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What a problem with reviews of Siege of Dragonspear gog/steam?

13

Comments

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,084

    Armies. I would have loved more armies in ToB. And raising one! I always felt the warring Bhaalspawns could have used more war and big battles. I have no idea, but I think they were trying to do a war of the Bhaalspawns thing with SoD.

    But how far do you take it before you lose the sense of being a small group and end up with a completely different type of game?

    Just thinking of Saradush in TOB.
    Off you go to get Yaga Shura's heart, that part has quite a personal touch with the spirits, come back and kill YS.
    Put "raising/using an army" into the mix and that story can't really work because it becomes ridiculous that you and five companions would attack the fire temple and giants when you have a few battalions up the road.
    So then you attack, (maybe fully loaded up with summons which you can control), and then have to organise an army which you can't control/micromanage?
    How?
    A senior staff meeting planning troop deployments?


    typo_tillysemiticgod
  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 4,881
    Eh, I just felt ToB was a let down. Other than a few highlights, it felt too small. I'm not saying ToB could be re-worked to have a raise-an-army objective. Just that it might've been better if they planned for more large battles while making the game.

    As for raising an army, I'd have implemented it with party going around completing quests to recruit different parties. The parties would all say "We'll meet you at the place", then when you went to the place, there'd be a big battle with your parties placed in predetermined spotss. I wouldn't make troops player controlled. I'd just let them do their thing like in SoD and that one battle in PoE.
    ThacoBellMontresor_SP
  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 4,280

    Eh, I just felt ToB was a let down. Other than a few highlights, it felt too small. I'm not saying ToB could be re-worked to have a raise-an-army objective. Just that it might've been better if they planned for more large battles while making the game.

    As for raising an army, I'd have implemented it with party going around completing quests to recruit different parties. The parties would all say "We'll meet you at the place", then when you went to the place, there'd be a big battle with your parties placed in predetermined spotss. I wouldn't make troops player controlled. I'd just let them do their thing like in SoD and that one battle in PoE.

    I agree.

    For me, the whole army thing falls flat. It should have been off screen. You control a party, not an army. Keep the focus on that. You can have cutscenes or something with the army.

    In SOD there's a bit where you meet Khalid while the place is under attack. This part doesn't work. You can sit there and wander back and forth while the place is getting shelled. It just fails. If you want the place to be attacked, make it get attacked, then get over it and show what happens next. Continuous attack forever doesn't work. If you can sleep and nothing changes and still being attacked it just loses all credibility. Same thing happens in ToB with the fire Giants attacking saradush or whatever.
    typo_tilly
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,616
    Sieges take time. Without modern weaponry, its not unheard of for a fort or walled city to only fall after months of sieging it.
    typo_tillyBigfishsemiticgodRavenslight
  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 4,881
    Yeah, good points. :)

    Maybe just more fights between Bhaalspawn would've been nice. Bhaalspawn adventuring parties facing off. :D
    ThacoBellSkatan
  • filcat88filcat88 Member Posts: 115


    If you can sleep and nothing changes and still being attacked it just loses all credibility. Same thing happens in ToB with the fire Giants attacking saradush or whatever.

    Well, but even in BG1, you can defeat Sarevok in the Ducal Palace and then you can do all the Durlag Tower quest. Sarevok still waits for you underneath Baldur's Gate.
    The problem you describe is because a videogame cannot contain all the possible outcomes. It is not a inherent problem of SOD. Any game must finish somewhere.
  • Woolie_WoolWoolie_Wool Member Posts: 156


    (Just to be clear, I absolutely loathe railroading players into doing things they don't want to. But I won't hold it against you if you don't believe me.)

    Since you mentioned this, I'm going to complain about a little thing, but it's one of the little things that drives me nuts. When Khalid tells you to go steal the spellstone scroll from the Crusader camp, I tried having Glint cast Sanctuary on himself, open the chest, and grab the scroll without interacting with Vichand, but somehow Vichand could see through Sanctuary and notice Glint opening the chest. No, no, NO! If I come up with a clever scheme to deliberately, intentionally bypass a piece of non-essential content like that, the game should honor my desire not to experience that content and let me take the scroll. Here, the game is going out of its way to prevent me from grabbing the scroll without interacting with Vichand. The more reactive and player-respecting way of handling this would have been the easier one. Why, why, why did Beamdog do this?
    batoorAndrewFoleyBelgarathMTHArtona
  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 693
    there is one thing we can agree with. while sod is not as good as bg1 or 2 it is way better then tob.
    typo_tilly
  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 4,280

    there is one thing we can agree with. while sod is not as good as bg1 or 2 it is way better then tob.

    Yeah I guess but neither one is very good compared to the goodness that is Bg2 and Bg1
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 11,984


    (Just to be clear, I absolutely loathe railroading players into doing things they don't want to. But I won't hold it against you if you don't believe me.)

    Since you mentioned this, I'm going to complain about a little thing, but it's one of the little things that drives me nuts. When Khalid tells you to go steal the spellstone scroll from the Crusader camp, I tried having Glint cast Sanctuary on himself, open the chest, and grab the scroll without interacting with Vichand, but somehow Vichand could see through Sanctuary and notice Glint opening the chest. No, no, NO! If I come up with a clever scheme to deliberately, intentionally bypass a piece of non-essential content like that, the game should honor my desire not to experience that content and let me take the scroll. Here, the game is going out of its way to prevent me from grabbing the scroll without interacting with Vichand. The more reactive and player-respecting way of handling this would have been the easier one. Why, why, why did Beamdog do this?
    Report it on support.baldursgate.com.
    AndreaColombo
  • Montresor_SPMontresor_SP Member Posts: 1,530

    Eh, I just felt ToB was a let down. Other than a few highlights, it felt too small. I'm not saying ToB could be re-worked to have a raise-an-army objective. Just that it might've been better if they planned for more large battles while making the game.

    As for raising an army, I'd have implemented it with party going around completing quests to recruit different parties. The parties would all say "We'll meet you at the place", then when you went to the place, there'd be a big battle with your parties placed in predetermined spotss. I wouldn't make troops player controlled. I'd just let them do their thing like in SoD and that one battle in PoE.

    IIRC, ToB was rushed because the original developers had to finish it before a certain date. Their license from Wizards of the Coast to create D&D games was running out because WotC were at the time rolling out the new D&D version 3.0 and would no longer allow version 2.0 games.

    The result is, you are more or less railroaded from one dungeon to another, making ToB the weakest part of the Baldur's Gate series.
    typo_tilly
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,084

    there is one thing we can agree with. while sod is not as good as bg1 or 2 it is way better then tob.

    Isn't Watcher's Keep, or originally it was, a part of TOB?

    And even without WK, Sendai's Enclave and Abizigal's lair are two very good "dungeon crawls" (is that what they are called?) with excellent fights at the end of them.
    It's the inbetween bits that are a let down in TOB, hence nothing much to do except battle.

    But, to me, TOB comes across as very polished, very confident (voices/backgrounds/inventiveness/little touches of humour ect.) and that puts it in a different class to SOD.

    I dunno, maybe it's because I'm using SCS, but I'm finding TOB much more enjoyable recently.
    semiticgod
  • Papa_LouPapa_Lou Member Posts: 238

    there is one thing we can agree with. while sod is not as good as bg1 or 2 it is way better then tob.

    I can kind of agree with that.

    I wouldn't say SoD is way better than ToB, but I do find it a little better.

    I put the two in the same category, though. SoD is to BG1 what ToB is to BG2. It's just that at the end of the day, I play the BG saga for the awesome story, and I find the SoD story a little more interesting than ToB.

    Of course, that's just my opinion.
    smeagolheart
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 318
    Offtopic, but...

    but somehow Vichand could see through Sanctuary and notice Glint opening the chest.

    Does that work in the Bandit camp? Because if it does then to hell with thievery, I'm doing another Adeste.
  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 4,881
    As an expansion pack, I like SoD. It's got a lot of really fun battles and wilderness zones. It's also a lower level adventure, which I prefer, so I'm far more likely to play it than ToB. I just wish we got the new SoD companions in BG2. :( I'd definitely have Glint, M'Khiin, and Voghiln in my party sometimes.
    AndrewFoley
  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 4,881
    edited April 2
    :) My fingers are crossed -- for you and for me!

    Taking along characters in different party combinations is just as fun as trying out new charname builds. The interplay between Glint and Jan would be amusing. :D
    IllustairVitharSkatan
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,616

    :) My fingers are crossed -- for you and for me!

    Taking along characters in different party combinations is just as fun as trying out new charname builds. The interplay between Glint and Jan would be amusing. :D

    That needs to happen.
    typo_tillyIllustair
  • batoorbatoor Member Posts: 465

    I just wish we got the new SoD companions in BG2.

    You and me both. Maybe in another 15 years or so...
    What about events with skie and the epilogue overall. Was that subject to budget and time constraints? Or was that how you always envisioned it? If it's something you can answer.
    typo_tilly
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 1,508
    Pokota said:

    Offtopic, but...

    but somehow Vichand could see through Sanctuary and notice Glint opening the chest.

    Does that work in the Bandit camp? Because if it does then to hell with thievery, I'm doing another Adeste.
    Sanctuary works fine in the Bandit Camp.
    loliensemiticgod
  • IllustairIllustair Member Posts: 759
    ThacoBell said:

    :) My fingers are crossed -- for you and for me!

    Taking along characters in different party combinations is just as fun as trying out new charname builds. The interplay between Glint and Jan would be amusing. :D

    That needs to happen.
    So sayeth the wise Alaundo!
    ThacoBell
  • BigfishBigfish Member Posts: 365
    ThacoBell said:

    I find it interesting that people complain that BG2 ruins it sense of urgency by allowing you to wander around with sidequests and backtracking to your hearts content. And we have another group that complain SoD follows through on the urgency of its plot by not letting you wander about.

    Well, the sense of urgency issue isn't anything that is specific to Baldur's Gate. It pops up any time you have a plot where it makes little sense that the rest of the world is on hold until you hit the correct trigger. I see it as more of an issue with scenario design. More than I see complaints about lack of urgency in BG2, I see complaints about the Underdark being a slog that restricts your options, since anyone you want to go pick up is stuck in Athkatla or wherever.

    I'd argue where SoD tripped up is with how easy it is to miss out on things in the first chapter after leaving the city, where the critical triggers are approach an area and then have Corwyn tell you how imperative it is to move on without mentioning you're locking yourself out of a bunch of events if you say yes. It's a double edged sword in that the game was packed with interesting things to see, and then you could get locked out of them.


    Actually, the issue is that narrative design needs to support the game play experience you want to give. I'm BG2 the developers wanted to give freedom but the narrative does not support this well. This is in contrast to BG1 which many people like better. In Sod they gave up a gameplay aspect to support the narrative which is a valid point. However based on their experience in BG1-2 people were not expecting to give up their freedom, resulting in dissatisfaction. As @AndrewFoley noted perhaps they slightly lost sight of the game they wanted to make in favour of a certain narrative they wanted to tell. In game design (IMO) this is a huge mistake.

    The narrative itself was somewhat lacking on several fronts. The political nature of the story fell flat after leaving Baldur's Gate due to the focus being on interesting dungeons and scenarios versus expounding on the indirect evil the crusade was causing. There's a lot of telling and very little showing.
    FinneousPJ
  • RawgrimRawgrim Member Posts: 621
    http://imgh.us/OEwt1Tj.jpg

    SoD is littered with stuff like this. This is not only bad writing, it is also a contradiction. Viconia has lived for centuries in the Underdark and has just recently traveled to the world above. Now in the Underdark the women rule supreme. Men are expendable warriors, and are mostly just used for breeding when times are quiet. Women can kill or mutilate males on a whim in the drow society, and nobody will bat an eyelash. Women order men to sleep with them (even family members) and they are in total control.

    So where does Viconia get this idea about men thinking they are Masters in bed? They don't even get to decide to take a woman to bed or not where she comes from.

    This is just the world-view of the writer, and it completely misfires given that Viconia is the one that says this stuff.

    Had it been another female character who said this it would be zero problem. If Safana had said it it would even have fit like a glove. Sadly the writer for this expansion pack had absolutely zero understanding of the Forgotten Realms lore, and very little knowledge of the BG games.

    This really shines through in the writing, the characters, and how it ties into BG2.

    And no. I am not a GamerGate supporter.
    semiticgodBigfishTarquin
  • Artemius_IArtemius_I Member Posts: 1,837
    edited May 2
    False. One of the first humans Viconia met on the surface was a Calim merchant who sheltered her for sexual favors. This is CANON. Viconia is not a fresh-out-of-Underdark-school drow. She has had plenty of experiences that led her to believe that men are lustful creatures on the surface and her canon dialogue supports it. The one lacking understanding is clearly YOU.
    ThacoBellsemiticgod
  • RawgrimRawgrim Member Posts: 621
    edited May 2

    False. One of the first humans Viconia met on the surface was a Calim merchant who sheltered her for sexual favors. This is CANON. Viconia is not a fresh-out-of-Underdark-school drow. She has had plenty of experiences that led her to believe that men are lustful creatures on the surface and her canon dialogue supports it. The one lacking understanding is clearly YOU.

    Where is this mentioned exactly? It certainly isn't mentioned in BG1.

    The point still stands though. Hundreds of years of being brainwashed into thinking males are less than dogs is suddenly turned upside down because she ran into a merchant that wanted sexual favors?

    "Male, fetch me something to eat!" One of her quotes. She also refers to Edwin as a lowly male when he is trying to hit on her in BG2.

    "The light, it burns." Reacting to sunlight. This only happens when a drow character is fairly new to the surface. It goes away after a year or so (read the Drizzt books for confirmation). So she hasn't been on the surface long.

    "I am still unused to all this green and fragrant brightness...part of me yet looks for the hidden spider's web amongst all this." Clearly not used to forests either.

    Then there is this little conversation from ToB

    Viconia: Sarevok, may I share a whispered word with you?
    Sarevok Anchev: Yes, drow? What is it you want?
    Viconia: I miss the customs of my homeland, like the breaking in of new pleasure slaves. The largest and strongest were the hardest to break, but they were the most rewarding. Sarevok, I find your great size... intriguing.
    Sarevok Anchev: Were you to break me, Viconia, you might find nothing but the chill emptiness of the grave within.
    Viconia: That does not repulse me as you might imagine. We drow are ever eager to broaden our... experiences.
    Sarevok Anchev: I orchestrated a war to slaughter thousands. I have felt the cold embrace of death. I have witnessed the horrors of the abyss. But you, Viconia... you scare me.
    Viconia: Cowards everywhere I turn! If you find your courage, Sarevok, seek me out.

    Yeah. She clearly thinks males believe they are "the masters" in bed...

    Viconia: My neighbor was Roran Midfallow, a stout, sunburned farmer. We spoke often, and I ALLOWED the male to bring me supplies that I needed but could not acquire.



    Viconia: Sarevok, have you had opportunity to consider my earlier offer? Untold pleasures await you if you would but SUBMIT to me.
    Sarevok: I have considered it, Viconia. And I must reject you and your... tempations.
    Viconia: A pity your manhood is so lacking. I am a cruel mistress, but my slaves always found their subjugation to be most satisfying to their own physical desires as well.
    Sarevok: When Bhall held sway over my soul, I reveled in the bloody carnage I wrought. But my will was not my own. As captivating as your dominance might be, Viconia, I will not surrender my being to the whims of another again... be they God or drow.
    Viconia: Then you are of no further interest to me, rivel... though I suspect your dreams will be filled with dark imaginings of the hedonistic pleasures you have denied yourself. But even your dreams will be but a pale shadow of my true decadence.
    Sarevok: Of that, Viconia, I have no doubt.

    She clearly believes men think they are the masters here too...not.
    Post edited by Rawgrim on
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,616
    @Rawgrim "Where is this mentioned exactly? It certainly isn't mentioned in BG1."
    Its mentioned in BG2.
    semiticgodmegamike15
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,084
    edited May 2
    @Rawgrim

    You are right about the writing but wrong about your interpretation of the linked dialog IMO.

    Viconia would have definitely referred to it being "surface males" with that mindset. She never misses an opportunity to point out the differences and in her opinion the inferiority of surface culture.

    But the worst is the 2nd choice of reply options.

    " I am shocked you would barter away your favours so easily"

    Think about that for a moment, directed at Viconia, a former pristess of Lolth in Drow society.

    Of all the insults one could direct at Viconia the idea that sex is something a woman "barters" with a man is huge.
    Men are there to serve, she is unwavering, as you say, in that belief.

    And it's so damn sexist anyway which with all the bloody fuss made about SOD, is really ironic given that it's the writers who came up with it.
    batoor
  • Papa_LouPapa_Lou Member Posts: 238

    But the worst is the 2nd choice of reply options.

    " I am shocked you would barter away your favours so easily"

    Think about that for a moment, directed at Viconia, a former pristess of Lolth in Drow society.

    Of all the insults one could direct at Viconia the idea that sex is something a woman "barters" with a man is huge.
    Men are there to serve, she is unwavering, as you say, in that belief.

    I see what you're getting at, but I doubt many people within the Forgotten Realms really understand drow culture, unless they're either a drow themselves, or have spent a significant amount of time in the underdark.

    Considering (canonically) charname is supposed to be somewhere in their 20s, I doubt he/she would really understand the extent of such an alien culture. To them, such a direct approach to that topic might be a little jarring.

    Granted, the charname might know a little more about drow society if they went through BG1 with Viconia (or perhaps Baeloth), but even still, I imagine they wouldn't be experts in the field.

    Their knowledge of drow culture post-BG2, however, is a totally different story. :D
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,084
    Papa_Lou said:

    But the worst is the 2nd choice of reply options.

    " I am shocked you would barter away your favours so easily"

    Think about that for a moment, directed at Viconia, a former pristess of Lolth in Drow society.

    Of all the insults one could direct at Viconia the idea that sex is something a woman "barters" with a man is huge.
    Men are there to serve, she is unwavering, as you say, in that belief.

    I see what you're getting at, but I doubt many people within the Forgotten Realms really understand drow culture, unless they're either a drow themselves, or have spent a significant amount of time in the underdark.

    Considering (canonically) charname is supposed to be somewhere in their 20s, I doubt he/she would really understand the extent of such an alien culture. To them, such a direct approach to that topic might be a little jarring.

    Granted, the charname might know a little more about drow society if they went through BG1 with Viconia (or perhaps Baeloth), but even still, I imagine they wouldn't be experts in the field.

    Their knowledge of drow culture post-BG2, however, is a totally different story. :D
    It's not about FR, it's pushing the narrative that can only exist in a patriarchal society. That women use sex to barter because female sexuality cannot be enjoyed for what it is.

    In simple terms, unlike men, women don't just enjoy sex.

    It's something they barter with because,
    "women never really enjoy it do they
    Everybody knows that.
    Unless they are a whore of course."

    That's the background to that response.
    It's just bad writing made worse by the lack of awareness.
    PokotaRawgrimThacoBellsemiticgod
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