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Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear RELEASED

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(the writing is kinda bland...)

Kind of like the original, then?

 

EDIT: I know this sounds super-edgy, so let me clarify: I immensely loved the original Baldur's Gate when I was a teen. In retrospect, though, I think the writing in the original Baldur's Gate is simply *awkward*, and while some of the intrigue and build-up to the Iron Throne is good, it falls apart as a bundle of fantasy clichés barely held together by cute one-liners. For all my complaints about them, both Siege of Dragonspear and Baldur's Gate II improved on Baldur's Gate 1 immensely.

Edited by WorstUsernameEver
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(the writing is kinda bland...)

Kind of like the original, then?EDIT: I know this sounds super-edgy, so let me clarify: I immensely loved the original Baldur's Gate when I was a teen. In retrospect, though, I think the writing in the original Baldur's Gate is simply *awkward*, and while some of the intrigue and build-up to the Iron Throne is good, it falls apart as a bundle of fantasy clichés barely held together by cute one-liners. For all my complaints about them, both Siege of Dragonspear and Baldur's Gate II improved on Baldur's Gate 1 immensely.
Bland writing is an inside joke so long-running that I'm probably the last one who remembers the joek part: It's a bull**** complain that can be applied to anything to maintain an air of superiority. I came to SoD from a BG1 run and the writing was certainly better than BG1. SoD writing was praised recently by the God and Master of many here, Chris Avellone.

 

The interesting part is that the game has a lot of class/stat based dialogue choices, which are happily completely invisible (so no INTELLIGENCE to telegraph it to lazy reviewers...)

Edited by Nepenthe

You're a cheery wee bugger, Nep. Have I ever said that?

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The interesting part is that the game has a lot of class/stat based dialogue choices, which are happily completely invisible (so no INTELLIGENCE to telegraph it to lazy reviewers...)

I noticed some of it. They definitely give you options to use your race/class/companions in conversations, though they don't always work. It's still roughly the same core gameplay as BG1 and 2, but I think they pushed for a more pen and paper-like experience and it paid off.

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Kind of like the original, then?

 

EDIT: I know this sounds super-edgy

 

 

Nawp.


"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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(the writing is kinda bland...)

Kind of like the original, then?

 

EDIT: I know this sounds super-edgy, so let me clarify: I immensely loved the original Baldur's Gate when I was a teen. In retrospect, though, I think the writing in the original Baldur's Gate is simply *awkward*, and while some of the intrigue and build-up to the Iron Throne is good, it falls apart as a bundle of fantasy clichés barely held together by cute one-liners. For all my complaints about them, both Siege of Dragonspear and Baldur's Gate II improved on Baldur's Gate 1 immensely.

I don't know about edgy, but it's accurate. Baldur's Gate was released in 1998, though. SoD is a 2016 game, so while chronologically it goes right before BG2, I would expect have liked the writing to be, I don't know, better than BG2?

 

Even with how uneven the quality of the writing is in BG2, the best of SoD doesn't compare favorably.

 

 

 

Bland writing is an inside joke so long-running that I'm probably the last one who remembers the joek part: It's a bull**** complain that can be applied to anything to maintain an air of superiority. I came to SoD from a BG1 run and the writing was certainly better than BG1. SoD writing was praised recently by the God and Master of many here, Chris Avellone.

 

The interesting part is that the game has a lot of class/stat based dialogue choices, which are happily completely invisible (so no INTELLIGENCE to telegraph it to lazy reviewers...)

 

So if I find fault with something that you have enjoyed tremendously, I'm doing it to maintain an air of superiority, is what you're saying? Heh, o-kay.

 

I mean, we could go into full spoiler mode to actually discuss the writing, but then again, do you want to get busy with people who are wrong on the internet?


- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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I don't know about edgy, but it's accurate. Baldur's Gate was released in 1998, though. SoD is a 2016 game, so while chronologically it goes right before BG2, I would expect have liked the writing to be, I don't know, better than BG2?

 

Even with how uneven the quality of the writing is in BG2, the best of SoD doesn't compare favorably.

Oh, I understand this point of view. I wasn't *impressed* by Siege of Dragonspear's writing, but I also have a tremendous amount of respect for the kind of challenges the team was going through. They had to keep very close to the tone of the originals, and also try to respect the lore developed throughout various editions of D&D and various games, which could also be contradictory.

 

Without delving into spoilers, my biggest disappointment with the expansion was actually the aspect Chris Avellone praised: the antagonist. I just felt like she was sketched too broadly and that her characterization never matched the grandiose tale about her relayed in the game. The minor side quests, on the other hand, felt right out of a semi-drunken D&D campaign and were tremendously enjoyable from that perspective, even though thematically they felt all over at the place and surface-deep.

Edited by WorstUsernameEver

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"Bland" as BG1 dialogue was, at least it didn't make me click through it quickly like Divinity Original Sin did.


The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.

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Without delving into spoilers, my biggest disappointment with the expansion was actually the aspect Chris Avellone praised: the antagonist. I just felt like she was sketched too broadly and that her characterization never matched the grandiose tale about her relayed in the game. The minor side quests, on the other hand, felt right out of a semi-drunken D&D campaign and were tremendously enjoyable from that perspective, even though thematically they felt all over at the place and surface-deep.

 

It's hard to discuss the antagonist without spoiling stuff, but I felt she's weak. Her characterization is shallow, her motives range from difficult to relate to to plain madness, and rather than gruesomely murder or righteously smite her, I just wanted her to get off her damn soapbox. Characters in game keep telling you how immensely charismatic she is, yet the character comes across as anything but. In my eyes, she's a massively missed opportunity to make a poignant point regarding how "good" people can do great evil, and maybe even explore a bit what alignments in D&D draw from the juxtaposition between virtue and consequentialist ethics.

 

(how's that last bit doing for my air of superiority?) smug.jpeg

 

Oh, look. A KKKodex review: http://www.rpgcodex.net/content.php?id=10279

 

And it's not even half as negative as I'd expect. What's the world coming to...


- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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I don't know about edgy, but it's accurate. Baldur's Gate was released in 1998, though. SoD is a 2016 game, so while chronologically it goes right before BG2, I would expect have liked the writing to be, I don't know, better than BG2?

 

Even with how uneven the quality of the writing is in BG2, the best of SoD doesn't compare favorably.

Oh, I understand this point of view. I wasn't *impressed* by Siege of Dragonspear's writing, but I also have a tremendous amount of respect for the kind of challenges the team was going through. They had to keep very close to the tone of the originals, and also try to respect the lore developed throughout various editions of D&D and various games, which could also be contradictory.

 

I don't. BG2 is one, if not the, best games of all time. Assuming that games that have come since should automatically be better is why this forum is home to so many bitter (youngish) men who spend their days going over perceived faults of games that came after ~2000.

 

Assuming that a game with a fixed beginning and ending point and a considerably more limited scope is going to be better than BG2 is, well, insane.

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You're a cheery wee bugger, Nep. Have I ever said that?

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Assuming that games that have come since should automatically be better is why this forum is home to so many bitter (youngish) men who spend their days going over perceived faults of games that came after ~2000.

 

Takes one to know one? (;

 

d26.jpg


- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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I don't. BG2 is one, if not the, best games of all time. Assuming that games that have come since should automatically be better is why this forum is home to so many bitter (youngish) men who spend their days going over perceived faults of games that came after ~2000.

 

Assuming that a game with a fixed beginning and ending point and a considerably more limited scope is going to be better than BG2 is, well, insane.

 

 

It's also completely natural. You can't have the plus of name recognition of a beloved franchise without the minuses of the name recognition of a beloved franchise as well. People will have expectations that will push them to buy the game because it's Badlur's Gate; and expectations that will push them to dislike what they actually get because it's not their Baldur's Gate which they've imagined for 15 years- and that's with or without extraneous political guff. Same with anything: Force Awakens wouldn't have got nearly as much publicity if it hadn't been Star Wars, it also wouldn't have been criticised as much for being a rehash of all the successful bits of the other star wars movies mashed together.

 

The criticism they've had will be as nothing if they try doing an actual Baldur's Gate 3 though. I bet they'd still take the name recognition and sales it would bring over the clean critical slate of a wholly new product though.

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star wars actual is a good example, 'cause while special effects and innumerable technical aspects o' movie making has improved since the 1970s, writing and story development... hasn't.  citizen kane introduced a few storytelling advancements to movies, but for the most part, movies has not marked improved the narrative presentation for a long time. star wars is a good example.  empire is considered the high watermark for the franchise.  1980.  empire is 1980 and five movies removed?  

 

"I don't know about edgy, but it's accurate. Baldur's Gate was released in 1998, though. SoD is a 2016 game, so while chronologically it goes right before BG2, I would expect have liked the writing to be, I don't know, better than BG2?"

 

as nepenthe observes, sod is an expansion o' limited scope that were shoehorned in between bg1 and bg2.  heck, a considerable amount o' the bg2 writing were bad, but given just how large were the game, there were many opportunities to get a few o' those sidequest stories right.  that said, our expectations for sod storytelling is reasonable limited given the rather significant obstacles the sod writerS faced compared to bg2 writers, but considering just how thin were the writing in bg1, we would expect sod improvements over bg1 if only 'cause we got a hard time imagining worse without it being camp-parody.  but to expect better writing from sod Because 16 years has elapsed since bg2 is an odd proposition. 

 

compare writing in sod to the other bg game expansions would be less inequitable.  then again, tob were a unique expansion in terms o' scope.  tob also did not need bridge two already existing stories. still, compare and expect writing at least on par with the previous bg Expansions is far more reasonable measuring.  we ain't yet played sod, so we cannot compare, but we would be more than a little unjust to expect sod to improve bg2 writing, and to see elapse o' 16 years as a reason for sod writing improvement compared to bg2 is ridiculous.

 

HA! Good Fun!


"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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Assuming that games that have come since should automatically be better is why this forum is home to so many bitter (youngish) men who spend their days going over perceived faults of games that came after ~2000.

 

Takes one to know one? (;

 

d26.jpg

 

2133 you seem very defensive around any criticism people have around some reviews and opinions   on SoD? Why...your review seemed to be objective and was relatively well received ?

 

But I'm sure you can appreciates Nep's opinion that there is degree of unreasonable negativity from some  gamers towards certain development studios and games. I do think at times we tend to criticize because we want games to be like we remember them...and we need to  separate nostalgia from inclusiveness when we judge games nowadays 

 

For me its a  mixed bag of modern success stories, for example I am absolutely loving Witcher 3 and its right up there as one of the best RPG I have ever played but I haven't played an Isometric RPG that was as good as BG2 : TOB 


"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

 

 

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So... anyone wanna discuss the actual writing in this game, or we settling for irrelevant non-specific platitudes, spiced with a bit of indirect aggression and circle jerking?

 

Yeah, didn't think so.


- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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So... anyone wanna discuss the actual writing in this game, or we settling for irrelevant non-specific platitudes, spiced with a bit of indirect aggression and circle jerking?

 

Yeah, didn't think so.

We never discuss games here. And I'd wager more than half the people posting in this thread haven't played it. I certainly haven't, because from what views I've read from people with similar tastes I'd be better served playing BGT with SCS.


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I think maybe five or so of us have played it and all but one seemed to enjoy it

 

I was disappointed with Argent's motivation and portrayal after everything the game had done to build her up and also how I couldn't mention anything about Haphernaan to anyone after I found out about him. I'm sure there are more nits I have to pick but I'm at work and typing on my phone and those are the first things that come to mind

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So... anyone wanna discuss the actual writing in this game, or we settling for irrelevant non-specific platitudes, spiced with a bit of indirect aggression and circle jerking?

 

Yeah, didn't think so.

We never discuss games here. And I'd wager more than half the people posting in this thread haven't played it. I certainly haven't, because from what views I've read from people with similar tastes I'd be better served playing BGT with SCS.

 

I haven't played it and never claimed I did but you can follow all the numerous debates about " SJ issues "  through a myriad of sources and peoples comments 

 

So its not like you have to have played the game to partake in certain debates 


"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

 

 

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It's preposterous to complain about criticism, if you cackle in the face of devoted fans. The criticism is not.. unfair.

 

If it's your own art, you're free to express yourself in any way you want. If you're writing a sequel, you shouldn't stray too far from the source material and the style of the established title. The fans are fully within their rights to whine. If Peter Jackson turned Gandalf into a transsexual, it wouldn't matter if Gandalf spoke about it just a few times. It wouldn't be The Lord of the Rings anymore. Even if Jackson decided to do a sequel, where Gandalf delves into the nature of his sexuality, and shares his childhood problems with his travel companions..  Would be hilarious, but I'm not I'd buy the gift wrapped extended edition. And PJ would probably be busy in court for a couple of decades.

Edited by Junai

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It's preposterous to complain about criticism, if you cackle in the face of devoted fans. The criticism is not.. unfair.

 

If it's your own art, you're free to express yourself in any way you want. If you're writing a sequel, you shouldn't stray too far from the source material and the style of the established title. The fans are fully within their rights to whine. If Peter Jackson turned Gandalf into a transsexual, it wouldn't matter if Gandalf spoke about it just a few times. It wouldn't be The Lord of the Rings anymore. Even if Jackson decided to do a sequel, where Gandalf delves into the nature of his sexuality, and shares his childhood problems with his travel companions..  Would be hilarious, but I'm not I'd buy the gift wrapped extended edition. And PJ would probably be busy in court for a couple of decades.

 

I haven't played SoD yet, is the transexual NPC in question one of the established NPC's from BG1 and BG2? Or a wholly new character?

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It's preposterous to complain about criticism, if you cackle in the face of devoted fans. The criticism is not.. unfair.

 

If it's your own art, you're free to express yourself in any way you want. If you're writing a sequel, you shouldn't stray too far from the source material and the style of the established title. The fans are fully within their rights to whine. If Peter Jackson turned Gandalf into a transsexual, it wouldn't matter if Gandalf spoke about it just a few times. It wouldn't be The Lord of the Rings anymore. Even if Jackson decided to do a sequel, where Gandalf delves into the nature of his sexuality, and shares his childhood problems with his travel companions..  Would be hilarious, but I'm not I'd buy the gift wrapped extended edition. And PJ would probably be busy in court for a couple of decades.

 

I haven't played SoD yet, is the transexual NPC in question one of the established NPC's from BG1 and BG2? Or a wholly new character?

 

I think I see where you going with this and I like it...if the transexual NPC is a new character then the  Gandalf analogy becomes irrelevant ..because SoD is not fundamentally changing any of the original characters. Which makes certain criticism even more unreasonable 


"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

 

 

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Youre smarter than you look BVC. :p

:lol: 

 

Small steps ....its all small steps for me  ;)


"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

 

 

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It's preposterous to complain about criticism, if you cackle in the face of devoted fans. The criticism is not.. unfair.

 

If it's your own art, you're free to express yourself in any way you want. If you're writing a sequel, you shouldn't stray too far from the source material and the style of the established title. The fans are fully within their rights to whine. If Peter Jackson turned Gandalf into a transsexual, it wouldn't matter if Gandalf spoke about it just a few times. It wouldn't be The Lord of the Rings anymore. Even if Jackson decided to do a sequel, where Gandalf delves into the nature of his sexuality, and shares his childhood problems with his travel companions..  Would be hilarious, but I'm not I'd buy the gift wrapped extended edition. And PJ would probably be busy in court for a couple of decades.

 

I haven't played SoD yet, is the transsexual NPC in question one of the established NPC's from BG1 and BG2? Or a wholly new character?

 

new character.  minor character from our understanding. so, not Gandalf? so to be analogous we would be talking 'bout a sequel to lotr, with writing not based on  anything from tolkien.

 

so, perhaps the blue wizards get five minutes o' screen time and are depicted as indeterminate sex. instead o' being p00p covered like jackson's brown wizard, the blue wizards is revealed as genderless/transexual twins who finish each other's sentences... 'cause twins do that in movies.  perhaps have twin 1 initial wear women's clothes and twin 2 wear menswear.  when twin 1 is seen wearing men's clothing, the change confuses the protagonists o' the new middle earth movie. maybe the blue wizards get a couple lines wherein they mention how limiting is the concept o' gender.  have blue wizards be portrayed by tilda swinton?  how many movies has she done in which she blurred gender lines w/o it being priscilla, queen of the desert kinda levels. 

 

the horror.

 

as an aside, am pretty sure jackson already did his part for the lgbt community when he made his original trilogy.

 

 

HA! Good Fun!

Edited by Gromnir
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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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We never discuss games here. And I'd wager more than half the people posting in this thread haven't played it. I certainly haven't, because from what views I've read from people with similar tastes I'd be better served playing BGT with SCS.

 

I think maybe five or so of us have played it and all but one seemed to enjoy it

 

I was disappointed with Argent's motivation and portrayal after everything the game had done to build her up and also how I couldn't mention anything about Haphernaan to anyone after I found out about him. I'm sure there are more nits I have to pick but I'm at work and typing on my phone and those are the first things that come to mind

 

Funny thing is, I enjoyed it sufficiently to finish it, and will probably replay it as an evil character at some point. As I said, I'd probably buy another Beamdog IE game, though I'd prefer if they didn't use the Baldur's Gate property. Gameplay is solid. Area and encounter design, challenge, etc. All of that works pretty well and it's as good as anything found in previous titles. I'd say bringing accomplished modders on board has paid off as well. Again, I got my money's worth.

 

However, the writing is not only the weakest part of the game, it is weak in and of itself. The scope and length of the game are absolutely irrelevant to the quality of storytelling, the plausibility of situations and circumstances, how original it is or how believable, consistent and unique the characters are. Unsurprisingly, one of the areas I'd liked the most is one where there's very little writing or dialogue: the old temple of Bhaal, where the mood and plot are conveyed more through gameplay and ambient cues than written exposition.

 

And sorry folks, but BG2 isn't exactly the Sistine Chapel, Beethoven's 9th, or Crime and Punishment. So yeah, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect more experienced developers to improve on it. Arguably they have done so in the gameplay and tech aspects, so I don't see what's so esoteric about writing that BG2 simply cannot be topped in that regard.

Edited by 213374U

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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it's been more than 500 years since shakespeare's last play, so why is it that when Gromnir watches a play, sees a movie or plays a story-driven game, we ain't experiencing an hours long blissgasm o' pure epiphany?  special effects and production values has improved since shakespeare. entertainment industries have had hundreds o' years to improve narrative and storytelling for chrissakes.  

 

HA! Good Fun!

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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