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Should I make SoD canon in my mind...or not?

Hello,
I'm going to start an EET playthrough pretty soon, but I admit I'm really really undecided if I should install or not SoD. That is because SoD has no real effect on BG2, but the premises being set on SOD are way too heavy compared to TOTSC or any other quest mod.

So it's like if you start watching Game of Thrones and from one day some important characters just disappear from one season to another without any explanation and without any reference to what happened in the past.

Now, is there any way to make the thought of SoD being "canon" possible? I appreciated many things about SoD, but when it comes to the story department it left me with a clear bad taste in my mouth and I don't know how to reconcile what happens there and BG2 + ToB.

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Comments

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,626
    SoD IS canon. What problems did you have with the story?

    StummvonBordwehrVasculioAerakar
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,183
    edited July 27
    @Arthas

    that's not how canon works. you can create your version or reinterpretation of the events but that's exactly the opposite of canon.

    there's also the notion of 'headcanon' but that means filling the gaps in the story, or imagining things that happened before or after, not things that are contrary to canon. that's just non-canon

    the story of SoD is simple and logical, and there's no need to reconcile anything

    the only problematic thing is that some of the followers leave you when it doesn't seem completely believable. but it's done to enforce the preexisting canon (canon party) so it's not a specific SoD thing

    have in mind that i'm not saying that the SoD is artistically great, or even good, but it's hard to deny that it functions as a chapter in the whole saga

    StummvonBordwehrOrlonKronsteenAerakar
  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,339
    edited July 31
    Is canon 'objective' (if something isn't written by the original author/writers then it can't be canon) or 'subjective' (written by someone else with the same style, mindset and integrity of the original writer then it can be considered canon)?

    Edit: Or just plain greedy, like the truly awful fourth book in the Millenium series written after Stieg Larrson's death.

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,023
    @dunbar Given those choices I would argue that it is 'objective'. For example, I don't regard any of the new NPCs added in the Enhanced Editions as being canon. I find their presence in the game intrusive and I think they should have been made available as optional content rather than as an integral part of the game.

    The new NPCs feature heavily in SoD, which means that whilst it might work as a continuation of BG:EE it makes no sense as a continuation of BG1. Therefore, for me at least, SoD can never be canon because it features characters who should never have been imposed on the original saga in the first place.

    ArthasBelgarathMTH
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,626
    Some people really can't see through their nostalgia goggles, can they?

    Dev6Raduziel
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,362
    edited July 31

    @dunbar Given those choices I would argue that it is 'objective'. For example, I don't regard any of the new NPCs added in the Enhanced Editions as being canon. I find their presence in the game intrusive and I think they should have been made available as optional content rather than as an integral part of the game.

    The new NPCs feature heavily in SoD, which means that whilst it might work as a continuation of BG:EE it makes no sense as a continuation of BG1. Therefore, for me at least, SoD can never be canon because it features characters who should never have been imposed on the original saga in the first place.

    The presence of Trent Oster and Cameron Tofer as Beamdog founders and original members of the Bioware development team (Tofer was the creator of Minsc as well as the photo model for Garrick) would be an argument for SoD being "objective canon".

    Also, WotC made Neera canon in the Legends of Baldur's Gate comics.

    When Minsc was revived from stone form, he mistook Delina for Neera.


    In your own playthroughs, make whatever you want your own "canon".

    Post edited by AstroBryGuy on
    ronaldoThacoBellStummvonBordwehr
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,362
    Raduziel said:

    Well, the lack of references to SoD in BG2 is a narrative problem, but so is the lack of references to BG1.

    I'll repeat what @ThacoBell said: SoD is canon.

    And it is your mind, you can do with it whatever pleases you.

    I remember Rasaad and Neera referring to Bridgefort in BG2.

    ThacoBellVasculio
  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,023
    ThacoBell said:

    Some people really can't see through their nostalgia goggles, can they?

    That's not really an argument is it? It's just a snide comment.

    I really like the BG Enhanced Editions except for the new NPCs. The problem with them is that they are very different from the original NPCs (not so much in terms of character but in the way they are implemented) and they are impossible to avoid. If you don't like Kivan you can walk past him but the only way to avoid Neera is to steer clear of most of Beregost.

    I thought the point of the Enhanced Editions was going to be to make it easier for us to mod our games not to have someone else's mods imposed on us.

    If you like Neera, Dorn and Rasaad fine but I can see no reason why they coulnd't have been introduced as optional content.

    KilivitzContemplative_Hamster
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,626
    They aren't different from the original. The ONLY reason they stand out at all, is because they weren't in the original. They fit in very very well amonst the original npcs. So yes, nostalgia is an argument.

    StummvonBordwehr
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,362

    ThacoBell said:

    Some people really can't see through their nostalgia goggles, can they?

    That's not really an argument is it? It's just a snide comment.

    I really like the BG Enhanced Editions except for the new NPCs. The problem with them is that they are very different from the original NPCs (not so much in terms of character but in the way they are implemented) and they are impossible to avoid. If you don't like Kivan you can walk past him but the only way to avoid Neera is to steer clear of most of Beregost.

    I thought the point of the Enhanced Editions was going to be to make it easier for us to mod our games not to have someone else's mods imposed on us.

    If you like Neera, Dorn and Rasaad fine but I can see no reason why they coulnd't have been introduced as optional content.
    Neera's introduction is handled the same as Viconia's or Alora's. (i.e., they see you and initiate dialog with you)

    ThacoBellVasculioMirandel
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 3,226

    Raduziel said:

    Well, the lack of references to SoD in BG2 is a narrative problem, but so is the lack of references to BG1.

    I'll repeat what @ThacoBell said: SoD is canon.

    And it is your mind, you can do with it whatever pleases you.

    I remember Rasaad and Neera referring to Bridgefort in BG2.
    That completely passed me by. Very good move from Beamdog, then.

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,023
    edited August 1
    ThacoBell said:

    They aren't different from the original. The ONLY reason they stand out at all, is because they weren't in the original. They fit in very very well amonst the original npcs. So yes, nostalgia is an argument.

    They seem very different to me - they are given far more voiced dialogue and that makes them stand out from the original NPCs. As I said, it is not the characters themselves but the way they are implemented that makes them feel intrusive to me.

    All I am arguing is that it would have been be better to have given people a choice over how they wanted to mod their game. Choice is good.

  • ArthasArthas Member Posts: 501
    edited August 1
    I harshly criticize it because even a kid of 12 years old could make the story. Am I exagerating? I've made cringe content too but I had 12 years old when I did that and still it was better than what I've seen.

    There are some good things about Sod, namely encounters, the quest C&C, but it all proves ultimately useless due to how derailed the story is and how silly it is.

    You don't even feel the weight of what you've done in Sod inside Baldur's gate 2 and people talk about the same being about BG1. But sorry, it was not I that claimed that SoD would be the bridge between these two games. A bridge that is actually floating separated by the other two parts; and when you talk about how things are certainly bad, you are going to get criticized hashly.

    It doesn't matter that Trent or whoever else worked on BG when it was made. That doesn't mean that you can't notice the glaring differences between the quality of the two, to the point that you could claim to be amatorial content. And even if you do claim it as such, not even this definition would be correct to name it, simply because the content feels like a sore thumb.

    Try to compare Totsc and SoD, then tell me SoD is better. To this day, Totsc Durlag's tower is actually claimed to be one of the best dungeon that was ever made (and I hate it, but I can definitely see why people think it this way), while nothing will ever be claimed to be "great" for SoD, at best it will be ok.

    None of the strong points of Sod makes me objectively say, that could have been there from the beginning and I wouldn't have noticed

    Add on top of that, that I think it is even worse than ToB. At least ToB reach Sod silliness only in the end, where Balthazar, even if you are legal good with 20 reputation and behaving as a saint won't join you.

    But a simple mod fixed it, because people actually truly cared.

    While some words defending on a game that is actually objectively bad won't do anything.

    Time ago there was even a discussion on how to fix the npcs, and no one of the developers cared enough to actually chime in and show that the game is a work of love.

    I'm sorry, but I can't consider SoD canon and I won't consider the EE canon too.

    I was just looking for a rationale discussion about why it should be canon and the best justification was that the game was made by the two people that worked there (as if it was enough).


    An edit: there is only one way SoD's story can work. If you play a chaotic stupid character.

    UnderstandMouseMagicBelgarathMTHVasculioDJKajuru
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,118

    It's not canon for me and never will be. I can't even play it through nowadays, and I've tried, God knows I've tried.

    Mind you, IMO, nothing about a RPG where the charname has choices should ever be considered "canon".

    The word/description is used as an argument "winner" by people whose enjoyment of the game aligns with the choices made for them by the writers. It's a false claim to legitamacy that their choices are the "correct" ones.

    And it's all so illogical, Imoen is "canon" yet we all know she was stuck in the game late in BG to solve a problem (getting to the FAI), and was killed in BG2 until the audience objected.
    So when or what or how is the criterior for "canon" decided?

    SOD in particular has this problem, can't get the original voice actors the characters disappear, manage to get a famous one last minute, bugger up the whole game (and affect the whole saga) incorporating them.

    It's all utterly meaningless to label anything "canon".

    BelgarathMTHVasculio
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 3,993

    It's all utterly meaningless to label anything "canon".

    I agree with that. The term was originally used in relation to the bible to distinguish between works that were officially recognized by the church and those that were not. That process caused a lot of argument - and that's still the case now when the term's applied to fictional works like Star Trek or Baldur's Gate :D.

    As the term relates to official recognition it's certainly reasonable to say that SoD must be canon as the material is approved by the license holders to that fictional universe. However, there's also some merit to the argument that the existing license holders are so far removed from the original creators of BG that SoD should be considered canon in its own fictional universe rather than in the BG universe.

    Whatever your view of that argument, however, I agree with @UnderstandMouseMagic that it's pretty meaningless. If you enjoy the content in SoD then play it; if you don't enjoy the content don't play it - and in either case don't let your views about whether it's canon or not change what you enjoy ...

    ArctodusBelgarathMTHVasculioMirandel
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,626
    edited August 1
    Me being a douche, nothing to see here, move along.

    Post edited by ThacoBell on
  • NeverusedNeverused Member Posts: 572
    I played the originals like once before finding the EEs, so I highly doubt I have a nostalgia bias. And I’m glad Beamdog tried stuff, cuz that led to some pretty great characters like M’khinn, and a bit of extra exploration of Minsc’s and Dynaheir’s dynamics. But they also definitely missed the mark with a lot of NPCs. Neera, especially in SoD, is flat out irritating and it’s about something I literally couldn’t care less about. Rasaad doesn’t even HAVE a personal quest or any growth that I’m aware of in SoD. I could go on, snd I have before, but there’s definitely room between “Beamdog can do no wrong” and “Beamdog can do no right.”

    Reconciling it with BG2 and ToB... not too difficult, I guess, since CHARNAME’s already having memory issues with Imoen, of all people, at the beginning of SoA. News of Sarevok’s takedown didn’t make it to Amn, so I’m not too surprised the crusade wouldn’t have either. News apparently travels slowly in the Realms.

    ArctodusThacoBellBelgarathMTHVasculio
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,362
    Arctodus said:

    I don't absolve BD from any criticism though, far from it. For instance, I don't understand why they haven't change the way Neera's encounter triggers in the recent patches. It could be something like : if you say you're not interested to help her, she just go away without dragging you into a fight, à la Viconia. There's just no downside to this type of implementation. The way things are now, since I don't like Neera, there's a whole area in Beregost that I just stay away from.

    FYI, Beamdog marked my suggestion for improving Neera's interjection "Fixed" 2 months ago, so hopefully, it (or some other implementation) will be in v2.5 update.

    ArctodusThacoBellGrond0Vasculio
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,626
    @Kilivitz Ugh, I'm sorry. I've had a rough week so far and I posted in frustration. If you care to, I think an in depth discussion of SoD's story with you might be fun when I'm feeling normal. Disregard my last post.

  • CamDawgCamDawg Member, Developer Posts: 3,216

    FYI, Beamdog marked my suggestion for improving Neera's interjection "Fixed" 2 months ago, so hopefully, it (or some other implementation) will be in v2.5 update.

    It is indeed.

    AstroBryGuyArctodusThacoBellbob_veng
  • ArthasArthas Member Posts: 501
    edited August 1
    @Artemius_I people actually posted a shittons of ideas on how to improve these npcs, but no one but you and another person went actually through to make a mod for them. If that is not a genuine disinterest on them, what is it?

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 1,174

    I still don’t understand why people vilify Neera’s encounter so much. I mean sure, no other party member forces an hard encounter on you and it’s great if there’s an out for it now but Tarnesh kills me far more often and he actually blocks off a fairly notable early location including access to Khalid and Jaheira and everyone seems to love it. I just feel like there’s a double standard there.

    i recently rewatched a video about the king quest remake and one of the person's problems with it was someone walking up to him and starting a conversation on his own. he called this " shut up i'm questing.'

    this seems to be the exact same issue most people have with the ee npcs. even tho alot of the npcs in the original game [ mostly in 2] do it as well and i never hear people complain.

    naila walks up to you.

    amoean starts a conversation if you are near him

    both viconia encounters start with out your consent. heck bg 2 viconia has the same issue people have with neera as it starts on a certain part of the map and the only way to avoid it is to avoid said part of the map.

    this just seems hypocritical to me.

    ThacoBellDurendalsubtledoctor
  • ArctodusArctodus Member Posts: 996
    edited August 1
    It's not necessarily hypocritical to dislike things about the EE npcs. I actually don't like that Nalia comes up to talk to you everytime you get near her. When I want to delay the start of her quest, I actually have to tell her off everytime I go into the Copper Coronet or sleep there. It is enervating and a pain in the ... for the same reason the start of Neera's quest is enervating. And there's a difference with Viconia's encounters : if you tell her off (BG1) or let her burn (BG2), there's no encounter. There's a difference because you have a choice.

    However, to be honest, when I say enervating, I really mean minor ennoyance. If Beamdog would have stopped patching the game at 2.3, I would have been fine with the state of the Neera encounter. It's not like they throw an high level mage in there. It's not that bad, but still would have avoided that area.

    However, I get what you mean @megamike15. I personally don't like Neera, but I don't mind that she exist. It's not because she's an EE npc that I dislike her, I just dislike her like, say, I dislike Anomen. What is hypocritical is to dislike the EE npcs because they're from the EEs, like @Artemius_I said. It's just a cognitive bias. However, you can totally dislike the implementation of certain encounters, whether they're from the EEs or not.

    Raduziel
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