Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Categories

Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition has been announced! Visit nwn.beamdog.com to pre-order, apply for the Head Start and check for details. NWN:EE FAQ is available.
Soundtracks for BG:EE, SoD, BG2:EE, IWD:EE, PST:EE are now available in the Beamdog store.
Attention, new and old users! Please read the new rules of conduct for the forums, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

Imoen (MASSIVE SPOILERS) (MASSIVE RANT)

245678

Comments

  • IllydthIllydth Member, Developer Posts: 1,630
    @ThacoBell So that might be the case, but @jastey actually makes a good case as well...consider how many times in a TV show or movie you've seen the protagonist stand defiantly in front of an obvious Kangaroo court refusing to give them the satisfaction of responding, knowing that it was useless to do so anyway.

    It's not a complete "unheard of" to react that way, and is a valid IC/RP way of handling the courtyard scene...yet another good reason why the scene should exist and not just "cutscene" you through to the end. Allowing players to Role Play an interaction with the accusatory party and mount their own defence (or "not give them the satisfaction of a response) is indeed what that scene in SoD is going for.

    That said, just to be clear (and in case this wasn't clear to everyone), that scene is NOT a Kangaroo court, your responses to the court really DO make a difference and DO determine the outcome of the game.
    JuliusBorisov
  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 414
    edited September 11
    EDIT: My post about what ending comes for which deeds is wrong. Please refer to the above post marked as "huge spoiler".

    ----


    @Illydth
    Illydth said:


    That said, just to be clear (and in case this wasn't clear to everyone), that scene is NOT a Kangaroo court, your responses to the court really DO make a difference and DO determine the outcome of the game.

    No, they don't. Because all you can fall back to is the "villain" ending. You have to play good to be able to get another ending, but, as you put it
    Illydth said:


    Assume you RP a lawful good player who's too shy to admit his good deeds?

    you get the "villain" ending.

    Or:
    Illydth said:


    Imagine playing an evil character who decides he WANTS to take credit for Skie's death?

    He wouldn't have any choice. Because the "villain" ending is the default. And if he takes credit in killing Skie, he gets - the "villain" ending. Where is the choice here by cklicking through the reply options?
    Illydth said:


    The reason for the trial at the end of the game was to give players a way to control their own destiny. I don't know about anyone else, but I get annoyed at games that require me to re-play the entire game to get a different ending.

    I am surprised you think this is the case. I can only repeat my point: It is not a choice. Play evil and you get the "villain" ending no matter what. Play good and do not list your deeds yourself, deeds the trial committee already knows of, and you'll get the "villain" ending. If you played evil you will have to replay the whole game to get a chance of seeing the "good" ending - something you stated you didn't want.

    And if you say that a villain is supposed to get the "villain" ending, because - duh, villain, then let me ask why a paladin and obviously good PC would get the villain ending, too? The one designed for a cutthroat murderer? I totally understand the design concept and the idea behind what you described, I totally agree to making the possibilities limited to keep it feasible from development point of view. But the "villain" ending as a fall back is wrong.

    Choice would have been, if

    -a PC who qualified for the "good" ending would lie about his motived and deeds an get the "villain" ending instead

    -A PC who qualified for the "villain" ending could bribe, lie, or show so much remorse that he would get the "good" ending instead.

    THAT would be choice. The status quo is just additional drama to over-stress the view of the developpers that CHARNAME would be forgotten by everyone, that he would have to literally save the world AND gloat about it to get at least a glimpse of decent treatment.

    Which gets me to the next point:
    Illydth said:


    And with all of these, you miss the key point: CHARNAME, the HERO of Baldur's Gate, one of the most Powerful and Resourceful areas of the Forgotten Realms can be abducted and disappear without a trace...

    And no one cares.

    No one comes after him. No one asks about him. No one shows up to his rescue or even sends a couple of special forces thieves to track him down.

    NOTHING. Its as if CHARNAME never existed to Baldur's Gate. You don't get there with ANY happy ending. You don't get there with ANY ending by which CHARNAME is still considered a hero in Baldur's Gate.

    These lines tell me a lot about where the design choices come from. Because my question is: how can you be so sure? How would you know no-one cares? How would you know no-one sent a rescue party, or a search team? CHARNAME was kidnapped around Baldur's Gate and kept hidden by a very powerful mage beneath Athkatla in Amn. I was perfectly happy with the explanation that it's just too far away for anyone to find you. And if someone could, then Irenicus surely made sure his dungeon cannot be seen into.

    The problem I have with the SoD ending is that it overdoes the drama. It's not drama, it's "DRAMA!!!111!!" - it's overdone, it's patronising. "What, you are still proud of your little CHARNAME? Now, let us show you how deep he's fallen, muahahah!" It's like a bad trashy novel, where everyone suddenly turns hostile for no appearent reason other than the author 's goal to make it negatively dramatic. It's not a realistic behavior of game characters. It's Black-and-white up to the point where it hurts the eyes. It's a complete exaggeration of the point where SoD had to lead to: "Under circumstances much darker than anyone would have believed possible".

    It's the developpers view that this means that CHARNAME would be despised and forgotten by everyone. It could also have meant that CHARNAME would not be accused of any personal wrongdoing. But that his deeds and existence would be questioned contrarily, with fans and whorshippers of his Bhaal heritage on the one side and scared and cautious people on the other. Riots in the streets. Fans of CHARNAME massakring innocents in 'Bhaal's name' - so CHARNAME would have to leave even though he had nothing to do with it. And the city would be glad he's gone - not even noticing he's kidnapped. His 'fans' would look elsewhere for a reason to murder - the few who would actually try to follow him would lose his trail at some point and wouldn't be mentioned.

    The developpers decided to go down the route of 'CHARNAME being accused and drespised personally although no real proof of any evil deeds exists'* and utterly overdid it up to the point where it turns rediculous.

    *Just in case anyone asks: No, I don't think there is proof the PC did what he is accused of in the trial. He was laying unconsious with no murder weapon and no-one cares to state it at least once. But as I said: DRAMA!!11!!!


    -I can only repeat that I enjoyed SoD very much up to that point, I accepted all design choices, I didn't mind not having all NPCs from BG1 available, also Imoen not joining was alright, the dungeons are really beautiful (and if you don't see why this is an extraordinary high praise from me you don't know that dungeon crawls is the last thing I like doing). But the ending... I can't get over that. I guess it's showing.
    Post edited by jastey on
    ArtonaJuliusBorisovMirandelUnderstandMouseMagic
  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 414
    edited September 9
    ThacoBell said:


    Is there any legal system where refusing to defend yourslf/refute the charges is NOT seen as an admission of guilt?

    What has this question to do with anything I stated? Nothing.

    EDIT: Btw: In Germany, it is your right not to say anything if you are accused, and from the perspective of the trial/the law, this does not count as a confession. Damn, now I *did* feed the troll. Well, whatever.

  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 414
    edited September 9

    I always take Imoen in my party ever since the game was originally released. So count me a true Imoen fan, and even if I may know all her lines by heart in the meantime.

    Not having her in SoD but keeping her out of danger for that campaign and granting her the well deserved rest, did not feel odd to me at all. For me it was a new opportunity. For the first time ever, I took Safana for more than a day into my party. I did not regret it. I don't really like any of the new SoD NPCs except Corwin but Safana was a nice discovery, someone I always neglected, probably because of when and where she appears in BG1. Maybe someone else will have a similar experience with another NPC who was overlooked a bit in the past?
    Is it really so hard to do a little side step out of the old down-trodden path?

    My reason to play this game again and again after so many years and so many playthroughs is to always discover something new and do things differently from the last time.

    That's a good idea and a completely different way to look at Imoen not joining. I still don't think it fits her character but everyone deserves a change of heart (so does Imoen) and this makes for a good head canon next time I play SoD. Thanks!

    tbone1
  • cloudkillbeatsallcloudkillbeatsall Member Posts: 85
    edited September 9
    I don't think it's odd that Baldur's Gate doesn't send any people after you. You saved them but that doesn't make them your keeper. You probably just saved the city, they thanked you, you basked in the glory for a while and then you went out seeking more adventure. It's not like telling your mother you'll be back at eight and, if you're a little bit late, she starts to worry.

    You could have been miles away from civilisation when you were abducted so what has it got to do with them? Also, even if they knew that you disappeared, they might have thought there was nothing untoward about it: you're an adventurer after all. Adventurers don't tend to have regular schedules, I should think. And if they did think there was something suspicious about your disappearance, they don't have to be unconcerned to not follow it up. There could simply have been no trace. That fits well with Irenicus being the powerful mage that he is.
    MirandelUnderstandMouseMagicElendar
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 2,194
    edited September 9
    Illydth said:

    The child of Bhaal HAD to fall from grace...and to that end, I think the grating ending of SoD actually provides that feel pretty well. If everyone played the game and had no problems with the ending, I think Beamdog would actually have failed to provide the needed reason for BG2's opening.

    Thanks for the explanation. As I suspected this makes clearer that the reason for the ending was essentially about role-playing - and as I'm not really into role-playing that was never likely to satisfy me.

    However, even if I were into role-playing I doubt if I would like that ending. That's because it starts from the assumption that Charname was the hero of Baldur's Gate and I don't think that's justified. As you've noted in your post players should be able to take decisions and many will have played BG1 in either an evil or chaotic way. In either case the reaction of the general populace would have been to be thankful when Charname disappeared. Even if you were role-playing a purely good character the reaction of people you talk to on the streets in BG1 seems radically different to the cheering crowds you find in SoD and I see no reason to believe that the force of public opinion would have required searches for Charname to have been made throughout the realms. The most likely source of a search would have been the Dukes, but I still don't think that would have been at all likely. Their most probable reaction would also have been good riddance (having got rid of Sarevok would they really want someone else back to take power from them)? Even if they were feeling grateful for being rescued "beware the gratitude of kings."

    I don't see anything unlikely or inconsistent about the killer of Sarevok finding themself in Jon's dungeon without anyone looking for them. The question of how they got there is of course a different one and I agree some explanation is required for that, but that could have been done in a short cut-scene.

    It's odd that I'm posting in this thread at all as I don't really care about game consistency or character motivations, so feel free to consider me perverse B). I also recognize that whatever Beamdog had done in the transition would have been criticized by lots of people. That's a consequence of the status of the games. When BG1 was released it was just another game and BG2 came soon enough thereafter that there was no real cult status to worry about - and hence it was possible to skate over differences between the games. The degree of scrutiny now by dedicated fans is far greater and I don't think it would have been possible to satisfy everyone. Having said that though the actual ending is extremely lengthy and contrived.

    Given that criticism was going to come anyway, I would have thought it would have been a better design decision to shorten that greatly and spend the resource developing other aspects of the game. I also don't think it's sensible in the long term to deliberately seek to dampen the enthusiasm of your players. That's not a big problem in the short term as those buying SoD are highly likely to have played BG2 before and the experience of SoD will probably have a limited impact on whether they want to play BG2. However, what about in 5 years time when new players decide to invest in a new game? I can absolutely imagine the following situation:
    "BG1 was a great game - now I understand why people are still going on about it after all these years. After smacking down Sarevok I can't wait to see what's next."
    "I really enjoyed the game-play in SoD and the battles were awesome. I had to reload numerous times, but I finally nailed Belhifet. The ending was such a let-down though that I think I've had enough of these games for now."
    JuliusBorisovPermidion_StarkMirandelUnderstandMouseMagic
  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 414
    edited September 9
    Illydth said:

    The child of Bhaal HAD to fall from grace...and to that end, I think the grating ending of SoD actually provides that feel pretty well. If everyone played the game and had no problems with the ending, I think Beamdog would actually have failed to provide the needed reason for BG2's opening.

    No - the way the SoD ending lets CHARNAME fall it is not explained why no-one would come looking for him. You assume he was lost and now is despised - and therefore forgotten.
    I say: with the intensity the PC falls at the end of SoD, this would lead to righteous (and the ones who think they are) looking for the PC to do 'justice'.

    SoD only takes into account the fall from hero to outcast. It totally neglects the raise of people who would persue to see the PC dead because he is despised so much now. SoD exaggerated so much in its need to stress the fall that it totally neglected all the follow-ups that should come with it.

    The ending failed to explain why the PC is in ID with no-one looking for him. This should have been explained with a much lesser dramatic and excluding way. It is even worse: With the ending, especially with what lead to the trial, the PC's name should be known far more than if he was a disgraced 'hero of Bladur's Gate'.

    Wouldn't Duke Silvershield try to hunt him down? Believing he was the murderer he is supposed to look like?
    SoD released a whole can of worms while trying to squash one. [OK, I'm done with ranting now - did I say that I think SoD is a real gem with all these little things you discover while playing, for exmple wolves hunting a deer... that I really enjoyed 90% of it tremendously.]
    ArtonaJuliusBorisov
  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 713
    Is there any legal system where refusing to defend yourslf/refute the charges is NOT seen as an admission of guilt?

    Yes, every western system of law. Unless your guilt is proven, you are considered innocent. You don't have to do to anything to defend yourself. Sure, it may (and probably will) improve your standing, but still.
    JuliusBorisovsemiticgod
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,212
    bob_veng said:

    ...and all this because of a single casting of magic missile

    Or, as the old joke goes, "But you screw one goat, ..."


    ThacoBellMirandelsemiticgod
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 450
    edited September 9
    Illydth said:



    And with all of these, you miss the key point: CHARNAME, the HERO of Baldur's Gate, one of the most Powerful and Resourceful areas of the Forgotten Realms can be abducted and disappear without a trace...

    And no one cares.

    No one comes after him. No one asks about him. No one shows up to his rescue or even sends a couple of special forces thieves to track him down.

    NOTHING. Its as if CHARNAME never existed to Baldur's Gate. You don't get there with ANY happy ending. You don't get there with ANY ending by which CHARNAME is still considered a hero in Baldur's Gate.

    So how do you write an ending to a game whereby Baldur's Gate still remains standing, it's resources and structure intact, and yet you've invalidated 200+ hours of game play through two major missions including a trip literally into Hell to save the city and end the major character up in a dungeon hundreds of miles away with no one giving a care?

    Now, you see the challenge of SoD.

    Not really.

    Irenicus is an archmage and far more powerful than any of the mages in Baldurs' Gate. I find it believable that he would ensure that no one can trace charname back to his lair, because he wouldn't risk disrupting his plans. It wouldn't matter if anyone in Baldur's Gate tried to find charname after their abduction, because no one there* has enough spellpower to counter Jonbon's magic. Even the Cowled Wizards failed at that.
    (*the only exception being E., but he never helps, just sprouts nonsensical advice)

    That is what makes the trial cutscenes unnecessary.


    ArtonaPermidion_StarkMirandel
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 450
    jastey said:



    These lines tell me a lot about where the design choices come from. Because my question is: how can you be so sure? How would you know no-one cares? How would you know no-one sent a rescue party, or a search team? CHARNAME was kidnapped around Baldur's Gate and kept hidden by a very powerful mage beneath Athkatla in Amn. I was perfectly happy with the explanation that it's just too far away for anyone to find you. And if someone could, then Irenicus surely made sure his dungeon cannot be seen into.

    Exactly. And at this point the dukes were dealing with the survivors of the crusade, as well as the fallout of Sarevok's machinations. Their duty would be to focus on the city and its people, and not to spend all resources on tracking down charname (regardless of whether they are a villain or a hero).
  • themazingnessthemazingness Member Posts: 227
    edited September 9
    I have mixed feelings about Imoen. I think overall the writing of SoD works. On the other hand, I don't accept the explanation that we weren't allowed to kill a story-critical NPC. I believe the story about the decision, but we could have killed all the other story-critical NPC's (Jaheira, Minsc, etc.). That never stopped the writers of BG1 and 2.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,521
    jastey said:

    ThacoBell said:


    Is there any legal system where refusing to defend yourslf/refute the charges is NOT seen as an admission of guilt?

    What has this question to do with anything I stated? Nothing.

    EDIT: Btw: In Germany, it is your right not to say anything if you are accused, and from the perspective of the trial/the law, this does not count as a confession. Damn, now I *did* feed the troll. Well, whatever.

    I am not a troll and I do not appreciate being labelled one because I chose to engage in debate/discussion. Disagreement is not trolling.
    Artonasemiticgod
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,521
    Artona said:

    Is there any legal system where refusing to defend yourslf/refute the charges is NOT seen as an admission of guilt?

    Yes, every western system of law. Unless your guilt is proven, you are considered innocent. You don't have to do to anything to defend yourself. Sure, it may (and probably will) improve your standing, but still.
    That... runs counter to my experiences. Not defending yourself is considered defaulting to the charges. At least in civil court.
    tbone1
  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 713
    @ThacoBell - then I was wrong with "every system of law". I know it's a thing in Europe, especially when it comes to penal codes and penal courts, and I think we can agree that trial in Baldur's Gate is rather penal.
    Does it mean that if I accused you in US of breaching a contract, and you wouldn't defend yourself, you would be considered guilty?
    ___________________________________
    And I want to point out, that calling @ThacoBell "troll" is unfair, given his usually meritoric input on many topics.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,521
    @Artona While I can't speak for criminal courts with certainty, I have had to deal with civil courts and not trying to defend yourself there does put you in a default state.
  • mf2112mf2112 Member, Moderator Posts: 1,913
    edited September 9
    Civil courts (in the US at least) determine cases based on the preponderance of the evidence, so 51-49 is enough. If you or your lawyer don't defend your position you can be in trouble. Criminal cases (in the US) are determined on a different standard "beyond reasonable doubt", so you or your lawyer technically don't have to do anything but show up and answer the judges questions, and the prosecutor must prove that standard to a jury or judge. If they can't you walk free.

    I haven't been to France but I believe that you are guilty until proven innocent there, exactly backwards from the US system. The prosecutors don't have to do anything, you or your lawyer must prove your innocence.
  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 713
    Then apparently this is a case in Baldur's Gate as well.
    But to return to topic - was a question "why does nobody care about kidnapping Charname" really important at any point? Because I always considered it be pretty self-explanatory in the contest of the game: we are far from Baldur's Gate, and our captor is powerful mage. I never felt that there is plot-hole of any kind.
    And, as @jastey pointed out, ending of SoD isn't really helping to answer that question, because Charname, known as killer of daughter of one of leaders of neighbour country, should be constantly harassed by bounty hunters, nevermind which ending they got.
    Permidion_StarkUnderstandMouseMagic
  • mf2112mf2112 Member, Moderator Posts: 1,913
    Maybe Duke Silvershield calmed down and had an oracle reveal that charname was actually innocent?
  • KuronaKurona Member Posts: 772
    edited September 9
    - At the beginning of BG2, it is implied that the party traveled to Amn pretty much overnight or at least in a significantly shorter time that should be possible.

    - Based on the first point, Baldur's Gate can't know this is where Charname is. Moreover Amn and Baldur's Gate aren't exactly in good terms even if the threat of full-scale war was averted in BG1.

    - When your deeds in Amn ends up becoming more public knowledge (chapter 6), you actually can encounter a band of bounty hunters sent by old enemies up north: the Rakshasas who take the appearance of random travelers.

    My point boils down to this: even if the city of Baldur's Gate had devoted a lot of time and resources to finding Charname, they probably wouldn't have found anything for a while and it's unlikely they would have thought about searching in Amn to begin with.
    ThacoBelltbone1Permidion_Starksemiticgod
  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 414
    @ThacoBell I apologize for using the term troll. I used it to state that I didn't want to engage into your away-from-*MY*-point-of-view discussions. [Yes, not saying anything is not a good thing if you are accused of something. It still isn't the point in what I said about why I didn't click through the trial reply options, and I don't like if you try to turn the discussion to "it's your own fault, stop complaining" if I am trying to point out that letting my PC not speak made sense at the time because the dialogue before made me draw wrong conclusions about how the game will proceed.]
    ThacoBellmf2112JuliusBorisovsemiticgod
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,521
    @jastey I should probably explain myself here. I don't engage in debate in to turn someone to my point of view. I hold that the purpose is to learn, so when I want to get a better insight into someone's opinions or arguments, I start a debate with them. I apologize for giving the impression that I just wanted to prove you wrong. That was never my intent.
    mf2112
  • Mush_MushMush_Mush Member Posts: 465
    Yer're all buffleheaded.
    ThacoBellArtonaPermidion_StarkJuliusBorisov
  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 414
    @ThacoBell Then I should apologize twice because I misread bad intentions into your posts. Will try to not do that in the future.
    Permidion_Starkmf2112semiticgod
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,521
    @jastey don't worry about it. The burden of understanding falls on the speaker more than the listener.
    Permidion_Starksemiticgod
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,212

    By definition there is nowhere worse than Hell

    I take it you've never had to deal with the BMV in the state of Maryland.

    Artonamf2112OrlonKronsteengnaumiec
  • mf2112mf2112 Member, Moderator Posts: 1,913

    Illydth said:

    So how do you write an ending to a game whereby Baldur's Gate still remains standing, it's resources and structure intact, and yet you've invalidated 200+ hours of game play through two major missions including a trip literally into Hell to save the city and end the major character up in a dungeon hundreds of miles away with no one giving a care?

    Now, you see the challenge of SoD.

    But this was a problem that didn't exist until the writers of SoD created it. They should never have taken the story to Hell. By definition there is nowhere worse than Hell so you shouldn't end up there in a minor episode joining the first and second parts of a trilogy. It was a terrible move. You don't harrow Hell as a subquest. It has to be the ultimate trial or it isn't Hell.

    It probably seemed like a great idea when someone pitched it but it was totally inappropriate. There is no way mid-level characters should be able to handle something like that.

    There are nine levels of Hell, so it doesn't seem inconceivable to go to the first or second level at end of SOD levels to me. YMMV.
    ThacoBellStummvonBordwehr
  • ArdanisArdanis Member, Developer Posts: 916
    The Hell invasion has been spearheaded by Caelar and her strongest henchmen, PC mostly just followed in her wake. One of the earlier versions of the portal opening scene involved an optional fight with the Barghest (if he survived), at this point established as a veteran of Dragonspear wars and dangerous combatant, leading a party-sized group of unique elites - this encounter has then been essentially moved to the siege sequence, where they cover the fleeing crusaders after Ashatiel's death.

    Not to say that even a couple dozens of level 9-12 crusaders and PCs would stand much chance in Hell, but neither they're pushovers that fiends can easily put down - as supposed to be indicated by devil corpses littering the path to the tower. Considering the entire operation was a blitz, I can easily believe that devils simply didn't have enough time to overwhelm the invaders before the portal was closed again.
    JuliusBorisovmf2112ThacoBell
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 450
    It's not a matter of charname & party visiting hell, but that in SoD there is just too much 'epicness' squeezed into a short story; it feels overdone.

    It's like SoD tries to "one up" BG2 when it comes to epic enemies. BG2 has dragons? We'll give you a dragon! Liches? We'll have one too! Mindflayers? You got them! And then for dessert, you get to fight a devil and his personal army in hell.

    By comparison, I still rememeber the first impression Firkraag made in BG2, because up until then it was orcs, werewolves and the occasional shade. And then... this huge red dragon, looking down at your party.

    Permidion_StarkprofanitywarningOrlonKronsteen
Sign In or Register to comment.