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Beamdog's Official Statement (4-6-2016)

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Comments

  • KhalophisKhalophis Member Posts: 7

    Khalophis said:

    the new uproar about Safana and Jaheira

    I can't comment on others views on the matter but my criticism of the the alterations are as follows: Safana and Jaheira are established characters with clear personalities. You may not like them as characters but they're clearly established. You can't suddenly alter other peoples writing and give no reason. If Beamdog wished to alter the characters they should have created an arc for them to follow which would have organically grown their personalities rather than a sudden change.
    Amber Scott gave a reason. You may not like that reason, you may not agree with that reason, but don't claim there was no reason.

    When I say "no reason" I mean from the perspective of the character and the end user playing the game. There is no in game reason explored for the changes made to the character. It's just a sudden and jarring change from BG into SoD.

  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 1,938
    Khalophis said:


    When I say "no reason" I mean from the perspective of the character and the end user playing the game. There is no in game reason explored for the changes made to the character. It's just a sudden and jarring change from BG into SoD.

    Fair enough.

  • Diogenes42Diogenes42 Member Posts: 597
    Hello friends. In the case of Khalid and Jaheira I think their personalities come across pretty well. The main difference I noticed was just that they seemed more relaxed or comfortable. Khalid was still an anxious fellow but he acted reasonably and had a nice chat with you about his relationship with Jaheira. When I spoke with Jaheira she still immediately told me I was being foolhardy and not considering the risks of the situations I'm always getting into. In my subjective experience she seemed less "uptight" about such things, perhaps resigned to the idea that Charname will always do stupid things but they seem to handle themselves alright at this point.

    SilverstarGenderNihilismGirdle
  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 1,938
    Yeah, the fact that so many of the criticisms seem aimed at setting a significantly higher bar for trans characters existing than for cis characters existing is troubling, as is the possibility that Beamdog might be appeasing those criticisms. Minor characters don't need excessive amounts of justification.

    GenderNihilismGirdlesnschlAyiekie
  • Dantos4Dantos4 Member Posts: 57
    Dee said:

    I linked to an 8chan discussion thread where they were saying some especially volatile things about me and my coworkers. I also (perhaps mistakenly) connected that discussion thread to GamerGate, and sent the tweets to Feminist Frequency and (definitely mistakenly) Jezebel Magazine.

    I deleted the tweets when it was pointed out to me that tweeting about the issue was only making things worse, and I made my Twitter account private when I started receiving a flood of abusive tweets in response.

    The tweets were not affiliated with Beamdog, nor is my Twitter account.

    @Dee (I did mention this in my post, so I feel it's only fair to respond as potentially I had some facts wrong here).

    My apologies for saying it was Beamdog who sent the Tweets when it was yourself.

    However, I hope you understand that you are one of the representatives of Beamdog and when you mix personal and business like that... it's a poor idea.

    I'm not entirely sure what most of the staff's roles are; but thank you for doing what you do & re-making some of the best games I grew up with.

  • Baeloth_JnrBaeloth_Jnr Member Posts: 86
    edited April 2016
    In the first two seconds of SOD there is a clear change in Safana, her selection sound: "everyone focuses on my looks. I feel so two dimensional at times."
    That is clearly way out of character and blatant SJW content.
    EDIT: notice of Safana here sprouts SJW ideology that she is a victim, whereas in the original she manipulated others through her sexual agency, definitely not a victim - definitely not concerned about focus on her looks, indeed she welcomed it because that assisted her in achieving her goals.

    Rathenau
  • KhalophisKhalophis Member Posts: 7
    edited April 2016
    snschl said:

    I just wanted to say that, while it's nice that we're getting a well-developed trans character, I don't think expanding on Mizhena's character was necessary. I feel it gives undue legitimacy to the accusations of tokenism, which I personally don't buy.

    I would say most people annoyed with the writing of the character. As I previously stated its a world of magic and there are several spells, powers, potions and deities who could swap your gender. You find the Girdle of Masculinity/Femininity, you also meet Melicamp who has been turned into a chicken and a number of dragons that can turn into humans to name a few examples. To be honest most people would be unimpressed by such a simple change for a person. They could have even added a dialogue to represent this. If you were playing a evil/rude person they could end the conversation by saying they'd seen more impressive magic elsewhere etc.

    In regards to the dialogue the other issue people are having is that; in a game with multiple options to respond to NPCs you can only say nice things to Mizhena which is rather stilted. And let us remember that this is a game where you can (if you chose to) threaten people (including women and children), kill beggars and generally be a horrible person.

    Which raises another interesting point about Mizhena. You can kill her for 2000XP and no reputation damage which seems rather bizarre to say the least.

    Also in regards to Amber Scott she also stated it's the message that comes first not the writing which is rather disappointing. She went as far as saying she doesn't care what people think of the writing. Which okay if you're writing fan fiction but as a game developer you need to create content people wish to buy. Poor writing doesn't sell even if it has a social message.

    In regards to writing a good character that doesn't conform to standard archetypes/gender roles/sexual orientation/assignment I'd suggest Amber goes and reads "When Gravity Fails" by George Alec Effinger it's a wonderful book which explores many of the issues she's trying to cover in a far better way. If Amber isn't into reading she could also watch the film "The Boondock Saints" and pay close attention to Willem Dafoe's character if you wish to explore ways of including people who have different orientations etc.

    Rathenau
  • Diogenes42Diogenes42 Member Posts: 597

    In the first two seconds of SOD there is a clear change in Safana, her selection sound: "everyone focuses on my looks. I feel so two dimensional at times."
    That is clearly way out of character and blatant SJW content.
    EDIT: notice of Safana here sprouts SJW ideology that she is a victim, whereas in the original she manipulated others through her sexual agency, definitely not a victim - definitely not concerned about focus on her looks, indeed she welcomed it because that assisted her in achieving her goals.

    Hello friend. I believe this could be a joke about her being literally a 2D sprite in a videogame? Good for a chuckle if so.

    GenderNihilismGirdlebooinyoureyes
  • Baeloth_JnrBaeloth_Jnr Member Posts: 86
    edited April 2016
    @Diogenes42 "Hello friend. I believe this could be a joke about her being literally a 2D sprite in a videogame? Good for a chuckle if so. "

    Yes, but that does not exhaust its meaning.
    EDIT: think more broadly about SJW complaints about focus on the appearance of women rather than their capabilities and then I think we get to the ideological bent that underpins this Safana comment.
    Note that, as I have already indicated, the character as originally written should not be thought of as falling into this category.
    EDIT: So we go from Safana: "I feel so sensual" (Safana, original, in character) to Safana: "I feel so two dimensional" (Safana, politically correct version).

    Post edited by Baeloth_Jnr on
    Rathenau
  • Dantos4Dantos4 Member Posts: 57
    edited April 2016
    In terms of your reply @Illustair - I appreciate the counter arguments - but I honestly have no desire to spend my time debating the finer points. I've had quite the stressful week & am recovering from a shoulder injury!

    All in all, I think it comes down to subjectivity. My take on Jaheira, Safana etc. is obviously very different to Amber's - which is fair enough. She's allowed to dislike things & I'm allowed to dislike her changes.

    Amber decided to change these characters because she disliked her interpretation of them. For the record, I dislike her interpretation of them too; if I saw the characters as she sees them, I'm sure I'd dislike them greatly.

    I personally don't agree with her altering existing characters, which is why I reserve the right to not purchase the game.

    I would refuse to purchase a book - not written by R.A. Salvatore - about Drizzt being a half-orc Druid, purely because the new author did not like their interpretation of Drizzt. An extreme example, for sure, but hopefully it illustrates the point without coming across as hyperbolic.

    It's the same reason I did not purchase the Baldur's Gate books when they were originally written. I did not like the way many of the NPCs or the PC (Abdel?) were portrayed.

    As I said, my main issue was the PR handling of it all by Beamdog & the smearing of negative reviews - many of which on Steam complain about bugs - as being 'small minded'.

    I did have a bit of a flashback about BG1 earlier. It includes something I consider absolutely fantastic writing when it comes to transsexuality - in a way I feel is written much more subtly and in line with the lore of Faerûn:

    The belt of sex changing obtained from the ogre south of the Friendly Arm Inn.

    As I child I remember this was the item which discouraged my indiscriminate equipping of unidentified magical items. I had made a male character who was now - in terms of his physical appearance - female. I think that was one of the best pieces of subtle writing in any game I've played.

    If we contrast it to an NPC who is transsexual in a world where people presumably can change genders at will using items such as these... it breaks some of the immersion for me. Unless, of course, we may bring the belt of sex changing with us to SoD and give it to the transsexual character? Has anybody tried this?

    If not... I think Beamdog has missed a trick, there.

    morph4037
  • Diogenes42Diogenes42 Member Posts: 597

    @Diogenes42 "Hello friend. I believe this could be a joke about her being literally a 2D sprite in a videogame? Good for a chuckle if so. "

    Yes, but that does not exhaust its meaning.

    Meaning is something that we create for ourselves friend.

    GenderNihilismGirdlemf2112
  • SagothSagoth Member Posts: 17
    Just please stop. Stop making things for Baldur's Gate. Forget about Baldut's Gate, it's not a pinata.. STOP ruining the legacy of one of the Best RPGs of all time.

    Make your own game, from the beginning, and add whatever you want to. Make it as real as possible. Add Politics, Religions, all the -isams , wars.... go for it! We need games to escape from reality, and not to stay in it...

    You've said : "We will release the game when it's ready". And you've done it. SoD "spoke" to you. So what you released IS what you wanted. So why change it now? Why you want to change the game that "told" you that is the best you wanted to give us? Leave it as it is. Let it rise or fall as it is.

    Now everyone is talking about SoD on the net, badmouthing it. I don't care about your SoD do what you want with it, just lose that Baldur's Gate out of it. I care about Baldur's Gate, and it's legacy.

    That game means ALOT to people. That game, Baldur's Gate, kept me sane during the war. Every damn time electricity came back I played it, for hours. Even when bombs were falling, I played that game. It kept me sane, it pulled me away from all the death around me. It pulled me away from reality. The story, characters, locations...

    Now look what you have done. Just look at all the mess.. and there it is, the name Baldur's Gate in center of it. You, Beamdog, destroyed it. Don't change anything, go down or up with your ship. Because it is the "perfect" ship you built for us, in your thoughts.

    Make your own game, just PLEASE leave the legacy of Baldur's Gate alone.

    You are ruining it.

    Bravo, Beamdog, Bravo!

    Dantos4dunbarmorph4037
  • RoseweaveRoseweave Member Posts: 101
    Mivsan you and the others need to stop treating the existence of trans people as an artefact of some left wing or liberal agenda and equating our existence and dignity with your subjective and very limited point of view. You don't know what it's like to be truly censored, or subjugated and it's really insulting to compare people telling you you're wrong about something that is not your area of expertise. It reminds me al ot of the anti-intellectualism that fuels GMO conspiracies, anti-vaxxers, climate change deniers etc.

    It's not a case of you having some valuable repressed viewpoint. Sometimes people actually are just wrong about things. And similarly sometimes people are actually just being dicks even if they think they have some other reason for what they're saying.

    GenderNihilismGirdlebooinyoureyesKcoQuidamAyiekie
  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 1,938

    @Diogenes42 "Hello friend. I believe this could be a joke about her being literally a 2D sprite in a videogame? Good for a chuckle if so. "

    Yes, but that does not exhaust its meaning.
    EDIT: think more broadly about SJW complaints about focus on the appearance of women rather than their capabilities and then I think we get to the ideological bent that underpins this Safana comment.
    Note that, as I have already indicated, the character as originally written should not be thought of as falling into this category.

    I rather hope the devs do not take "blatant SJW" complaints to heart because they're emotionally kneejerk reactions and not particularly well considered. The things I've seen called "SJW" are ridiculous. That includes the quoted Safana line.

    GenderNihilismGirdleAyiekie
  • RoseweaveRoseweave Member Posts: 101
    One of the issues I have with the "Different take" on the characters is that it's mostly from what I can tell men, telling a woman that the female characters were fine, and "strong" and "sex positive" and that really irks me. You're allowed to have preferences but you need to stop holding up stuff that was written in a video game before some forum members here were probably even born as sacred and beyond criticism.

    GenderNihilismGirdleSids1188Ayiekie
  • Mikey205Mikey205 Member Posts: 302
    Lots of people are enjoying the expansion, it's getting good critic reviews. They're listening to people's concerns even though some have been very hostile. I for one am happy they've revived a classic with the Enhanced Editions, given it an awesome new interface and now in SoD explained the party composition in BG2 whilst delivering a good (according to most) story. Baldur's Gate is not destroyed, not by a long shot.

    GenderNihilismGirdleAyiekie
  • Baeloth_JnrBaeloth_Jnr Member Posts: 86
    edited April 2016
    @BelleSorciere "The things I've seen called "SJW" are ridiculous. "

    This is just argument by assertion (ie fallacy).

  • snschlsnschl Member Posts: 2
    Khalophis said:

    As I previously stated its a world of magic and there are several spells, powers, potions and deities who could swap your gender. You find the Girdle of Masculinity/Femininity, you also meet Melicamp who has been turned into a chicken and a number of dragons that can turn into humans to name a few examples. To be honest most people would be unimpressed by such a simple change for a person. They could have even added a dialogue to represent this. If you were playing a evil/rude person they could end the conversation by saying they'd seen more impressive magic elsewhere etc.

    If you really want to involve lore-friendliness and setting consistency, then changing sex in Faerun becomes A LOT harder. Since D&D's earliest days, the ruleset and the settings take the perspective of adventurers, which almost constitute a social caste unto their own - roaming, tomb-raiding billionaires possessing skills and supernatural powers comparable to demigods from greek myth. I don't know if you've ever read that famous Justin Alexander essay, but it puts into perspective just how low-leveled most of the world realistically is. Now consider the common rule-of-thumb that a peasant (i.e. 90% of the world's population) earns 3 gp a month.

    With that in mind, how likely is a person to have access to a Girdle? As of Pathfinder, it requires CL 10 (!) to craft. Also note that it's a cursed item, so you won't be taking it off without a Remove Curse, cast by level 5 mages. How about Alter Self + Permanency? Again, you need a level 10 caster, not to mention how much you'd have to pay them. And you (most likely) shovel shit for a living.

    Basically, it's like saying, "well today we have hormones and surgery that make transitions 100% convincing, trans people should have no trouble blending in," when that's obviously not the case.

    GenderNihilismGirdleAyiekie
  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,336
    snschl said:

    If you really want to involve lore-friendliness and setting consistency, then changing sex in Faerun becomes A LOT harder. Since D&D's earliest days, the ruleset and the settings take the perspective of adventurers, which almost constitute a social caste unto their own - roaming, tomb-raiding billionaires possessing skills and supernatural powers comparable to demigods from greek myth. I don't know if you've ever read that famous Justin Alexander essay, but it puts into perspective just how low-leveled most of the world realistically is. Now consider the common rule-of-thumb that a peasant (i.e. 90% of the world's population) earns 3 gp a month.

    With that in mind, how likely is a person to have access to a Girdle? As of Pathfinder, it requires CL 10 (!) to craft. Also note that it's a cursed item, so you won't be taking it off without a Remove Curse, cast by level 5 mages. How about Alter Self + Permanency? Again, you need a level 10 caster, not to mention how much you'd have to pay them. And you (most likely) shovel shit for a living.

    Basically, it's like saying, "well today we have hormones and surgery that make transitions 100% convincing, trans people should have no trouble blending in," when that's obviously not the case.

    Totally agree, and all of this is just one piece of why I think it's really easy to tell interesting stories about trans people in fantasy settings that resonate with modern trans gamers who play these games!

    snschlAyiekie
  • Mikey205Mikey205 Member Posts: 302
    Roseweave said:

    One of the issues I have with the "Different take" on the characters is that it's mostly from what I can tell men, telling a woman that the female characters were fine, and "strong" and "sex positive" and that really irks me. You're allowed to have preferences but you need to stop holding up stuff that was written in a video game before some forum members here were probably even born as sacred and beyond criticism.

    You shouldn't really set out with a goal to rewrite existing personalities and insult the source material. Develop, flesh-out yes (this happened in BG2), but rewrite is a no-no. It doesn't sound like they actually did that though, more that it was a badly worded interview.

    Dantos4
  • Baeloth_JnrBaeloth_Jnr Member Posts: 86
    @Diogenes42 "Meaning is something that we create for ourselves friend. "

    Actually meaning depends on words having objective content and what the writer intends the words to mean.
    And here we already have a statement of intent from the writer (to the effect I insert SJW content, even if artificial).
    Then we have a change from "I feel so sensual" to "I feel so two dimensional"
    Someone is "two dimensional" when the focus is on their looks not on their capabilities.

  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 1,938
    edited April 2016

    @BelleSorciere "The things I've seen called "SJW" are ridiculous. "

    This is just argument by assertion (ie fallacy).

    No, it's not. I had a specific example - Safana's quoted line about being two dimensional. Another example that is called "SJW" for ridiculous reasons is Mizhena herself. For that matter, calling Safana's line SJW is a perfect and genuine example of argument by assertion.

    You need to step up your logic game, because all you did was recite the name of a fallacy and the only way your assertion about my comment comes close to making sense is for you to actually cut out the rest of my post.

    But that's beside the point - this is the internet, not a debate club. I didn't need any more argument for why your statement is ridiculous than you presented for why Safana's line was SJW. Basically, you have no substantive argument, and all I did was point that out.

    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • Dantos4Dantos4 Member Posts: 57
    edited April 2016
    Roseweave said:

    One of the issues I have with the "Different take" on the characters is that it's mostly from what I can tell men, telling a woman that the female characters were fine, and "strong" and "sex positive" and that really irks me. You're allowed to have preferences but you need to stop holding up stuff that was written in a video game before some forum members here were probably even born as sacred and beyond criticism.

    No offence, but people can do what they like. You're allowed to have preferences. End of. Nobody "needs" to stop telling anybody to do anything.

    Being a specific gender does not qualify or disqualify anybody from having a legitimate opinion of a video game character.

    Nobody said anything was beyond criticism - I said Amber's interpretations of Jaheira specifically were very, very different to my own. I consider her interpretation incorrect and wrong. I have every right to refuse to buy the game on the grounds that I dislike the changes. I don't "need" to stop anything and find the suggestion rather offensive.

    Thank you very much.

    Edit: In fact, why does this even "irk" you? Why does men having an opinion on a female character being strong "irk" you?

  • 11302101130210 Member Posts: 348
    This was handled very professionally by you guys. While my opinion is one of indifference, I think Beamdog is handling the negative statements very adamantly.

    The negative statements really make me a bit upset, but if the team at Beamdog is going to handle things very maturely, then I suppose from now on that's what I'll be doing as well.

    Sids1188
  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 1,938
    Sagoth said:

    Just please stop. Stop making things for Baldur's Gate. Forget about Baldut's Gate, it's not a pinata.. STOP ruining the legacy of one of the Best RPGs of all time.

    Make your own game, from the beginning, and add whatever you want to. Make it as real as possible. Add Politics, Religions, all the -isams , wars.... go for it! We need games to escape from reality, and not to stay in it...

    You've said : "We will release the game when it's ready". And you've done it. SoD "spoke" to you. So what you released IS what you wanted. So why change it now? Why you want to change the game that "told" you that is the best you wanted to give us? Leave it as it is. Let it rise or fall as it is.

    Now everyone is talking about SoD on the net, badmouthing it. I don't care about your SoD do what you want with it, just lose that Baldur's Gate out of it. I care about Baldur's Gate, and it's legacy.

    That game means ALOT to people. That game, Baldur's Gate, kept me sane during the war. Every damn time electricity came back I played it, for hours. Even when bombs were falling, I played that game. It kept me sane, it pulled me away from all the death around me. It pulled me away from reality. The story, characters, locations...

    Now look what you have done. Just look at all the mess.. and there it is, the name Baldur's Gate in center of it. You, Beamdog, destroyed it. Don't change anything, go down or up with your ship. Because it is the "perfect" ship you built for us, in your thoughts.

    Make your own game, just PLEASE leave the legacy of Baldur's Gate alone.

    You are ruining it.

    Bravo, Beamdog, Bravo!

    Everyone is entitled to escapism, including transgender people. Seeing themselves reflected in media both has verisimilitude and acknowledges that transgender people exist. I personally like seeing characters who are not straight in video games because it shows that people like me have a place in these imaginary worlds. So, escapism shouldn't cater to just one group (those who agree with you), but should be something available to everyone.

    Baldur's Gate means a lot to a lot of people, including transgender people, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual people, including people of color, including women, including in general people that are not cisgender heterosexual white guys, and having content that is sensitive to their escapism (among other things) is a good thing.

    You're looking at this from a proprietary perspective, seeing Baldur's Gate as something you have more of a right to than Beamdog, even though Beamdog includes several people who worked on the original Baldur's Gate. You're not the only person for whom Baldur's Gate meant anything, and you're not the only person who should get to see themselves reflected in video games and other media.

    GenderNihilismGirdleamyaeAyiekiemf2112
  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,336

    Actually meaning depends on words having objective content

    Philosophy departments, particularly epistemology and philosophy of language departments, everywhere in the world eagerly await your thesis, they've been trying to locate objective meaning without finding it anywhere for literally thousands of years.

    Make sure to post a preview of your thesis here, to back up your claim that words have objective content! It'll be the first time in human history anyone was able to prove it and I'm sure Beamdog would love to host the very first ever discovery in human history of irrefutable objective meaning!

    Ayiekiemf2112Gozeta
  • KhalophisKhalophis Member Posts: 7
    edited April 2016
    snschl said:

    Khalophis said:

    As I previously stated its a world of magic and there are several spells, powers, potions and deities who could swap your gender. You find the Girdle of Masculinity/Femininity, you also meet Melicamp who has been turned into a chicken and a number of dragons that can turn into humans to name a few examples. To be honest most people would be unimpressed by such a simple change for a person. They could have even added a dialogue to represent this. If you were playing a evil/rude person they could end the conversation by saying they'd seen more impressive magic elsewhere etc.

    If you really want to involve lore-friendliness and setting consistency, then changing sex in Faerun becomes A LOT harder.
    Indeed it would be harder for the average person but it's clearly established that Mizhena is a cleric. Therefore her god could have granted a boon. Not to mention that the various adventures and nobles she would heal would no doubt own a favour and could donate money or ask a mage to cast the necessary magic.

  • SilverstarSilverstar Member Posts: 2,192

    Philosophy departments, particularly epistemology and philosophy of language departments, everywhere in the world eagerly await your thesis, they've been trying to locate objective meaning without finding it anywhere for literally thousands of years.

    Make sure to post a preview of your thesis here, to back up your claim that words have objective content! It'll be the first time in human history anyone was able to prove it and I'm sure Beamdog would love to host the very first ever discovery in human history of irrefutable objective meaning!

    I have lost myself in your words, but Boo thinks you're just ducky. Onward!

    GenderNihilismGirdlebooinyoureyes
  • Baeloth_JnrBaeloth_Jnr Member Posts: 86
    @BelleSorciere

    No, you have just asserted Safana's line is not SJW.
    You haven;t provided an argument to support your assertion.
    I did provided arguments as to why it is SJW content and a blatant change of character.
    You did not respond to those arguments except to assert it is not the case. That is a clear case of argument by assertion.

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