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Just started another play through of IWD2 and was reminded of how aggravating and over the top the intense amount of puzzles were in the Ice Palace level.

 

I try not to use walkthroughs at all and hope with PE there are not areas with insane amounts of puzzles to complete like the ice palace, kills the game atmosphere for me and my hardcore Shield Dwarf axe wielders, with their low IQ they get bored quickly.

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Just started another play through of IWD2 and was reminded of how aggravating and over the top the intense amount of puzzles were in the Ice Palace level.

 

I try not to use walkthroughs at all and hope with PE there are not areas with insane amounts of puzzles to complete like the ice palace, kills the game atmosphere for me and my hardcore Shield Dwarf axe wielders, with their low IQ they get bored quickly.

 

Much as I think that the Ice Temple interior is maybe my second least favourite part of IWD2, (after the Fire Domain... urgh that is frustrating) I really don't think the problem with it lies in its puzzles which are pretty simplistic, but more that for an area where you have to do several things it feels fairly directionless. As I say the puzzles aren't that hard but it is structured in a fairly abstract way with no reason to make the leaps of logic required to assume that battle square = getting bedroom key or those random phrases you know for the portrait for no explicable reason get you to specific places. The individual elements are not bad at all, but the fact there is such a high concentration of the, plus loads of entirely optional and not particularly worthwhile rooms on the upper floor doesn't really help matters...

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Just started another play through of IWD2 and was reminded of how aggravating and over the top the intense amount of puzzles were in the Ice Palace level.

 

I try not to use walkthroughs at all and hope with PE there are not areas with insane amounts of puzzles to complete like the ice palace, kills the game atmosphere for me and my hardcore Shield Dwarf axe wielders, with their low IQ they get bored quickly.

 

Much as I think that the Ice Temple interior is maybe my second least favourite part of IWD2, (after the Fire Domain... urgh that is frustrating) I really don't think the problem with it lies in its puzzles which are pretty simplistic, but more that for an area where you have to do several things it feels fairly directionless. As I say the puzzles aren't that hard but it is structured in a fairly abstract way with no reason to make the leaps of logic required to assume that battle square = getting bedroom key or those random phrases you know for the portrait for no explicable reason get you to specific places. The individual elements are not bad at all, but the fact there is such a high concentration of the, plus loads of entirely optional and not particularly worthwhile rooms on the upper floor doesn't really help matters...

 

Very well said, and agreed!

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Just started another play through of IWD2 and was reminded of how aggravating and over the top the intense amount of puzzles were in the Ice Palace level.

 

I try not to use walkthroughs at all and hope with PE there are not areas with insane amounts of puzzles to complete like the ice palace, kills the game atmosphere for me and my hardcore Shield Dwarf axe wielders, with their low IQ they get bored quickly.

 

I think there should also be an underwater maze dungeon. In 3D.

Edited by AGX-17

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Just started another play through of IWD2 and was reminded of how aggravating and over the top the intense amount of puzzles were in the Ice Palace level.

 

I try not to use walkthroughs at all and hope with PE there are not areas with insane amounts of puzzles to complete like the ice palace, kills the game atmosphere for me and my hardcore Shield Dwarf axe wielders, with their low IQ they get bored quickly.

 

I think there should also be an underwater maze dungeon. In 3D.

And you have to escort a key NPC through :yes:

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Yeah, that forest was a nuisance. But at least it was satisfying to finally finish it.

 

I like forests in RL and the map for PE seems rife with them, so hopefully the game will include at least some wilderness exploration with multi-map forested areas.

Edited by rjshae

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

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I have honestly always just resorted to walkthroughs for the forest, at least in terms of getting about it, but, the reason it doesn't get on the list is I really liked the "feel" of it, if not the playable reality. Had some nice creepy area designs.

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Yeah IWD2 forest was another big puzzle thing. I can't see them doing the game like IWD2 though due to the structure of it. I could see a side dungeon doing it but not every other area like IWD2 did.


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It probably depends on how linear P:E turns out to be, my suspician is more BG than IWD (though as a whole I'd say I prefer IWD, as a whole areas are better designed when linear vs. free flow) but that you'll probably have minor puzzlish elements inserted into bottlenecks in navigation like Moria-style mines or geography with a specific path through it (specific mountain/swamp/forest paths). I think the trick is to make how you do them fairly simple but just require a bit of experimentation. I'd much rather have a mix of things like the ones in IWD2 than the generic "kill the boss and get his key" style of thing.

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It's not really a suspicion, they specifically said a mix of BG2 and BG exploration, though more BG2 oriented. From what I gather with there expansion is multiple zone cities like BG2, with some surrounding areas to explore like BG, and then further fast-travel locations like BG2.


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Keep in mind IWD2 was made in ten months, and they were feeling the pressure of making 'yet another IE game' that actually tried to introduce new things. I love the game, but some of the convoluted scripting that resulted in the Fell Wood and other areas were not really what the team intended.

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It probably depends on how linear P:E turns out to be, my suspician is more BG than IWD (though as a whole I'd say I prefer IWD, as a whole areas are better designed when linear vs. free flow) but that you'll probably have minor puzzlish elements inserted into bottlenecks in navigation like Moria-style mines or geography with a specific path through it (specific mountain/swamp/forest paths). I think the trick is to make how you do them fairly simple but just require a bit of experimentation. I'd much rather have a mix of things like the ones in IWD2 than the generic "kill the boss and get his key" style of thing.

For me, the linear flow in IWD2 doesn't make an area feel better designed. It just feels pipelined like a factory floor. I've attempted IWD2 twice, but became bored from the linearity. The looser area designs of BG gave more of a sense of choosing my own destiny. Yes there were some bottlenecked areas leading to boss battles, but the looser mix of destinations felt a lot more like the table-top experience.


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

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It probably depends on how linear P:E turns out to be, my suspician is more BG than IWD (though as a whole I'd say I prefer IWD, as a whole areas are better designed when linear vs. free flow) but that you'll probably have minor puzzlish elements inserted into bottlenecks in navigation like Moria-style mines or geography with a specific path through it (specific mountain/swamp/forest paths). I think the trick is to make how you do them fairly simple but just require a bit of experimentation. I'd much rather have a mix of things like the ones in IWD2 than the generic "kill the boss and get his key" style of thing.

For me, the linear flow in IWD2 doesn't make an area feel better designed. It just feels pipelined like a factory floor. I've attempted IWD2 twice, but became bored from the linearity. The looser area designs of BG gave more of a sense of choosing my own destiny. Yes there were some bottlenecked areas leading to boss battles, but the looser mix of destinations felt a lot more like the table-top experience.

 

To be fair, if you switched it around and had BG be the linear one and IWD be the open one it'd respectively suit each of them less well due to the environments: mountains and icy passes tend to be fairly restrictive anyway without just going into empty wilderness while what is effectively temperate middle ages Europe was much more populous and built up so there is a lot more reason for more free travelling. There are certainly strengths to each, but I tend to prefer at least moderate linearity purely because then you can control when the players are going to run into Interesting Things ™ whereas a lot of the BG1 areas in particular relied on you bungling into them or getting missed entirely.

 

Which isnt to say that there shouldnt be thing which are optional, but not in the sprawling BG1 way - at a guess, I'd say that ideally around 70% of the content should be encountered on a standard playthrough, while IWD is probably 100% and BG sometimes feels like less than 50%. This might of course be because linearity counteracts my own playstyle: if given the option to go around a difficult battle I probably do, so I kind of like it when the game makes me deal with things, which sounds kind of silly...

Edited by Alexjh

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Which isnt to say that there shouldnt be thing which are optional, but not in the sprawling BG1 way - at a guess, I'd say that ideally around 70% of the content should be encountered on a standard playthrough, while IWD is probably 100% and BG sometimes feels like less than 50%. This might of course be because linearity counteracts my own playstyle: if given the option to go around a difficult battle I probably do, so I kind of like it when the game makes me deal with things, which sounds kind of silly...

But that (50% or less) is pretty much the tabletop gaming experience. I suppose if you were only going to play it through once then you'd want to hit most of it. That spoon-fed approach isn't for everybody though. :)

Edited by rjshae

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

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Which isnt to say that there shouldnt be thing which are optional, but not in the sprawling BG1 way - at a guess, I'd say that ideally around 70% of the content should be encountered on a standard playthrough, while IWD is probably 100% and BG sometimes feels like less than 50%. This might of course be because linearity counteracts my own playstyle: if given the option to go around a difficult battle I probably do, so I kind of like it when the game makes me deal with things, which sounds kind of silly...

But that (50% or less) is pretty much the tabletop gaming experience. I suppose if you were only going to play it through once then you'd want to hit most of it. That spoon-fed approach isn't for everybody though. :)

 

Depends on how you run your campaigns though: the campaigns I've both played and run have always been homebrew settings and finite stories, so function a little differently to a bought in campaign. I try to account for whatever the player might or might not do, but if the party decides they don't want to go up the ancient tower, then I just reuse the content I designed for it elsewhere either as a whole or just little bits I liked from the first time. If they then decide to go back to go up the tower after that, then I'' improvise something, but I consider the key to be making sure that whatever they do is interesting and engaging.

 

In P&P you can kind of play it loose because you have human imagination to adjust accordingly to make for an interesting game, while in Baldur's Gate you can theoretically blunder past everything of interest.

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"You are all weak! You are all bleeders!" :p

But in all seriousness, I love my puzzles but they shouldn't be in bottleneck locations and they should flow from the world, and not be contrived and added as an obstacle to beat.


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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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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Main reason I think IWD2 or IWD1 for that matter is a bad example of what to expect as a whole? They weren't BG style games period. They where 'tactical' dungeon crawlers. They didn't exist to give you choices and in depth characters, they existed for the sole purpose of giving you combat and telling a little story on the side. That's why they where so linear in comparison. Puzzle or otherwise doesn't matter - it was all tactical combat scenarios one after another with a party of up to 6 you made entirely on your own. Very little character development in NPC beyond your mindless party members.

 

So outside of interesting combat scenarios you'd like or dislike to see again most of those games are a moot point to PE. BG1/2, PST - that's the bulk of what they're referring to as to what PE is meant to be an advancement on. It's like looking at FF Tactics and expecting the next awkward FF game to be a copy of that or have issues because of that - separate beasts, though maybe a bad example since in JRPG standards, tactical games tend to be more complex, where as over here it's the other way around as far as whole game complexity. IWD series just had more interesting combat scenarios.


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"You are all weak! You are all bleeders!" :p

But in all seriousness, I love my puzzles but they shouldn't be in bottleneck locations and they should flow from the world, and not be contrived and added as an obstacle to beat.

 

totally Agree JF! ...Very Well Said :grin:

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Main reason I think IWD2 or IWD1 for that matter is a bad example of what to expect as a whole? They weren't BG style games period. They where 'tactical' dungeon crawlers. They didn't exist to give you choices and in depth characters, they existed for the sole purpose of giving you combat and telling a little story on the side. That's why they where so linear in comparison. Puzzle or otherwise doesn't matter - it was all tactical combat scenarios one after another with a party of up to 6 you made entirely on your own. Very little character development in NPC beyond your mindless party members.

 

So outside of interesting combat scenarios you'd like or dislike to see again most of those games are a moot point to PE. BG1/2, PST - that's the bulk of what they're referring to as to what PE is meant to be an advancement on. It's like looking at FF Tactics and expecting the next awkward FF game to be a copy of that or have issues because of that - separate beasts, though maybe a bad example since in JRPG standards, tactical games tend to be more complex, where as over here it's the other way around as far as whole game complexity. IWD series just had more interesting combat scenarios.

 

This game though is a spiritual successor to ALL the Infinity Engine games not just Baldur's Gate. They aren't really as removed from each other as you make out. There are several benefits of IWD over BG, some are purely due to the assets they had (I consider IWD and IWD2 to be far better looking and sounding on average than BG, and better looking than PS:T) but some such as the greater feeling of exploration of unknown lands (even the obscure side areas of BG felt like they were just dodgy areas that people knew about but didn't bother visiting) and the linear objectives actually helped format the game a bit.

 

What I would suggest on that front is where you have to get from A to distant B, give us a "Moria choice" ie. You *could* go over the treacherous mountain pass or, through the ancient necropolis beneath the mountain or go the long way around which will take far longer and be dangerous but not in such a concentrated way.

 

On the subject of puzzles though, what I'd say is that puzzles should be skippable by certain party characters - like the annoying zapping mirror puzzle in IWD2, if instead of having to use the fancy device a wizard could just bypass that by casting lightning bolt on it. Or a rogue could disarm the ancient doorway you need to solve an ancient dwarven rubix cube to pass otherwise or something. Perhaps just let your barbarian go all gordian knot on a puzzle.

 

Incidentally one minor puzzle I did really like was the one in IWD2 where you have to free the villagers and kill the Orc boss with the gate shut to the villagers shut and him threatening to blow you up if you approach the camp. It was optional, but its a different sort of challenge to just another generic orc battle that could have been in its place.

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I disliked the Ice Palace a lot also. Aside from the weird puzzles that kind of came out of nowhere, the whole place was just kind of boring to look at, and was mostly just the same room of polar bear/barbarian/summoner groups of bad guys over and over.

 

Incidentally I didn't dislike the forest at all, in fact I enjoyed it. But I figured out quite early that I could use my barbarian's high wilderness knowledge skill to guide me through it.

 

Honestly I enjoyed IWD2 more than Baldur's Gate. It was faster paced and felt more like exploring, whereas a large part of BG felt more like wandering back and forth through the woods between Friendly Arms Inn and Neskell.

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Uh I don't know maybe I am really tolerant because I don't remember thinking anything from IWD2 was all that frustrating. In fact I can barely remember the game at all, without a really solid story nothing about it grounded itself in my memory.

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Uh I don't know maybe I am really tolerant because I don't remember thinking anything from IWD2 was all that frustrating. In fact I can barely remember the game at all, without a really solid story nothing about it grounded itself in my memory.

 

To be fair IWD2 did actually have quite a solid story (which by the end was basicly implying that in some ways you/the Ten Towns weren't necessarily the good guys), but unlike BG you aren't so much a participant in the story as much as the tactless wrecking ball that smashes through something far more subtle purely because that's what you've been told to do.

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Engine and game rules is all they had in common was my point. I personally enjoyed IWD more then IWD2, though I absolutly love 3E over 2E. Just far more complex in character builds, really loved that in IWD2. They definitely had the better visuals but then so did PST. That's less to do with IWD vs BG and more to do with a BioWare vs Black Isle. BioWare, at the time, had literally just moved in to games instead of medical software (which was the original reason for making BioWare). Black Isle made games before this and, as far as im concerned, have always been better on the visual department then BioWare for a long time.

 

KoTOR is about when BioWare made more of a shift towards the games looking better. Either way they've literally stated in multiple interviews and on there stuff they want a game more structured like BG2 with some added free exploration like BG. I was going off what they've said, and every time IWD had come up they've stated PE will be less like that then the other games. But yeah graphically, I expect PE to look damn good because Obsidian is good at making spell graphics and whatnot... it'll look real nice.

 

-edit-

As a side note I completely forgot it had puzzles but then I still haven't finished IWD2. When they got to the cave **** that was re-used from IWD1 I kinda had lost interesting. Replayed a few times up to that but I always just kinda stop when I get to the 'heres the IWD stuff over again'. Puzzles never really put me off either way, I just didn't find the story as interesting as the first game and ultimately get bored of it before i hit the end.

Edited by Adhin

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Engine and game rules is all they had in common was my point. I personally enjoyed IWD more then IWD2, though I absolutly love 3E over 2E. Just far more complex in character builds, really loved that in IWD2. They definitely had the better visuals but then so did PST. That's less to do with IWD vs BG and more to do with a BioWare vs Black Isle. BioWare, at the time, had literally just moved in to games instead of medical software (which was the original reason for making BioWare). Black Isle made games before this and, as far as im concerned, have always been better on the visual department then BioWare for a long time.

 

KoTOR is about when BioWare made more of a shift towards the games looking better. Either way they've literally stated in multiple interviews and on there stuff they want a game more structured like BG2 with some added free exploration like BG. I was going off what they've said, and every time IWD had come up they've stated PE will be less like that then the other games. But yeah graphically, I expect PE to look damn good because Obsidian is good at making spell graphics and whatnot... it'll look real nice.

 

-edit-

As a side note I completely forgot it had puzzles but then I still haven't finished IWD2. When they got to the cave **** that was re-used from IWD1 I kinda had lost interesting. Replayed a few times up to that but I always just kinda stop when I get to the 'heres the IWD stuff over again'. Puzzles never really put me off either way, I just didn't find the story as interesting as the first game and ultimately get bored of it before i hit the end.

Not completly true.For art and interface they are using IWD2 as a starting model.But yes, for narative structure and in essence the type of game they want to make they go the BG2 mixed with P:T elements route. Plus a little BG wildernes but not much. I get the vibe that this is the BG3 black isle would make back in the day with modern technology.Different story but the direction is the same

Edited by Malekith
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