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Does it get any better? Finished Baldur's Gate

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Comments

  • GaelicVigilGaelicVigil Member Posts: 94
    edited May 31
    chimeric said:

    BG2 is crap.

    But I don't want to start a holy war over it. If you can tell decent writing from purple prose, sandbox from linear, spartan from Monty Haul, then you'll feel the difference between the first game and the sequel. If not, then not. Hey, maybe you like it when there are... what was it, two or three dragons to kill in BG2?

    In my opinion, the first Baldur's Gate and Torment were the only games true to the spirit of AD&D. The first Icewind Dale might have been, it had a robust scaffold, but the designers locked themselves in a linear narrative, oversaturated with action. And everything after that - repetitions.

    Same with Fallout. The series died after part 2. RIP.

    Same with Elder Scrolls. The series died after Morrowind. RIP.

    I wouldn't go so far to call BG2 "crap", but I do think it's inferior to BG1. The biggest reason, I think, is that D&D up to and including 2nd edition worked best at lower experience levels. Fights become too micromanaged, too rock-paper-scissors in BG2. Toward the latter half of the game, it takes several minutes just to prep for a fight. If you, for example, forgot to use a particular buff, potion, or spell at the right time, you would end up getting curb stomped.

    The forced linearity in some parts of BG2 also exasperated this problem because to lose a single party member was to make a particular dungeon nearly impossible to win (EG Spellhold & the Underdark). In BG1, it was possible to lose a party member or two and continue on, and then return to town to return them to life. You really lost the whole resurrection mechanic in BG2, and it often became a reload fest. That's not D&D at all to me.

    Perhaps this is more a matter of taste, but area design was often too over the top, too fantastical and juvenile in BG2. In BG1 things are more grounded in realism, you're battling bandits, conspiracies, and political assassins and spys. You're also rescuing people, and hunting down monsters. In BG2 everything is god-like. Many areas look like they were only designed to look aesthetically pleasing from the player's bird's eye perspectice. At the actual character level, nothing would have made sense. Many levels are difficult to navigate because of this.

    Baldur's Gate 2 felt like it was designed more as a child's game with a compartmentalized zoo-like world of fantastical, over-the-top cartoon situations. Baldur's Gate was a more mature take on the Forgotten Realms.

    Now BG2 is vastly better than the crap Bioware would later put out that was all essentially a NWN mod (Dragon Age, KOTOR, Mass Effect, et al), even though I love NWN itself. But the original Baldur's Gate is where I think the series' mechanics really shined.

    Oh and I 100% agree about Fallout and The Elder Scrolls. Fallout 1&2 and Daggerfall & Morrowind are heads above the rest of the games in the series.

    SharGuidesMyHandConjurerDragon
  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 559
    edited May 31
    SoD gives you some potential motivations, but forces you to follow the main plot. I do not see any real difference to BG 1 & BG 2 here, to be honest.

    BG 1 does not give you the option to flee the country. I mean, what is to stop the PC to flee to Amn, Waterdeep or places even further away? Both at the very beginning and after getting framed in Candlekeep, it would be a perfectly rational thing to do. Pursuing Sarevok in a city he controls without allies feels almost suicidal.

    And it's similar in BG 2, with the exception that PC might even assume that the Cowled Wizards will be able to hold Irenicus indefinitely, and just settle down or something.

    Sure, you could say that a newer game should do a better job. But you can hardly claim that is worse than in the originals.

    As for Morrowind, give me the original engine (with some graphical updates) over Oblivion any day. Better enchanting & spellmaking by a mile. And while Morrowind combat is nothing to write at home, it is at least over fast. When I fight a room of enemies, the fight is usually over in 10-20 seconds, regardless of who it wins. Oblivion is marginally better, but not by so much that it is worth the much longer time you spent on it.

    The Skyrim engines at least has some real advantages, like a really working NPC AI system, which is much better than the prototype from Oblivion. And while I might miss stats, I feel the perk system does allow you to customize your character more than Oblivion did. And the combat is faster (there is still too much of it, though).

  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,378

    chimeric said:

    BG2 is crap.

    But I don't want to start a holy war over it. If you can tell decent writing from purple prose, sandbox from linear, spartan from Monty Haul, then you'll feel the difference between the first game and the sequel. If not, then not. Hey, maybe you like it when there are... what was it, two or three dragons to kill in BG2?

    In my opinion, the first Baldur's Gate and Torment were the only games true to the spirit of AD&D. The first Icewind Dale might have been, it had a robust scaffold, but the designers locked themselves in a linear narrative, oversaturated with action. And everything after that - repetitions.

    Same with Fallout. The series died after part 2. RIP.

    Same with Elder Scrolls. The series died after Morrowind. RIP.

    I wouldn't go so far to call BG2 "crap", but I do think it's inferior to BG1. The biggest reason, I think, is that D&D up to and including 2nd edition worked best at lower experience levels. Fights become too micromanaged, too rock-paper-scissors in BG2. Toward the latter half of the game, it takes several minutes just to prep for a fight. If you, for example, forgot to use a particular buff, potion, or spell at the right time, you would end up getting curb stomped.

    The forced linearity in some parts of BG2 also exasperated this problem because to lose a single party member was to make a particular dungeon nearly impossible to win (EG Spellhold & the Underdark). In BG1, it was possible to lose a party member or two and continue on, and then return to town to return them to life. You really lost the whole resurrection mechanic in BG2, and it often became a reload fest. That's not D&D at all to me.

    Agreed 100%.

    In a nutshell, BG2 turned its back on the RP aspects of BG1, and is more akin to IWD with talking NPCs. Admittedly, some people may prefer a format like that, but it's not for me.

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