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Imoen (MASSIVE SPOILERS) (MASSIVE RANT)

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Comments

  • Artemius_IArtemius_I Member Posts: 1,998
    Pokota said:

    ...so where are the modders changing dialog for BG2 to account for SoD, anyway?

    Working on our own projects, or in my case, suffering through school.
    mf2112Illustair
  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 408

    Pokota said:

    ...so where are the modders changing dialog for BG2 to account for SoD, anyway?

    Working on our own projects, or in my case, suffering through school.
    Not knowing what BeamDog is planning on changing for the next version doesn't help, either.

    Roxanne's Sandrah mod includes a possibility to retrieve the soul dagger, btw. You have to be ready to play the whole mod with all its content to see this, though.
  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 408
    edited September 13
    Actually, the hooded man and his scheeming is the only thing I find intriguing about SoD with regard to the PC's reason to leave Baldur's Gate. He is not only fleeing from some "dark circumstances" but would have a sincere interest in finding this hooded man since he is the next unknown foe threatening the PC in a serious way. It's a bit like Sarevok at the beginning of BG1. Also, (if of good alignment with a functional moral compass) retrieving the soul dagger is a second motivation. And then it all comes differently and the PC wakes up in this foe's grasps... Some say the beginning of BGII is spoiled because the mere shock of "where the f* am I" is lost because we recognise the hooded man. But it's not like the PC knows anything about that "hooded man" or how he got into this cage or what Irenicus is planning with him.
    This I really, really like and I think it has a lot of potential, especially for making the two games one without any breakage in continuity.

    I also think that SoD didn't manage to fill this with life, because it focused too much on "PC has to fall from grace completely and then again 100 ft deeper".
    bob_vengMush_MushMirandel
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 439
    ThacoBell said:



    No RPG story assumes a completionist playthrough. If that was the case, all final bosses would be impossible for the average player to beat. Its optional content, divorced from the main storyline.

    Except my issue with BG2's plot is not about being able to do a "completionist" playthrough? It's about building a story that effectively discourages good-aligned characters from exploration in a game, whose main strenght is exploration.
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,166
    My man issue with the plot is "Who the flip would ever romance Anomen in the first place? A gold digger who is okay with him having no money?"
    ArtonaThacoBell
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 439
    edited September 13
    @tbone1

    The very first time I've played BG2 I had Anomen in the party. And I played a female charname. And I didn't know about the romances...

    The situation reached the boiling point after my charname got offered flowers, freshly picked... in Athkatla's ever green sewers. Some gratuitous scenes of violence later, Viconia has joined the party as the resident healer and charname has decided to become a nun. (she was a monk :wink: )
    tbone1Permidion_StarkArctodusMirandel
  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 713
    Don't forget you can also choose jailbait girl with serious trauma after body mutilation.
    :>
    semiticgod
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,166
    Artona said:

    Don't forget you can also choose jailbait girl with serious trauma after body mutilation.
    :>

    She's still better than 95% of the characters on television.
    semiticgodThacoBellVallmyr
  • Mush_MushMush_Mush Member Posts: 465
    @jastey

    Yea I agree the end status is not a bad idea, having the PC end SoD with that feeling of "who was that guy?" it's decent in concept but the fact that he follows you around all game from the very beginning makes the question of who was that guy slowly turn into oh this guy again *sigh* Sarevok didn't crop up every 5mins to pester you with questions. how poorly it was executed meant that it didn't quite have that impact on me that it perhaps could have. It would have been far more of a mystery/impact to have limited/no interaction up until the end.
    ArtonaPermidion_StarkOrlonKronsteen
  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 3,192
    Mush_Mush said:

    @jastey

    Yea I agree the end status is not a bad idea, having the PC end SoD with that feeling of "who was that guy?" it's decent in concept but the fact that he follows you around all game from the very beginning makes the question of who was that guy slowly turn into oh this guy again *sigh* Sarevok didn't crop up every 5mins to pester you with questions. how poorly it was executed meant that it didn't quite have that impact on me that it perhaps could have. It would have been far more of a mystery/impact to have limited/no interaction up until the end.

    I agree. I started to get the feeling that they had paid David Warner for a day in the studio so they felt they had to get their money's worth. We ended up with far too much Irenicus and I'm not convinced there should have been any at all. At least not until the CHARNAME was lying unconscious at the end.

    I found the Hooded Man tiresome. And he seemed to be acting against his own interests by turning up and telling me how interested he was in me. How was that supposed to put me off my guard? And then he gets me locked up under heavy guard, which makes no sense. Except of course that it doesn't matter to him because he can go anywhere and do anything. He seemed so powerful that it made me wonder why he was bothering with any of it.

    ArtonaOrlonKronsteenMush_Mushsemiticgod
  • mf2112mf2112 Member, Moderator Posts: 1,904
    chimaera said:

    ThacoBell said:

    chimaera said:

    ThacoBell said:

    Mush_Mush said:

    How does he know you are going to escape?

    ...and not get executed outright for murder.
    Do you really think the low to mid level dukes and the low level soldiers would be able to do anything that Irenicus did not want to happen? Just to execute an archmage's pet project and see how well that turns out for you.

    @chimaera The BG series only really nominally allow you to play evil. You can do some selfish things, but the story is utterly reliant on charname being heroic. No matter what, you prevent a war, no matter what you end another one, no matter what you end a siege on an elven city, no matter what you prevent an evil god from resurrecting. There is no really evil campaign in the series.
    But that is only because reverse is also true. A good aligned charname can murder innocents, but as long as they keep throwing money at temples, their reputation will be heroic and they will be referred as such in dialogues. The BG series just doesn't have the kind of reactivity, to be able to effectively weight between the sum of your actions.

    (Btw, I wouldn't call killing all the slaves in the mine a 'selfish thing', charname willingly murders a bunch of innocent men here.)

    This doesn't mean you should base game design decisions on the idea that charname is good. Because it only accentuates the series' weakness; the clumsy way alignment is treated.
    That's kind of my point. The story only really works with a heroic charname. That's how it was built.
    And that is the point I disagree with.

    In BG1 it is easy to play the hero. But consider how BG2's plot is set up. A good charname would race to Spellhold asap to save their childhood friend, and then race JonBon to stop him. Except this way the player loses out on a lot of game content. And then look at ToB: charname is hunted by your Bhaalspawn siblings, there is an evil plot unravelling, but let's make a detour to visit the infamous Watcher's Keep!

    Tbh, I think canon charname is chaotic neutral and has the attention span of a gerbil.
    I don't think that a good charname would feel they have to race to the Spellhold as they have seen and experienced Jon's power and could have easily realized that they must also gain power and magic weapons and defenses to be properly prepared to defeat him.
    semiticgodThacoBelltbone1
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,421
    chimaera said:

    ThacoBell said:



    No RPG story assumes a completionist playthrough. If that was the case, all final bosses would be impossible for the average player to beat. Its optional content, divorced from the main storyline.

    Except my issue with BG2's plot is not about being able to do a "completionist" playthrough? It's about building a story that effectively discourages good-aligned characters from exploration in a game, whose main strenght is exploration.
    My point still stands though. In any RPG, the optional content is always divorced from the main story. Heck the "canon" story often ignores optional missions. Also, several npcs throughout the game advise caution rather than rushing into an unknown to rescue Imoen, only to fail. Its only really a rush if you want it to be.
    mf2112
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 439
    ThacoBell said:

    chimaera said:

    ThacoBell said:



    No RPG story assumes a completionist playthrough. If that was the case, all final bosses would be impossible for the average player to beat. Its optional content, divorced from the main storyline.

    Except my issue with BG2's plot is not about being able to do a "completionist" playthrough? It's about building a story that effectively discourages good-aligned characters from exploration in a game, whose main strenght is exploration.
    My point still stands though. In any RPG, the optional content is always divorced from the main story. Heck the "canon" story often ignores optional missions. Also, several npcs throughout the game advise caution rather than rushing into an unknown to rescue Imoen, only to fail. Its only really a rush if you want it to be.
    And what about the main story, devoid of this optional content, in BG2 and ToB is "utterly reliant" on the main protagonist being a hero?

    Charname tries to hunt down and kill the evil mage that tortured them, but decides to take the long route to Spellhold just in case (eh, Immy will hold out, surely). Charname kills the mage, saves the elven city and gets hailed as the hero (again). They don't really notice, though, because they feel a bit... peckish after their short stint in hell. Charname and their new attitude decides that it is really a 'there can only be one' kind of story (and fails to save the city along the way, but hey, 2 out of 3 isn't a bad record). Charname wins the game and becomes the next god of murder, making their daddy proud and the planes tremble.
  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 3,192
    edited September 13
    chimaera said:

    Charname tries to hunt down and kill the evil mage that tortured them, but decides to take the long route to Spellhold just in case (eh, Immy will hold out, surely).

    I've always had a problem with BG2 because of this (I've started it loads of times but I have only ever finished it once). I head out intending to get Imoen back but I get sidetracked by quest after quest after quest. And after a while I lose sight of what I am supposed to be doing, get bored and give up.

    So I decide next game I will go straight to get Imoen back as soon as I have got the money. I've done this lots of times. And died in all of them.



    tbone1
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 2,836
    chimaera said:

    ThacoBell said:



    No RPG story assumes a completionist playthrough. If that was the case, all final bosses would be impossible for the average player to beat. Its optional content, divorced from the main storyline.

    Except my issue with BG2's plot is not about being able to do a "completionist" playthrough? It's about building a story that effectively discourages good-aligned characters from exploration in a game, whose main strenght is exploration.
    How is that different than BG1?
    ThacoBelltbone1
  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 3,192
    edited September 15

    chimaera said:

    ThacoBell said:



    No RPG story assumes a completionist playthrough. If that was the case, all final bosses would be impossible for the average player to beat. Its optional content, divorced from the main storyline.

    Except my issue with BG2's plot is not about being able to do a "completionist" playthrough? It's about building a story that effectively discourages good-aligned characters from exploration in a game, whose main strenght is exploration.
    How is that different than BG1?
    For me the difference is that defeating Sarevok feels a lot less important than freeing my sister from torment. Sarevok's aims are political; the torture of Imoen is personal.
    Post edited by Permidion_Stark on
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 439

    chimaera said:

    ThacoBell said:



    No RPG story assumes a completionist playthrough. If that was the case, all final bosses would be impossible for the average player to beat. Its optional content, divorced from the main storyline.

    Except my issue with BG2's plot is not about being able to do a "completionist" playthrough? It's about building a story that effectively discourages good-aligned characters from exploration in a game, whose main strenght is exploration.
    How is that different than BG1?
    In BG1, for the first part of the story charname is just stumbling around in the dark, trying to find out Gorion's killer and/or why someone wants them dead. But there is no real sense of urgency about it, until you get deep enough in the plot. Imo, BG1 is better designed in this aspect.
    Permidion_Stark
  • mf2112mf2112 Member, Moderator Posts: 1,904
    chimaera said:

    chimaera said:

    ThacoBell said:



    No RPG story assumes a completionist playthrough. If that was the case, all final bosses would be impossible for the average player to beat. Its optional content, divorced from the main storyline.

    Except my issue with BG2's plot is not about being able to do a "completionist" playthrough? It's about building a story that effectively discourages good-aligned characters from exploration in a game, whose main strenght is exploration.
    How is that different than BG1?
    In BG1, for the first part of the story charname is just stumbling around in the dark, trying to find out Gorion's killer and/or why someone wants them dead. But there is no real sense of urgency about it, until you get deep enough in the plot. Imo, BG1 is better designed in this aspect.
    That doesn't last very long though if you pick up certain NPCs. Jaheira/Khalid and Xzar/Montaron will leave you if you refuse to go to Nashkel for very long. Not sure about the others. And I guess if you don't do the bandit camp to allow Officer Vai to get back to Baldur's Gate then you can't go there either.
    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,421
    chimaera said:

    ThacoBell said:

    chimaera said:

    ThacoBell said:



    No RPG story assumes a completionist playthrough. If that was the case, all final bosses would be impossible for the average player to beat. Its optional content, divorced from the main storyline.

    Except my issue with BG2's plot is not about being able to do a "completionist" playthrough? It's about building a story that effectively discourages good-aligned characters from exploration in a game, whose main strenght is exploration.
    My point still stands though. In any RPG, the optional content is always divorced from the main story. Heck the "canon" story often ignores optional missions. Also, several npcs throughout the game advise caution rather than rushing into an unknown to rescue Imoen, only to fail. Its only really a rush if you want it to be.
    And what about the main story, devoid of this optional content, in BG2 and ToB is "utterly reliant" on the main protagonist being a hero?

    Charname tries to hunt down and kill the evil mage that tortured them, but decides to take the long route to Spellhold just in case (eh, Immy will hold out, surely). Charname kills the mage, saves the elven city and gets hailed as the hero (again). They don't really notice, though, because they feel a bit... peckish after their short stint in hell. Charname and their new attitude decides that it is really a 'there can only be one' kind of story (and fails to save the city along the way, but hey, 2 out of 3 isn't a bad record). Charname wins the game and becomes the next god of murder, making their daddy proud and the planes tremble.
    Again, that is entirely up to your choice. Nothing you said here contradicts my point. The story only really makes sense if you play good. Optional content does not affect the main story, and acting evil makes the story's tone and treatment of charname inconsistent.
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 439
    edited September 14
    ThacoBell said:


    Again, that is entirely up to your choice. Nothing you said here contradicts my point. The story only really makes sense if you play good. Optional content does not affect the main story, and acting evil makes the story's tone and treatment of charname inconsistent.

    I have played the trilogy with a good aligned charname. And guess what? I did not have the impression that the story " only really makes sense if you play good". Quite the opposite. The story started fraying around the seams in BG2 and fell apart in ToB. You think that any characterization but a good charname is incosistent. I felt that way about my good charname after finishing the trilogy. The story felt simply fake; a farce, just like the final trial in SoD.

    EDIT: I guess we disagree on what makes a story consistent and believable. For me for a story to work, it can't be simply "drama!", just because. And this is something that happens in the BG series at crucial points; the protagonist loses whatever higher brain functions they posses and just goes with the flow, nevermind if this makes sense.
    In BG2, charname gets to choose beween helping two evil organizations to progress the story. I would expect that between the harpers, the paladin order, the good-aligned church someone could help out instead. I would expect for my heroic charname to at least make an effort. But charname doesn't, because they lost their brains to an illithid in the sewers. For me, that's the very definition of an inconsistent characterization.
    The same thing happened in ToB (Wheels of Prophecy attempts to fix that, but unfortunately I had game-stopping bugs whith it). Charname leads an epic party of epic characters, yet makes only a token effort at resisting Mel's "oh so obviously not a set up" of a plan. I guess Gromnir has more brains at this point than the protagonist.
    And now the same thing happens in SoD. (maybe some mods could fix it)
    Post edited by chimaera on
    tbone1
  • Yulaw9460Yulaw9460 Member Posts: 481
    Well, the best mod I've yet encountered to fix SoD has been to skip it all together and force-XP to 500.000 at the beginning of SoA.

    You LITERALLY get the same result that way as if you completed it and then transistioned.
    UnderstandMouseMagic
  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 3,192
    Yulaw9460 said:

    Well, the best mod I've yet encountered to fix SoD has been to skip it all together and force-XP to 500.000 at the beginning of SoA.

    You LITERALLY get the same result that way as if you completed it and then transistioned.

    But you miss some really good dungeons and some great characters. My plan is to play SoD but skip the stuff after you get out of Avernus. Basically treat it as a standalone adventure.
    tbone1Mirandelsemiticgod
  • Yulaw9460Yulaw9460 Member Posts: 481
    Oh yeah? Which dungeons and which characters are so good that it warrants a replay?
  • MirandelMirandel Member Posts: 349
    edited September 17
    @Yulaw9460 Talkative Baeloth :)

    Actually, I am serious - love the character (and VA). Plus, it's the last time you can have "normal" Dorn in the party. I do not object his change in BG2EE (madness progressed and so on), but simply can not have him in my BG2 groups. So, SoD it is!
  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 3,192
    edited September 17
    @Yulaw9460
    I liked all of the dungeons. I thought the one in the Forest of Wyrms was great (I didn't think there should have been a dragon but that was my only reservation). I liked the Dwarven Dig Site and the Repository of Undeath and I liked the Underground River. And whilst part of me thinks dragons should have been kept for BG2 I liked the ghost dragon Halatathlaer and the way she managed to make a mess of my party even when we were fighting against the same enemy.

    I think as well that the writers did their best to provide genuine choices throughout the adventure so that you could choose a noble or a wicked path. That in itself seems to provide a lot of replay value.

    The fact I couldn't have Imoen in my party disappointed me greatly and I hated the ending (and that did rather spoil the whole thing for me) but overall I would say it was an excellent expansion and true to the spirit of Baldur's Gate.
    Mirandelprofanitywarningsemiticgod
  • Yulaw9460Yulaw9460 Member Posts: 481
    Mirandel said:

    Actually, I am serious

    And which part of my scribbling indicated that I wasn't?
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,371
    It's all just so unecessary.
    All of it.

    Reading through this thread the excuses being made for SOD read like a series of strawmen created to avoid answering the complaints.

    It had to be epic.
    Why?
    For 18 years the games have been played, who was asking for epic rather than more gaming achieving the high standard set?

    For 18 years people have accepted that NPC can be killed in one game and miraculously turn up in the next. Want to really roleplay that for continuity reasons?
    Then as a player recruit them and keep them alive.
    Nobody else's business.

    For 18 years you end up in Athkatla and are known as "the hero of Baldurs Gate" and referred to as that, (and of course still are, thank the Gods WofSC kept them away from changing anything)

    SOD made a cackhanded effort to disgrace you so that the shock of the opening of BG2 is less of shock?????
    Yeah, undermine dramatic tension why don't you.

    You wake up in ID and nobody has made any efforts to find you.
    And that needs explaining.
    Why?
    Did the developers ever play BG?
    Where a massive great bandit camp and a massive great mine, full of lots and lots and lots of people existing quite happily just up the road in some woods, never got found until you came along.

    The big bad Irenicus in BG2 obviously was lacking in some way that none of us noticed over the years. So lets have him turning up here, there and every bloody where like the Scarlet Pimpernal just to emphasise how totally awesome he is.

    The writing of SOD is poor.
    Elendar
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