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My personal review of Siege of Dragonspear (spoilers, obviously)

WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 671
Let's get right to it.

The very good:

- Above all, combat is fun, and does best in this area. Did you stock up on wands of summoning and fireballs before you ganked Sarevok? You'll still have plenty of opportunity to use them to great effect, but it will never feel overpowered or unbalanced.

- Some of these new areas look wonderful. The dungeons with the flowing lava, the wilderness areas, all look very nicely done and, most importantly, look like they fit in the BG world.

- Every voice update is appropriate and well done, and if anything, gives it a more refreshing feel to have them speak so many new lines.

- Some of the new companions are interesting and fun to play, and party interaction is pretty high.

- The return of old companions was, sometimes, well handled. I liked how Skie got more elaboration while still staying fully in character, for example. It's nice to see the less recognized old cast get larger roles.

- It does feel like a natural extension to the series. You really feel like the hero of Baldurs Gate for a time, which provides some closure I felt was lacking in the very sudden BG1-2 transition.

The very bad:

Somebody needs to write a message in the sky for all of Beamdog to read:

THE BHAALSPAWN SAGA DOESN'T TAKE PLACE IN A.D 2016!!!!

Too many times characters spoke lines that were just cringe worthy because they were far too modern and had no place in the world. "Do you have time to talk about our good lord "whatever"?" "Oh, all goblins look the same to you? Racist." F*cking ridiculous at times.

- Stlarnling. Whoever's bright idea it was to inject a stlarnling phrase that has never stlarnling been heard in the ENTIRE stlarnling series, even going as far as to have our Bhaalspawn use the phrase, needs to understand that it feels so stlarnling forced and sounds so stlarnling ridiculous there needs to be an update to get it the stlarnling out of there.

- Whoever decided the best way to squash stereotypical characters in BG was to make Jaheira the married woman everybody can hit on, whilst making Voghlin the quintessential drunken Viking needs to have their head examined and examined fast.

- It bothers me that Voghlin is said to be born in Luskan when THAT IS NOT A LUSKAN ACCENT. He should have been born up north like Branwen and then it wouldn't have been an issue.




Would I recommend buying it? Yes, I would. It is an entertaining and worthy addition to the series. It has high points in story, high points in combat, high points in ambience. I feel like Beamdog has proven that have extraordinary potential with this addition and I will be viewing their next projects with interest.

That being said, it is not without it's flaws. Too much was changed at times in very consistent characters and speaking, with no explanation and with a sudden change back in BG2. This gap should have been apparent from the outset, so it's disheartening to see that these pitfalls weren't avoided.
GallowglasslolienEnilwynthe_sexteinKuronaMirandelJuliusBorisovArunsun

Comments

  • EnilwynEnilwyn Member Posts: 124
    "- Stlarnling. Whoever's bright idea it was to inject a stlarnling phrase that has never stlarnling been heard in the ENTIRE stlarnling series, even going as far as to have our Bhaalspawn use the phrase, needs to understand that it feels so stlarnling forced and sounds so stlarnling ridiculous there needs to be an update to get it the stlarnling out of there."

    I have no idea what is happening here.

    Otherwise, tastefully done.
    WarChiefZekeFinneousPJYamcha
  • the_sexteinthe_sextein Member Posts: 409
    Thanks for the review, it was a good read.
  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,345
    Thank you for the review and thus your contribution to the community. However, I don't get the "Stlarning" thing at all.
    filcat88
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 671
    yeah, admittedly that word was only used once or twice in the beginning and i had that written up almost as soon as i saw it. by the time i left baldurs gate it was totally forgotten
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 2,194
    Mirandel said:

    The funny thing is, the citation above is taken from "Common dictionary of Forgotten realms", created way before SoD was even thought of :)

    In other words it's a perfectly reasonable thing to put in the game - it's the leakage into real life that's causing the confusion ...
    GrumAstroBryGuyJuliusBorisov
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 2,846
    edited January 2
    "Stlarning" was the bright idea of Ed Greenwood - the guy who created the Forgotten Realms - as way to have characters curse without using English expletives. Do a Google Book search for "stlarning" in books by Ed Greenwood. You'll get quite a few hits.

    Farscape and Battlestar Galactica (2004 series) created words for similar purposes, e.g., frell, dren, frak.

    Beamdog didn't go overboard with it. "Stlarning" is used a total of 6 times in the whole SoD campaign. You actually used it more times in your review (7).

    EDIT: Ninja'ed by @Mirandel. Apparently, I should refresh the page if my computer has been idle for a few hours... :wink:
    GrumMirandelJuliusBorisovfilcat88
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 671
    Interesting! I had no idea at all Greenwood was the one who put it in use. Quite hard to criticize then ;)
    Grond0GrumGallowglass
  • Artemius_IArtemius_I Member Posts: 2,002


    -Amber had an extensive Voghiln sidequest that would have fleshed him out into something more than the stereotypical boozing viking which was unfortunately cut for a variety of reasons.

    @AndrewFoley Is there anything preventing you from elaborating on exactly what this was supposed to be? I'm sure there'd be someone who would be eager to make it into something a la Unfinished Business if they had something to work with. Or are you genuinely not allowed to share cut content?

    *beat*

    Don't... look at me, people.
    WarChiefZekeThacoBellMirandel
  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 743


    -Amber had an extensive Voghiln sidequest that would have fleshed him out into something more than the stereotypical boozing viking which was unfortunately cut for a variety of reasons.

    @AndrewFoley Is there anything preventing you from elaborating on exactly what this was supposed to be? I'm sure there'd be someone who would be eager to make it into something a la Unfinished Business if they had something to work with. Or are you genuinely not allowed to share cut content?

    *beat*

    Don't... look at me, people.
    "smiles."

    really why has no one just done a mod that recreates the quest anyways?
  • ArdanisArdanis Member, Developer Posts: 915


    really why has no one just done a mod that recreates the quest anyways?

    It was never implemented as the actual game data, unlike a couple other disabled quests, so there's nothing to restore. In fact, I'm not sure it still exists in the story doc itself, in some salvageable form.
    So, in order to recreate it, you'd have to be on the SoD's dev team and have the necessary tech skills. And still be interested in producing the mod content for the game - as much as I enjoyed working on SoD, I, for one, have completely exhausted my modding resource.
    JuliusBorisovThacoBell
  • AndrewFoleyAndrewFoley Member Posts: 737

    @AndrewFoley Is there anything preventing you from elaborating on exactly what this was supposed to be?

    At the end of the day, the quest wasn't "mine" and I don't want to do Amber or the character a disservice.

    While I doubt Beamdog would mind me discussing it in further detail, I'd have to get clearance from them first. Ditto for Amber. Even if I had those things, I don't have access to the story documents anymore and was only tangentially involved with the storyline's development, so any recollection I might have of the details would certainly be vague and quite possibly also be incorrect. I'm afraid this is a case where it'd be better if people fill in the details themselves than for me to try and sort it out and probably do a lousy job.
    elminsterJuliusBorisovGallowglassThacoBell
  • AndrewFoleyAndrewFoley Member Posts: 737

    I'm humbled that anyone who worked on the game took the time to read my review. Had I known that were to be the case, I probably would have worded some things better. Thank you!

    You're welcome. :)
    elminsterArdanisWarChiefZeke
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,483


    -Pretty sure most uses of stlarning in the game came from me. As others have noted, the term originated with Ed Greenwood. It took awhile but I eventually came to quite like it, so it's quite possible it was overused in SoD relative to the source video games.

    It looks like the phrase wasn't used in the original games. I think "damn" (and variations of that) were used instead.
    Gallowglass
  • scriverscriver Member Posts: 1,497
    It sounds hilariously bad as far as made up words go, but having learned it's history I appreciate it being put in. It probably won't become as dear to me as the taffin' taffers of the Thief series, though :P
  • brunardobrunardo Member Posts: 438
    SOD was a great game and think it stacks up well with BG series...lol stlarning
    WarChiefZeke
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 671
    it was a great game and worthy addition to the series, i consider our fanbase incredibly lucky to have gotten more canon game content. i'm currently playing it through a second time to feel out empty-ish locations for my mod npcs quest :)
    ronaldo
  • ZeshinXZeshinX Member Posts: 63
    I enjoyed SoD very much myself.

    The only thing that really irked me...as in honestly, truly honked me off was the whole endgame encounter. I won't stray into spoilers except to say "the requirement"....jebus that was a terribly designed encounter (narratively, stellar....mechanically...dreadfully bad job).
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