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Anyone else waiting for 2.0 release for their next (or first) playthrough?

Nearly 2 decades ago, I watched my brother play the original Baldur's Gate. I wasn't as familiar with gaming at the time, and my knowledge of English was not yet good enough to understand the game. By the time my English was appropriate, the gaming industry had moved away from isometric RPGS and my attention moved to more recent Bioware RPGs, like Knights of the Old Republic, Neverwinter Nights, Jade Empire and more recently Mass Effect and Dragon Age. At this point, the original Baldur's Gate was considered a classic, a classic which I unfortunately never had a proper chance to play with. I tried obviously, but after a decade of evolution in the RPG genre, many of the elements of BG were somewhat outdated compared to more recent games. My main 3 concerns were an outdated interface , the small resolution that was not really appropriate for monitors that were 4 times bigger than they used to be and a general feeling of mild incompatibility with current computer systems and gameplay styles.

Fast forward to december 2012. I bought Baldur's Gate: Enhanced edition to play while abroad for a few weeks with no internet. Many of my concerns were fixed, but I hit another bump: years and years of RPGs with lenient death systems, fewer cheap shots towards the player and a generous autosave system had conditioned me for a gameplay style that is considered suicidal for an RPG that adheres so closely to the pen&paper system it was based on. I tried to play the game twice. The first time, Imoen got killed by the ogre in Crossroads and I had no idea how to handle that; The second time, CHARNAME was poisoned by a spider in Beregost and died because I neglected to bring antidotes. Of course, both of these were mainly my fault for poor preparation, and these deaths were really early in the story. However, I was discouraged from continuing onward.

Then, around New Year 2014, I tried again. At this point, I was only interested in seeing the story that according to many was a highlight in gaming history. I did not care about being challenged. I just wanted to finally enjoy this story that so many people praised: start the game, play the main storyline and as many side quests as possible. So I started using tools to assist me. I used EEKeeper to basically make CHARNAME a god. 25 in all stats, the best equipment available in BG:EE that EEKeeper could give me and some other tweaks. CHARNAME was undefeatable, and for a moment, I felt like i could do this. Alas, while selecting my gear in EEKeeper, I was greedy and equipped items that my class could not wear. I leveled up right after turning in the Nashkel quest, automatically unequipped all the gear I wrongfully wore and again was discouraged because of my own inexperience and hubris.

A few months later, Siege of Dragonspear was announced. Alongside the new storyline, 2 big changes interested me: the interface redesign to make the interface windows more current, and the storymode difficulty setting which was ported from Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition. From what I could see, these changes would fix the final issues I had with Baldur's Gate, to the point that I actually prepared a 4th character (Elf Ranger) recently using EEKeeper. This time, I used online resources to suggest the best equipment to use. And this time, I intend to finish the game.

How about you? Are you also waiting for 2.0 to do your first playthrough? Or are you waiting for 2.0 so you can do the extra hard difficulty mode? Or do you just want to play as a Shaman?

Kilivitz

Comments

  • KilivitzKilivitz Member Posts: 1,459
    I am. I've got a final save with my Skald and the Canon party just waiting to be imported into SoD. In the meantime I'm casually taking a Cavalier through the beta but I'm only starting a "serious" play through after the expansion comes out.

  • PhilhelmPhilhelm Member Posts: 473
    I'll probably wait for the initial bugs to be fixed before playing Siege of Dragonspear, at least for a full run of the series. Otherwise, I'll probably dive right in to explore the new content, but not for a "serious" run.

    Obviously it is a matter of taste, but what is your issue with the BG interface? I pause the game to access character and inventory screens, which is standard RPG fare, but more importantly I don't have to worry about rotating a 3-D camera. Also, pausing the game by tapping spacebar in order to issue commands is easier in BG than in Dragon Age, in my opinion.

    D&D games can definitely be difficult. I think the first one I played was Pool of Radiance back in the early 90s. You could even max out all of the stats during character creation, but it didn't matter. I was never able to get far, since the opponents used cheesy spells such as Cloudkill to ruin my day. I had no understanding of the D&D mechanics, so it was a beast. Even when I played BG for the first time, I didn't have much finesse with the spells, and limited it to healing, magic missiles, and fireballs. I didn't have much interest in spellcasters back then though. For those without a D&D background, there is definitely a steep learning curve compared to most other RPGs.

  • realnzallrealnzall Member Posts: 7
    edited March 2016
    Philhelm said:


    Obviously it is a matter of taste, but what is your issue with the BG interface? I pause the game to access character and inventory screens, which is standard RPG fare, but more importantly I don't have to worry about rotating a 3-D camera. Also, pausing the game by tapping spacebar in order to issue commands is easier in BG than in Dragon Age, in my opinion.

    The issue I had was mainly one of outdatedness compared to more recent games. I never played BG when it first released because of the language barrier. By the time I felt confident enough in my English to play BG, it was around 2006. At this time, we had newer Bioware RPGs like Neverwinter Nights and Knights of the Old Republic, other RPGs like Oblivion, and games from other genres that imported RPG elements. These games all had a more modern interface:

    1. You could more easily compare equipped items and see the relevant equipped stats without scrolling;
    2. The journal was not all bunched up into 1 long list, but grouped per quest;
    3. There was a lot more voice acting and most games had a font that I personally found a little more pleasant on the eyes than Baldur's Gate.

    On top of that, the way AC and THAC0 were mathed out and shown in AD&D was a bit more tricky for me to grasp. I understood that for both stats, the reasoning was "the lower, the better", but then every item that improved on these stats was actually marked as +X. For example, Helm of Balduran gave +1 to both THAC0 and AC, but those actually translated to a -1 on that stat. I understand that this was part of the design of AD&D, but for my autistic mind, this was (and still is) a bit tricky to really grasp. Later D&D editions and games based on them solved this by making these stats work as "the higher, the better", consistent with the bonus the item gives, but AD&D was a bit unclear for me in that regard.

    While 2.0 doesn't change anything about the voice acting and the AD&D system, it does IMHO improve substantially on the journal and the inventory screen. That, combined with the myriad of bugfixes and the Story Mode difficulty, does give me the impression that I'll enjoy the game quite a bit more this time around.

  • KaigenKaigen Member Posts: 1,567
    I've got a couple of "canon" playthroughs from BGEE that I haven't gotten around to finishing, so I'm working on those and finishing up a BG2EE playthrough that I got distracted from at the end of Chapter 3. Part of the incentive behind those is that they use mods that may or may not be compatible with 2.0 out of the gate, so for safety's sake I'm finishing up the runs before an update futzes things up. So I'm not really waiting on anything, although I am looking forward to a Shaman playthrough.

  • DaevelonDaevelon Member Posts: 594
    edited March 2016
    Yeah. I tried to wait for 2.0 (and Sod) for start my next playthrough (probably number 5490). It was in summer. No news about release. I started bg. Still no news. Imported to bg2 and finished.
    Even now that i know it's close i have to force myself for not start again.

  • RideratRiderat Member Posts: 136
    I really want to try it out as soon as it comes out. I'm now trying to finish an assassin game so I can roll trough the SoD. Don't know whether I can make it or not, since I have only couple of hours game time every week :/

    In any case, it's a very cool experience to play a game which does not have any manuals or wikis on the web. It's like first time... well you know... you don't really know what goes where... should there be some signs... is it up or down... you get the idea :D

  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,409
    edited March 2016
    Play it on easy or very easy difficulty if the battles come too difficult. God-mode like eekeeper freebies or the story mode would make bg a very boring experience, I think. If you are so inclined on beating the game easy, enable cheat console and ctrl+y enemies. Ctrl+r whenever, and if, you are wounded. Add the xp you want via console cheat again. That would ruin the game IMHO and turn it into a very droning chore.

    Bg1 has a good story. But it is neither the game's best strength nor the game's selling point. Story pacing and progression is a bit awkvard in bg1, IMHO, which was a lot improved in bg2.

    What Bg has, thanks to the marvel that is the infinity engine, the games great tactical depth in battles. Just browse no reload forums to see a lot of people trying extra difficulty mods that turn enemies into real smart, thinking and reacting opponents and people play with solo characters and no reloads with very brilliant and innovative tactics. And that is the fun. That is why we return to bg time and again.

    It has a learning curve, but very doable and you get the satisfaction as you get better. My first d&d game ever was iwd2 and I played on very easy from start to finish, found it difficult in places even then. But after that I was able to breeze through the hardest extra difficulty HoF mode. And that satisfied me, I was playing and getting better, learning to play better, and it was fun. These are GAMEs, after all, not story books or movies.

    A good story is very important for a game, true, but it is not what strictly makes a game fun to play IMHO. When Super Mario came out first, it had a basic, ridiculous, and cliched bare bones of a story. But the game play was so innovative, new, slick and just damn FUN! Children and people could not stop playng making it a huge success and paving the way for other games to follow. It was the reneissance for platform games. Bg1 is like the same for rpgs, it rejuvenated the rpg scene back in time. Ofcourse it also had a much better plot than mario, which helped. :) now with enhanced editions, it stands the test of time even more easily!

    As for waiting the 2.0 I play a heavily modded game strictly on Ipad so...I won't wait until it becomes available on ios which can take a whie. I can start a new game whenever my current one is finished.

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