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Ascension is great except for the final fight, which is so ridiculous that I uninstalled the whole mod as soon as I saw what it contained. There are characters who, once defeated, should remain so, otherwise they lose all dignity and meaning.

 

Agreed. And while the Five were already mentioned as those who should have remained dead, they left out another crucial pair who got resurrected in that last battle, who for me are even more greviously done so. Overall I have to also say that, despite the increased difficulty for the fights with the Five which is all well and good, I can't really tell what was *else* was added, narratively, to Throne of Bhaal via Ascension. There are things I thought were Ascension-specific but turned out to be in the vanilla game already. There's Sarevok reuniting with his sword, I suppose that is alright enough... Overall I can't say it changed my experience much from a narrative perspective.


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Ascension is great except for the final fight, which is so ridiculous that I uninstalled the whole mod as soon as I saw what it contained. There are characters who, once defeated, should remain so, otherwise they lose all dignity and meaning.

 

Agreed. And while the Five were already mentioned as those who should have remained dead, they left out another crucial pair who got resurrected in that last battle, who for me are even more greviously done so. Overall I have to also say that, despite the increased difficulty for the fights with the Five which is all well and good, I can't really tell what was *else* was added, narratively, to Throne of Bhaal via Ascension. There are things I thought were Ascension-specific but turned out to be in the vanilla game already. There's Sarevok reuniting with his sword, I suppose that is alright enough... Overall I can't say it changed my experience much from a narrative perspective.

 

For pre-EE ToB, it did a lot. There are a TON of bugfixes that never got an official patch, for instance, a PROGRAMMING TYPO prevented 90% of Imoen's banters and interjections from ever triggering (poor npc can't catch a break). You some new lines for Sarevok (Sword and possibly tamoko related), and some new lines for Imoen as well as new abilities (She starts having the nightmares charname had in BG1 as well developing some Bhaal powers and it FREAKS HER OUT), charname gets some new Bhaal abilities (which makes the final fight MUCH easier if used properly). You also get a new option to deal with Balthazar. In the EEs, some of these bugs have finally been officially patched, so Ascension basically gets you some new lines for Immy and Mr.S, new abilities for Immy and Charname, and a kick butt new final battle (which I absolutely adore).

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I just think this thread is a full-on fanboy war waged over nothing. Both are great games, enjoy them. They're too different to compare anyway.

 

Actually, I think the best way of looking at things is seeing both games as different tabletop RPG campaigns, using similar or related systems (PoE kinda resembles a mix of D&D 4e and 5e, so it's pretty easy), but helmed by different DMs with different styles and differrent intentions. Both are really great, but both aim for different things, which leads to non-coincident pros and cons.

Edited by RoiCohen
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The problem with the Ascension mod and the final fight is that it severely punishes you for deviating from, essentially a lawful good playthrough. Any kind of evil or quasi not great decision can come back and bite you. On the one hand, there's definitely something cool about adding consequences to some of the dialogues and choices you made in the game, on the other hand, it's hugely imbalanced in the fight's difficulty depending on those choices. Personally, I tried it once on a playthrough way back before the EE days and have never wanted to do another like that.

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By the time you play the Ascension mod, you're expected to know how to cheese the game a bit.  The final fight really isn't that bad, given the knowledge of cheese. Giving everyone rods of resurrection made the fight more manageable for me.

 

I agree that Baldur's Gate II is currently better than PE II.  We'll see after the DLC.  Right now PE II kicks the pants off of every other RPG revival game I've played, and most other isometric games.  The system is mature; the graphics are beautiful; the world well-realized (better so than BG); the characters are complex.  The only thing it really needs is some other, more alien towns.  I think Ust Natha is just as important to BGII as Amn, because it provides a rich counterpoint.  I wasn't expecting this game to beat what I consider the best game of all time, but I have enjoyed my time in it heartily.

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I just think this thread is a full-on fanboy war waged over nothing. Both are great games, enjoy them. They're too different to compare anyway.

 

Just out of curiosity: where is the war? And where is the fanboyism? I agree that there are some not particularly relevant posts on this thread, but overall, I think this has been rather interesting.

 

However, the idea that they are too different to compare is just wrong -- and yes, that is not an opinion. I mean, within the vast panoply of computer games, BG and PoE are basically right next to each other, precisely the kind of games that almost should be compared.

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Just out of curiosity: where is the war? And where is the fanboyism?

The fanboyism is right there in the thread title.

 

Specifically, if he wanted a fair comparison that concluded he preferred BG2 he could have written a title like "Baldur's Gate 2 vs Deadfire: which games comes out on top?", or "Why I feel BG2 still holds up compared to Deadfire".

 

But no he wrote Baldur's Gate II is GREATER THAN Deadfire.

Edited by Karkarov
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By the time you play the Ascension mod, you're expected to know how to cheese the game a bit. The final fight really isn't that bad, given the knowledge of cheese. Giving everyone rods of resurrection made the fight more manageable for me.

 

I agree that Baldur's Gate II is currently better than PE II. We'll see after the DLC. Right now PE II kicks the pants off of every other RPG revival game I've played, and most other isometric games. The system is mature; the graphics are beautiful; the world well-realized (better so than BG); the characters are complex. The only thing it really needs is some other, more alien towns. I think Ust Natha is just as important to BGII as Amn, because it provides a rich counterpoint. I wasn't expecting this game to beat what I consider the best game of all time, but I have enjoyed my time in it heartily.

If a fight is designed around the players knowledge of how to exploit the game systems, it is a bad fight. It's a problem with most high level D&D campaigns.

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Just out of curiosity: where is the war? And where is the fanboyism?

The fanboyism is right there in the thread title.

 

Specifically, if he wanted a fair comparison that concluded he preferred BG2 he could have written a title like "Baldur's Gate 2 vs Deadfire: which games comes out on top?", or "Why I feel BG2 still holds up compared to Deadfire".

 

But no he wrote Baldur's Gate II is GREATER THAN Deadfire.

 

That's just an opinion, not necessarily fanboyism. Mind you, it doesn't in any way prove that the OP *isn't* being a fanboy. But I don't agree that that, as such, constitutes fanboyism.

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By the time you play the Ascension mod, you're expected to know how to cheese the game a bit. The final fight really isn't that bad, given the knowledge of cheese. Giving everyone rods of resurrection made the fight more manageable for me.

 

I agree that Baldur's Gate II is currently better than PE II. We'll see after the DLC. Right now PE II kicks the pants off of every other RPG revival game I've played, and most other isometric games. The system is mature; the graphics are beautiful; the world well-realized (better so than BG); the characters are complex. The only thing it really needs is some other, more alien towns. I think Ust Natha is just as important to BGII as Amn, because it provides a rich counterpoint. I wasn't expecting this game to beat what I consider the best game of all time, but I have enjoyed my time in it heartily.

If a fight is designed around the players knowledge of how to exploit the game systems, it is a bad fight. It's a problem with most high level D&D campaigns.

 

The most enjoyable levels to play in D&D are, roughly speaking, 4 or 5 to something like 13 to 15. In the lowest levels, dying is too easy, and once you become substantially powerful, the game loses much of its appeal. Funnily enough, this applies to both PnP and CRPG, in my view. PnP remains slightly more enjoyable at high levels, because a human GM is always, and without exception, more intelligent than the AI of a CRPG.

 

For instance, if a human GM is being remotely serious, a group of let's say six adventurers will realistically never beat a demi-lich (and if they do, they are so powerful that the best thing would be simply to retire and start over). But in BG2, beating a demi-lich is dead easy once you know what to do.

 

So yeah, high level D&D campaigns aren't that great.

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By the time you play the Ascension mod, you're expected to know how to cheese the game a bit. The final fight really isn't that bad, given the knowledge of cheese. Giving everyone rods of resurrection made the fight more manageable for me.

 

I agree that Baldur's Gate II is currently better than PE II. We'll see after the DLC. Right now PE II kicks the pants off of every other RPG revival game I've played, and most other isometric games. The system is mature; the graphics are beautiful; the world well-realized (better so than BG); the characters are complex. The only thing it really needs is some other, more alien towns. I think Ust Natha is just as important to BGII as Amn, because it provides a rich counterpoint. I wasn't expecting this game to beat what I consider the best game of all time, but I have enjoyed my time in it heartily.

If a fight is designed around the players knowledge of how to exploit the game systems, it is a bad fight. It's a problem with most high level D&D campaigns.

 

The most enjoyable levels to play in D&D are, roughly speaking, 4 or 5 to something like 13 to 15. In the lowest levels, dying is too easy, and once you become substantially powerful, the game loses much of its appeal. Funnily enough, this applies to both PnP and CRPG, in my view. PnP remains slightly more enjoyable at high levels, because a human GM is always, and without exception, more intelligent than the AI of a CRPG.

 

For instance, if a human GM is being remotely serious, a group of let's say six adventurers will realistically never beat a demi-lich (and if they do, they are so powerful that the best thing would be simply to retire and start over). But in BG2, beating a demi-lich is dead easy once you know what to do.

 

So yeah, high level D&D campaigns aren't that great.

 

 

I disagree. For me Epic Levels are the most fun. BG3 after you've become the god of murder would be so awesome. Killing other gods and stuff i'd love that so much. Consider your own plane which you have to defend against other gods then invade their planes and kill them off oh well.

 

Anyway, yes BG2 is better, by far. It's not even close. Perhaps because i grew up with DnD and love the Setting so much i might be biased a bit. However just compare the arcane spellbook to Deadfires and it's quite clear. Deadfire doesn't come close to the depth of BG2.

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Anyway, yes BG2 is better, by far. It's not even close. Perhaps because i grew up with DnD and love the Setting so much i might be biased a bit. However just compare the arcane spellbook to Deadfires and it's quite clear. Deadfire doesn't come close to the depth of BG2.

 

 

By the same coin you can take the entire set of skills of any of the fighter classes and compare them to BG2 and say BG2 doesn't hold a candle to Deadfire. Arguably that's an even more important case since it distributes the complexity and micromanaging more towards all classes and thus all characters, and thus in practice non-caster types are made into active roles opposite to the usual auto-attack bots that they are in the IE games. Even if the depth of the wizard/mage is reduced (I don't see how it is, but let's pretend it is so), it is pretty clearly made up for in other areas.

Edited by algroth
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Anyway, yes BG2 is better, by far. It's not even close. Perhaps because i grew up with DnD and love the Setting so much i might be biased a bit. However just compare the arcane spellbook to Deadfires and it's quite clear. Deadfire doesn't come close to the depth of BG2.

 

 

By the same coin you can take the entire set of skills of any of the fighter classes and compare them to BG2 and say BG2 doesn't hold a candle to Deadfire. Arguably that's an even more important case since it distributes the complexity and micromanaging more towards all classes and thus all characters, and thus in practice non-caster types are made into active roles opposite to the usual auto-attack bots that they are in the IE games. Even if the depth of the wizard/mage is reduced (I don't see how it is, but let's pretend it is so), it is pretty clearly made up for in other areas.

 

 

Not sure I agree that this is good though. Spamming the same set of buff + knockdown type skills (just for an example) isn't adding interesting depth. It's an illusion of depth and ultimately more tedious combat. I found myself doing the same thing with Eder roughly every battle in Deadfire, and it was effective, considering I've had zero wipes. But, from a tactical standpoint, it's not any different than "auto-attack bot", it's just more tedious because it requires more clicking. You're not making interesting decisions with those skills.

 

I'll add the interrupt mechanics and fighters' effectiveness at that is substantially more interesting in the BG games. Giving them a role beyond just tank + hit.

 

I've never understood this push by developers and some fans that all the classes need to have actives skills as cool as the mages and priests. You're controlling at least 5-6 units in every combat. I don't want all my units to play the same way. That actually strips strategic depth from the combat. Going back and doing my first run at BG in years, it's striking how much faster and more deadly combat is when compared to Pillars and Deadfire. In Pillars, the weaker status effects and bullet-sponge nature of enemies and your own PC's has created a combat that really drags by contrast.

Edited by cokane

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The fighter can be decently fun when he's not a full tank. When I first got Serafen and gave him a Barbarian build relying on crit damage and damage increase at low health, it was fun. Let him get to low health then threw Barring Death's Door on him...mmmm. It was one of the few times that I actually got a strong sense of "having a legit AND fun build". But that was before I started to out-level everyone and things got somewhat less exciting.

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By the time you play the Ascension mod, you're expected to know how to cheese the game a bit. The final fight really isn't that bad, given the knowledge of cheese. Giving everyone rods of resurrection made the fight more manageable for me.

 

I agree that Baldur's Gate II is currently better than PE II. We'll see after the DLC. Right now PE II kicks the pants off of every other RPG revival game I've played, and most other isometric games. The system is mature; the graphics are beautiful; the world well-realized (better so than BG); the characters are complex. The only thing it really needs is some other, more alien towns. I think Ust Natha is just as important to BGII as Amn, because it provides a rich counterpoint. I wasn't expecting this game to beat what I consider the best game of all time, but I have enjoyed my time in it heartily.

If a fight is designed around the players knowledge of how to exploit the game systems, it is a bad fight. It's a problem with most high level D&D campaigns.

 

The most enjoyable levels to play in D&D are, roughly speaking, 4 or 5 to something like 13 to 15. In the lowest levels, dying is too easy, and once you become substantially powerful, the game loses much of its appeal. Funnily enough, this applies to both PnP and CRPG, in my view. PnP remains slightly more enjoyable at high levels, because a human GM is always, and without exception, more intelligent than the AI of a CRPG.

 

For instance, if a human GM is being remotely serious, a group of let's say six adventurers will realistically never beat a demi-lich (and if they do, they are so powerful that the best thing would be simply to retire and start over). But in BG2, beating a demi-lich is dead easy once you know what to do.

 

So yeah, high level D&D campaigns aren't that great.

 

 

I disagree. For me Epic Levels are the most fun. BG3 after you've become the god of murder would be so awesome. Killing other gods and stuff i'd love that so much. Consider your own plane which you have to defend against other gods then invade their planes and kill them off oh well.

 

Yeah, nothing interesting in that. Doing that in a sensible way would require a lot more AI firepower than is currently available. At the moment, it would just be a regular fight with more hit points, spells and so on.

Edited by xzar_monty

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Anyway, yes BG2 is better, by far. It's not even close. Perhaps because i grew up with DnD and love the Setting so much i might be biased a bit. However just compare the arcane spellbook to Deadfires and it's quite clear. Deadfire doesn't come close to the depth of BG2.

 

 

By the same coin you can take the entire set of skills of any of the fighter classes and compare them to BG2 and say BG2 doesn't hold a candle to Deadfire. Arguably that's an even more important case since it distributes the complexity and micromanaging more towards all classes and thus all characters, and thus in practice non-caster types are made into active roles opposite to the usual auto-attack bots that they are in the IE games. Even if the depth of the wizard/mage is reduced (I don't see how it is, but let's pretend it is so), it is pretty clearly made up for in other areas.

 

 

Not sure I agree that this is good though. Spamming the same set of buff + knockdown type skills (just for an example) isn't adding interesting depth. It's an illusion of depth and ultimately more tedious combat. I found myself doing the same thing with Eder roughly every battle in Deadfire, and it was effective, considering I've had zero wipes. But, from a tactical standpoint, it's not any different than "auto-attack bot", it's just more tedious because it requires more clicking. You're not making interesting decisions with those skills.

 

I'll add the interrupt mechanics and fighters' effectiveness at that is substantially more interesting in the BG games. Giving them a role beyond just tank + hit.

 

I've never understood this push by developers and some fans that all the classes need to have actives skills as cool as the mages and priests. You're controlling at least 5-6 units in every combat. I don't want all my units to play the same way. That actually strips strategic depth from the combat. Going back and doing my first run at BG in years, it's striking how much faster and more deadly combat is when compared to Pillars and Deadfire. In Pillars, the weaker status effects and bullet-sponge nature of enemies and your own PC's has created a combat that really drags by contrast.

 

 

 

I don't see how you can look at classes like the chanter, cipher, fighter, paladin, rogue, ranger and mage and say with all honesty that they all "play the same". I can get how there's a little bit of crossover between general frontline and spellcaster classes but precisely the extension in their respective skillsets makes them more unique respective to one another, not less so. Likewise that you played a fighter as "buff + knockdown" only refers to your personal approach to the class - personally I used knockdown on occasion but far preferred to use charge + vigorous defense, and mix both with my cipher Watcher's Amplified Wave and Defensive Mindweb respectively. In contrast I yet again cannot see how you can assume the same accusation cannot be levied at Baldur's Gate II's gameplay which aside from *very* specific encounters can largely be reduced to "cast haste, then auto-roflstomp", and maybe the occasional remove magic/breach to get past some contingencies, even on insane difficulty. And yes, plenty of spells in Pillars can act as mere filler but I'll be damned if the same isn't absolutely true, even truer, of the IE games' selection. In all honesty it baffles me that this is even in question, and I hardly say this with any ill will towards them.

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Anyway, yes BG2 is better, by far. It's not even close. Perhaps because i grew up with DnD and love the Setting so much i might be biased a bit. However just compare the arcane spellbook to Deadfires and it's quite clear. Deadfire doesn't come close to the depth of BG2.

 

 

By the same coin you can take the entire set of skills of any of the fighter classes and compare them to BG2 and say BG2 doesn't hold a candle to Deadfire. Arguably that's an even more important case since it distributes the complexity and micromanaging more towards all classes and thus all characters, and thus in practice non-caster types are made into active roles opposite to the usual auto-attack bots that they are in the IE games. Even if the depth of the wizard/mage is reduced (I don't see how it is, but let's pretend it is so), it is pretty clearly made up for in other areas.

 

 

Not sure I agree that this is good though. Spamming the same set of buff + knockdown type skills (just for an example) isn't adding interesting depth. It's an illusion of depth and ultimately more tedious combat. I found myself doing the same thing with Eder roughly every battle in Deadfire, and it was effective, considering I've had zero wipes. But, from a tactical standpoint, it's not any different than "auto-attack bot", it's just more tedious because it requires more clicking. You're not making interesting decisions with those skills.

 

I'll add the interrupt mechanics and fighters' effectiveness at that is substantially more interesting in the BG games. Giving them a role beyond just tank + hit.

 

I've never understood this push by developers and some fans that all the classes need to have actives skills as cool as the mages and priests. You're controlling at least 5-6 units in every combat. I don't want all my units to play the same way. That actually strips strategic depth from the combat. Going back and doing my first run at BG in years, it's striking how much faster and more deadly combat is when compared to Pillars and Deadfire. In Pillars, the weaker status effects and bullet-sponge nature of enemies and your own PC's has created a combat that really drags by contrast.

It absolutely matters if you're not someone who only has an interest in playing a spellcaster. Yes fighters and other melee classes should have active abilities because playing wizards and priests is stupid and boring imo. So thank you Obsidian for making a game where, unlike 2e AD&D, playing melee classes is a viable and fun option.

 

Oh, and BG2 is not all it's cracked up to be. Even BG1 is a better game than BG2.

Edited by kanisatha

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Oh, and BG2 is not all it's cracked up to be. Even BG1 is a better game than BG2.

 

 

Why? I'm honestly curious and would love to hear your opinion.

 

In my view, BG1 is utter rubbish, because

 

1) Dialogue options are extremely limited and badly written (no humour, no spark, no consistency, very often no opportunity to say anything sensible).

2) There is far too much aimless wandering around huge maps with almost nothing on them. (There is none of this in BG2, and very little of it in any subsequent CRPGs -- clearly, game developers took notice of this blunder.)

3) The story is all over the place, and while it's not exactly illogical or incoherent, it is not well-written either.

4) There are far too many foolish insta-death opportunities, with basilisks and so on. This is just bad writing, and this was a feature that was rightly removed from essentially all subsequent CRPGs.

5) None of the NPCs are interesting or well-written.

 

To me, #2 is the biggest killer, and #3 is the nail on the coffin.

 

BG1 looks like a rudimentary sketch towards something that would ultimately become extremely worthwhile, namely BG2. But as a game, it's just tosh.

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Oh, and BG2 is not all it's cracked up to be. Even BG1 is a better game than BG2.

 

 

Why? I'm honestly curious and would love to hear your opinion.

 

In my view, BG1 is utter rubbish, because

 

1) Dialogue options are extremely limited and badly written (no humour, no spark, no consistency, very often no opportunity to say anything sensible).

2) There is far too much aimless wandering around huge maps with almost nothing on them. (There is none of this in BG2, and very little of it in any subsequent CRPGs -- clearly, game developers took notice of this blunder.)

3) The story is all over the place, and while it's not exactly illogical or incoherent, it is not well-written either.

4) There are far too many foolish insta-death opportunities, with basilisks and so on. This is just bad writing, and this was a feature that was rightly removed from essentially all subsequent CRPGs.

5) None of the NPCs are interesting or well-written.

 

To me, #2 is the biggest killer, and #3 is the nail on the coffin.

 

BG1 looks like a rudimentary sketch towards something that would ultimately become extremely worthwhile, namely BG2. But as a game, it's just tosh.

While I agree BG2 is a better game than BG1, you sure are ignoring a lot of the same mistakes in the sequel you call the first out for. 

 

Do you honestly believe there was less insta gib death in BG2 than 1?  Really?  I have an army of mind flayers, beholders, level draining undead, and various other things that strongly disagree with you.  I also remember wandering around plenty of super huge maps in BG2 that also felt pretty boring and uninteresting, you are right, BG1 was worse, but not that much worse.  The story of 1 is not even remotely incoherent, and is certainly no worse written than BG2, nor is it all over the place. Dialog options could have been better, true, but again, isn't like this was all roses and sunshine in BG2 either.  I do admit BG2 had more (and better) "funny moments" but is that really what you judge the writing quality of an RPG by? 

 

As for that last point... really?  None of the characters in the entire game were interesting or well written?  Not even one of them?  That one is going down in the history of unpopular (and probably patently wrong) opinions man.

 

This is why people bite back so hard on this forum when posters come in praising BG2, because they do it from behind 5 layers of rose tinted glasses and act like BG2 did nothing wrong or poorly.

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Anyway, yes BG2 is better, by far. It's not even close. Perhaps because i grew up with DnD and love the Setting so much i might be biased a bit. However just compare the arcane spellbook to Deadfires and it's quite clear. Deadfire doesn't come close to the depth of BG2.

 

 

By the same coin you can take the entire set of skills of any of the fighter classes and compare them to BG2 and say BG2 doesn't hold a candle to Deadfire. Arguably that's an even more important case since it distributes the complexity and micromanaging more towards all classes and thus all characters, and thus in practice non-caster types are made into active roles opposite to the usual auto-attack bots that they are in the IE games. Even if the depth of the wizard/mage is reduced (I don't see how it is, but let's pretend it is so), it is pretty clearly made up for in other areas.

 

 

An Epic Level fighter does get actives though but yea i do agree that some classes are Kind of bland in BG2. However it is a Party game so you will have casters in your Group Right? Could you imagine a spell like Mislead or Simulacrum in Deadfire? it would get nerfed into he Ground immediately for the sake of "balance". There were some fun Things in the game Right after launch but all of it got taken care of. Left is a very shallow Gameplay experience no matter which class you Play.

 

I dont know i think an Epic Level Shadowdancer has more Depth to it than all Deadfire classes combined so yea …

 

P.S. holy crap autocorrect is terrible

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I dont know i think an Epic Level Shadowdancer has more Depth to it than all Deadfire classes combined so yea …

 

P.S. holy crap autocorrect is terrible

No law against being completely, logically, and factually wrong. 

 

I agree though, auto correct is terrible.

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This is why people bite back so hard on this forum when posters come in praising BG2, because they do it from behind 5 layers of rose tinted glasses and act like BG2 did nothing wrong or poorly.

 

But you see, you are now referring to something that I have never done. I have never even insinuated that BG2 did nothing wrong or poorly. Of course it did.

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As for that last point... really?  None of the characters in the entire game were interesting or well written?  Not even one of them?  That one is going down in the history of unpopular (and probably patently wrong) opinions man.

 

This is why people bite back so hard on this forum when posters come in praising BG2, because they do it from behind 5 layers of rose tinted glasses and act like BG2 did nothing wrong or poorly.

 

There was a lot less companion interaction in BG1 than any future game, so I kiiind of undestand. Enhanced Edition fixed that though, and introduced some great companions too (hi Baeloth, what's up Dorn).

 

I don't think there is a single game in existence that doesn't have at least one poor aspect. BG2 was far from a perfect game, but smart people usually don't look for perfection in games or real-life, because they realize that it only exists as a concept and will never be realized. Many of the opinions are purely subjective, and I cringe very hard the moment I see the word "consensus", but for me personally BG2 is still the best RTWAP game ever.

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2) There is far too much aimless wandering around huge maps with almost nothing on them. (There is none of this in BG2, and very little of it in any subsequent CRPGs -- clearly, game developers took notice of this blunder.)

 

 

To me, #2 is the biggest killer, and #3 is the nail on the coffin.

 

Oddly, I think this is actually a big reason BG1 is more immersive for me than BG2. Isn't that weird? I even totally agree with you in the abstract that this is bad game design, but in this particular case it is part of why I like the game so much. All the wandering around through maps gives a growing sense of anticipation for when I finally reached the gnoll fortress, or finally found Bassilus.

 

And I felt much more like I was having to piece the story together in BG1 compared to BG2, where the story felt more like it was being told to me.

 

Again, I'm surprised by the fact that I find BG1 more immersive than BG2, since I would probably judge BG2 objectively to be a far better game. I'm trying to understand myself. :)

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Oh, and BG2 is not all it's cracked up to be. Even BG1 is a better game than BG2.

 

 

Why? I'm honestly curious and would love to hear your opinion.

 

In my view, BG1 is utter rubbish, because

 

1) Dialogue options are extremely limited and badly written (no humour, no spark, no consistency, very often no opportunity to say anything sensible).

2) There is far too much aimless wandering around huge maps with almost nothing on them. (There is none of this in BG2, and very little of it in any subsequent CRPGs -- clearly, game developers took notice of this blunder.)

3) The story is all over the place, and while it's not exactly illogical or incoherent, it is not well-written either.

4) There are far too many foolish insta-death opportunities, with basilisks and so on. This is just bad writing, and this was a feature that was rightly removed from essentially all subsequent CRPGs.

5) None of the NPCs are interesting or well-written.

Some fair points, but unlike you I don't take points away from BG1 and give points to BG2 for any of these kinds of issues because BG2 got the benefit of being able to "learn" from BG1 which BG1 did not get to have.

 

The main issues for me are that I hate playing in a high level game with high level characters and instead absolutely love starting out as a lowly 1st level character stepping out into a big bad world full of things that can end you quickly if you're not careful. I just love that feeling, in contrast with a lot of people who love the feeling of being super-powerful which for me is just meh and boring. I also love exploring open wilderness area versus wading through urban areas, and while I agree that some of the areas in BG1 are too empty I still prefer wandering around in them than many of the BG2 areas. As for better characters and dialog, I really never quite saw BG2 as being particularly better in those regards than BG1.

 

But the biggest strike against BG2 for me is that it is a wizard-centric game, with almost all battles and all major bosses being (super-powerful) wizards and the best party for the player being a spellcaster-based party. As someone who can't stand spellcaster characters and spellcasting, especially in the context of 2nd edition rules and game mechanics, and who strongly prefers melee characters, BG2 was a tedious chore to get through. And ironically, if you read 2nd edition Forgotten Realms novels, you find that wizards were not that super-powerful and melee characters could often best them even in one-on-one combat, so where did this 'the world revolves around wizards' mentality come from?

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