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Default Baldur's Gate - Gaming Execs' All-time Favourite

November 9th, 2011, 11:56
Eurogamer reports on a vote by the World Gaming Executives network that resulted in Baldur's Gate being elected their all-time favourite game. Apparently 1000 members from the site dedicated to gaming executives (duh!) voted. Diablo and Monkey island were next along.
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November 9th, 2011, 11:56
Oh well, it could have been much worse: better BG than Diablo or Monkey Island imho.

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November 9th, 2011, 14:12
Hard to disagree with the choice, though maybe BG2.

It took years for me to finally admit that as much as I love Ultima VII, BG1 & 2 have eclipsed it for me.

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November 9th, 2011, 14:21
I tried to play BG2, but I never got what was good with it. Can someone explain the greatness to me ? I really want to like this game as it is so popular here. I tried playing but I just don't get the greatness? is it that it gets great just after you put in more than 20 hours or?
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November 9th, 2011, 14:28
Interesting. Reading this is a minor compensation of sorts when you consider that Diablo has certainly had a much more pervasive influence upon imitatory design and development overall.
This is reflected in the unfortunate fact that we've had far many more Diablo clones than we have had games which have attempted to emulate or evolve the Baldur's Gate experience. That's just my opinion of course - but it's great to hear some evidence of BG's popularity.

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November 9th, 2011, 14:29
It's good to see BG get the nod. I always liked it better than BG2.

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November 9th, 2011, 14:30
I definitely like BG1 better than BG2 so someone needs to explain the greatness of BG2 to me as well.
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November 9th, 2011, 14:41
I think that by "Baldur´s Gate" they mean the whole series.
A poll where BG1 claims the first place while BG2 doesn´t make it into top 20 is unlikely.

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November 9th, 2011, 14:49
Eurogamer makes some valid points and some of the comments on the article are interesting.

We had a glimpse at the member directory and managed to pick out only Secret World maker Funcom and Alan Wake maker Remedy as household names. Nevertheless, UK dev/pub associations UKIE and Tiga were both present.
So they think this is largely a group of indies? One forum member points out that 1/2life is not in the list, which I have to agree is surprising tho its not close to my favourite game. Also, doom isn't mentioned. They also think this is based on series rather than individual games so BG2 might be included.

The release dates of the titles may also be reflective of the voters ages IMO with Tomb Raider, Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Series really being titles that are old (I note that they called it the Super Mario Series rather than Donkey Kong Series). Forum commentators point out that FIFA tends to be at the top of players list for some reason.

Finally, critical forum commentators point out that these are the same guys who voted Steve Jobs as the most influential person in the gaming industry. The funny thing is its actually close to being accurate but not in the way that they or the voters probably believed when they voted.


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November 9th, 2011, 14:51
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
I tried to play BG2, but I never got what was good with it. Can someone explain the greatness to me ? I really want to like this game as it is so popular here. I tried playing but I just don't get the greatness? is it that it gets great just after you put in more than 20 hours or?
Originally Posted by Lemonhead View Post
I definitely like BG1 better than BG2 so someone needs to explain the greatness of BG2 to me as well.
I preferred the setting for BG1 over BG2. The color palette was brighter and I really enjoyed that as opposed to all the dark and dreary stuff we generally see (and saw in BG2).

As for what was good with it? Well, obviously that is subjective, but I would say that the things that I really enjoyed were:

1) Exploration - Both had large worlds to explore (BG2 more so), with lots of things to do and see. And while in BG2 you were more restricted, there was still an openess about it. You weren't put on a rail like so many games
2) Story - while the "you're the savior of the world" is definitely an overused theme, I thought it was done in a unique way and interesting way:

Spoiler

3) memorable characters - in the first one, they are little more than meat puppets if you don't really use your imagination. I recommend the party banter mod, though for my first 3-4 play throughs, I certainly had no problem inserting personalities on them. I despised Khalid (mainly from his whining) and usually allowed him to get killed off. I loved Imoen, which made me really get sucked into BG2 quick given what happens to her. And I got very attached to several of the other joinable NPC's in BG2 as well. (I usually end up romancing Aerie).

The antagonists in BG2 are exceptionally well done too, IMO.

I think one of the things I really liked about BG1 was that despite some of the heavier elements of the story, the game overall didn't take itself too seriously. It really felt like an old-school go explore the world and see what's there game.

If tactical play is really your thing, I can completely understand why neither title would suite you. Tactical doesn't do much for me though, so they were right up my alley.

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November 9th, 2011, 15:45
Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
Finally, critical forum commentators point out that these are the same guys who voted Steve Jobs as the most influential person in the gaming industry. The funny thing is its actually close to being accurate but not in the way that they or the voters probably believed when they voted.

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November 9th, 2011, 15:51
Originally Posted by Lemonhead View Post
I definitely like BG1 better than BG2 so someone needs to explain the greatness of BG2 to me as well.
For me, it's all about scope/ambition. I haven't played a game since that had the sheer depth and breadth of content that BG2 had. It creeps up on you over time and you suddenly realize—this is a world! The Elder Scrolls games are much larger, but they don't have the ridiculous amount of content, from small, hand-written letters to the wonderfully detailed item descriptions, to the dense locations with a locked door or lich around every corner. I got lost in that world….

Add to that the fact I was able to co-op play the entire thing with my wife and just icing on the cake.
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November 9th, 2011, 15:57
1) Exploration - Both had large worlds to explore (BG2 more so), with lots of things to do and see. And while in BG2 you were more restricted, there was still an openess about it. You
Well, I thought they had a map where you clicked on the place you wanted to go, and sometimes a long the way you'd get a random event… usually resulting in a fairly hard and boring combat?

2) Story - while the "you're the savior of the world" is definitely an overused theme, I thought it was done in a unique way and interesting way:
Well, I totally felt it was one of the most cliché stories ever…. that is from the first 20 hours I played. I did not feel it was unique or interesting, maybe I booked too little time?

3) memorable characters - in the first one, they are little more than meat puppets if you don't really use your imagination. I recommend the party banter mod, though for my first 3-4 play throughs, I certainly had no problem inserting personalities on them. I despised Khalid (mainly from his whining) and usually allowed him to get killed off. I loved Imoen, which made me really get sucked into BG2 quick given what happens to her. And I got very attached to several of the other joinable NPC's in BG2 as well. (I usually end up romancing Aerie).
Hmm, Aerie did appear quite interesting, as for the others I can hardly even remember them, except for Imoen. It doesn't help either that the character graphics are so horrible that you can in no way feel these are characters instead they feel like walking pixels. Not a huge problem for me usually but they really look bad.

If tactical play is really your thing, I can completely understand why neither title would suite you. Tactical doesn't do much for me though, so they were right up my alley.
I do really like tactical, but even if combat sucks and the rest of the game is really good, I could still enjoy it a lot. Like Ultima 7 for example.
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November 9th, 2011, 16:06
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
Well, I thought they had a map where you clicked on the place you wanted to go, and sometimes a long the way you'd get a random event… usually resulting in a fairly hard and boring combat?
Well, yes it was map based, but each area was fairly large, and often had multiple levels built in. I really liked in the first one where to get to somewhere on the map, you had to actually walk through all the areas in between first (you could then go directly later). As for hard and boring combat, you did occasionally get 'way laid by enemies' but I don't remember it happening that often.

Well, I totally felt it was one of the most cliché stories ever…. that is from the first 20 hours I played. I did not feel it was unique or interesting, maybe I booked too little time?
Either it grabs you or it doesn't. Did you work on the main quest in that 20 hrs or mainly the side quests?

Hmm, Aerie did appear quite interesting, as for the others I can hardly even remember them, except for Imoen. It doesn't help either that the character graphics are so horrible that you can in no way feel these are characters instead they feel like walking pixels. Not a huge problem for me usually but they really look bad.
I didn't think they looked bad. Certainly no worse than anything else at the time.

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November 9th, 2011, 16:26
So maybe the idea is that I should try Baldurs Gate I first right? I think there are some mods that allow you to play both as one huge game with some engine improvements?

It would also solve the pixel hunting I hated so much I've heard? for example if you killed a couple of quest mobs and their lot ended up behind a stone wall, you'd have to pixel hunt for up to 20 minutes before finding the loot. That was sooooo annoying and boring.

About the characters I felt even PS4 had more expressive and lifelike characters than BG2 ( well actually even PS1 ) which is 13 years older, PS4 is just 7 years older but I could give a lot more samples. Here are the screen compare at least you can see the faces in ps4. If you take some games from 2000 the difference would be enormous. Also there is a diablo screen ( which in my opinion looks far superior ) from 4 years earlier….
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bg2screen.jpg (2.1 KB, 85 views)
File Type: jpg reallyoldps4.jpg (4.1 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg diablo1.jpg (4.9 KB, 82 views)
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November 9th, 2011, 16:36
I see what you are saying on the pics, but I guess it just never bother me much. The 3D game out there at the time we so blocky that I hated them and the BG sprites looked fine to me. Plus you had the character portraits for seeing what the characters 'really' looked like. (I liked the one of Imoen so much, that I imported it into BG2 and replaced the one they used for her there!)

As for the pixel hunting, were you playing with Throne of Bhaal installed? That added a feature where you could hit tab (IIRC) and it would illuminate anything you could click on (doors, loot, containers, etc.). That was a HUGE improvement IMO.

There are two mods that make the entire game playable using ToB, BG trilogy and BG TuTu. I used TuTu last time I played through and it worked great. I liked the Party Banter mod for BG1 too, because without it, outside of random outbursts, your party members don't really say anything.

There are better experts than me on this site though as for what mods you should use.

As for playing BG1 first, since the stories arch together, I think it definitely helps. It can be a little weird though when you start BG2, because (outside of mods at least), the characters that are in the dungeon are set and it doesn't matter who you had in your party in BG1, even if you import your character. Just one of those things you have to accept.

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November 9th, 2011, 16:47
Originally Posted by Lemonhead View Post
greatness of BG2
usual reasons:

- companions with personalities
- a lot of optional content, including quite elaborate side quests
- well conceived antagonist(s)
- mage "duels"
- varied encounters and itemization
- class-specific content
- sense of an epic adventure, but not without "personal" edge
- well conceived big city
- well designed UI
- a lot of lore

Some, or maybe even all, of this could be argued not to be "that great" under scrutiny (like, personalities suck, side quests are mostly just combat (the most difficult quest in the game is Jaheira romance ), no C&C to speak of, lacking support for evil protagonists, the world feels more like an amusement park, etc.), but same could be done for stuff usually listed as BG1´s best assets too - for example, being able to explore all those maps whenever I want is cool and all, but due to slow walking speed doing so is tedious and there are just 1 or 2 interesting things to encounter per map, which means most of the time it´s just walking around while nothing´s happening, low level campaigning is cool and all, except archery is totally overpowered and low level mages are boring as fuck, etc.


Personally, I don´t really bother trying to decide for myself which of the vanilla games I prefer since I think both become much better when mods are allowed to be a part of the picture. For BG1 it would be mainly one of the mods "porting" it into BG2´s engine (either EasyTutu, or Baldur´s Gate Trilogy), BG1 NPC Project which makes all the running around a bit more eventful and Sword Coast Stratagems which diversifies the game´s encounters and ups the challenge, for BG2 it would be Sword Coast Stratagems II (shitload of improvements, including cool stuff like some high level enemies casting Wish), Rogue Rebalancing (enemy thieves utilizing detect illusions, etc.) and Refinements (more diverse and class-specific HLAs) + Ascension (substantially ramps up difficulty of ToB´s major encounters and thus makes all the leveling and powerful loot more "meaningful") for ToB. Also 1 Pixel Productions´ avatar and paperdoll changes, because these indeed look a lot worse in BG2 than in BG1, and Widescreen mod for obvious reasons.

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Last edited by DeepO; November 9th, 2011 at 17:03.
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November 9th, 2011, 19:04
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
Also there is a diablo screen ( which in my opinion looks far superior ) from 4 years earlier….
Character sprites are one thing, but as far as backgrounds go Infinity engine games simply mop the floor with everything that was out at the time. Maybe only Commandos games came close. Take your tilebased Diablo and stick it where the sun doesn't shine, because it looks fugly compared to IE.
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November 9th, 2011, 19:16
Originally Posted by tolknaz View Post
Character sprites are one thing, but as far as backgrounds go Infinity engine games simply mop the floor with everything that was out at the time. Maybe only Commandos games came close. Take your tilebased Diablo and stick it where the sun doesn't shine, because it looks fugly compared to IE.
Well, no need to be rude! I do agree though that the hand painted backgrounds of the IE games destroy the tile-based games in their pier group. The problem with those tile based games is that our eyes detect patterns almost instantly, which, at least for me, hurts with the suspension of disbelief.

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November 9th, 2011, 19:58
So if Gaming Execs think that BG was the best game of all time, and Monkey Island third… Why the hell don´t we get more games like those???
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