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Who was in charge of the game design and production of this expansion?

FrkunFrkun Member Posts: 51
When I heard about BGEE as being part of a "trial" to create baldur's gate 3 I was really happy. I own the original trilogy and anyway I decided to give my money to beamdog. I bought BGEE and BG2EE, and I did it even twice, one for beamdog and other for steam. I also bought BGEE twice more in order to give it as a present. I really wanted to give my all to see this baldur's gate 3 project to become a reality.

And then the adventure Y was announced: an expansion to the original BG, more than 20 hours of gameplay, new content and telling the story inbetween the two games. It sounded very well. I knew that the original content of BGEE and BG2EE was not of the same quality as the original games but hell, I don't expect a masterpiece. I just wanted to go back to toril with the game system I loved. And as soon as I knew it was available I bought it: no questions.

And at first I got it. The music was in the wave, the character creation process reminded me of those times rerolling to get the perfect character and the first sight ingame was good. And then it all stopped at the moment my character starte talking.

First and foremost, the language. My default configuration is in spanish. The options are in spanish, the game configuration is in spanish and suddenly the texts were in english. But not all the texts. The very first dialogs weren't, but during the whole game I have spanish words mixed in english texts. I was reading texts saying something like él was a hombre. It was a hell to understand.

But even more, some texts were contradicting other texts. Something as important as the armor class was said in two different ways, and not following a specific order (like saying the default AC the smaller or the bigger value). Also it was a pain to check that the names were changing of language. GAC0 and THAC0 were indiscriminately swapped.

But that doesn't end there. My options for talking were always
- The extremely polite option
- The "I am a jerk" option
- The "I have to prove I am completely evil" option
- And sometimes the "I try to be fun but I am not" option

I was not able to debate with anyone. The correct options was so obvious because the dialogs were designed to have a correct option. And sometimes the evil answer was so forced that the "ignore what the MC said" answer felt too unnatural.

On top of that I found some extremely weird situations. First, encountering someone telling me that we should not prejudge orcs. Hell, this is the forgottem realms, not the schoolyard. There are monsters everywhere, monsters that are evil, that it's in their veins to do evil because that's how they are. It's how the world works. Some ogres felt like party friends rather than a group of ogres. It's a fantasy game and this just breaks all the inmersion of the game. Is part of storytelling to never break the rules of the world and this game makes that constantly. Having a divine celestial creature doing evil to get in the hells to selfisly rescuing family? Seriously? One of the basic rules of storytelling is to never break the suspension of disbelief, and this game does it on every step. It really felt more like I am with my friends in some kind of mmorpg where everybody is a dick rather than in the forgotten realms. Come on, english is not my mother language and I still can feel how bad the writting was done.

It keeps going. The user interface changes are horrible. I always defended the changes and I am against those thoughts of not touching anything. But hell, the navigation in the character sheet is horrible. What is that "ready to level up" button? Well, it's not a button. The first time I saw it I tried to click on it. But why blue? There is no blue in the whole UI and it stays in red for most of the time. Teach the player what every color code is and stick to it. Use a color code to drive the player through the important parts of the interface and stick to it, but don't use a single case scenario for something that doesn't even have a function.

Same applies to the spell screens. First, the biggest mistake is to move me, with on advertinsing, from one spell screen to the other. Second, there is no easy way to check the description of a spell. Before, left selects, right erases and hovering shows. Now I have to double clic. But this behavior is the oposite in the ingame interface. Right click shows description. Hell, be consistent.

Not to talk about features that feels like an excuse to say you worked on it. Now you can pause the game and make everything grey. Cool, so now you cannot know the differencee between timestop and pause. You can disable the animations of fighting if they don't really attack. So what is that for?

And then the NPCS. The game has thousands and thousands of NPCS scattered around everywhere. As you leave the palace, you cannot even move properly. But all those NPCS have shiny colors. You just have to look at the original baldur's gate to check how the not important characters are all using grey or brow palletes while the important ones uses shiny colors. You can recognice an important character just by looking at it. In SoD you don't. Not only you don't but also there are dozens. in the last camp I was not able to find anyone. I had to hold tab in order to see the names and even with that, there was a mess of names in the screen. When the three armies joined, I wasted my time searching in that amalgam of names. Not talking about some characters that had names but they still were behaving like random NPCs.

Let's talk about characters. What happened with Safana? I don't remember her like that. And with minsc? "It's not as evil as other evils... bla bla bla". What kind of childist comment is that? Minsc stopped being mad to be stupid and the jokes about Boo were so unnatural and forced that it was not fun anymore. What happens with the child of Corwen? "My mother can take care of herself". Where? In Toril? That place where I leave a trail of deaths where I go, where the god of murder walks around? Where the enemy is a half god? Where I am a half god... of murder? Where dragons are in random caves? Where the plane is surounded by other planes where each creature is worse than the previous one? No. This is not school where your mother is a model of a good citizen, it's the forgotten realms where you cannot sleep in the wild without being attacked.

But there are more design decisions that needs to be reviewed. Who was the mastermind who thought in having all the inventory collected by your characters in one chest? 6 characters full of loot had to be taken by one person. How the hell I am supposed to progress at the beginning if most of the characters appears after leaving baldur's gate? I cannot make an evil party until almost midgame. There is no freedom to search around before going to the main quest. Remember that in Baldur's gate the first boss was at the end of the mines. By that point you were able to have several different parties: good, neutral and evil. Here, you are forced into the field with a team you don't want but you need.

Also, why I am not allowed to go back? Because the story say so? Well: design lesson number x: if the gameplay is hindered by the story, the story adapts. But I missed to kill the green dragon because the game didn't let me go back.

And then we have the ending. First, Caelar was the character with a very strong personality. When reaching the nine hells, suddenly she can side the evil (a divine creature!!!) or she joins you just with one sentence. Cool. But then... nothing else matters. You are dropped directly in a completely different story. Basically I could have skipped the whole story and I would be exactly in the same place. And nothing happens at all. Well, you have a solo dungeon. A cool idea if it weren't for the genious idea of having enemies that can paralize you in a single hit. So cool, so if they hit you you are basically dead because someone thought that having an enemy that removes the control of the only character you can control was a good idea.

And not talking about progression. I started the game with the same armor I wear at the very end. I started with +2 weapons and I ended with +2 weapons. There was one +3 around, some bullets and arrows but that's it. 60% of my team's equipment was not changed during the adventure. I feel like I could use the same team I started the game with and still win the game.

I am sorry for my harsh writting, but I just finished the game and it felt awful. What happened with this game? The only thing Beamdog should have done is more of the same, just taking a look at what Black isle did and mimic it. I really wanted to ask for my money back for all the games I own, but that's not even fair. The only thing I want now is to know the names of the responsibles of the production, game design and story writting so I don't buy another beamdog's game until those disappear from the credits.

sunset00ZafericknonlinearcoastRathenauXKalhelmo1977TheSkrin

Comments

  • CloutierCloutier Member Posts: 228
    Though I enjoyed the game, I can see where you're coming from. Especially on the dialogue options.

    I played through the game with a Lawful Neutral Cleric of Helm. The game offers plenty of accurate dialogue options for a polite and dutiful kind of character who values discipline and etiquette without exactly being a "goodie-goodie".

    I did find that the other options were underwhelming though. Right now I'm not sure I'll do an evil playthrough.

    I feel like the game gives you the option to be Lawful Good, Lawful/True Neutral, Chaotic Stupid or Jester.

    SwashbucklerRathenauGrifXKal
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,433
    Well, this is a side-quest, a side-tale, you did not expect to end up with +5 weapons and hlas, right? I think the pacing and progression is good for an expansion side-quest. 1-2 levels at most, a bit interesting magical items but nothing artifact-level. Perfect progression into bg2 epicness.

    Note that just because it is a side-story, it does not need to be bad. It is good. BG1 and bg2 writing has never been stellar, a+ level, but it has been fun. SoD does not dissapoint me in this regard as well, and actually is nostalgic and fun to me.

    illathidGrifrorikon
  • SamuelSamuel Member Posts: 12
    edited April 2016
    You are right about some things, with some things I take issue but it's personal taste in the end

    Storing everything in one chest is rather stupid unfortunate after a full BG1 + Add-on playthrough.

    Having more colored NPCs are a nice change in my opinion, your party members gather around the same area with perhaps 3-4 other non-recruitable NPCs offering services.

    Safana - yes, agree

    Minsc - I liked it. Perhaps you were anoyed more easily due to the other things you didn't like, I tend to react similarly.

    Time of recruitment - yes, should have all NPCs available after the first camp. however, a really evil party would have had several....unfortunate...deaths of party members occur by then >:)
    Monks don't wear armor after all
    I should mention that I regard "true evil" as more maniac/dumb than evil. Neutral/clever is the way to go if you wan't to be evil.

    Not being able to go back to previous areas - yeah, unfortunate, disliked yet fitting the "road trip to bad place" theme

    About the ending - please use the spoiler tag, some people haven't finished the game yet
    Being stunned and eaten alive is bad, for obvious reasons. Every character can sneak past everything though.

    Progression - It's not about +2 or +3 anymore, I liked this a lot. the +9999 weapon progression is rather boring, the special effects those "weak" +2 weapons can have are worth not being +whatever though
    My party had swapped out most of their equipment towards the end

    ________

    however, the black & white can be turned off (which I did, don't like it). I agree about the NPC though.

    spell descriptions are accessed when clicking (once) on the spell's name, left/right clicking on the symbol will memorize or delete the spell in/from your spell book


    I hope you can give it another try and explore the graphic/gameplay settings a bit more. While the settings the game starts with are suboptimal (like the ugly sprite outline, b&w combat paus) you can change this very easily.

    Post edited by Samuel on
    Arsene_Lupin
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    Very well said. Someone's clearly studied their elements of design. :)

    helmo1977
  • xzar_montyxzar_monty Member Posts: 631
    @Frkun: The last part of your latest comment is very well written. However, I would like to point out that there is an important element that you completely ignore: cheating and/or hiding. In other words, while the design should, as a rule, work pretty much as you describe, it is also perfectly acceptable to circumvent the ordinary rules in cases where you want the player to work for his reward. Maybe something in a dungeon is designed to be almost unnoticeable, or maybe there is something that only the most perceptive player should actually catch and get a reward for.

    I can immediately think of one example in SoD where this was done particularly well and which I really liked.

    So, there is this element to it as well. But by and large, you are correct.

  • Mikey205Mikey205 Member Posts: 302
    Frkun said:

    Just a few comments:

    lunar said:

    Well, this is a side-quest, a side-tale, you did not expect to end up with +5 weapons and hlas, right? I think the pacing and progression is good for an expansion side-quest. 1-2 levels at most, a bit interesting magical items but nothing artifact-level. Perfect progression into bg2 epicness.

    It¡s not about if I expect +5 weapons. It's a matter of having a proper game progression, which it is unnexistant in this expansion. Yes, i think that weapons +5 should not exist in this context, but that makes this expansion conceptually wrong. In TOB at least you had tons of level ups with new abilities, but here, you don't even have access to level 6 magic.
    Samuel said:



    Having more colored NPCs are a nice change in my opinion, your party members gather around the same area with perhaps 3-4 other non-recruitable NPCs offering services.

    This is not a problem of liking or disliking. It's a problem of game design, or, more accurately, level design. A level designer must always use the shapes and colors to highlight the relevant information and hindering the not relevant or hidden one. In this case, there is a crowd of people that is completely irrelevant, and furthermore, they work as real obstacles. Color code can be used (and was used in the originals) in order to highlight the important NPCs. And here, with more reason, because the quantity of useless NPCs has been quintuplicated, so, now, more than ever, the relevant NPCs should shine above the not relevant ones. If used as a blockade, they should have an uniform color so the player is able to identify it as a whole mass rather than individuals.

    It's not a matter of taste, it's a mater of ergonomics and game design. The same issue happens with the random purple spotlights that appear on every dungeon. Yeah, they are beautiful, but it contradicts the purpose of highlighting something. The beautifully colored backgrounds drives away the player sight from what he should be seeing. And now, talking more professionally, there is a secondary effect of this and that is that the player loses the trust in the game when trying to follow the rules (and this also happened in the originals). For instance, light spots could be nicely used to hint the player about something hidden. Just like when you see a chest, a drawer or a furniture, you know you can search for it, the lights could tell the player that there is something there. But if you betray the player only once, then they won't trust again that rule and they will start using other means. Right now in BG series you have to hold tab to ensure you don't miss anything, and the reason of that is this betrayal that makes the player to not trusting the visuals of the game to identify if there is something worth of exploring.

    Visuals in a game is much more important than beauty. It's about communication. The game is a cycle of communication between the machine and the player. The player communicates through the control system and the machine communicates mainly with the screen, so the very first rule about game visuals is that the information the player needs to play should be clear at any moment because else, if the player loses, it's not his fault but the game's one. And all this is basics for a level designer and, furthermore, for the lead game designer that gave the OK to this.
    You sound like a Blizzard game designer that sands their game down to the point where there is nothing fun left as everything must work in such and such a way. Crowds cannot be diverse, game must have my desired level of progression, no distracting backdrops unless relevant info.

  • Mikey205Mikey205 Member Posts: 302
    Frkun said:

    Just a few comments:
    Visuals in a game is much more important than beauty. It's about communication. The game is a cycle of communication between the machine and the player. The player communicates through the control system and the machine communicates mainly with the screen, so the very first rule about game visuals is that the information the player needs to play should be clear at any moment because else, if the player loses, it's not his fault but the game's one. And all this is basics for a level designer and, furthermore, for the lead game designer that gave the OK to this.

    Based on this logic we would have no Rules based rpgs because the info you need is hidden away in menys. Fun and diversity of gaming sacrificed on the altar of constant accessibility. This is after all the reason designers always dumb down stuff now and we cant have games with complicated magic systems like bg2 that dont spill their secrets in a matter of seconds. Its reductionist and boring.

    Vargnatt
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 7,811
    Crowds are suppose to be chaotic. It is suppose to make you feel that this isn't right and you the player needs to fix it. It is brilliant level design for this very reason. It feels off-putting having to push through the crowd. You as a player are not use to it, but neither are he characters in the game.

    The game should also rarely give hints (especially repeated hints like lights) that there is something hidden or special. It breaks immersion. You are no longer your character, you are the player looking for theae hints.

    Insightful none-the-less.

    GrifVargnattDJKajuru
  • FrkunFrkun Member Posts: 51
    edited April 2016
    Mikey205 said:

    Frkun said:

    Just a few comments:
    Visuals in a game is much more important than beauty. It's about communication. The game is a cycle of communication between the machine and the player. The player communicates through the control system and the machine communicates mainly with the screen, so the very first rule about game visuals is that the information the player needs to play should be clear at any moment because else, if the player loses, it's not his fault but the game's one. And all this is basics for a level designer and, furthermore, for the lead game designer that gave the OK to this.

    Based on this logic we would have no Rules based rpgs because the info you need is hidden away in menys. Fun and diversity of gaming sacrificed on the altar of constant accessibility. This is after all the reason designers always dumb down stuff now and we cant have games with complicated magic systems like bg2 that dont spill their secrets in a matter of seconds. Its reductionist and boring.
    That's not even true. In this game you have all the information for combat available at any moment. Even the dice rolls if you want. All the information (or almost all) is always available for the player to check, and the rules are clear and very well defined. That is completely different to guide players through the game or reducing the complexity of the systems to attract the more casual players, something I never mentioned.

    I am talking about ergonomics and design patterns, not about complexity or difficulty. Not being able to distinguish a shopkeeper from a crowd of filler NPCs doesn't make the game more deep, more complex or more hardcore. It just makes the player to lose their time figuring out what's going on in the screen. There are plenty of patterns for hidden object games and much more patterns could be created in order to reward players that pays attention without having to implement artificial difficulty mechanisms in order to increase the exploring value. Do not mistake a good design with a casual game. Many retro games had a good design and they were hardcore, as well as some current games are casual and the game design is horrid. I never defended casualization or simplification of games, else I would not be in these forums.
    deltago said:

    Crowds are suppose to be chaotic. It is suppose to make you feel that this isn't right and you the player needs to fix it. It is brilliant level design for this very reason. It feels off-putting having to push through the crowd. You as a player are not use to it, but neither are he characters in the game.

    The game should also rarely give hints (especially repeated hints like lights) that there is something hidden or special. It breaks immersion. You are no longer your character, you are the player looking for theae hints.

    Insightful none-the-less.

    Then, if crowds are chaotic, they should not be in this game, because the core mechanic is interacting with NPCs, and this goes against that mechanic. That's why it's bad design.

    And your second point is not true. It gives a lot of hints. First, you can see the loot. Second, most of the places to steal are chests, drawers and all kind of furniture. Those are visual hints. There are also some places like cracks in the walls and stuff like that that. No problem with those right? Because that's it. And anyway, that's not the point: it was just a quick example of how to use the lightspots to give visual clues. The spots could be used in many ways, like indicating exits, enemies close, or even mission points. Right now the spotlights catches the player attention, but they drive it nowhere.

    What for me really breaks the immersion is holding tab to show. The game would be much more immersive if instead of relying in the tab to find out, the game world contained the hints to find it yourself.

    YamchaRathenauXKal
  • Mikey205Mikey205 Member Posts: 302
    n">Just a few comments:
    Visuals in a game is much more important than beauty. It's about communication. The game is a cycle of communication between the machine and the player. The player communicates through the control system and the machine communicates mainly with the screen, so the very first rule about game visuals is that the information the player needs to play should be clear at any moment because else, if the player loses, it's not his fault but the game's one. And all this is basics for a level designer and, furthermore, for the lead game designer that gave the OK to this.

    Based on this logic we would have no Rules based rpgs because the info you need is hidden away in menys. Fun and diversity of gaming sacrificed on the altar of constant accessibility. This is after all the reason designers always dumb down stuff now and we cant have games with complicated magic systems like bg2 that dont spill their secrets in a matter of seconds. Its reductionist and boring.

    That's not even true. In this game you have all the information for combat available at any moment. Even the dice rolls if you want. All the information (or almost all) is always available for the player to check, and the rules are clear and very well defined. That is completely different to guide players through the game or reducing the complexity of the systems to attract the more casual players, something I never mentioned.

    I am talking about ergonomics and design patterns, not about complexity or difficulty. Not being able to distinguish a shopkeeper from a crowd of filler NPCs doesn't make the game more deep, more complex or more hardcore. It just makes the player to lose their time figuring out what's going on in the screen. There are plenty of patterns for hidden object games and much more patterns could be created in order to reward players that pays attention without having to implement artificial difficulty mechanisms in order to increase the exploring value. Do not mistake a good design with a casual game. Many retro games had a good design and they were hardcore, as well as some current games are casual and the game design is horrid. I never defended casualization or simplification of games, else I would not be in these forums.
    deltago said:

    Crowds are suppose to be chaotic. It is suppose to make you feel that this isn't right and you the player needs to fix it. It is brilliant level design for this very reason. It feels off-putting having to push through the crowd. You as a player are not use to it, but neither are he characters in the game.

    The game should also rarely give hints (especially repeated hints like lights) that there is something hidden or special. It breaks immersion. You are no longer your character, you are the player looking for theae hints.

    Insightful none-the-less.

    Then, if crowds are chaotic, they should not be in this game, because the core mechanic is interacting with NPCs, and this goes against that mechanic. That's why it's bad design.

    And your second point is not true. It gives a lot of hints. First, you can see the loot. Second, most of the places to steal are chests, drawers and all kind of furniture. Those are visual hints. There are also some places like cracks in the walls and stuff like that that. No problem with those right? Because that's it. And anyway, that's not the point: it was just a quick example of how to use the lightspots to give visual clues. The spots could be used in many ways, like indicating exits, enemies close, or even mission points. Right now the spotlights catches the player attention, but they drive it nowhere.

    What for me really breaks the immersion is holding tab to show. The game would be much more immersive if instead of relying in the tab to find out, the game world contained the hints to find it yourself.

    Tab highlighting has been in for a long time now though. Seems wasteful to focus so much attention on signposting via lighting when most people will use tab. Much better to focus on providing attractive backdrops and envuronments than over designing something mostly unnecessary. If tab highlighting didnt exist I would agree with you.

  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 7,963
    I haven't seen the mess of crowds or gotten into SOD yet but I can understand both sides. For one thing, each person is really a unique snowflake and if they want to wear BRIGHT COLORS that is their prerogative but one would think with a war going on it would be better to be inconspicuous.

    I'm used to my commoners using drab colors and would probably use the mod that does that. Why? This is a fantasy game with different class structures and I would think only nobility could afford to dress garishly. By afford I mean in both cost of dyes/expensive clothing and also by the attention that you get from dressing that way to stand out. A noble is likely able to afford guards and can protect him/herself. A commoner can not afford to draw extra attention or he'd be robbed by one of the many many thieves in the world or possibly mobbed by the desperate.

  • RathenauRathenau Member Posts: 80
    It should be noted though that in the dark ages everyone had access to colourful clothing if they so wanted. Dye's aren't hard to make from both natural and abundant resources. Though it were usually women that used rather bright colours like blues, yellows and greens. The colours would fade quickly though as indeed dyes that stayed for years would be too expensive.

    That said, I do prefer it that way in games. Easier on the eyes and less tabbing involved.

    illathidVargnatt
  • SamuelSamuel Member Posts: 12
    Frkun said:

    Just a few comments:

    This is not a problem of liking or disliking. It's a problem of game design, or, more accurately, level design. A level designer must always use the shapes and colors to highlight the relevant information and hindering the not relevant or hidden one. In this case, there is a crowd of people that is completely irrelevant, and furthermore, they work as real obstacles. Color code can be used (and was used in the originals) in order to highlight the important NPCs. And here, with more reason, because the quantity of useless NPCs has been quintuplicated, so, now, more than ever, the relevant NPCs should shine above the not relevant ones. If used as a blockade, they should have an uniform color so the player is able to identify it as a whole mass rather than individuals.

    It's not a matter of taste, it's a mater of ergonomics and game design. The same issue happens with the random purple spotlights that appear on every dungeon. Yeah, they are beautiful, but it contradicts the purpose of highlighting something. The beautifully colored backgrounds drives away the player sight from what he should be seeing. And now, talking more professionally, there is a secondary effect of this and that is that the player loses the trust in the game when trying to follow the rules (and this also happened in the originals). For instance, light spots could be nicely used to hint the player about something hidden. Just like when you see a chest, a drawer or a furniture, you know you can search for it, the lights could tell the player that there is something there. But if you betray the player only once, then they won't trust again that rule and they will start using other means. Right now in BG series you have to hold tab to ensure you don't miss anything, and the reason of that is this betrayal that makes the player to not trusting the visuals of the game to identify if there is something worth of exploring.

    Visuals in a game is much more important than beauty. It's about communication. The game is a cycle of communication between the machine and the player. The player communicates through the control system and the machine communicates mainly with the screen, so the very first rule about game visuals is that the information the player needs to play should be clear at any moment because else, if the player loses, it's not his fault but the game's one. And all this is basics for a level designer and, furthermore, for the lead game designer that gave the OK to this.


    It's one way to design, if you believe that important things should be highlighted for convenience. RPGs are just as much about discovery and thank the developers for not including quest arrows or neon lights pointing you to the next "important" object.

    All your points are valid and you seem to know much more about game design/development than I do. However, I just don't think this type of game design is necessarily applicable to any type of game.

    I mean...imagine a hidden object game with this kind of philosophy...

    I'm currently in my second playthrough and found a place I hadn't seen before, where you have to interact with the environment to reveal another thing, what a great moment!

    Holding tab won't help you there by the way, just as it doesn't help you in another place related to spiders.

    In fact, it forced me to look at BG games in a different light, as holding tab isn't the solution anymore for finding "hidden" things. Which is great as the player character shouldn't have the power of tab to begin with. But as a child of a god some things can be forgiven I suppose.

    Therefore I do think it is a matter of taste or preference if you will

    NightRevanronaldoAeriT
  • Mikey205Mikey205 Member Posts: 302
    Id actually like hidden item searching to have been done in the original games like trap and secret door finding where if you slow down a bit that will help uncover and highlight things. Was never fond of pixel combing with the mouse for that ring of wizardry or ankheg armor in BG1. Obviously after adding tab highlighting you cant go back.

  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 7,811
    I thought there was an option to turn off tabbing

  • namenlosnamenlos Member Posts: 51
    deltago said:

    I thought there was an option to turn off tabbing

    I did not find one(it could still be there :D ), I also checked the hot keys and did not see anything that stuck out there.

  • EnialusMeliamneEnialusMeliamne Member Posts: 399
    edited April 2016
    I'm reticent to jump on this thread, but I feel compelled to do so. A caveat: in no way shape or form is my post intended to be a finger in anyone's eye, nor inflammatory whatsoever. It's simply provided as a response to the general question, and is strictly my opinion.

    I played a lot of mods of the analog version of BG. Most of the mods were pretty stable, largely because of the care of the modders. But then I heard about Beamdog, who were committed to making the game easier to mod, and with many of the mods that I previously used already incorporated and baked into the game. Adding to that, they were bringing it to multiple platforms that either a. didn't have it before or b. the core game needed a massive update to run more efficiently on.

    I play the series on my Mac's. I previously had a boot camped Mac that ran BGEE and BGIIEE in Windows XP, but have relegated that machine to the dustbin of history. I believe @Grum plays his games solely on an iOS device. There are many more people exposed to those games because of iOS and Google Play availability.

    That's where I come in with my opinion on SOD. Between the first time I installed BGII on my old machine a long time ago, and the 31st of March, there was no original OFFICIAL and natively playable expansion content released for the BG series by any developers (unless we're talking about NPC's and their quests). There was a huge gap in between those instances. I'm rather thankful that Beamdog walked through the door and picked up the mantel to create new content, and I hope they have more opportunities to create even more original content for us to enjoy.

    Could there be improvements? Sure. That's the case in pretty much any instance. But here, now in this point in time, we have new BG expansion content that runs natively on each platform that it is currently available on. I'm pretty happy with that, and in my opinion, it stayed VERY true to the original intent.

    TL;DR: I'm happy that Beamdog decided to incorporate mods into the baked in game, released that content natively on platforms that it wasn't on before, and made it easier for people to modify themselves, while also designing and releasing new, expansion content that wouldn't have happened without them offering to do so.

    mf2112JuliusBorisovillathid
  • FrkunFrkun Member Posts: 51

    I think you have a lot of great points, but a some of them might be overstated. Most of your UI commentary is ace, although i don't think the level design is as bad as you make it out to be.

    Well, you are right. I focused too much in developing my anwser toward the level design not being the point. I actually believe that the level design of the game is overall one of the best points of the game. The whole point was to point out that there are some things that were added into the game just because they could, with no real purpose, and that with a proper though it could have been ever better.

    That behavior can be seen in almost every feature of the game and most of them are ruined because of that.

    Rathenau
  • imnotgodimnotgod Member Posts: 25
    To be fair Beamdog has employed bad writers for a long time now. I don't consider the original BG series a masterpiece in writing, but nevertheless its well done in most places, pure genius in others and a little sloppy here and there. Now the new Beamdog content on the other hand is almost all cringe worthy. It breaks the immersion in so many places, because it's so poorly written.

    Purely talking mechanics Beamdog have done wonders for our beloved games. I just wish they'd stop adding new content, at least as long as they have the current writing team.

    Rathenaunonlinearcoast
  • Mikey205Mikey205 Member Posts: 302
    Most reviews say writing is solid. Excellent in places and bad in others but it sounds like the giod writing is companions and sntsgonist which is what counts. Also the reception is an improvement from BG2:EE which was an improvement from BG:EE so upward trend. They also just hired David Gaider so they are working on this aspect. My main criticism of BG:EE were the ugly areas especially that snowy map just urgh.

    mf2112illathidJuliusBorisov
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