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  • SunderSunder Member Posts: 56
    Baldur's Gate: "Tombs of the Savage Frontier"

    typo_tilly
  • DrakeICNDrakeICN Member Posts: 623
    Sunder said:

    DrakeICN said:

    I hope I dont get banned for saying this, but, considering the sheer amount of vitriol targeted at beamdog following SoD (even discounting the hulabaloo surrounding a single dialogue piece spoken by a certain completely ignorable NPC) I think BeamDog needs to hire a professional storyteller if they make something new rather than polish something old.

    For instance, there is like fifty artists making DnD / pathfinder / Star Wars / etc comics. I am sure most of those would jump at the opportunity of writing the story for BGIII. Doing something that high profile is like getting your black belt in karate.

    1. What would you call David Gaider? A volunteer writer?

    2. 38 Studios & Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning would seem to indicate that hiring high profile professional story tellers is not a guarantee for success. (Regardless of how ya feel, I think we have to agree RA Salvatore is a professional story teller).

    3. The issue is trying to write a story to fit in/be similar to others' work I think.

    Read "The Girl With the Red Dragon Tattoo" & the read the sequels written by other writers based off some ideas the original author laid out before he died. Very obvious they are trying to be of the same vain, but very obvious they are very different writers.

    No, to me, they need to write their own story and move away from the bhaalspawn altogether. There is a LOT of room for epic stories in the Forgotten Realms, a lot of room in the same basic geographical area for that matter. No need to keep trying to add to an already great saga who's story has ran its courae IMO.
    Well, I am not gonna pass any judgement until I play SoD myself (which will not happen until SoD makes it to android), I am just commenting on reviews etc. Thing is, some storytelling is epic, like the first Matrix, and 300 and Battle Royale, and FFVII and KOTOR... and the BG saga. SoD doesnt seem to evoke such admiration the previous installment of the franchise did.

    Now, those are some big shoes to fill, and they also suffer from the "perfect precursor syndrome" (you know like, how for instance, the younger sibling of an older sibling that died young can never be as good as the older sibling - at least in the parents memory of it), so OK is still good, and again, I am not gonna pass judgement until I play it myself.

    I am just saying that, David Gaider or no, it seems to me, again judging from others reviews, that BD needs to step it up a notch, storywise.

    Also, I also do not think BGIII is a good idea. And unlike you it seems, I think BG is bigger than DnD. So I would be happier to see a non-DND game as beamdogs next move, and I would like that game to be a refurbished Arcanum. But even if they do what I hope, they would still need better storytelling, for more quests etc.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,100
    If you haven't even played the game then you really don't need to be throwing out critiques of where the game failed and what structural changes Beamdog should make as an organization to rectify that.

    The game has professional writers. Plain and simple. This is an objective fact by any possible measure.

    ThacoBellSunderPapa_Lou
  • islandkingislandking Member Posts: 426
    TheNPC said:

    But what would be the story of BG3?

    What if we were to return to Baldur's Gate together? What would people say, do you think? -Sarevok Anchev

    batoorhelmo1977
  • DrakeICNDrakeICN Member Posts: 623

    If you haven't even played the game then you really don't need to be throwing out critiques of where the game failed and what structural changes Beamdog should make as an organization to rectify that.

    The game has professional writers. Plain and simple. This is an objective fact by any possible measure.

    Uh... I cannot tell how well received a game was unless I play it myself? You realize, of course, that even if only 10 000 people plus me played the game, me playing it with make less than 1/10000th of the total impact on how well received it was?

    Yes yes, it had some professional writers. The end result still did not sate the target audience, and the major bitching (again ignoring an ignoble character) was about the story, or at least it's implementation. That is ALSO an objective fact. Thus, focus more on the story and it's implementation next time. If that requires yet more writers, so be it. Plain and simple as that.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,100
    dude, you read some Steam Reviews and now you think you know all about the game. Don't act like you've done some formal census poll or something.

    ThacoBell
  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702
    The previous installment of the franchise was ToB, which is also polarising. A lot of people stop playing at ToB. To some, it's a rushed ending to a great series. It has good moments, but if there was to be a war of the Bhaalspawn, it should've been as a fully fleshed out BG3.


    I really hope we see something outside the BG story. I don't mind another game in the Forgotten Realms setting, but just... start a new story. At most, I'd like a small BG2 expansion pack with SoD characters in BG2 and loose ends tied up. But any new game should be separate from the Bhaalspawn saga.

    ThacoBellbatoor
  • batoorbatoor Member Posts: 677
    It's been over a year since Gaider first joined up and I still have no idea what he's working on exactly. I'm not even sure how a new project is financed. Crowd funding gives us a better window into that and the development process. While I understand that people have problems with crowd funding, I think it's the best alternative. But since Wizards basically said they didn't want to do that...I wonder how else Beamdog is going to make a game as big as bg1/2.

  • DrakeICNDrakeICN Member Posts: 623
    edited June 2017
    batoor said:

    It's been over a year since Gaider first joined up and I still have no idea what he's working on exactly. I'm not even sure how a new project is financed. Crowd funding gives us a better window into that and the development process. While I understand that people have problems with crowd funding, I think it's the best alternative. But since Wizards basically said they didn't want to do that...I wonder how else Beamdog is going to make a game as big as bg1/2.

    Agreed. Why do you think DAO, PoE and Tyranny does NOT use DnD? The rulesystem and especially with it's near infinte additions of a gazillion races and classes with a gazillion special feats is sluggish. And despite or perhaps because of the gazillion feats (as well as the outdated engine at it's core) is crazy unbalanced. The difference between a good match of race and class and feats between a bad one is tremendous, meaning it will be silly easy for "power-gamers" and outragously difficult for people who pick a race and class because they like them. Above all else, there is plenty of 1 combo 1 (or 100) kill shit going on, making most any fights dull and uninteresting. As well as kill any need for solving any problem by any means other than brute force.

    (Now, ADnD used BG that does not suffer significantly from this problem, but 3E and above is outright unplayable, unless you play for the story. Which NWN does not have.)

    Add on top of that WOTC are super-protective (read: arrogant and unreasonable) about their precious* DnD world, and you have the rotten cherry on the stale cake.

    Any and all games made for the forgotten realms will suffer from the clusterfuck of historical events that currently plaques DnD. In that world, you can delve deeper and make something interesting only with the finesse of North Korean journalist, for fear of angering the powers to be if something non-canon or non-acceptable is added, which probably contributed to why NWN nights only have "meh" stories.

    And when you do, the powers that be intervenes, giving you the middle finger by electing Abdel Adrian as canon.

    Really, if BeamDog will not polish another BG style DnD game (only IWD2EE yet remains, I think, unless you count the really old ones) or another game (such as Arcanum) their best option is really to drop DnD, or whatever else that carries a license, all together.

    And hire more writers.

    * Ironically, since, which few would disagree, the realms is the most vanilla fantasy you'd ever find, outside of Harry Potter fanfiction

    ThacoBellislandking
  • islandkingislandking Member Posts: 426
    edited June 2017
    @DrakeICN
    From what I read from other sources, they simplified 4th and 5th rule in hope of more game adoptions, while 3.5 is a richer, and deeper ruleset, is that true?

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,031

    @DrakeICN
    From what I read from other sources, they simplified 4th and 5th rule in hope of more game adoptions, while 3.5 is a richer, and deeper ruleset, is that true?

    3.5 is more munchkiny

  • DrakeICNDrakeICN Member Posts: 623
    edited June 2017
    Well, no. A game needs enough basics to cover its complexity, but that is it. Let me make an analogy to steam punk cosplayers (which is ironic because I actually love steam punk, such as Arcanum). They take an every day object, like a telescope, and weld an antenna and a gear to it, to make it more steamy and punky. But the antenna does not actually provide any function. The same can be said perhaps not about ninjas and thieves, but certainly of ninjas and assassins - why do you need both? Why do you need 15 kinds of elves?

    The simplification, as it were, going from 3.5E to 5E was necessary. As an analogue, compare the first Magic the gathering expansions with the laters. Each expansion should "top" the previous ones, leading to things like shadowwalk or phasewalk or whatever it was called, which was did the same thing as flying but with another name, so now all decks also need to contain shades as well as flyers. The more basics you add, the more confusion, redundancy and tediousness you risk adding. Of course, some new basics might be fine, but eventually you reach a limit were you frustrate all but the most adamant fans.

    3.5E also suffered from numbers addiction. At every level class X gets 1 Y and class B gets 0,5 Y etc. The focus should always remain on playability and decent plausibility (read: semi-realism). When a game gets too "special interest" or too artificial, too abstract, perhaps, you either bore or scare away all but, again, the most adamant fans. You must never kill the fun and you must never kill immersion. People have options, you know. It is your job to get them to eject the Shadow Warrior DVD and insert your game DVD instead.

    Finally, 3E had the worst level restrictions known to man. All skills are capped by 4+2+modifiers? So, I cannot make my thief an expert in pickpocketing? And, in fact, certain marks are impossible until I reach a certain level? Thats not gaming, that is like a movie, except you have to crank the tape yourself.

    Now, 5E rectified most of these problems, but added another. The world is painted into a corner. Compare with Fallout - Bethesda could add a new element, Caesars army, just like that, because so much is still left unexplored. And in good stoytelling, you leave much unexplored. I think the Star Wars prequels was a big mistake (from a storytelling perspective that is - perhaps not from a market perspective*) because a lot of fans had their own ideas of what a clone war was, and the prequels killed that. Good storytelling is not only what is told but also what is left untold. The realms are already filled to the brim - no Caesars army can just waltz in here, thinking they own the place, no sirree.

    But maybe I am unfair. Maybe a 5E game would be great. All i can say is, I´ll believe it when I see it. Until then, I will be skeptical.

    * But, as is fairly self evident regarding the lack of new games for the realms, there is a limit to how much abuse devs and fans alike tolerate before they become disinterested, so long term market strategy might require more respect of your own community.

    ThacoBellislandking
  • TheGreatKhanTheGreatKhan Member Posts: 106
    Perhaps it's just me but I didn't like from Icewind Dale 2 and onward where you can place different levels into different classes and jump into prestige classes. Feats got to be too numerous and complicated. Everything just felt bloated.

    ThacoBelltbone1DrakeICNPapa_Lou
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,100
    I'm not married to the DnD ruleset, but I feel like The Forgotten Realms Setting is pretty intrinsic to Baldur's Gate. I don't know if you could call it Baldur's Gate if it took place somewhere else. It'd have to be some new franchise.

    Balrog99DJKajuru
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,414

    I'm not married to the DnD ruleset, but I feel like The Forgotten Realms Setting is pretty intrinsic to Baldur's Gate. I don't know if you could call it Baldur's Gate if it took place somewhere else. It'd have to be some new franchise.

    Definitely couldn't be a "Baldur's Gate game" if it wasn't set in Faerun. The city of Baldur's Gate existed as part of the Forgotten Realms lore long before the video game series. It is the IP of Wizards of the Coast, along with everything else about the Realms.

    mlnevese
  • islandkingislandking Member Posts: 426
    @DrakeICN
    The simplicity I mentioned is more like, some people think 4e, 5e, too linear in character building, resulting in limited possibilities, rather than offer more freedom. There're 3 feats slot total for every races yes? Humans get 4, iirc, and after a certain levels, the path for the character is pretty much set and you can't do much about it. There're also abominations like mages having unlimited supply of Magic Missiles as their innates...

    helmo1977
  • ZilberZilber Member Posts: 253

    @DrakeICN
    From what I read from other sources, they simplified 4th and 5th rule in hope of more game adoptions, while 3.5 is a richer, and deeper ruleset, is that true?

    3, and 3.5 were a departure from the horribly unbalanced*, inflexible and convoluted earlier editions, but a first step that was muddled by too many rulebooks. Both could be munchkinned to high heavens with those books (also by dms, if I remember correctly, a 13th level choker cleric would be cr6, with two actions each round).

    Ebberon could be considered 3.75, it adds a few things that made gameplay smoother, or more heroic.

    4th is more like a crpg without the visual appeal, it smoothes away everything, and removes much of the appeal of pnp in the process. They also damaged lore enough that just about everything needed to be rewritten. I have yet to find redeeming qualities of this edition.

    5th, at least with the core books, seems very balanced. Of course, there are some nicks, but they pale in comparison.

    * I played a 2nd edition Ravenloft adventure some 4 years ago. Rolled an 18, made a FMT and put it in strength. Rolled a 0, and another. The damage output of that thing was appalling, none of the other characters came close. My character simply steamrolled the game. With 3rd and up, the medium low con, cha and wis would have made a difference, now the str and dex were high and int just over average.
    With core rules, there is a good chance noone has any stat modifiers (the void between 7 and 14 was about 70% of 3d6 rolls iirc), and if one 17 or 18 is around, or one 3 or 4, that will not only determine that character, but survival chances of the whole party. You can't even switch stats around to play what you like.
    Non humans have a leg up in the first levels (dual class chance is negigable), and simply stop after lvl 12 or so.
    That is horrible. Play with an advantage for the first two years of a biweekly evening game, don't progress at all the next three years
    Multiclass hardly has any detriments in the core rules.
    Non-weapon proficiencies (already an optional rule) don't give flexibility.

    islandking
  • TheGreatKhanTheGreatKhan Member Posts: 106
    Even if they made a 5th edition game so to speak, how much liberty do creators have to tailor the rules a bit. BG and KOTOR for example definitely didn't play exactly to the standard rule set.

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,414

    @DrakeICN
    The simplicity I mentioned is more like, some people think 4e, 5e, too linear in character building, resulting in limited possibilities, rather than offer more freedom. There're 3 feats slot total for every races yes? Humans get 4, iirc, and after a certain levels, the path for the character is pretty much set and you can't do much about it. There're also abominations like mages having unlimited supply of Magic Missiles as their innates...

    They don't. Magic Missile is a 1st level spell, not a cantrip. Wizards do get unlimited cantrips, which can include Fire Bolt or Ray of Frost, but both of those are ranged spell attacks (i.e., they require a "to hit" roll, unlike Magic Missile, which always hits). In addition, Magic Missile no longer scales with character level. You get 3 missiles as a 1st level spell, adding more missiles requires using a higher level spell slot.

    islandking
  • ZilberZilber Member Posts: 253

    Even if they made a 5th edition game so to speak, how much liberty do creators have to tailor the rules a bit. BG and KOTOR for example definitely didn't play exactly to the standard rule set.

    Neither did NWN, or IWD2 in 3rd. I suspect there is leeway to make every edition work in video games.

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,716
    edited June 2017
    The only way that the Bhaalspawn could be used in a BG3 is as a main antagonist.

    Maybe using Bhaal resurrection, maybe using Soultake Dagger's plot, maybe as a victim of a conspiracy that Melissan left behind.

    Anyway, I have a long and solid story already written for a BG3 game. It is in my native language (brazilian portuguese), but I can translate if Beamdog wishes.

    Despite having no formal education in english (I learned by myself) I have friends who can help me with this.

    islandking
  • DrakeICNDrakeICN Member Posts: 623

    Even if they made a 5th edition game so to speak, how much liberty do creators have to tailor the rules a bit. BG and KOTOR for example definitely didn't play exactly to the standard rule set.

    How much? Hmmm....

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baldur's_Gate:_Dark_Alliance

    Pretty free, I'd say. I dunno how good the 5E rulesystem really would be if put and tweaked into a computer game. But I see two problems one problem with 5E - how is it any better than the competition? You could tweak the rulesystem for, say, Mutant Chronicles (which is, as is, fairly extremely broken), and you'd end up with something better or equally good to 5E. I do not see the DnD rulesystem as a selling point, I really really dont. It probably were in 1980, but now the industry is shitting out RPG:s as if on a conveyor belt, and what has really become apparent is that most rulesystems are equally good or better than DnD. I mean, compare Paper Sorcerer, which have more of a JRPG kind of system, with NWN, and you'd pick Paper Sorcerer any day, because the battles are way more challenging and entertaining.

    No, the selling point has to be the rich world the forgotten realms offer, and of course, a fairly rabid fanbase to tap into - like, if the best RPG in the world was written, but it didn't sell any copies, did it ever happen? - but the forgotten realms, with the messed up history and goofyfication of the world, is now more of a burden than it is a benefit.

    A game either needs to have a good system even if it has a shit story (like Champion of Norrath) or a good story even if it has a shit system (like the Final Fantasy franchise). The best is of course to have both (like Baldurs Gate and Paper Sorcerer) but one will do.

    The forgotten realms is at best mediocre, and the 5E rulesystem is also at best mediocre. I'd say any venture into the forgotten realms is therefore high risk; the expectations are high, due to the mentioned fanbase, and due to the success of Baldurs Gate, but making that leaky boat float would be a pain in the arse, and you just might run into an iceberg you didn't see coming.

    So, again, I think the best course of action for Beamdog is to polish Arcanum - the story is already great, but the rulesystem is beyond shit. It is so broken the game is near unplayable. Arcanum also have another great advantage: the world, beyond the first 1/3 of the game, is mostly empty, while the world is HUGE!!! Simultanously, a lot of quests where broken, many non-broken quests could benefit from adding more options for solving them, and there is a metric shit ton of loose ends. There is near infinite room for creative storytelling, so even for old fans of Arcanum you could make it so that the world feels new and fresh again, by filling in the potholes.

    So, take Arcanum, rip out the rulesystem, in with something new, make all textures high def and add more story elements.

    islandking
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,031
    @DrakeICN I think Final Fantasy's systems are too schizophrenic to judge wholesale ;)

    DrakeICNislandking
  • ArcanisArcanis Member Posts: 377
    The reason I'm still coming back to the forums is because I want a new game in the Forgotten Realms.

    I personally don't like it if new realms are constantly created for games, because I think that would be a waste, since being in an established world makes the lore *much* richer.

    I also disagree with your negative view of FR in general. There are certain aspects that annoy me (mostly the shining heros like Drizzt and Elminster), but the world is fine.
    It may not be the most unusual, dark, edgy, etc setting, but we have enough of them. The world lore is rich, which allows the company to concentrate on the actual adventure.


    I also do not really think Arcanum EE would be a good idea. It is a good (if overambitious) game, but the fact that it failed is not only the fault of the game mechanics (or bugs). Steampunkish settings are not even remotly as popular as fantasy.

    So, to put an end to me ramblings, I want a nice fantasy game in a setting that is not too dark or too ..weird.
    If I want to play a game in a dark setting, I'll play Danganronpa. u_u

    kanisathahelmo1977
  • DrakeICNDrakeICN Member Posts: 623
    edited June 2017
    Arcanis said:

    I personally don't like it if new realms are constantly created for games, because I think that would be a waste, since being in an established world makes the lore *much* richer.

    But thats the problem right there. The realmz have like 400 deities. Who can keep track of them all? You can't throw a story-telling rock without hitting an already establish lore and OH MY GOD you violated the sanctity of [generic monster #83 identical to generic monster #5234 save for one extra spike in the back and a bluish hint in the skintone] because you just added a contradiction to the established lore, I can't BELIEVE you want all non-canon like that! Then add Jar-Jar Binks levels of goofyness, what with the rat and dung beetle crossbreed called tieflings etc.

    Anyway, if BD really really really hafta make another FR setting, I vote for a Spell Jammer game. Make in the style of Galaxy Quest, Futurama and Terry Pratchet, and the combat system some kind of fusion of Magicka, Shadowrun, Zombies ate my neighboors and Smash TV. If you're gonna go goofy, might as well go all the way.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,311
    Thing about the Forgotten Realms is that it's a setting which has been done to death and back. Faerûn spawned literally 52 video games including their expansion packs since the late 80's. Worse still is that nearly all of them took either place in West Faerûn, North West Faerûn or North Faerûn. Seeing anything new there by now is close to nil. It would be one thing to have a new franchise based on the other continents of Toril besides Faerûn, given that they've been utterly ignored up until now. But at this point I'd rather see some new IP besides the same ol' Forgotten Realms (aka-already-seen-Faerûn-mumbo-jumbo). Which is why I'm currently hyped about Pathfinder: Kingmaker. ;)

    Also a small correction: The Forgotten Realms has something around 230~240 deities. Which is 200 too much if you ask me. :P

    ThacoBell
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,716
    I'll now it is hopeless, but I would love to see a BG-like game in Ravenloft.

    KamigoroshiThacoBell
  • islandkingislandking Member Posts: 426
    @DrakeICN
    I think that's the matter of how BD's contracts with WotC goes (like is it a year contract, or per game, and what changes WotC allows BD to make)... and how many die-hard FR fans actually play video games but I don't think many of them will be that picky.
    I believe more people (me included) play BG not because they're FR fans but they like the Medieval fantasies and of course the story and gameplay, then they may poke at FR a bit, but not that much, I don't think they mind playing a heavily twisted FR game at all, if the game itself is in high quality.

    UnderstandMouseMagic
  • TheGreatKhanTheGreatKhan Member Posts: 106
    edited June 2017
    Yeah but you don't have to keep track of all 400+ deities in FR. They certainly didn't in BG. We didn't see too many of them or demigods in any of the current games. I look at the map of the giant FR setting and see you can take any of the areas and probably make a good series out of that area. The possibilities are limitless. Who cares if it breaks some level of canon? It's a video game it doesn't need to be canon except from where you start. Once you begin you can diverge to whatever the player does.

    Is that not what they did with Icewind Dale? Took the lore of the area directly north of the spine of the mountains and made two great games that really brought a particularly out of the way region to life. They didn't even need to get to Neverwinter in either of those games.

    If you write a good game in FR and make it interesting it can work really well as we've seen in the past. On the other end though it's a bad idea to make a game just because its FR, as it certainly takes more than that alone to make it an epic, this isn't a shooter.

    islandkingRaduziel
  • kanisathakanisatha Member Posts: 676
    D&D 3.5e is just fine and very playable. Yes it has a lot of source books but everything is optional. You can use as much as or as little as you wish. As such having more available is so much better than having less. And 5e is even better with a lot of practical and sensible streamlining.

    By contrast, AD&D 2e is rotten, rotten, rotten. It totally SUCKS. It manages to be both non-intuitive and superficial at the same time. And, once you get to 10th level, leveling up has virtually no value at all and there nothing more left for character development. 2e needs to have a stake driven through its heart and buried in an unmarked grave somewhere.

    As for the criticism of FR as having been done to death, that too is false. Certain areas of FR have been done to death, yes, but FR is HUGE and has so many awesome areas as yet unexplored in games that could be used for new games. New FR games just need to very strictly stay clear of the Sword Coast, Neverwinter, and Icewind Dale areas.

    In sum, what we need is a brand new IP D&D game using 5e rules and set in an area of FR never used in any other previous game.

    helmo1977
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