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BG1(Enhanced, BG2(Enhanced), or Pillars?


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So I want to start playing one of the three games posted in my title. Does anyone have any recommendation for which I should begin first? I've heard BG2 is a vast improvement over the first, however is it recommended to start at the first game?

 

Looking for someone with experience that could help give me some insight.

 

Thanks.

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I recommend the proper BG1 and BG2 games, not enhanced. Enhanced costs twice as much, and the new content they add is not as good as the original, and they do some things like produce an uglier UI (though you can judge which one you like better, based on screenshots). BG series has also been extensively modded over the last 15 years, and while some mods do work with EEs, the originals allow greater flexibility. Most improvements made by EE are very minor as well and have been modded in years ago, e.g. the widescreen mod. If you don't really want to mod your game, you don't mind spending more money, then EE could be an option.

 

BG1 and BG2 are pretty different games with different strengths. You can start with BG2, but both are fun games I think. BG1 stresses wilderness exploration and low-level combat. BG2 has a big city full of sidequests, strongholds, intense mage combat, etc., but loses the 'charm' of BG1. Pillars is again a pretty different experience because it combines aspects of both, and also has its own combat system, etc. 

 

If you don't normally play old games often maybe you should start with Pillars. But I'd say all three are great, and the order doesn't matter too much.

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I don't know how it works in the enhanced editions, but with the originals, the ideal way would be to beat BG1, then import that character into BG2, rather than playing BG1 and BG2 separately. There are a few nice touches that you can avail yourself of if you import.

 

Edit: Though I would also agree with the above poster that BG2 is ultimately the better game so if you're strapped for time and only want one game, you might want to just go for that. And I'm sure there are mods that allow you to unlock the little perks/changes you would've had by importing anyway.

Edited by aiqidar
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Play Baldur's Gate (unenhanced) then it's sequel.

 

I recommend installing a few mods for the best experience. Dan Simpson's FAQ/Walkthrough has a section on the 'modern Baldur's Gate installation' that will give you instructions on how to mod it as well as recommend some of the better mods.

 

It's been a few years since I've played and the Simpson's guide might be slightly dated at this point (I know mods have been updated), but the best game experience by far is the original unenhanced BG1 (with Tales of the Sword Coast) into BG2 (with The Throne of Bhaal) with a few of the mods Simpson recommends enabled.

Edited by Valsuelm
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Do the standard games from GOG. EE's don't add enough to justify the extra $ IMO.

 

Wait on PoE because while it's really good, you want to have many of the worst bugs addressed first.

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I'll add another vote for the original BGs as opposed to the Enhanced. Personally I like BG1 better than BG2 (I know that's blasphemy, but I prefer lower level play. Both are excellent games though). If you've already played the originals, then go for PoE.

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Nothing wrong with the Enhanced versions and there's nothing wrong with supporting Beamdog. I would agree however that they are expensive for what they add. On the plus side, very easy to install and 0.1sec loading screens.

 

PoE is fantastic, yes there are some bugs but it's very playable already, plus you'd have the unusual perspective of trying this first if you went for it!

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There's nothing wrong with supporting Beamdog, but I have no reason to recommend a product that is twice as expensive when it doesn't add much of value. When it was released, BG1 EE even subtracted value with an ugly UI and mod incompatibility, though I think the latter has now been partially mitigated.

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I played BGII before BGI and found BGI underwhelming. It's still a matter of preference though, and since BGII was my first RPG, I already had set it in my mind as a unit of measure for other RPGs.

 

The extended editions are not worth your time considering, much less paying for.

Edited by Gairnulf

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BG1 EE is IMO the best. Low level adventures are fun, NPCs are quite fun and appealing. The world is full of life and  more opened than in BG2 and the story is less linear. The fights are more tactical and fun than in BG2 (IMHO).

 

I cn't say so far about Pillars, but it seems to me it's close to BG1.

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I'd recommend just going with poe, i recently played bgee and and found it sorta clunky.  the ee is compatible with some of the more popular mods though from what i could see and i installed the npc mod with no problems that i could see.  I will say that i only played it for around 15 hours so i'm not going to comment on the story or anything

 

Poe is much more intuitive, and little things like the fast mode were really nice.

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Start with PoE. It has much simpler but less tedious combat and better replay value (from what I can see) than BG2 and 1. PoE fixed a lot of issues these older games had. If you like this game then I would recommend you start with BG1 next, just don't expect PoE level of polish in the EE.

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No sleep for the Watcher... because he was busy playing Pillars of Eternity instead.

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I got the Enhanced Editions of BG1 and 2 on cheap sales so they cost me as much as what the GoG version cost so I can't speak on that.

I used to own Baldur's Gate on the original CD's but I lost it in a move somehow. I own all the other ones (IWD IWD2, NWN, NWN2)

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BG1 EE is IMO the best. Low level adventures are fun, NPCs are quite fun and appealing. The world is full of life and  more opened than in BG2 and the story is less linear. The fights are more tactical and fun than in BG2 (IMHO).

 

I cn't say so far about Pillars, but it seems to me it's close to BG1.

 

I second this opinion - start with BG1 (EE is fine, and easier to just play). Low levels and exploring the wilderness are the things that make BG1 great. The replayability is nothing short of extreme.

 

PoE is more modern and will frustrate you less tho - I'm wearing rose-tinted glasses for BG1, of course. I haven't finished PoE or even got halfway, so I can't make proper comparisons, but the voice acted throwaway remarks of the BG1 characters are the best I have ever heard in any RPG, even though they are repeated, they are still genius. You will LOVE those characters (hint - good party : Minsc, evil party : Montaron and Shar-teel).

 

I might make some sort of artwork out of the original (5) BG1 CDs now I've got EE...

Edited by sim-h
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Pillars hands down. at it's Core BG2 is just the same old game we've played (at least me) 100 times. I love that game but there's no a single thing I haven't experienced in it as far as I know the new content is like nothing. literally 5 hours or something. 

Dude, he hasn't played BG1 or 2 *AT ALL* (At least that's how I read it).

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BG1 EE is IMO the best. Low level adventures are fun, NPCs are quite fun and appealing. The world is full of life and  more opened than in BG2 and the story is less linear. The fights are more tactical and fun than in BG2 (IMHO).

 

I cn't say so far about Pillars, but it seems to me it's close to BG1.

 

I second this opinion - start with BG1 (EE is fine, and easier to just play). Low levels and exploring the wilderness are the things that make BG1 great. The replayability is nothing short of extreme.

 

PoE is more modern and will frustrate you less tho - I'm wearing rose-tinted glasses for BG1, of course. I haven't finished PoE or even got halfway, so I can't make proper comparisons, but the voice acted throwaway remarks of the BG1 characters are the best I have ever heard in any RPG, even though they are repeated, they are still genius. You will LOVE those characters (hint - good party : Minsc, evil party : Montaron and Shar-teel).

 

I might make some sort of artwork out of the original (5) BG1 CDs now I've got EE...

 

 

So many good characters in these games. No other games come close, in my experience.

 

My personal favorites are probably Minsc and Xzar.

 

"I know dragons with feet like rabbits, 'tis true I swear!"

 

 

Also, it should be said, that the consensus amongst those who've played the EE and the original with mods is that the original with the mods is better (as I suggested above).

 

One could start with BG2 as some have suggested, but doing so robs one of much of the greater storyline and one hell of a great game on it's own. Also, BG2 is not a vast improvement over the first, unless you really prefer higher level gameplay. Insofar as the gameplay improvements, just about all that there are to be had are available in BG1 with the mods (that make use of the BG2 engine; not to mention there really weren't that many improvements necessary as BG1 was a very solid game).

Edited by Valsuelm
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BG2 EE if you haven't played BG2 at all. But Pillars is damn close.  PoE has far better gfx, newer user friendly, and is updated combat mechanics. BG2 has a far more forgiving rest mechanic and exponentially more builds due to multi/dual classing resulting in far less tank/dps/healer trinity polarization of PoE.

 

Get both, or all 3.

Edited by Dongom
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Why choose? Pick both. If you don't have the money to afford both, then you probably should be saving your money for more important things.

 

If you're anything like me you'll play the first Baldur's Gate once just to say you did and then never again because it has not aged well, to say the least. The Enhanced Edition/BG1tutu (or whatever the mod's called) is a big improvement but there's still no reason to play it when you could just play the sequel. The people who are rhapsodizing about all the wilderness exploration in the first game are confusing me because that was boring and pointless and they removed it from the sequel for a reason. The first game was also more linear, not less. Despite being able to wander around through a bunch of mostly empty map squares, you can't go to Cloakwood until you've done Nashkel, you can't go to Baldur's Gate until the end of the game, etc.. The only things not available from the beginning of the game in BG2 are the Spellhold->Underdark->Suldenesselar questline. You can even do Watcher's Keep the second you leave Athkatla.

 

Pillars of Eternity actually reminds me a lot more of Icewind Dale 2; there's really good writing but the combat takes center stage, and your mileage may vary on that. Some people love it, some people hate it. It depends on whether you like the combat system. I love the Baldur's Gate games, I enjoyed Icewind Dale 2, I don't really like Pillars in its current state (patches and mods might change that). Plenty of other people here who are fans of the IE games love Pillars, so who knows if you will.

 

Baldur's Gate 2 is certainly the easiest of the choices you present--it's not hard for a clueless new player to just find Keldorn, slap the Holy Avenger on him, and nap through every fight in the game. It does use the opaque 2nd Edition AD&D rules, but the computer handles all of that for you, all you have to know is what spells are good and how to improve your numbers. Even if you do have trouble, it's been out forever; you'll be able to find walkthroughs and such on-line. Pillars doesn't have that yet.

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BGII is indeed an improvement over the first game, though the biggest difference was vastly superior mechanics and since they're even on that front in the EEs, you may as well start on the first game. The party member interaction isn't half as good as in the sequel, but the freedom of exploration has a lot going for it and the story won't make much sense if you start at the second game.

 

Pillars of Eternity might be a much better idea than the Baldur's Gates though. It has the same feel to it and the mechanics are easier to grasp.

 

If you decide to go with Baldur's Gate though, do yourself a favour and get the Enhanced Editions from Beamdog. Noone should have to suffer 640 or 800 resolutions in this day and age. I kinda pity the people who thinks $20 is a lot to pay for a game, and a great one at that...

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If you decide to go with Baldur's Gate though, do yourself a favour and get the Enhanced Editions from Beamdog. Noone should have to suffer 640 or 800 resolutions in this day and age. I kinda pity the people who thinks $20 is a lot to pay for a game, and a great one at that...

Erm, resolution? Is there anyone who still plays Baldur's Gate without the widesreen mod? Or an assortment of other fixes and enhancements, for that matter. Beamdog's versions are nice if you want to install and jump right into the game, but they don't really offer much more than modded originals.

 

To answer the OP's question, I must honestly say: play them all. The order doesn't matter. I would play BG1 before BG2 just to know the whole story and to import my character (I use the Trilogy mod for a seamless experience on BG2 engine). However, BG2 is a great game even on its own.

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