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

It's not, Fallout was better even back when BG came out. #FalloutForLife 

 

 

 

THIS. 

 

BG was a fine adaptation of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition but it was never in the same league as Fallout 1 as a computer RPG.

 

The redeeming feature when it came to BG was summed up in the Nietzsche quote i.e. that it was the Evil within and not the evil(s) without that really mattered. 

 

Other than that it was a rather by the numbers AD&D2 experience (which isn't a bad thing mind you) but certainly nothing to be raving about twenty years later if you had any experience playing pen and paper RPGs back in the 90s. 

 

With that being said I've been replaying BG while waiting for Deadfire to reach its full potential and it does bring back memories but it's certainly not flawless (if anything I'm enjoying it because of some of its quirks). 

 

What I really don't get is people who are putting The Witcher 3 on the same level though because that game is a glorified adventure game and doesn't provide much in the way of actual roleplaying. It's certainly not a bad game but despite some great atmosphere it has some pretty mediocre combat and some terrible level gating that (unfortunately) seems to become the norm in open world games. They could have gone without any levelling at all and the game would have been much better for it if you ask me but I guess they really wanted that RPG tag on their game. 

 

Comparing a third person consolised game like the Witcher 3 to some isometric CRPGs like BG and PoE seems a bit off to me but I don't expect most people to agree.

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

It's not, Fallout was better even back when BG came out. #FalloutForLife 

 

 

 

THIS. 

 

BG was a fine adaptation of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition but it was never in the same league as Fallout 1 as a computer RPG.

 

The redeeming feature when it came to BG was summed up in the Nietzsche quote i.e. that it was the Evil within and not the evil(s) without that really mattered. 

 

Other than that it was a rather by the numbers AD&D2 experience (which isn't a bad thing mind you) but certainly nothing to be raving about twenty years later if you had any experience playing pen and paper RPGs back in the 90s. 

 

With that being said I've been replaying BG while waiting for Deadfire to reach its full potential and it does bring back memories but it's certainly not flawless (if anything I'm enjoying it because of some of its quirks). 

 

What I really don't get is people who are putting The Witcher 3 on the same level though because that game is a glorified adventure game and doesn't provide much in the way of actual roleplaying. It's certainly not a bad game but despite some great atmosphere it has some pretty mediocre combat and some terrible level gating that (unfortunately) seems to become the norm in open world games. They could have gone without any levelling at all and the game would have been much better for it if you ask me but I guess they really wanted that RPG tag on their game. 

 

Comparing a third person consolised game like the Witcher 3 to some isometric CRPGs like BG and PoE seems a bit off to me but I don't expect most people to agree.

 

While I think Fallout was brilliant (though Fallout 2 is really overestimated imo), it had significant problems of its own (probably the biggest offender is that the perk system was just dire - half the perks were basically irrelevant fluff, one or two were utterly gamebreaking but you were more or less obliged to build for them from character creation). Agree that BG2 isn't flawless and it certainly isn't as groundbreaking as Fallout or Planescape Torment were but I do think it's more replayable and fulfills its ambitions better than either of those and better than anything since, really.

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Ha! Hmm, I normally don't go down these rabbit holes but this one got me.  So BG2 was great for me because of the promise of a huge immersive world, high-level spells and abilities, and some super sick D&D style magic weapons (that you could steal for that matter!!!) - in the end did it deliver that huge immersive world?  Not really.  Don't get me wrong the story was amazing, but it also kind of turned from a tale about a god into a tale about an elf, I mean if you read any of the books about the Times of Trouble, BG2 really didn't capture what really went down.  TOB was pretty light in terms of story and combat, Watcher's Keep was pretty great minus some of the very tedious Demon Level fights.  Difficult combat made it great!

 

But even Pools of Radiance had good D&D combat, weapons and spells if you want to go back that far.

 

My expectations for POE2 were so high that when I first played, and the game wasn't well balanced I just walked through the whole thing - not fun (well I kind of ran around the whole game board like a chicken with my head caught off once I got to Neketaka barely paying attention to anything but looking for that difficult fight).  So I stopped halfway through lol and waited for the update - now the game in terms of story / companions / fighting is much better (sic - with an experience tweak mod, and will go back to a difficulty mod too once a good one is out).  POE is my favorite RPG since Ultima 5.  I mean serious lets bring back DOS (not Divinity Original Sin, actual DOS) based interactions please, only way to have a truly open world (lol - I know no one will agree).  POE2 lives up easily to POE and may be a better game - maybe - can't decide yet but:

 

Deadfort - great

Tikawara - great

Neketaka - great

Serefan - great

Xoti - great

Aloth - great

Eder - great

Slave Island - great

 

And the list goes on and on in terms of amazing and fun content.

 

I guess it all depends what you like.  I actually enjoy games like POE and POE2 over the Divinity games.  I prefer a little more realism and more punishing combat - DOS and DOS2 is just a little too easy with all  the super powers - literally you feel like super hero team.  AND that being said don't get me wrong - DOS2 and DOS were totally fun and rad games, and worth it to play.  Haven't played Witcher 3 but just bought it on sale lol - really not a fan of hand/eye coordinated combat in RPG games but gonna give it a try, I mean the game seems pretty awesome.

 

Back to the original question - do I like POE2 better than BG2 - of course just because the game is newer, graphics are better, and the combat is good.  If BG2 looked like POE2 would I like it better - I guess I will never be able to answer that question ; )

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“How do you 'accidentally' kill a nobleman in his own mansion?"

"With a knife in the chest. Or, rather, a pair of knives in the chest...”

The Final Empire, Mistborn Trilogy

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Having read through this thread, I'm really looking forward to the discussions between college-age gamers in ten years, lambasting how "no action RPG since 2016 has come close to the ultimate glory and perfection of the witcher 3, and none ever will". I'm also surprised no-one's mentioned Planescape: Torment, which is far superior to BG2 in writing.

 

Both those and BG2 are great games that were universally recognized as pinnacles of their genre when they came out, among both critics and players. They're unique and will always be dear to our hearts, sure, but ignoring their faults to preserve our perfect nostalgia-fueled memory of them is silly.

 

Also, Baldur's had an entire setting, complete with mechanics, locales and character system, thrown into Bioware's lap to work with: Pillars and DOS had to design all that themselves, and still manage to reach a level where they're compared to, and often equalized with, an impossibly ideaized game. Makes the winner rather clear to me.

Edited by Taevyr
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I would really like to hear concrete examples of BG2's "silly/comical NPCs, extreme/one-dimensional companions", particularly in contrast to the PoE franchise, where the writing is supposedly superior.

 

(And I only mean BG2. BG1 writing is bad.)

Minsc - He's mentally handicapped and has a hamster. That is his entire characterization, the sole extent of his dialog, and his connection to the story

Korgon - Chaotic Evil, likes murder. That's it

Aerie - Complains about wings. If romanced, she complains about it more

Keldorn - Cliched Lawful Good Paladin. That's it

Mazzy - Same as above, but a hobbit

Cernd - Damn dirty hippie (on the rare chance someone actually uses him)

Jan - Grobnar 1.0

 

I actually like BG2's characters, and they do sometimes get a little development in personal quests, but they are usually one-note and static. IMO, even poor characters in PoE, like Sagani, are better developed. To say nothing of great ones like Durance.

 

Honestly, NWN2's cast are all better than those in BG2, except for Grobnar.

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I would really like to hear concrete examples of BG2's "silly/comical NPCs, extreme/one-dimensional companions", particularly in contrast to the PoE franchise, where the writing is supposedly superior.

 

(And I only mean BG2. BG1 writing is bad.)

Minsc - He's mentally handicapped and has a hamster. That is his entire characterization, the sole extent of his dialog, and his connection to the story

Korgon - Chaotic Evil, likes murder. That's it

Aerie - Complains about wings. If romanced, she complains about it more

Keldorn - Cliched Lawful Good Paladin. That's it

Mazzy - Same as above, but a hobbit

Cernd - Damn dirty hippie (on the rare chance someone actually uses him)

Jan - Grobnar 1.0

 

I actually like BG2's characters, and they do sometimes get a little development in personal quests, but they are usually one-note and static. IMO, even poor characters in PoE, like Sagani, are better developed. To say nothing of great ones like Durance.

 

Honestly, NWN2's cast are all better than those in BG2, except for Grobnar.

 

 

Minsc and Korgan are joke characters.  They're what you'd call Large Hams.  I mean, ****'s sake, Minsc is voiced by Duke Nukem - what are you expecting out of the character?  They both also fill the same role in terms of party lineup, being your typical beefy front-liner in the event the player needs someone of that type, and they cover the two major party alignments (good or evil.)  Minsc proved to be so popular that he's become a canon Forgotten Realms character alongside the likes of Elminster and Drizzt and has made cameo appearances in numerous D&D titles - so people calling Minsc a boring or uninteresting character strain credibility for me.  You should also keep in mind that Jon Irenicus also has a rather bland plot if you're just reading it on a sheet of paper - an almost paint-by-numbers megalomaniacal big bad evil genius whose only vaguely unique or interesting bits are the nature of the Seldarine's punishment of his transgressions.  Except Bioware and Black Isle gave him superb character writing (his actual lines) and by this point everyone should be aware of just how skilled an actor David ****ing Warner is.  Just like Minsc, Irenicus is about as interesting as a slice of Wonder Bread when looked at on a sheet of paper but is an engaging and thoroughly enjoyable villain in the flesh.

 

Keldorn and Cernd are cliche at first but experience substantial character growth and nuance through their personal quests.  If you haven't done them, you really need to.  Mazzy has less growth but is sort of a jab at 2E's ridiculous "only humans can be paladins" rules and the like.  It's important to note that 3E arrived in 2000 and the team was likely aware of its major rules changes during development of SoA and ToB.  Mazzy isn't just thrown in there randomly, there's a reason you get a character that is a paladin in everything but name.

 

All of the character romances are cringeworthy as such things nearly always are, but all of the characters show substantial character growth - Anomen perhaps more than anyone else.  Jaheira's is the only one that doesn't make much sense to me, and that's only because I feel like it'd take a long time to get over seeing your husband having been flayed alive and tortured to death (well past the point that Raise Dead could help, although I'm pretty sure Resurrection would've worked fine, or maybe Wish) and while I don't see anything wrong with her relying on Gorion's ward for emotional support, the fact that she's rather receptive to CHARNAME blatantly hitting on her (by buying a necklace for her, for example) in a matter of in-universe days is kind of disturbing, especially when Jaheira and Khalid were kind of like adoptive parents to CHARNAME.

Edited by PizzaSHARK

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I would really like to hear concrete examples of BG2's "silly/comical NPCs, extreme/one-dimensional companions", particularly in contrast to the PoE franchise, where the writing is supposedly superior.

 

(And I only mean BG2. BG1 writing is bad.)

Minsc - He's mentally handicapped and has a hamster. That is his entire characterization, the sole extent of his dialog, and his connection to the story

Korgon - Chaotic Evil, likes murder. That's it

Aerie - Complains about wings. If romanced, she complains about it more

Keldorn - Cliched Lawful Good Paladin. That's it

Mazzy - Same as above, but a hobbit

Cernd - Damn dirty hippie (on the rare chance someone actually uses him)

Jan - Grobnar 1.0

 

I've said all along that Minsc is terrible.

 

Keldorn and Cernd have a reasonable story arc that shows how pretty good character depth which is definitely not restricted to what you just said there. Keldorn's family problems make him anything but a cliche. Having Korgan and (I think) Mazzy in the party shows some pretty good non-cliched character interaction. Aerie is severely traumatized and works pretty well (which is not to say that I like that kind of behaviour, mind you).

 

If I were to resort to that kind of characterizations, I would say that only Eder really shines in PoE. Durance, the Devil of Caroc and the Grieving Mother are particularly poor (the Grieving Mother hints at superb stuff but doesn't deliver). I can't say about PoE2 yet.

 

Character interaction in PoE was also a bit strange, because Eder, in particular, appeared to have a long-lasting dislike to Durance from the moment the two met. Eder commented as if there was a backstory, although there was none. There was never any "I wonder what kind of guy you are, but you sure seem suspicious" from Eder, it was instantly into "bloody hell priest, I hate you". That was a bit WTF, in terms of writing.

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I would really like to hear concrete examples of BG2's "silly/comical NPCs, extreme/one-dimensional companions", particularly in contrast to the PoE franchise, where the writing is supposedly superior.

 

(And I only mean BG2. BG1 writing is bad.)

Minsc - He's mentally handicapped and has a hamster. That is his entire characterization, the sole extent of his dialog, and his connection to the story

Korgon - Chaotic Evil, likes murder. That's it

Aerie - Complains about wings. If romanced, she complains about it more

Keldorn - Cliched Lawful Good Paladin. That's it

Mazzy - Same as above, but a hobbit

Cernd - Damn dirty hippie (on the rare chance someone actually uses him)

Jan - Grobnar 1.0

 

I actually like BG2's characters, and they do sometimes get a little development in personal quests, but they are usually one-note and static. IMO, even poor characters in PoE, like Sagani, are better developed. To say nothing of great ones like Durance.

 

Honestly, NWN2's cast are all better than those in BG2, except for Grobnar.

 

 

All of the character romances are cringeworthy as such things nearly always are, but all of the characters show substantial character growth - Anomen perhaps more than anyone else.  Jaheira's is the only one that doesn't make much sense to me, and that's only because I feel like it'd take a long time to get over seeing your husband having been flayed alive and tortured to death (well past the point that Raise Dead could help, although I'm pretty sure Resurrection would've worked fine, or maybe Wish) and while I don't see anything wrong with her relying on Gorion's ward for emotional support, the fact that she's rather receptive to CHARNAME blatantly hitting on her (by buying a necklace for her, for example) in a matter of in-universe days is kind of disturbing, especially when Jaheira and Khalid were kind of like adoptive parents to CHARNAME.

 

 

Yeah, this is the suspicious part. There should have been a timer of let's say at least a week on the Jaheira romance. It's not realistic the way it appears now. It doesn't even work as a rebound kind of thing. And if it was a question "oh god I'm bereaved and I can't stand my loneliness I've got to find someone instantly", then Jaheira's dialogues should look much more desperate, which they don't.

 

I agree the romances are cringeworthy, but the fact is, much of lovetalk is cringeworthy to someone who isn't emotionally involved (i.e. all outsiders), and I seriously hope no gamer is seriously involved in the lovetalk of a game.

 

Anomen is a very good character in the end, really well written. The way he comes across as a complete oaf that really gets on your nerves is great, especially when you consider how things change.

 

I must also give special mention to the Aerie -- CHARNAME -- Haer'dalis love triangle, which is really nice. There's the cynical Haer'dalis, then there's the overtly naive and traumatized Aerie, and then there's you, what are you going to do?

Edited by xzar_monty

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Boy oh boy I tried to stay clear of this thread but I'm just too weak.

 

As much as I enjoy it, People really need to move on from the Baldur's Gate riding if we ever want CRPGs to have another chance. There's a reason it died in the first place.

 

We don't need anymore Grogs.

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Romances with NPCs are indeed let's say interesting. 

 

Aerie was so annoying that she could cast Time Stop in level 1 slot and I would not have her. Viconia on the other hand ... 

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If someone really annoys you that much, chances are the character is well written. (But obviously it's not necessarily so. Minsc is annoying because he's so poorly written.)

 

To me, Edwin is so annoying that I would not have him in my party, but that's definitely good writing, although a bit one-dimensional. But, given his nature, Edwin is one-dimensional as a person.

Edited by xzar_monty
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Boy oh boy I tried to stay clear of this thread but I'm just too weak.

 

As much as I enjoy it, People really need to move on from the Baldur's Gate riding if we ever want CRPGs to have another chance. There's a reason it died in the first place.

 

We don't need anymore Grogs.

 

I don't think people are wanting more Baldur's Gate, they're just pointing out that Baldur's Gate 2 did things better than Deadfire does, despite being nearly 20 years old at this point.  Like, I don't think Deadfire is boring because of balance issues - although they play some role - but because there's just not much DEPTH to any of it.  The gameplay mechanics, across the board, are INCREDIBLY shallow and feel incomplete.  This goes back to "are mods fair game?", but if we look at what BG2 is capable of with stuff like SCS installed... it's staggering how much more nuance and depth a nearly 20 year old game has compared to a 2018 release that wasn't under the same "must use horribly Byzantine 2E rules" restriction BG2 was made to work under.  Obsidian had free rein to go wherever they wanted with the mechanics in Pillars and Deadfire and they chose to cut out huge swathes of gameplay mechanics from BG2 (some of which they were absolutely right to get rid of, mind) and in most cases... didn't replace them with anything.  It's incredibly difficult to defend decision-making like that without having any information about WHY those decisions were made.

 

And I don't understand the hate for Minsc.  Dude is a joke character that was well-written and incredibly well-acted.  Edwin's in the same damn boat, and not by coincidence.  ****, it even makes sense for Minsc to be even more loopy in BG2 because the guy was already pretty addled to begin with and used Dynaheir and his duty to "protect my witch!" to keep him somewhat grounded in BG1.  Dynaheir is gruesomely killed in front of him by Irenicus in the background fluff prior to the game starting and it really causes Minsc to come fully unhinged.  He doesn't stop being a Large Ham at any point in BG2, but he does become a LITTLE more grounded if you put him in the party with Aerie and she becomes his new witch.  He's really quite well-written for a character that is explicitly made for humor.

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I don't think people are wanting more Baldur's Gate, they're just pointing out that Baldur's Gate 2 did things better than Deadfire does, despite being nearly 20 years old at this point.  Like, I don't think Deadfire is boring because of balance issues - although they play some role - but because there's just not much DEPTH to any of it.  The gameplay mechanics, across the board, are INCREDIBLY shallow and feel incomplete.  This goes back to "are mods fair game?", but if we look at what BG2 is capable of with stuff like SCS installed... it's staggering how much more nuance and depth a nearly 20 year old game has compared to a 2018 release that wasn't under the same "must use horribly Byzantine 2E rules" restriction BG2 was made to work under.  Obsidian had free rein to go wherever they wanted with the mechanics in Pillars and Deadfire and they chose to cut out huge swathes of gameplay mechanics from BG2 (some of which they were absolutely right to get rid of, mind) and in most cases... didn't replace them with anything.  It's incredibly difficult to defend decision-making like that without having any information about WHY those decisions were made.

 

I wholeheartedly disagree. The amount of ways you could completely break the system is mind boggling. Hell, in end game they just completely give up the notion of "depth" and let you literally stop time. Not only was the base game bugged to high hell but the expansion was even worse if that's even possible.

 

No, mods are not fair game when they're meant to fix the problems the game was shipped with (that goes with every game). Also, considering that Obsidian still has mod tools coming there could conceivably be a mod that does the exact same kind of functions as SCS for Deadfire.

 

Sorry but this is just more blind favoritism.

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If someone really annoys you that much, chances are the character is well written. (But obviously it's not necessarily so. Minsc is annoying because he's so poorly written.)

 

To me, Edwin is so annoying that I would not have him in my party, but that's definitely good writing, although a bit one-dimensional. But, given his nature, Edwin is one-dimensional as a person.

 

When characters in games/movies/tv annoy me, it is rarely because they are well written, to be honest. And even if it is... it's still annoying. That is as a rule not a good emotion to be evoking in your audience, certainly not on a continual basis.

 

To me, almost all of the BG2 characters (NPC and otherwise) always felt entirely one-dimensional, stitched together from standard tropes. Yes, Keldorn had some a-typical sidestory for the genre, but that didn't make him any less of a cardboard cut-out; hardly going to get invested in the problems of some random fantasy stock character. They just never felt even remotely like they represented an actual person in any way. The ludicrous D&D alignment system obviously doesn't help there (is that still in modern D&D?), especially with evil characters. Some exceptions, Imoen always did feel fleshed out. Jaheira also had a well-developed personality as I recall, a bit unfortunate that it was incredibly grating as well. I enjoyed the game mind you, and many of the NPCs were certainly amusing (though just as many quite obnoxious as well). But there was rarely any depth to them, or reason to care about them. 

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To me, almost all of the BG2 characters (NPC and otherwise) always felt entirely one-dimensional, stitched together from standard tropes. Yes, Keldorn had some a-typical sidestory for the genre, but that didn't make him any less of a cardboard cut-out; hardly going to get invested in the problems of some random fantasy stock character. They just never felt even remotely like they represented an actual person in any way. The ludicrous D&D alignment system obviously doesn't help there (is that still in modern D&D?), especially with evil characters. Some exceptions, Imoen always did feel fleshed out. Jaheira also had a well-developed personality as I recall, a bit unfortunate that it was incredibly grating as well. I enjoyed the game mind you, and many of the NPCs were certainly amusing (though just as many quite obnoxious as well). But there was rarely any depth to them, or reason to care about them.

 

Ok, there's nothing wrong with that. But, can you tell me in which way is the writing and characterization in PoE better? I'd really like some concrete examples. Personally, I don't think it is, but I'm always happy to be proven wrong.

 

If we take Mazzy from BG2, just as an example, we can quite easily compare her to Sagani, and I don't think there's much difference in the quality of writing between the two. Sagani has more material, quantitatively, so in that she's more "whole" than Mazzy, but as characters they're quite close (there's a bit more ambiguity in Sagani).

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I don't think people are wanting more Baldur's Gate, they're just pointing out that Baldur's Gate 2 did things better than Deadfire does, despite being nearly 20 years old at this point.  Like, I don't think Deadfire is boring because of balance issues - although they play some role - but because there's just not much DEPTH to any of it.  The gameplay mechanics, across the board, are INCREDIBLY shallow and feel incomplete.  This goes back to "are mods fair game?", but if we look at what BG2 is capable of with stuff like SCS installed... it's staggering how much more nuance and depth a nearly 20 year old game has compared to a 2018 release that wasn't under the same "must use horribly Byzantine 2E rules" restriction BG2 was made to work under.  Obsidian had free rein to go wherever they wanted with the mechanics in Pillars and Deadfire and they chose to cut out huge swathes of gameplay mechanics from BG2 (some of which they were absolutely right to get rid of, mind) and in most cases... didn't replace them with anything.  It's incredibly difficult to defend decision-making like that without having any information about WHY those decisions were made.

 

I wholeheartedly disagree. The amount of ways you could completely break the system is mind boggling. Hell, in end game they just completely give up the notion of "depth" and let you literally stop time. Not only was the base game bugged to high hell but the expansion was even worse if that's even possible.

 

No, mods are not fair game when they're meant to fix the problems the game was shipped with (that goes with every game). Also, considering that Obsidian still has mod tools coming there could conceivably be a mod that does the exact same kind of functions as SCS for Deadfire.

 

Sorry but this is just more blind favoritism.

 

There being ways to "break the system" doesn't mean it has no depth. They are not mutually exclusive. Regardless of what you consider "broken", I believe the majority of games have stuff that can be considered broken. Does The Witcher 3 have broken stuff? Does PoE2 have broken stuff? They all would have no depth whatsoever then. As a side note, Time Stop is part of the system BioWare had to work with, it had to be in there, whether they found it "broken" or not. And yes, I agree that in end game you can literally spam Time Stop nonstop and that is rather broken. But that is very, very late in the game. The depth of combat before you reach that point in the game doesn't just disappear simply because in end game you have access to something "broken".

 

Even vanilla BG2 feels more exciting, especially when you compare late game BG2 and late game PoE2. With the Sequencer/Trigger mechanics, there is a wide range of legit combos that make combat feel dynamic and flexible. It also lends emphasis to pre-combat preparations. When you see the damage your party have to suffer after combat and that you had to burn through many valuable resources to beat a fight, it feels rewarding. As spellcasters you can summon stronger and stronger creatures, can actually control most of them and use their abilities. It feels good to have access to higher level spells because they are actually powerful, as they are meant to be.

 

To me, PoE2 combat fell flat really fast. I admit, it was extremely exciting to level up my characters up to like level 10. I played a cipher, and I have access to a total of  NINE spells from level 7, 8, and 9. The three 7th-level spells are complete crap. Haunting Chains inflicts Terrified and Hobbled. For 18s. I was like, why is THIS even a NINTH-level spell? Same for Xoti. The 9th-level Priest spells sound so mind-numbing I didn't even bother taking a single one. I just opted for the passive +1 power level. As for Aloth, he suffered from the grimoire system. There's no excitement whatsoever in leveling up your mage when you know that with a bunch of grimoires in your quickslots you cover essentially ALL spells from any level. As I figured out some potential "combos" early on in the game, I was very excited. That didn't last very long, since the game became easier and easier and, sadly, more casual as I progressed. By the time I finished setting up combos and ready to unleash them, most enemies were almost dead anyway. Why bother with "advanced" stuff when just basic attacks and a few basic skills will carry you through everything?

 

I'm not trying to sound like a hater. I *really* enjoyed PoE2 before it started falling flat. It's just that there are so many big let-downs for me as far as combat is concerned. BG2 is far from perfect but at least I never had any major let-down playing BG2. In another topic, I said I was still early in the game but already almost hit level-cap, someone else said I was literally two quests away from endgame, so not that "early". It was actually a spoiler for me, but I was surprised to find that, I wasn't bothered by that at all. In fact, I felt relieved because it was almost over. Game was getting so dull, sorry to say. I didn't even bother with some other major questlines like the entire Crookspur conflict. Just couldn't find the motivation.

Edited by try2handing
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Hard to compare mechanics really. I do feel Deadfire is more advanced tho. The combat is not as tedious because you can leave the boring part (like buffing) to a script. Actually, these scripts made me so lazy I tend to control no more than one character most of the time.. but I don't consider it a drawback. Instead, I think it's progress from tedious micromanaging. And let's face it, in BG2 if you weren't a caster, you were mostly auto-attacking and chugging potions.

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I think the biggest reason why Baldur's Gate series works for me (and for instance PoE series doesn't) is beacuse those games know *precisely* what they are and where their strenghts lie. They are your charming high fantasy romps thoughout Toril that are supposed to be lighthearted and fun, with archetypical, yet still varied and memorable individuals (with surprising amount of depth when you look closely enough) and plotlines - that's it. The series unashamedly embraces every fantasy cliche in the book with an absolutely straight face (dead mentor, call to adventure, kid sidekick Imoen, Darth Vader wannabe in spiky armor - with a redemption arc to boot, plethora of damsels in distress, archetypical love interests etc.). Compare that to NWN 2 OC - where most of the time companions were snickering at genre cliches, as if they are ashamed of them. There is a certain refreshing charm in simplicity when pulled off correctly- especially nowadays, where everything is vomittingly "dark", "deconstructive", "mature" and "political". There is a reason people love original Star Wars so much. IMO game also struck a good balance between gameplay and story (although your milage may of course vary). It had interesting enough story to keep me interested and engaged with good enough gameplay to make for a fun fleshed out experience. Both Torment and IWD went too much into extremes for me - PST "too wordy" with so-so gameplay, IWD "too much hack&slash" with barebones story. 

 

Pillars of Eternity - and Deadfire in particular - in my opinion doesn't know what it wants to be. PoE 1 desperately tried to be "mature" and "about something" just to avoid being labeled as a "cliche fantasy" for some reason. I think this is also why we went with "pirate setting" for Deadfire - and that game is an unfortunate mess storywise - with themes and ideas thrown around seemingly randomly. I don't see a unified thought and a sense of focus in this franchise. In Deadfire we have themes of: reincarnation cycle and consequences thereof, souls and their mystical powers, atheism/deism argument with gods being artificial and all, political commentary with historical parallels, technological progress and their dangers with animancy, obligatory racism commentary with orlans/godlikes, exploration, colonialism and subjugation of native cultures and obviously capitalism. Also MC can see dead people. Deadfire tries to talk about all of those things but usually it just skims the surface. Compare that to BG series - I'm the heir of Bhaal, the Lord of Murder, I am good at killing stuff and most people are scared sh*tless of me. Bad guys (and some of the good guys) want to kill me/screw me over/steal my powers beacuse of that. And this one douchebag just killed my mentor/kidnapped my childhood friend. And you do actually kill a lot of stuff in the process. Simple and sufficient.  

 

TLDR - Baldur's Gate tells a simple (but not *stupid*), fairytalesque, focused story that works for what it tries to be. Pillars of Eternity desperately tries to find it's own identity and lacks focus in comparison. Just like this post.  :-

And, yes, I do realise I am horribly biased towards Baldur's Gate, with it being my all time favourite and all.

Edited by aksrasjel
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Runescape Classic has the best story of all RPGs ever created.

You wake up in the room of an old guy on the mysterious Tutorial Island. From there your hero finds out more about the world around him, learning various tricks of the trade, including walking, fishing, mining, and more (If that’s not the greatest character development of all time to you, then you’re loony). After going through his/her trials on the island, they are transported to the mainland, where their journey to secure a membership and travel to locked off member-only areas finally begins. A massive open world game with intriguing npcs and monsters awaits.

 

AND THE COMBAT!! What can I say? It’s the most thrilling, action packed combat I’ve ever experienced in my lifetime. Not only do the enemies throughout the game have the honor to duel you 1v1 at all times, but they are also manly enough to wait for you to hit them before they hit you back. This makes defeat all the more painful as you know that they were holding back their true strength.

When one is ready to retire from their adventures, he/she can dabble in the growing yew log trade and secure enough finances to claim a home and start a family.

 

This game truly was a gem of it’s time.

Edited by anathanielh

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One thing that is for sure better with BG or the Infinity Engine - combat isn't a toggle!

You can do all actions in combat or out of combat. Pillars of Eternity disables spells, loot, etc. 

I find this very cumbersome, though combat has improved a lot since PoE1. Tyranny's combat already was so much better again it was improved with PoE2.

 

I don't really like the unique weapon and equipment in Pillars too much, might be the nostalgic goggles, but I enjoyed the items and their backstories from Baldurs Gate much more while PoE stuff feels generic and not really that mighty in comparison than normal items (might be because the difficulty falls off extremely at a certain character level)

 

The BG2 characters are great and most importantly FUN. And Romances in PoE are not even at a point where they are comparable (Maia vs Viconia, feels like theres  maybe  1/10 of the content).

PoE in general tries to be more mature with its stories, but thats not really a factor for me. I like the more light hearted high fantasy setting with its tropes ( not too much though, divinity original sin 1 was just too silly for my taste)

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I would really like to hear concrete examples of BG2's "silly/comical NPCs, extreme/one-dimensional companions", particularly in contrast to the PoE franchise, where the writing is supposedly superior.

 

(And I only mean BG2. BG1 writing is bad.)

Minsc - He's mentally handicapped and has a hamster. That is his entire characterization, the sole extent of his dialog, and his connection to the story

Korgon - Chaotic Evil, likes murder. That's it

Aerie - Complains about wings. If romanced, she complains about it more

Keldorn - Cliched Lawful Good Paladin. That's it

Mazzy - Same as above, but a hobbit

Cernd - Damn dirty hippie (on the rare chance someone actually uses him)

Jan - Grobnar 1.0

 

I actually like BG2's characters, and they do sometimes get a little development in personal quests, but they are usually one-note and static. IMO, even poor characters in PoE, like Sagani, are better developed. To say nothing of great ones like Durance.

 

Honestly, NWN2's cast are all better than those in BG2, except for Grobnar.

 

 

Minsc and Korgan are joke characters.  They're what you'd call Large Hams.  I mean, ****'s sake, Minsc is voiced by Duke Nukem - what are you expecting out of the character?  They both also fill the same role in terms of party lineup, being your typical beefy front-liner in the event the player needs someone of that type, and they cover the two major party alignments (good or evil.)  Minsc proved to be so popular that he's become a canon Forgotten Realms character alongside the likes of Elminster and Drizzt and has made cameo appearances in numerous D&D titles - so people calling Minsc a boring or uninteresting character strain credibility for me.  You should also keep in mind that Jon Irenicus also has a rather bland plot if you're just reading it on a sheet of paper - an almost paint-by-numbers megalomaniacal big bad evil genius whose only vaguely unique or interesting bits are the nature of the Seldarine's punishment of his transgressions.  Except Bioware and Black Isle gave him superb character writing (his actual lines) and by this point everyone should be aware of just how skilled an actor David ****ing Warner is.  Just like Minsc, Irenicus is about as interesting as a slice of Wonder Bread when looked at on a sheet of paper but is an engaging and thoroughly enjoyable villain in the flesh.

 

Keldorn and Cernd are cliche at first but experience substantial character growth and nuance through their personal quests.  If you haven't done them, you really need to.  Mazzy has less growth but is sort of a jab at 2E's ridiculous "only humans can be paladins" rules and the like.  It's important to note that 3E arrived in 2000 and the team was likely aware of its major rules changes during development of SoA and ToB.  Mazzy isn't just thrown in there randomly, there's a reason you get a character that is a paladin in everything but name.

 

All of the character romances are cringeworthy as such things nearly always are, but all of the characters show substantial character growth - Anomen perhaps more than anyone else.  Jaheira's is the only one that doesn't make much sense to me, and that's only because I feel like it'd take a long time to get over seeing your husband having been flayed alive and tortured to death (well past the point that Raise Dead could help, although I'm pretty sure Resurrection would've worked fine, or maybe Wish) and while I don't see anything wrong with her relying on Gorion's ward for emotional support, the fact that she's rather receptive to CHARNAME blatantly hitting on her (by buying a necklace for her, for example) in a matter of in-universe days is kind of disturbing, especially when Jaheira and Khalid were kind of like adoptive parents to CHARNAME.

 

Actually, Minsc was voiced by Jim Cummings. Duke Nukem was voiced by John St. John (Who also voiced Big the Cat).

 

Going back to @AFA's comment. Keldorn and Mazzy are actually very competent deconstructions of the cliche paladin.

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One thing that is for sure better with BG or the Infinity Engine - combat isn't a toggle!

You can do all actions in combat or out of combat. Pillars of Eternity disables spells, loot, etc. 

I find this very cumbersome, though combat has improved a lot since PoE1. Tyranny's combat already was so much better again it was improved with PoE2.

 

I don't really like the unique weapon and equipment in Pillars too much, might be the nostalgic goggles, but I enjoyed the items and their backstories from Baldurs Gate much more while PoE stuff feels generic and not really that mighty in comparison than normal items (might be because the difficulty falls off extremely at a certain character level)

 

The BG2 characters are great and most importantly FUN. And Romances in PoE are not even at a point where they are comparable (Maia vs Viconia, feels like theres  maybe  1/10 of the content).

PoE in general tries to be more mature with its stories, but thats not really a factor for me. I like the more light hearted high fantasy setting with its tropes ( not too much though, divinity original sin 1 was just too silly for my taste)

 

Also (and I could be completely wrong with this), you cannot really escape from combat in PoE. Once combat starts, you can't run away. (Again, I haven't played PoE2 that much and I certainly haven't tried this.)

 

I was also completely baffled by the fact that there are things you can do either in combat or outside combat, but not both. Very strange. Add to this the fact that you can pick up absolutely everything into your infinite stash (but you cannot actually drop anything, ever!) and your suspension of disbelief if severely tested, especially because you can only carry two or four camping supplies. Like... wtf?

 

I think the enchanting system does away with most of the uniqueness of the unique items in PoE. It's a shame.

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