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Baldurs Gate 2 is the greatest game I ever played, but Baldurs Gate 2 fanboys are insufferable.

 

Pointless to say "Pelé > Messi", "Jordan >Lebron", "Ali > Mayweather". You can compare them, all right, but this "u cant beat the best!!!" is childish.

That is Bioware fans in general it seems, and I am a Bioware fan myself. I always loved the flawed gem that is Dragon Age 2, because it deconstructed all the narrative and character cliches of BW since BG1. Of course, the raging butthurt over it led to the Mary Sue filled retcon extravaganza known as Dragon Age Inquisition.

And I'm a Bioware fan who thinks DA:I is the best in the series.

 

Where do we go from here?

 

I also loved ME3 btw, including the ending which I found poetically beautiful, so I might just be weird :p

I loved ME3 too.

 

I'm in the same boat as you, as not many fans like DA2, while I think it had the best story in the series. DAI wasn't a bad game, it was just way too much fan service, while kind of pissing on the lore of the Qunari and Tevinter. It was fun to RP a rebel mage, and have people like Cassandra hate me for it.

ME3 is an amazing game imo and although I wasn’t a fan of the ending, the beautiful, fan-servicey DLC made up for any of my gripes with it.

DAI, as somebody who never played the previous games, was not my cup of tea. I feel like the story petered out after the 1st Act, but I can understand if people stil lenjoy it for the new things it did with the series.

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Well... I don't actually hate Dragon Age 2 at all. It tried to go in a different and fresh direction - it just crumbled over huge amount of executive meddling, budget cuts and unreasonable release deadlines. Somewhere under all that mess that is DA2, there is a really good and unique game trying to get out IMO. I enjoyed the idea of Hawke as an unlikely hero that just stumbled over greatness, liked the increased focus on the actual protagonist and their struggles. Also the fact that "the villain" of the story wasn't some evil overlord or somesuch, but simple bad circumstances was refreshing. But DA2 was doomed to fail due to beforementioned harsh executive meddling. I'm not saying it's a fantastic game, or that it somehow in time became a hidden, rough gem - this game is clearly broken and unfinished, but I think there was a decent potential in there, that got completely wasted. I don't love this game, but I feel bad for it in the end.

DAI on the other hand played their cards too safe, rehashed a lot and actually bored me out of my skull - to the point I never finished it. I prefered that game when it was called Dragon Age: Origins.

Edited by aksrasjel
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Well... I don't actually hate Dragon Age 2 at all. It tried to go in a different and fresh direction - it just crumbled over huge amount of executive meddling, budget cuts and unreasonable release deadlines. Somewhere under all that mess that is DA2, there is a really good and unique game trying to get out IMO. I enjoyed the idea of Hawke as an unlikely hero that just stumbled over greatness, liked the increased focus on the actual protagonist and their struggles. Also the fact that "the villain" of the story wasn't some evil overlord or somesuch, but simple bad circumstances was refreshing. But DA2 was doomed to fail due to beforementioned harsh executive meddling. I'm not saying it's a fantastic game, or that it somehow in time became a hidden, rough gem - this game was clearly unfinished, but I think there was a decent potential in this game, that got completely wasted.

DAI on the other hand played their cards too safe, rehashed a lot and actually bored me out of my skull - to the point I never finished it. I prefered that game when it was called Dragon Age: Origins.

 

Yep. DAI was an obvious course correction that was trying to distance itself from DA2. That and chasing Skyrim money. DAI's tone is so different from everything DA before it that it could be distracting at times.

 

As rushed as it was, DA2 had a lot of testicular fortitude in challenging years of cliches. Would have been brilliant with another year in development.

Edited by AFA
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All bioware games post BG2 are bad, fite me irl. BGT's big advantage over PoE and Deadfire is the breadth of content, even without the many content mods it feels substantially bigger and a playthrough of the vanilla trilogy is probably longer than 2 of a PoE/Deadfire with expansions/dlc, more if you count the EEs but I don't. More so than mechanics or setting that's what really makes it a gem, if they cut out half the content to let you chase an emo elf and his vampire sister between exploring sparse areas and one floor dungeons the game would have been relegated to the dustbin of history instead of put on its pedestal.


"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

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@PizzaSHARK:

If you want the terrain to matter, play D:OS2. Spill oil to slow them down, set the oil on fire, let it rain on the fire to create a cloud and then electrify the cloud.

Personally I think that D:OS2 goes a bit too far with that.

 

A computer game will never reproduce a 100% PnP feeling, because you have to program everything before playing and time and money to make a game are limited. You cannot have 100 possible options all the time and it will often happen that players will have an idea on how deal with a situation but the game does not allow this.

In the best possible case the devs will offer more options later when many players complain about it, like in Tyranny where they gave you the option to stay loyal to Kyros.

 

Its OK if some people like game A ( e.g. BG2 ) more than game B (e.g. deadfire). Just accept that PoE is not a DnD game.

 

I'm not expecting PoE to be a D&D game.  In fact, I've criticized them repeatedly for refusing to just get rid of a lot of dangling threads left over from d20 systems (such as resting, injuries, per-rest items, empower being per-rest, etc) so that Deadfire's obvious emphasis on per-encounter combat rather than attrition combat can really breathe and expand.

 

I'm pointing out that terrain and the ability to manipulate that terrain is a MASSIVE tactical element in literally every single ****ing tabletop RPG I have ever played, whether that's using a magic spell to raise up a berm of earth to create a wall, using a grenade or detpack to blow a hole in a wall or a floor or a ceiling, or even just rolling barrels around or flipping tables over so you have some extra concealment or a little bit of protection against light weaponry.  ****'s sake, it's even a relevant factor in archaic, old-school board games like HeroQuest, that basically set the early template for what D&D would eventually become. The COMPLETE ABSENCE of anything like this except for very rare "Slog Zones," is ****ing ridiculous and, as far as I'm concerned, is absolutely inexcusable with as much tabletop and RPG experience as the dev team has.  You could argue that they were still learning Unity and how they wanted to use it for Pillars, and that explains such a fundamental pillar of tactical gameplay being absent - but no such limitations existed for Deadfire, as far as I'm aware.

 

Original Sin 2 has some pretty severe design flaws of its own, almost all of them being related to "they didn't spend enough time iterating on this concept."  But that's neither here nor there.

Edited by PizzaSHARK

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I just miss the modability

From what I understand Deadfire is easier to mod than BG2 which required the community to whip up weidu and other tools to really get it going.

"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

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I mean we can call it nostalgia but I call it charm and cohesion. POE2 has charm but it's buggy. And the cohesion is not there currently...maybe it never will with these open world trends.

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I mean we can call it nostalgia but I call it charm and cohesion. POE2 has charm but it's buggy. And the cohesion is not there currently...maybe it never will with these open world trends.

 

The story is trying to be too urgent to really be an "open world story."  It would've made a lot more sense for the factions and their interactions to be front and center, but I guess then you'd have difficulty drawing the Watcher out of Caed Nua.

 

So why even re-use the existing player character?  What would've been wrong with new characters?  As we saw, it was completely plausible for characters from the first game to have made their way to the Deadfire Archipelago on their own - it's not like they all hung out in Caed Nua, they all had their own things to be doing.

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I mean we can call it nostalgia but I call it charm and cohesion. POE2 has charm but it's buggy. And the cohesion is not there currently...maybe it never will with these open world trends.

 

The story is trying to be too urgent to really be an "open world story."  It would've made a lot more sense for the factions and their interactions to be front and center, but I guess then you'd have difficulty drawing the Watcher out of Caed Nua.

 

So why even re-use the existing player character?  What would've been wrong with new characters?  As we saw, it was completely plausible for characters from the first game to have made their way to the Deadfire Archipelago on their own - it's not like they all hung out in Caed Nua, they all had their own things to be doing.

 

Continuity, which is overrated. I hope future PoE titles are standalone and that the DLC covers what would be a sequel, preferably in the form of an endgame expansion like ToB(but good) or Mask of the Betrayer.
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"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

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Bioware today is not the Bioware that created BG2. Since the time it was sold to EA and consequent departure Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, as well as other key personalities, Bioware games become streamlined and lacked the ingredients that distinguish greatness from mediocre. In this context, how can anyone be Bioware fan? It's as if Jesus became Mr. Trump. 

 

Deadfire also displays elements of streamlining yet pretends to be special. As "spiritual successor" it fails because where is the spirit? 

 

People are fans because they still managed to make the two best Western RPG series of the past decade, despite being owned by Big Bad Evil EA. Without the success of DAO, the current crop of BG Spiritual Successors would never have existed.

 

 

Which two? DAO and? 

 

PoE, as well as Deadfire, were financed by backers. The niche market has always been there, and Obsidian recognized it, just perhaps investors felt their money would better be spent elsewhere.

 

The fact remains that to say: I am a Bioware fan, is pretty much meaningless, or ignorant, for the reasons I stated. What Bioware? Today's Bioware, Bioware in 90's, Bioware 2000, or Bioware post Muzyka and Zeschuk? It's obviously not brand what makes games great but people behind it and Bioware people, as well as philosophy, changed over the years. 

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I miss the "fantasy" in PoE II. As mentioned before, it feels mostly like some historic setting at the time of the Conquistadors and the Renaissance. We have the whole topic of gods, souls and animancy but this is rarely touched in a way to goes beyond typical cliches. It mostly regurgitates the conflict of science and religion but doesn't develop something "fantastic". It lacked imagination and surprises in my opinion. The only part that i found interesting and extraordinary was the Weeping Mother story in PoE 1, but the exposition was really dry with the endless soliloquies by the narration .

On the other hand Baldurs Gate II is quite the stereotypical fantasy but it does explore its setting nicely and you discover all kinds of aspects of the setting in an interactive way due to the huge amount of quests. You tangle with demons, undead, drow, planars, dragons, etc ... which simply keeps it interesting due to the large variation of content. 

I think Josh can design great background and system,But his writing is really boring.Maybe obsidian can get Eric Fenstermaker back.

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I think Josh can design great background and system,But his writing is really boring.Maybe obsidian can get Eric Fenstermaker back.

Honestly, I would like to see someone fresh and new take a shot at narrative design. Fenstermaker's good and all when it comes to writing characters (Boone, Veronica, Eder, Zahua), but his overall narrative work/storytelling didn't wow me in Pillars 1. Sawyer's a much better systems designer than a narrative designer - that was obvious from way back when. He had good moments - his Arcade was OK, Joshua Graham was quite good actually, yet the entire narrative structure/story of Honest Hearts for example was very lackluster. He prefers things dry, mundane and down-to-earth and it shows. And as much as I love Avellone's work - I really, *really* do - he's not some Writer God that will magically make things better by his very presence - and he seems tired. I would like to see some creative new faces in writing department. And honestly, most of the writing team in Deadfire was new, from what I know. They didn't actually blow me away with their work - but there were exceptions. The writer who wrote Serafen/Ydwin/Mirke really seemed to know what he was doing. Rekke was good for what little time he had. Tekehu I didn't love and he will not be my favourite character by any means, but I get the idea behind him and can respect the good effort. On the other hand we have Pallegina, Xoti and in lesser extent Maia (who was written by the same writer who wrote Teheku - so there is that) - didn't enjoy any of those characters in any way, shape or form.

Edited by aksrasjel
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I mean we can call it nostalgia but I call it charm and cohesion. POE2 has charm but it's buggy. And the cohesion is not there currently...maybe it never will with these open world trends.

The story is trying to be too urgent to really be an "open world story." It would've made a lot more sense for the factions and their interactions to be front and center, but I guess then you'd have difficulty drawing the Watcher out of Caed Nua.

 

So why even re-use the existing player character? What would've been wrong with new characters? As we saw, it was completely plausible for characters from the first game to have made their way to the Deadfire Archipelago on their own - it's not like they all hung out in Caed Nua, they all had their own things to be doing.

Preaching to the choir.

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Bioware today is not the Bioware that created BG2. Since the time it was sold to EA and consequent departure Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, as well as other key personalities, Bioware games become streamlined and lacked the ingredients that distinguish greatness from mediocre. In this context, how can anyone be Bioware fan? It's as if Jesus became Mr. Trump. 

 

Deadfire also displays elements of streamlining yet pretends to be special. As "spiritual successor" it fails because where is the spirit? 

 

People are fans because they still managed to make the two best Western RPG series of the past decade, despite being owned by Big Bad Evil EA. Without the success of DAO, the current crop of BG Spiritual Successors would never have existed.

 

 

Which two? DAO and? 

 

PoE, as well as Deadfire, were financed by backers. The niche market has always been there, and Obsidian recognized it, just perhaps investors felt their money would better be spent elsewhere.

 

The fact remains that to say: I am a Bioware fan, is pretty much meaningless, or ignorant, for the reasons I stated. What Bioware? Today's Bioware, Bioware in 90's, Bioware 2000, or Bioware post Muzyka and Zeschuk? It's obviously not brand what makes games great but people behind it and Bioware people, as well as philosophy, changed over the years. 

 

 

The Dragon Age Series and the Mass Effect Series.

 

PoE was only partially funded by backers, same with Deadfire. Investors covered the rest. PoE would have probably never gotten off the ground without DAO showing that this style of RPG could be a critical and financial success, regardless of what the niche market was.

 

I am a fan of Bioware from the 90s up until today, even if Andromeda was crap. Of course devs and writers have left over the years, but they generally produce similar games of high quality.

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Bioware today is not the Bioware that created BG2. Since the time it was sold to EA and consequent departure Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, as well as other key personalities, Bioware games become streamlined and lacked the ingredients that distinguish greatness from mediocre. In this context, how can anyone be Bioware fan? It's as if Jesus became Mr. Trump. 

 

Deadfire also displays elements of streamlining yet pretends to be special. As "spiritual successor" it fails because where is the spirit? 

 

People are fans because they still managed to make the two best Western RPG series of the past decade, despite being owned by Big Bad Evil EA. Without the success of DAO, the current crop of BG Spiritual Successors would never have existed.

 

 

Which two? DAO and? 

 

PoE, as well as Deadfire, were financed by backers. The niche market has always been there, and Obsidian recognized it, just perhaps investors felt their money would better be spent elsewhere.

 

The fact remains that to say: I am a Bioware fan, is pretty much meaningless, or ignorant, for the reasons I stated. What Bioware? Today's Bioware, Bioware in 90's, Bioware 2000, or Bioware post Muzyka and Zeschuk? It's obviously not brand what makes games great but people behind it and Bioware people, as well as philosophy, changed over the years. 

 

 

The Dragon Age Series and the Mass Effect Series.

 

PoE was only partially funded by backers, same with Deadfire. Investors covered the rest. PoE would have probably never gotten off the ground without DAO showing that this style of RPG could be a critical and financial success, regardless of what the niche market was.

 

I am a fan of Bioware from the 90s up until today, even if Andromeda was crap. Of course devs and writers have left over the years, but they generally produce similar games of high quality.

 

 

My bold.

 

Speculation.

 

And no, Bioware does not produce games of similar quality, for example, BG2 and DA2 or ME and ME Andromeda. 

 

Of course, you can be a fan but its more like a fan of a football club.

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After this discussion I started playing the witcher (part 1). I think I understand better whats the problem with deafire now.

 

BG2 is 100% heroic fantasy. its about you ( the hero ) agains the bad guy. The characters are clichee and one dimensional and when you have a choice its usually good vs evil and the good choice usually gives a better reward. The game is very simple on the story side and very complex on the game mechanics side. By itself that is not good or bad. A simple story means that it is clear whats going on, who is good or bad and what are you supposed to do.

 

The witcher is the opposite. There is little heroic about it. You are a monster hunter who is investigating a crime and on your way you get involved in a swamp of crime, politics, human and non human monsters and all kinds of dirt you can find when looking at human society. The is no alingment system and very few things are clearly good or evil and the stuff you encounter is usually more on the evil side. The game shows you the consequences of your choices without judging you. The game is 100% "realistic fantasy" ( as opposed to heroic fantasy ) and it is very good in this. The witcher has simple game mechanics compared to BG2, you click things to death.

 

Deadfire tries to be good on both ends. There is the heroic part ( hunt a god, save your soul ) and the realistic part ( factions, politics, slavery, colonialism, and so on ). The game mechanics are also intermediately difficult: less complex then BG2 ( everything per encounter, spell protection and counter spells, . . . ) but more complex than the witcher ( lots of classes, talents and equipment ). Deadfire is definitively not as heroic as BG2 and the realistic part goes not as deep into into the depth of human corruption and madness as the witcher does.

 

If you like one extreme, the opposite extreme or the middle ground is up to you.

I think that deadfire is way above average in many fields, but in one specific field it does not come close to a game that goes fully into this field.

So if you like BG2 because it is heroic fantasy, than you are correct that BG2 is better than deadfire.

 

Personally I enjoy all 3 games, so diciding which one is the best makes little sense to me.

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@Madscientist: That was a fairly good analysis. One question, though: would you argue that the characters in PoE are somehow more profound or less superficial than in BG2? If so, why?

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@Madscientist: That was a fairly good analysis. One question, though: would you argue that the characters in PoE are somehow more profound or less superficial than in BG2? If so, why?

 

I'd definitely say not.  Even though BG2 characters are largely just pastiches and homages to common tabletop tropes, they feel more complete and more interesting than PoE characters do.  I think someone already mentioned it some pages back, but Pillars characters feel very much like Bioware characters - they have a page or two of dialogue, a side quest that conveniently gets wrapped up during the final act, etc.  They all feel very formulaic.  Eder is the only character in Deadfire that I really have trouble leaving behind - he's like a less over-the-top Minsc in that way.  The rest of the characters are fun enough, or have gameplay relevance (it's tough to leave Serafen behind when he has so many connections and has useful advice for sailing-related things, even if he's useless in a fight), but I could replace them with faceless, voiceless custom NPCs and not miss a lot.

 

In regards to Madscientist's post, it's just one more thing that echoes what I've felt after the honeymoon glow fell off of Deadfire - the game is trying to be too many different things at once and as a result isn't GOOD at any one of them.

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I also don't think the PoE characters are in any way better than BG2 characters. Apart from Eder, who is really well written. (I still haven't played Deadfire enough to comment.)

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I replayed BG1 and BG2 recently and overall I had as much fun as I did when I first played them nearly 20 years ago. Community patches have made the games better which compensates for the now lost novelty factor.

 

So no, despite what the haters have claimed all these years, it's NOT nostalgia. It's not even 50% nostalgia. BG games were and are genuinely awesome.

 

PoE2 is too different to compare. I'd rather compare PoE2 with PoE1 and PoE1 clearly wins. It's quite unfortunate, but mechanically, PoE2 is simply much worse. I love multi-class characters but still I'd give up on multi-classing if such were the price of getting PoE1 combat system back.

Edited by prodigydancer
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For me it feels like Pillars of Eternity companions are the way they are as a direct opposition to BG 2 companions. They are supposed to be "deep" and "mature" as compared to presumably "cliched and over-the-top" companions from BG 2. The problem is that, as a result PoE companions are just not sufficiently memorable and interesting - at least for me. 

A quick Red Letter Media personality test - quickly describe Pallegina's/Maia's/Sagani's/Grieving Mother's personality in one sentence. Then do the same for Aerie/Viconia/Naila/Imoen. For additional difficulty, don't use words like: "badass, independent, strong". And if you're suicidal, don't use phrase "loyal to faction X". 

 

As for my *very* personal pet peeve with PoE/Deadfire companions: for me, they are just not likeable. I just don't want to hang around those characters (OK, to be somewhat objective: Eder, Serafen, Ydwin and Rekke were cool). Minsc was a cardboard cutout comic relief, for sure - but I really enjoyed his company. The same goes for Keldorn, Viconia and even Aerie. I remember that Josh Sawyer once stated that companions don't have to be likeable, only interesting - I respectfully if strongly disagree. People hate Anomen for a reason for instance.

Edited by aksrasjel

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A quick Red Letter Media personality test - describe Pallegina's/Maia's/Sagani's/Grieving Mother's personality in one sentence. Then do the same for Aerie/Viconia/Naila/Imoen. For additional difficulty, don't use words like: "badass, independent, strong". And if you're suicidal, don't use phrase "loyal to faction X". 

 

But is it supposed to be a good thing, if you can reasonably describe (the personality of) a character in one sentence? Because to me, if I would be able to briefly sum up a personality (though admittedly I am quite bad at that in general), that would just suggest there's very little depth or substance to them. 

Edited by Loren Tyr
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But is it supposed to be a good thing, if you can reasonably describe (the personality of) a character in one sentence? Because to me, if I would be able to briefly sum up a personality (though admittedly I am quite bad at that in general), that would just suggest there's very little depth or substance to them. 

To be honest  - it's not *technically* about describing an entire personality of a character in one sentence. That would in fact suggest that they are one-dimensional. It's more about quick first impressions about a character - what makes them notable and memorable personality-wise.

Red Letter Media did that quiz with Star Wars characters actually - quicky describe Han Solo: suave rogue with a hidden heart of gold. Now, quicky describe Padme Amidala: *looooong silence* ...brave and dedicated i guess? :p

Edited by aksrasjel
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I keep hearing that BG2 characters are 1 dimensional whereas PoE characters are deep and complex, but haven't really seen a lot of good arguments to justify that.

In PoE2, you can have *maybe* 2-3 dialogues with each of your companions outside of their main quests. In Bg2 you have about 30 with characters you're romancing and about 5-10 with certain characters (like Imoen and Sarevok) that you're not. You can turn them against one another, determine the direction of classes for some, and even change the disposition and ideological outlook of others (Sarevok, Viconia). There are some that exist as comic relief/to fulfill tropes (Edwin, Minsc, Korgan), sure, but others have complex backstories or inner conflicts (Keldorn) that require player sacrifices and decisions.

With the exception of Eder, there is very little of this in the PoE series, especially PoE2 (which I happen to think is possibly the best CRPG since BG2 regardless). At least PoE allowed you to help each companion come to a crucial decision point in their character arc; Deadfire can't seem to figure out much for them to do outside of their side quests. You can't influence the actions or behavior of a single one iirc, especially faction characters like Maia and Pallegina who end the game with the exact same dispositions and alliances that they started with. I was *positive* that I would be able to convince Maia to reject the RDC at some point along her personal quest given her own self-doubts, for example, but no - nothing. Same with Pallegina and Takehu - only Serafen seems the slight bit flexible re: the Principi, and even then mainly through his silence.

The exploration of mature themes =/= depth. And while the added interjections and inter-companion conflicts are nice, they're not enough to add meaningful growth to characters who otherwise don't have much to say and are basically immune to your influence. I'm not saying that BG2 characters are examples of brilliant writing (baby inventory item, master wraith scenes), but the idea that Deadfire is somehow better in terms of character depth ignores a lot of what made BG2 iconic. Aside from PoE1 Eder and Grieving Mother, I just don't see it.

 

Edited by Purudaya
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