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What Made The Baldur's Gate's Great That Eternity NEEDS

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First off to me anyways Baldur's Gate Shadows of Amn was and is the greatest game of any genre/type to date. Why that is, well because all great things are made up of many small extraordinary things. The Baldur's Gate series has too many great qualities to list here which is why I am going to write a very short, very peculiar, extremely specific list of items that made the game for me during my 15 years of playing it.

 

1. Joneleth Irenicus the main antagonist voiced perfectly by the incredible David Warner is the most epic villain of any game. Take David's powerful commanding voice complimented by the exquisite writing and you have a MASTERPIECE. Eternity or any other game for that matter WILL NEVER be able to top the character of Jon Irenicus (listen to that name, my god!!) HOWEVER they MUST strive to top him anyways so as to get an antagonist as close to Irenicus' magnificence as possible. Eternity MUST spend the money and hire excellent voice actors, cheaping out will result in garbage dialogues scenes with no depth or emotion. At the same time, having terrible writing will also be VERY unattractive to the player and will also result in RUBBISH. Eternity needs to find the middle ground balancing captivating and compelling writing with seasoned professional actors. I will expect nothing less if they're saying that they want to live up to IE games. Here is my favourite dialogue scene with Jon Irenicus and an example of the middle ground:

 

 "Life... is strength this is not to be contested, it seems logical enough. You live, you affect your world. But is it what you need? You are... different... inside. This woman lives and has strength of a sort. She lost her parents to plague, her husband to war, but she persevered. Her farm has prospered, her name is respected, and her children are fed and safe. She lived as she thought she should. And now, she is dead. Her land will be divided, her children will move on, and she will be forgotten. She lived a "good" life, but she had no power. She was a slave to death. I wonder if you are destined to be forgotten. Will your life fade in the shadow of greater beings?..." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6LbhhoOSIw

 

2. Music. A game without proper music to intensify the emotion will have NO SOUL to it. Audio is equally if not a tad more important than video. They both go hand in hand playing off of each other. Think of any great game that you've ever played Heroes of Might and Magic 3, Icewind Dale 2, Baldur's Gate's, Age of Wonders 2, what is one component to the greatness of those games? Music, the soundtracks, combat music, dialogue music, all whose purpose is to create and or amplify the emotion being portrayed to the player. Once again money will be the deciding factor to this, Eternity can do it RIGHT and hire a professional orchestra and a composer with video game experience. BONUS POINTS IF THAT COMPOSER DID SOME OF THE IE GAMES. That would be absolutely fantastic and would give it a good transitional bridge feel from the IE games.

 

3. Depth, which is a very broad and subjective term. In this case depth meaning in game Easter eggs (such as in BGII needing a rouge stone to randomly be able to open a door in the Bridge District which turns out to be a portal.), Books and tomes that have actual stories relating and revealing the world that the player is in, weapons consisting of several pieces spread throughout the game, all the small minute details of the Baldur's Gate series add immense amounts of interest, excitement and depth to the game, which is the goal, keeping players entertained and interested at ALL times.

 

So in conclusion while graphics, game play mechanics, character development etc... are integral to the creation of a great game, when voice actors, music, and depth are not overlooked, you find yourself with a timeless legendary game.

 

 

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Music - I wasn't all that impressed by the musical score of either one of the BG games. It was decent, passable. But nothing that stood out. Planescape Torment and IWD1 on the other hand, had great music. They'd do well to look to those games' music for their inspiration.

 

As for the perfectly written, perfectly voiced, villian... meh. I suppose that goes without saying, although there's no rule that dictates that a good RPG even needs a Big Bad Evil.

 

Lastly:

3. Depth, which is a very broad and subjective term. In this case depth meaning in game Easter eggs (such as in BGII needing a rouge stone to randomly be able to open a door in the Bridge District which turns out to be a portal.)

That's not depth. It's the Opposite. The Rogue Stone and the Twisted Rune battle it leads to are actually the remnants of cut content - a major questline that the devs had to scrap due to time constraints.

 

But yeah, the other stuff you mentioned is paramount, and I'm pretty sure we're going to get it in PE. Between Avellone's writing and Sawyer's immense love of history, it's a good bet that PE will absolutely burst at the seams with books, item and area descriptions, deep seeded lore, language and culture etc. In fact, I'm betting they're gonna hit this out out of the park and make the IE games look shallow by comparison

Edited by Stun

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I think what makes BG2 work so well is some sort of chemistry between between its parts, which aren't that amazing by themselves, all tied together by the interesting and varied location and encounter design - the fun created by the latter makes for a compelling adventure and somehow seems to lend weight to the plot and themes as well.

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I'd agree with the above. BG2 doesn't really have anything really amazing, but it also doesn't have any glaring weakness like so many other cRPGs. I would say the reason I enjoy it so much is because it is devoid of anything bad enough to put me off playing it.

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Honestly, Irenicus was a pretty big tradeoff for the storytelling potential Baldur's Gate 2 had. Baldur's Gate left you wondering how your darker nature could eventually corrupt or destroy you, but in the end you never really battle with your own nature, you battle with Irenicus' instead. He completely overshadows your own character's depth and development. Look at Knights of the Old Republic 2 for a sort of counter example of how BG2 could have played out. You spend most of your time in Kotor 2 figuring yourself and your companions out. The puzzle pieces you're linking together aren't the motivations of the bad guys, but the finer pieces of how you and your abilities work and how that is the galaxy's only hope. Baldur's Gate 2 gave up their chance to have an in depth character piece to have a strong villain. That's not a bash on BG2 necessarily since I still find it to be a superb game, but it also loses a lot of its potential by taking the route it did. I personally would rather see a game where my character and the effects of whatever event starts the game are explored more than the psyche of a villain.

 

The music is something I feel is very subjective. The score of the first two BG games were pretty standard fare, with a few very strong tracks mixed with mostly bland ones. Throne of Bhaal had the best soundtrack by a longshot in that series. Music is definitely a high point in games that use it well, though I don't think Baldur's Gate is the best example overall. Icewind Dale had exceptional music that elevated a pretty poor campaign (don't hurt me), so I see your point.

 

I think the real strength of Baldur's Gate 2 was its atmosphere. The majority of locations, characters, and quests were designed and written with a very strong unified vision. Everything from the beginning in Athkatla up to Spellhold are very well designed and varied. The locations are gorgeous, the characters are interesting, the quests are well designed... It's basically an open world game that is far more varied and detailed than anything you'd ever see in an open world game. The only real stock locations and stock villain quests are the de'Arnise Keep and the druid grove. Everything else has twists and turns, crazy extra planar locations or enemies, or just a culture you probably hadn't seen much in similar games. I don't think Obsidian could make a similar game with the budget they have. Honestly, I doubt anyone will ever make that kind of game ever again. Bioware had made their attempts, but ultimately just haven't really come anywhere close. Modern game creation just makes it too hard to put that level of detail into every location like they did in the past.

 

I don't think Obsidian needs to try to replicate Baldur's Gate 2. I think they should be trying to replicate the experience we got from Torment, Kotor 2, and New Vegas. Well built worlds, strong characters, and a central conflict and themes that effect and permeate throughout the world. Create a conflict that you can really explore in depth.

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This thread is classified under "OP didn't back the kickstarter and barely read about it now and decided to do an opinion-vomit about what PE should have based on only one of the mentioned game hooks despite not following the reams of discussions since October 2012 including multiple threads about antagonists and music and voice acting."

 

(And depth? Warning about writing quality? Really? Planescape:Torment.)

 

OP doesn't actually care about PE as Obsidian envisions it--a melding of BG/IWD/PST--but he demands another BG. 

 

Don't worry. PE won't be identical to BG by a long shot.

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The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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What made BG great was it was so new and different when it came out. It was a quantum leap forward in terms of game mechanics and NPC interactivity. It also benefited from some memorable voice actors and characters but what made it great was that it was novel. There was a sense of discovery in terms of discovering the game as well as the content of the game. Consider it vs Daggerfall, Might & magic circa 1998, or Pools of radiance. It blew them away in my opinion but almost 15 years later it does not seem so new and fresh. An IE type game today will depend more on its content for success.

 

In PE I am not expecting another quantum leap. Where BG was as much about discovering the game as the content I think PE will be more about the content. I do expect to see improvment and refinement of familiar tools, but I hope for a sense of discovery therough some new rules and a great story.

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This thread is classified under "OP didn't back the kickstarter and barely read about it now and decided to do an opinion-vomit about what PE should have based on only one of the mentioned game hooks despite not following the reams of discussions since October 2012 including multiple threads about antagonists and music and voice acting."

 

(And depth? Warning about writing quality? Really? Planescape:Torment.)

 

OP doesn't actually care about PE as Obsidian envisions it--a melding of BG/IWD/PST--but he demands another BG. 

 

Don't worry. PE won't be identical to BG by a long shot.

 

Well, well... I do personally think that these kinds of threads are generally pointless (there are way too many of them as it is), but let's not put words in his mouth.

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What made BG great was it was so new and different when it came out. It was a quantum leap forward in terms of game mechanics and NPC interactivity.

 

As opposed to something like Fallout? I don't know.

Edited by centurionofprix
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My favourite thing about Baldurs Gate II was the sheer density of quest content. There was just a ton of stuff to do.

After leaving Athkatla my interest slowly diminished.

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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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No. Expensive voice acting is one of the main factors that has led to the decline of quality of modern RPGs since it limits the amount of choices and branching narratives that can be put in the game feasibly. This game is on a tight budget and should not blow a lot of it on voice acting (better just not to have any VA at all I'd say).

 

Music shouldn't be a priority either. If I really want to listen to music while I play I'll put my own on (which I almost always do because *all* game music gets repetitive and annoying after a while of hearing the same junk on constant loop).

 

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i'd like to just post this here.

 

 


What about BG2 bothered you, do you think?  That seems to me a pretty classic crpg-style game,  I'm surprised yiou didn't enjoy it so much.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I really disliked most of the CNPCs, I really disliked being forced to go find Imoen, I really disliked the style of dialogue, and I really disliked being flooded with a million quests by every shmoe on the streets of Athkatla. Basically, there wasn't a whole lot I did like about it.

 

:fdevil:  where's Helm when you need him?

Edited by Hormalakh
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My favourite thing about Baldurs Gate II was the sheer density of quest content. There was just a ton of stuff to do.

After leaving Athkatla my interest slowly diminished.

 

Ditto. Because a great main storyline isn't the only factor. I had the same experience, maybe because the outside of Athkatla was somewhat less rich in content. Good, but not the same level of goodness as in the capital of Amn, know what I mean? There are all these little things that make gaming rad.

 

P.S. Is 'rad' a word? If so, is it a proper word? Hell, I don't care; now it's a word. And it's rad - this word. 'Rad' is rad. Bite me.

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It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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i'd like to just post this here.

 

 

 

What about BG2 bothered you, do you think?  That seems to me a pretty classic crpg-style game,  I'm surprised yiou didn't enjoy it so much.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

 

I really disliked most of the CNPCs, I really disliked being forced to go find Imoen, I really disliked the style of dialogue, and I really disliked being flooded with a million quests by every shmoe on the streets of Athkatla. Basically, there wasn't a whole lot I did like about it.

 

 

:fdevil:  where's Helm when you need him?

 

yeah I recall reading that and discussing it. I think the quest staggering topic covered it quite extensively. Edited by JFSOCC

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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I didn't notice a good story, soundtrack, or atmosphere in BG2, but I noticed a good system with a lot of content.  It's basically a great action movie that makes pen and paper D&D look slow and unnecessary.  Everything about the game is good enough, but it actually implemented a great RPG system and allowed you to create up to 6 of your own characters and act freely in the large world of the game.  Almost no other games have anything close to that combination.

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I won't say PE NEEDS this as I think it's different for every game, but BG1 had a great atmosphere -Arcanum came pretty close to it- it might have been a combination of several factors, but it never felt like I was being rushed, or that the mood was overly oppressive.   I'm not saying the atmosphere of BG was the greatest, as the tone is different for every game, but with the talent involved, I hope a nice dose of humour will come with PE as it seems the laughs died out as the years went by.

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Irenicus could have been a lot more interesting if he had followed through on the promise of the first dungeon: a creepy, torturing psychopath with a ridiculous amount of magical power , yet for some reason he seems to be actually interested in helping you tap into the full potential of your godly nature. That made him very intriguing to me on my first playthrough...right up until I reached the point where it was obvious he was just trying to steal my soul for his own selfish purposes, at which point he dropped a few rungs in my esteem for him as a character. 

 

I believe he would have made for a much more interesting villain if he had only been a true 'villain' for a good character, whereas for an evil character he would have turned out to be a kind of ally with a genuine and macabre interest in helping you tap into Bhaal's power, for whatever given motivation. As it was, when his true motivations came out you were railroaded: this man is your enemy, it's you or him, and you will end the game hitting him with large magical weapons and spells. 

Edited by Death Machine Miyagi
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I believe he would have made for a much more interesting villain if he had only been a true 'villain' for a good character, whereas for an evil character he would have turned out to be a kind of ally with a genuine and macabre interest in helping you tap into Bhaal's power, for whatever given motivation. As it was, when his true motivations came out you were railroaded: this man is your enemy, it's you or him, and you will end the game hitting him with large magical weapons and spells. 

I guess it's a lot more programming/writing to have more than one main antagonist, but I agree it would be interesting (not to mention the replay value) to be able to team-up with the 'villain' and end up fighting the 'good guys.'

It's been done before in some games (though sometimes not until the final battle 'choose your side and fight' kind of thing).

 

A lot could have been done for 'evil' playthroughs in BG2 (join the slavers, help Kalah, be a tyrant in D'Arnise Keep, take over spellhold (?)), some of which have been touched upon with mods but not very far.

For PE, I'm just  hoping for different factions having different, conflicting but believable goals and not just 'We want to take over the world' v. 'Hippy tree-huggers' (and I like to play as druid)

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I just want to start by saying until a week ago I hadnt heard anything about PE. I am a long time fan of BG style RPGs. I have played so many over the years and had so many great adventures but lately I thought that this syle of RPG had died out.The new "RPGs" just dont have the same feel.I cant wait for this to be released.

In my opinion a good rpg needs to have an enviroment that is totaly explorable. Locked doors, warded doors and chests yes but no areas that are locked because you arent high enough level. BG 1 was great because it had a large enviroment and you could go into any area regardless of level. The world was open. I loved running through areas way higher level than I should be in just to reveal the map,or looking for hidden loot with baddies on my tail. Having areas locked out due to level requirements or having to finish a quest to unlock a map area can be disconecting. it reminds me that im just playing a game!

Did I mention how excited I am about this game?

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Welcome to the forums Dean! I couldn't agree more! If an area is off limits, find some logical reason other than "your level is too low"

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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 thing I always loved about BG is when your teammates would talk to you.

I mean, there were the romance subplots, sure, but I was always more interested in the dialogues other characters would have you about various things.

Like the one where Minsc starts going on about how adventuring is awesome and how he should get you an "ice weasel".
And also pretty cool was when the party members would start heckling each other about stuff.

Gives lots of characterization beyond their usual interjections and when you first talk to them.
And I always love me my characterization.

So I hope all the possible recruitable dudes are all super cool and interesting.

 

Have they said much on front? As in, will it be more like Torment where basically there's enough for the party, plus a couple extras, or closer to the first Baldur's Gate where there would be a ton to choose from? Or in the middle, like BG2?

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well for me BG 1 and 2 at that time felt like i had a lot of freedom and the interactivity with character builds other game like might and magic did well too but for me i felt a responsibility for some of the NPCs  i also remember other dnd pc  games i liked like dark-sun where you stated out as slaves in a gladiator pit

 

.personally what i like in most games is the adventures story and the routines of the games npc

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Good combat system. Players and enemies fought under the same rules. This made for fun, challenging encounters and didn't feel cheap.

 

Good NPCs. I liked most of them. They had their own motivations and spoke up during the storyline. 

 

Good sidequests and locations. The Unseeing Eye, Firkraag, Planar Sphere all great. 

 

Good humor. Edwin and the Nether Scroll, Minsc (hey, don't judge, I found him funny!) Jan Jansen and various other party interactions made just walking around fun. 

 

All combined into a awesome game.

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No. Expensive voice acting is one of the main factors that has led to the decline of quality of modern RPGs since it limits the amount of choices and branching narratives that can be put in the game feasibly. This game is on a tight budget and should not blow a lot of it on voice acting (better just not to have any VA at all I'd say).

 

Music shouldn't be a priority either. If I really want to listen to music while I play I'll put my own on (which I almost always do because *all* game music gets repetitive and annoying after a while of hearing the same junk on constant loop).

 

So you don't think decent voice acting and music adds to the immersion at all? What music did you listen to when you were playing through BG1+2, PS etc?

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