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Playing Baldur's Gate again--most of it feels a bit empty


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I love the open wilderness areas of BG1 and I wish we can have something like that in Eora. Why does each area on the map have to have a specific purpose for the game? Why can't I just stroll around, maybe find some spectacular scenery around. Or maybe some plants that I require tend to be abundant in such regions. Maybe encounter some interesting characters (but without any quests)?

 

IMO, not everything should be designed as to give you XP and quests or mob encounters.

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I love the open wilderness areas of BG1 and I wish we can have something like that in Eora. Why does each area on the map have to have a specific purpose for the game? Why can't I just stroll around, maybe find some spectacular scenery around. Or maybe some plants that I require tend to be abundant in such regions. Maybe encounter some interesting characters (but without any quests)?

 

IMO, not everything should be designed as to give you XP and quests or mob encounters.

As this thread was opened in the PoE thread, I personally think PoE is overall fine in that regard -- it was never meant to be "that kind of game" as outlined by Josh on the last page. There's one touch I even pretty much liked in particular early on. Which is that there's an actual "road" connecting Gilded Vale to Raedric's fortress, which also goes all the way straight to Caed Nua. If you want to, you can stay on the road, not face much danger, and walk straight into the coart yard. Only then

would there be your typically "road block" in the form of opponents that are impossible to take on to progress further.

I think for games as the scale of Pillar's that's a pretty neat touch -- it adds some "conistency" to the game world that Baldur's Gate 2 for instance lacked completely, where locations would pop up on your map the moment you heard of them, and a mouse click would transfer you to the destination.

 

PoE2 is going to be a few more open and exploration based anyway, what with the ship. Really curious what they did to this. Naturally, what allowed Bioware back then to likely fairly quickly build these maps is that assets are obviously cloned all over, like trees, etc. In the original 640x480 pixels release and not much overview, that is only much apparent in the map screen granting an overview. I'd think in the current EE on contemporary resolutions, that would show a whole lot more. Pillars was never made like that, every map is hand-crafted and fairly unique -- and the game's build on a comparably moderate budget.

 

I still think it's an interesting topic. I might also throw in the SChwarze Auge (Realms Of Arkania) trilogy of the 1990s. In particular the first two parts. Those were first and foremost "travelling" adventures too, where getting from A to B was a core part of the appeal. They even did something I've never seen since, which is including ressource and schedule management of resting camps. Setting up guard shifts when resting in the wilderness, giving somebody the task to hunt. This is also rarely to be seen in contemporary games, let alone approached in any game, as the main aim seems to railroad players through quests, make them connecting the dots between the two next plot progression points. In my opinion this is at it worst when it's blatantly obvious you're simply following the designer's bread crumbs. However the better games still maintain that illusion that this is really your own adventure chosen.

 

It's definitely something though I'd love to see tackled again by another game.

Edited by Sven_
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