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The Mega Dungeon and consequence

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Well, I recently completed a long and very boring section from Baldur's Gate 2. The section was called the Watcher's Keep.

 

It was an 8 level long dungeon with a lot of random and soulless combat/puzzles. It was very long and boring and with no real relevance to anything outside the dungeon. I could literally have skipped it and nothing would be different. When you leave that place, you're not more famous even though there's a reputation system within the game. No one will react differently to you. In fact, the first thing that happened when my character returned to the city was that a human noble called my character a common dandy. The noble then proceeded to threaten my character with his low level hench-men. I wanted to tell him: "Dude. I'm a pretty big deal from BG 1, and also, I just travelled to the bottom of the famed Watcher's Keep and killed whatever was lurking down there with my bare hands. Stop messing around. You're just being silly now."

 

But no, nothing was different. All you get is xp and loot. Ergo, all you get from that place were numbers and items with certain numbers to them. If developers insist on including a grand mega-dungeon with just a ton of random stuff to it, then please, make that random stuff matter. The Watcher's Keep subtracted from a feeling of urgency in the main story-line. I would be way more happier if an NPC or two had stressed: "Listen, your main goal would benefit from an expedition down there. I know it's a tough decision considering people are dying and waiting for you, but this is important fo' real, dawg." I would then have a feeling that spending time down there mattered.

 

I do like the brilliant story you get from these games. There's almost no comparison. So the plea here is: If there's going to be a long dungeon dragging the players from the main story, then make it matter. Or at least have the common courtesy to have sign on the front saying: "yo bro. If u skip dis dungeon noting will be different."

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Watcher's Keep only has 5 levels, (7 if you count the exterior area and the final room) but yes it's a bit tedious and randomly thrown together.

 

The problem with NPCs ignoring your achievements is a common one, though. Watcher's Keep is a bit different, because unless you tell them so, nobody will know that you either freed big D (one way or the other) or tricked a couple of chosen of the god of duty into actually doing their duty, but there are many quests that should give you a certain reputation, and nobody that wasn't involved in these quests will ever take note. There's also the issue with your gear, all those expensive and powerful armors and weapons, and nobody is impressed let alone intimidated by your appearance.

Edited by JOG
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"You are going to have to learn to think before you act, but never to regret your decisions, right or wrong. Otherwise, you will slowly begin to not make decisions at all."

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So many problems with the implementation of Watcher's Keep... you've named a few of them. Add to that 27 hours (or something ridiculous) journey travel time. If time mattered in that game, it would make even less sense to go there.

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To be fair, though Watchers Keep was intended to make Throne of Bhaal a bit longer, the final dungeon crawl before you go and fulfill the prophecy.

 

Most of BG2 didn't make much sense, story-wise. After the first stronghold-quest you have the 15000 and should follow Imoen. And when you return to Athkatla you have more pressing matters in mind, than caring about the remaining 80% of the game, and once that pressing matter is settled, the game is over resp. TOB starts.


"You are going to have to learn to think before you act, but never to regret your decisions, right or wrong. Otherwise, you will slowly begin to not make decisions at all."

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Maybe my memory is fuzzy, but I remember quite enjoying it. It was different from the rest of the game, with puzzles and fights that were above the general difficulty of the rest of the game. And, in addition to that, it was entirely optional, like every other side quest in the game.

 

I suppose one can argue ToB was rushed, that the story was strained, and the Keep was added just to flesh out the amount of gameplay hours, in a cheap way. I've heard it's not up to par with similar dungeons in other IE titles that I've yet to play, which makes me eager to get to them, since I enjoyed the keep :).

Edited by mstark
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"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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@-Zin-: You created the same thread three times. Since this one has responses I will delete the other two.


image,Gfted1,black,red.png

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First of all, I played Watchers Keep too - and I was disappointed as well. That was after I completed Baldurs Gate II - Shadows of Amn, an epic RPG with fantastic atmosphere, great story and lots of great skills (or, to specify it for the wizard, spells).

 

You simply have to take into consideration that to critize Watcher's Keep this way is only possible at a very high level. The quests may be a bit boring and monotone, but dont forget: it was a dungeon from an add-on (!) which should complete the Baldurs Gate saga. It could be skipped which you could see already on the possibility to play trough it in BG 2 - SoA. If you want a fifteen (15!) level dungeon, the Endless Paths, to be better than the third-long Watcher's Keep, you are dreaming! Consider the Endless Paths just as bonus to the game, as it was Watchers Keep in the BG 2 add-on. And in particular, I would have nothing against several "boring" figths in the EP, as there were some in WK as well (vs. dragon, demons, etc.), maybe just a bit more challenging ones (consider the Giant they mentioned!).

 

And finally, there is one thing I liked about Watchers Keep. It was the card game with the cambion, Aesgaeth. :)

 

P.S.: no need to post 3 times, dude. It doesnt increase the replys :)

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Maybe my memory is fuzzy, but I remember quite enjoying it. It was different from the rest of the game, with puzzles and fights that were above the general difficulty of the rest of the game. And, in addition to that, it was entirely optional, like every other side quest in the game.

 

I suppose one can argue ToB was rushed, that the story was strained, and the Keep was added just to flesh out the amount of gameplay hours, in a cheap way. I've heard it's not up to par with similar dungeons in other IE titles that I've yet to play, which makes me eager to get to them, since I enjoyed the keep :).

 

EH.... I played Watchers Keep and it has been years since I ran through Baldur's Gate 2, which makes my reply slightly more relevant because that much time has passed and it isn't "fresh" in my mind. This is important to mention because I don't remember anything in particular about the place other than some basic story beats, it was kinda long, and harder than the rest of the game.

 

So since I don't really remember feeling it sucked or was great I can only conclude that it may not be quite as bad as people are making it out to be. In fact it was probably just gosh darn average. After all if I thought it was that bad, I would have remembered a lot more about it. Trust me :ermm: .

Edited by Karkarov

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You have to think that the purpose of this dungeons is not to expand the story but to offer harder challenges extreming the game mechanics. Specially designed for achiever type of player.

 

But it's true that with some effort you can make this kind of dungeons worthy. Since it will be clearly difficult to integrate every achievement in the story, it's possible to add a separated area that works as reward area, focused on the achievement.

 

One of the problems I see here is that there is no much interest in going into those dungeons before the very end of the game. Much like the optional bosses. There is an issue here. The dungeon is supposed to have nice objects that improves your equipment as reward for completing the challenges, but also the challenges are hard enough to require an already good equipment.

 

I would solve those issues by making the base of the player as the mentioned "reward" area for this dungeon. Let's say in the dungeon there is people that you could rescue, and then this people will go and live in your base. This people could provide some services as well as remind you how awesome you are for rescuing them. Those services may make you to want to go to your base, and with some missions and events triggered during this visit after some points in the game , you can guide the player through the dungeon when they are supposed to go. This way the players will explore the dungeon progressively as they advance in the game, making all the items you find inside useful.

Edited by Frenzy-kun
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It was an 8 level long dungeon with a lot of random and soulless combat/puzzles. It was very long and boring and with no real relevance to anything outside the dungeon. I could literally have skipped it and nothing would be different. When you leave that place, you're not more famous even though there's a reputation system within the game. No one will react differently to you. In fact, the first thing that happened when my character returned to the city was that a human noble called my character a common dandy. The noble then proceeded to threaten my character with his low level hench-men. I wanted to tell him: "Dude. I'm a pretty big deal from BG 1, and also, I just travelled to the bottom of the famed Watcher's Keep and killed whatever was lurking down there with my bare hands. Stop messing around. You're just being silly now."

Wait, you're unhappy because, despite all of your accomplishments, the nobility is still snobbish toward low-born peasants like you? Guess what, me bucko... that's normal. :)

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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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I found Watchers Keep sort of average as well - sometimes I went in early in BG2 just far enough to get the choice items on the first floor and left the rest for "later" which sometimes never came.

 

Of course the Mega Dungeon in PE is definately not an add-on - it's right there in black and white at the start of production so I am confident the devs will find ways to make it memorable and I suspect at least some of it if not all may tie directly into the main story in some manner.

 

I just don't see a 15 level dungeon as an "optional" side quest myself - that would truly be a waste of resources and would almost certainly make balancing the game a nightmare.

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It was an 8 level long dungeon with a lot of random and soulless combat/puzzles. It was very long and boring and with no real relevance to anything outside the dungeon. I could literally have skipped it and nothing would be different. When you leave that place, you're not more famous even though there's a reputation system within the game. No one will react differently to you. In fact, the first thing that happened when my character returned to the city was that a human noble called my character a common dandy. The noble then proceeded to threaten my character with his low level hench-men. I wanted to tell him: "Dude. I'm a pretty big deal from BG 1, and also, I just travelled to the bottom of the famed Watcher's Keep and killed whatever was lurking down there with my bare hands. Stop messing around. You're just being silly now."

Wait, you're unhappy because, despite all of your accomplishments, the nobility is still snobbish toward low-born peasants like you? Guess what, me bucko... that's normal. :)

 

... Must avoid.. spoilers...

 

EDIT: Also, sorry for the duplicate threads, gfted1. Thanks for removing them :) Must've been a browser related problem

Edited by -Zin-

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Maybe my memory is fuzzy, but I remember quite enjoying it. It was different from the rest of the game, with puzzles and fights that were above the general difficulty of the rest of the game. And, in addition to that, it was entirely optional, like every other side quest in the game.

 

I suppose one can argue ToB was rushed, that the story was strained, and the Keep was added just to flesh out the amount of gameplay hours, in a cheap way. I've heard it's not up to par with similar dungeons in other IE titles that I've yet to play, which makes me eager to get to them, since I enjoyed the keep :).

 

EH.... I played Watchers Keep and it has been years since I ran through Baldur's Gate 2, which makes my reply slightly more relevant because that much time has passed and it isn't "fresh" in my mind. This is important to mention because I don't remember anything in particular about the place other than some basic story beats, it was kinda long, and harder than the rest of the game.

 

So since I don't really remember feeling it sucked or was great I can only conclude that it may not be quite as bad as people are making it out to be. In fact it was probably just gosh darn average. After all if I thought it was that bad, I would have remembered a lot more about it. Trust me :ermm: .

It's been so long since my last play through that I can't remember much details from the mid-game at all, only glimpses of scenes and scenery, and a general remembrance of the main plot points. 10 years is a long time. I can remember areas and the quests associated with them with fondness, but I don't distinctly remember details other than immensely enjoying exploring the world (including Watcher's Keep). I'm replaying the game just to get to see some of these areas again, even though I can't remember how to get to some of them. Also, I was 12 the first time, and certainly not as picky as I am today (don't quote this out of context).

 

Yes, my fond memories are likely glorifying the game, making me gloss over some of its weaker points, but I distinctly do remember Watcher's Keep with fondness, because it was different (in a good way) from the rest of the game :). I do think the end fight was pretty badly designed, without mods.

Edited by mstark

"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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I would be very happy if the mega dungeon holds any meaning except an opportunity for XP and loot. I'll admit it right here: I dont like dungeons or dungeon crawling. Those passages where you stumble through endless caverns or catacombs are my least favorite part of an RPG. There is a reason for that though, aside from preferences. Dungeons usually serve no other purpose than making a quest last a lot longer than necessary. Need to go talk to that bandit leader? Great, but would you please first fight through his extensive cellar hideout, then his secret underground lair and then his even more secret fortress?

 

It is different if you add meaningful content to those huge networks of corridors and rooms. Maybe the underground lair and fortress are part of a hidden city below the ground where fugitives and exiles from the other kingdoms have built a place to call home. Maybe there is all sorts of activity going on down there, from gambling to secret societies meeting and forbidden cults practicing their faith.

 

I'd really like the mega dungeon to not become the standard monster line up waiting for you to clear one level after the other but indeed something like a secret city for interesting factions. It would certainly be a waste of resources to turn 15 levels into a mere loot and xp dispenser.

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Isn't the point of this type of dungeon just to appeal to dungeon-crawler fans anyway?

 

Wait, you're unhappy because, despite all of your accomplishments, the nobility is still snobbish toward low-born peasants like you? Guess what, me bucko... that's normal. :)

 

Generally speaking, the nobility of feudal times gained and lost that status through martial strength. Kings can and have be overthrown by dissatisfied lords, lords can and have been crushed by the king if he sics the other lords' armies on him, commoners have risen up and slaughtered the nobility, too. Marie Antoinette was looking down on the peasantry right before her head came off. *rimshot*

 

Most feudal nobles were pragmatists. The ones who weren't tended to be in exile or dead. To see some hero capable of monstrous feats of killing would be like discovering the only source of water in the middle of a desert full of rich people dying of thirst. Depending on how arrogant they were they'd see either a tool to enhance their position or a potentially powerful ally to enhance their position.

 

All that it really took to become a king or emperor was power and the will to use it.

Edited by AGX-17

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Well, I recently completed a long and very boring section from Baldur's Gate 2. The section was called the Watcher's Keep.

 

It was an 8 level long dungeon with a lot of random and soulless combat/puzzles. It was very long and boring and with no real relevance to anything outside the dungeon. I could literally have skipped it and nothing would be different.

 

Then why didn't you?

 

The place was added for people who like big ass dungeons with lots of puzzles and combat.

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Isn't the point of this type of dungeon just to appeal to dungeon-crawler fans anyway?

I think so, but that doesn't mean I won't appreciate it if they make it so I can enjoy it too. :)

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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The Keep was actually pretty enjoyable, I consider it one of the best locations in BG2. Mainly thanks to great variotion of locations and monsters mixed with pretty surreal atmosphere. It wasn't as good as ID dungeons but it sure was better than most dungeons in BG2. I can see that many of the RPG fans who focus on plot find them a hassle, but that's why so many of them are optional. Perhaps the enemies from the main ToB storyline should have been easier while the ones in the Watcher's keep harder. This way people who don't like long dungeons could skip them without worrying about being too weak to beat the game. The problem with fake urgency was related to all subquests in BG2. You were hunting dragons and looking for treasures either while Imoen was being tortured by Cowled Wizards/Irenicus (and you had enough money to pay the Shnadow Thieves) or while Irenicus' army was slaughtering people in the Suldanessellar. The main problem with extra dungeons is that you can either be too strong or too powerful to properly enjoy them. I think that Megadungeon should be accessible from outside of the main game. Player would start at level one in front of the dungeon, level up quickly and reach max level at the lowest floor of the dungeon.

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No one wants a randomly thrown together dungeon of repetitive mobs.

I doubt that's what they'll give us.

 

I'm expecting to see different environments as you get deeper and deeper in the dungeon.

Stronger, harder monsters, maybe some special ones that can only live down that deep.

 

I'd like to see a decent amount of puzzles and traps in the dungeon, lots of loot, and see NPCs outside the dungeon react to it somehow.

 

Maybe at the bottom you find a treasure chest, and it has a note that says: "Haha the princess isn't here. Try again!"

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Just listened to the Interview from Total Biscuit with Adam and they talked abot the Megadungeon and confirmed a few important things. So it seems that the dungeon will be optional and it is meant to be for those who love dungeon crawling. I am happy for those who enjoy this activity but personally I will just skip this and leave it for the end maybe, when I feel I have nothing else to do.

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I think it would be fun if there were a new companion you could add to the party once you reach the bottom of the endless paths, thereafter opening new conversation threads and side quests. But I'm not sure what type of companion you would find down there that could survive. Perhaps somebody frozen in time?

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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Well, I recently completed a long and very boring section from Baldur's Gate 2. The section was called the Watcher's Keep.

 

It was an 8 level long dungeon with a lot of random and soulless combat/puzzles. It was very long and boring and with no real relevance to anything outside the dungeon. I could literally have skipped it and nothing would be different.

 

Then why didn't you?

 

The place was added for people who like big ass dungeons with lots of puzzles and combat.

 

There was no sign saying nothing would be different. I made that point already if you read the whole post.

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Well, I recently completed a long and very boring section from Baldur's Gate 2. The section was called the Watcher's Keep.

 

It was an 8 level long dungeon with a lot of random and soulless combat/puzzles. It was very long and boring and with no real relevance to anything outside the dungeon. I could literally have skipped it and nothing would be different. When you leave that place, you're not more famous even though there's a reputation system within the game. No one will react differently to you. In fact, the first thing that happened when my character returned to the city was that a human noble called my character a common dandy. The noble then proceeded to threaten my character with his low level hench-men. I wanted to tell him: "Dude. I'm a pretty big deal from BG 1, and also, I just travelled to the bottom of the famed Watcher's Keep and killed whatever was lurking down there with my bare hands. Stop messing around. You're just being silly now."

 

But no, nothing was different. All you get is xp and loot. Ergo, all you get from that place were numbers and items with certain numbers to them. If developers insist on including a grand mega-dungeon with just a ton of random stuff to it, then please, make that random stuff matter. The Watcher's Keep subtracted from a feeling of urgency in the main story-line. I would be way more happier if an NPC or two had stressed: "Listen, your main goal would benefit from an expedition down there. I know it's a tough decision considering people are dying and waiting for you, but this is important fo' real, dawg." I would then have a feeling that spending time down there mattered.

 

I do like the brilliant story you get from these games. There's almost no comparison. So the plea here is: If there's going to be a long dungeon dragging the players from the main story, then make it matter. Or at least have the common courtesy to have sign on the front saying: "yo bro. If u skip dis dungeon noting will be different."

So basically you're whining because it has no main quest relevance to the main quest? thats what like 85%+ of the game? If you want straight line progression only having to do the the main quest go play diablo 3. You're mad because you didnt gain rep for helping a small religous sect dedicated to secretly keep a demigod imprisoned? really?

"Dude. I'm a pretty big deal from BG 1, and also, I just travelled to the bottom of the famed Watcher's Keep and killed whatever was lurking down there with my bare hands. Stop messing around. You're just being silly now." So does the general populus know about watchers keep? And you're not even in the same country and you think strangers on the street should recognize you? they don't have phones that can make video feed of people or pictures. I'd think it would be more stupid if he had known anything remotely related to watchers keep

"But no, nothing was different. All you get is xp and loot." aren't those things different? you say nothing is different and then say something is different. what did Kangaxx or Firkraag have to do with the main quest? Did anyone ever mention them to you when you first met someone? I just don't get you complaint here. you gain rep for quests when it affects either well known people or communities in general. Seriously think before you complain

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I didn't purposely create the same thread three times. I hit 'back' after creating this thread and it must've created duplicates. It's been explained in this thread already. Sometimes accidents happen. What are ya gonna do?

 

Also, I'm not 'whining' or being 'mad'. I'm just explaining that the dungeon is supposedly a big deal, but the world doesn't react in accordance to it. I'm not going to spoil anything from BG, but before you enter Watcher's Keep, everyone there sort of knows who you are. You're a very specific heroic/villanous figure with quite the reputation behind you. There's this group that specficially wants your help, not just anyone's. It's just really weird to then meet a Noble, who supposedly keeps himself well informed, thinks you, a very notable person to say the least, can be threatened by soldiers without a crystal armor :p It's kind of silly. At any rate, I don't think I've gotten enough story/dialouge value from doing that much grinding, unlike most other side-quests which for the most part has a better balance.

 

One last thing. You're being kind of rude, and there's not a point to that. Relax man. No one here is out to get you. You can debate without negatively portraying other people. :)

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