Jump to content

What did you think of Throne of Bhaal?


hollowcrown

Recommended Posts

I'm recently replaying Baldur's Gate 2 (possibly the best RPG ever made) and coming up to the end of the base game and approaching the epic level expansion, Throne of Bhaal.

 

I like Baldur's Gate, a LOT, but I think Throne of Bhaal was a bit of a let down. It brings the game to new heights of difficulty and has you facing down multiple dragons, Drow armies, legions of giants, Demonic princes and elemental kings. However it loses a bit of the personality that the base game has in favour of mainly combat focused dungeon crawls. There's a few side quests, but most of the game is a straight up slog through enemy dungeons and strongholds until the final confrontation. There's less exploration of areas, less sidequesting in big cities and less optional areas, which is a shame.

 

The best part of the game is Chapter 8, set in a besieged City, which goes back to the tried-and-tested RPG formula of side questing around the city and the wilderness surrounding it, a few dungeons crawls and finding how to lift the spell of invulnerability of your enemy. The next chapter has a big hub area with not much to do beyond buy some potions before going on 2 extremely long dungeon crawls. The third and final chapter is one epic long battle, with extremely tough combat although it's more of an endurance test than anything.

 

One major point in favour of the game however, was the Watcher's Keep side-dungeon which is one of the best multi-level dungeons ever produced in a game. It's full of personality and challenge and was really good.

 

Overall I think that the conclusion to Baldur's Gate, with the epic Bhaalspawn war, should have had a larger and more expansive game more in line with BG2 than a combat and dungeon crawling focused expansion. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the game!

Edited by hollowcrown
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's pretty accurate. I thought the actual encounters and dungeon crawls were pretty cool (although Sarevok broke most of them), but there was too much of it and the story itself and the character writing, which to me was the meat of the game, wasn't anything to write home about so it was something of a let down.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say you are mostly right, for me ToB was the best fantasy RPG I have ever played. Plus I got to Romance the lovely Viconia  :wub: 

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree, TOB featured a lot of combat and it was basically a tour-de-force, but thats what it was meant to be, it was final part chapter of ascending to goodhood (or refusing it) and those are supposed to be bloody, petty errand tasks and little side quests were no longer of your concern. Every BG title felt slightly different and I had no problem with that. 

 

And watchers Keep was so good, that dungeon crawl has never been surpassed by any game I've ever played after. It also featured my favorite encounter in the BG series, the battle before the Demogorgon against all those high-class demons was fantastic. Oh, and the maze. And everything else.  :w00t:

  • Like 2

I gazed at the dead, and for one dark moment I saw a banquet. 
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My only real issue was the same issue I had with KotoR2: the villain is in plain sight, but your character doesn't realise it and is forced go along with the villain's plan.

 

Oh, and another thing. In Watcher's Keep, there's the infamous "dead magic" room. You emerge from a portal into a room filled with demons who cause fear in your party members. There's a bunch of traps in the room as well. And since it's a "dead magic" zone, you cannot cast spells, and any buffs will be dispelled. There's a good chance half your party members will end up running about like headless chickens while demons hack them to bits. THAT ROOM IS BOLLOCKS.

 

The rest of Watcher's Keep is fantastic, particularly the way in which you face increasingly-powerful foes. First level features some animated statues, some vampiric wraiths...second level has a chromatic demon, some fire giants, nothing too difficult...but then you reach the third level and suddenly you're facing every kind of demon imaginable. Fourth level has mind flayers, a dragon, and a goddamned demi-lich. Fifth level has you fighting another dragon, a marilith, a beholder hive mother, even an aurumach rilmani. And that's just a prelude to the final boss fight, should you choose to battle the Imprisoned One.

 

A lot of people complain about ego-stroking in games, but Throne of Bhaal does it right, by showing just how powerful your character has become. If you were playing as a mage in BG1, for instance, you would start out with a maximum of 6 hitpoints and the inability to wear armour. By comparison, a simple unechanted arrow does 1d6 damage, meaning your character could easily die in one hit. You were limited to casting one or two spells per day, meaning that for much of the time you'd be standing at the back of the party, flinging bullets with a sling, while the fighters do most of the work. But by the time Throne of Bhaal comes along, that level 1 mage has transformed into someone capable of obliterating hordes of enemies at once and flinging about huge amounts of spellpower.

"There is no greatness where simplicity, goodness and truth are absent." - Leo Tolstoy

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't play it without ascension or SCS.

 

With those it's pretty fun IMO. I love epic level gameplay so I'm pretty biased though.

 

And with BGT, the FMC becomes a god damn monster.

Edited by KaineParker

"To be fair, if I was married to Milla Jovovich, I would also be happy just making movies that show off her butt." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

"Get some poor minorities, that keeps WASPs away easy." - Malcador

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought ToB was OK, but suffered significantly from D&D's inherent epic level weaknesses and Epic Gnoll Syndrome as well. It was all rather cheesy, you could get immunity to non magical weapons at the end of SoA so all enemies in ToB have magical weapons type stuff. In that respect I actually thought SCS made it actively worse as well, as you get to fight something like 4 dragons consecutively at one point. Still, the story was fine, I didn't mind Melissan at all and apart from the cheese factor the fights were by and large well balanced, and some really did have that epic feel.

 

My only real issue was the same issue I had with KotoR2: the villain is in plain sight, but your character doesn't realise it and is forced go along with the villain's plan.

 

Not really sure about that, George Lucas himself says that you cannot actually see The Force, only its effects. K2 is more like Mask of the Betrayer, you cannot destroy either The Wall or The Force, despite them both being arbitrarily evil.

 

(Or if you prefer, Kreia is an antagonist, unlike Melissan she's not a villain because she's arguably right about The Force being an uncaring slave/ puppet master and she did not start with the intention of killing you- indeed she sees even the final fight as her helping you)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's been many many years since I played BG2 and ToB, I remember almost everything from BG2 and almost nothing from ToB.  I believe the previous statement speaks for itself.

 

As an aside, I agree with Zoraptor about D&Ds epic level weaknesses, especially in video game form.  D&D, in my opinion, is BY FAR at its strongest levels 5-15.  D&D pretty much sucks at low level and very high level, especially in video game form.

Edited by Keyrock

breen_tuna.gif.f209371d450243737d37ca9251849aff.gif

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No.

 

 

"(Or if you prefer, Kreia is an antagonist, unlike Melissan she's not a villain because she's arguably right about The Force being an uncaring slave/ puppet master and she did not start with the intention of killing you- indeed she sees even the final fight as her helping you)"

 

No. She's unarguably wrong. She's evil to the core. She doesn't care about anyone espicialluy not the protagnist. Kreia is a piece of crap. She has no ethics s evidenced by her flip floppy nature of attacking and insulting you no matter what you chose. C&C = L0L

 

 And, it was obvious from the start she was up to no good.

Edited by Volourn

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TOB was meant to be BG3, but it couldn't happen, sadly. 

 

I like it as a nice denouement when one plays through BG1 and BG2. It's far too easy and could have used some more imaginative encounters, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought ToB was OK, but suffered significantly from D&D's inherent epic level weaknesses and Epic Gnoll Syndrome as well. It was all rather cheesy, you could get immunity to non magical weapons at the end of SoA so all enemies in ToB have magical weapons type stuff. In that respect I actually thought SCS made it actively worse as well, as you get to fight something like 4 dragons consecutively at one point. Still, the story was fine, I didn't mind Melissan at all and apart from the cheese factor the fights were by and large well balanced, and some really did have that epic feel.

 

That's pretty much my take.  I played it when it was new, and I've made attempts a 2nd time, but epic-level AD&D just isn't much fun and the cheese really starts to stink after a couple days. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's good enough aside from the nitpicks. It's the weakest of the three games, with the least exploration and stuff to do, but it's an expansion so that's expected.

"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I thought ToB was OK, but suffered significantly from D&D's inherent epic level weaknesses and Epic Gnoll Syndrome as well. It was all rather cheesy, you could get immunity to non magical weapons at the end of SoA so all enemies in ToB have magical weapons type stuff. In that respect I actually thought SCS made it actively worse as well, as you get to fight something like 4 dragons consecutively at one point. Still, the story was fine, I didn't mind Melissan at all and apart from the cheese factor the fights were by and large well balanced, and some really did have that epic feel.

 

 

That's pretty much my take.  I played it when it was new, and I've made attempts a 2nd time, but epic-level AD&D just isn't much fun and the cheese really starts to stink after a couple days.

Yep. Although in my case, I never was able to finish it. Tried three separate times but the epicness bored me.

"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That said, ToB was worth purchasing if just for the inventory management items.  The bottomless quivers, ammo belt, potion bag, etc., made the BG2 experience much less tedious.   

 

I mean, doesn't everybody go do the first Watcher's Keep level ASAP in any BG2 playthrough, just so that they don't have to deal with restocking their arrows and slingstones anymore? 

Edited by Enoch
Link to comment
Share on other sites

High level play sucks. Plain and simple. Peasants armed with +3 swords... please stop???

 

Apart from the game mechanics being a disaster, it was a nice expansion. Story wasn't up to usual standards, but if i remember correctly, it was supposed to be a fully fledged sequel (3.0) and not an expansion (2.5). Somebody with better memory feel free to correct me and cure me of my delusions :)

 

Other than that, what Enoch said.

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rather disappointing, too much combat, a poor narrative, too much railroading, and an undeveloped theatre of conflict.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

High level play sucks. Plain and simple. Peasants armed with +3 swords... please stop???

No that was Mark of the betrayer. Along with level 30 gnolls and barrels with millions of gold pieces.

 

Amkethran militia all had +1 weapons and therefore couldn't even hurt the Bhaalspawn.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...