Baldur's Gate coming back

Aaron D. wrote:
Recreational Villain wrote:

And my stance is that both PoEII and D:OS2 are both INFINITELY better than their Mark I counterparts, inclusive of any humor or levity (yes, PoEI was utterly dry and D:OS1 was extreme slapstick).

I agree with this. Particularly the leap from OS1 to OS2. Aside from sharing the same engine & visual style, it almost feels like two completely different devs and in-game universes.

This does have me thinking about the Enhanced Editions of Baldur's Gate 1 & 2. I own both and am considering a revisit. Thing is I likely don't have the stamina for both on a consecutive run.

It's been so long since I played the originals back when they launched, that I've kinda forgotten most everything about them. All I'm left with is the impression that BG2 is bigger, better & more bad-ass than the original (much like PoE:2 & D:OS2).

So I'm wondering if I should just jump straightaway into BG2 in prep for BG3. Wonder if I'd be lost kinda like watching Empire Strikes Back first.

I've lost steam on a few BG I runs now, having seen the content a fair amount, and recently pondered the same thing for a pre BG3 run. I keep telling myself that it would defeat the purpose of a monumental run up to BG3 to NOT do both; then again, perhaps I'd simply hit a wall and let BG3 linger on my hard drive unnecessarily long if I attempted it right after BG 1 + 2. It is a rather insane back-to-back time investment these days.

Whatever happened to Desslok? I always wonder that, every time i wander past Kossled on the road from Candlekeep.

I finally got the chance to sit down and watch the Rock Paper Shotgun coverage of Baldur's Gate 3. With a proper look to take it all in it is something I'm most intrigued by.

You can definitely see the Divinity Original Sin framework. (Which is arguably the current standout foundation to build a D&D video game upon.) Yet it appears to be laced with tweaks and variations that should see it stand alone from Divinity Original Sin.

I'm happy to see designated classes rather than the all abilities for everyone approach. (The latter is fun. I'd just rather it remain separate from Baldur's Gate.) Dice rolls. (Abilities do make a difference, yet minus guarantees, for unexpected awesome.) Turn based with initiative to decide which group can act first. (This will feel much more Baldur's Gate than Divinity Original Sin. This is awesome.) Verticality with the ability to jump. (No dependency on teleportation.) Movement cost separate from ability cost. (Again, much more like Baldur's Gate than Divinity Original Sin.) I'm impressed.

It feels like Larian have attempted to mesh turn based combat and real-time with pause. In essence. Obviously they lean more towards the former than the latter, but that's where they currently specialize. The changes do seemingly hasten encounters as well as better incorporate group tactics. It's a good fit.

I think a lot will depend on the number of adversaries you face as well - and the number of encounters. Those intellect devourers were a poor choice of example to some extent - it sort of speaks of a game filled with trash mobs rather than meaningful encounters. I totally get it was meant as the ‘this is how you fight’ tutorial battle, I’m just not sure it was the best idea for that presentation. The battle with the dungeon raiders though looked a lot more like short, intense encounters will real stakes in play, and a much better presentation of how Larian build their combat and the rewards for thinking outside the box a little (kicking that guy off the pedestal will never get old!)

Going back through DO:S2 a little the last week it’s noticeable that many of the encounters in Fort Joy aren’t that meaningful. While I love the Original Sin combat model and I’m quite happy to sit through a tough, 45 minute tactical battle in the middle of an RPG I can see how some people would find that frustrating if the battle itself is pointless. Especially if you c*ck it up and start burning through resurrection scrolls, or you get two or three of them in short order and end up with a badly beaten party with zero progress to show (or decent loot). If I have a criticism of D:OS2 on a replay, that’s one right there.

I hope BG3 skews much more to fewer but more intense battles with meaningful results. To be honest it’s something a lot of RPGs could use - slapping in more battles to fill out the game isn’t always the best idea. Pillars of Eternity could have learned from that idea too.

pyxistyx wrote:

Whatever happened to Desslok? I always wonder that, every time i wander past Kossled on the road from Candlekeep.

Pretty sure he went into law and had a head for investment, or thereabouts. I don't believe he does much in the columnist scene these days (?) Fairly certain he's still 'one of us' in regards to the RPG itch.

Recreational Villain wrote:
pyxistyx wrote:

Whatever happened to Desslok? I always wonder that, every time i wander past Kossled on the road from Candlekeep.

Pretty sure he went into law and had a head for investment, or thereabouts. I don't believe he does much in the columnist scene these days (?) Fairly certain he's still 'one of us' in regards to the RPG itch.

He's def still around: https://twitter.com/thedesslock

^ Aha! My memory may be slipping but at least it still holds, uh, important facts. That links states "Corporate lawyer, VC & former long-time columnist for PC Gamer & Computer Gaming World-mainly tweet about gaming, old movies, poker, monsters and other nonsense" [emphasis formatting added]

But yeah, man that makes me feel old. I remember he was the go-to guy for RPG writeups until the BG games put a spotlight back on the genre. I can't recall the last time I wanted to look up news about a certain game where I didn't just hit here and/or Google vs the old way of going to a specific pub or author. I had a stack of the mags at one point.

good to know, thanks

As someone who was writing a lot about RPGs back then, that dude intimidated the sh*t out of me. He legit knew everything and was good at showing it; everyone had a lot of respect for him, and it was deserved.

It's been a while since I tried D:OS but I barely finished the first area. I found the environmental effects too gimmicky and exploitative, although on reflection, it's no different than parking your front line in BG2 at a doorway and casting cloudkill or fireballs at everything in front of them.

I just want a decent party size. Please be more than 4 members!

One thought that occurs here is that BG3 will be much different than D:OS2, because it has to use the 5E rules. They won't be able to use the "Larian level system", where each new level increases your power by a percentage of your existing power. Rather, they'll have to stick to how 5E levels work, and use their systems for weapons and spells as well.

Looking back, I have huge criticisms of 2E, despite having played it for many years at the time, but one area where it was excellent was in overall combat balance and challenge, particularly in the mid-levels. People knew how to make, say, a group of level 7 characters sweat without outright killing them, and that overall systemic knowledge translated pretty well into the Baldur's Gate series.

5E hasn't been out as long, but it should benefit from the many years of running related systems, and being forced to use that external rule set should mean that Larian can't mess up the mechanics too badly. The plot could be a disaster, of course, but OS2 was at least decent, so there's a good chance they could do well.

ping to follow the thread. hoping for a bit of new info toward the end of the month.

I finally got Divinity Original Sin 2 and the quality of that game makes me super excited about this one. Coop RPGs are so very long overdue.

Larian have just tweeted out a new teaser

Take a look here

Some gameplay clips mostly.

Hrmph, I'm slowly sliding into the group who thinks this looks less and less like a BG game.

Really? Looks like a bit of DA:O marketing mixed in the DnD to me.

Yup, I think I'm holding out more hope for Pathfinder Wrath of the Righteous even more now.

Vector wrote:

Really? Looks like a bit of DA:O marketing mixed in the DnD to me.

This is how I feel. It looks SO VERY D&D to me.

Looked like Original Sin : DnD Edition to me, but that’s exactly what I wanted so I’m good.

The next update will be 6th June at the Guerilla Collective Indie Showcase Larian and a few other developers are involved in. There should be updates about the game all month. There is a RPS article about it here.

garion333 wrote:

Hrmph, I'm slowly sliding into the group who thinks this looks less and less like a BG game.

But what is the definition of a Baldur's Gate game? The ones we played before were about a godling seeded during the Time of Troubles, but that's a huge campaign setting, and covers a really vast area and a lot of opposing factions. This game has illithids and (apparently) the Underdark, which is definitely a major part of BG2, so I'm really confused about why this wouldn't count.

I mean, sure, there's a big marketing boost from re-using the name, but if it's set in Faerun, uses AD&D rules, is plot-and-character heavy, and involves the titular city, why wouldn't it be a Baldur's Gate game?

I suppose you could nitpick and say it has to be Second Edition, but even the original games weren't purely any rule set, they kinda cribbed from multiple sources, and just made up their own stuff in some cases, like nerfing the hell out of high level mages.

edit: that said, if the game were really heavily focused on combat, it might be better as an Icewind Dale, but it certainly looks like they're trying hard on the story. IWD was just a bunch of difficult combat setpieces, with the minimum story to hold them together, and this doesn't appear to be similar, from the limited info we have.

I don't have a particularly good answer to that other than I've played their Divinity games and the look looks like that so much.

Twas a knee jerk reaction to a teaser trailer. Probably should have left it in my head.

No, your complaint is valid.

Though I guess for clarity we we can now stop using Baldur's Gate in place of RTwP or Infinity Engine game.
BG isn't exclusive to that gameplay but it sure initiated and mainstreamed it.
The interactive environments are a hallmark of Divinity: OS as well. We will see if that overshadows the D&D mechanics as well.

garion333 wrote:

I don't have a particularly good answer to that other than I've played their Divinity games and the look looks like that so much.

Twas a knee jerk reaction to a teaser trailer. Probably should have left it in my head.

Yeah, I took your comment as "this looks like a Divinity: Original Sin game". I had a similar impression (especially the shots of EVERYTHING is ON FIRE!!). But I am willing to wait and see - if they can justify EVERYTHING is ON FIRE in an AD&D way, I am fine with it. If it feels like a D:OS thing, I am still fine with it but it would not feel like a Baldur's Gate/Infinity Engine game/whatever we are calling those these days to me. Which is OK too.

tboon wrote:

if they can justify EVERYTHING is ON FIRE in an AD&D way

In my experience "everything is on fire" is a pretty common occurrence in D&D, especially once the wizard learns Fireball

I'm playing 2 simultaneous runs of the BG series (just finished the amazing Siege of Dragonspear and just started BG2) and I'm absolutely falling in love with the series once more.

Regarding BG3, yeah it is going to be nothing like the original series but I've come to terms with that. Dragon Age was wonderful, this is from Larian who made Divinity: Original Sin 2 (which I never played but the consensus is it's amazing), and indications are there will be several story beats and references to the original series, so I'll settle in and give it a fair shake.

I know this is set far in the future from the Bhaalspawn sage but any chance to get more Minsc and Boo content is a worthy one.

garion333 wrote:

I don't have a particularly good answer to that other than I've played their Divinity games and the look looks like that so much.

Twas a knee jerk reaction to a teaser trailer. Probably should have left it in my head.

As both a veteran BG player and someone who thinks the Original Sin games are just as good if not better I have no issue with your comments, because you have a very good point. BG3 looks like Original Sin - very much like Original Sin and there is a gravitas to the BG games (despite NPCs like Noober) that the D:OS games lack, both in style and content. D:OS2 certainly tries to add it, but Larian have an underlying sense of fun and mischief that the BG games have never had and the storyline in D:OS2 doesn't quite come off as well as I think they would like. Pillars of Eternity was considerably more like BG in that regard than D:OS. It's a shame Obsidian got Deadfire so wrong.

Personally, that doesn't bother me. I like the sillyness in the D:OS games, but I also totally get that isn't everyone's cup of tea. If they can meld Larian's creative approach to the gameplay mechanics to a more grounded, meaningful storyline then BG3 should be the crowning glory of the cRPG genre. I have no idea if they'll be able to pull that off, but if anyone deserve to try it's Larian.

But yeah, I hope they curb the whole "Everything's on Fire!" environmental approach to combat just a little! I'm totally onboard with just electrocuting everyone though. Not entirely sure what that says about me though. Maybe I'll live without finding out.

I love DOS2 (not so much DOS1), but I completely agree that BG3 looks too much like DOS, in a negative way.
In the end, even a DOS clone is much better than nothing. But I'd certainy rather take a BG3 in the vein of Pathfinder Kingmaker or Pillars of Eternity.

Budo wrote:

I know this is set far in the future from the Bhaalspawn sage but any chance to get more Minsc and Boo content is a worthy one.

I don't follow the Heroes of Baldurs Gate comics, but it's my understanding that Minsc and Boo have been canonically resurrected more recently , having been petrified and then...un...petrified in the future. Basically the comics tend to co-inside with whatever the current D&D campaign book is, so he's done everything from tackled the Cult of Dragons to exploring Barovia / Avernus with a new adventuring party.

So yeah. There's a non-zero chance of him popping up in a cameo, i'd wager.

*I have to say my enthusiasm for the game is dampened somewhat of late, knowing that Mike "let's leak personal details of sexual assault victims to my buddy, their abuser" Mearls had some hand in it's development, but we'll see.

As long as it has D&D rules and plays like a D&D game, I don't care if it looks like Divinity. Re-using the engine they already know and understand means they can spend more time building the game, instead of having to construct the engine and tooling from scratch, and then figure out how to accomplish what they want to do. That's a lot of why BG2 was so much better than BG1; they had the core engine done, knew how to use it, and could go crazy on content.

And real D&D is turn-based; while I really like the Infinity engine, the D:OS2 approach is a lot closer to the original game system. And to fight really intelligently in BG1 and 2, to extract every erg out of your characters, you have to set so many autopauses that it's pretty much a turn-based game anyway.