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Additional content. Thoughts on EE stuff. (the EE exclusive and otherwise new stuff) *Spoilers*

cremnocremno Member Posts: 25
Now, since the entire thing is about the new characters and content, I will start out by asking, shouldn't there be a way to remove any EE content from the game, having a pure version instead?

TLDR:
I personally think the EE content seems to be another game entirely, and the writing doesn't match the original writing at all, so please give me your thoughts on this! You like the new writing? Hate the new writing? Let me know! Also, thank you beamDog for reviving the game. This is criticism that isn't anger or anything, just my issues with the stuff I've tried in the game. It's not meant as an attack, and I hope others will keep it like that as well.

I have been thinking about this for a while and I decided to air my thoughts here to see whether I am the only one with these thoughts.

Now, I would like to start off with saying that my comments here have nothing to do with the siege of Dragonspear game. I have not tried it and I only just stumbled upon the controversy it would seem to have had when I started researching a bit about this post I am about to make. My comments are only on BG1 and BG2 + the old expansions. I have not researched the Dragonspear stuff nearly close to enough to start weighing in on that, and I would prefer (for my sake) comments try to stick to the original games here.

Now, I am a huge fan of the Baldur's gate games, and when I heard a company was picking up the mantle I could not help but be thrilled! I still play the game tons, and I am as much in love with it now as I was years and years ago when I first started playing the games back in 99 or 00 or whenever it was. I can't remember to be honest.

But what has been bugging me about the EE versions of the games have been the added content to be honest. I think the original stories are superb and really well thought out, with some interesting dialogue options for the player to explore. So interesting that I often (well, not anymore, as I have done so hundreds of times already) reload and retry another set of dialogue options.

However, as I first tried the EE version of the game I must admit, it felt bad. As I tried the new characters they simply felt weak and not very well thought through. And the worst thing of all, they felt like they belonged in another game altogether. Their feel is as if they came from another world. Their language differs, and options in speech are ridiculous, making me feel like a teen trying to act cool with my answer choices.

Take for example the first time the player meets Hexxat, the vampire in bg2EE. I will use this to describe what I feel is scattered around the entire game with the new content rather than making this post longer than it already is by finding all examples I can lol. So, let's use Hexxat as the symptoms of my issues with the game and see if you can relate with the other content they added, since I know I felt this way throughout the games new content.

First of all, (back to Hexxat) why is there no "I'm not really all that keen on grave-robbing" option that would come naturally to the majority of people playing as good when they met a suspicious person in the inn asking for some grave robbing partners? Like with Korgan. Instead I get to dance around the subject with "UUuuuuuu! Treasure! How much milady?" kinda dialogue, or a long joking line that seems very different from the main game.

Fast forward to the entrance of the tomb, and you have three options. A joke saying you don't want to anyway, and two about entering. There is no normal "Know what, I'm not too keen on this" option. It feels like the writing of this character is very one dimensional to the point that it has infected my own character with this sort of one dimensional-ness.

Now inside, something that really bugs me from the writing... The new commentary from your own party members from the old games. It feels like I am traveling with people with multiple personalities. Minsc becomes a child rather than a very simple man. "It's alright boo, they're dead but I'm sure they are nice people" followed by the "You were right Boo, they weren't nice at all" (not 100% accurate quote) comments which seem weird for him. He would, in my mind anyway, normally just yell at them for being evil shades, no? I don't know, but the way he talks is just so different from what I expect from Minsc that I get thrown out of the game whenever it happens, and I find this throughout the game. (this example is actually one of the closer ones to my perception of Minsc) It's like they are new people. Even when I find things that were from the old game I had forgotten about or maybe never seen since it was for some sort combo only that I never tried, it is so easy to identify Beamdog content VS. the old content in the writing. I remember starting a quest I thought I had found (before I knew there was new content in the EE version back when I had just purchased it) and I realized that it seemed off, and that was when i found out there was new content in the EE version.

Now, here comes another really obvious thing to me... The encounters with new people...

I have just lead a woman who I believed was Hexxat to the tomb, and I see her beg her mistress to let her live and when she is killed the reaction I get is as if my memory was just wiped clean. I will write the options I have here, keep in mind a "friend" or at the very least, a party member I have been helping has just been murdered in front of my eyes...:

Hexxat:
(Char name) Good to finally meet you.

1-I wish I could say the same. Who are you?
2-Did you say "meet," or "eat"?
3-You'll not think so in a couple of seconds!

Now, this to me goes back to the teen feel. it feels like I am a teenager trying to act cool in front of this killer, god forbid I show any anger or extreme surprise without at the very least looking cool. After all, it's just a party member that has just died... No biggie...

The "you'll not think so in a couple of seconds" comment is closest to what i would normally pick after having seen that, but even that seems like an excuse to have the last laugh. "Hahaha, I still have my composure and I can come with a cool comment in spite of the circumstances!" And the others are just weird.
As I said in the beginning, it feels like I have amnesia. I am not looking at her as the killer of a party member but rather a vampire, and my options reflect that. Like I would react if I had just met a vampire that tried to talk to me, not one that had just murdered my party member. My gripe here is my own characters dialogue, rather than Hexxat's as I actually find her character kinda cool in this dialogue.

Now, take the "you'll not think so..." option, you would expect my character to jump in trying to kill this evil that has just murdered my friend, but instead we stand around talking like nothing happened.

I need to come with 3 comments before I can attack her. Why? It's so redundant when I am obviously hostile towards her. Especially since I am standing RIGHT NEXT TO HER. The Werewolf at the dark temple at the very least stands far away, so it feels like a standoff. This just feels like me trying to be a calm badass before the killing
of my enemies can commence.

Now, Hexxat herself seems to have decent dialogue, as mentioned, but the issues with her lie in my own reactions. I honestly felt like just loading a previous save and not doing it like all the other new characters.

Some of the other characters are simply weird, and their personalities seem weak somehow.

I realize this is a huge post already, but I really felt these issues were important. It really feels like teenage writing in my mind. The swearing in a lot of cases seems off. I remember the first time I partied Dorn and he said "fuck" if I remember correctly. I have never seen another character say that. The characters in this universe have a certain way about them that the EE version seems to forget and write around rather than with this universe. I get that the writers want to add their own touch, but it just seems weird as the game is already there. I think they should try a new game where they could let loose, as I'm sure they would do great at that!

Now, to say one thing about these things, of course the character is made as an individual and may thus act in any way they want, but it just seems like when they are there, the world around you changes to their level. They don't seem shaped by their own world. Much to the contrary.

Rather than them being in the world, it seems they draw the world inside them, changing it to their style, which has made me avoid the EE content all together. I simply feels like it makes the game worse. Even if it is more content, it actually makes the existing content worse, so I just ignore them.

This is the main reason why I haven't bought Dragonspear, and more importantly, this is why I hope they either never make BG3 or have a major change in their approach to the old characters and the main character. I could see them doing it if they had more respect for the old titles and their way of conveying stories, rather than imposing a modern language and such to an old world. Also, it really bothers me how they always abbreviate, as it was somewhat rare in the originals lol. But that's just nitpicking.



To expand on the comment I made above with them making a new game. I would love to see a new IP from Beamdog! It could be in the D&D universe, and this way they could do whatever they wanted and have their writers truly shine without stepping on any old toes. The BG universe seems to have a set way of being already, and the way the EE content has been added just seems to not fit. Another game would greatly improve the experience of
which this sort of writing would give me.


Fun little thing I noticed too is how they made cutscenes skipable.... But the new content they made is unskipable lol. Had it been the other way around it would have been better, but the option to skip all would be best, since I like the option.

Sorry for the long post, I hope some of you will give me your own thoughts on this! I am up for some healthy discussion! I may be wrong in my assumptions too, so let me know if you want to join the conversation!

AndreaColomboRavenslightOrlonKronsteen

Comments

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,147
    I think you've just about covered it in your post, :D

    Too try hard, too pushy, too childish, too in your face pretty much sums up the writing of the new EE NPC.

    I don't understand the "why" of it, that's what confuses me. With such an old established game the goal for new characters should have been for them to fit in seamlessly so after a while players forget they weren't always part of the game.

    Baeloth in BG is the best IMO and yet he doesn't turn up in BG2. I would have liked to see him in the Underdark. There was far more room to do something with him there without the character taking over charname's story which I feel the others do too much.

    Honestly why would you do any of their quests with the situation being what it is in Athkatla?

    AndreaColombocremnoOrlonKronsteen
  • cremnocremno Member Posts: 25
    edited July 2017

    I think you've just about covered it in your post, :D

    Too try hard, too pushy, too childish, too in your face pretty much sums up the writing of the new EE NPC.

    I don't understand the "why" of it, that's what confuses me. With such an old established game the goal for new characters should have been for them to fit in seamlessly so after a while players forget they weren't always part of the game.

    Baeloth in BG is the best IMO and yet he doesn't turn up in BG2. I would have liked to see him in the Underdark. There was far more room to do something with him there without the character taking over charname's story which I feel the others do too much.

    Honestly why would you do any of their quests with the situation being what it is in Athkatla?

    I agree with this. I should have used your expression since the essence of my post is: "they should have been implemented seamlessly, but they are all but seamless..." My biggest gripe is how the characters all seem to change everything around them since the writers took too much freedom in creation, making not just their own characters different, but the existing characters and the entire universe different too.

  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,452
    cremno said:

    Now, since the entire thing is about the new characters and content, I will start out by asking, shouldn't there be a way to remove any EE content from the game, having a pure version instead?

    There is. ;)

  • cremnocremno Member Posts: 25
    edited July 2017
    Mirandel said:

    Aren't you like 10 years late with the post? :)

    But anyway, you are talking as if any "old" companion in BG was joining smoothly and the writing was some of the best literature in history. Come on! Imoen, J&K the only one with at least some hint of logic in their joining. The rest? Take Eldoth, for example: you meet some bard in the middle of the forest (!) and he suggest you (a total strangers) to join his complicated scheme of blackmailing. You are not surprised the slightest, though, and only allowed to express to feelings "Yay! Let's do it!" or "I am not into thieving, you slimy bastard". Does that make any sense to you?
    You sure can name Viconia or Branwen, but in case of the first you have only 1 options - to kill (either the guard or the drow), no talking, no compromise, nothing. And, I dare say, in no less "childish" (meaning "simplified for convenience sake") manner then with any EE NPC.

    And talking about "the body of dead friends" - J&K first dialog "Looks like our old friend is dead. Ok, how about you go with us to Nashkel, we have some business there?"

    @ThacoBell is right - new NPCs are standing out simply because they are new.

    When BG was written it was first and foremost the game, not interactive book of high quality. The meaning for every word came with the players. Dialogs were simplistic and symbolic, only there to give you direction for the next move and sense of alignment in responses. "New" NPCs do it no worse than the "old" one.

    I feel like this is true, there are of course flaws in the old, but the style is the same in my honest opinion. Or at least close to. But I find that almost any conversation made with the EE stuff makes me into a juvenile idiot when I have responses.

    But lets not forget there are flaws in the old stuff either. I just feel like the old stuff is, on average, much much better than the EE content.
    ThacoBell said:

    For the most part, I think they fit just fine. Considering that the new npcs were written by different writers, they did a fine of integrating the new npcs (except Hexxat and BG2 Dorn). I feel that the real reason they stand out is because we KNOW the story and original npcs so well. There is no way that they couldn't have. Imagine eating the same food every day for 15 years. Now add something. Its going to stand out no matter what anyone does. FWIW I think Rasaad is one of the best written characters in the game (new and old).

    I don't think that is the case. It is that the entire story seems to change whenever they are involved, or at least the style in which it is written and the way you get to respond. I feel like I am playing a new game all together, and I really wish they would just make their own game rather than adding to this already established game.

    cremno said:

    Now, since the entire thing is about the new characters and content, I will start out by asking, shouldn't there be a way to remove any EE content from the game, having a pure version instead?

    There is. ;)

    I wish it was in the standard game, but I thank you for the mod link anyway :)

    WarChiefZeke
  • cremnocremno Member Posts: 25

    I think the tone of the EE-exclusive content overall is much less serious than the original BG2 (if not BG1), but it's not fair to say the EE content is not true to the source material. From Noober to Biff the Understudy to Portalbendarwinden to Jan to the Golden Pantaloon quest to Minsc to Lilarcor, not to mention dialogue options like the aloe vera comment or the Elminster's hat threat or the dancing naked nymphs joke, the BG saga has never been shy about including silly, inappropriate, or immersion-breaking dialogue. And the recent "Baldur's Gate Logic" thread is already a lengthy compendium of all the unrealistic stuff you can find in the original BG games.

    When you think about it, the EE content would have to be a little silly sometimes in order to be true to the original games. Because that's what the original games were like.

    yes my main gripe isn't the not serious aspects, but the way they are implemented in very un-natural ways. They come out of nowhere in very serious situations, and they are written very differently from the main content, in my opinion. And I think the protagonist seems to be pulled into this unbelievable mess that forces the player to use dialogue that seems so out of the world of BG.

    At least, that's how I felt like when I see the new content. As mentioned in the long post, I have been put in several situations where I knew this was weird and off before I realized it was new content. It seems so easy to identify, and thus sticks out like a sore thumb to me.

    semiticgoddess
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,032
    cremno said:

    At least, that's how I felt like when I see the new content. As mentioned in the long post, I have been put in several situations where I knew this was weird and off before I realized it was new content. It seems so easy to identify, and thus sticks out like a sore thumb to me.

    As was mentioned earlier in the thread if you've played the game hundreds of times before then any new dialogue is likely to stick out irrespective of whether it's good or bad.

    You also made a point earlier about the inappropriateness of responses during quests, i.e. that you didn't have the opportunity to say no to doing something at various points during personal quests. If you don't want an NPC in your party then you can normally just tell them to go away when you first meet them. If you invite them to join your party then it seems reasonable that quest responses are geared to completing their quest - after all if you don't want to do that you always have the option of just dismissing them from your party.

    semiticgoddessMirandelSpaceInvader
  • QuickbladeQuickblade Member Posts: 959
    Mirandel said:

    But anyway, you are talking as if any "old" companion in BG was joining smoothly and the writing was some of the best literature in history. Come on! Imoen, J&K the only one with at least some hint of logic in their joining. The rest?

    Or how about Shar-Teel? "I'll only join you if we fight a duel".

    Or Kagain. Or Tiax?

  • cremnocremno Member Posts: 25
    Grond0 said:

    cremno said:

    At least, that's how I felt like when I see the new content. As mentioned in the long post, I have been put in several situations where I knew this was weird and off before I realized it was new content. It seems so easy to identify, and thus sticks out like a sore thumb to me.

    As was mentioned earlier in the thread if you've played the game hundreds of times before then any new dialogue is likely to stick out irrespective of whether it's good or bad.

    You also made a point earlier about the inappropriateness of responses during quests, i.e. that you didn't have the opportunity to say no to doing something at various points during personal quests. If you don't want an NPC in your party then you can normally just tell them to go away when you first meet them. If you invite them to join your party then it seems reasonable that quest responses are geared to completing their quest - after all if you don't want to do that you always have the option of just dismissing them from your party.
    Yes, but thing is, even if you don't have them, you still have the initial meetings throwing you out of it. But in any case, I still feel like their dialogue is unnatural. As I mentioned, things I re-discovered or things I had never seen since they were specific to things I had never done, I was able to pinpoint whether they were beamdog or bioware content in seconds due to the change, and that just seems weird. Had they made their own game it would have been fine, but since they are adding things that change the original I still feel it disturbs the overall experience :)

    Mirandel said:

    But anyway, you are talking as if any "old" companion in BG was joining smoothly and the writing was some of the best literature in history. Come on! Imoen, J&K the only one with at least some hint of logic in their joining. The rest?

    Or how about Shar-Teel? "I'll only join you if we fight a duel".

    Or Kagain. Or Tiax?
    Yes my point is, once you have them they follow a certain pattern where you feel they are part of the game. I agree some characters, especially in BG1, seem to have a weird sort of encounter, but their way of being seem to fit the world, and the world does not morph to fit them, where I feel like the new characters have the world and the main character shift to fit their narrative. Like with the writing style, but also simply with the sudden changes in the protagonists way of being. As mentioned. I feel like a teenager trying to act cool whenever I see the beamdog content.

    But I will admit, in bg1 there are a lot of weird follower encounters. I feel like BG2 made that a lot better, though that isn't to say it was perfect in any way.

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,147
    ThacoBell said:

    For the most part, I think they fit just fine. Considering that the new npcs were written by different writers, they did a fine of integrating the new npcs (except Hexxat and BG2 Dorn). I feel that the real reason they stand out is because we KNOW the story and original npcs so well. There is no way that they couldn't have. Imagine eating the same food every day for 15 years. Now add something. Its going to stand out no matter what anyone does. FWIW I think Rasaad is one of the best written characters in the game (new and old).

    Everytime there is a thread or comment suggesting that the EE content is lacking in the posters opinion, the reason given is that it is just because they are "new" is wheeled out.

    That's not an argument or a discussion, that's a dismissal of any criticism.
    You then go on to say except for Hexaat/Dorn BG2, that's 50% of the new NPC in BG2.
    So is your criticism of the EE NPC you singled out simply down to them being new?

    Here's a very simple example that perhaps demonstrates what the op is saying.
    Why does the introduction of Neera, Rasaad and Hexaat in BG2 have a cutscene?
    How does that "fit just fine" when none of the other NPC have used such a device?
    And if you don't want to interact with the NPC, you can walk within 6 inches of them and pretend they don't exist.

    Neera is by far the worse. Not only do you have to sit through one boring interaction, you then get jumped by another one and even if you deny all knowledge of having ever met her, you still get the place marked on the map. And then to top it off, if you turn up with Edwin, it's a straight refusal without any acknowledgement that at that point, he too is being hunted by RWofT.

    The objection to these shenanigans cannot be put down to "it's new, you don't like anything new," it's simply poor writing with no acknowledgement of the game it has been imposed upon.


    FlashburnAndreaColomboOrlonKronsteen
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 2,391
    Actually, imoen (both games, and both twice!), jaheira, aerie, anomen, keldorn and nalia for sure have forced introductions to the party... Probably more since I don't want to put any effort into recollecting them all.

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 2,646
    edited July 2017
    deleted

    Post edited by megamike15 on
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 2,391
    @megamike15 you could have edited and said viconia for instance ;):p

  • QuickbladeQuickblade Member Posts: 959
    cremno said:

    I agree some characters, especially in BG1, seem to have a weird sort of encounter, but their way of being seem to fit the world, and the world does not morph to fit them, where I feel like the new characters have the world and the main character shift to fit their narrative.

    One day TIAX will point and click!

  • MirandelMirandel Member Posts: 523
    "A - What the hell is wrong with that snow?! It's COLD!
    B - You see, snow is a frozen water. Frozen water is cold by definition. Take ice, for example...
    A - I do not talk about ice, you moron! I am talking about SNOW. It is white and fluffy and it is COLD! COLD!!! I have these feathers around me, white and fluffy. And guess what? They are not cold! Your snow is wrong!
    B - Ok, let me explain you the law of physic here. Just open your refrigerator and...
    A - What?! You are talking about refrigerators now? What's next? Should I take apart my vacuum cleaner too? Can you even follow the subject?! I do not need your "laws of physic" or whatever! I can FEEL the snow is COLD! Yet, every time the topic comes up someone ALWAYS have to bring in "laws of physic". It's getting old already!
    B - But this is the fact. You know, an objective thing.
    A - For you, may be. Gosh, how many stupid people out there! Bah!"

    Ardanis
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,147

    I think the tone of the EE-exclusive content overall is much less serious than the original BG2 (if not BG1), but it's not fair to say the EE content is not true to the source material. From Noober to Biff the Understudy to Portalbendarwinden to Jan to the Golden Pantaloon quest to Minsc to Lilarcor, not to mention dialogue options like the aloe vera comment or the Elminster's hat threat or the dancing naked nymphs joke, the BG saga has never been shy about including silly, inappropriate, or immersion-breaking dialogue. And the recent "Baldur's Gate Logic" thread is already a lengthy compendium of all the unrealistic stuff you can find in the original BG games.

    When you think about it, the EE content would have to be a little silly sometimes in order to be true to the original games. Because that's what the original games were like.

    I don't disagree with anything you say here.

    However, bad writing is bad writing and no amount of comparison with other examples of writing changes that. Write well and you can get away with any amount of subversion, sillyness, immersion breaking dialogue you want.

    I read Monty Python was an inspiration for the writers of BG, the EE writers seem to have down the "Spaceballs" path.

    FlashburnOrlonKronsteen
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    edited July 2017
    Its harsh to say bad writing methinks. I've read much worse, and in published works that were nothing BUT writing. You might say cheesey?

    Mel Brooks is/was a bloody genius... Spaceballs was not his best work, but it was pretty watchable.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,267
    @UnderstandMouseMagic Several of the original npcs have forced introductions, so yes, you ARE just criticisizing new content because it is new. And what exactly about my opinion is invalid? As far as I am aware, it is just as valid as the OPs.

  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 7,810
    The issue with the writing of the new EE content isn't that it is poorly written, it is that it is three consistent tones throughout much like newer RPGs.

    There is always a silly dialog option opposed to one every couple of encounters. The orginial, used this humour to break the seriousness of the game from time to time, creating epic memorable quotes like "you know what I say, always kill the mouthy one first."

    This doesn't happen with the new writing due to the restrictions placed on the writers. A consistent 3 option prong in the good/funny/evil response with limited nodes per conversation hampers the feel the orginial portrayed.

    People aren't serious all the time, and people dont attempt to crack jokes all the time. The writing in the orginial reflected this, the EE content, not so much.

    That doesn't mean it was poor writing, just inconsistent with what the original was about and what the OP was attempting to say.

    I would say to the OP, give SoD a try. It is much more like a stand alone game, and IMO, stay true tothe orginial Characters, atleast their BG2 counterparts.

    ThacoBell
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,716
    edited July 2017
    IMHO, EE should be about fixing and polishing things.

    Want to implement eight hundred opcodes and features (like the way quickslot weapons are being handle now)? Good.

    New content? No.

    I was very disappointed with EE because I didn't receive the things I most wanted:

    1) IWD-BGEE-BG2EE spells in each game with a coherent Resource coding

    2) Unfinished Business (for all the game) implemented as native thing

    3) Ascension / Wheel of Prophecy stuff implemented as native.

    Ok, I can work around this with mods, but so could I back in 2000.

    And I think the transition BG1-BG2 is a bad one. No NPC continuity, a weak story (what the hell happened to Soultaker Dagger), etc.

    Last but not least important, the original plot holes were all maintained (like The Hidden).

    The way I see, Beamdog created a new game, labeled it as a Baldur's Gate title and sold to us.

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 2,646
    only iwd ee had it's unfinisshed business content restored.

  • CamDawgCamDawg Member, Developer Posts: 3,426

    only iwd ee had it's unfinisshed business content restored.

    To be fair, they did have an "in" with the author.

    Balrog99rorikonDreadKhan
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