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Just Replayed SoU and HotU - Then back to BG

And you know what? I honestly think that the Baldur's Gate Trilogy is STILL the strongest D&D RPG ever made (barring maybe Planescape, which is a genre unto itself).

Part of it is my love for the sheer strength of magic items in BG (and 2nd edition in general). You can plan whole character builds around the bracers of dexterity or belts of strength, allowing you to use those stats as dump stats. In NWN and 3rd edition, everything is a plain stat buff or spell-shooting stick. Sure, there are plenty of powerful and useful magical items, but nothing that lets you look at your character build and go 'Yeah, I'm going to set my strength and dexterity to 8 and max my wisdom and charisma as a ranger' and have this actually be VIABLE.

The art style is ageless. NWN and NWN2 age badly. BG doesn't, because it's art direction was made to be a classic 2D game, rather than just joining the rat race of shinier 3D graphics.

And the characters are great. While I'm not a huge fan of most of the big fan favourites (Minsc, Boo, Edwin, Imoen, Sarevok), the strength and writing of the entire recruitable party means this isn't an issue. I can run any party I like and still get interesting interactions and storylines. I can evne run solo and still enjoy the side characters. On that note, game balance.

BG is one of the very few games in existence that can simultaneously be challenging on a solo run and with a whole party, without changing anything but XP gain. That's incredible.

So yeah, just needed to give a positive rant for a bit. Going to be starting a new run soon. Probably go back to basics: Pure Mage, from Candlekeep to the Throne. Not the strongest class combo in the world, but mages still snap the game over their knees past level 10 anyway, so it suits me fine.



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