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I will vouch for Beamdog's BGEE series. Especially if you can get them on sale. In terms of play order it really is up to you. I always like to start with BG1 then transition to BG2 when I play that series. It gives you the feeling of going through a true saga and feeling powerful at the end. However, POE is very solid especially for just being released. In a perfect world, you would have enough time and money to do all the above, but alas we seldom have the pleasure of doing that.

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It depends on what effort you're willing to put in and your playstyle. Personally I think BG2 (original) is the best of the three so far, after playing that I never went back to BG1. But I haven't played all of PoE yet so this could still change. I'm a fan of the D&D ruleset though and wizards and sorcerers in BG2 are fun. I don't like them as much in PoE even though the cipher is a good alternative for the sorcerer, but that's personal preference really. Oh, and nothing beats Irenicus (BG2).

 

To make BG2 a little more playable (the widescreen mod is a must) google for bg2 mods and there's bound to be a page saying which ones are a must have. If you really can't be bothered with that then the Enhanced Edition is an option (I don't like it because I find the NPC's they added not that great and some of the mods I like don't work with it). As a new player you may like the modern features of the EE better.

 

BG1: low level cap, lots of wandering in the wilderness, not as epic as BG2

BG2: huge city area, nice story line, good expansion (ToB), Irenicus, high level cap, godlike spells, godawful romance for women

PoE: modern game, different combat system (not D&D), can't tell if it's better than BG2 yet until I've finished it, since it's new it's more expensive but buy it anyway to support Obsidian so we can get more sequels  :yes:

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Or you can go for BG1, TotSC, BG2 and ToB with a BIG World Project, you'll need some reading but hey, you will have 1 game with more 180h of play and can do the whole story in 1 ride.

 

The whole installation will take some time and you will have to choose mods, but hey, you'll have the greatest D&D rpg ever.

Edited by geobio
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Don't listen to the haters ,start with POE then regular  BG and import your character to regular BG2 with the expansion TOB.

Edited by barakav

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An ex-biophysicist but currently Studying Schwarzschild singularities' black holes' Hawking radiation using LAZORS and hypersonic sound wave models.

 

My main objective is to use my results to take over the world!

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BG1 (Enhanced - it comes with Tales of the Sword coast and I like the enhanced version) then BG2 (enhanced), then Planescape Torment (really - you have to play this if you never have), then Icewind Dale (again, enhanced), then Pillars of Eternity :)

 

Of them all, Planescape Torment comes pretty much a tie with BG2.

 

Money wise, you could grab all the old ones in a bundle from GOG for a few quid and then mod them if you like.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

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.

 

I played BG when the game first came out in 1998. I loved it! I followed this up with BG2 and then ToB which I thought were improvements and for me set the benchmark for future RPG action/adventure gaming. I'm currently around level 4 in PoE and this is so reminiscent of those games and NWN2, I'm starting to have a "Happy Days" experience. 

 

Too early to tell which is better, and I haven't played either the BG series or NWN2 for a long time, so I'm afraid I'm going to sit on the fence on this one. However as the system specs for PoE are more demanding than they were for the previous games I'm going to make some guesstimates about the technical aspect of game presentation for widescreens monitors such as my 24" IIyama and it's 1920 x1200 display which is a home run when compared to my old CRT monitors. Also display characteristics such as textures etc will be so much better, but so far the story telling and plot seem on a par across the whole spectrum of D & D style action adventure RPGs . There is the other issue about whether gamers requirements for game content may have changed over the years. Like the Charleston and the Foxtrot, some dances don't go down as well at today's club venues without some considerable work on the choreography

 

One thing I noticed as a newcomer to these forums was an old discussion on whether romance options in PoE were a worthwhile addition, and if the PoE team's view that if romance stories are going to be included they should be done well. To get to that grade of quality requires a lot of time and effort and a decision ( I think the right one) was made to exclude them from the content of the PoE initial release. BG2 (and concluded in the ToB extension) Contained three well written female romances for male PCs.I played them all and while I didn't particularly like one of the NPCs the romances without exception were extremely well put together. I played one more than the other 2 as I found the LTs much more interesting, mature, and less emotive if that is possible. The NPC concerned was classed as "Neutral" so I guess for me the romance leaned towards the objective and practical, rather than the protective and nurturing role traditionally common to male/female relationship writing in those days. 

 

One thing that is still undisputed for me is that Minsc (BG!, BG", ToB) still is by far the best NPC I have come across (not forgetting Boo of course)

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I disagree.  I liked Minsc, but he was a fourth stooge funny guy.  He was Morte without the substance.  He was Curly, who is only funny with Moe poking him in the eyes.  I'm not putting down Minsc.  I'm just saying that sometimes less can be more.  Heaven forbid I cite Boo, who has Maris Syndrom in spades.

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BG2 is by far and away the best game of the three. The original that is, I wouldn't bother with the enhanced version. BG1 is a bit archaic these days, it has not aged well. The only cRPG on par with BG2 is Planescape Torment, for different reasons. Planescape has the best story, characters and dialogue in any RPG ever made.

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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.

BG1, IWD 1, Planescape Torment, BG2(with TOB expansion), IWD 2, Pillars of Eternity.

 

Play those games in that order if you are going to play them :) Each is old IE games, but you'll find some are more dungeon crawly combat orientated, where as some are more dialogy. If at the end of playing Torment you think you need a break from dialog then go with IWD2 before BG2. The order presented I think is the release date order, however I think IWD2 was slotted between BG2 and it's expansion BG2 TOB.

 

I recommend the EE editions of BG1/2/IWD1 if you can stomach the extra cost. I found the zoom in and out feature much desirable.

 

Ps: be sure to tell your friends they wont see you for a year or two.

Edited by VioNectro
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If you don't mind outdated graphics, totally start with Baldur's Gate 1 (preferably the enhanced edition). Play through the trilogy and then move on to PoE.

 

If you do start with BG1, I recommend creating a spellcaster such as druid or mage, as they end up with the most interesting abilities (and most rewarding level ups) later in the game.

 

If you really want a powerful melee character, I recommend an inquisitor paladin with skill points in 2-handed weapons and 2-handed style. There is an amazing sword waiting for paladin players in BG2. 

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I'd play Pillars first, it has all the modern touches and is so a much more accessible game to a modern gamer. It will allow you to "get" what this type of game is all about, but in a comfortable environment.

 

After Pillars I recommend trying BG1, but don't worry too much if you find you don't like it so much, and feel free to skip to BG2.

 

Definitely play Bg2, because it's the best game ever made. But I'd not necessarily recommend it as the first game of its type.

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If you are planning to play all three of them, then I would play BG + BG2 first, simply because if you play PoE first then your experience with the BG games will be soured somewhat in that you will probably miss the quality-of-life features and improvements that are present in PoE.

 

Personally I recommend the enhanced editions of BG & BG2 over the originals.  They do add some new content, but that isn't the reason for my recommendation.  Several others have suggested using the original versions + mods, and one of the main reasons to do this is that the unmodded original versions are clogged with quest-related bugs.  Using the right mod(s) helps with that, but there are so many mods out there that finding the "right" ones is a daunting task.  The community doesn't agree on what the "right" mods are, so you'll get different recommendations from different people, and then also you'll have to get the ones you pick to work together - which isn't always easy.  I feel that messing with mods is something that should be reserved for BG veterans.  If you play the games and like them enough to want to play them again and again then you can delve into that aspect of the game.  To start off, I would stick with the EE versions because they fix virtually all of the quest bugs, and many non-quest bugs, all in one package.

 

Whichever way you go (original or EE), you definitely want to play BG and then BG2 with your character imported over.  The two games are one story arc, with the events of BG2 finishing the story that BG begins.  Taking one character through both games is an extremely satisfying experience.

 

If you were going to pick just one of the three to play, however, then I would play PoE.  BG2 is great, and larger, but PoE isn't done yet so who can say where it will end up?

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I'd say start with PoE unless you are familiar with AD&D 2nd edition which is the rule set in BG.( I remember original D&D where Elf was a class :) Boy where we happy when we got our hands on AD&D :) )

 

Then get the BG1 tutu mod that changes BG1 to use the BG2 engine. Start in Candlekeeep with a level one and run it all the way to ToB. This will take a long time perhaps months depending on how much time you can devote.

 

Then go back and add in SCS and SCS II mods from Gibberlings3 and do them again with a greatly improved AI that will rofl stomp  you. You will then realize how easy modern games are, even the unmodded game is pretty merciless to low level characters.

 

Playing BG 1 and BG 2 before PoE will let you appreciate some of the design decisions or at least understand where they are coming from.

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Sorry missed the main point of the OP. To experience this in the right way you need to play the games in the order they appear on the thread title. BG1 to create your character and take it though as an import into BG2 where the story continues and thence into the Throne of Bhaal expansion where the story as far as your PC is concerned, comes to a conclusion. Assuming you are using a fairly modern system for CPU and GPU issues, you will get a retro view of the graphics displays,  but it will give you the right perspective when you play PoE with it's evolved gameplay, tactics, talks, graphics and GUIs.

Then I hope you will be able to form an objective opinion about all three

I don't think it matters which edition you play but the BG patches do actually get rid of a lot of the teething bugs the games had when they came out

I also recommend that you play at least one of the romance options in BG2 (and follow it through into ToB), just to get a feel for the work that went into them

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I would definitely suggest playing BG1 before BG2, BG2 is the continuation of the story/characters of BG1, it's really a loss to not have played BG1 when playing BG2.

 

And I actually prefer BG1 myself, even if BG2 is great too.

 

I would suggest playing the EE if you're new to the genre, so you don't have to fiddle with patches for widescreen and the like, but original + patch is also fine.

 

As for Pillars or BG first... I can't really say, I played BG I was a teenager, I wasn't in the same emotional state than now. My "gut feelings" is that the BG is superior (but Pillars is still great), but I don't know if that's what I would say if I had played them both at the same age.

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If you like story telling, then playing bg1 first is the correct choice since the story of the sequel directly continues that of the first.

If you don't give a shait (Don't get why you' play em then but ok :p) most people find the second game to be the best.

 

Both games are quite different than PoE in both gameplay, story and style. Same genre not the same games.

 

My personal favorite is the original BG, the mood and the setting just does it perfectly for me, and the main villain is my favorite.

For the EE version vs the original moded version, it depends on how much extra work you want to do, and if you have a tablet and want to play it on said tablet. EE has tablet support (I believe) and you don't have to hazzle with all the mods, the original can be a very slow game to run unless you mod it correctly, the old engine doesn't run well with modern PCs.

He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster . . .

when you gaze long into the abyss the abyss also gazes into you

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I'd concur with everyone who tells you to get the original BG1 and BG2. Since they're half the price of EE, you can get both and use Easytutu, a program that allows you to play BG1's content with BG2's somewhat improved version of the engine.

If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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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.

 

Baldur's Gate 2 is much better than BG 1, which is delightful in its own little way nonetheless. Pillars is rather different to either of them - more text heavy, different combat system, more modern approach to frustrating the player and so on. For my money, BG 2 is the best game of its kind ever released. Brilliant mix of items, loads of replayability, beautiful environments, fitting story and writing.

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Hum, first of all, i'd love to be you and about to play some of the finest RPG ever made for the first time !

 

as many other said, BGII is the best RPG ever made, i replay it every 2 years since it came out. i enjoyed BGI too, finished it 3-4 times, but it's not nearly as good as BGII. starting with BGI is quite important IMO as it is the beginning of a great story and you enjoy BG II even more when you played the I first.

 

but if you're not a big RPG fan, start with BGII as you can get bored with BG I. keep PoE as the cherry on the cake, since it's way more modern in design ang graphics (then you won't find BG I & II ugly ^^).

 

so, big fan of RPG : BG I then BG II than PoE

not a big fan of RPG : BG II, BG I if you liked the II then PoE

 

hope it helps :yes:

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