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Just can't enjoy Siege

12346

Comments

  • verlaineverlaine Member Posts: 47
    edited February 23
    Kusel said:

    verlaine said:

    @Kusel
    I'm pretty sure you read the same discussion some times back about that idea. It's the plot line for the Cealar Return mod discussed at G3. If you played that alternative it would give you the chance in ToB to free Caelar from hell and have her join you. That way you had a party with all your old opponents Sarevok/Irenicus/Caelar against the Five and Meli.
    You pretty much know that Roxanne shelved that project when she found that @Artemius_I was already working on some Caelar mod.

    Absolutely right, I just couldn't remember where is was discussed. my outline was from memory and I may have missed a few things.
    Now that you remind me I know what it was. Only I can't find that thread anymore. Do you have a link?
    The link's dead. There was a test version and a readme explaining the context and story planned. It was removed before I could test it, it was Spellhold not G3. Looks like all that's left of it are memories.

    I made an inquiry here http://www.shsforums.net/topic/59648-mod-corwin-npc-for-eet/page-2#entry600512 Let's see what happens.

    Post edited by verlaine on
    Kusel
  • BleriotBleriot Member Posts: 31
    jastey said:

    But Caelar made it personal to CHARNAME because she wanted the Bhaalspan's blood to do something crucial for her plan (does this thread have a spoiler warning, btw?).

    My PC dearly missed at some point the possibility to hand herself in and end all the fighting and siege and suffering of ordinary people. "You want me, Caelar? Fine, here I am!".
    Or at an earlier point, why not join the Crusade, only to find out you've been double-double crossed (because it's your blood we wanted all along, meheheh.) But this was stated elsewhere already, that it was disappointing not to have the possibility to join her, at least.
    But it was also the reason the whole campaign and the siege seemed forced onto the player and it broke immersion for me. I wouldn't mind not being able to join because Caelar or your allies won't let you, but I am highly sensitive to the option just missing in your reply options and instead having what felt like twenty reply options all saying different variations of "never, Caelar, damn you" (there aren't twenty reply options stating that, of course, I am putting my feeling into words.)

    Have you seen a mod that adds this http://www.shsforums.net/topic/59746-mod-shine-on-caelar-part-1/
    It says to only play it if you already know SoD cause when you go with Shining Lady you go inside Dragonspear without battle scenes.

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 929
    to me this feels like an unfinished business situation. as it was planned for you to go with caelar but it was cut.

  • ArdanisArdanis Member, Developer Posts: 1,134
    It's been thought about, but not really planned. My version would have involved defending the castle from coalition troops (much like in NWN HotU), but it'd require giving PC a very good reason to suddenly turn on his allies and side with the enemy - definitely not some "I make decisions here" one-liner excuse.

    ThacoBell
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 2,240
    edited March 6
    My version would be:

    Someone starts to attack and pursuit Charname when he/she is sweeping what's left of Sarevok's followers. Later on, you would discover that it was Irenicus. He was seeking originally Sarevok to get the divine soul that he needs, but as you killed him, you got the wizard's attention.

    "SoD" would be all about Irenicus teasing and testing you, without ever revealing himself, just to know if you have what it takes for him to restore his former being.

    To reach Irenicus, you would have to go deeper on Sarevok's history in order to know when the pursuit started and have some idea about where the person that is trying to kill you is. Some locations, like the former Temple of Bhaal, would be visited.

    The boss would be a very powerful Ranger/Cleric Priest of Shevarash that Irenicus would have manipulated and now truly believes that you are working with the wizard.

    "SoD" would end with you voluntarily entering Irenicus' dungeon to chase him and ending traped.

    Post edited by Raduziel on
    Artonasubtledoctor
  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 554
    @Raduziel Intriguing concept. Only two points to be puzzle in: Why is the default party with you, and what was the "dark circumstances, darker than anyone could have expected" (quoted out of memory) that made you leave Baldur's Gate.
    Thing is, I don't have problems identifying motivations for Imoen (childhood friend who went after you anyway), Dynaheir and Minsc (on their Dachemma to study Bhaalchildren), and J&K (Gorion's friends who promised to help you) to go with the PC, but how to explain that the other NPCs that where in the party leave you somewhere in the middle.

    Raduziel
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 2,240
    edited March 5
    jastey said:

    @Raduziel Intriguing concept. Only two points to be puzzle in: Why is the default party with you, and what was the "dark circumstances, darker than anyone could have expected" (quoted out of memory) that made you leave Baldur's Gate.
    Thing is, I don't have problems identifying motivations for Imoen (childhood friend who went after you anyway), Dynaheir and Minsc (on their Dachemma to study Bhaalchildren), and J&K (Gorion's friends who promised to help you) to go with the PC, but how to explain that the other NPCs that where in the party leave you somewhere in the middle.

    @jastey I'm glad you asked.

    1) You leave Baldur's Gate pursuing Sarevok's history. The Iron Throne, a huge commercial institution sure have business in Athkatla. One of the steps from your dear brother would take you there - everything tailored by Irenicu's, of course, to lead you into his chateau. To give the darker tone, some people related to you started to die and the Dukes become suspicious and the people afraid. They invite you to leave before any formal accusation.

    2) About BG1 NPCs, let's do it:

    Ajantis: says that he will travel to the Order of the Radiant Heart to try to get some info about Sarevok there. The result I think we all know (the thing related to Firkraag's quest).

    Alora: says that you're not funny anymore since you got obsessed with this Sarevok-thing and just leaves.

    Branwen: killed by Irenicus.

    Kivan: his debt is paid. You killed Tazok, he killed Sarevok.

    Xzar and Montaron: back to Zenthil Keep to report everything they saw.

    Safana: says that it is not worth the problem and leaves.

    Coran: when he notices that you're being bad for even his reputation, he leaves.

    Shar-Teel: killed by Irenicus - people start rumors saying that you killed her due to Angelo's association with Sarevok.

    Edwin: when he sees that you are the target, he leaves. His debt is paid. Or he just throws on your face that you never killed Dynaheir so he has no debt with you.

    Eldoth and Skie: too busy making babies to care about your problems.

    Faldorn: returns to her Circle in Cloakwoods. The Iron Throne is not a threat anymore.

    Garrick: killed by Irenicus - people start rumors saying that you killed him because you were jealous of the attention he used to get in taverns.

    Tiax: says that he received a vision from Cyric and leaves you.

    Viconia: was following you, but got lost. She was taking as prisoners by the fanatics so she couldn't venture with you into Irenicu's dungeon.

    Xan: killed by Irenicus.

    Yeslick: believes in the rumors about you and decides to leave you.

    Kagain: the job was the Duke's son. Everything else is your problem.

    Honestly, it is better than what SoD did. Most NPCs just says "after this dungeon I'm done".

    Some NPCs were killed to i) make you feel that it is personal and ii) to foment the rumors about you being just like your brother.

    Mirandel
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 2,240
    I even have some of the dialogues written.

    Come on, Beamdog, you're wasting a talent here.

  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 554
    Garrick: he appears in BGII citing love poems to a paladin of the Order, so he shouldn't be killed.
    Eldoth & Skie: I don't think your suggestion was meant serious? :-)
    Yeslick: I am very fond of Yeslick and I'd never believe that he would leave you because of suspicions (if you are playing good, at least).
    I guess it would be doable to introduce some "Sarevok is done, so everyone except the base crew takes their leave" scenario.
    But would I want to play an interlude with Imoen, Dynaheir, Minsc, Jaheira and Khalid alone? Hm...

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 2,240
    jastey said:

    Garrick: he appears in BGII citing love poems to a paladin of the Order, so he shouldn't be killed.
    Eldoth & Skie: I don't think your suggestion was meant serious? :-)
    Yeslick: I am very fond of Yeslick and I'd never believe that he would leave you because of suspicions (if you are playing good, at least).
    I guess it would be doable to introduce some "Sarevok is done, so everyone except the base crew takes their leave" scenario.
    But would I want to play an interlude with Imoen, Dynaheir, Minsc, Jaheira and Khalid alone? Hm...

    @jastey

    True, forgot about that.

    So let's see...

    Garrick: stays with you for a while, but he begins to not be so sure you're a hero or a villain. So he leaves.

    Yeslick: killed by Irenicus (right on Imoen's heart!); people start rumors that you did it because he refused to reveal his old clan's treasure.

    Eldoth & Skie: She loves him. He is a scumbag. Why would they waste their time with you when they can... you know, enjoy other things.

    And you wouldn't play all the interlude with the base crew. All that I listed would happen during the expansion. You would see each NPC being killed (or at least hear about it) or disbanding you. The idea is to make you start BG2 already hating whoever encaged you.

    Only some of the NPCs above would leave immediately.

    ArtonaMirandel
  • ArdanisArdanis Member, Developer Posts: 1,134
    I consider skipping the titular siege to be the biggest issue with siding with Caelar.

    ThacoBell
  • KuselKusel Member Posts: 50
    Ardanis said:

    I consider skipping the titular siege to be the biggest issue with siding with Caelar.

    Maybe you are not from Europe or not too familiar with the old continent history.
    One of the most famous battles from the Middle Ages was the Battle of Hornberg - people still use that expression (after many other battles are long long forgotten) some 500 years after it did NOT take place.

    BleriotRaduziel
  • BleriotBleriot Member Posts: 31
    Ardanis said:

    I consider skipping the titular siege to be the biggest issue with siding with Caelar.

    I'm thinking that people who want to play some alternative are people who played the standard game already.

    You'd skip the siege battle after you done it before.

    It's great cinema and great coding of effects, but in the end not much important story in it.

  • Contemplative_HamsterContemplative_Hamster Member Posts: 743
    Kusel said:

    Ardanis said:

    I consider skipping the titular siege to be the biggest issue with siding with Caelar.

    Maybe you are not from Europe or not too familiar with the old continent history.
    One of the most famous battles from the Middle Ages was the Battle of Hornberg - people still use that expression (after many other battles are long long forgotten) some 500 years after it did NOT take place.
    I am from Europe, am well familiar with European history - in fact, I teach it for a living - , and I've never heard of this. A quick google on my mobile gives me nothing bit Tolkien / LOTR stuff. Link or explanation, please?

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 2,240

    Kusel said:

    Ardanis said:

    I consider skipping the titular siege to be the biggest issue with siding with Caelar.

    Maybe you are not from Europe or not too familiar with the old continent history.
    One of the most famous battles from the Middle Ages was the Battle of Hornberg - people still use that expression (after many other battles are long long forgotten) some 500 years after it did NOT take place.
    I am from Europe, am well familiar with European history - in fact, I teach it for a living - , and I've never heard of this. A quick google on my mobile gives me nothing bit Tolkien / LOTR stuff. Link or explanation, please?
    [Marvel]You're clearing looking into the wrong timeline.[/Marvel]

  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 554
    @Contemplative_Hamster It could be mainly a German thing. "This ended like the Hornberger Shooting" is an idiom if something was pronounced with great fuzz but then nothing really happened. I only found a German Wikipedia site, but maybe it helps, too: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hornberger_Schießen

    Grond0Contemplative_Hamster
  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 554
    edited March 6
    On topic: I absolutely understand from devs POV that the siege is an important story part and could't just be skipped for some playthroughs, making the game shorter and leaving out a part where great effort went into it etc. But from a player's POV, I really missed the possibility to act regarding the internal treachery and focus on the PC's Bhaal powers once my PC learned about it. Thus, the whole fight and all the killed people felt like being railroaded into having to do this - and I want to stress the difference: not being railroaded in terms of story (because noone listens, noone cares, the alliance and enemy forces march no matter what, etc, as it is done at the end), but railroaded as a player i.e. by leaving out other options, a thing that usually destroys immersion for me*.

    *If it is missing options that are almost palpable (for me) - something like (as a random example) giving the Garren Windspear quest in BGII only the reply option "I don't care about your brat" and leading to a huge story arc about how the player has to rebuild his reputation and also regain the trust of the Order of the Radiant Heart - while in the end (or, rather beginning) it wouldn't have been necessary at all to lead the player down this path at all. If t makes sense.

    ArtonaUnderstandMouseMagic
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 2,240
    All this parley issue could be avoided if Beamdog made the player discover Hephernan after that event.

    A design error, IMHO. For me, the railroad feeling comes from Caelar ignoring completely what you say about Hephernan (and you even has evidence IIRC) and not for the lack of an option to join her.

  • recklessheartrecklessheart Member Posts: 687
    In a now-ancient post somewhere in the archives, I talked a bit about how the unifying element behind the Baldur's Gate titles is a narrative, whereas the unifying element in the Icewind Dale series is a geographical location. Baldur's Gate is the story of the Bhaalspawn, not of the city of Baldur's Gate. Icewind Dale is the stories of Icewind Dale, not the story of an on-going protagonist.

    I entirely agree that Beamdog would do better with a new story/protagonist/etc, as I've never thought that any of the EE content sits very comfortably alongside the original stuff. I play some of it; I disregard a lot of it; I never purchased SoD due to my feelings on the EE content in the original saga; but I appreciate Beamdog's talent and hard work.

    The issue is that they can't have an entirely new protagonist and story and still call it Baldur's Gate, and to hit maximised sales figures they are better off running with an already famous title, rather than starting anew.

    I am eager to see what comes of NWN:EE - I have high hopes, as this was always a game famous for customisation and new ideas. I think Beamdog can really shine there. I think they could really shine with an original title, too, but I don't think it's going to be economically feasible. Albeit I don't work for the company and cannot speak in more than speculation about its financial condition. Moreover I'm just trying to explain why we ended up with Siege of Dragonspear, an entirely unnecessary addition to an already celebrated series, rather than an original story. I can imagine the creators of SoD would've had a lot more fun if they could've created an entirely original story, too, rather than having to wedge their creativity potential into the narrative gap between BG1 & BG2.

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 2,240
    edited March 6
    @JuliusBorisov Strongly agree with you.

    It's great to have an addition, even if I don't like every single aspect of it.

    The way I see, SoD only have three huge problems:

    1) The parley scene - and just because you have evidence against Hephernan and can't do anything with it.

    2) The end of the game, as it does not explain why you were in Irenicus' cage. It just gives you a (strong) reason to leave Baldur's Gate.

    3) The Soultaker Dagger plot being completely ignored in BG2EE.

    Other than that, I like it very much. Some other little things bugs me, but even the classic games have this sort of things.

    Post edited by Raduziel on
    JuliusBorisovContemplative_Hamsterlefreutronaldo
  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 554
    Raduziel said:

    @JuliusBorisov Strongly agree with you.

    It's great to have an addition, even if I don't like every single aspect of it.

    The way I see, SoD only have three huge problems:

    1) The parley scene - and just because you have evidence against Hephernan and can't do anything with it.

    2) The end of the game, as it does not explain why you were in Irenicu's cage. It just gives you a (strong) reason to leave Baldur's Gate.

    3) The Soultaker Dagger plot being completely ignored in BG2EE.

    Other than that, I like it very much. Some other little things bugs me, but even the classic games have this sort of things.

    That puts my feelings into words quite well, too. Although I would add to no. 2 "why you were in Irenicus' Dungeon with the default party, i.e. why the default party were the ones joining at the end of SoD".

  • bleusteelbleusteel Member Posts: 366
    edited March 6
    jastey said:

    Raduziel said:

    @JuliusBorisov Strongly agree with you.

    It's great to have an addition, even if I don't like every single aspect of it.

    The way I see, SoD only have three huge problems:

    1) The parley scene - and just because you have evidence against Hephernan and can't do anything with it.

    2) The end of the game, as it does not explain why you were in Irenicu's cage. It just gives you a (strong) reason to leave Baldur's Gate.

    3) The Soultaker Dagger plot being completely ignored in BG2EE.

    Other than that, I like it very much. Some other little things bugs me, but even the classic games have this sort of things.

    That puts my feelings into words quite well, too. Although I would add to no. 2 "why you were in Irenicus' Dungeon with the default party, i.e. why the default party were the ones joining at the end of SoD".
    I thought it was clear that the canon party was captured with you because of their motivation from BG1.

    Jaheira and Khalid swore to watch over Charname (whether Charname wants to be watched or not).

    Dynaheir and Minsc were on a mission to study Bhaalspawn.

    Imoen is your sister and asked people from the siege camp for help. The only ones motivated to do so were the canon members.

    Makes sense to me.

    ThacoBellStummvonBordwehrRaduziel
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,796

    Every time I hear "an entirely unnecessary addition to an already celebrated series" I crunch inside. As a fan of the series, I have always wanted to know what happened between 2 games. Why a hero of Baldur's Gate ends up in Amn under dark circumstances, which circumstances, etc.

    So for me it was very much necessary. When I add to that the fact it's another game in my favourite Infinity Engine (thus battles, tactics, items), another game with my favourite D&D creatures and quests, another game with my favourite voice over actors, I can't hold my joy.

    If you listen to old livestreams and read old comments, you'll see that writers and voice over actors of SoD loved Baldur's Gate. So of course they were glad to work on something that had been their interest/hobby/favourite product back in the day.

    So an opinion about "an entirely unnecessary addition to an already celebrated series" is an opinion. I respect it, ok, but will never admit this should be truth.

    A commentator said this about the latest Star Wars trilogy and the film, The Last Jedi, in particular.

    "They had one chance, one chance in the history of the universe to bring back the original cast and give us the closure that, as fans, we have been waiting for.
    And they blew it."

    SOD is nowhere near as bad and obviously the emotional involvement is nowhere near as devastating, characters, at least, survived intact.

    But the story of SOD is just wrong and doesn't fit.
    The Gods were forbidden from interfering with the Bhaalspawn, the whole concept of the BG saga was that this was a scenario that had to play out.
    Irenicus was a clever introduction because he actually set himself against the Gods and that allowed him to be an outlier,

    SOD never addresses that, it uses charname being a Bhaalspawn as a central theme yet doesn't do it's homework. Within the saga, charname being a Bhaalspawn doesn't kick in properly until TOB, and there's a reason for that within the development arc. It unbalances the overall arc and as such lessens the saga.

  • verlaineverlaine Member Posts: 47
    ThacoBell said:

    What about this? What if, when you parley and join the crusaders, you oust Hephernaan as a traitor. He leaves in a huff (taking a sizeable chunk of the crusaders with him). Later in Dragonspear while Caelar is briefing you on the crusades (stated) intentions, you get word that Hephernaan has launched an attack on the Coalition camp. In addition to the crusaders that left with him, he has summoned several demons (or devils, I always get them mixed). So you still have a fantastic large scale battle, but its to rescue the C. camp from Hephernaan, rather than sieging Dragonspear. Afterwards you join Caelar and enter the portal together. You wouldn't even need to change the Hell segment. As Caelar's true intention for the invasion of Hell would have been kept from you (with her sticking to the "rescued fallen of Dragonspear" narrative up until this point.)


    Most of what you describe is exactly what this mod does http://www.shsforums.net/topic/59746-mod-shine-on-caelar-part-1/
    The Hephernaan vs Coalition battle was originally intended, however Roxanne deleted it again for the released version because it made too many changes to to the original plot, Now the joining Caelar alternative deviates as little from the original story as possible. The deviation seems to sync with the main at the point of Hephernaan's treason at the portal already. The rest is just done by adding dialogue options to some talks that reflect your joining with Caelar, but no changes in plot.
    The modder's argument for this was *compatibility* and not creating a new game but just an alternative at some crucial point.

    Having tested both variations for her, I somehow agree. The way it's done is very careful not to be destructive. It's very much in the tradition of the SoA Brynnlaw Alternatives.

    Why Hephernaan would start a battle BEFORE he has opened the portal, when it's open he has all the devils he can dream on to eliminate all the crusade and no risk?

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 5,283
    @verlaine Because, after being ousted to Caelar by Charname, he can't. He is forced to flee and attacks the Coalition camp to try and acquire a staging area for his own siege on Dragonspear. The dead coalition soldiers would also provide good undead fodder.

  • KuselKusel Member Posts: 50
    edited March 6
    ThacoBell said:

    @verlaine Because, after being ousted to Caelar by Charname, he can't. He is forced to flee and attacks the Coalition camp to try and acquire a staging area for his own siege on Dragonspear. The dead coalition soldiers would also provide good undead fodder.

    I did play the version @verlaine is mentioning as well. You had the battle more or less with H. taking Caelar's role.
    I understand why it's not good, it just felt as railroaded as it was before, like there needs to be that battle come what may. We have the big code and the pyrotechnics and we need to show them to you.
    In the end, less can be more. When you confront H. with what you know and you convince C. to believe you, he flees to the portal. And when you follow, he plays the trick like in original. And you go on from there.

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