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Am I the only one that liked BG1 more than BG2?????????

I played both games when they first came out as a young lad (early teens). I never finished BG1 as a kid, I always stopped just before Baldur’s gate city. I managed to finish BG2 and its expansions though but was mostly just cheesing through the game. So I played through both enhanced editions after they went on sale this summer…….. and I gotta be honest…. I like BG1 better…….

I played through BG1 finishing about 90% of the side quests and all of the expansion content. Took me about 40 hours and I couldn’t stop playing. Then playing through BG 2 wasn’t quite as smooth. I stopped a few times and took a break for a week or so at a time. I would even take breaks from playing through BG2 to go back and play more BG1!

Now I still think BG2 is absolutely amazing. The story is still phenomenal the gameplay is great, and BG1 & BG2 work perfectly together. The power pacing is so amazingly perfect. The fact that by the end of the expansion you are… literally… godlike in your powers is all the more meaningful because you remember leaving Candle Keep with pitiful weapons and then having your party get cut down to half health after the first wolf you face!

But for me BG1 had perfect pacing. Things made sense, you had clear short term goals that perfectly flowed into long term plot development. Like any good story the micro existed to serve the macro level plot. Even the side questing felt natural along the way of the main story. I’m in Berogast… I have to go to Nashkel….. I have a bunch of side quests in my journal…… as I’m going from point A to point B I’ll explore all areas in between them. Everything was paced perfectly and seemed to flow naturally. Even the expansion felt amazing, like a fantastic epilogue.

Meanwhile BG2 had such erratic passing through it’s first 20 hours. It started with an opening dungeon that took WAY TOO LONG in my opinion to get through. Then you get out into the open and get given a grand important goal…….. and then the side questing starts……… This game felt like it started the Western RPG “A.D.D.” approach to questing. I would go to the bar to get quests to get money I would think “all right. I have this one I want to focus on it.” As soon as I leave dialogue starts with another quest. Then I go to another zone and see a scripted even and get another quest, then when I’m traveling to the zone I want to go to I get stopped mid travel with a scripted encounter, I then have to go BACK to the city with an item, then more quests get thrown at me while I’m going to the new districts. THEN my part starts complaining ‘Oh we should check out this lead sooner than later’. Before I knew it this “BIG” macro level plot element is far in the back ground, I haven’t even gotten to the first area I wanted to go before I watched plot trees exponentially expand. I just wanted to sit the game down and say “YOU”RE INTERESTING ENOUGH! You don’t need to keep throwing things at me 100 miles an hour! Calm down and take some Ritalin!”.

Eventually the game does come back together and calm down. But I was just jarred by how all over the place the pacing was. The high level story didn’t seem to flow as naturally. After 90 minutes you get the “State of the plot” but then you need to faff about another 20 or so hours before you move that plot point to the next level. BG1 felt like it was gradually unravelling as you progressed, with a constant mix of side questing and overall plot being portioned out to you.

I also thought the combat was a bit tighter in BG1. BG2 it became easy to start getting OP and relying on your super abilities. The amount of buffs and dispels you need to manage also became a bit daunting and I stopped remembering what specific buffs even did, it just became “A.B.C.D.E…….” before tough fights, there’s also a lot more wizard battles in BG2 where you needed to memorize the right way to strip defensive buffs. The epic feel was still kind of nice, but I like the more compact tighter feel of a narrower set of variables. The last boss of the BG1 Vanilla and then Tales of the Sword coast were both legitimate “Bugger my britches this is interesting….. how can I do this”, whereas late BG2 & expansion there were few fights that didn’t just melt to the correct application of buffs/debuffs and then Stop Time/Dragon’s Breath.

So anyways…. LONG rant there I guess. But I am really alone on this? Did anyone else enjoy BG1 more than BG2? I still love BG2 still one of my favorite games of all time, but I just felt like when it expanded into the epic behemoth it became it lost a bit of detail and polish (Kind of like how I feel Portal 1 is better than Portal 2 for similar reasons). Maybe I’m just alone…..

Cluasrufus_hobartdreamriderTheGraveDiggerBlackravenBelgarathMTHstyggaTuthjackjackKoyotemch202Merinatypo_tillyAnduinAwong124
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Comments

  • FleshIsADesignFlawFleshIsADesignFlaw Member Posts: 39
    edited September 2014
    It's very close to me. There are some things that BG1 does better, such as ambient music and the many unnamed locations to discover. There is nothing quite like exploring the sword coast with those memorable soundtracks for the first time!

    I do agree that the pacing of BG2 is inferior but it does many things better than BG2. More involved and interesting quests, creatures magical and mysterious to do battle with. All things magic are better in BG2.

    I think it's only ToB where the wonderful details and rich side quests start taking a back seat for the epicness . On it's own that makes ToB a good but not great game. If you've played your character all the way through BG1, though, it's fitting final chapter to an epic journey.

    The_New_RomanceJuliusBorisov
  • CluasCluas Member Posts: 355
  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    Well I like both games an awful lot. Ultimately, I usually give the edge to BG2 because I like the way the NPC interactions really bring those characters and the world to life for me.

    But it's a close call. I love the wide open exploration of Bg1, and I just generally prefer the lower to mid level game play. I often find BG easier to jump into when I have less than an hour to play.
    And I know you're not alone. Many fans prefer 1 to 2.
    Practically speaking, I consider both games to be the same thing. When people ask what I'm playing I most often just say "Baldur's Gate", and give little thought to exactly where in the saga I currently am.

    JLeeGoturalJuliusBorisovMoomintroll
  • TheRaven476TheRaven476 Member Posts: 44
    Yeah I do think that more importantly the 2 games make up such a great "Whole". The feeling of one character from start to finish is unparalleled in any game.

    Whenever I talk about it to my friends I always bring up my first post candle keep encounter with BG1EE where I would basically go "Magic Missile!" watch a little pink ball fly towards a wolf for like 3 damage and then go .... "Ummmm...... Immoen....... You got this right?"

    And I honestly couldn't' tell you when any significant power bump occurred from then to when I would cast Time Stop and bring the PAIN with Wild Mage shenanigans (Thank you enhanced edition for letting me chose those sweet character kits in BG1)..........

    In the end it's really like comparing War and Peace to Crime and Punishment. These are 2 amazing classics...... War and Peace may definitely be "More Epic" but I thought Crime and Punishment was more detailed.

    Good to know I'm not a freak for enjoying my time with BG1 more.

    meaglothJLeeJuliusBorisovBaptor
  • The_New_RomanceThe_New_Romance Member Posts: 839
    edited September 2014
    I understand what you mean. BG2 has more of everything, and sometimes goes over the top. BG1 is just a little more confined, minimalistic if you will, a little more lo-fi, and this isn't bad at all. I think the power curve is flatter in BG1, which I enjoy. I like having my guys equipped with regular weapons, and maybe the odd and rare magic item. Monty Haul isn't my kind of style.

    Plus, the original BG graphics are great. I love the stone interface, I love the item icons, and I love the non-mirrored avatars. I'm still miffed that Beamdog overwrote that.

    Tuthtypo_tilly
  • TheRaven476TheRaven476 Member Posts: 44
    edited September 2014
    Yeah the weapon progression is amazingly smooth as well. You're not constantly upgrading every second fight because you got a drop that had 1% better stats then what you have.

    Getting that first "Weapon +1" just made you feel like a million bucks! And if you found a Weapon +2 then you really went nuts! (Especially since I think there were only a few weapon types that ever had better than +1 in the whole game).

    BG2 did an amazing job keeping that curve. Going from +2s to +3s with a few "Legendary" items mixed in there was the majority of the game. ToB kind of went off the chains a bit at the end but by that time you're approaching close to 100 hours in BG1&2 and the entire game is pretty much going nuts at this point.

    meaglothtypo_tilly
  • moody_magemoody_mage Member Posts: 2,054
    I get a different fix from each one. I'm more likely to start up (and abandon) an new game in BG1. If I start a new game in BG2 I'll stick it out.

    typo_tilly
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,639
    As @meagloth‌ linked, this issue has been discussed in depth in other threads. I'm one who prefers BG1, and lower level play in general.

    I'd say that people who have a preference for BG1 are a significant minority among BG players.

    meaglothTuthtypo_tillyBaptor
  • ZoGarthZoGarth Member Posts: 47
    edited September 2014
    This is based more on my years of diced based role-playing, starting with DND in '78 and later AD&D (1st & 2nd edition). But the sweet spot and funnest is 3rd to 7th level. By 3rd level you don't die every time somebody sneezes, and at 7th you are powerful, but not over the top (Since you can still can die in a normal fight if not careful). After all, at 9th your granted the title of Lord. Now, as far as the unmodded BG1 this fits my scenario pretty well, and it was the first true (good) RPG in years...sorry Diablo 1 fans. But, BG2's NPC interaction, the varied impressive graphics, and the story line is Epic and carried me away (Even with the Phenomenal Cosmic powers ...in a itty bitty computer living space {My tribute to Robin Williams}). Even then, it is almost a draw. My best comparison its like when I first saw Star Wars back in 77' when I was 12 ... it holds a special place in my heart that none of the others can replace, but the Empire Strikes Back is my over-all favorite.

    atcDaveDJKajurutypo_tillyBaptor
  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    ZoGarth said:

    This is based more on my years of diced based role-playing, starting with DND in '78 and later AD&D (1st & 2nd edition). But the sweet spot and funnest is 3rd to 7th level. By 3rd level you don't die every time somebody sneezes, and at 7th you are powerful, but not over the top (Since you can still can die in a normal fight if not careful). After all, at 9th your granted the title of Lord. Now, as far as the unmodded BG1 this fits my scenario pretty well, and it was the first true (good) RPG in years...sorry Diablo 1 fans. But, BG2's NPC interaction, the varied impressive graphics, and the story line is Epic and carried me away (Even with the Phenomenal Cosmic powers ...in a itty bitty computer living space {My tribute to Robin Williams}). Even then, it is almost a draw. My best comparison its like when I first saw Star Wars back in 77' when I was 12 ... it holds a special place in my heart that none of the others can replace, but the Empire Strikes Back is my over-all favorite.

    Funny my PNP experience starts the same year! I would pretty much agree exactly, except I'd make the sweet spot a little bigger, maybe as high as 9th or 10th level. But the result is the same, BG is better for pure gameplay. BG2 is a more refined product, but it gets into the silly higher level stuff pretty quickly.

    typo_tilly
  • NexusNexus Member Posts: 19
    I have not played BG2 (though I still have the original disks Ive purchased, I just never completed BG1 until EE came out, yeah its been a long haul)

    But I suspect the sentiment will be the same I have with other cRPG's. I have a fondness for those early to mid levels. Level 1-2 are brutal in AD&D, but by the time I crack lvl 3 where you can actually take more than one hit but are still ever in danger I find the most enjoyment.

    As in other RPG's I would quit playing them because many seem to become a slog of combat micromanagement after leveling so far.

    In BG1 terms its always meant I quit after about lvl 6 or so, chapters 5-6 usually seems to be about when I burn out. Might and magic 6 it was in the late teen-late twentie levels it became a grind for me.

    It doesn't help I'm a completionist doing every side quest so it makes these games pretty long for me.

    I expect BG2 power gaming to be somewhat difficult for me to slog through, but gollygoshdarnit, I will complete it when the patch is out with my current bg1ee character to see the grand finally of this story.

    typo_tilly
  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,559
    edited September 2014
    meagloth said:
    Thanks for linking to my thread so that I didn't have to go looking for it. ;-)


    So anyways…. LONG rant there I guess.

    Don't worry, I started an even longer, rantier thread in the link that meagloth posted. ;-)

    In a nutshell, I agree that while BG2 is unquestionably more detailed and elaborate than BG1, it sacrificed some of the more fundamental aspects that made BG1 a benchmark among RPGs.


    Ironically, I was actually blown away by BG2 the first time that I ever played it, and felt that it had basically eclipsed BG1. But my estimations of it plummeted rapidly upon successive playthroughs, to the point that I'm now very much frustrated by the game. By contrast, BG1 still manages to feel largely fresh and original even though I've played it many more times.

    Tuthtypo_tilly
  • SionaSiona Member Posts: 79
    Yes, you're the only one that holds this extremely popular opinion. Congratulations.

  • BelanosBelanos Member Posts: 968
    I started out playing BG1 for awhile, but I ended up getting bored of it and jumping ahead to BG2. My biggest beef with it was all those random encounters, they started getting tedious after awhile. And the number of large maps with not really anything in them.

    lunar
  • WinterisleWinterisle Member Posts: 111
    edited September 2014
    Total BG1 fan here. I love them both, but there's nothing like the first version of the first game (without the kits or anything)

    NimranTuthlolien
  • SirBaldurSirBaldur Member Posts: 80
    As many have mentioned, the prevalence of outdoors exploration of BG1 is a huge plus, as well as being able to experience that rise from "barely able to survive" to "i'm pretty awesome". In terms of the latter, I'm playing black pits 1 right now and re-realizing how awesome it is when the 5th level druid spells open up; it's night and day with the 4th level, and you can really start to kick some butt. There's a prevalent power scarcity in BG1 that you're always trying to overcome (someone mentioned the little puny magic missile - which might be one of your 2 starter spells!), and it's very natural with the story line since you're such a noob.

    Actually I never finished BG2 - I stopped once i got to the final battle, bec at that point I had seen the entire story arc and lost interest: the battles are so drawn out and complicated, it reaches a point that the required management of it all approaches tedium. ("First i'm going to simulacrum, the i'm going to project image, and time that with all my buffs and that guy has to stand there and this guy over here" and on and on. Maybe it's just me.)

    mch202Tuthtypo_tillyBaptor
  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,559
    SirBaldur said:

    Maybe it's just me.

    No, rest assured, it isn't. ;-)

    NimranBaptor
  • NimranNimran Member Posts: 4,864
    If you think that's strange, I never finished BG even though I still prefer it over BG2, which I finished several times.

    JuliusBorisovrufus_hobart
  • mch202mch202 Member Posts: 1,455
    I prefer BG1 because the sense of exploration, wilderness and low level. I also prefer the BG1 storyline much more than of BG2, The fact that in BG2 you already know who you are maybe ruined the first time play experience of BG1 to the players who started this series with BG2.

    I remember the disappointment of standing in the Athkatla gates and unable to move on to actually explore the outside other than already marked locations, such a waste of colorful huge map.

    Also in BG1 you start the wilderness and visit desolated and small towns ( I especially liked to search for the taverns in each place, if they had more than one ) and the climax of it is entering the big city, Baldur's Gate, probably added more for me to the game experience and overall feeling.

    MoomintrollJuliusBorisovtypo_tillyBaptor
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