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

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Comments

  • Abdel_AdrianAbdel_Adrian Member Posts: 428

    Yeah, plays like the real Safana died in BG1 and was replaced by an SJW doppleganger.

    This would be an extremely funny idea for a quest, thank you for the idea friend. Maybe an offshoot group of doppelgangers that escaped your wrath in Baldur's Gate.
    No doppelgangers escape the wrath of Abdel Adrian.
    I think you mean Foolio Displasius, Destroyer of the Seven Suns! Raagh!
    I actually roleplay as a rampaging horde of Tarrasques! Krie! Krie!

    Camus34Baeloth_Jnr
  • MaximvsMaximvs Member Posts: 94
    Welcome to Baldur's Gate, fifth edition. You step outside only to find out that today is the LGBT pride parade day. The street is blocked by many onlookers, happy and bewildered by all the custom carts rolling in line. Many half naked men and women, dressed with such variety, stands out and waves at onlookers.

    What do you do?

  • Abdel_AdrianAbdel_Adrian Member Posts: 428
    Maximvs said:

    Welcome to Baldur's Gate, fifth edition. You step outside only to find out that today is the LGBT pride parade day. The street is blocked by many onlookers, happy and bewildered by all the custom carts rolling in line. Many half naked men and women, dressed with such variety, stands out and waves at onlookers.

    What do you do?

    I put on my robe and wizard hat and roll a d20...

    CorelliaSilverstar
  • redkingredking Member Posts: 5
    Maximvs said:

    Welcome to Baldur's Gate, fifth edition. You step outside only to find out that today is the LGBT pride parade day. The street is blocked by many onlookers, happy and bewildered by all the custom carts rolling in line. Many half naked men and women, dressed with such variety, stands out and waves at onlookers.

    What do you do?

    Well, my character alignment is Lawful Homophobic. How much XP are they worth?

    mf2112Rathenau
  • MaximvsMaximvs Member Posts: 94
    You don't know how much xp unless you defeat them.

  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 802


    Yes, but that does not exhaust its meaning.

    The meaning is presumably that she was a two dimensional character before. Both in game graphics, and game writing.


    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.

    Nobody cares about Safana's appearance. Baldur's Gate is a very old game and you do not see cutscenes or hi-res models of characters. Dialogue and voice clips are what establish characters, far more than the tiny box on the side of the screen.

    Safana was a one-note joke in BG1. If she's anything more to her than that in SoD, good.

  • FoggyFoggy Member Posts: 297
    I think that maybe some people are confusing between the Safana writing from the original game and the Safana expanded character from BG1 NPC Mod, as it's a very popular mod and almost a mandatory install like Ascension and SCS.

    Safana barely spoke a couple lines in vanilla. All vanilla NPCs have no character development at all but some traits that sparkled our imaginations. Only in BG2 we can speak of character development. Safana is not so popular, very few even took her in the party in BG1, and maybe no one would have noticed any change if the writer didn't mention it. So is the issue really about the writing?

    BelleSorciereAyiekieJuliusBorisovrorikon
  • Baeloth_JnrBaeloth_Jnr Member Posts: 86
    edited April 2016
    Ayiekie said:


    Yes, but that does not exhaust its meaning.

    The meaning is presumably that she was a two dimensional character before. Both in game graphics, and game writing.


    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.

    Nobody cares about Safana's appearance. Baldur's Gate is a very old game and you do not see cutscenes or hi-res models of characters. Dialogue and voice clips are what establish characters, far more than the tiny box on the side of the screen.

    Safana was a one-note joke in BG1. If she's anything more to her than that in SoD, good.
    No, I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about women being valued for their physical appearance (as opposed to their capabilities).

    As for Safana, the writers have taken the view that she is a "two dimensional" sex object. i.e. valued for her appearance or sex rather than her capabilities.
    Whereas, in fact, it is her own sexual agency that makes her a sex object. She manipulates others using her sex to achieve her ends.
    That may not be particularly noble or in keeping with the SJW cause, but that is the way she is written.
    And someone can be that way, without being particularly self-conscious or thoughtful about it.
    Now, if you don't like that characterization, then it is open to write something (an event) that changes it.
    But to just change it without notice and impose a new character on her is jarring, to say the least.

    Camus34Abdel_AdrianRathenau
  • killerrabbitkillerrabbit Member Posts: 402



    There's no "moving goalposts," nearly all of the complaints fall under one of three categories:
    1. Bugs
    2. Poor writing.
    3. Failing to stay true to the content/style of the original games.


    Goal post 1 -- trans characters don't belong in Faerun / D&D
    #2 -- Breaking the 4th wall breaks immersion


    Poor writing is a fig leaf. It's easy to say but when you compare the Mizhena dialogue to any other minor NPC in the game it falls down. Hard. Why aren't people complaining about the merchant in Sorcerous Sundries? Why aren't people upset about the mage who confesses his fears, the depressed guy in the Ducal castle -- you know, NPCs who tell you highly personal things within minutes of meeting you?

    Answer: 1. that wouldn't help the campaign against developer 2. people don't like the words because they don't like trans people. Of course they are going say that's not true. Of course this is a lie.

    I am shocked, shocked to find that giving into demands has led to more demands. Who could have guessed?

    AyiekieGrumBelleSorciere
  • Abdel_AdrianAbdel_Adrian Member Posts: 428
    @Ayiekie I could have made it more clear I was referencing the trailer, but that's not to say there isn't very negative commentary from professional critics, who are then being called misogynistic.
    This isn't the worst article on it I could find with a 2 second Google search:
    http://consequenceofsound.net/2016/03/five-reasons-the-ghostbusters-trailer-has-us-worried/

    I won't respond to anything else you said, that's a headache I don't need.

  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 802


    Numerous posters just in this thread alone have already said that they feel otherwise, and that's nothing new.

    Not a single other poster in this thread, to my recollection, seconded the notion that Safana was a particularly beloved or amazing NPC.


    Safana has always been a staple of many players' parties, especially evil/unscrupulous ones.

    So's Shar-teel, and she isn't a beloved or amazing NPC with lots of depthful depths to be ruined by writing her as something resembling a real human being either.


    Not true, since one of the most basic aspects of her personality is that she continually tried to endear herself to other party members (particularly male ones) in the hopes of manipulating them into doing what she wants. By making her off-putting/offensive to other party members completely contradicts that.

    I'm not commenting on Safana in SoD, since I haven't played her in it.

    I am commenting on Safana in BG1, and I went through her entire set of dialogues before doing so. My statement on her one note nature, lack of any real depth and large amount of unrealistic dialogue stands.

    If she changed in SoD in a natural way, good. If she didn't, too bad, but it's no real loss. She was absolutely nothing memorable or interesting, and I suspect people that feel she was are playing with NPC dialogue mod, not vanilla BG1/EE.

    Grum
  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 802

    @Ayiekie I could have made it more clear I was referencing the trailer, but that's not to say there isn't very negative commentary from professional critics, who are then being called misogynistic.
    This isn't the worst article on it I could find with a 2 second Google search:
    http://consequenceofsound.net/2016/03/five-reasons-the-ghostbusters-trailer-has-us-worried/

    I won't respond to anything else you said, that's a headache I don't need.

    I don't mind one way or another whether you liked it. I didn't even offer an opinion on the movie or trailer. I criticised your use of the term "flop". A movie that doesn't open for three months cannot be described as a "flop", because a movie that is a "flop" is a movie that drastically underperforms expectations at the box office and often loses money for the studio. It might, it might not. Either way, it isn't yet.

    For the record, I didn't care for the first trailer either (the second was modestly better).

  • Baeloth_JnrBaeloth_Jnr Member Posts: 86
    edited April 2016
    @killerrabbit "Poor writing is a fig leaf. It's easy to say but when you compare the Mizhena dialogue to any other minor NPC in the game it falls down. Hard. Why aren't people complaining about the merchant in Sorcerous Sundries? Why aren't people upset about the mage who confesses his fears, the depressed guy in the Ducal castle -- you know, NPCs who tell you highly personal things within minutes of meeting you?"

    Those are funny/absurd dialogues in keeping with the character of BG.

    I'm not bothered by the TG character, except insofar as the predominant purpose of inclusion appears to have been to provide a moral lesson on inclusiveness.

    Abdel_AdrianCamus34
  • Abdel_AdrianAbdel_Adrian Member Posts: 428
    @Ayiekie Yet again you ignore the important things said to focus on the trivial. Call it what you will, semantics are fun like that.
    The point was the criticism being answered with claims of misogyny.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,596
    edited April 2016
    Maximvs said:

    Welcome to Baldur's Gate, fifth edition. You step outside only to find out that today is the LGBT pride parade day. The street is blocked by many onlookers, happy and bewildered by all the custom carts rolling in line. Many half naked men and women, dressed with such variety, stands out and waves at onlookers.

    What do you do?

    I put on my robe and wizard hat and roll a d20...

    redking said:

    Well, my character alignment is Lawful Homophobic. How much XP are they worth?

    Maximvs said:

    You don't know how much xp unless you defeat them.

    I'm sure that you all think these comments are just harmless jokes, but if you step back a moment perhaps you could consider that some people might find them very hurtful. I suspect that you are some of the significant number of people who were upset by a jokey reference to GG in Minsc's dialogue. I also suspect that for most people (like me) that joke would have entirely passed them by - I knew nothing about the GG issues before reading posts in this forum over the last couple of days. However, despite my lack of knowledge I can see why the Minsc joke would have been hurtful to people who did have that knowledge and a particular worldview - and therefore I think the decision to remove it is a reasonable one.

    Can you similarly see if you can find a bit of empathy for people that don't share your worldview and understand that references that you see as just funny could be perceived very differently by others?

    Grummf2112
  • redkingredking Member Posts: 5
    Grond0 said:

    Can you similarly see if you can find a bit of empathy for people that don't share your worldview and understand that references that you see as just funny could be perceived very differently by others?

    I can see it. What alignment would a homophobe be? I am guessing evil. Is that right?

    Abdel_AdrianRathenau
  • Abdel_AdrianAbdel_Adrian Member Posts: 428
    edited April 2016
    @Grond0 Sympathy, empathy, and respect for others feelings are wonderful; no one should go out of their way to hurt another. With that being said, no one should censor the truth or their own feelings, thoughts, and personal expressions to save the feelings of another. Offending someone is bad, censoring everything to offend no one is worse.

    Camus34Rathenau
  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 802


    No, I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about women being valued for their physical appearance (as opposed to their capabilities).

    By the by, I wonder if all the people demanding MUH ROLEPLAYING with Mizhena are also pissed that charname automatically finds Safana sexy in-game in BG1?


    As for Safana, the writers have taken the view that she is a "two dimensional" sex object. i.e. valued for her appearance or sex rather than her capabilities.
    Whereas, in fact, it is her own sexual agency that makes her a sex object. She manipulates others using her sex to achieve her ends.
    That may not be particularly noble or in keeping with the SJW cause, but that is the way she is written.

    She does indeed vamp men to get what she wants. That is, in fact, the vast majority of her on-screen character.

    I wish I could adequately convey to you how meaningless and absurd the statement "in keeping with the SJW cause" is. I'll settle for: there is no such group, and thus no such cause. Actual progressive, feminist, intersectional, LGBT, etc., thought has an enormous range of attitudes towards women's sexual agency.


    And someone can be that way, without being particularly self-conscious or thoughtful about it.
    Now, if you don't like that characterization, then it is open to write something (an event) that changes it.
    But to just change it without notice and impose a new character on her is jarring, to say the least.

    So, have you actually played her in SoD yet, or is this based on hearsay? I noticed a lot of people who have played it disagreeing with the notion that she's a totally different character (and, to be fair, a few who thought she was).

  • BGLoverBGLover Member Posts: 548

    @Grond0 Sympathy, empathy, and respect for others feelings are wonderful; no one should go out of their way to hurt another. With that being said, no one should censor the truth or their own feelings, thoughts, and personal expressions to save the feelings of another. Offending someone is bad, censoring everything to offend no one is worse.

    Glad to see the Irony Crisis is still going strong!

    IllustairGrum
  • Abdel_AdrianAbdel_Adrian Member Posts: 428
    BGLover said:

    @Grond0 Sympathy, empathy, and respect for others feelings are wonderful; no one should go out of their way to hurt another. With that being said, no one should censor the truth or their own feelings, thoughts, and personal expressions to save the feelings of another. Offending someone is bad, censoring everything to offend no one is worse.

    Glad to see the Irony Crisis is still going strong!
    Explain the irony.

  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 802

    @Ayiekie I am SO glad you brought up Shar-teel, a woman quite possibly defined by her misandry! Isn't it great that they rewrote her too...oh wait. Jaheira can't nag and Safana can't exploit her own sexuality because that's bad for women and obviously promotes misogyny.....but a woman hating a man is just fine!

    Do you honestly think Shar-teel is some sort of feminist icon? She's 100% as bad a character as Safana and I'd truthfully rather have seen her changed. She's more like a channer stereotype of a feminist than anything a real feminist would admire.

    Sids1188
  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 802


    I'm not bothered by the TG character, except insofar as the predominant purpose of inclusion appears to have been to provide a moral lesson on inclusiveness.

    Why is their inclusion providing a moral lesson on inclusiveness?

    Is the fact Dynaheir is black also providing a moral lesson on inclusiveness?

    killerrabbit
  • Abdel_AdrianAbdel_Adrian Member Posts: 428
    @Ayiekie I'd rather have seen no character have a personality change. But they changed the female characters literally for being "sexist," yet ignored the most sexist one. That's a pretty big bias. Why did they ignore the most sexist person? Because she's sexist against men, not women, so it's not seen as a problem.

    Camus34SilverstarSids1188Rathenau
  • killerrabbitkillerrabbit Member Posts: 402



    I'm not bothered by the TG character, except insofar as the predominant purpose of inclusion appears to have been to provide a moral lesson on inclusiveness.

    Yeah, I think there are some projections in there. There's no lesson being given. No one is lecturing you. This is a character -- a merchant really -- who also happens to have been born as a boy and is now a girl.

    It's about as 'instructive' as "you sound like you are from Calimshan, what are you doing up here". I really think people are looking to be offended. I forgot about the NPC a minute after I spoke to her.

    SilverstarSids1188
  • Baeloth_JnrBaeloth_Jnr Member Posts: 86
    Ayiekie said:


    I'm not bothered by the TG character, except insofar as the predominant purpose of inclusion appears to have been to provide a moral lesson on inclusiveness.

    Why is their inclusion providing a moral lesson on inclusiveness?

    Is the fact Dynaheir is black also providing a moral lesson on inclusiveness?
    Dynaheir is not a token gesture.

    Camus34Abdel_AdrianRathenau
  • Baeloth_JnrBaeloth_Jnr Member Posts: 86



    I'm not bothered by the TG character, except insofar as the predominant purpose of inclusion appears to have been to provide a moral lesson on inclusiveness.

    Yeah, I think there are some projections in there. There's no lesson being given. No one is lecturing you. This is a character -- a merchant really -- who also happens to have been born as a boy and is now a girl.

    It's about as 'instructive' as "you sound like you are from Calimshan, what are you doing up here". I really think people are looking to be offended. I forgot about the NPC a minute after I spoke to her.
    Actually, Amber Scott explicitly says: "But it’s not just about representation for representation’s sake."

    Camus34Rathenau
  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 802

    @Ayiekie Yet again you ignore the important things said to focus on the trivial. Call it what you will, semantics are fun like that.
    The point was the criticism being answered with claims of misogyny.

    This is a different situation, with a different type of product, a different audience, and your example is flawed anyways (it is not professional reviewers who saying bad things about SoD and being called transphobic because of it).

    If you think people are being called transphobic unfairly, then set your case out about that rather than making weak arguments by analogy. It would also lend sincerity to your view if you called out or at least clearly disagreed with some of the people in this thread who are very, very clearly transphobic.

  • skeptik_59skeptik_59 Member Posts: 38

    and Amber/Beamdog have not only admitted, but basically boasted about #3.

    As well they might - it's THEIR creative content after all, so naturally they feel proud of it and should not be expected to not say so.

    Besides, the current copyright holders of the game, the game system and the particular milieu signed off on their writing, so it's not like they stepped on the toes of anyone that matters....
    And therein lies two of the biggest issues that has led to this debate:

    1. Beamdog focused too much on "THEIR creative content" and not enough on building on the content that was already there.
    Their game, their content. They make the decisions.

    3. Did Beamdog not consider the feelings/expectations of its own customers to be "toes that matter"? It's the longstanding and devoted fans who have maintained interest in this franchise for nearly two decades, and made making the EEs even viable in the first place. Whether or not Amber or any other Beamdog member "liked" the way the original characters or content were depicted should've been irrelevant - the feelings of their customers and whether or not they wanted any of that changed should've been their foremost consideration, but now they only seem to be considering it as a last resort, and likely after much of the damage has been irreversible.


    I am a long time and devoted fan, so obviously I fit into the set of people described that way. Don't forget that not all "long time and devoted fans" share your perspective and/or opinion on this.

    Yes, you personally are disappointed. That's life. Other people are not disappointed. The people who play the BD series are not some monolithic crowd of group-thinkers who all agree on EVERYTHING, or indeed ANYTHING [other than that they play the game/s]. Again, that's life.

    Bottom line is BD controls the creative content and are not beholden to any one, of a number of sub-groups of fans, to make sure that that particular sub-group of fans are satisfied with content X, Y or Z that BD chooses to put into THEIR game.

    People who don't want to play X game with Z content can leave their money in their wallets. Let Freedom reign!

    killerrabbit
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