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Thoughts on the game having just now finished (with SPOILERS)

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Comments

  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 1,089
    @batoor That makes a lot of sense then, indeed. Thanks for pointing that out!

    Raduzieltypo_tilly
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 166
    @Maurvir That was pretty stupid in my opinion though.
    You have explosives and a way into the innermost part of the enemy castle.
    What you end up doing is using the explosives against a wooden fence protecting the outermost bailey of the castle. A fence that could have been taken down any number of ways. A fence that the enemy chose to protect with a small group of archers outside of the castle.

    If I had been the commander, I would not have opened a second front in the keep interior. I would have opened the main front there. There are no real defensive structures down there after all. Even if the elevator is a serious bottleneck, I would still prefer that over having my troops charge against well-defended walls.

    I actually agree on that point. Going through the front door is almost always a terrible idea. Yes, being rate limited by the elevator is a problem, but once you take the elevator and lower basement, you then can bring up the rest of your troops and spring them on the castle proper. In almost any scenario like that, it is much better to find a hidden weakness than to barge in where you are expected.

    Also, while the game considers it the "evil" move, putting a psychedelic or depressant in the enemy's food and water would be a legit move as well. In a way, that may even be more humane in the end, as the fight will end without the mass casualties you would otherwise have.

    Isewein
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 166
    megamike15 wrote: »
    Raduziel wrote: »
    Maurvir wrote: »
    Raduziel wrote: »
    Another good place for a massive dungeon would be the Basalt Tower - instead of a lift, it would be more appealing to fight our way to the top (and that wouldn't damage the sense of urgency). I don't know if that comes from some FR canon, though.

    If you mean the lift you take from the underground river, I'm pretty sure you were supposed to be spying, not opening a second front. ;)

    No. The lift at the very end of the DLC (as I said, the Basalt Tower).
    The one in Avernus that takes you to Belhifet.

    well as i'm not that familiar with forgotten realms lore that isnt from the games. i had no idea that tower had a name.

    I didn't realize it had a name either, hence the confusion. However, in hindsight, it's fairly obvious. Doh! :|

    Raduziel
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 866
    megamike15 wrote: »
    well there was the fact that he said he would come back in 100 years. and thats how long there is between iwd 1 and bg 1.

    so it does make sense why he is there.

    It's less than that between those two games, though.

    I've thought the 100 came from that rule where a devil or a demon could not be destroyed permanently on a plane not their own, but would be banished for a century instead. Like at Watcher's Keep, if you choose to fight D.

  • fthkufthku Member Posts: 21
    A thought which occurred to me today, as I had just finished SoD again and moved on to BG2, is that I might've also been biased against it due to the very nature of the DLC - being set in between two of the old games.

    I love BG2 more than BG1, TotSC and SoD, and as I said every time I restart the series I basically just look forward to reaching the BG2 part. Having said that, I found that I still have a sort of "bum factor" whenever I finish SoD, because it has a feeling of finishing the new content, the new game, and then advancing to the old part (I hope that was clear). It's not just about the graphics, though I would certainly like to see BG2 maps completely redone with today's capabilities, it also sucks that you're basically spending time on the expansion (SoD) which isn't recognized at all by the following game and there are no references (that I know of) to it. I think that is why I didn't really like that concept of putting the game in-between. I realize that this was the entire point, of bridging what happened between BG1 and 2, and still.

    Other than that though, I can safely say now I thoroughly enjoyed SoD more than I have in the past, and that is in part thanks to this review, which really brought up some major good points which I was blinded to.

    Isewein
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 8,906
    @fthku The REALLY crappy part of it? There were originally plans to port some SoD content over to BG2. Some of the new npcs were teased as possible, dialogue references to SoD (Neera actually has a line commenting on it in BG2), and even a full blown side quest for the Soultaker in BG2 got so far as having been plotted. It was gonna involve charname returning to chateu Irenicus (now in ruins) to find that it was being inhabited by somebody/something. But all the fake controversy made Beamdog change their mids about it.
    SoD is my second part of the whole series (right behind BG2) so I I keep poking and prodding Beamdog to add some SoDing love to BG2.

    fthkuTimbo0o0o0Isewein
  • SamuelVargSamuelVarg Member Posts: 595
    I, for one, loved the females in SoD.

    ThacoBell
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,402
    edited April 28
    @AndrewFoley thanks for taking some of your time to answer those.

    If I understood correctly, Beamdog actively decided to railroad the game? That sounds like a shot on their own foot.

    Too bad that apparently so many things were cut out. I'm not a big fan of SoD but I do think that more BG is always a welcome thing.

    I don't know who exactly was above you in the chain of command but they've dropped the ball. In my opinion, not being able to side with Caelar at the parley scene killed the game. SoD a lot of times gave me the feeling of being watching a movie instead of playing a game.

    I wouldn't put the big dungeon right at the beginning of the game, but that would be better than no big dungeon at all. Heh, I'm a fanboy of Icewind Dale, so dungeon crawling is my thing.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing.

    Post edited by Raduziel on
    KamigoroshilefreutLudwig_IIArtona
  • SamuelVargSamuelVarg Member Posts: 595
    edited April 28
    SoD is a VERY good expansion game (or whatever you want to call it). I never liked ToB at all so I loved to get a new chapter that I really enjoyed.

    ThacoBell
  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 963
    @Raduziel You must not forget the restraints of time and money. Given the options of giving the players lots of freedom but then running out of time to finish the game on the one hand and streamlining the game and meeting the deadlines on the other, it is only reasonable that Beamdog would choose the latter.

    I feel like the company is generally struggling to keep up with its schedules more than it should, though. As I am an outside observer I cannot say what is really going on, but it seems weird. The games have been using a buggy UI for years now.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 166
    SamuelVarg wrote: »
    SoD is a VERY good expansion game (or whatever you want to call it). I never liked ToB at all so I loved to get a new chapter that I really enjoyed.

    Yes, compared to ToB, SoD absolutely nailed it. I got to the point in ToB quickly where I was tempted to just put it on story mode and push to the end to say I did it. It wasn't that the battles were all that hard, I just got bored with it. There were some really great moments, like Draconis, the mercenary battles towards the end, and even some aspects of Saradush were pretty cool. Unfortunately, the whole package just felt like a tacked on ending.

    In contrast, I loved nearly every minute of SoD. Sure, it had the same linearity, but in the context of a war party marching off to battle, it made more sense. While I wish it could have had more side quests, it was still a good game overall, and I would definitely buy it again knowing what I do now.

    As an aside, I'm a bit surprised that the folks at Beamdog didn't realize that bisexuality and transgenderism would be more controversial than run of the mill homosexuality. The inclusion didn't bother me, and in fact I have long felt that Jaheira should have been bisexual in BG2 (it would have been moot in BG1 due to Khalid) Unfortunately, I was entirely unsurprised that Corwin and Mizhena caused undue uproar. :(

    ThacoBellIsewein
  • Ludwig_IILudwig_II Member Posts: 179
    edited April 28
    Thank you for your insights @AndrewFoley . Considering Beamdog is quite secretive in general, this is probably the most informative post I have ever read in this forum.

    When I read the posts here, it makes me realize how different everyone's experience with the same game can be. I read a lot of complaints about the NPCs and personality of companions in SOD, but after finishing the game twice I haven't noticed any that felt out of place to me. I actually quite enjoyed the writing of companions, antagonists, side quests, etc. I feel like the main thing that made people agitated was Amber's comments about it, stuff like giving a personality upgrade to Safana, putting SJW stuff to games on purpose, etc. For example, Safana didn't feel out of character at all to me, but when I read that comment before playing the game, I wasn't happy about that either.

    So, even though I like SOD a lot in general, I still have a big issue with the game, which you have already kindly explained:
    But you should have had the opportunity to side with the crusade near the end.

    This was explicitly forbidden by parties very high up the chain, not just at the end but throughout the game. We were not allowed to give the PC the option to side with Caelar. The rationale given was that anyone who had any intelligence whatsoever that wasn't under Caelar/Hephernaan's influence would know, with absolute certainty, that Caelar's publicly stated goal was doomed to failure.

    I argued the player should have that choice, even if, with the limited resources we had available, that would necessitate knocking the player out, skip huge chunks of the game, and wake up next to the portal to Avernus. That idea, which was admittedly far from ideal, was shot down very hard and very fast by people who know more about videogames than I ever will. I still think it would have made more sense, though I shudder to think of the blowback we'd have gotten if we did it.

    Raduziel also mentioned something similar, but this is the biggest mistake Beamdog made with SOD in my opinion. It could be really easy and cost effective to make a cheap alternative like you said, skipping some sections but at least giving the player an option. This would make the game much more intuitive by giving the player an actual choice, even if not ideal, instead of 5 different conversation options which all lead to the same outcome. The way it's done now just makes me feel like I'm being tricked. Beamdog is saying to me: "Ok feel free to pick any of these 5 different conversation options as if it matters." Well, then it might as well have been a cutscene, and we could have watched it all.
    "anyone who had any intelligence whatsoever that wasn't under Caelar/Hephernaan's influence would know, with absolute certainty, that Caelar's publicly stated goal was doomed to failure."
    This is wrong in so many ways. SOD is showing us thousands of people in the Sword Coast following Caelar blindly, yet we can't because of this absolute certainty... I guess Beamdog was trying to teach us irony. Moreover, we had the chance to be influenced by Caelar, because she addressed us directly at some point.

    Those people who know videogames too much and made this decision in the end, I wish they played Arcanum once or twice before. They could see how giving meaningful options to the player (which can lead to skipping major parts of the game/plot) and making the world reactive to your decisions can provide such an amazing experience to the player, even though main things like combat is really bad, repetitive and unbalanced.

    ArtonaIsewein
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 8,906
    I personally loved most of the companions, I challenge anybody to find an example where Safana's personality in BG1 was changed. There was no personality to speak of. I think SoD's biggest issue was in the clarity of some story beats. Some things you weren't told outright, so you had to piece it together yourself from different scraps of info you are given. As much as people act like they like stories that act like they are intelligent, its telling that people complain about SoD not explaining some things, when the info was there the whole time.

    megamike15
  • AaezilAaezil Member Posts: 149
    Limiting dialougue length and choice for the sake of smaller screens was a terrible choice and i hope beamdog can learn from their mistake there

    Ludwig_IIIseweinRaduziel
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 166
    Aaezil wrote: »
    Limiting dialougue length and choice for the sake of smaller screens was a terrible choice and i hope beamdog can learn from their mistake there

    This. Altering the UI to allow for better dialog handling would have been vastly preferable to making the dialog shorter "to fit". This was a classic case of form over function.

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 1,613
    well it's easy to revert back to the old ui with using a mod. i just prefer to keep the new ui as i like it better. my only issues with it was the journal which i can change with mods so i'm good.

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