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Durlag's Tower - Thoughts?

2

Comments

  • mumumomomumumomo Member Posts: 635
    Watcher's keep is indeed much better designed IMO:
    - Good loot gives you incentive to do it
    - You can do it floor by floor rather than in one shot like durlag
    - much more variety from one floor to another
    - a lot less traps. Let's face it: traps are very poorly implemented in that game.Basically, if you have 1 thief, they don't do anything; if you have not you get killed. And the whole find traps mechanics is a real pain (detection is far too slow)

    kcwisesemiticgod
  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,273
    I really like the atmosphere of Durlag's Tower, at least the outside and the upper levels, but then when I start on the lower levels.....

    ......I've just edited out a rant about how repetitively irritating they are.

    The real issue for me is that I have a roleplaying/plotline problem. Whilst I normally do the upper levels earlier, and separate from the lower ones for tactical reasons, this doesn't make sense. In my logical(?) plot progression I 'find' Durlag's Tower when I'm exploring the region and looking for the bandit camp after going down the Nashkell Mines. But the dialogue prompt to go there only really happens in Algoth's Beard (apart from an arbitrary passing mention in Gullykin).

    I think it would make more sense if Durlag's Tower was a 'hidden' area like the bandit camp, that is only revealed after reaching Ulgoth's, or at the very least situated north of the bandit camp somewhere. I think its current position unbalances the game and makes nonsense of the quest you get in Ulgoth's Beard.

    typo_tillykcwise
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,294
    I have 166 hours played so far on my EE copy and never once entered Durlag's Tower.
    Maybe I should on my recent Illusionist/Thief playthrough.

    kcwiseCrevsDaak
  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,382
    I start to explore Durlag's Tower for the same reason as I explore Firewine or Ulcaster. It's there. c:

    Leave Durlag's Tower whenever you're too injured or you're carrying too much stuff. Treat it as a normal dungeon until you reach Ulgoth's Beard and learn otherwise. ^_^

    jackjackCaptRorykcwiseMusigny
  • SharguildSharguild Member Posts: 186
    For me, Durlag's Tower brought back fond but frustrating memories of some older 8-bit rpgs that were essentially nothing BUT dungeon crawls. Very very tough, mercilessly unforgiving take a baseball bat to your monitor type dungeon crawls.

    Nethack I suppose was the most infamous. I finished that game ONCE. Go down wrong corridor, you die, open wrong door, you die, enter new area too soon, you die, open chest without buffs on, you die.
    And by die, I mean GAME OVER, start again.

    Ragnarok was another experiment in terror, to make matters worse, Rag had an in-game time limit that even if you completed all the game areas (madness) and found all the materials needed (almost impossible) to solve the problem (preventing Loki from initiating Ragnarok and therefore saving Asgard), if you got to Asgard too late, well sorry chum, party has already started, you lose, try again.

    These games gave me a VERY healthy respect for the dangers of dungeons and I think toughened my resolve in taking my time and thinking about preparation for each new area.

    In comparison, Durlag's was almost a beach stroll; a beautifully eerie, hugely entertaining beach stroll.
    It is also quite linear, which helps. However after the 10th time through, I can see how some folk find the repetitiveness boring. No more so than other parts of the game though. That's why I try different party mixes and attempt it at an earlier level on occasion.

    Personally, I love it and usually do it after completing about half of Baldur's Gate city and before werewolf Isle, so that as some have mentioned the gear you find still has some game time value.
    Really love the immersive beauty of playing it on a 24 inch monitor in widescreen now also!
    Bless you Overhaul!

    jackjack
  • AHFAHF Member Posts: 1,376
    Anyone know why they changed the initial Demon Knight that shows up to unkillable? I always like being able to grab the helm of opposite alignment and was dissappointed on my current play through that you could no longer kill him and take the helm. You are also unable to pick his pocket since he is hostile immediately upon appearing. Has the helm been moved somewhere else or is it simply removed from the game now?

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,706
    AHF said:

    Anyone know why they changed the initial Demon Knight that shows up to unkillable? I always like being able to grab the helm of opposite alignment and was dissappointed on my current play through that you could no longer kill him and take the helm. You are also unable to pick his pocket since he is hostile immediately upon appearing. Has the helm been moved somewhere else or is it simply removed from the game now?

    You now can only get it when you kill the Demon Knight later in the tower.

    jackjackAHF
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,706
    edited January 2015
    elminster said:

    I hate durlag's tower. Like others I like the lore but I've only done it a handful of times because I just find it to be tedious. I like the other TOTSC areas however.

    9 months later and my position on it hasn't changed. I view Watcher's Keep much in the same way. :)

    jackjackdunbarBelgarathMTH
  • AHFAHF Member Posts: 1,376
    elminster said:

    AHF said:

    Anyone know why they changed the initial Demon Knight that shows up to unkillable? I always like being able to grab the helm of opposite alignment and was dissappointed on my current play through that you could no longer kill him and take the helm. You are also unable to pick his pocket since he is hostile immediately upon appearing. Has the helm been moved somewhere else or is it simply removed from the game now?

    You now can only get it when you kill the Demon Knight later in the tower.
    Thanks! At least it is still in the game. I never got it from the Demon Knight at the end but that may have been because I always killed him at the beginning.

    JuliusBorisov
  • Yann1989Yann1989 Member Posts: 92
    edited January 2015
    I personally hate Durlag's Tower and I'll probably not do it in my future playthroughs.

    Storywise, it does not make sense to me to spend so much time in this dungeon in which you risk your life at every moment whereas you're meant to go and fight Sarevok and do so many other things. What's more, I think it's badly implemented in the scenario: "hey wanna do some tourism in a very dangerous area?" No, thanks! I have other things to do. It's not alright for me to spend so much time in a secondary quest that has no importance for the main scenario and does not have a lot of scenario itself.

    Gameplay-wise and Roleplay-wise , it is very tedious, I find it very difficult to roleplay because it does look like it's made as a series of challenges rather than a place that would really exist in the Sword Coast. So you suddenly feel as you're a mouse in a trap wasting your time there.

    Finally, the interest of this is limited because you're gonna lose all your items at the beginning of BG2 and you can probably reach the xp cap of your main character without doing it.

    I like Watcher's Keep a lot more for several reasons. Storywise, it's okay to think that your party would consider spending time to save the world from a dangerous demon. Gameplay-wise, there's a lot of diversity and interesting riddles. It does have that atmosphere of divine magic. Finally, you'll find a lot of very useful items for Cespenar and it's a good xp boost for Throne of Bhaal. You can also justify it by saying your character wants to grow stronger to beat his rivals.

    BelgarathMTH
  • AHFAHF Member Posts: 1,376
    From the roleplaying side, the TSC content works much better in the Baldur's Gate Trilogy mod where you can complete all that *after* you defeat Sarevok. It makes much more sense that your character would be willing to take a boat cruise or a tour of a remote, dangerous tower once your big issue is resolved.

    Musignyjackjacktypo_tillyJuliusBorisov
  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,072
    I love going through Dulag's Tower, as well through Irenicus' Dungeon and the Planar Sphere (they're basically my 3 favorite Dungeons).

    JuliusBorisovjackjackMusigny
  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,072
    @dunbar‌ IIRC, in both vanilla TotSC and BGT (I've never played TuTu) Durlag's Tower doesn't appear on your map until somebody tells you about it in Ulgoth's Beard.

    JuliusBorisovjackjack
  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,273
    @CrevsDaak I've just checked the journal entries from a recent game and they specifically say:
    Day 139 Met Bayard in Durlag's Tower.
    Day 157 Met a blustering lout offering tours to Durlag's Tower.

    CrevsDaak
  • zerimozerimo Member Posts: 29
    Playing through for first time so i'm wondering:
    Is Durlag's tower necessary in the form of exp or can i get it to 160k with a full party anyway?

    Dungeon-crawling is not something i enjoy so i don't think i Want to do it.

    jackjack
  • OllmerOllmer Member Posts: 73
    zerimo said:

    Playing through for first time so i'm wondering:
    Is Durlag's tower necessary in the form of exp or can i get it to 160k with a full party anyway?

    Dungeon-crawling is not something i enjoy so i don't think i Want to do it.

    No, it's not necessary. It is more than probable that you will have more than 161k exp on your mainchar even with full party by the end of the BG1.

    jackjack
  • DauntDaunt Member Posts: 52
    Musigny said:


    The first time I played the Durlag's tower, I was captivated. This was a strong invitation to roleplay with a rich and non trivial story. Much better. Obviously such an interest fades away : this is not the best place for veterans. Furthermore in the original game, the engine limitations were painful, especially in such narrow areas.

    Yep, same here. When I played Durlag's Tower for the first time after installing Tales of the Sword Coast (omg a new expansion! 1999 was a fun year for a first-time CRPG player :D ), it definitely felt captivating.

    One of the biggest walled-in dungeons in BG I, if not the biggest? Nashkel Mines were deep, but the flavor of Durlag's was immersive for the time. For a teenager at the time facing a deadly trapped-up tower, that was fun - a lot of deaths occurred to party members along the way, but fun!
    Jenzafar said:

    It's easy to get burned out on Durlag's Tower, especially if you've done it a handful of times like OP (and myself). I don't do Durlag's every time I play--for just that reason. Sometimes I just do the upper levels and then go for werewolf island instead.

    But mostly, I've found that getting super pissed off at traps is a *very* good indication that it's time to step away from the game and do something else for a while. It'll be fun again later. Maybe months later.

    Yeah, Durlag's takes a long time. It's good to tackle every so often, but it is time-exhaustive to go through all the traps, and you don't need to do so anyhow.

    I usually don't replay IE games very frequently (it'll be years between them tbh, played thru BG 1 only 2 times iirc), but for those who do, I can easily imagine that DT is good to skip on occasion.

    MusignyJuliusBorisov
  • SamuelSamuel Member Posts: 12
    Durlags Tower felt a lot nicer with a fighter/thief as I just like the PC to be active, have a mage cast invisibility and then go around disarming traps.

    But the first time with a 9con mage...aw man, that was brutal but what a great experience still, figuring out the puzzles which feel just great in a crazy dwarf's tower.

    might have taken up 1/5 of the entire play through though as far as I can remember...

    Unfortunately it is (still) bugged now and I still can't get the doors open on the second level, even with putting the rune stones back where I found them to retrieve them again. So I have to teleport past this :/

    cleared the upper floors with backstabs though, this felt great

    JuliusBorisovjackjackMusigny
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,027
    I think Durlag's Tower is absolutely awesome, thematically. So much atmosphere, so much tragedy. However, after running through it 9-ish times, I must say the traps have started to wear on me. I once suggested to a friend of mine who was learning to DM that simple traps (including everything BG calls a trap) are simply boring and make for uninteresting gameplay unless combined with monsters or some other sort of challenge at the same time. I still stand by that. 90% of the traps in Durlag's Tower are exactly that, and there are a *lot* of them. So as much as I think Durlag's Tower is the best dungeon in the series, it also annoys me to no end these days.

    Musignyjackjack
  • VolatileVolatile Member Posts: 57
    Old thread, I know. But for the record: doing it for the fifth time, and the traps are - as somebody wrote in an earlier post - very tedious. The backstory is nice, but the whole thing takes way too long...

    BelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 4,667
    LOL - I just went through giving several "agrees" and "likes" to three year old posts before I noticed that this is a necromanced thread. :)

    ArdulAerakartbone1
  • Artemius_IArtemius_I Member Posts: 2,549
    I believe I wrote this in my last year of high school.

    Balrog99ArdulAerakarsemiticgod
  • byrne20byrne20 Member Posts: 217
  • AerakarAerakar Member Posts: 592
    The above ground tower and below ground levels 1-2 and 4 are some of my favorite parts of the game.

    I do hate level 3 though.

    tbone1
  • lnstructor_lnstructor_ Member Posts: 60
    Since thread has resurrected - I loved Durlag! I replayed a new party once that skipped everything straight into some Ankheg leveling just to go and have a Durlag's run.

    ThacoBellAerakar
  • MonotremataMonotremata Member Posts: 53
    At what level is everyone starting the tower at? I bought TOTSC when it came out, but dont really remember doing it cause I was already finished with BG1 at the time. Was gonna start it last night but my characters are all level 4 and the sound of some of the enemies and traps makes me think its gonna be futile. As it is, 2 or 3 people got killed by the Battle Horror right past the guy selling stuff so I didn't even make it to the entrance of the tower before I quit and had to go back. Could've sworn my PCs were higher than that but guess not. Right now the only quest I have to do is to go find the bandit camp already so figured I better level up some more before going after Tazok.

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