranger in your first play through, then move on to the more difficult and complicated mages later.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 3,675
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    Tresset
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 3,675
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    Tresset
  • zzCoinszzCoins Member Posts: 13
    If the fights are boring, increase the difficulty

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 3,675
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    KidCarnival
  • TomeTome Member Posts: 466
    I would totally recommend rolling a Cleric for a first time player and sticking to healing spells. That way you can cast a few useful spells and stay a viable melee character the rest of the time. :) Very easy to use, fun to play and versatile.

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    Bhaaldog said:

    Depends on what generation of gamer a person is. Ask a new generation gamer to play an old school game and it is rather like Morpheus giving Neo the choice of the Blue and Red Pills in the Matrix movie...

    Lol! Some of us here can even remember when adventure games were text only, there were no graphics at all. Nowadays you can find gamers who think of themselves as "old school", yet if you invite them to fire up a text-only adventure and give it a go, they'll stare blankly and be unable to imagine why anyone would want to do that. Nonetheless, some of those old text adventures remain (and will continue to remain) an interesting and intriguing challenge, although playing them is practically a lost art now.

    atcDaveKidCarnival
  • aldainaldain Member Posts: 250
    SirHables said:

    My advice would to be a fighter/cleric, or perhaps a ranger in your first play through, then move on to the more difficult and complicated mages later.

    This is really the best advice you can give to a starting player. A Figher/Cleric multiclass can wear the best armor, use the best shields, is good in a fight (both in meele and at range) and has access to healing spells. Once you start to feel like you've got a grasp of what's happening, you can also begin experimenting with buffing/offensive spells with this character.
    If you pick a Dwarf, you'll also get very good saving throws, allowing you to avoid a lot of nasty effects enemies throw at you.

    Your most important stats for this character is a high Strength, Constitution and Wisdom.
    Strength means you hit more often and deal more damage in meele, and lets you wear heavy armor/shields and carry lots of loot.
    Constitution means you can take more damage before dying, and if you are a Dwarf/Halfling/Gnome, high Constitution will give you better saving throws.
    Wisdom gives you bonus spells as a Cleric.


    If you're set on playing as an arcane caster (Mage or Sorcerer), resign yourself to the fact that you'll suck for the first 3 levels, and die very easily. Stay in the back, use what few spells you get per day only in tough fights, and pelt stuff with a sling. Once you get a few levels under your belt, you get access to more options. Spells like Web, Invisibility, Horror and Agannazar's Scorcher are all nice when you get them. Magic Missile becomes more powerful as you level, Sleep is good for about 1/2 the game, and Blindness can completely take a single powerful enemy out of a fight.
    Then, at level 5, you get access to stuff like Fireball, Haste and Slow, and the world is essentially your oyster from there on out.


    Some disjointed stuff up there I guess... the point being, at the start you will be pretty weak, almost regardless of what class you pick. It's once you get rolling and gain a few levels that you get more tactical options, and that's when the fun really start.

  • TJ_HookerTJ_Hooker Member Posts: 2,438

    Backtits said:

    I've no idea who I'm supposed to be or who Gorion is or why I'm doing anything at all. I'm under the assunption I'm just supposed to learn as I go, so I've been trying to just bear through it in hopes everything will be made a bit clearer as I go.

    Correct. Half the point of the main plot, when you come to it as a new player, is discovering who you are and why you're doing these things. It's all explained by the end, and it's an exciting journey of discovery when you don't yet know. But yes, it can be mystifying and confusing in the early stages.
    I don't think the question of who Gorion is should be too big of a mystery. Sure, you may find out a bit more about him as you go along, but you get most of the basics right off the bat in the prologue.

    atcDave
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 3,675
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    atcDave
  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    Man I'd forgotten text games entirely! I remember Zork, Planetfall and a few others. I usually say I started with Ultima, but now I'm feeling another degree older...

    [Deleted User]
  • KidCarnivalKidCarnival Member Posts: 3,747
    I introduced BG to a lot people in the last few months, none of them had played the game when it came out back then. They all started with different classes, and the ones who had the most trouble to get started were the casters; mage and cleric. They basically said what @Backtits posted: can't find spells, don't know what they can scribe or why some spells are unusable, having to rest... The fighters had less trouble - one is happily tanking, as he played tanks in several other games and though he wasn't familiar with the mechanics of BG, he at least knew the class and the role. The other found it rather boring to just point at a target and wait for it to die - solution: reroll with a fighter class that can "do stuff". A paladin or ranger would be a good idea, or a barbarian or berzerker (which is what he's happy with now).
    The one who had the least trouble was the thief - it's a versatile class and it's not boring because there is a lot to do; scouting, locks, trap searching, and - once you get the hang of it - stealth and backstabs. (He plans on an assassin or shadowdancer, but started with a vanilla thief to "work up to it".)

    One problem is always: too much information at once. If you ask someone for advice with class X and quest Y, you'll get a total overload of information, what you need to pay attention to, how to compose your party, what abilities/weapons/spells to use... And it will be confusing.

    (I'm training my handpicked group of recruits to be evil masterminds, so I probably made it harder for them by giving advise how to play evil... "Do NOT kill everything that moves in Candlekeep, the guards will stomp your level 1 charname into the frozen ground!" being an important lesson for my bloodthirsty misfit crew...)

    Anyway, I'd say to get the hang of it:

    1. Play a good aligned character.

    2. Play a class that has a clearly defined role: thief, healer/cleric or a specialized fighter (i.e. paladin)

    3. Use the first map - Candlekeep - to learn the mechanics. If you make your way around the village and talk to NPCs, you will get training quests; one includes a full party so you can learn to coordinate fights and see what your allies can do. You can repeat this training as many times as you like with no risk - just select the NPCs you get, click all buttons they have and see what they do.

    4. When you meet NPCs after leaving Candlekeep, look at their profiles. You'll see what class and alignment they are, and in the (maybe overwhelmingly long) list, you also see what weapons they use. Just scroll through the stuff you don't understand; it's not that important how the NPC's saving throws vs. breath weapon are at the moment. You just need to know what weapon to give them - give mages and thieves a ranged weapon, fighters a melee weapon.

    5. What will utterly frustrate you are AI Scripts. You will wonder why the hell your mage runs into melee even if you gave him a ranged weapon. The answer is: because his AI script is stupid. Disable group AI, or pull up the profile, go to "customize" --> "script" (only option you can click on NPCs) and set it to "none" (first option). Now, the NPC will only do what you order them to do and not run off into melee. (It's not so bad if fighters do that, though.)

    6. Try to keep your party the same alignment. Good and evil NPCs will not get along. (Some do, but that list goes into "long list of confusing information" territory). Neutral NPCs will get along with anyone. You will meet enough NPCs to have a full party - but as you already noticed, some of them don't get along. You can drop the NPCs you don't want at any time and take others that fit better.
    TMI: There are 3 NPCs in Beregost (1 evil, 2 neutral) and 3 in Nashkel (1 evil, 2 good).

    7. If an NPC tells you they have a task to do, do it as soon as you can. If you take too long, the NPC leaves your party and this can be at the most incovenient time. The main story/quest won't go anywhere, so if you want to keep an NPC, his or her quest is your priority.

    8. Talk to everyone with a name. Open doors to houses and look if there is a named NPC in them. There are many small quests that will give you rewards; gold, loot, XP, and help you level and gear up before doing the tougher quests.

    9. Lower is better. Armor Class is better if it's low; THAC0 is better if it's low.

    10. If you have a Tab key - use it. It highlights usable items and reveals easter eggs (i.e. hidden stashes).

    TJ_HookeratcDavesecretmantrasubtledoctor
  • yester64yester64 Member Posts: 1
    Hello there...
    i think the secret to playing a rpg is to do a lot of side quest early on. Normally you want to go on with the story but you lag the experience to actually advance.
    I play right now 280 hours (some like that) and i am just arrived in Baldurs Gate.
    My main character is an elf fighter which is mainly my sniper. And yes, tactics is everything.

    I did play baldurs gate when it came out but stopped for some reason. Now i re-bought it and play ever since.

    In the end it doesn't matter what your character is but how you utilize him or her with your party. I actually have a very strange party but even though most of them weak, they got better equipment and leveled up a lot.

  • NocturneNNocturneN Member Posts: 123
    Heh, when I started playing BG years and years ago I was also new to both the game and AD&D. :) It was really tough at the start!

    What I did was read, read, and read. As this is a roleplaying game, you really need to understand all the aspects of the rules to truly enjoy it, but you can't learn everything at once, so - patience is key. I'd suggest Reading the manual and whenever you run into something you don't understand, look it up - it's what I did. There's likely going to be things you don't understand regardless, and in that case, ask.

  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 7,320
    Suggest opening every door and exploring Beregost, doing all the little quests there and then exploring some of the surrounding wilderness before heading off on the main plot like @Luigirules mentioned.

    [Deleted User]
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 3,675
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  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933

    Suggest opening every door and exploring Beregost, doing all the little quests there and then exploring some of the surrounding wilderness before heading off on the main plot like @Luigirules mentioned.

    Although keep in mind, if you have NPCs with you who have the Neshkel Mines as a quest, you do need to get to the mines fairly quickly.

    [Deleted User]
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 3,675
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    atcDave
  • KidCarnivalKidCarnival Member Posts: 3,747
    It is, you only need to talk to the mayor. After that, you can go back to Beregost or explore.

    [Deleted User]
  • ErgErg Member Posts: 1,756
    Bhaaldog said:

    I thought the time limit was specific to meeting the mayor of Nashkel not the actual mines themselves?

    It is, you only need to talk to the mayor. After that, you can go back to Beregost or explore.

    Actually you don't.

    You just have to enter Nashkel. After that you can leave right away without speaking to anyone. Basically the game just check the chapter. Entering Nashkel will start chapter 2 and that's enough.

    [Deleted User]
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 3,675
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  • ErgErg Member Posts: 1,756
    @Bhaaldog

    It's intentional because the scripts and dialogues of Jaheira, Khalid, Xzar and Montaron they all check the chapter number (and more than once also), but I agree with you that from a RP perspective it would make more sense to have to talk to the mayor.

  • KidCarnivalKidCarnival Member Posts: 3,747
    I figured since the mayor recognizes and addresses any of the four, that would be their quest goal. It would indeed make more sense.

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