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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.

 

"This comparison is unfair because it puts that old game I like less as greater than one I like more"

 

Fantastic logic m8.

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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?

 

A multiclass Fighter/Wizard is basically a Fighter with buff spells. Just treat them as combat abilities. There you go, problem solved - you fight in melee and your DPS is much higher than any spellcaster. And you can be immune to everything.

 

Allergic to Wizards? Roll Cleric/Ranger. Another extremely powerful melee multiclass. Also eventually becomes pretty much unkillable.

 

The reason why most bosses were spellcasters was that Wizards are the best at doing AoE damage, and the game assumes you play with a party. Melee bosses are very easy to control.

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Not sure it is better or not, haven't played BG2 in literally decades, but I feel slightly disappointed by PoE II . To me it felt a bit less of a grand adventure and more a go check a few emptyish islands with at most 3 encounters but mostly 1 , get some bounties. There were no real complex involved side quests, nothing extremely involved even PoE had the endless paths, Fulvano's voyage felt like it could have been something similar, challenging exploration with interesting back story, it ended up being even less imaginative like endless paths.

 

And in the end of all that could have been irrelevant if the main story was deep and meaningful and bigger in scope but it really was not.

 

So yes it started with a lot of promise and enjoyed the different environments but it felt a bit hollow and unsatisfying. I was hoping the DLCs will add a fair bit of meat to it but it sounds like this hasn't happened, I will wait to get and play them all when they are all released but meh. 

 

I think this is why I came to post here, because in the end the mechanics of the battles might have been worse in BG2, but I remember it being more fulfilling as a game with a much grander main story .

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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.

 

 

I still never understood this complaint. Playing as a fighter is perfectly fun in the BG games. But regardless, when it comes to combat, for 90% of the game, it doesn't matter what class you play the Watcher or Gorion's ward. You will generally have a wide variety of party members in combat, and thus access to priest/wizard spells regardless.

 

Just to add: The consumables IE fighters have access to, and the fact that turns include a "spell cast" timer that's separate from your attack timer, where you can chug potions or use plenty of awesome charged items, makes fighters perfectly fun and powerful, and using active skills in combats. Whereas... even on the highest difficulties in Deadfire, you don't have to use hardly any consumables, and in fact because skills are so plentiful and powerful, it's often just better to stick with your core skills. Thus you never need to explore a whole subsection of the game's combat toolkit.

Edited by cokane

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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?

 

 

This strikes me as untrue. Yes, the ideal party composition was probably something like 2 wizards, 2 divine casters, 2 frontline guys, with half a thief squeezed in there somewhere. But that's hardly "caster centric" much less wizard centric. That's just balanced. And frankly, Pillars is arguably more "caster-centric" considering more classes play akin to IE-era clerics and wizards than they do to even IE Paladins and Rangers.

 

You can playthrough BG with just one wizard and just one divine caster if you want to, even on your first playthrough. And it won't make the game all that more difficult. And plenty of the recruitable fighter NPCs can give you skills to offset the lack of casters, such as Keldorn with True Sight and Dispel, Mazzy and her buffs, Korgan and his invulnerability rage.

Edited by cokane
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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.

 

 

factually wrong? :D alright please enlighten me then.

 

I am not sure if you've played an Epic shadowdancer in BG2 but the Things you can pull off with the clone HLA there is Nothing that Comes close in deadfire. It Pretty much turns the class into a caster. You can do double timestops and stuff like that. 

 

Just Name one ability in deadfire that has as much Depth as the SDs clone HLA … or Simulacrum … or Project Image … or mislead … list goes on

Edited by araj123

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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.

 

 

factually wrong? :D alright please enlighten me then.

 

I am not sure if you've played an Epic shadowdancer in BG2 but the Things you can pull off with the clone HLA there is Nothing that Comes close in deadfire. It Pretty much turns the class into a caster. You can do double timestops and stuff like that.

You just claimed one class, not only class, but one subclass, from BG2 had more combat options and techniques than every class in Deadfire combined, including all the multiclass, and subclass variants.

 

Yes. your opinion is factually wrong.

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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.

 

 

It's funny to me that you speak of balance in such a sneering fashion: you see, I played through Baldur's Gate II on insane mode again earlier this year, right before the release of Deadfire and not even *once* did I either use Mislead or Simulacrum, or even consider adding them to my spellbook repertoire. Why, when all I need to cast to trample through practically every fight is Haste and the occasional Breach, Stoneskin or Remove Magic? And later in the game the occasional Horrid Wilting and Dragon's Breath just to clear out large enough mobs faster. Ultimately Haste is such a powerful ability and such an immediately determining spell that it renders just about every encounter absolutely trivial. This is why balance is important. If the same action turns every fight into an absolute stomp, then why even consider other options? Even in its release form I had more incentive to read through the spells and abilities in Deadfire than I did through two thirds of the arcane spellbook in Baldur's Gate II. Unbalanced makes for shallow, because it heavily promotes a set build and style of play which will also trivialize almost every encounter, whilst making fringe builds unviable and thus discouraging players from attempting them.

 

And this is even worse of an issue in the Baldur's Gate saga compared to Deadfire when you take into account gameplay as a whole and not merely combat. You plan on playing a pacifist route, and either sneak or talk your way through as many encounters as you can? Well, too bad, enemies be enemies and stealth, while doable, comes at the cost of piles of great loot and XP and at the benefit of... Nothing at all. Not to mention it hardly leads to a fun experience. At the very least the series sort of justifies the unilaterality of action relatively well what with murder being in your blood and all, but really it hardly makes for a flexible system that accounts for various styles of play the way Deadfire actually does, from a sheer mechanical standpoint at least.

Edited by algroth
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...

 

And this is even worse of an issue in the Baldur's Gate saga compared to Deadfire when you take into account gameplay as a whole and not merely combat. You plan on playing a pacifist route, and either sneak or talk your way through as many encounters as you can? Well, too bad, enemies be enemies and stealth, while doable, comes at the cost of piles of great loot and XP and at the benefit of... Nothing at all. Not to mention it hardly leads to a fun experience. At the very least the series sort of justifies the unilaterality of action relatively well what with murder being in your blood and all, but really it hardly makes for a flexible system that accounts for various styles of play the way Deadfire actually does, from a sheer mechanical standpoint at least.

 

This is another sub-species of complaint that never made sense to me. I never understood why people play these isometric, combat-focused RPG's and then insist that what they really lack is a way to play the game with almost no combat. In the IE games and Obsidian's games, none of the quests or puzzles or dialogue segments are difficult in any real sense of the word. The only thing that's an actual difficult puzzle in these games is the combat. If you strip that out, these games are not much more than a choose your own adventure novel or an interactive movie. There's not much game left in them.

 

Look, I think it's perfectly acceptable to have RPG's where you can eschew combat, but that's not what these games do well. An RPG that welcomes pacifist playthroughs should be ones where there's other actual challenges -- quests with failstates, deep puzzles, dialogue/factions that you can easily screw up.

 

More than half of your character creation is all about how your toon performs in combat. This is even more true in the Obsidian games, as your class skills have zero use outside of combat! Games should know what they do well and know how to limit themselves to focus on their strongest elements. These aren't RPG's built to be that fun on pacifist playthroughs, and I'm glad the BG series had that self-awareness. Trying to have an RPG where you can do everything, and you end up with something super shallow like Skyrim.

 

Edit to add: As you can see among Steam players for the original, the pacifism playthrough isn't that popular. https://steamcommunity.com/stats/291650/achievements Fewer than half as many players did as they did Trial of Iron. Hell more players did Triple Crown Solo! If this is what you're wielding to say Pillars is better, you're not making good arguments.

Edited by cokane
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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.

 

 

Funny enough it's with the roster of Baldur's Gate companions that you can already see a lot of the humour and spark that is such a staple of the saga overall too, what with Minsc's quixotic heroics, Edwin's obvious two-facedness, Tiax's delusions of grandeur or Xan's overdramatic hopelessness and so on. Heck, one of my favorite comedic moments in the series comes from the encounter with the "boy" who lost his puppy, only to realize later that the "boy" isn't that at all but a demon in disguise. I would say Baldur's Gate II is undoubtedly the better-written game but there is plenty of charm and humour to be found in the original game as well, whilst a few of the companions - despite being largely one-dimensional and sticking closely to a shtick - embody that same shtick rather well.

 

In Baldur's Gate II and xzar_monty's defense though, I think that whilst you can certainly claim some areas in the sequel acted as filler (e.g. the Chapter 6 wilderness areas, or the Windspear Hills exterior for the most part) and certain areas invited to backtrack way too much (see the Druid Grove and how you're made to walk through it all several times through the Trademeet and druid stronghold quests, for example), I also have to admit that there is *far* less of it than there is in the first Baldur's Gate, to the point this aspect never left much of a lasting impression in BGII but most certainly made me quit several attempts through Baldur's Gate and is rather crucial for me enjoying it much less than any other IE game. It's not that Baldur's Gate II doesn't have filler but I do think it isn't as defining of the overall experience for it than it is for its predecessor, and so I can definitely see how it's a problem to highlight in the first game but not (or far less so) in its sequel.

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...

 

And this is even worse of an issue in the Baldur's Gate saga compared to Deadfire when you take into account gameplay as a whole and not merely combat. You plan on playing a pacifist route, and either sneak or talk your way through as many encounters as you can? Well, too bad, enemies be enemies and stealth, while doable, comes at the cost of piles of great loot and XP and at the benefit of... Nothing at all. Not to mention it hardly leads to a fun experience. At the very least the series sort of justifies the unilaterality of action relatively well what with murder being in your blood and all, but really it hardly makes for a flexible system that accounts for various styles of play the way Deadfire actually does, from a sheer mechanical standpoint at least.

 

This is another sub-species of complaint that never made sense to me. I never understood why people play these isometric, combat-focused RPG's and then insist that what they really lack is a way to play the game with almost no combat. In the IE games and Obsidian's games, none of the quests or puzzles or dialogue segments are difficult in any real sense of the word. The only thing that's an actual difficult puzzle in these games is the combat. If you strip that out, these games are not much more than a choose your own adventure novel or an interactive movie. There's not much game left in them.

 

Look, I think it's perfectly acceptable to have RPG's where you can eschew combat, but that's not what these games do well. An RPG that welcomes pacifist playthroughs should be ones where there's other actual challenges -- quests with failstates, deep puzzles, dialogue/factions that you can easily screw up.

 

More than half of your character creation is all about how your toon performs in combat. This is even more true in the Obsidian games, as your class skills have zero use outside of combat! Games should know what they do well and know how to limit themselves to focus on their strongest elements. These aren't RPG's built to be that fun on pacifist playthroughs, and I'm glad the BG series had that self-awareness. Trying to have an RPG where you can do everything, and you end up with something super shallow like Skyrim.

 

Edit to add: As you can see among Steam players for the original, the pacifism playthrough isn't that popular. https://steamcommunity.com/stats/291650/achievements Fewer than half as many players did as they did Trial of Iron. Hell more players did Triple Crown Solo! If this is what you're wielding to say Pillars is better, you're not making good arguments.

 

 

A couple of things worth mentioning here: firstly, there's much more going on with the Baldur's Gate and Pillars of Eternity sagas than the actual combat, and I for one do not play either because of the combat strictly speaking (though I find the latter more engaging in this sense than the former), but because they offer immersive experiences into well-developed settings and interesting stories, that also open themselves to be played and interacted with in many different ways. Secondly, **** that "choose your own adventure novel"/"interactive movie" bull****, as if there isn't more to the gameplay beyond the combat and dialogue or something. It is the kind of remark that immediately shows someone doesn't understand the medium. Precisely one of the things Deadfire does really well is to approach other challenges and forms of gameplay beyond dialogue trees and combat with greater attention and equal reward than any of the IE games or most other RPGs of its ilk usually do. For a *role-playing game* - which both sagas first and foremost are - the ability to find alternatives to sheer combat always adds new dynamics into the "how" to resolve a certain quest or objective and this is another means in which to embody a character and tell their particular story. The means through which you resolve a particular conflict, and how the game reacts to your particular resolution, is as valid a form of telling a particular character's journey as any other and which is also driven entirely by the interactive component of a game, not any forcefully perceived "movie" or "literary" qualities to it.

 

Next, how is the character creation in Deadfire "more true" to your assumption that "more than half of your character creation is all about how your toon performs in combat" over the likes of Baldur's Gate II exactly? At what point in Baldur's Gate II did you have to define a character's cultural background, or passive or additional skills to their class, or character traits and so on? Further during the game, how does it keep track beyond a very linear reputation scale of the general trends to your choices of action and responses, and your reactions to the various factions within Amn that you interact with, be it the Cowled Wizards, the Athkatlan administration, the Shadow Thieves, the Most Noble Order of the Radiant Heart, Bodhi's coven and so on? This, alongside utterly ridiculous statements from your behalf the likes of stating Planescape: Torment had more engaging combat than Deadfire (???) makes me question whether you're not desperately trying to grasp for any argument that might defend the precious IE classics in the face of the new, no matter how obviously and demonstrably wrong they are.

Edited by algroth

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Currently playing: Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

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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.

 

 

factually wrong? :D alright please enlighten me then.

 

I am not sure if you've played an Epic shadowdancer in BG2 but the Things you can pull off with the clone HLA there is Nothing that Comes close in deadfire. It Pretty much turns the class into a caster. You can do double timestops and stuff like that.

You just claimed one class, not only class, but one subclass, from BG2 had more combat options and techniques than every class in Deadfire combined, including all the multiclass, and subclass variants.

 

Yes. your opinion is factually wrong.

 

 

Combat Options? No. Depth? Yes.

 

Yes. Your opinion is factually incorrect.

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"Next, how is the character creation in Deadfire "more true" to your assumption that "more than half of your character creation is all about how your toon performs in combat" over the likes of Baldur's Gate II exactly?"

 

I didn't say this. You repeatedly create strawmans in this thread, not just of my statements but of others. I'm not going to respond to these kinds of non-arguments. Notice how the end of that paragraph descends into a cascade of ad hominem as well.

 

"Precisely one of the things Deadfire does really well is to approach other challenges and forms of gameplay beyond dialogue trees and combat with greater attention and equal reward"

 

Name one way a quest is challenging in Deadfire that does not include combat. The quests don't have fail states. Being given a task =/= challenge. Almost all of the quests in Deadfire (as well as BG for that matter) are basically go to various places, have some dialogue, make some moral or faction-related choice, and that's it. There aren't fail states for these quests, and thus they are literally incapable of being challenges. There's no deep puzzle solving or private investigator type actions in nearly all the quests. There's no timer for a fail state. There's almost always NO fail state. That is literally not challenge. You do them, at whatever pace, and often with whatever moral choice you like, but that's it.

 

Don't get me wrong, this isn't terrible design. There's nothing wrong with making RPG's this way. And the IE games were mostly similar. But, when you can't screw up a quest, except in very obvious stupid-evil ways, don't tell me that the quests in Deadfire offer a challenge. Hell, at least the BG2 Paladin stronghold offered a quest-line that had an actual non-combat failstate in it. One that couldn't be easily save-scummed on your first playthrough. There's nothing like that in Deadfire.

Edited by cokane

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"Next, how is the character creation in Deadfire "more true" to your assumption that "more than half of your character creation is all about how your toon performs in combat" over the likes of Baldur's Gate II exactly?"

 

I didn't say this. You repeatedly create strawmans in this thread, not just of my statements but of others. I'm not going to respond to these kinds of non-arguments. Notice how the end of that paragraph descends into a cascade of ad hominem as well.

 

 

 

More than half of your character creation is all about how your toon performs in combat. This is even more true in the Obsidian games, as your class skills have zero use outside of combat!

 

Note the "even more true of Obsidian games" in a thread specifically about the comparison between Baldur's Gate II and Deadfire. Anyhow the above is also rather untrue as in several cases you can use your class abilities within dialogues and scripted interactions, and you can likewise find ways to employ offensive abilities as diversions for stealthing for example. Whilst it's true that most class skills are combat-oriented (combat is still the deepest gameplay system within the game after all), it is yet again demonstrably untrue that they have "zero use outside combat" as you state above. Feel free to talk about "non-arguments" but when you spout easily debunkable nonsense like what you do above you're hardly giving us anything else.

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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.

I agree with you regarding the state of the two games, but I disagree about the desirability of one compared to the other. Part of what made BG2 great was that its classes spanned a broad range of the passive to active ability spectrum. That is, it went from the Fighter, who could be played almost entirely by mere target selection, to the slightly more active Barbarian, Ranger and Paladin and all the way up to the Mage and Sorcerer who were pretty much useless when not being actively managed by the player. This introduced an additional difference between the classes and, more importantly, made it viable to have more companions in the party without slowing the combat down to a crawl. Note that with the exception of the original PoE, most non-Infinity Engine games of this nature (including Deadfire) have fewer companions.

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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.

I agree with you regarding the state of the two games, but I disagree about the desirability of one compared to the other. Part of what made BG2 great was that its classes spanned a broad range of the passive to active ability spectrum. That is, it went from the Fighter, who could be played almost entirely by mere target selection, to the slightly more active Barbarian, Ranger and Paladin and all the way up to the Mage and Sorcerer who were pretty much useless when not being actively managed by the player. This introduced an additional difference between the classes and, more importantly, made it viable to have more companions in the party without slowing the combat down to a crawl. Note that with the exception of the original PoE, most non-Infinity Engine games of this nature (including Deadfire) have fewer companions.

I would say that a similar gradient exists within the Pillars games, but agreed that it's not as pronounced. For one I think spellcasters are this time useful auto-attackers thanks to implement passives and fighters can take a more active and thus dynamic role into a fight, but a fighter still usually relies on a smaller set of skills than a wizard for example, and still deals decent damage and can do decent work without being actively micromanaged via auto-attacks, passives and modals. But generally I think one of the great things about Pillars' class system is that it finds a way for one to build these classes as to best suit one's playstyle, and also make them distinctly individual from one another. If you want to build an auto-attacking fighter, then not only can you do so but that auto-attacking fighter will have a distinct set of abilities to complement that style and separate him from, say, an auto-attacking barbarian or rogue. Granted, a few of the other classes rely a little more on their actives even as frontlines than the fighters specifically do. And whilst this heads to another topic too, I love how Pillars managed to exploit the unique feel and theme of each individual class through their unique set of abilities and general mechanics. They do feel very distinct from one another. Overally I think it's one's prerogative if one enjoys playing fighters as auto-attackers and focus more deeply and hand-on in the spellcasters in the party, and I believe that it is possible to do so in both Pillars too, but would argue that the presence of greater flexibility and a deeper ability pool in the other classes allows for a system that is more complex, deeper and which demands and allows for more agency for the player from a mechanical standpoint and so on.

Edited by algroth

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But the biggest strike against BG2 for me is that it is a wizard-centric game

PoE is more wizard centric than any IE game ever was.

 

Developer(s) found one mechanic to rule them all (similar to cooldowns in other modern RPGs) that is good enough at applying spell effects, and used it to apply all other effects in the game, by using same resource mechanic for everyone too.

 

That level of uniformity is not terrible for pnp games where you need to play fast and all you can do is roll dice, but in a computer game that means that yes, classes mechanically behave the same.

Edited by Shadenuat
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"Next, how is the character creation in Deadfire "more true" to your assumption that "more than half of your character creation is all about how your toon performs in combat" over the likes of Baldur's Gate II exactly?"

 

I didn't say this. You repeatedly create strawmans in this thread, not just of my statements but of others. I'm not going to respond to these kinds of non-arguments. Notice how the end of that paragraph descends into a cascade of ad hominem as well.

 

 

 

More than half of your character creation is all about how your toon performs in combat. This is even more true in the Obsidian games, as your class skills have zero use outside of combat!

 

Note the "even more true of Obsidian games" in a thread specifically about the comparison between Baldur's Gate II and Deadfire. Anyhow the above is also rather untrue as in several cases you can use your class abilities within dialogues and scripted interactions, and you can likewise find ways to employ offensive abilities as diversions for stealthing for example. Whilst it's true that most class skills are combat-oriented (combat is still the deepest gameplay system within the game after all), it is yet again demonstrably untrue that they have "zero use outside combat" as you state above. Feel free to talk about "non-arguments" but when you spout easily debunkable nonsense like what you do above you're hardly giving us anything else.

 

 

You really don't have more freedom to cast and use abilities outside of combat in the Pillars games. It's just a fact. Yes there's several moments in Pillars and Deadfire where in dialogue or in a scripted encounter you essentially get a "win this encounter by clicking this choice because you have some specific spell/ability." I dunno, I never found that an elegant inclusion. And it's literally true that you cannot cast spells or use several abilities outside of combat and even ones that you can, say the priest traps, are combat related.

 

The handful of quests or scripted encounters that have a "win by clicking this option" doesn't really compare, imo, to the far more diverse and fun uses you can make of invisibility, charm , detect alignment, heck even moments of true sight, which you use without the game needing send a bat signal that now is the time to use spell X. This problem became even worse in Deadfire, where using a spell in a scripted encounter didn't even mean anything. It came at zero cost.

Edited by cokane

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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.

 

 

It's funny to me that you speak of balance in such a sneering fashion: you see, I played through Baldur's Gate II on insane mode again earlier this year, right before the release of Deadfire and not even *once* did I either use Mislead or Simulacrum, or even consider adding them to my spellbook repertoire. Why, when all I need to cast to trample through practically every fight is Haste and the occasional Breach, Stoneskin or Remove Magic? And later in the game the occasional Horrid Wilting and Dragon's Breath just to clear out large enough mobs faster. Ultimately Haste is such a powerful ability and such an immediately determining spell that it renders just about every encounter absolutely trivial. This is why balance is important. If the same action turns every fight into an absolute stomp, then why even consider other options? Even in its release form I had more incentive to read through the spells and abilities in Deadfire than I did through two thirds of the arcane spellbook in Baldur's Gate II. Unbalanced makes for shallow, because it heavily promotes a set build and style of play which will also trivialize almost every encounter, whilst making fringe builds unviable and thus discouraging players from attempting them.

 

And this is even worse of an issue in the Baldur's Gate saga compared to Deadfire when you take into account gameplay as a whole and not merely combat. You plan on playing a pacifist route, and either sneak or talk your way through as many encounters as you can? Well, too bad, enemies be enemies and stealth, while doable, comes at the cost of piles of great loot and XP and at the benefit of... Nothing at all. Not to mention it hardly leads to a fun experience. At the very least the series sort of justifies the unilaterality of action relatively well what with murder being in your blood and all, but really it hardly makes for a flexible system that accounts for various styles of play the way Deadfire actually does, from a sheer mechanical standpoint at least.

 

Yes and no. Balance is important, every class needs to be viable at least. But not every class needs to be equal. Going to your haste example though. The existenc of haste does not make other spells useless. You CAN use it to solve a large number of encounters, but you don't have to. Its your choice. I really like BG2's difficulty level because its not so high that there is one right way to solve any problem. A semi clever player can find ways to eschew all of the "broken" spells and still have a reasonable time beating the game. Tuning the difficulty too high creates a scenario where there is one way to solve any problem and anything else will get you killed. This destroys player choice far more than a handful of overpowered spells.

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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.

 

 

It's funny to me that you speak of balance in such a sneering fashion: you see, I played through Baldur's Gate II on insane mode again earlier this year, right before the release of Deadfire and not even *once* did I either use Mislead or Simulacrum, or even consider adding them to my spellbook repertoire. Why, when all I need to cast to trample through practically every fight is Haste and the occasional Breach, Stoneskin or Remove Magic? And later in the game the occasional Horrid Wilting and Dragon's Breath just to clear out large enough mobs faster. Ultimately Haste is such a powerful ability and such an immediately determining spell that it renders just about every encounter absolutely trivial. This is why balance is important. If the same action turns every fight into an absolute stomp, then why even consider other options? Even in its release form I had more incentive to read through the spells and abilities in Deadfire than I did through two thirds of the arcane spellbook in Baldur's Gate II. Unbalanced makes for shallow, because it heavily promotes a set build and style of play which will also trivialize almost every encounter, whilst making fringe builds unviable and thus discouraging players from attempting them.

 

And this is even worse of an issue in the Baldur's Gate saga compared to Deadfire when you take into account gameplay as a whole and not merely combat. You plan on playing a pacifist route, and either sneak or talk your way through as many encounters as you can? Well, too bad, enemies be enemies and stealth, while doable, comes at the cost of piles of great loot and XP and at the benefit of... Nothing at all. Not to mention it hardly leads to a fun experience. At the very least the series sort of justifies the unilaterality of action relatively well what with murder being in your blood and all, but really it hardly makes for a flexible system that accounts for various styles of play the way Deadfire actually does, from a sheer mechanical standpoint at least.

 

Yes and no. Balance is important, every class needs to be viable at least. But not every class needs to be equal. Going to your haste example though. The existenc of haste does not make other spells useless. You CAN use it to solve a large number of encounters, but you don't have to. Its your choice. I really like BG2's difficulty level because its not so high that there is one right way to solve any problem. A semi clever player can find ways to eschew all of the "broken" spells and still have a reasonable time beating the game. Tuning the difficulty too high creates a scenario where there is one way to solve any problem and anything else will get you killed. This destroys player choice far more than a handful of overpowered spells.

 

 

I wouldn't say it makes every other spell unviable but it makes for no incentive to really try different approaches when one is practically assured to work every time. And while there are viable but less optimal spells, there's likewise perfectly viable and optimal spells that get tossed to the wayside because X approach is good enough for almost every encounter, and which players learn early enough in the game to build a routine around. The whole matter of it being "your choice" is tricky because whilst that is ideally the case, most players will tend towards using and repeating the tactic that proves the most effective; and a game that actively has one or a couple of strats that are undoubtedly the best, and which you practically begin the game having access to, will always heavily favour that specific strat and thus make for shallower combat in response. As I see it balance allows for a more diverse approach and invites the player to experiment with their own approach as well, thus opening the possibility for different strats and for a more situational and adaptive approach to combat too.

 

I'll also go ahead and mention that to me having only one way to solve a combat situation isn't balance. I think certain enemies should incentivate the player to try different approaches, but if an enemy can *only* be defeated by a specific ability, and that ability renders the enemy trivial in turn, that to me isn't balance, it's quite the opposite. Personally I love Kangaxx, because I still recall how I suffered the first time I fought him and so on. In fact, for a number of tries I still had my party brute-forcing down on him with no awareness that there were spells and abilities that protected you from Imprisonment. As soon as I found that out, the encounter was rendered trivial. That to me isn't balanced, and I would say a 'boss' certainly suffers for it. Less so is the case where a specific strat might yield a better result but the fight is still complicated regardless - that, to me, would be a more balanced encounter.

 

Also I should add that I do not advocate absolute perfect balance either. I like feeling overpowered, and that's why I also enjoy Baldur's Gate II's combat despite my criticisms and completing White March before exploring Defiance Bay thoroughly in my Pillars playthroughs - I feel a bit of "roflstomp ASMR" goes a long way into making a longer game rewarding in the later stages, a sort of implicit "look at what you've accomplished/how you've grown" and so on. But I also don't think this makes for very engaging or challenging combat, and in Baldur's Gate II's case certain early spells are indeed so unbalanced that they do trivialize and simplify the combat considerably, to a detrimental degree. And again, this is why one shouldn't sneer at the idea of 'balance'.

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My Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/alephg

Currently playing: Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

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BG1 was boring imho with the hilarious wolf in the beginning that was harder than anything else in the game once you leveled. Starting at lvl 1 was BRUTAL.

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But the biggest strike against BG2 for me is that it is a wizard-centric game

PoE is more wizard centric than any IE game ever was.

 

Developer(s) found one mechanic to rule them all (similar to cooldowns in other modern RPGs) that is good enough at applying spell effects, and used it to apply all other effects in the game, by using same resource mechanic for everyone too.

 

That level of uniformity is not terrible for pnp games where you need to play fast and all you can do is roll dice, but in a computer game that means that yes, classes mechanically behave the same.

Uh right.  You actually played Eternity at some point?  You realize it is perfectly viable to beat it with no wizard at all?  Good luck beating BG2 on any real difficulty level without a wizard.  But Eternity, way more wizard focused.  Yeah.

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But the biggest strike against BG2 for me is that it is a wizard-centric game

PoE is more wizard centric than any IE game ever was.

 

Developer(s) found one mechanic to rule them all (similar to cooldowns in other modern RPGs) that is good enough at applying spell effects, and used it to apply all other effects in the game, by using same resource mechanic for everyone too.

 

That level of uniformity is not terrible for pnp games where you need to play fast and all you can do is roll dice, but in a computer game that means that yes, classes mechanically behave the same.

Uh right.  You actually played Eternity at some point?  You realize it is perfectly viable to beat it with no wizard at all?  Good luck beating BG2 on any real difficulty level without a wizard.  But Eternity, way more wizard focused.  Yeah.

Exactly. I do always take Aloth with me because I like the character and he's my high mechanics guy, but I never cast spells with him. I always play PoE with virtually no spellcasting and don't bother taking the druid or priest companions with me.

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In BG2 you NEED to counter wizards and ideally have a wizard. In PoE you don't even need a wizard and any class can counter them. I did't even have a wizard in my party for all the Beast of Winter and stopped using one once I got a better handle of classes and combat. Now I use all martial classes and a priest/druid.

 

PoE2 if anything focuses on powerful martial multis with Fighters, Rogues, and Monks. Wizards are still near the top but suffer from casting recovery and early squishiness but still multi great as well.

Edited by Verde
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