The GWJ CRPG Club - Game 7: Baldur's Gate (In Progress)

Couldn't resist rolling-up a character:
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/ln7I5rf.jpg)

Plan is to be evil (I played BG as good before) and dual-wield warhammers.

Long term, I'll dual class to cleric when transitioning to BG2.

Just a quick heads up that I'll be traveling for first third of July, so I won't be able to play and might have stretches where I can't check the forum. I'll be following along and updating the first post as I'm able.

I look forward to getting back to the game once I get back. I'm really enjoying it so far!

Alien Love Gardener wrote:

In other news, I'm into Chapter Seven. I picked up Viconia as my sixth party member for a while, but she bailed after the events in Cloakwook made my reputation too high. Because that's definitely a sensible thing to do for a character in her situation.

Debating whether I should beeline to the end, or do any of the tales of the Sword Coast content. Maybe I should just do Durlag's until I get the stat boost Tome.

Wow, that was fast! Did you sleep?

Alien Love Gardener wrote:

I picked up Viconia as my sixth party member for a while, but she bailed after the events in Cloakwook made my reputation too high.

Possibly my least favourite aspect of Baldur's Gate is its reputation system. It's so fun to keep tabs on reputation, and its breakpoints, to then need to be caught stealing, injuring or killing an innocent, or donating gold at a temple.

I think I recall there being a mod where one could pay off a Bard to spread horror stories concerning your (totally made up) nasty deeds. Basically a donation to decrease rather than increase reputation.

RnRClown wrote:
Alien Love Gardener wrote:

I picked up Viconia as my sixth party member for a while, but she bailed after the events in Cloakwook made my reputation too high.

Possibly my least favourite aspect of Baldur's Gate is its reputation system. It's so fun to keep tabs on reputation, and its breakpoints, to then need to be caught stealing, injuring or killing an innocent, or donating gold at a temple.

I think I recall there being a mod where one could pay off a Bard to spread horror stories concerning your (totally made up) nasty deeds. Basically a donation to decrease rather than increase reputation.

There are mods that significantly reduce the rate of reputation change which can help.
There is also a mod available to eliminate party members ever leaving due to reputation.

It's too bad the Virtue mod was never updated to the Enhanced Editions (and I believe the original was only available for BG2) but it re-coded the reputation system to split between changing reputation for events that would be noticed by others and virtue for doing the right thing. Party member reactions would key off virtue rather than reputation, so you could effectively play a Lawful or Neutral Evil character by doing the right thing in public, then doing lots of nasty deeds behind the scenes, or playing Chaotic Good by thumbing your nose at the law but being nice to people. It worked remarkably well and felt quite natural.

It it weren't for the fact that the 3d acceleration and the Widescreen mod finally sh*t the bed with Windows 10 DPI scaling, I'd probably keep playing the old BG versions just to have access to that mod.

I generally recruited those who would not scarper if reputation dinged twenty and never looked back.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

If you'd prefer to wait to play on the Switch, that version will be released on September 24, 2019.

The Switch port had better be in great shape on Day 1, or I'm going to be very unhappy.

*Legion* wrote:
Godzilla Blitz wrote:

If you'd prefer to wait to play on the Switch, that version will be released on September 24, 2019.

The Switch port had better be in great shape on Day 1, or I'm going to be very unhappy.

You and I both.

I'll probably be on PS4, though, which I believe is also September 24, 2019.

I could potentially be swayed to the Switch if there's an option for Joy-Con pointer to mimic mouse cursor.

RnRClown wrote:

I could potentially be swayed to the Switch if there's an option for Joy-Con pointer to mimic mouse cursor.

Look at Mr. Steady Wrist over here.

I won't make any crude jokes about debilitating diseases, but me attempting to use a pointing device from the couch in a game like this would be a crude joke in itself.

Then again, I've never actually used a Joy-Con as a pointer, or even detached a Joy-Con since I bought my Switch.

Perhaps you are correct. My wrists are effectively scrap at this stage. (Damn genetics!) Although, once I got used to the Wiimote it was actually quite subtle movements from a comfortable resting position. After a period with arms outstretched and exaggerated sways. Then the penny dropped.

Just finished exploring the manor house at Nashkell, with the lover hiding in the upstairs closet. I love the writing so much, it makes exploring little out of the way places so rewarding.

Cross posting from the Kingmaker thread as I feel like this thought may be engaging to folks here as well.

The granular PoE speed/interrupt system is impressive from a number-crunching aspect but ultimately incalculable given the vast array of damage types and percentage calculations. It boiled down to remembering enemy x is weak against damage type y and does damage type z, then throwing buffs and debuffs to exploit those traits. Ask me how much damage I could expect to do on a hit and I'd have no idea. This led me to never quite get the flavor of a character as even though the individual concepts were cool, powers were mostly about gradually adding weight to the scale with soft counters and ensuring the preponderance of damage went to the enemy. While this enhanced the need for careful teamwork, characters (by design) felt powerful only as a cog in the party machine.

In Kingmaker (and the Infinity Engine games) combat feels like it's more about breaking defenses with hard counters, then dropping the anvil. While less dynamic in some sense, I find something immensely satisfying about being able to magically AoE a whole mob or gib someone with a big-ass weapon after holding them. Individual characters might not have anything to contribute in certain situations, but those fist-pump moments are more impactful. This definitely hearkens back to the ultra-specialized and moderately imbalanced characters of old-school D&D.

These design tendencies also make jack-of-all-trades characters love 'em or hate 'em kind of thing; they're great if one really wants their main to be involved in all aspects of the gameplay but are actually going to sort of suck at everything compared to their min-maxed compatriots. When you either hit or you miss, there's not a lot of room for nuance.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:
Alien Love Gardener wrote:

In other news, I'm into Chapter Seven. I picked up Viconia as my sixth party member for a while, but she bailed after the events in Cloakwook made my reputation too high. Because that's definitely a sensible thing to do for a character in her situation.

Debating whether I should beeline to the end, or do any of the tales of the Sword Coast content. Maybe I should just do Durlag's until I get the stat boost Tome.

Wow, that was fast! Did you sleep? :)

I might have played this game a couple of times before.

I did wind up doing Durlag's tower before the endgame, but now Sarevok lies dead, and here's the bad boy that took him down:
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/SUOtNeV.png)
Still a highly playable game, even if it's kind of a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Aside from the idiocy with characters being so devoted to an abstract concept of evil that they bail if people like you too much, my only real complaints are that the dialogue could do with more dry options. Quite often it'll give you two "wacky" choices, particularly in optional encounters, which is annoying since i didn't feel like roleplaying as a dipsh*t.

Well, the layout of Baldur's Gate itself is a pain in the ass too.

Now to see what Siege of Dragonspear is like.

Alien Love Gardener wrote:

Aside from the idiocy with characters being so devoted to an abstract concept of evil that they bail if people like you too much

So, how many likes will it take to drive all of the evil Goodjers out of this thread? Let's find out!

Congrats on finishing, Alien Love Gardener! Nice work.

*Legion* wrote:
Godzilla Blitz wrote:

If you'd prefer to wait to play on the Switch, that version will be released on September 24, 2019.

The Switch port had better be in great shape on Day 1, or I'm going to be very unhappy.

Based on your last two play throughs of CRPG games, you won't be starting Baldur's Gate until December 25, so there will be plenty of time for them to hammer out the bug fixes before you start.

So tempting.. I really should hew through Banner Saga 1 - 3 first though (currently in 2). I assume there will be a BG2 run before BG3 drops!?

Sarevok is now gone here as well. I pretty much skipped all side-stuff in the last half of the game; the city, durlags tower and all that. Also my hand aches from pressing Ctrl + J for teleport so much Still less painful than the slow movement speed at least.
I’m really interested in playing Siege of Dragonspear for the first time though. Initial impression is really positive.

I'm In! I've started Baldur's Gate EE.

I don't remember much of it, as it is probably 20 years since I last played it. Anyway; Dragon the Half-elven Fighter/Mage is off with Imoen, Jaheira and Khalid... and they've just picked up Neera. Wild magic? What can possibly go wrong.

I might have dropped some evil persons off in the Friendly Arms with nothing but bare arms... that's Neutral Good, isn't it? Stealing everything that isn't nailed dowb too hard should also be well within my moral views.

If they’re evil, then you’re preventing their future wrongdoings. Sounds good to me.

Regarding "What can go wrong"... Gateing in a Demon when the party is level 1? (reload)

GO FOR THEIR EYES BOO!

My cavalier made level 3 last night, soon after finishing out the Neshkel mines. I told myself I wouldn't be a completionist, but I find myself entering every home, exploring every last corner of wilderness, and reading every journal entry to make sure I'm hitting every quest. It's a sickness.

Anyway, I initially had a bog-standard party going with Imoen, Jaheira, and Kalid, and Minsc, but have been trying to shake it up a bit. So, I've sent off Jaheira and Kalid and started settling into a party that includes Imoen, Minsc, Branwen (cleric), Quayle (cleric/illusionist; I've used a mod that moves some of the companion characters to new locations so that you run across them earlier), and Rasaad (monk; new to enhanced edition). Rasaad, in particular, starts rather squishy (particularly vulnerable to squads of kobolds with arrows), but I'm interested in his character. I've also played around some with Neera (not sure I'm into the wild magic thing), Xan (annoying and squishy), Garrick (eh), and some of the evil characters (Eldoth, Xzar, and Montarron). I may, ultimately, swap out Minsc in favor of somebody new; Dorn (blackguard), despite being evil, might be fun to have around, but we'll see.

It's been fun to wade back in so far!

With my kensai I intentionally avoided Minsc this go round, grabbed Edwin, Kivan (great ranged damage!), and Branwen. Then we rescued Dynaheir, although it remains to be seen how well she'll put up with evil Ed. I liked Xan, but that pessimism gets old quick and he's so damn feeble.

How is Quayle's survivability? I might swap out Branwen for him, which would eventually give us 5 mages once I dual class to mage at kensai level 9 and switch Imoen over. Not sure when to do that with her.

Doesn't Edwin leave if you dont kill Dynaheir?

Finished Siege of Dragonspear. Liked it quite a bit. The game felt a bit more modern it its design (quests and areas in particular).
Main issue I had was that it totally ignores your choices in BG1 - since it is trying to tie into BG2, which already ignores your decisions. Like, I killed Dynaheir and Minsc, but suddenly they are alive and well.

Recreational Villain wrote:

So tempting.. I really should hew through Banner Saga 1 - 3 first though (currently in 2). I assume there will be a BG2 run before BG3 drops!?

I've given up trying to predict what will win. For me a lot will depend on how much I've enjoyed BG1, and whether I'd want to go right to BG2 from it.

Shadout wrote:

Sarevok is now gone here as well. I pretty much skipped all side-stuff in the last half of the game; the city, durlags tower and all that. Also my hand aches from pressing Ctrl + J for teleport so much Still less painful than the slow movement speed at least.
I’m really interested in playing Siege of Dragonspear for the first time though. Initial impression is really positive.

Wow, you all are FAST. Congrats!

Running Man wrote:

With my kensai I intentionally avoided Minsc this go round, grabbed Edwin, Kivan (great ranged damage!), and Branwen. Then we rescued Dynaheir, although it remains to be seen how well she'll put up with evil Ed. I liked Xan, but that pessimism gets old quick and he's so damn feeble.

How is Quayle's survivability? I might swap out Branwen for him, which would eventually give us 5 mages once I dual class to mage at kensai level 9 and switch Imoen over. Not sure when to do that with her.

For me, keeping Quayle alive hasn't been an issue. I park him and Imoen in the back (Quayle with a +1 sling) and let him pelt or cast spells from there. Because he moves so fast, Rasaad is almost always the first one to stumble into a random encounter, and so he gets keyed on. And I'm digging on the cleric/illusionist combo so far. A lot of flexibility there. When I do encounter Kivan (whom I've never used), I may have to reevaluate party comp. I plan to dual-class Imoen to mage eventually, and a dedicated ranged ranger might be the missing ingredient.

I finally started my game. Going in modless. I usually prefer to play as a mage in my fantasy games, but given AD&D's somewhat tedious nature towards spellcasting, I opted to go as a fighter -- and am happy for this decision. I've only just reached the Friendly Arm Inn, but my goodness, the UI is just so delightful to use, compared to Arcanum's.

You can check each party member's damage % compared to the group, and Kivan is at the top, even with a regular bow. Guy's a machine gun.

Up and running. I can’t stop myself from creating almost exactly the same Paladin character I played way back when.
So far I have wandered about the starting area a bit and fetched many things for many people. Also adjusting to the graphics and new EE features. I like the map zoom out.

Spent some time with my level 4 group at Mutamin's Garden. Basilisks are BRUTAL without proper spells, I had to give it up for now.

Basilisks are an absolute menace. You should hunt down as many potion of mirror eyes as you can.

* *

Plugging away with my solo-ish run - currently in the first main chapter of BG2 (my character, with Viconia as support - basically for her restoration and negative plane protection spells, if i'm honest). It's funny - the bulk of the game is collecting the money necessary to trigger the next chapter - with a single character and all the leftover magic items I can't use that get sold, i'm ALREADY well over the target amount and i've barely done ANY of the usual side-quests needed to earn the case

Oh well, i want to get as much XP as i possibly can anyway so I'm going to press on with the sidequests regardless.

Current adventure: exploring a sewer in an attempt to remove a certain cult...