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November 27th, 2011, 22:07
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
So every time an older game is overwhelmingly favored over a newer game it's automatically nostalgia?
Of course not. Personally, I have had a great deal of fun playing classics that I missed out on when they were initially released, and there's something about some of the classics that is just…better. They have more character, and a lot of that can be attributed to their relative simplicity, which seemingly forced the developers to inject more personality into the games to make up for the lack of technological bells and whistles. It's unfortunate that so many newer games have lost that charm and creative spirit. In short, the classics are remembered as such for a reason, and they have not been surpassed in many ways to this day.

However, a lot of people never fairly consider that a newer game might be better in some aspects than the classics that inspired it. I don't like using the "nostalgia" argument very often, because that's been used as an unfair defense of games like DA2, but I think BG fans are a bit nitpicky when judging DA:O. Perhaps some people just don't want a new game to be better than an old favorite, so they overly criticize a newer game to justify to themselves why the favorite is "objectively better." I imagine the same thing will happen with Skyrim; Morrowind fans will come up with all sorts of wild arguments to justify Morrowind's status as the "best Elder Scrolls game" while completely ignoring its flaws and unfairly magnifying any faults of Skyrim.

Keep in mind that I don't think that you are blinded by nostalgia JDR, as I've seen enough of your posts to see that you mostly keep an open mind for newer games and I believe you when you say that for you, BG is objectively better. I guess I've gone off-topic into a "nostalgia analysis in general," so I'll stop here .

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Maybe Gothic isn't actually better than Arcania. It could be that nostalgia is simply twisting our perception.
Ah, so that's why I didn't like Arcania! It was pure nostalgia for the older Gothics! Games like Arcania and DA2 are why I hate using the nostalgia argument and try to avoid using it unless I really think it's necessary .


Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I don't think they're even close in that aspect, but obviously some people have a higher tolerance of repetitiveness than I do.

You basically fought the same 4-5 enemies over and over again in DA, regardless of where you were in the world, with very few exceptions. Both games had filler combat, but the difference is that BG at least displayed a large variety of enemies, rather than just having you slay an endless supply of Darkspawn for the most part.

I'll admit that the BG series did have the advantage of being created from an IP that already had hundreds of monster types to choose from. If you look at it that way, then it's probably not really fair to compare them.
BG may have had more enemy types that the player could encounter, but many of them could be defeated using the same strategies. So I guess your point is more from an immersion/atmosphere standpoint? Again, I completely agree that BG was better in this area, with several unique enemy types that required new tactics (my first encounters while still early on in the game with invisible enemies, trolls, and a few others come to mind as very basic examples of encounters that required new tactics), but there were still a lot of encounters that didn't force you to abandon the tried and true methods of your basic party strategy and felt like "filler combat."

Combine that with the dungeons that are oftentimes a major headache to maneuver through - I can't for the life of me understand how the narrow passageways that a full party can barely fit through (don't even try using formations) weren't fixed - along with a magic system that requires constant micromanagement, and you get a lot of repetitive gameplay in BG too. Then again, I think both games have flaws that the other didn't have, and that's why I have a hard time deciding which is better. They are both great experiences imo, and I could go either way depending on which one I'm playing at the moment, with maybe a slight edge to DA:O.

Perhaps we can come to a simple agreement that Dragon Age was a welcome return to a gameplay style that had sadly been abandoned . Unfortunately, it has abruptly been abandoned once again, and I don't see another Baldur's Gate or Dragon Age coming along any time soon. It's really unfortunate that the Infinity Engine was outright abandoned; it's aged well enough that I think it could absolutely still be used with great success today.
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November 29th, 2011, 00:09
Originally Posted by Nerevarine View Post
However, a lot of people never fairly consider that a newer game might be better in some aspects than the classics that inspired it. I don't like using the "nostalgia" argument very often, because that's been used as an unfair defense of games like DA2, but I think BG fans are a bit nitpicky when judging DA:O. Perhaps some people just don't want a new game to be better than an old favorite, so they overly criticize a newer game to justify to themselves why the favorite is "objectively better." I imagine the same thing will happen with Skyrim; Morrowind fans will come up with all sorts of wild arguments to justify Morrowind's status as the "best Elder Scrolls game" while completely ignoring its flaws and unfairly magnifying any faults of Skyrim.
I seriously doubt there's very many people that don't want newer games to be as good, or better, than older ones. That's quite a rationalization if I've seen one.

Also, no one said anything about one game being "objectively better" than the other. In fact, you're the only person in this thread who has used that term.



Originally Posted by Nerevarine View Post
BG may have had more enemy types that the player could encounter, but many of them could be defeated using the same strategies. So I guess your point is more from an immersion/atmosphere standpoint? Again, I completely agree that BG was better in this area, with several unique enemy types that required new tactics (my first encounters while still early on in the game with invisible enemies, trolls, and a few others come to mind as very basic examples of encounters that required new tactics), but there were still a lot of encounters that didn't force you to abandon the tried and true methods of your basic party strategy and felt like "filler combat."

Combine that with the dungeons that are oftentimes a major headache to maneuver through - I can't for the life of me understand how the narrow passageways that a full party can barely fit through (don't even try using formations) weren't fixed - along with a magic system that requires constant micromanagement, and you get a lot of repetitive gameplay in BG too. Then again, I think both games have flaws that the other didn't have, and that's why I have a hard time deciding which is better. They are both great experiences imo, and I could go either way depending on which one I'm playing at the moment, with maybe a slight edge to DA:O.
So you're saying that most of the enemies in DA couldn't be defeated by using the same strategies? I find it odd that you would point out something that also applies just as much, if not more, to DA.

The micromanagement that you're complaining about is what many of us liked about the BG games. I'd rather have that than the streamlined simplicity of DA. - i.e. smaller party, fewer classes, no encumbrance, shared inventory, auto healing, etc, etc.

Not saying you're wrong for liking those things. I understand it's subjective. If you prefer simplicity, then more power to you. I'm not saying DA is a simplistic game compared to most modern RPGs, but it was definitely streamlined compared to a lot of older titles.

I don't quite understand some of your other complaints though. Would you really expect a party to be in formation in a narrow passage?

Anyways, the general opinions of both series' speak for themselves. I'd say the main difference is that DA:O was a great game, while Baldur's Gate was a great series. It's a shame because Bioware had an opportunity to have another great series, but they completely ruined it with DA2.
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November 29th, 2011, 01:03
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I seriously doubt there's very many people that don't want newer games to be as good, or better, than older ones. That's quite a rationalization if I've seen one.
Perhaps you're right, but it just seems that way at times. Using Fallout 3 as an example, I noticed many people who already decided before the game was even close to being released that it wasn't going to be as good as the originals. Reading some of the comments people make about how Bethesda "ruined the Fallout name" is an example of people being close-minded to a new game and not being fair, likely thanks in part to being protective of the classic game and the memories they had of playing it; "FO3 isn't exactly the same, therefore it's not as good" seems to be the sentiment for some people. In all honesty, I do think that FO1+2 are the superior games, but the extremism of some of the big-time FO fans who claim that FO3 is a terrible game and an insult to the series seems absurd. Hmm…it appears I'm going way off-topic again…I don't think Fallout has anything to do with this discussion, so I'll get back to the BG/DA topic

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Also, no one said anything about one game being "objectively better" than the other. In fact, you're the only person in this thread who has used that term.
Yes, I'm aware of that…that's why I noted that I had gone off-topic in that post. Sorry for that .

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
So you're saying that most of the enemies in DA couldn't be defeated by using the same strategies? I find it odd that you would point out something that also applies just as much, if not more, to DA.
I agree. In fact, I already said in my previous post that I completely agree that BG was better than DA in this regard . I just didn't find it blatantly repetitive to the point that I found myself getting bored or tiring of the gameplay before the game was over. Overall, I thought the encounters were handled well enough to keep me engaged throughout the game, even if some of them could be considered "filler combat."

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
The micromanagement that you're complaining about is what many of us liked about the BG games. I'd rather have that than the streamlined simplicity of DA. - i.e. smaller party, fewer classes, no encumbrance, shared inventory, auto healing, etc, etc.
I was just making the point that some elements of BG could be considered repetitive as well. And those things you listed - "smaller party, fewer classes, no encumbrance, shared inventory, auto healing, etc" are actually things that I liked better in BG and are part of what I wish was taken from that series and put into DA - especially the six-person party, more classes, multi/dual-classing, more creative use of party combinations instead of one standard grouping, etc.

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Not saying you're wrong for liking those things. I understand it's subjective. If you prefer simplicity, then more power to you. I'm not saying DA is a simplistic game compared to most modern RPGs, but it was definitely streamlined compared to a lot of older titles.
Now that's definitely not what I'm saying; I don't want "simplicity," as that line of thinking is what leads to games like DA2. In DA:O, I see improvements to areas such as melee/archery skills (where the player has far more abilities at their disposal than the previous "go here and attack" approach), better interface and general party control, a magic system that still has a diverse range of spells but without the sometimes tedious Dn'D rules that seem better-suited to pen and paper instead of crpgs (I'm aware that is a highly controversial statement ) etc.

Actually, I'm a bit torn on the issue of magic…I like that the BG system is great for balance and planning, since you have to be careful with using spells and making sure you only use them when necessary, but I think a better method could have been used than the "resting to replenish" approach. DA's magic was more "fun" for me, but BG's was more tactical, which I like. But that's a topic for another day.

BG had elements that were certainly better than DA:O, as I've already mentioned. Again, I just personally feel that each game does specific things better than the other; combining the two would probably lead to the perfect party-based RPG .

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I don't quite understand some of your other complaints though. Would you really expect a party to be in formation in a narrow passage?
It's a dungeon-heavy game, so I absolutely expect formations to work; why include formations if you can't use them? Not being able to use formations in a lot of dungeon combat scenarios took some of the tactical enjoyment out of the game, at least for me. Not only that, but regardless of using formations or not, party-members would sometimes get stuck, fall behind the rest of the group forcing you to sit and wait for them to catch up, etc - all because the passageways were simply too narrow for a full party to navigate. I consider that to be a flaw in the level design, albeit not a game-breaking one by any stretch. Not sure how at least that part can't be considered a valid complaint.

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Anyways, the general opinions of both series' speak for themselves. I'd say the main difference is that DA:O was a great game, while Baldur's Gate was a great series. It's a shame because Bioware had an opportunity to have another great series, but they completely ruined it with DA2.
That's certainly something we can agree on without question. DA:O certainly had flaws (as every game does), but it was a great foundation for something that could have potentially become truly special. Considering that the common opinion is that BG2 surpassed BG1 in just about every way, I imagine the same thing could have been said for DA2 if the approach had stayed the same and the effort had been focused on improving the solid foundation laid by DA:O. At least the Baldur's Gate series is concluded; I'd hate to see its name tarnished in the same way if a BG3 was ever made by the current Bioware.
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November 29th, 2011, 01:17
Originally Posted by Nerevarine View Post
It's a dungeon-heavy game, so I absolutely expect formations to work; why include formations if you can't use them? Not being able to use formations in a lot of dungeon combat scenarios took some of the tactical enjoyment out of the game, at least for me. Not only that, but regardless of using formations or not, party-members would sometimes get stuck, fall behind the rest of the group forcing you to sit and wait for them to catch up, etc - all because the passageways were simply too narrow for a full party to navigate. I consider that to be a flaw in the level design, albeit not a game-breaking one by any stretch. Not sure how at least that part can't be considered a valid complaint..
Er.. the formations do work. Your complaint about them not working in narrow passages is simply unrealistic, and quite frankly doesn't make much sense. How can a party be in formation in a "narrow" passage? It wasn't meant for you to always be in formation.

As far as everything else is concerned, it looks like we actually agree on most things. I think the BG series was better and will have a stronger legacy, but I understand not everyone feels the same way.
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November 29th, 2011, 05:38
I wonder which way this argument would go if they would have made da2 more complex rather than simplified.

Added classes, monsters, skills, more exploration, choice and consequence and continued the story allowing you to actually import your save game, while keeping the same core gameplay intact.

Then it would have been a whole different ballgame. I think the bg series was better than da i'm not sure just bg alone was. da falls just short for me but had they improved and added to da when making da2 then it very well could have surpassed bg imo.

Disclaimer: I play bg2, iwd and iwd 2 almost yearly so it's not just nostalgia here. They are still great game today.
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