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How is it?

I have read some various reviews about this game. Is it a fun play or is it a let down? Next, I read that some writer is a "SJW" and there is some liberal notions that were put into the game, such as, gay and/or transgender characters? If that is true, is it annoyingly obvious or easily dismissed and not a hinder to enjoyment?
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Comments

  • This subject seems to be beaten to death... Anyway, the notions are a minor part, it's the overall quality that is not quite there.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Posts: 2,135
    Its really good. Like a fusion of BG and IWD.
    semiticgod
  • SkatanSkatan Posts: 2,209
    It's fun, but fairly straight forward. Not as open world as BG1. I really love the maps they've made, they are very beautiful.
    ThacoBell
  • Basically the folks that got upset about "SJW" type stuff blew the whole thing way out of proportion.

    Pros:

    The maps are beautiful
    Character interactions are great - it's worth playing for that alone if you want *just* a little more time with some of your favorites from BG1-2.
    New NPCs are fun
    New items are pretty interesting
    New graphics on lots of sprites look really nice

    Cons:

    Some of the maps are really, really big and so it feels kind of weird to rest in some locations/situations, but you'll almost have to do it.
    The combat very heavily favors very liberal use of wands of fire. Much more similar to IWD than BG1 (which relied on unique encounters in strange scenarios to cause difficulty - SoD takes the more enemies = harder approach).

    If you like IE games SoD is a good investment.
    ThacoBellButtercheese
  • rapsam2003rapsam2003 Posts: 1,423
    edited December 2016

    Anyway, the notions are a minor part, it's the overall quality that is not quite there.

    I would disagree. The quality is there. Thing is, they don't feed you lore. The story isn't, imho, as good as the BG2 story. BUT that's mostly because the writers were forced to accept the limitations of writing a "middle story". There's a few unresolved things, BUT those things could be resolved in BGNext. ( See here: https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/54861/all-you-wanted-to-know-about-the-next-beamdogs-project.)

    I would check out this thread and read the comments in it BEFORE clicking on the review that is the main topic: The Long Awaited SoD Review by GameBanshee. Of course, understand that a lot of what is said in the comments is people's opinions, but that thread has a good discussions of the upsides and downsides of SoD (in a roundabout way, albeit).

  • I would disagree. The quality is there. Thing is, they don't feed you lore. The story isn't, imho, as good as the BG2 story. BUT that's mostly because the writers were forced to accept the limitations of writing a "middle story". There's a few unresolved things, BUT those things could be resolved in BGNext. ( See here: https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/54861/all-you-wanted-to-know-about-the-next-beamdogs-project.

    No idea what kind of limitations do you mean. The whole Caelar business has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the series, it's just a side quest. Probably would've fared a bit better if they marketed it as such instead of "bridging the gap", because that promise failed utterly.
  • rapsam2003rapsam2003 Posts: 1,423

    No idea what kind of limitations do you mean. The whole Caelar business has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the series, it's just a side quest. Probably would've fared a bit better if they marketed it as such instead of "bridging the gap", because that promise failed utterly.

    The limitations are obvious. You can't affect the lore of either BG1 or 2. But you need to connect them. Arguably, that's the hardest type of story to write. And the premise of "bridging the gap" worked fine. SoD doesn't spoonfeed you the details of the story. A lot of it is revealed by exploring the game world.
    ThacoBellNimranlolien

  • The limitations are obvious. You can't affect the lore of either BG1 or 2. But you need to connect them. Arguably, that's the hardest type of story to write. And the premise of "bridging the gap" worked fine. SoD doesn't spoonfeed you the details of the story. A lot of it is revealed by exploring the game world.

    There isn't anything to spoonfeed. All the bridging literally happens in the last 5 minutes of the expansion. The rest of the content is just orthogonal.
    DJKajuru
  • Spending a year could be just spending a year, enjoying your time. That's just a viable explanation as any. It could be another adventure, like SoD or ToSC. In anime world, it's called "filler episode". It can be fun on it's own, but take it out - and nothing happens to the rest of series.

    Departure explanations like "sorry, I've got things to do, bye"? You can't be serious.

    Specifically choosing the protagonist is obviously because he's the strongest spawn. But in fact, any of the strong spawns would fit better than SoD antagonist, so that's just another plot hole in a long list of holes.

    One thing I can partially agree on is that it does provide some explanation on as to why you've left BG at all. Though BG2 intro implies some dark, but hidden motives to that. Which are not common knowledge. And the explanation given by SoD is that everyone in BG wants your head on a pike.

    You know what's the deal with nighties? They reveal much, but they leave much to imagination. So when you take it off, you better be sure you look at least as good as in imagination. My imagination painted a far prettier picture than SoD provided.
  • @Gallowglass

    you say.

    "Our protagonist spent around a year between the defeat of Sarevok and waking up in Irenicus's dungeon, but we had no idea what took up the time. Now we know, which is one continuity issue addressed."

    We don't know, we have some writers' ideas of what happened in that year.
    (was that question even being asked? Until SOD was it ever clear how long the gap was? seen various ideas of anything from weeks to a few months)

    So OK, they had the idea of CA and the whole DS castle.
    But that part of the game is the weakest link of the whole thing and throws up just as many unanswered questions.
    So now we have a saga that previously had a decent gap time wise for imagination to fill, but now we have a chunk of it that literally needs some sort of parrallel time scale to work.

    The campaign against CA takes what 9 months?
    So it started well before your defeat of Sarevok surely, and nobody noticed or mentioned it?
    So if Sarevok had won, he was going to have CA giving this amount of trouble?
    All those refugees turning up in BG, what overnight? Because it makes it plain at the beginning of SOD it's a matter of days since Sarevok's defeat.

    If you have a beginning and end, was it really so hard to invent a well written, plausible middle?
    That fit.
  • SkatanSkatan Posts: 2,209

    @Gallowglass

    you say.

    "Our protagonist spent around a year between the defeat of Sarevok and waking up in Irenicus's dungeon, but we had no idea what took up the time. Now we know, which is one continuity issue addressed."

    We don't know, we have some writers' ideas of what happened in that year.
    (was that question even being asked? Until SOD was it ever clear how long the gap was? seen various ideas of anything from weeks to a few months)

    Eeeh.. yeah, we DO know since what the writers write is what happened, whether you like it or not. AFAIK Beamdog got hold of info about the original intentions, so what is in SoD is as close to the original idea as is possible, if I understand it correctly. And yes, the question what happened between BG1 and 2 has indeed been asked numerous times by numerous people. I'm curious, can you really say you never encountered that question before?
    ThacoBellGallowglassGrum
  • @Skatan

    If this seige and CA were the original intentions, you can quickly see why it was dropped.

    Please explain how BG is swamped with refugees when a few days before there were none either in BG or the surrounding areas and no news whatsoever from any of the towncriers about the crisis in the whole of the game.
    And originally, TOTSC was an expansion to fill in that gap to some extent and that narrative fits much better.

    SOD takes far more outrageous liberty with the ongoing storyline than anything in BG2.
    So they have filled in " a gap" in the narrative by resetting the narrative and ignoring anything that doesn't fit with a shrug of the shoulders IMO.

    Simply put, SOD couldn't happen within the two halves of the story we have. And when it's at the point where the whole charade falls down, some spurious nonsense about Skie Silvershield is invented.

    It jars, far far more than the abrupt beginning of BG2 which at least can be explained by Irenicus being a wild card in the Bhaalspawn saga.
    Unprophesised and unexpected.


  • GallowglassGallowglass Posts: 3,174

    If this seige and CA were the original intentions ...

    I'm pretty sure @Skatan is correct. IIRC, Beamdog did say (somewhere) that they had obtained Bioware's original story notes about the time between the original games, although it wasn't made clear how comprehensive those notes were.

    Please explain how BG is swamped with refugees when a few days before there were none either in BG or the surrounding areas ...

    Well, I agree it's a little sudden and unexpected.

    Nevertheless, it's made clear that the Crusade began in the north not very long ago, and has marched south quite quickly. As SoD starts, BG City is only just now marshalling its forces, so it's obvious that the Crusade has arrived in the vicinity of Baldur's Gate only recently. Probably Waterdeep has had a refugee influx for several weeks longer, but it is only in this last couple of weeks that refugees have suddenly poured into BG City as the Crusade was pushing southwards to capture Dragonspear Castle.

    It may seem a little strange that we didn't previously hear of the trouble to the north and the (probable) refugee crisis in Waterdeep, but perhaps the BG region was so preoccupied with its own problems (Iron Crisis, etc.) that no-one was paying much immediate attention to external rumours.

    And originally, TOTSC was an expansion to fill in that gap to some extent and that narrative fits much better.

    Well ... the TotSC content "fits" well enough in the sense that it contradicts nothing in the main plot, but that's because it has no connection to the main plot. SoD is much more ambitious, trying to connect at both ends, so it necessarily has to take more "literary risk" that some players won't like the way it was done.

    SOD takes far more outrageous liberty with the ongoing storyline than anything in BG2 ... It jars ...

    Actually, I do agree that some aspects of SoD are somewhat jarring. However, I'm already finding that feeling fading as I become more accustomed to SoD.

    Furthermore, I seem to recall that many of us found the start of BG2 rather jarring when it was new, but nowadays we all accept that as "the way it has always been" ... and thus I predict that SoD's contribution to the story will also become accepted as "the way it has always been", although it might take a little while.
    SkatanThacoBell
  • SoD is much more ambitious, trying to connect at both ends, so it necessarily has to take more "literary risk" that some players won't like the way it was done.

    Ambitious it is, sadly it doesn't live up to these ambitions.
  • SkatanSkatan Posts: 2,209

    @Skatan

    If this seige and CA were the original intentions, you can quickly see why it was dropped.

    Please explain how BG is swamped with refugees when a few days before there were none either in BG or the surrounding areas and no news whatsoever from any of the towncriers about the crisis in the whole of the game.
    And originally, TOTSC was an expansion to fill in that gap to some extent and that narrative fits much better.

    SOD takes far more outrageous liberty with the ongoing storyline than anything in BG2.
    So they have filled in " a gap" in the narrative by resetting the narrative and ignoring anything that doesn't fit with a shrug of the shoulders IMO.

    Simply put, SOD couldn't happen within the two halves of the story we have. And when it's at the point where the whole charade falls down, some spurious nonsense about Skie Silvershield is invented.

    It jars, far far more than the abrupt beginning of BG2 which at least can be explained by Irenicus being a wild card in the Bhaalspawn saga.
    Unprophesised and unexpected.

    @UnderstandMouseMagic: FYI, I'm not saying I think SoD is perfect or that it is everything I ever hoped for, but feelings aside, it is the new canon. So whether I like it or now, what happens in SoD is what happens to charname and nothing you feel about it will change that. You can choose to play it, or skip it and make up headcanon, but trying to deny the fact that SoD is the new canon is futile. So, my comment above is objective, not subjective, in the matter.

    About the number of refugees, I agree. I don't particularly love the start of SoD but I also recall that they said the old games couldn't handle as many characters on screen as the new, improved engine. This may partly explain why BG feels so crowded in SoD vs old BG1.

    TotSC was a couple of sidequests, nothing more. It has nothing to do with BG2 or the main story so I don't really see how to compare the two. I haven't played through all of SoD yet, so I can't comment on the "hand-waving" in the ending.

    The only reason why Irenicus can be accepted as a wildcard in the bhaalspawn sage is because you are accustomed to him and that story. If BG2 would have been released today, everyone would rave about the stupid beginning of the new game, why there was just a couple of NPCs there, others dead etc. But since we are all familiar with that game for fifteen years, we have learned to accept it as it is. I think, for me, I will do the same with SoD.
    ThacoBell
  • @Skatan

    TOTSC may have been "a couple of sidequests nothing more" but it fit in with the original game.
    SOD should have followed the same premise and expanded that.

    The story so far until SOD is of a naive, young person who very recently found out they were Bhaalspawn.
    That's all, you are telling me that was so onerous a template to follow that SOD couldn't work with that rather than change it?

    The decision was made to involve other viewpoints, the reactions of the "world" to charname as Bhaalspawn. In as limited a medium as a game, the writers could never have written that story with any degreee of credence and they were stupid to try.
    So what we end up with in SOD is the loss of agency of Charname and by extension the player.

    That's a basic mistake surely in game design?
    And done why?
    Because they can have numerous characters on screen?
    Whoop de whoop.

    It is not an argument for SOD to keep repeating that any complaint about the writing is that "people are not used to it and after the same amount of years they will accept it".
    It's been done to death and is not an argument, it's a dismissal.

    BG2 consistantly plays on the idea that Irenicus is a wildcard. Right the way through, from him being unrecognised by the Cowled Wizards (just feared), through Firkrag's remarks right up to Elhan's denial that he comes from the Elves and Suldenesselar.
    So they had an idea and built on it and that why it works.
    Not because it's 15 years old.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Posts: 2,135
    When you very quickly rise from no one to the sudden saviour of the Sword Coast, it makes perfect sense that you are thrust into the limelight. Someone with your skill and power becomes a target for politicians and those in authority to be used in the interest of the city.
  • filcat88filcat88 Posts: 115

    @Gallowglass

    you say.

    "Our protagonist spent around a year between the defeat of Sarevok and waking up in Irenicus's dungeon, but we had no idea what took up the time. Now we know, which is one continuity issue addressed."

    We don't know, we have some writers' ideas of what happened in that year.
    (was that question even being asked? Until SOD was it ever clear how long the gap was? seen various ideas of anything from weeks to a few months)

    So OK, they had the idea of CA and the whole DS castle.
    But that part of the game is the weakest link of the whole thing and throws up just as many unanswered questions.
    So now we have a saga that previously had a decent gap time wise for imagination to fill, but now we have a chunk of it that literally needs some sort of parrallel time scale to work.

    The campaign against CA takes what 9 months?
    So it started well before your defeat of Sarevok surely, and nobody noticed or mentioned it?
    So if Sarevok had won, he was going to have CA giving this amount of trouble?
    All those refugees turning up in BG, what overnight? Because it makes it plain at the beginning of SOD it's a matter of days since Sarevok's defeat.

    If you have a beginning and end, was it really so hard to invent a well written, plausible middle?
    That fit.

    But the first part of SOD ( the one in those catacoms to defeat the last of Sarevok lietenants) happens just after Sarevok defeat. Then some time passes, quite some time actually, before the refugees and CA become a really problem for CHARNAME.

    So time-wise makes sense, imo
    Artona
  • WesboiWesboi Posts: 228
    It's not end game content so I would skip it. Writing is awful and some recycled content. It's just a paid mod in sense doesn't really add anything new to the game as a whole.

    If u like mediocre writing and battles then go for it. Or spend the money on beer and take away for a more enjoyable time.
  • simplessimples Posts: 534
    could someone please explain what's so bad about SJW?

    to me it just sounds like inclusion and as a minority, it feels nice to feel represented in computer games.
    Grum
  • WesboiWesboi Posts: 228
    edited January 19
    Political correctness and sjw written stuff has no place in games in my opinion, games are a form of escapism from all that nonsense. If you want to feel included as a minority go out and actually do something pro active.
    Teo_live
  • simplessimples Posts: 534
    so (i'm assuming you're a straight guy) do you just expect to see straight guys in video games and no women? or children?

    i mean it all comes down to what your own view of the world is and obviously if your world is very straight and very white, seeing people of other sexualities or ethnicities is going to be jarring.
    sorry mate. we exist. we also have a place in the world. we might even decide what your future is one day.
    GrumThacoBellArtona
  • WesboiWesboi Posts: 228
    simples said:

    so (i'm assuming you're a straight guy) do you just expect to see straight guys in video games and no women? or children?

    i mean it all comes down to what your own view of the world is and obviously if your world is very straight and very white, seeing people of other sexualities or ethnicities is going to be jarring.
    sorry mate. we exist. we also have a place in the world. we might even decide what your future is one day.

    Having a wife of a different ethnicity and a mixed race son kinda makes me a bad poster boy for white supremecy unless I'm doing it ironically. But myself and many others play games to switch of from the outside world and we like it that way. After a 12 hour shift do I want to hear some one in a game bang on about there own struggles or sexual preferences. No. I want to instagib things and loot stuff, kill dragons and pillage the odd village.
    Teo_live
  • simplessimples Posts: 534
    Wesboi said:

    simples said:

    so (i'm assuming you're a straight guy) do you just expect to see straight guys in video games and no women? or children?

    i mean it all comes down to what your own view of the world is and obviously if your world is very straight and very white, seeing people of other sexualities or ethnicities is going to be jarring.
    sorry mate. we exist. we also have a place in the world. we might even decide what your future is one day.

    Having a wife of a different ethnicity and a mixed race son kinda makes me a bad poster boy for white supremecy unless I'm doing it ironically. But myself and many others play games to switch of from the outside world and we like it that way. After a 12 hour shift do I want to hear some one in a game bang on about there own struggles or sexual preferences. No. I want to instagib things and loot stuff, kill dragons and pillage the odd village.
    then play diablo 2 mate
    CrevsDaakwubblePapa_Lou
  • WesboiWesboi Posts: 228
    simples said:

    Wesboi said:

    simples said:

    so (i'm assuming you're a straight guy) do you just expect to see straight guys in video games and no women? or children?

    i mean it all comes down to what your own view of the world is and obviously if your world is very straight and very white, seeing people of other sexualities or ethnicities is going to be jarring.
    sorry mate. we exist. we also have a place in the world. we might even decide what your future is one day.

    Having a wife of a different ethnicity and a mixed race son kinda makes me a bad poster boy for white supremecy unless I'm doing it ironically. But myself and many others play games to switch of from the outside world and we like it that way. After a 12 hour shift do I want to hear some one in a game bang on about there own struggles or sexual preferences. No. I want to instagib things and loot stuff, kill dragons and pillage the odd village.
    then play diablo 2 mate
    Did that for about 10 years or so. Diablo 3 was awful. Made my money back from the auction house then gtfo.
  • simplessimples Posts: 534
    but does that make real-life diversity less important? i mean, would you find it weird that someone from your wife's ethnicity was present in a game?

    probably not. so why would it be strange that a gay/trans man or woman was in it. what's the difference even? a while ago she wouldn't even have had the right to vote, your wife. just being a woman, let alone the fact that she was of a different ethnicity.
    GrumThacoBellArtona
  • WesboiWesboi Posts: 228
    If her ethnicity was in the game I would throw fireballs at then as just now I can do it in game.

    Joking aside there has to be a cut off point from reality in games as a leisure activity or its like bringing work home. No one likes doing that.

    It wouldn't bother me if things are included or not included. When I was growing up sonic was just a fast blue hedgehog who jumped about. Now isn't he trans or pro something or other I don't know. Games need to stay games and a big deal doesn't need to be made what they do or don't include. But like always that's just my opinion.
  • simplessimples Posts: 534
    so why are you being a **** about it then? i used to play sonic, loved it (still do), turned out gay.

    people like me and trans people even have always been there. we've existed throughout history, but when you play a game you like to pretend we're not real? that's my problem tbh.

    what happens when your child turns out to be gay? what are you going to say? will you be supportive or will you just ignore it?
    don't be a simpleton mate.
    GrumThacoBell
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