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Should I make SoD canon in my mind...or not?

2

Comments

  • ArthasArthas Member Posts: 432
    @megamike15 that's BG2. We are talking about the integrations of these npc(s) into BG1.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 6,749
    Arthas said:

    @megamike15 that's BG2. We are talking about the integrations of these npc(s) into BG1.

    Are we now? I was under the impression that people were complaining about Neera in general.

    megamike15
  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 3,674
    I think what is being missed here is that the argument isn't about whether you like or dislike a particular character: it is about choice.

    Unless I am misremembering horribly, I thought the whole idea behind the Enhanced Editions was that it would make the platform more stable and make it easier for modders to mod and simpler for someone like me (who is barely computer literate) to install those mods. Basically, I thought Beamdog were going to do the heavy lifting and all I would have to do would be to browse a menu of what was on offer and hit 'Install' for the things I wanted and ignore the things I could live without.

    But this doesn't seem to be what has happened at all. I still can't get IWD soundsets to work in Baldur's Gate and sizing new character portraits is still a pain in the ass but on the plus side, I've got a bunch of new characters that I don't want and can't get rid of.

    I have absolutely no problem with Beamdog adding new content to the existing game. And I don't mind if the default option is for that new content to be turned on. But I think they should have built in the option for me to be able to opt out of that content if I don't want it.

    I thought it was all about choice. I thought that was the point of the exercise. And if that isn't the point, what exactly is the point?

    KilivitzBelgarathMTH
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 6,749
    @Permidion_Stark You aren't forced to take Neera, or Rasaad, or Dorn, or anyone with you. They aren't "forced" on you.

  • Ludwig_IILudwig_II Member Posts: 53
    edited August 2
    I think the main problem is people are expecting too much. These are really minor issues. Everything can't or won't be implemented based on the perfect world in your imagination. And even if did, it will %100 annoy other people instead of you this time.

    I played whole EE saga multiple times. There are characters that I like and characters that I don't like, both in original games and in Sod. If there's someone that I don't like, I just move on and don't get him/her in my party. It's not like I will have to deal with her/him the whole 100+ hours I will be playing the game for. A short encounter with a character that I don't like does not degrade my experience with the whole game, why should it?

    Why is this even such a big deal? Why would people get annoyed with something that takes 2 minutes? I really didn't understand all that fuss when Sod was released in the first place either. People are too easy to get offended, or get annoyed. And I think that's the real problem, not the EE chars or their implementation. I'm not saying these directed at anyone here in particular, this is just my general observation on the internet.

    The way I look at EEs is, I'm just happy that Beamdog gave life to a series I love, and enriched the experience I can have with it. Things can always be done better, but I don't need a perfect game to enjoy it

    ThacoBell
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 3,657
    Kilivitz said:

    Can't speak for anyone else, but I wouldn't go as far as saying that they shouldn't exist. I'd argue, though, that they weren't necessary and that the current state of their implementation is detrimental to the game. So yes, I wish they were more "boring and blank slate" because I don't think "blank slate" is necessarily boring. BG1 handles NPCs way differently from BG2 and it seems to me that BG:EE would be much better if the priority had been consistency and all that extra content had been saved for BG2, where it fits much better. But rest assured that I'm under no illusion that Beamdog's going to go back and rework the new NPCs.

    It's reasonable to have the opinion that the EE should not have fleshed out NPCs - as vanilla BG1 doesn't do this. However, my impression is that's a minority view. BG1 has been criticized for many years for the lack of development of NPCs and there would certainly have been plenty of criticism of Beamdog if they had failed to address that. The restrictions on changing existing content meant it wasn't possible for them to develop existing characters, so their only option was to do that with new characters.

    It's perhaps also worth making the point in this argument that BGEE is based on a development of the BG2 engine, rather than the BG1 version. I have seen a few comments that Beamdog should not have done that (or should have somehow provided the ability to switch between engines), but that is the view of a tiny minority. As has already been said, one of the stated purposes of the EEs was to offer a more moddable platform and that couldn't have been done within the constraints of the BG1 engine.

    I prefer BG1 myself compared to BG2 and I very rarely use NPCs anyway, so the character development (or otherwise) of NPCs is pretty irrelevant to me. However, if I felt strongly about NPCs (or anything else about the game such as changes to the game engine or UI) I still have the option to just play the vanilla games. In that context the EE games are offering increased choice. As people's tastes are so different, however, no single version will please everyone (I don't think it's realistically possible to include within a retail game enough simple customizable options to do that).

    Discussing whether Beamdog should have made changes in the first place seems a bit of a dead end, but I do think it's helpful to discuss how they could have done things better. That could both help within existing games (for instance see the comment from @CamDawg about changes to Neera in the next patch) and in the development of future games - which most people posting on this Forum would probably want to see o:).

    ArctodusArtonaThacoBellBelgarathMTH
  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 3,674
    edited August 2
    ThacoBell said:

    @Permidion_Stark You aren't forced to take Neera, or Rasaad, or Dorn, or anyone with you. They aren't "forced" on you.

    This turns out to be true. In an earlier post there was a link to @argent77's mod 'Disable Enhanced Edition NPCs'. I wasn't aware of its existence but it is exactly what I was looking for. Now I have the choice of whether to keep the new NPCs or remove them. And the choice is all I wanted.

    Post edited by Permidion_Stark on
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 3,181
    @Permidion_Stark AFAIK, keeping, accepting or removing the NPCs was always an option.

    ThacoBell
  • KilivitzKilivitz Member Posts: 1,426
    edited August 2
    Raduziel said:

    AFAIK, keeping, accepting or removing the NPCs was always an option.

    It's not about the option or recruiting or not recruiting the new NPCs. It's about the option of playing the game without new content that feels out of place in the classic campaign. If you can't understand why some people feel that way, go back and read the thread again, plenty of arguments have been made.
    Raduziel said:

    1) Nowadays, I think that original BG1 is unplayable with its very limited, bugged and clumsy engine. Even before EE, the only way I could play BG1 was in the BG2 engine (can't remember the mod now), so this remake is very welcome to me.

    While I understand why people have a clear preference for either the BG2 or the EE versions of the engine, calling it "buggy" and "clumsy" is an overstatement. BG1 is more different than objectively worse than BG2, and a lot of the annoyances that come from being used to the latter engine can be removed with modding. I object to people who most likely haven't touched the original in years trash-talking the first game because it seems like it's the cool thing to do nowadays.

    Permidion_Stark
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 6,749
    @Kilivitz We cool. Thank you for the gracious acception (word?) of my apology.

    To add to the discussion, "While I understand why people have a clear preference for either the BG2 or the EE versions of the engine, calling it "buggy" and "clumsy" is an overstatement."

    I think its perfectly fair to call the IE INCREDIBLY buggy and clumsy. I mean, this thing is held together with string and well wishes. The original had crashing bugs, freezing bugs, failed saves, and this was AFTER all the official patches. At release, it was possible for Gorion to accidentally kill Sarevok. I mean, thats the kind of thing you hear on the playground that turns out to be false, but nope, glitches that crazy just happened. This doesn't mean BG vanilla is a bad game. I think it speaks to its quality that people put up with this despite the extreme bugginess. Bg2 had it almost as bad.

    One of the great things the EEs have done is make these far more stable than they have been in the past. But the IE is some kind of pandora's box of bugs. There are still some from vanilla BG2 that we can't seem to squash. Look up the glitch with the genie in Irenicus' Dungeon sometime. That one is baffleing.

    StummvonBordwehr
  • Dev6Dev6 Member Posts: 640
    edited August 2
    ThacoBell said:

    At release, it was possible for Gorion to accidentally kill Sarevok.

    And this was REMOVED from the game?! That's goddamn hilarious!

    ThacoBellPermidion_StarkArctodus
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 3,657
    I ran the cutscene many times hoping to see Gorion triumph, but he never managed it :). I have seen some other odd results in combats though - for instance suffering the annoyance when Lehtinan killed Hendak to put an end to the Copper Coronet quest.

    ThacoBell
  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 3,674
    edited August 2
    I didn't buy SoD when it came out because I didn't think I would like it. (I'm an Imoen fan and I was majorly pissed off to find she was being sidelined again). But after a year or so I did buy it and discovered that though it starts shakily and ends appallingly there is a great deal to be enjoyed in between.

    I intend to include it in future playthroughs but I will hurry through the start and export my character as soon as I get out of Hell. I will basically treat it like a standalone adventure and not as a bridge between BG1 and BG2.

    Post edited by Permidion_Stark on
  • JhaycenJhaycen Member Posts: 15
    ThacoBell said:

    Counterpoint, SoD has a lot of nice foreshadowing for things to come in BG2. Its themes also fit WONDERFULLY well into the series as a whole.

    Indeed. While I don't think you lose anything by not including Dragonspear, if you DO include it then it provides a good setup for moving into the Shadows of Amn campaign. Kind of a win-win in that you'll get a transition that makes sense if you want it, but won't feel like you're missing anything if you leave it out.
    ThacoBell said:

    I'm currently campaigning (read, annoying the devs) about getting some of this back in.

    Yesh... I recall reading something about a SoulTaker quest line once or twice... :D

    ThacoBell
  • KilivitzKilivitz Member Posts: 1,426
    ThacoBell said:

    I think its perfectly fair to call the IE INCREDIBLY buggy and clumsy. I mean, this thing is held together with string and well wishes. The original had crashing bugs, freezing bugs, failed saves, and this was AFTER all the official patches. At release, it was possible for Gorion to accidentally kill Sarevok. I mean, thats the kind of thing you hear on the playground that turns out to be false, but nope, glitches that crazy just happened. This doesn't mean BG vanilla is a bad game. I think it speaks to its quality that people put up with this despite the extreme bugginess. Bg2 had it almost as bad.

    If we're talking about the IE as a whole, yeah, I agree that it's a clumsy engine and I trust the developers when they say the source code is a nightmare to work with.

    My personal opinion is that BG1 gets undeserved bad rep. I think people exaggerate when they paint it as an unplayable mess, but to be fair, that narrative has been going on long before the EEs were a thing. BGT and Tutu were super popular. Me, I think every BG fan should try the original at least once. It's a totally different experience from playing the original campaign on the BG2 engine. Not that a lot of people give a crap about "the authentic experience" or whatever.

    Permidion_StarkThacoBell
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,990
    edited August 3
    ThacoBell said:

    Counterpoint, SoD has a lot of nice foreshadowing for things to come in BG2. Its themes also fit WONDERFULLY well into the series as a whole. Beamdog had plans to add more reactivity to SoD in BG2, but its shaky release (all the trolls, flaming, and blind hate) made them change their minds. I'm currently campaigning (read, annoying the devs) about getting some of this back in. Oh, and SoD is a nice bridge, giving us events and continuity linking BG1 and 2.

    @Dev6 Don't get too excited, the only result was that the game froze.


    I think the incredibly clumsy, in your face foreshadowing in SOD for BG2 is one of the worst aspects of the game.

    Irenicus being a late addition was a dreadful mistake, badly written and laughable in parts. Admittedly Irenicus does walk a thin line in BG2 between parody and threatening, but in SOD all seriousness/depth is ditched for charicature.

    And where is Bodhi?

    It's as if the thinking went,
    Great we got the voice actor lets make a big deal of that, but hang on a minute, if we shove Bodhi in there (where of course she logically should appear) as well, it messes up a major plot line........

    There's nothing organic or creative about Irenicus appearing in SOD, it's blatently about advertising/selling the game.

    There is one part which subtlely works as foreshadowing, finding the dead elves in the cave with the letter refering to the exile. It gives nothing away and yet is a nice tie in to Suldenesselar in the same vein as discovering the artist Prism is carving Ellesime or Centeol being cursed by Irenicus.

    Permidion_Starklefreut
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 4,700
    edited August 3


    It's not canon for me and never will be. I can't even play it through nowadays, and I've tried, God knows I've tried.

    Mind you, IMO, nothing about a RPG where the charname has choices should ever be considered "canon".

    The word/description is used as an argument "winner" by people whose enjoyment of the game aligns with the choices made for them by the writers. It's a false claim to legitamacy that their choices are the "correct" ones.

    And it's all so illogical, Imoen is "canon" yet we all know she was stuck in the game late in BG to solve a problem (getting to the FAI), and was killed in BG2 until the audience objected.
    So when or what or how is the criterior for "canon" decided?

    SOD in particular has this problem, can't get the original voice actors the characters disappear, manage to get a famous one last minute, bugger up the whole game (and affect the whole saga) incorporating them.

    It's all utterly meaningless to label anything "canon".

    @UnderstandMouseMagic , I'm very sympathetic to your argument in this post.

    I wonder how many people know their history of Christianity and the Bible enough to know that the "canonization" of the Bible as we have it today was one of the first times in history people started throwing back and forth these exact same arguments with each other about "What is canon?" In fact, before it became a thing with games and stories to start talking about "canon", theology was the main context in which the word ever came up.

    I find it somewhat amusing to watch people discussing Baldur's Gate with the same passion and seriousness as the early church councilors who discussed which scriptures to include in the Bible. :)

    EDIT: @Grond0 : I made this post before I saw yours. I'm not surprised you know your history. You've always seemed like a pretty bright fellow. :)

    Grond0dunbar
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 6,749
    @UnderstandMouseMagic In all fairness, all foreshadowing is obvious when you already know the events being forshadowed. New players moving straight from their first BG1 playthrough to SoD without playing BG2 first, tend to not catch it until later. Its always really interesting seeing a first timer's impression's on SoD next to a vetern of the original games.

    @Kilivitz It definitely unfair to treat BG1 vanilla as unplayable or utterly broken, but I don't think its aged as wll as BG2. Mostly because of the slower engine and lack of quality of life things. The core game is still quite good.

    StummvonBordwehrKilivitz
  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 1,097
    the foreshadowing isnt just for events from vanillia bg2 theres also stuff for the ee content as well. like neera's enemy for bg2 get named dropped at the end of her quest. which sets up her for her story arc in 2.

    AstroBryGuyThacoBell
  • ArthasArthas Member Posts: 432
    edited August 3
    ThacoBell said:

    They aren't different from the original. The ONLY reason they stand out at all, is because they weren't in the original. They fit in very very well amonst the original npcs. So yes, nostalgia is an argument.

    I read it only now and I don't agree.. HAve you ever read Shawne's critiques about the npcs, and what he would have changed?

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 6,749
    Arthas said:

    ThacoBell said:

    They aren't different from the original. The ONLY reason they stand out at all, is because they weren't in the original. They fit in very very well amonst the original npcs. So yes, nostalgia is an argument.

    I read it only now and I don't agree.. HAve you ever read Shawne's critiques about the npcs, and what he would have changed?
    I've never really seen eye to eye with that one. Though I do want to amend my statement a little bit. Hexxat stands out.

  • Contemplative_HamsterContemplative_Hamster Member Posts: 837
    Hexxat is reason enough in itself to use Argent77's kill EE mod.

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 1,097
    neera and rassad did nothing wrong. just disable hexxat.

    ThacoBellStummvonBordwehr
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 6,749
    Or you could just not pursue her questline. I never understood the insistence of removing everything you don't like from a game. I don't like Anomen, Viconia, or Hexxat. That just means that I don't use them and occasionally forget they exist.

    Ludwig_IIStummvonBordwehr
  • ArthasArthas Member Posts: 432
    ThacoBell said:

    Arthas said:

    ThacoBell said:

    They aren't different from the original. The ONLY reason they stand out at all, is because they weren't in the original. They fit in very very well amonst the original npcs. So yes, nostalgia is an argument.

    I read it only now and I don't agree.. HAve you ever read Shawne's critiques about the npcs, and what he would have changed?
    I've never really seen eye to eye with that one. Though I do want to amend my statement a little bit. Hexxat stands out.
    you mean you never read them, or that you never talked with him personally?

  • byrne20byrne20 Member Posts: 220
    @ThacoBell I still wish that they had made it possible to save Clara (I think that was her name) and kill Hexxat. Would of been a nice path for a good aligned party to take even if her stats were awful lol I still would of given her a try in my party and she had a cool character portrait (probably my favorite that beamdog have created).

    ThacoBell
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