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  • illathidillathid Member Posts: 320

    @illathid
    Which I did in addition to other things, but my character was still treated as a presumed murderer. Unfortunately whatever maladroit writer who decided on this railroaded excuse for an ending did not have the foresight to make available a dialog choice describing how my character never touched the creature and avoided it until it apparently fainted and passed out. You nor anyone else is ever going to be able contort logic enough to shine this turd enough to convince me that this complete absence of player agency is an acceptable ending...

    Copying my response from another thread:

    Do you really think the common citizen of Baldur's Gate cares about you being a paladin? HELL NO! You've been confirmed as a Bhaalspawn and accused of murder. That's proof enough for the average citizen. The Forgotten Realms isn't like most modern nations, where you're "innocent until proven guilty". Public fear is more than enough to sink your chances at being proven innocent in court.
    Agreed. Hell even in modern society public opinion will go against what is found in the courts. One only needs to look at some recent events in the US to see this.

  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 1,082
    Especially if the victim is important enough. If it had been someone else, say Brielbara, things might have been different.

  • FlashburnFlashburn Member Posts: 1,806
    illathid said:

    @Flashburn


    You know illusions and mind control are a thing in D&D right? Hell in BG2 Firekraag disguises a bunch of paladins to look like monsters. Having Irenicus make Skie look like a slayer is easy.
    Of course, but the cutscene made it seem more like Irenicus turned Skie into a Slayer rather than forcing you to kill her via mind control magic.

  • illathidillathid Member Posts: 320
    Flashburn said:

    illathid said:

    @Flashburn


    You know illusions and mind control are a thing in D&D right? Hell in BG2 Firekraag disguises a bunch of paladins to look like monsters. Having Irenicus make Skie look like a slayer is easy.
    Of course, but the cutscene made it seem more like Irenicus turned Skie into a Slayer rather than forcing you to kill her via mind control magic.
    Eh... For what it's worth I didn't think it looked like an actual transformation at all. YMMV.

  • Mrpenfold666Mrpenfold666 Member Posts: 427
    edited April 2016
    just to point out a few points here:

    it becomes common knowledge that the CHARNAME is a son/daughter of the GOD OF MURDER, to most common people that is scary as shit to have someone who is descended from the -EVIL- GOD OF MURDER and i know i wouldn't want to be in the same hemisphere as that dude/dudette.

    and if enough people want someone dead for any reason most often the people in power have no choice but to do what they say. look at neverwinter nights, they did the exact same thing fenthick helped desther the fact that fenthick didn't know desther was evil was disregarded by the fact the mob wanted SOMEONE to pay for the plague and lord nasher had no choice but to sentence a relatively innocent man to death.


    edit:
    the paladin thing is doubly hilarious because it works if you are fallen

  • CalemyrCalemyr Member Posts: 226
    illathid said:

    Flashburn said:

    illathid said:

    @Flashburn


    You know illusions and mind control are a thing in D&D right? Hell in BG2 Firekraag disguises a bunch of paladins to look like monsters. Having Irenicus make Skie look like a slayer is easy.
    Of course, but the cutscene made it seem more like Irenicus turned Skie into a Slayer rather than forcing you to kill her via mind control magic.
    Eh... For what it's worth I didn't think it looked like an actual transformation at all. YMMV.
    Honestly, it seems like it was an illusion, but I would be thrilled if canon declared Skie was a Bhaalspawn, just a weak one like Imoen. That would have been an incredible twist, and add even more of an angle on the Scion's hatred for Irenicus. "I had a sister! And you killed her before I ever knew it!"

    That would just be incredible, especially if the Soultaker Dagger shows up in BG2 and Skie can be resurrected. I would love to assault the Throne of Bhaal alongside Sarevok, Imoen, and Skie. "The Children of Bhaal say this madness ends here!"

  • illathidillathid Member Posts: 320
    edited April 2016
    Calemyr said:

    illathid said:

    Flashburn said:

    illathid said:

    @Flashburn


    You know illusions and mind control are a thing in D&D right? Hell in BG2 Firekraag disguises a bunch of paladins to look like monsters. Having Irenicus make Skie look like a slayer is easy.
    Of course, but the cutscene made it seem more like Irenicus turned Skie into a Slayer rather than forcing you to kill her via mind control magic.
    Eh... For what it's worth I didn't think it looked like an actual transformation at all. YMMV.
    Honestly, it seems like it was an illusion, but I would be thrilled if canon declared Skie was a Bhaalspawn, just a weak one like Imoen. That would have been an incredible twist, and add even more of an angle on the Scion's hatred for Irenicus. "I had a sister! And you killed her before I ever knew it!"

    That would just be incredible, especially if the Soultaker Dagger shows up in BG2 and Skie can be resurrected. I would love to assault the Throne of Bhaal alongside Sarevok, Imoen, and Skie. "The Children of Bhaal say this madness ends here!"
    Meh... I'd rather we don't add anymore bhaalspawn myself. It'd get like all the secret targaryen theories in aSoIaF. Plus doesn't the hooded man turn other non-bhaalspawn into slayers during your dream sequences in SoD?

  • RawgrimRawgrim Member Posts: 621

    just to point out a few points here:

    it becomes common knowledge that the CHARNAME is a son/daughter of the GOD OF MURDER, to most common people that is scary as shit to have someone who is descended from the -EVIL- GOD OF MURDER and i know i wouldn't want to be in the same hemisphere as that dude/dudette.

    and if enough people want someone dead for any reason most often the people in power have no choice but to do what they say. look at neverwinter nights, they did the exact same thing fenthick helped desther the fact that fenthick didn't know desther was evil was disregarded by the fact the mob wanted SOMEONE to pay for the plague and lord nasher had no choice but to sentence a relatively innocent man to death.


    edit:

    the paladin thing is doubly hilarious because it works if you are fallen
    It isn't common knowledge. You have to tell plenty people about your origin in BG2. Including companions.

    sunset00
  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 1,082
    Rawgrim said:

    just to point out a few points here:

    it becomes common knowledge that the CHARNAME is a son/daughter of the GOD OF MURDER, to most common people that is scary as shit to have someone who is descended from the -EVIL- GOD OF MURDER and i know i wouldn't want to be in the same hemisphere as that dude/dudette.

    and if enough people want someone dead for any reason most often the people in power have no choice but to do what they say. look at neverwinter nights, they did the exact same thing fenthick helped desther the fact that fenthick didn't know desther was evil was disregarded by the fact the mob wanted SOMEONE to pay for the plague and lord nasher had no choice but to sentence a relatively innocent man to death.


    edit:

    the paladin thing is doubly hilarious because it works if you are fallen
    It isn't common knowledge. You have to tell plenty people about your origin in BG2. Including companions.

    True about BG 2, but unlike Baldur's Gate Amn did not make similar bad experiences with the children of Bhaal.

    There are plenty ways how people could become aware, starting with former disciples of Sarevok.

    Since the heritage of Charname is written plainly in Sarevok's diary, he probably did not bother to hide the fact much from his inner circle.

    The Harpers also know. And I would not be surprised if they spread some rumors because they thought Charname was becoming too influential in the city.

    Rawgrimillathidsunset00
  • illathidillathid Member Posts: 320
    Ammar said:

    Rawgrim said:

    just to point out a few points here:

    it becomes common knowledge that the CHARNAME is a son/daughter of the GOD OF MURDER, to most common people that is scary as shit to have someone who is descended from the -EVIL- GOD OF MURDER and i know i wouldn't want to be in the same hemisphere as that dude/dudette.

    and if enough people want someone dead for any reason most often the people in power have no choice but to do what they say. look at neverwinter nights, they did the exact same thing fenthick helped desther the fact that fenthick didn't know desther was evil was disregarded by the fact the mob wanted SOMEONE to pay for the plague and lord nasher had no choice but to sentence a relatively innocent man to death.


    edit:

    the paladin thing is doubly hilarious because it works if you are fallen
    It isn't common knowledge. You have to tell plenty people about your origin in BG2. Including companions.

    True about BG 2, but unlike Baldur's Gate Amn did not make similar bad experiences with the children of Bhaal.

    There are plenty ways how people could become aware, starting with former disciples of Sarevok.

    Since the heritage of Charname is written plainly in Sarevok's diary, he probably did not bother to hide the fact much from his inner circle.

    The Harpers also know. And I would not be surprised if they spread some rumors because they thought Charname was becoming too influential in the city.
    There's also the issue of what happens on the bridge. After that it seems like word of your heritage spreads quickly in both the coalition forces and back in BG.

  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 1,082
    illathid said:

    Ammar said:

    Rawgrim said:

    just to point out a few points here:

    it becomes common knowledge that the CHARNAME is a son/daughter of the GOD OF MURDER, to most common people that is scary as shit to have someone who is descended from the -EVIL- GOD OF MURDER and i know i wouldn't want to be in the same hemisphere as that dude/dudette.

    and if enough people want someone dead for any reason most often the people in power have no choice but to do what they say. look at neverwinter nights, they did the exact same thing fenthick helped desther the fact that fenthick didn't know desther was evil was disregarded by the fact the mob wanted SOMEONE to pay for the plague and lord nasher had no choice but to sentence a relatively innocent man to death.


    edit:

    the paladin thing is doubly hilarious because it works if you are fallen
    It isn't common knowledge. You have to tell plenty people about your origin in BG2. Including companions.

    True about BG 2, but unlike Baldur's Gate Amn did not make similar bad experiences with the children of Bhaal.

    There are plenty ways how people could become aware, starting with former disciples of Sarevok.

    Since the heritage of Charname is written plainly in Sarevok's diary, he probably did not bother to hide the fact much from his inner circle.

    The Harpers also know. And I would not be surprised if they spread some rumors because they thought Charname was becoming too influential in the city.
    There's also the issue of what happens on the bridge. After that it seems like word of your heritage spreads quickly in both the coalition forces and back in BG.
    The bridge sort of proves what were suspicions before. But it is already clear in the city that some people at least suspect.

    illathidPurudaya
  • PurudayaPurudaya Member Posts: 816
    Ammar said:

    illathid said:

    Ammar said:

    Rawgrim said:

    just to point out a few points here:

    it becomes common knowledge that the CHARNAME is a son/daughter of the GOD OF MURDER, to most common people that is scary as shit to have someone who is descended from the -EVIL- GOD OF MURDER and i know i wouldn't want to be in the same hemisphere as that dude/dudette.

    and if enough people want someone dead for any reason most often the people in power have no choice but to do what they say. look at neverwinter nights, they did the exact same thing fenthick helped desther the fact that fenthick didn't know desther was evil was disregarded by the fact the mob wanted SOMEONE to pay for the plague and lord nasher had no choice but to sentence a relatively innocent man to death.


    edit:

    the paladin thing is doubly hilarious because it works if you are fallen
    It isn't common knowledge. You have to tell plenty people about your origin in BG2. Including companions.

    True about BG 2, but unlike Baldur's Gate Amn did not make similar bad experiences with the children of Bhaal.

    There are plenty ways how people could become aware, starting with former disciples of Sarevok.

    Since the heritage of Charname is written plainly in Sarevok's diary, he probably did not bother to hide the fact much from his inner circle.

    The Harpers also know. And I would not be surprised if they spread some rumors because they thought Charname was becoming too influential in the city.
    There's also the issue of what happens on the bridge. After that it seems like word of your heritage spreads quickly in both the coalition forces and back in BG.
    The bridge sort of proves what were suspicions before. But it is already clear in the city that some people at least suspect.
    Not just some people, but probably everyone - in the beginning of the game, a noble walks up and outs you as a Bhaalspawn in front of hundreds of onlookers during the march out of the city.

  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 1,082
    Purudaya said:



    Ammar said:

    illathid said:

    Ammar said:

    Rawgrim said:

    just to point out a few points here:

    it becomes common knowledge that the CHARNAME is a son/daughter of the GOD OF MURDER, to most common people that is scary as shit to have someone who is descended from the -EVIL- GOD OF MURDER and i know i wouldn't want to be in the same hemisphere as that dude/dudette.

    and if enough people want someone dead for any reason most often the people in power have no choice but to do what they say. look at neverwinter nights, they did the exact same thing fenthick helped desther the fact that fenthick didn't know desther was evil was disregarded by the fact the mob wanted SOMEONE to pay for the plague and lord nasher had no choice but to sentence a relatively innocent man to death.


    edit:

    the paladin thing is doubly hilarious because it works if you are fallen
    It isn't common knowledge. You have to tell plenty people about your origin in BG2. Including companions.

    True about BG 2, but unlike Baldur's Gate Amn did not make similar bad experiences with the children of Bhaal.

    There are plenty ways how people could become aware, starting with former disciples of Sarevok.

    Since the heritage of Charname is written plainly in Sarevok's diary, he probably did not bother to hide the fact much from his inner circle.

    The Harpers also know. And I would not be surprised if they spread some rumors because they thought Charname was becoming too influential in the city.
    There's also the issue of what happens on the bridge. After that it seems like word of your heritage spreads quickly in both the coalition forces and back in BG.
    The bridge sort of proves what were suspicions before. But it is already clear in the city that some people at least suspect.
    Not just some people, but probably everyone - in the beginning of the game, a noble walks up and outs you as a Bhaalspawn in front of hundreds of onlookers during the march out of the city.
    It's in public, but most people probably just think the noble is crazy.

  • ChivalrousChevalierChivalrousChevalier Member Posts: 16
    edited April 2016
    I just recently got SoD, and was wary after seeing all the horrible, horrible reviews on Steam. But I tend to always try out any game, at least once.
    So I did indeed give it a try, and I gotta say; I'm lovin' it!

    I'll start with what I thought was it's strongest points:



    Positives:


    - MUSIC - First thing I noticed when I launched my game was the SOUNDTRACK. If that Title theme doesn't make you want to introduce your boot to some evil-doers, than I don't know what would!

    - SCENERY - I love the new areas. I've only played up until, a little after I left Baldur's Gate (NO SPOILERS) but the first level was gorgeous. I was going to post some screenshots, showing what I mean- but I am not sure how to use the spoiler tags, to minimize their sizes.

    - OLD FACES - I last had Edwin, Viconia and Eldoth in my group, when I beat the game. It was awesome to see them again. I noticed Edwin and Viconia got new voice overs, too! :) And Viconia even got a new freakin' awesome portrait!!! And don't even get me started on Minsc, Boo and Dynaheir! It was great to see the old group, again.

    - ENEMY NUMBERS - I both love and hate all the enemies they make you fight. It's unnerving to see so many undead wobbling towards you! But fighting them while that epic soundtrack is playing makes one really feel HEROIC!

    - NEW ITEMS - The new spells are pretty fun. Since I tend to play the mage. It was surprising to see new spells added into the game.



    Negatives:


    - FRAME RATE - My frame rate dropped a little when fighting the first boss enemy. It wasn't anything, potentially game-breaking. But it's one of the only bad things I noticed.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    That's pretty much my only pet peeves. Keep in mind I haven't beaten SoD yet, but this is my impression of it, nothing more.

    Safe Adventuring, everybody!

    Post edited by ChivalrousChevalier on
    illathidJuliusBorisov
  • MirandelMirandel Member Posts: 513
    And discussion took the wrong turn, as usual. Let's try to bring it back to reviews.

    Another thankful gamer here. But I will brake the tradition and first say about something I like less than I would hope.
    Story perfectly fits both games and a good bridge between BG1 and BG2, but (!) I was was expecting at least half of it will be about "how could I loose my favorite companions", yet, I was left with the old head-canon - "your paths diverged". My expectations are my own, of course, but it was a sad moment. Another thing exciting in theory and disappointing on practice was romaces. Bad. Just bad. Ok, I saw only 3 - Corwin, Dorn, Voghiln. And I do understand that what we got is more than we had in BG1(the were none), and as bad as they are, it's still better or on par with vanilla BG2 (not a big accomplishment, sorry). Still, I was expecting something more than "let's bang! - No? - Oh, well" - again, my personal expectations, nobody promised anything.
    I encountered just one bug, though serious - Khalid's disappearance. Took me a while to figure out how and - more importantly - where to summon him back. Actually, that bug underlines design flaw of the game-play: linear plot with too many points where you either can break the line by wandering in the wrong direction or risk to move too far to turn back and finish already started quests. It had to be either\or - either freedom of BG1 or full linearity of modern "rpg".
    UI - only one disappointment, the usual - journal. I am spoiled by MMO and journal was never a thing to track quests in BG, but it truly could be done better. Oh! And inability to highlight half the things on the map... not really convenient.

    But really, all that complains is more like a nitpicking. Love the story - interesting idea, very interesting implementation, very intense - plot and character-wise. The face-lift BG got is great - LOVE new UI! Do not know if I am in minority here but how can you not like the new map or loot collecting, for example? To me it's authentic enough and such a big improvement that as soon as I could install most of my usual mods, I switched to 2.0 and not going back. Ever.
    VO for almost every NPC? Perfect! A lot of comments from companions, from all companions! And situations where you actually could utilize companions classes. Class-specific interactions for CHARNAME is also a wonderful feature.
    New loot - and what a delicious loot! - deserves special mentioning. Can not say I am a big fan of huge groups fighting, but "huge group loot collection" - always!

    Good game. Truly good. Feels like a mixture of BG1 and BG2, nothing feels wrong and "not belonging" (nostalgi-sts simply forgot vanilla BG after decades of playing with mods). A couple lines from EE characters recognizing SoD events - and we will get a complete BGEETrilogy!

    ChivalrousChevalierJuliusBorisovSjerrie
  • ChivalrousChevalierChivalrousChevalier Member Posts: 16
    @Mirandel I completely agree with everything you just said- err, wrote! I absolutely love the new update.
    I was surprised by how much they actually put into this! Beamdog did an amazing job, to be sure!

  • LiamEslerLiamEsler Member Posts: 1,859
    Explanation for that end sequence:


    Throughout SoD, the dreams are all Irenicus' doing. He's attempting to gather information about both you and Caelar, by putting you through tests physical and psychological. At the same time, he's deepening his hold on you psychologically -- this culminates in the last dream, which ends in Skie's actual death.

    If you pay attention, you'll notice that CHARNAME here refuses Irenicus' urging - a sign of their growing power. This is where Irenicus loses his hold on them mentally, and therefore has to frame them for Skie's murder, rather than forcing CHARNAME to do it HIMSELF/HERSELF. This ties in to the BG2 dreams a little as well, where the Bhaal essence fighting with your soul (and then, trying to take over when it has been removed) takes a similar tack. The unconscious is a powerful factor throughout the BG series, and we wanted to explain in BG2 why Irenicus isn't able to influence you mentally.

    ajwzillathid
  • AzzaraAzzara Member Posts: 184
    @LiamEsler So that one minute speech was not Irenicus after all? (second dream in BG2)
    I mean this dream sequence. I found a video of it:

  • pwaringpwaring Member Posts: 81
    Positives:

    New UI: I really like the way you can see the effect equipping a new item will have on your armour class, THAC0 etc. It's now much easier to get the right item/character combinations.

    Glint: He's as amusing as Minsc, and tracking down his relatives fed into the rest of the story rather than just being a boring standalone quest.

    Minsc: Boot-kicking for goodness all the way! And he has new sounds which reflect on his previous ones (the one about well-scrubbed evil always makes me laugh).

    Hooded man: His appearance at particular points added a lot to the game, especially as he was clearly an observer rather than an antagonist (although I twigged who he was immediately, having played BG2 many times).

    Neutral:

    Corwin: She's okay as a character, but has poor stats. Surely an archer should have a decent dexterity at least?

    New magic items: Shiny trinkets are always good, but this is offset by the fact that you can't take them into BG2 and a lot of them are only usable by shamans (I don't take the goblin as I always have 20 reputation when starting the game, and I assume she'll leave if it goes back up to 19/20) or bards (who are the most useless class IMO).

    Transgender character: I'm pleased to see the game reflecting social trends (I think there would have been an uproar if such a character had been included in the original 1990s games, but thankfully society has become a bit more tolerant), but I felt the character was poorly written and was thrown in for the sake of it. Hopefully a later patch will improve the dialogue.

    Romances: These aren't too bad, and it's good to have a wider choice than in BG1 or BG2, but I dislike the way they end.

    Game ending: This transitioned well into BG2, but it felt forced on me. I would have liked a proper trial with different options depending on the previous game choices (e.g. for the whole Council of Four to have come and apologised for what they were going to do), but I suspect that would have made things too complicated.

    Shaman: This looks like an interesting class, and I'm glad it's been ported to the other games. I haven't played a shaman yet though and I'm disappointed that they don't get a stronghold.

    Negatives:

    No good/neutral clerics: Given that SoD is heavily combat-based, I expect a decent single-class cleric to add to my good-aligned party. Branwen has disappeared though, and Jaheira and Glint are both multi-class. Perhaps I missed an NPC somewhere?

    Imoen: You can't recruit Imoen in a game called Baldur's Gate? I demand a refund! :wink:

  • RawgrimRawgrim Member Posts: 621
    As it stands right now, the new graphics sprites managed to actually ruin BG1 and 2 permanently for me. I actually get a bit ill if I play for more than an hour because of it. 1/10.

    Rathenausunset00
  • ojthesimpsonojthesimpson Member Posts: 121
    I have played the game for 100 hours now.

    I have to say right from the get go. Baldurs Gate is my is my favorite game of all time. I played every single mod i could get to work. So the idea of a fully supported expansion of BALDUR'S GATE ! is something I'd support even if it were a terrible game. which thankfully it is not.

    Things I love.
    1. That the game feels like a Baldurs Gate game. That feeling of playing a new game in the Forgotten Realms with the same characters that were my favorite of all games I played growing up. Same voice actors. Same style of writing. The game starts off with nostalgic goosebumps. To be the hero of baldurs gate for a while sure was fun and immersive. That everyone recognizes you and you're an important leader in Baldurs Gate was fun and engrossing.
    2. The combat is still as great as it every was. There's some new takes on the classic BG combat. Real hard, real entertaining.
    3. The game has a lot of advances from the old ones. UI differences, a next generation in CRPG story telling, and the scripting is much more advanced. The quests have well scripted twists that you didnt see in the original games.
    4. NPC that hardly said a word in bg1 are fleshed out and genuinely entertaining. The game says it has 3 new npcs but there's half a dozen more new characters based on characters that didnt have much of a back story in BG1 originally. More voice overs from the original voice actors. I found myself really struggling with letting some of them go to make room in my party. a classic Baldurs Gate dilemma. I thought SKIE to be hillarious and fun. Some other characters really shine but I wont mention who to avoid spoilers.
    5. voice acting is top notch
    6. The Story is compelling and is very immersive. I was really drawn into finding out what was happening and how I could stop the dreaded crusade from sweeping up my characters home. I was sad when it was over and instantly made a new character to play the game for a different POV
    7. Cool new items that are really more than just +2 with some fire damage. They have special abilities and are more role specific than every before.
    8. you are the son of a god and the importance of that to the story is well represented and really exciting to play through.
    9. the maps and locations are beautiful as ever, the timelessness of the bg style from 1997 is still amazing. It's as much art as computer gaming can get. There's been no loss of talent here after all this time the bit maps or whatever they are called look incredible.

    cons.
    Some of the characters seem a little forced, Minsc is a little ridiculous. There's a few NPC with subpar voice acting but they are only so noticeable because other voice acting is great.

    the pathfinding bug is a MAJOR game breaking problem that I hope will be fixed. You have to constantly, in combat, try to get your god damn characters to move a couple of feet. It's such a hindrance that I suspect the reason one of the NPC's is an archer class is because melee fighters are at such a disadvantage in the game. I do not remember bg and bg2 having pathfinding that's completely broken.

    I couldn't and still can't get the game to work on my laptop. I get a crash dump error as soon as I open the game. I was emailed (after almost 2 weeks of hearing nothing at all) some basic common sense advice that I had already tried on day 1. I still haven't gotten another reply. My game is essentially broken on the platform i had planned to play it most on.

    I think the game has too many obvious game mechanics and linear story telling. There's little RPG explanations of them. It reminded me of neverwinter nights 1. The disappointment I felt is similar to how I feel having a camp with a healer following my character around every zone I go to. it's kind of lazy IMO. Also there's constantly items u need showing up right when u might need an item of that tun. This is something that baldurs gate never did.

    Overall the game is WELL WORTH IT. I loved it. It's a great game. The story telling is epic, I never expected thatilll

    DaevelonRawgrimRathenauJuliusBorisov
  • IthualIthual Member Posts: 136
    3 out of 5.

    Backgrounds were awesome. Music was great. UI was good (after some work)

    Love the new NPCs

    On the downside, the black borders cause it to lose a mark and some of the enemy swarms seem to repeat themselves... the opening dungeon was awesome and just sucked you into the game... but later screens seem to lack imagination with regards to the encounters.

  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,498
    edited April 2016
    My issues with the game are as follows:

    1. The gameplay and combat feel more akin to IWD than BG - i.e.: very restrictive travel, waves of nameless goons/creatures in lieu of less voluminous, but individually more unique/memorable enemies and encounters, etc. If you're someone who enjoys IWD and perhaps even prefers its style over BG's, this may actually be a plus rather than a minus - but it isn't for me.

    2. I like the new NPCs, but in terms of strategics, there's a lack of genuine tanks from among both old and new NPCs (similar to BG2's lack of viable thieves). Most of the returning NPCs are not among my favorites (although obviously this is a matter of personal preference), and one of the few that I did like in the original (Safana), has been virtually gutted thanks to both a stark change in her personality and the removal of her old voice lines (unless there's just some sort of bug preventing them from playing when I click on her). Now, she comes off as a just slightly more seductive Viconia or an even more snarky/insufferable Dynaheir.

    3. In terms of mechanics, I'm having A LOT of trouble with issues like clicking on characters, pathfinding, etc. Not sure if others are having these issues as well, since I can't recall seeing others on this forum complain about them (although at least one GOG review that I saw mentioned them).

    EDIT: I now see that at least one other poster in this very thread has complained about the same thing - and I agree that it is very frustrating.

    As an aside, while I'm trying to traverse the streets of BG with Corwyn as a follower (not yet a party member), she keeps getting in my way and preventing me from talking to people, opening containers, etc.

    4. At least one MAJOR plot point of BG1 was altered in order for SoD's story to proceed, which really irritated me:
    Entar had been raised from the dead, despite the fact that BG1's entire climax hinged on the fact that he was dead and gone for good.

    Making this change sucked all the drama and urgency out of the closing chapters of BG1 IMO, and frankly leaves some major plot holes/inconsistencies.

    5. The side quests throughout the game often seem rather poorly conceived and/or executed IMO. It's hard for me to put this into words, but I'll try to explain with some examples:
    The premise for the quest where you try to regain your stolen gold just seems very strange, if not flawed, since you have NEVER, in my memory, "deposited" your gold with anyone or anything in either of the other two games, no matter how much you've had or where you've stayed.


    Another example,
    In the quest where someone pickpockets you while on your way to deliver someone else's gold to a "money lender," the game journal then tells you that you are now left with only two options - either advise the lender that you were robbed, or replace the gold out of your own pocket. However, I had no difficulty shooting down the thief as she was walking away (your ally and the Flaming Fist will even assist you), and reclaiming the original gold (plus extra), so the whole "quest" is really just a non-sequitur.


    Aside from that, many of the quests just seem bland and/or tedious IMO - i.e.: pick something up, drop it off, trek back and report to someone, then repeat.

    6. Dialogue options are often insufficient and/or inappropriate for the given situation. For example,



    In order to agree to this quest, you have to tell the officer that you're "always happy to assist the city's defenders," which, unless your character is LG or LN, is likely not accurate even if you're good-aligned (I know it certainly isn't true for my neutral good barbarian, who has defied and even killed FF soldiers under certain circumstances, like to save Viconia). Sometimes, less is more - in this case, a simple, "Yes, I'll do it," as an option would've sufficed.


    Another example,



    In this instance, you're confronting a group of thugs who have just brutally beaten someone and stolen literally every ounce of gold that you started the game with - and yet 2 out of the 3 dialogue options actually require that you compliment the thugs. The only "angry" response requires that you also make a snobbish comment about them being "paupers," which is completely irrelevant to why you're angry at them. It's as though the game itself is trying to force you to have some sort of sympathy for these characters, regardless of you yourself or your character would feel. As above, there either should be more options to choose from, or the available options should be less detailed so as to be appropriate for a broader range of character types


    Based on examples like these, it seems to me that the game is either assuming that you must have sympathy for the refugees/thugs, or trying to pressure you into having sympathy. Either way, it seems that the game feels that there's a need to "justify" the fact that you wouldn't side with the refugees in these situations, by characterizing you as someone who either "always sides with authority" and/or dislikes poor people, neither of which may actually apply to many people's characters (I know it certainly doesn't apply to mine). If that's the case, I feel that this is very lazy writing - instead of allowing you to generate sympathy for these characters naturally over time, it basically forces it on you.

    7. The game makes the same mistake that BG2 did by forcing you to dungeon crawl through a somewhat extensive underground lair just to kickstart the game, which hurts the replay value of the game IMO. Fans were so unhappy with this in BG2 that they created a mod (Dungeon Be Gone) to remove it - I wouldn't be surprised if fans of SoD end up doing the same.

    8. Don't like the way Imoen is treated or depicted in the game - particularly in the opening segments where she will basically "abandon" you when trouble comes by drinking a potion of invisibility and then reappearing only when the trouble is gone.

    And of course there's this, which speaks for itself:


    I never posted a review or cast a vote on GOG where I bought the game, but if I did, it would've been 2/5 stars - maybe an "OK" game, but not great and certainly not in keeping with the spirit and (admittedly very high) standards of BG1 IMO.

    Post edited by SharGuidesMyHand on
    ajwzRathenau
  • illathidillathid Member Posts: 320
    @SharGuidesMyHand

    The plot point in BG1 wasn't that Entar was gone for good, but that he was gone long enough where they needed someone else to help lead. Hell, it's entirely possible Slythe and Krystin took a part of Entar to keep anything but a complete resurrection from bringing him back.

    Incidentally, IIRC WotC was the one who said Entar had to be alive in SoD. I could be misremembering though.

  • KrotosKrotos Member Posts: 156
    edited April 2016
    The review that I posted on Steam:

    PLEASE NOTE THAT IT WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS!
    I've been playing Baldur's Gate since 2000 and it's a major part of my childhood, it deserves a solid review. For those of you uninterested to read, there'll be a short TLDR by the end of the review with all pros, cons and the score.
    The Story:
    Siege of Dragonspear, as an interquel of the saga, is meant to bridge the events of Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 together. The story of Caelar Argent and her Crusade are used for that purpose. As you unravel the mystery behind the Shining Lady, you get to spread your influence as a Child of Bhaal in either a positive or negative manner.

    Contrary to the other games from the series, you're not in the spotlight. Rather than be a constant focus of the chapters, you, most of the time, go on errands to ensure the mission's safety while the game uncovers the actions of Caelar Argent and the hidden truth corrupting her crusade from within.

    Personally, I believe it's well written as it keeps you craving for more, giving you the desire of staying up just a little bit longer, This exact same feeling is what made Baldur's Gate 2 as enjoyable as it is. While there are certain plotholes and loose ends, I believe they were left in such a state either to give BD more room for the future or as a gesture towards modders so that they can expand the fabric provided by BD writers. There are a lot of tiny details, the ruined Temple of Bhaal being my favourite as it connects to CHARNAME's story told to him by Gorion. The omnipresence of The Hooded Man gives you chills and foreshadows the injustice that will happen to you.

    What deserves the most praise is the multitude of choices you get in order to fulfill a majority of quests. One of the primary quests has up to 11! ways to resolve the conflict, split into 3 general categories. A lot of other quests feature class-based resolutions options such as enchanting a wine, singing a song or having the knowledge of the wildlife.

    With that in mind I would rate the story as a whole as 7.5/10. It's solid, it drags you in, but it also leaves a lot of questions that need to be answered. However, it's told in a unique (compared to the rest of the saga) way and leaves a desire for more playthroughs.

    Visuals:
    As is the case for the entire saga, the graphics are hand-drawn. Every location feels like the artist's soul was put into it. They're all immersive and gentle to the eye. The locations from BG1, such as Elfsong Tavern, received a visual touch-up, gaining more details. My favourite part was coming across a bunch of not-so-interesting shrooms on the surface only to find out they glow during the night, giving me this warm, fuzzy feeling of love from the artist.

    There is also a bunch of improvements done by Beamdog. You're now able to have a visible, black outline around characters, giving them a bit of a comics-like feel as well as choose an option to have selection circle colour based on their cloth colour, just like in Icewind Dale: EE. Best part? It's toggable! You can turn them off in settings if you wish at any point in the game. It is also possible to use a different renderer than OpenGL now, which is also a great boon to those, who aren't fans of or do not have OpenGL available to them.

    That being said, I would rate visuals at 8.5/10. They're stunning, beautiful and at some places outright marvelous, but there were a few shortcomings such as no visual hint for deploying an explosive material that is plot-critical and thus can leave you wandering in confusion or the puzzle that you might end up being completely unaware of without having a habit to move your mouse over everything. I'd also say the UI needs improvements.

    The Audio:
    Well, where do I begin? I was knocked out right away upon entering the menu screen. The primary theme of the game called "Shadow of the Shining Lady" is an absolute masterpiece that bestows its blessing upon you right upon entering the game. It greeted me with the same feeling of goosebumps as the main menu theme in Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal did. Throughout the entire game you get to hear a lot of different themes and they all keep the same level of greatness as the "Shadow".

    Another notable examples are "Here Fell the Lord of Murder" theme you listen to on Boareskyr Bridge and "Dark Waters Flow" that you get to hear when visiting the depths below Dragonspear Castle. "DWF" has such a strong and mysterious theme it feels like it belongs to two games at once: Baldur's Gate itself and Pillars of Eternity thanks to the recurring gong in the background. "The Hero of Baldur's Gate" is just as beautiful as it combines the sinister feeling of Sarevok's taint, your heritage and the CHARNAME's triumph into one piece. The music in Siege of Dragonspear is equal to at least 40% of the immersive feel of the game.

    The return of a majority of voice actors is great as well. Getting to hear all the old staff once more with new lines is lovely. While I hoped to hear Jaheira speak once more, I understand the decision not to do that, considering the fact her former voice actress was nowhere to be found and the new one didn't fit at all. Hearing the NPCs from Enhanced Edition with new lines was just as refreshing. Personally, I was captivated by Caelar Argent's voice actress the most. She did her justice and is absolutely outstanding as every single emotion can be >felt< through her voice, just as if she were a real life Aasimar standing next to you. That's one voice that will become eternal throughout the saga.

    With that being said, I would rate the audio at 9.5/10. It's stunning, marvelous and able to shoot through eons of generations with its beautiful tones, but as with every thing in the world, it's still able to pursue the idea of perfection.

    The Gameplay:
    I would say that, compared to the rest of the game, the gameplay is a little bit weak. You can see that the Infinity Engine was pushed to its limits, which is noticable during big battles as pathfinding goes nuts. The tempo of battles as well as their general structure leans towards Icewind Dale's hack'n'slashy nature of being put against overwhelming numbers, yet it manages to make certain the pace doesn't get too wild by offering you ways of avoiding conflict or splitting the enemy numbers in one way or another. However, due to the amount of enemies thrown your way, every time I felt like I absolutely have to have a wizard, a sorcerer, a bard or potions of explosion and elixirs of firebreath in order to ensure my party doesn't get slaughtered. Fireball, magic skull, ice storm, entangle, web and all other AoE spells are the key to victory whenever you cannot slip out of conflict through diplomacy or an exchange.

    The game isn't all about massive combat though - you're offered a multitude of unique encounters, focusing on either disrupting the enemy, getting rid of his defenses or solving riddles. The balance between fights and interesting quests is kept well in my opinion. Being able to slip out of most fights through diplomacy, intimidation or coersion gives the game a nice feeling.

    On the topic of balance, I would say that SoD keeps it fair: there's a good range of new weapons, armours and trinkets to use - some of them carry over to BG2. None seem to overpower the game.

    Overall I'd rate gameplay at 6.5/10. It's good, but not outstanding. The old engine drags it down a fair bit, but the unique encounters and the game pace keep it afloat.

    Summary:
    Story: 7.5/10
    Visuals: 8.5/10
    Audio: 9.5/10
    Gameplay: 6.5/10
    Overall Score: 8/10
    Pros:
    + Great audio;
    + Beautiful areas;
    + Memorable antagonist;
    + Solid plot;
    + Reasonable loot;
    Cons:
    - Messy pathfinding;
    - FPS drops sometimes;
    - UI needs work;
    - Some quests are buggy or easy to bug;
    - Combat is a bit AoE-heavy;

    SoD is a good, revitalising interquel of the saga . I'd recommend it to everyone once some of the bugs are resolved.

    This review uses steam's limit of 8k characters. I was wondering if I should expand it for the purposes of this thread.

    Aedan
  • LiamEslerLiamEsler Member Posts: 1,859
    @Azzara: Correct. :)

    Your Bhaal essence takes a number of forms to communicate with you, including Irenicus, Imoen, Gorion etc. Two exceptions that I can remember: In the dream when Irenicus takes your soul mid-game, Imoen represents your soul, and the dream with Ellesime in Chapter 6 is actually Ellesime.

    AzzaraAedanKrotos
  • ajwzajwz Member Posts: 4,122
    Krotos said:



    This review uses steam's limit of 8k characters. I was wondering if I should expand it for the purposes of this thread.

    Go ahead if you have more you want to say about it

  • fatnlazyfatnlazy Member Posts: 24
    Like the game. I'm a BG fan from way back. I've played all of the series off and on forever. I also mod the crap out the originals and EE's. Part of my like for SOD was having to go vanilla. I want to like whatever BG stuff they put out.

    Pros- My favorite thing was having my chars automatically search for traps, cast stoneskin, sanctuary if I get too busy to notice in some of the bigger melees.

    Love the voice acting. Con was not having Jaheira, but that was not their fault. Minsc was great as usual.

    Almost a neutral, but the variances in difficulty of the fights was shocking at times, but kept me on my toes. I'd wade through on battle, only to have my butt handed to me in the next.

    Cons- Really, just the XP cap so far.

    Comments- I really don't care about the transgender chars, or Minsc's comment. At all. The only thing in all of that hullabaloo that aggravated me, were the comments about Jaheira's and Safana's previous personalities, and needing to be fixed. Next to Minsc, Jaheira is one of my favorite NPC's, due in large part to her personality. I'm not overly familiar with SJW issues, needs, wants, etc...mainly 'cause I'm not a real sensitive dude, and think everyone should just get over most things. My question, is why Jaheira and Safana? Why is nobody upset over Minsc's portrayal as a stupid meat head? Or Khalid's as a stammering coward? Or Aerie as being needy? Or Edwin being evil? The personalities in BG run the gamut. How do you pick out one or two to be offended by, when they are so diverse?

  • ZoimosZoimos Member Posts: 81
    Don't really want to write a long review so I will just list some pros and cons

    Pros
    • The story was interesting and felt like a Baldur's Gate game
    • New items had interesting stats and addition effects
    • Locations looked really nice and enjoyed them (and no really narrow corridors!)
    • Some of the voice acting was really good and great to hear returning actors again
    • Only had the goblin in my party briefly but liked the shaman class of what little I did try it out
    Cons
    • Story was too linear.
    • Imoen not recruitable, Safana was really annoying and wasn't fond of Glint either so was a lack of thieves
    • Dialog options were limited and often it was just 3 options, a good, a joke or a evil reply. I was playing good but often the option was really humble and didn't fit the character I was playing and often wanted to pick none of the options available to me.
    • Was no towns/cities to visit
    • Would of liked to of seen more kits added
    Overall I enjoyed this expansion and am looking forward to what Beamdog will do next.

    SharGuidesMyHand
  • UlrezajUlrezaj Member Posts: 2
    I decided to register and throw my opinion because SoD is a big thing that happened to BG and BG and any other game on same engine is a must have for me.
    The good:
    - More BG. New items, NPCs, stories, more time spent close to BG1 power level is a good thing.
    - Good visual part of the game.
    - Good idea with 2 new difficulty options: lob and story mode.
    - New class.
    - Easter eggs. ;)
    - Advanced AI scripts.

    The bad:
    - Awfully terrible pathfinding. But sometimes I could use that to my advantage and make enemies stuck on each other, making up to 7 enemies essentially not doing anything.
    - Early game without decent front line tanks is annoying, I had to use my char - dragon disciple to tank in melee, really missed my fighters.
    - Imoen and her dual-class problems, which ended in act 4 for me, somehow disabled her for SoD. This does not look consistent to make it believeable, even more when her thief skills in BG2 are not what they were in BG1.
    - Dialogue options. Very often I wanted to choose none, but had to play as humble and/or goofy servant, not as a hero whose cunning and intellect would prove that he indeed worked out Iron Throne and Sarevok.

    The meh:
    - Enemies in packs. At first I thought ok, nice, exp in packs, but after some time I noticed that I should have gone for neutral party with all mages, spamming aoes and summoning fodder.
    - Respawns, while they are good if you have good consistent fighters, it gets annoying when you have to clear another group of same enemies because you are going back. But still more exp.
    - Exp cap. It has to be balanced, player should not be able to outlevel next areas, but at the same time you dont want to fight and use your resources, because you are not getting anything out of it. Especially when you are like me, preparing for the final battle, saving best potions, spells, charges, etc. to have enemies poof in an instant under immense onslaught.

    ajwz
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