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Does anyone else dislike TotSC?

I never got the expansion for BG when I was still playing it, so BG:EE was first time I got to "enjoy" the werewolf island. My brother had bragged quite a bit about TotSC, so I imagined I would like it too, but... no. No I did not. The story was fine and the loot was pretty sweet. But the complete lack of stores, an inn and the ludicrous difficulty of the last fight just made the whole thing frustrating. My most enjoyable moment in TotSC was hearing the narrator as I left that bloody island and that sweet FAI fanfare started playing. Admittedly I haven't been to that tower dungeon thing but from what I've read about it, it won't sell me either.

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Comments

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,291
    I actually enjoy durlag's tower, to be honest I've never really been a fan of werewolf island, for 2 reasons, a) the xp isn't necessary I always hit the 161 000 cap without going to werewolf island, and b) there is no super cool gear there to make it worth while, back in the olden days of vanilla bg the staffmace+2 was the best crushing weapon in the game ( kiel's Morningstar does do more damage and has a little better to hit, but that beserk rage really doesn't make it worth it for clerics or fighter/clerics) so yeah, your experience might be different with durlag's tower, near the tail end of the tower there is some pretty sweet gear in there, plus you can get suits of full platemail from that tower which is nice because full plate with cloaks/rings of protection is the best combo when it comes to ac/saves bonuses, and also to be honest, when I finish up in durlags tower I just continue on with the core game, I never fully finish the quest, because after you finish the tower you are suppose to go back to ulgoth's beard and do some stuff there, but usually I don't even do that because again; don't need the xp and there really isn't super sweet gear to be made, but I would suggest giving durlag's tower a try, there is TONS of treasure in there and some nice gear, and LOTS of xp in there, and also lots of great spells to be found as well

    SilverstarBlackravenGreenWarlockJuliusBorisov
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,047
    edited June 2015
    I like werewolf island and hate durlag's tower (ugh...dungeon crawls). So go figure :D

    I don't really have too much of a position on TOTSC. Its nice that you can cast Cloudkill thanks to it. :)

    BlackravenSilverstarlolien
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    Wolfwere Island had some cool story elements, but was not fun enough to make it feel like a 'must replay' sorta thing.

    And you don't likely want/need the XP, and ypu can get perma-stuck on the island. :angry:

    Silverstar
  • SilverstarSilverstar Member Posts: 2,204
    DreadKhan said:

    feel like a 'must replay' sorta thing.

    Yes, that. I don't regret having played it, it's not hours of wasted life, but it's also not content I care to revisit. And that's kind of special, because BG itself is an incredibly replayable game to us fans.

    Quartz
  • batoorbatoor Member Posts: 677
    Nah not really, I actually think overall it's a very decent addition to the world.

    I think durlags was incredibly frustrating, but after having done it a second time around I actually appreciate the amount of work that probably went into designing it.

    The ''half-assed'' portion for me is the events surrounding Aec'Letec and it's conclusion.

    Haven't replayed werewolf island, but I can't recall anything that bothered me.

    All things considered though, I have never played the base game of BG.
    I've always done it through the BG2 engine, I think my first time around was using Baldurs gate trilogy. So I can't say if that's impacted my enjoyment a lot.

  • Mikey205Mikey205 Member Posts: 302
    Yes a good thief is a must as is moving slowly...

    Grum
  • batoorbatoor Member Posts: 677
    Those 4 guardians: Avarice, Pride, Fear and Love... Damn THAT was a fightT_T

    Grumbyrne20
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    I reckon Durlag's Tower is great, because it has a good story and I enjoy a good dungeon crawl (unlike @elminster, apparently!) The consequent battle when returning to Ulgoth's Beard (after completing Durlag's Tower) is also an enjoyable challenge (IMO), although I've never found it as credible as the events in the Tower.

    Ice Island is rather weird, but it's fairly short and simple, and has a couple of decent rewards (such as one of the only two Stoneskin scrolls in the game, which is great when I have two arcane casters), so I don't mind it.

    The part of TotSC which I've never found entirely convincing is the Isle of Balduran (a.k.a. Werewolf Island). The style of it has never seemed to me to "fit" into the rest of the game quite so well, and the lack of a store is a pain ... but the main problem is that I find that the very specific requirements for defeating Karoug distort the whole game: either I have to clear all of Durlag's Tower (with the optional exception of the final battle) in order to obtain the only Longsword which can hit Karoug (which seems to me not the "natural" sequence in which I'd otherwise want to tackle the quests), or I need to develop a character with Bastard Sword proficiency (even when the party has no-one for whom that would be the best choice of weapon, which is quite often) in order to use the other weapons which are effective against Karoug. Well, yes, okay, a warrior-type can wield a weapon moderately-effectively even without proficiency, but I hate doing that ... and yes, it's just about possible to kill Karoug with only the Werebane dagger and some magic, but that's quite difficult ... so I always end up either doing the TotSC quests in what feels to me like the "wrong" sequence, or developing a character's proficiencies in a way which is dictated solely by that one battle instead of being the "right" development for that character.

    I do enjoy the additional linkages which TotSC provides with BG2 - meeting Dradeel again in Spellhold, and Hurgan Stoneblade's cameo appearance in Nalia's personal quest.

    I think my distaste for the Isle of Balduran quest would be significantly ameliorated if only the devs would just give one more weapon - a blunt weapon (perhaps Aule's Staff?) - the "cold iron" property, so that it could hit Karoug. Then it'd be far less necessary to distort the whole game's party selection and development to suit that one battle.

    SilverstarJuliusBorisov
  • SilverstarSilverstar Member Posts: 2,204
    One of the things I really appreciate about the IE games is that you can mostly get through them with any party setup. Sure, many party builds are far from optimal unless you know what you're doing, but you can usually get through most fights with some reloads and some thinking. So like Gallowglass I too disapprove of wolfy island's boss fight as you have to be very well prepared for it or lucky enough that you have party members that can use the limited selection of gear that'll do the difference. I had Khalid with the anti-shapeshifter sword, but that alone just wasn't cutting it (heh!) and I had to resort to a cocktail of multiple simultaneous fire wands, bottles and quick firing spells.

    It's really quite random that I was able to get through that boss encounter. If I hadn't hung onto those fire wands due to their low sell price (only few charges left) I don't think I could've won with my party and spell selection being what it was. In most cases you can just wander off and gear up and/or swap party members, but wolfy island doesn't let you. I can appreciate a challenging fight (I still think the last one in main story is hard, not sure if I should be embarrassed about that), but this one requires an unfair bit of meta-knowledge imo.

    I'm appreciating the input you guys are giving! Durlag's Tower sounds like it's well made too, but not quite my idea of a fun time probably. It's a good thing I never bought TotSC originally as I'd feel guilty about not "finishing it".

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,047
    edited June 2015


    I think my distaste for the Isle of Balduran quest would be significantly ameliorated if only the devs would just give one more weapon - a blunt weapon (perhaps Aule's Staff?) - the "cold iron" property, so that it could hit Karoug. Then it'd be far less necessary to distort the whole game's party selection and development to suit that one battle.

    Yea I'm not going to defend the implementation of werewolf island as being perfect, but its got this great mysterious sort of vibe to it that I've always liked. I'll admit the Karoug fight was poorly done. The fact that Bioware set it so that you can't hurt him even with any +1 or greater weapon (even though that is what PnP allows) was just a bad call. It was especially bad given that the encounter is part of an optional quest where you need to do it to leave the island (and its the only way to do so). You can't even side with him either.

    SilverstarMiraklolienJuliusBorisov
  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702
    edited June 2015
    I just wish wolf island was bigger. It was so imposing many years ago... I thought it was bigger than it was. -_- I agree there should have been more endings possible for the story. Perhaps they rushed that section? It just feels shorter than it should be. n.n?

    With Karoug, I always have either a heavily armoured fighter or a bunch of fireball wands and explosive jars to throw (I horde consumable items) -- or both. Once his crew are down, my party dogpiles him even if I have no strong fighters.

    Honestly, I'd be disappointed if you have a werewolf / wolfwere enemy which can be hit by any +1 or even +2 item. It's nice to have some lore weapons. The TotSC fight I really hate is the final fight with the ghoul-changing attack. Then again, some people hate the wolf fight but don't mind the final fight. XD

    Murlag's Tower is more fun to me than other dungeon crawls, especially the last few floors. ^_^ What would be really cool is a sequel dungeon -- or dungeon expansion -- where you go deeper. >:) Lot of potential from its background story.


    Overall, I enjoyed the lore in the Tower and on Wolf Island. c:
    Ice Island I hate. ... No, THAT wizard I hate. >:(

    SilverstarlolienJuliusBorisov
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356

    Honestly, I'd be disappointed if you have a werewolf / wolfwere enemy which can be hit by any +1 or even +2 item. It's nice to have some lore weapons.

    Agreed. Karoug shouldn't be just an "ordinary" opponent, it's a nice challenge that we've got to "discover" that only certain special weapons will work. However, ...
    Tuth said:

    You can blame the BG2 engine that changed the weapon proficiencies, since in BG1 large swords composed of long, bastard and two-handed swords. So, most of the fighting classes could use the Kondar bastard sword without penalties.

    ... this is an excellent point. It wasn't the original design intention that we had to skew our whole party selection and development strategy in order to be proficient in this one battle, this is an unintended side-effect of switching to the BG2 engine.

    All the more reason, I reckon, why the devs really ought to re-balance this by slightly widening the availability of the "cold iron" property. As I've already suggested, just granting cold iron to (say) Aule's Staff would probably be enough to restore viability to a much wider variety of parties.

    typo_tilly
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,047
    edited June 2015
    Even bioware realized their mistake on this one and changed Greater Wolfwere's in BG2 so that you just need a magical weapon against them.

    lolien
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,047
    edited June 2015
    As far as the weapon proficiencies go that proved to make the encounter more difficult. As did the fact that the Haste spell now only increases attacks per round by 1 instead of doubling them (which is what the original games Haste did).

    Tuthtypo_tillylolien
  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702
    edited July 2015
    Bit sad that wolfs were downgraded in BG2. :(
    Now... there is no one to pet them! ;-;

    Cold iron Aule's staff would give an option to soloers who can only use blunt weapons. :) Would be saddening if they made the encounter any easier, though, or if they made all magic weapons work against them.

  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,029
    I think Durlag's Tower is probably my single favorite piece of storytelling in the entire saga. That said, having gone through it gods-know-how-many times, I find the ridiculous number of traps to be more annoying than thematic now. Still, games don't need to be made for the 10th playthrough, and I think it's fantastic the first time or two.

    I have mixed feelings with the werewolf island. I don't even dislike Karoug that much (probably because I don't tend to solo), but I just find the whole thing kind of... predictable. I dunno, I don't have any constructive ideas on how to make it better, but I just don't feel it.

    elminsterSmilingSword
  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,243
    I love durlags tower. It's a great puzzle and has a very disturbing story. Not as much a fan of werewolf island, although I was surprised by how it ended the first time, even though most people I've spoken to on the forums tend to say that it's predictable. I guess I'm kind of an idiot that way.

    lolienGozeta
  • PingwinPingwin Member Posts: 257
    I'm not a fan of the werewolf island quest either. IIRC there are encounters where your party enters a room and vulnerable characters immediately get attacked because the game engine has positioned your party in a bad way. Those sort of encounters always annoy me.

    Also the storyline for how you get there is flawed - a shipwreck and the party manages to swim ashore? Whilst wearing full platemail? A slightly more convincing explanation for how you get stuck on the island is needed.

    At least in vanilla TotSC, there was a "bug" where it took no time to get from werewolf island back to Ulgoth's Beard which again is a bit unconvincing. Feels a bit cheesy to go into fights in Ulgoth's Beard with potions still active from the final fight on the island.

    I do like the Ice Island though. A short and sweet quest that you can complete without feeling like it is a major diversion from getting on with the story.

    Grumlolien
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,047
    edited July 2015
    Pingwin said:

    I'm not a fan of the werewolf island quest either. IIRC there are encounters where your party enters a room and vulnerable characters immediately get attacked because the game engine has positioned your party in a bad way. Those sort of encounters always annoy me.

    Also the storyline for how you get there is flawed - a shipwreck and the party manages to swim ashore? Whilst wearing full platemail? A slightly more convincing explanation for how you get stuck on the island is needed.

    It would have been probably better (from a story perspective) if your equipment randomly washed up on shore. But then players would probably find that pretty annoying. Plus it would likely be a pain to program :)

    Post edited by elminster on
    lolien
  • SixheadeddogSixheadeddog Member Posts: 188

    I never got the expansion for BG when I was still playing it, so BG:EE was first time I got to "enjoy" the werewolf island. My brother had bragged quite a bit about TotSC, so I imagined I would like it too, but... no. No I did not. The story was fine and the loot was pretty sweet. But the complete lack of stores, an inn and the ludicrous difficulty of the last fight just made the whole thing frustrating. My most enjoyable moment in TotSC was hearing the narrator as I left that bloody island and that sweet FAI fanfare started playing. Admittedly I haven't been to that tower dungeon thing but from what I've read about it, it won't sell me either.

    I remember enjoying the werewolf island questline back in the day. I think that's the thing about TOSC that made it different from other "expansion pack" contemporaries from the mid-late 90s: it wasn't trying to give you a whole new epic adventure to embark upon. It was exactly what the name suggests: a couple new tales, some new areas to explore, no big deal. In fact, with the EE, it's almost silly to consider TOSC a separate set of content rather than just another part of the larger game.

    Gallowglass
  • ArcalianArcalian Member Posts: 357
    Love Ice/Wizard island.

    Enjoy Werewolf island except for the Karoug fight, which I need CLUA to get past.

    Only ever did Durag's Tower completely once.

    Never did the cult thing in Ulgoth's Beard. (Though I suppose my all EE team will.)

  • AnomalyAnomaly Member Posts: 62
    I really like Durlag's Tower for difficulty, real dungeon (compared to the others BG1 one), dark story behind it, and the corresponding loot. You have to work hard but reward is worth it.

    Lost Island has a nice story but it is poorly executed and I would skip it completely if I didn't need the nice staff available there.

  • AshleyMarieAshleyMarie Member Posts: 4
    I myself always disliked ToTSC for the single reason it didn't really seem to have a place in the Bhaalspawn story. Where between or during BG1 does ToTSC take place? That was just something I never really got.

    Silverstar
  • SmilingSwordSmilingSword Member Posts: 827
    All in all I really like ToSC because you can only really start doing the main quests end game or a bit before. So if you play like me and do all the wilderness maps before heading to Baldurs Gate and then get to Baldurs Gate and then realize you hate Baldurs Gate, ToSC can break up the crappy time spent in the crappy city. Besides Durlags Tower is a fun little dungeon and Karoug is decent final boss, he is way more hardcore than that cheesy demon.

  • TuthTuth Member Posts: 233
    @AshleyMarie I usually do TotSC after leaving Candlekeep and chapter seven starts. The party is being hunted for the murder they committed, or not. It makes a sense to hide for quite a while. I know that the beginning of that chapter suggest urgency to travel back to Baldur's Gate, but that's as good reason as any other.

    That's why I like TotSC, you can do those storylines anytime you want. The same goes for many wild locations in the original game, as you don't have to visit them. The expansion fits with the game really well for me.

    atcDaveHudzy
  • SilverstarSilverstar Member Posts: 2,204

    I myself always disliked ToTSC for the single reason it didn't really seem to have a place in the Bhaalspawn story. Where between or during BG1 does ToTSC take place? That was just something I never really got.

    It's something of a detour that doesn't neccessarily make sense in the grand scheme of things, but then that could be said for very many of the game's areas. Something that makes it differ greatly however is that you willingly and knowingly sit a couple of weeks on a boat back and forth to that island. Exploring the wilds is one thing, but setting sail with some expedition for some far away land? It doesn't work for me, the story usually has a greater sense of urgency than to allow that.

    So yes, it fits when you have the time for a detour, but it's grossly out of place when you have some imagined deadline, which is quite a lot of the time.

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