Baldur's Gate: EE impressions
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December 10th, 2012, 17:49
Wow, this thread certainly blew up over the last few days. I don't even know where to begin, so I'll just do a few general comments on topics I've noticed:
BG: EE vs Tutu/BGT:
- The graphics are superior, mainly due to proper scaling. Things look as crisp as BG2, which was always a notch above BGT/Tutu despite using the same engine.
- The interface now looks a bit more modern and a bit less IN-YOUR-FACE-FONTS FROM THE 90s! Old BG, even with BGT/Tutu, had hideous fonts and general interface. It really looks like a bad website from the 90s.
- Additional voices: Most banter and such is voiced now. I have to admit I never even noticed comments like Edwin going: "Elminster this, Elminster that. Give ME 2000 years and a pointy hat and I'll kick his arse". How I managed to miss such a good comment is beyond me, but somehow I did. Now I noticed it because he said it all of a sudden.
- Zooming: I don't really use this feature a lot when playing on a desktop, but it's very useful whenever I fire it up on laptops and similar with smaller monitors.
- Lots of fixed issues: BGT/Tutu pretty much copies over all BG2 material without any adjustments. BG: EE has made quite a few adjustments, such as toning down Totemic Druid pets and fixing the summoned pet limit (set to 5 now, like in BG2). Unfortunately, Kensai and Monk are still both useless at low levels, which includes all of BG1 I'm afraid. You need to be level 12+ for either one to really be useful. Stick to Berserker in BG1.
- BG2 weapon types are now available: Unlike BGT/Tutu, you can now get your hands on Katanas and similar if you want. It's nice if you're building a character for BG2, though I honestly recommend Long Swords or Bastard Swords as the available swords are still stronger than any available Katanas.
- New content (see below).
- Rasaad: A monk with an interesting story. Much better than modded characters in terms of story, but he's a monk, so he's useless. A real shame, as I would love to bring him along more often, but I assume he'll make a comeback in BG2.
- Neera: A bit too many attempts at being funny without really being funny, but otherwise it's fun to play around with a wild mage NPC. Overall, her quest is quite short and, to be perfectly honest, dull. It could've used a bit more work. Again, I assume she'll be available in BG2: EE, so hopefully her story is more fleshed out there.
- Dorn: The best new NPC by a wide margin. His story is very interesting and his fighting skills are superb. He beats Minsc quite easily as the best fighter of BG1, though Kagain with bracers of dexterity is still the best tank (by far, not only due to high constitution, but also because dwarves get extra saves).
- Blackguard: A very powerful kit, just like every other Paladin kit, but it does have a serious drawback: It's evil. Evil doesn't really work in Baldur's Gate. It never has. It probably never will. Being evil in BG1-2 blows, no matter how cool the kit is. Luckily, Dorn is around, so you get to try it out through him without having to be evil yourself.
- Black Pits: Haven't tried it. I'll try it this week.
Anyway, all this makes me wonder: What will BG2: EE include? Zooming to be sure, as well as Rasaad, Neera and Dorn. And then what? The rest of the features are already in place. I hope they'll include at least one more NPC, some sort of thief character (fighter/thief or maybe an Assassin).
Maybe they'll also make the transition a bit smoother. It's no secret that the transition currently disrupts the flow a lot - I hardly ever have the default party consisting of Jaheira, Imoen, Minsc, Dynaheir and Khalid, so it's always a bit weird when those are my starting companions in BG2. Still, I suppose re-writing the entire start of BG2 to take your party composition into mind is too big a task, but it would be interesting.
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