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All BG2 needed was quality of life and interface changes. The mods changing gameplay, etc are for those specific tastes.

 

I've played through both the standard and enhanced edition in the last two years and it's still the best RPG as it's both simple and complex whereas POE1 and POE2 try to be too gamey and complex with mixed results.

Edited by Verde

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As a side note I have to point out that it's impossible to go through Irenicus Dungeon with the Tactics mod installed without relying on cheesy tactics, foreknowledge and exploits. 

 

Mods can be used to alter the gaming experience, they don't necessarily improve it. 

 

All BG2 needed was quality of life and interface changes. The mods changing gameplay, etc are for those specific tastes.

I've played through both the standard and enhanced edition in the last two years and it's still the best RPG as it's both simple and complex whereas POE1 and POE2 try to be too gamey and complex with mixed results.

 

The best RPG is Fallout 1 but I do agree with you. 

 

I think that they're putting too much effort in balancing PoE when it's a single player game. In the end some players will always look for game breaking builds and giving these players something to sink their teeth into in terms of difficulty is probably more important than making sure all classes are perfectly matched. 

 

Don't get me wrong it would make sense for a multiplayer game but here it just feels like evening everything out which isn't that much fun to be honest. 

 

In BG2 players would go to extreme lengths to play a Kensai Thief or a Kensai Mage because it would end up being godly but it also meant starting out with a character who was a liability. 

 

It's certainly not the way things work with PoE.

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I played BG2:EE recently for the first time after spending around 120 hours on POE2. It was excellent but there were some features so bad--like the downright terrible inventory system--that it's hard for me to imagine that they were ever considered acceptable. I see some folks here trivializing improvements to those systems as  'quality of life' issues. Get real: when it ends up taking up hours of game time to just shuffle through inventory and put gear on deceased/ressed characters, that is a blight on the overall game. Beamdog should have been shunned, loudly, for not bringing the interface into the modern era in the "enhanced edition." 

What was terrific about BG2 was the difficulty -- for a time. This had reverberating effects as it meant that stuff like items, potions, armor actually was significant and it overall enhanced the pleasure and purpose of looking for good items and designing your builds in a way that POE 2 (and POE1) don't so much. But we forget that BG2 is balanced only until epic levels. at that point, hello planetars. both the original and ToB become totally easy on all but the highest difficulties and excepting maybe the last combat of ToB just because of the multiple waves because you have instakill spells and amazing summons. I respect the per/rest system because it introduced some tension and mid-term strategizing with imperfect information into the game, though. 

The mediocre: BG2 party members were extremely forgettable --Kel-who? In all serious, aside from a few characters whose repulsive lameness/genericness have somehow seared themselves into my mind, I have actually already forgotten the names of most the companions in my party in less than a month. cue ad hominem attack: if you're nostalgic for BG2 party members it's because you have no style and need to leave the house more, look at more art and for god's sake read some literature. "well written"? hardly.

BUT since I am conducting work abroad and bored and I have played BG2:EE, part of IWD:EE, most of IWD2 and then neverwinter nights 2 and Mask of the Betrayer in quick succession, let me just say: storytelling in MotB hands-down slaughters all Infinity Engine storytelling as well as both Pillars games. The same is true of party member design and companion quests, which are both more serious and mature in their implications and more compelling in general than either classic or neo-classic rpgs. particularly Gann and Kaelyn are compelling and fun, but even Okku and Safiya just have more to depth to them than anybody in the classic games or the POE games. the real golden age of CRPG storytelling was not the nineties, it was the 2000s, excepting the vapid cliché that was Neverwinter Nights 2 vanilla, and even that had /some/ highlights (Sand).

Also, I wanted to say that having played through BG2 and a few other IE games, all of them had broken difficulty at higher/epic levels and exploits of the type "this dragon kept downing my whole party immediately because  AC is a badly-designed system and etc. but on try three I landed disintegrate and killed it in 2 seconds." Although later D&D games had slightly fewer exploits, the difficulty of Neverwinter Nights 2 was trivial and mask of the betrayer was always easy past the earliest fights. This has led me to reappraise the POE2 = too easy complaints on release. sure, I agree that it was/is too easy but it seems like a reversion to the post-IE normal rather than a sudden and inexplicable failing on the part of Obsidian **this** time around. as I say this I just finished MotB's final boss fight and if anything it was even easier than Ukaizo, so...


7/16 thought -- I do agree that BG2 benefitted from loads of atmosphere because of the strengths of the original IP. that said the only real memorable area for me was the Underdark --even though it went on for too long. 

Edited by lpro
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I'm sorry, BG2 companions are forgettable? Gonna have to disagree with you there. The one you mentioned has one of the best sidequests in the game and is also the only one who can wield the best weapon in the game (besides a Paladin MC).

Edited by Verde

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BG2 is the most overrated game of all time, IMO. In terms of story it was not even great for it's time compared to PS:T or Legacy Of Kain. Irenicus is evil for a silly reason and I think even Thaos is a much better antagonist. The companions were a mixed bag, Haer'dalis, Jan and Edwin were awesome, Aerie and Nalia were horrible. I can't deny the amount of content in BG2, but I prefer POE's gameplay over BG2. Also, there is a game that did Baldur's Gate much better than BG2 called Dragon Age Origins.

 

PS. Throne of Bhaal was excrement (Sarevok not included) and should be wiped from this world.

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Though PoE2's ain't great, BG2's weakest aspect was the main story. That was pretty much kept afloat by the charisma of David Warner. The pacing is awful, with no sense of urgency. **** around raising money for in-game months, finally start the main quest, but then get diverted to the Underdark for a goddamn eternity. Yes that happens in PoE2, but the distraction is optional, while you are forced to the Underdark for hours of padding.

 

I loved the atmosphere of the sidequests, like the Shadow Lord, the Cult of the Eyeless, and the dragon dungeon, but there was no meat on the story whatsoever when it came to the main quest.

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BG2 is the most overrated game of all time, IMO. In terms of story it was not even great for it's time compared to PS:T or Legacy Of Kain. Irenicus is evil for a silly reason and I think even Thaos is a much better antagonist. The companions were a mixed bag, Haer'dalis, Jan and Edwin were awesome, Aerie and Nalia were horrible. I can't deny the amount of content in BG2, but I prefer POE's gameplay over BG2. Also, there is a game that did Baldur's Gate much better than BG2 called Dragon Age Origins.

 

PS. Throne of Bhaal was excrement (Sarevok not included) and should be wiped from this world.

I would argue that Dragon Age Origins is one of the most generic RPGs ever released. Takes fantasy tropism to a new level. I mean Darkspawn controlled by a Dragon, really? Without Loghain it's a legit 6/10 for me. Edited by Verde
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Though PoE2's ain't great, BG2's weakest aspect was the main story. That was pretty much kept afloat by the charisma of David Warner. The pacing is awful, with no sense of urgency. **** around raising money for in-game months, finally start the main quest, but then get diverted to the Underdark for a goddamn eternity. Yes that happens in PoE2, but the distraction is optional, while you are forced to the Underdark for hours of padding.

 

I loved the atmosphere of the sidequests, like the Shadow Lord, the Cult of the Eyeless, and the dragon dungeon, but there was no meat on the story whatsoever when it came to the main quest.

As far as pacing and "sense of urgency" are concerned, you need only to think of games like The Witcher 3, or Oblivion, or many others. I mean, in TW3, your adopted daughter is in huge danger, and what do you do most of the game? You go to every corner of the world, hunting for treasure and stuff, collecting cards while trying to look for new players all over the world to play against, horse racing with nobles and thugs alike, whoring, etc. etc. Once you've finally done everything you can possibly do within your level range, you decide "alright time to move on to Skellige and continue looking for my adopted daughter who has been being hunted by one of the most dangerous things out there all this time". Does all this stop it from being one of the most highly rated games out there? No. In my experience, the Velen and Novigrad portions can take up a huge chunk of your playthrough, but once you have brought Ciri back to Kaer Morhen and have to prepare to defend against the Wild Hunt, the pacing suddenly picks up really fast. I went straight from level 30 to level 35 in one sitting for the end game portion, without even spending skill points because during that part you can proceed really quick from one main event to another. I still thoroughly enjoyed TW3.

 

Thing is, I doubt many players would like to have a sense of urgency to be forced upon them for any extended period of time. It's an RPG. We want to explore the world. We want to do side quests. We want to douche off and fool around. It's as simple as that. The real question is: do I enjoy doing the things the game has to offer me? If yes, sense of urgency can go screw itself. If no - I'm probably playing the wrong game.

 

As a side note, the Underdark portion in BG2 can be *really* short if you know what to do. As in, you don't actually have to do anything the game tells you to do. It could take just a few minutes and you're out of there.

 

BG2 is the most overrated game of all time, IMO. In terms of story it was not even great for it's time compared to PS:T or Legacy Of Kain. Irenicus is evil for a silly reason and I think even Thaos is a much better antagonist. The companions were a mixed bag, Haer'dalis, Jan and Edwin were awesome, Aerie and Nalia were horrible. I can't deny the amount of content in BG2, but I prefer POE's gameplay over BG2. Also, there is a game that did Baldur's Gate much better than BG2 called Dragon Age Origins.

 

PS. Throne of Bhaal was excrement (Sarevok not included) and should be wiped from this world.

I mean no offense, and I respect your opinion, but I have to say, you're probably in the minority for every single point you said there.

Edited by try2handing
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BG2 is the most overrated game of all time, IMO. In terms of story it was not even great for it's time compared to PS:T or Legacy Of Kain. Irenicus is evil for a silly reason and I think even Thaos is a much better antagonist. The companions were a mixed bag, Haer'dalis, Jan and Edwin were awesome, Aerie and Nalia were horrible. I can't deny the amount of content in BG2, but I prefer POE's gameplay over BG2. Also, there is a game that did Baldur's Gate much better than BG2 called Dragon Age Origins.

 

PS. Throne of Bhaal was excrement (Sarevok not included) and should be wiped from this world.

Wow, this is actually interesting, because my opinion is exact opposite on everything you wrote except companions. I don't even remember what was the story in Legacy of Kain, and only vaguely recall PST because of Morte, but I could recite BG2 plot points from memory. If you want more insight into Irenicus, I recommend Siege of Dragonspear.

 

And to this day there is no better expansion than Throne of Bhaal, story-wise, to any game. I don't count Witcher 3 DLCs because they were technically side quests.

 

I suppose there are as many opinions as there are people :)

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Bethesda games have a better modding community than Baldurs Gate's, really?

 

There's a massive amount of mods for those games, sure. But the quality for most of them is very...  limited.

Maintenance isn't something most authors care for and real quality mods can be counted on 2 hands.

The best mods are still the unofficial patches, because Bethesda will never implement those bug fixes them self.

 

The hurdle for modding Baldurs Gate was much greater because you had to learn to use WeiDU but the people who took that step cared much more about their projects.

Also there were not that many game releases back then as we have today, so this might have been a greater motivator to stick with BG.

 

Even with modding tools coming out eventually, PoE will never get a modder base like Bethesda games (very popular).

Same with Wasteland 2, real modding support came with later patches, people already lost interest and all we have now are some "balance" patches, which are not really good, and a few portrait packs. 

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Hello guys. I am frustrated that I am waiting 20 years for RPG game simmilar to Baldur's Gate 2 and no one can make it.

 

Pillars of eternity 1/2 are great games but there is easy to see different of quality comparing to Baldur's Gate 2

 

I dont know what od the reson.

 

Why Baldur's Gate after so many years os still the best RPG?

 

Its deepht od the forgotten realms world?

Its many and great characters?

Its great story, rewarding quests, dungeons and fights?

 

Maybe its becouse world is changing and so comptuter games are changing and even obsidian enterteiment need to make their games to sell it for more people so they making PoE easy and flat.

 

 

Can samoene explains me what's going on?

20 years after BG 2 and no one can make gamę simmilar or EVEN GREATER! than BG 2?

 

And dont tell me about nostalgia becouse its not the case.

My personal hypothesis:

 

You got older :)

 

Games don't deliver such strong impressions anymore.

It is not about BG itself, it is about you and your level of joy.

I have the same thing with Arcanum/Fallout

I used to think games are getting worse, but at some point I saw - it's just me losing that childish "wow" reaction.

This is a very common psycho thing as I've learned - losing "the vibe" when reaching 30+ and instead of embracing that games don't kick me anymore people go oldfag, hate modern games and block any possibility to enjoy even more.

 

It is not nostalgia. It is overgrowing, way different mechanic.

Just my guessing, may be wrong.

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I would argue that Dragon Age Origins is one of the most generic RPGs ever released. Takes fantasy tropism to a new level. I mean Darkspawn controlled by a Dragon, really? Without Loghain it's a legit 6/10 for me.

 

 

Both Baldur's Gate and Dragon Age are both part of the generic fantasy games, and it was the reason I compared them. However, in Origins the tropes are usually well done, take for example The Brecillian Forest, the section of the game filled with every imaginable fantasy trope from hobo Saruman to talking ents. It still did a good job in explaining the Dalish back story in an interesting way and the "villains" were good.

 

And yes, I consider Loghain to be the real main villain not Sauron- I mean Archdemon. 

 

 

 

I mean no offense, and I respect your opinion, but I have to say, you're probably in the minority for every single point you said there.

 

 

None taken. I've voiced my opinion without giving reasons so I'll elaborate.

 

 

Wow, this is actually interesting, because my opinion is exact opposite on everything you wrote except companions. I don't even remember what was the story in Legacy of Kain, and only vaguely recall PST because of Morte, but I could recite BG2 plot points from memory. If you want more insight into Irenicus, I recommend Siege of Dragonspear.

 

 

 

And to this day there is no better expansion than Throne of Bhaal, story-wise, to any game. I don't count Witcher 3 DLCs because they were technically side quests.

 

I suppose there are as many opinions as there are people :)

 

 

1. Planescape and LOK vs BG2

 

Vhailor is not memorable or the chaste succubus Fall From Grace? PST is the only game I've ever played that made me enjoy every single companion available even the crazy Ignus. Not only were they well written but they were tied up to the story of TNO. Legacy Of Kain is not an RPG so I'm not sure how familiar people here are with it but let's just say it has one of the best plots ever and some legendary dialogue accompanied by awesome voice acting. Also, let's be honest Soul Reaver's intro is the most memorable cinematic ever. Even my sister who doesn't play video games remembers it after 18 years. 

 

2. Irenicus vs Thaos

 

Irenicus was some dude who wanted to be a god for some reason so he was kicked out and became a creep who wanted to steal your god powers. On the other hand, we have Thaos, the Karapan priest and enemy of Zarathushtra or "Iovara", who comes from this ancient civilization that used the gods to rule people and totally not inspired by the Gathas or the Rigveda. I believe Thaos had the potential to be be much better if they found a way to make the plot moving without Lady Webb, but even without that Thaos wins. 

 

3. Throne of Bhaal

 

I'm not sure where to start with this one, maybe with the horrible main villain? How many people didn't think that Melissan was going to be the main villain? The expansion is so linear that it can be described as follows: "Go dungeon crawl and kill this Bhaalspawn and then this Bhaalspawn because there can only be one and then you're gonna get betrayed by the chick who told you to kill them". I liked the companions stuff but the endings just ruin everything I did. Turn Sarevok from a psycho to a normal dude? Well guess what that doesn't affect the ending cause he's gonna end up conflicted anyways. Romanced Viciona? Gonna die by poison and there's nothing you, a powerful demigod, can do about it, not even give her a history lesson about Mithradates V. The endings were such a buzzkill that even David Gaider released a mod for them. Gameplay was tedious especially when you run into Draconis the first time.  

 
Honestly, I'd take VTM:B, Original Sin 1-2, POE1 and even 2, Tyranny, DA:O, Witcher 2-3, and even ES games over BG any day. I think BG2 is a good game that aged very well but I don't think it's the best RPG ever let alone the best game ever that everyone keeps talking about.
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You seem to not recall much about BG2, so let me just tell you that Irenicus' downfall was directly influenced by his sister, Bodhi, who literally messed with his head and convinced him to try to sap some of the power from Tree of Life. Irenicus at that point was a High Elf, queen's lover and one of the most powerful Wizards in the realms. Bodhi was jealous of that love and tried to break it that way. She felt like she was a nobody next to her strong, popular brother. She did, however, knew her brother very well and knew just how to get into his head.

 

When they were stopped, their elven brethen literally removed their immortal souls and turned them to humans, which made Irenicus bitter. It destroyed his mind. He felt betrayed by the love of his life, the elven queen, which he loved dearly, but who did not support him in his hour of need. When he heard about the prophecy of Alaundo, he decided to become demi-god himself, for both power and revenge.

 

And if you want to know why does Irenicus target you - the player's character - specifically, feel free to play Siege of Dragonspear.

 

This is only his backstory, the interactions between him and the player in-game were very well designed aswell, especially in The Asylum.

 

Who's Thaos again and how often does your character directly interact with him?

Edited by Manveru123
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For the record, I agree that PS:T has a brilliant story with top-notch writing and I'm not going to pretend that BG2 beats it in this department.

 

As for Irenicus vs Thaos, it appears to me it's just the way you look at it. I see nothing bad in "Irenicus was some dude who wanted to be a god for some reason so he was kicked out and became a creep who wanted to steal your god powers", per se, even though you're omitting a few key details there. That's one way of putting it, but there are other ways too. Purely a matter of taste, though, so I won't argue.

 

A big issue with Throne of Bhaal is how the main plot is progressed, and dialogues with the main antagonist are a pain in the ass to go through, true enough. But saying it "should be wiped from this world" is still a bit much. It adds a few nice things and definitely has its moments. Now you totally have the right to say "mods don't count", but the fact is that there were quite a few bits of content being cut from the official release of ToB, AFAIK, whatever the reasons. This was why David Gaider created Ascension - to bring it closer to what they originally had in mind. The mod did a really good job, IMO, seeing as it couldn't have had a whole lot of room to make changes. Just another thing with BG2. It's definitely not bad by itself, but mods do wonders for that game.

Edited by try2handing
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Werent a couple of mods rolled into BG2EE? Was Ascension one of them?

From what I remember only mods that "don't modify/alter the story content of the game" as per agreement with Bioware were allowed in both BG and BG2. I think BG2 only had a couple of bugfixes + widescreen support integrated into the game - that's excluding Beamdog's own additions. Everything from Unfiished Business to Ascension was not allowed - beacuse it alters the content of the game too much. BG1 was modified much more heavily - with ruleset and engine ported into BG2 one. Beamdog also tried to incoroprate NPCProject into the game, but got vetoed by Bioware - or so they claim.

From what I've heard, the new patch for BG:EE (2.5 i think) incorporates stuff from Unfinished Business 1 - like Kivan's and Kagain's quests or the subquest with "mysterious vial" in High Hedge.

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Werent a couple of mods rolled into BG2EE? Was Ascension one of them?

 

I think the answer to the first is no, and the answer to the second is definitely no.

 

I quite like Ascension, except for the final battle which is so silly that I decided to remove the whole mod once I got into the end fight.

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Thaos was a decent villian but you lost sight of him for a longgggg time. BG2 did a good job of showing Irenicus.

Edited by Verde

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For me - and that's just personal opinion - a good story is the one that engages the viewer/player, not the one that tries to be "deep and complex" by any means neccessary. On paper, Thaos was a "more complex" villain than Irenicus with more supposed "depth" and what have you. He was an immortal archont of a ancient civilization, zelaously dedicated to cover up a Big Lie TM. And both him and Iovara read one Nietzsche book to many. Good for them - but why should *I* care?

 

Look, Irenicus may have been just an elf with a God Complex with the love of his life spurning him as result - and while his motives may be simple, they are also very understandable. And BG 2 is not even trying to pretend that CHARNAME should care about his motivations - as Viconia happily lampshades. And vice versa - he doesn't care about yours. He has a personal beef with the player - he kidnapped your surrogate sister, killed your friends, tortured and humiliated you and will stop at nothing to have your godlike powers. Also later in the game, he stole your soul, humiliated you again and left you to die, forced you to kill your friend that turned out to be his spy and his sister killed your love interest. Even if you don't care about Imoen/Khalid/Dynaheir (for your or Minsc's/Jaheira's sake), vengeance/self-preservation is a simple and good motivator in and of itself IMO. 

 

On the other hand I follow Thaos beacuse... I want to ask him some questions I guess ("Are Gods real?"). He did absolutely nothing for the Watcher to hate him. He doesn't even care about some random guy who just bumbled like a complete idiot into the Woedica-empowering ritual. You follow Thaos around beacuse the game for 80% of the running time tells you to and tells you that he's evil. I know that he caused Waidwen's Legacy - but the game just skims the surface of this tragedy and is so vague about it that it has no personal impact. I guess he also screws over animancers - who are shown to be evil, bumbling, incompetent or shady at best. The fiend. Incidentally, it really would have helped if we had an animancer companion - but Obsidian seems to have a vendetta against that.

 

IMO PoE doesn't do a good job in trying to invest the player in the story. I noticed that it's the running theme with Obsidian games lately. By the time the game *finally* explained why the player is following Thaos, it was too late for me to care about him or Iovara - who shows up out of nowhere with no buildup in Act 3. So, Thaos may be a more "complex" villain than Irenicus - but does it make him a more effective menace that the player will want to take down?

Once again - just my personal take on this argument. I guess that those arguments were talked to death already.

Edited by aksrasjel
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Thaos was a decent villian but you lost sight of him for a longgggg time. BG2 did a good job of showing Irenicus.

 

Not really. Half the time Irenicus appeared it was really just Bhaal in your dreams. I think Thaos and Irenicus encounter the party the same amount of times actually.

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Thaos was a decent villian but you lost sight of him for a longgggg time. BG2 did a good job of showing Irenicus.

 

Not really. Half the time Irenicus appeared it was really just Bhaal in your dreams. I think Thaos and Irenicus encounter the party the same amount of times actually.

 

Replaying Pillars recently, the lost art of videogame villains really stood out to me. You only actually fight Thaos once (except sorta in Brackenbury, which also the only place you talk to him at all), the Leaden Key aren't remotely threatening for you ever in the game, you only get one real interaction with him until the endgame, he doesn't really do anything much to antagonise you and he doesn't have a single named subordinate you can actually have a proxy confrontation with before the endgame. Pillars constantly makes your character assert that you need to find Thaos but there's only a vague metaphysical reason for you to do so and no real sense of progress in doing it.

 

With Irenicus you confront him face to face in Waukeen's Promenade, you both talk to him and then actually fight him in Spellhold, the Bhaal dreams lend you some sort of constant connection to him, he has a few underlings you can crush or deal with as a proxy to give you a sense of progress in fighting him.

 

This really is the biggest area where Pillars just falls flat in terms of pacing and narrative and I think with very little effort could have been greatly improved. I mean, Thaos should be a much more interesting villain than Sarevok, Poquelin etc but chasing Sarevok is much more compelling than chasing Thaos in my view.

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Yo as much as I love the old classics, it IS nostalgia. My eyes have gotten so used to better graphics and sounds that I couldn't get myself to replay BG2, not even the enhanced ed. Not to mention how incredibly slow-paced it is, and older edition DnD combat is also super slow.

 

I also found myself simply running out of patience to get back into it. That doesn't diminish any memory I have of it, though. I have very fond memories of all these old titles, but that's what they remain as - fond memories.

 

When I was a kid I loved drawing random stuff and playing soccer with my dad. As great as those memories are of my younger years, I couldn't go back to doing them again. Things change, people change, the world moves on.

Edited by Vaneglorious

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For me - and that's just personal opinion - a good story is the one that engages the viewer/player, not the one that tries to be "deep and complex" by any means neccessary. On paper, Thaos was a "more complex" villain than Irenicus with more supposed "depth" and what have you. He was an immortal archont of a ancient civilization, zelaously dedicated to cover up a Big Lie TM. And both him and Iovara read one Nietzsche book to many. Good for them - but why should *I* care?

 

Look, Irenicus may have been just an elf with a God Complex with the love of his life spurning him as result - and while his motives may be simple, they are also very understandable. And BG 2 is not even trying to pretend that CHARNAME should care about his motivations - as Viconia happily lampshades. And vice versa - he doesn't care about yours. He has a personal beef with the player - he kidnapped your surrogate sister, killed your friends, tortured and humiliated you and will stop at nothing to have your godlike powers. Also later in the game, he stole your soul, humiliated you again and left you to die, forced you to kill your friend that turned out to be his spy and his sister killed your love interest. Even if you don't care about Imoen/Khalid/Dynaheir (for your or Minsc's/Jaheira's sake), vengeance/self-preservation is a simple and good motivator in and of itself IMO. 

 

On the other hand I follow Thaos beacuse... I want to ask him some questions I guess ("Are Gods real?"). He did absolutely nothing for the Watcher to hate him. He doesn't even care about some random guy who just bumbled like a complete idiot into the Woedica-empowering ritual. You follow Thaos around beacuse the game for 80% of the running time tells you to and tells you that he's evil. I know that he caused Waidwen's Legacy - but the game just skims the surface of this tragedy and is so vague about it that it has no personal impact. I guess he also screws over animancers - who are shown to be evil, bumbling, incompetent or shady at best. The fiend. Incidentally, it really would have helped if we had an animancer companion - but Obsidian seems to have a vendetta against that.

 

IMO PoE doesn't do a good job in trying to invest the player in the story. I noticed that it's the running theme with Obsidian games lately. By the time the game *finally* explained why the player is following Thaos, it was too late for me to care about him or Iovara - who shows up out of nowhere with no buildup in Act 3. So, Thaos may be a more "complex" villain than Irenicus - but does it make him a more effective menace that the player will want to take down?

Once again - just my personal take on this argument. I guess that those arguments were talked to death already.

 

I'm not sure how an irrational, all-consuming lust for vengeance is all that understandable, to be honest. It's certainly not particularly interesting, as far as I'm concerned. He wants vengeance / to kill the protagonist for [random reasons] / world-domination... it's a color-by-numbers villlain, complete with a healthy dose of Bond-Villain Stupidity. Yes, "dude wants to kill you" is effective in a bare-bones kind of way to provide a motivation for the protagonist, but it's hardly going to interest me as the player much. 

 

I much prefer a story where the whole world *doesn't* revolve around the protagonist, where the protagonist is at best part of something bigger. Why *should* Thaos care about the Watcher? He/she is just a blip on the radar (if you don't have the benefit of hindsight, anyway)? And conversely, why should the Watcher need to hate Thaos? 

 

Certainly, a good story needs to engage the player, and depth or complexity for it's own sake doesn't necessarily do that. But neither does "making it personal" between the protagonist and antagonist in some sense (or having such starkly defined antagonists at all, really). 

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I'm not sure how an irrational, all-consuming lust for vengeance is all that understandable, to be honest. It's certainly not particularly interesting, as far as I'm concerned. He wants vengeance / to kill the protagonist for [random reasons] / world-domination... it's a color-by-numbers villlain, complete with a healthy dose of Bond-Villain Stupidity. Yes, "dude wants to kill you" is effective in a bare-bones kind of way to provide a motivation for the protagonist, but it's hardly going to interest me as the player much. 

 

I much prefer a story where the whole world *doesn't* revolve around the protagonist, where the protagonist is at best part of something bigger. Why *should* Thaos care about the Watcher? He/she is just a blip on the radar (if you don't have the benefit of hindsight, anyway)? And conversely, why should the Watcher need to hate Thaos? 

 

Certainly, a good story needs to engage the player, and depth or complexity for it's own sake doesn't necessarily do that. But neither does "making it personal" between the protagonist and antagonist in some sense (or having such starkly defined antagonists at all, really). 

 

Ironically, the world doesn't seem to revolve around CHARNAME that much - most people don't know/care that you're a Bhaalspawn and you don't necessarily save the world - it's not even your goal. When you save Baldur's Gate/Suldanessalar it's more beacuse you were in the neighbourhood and the villain you were chasing was there. Even the final showdown in the Throne of Blood with (A)Mellisan is beacuse of personal reasons rather than trying to save the world - which seems to be doing fine with or without you.

I wouldn't call Irenicus a Bond villain necessarily. He's the one who said the famous "No, you'll warrant no villain's exposition from me" and only lost due to incompetence of his henchmen and circumstances beyond his control. He DID order Bodhi to immediately kill the PC. And he doesn't care about CHARNAME one bit - he cares about his powers and when he gets them, CHARNAME's existence stops being noteworthy. And he's understandable in a sense that you understand where his lust for vengeance is coming from. He traded love for power and lost both - vengeance is the only thing he has left now - irony being that his love would have forgiven him if he only said a word, but now he's unable to - classic Darth Vader tragic villain 101. It's not Tolstoy, but it works with the melodramatic, heavy on character drama story Bioware was telling. 

Forgive my ad hominem - but you seem to be expecting a much different story than Baldur's Gate really is.

 

Also - if Thaos doesn't care about the Watcher and Watcher doesn't care about Thaos - then why is he in the game?

Thaos is for all intents and purposes a villain - or an antagonist if you want to get technical. Giving the player a reason to oppose him - which usually suggests some personal connection to the player character - would be a good start. Usual story has antagonist acting and hero reacting. Otherwise he's just a random NPC no. 34 in a stupid hat. On paper, you can make a story without a clear antagonist/conflict - you just need to be really careful not to bore and confuse the player so they won't ask "Why am I here?" You'll have to double down on player motivation for them to keep going through the story you crafted.

Do you think that the quest to solve the issue of your Awakening would sustain the game's main plot all by itself without any external opposing force like Thaos? It might work on technical level, but you'll still need some opposition, so the plot won't solve itself in 5 minutes. And "enemy within" stories are very tricky to write. From my experience, only Mask of the Betrayer and in some ways Torment pulled that type of story off correctly. 

I am all for that types of ambitious stories - but there is this saying about falling from a high horse and breaking your neck.

 

And, yes the Watcher is not *required* to hate Thaos per se - but be consequent about it. Allow me to spare him or join his cause in the final showdown. Otherwise this doesn't work.

Edited by aksrasjel
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