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But we're not seeing clear-eyed and balanced critiques; we're seeing people angry that the designers didn't obey them lashing out.

 

 

Not really, the game was pitched as having the best of BG2, IWD and PS:T. Now, it should have been obvious that the first iteration of POE would never live up to this but, debatably, it's not even close to reaching any of these goals; the combat diversity is poor, the companions and exploration are not even close to BG2 and the plot is standard cookie-cutter stuff.

 

The reason most people are disappointed/dislike/hate the game is due to the missed potential, this is also why these people continue to post instead of just leave and forget about it. Some of this blind fanboy defense is ridiculous tbh, this pretense that POE hit the mark perfectly.

 

 

The assertion that everyone defending the game is a blind fanboy proves that you're not open-minded enough to look at the situation objectively. PoE promised to combine aspects of BG, IWD, and PS:T into an original RPG. The game accomplishes exactly that.

 

 

Did I say everyone defending is a blind fanboy? Or did I say some of the fanboyish defense is ridiculous, mainly that POE is perfect and people should not post criticisms about it on the OE boards? I'll concede the point that they never mentioned BG2 and I haven't played IWD2, so those really shouldn't be included.

 

Note that, with the exception of combat that I can run through on Hard even with +50% requirements to level-up and limiting equipment choices, I'm enjoying POE. I just don't think it's at the point where OE can claim that it captures the best aspects of BG/IWD/PS:T on a notable level. You can check their original kickstarter campaign for information on the pitch.

 

And BG2 companion interactions and quests completely destroy POE, imo. Hell, in BG1 you have infighting, companions that leave your party, companions that won't join your party if you are not strong enough (Shar-Teel), etc. It's an area that definitely needs more work, POE characters may have more detailed background info but their overall interaction and engagement is weak.

Edited by View619

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Also THAC0 vs AC was a horrible-to-comprehend system.  Why WotC ever thought that was better than just comparing a positive armor class against a positive accuracy stat I will never know. 

 

That was actually Gygax/Arneson (and TSR). The BG series and IWD1 were based on the AD&D rules, which used thac0. The more 'sensible' d20 system of higher to hit roll vs higher AC wasn't developed/published until around the time of IWD2, which is why it used the 3.0 rules.

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...

Also THAC0 vs AC was a horrible-to-comprehend system.  Why WotC ever thought that was better than just comparing a positive armor class against a positive accuracy stat I will never know. 

...

 

 

THAC0 evolved organically over time -- the original system (in 1st ed AD&D / D&D) was "Look up the AC of the opponent and the level of the character in a class specific chart:  That's the number that you need to exceed on a d20 to hit that opponent".  Players quickly discovered that the chart was generated via a simple mathematical formula, and started recording only the value required to hit hit AC 0 on the character sheet as a shortcut (eliminating the need to consult the for each and every attack).  2nd edition made this official, and that's what the Infinity Engine games used.

 

Now you know. :)

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I have to agree with View619.  If you are going to claim to be successfully drawing the best from IWD, you really need to step up the combat.  Both in dificulty and tactical complexity.

 

I haven't played that series in years (I prefer the more RP/exploration focused games, personally) but I remember them being hard.  As in,  hard for me on normal.  PoE on PotD still isn't really scratching my difficulty itch so...

 

Also, as someone who sadly never managed to really get into planescape:torment due to interface issues, what exactly is PoE trying to pull from that game?  To me, PoE just seems like a spiritual successor to BG1.

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Also, as someone who sadly never managed to really get into planescape:torment due to interface issues, what exactly is PoE trying to pull from that game?  To me, PoE just seems like a spiritual successor to BG1.

A very well-written deeply personal and philosophical story with true consequences to your actions/choices.

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I have to agree with View619.  If you are going to claim to be successfully drawing the best from IWD, you really need to step up the combat.  Both in dificulty and tactical complexity.

 

I haven't played that series in years (I prefer the more RP/exploration focused games, personally) but I remember them being hard.  As in,  hard for me on normal.  PoE on PotD still isn't really scratching my difficulty itch so...

 

Also, as someone who sadly never managed to really get into planescape:torment due to interface issues, what exactly is PoE trying to pull from that game?  To me, PoE just seems like a spiritual successor to BG1.

 

The way dialogue is presented mirrors PS:T, the description of an NPC's facial expression, non-verbal communication, etc. Debatably, the mature themes vs the standard good & evil of IWD/BG.

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They frankly made no explicit mention of BG2 or IWD2.

They named dropped the IP's. Baldurs Gate is a SERIES, as is Icewind Dale. They did not need to mention the specific sequels, the specific expansion packs, and the various patch updates. Because anyone with more than a single brain cell knew what they meant when they promised the best elements of those titles.

 

They didn't, for example, promise Planescape Torments Combat, or Icewind Dale's story writing, because that wouldn't have been good marketing.

Edited by Stun
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PoE hasn't even outsold the EE games which were re-releases...oh boy...hopefully they can muster that.

 

But it should have been mandatory for them to have had a company play-through of BG1:EE and BG2:EE after the first beta play through they did...we probably would have gotten a much better game or at least some eyes would have opened because PoE plays much worse than either and I can't imagine that happening if they did a side by side comparison. Any Dev honest with themselves wouldn't have put out this type of rubbish by comparison.

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PoE hasn't even outsold the EE games which were re-releases...oh boy...hopefully they can muster that.

 

Yeah, the game hasn't out sold the EE games despite the fact PoE was released a month ago and the EE games were released more than a year and a half ago.   PoE sold around 350,000 copies in a month, which was the same amount that Divinity Original Sin sold.  Yep, totally unsucessful games.  rolleyes.gif

Edited by bonarbill
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Also, as someone who sadly never managed to really get into planescape:torment due to interface issues, what exactly is PoE trying to pull from that game?  To me, PoE just seems like a spiritual successor to BG1.

A very well-written deeply personal and philosophical story with true consequences to your actions/choices.

 

 

Huh.  Do you feel they succeeded with that?  I didn't notice a whole lot of C&C tbh.

 

 

The way dialogue is presented mirrors PS:T, the description of an NPC's facial expression, non-verbal communication, etc. Debatably, the mature themes vs the standard good & evil of IWD/BG.

 

Well I do like the non-verbal stuff in the dialogues.  The themes... not sure how well I would consider that stuff.  There was a dark mission in act2 I thought was pretty good.  I didn't mind bg2 good/evil where good=generosity and evil=selfishness more or less.  Even Korgan (neutral evil dwarf) didn't approve of the child slavery and was down with putting an axe to some skulls ;)

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Huh.  Do you feel they succeeded with that?  I didn't notice a whole lot of C&C tbh.

 

Hit and miss.

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But it should have been mandatory for them to have had a company play-through of BG1:EE and BG2:EE after the first beta play through they did...we probably would have gotten a much better game or at least some eyes would have opened because PoE plays much worse than either and I can't imagine that happening if they did a side by side comparison. Any Dev honest with themselves wouldn't have put out this type of rubbish by comparison.

 

This is irrelevant -- the fundamental issue is that the Project Manager (Saywer) simply doesn't believe that the Baldur's Gate games (1 or 2) were very good, and believes that the IWD games are as good as they are despite being saddled with the AD&D ruleset (e.g. they would have been better had a different ruleset been followed).

 

If this had been widely known during the Kickstarter, I suspect that it wouldn't have been as successful as it was.

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I don't agree with the OP at all. Baldur's Gate 1 may seem a bit crude and unpolished to modern eyes but it's a real gem of a game, once you get into it. 

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But it should have been mandatory for them to have had a company play-through of BG1:EE and BG2:EE after the first beta play through they did...we probably would have gotten a much better game or at least some eyes would have opened because PoE plays much worse than either and I can't imagine that happening if they did a side by side comparison. Any Dev honest with themselves wouldn't have put out this type of rubbish by comparison.

 

This is irrelevant -- the fundamental issue is that the Project Manager (Saywer) simply doesn't believe that the Baldur's Gate games (1 or 2) were very good, and believes that the IWD games are as good as they are despite being saddled with the AD&D ruleset (e.g. they would have been better had a different ruleset been followed).

 

If this had been widely known during the Kickstarter, I suspect that it wouldn't have been as successful as it was.

 

Yeah .. now we have sort-of-IWD-with-different-ruleset and how does it compare to BG1/2 ...

Or ToEE if we are talking only about combat ... 

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Ha, please show me the pitch where they promised the best of PS:T, IWD, and BG2. Actually, don't bother because it doesn't exist.

LOL

 

Wait a minute. So for the record, you are claiming that they didn't promise that PoE will take the central hero, memorable companions and the epic exploration of Baldur’s Gate, add in the fun, intense combat and dungeon diving of Icewind Dale, and tie it all together with the emotional writing and mature thematic exploration of Planescape: Torment?

 

And that this wasn't exactly what they pitched us on the front page of their kickstarter, before asking us for a million dollars?

 

 

pay attention, Stun. You'll note that "BG2" is bold.

 

 

They frankly made no explicit mention of BG2 or IWD2.

They named dropped the IP's. Baldurs Gate is a SERIES, as is Icewind Dale. They did not need to mention the specific sequels, the specific expansion packs, and the various patch updates. Because anyone with more than a single brain cell knew what they meant when they promised the best elements of those titles.

 

They didn't, for example, promise Planescape Torments Combat, or Icewind Dale's story writing, because that wouldn't have been good marketing.

 

 

First of all, again, please pay attention. The comment I replied to said that they promised the best of PST, IWD, and BG2. As in he explicitly stated BG2 and left IWD as is. This is misleading, as they never once mentioned BG2. You can keep imagining things if you think it further justifies your disappointment, but they never said BG2 in the pitch. And they also didn't promise to take the best things from all of these titles. The pitch was pretty specific, in fact you quoted it in this very thread. Here it is: "PoE will take the central hero, memorable companions and the epic exploration of Baldur’s Gate, add in the fun, intense combat and dungeon diving of Icewind Dale, and tie it all together with the emotional writing and mature thematic exploration of Planescape: Torment." You'll note that they never promised "the best of" these games, nor did they ever mention BG2 or IWD2. If you thought they were implied, that's your issue, but they never said it so you expecting them to deliver on a promise you imagined is absurd.

 

If you want to understand the meaning of the pitch as I understand it, you just have to read it:

"PoE will take the central hero, memorable companions and the epic exploration of Baldur’s Gate, add in the fun, intense combat and dungeon diving of Icewind Dale, and tie it all together with the emotional writing and mature thematic exploration of Planescape: Torment"

 

If you want to understand it as you do (and the person I was replying to did), you must alter it:

"PoE will combine all of the best aspects of IWD, PST, and BG2 into one game..." some of you also seem to add "...that everyone will agree is as good as or better than all of these classics."

 

You think I'm taking the pitch too literally I suppose. Well, when an accomplished company like Obsidian presumably spends months building an initial Kickstarter campaign, which includes things such as the pitch, I take them at their word. I don't think that they meant to say "BG2" instead of "Baldur's Gate" or that they meant to say "the best parts of" instead of the specific things they did list. I imagine they worked for quite some time on the wording of the pitch, so changing it to fit what you want it to say doesn't make much sense to me. You're free to disagree, of course.

 

 

Did I say everyone defending is a blind fanboy? Or did I say some of the fanboyish defense is ridiculous, mainly that POE is perfect and people should not post criticisms about it on the OE boards? I'll concede the point that they never mentioned BG2 and I haven't played IWD2, so those really shouldn't be included.

 

Fair enough, that's my mistake.

 

Note that, with the exception of combat that I can run through on Hard even with +50% requirements to level-up and limiting equipment choices, I'm enjoying POE.

 

Me too.

 

I just don't think it's at the point where OE can claim that it captures the best aspects of BG/IWD/PS:T on a notable level. You can check their original kickstarter campaign for information on the pitch.

 

I've seen the pitch. Once again, taking "the best aspects" of those games wasn't mentioned, and even if it had been, the best aspects are different for different people. The promise was much more specific than you make it out to be. Whether or not it does capture and combine some of the best aspects of them is also debatable.

 

 

And BG2 companion interactions and quests completely destroy POE, imo. Hell, in BG1 you have infighting, companions that leave your party, companions that won't join your party if you are not strong enough (Shar-Teel), etc. It's an area that definitely needs more work, POE characters may have more detailed background info but their overall interaction and engagement is weak.

 

I mostly agree about BG2. BG2 had tons of content - quests, areas, companion interactions, you name it. Just think about everything that happens in and is located in the Athkatla docks district throughout the length of the game, and you'll be blown away by how expansive it was. However, I never expected the amount of quests or content in BG2 because they never promised that. The first comparison to BG2 I ever remember them making was to say that the game would be somewhere in length between BG1 and BG2. Even if you (and Stun) think that it's obvious they were also drawing inspiration from BG2, they certainly never promised to make the game as content-rich or as long as BG2, or anything else specifically about BG2 for that matter because the didn't actually bring it up.

 

As for BG1 characters vs. PoE characters, I guess you have a point. To me, though, it just seems like a different type of approach. That you dislike it doesn't make it worse. They interject less than in BG1? Maybe, I'm not really sure. The PoE party members sure have a hell of a lot more to say (for better or worse), but they don't fight with one another or leave the group, that's true. Some people would see that as an advantage, though. I could do with somewhere in between I guess, I did like that BG1 NPCs had minds of their own and would disagree with the PC, but I'm pretty sure unexpectedly leaving the party pissed off more people than it amused, and it mostly negatively affected Evil parties (which I never played). In PoE, the NPCs are quick to insult the PC where appropriate, so they express their opinions without trying to actually kill each other or leave the group. There are strengths and weaknesses to both of these approaches imo.

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"Forsooth, methinks you are no ordinary talking chicken!"

-Protagonist, Baldur's Gate

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@Stun Just to be clear, I can see that they may have meant to imply the series when they said Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale. It's certainly possible, but it was not explicitly stated. They absolutely did not mean "just BG2." Also, they were very specific in their promises. They promised the central hero, memorable companions and epic exploration of Baldur's Gate. Even if they were talking about both games, then they would only need to provide these three things in a way which related to either one of or both of the titles. Saying that they promised the best of BG2 is completely wrong in my eyes, because they simply never said anything of the sort. It was that claim that prompted my initial comment, to which you responded.


"Forsooth, methinks you are no ordinary talking chicken!"

-Protagonist, Baldur's Gate

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I just don't think it's at the point where OE can claim that it captures the best aspects of BG/IWD/PS:T on a notable level. You can check their original kickstarter campaign for information on the pitch.

 

I've seen the pitch. Once again, taking "the best aspects" of those games wasn't mentioned, and even if it had been, the best aspects are different for different people. The promise was much more specific than you make it out to be. Whether or not it does capture and combine some of the best aspects of them is also debatable.

 

 

And BG2 companion interactions and quests completely destroy POE, imo. Hell, in BG1 you have infighting, companions that leave your party, companions that won't join your party if you are not strong enough (Shar-Teel), etc. It's an area that definitely needs more work, POE characters may have more detailed background info but their overall interaction and engagement is weak.

 

I mostly agree about BG2. BG2 had tons of content - quests, areas, companion interactions, you name it. Just think about everything that happens in and is located in the Athkatla docks district throughout the length of the game, and you'll be blown away by how expansive it was. However, I never expected the amount of quests or content in BG2 because they never promised that. The first comparison to BG2 I ever remember them making was to say that the game would be somewhere in length between BG1 and BG2. Even if you (and Stun) think that it's obvious they were also drawing inspiration from BG2, they certainly never promised to make the game as content-rich or as long as BG2, or anything else specifically about BG2 for that matter because the didn't actually bring it up.

 

As for BG1 characters vs. PoE characters, I guess you have a point. To me, though, it just seems like a different type of approach. That you dislike it doesn't make it worse. They interject less than in BG1? Maybe, I'm not really sure. The PoE party members sure have a hell of a lot more to say (for better or worse), but they don't fight with one another or leave the group, that's true. Some people would see that as an advantage, though. I could do with somewhere in between I guess, I did like that BG1 NPCs had minds of their own and would disagree with the PC, but I'm pretty sure unexpectedly leaving the party pissed off more people than it amused, and it mostly negatively affected Evil parties (which I never played). In PoE, the NPCs are quick to insult the PC where appropriate, so they express their opinions without trying to actually kill each other or leave the group. There are strengths and weaknesses to both of these approaches imo.

 

 

Fair enough, I can respect this. I honestly never expected the initial attempt to approach BG2 level content either, with the issues of new system, deadlines, etc, and POE being the first iteration of the franchise. Regarding the pitch, I suppose it's a matter of interpretation and almost inevitable that when some of us see "of BG", we immediately link that to the entire BG series and not specific BG1; in fact I never label the first title as "BG".

 

I can live with the POE companions overall, for BG I do enjoy the way your actions in the world will influence how your companions interact with you on a game mechanics level which makes it feel more like a party of individuals with different ideals, preferred behaviors, goals etc.

 

 

 

I've read somewhere that Grieving Mother will leave your party if you're being an evil bastard, is this true? 

 

 

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I've read somewhere that Grieving Mother will leave your party if you're being an evil bastard, is this true? 

 

 

 

 

Apparently so, I guess there are a few triggers that will cause it. That's pretty cool.


"Forsooth, methinks you are no ordinary talking chicken!"

-Protagonist, Baldur's Gate

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Then you have misunderstood what I wrote. It is not fair in the sense that any claimed 'improvement' over Bg must be seen in the light of 15 years of time spent between them and not as a direct comparison. Whether or not you like BG is again secondary.  Also, what exactly did you like in BG other than art/music/spells?

 

What such a comparison implies in the general sense is as follows:

 

Compare the mobile handset in 1998 to a smartphone today. 

 

Think about it

 

 

 

 

 

how about individual stealth, how about being able to break into locked containers, how about a way better story line then this game

bg was a much better game, poe lacks things that were implemented in bg which is sad

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It is sad indeed. But PoE improves upon things that made BG a success anyway. It improved upon art and uh oh.. Yeah, that.

 

There are other small individual things like it gave melee fighters at least one useful ability that they can use other than a right click. 


"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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I've read somewhere that Grieving Mother will leave your party if you're being an evil bastard, is this true? 

 

 

 

Yes and

 

 

she will also disappear (literally) if you don't stop her going nutty and drooling when talking about her memory of the first Hollowborn child she delivered.

 

 


"That rabbit's dynamite!" - King Arthur, Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail

"Space is big, really big." - Douglas Adams

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It is sad indeed. But PoE improves upon things that made BG a success anyway. It improved upon art and uh oh.. Yeah, that.

 

There are other small individual things like it gave melee fighters at least one useful ability that they can use other than a right click. 

 

Come on.

 

They invented an entire gaming world, with cultures and background.  Baldurs Gate had an utterly forgettable and generic background world.  You may prefer it - some people really do like Bud Light too - but a lot of us find this a major acheivement and it counts.

 

The character backgrounds (region etc.) are also greatly improved - and they feed into the dialogs.  Dialogs are far, far more sophisticated than in the old games.  You can roleplay.  You can have conversations that aren't just for advancing some quest, and the "right" answers couldn't always be guessed by an eight year old.  The reputation system is interesting and new.   Some of these things are only developed to a limited degree, but there is a lot of potential built into these things.

 

I honestly don't understand how anyone can claim that the PoE companions are weak - few of the BG companions made any real impression on me at all (Yoshimo, for instance, was done well; so was the Drow elf woman whose name I forget at the moment; Jaheira too.)  Many had no real personality at all, or they were simply running jokes (Minsc) or very thin.  Not all PoE ones are strong - but Eder, Durance, Kana, Grieving Mother and Aloth, all in their own way, are characters that I'll remember (the ranger also had an interesting story to me).  That's a far longer list.  Eder comes across as a real person. 

 

Now, these things might not be to your taste, and they might not be fully developed - but they still exist and matter to enough people that they really enjoyed the game.

 

There are also the cutscene options (e.g. toss a rope across a chasm) and there are many opportunities to avoid fights when resolving problems - again, either not present or not common in the BG series, where you benefited from fighting pretty much everything.  The old games did have some clever extras (drums summoning support in IWD), so it's not as one sided.

 

In technical terms the UI and mechanics are hugely improved.  I don't have to click down multiple layers and slowly scroll through long lists to extract potions, scrolls, etc., and I spend far less time sorting stuff around.  Again, if nostalgia is your thing, you'd find the absence of the old stuff "dumbed down", but I didn't find it to be particularly special to have to hunt down a good set of barrels to stuff my surplus arrows, bolts, bullets, darts, potions, scrolls....into some sort of logical order.  You don't have to drill down into sub-menus to get to abilities, using items is technically easier, and so on.  This is the sort of thing that reflects technical limitations in the older games for the most part.

 

As you noted, there are more interesting abilities that are more easily accessed for melee fighters.

 

These things might not appeal to you or be important to you, but they explain a lot of what made the game so enjoyable to others.

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In technical terms the UI and mechanics are hugely improved.

You mean simplified.

 

Inventory is made bottomless; weight and space restrictions are removed to appeal to casual players who can't be bothered with "complicated" gameplay.

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yeah. Great dialogue like

 

<Priest of Eothas> : Who was Eothas?

 

 

is why I enjoyed playing this game. This kind of horrendous lack of attention to detail concerning backgrounds is also present. Dialogues are JUST NOT better than PST or MoTB or even Alpha Protocol, which had probably the best overall dialogue presentation. PoE companions are not really weak, btw. They are just so much worse than ones from MoTB/PST that it stands out. You can not compare *any* of these to Gann or Kaelyn or anyone from PST. These were games written by the same people.

 

The 'cutscene' idea was great and it indeed is a strong point in favor of PoE. reminds me of Darklands. A bit unfortunate that this was not what made darklands great but rather just added to its fun. 

 

UI is indeed better in PoE though. 

 

Nostalgia is also not my 'thing' as I never liked IE games so much. 


"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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