|
Your donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » RPGWatch - The Nostalgia Files: Baldur's Gate

Default RPGWatch - The Nostalgia Files: Baldur's Gate

November 3rd, 2014, 08:00
Aubrielle looks back at Baldur's Gate and just why and how it changed the world we live and play in. So please provide comments as it will be the first of a new series.

The future of the RPG is uncertain. Diablo lingers in our recent memory, revolutionary and ridiculously fun, but lacking the hard choices and character development of more involved RPG's. The star is waning for the Japanese RPG, even as Final Fantasy Tactics recedes slowly into the past. Hard RPG's remain mostly on consoles - mostly Japanese titles on the Playstation. Suikoden II will arrive this year to much acclaim, but it doesn't please many of the grizzled, dice-chucking Dungeons & Dragons veterans. They need something more. The age of the classic dungeon crawler is long gone, and even AD&D is dying a slow death. What will happen to the Western RPG?
More information.
Couchpotato is offline

Couchpotato

Couchpotato's Avatar
Evil Potato Overlord
RPGWatch Team

#1

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Potato Land
Posts: 10,693

Default 

November 3rd, 2014, 08:01
I love Baldur's Gate - played the entire series (including the expansion packs) twice.

So don't get me wrong, but this is not a very good article. It mostly talks about hype, the box art and the games that became before or after. Not much about Baldur's Gate the game. What was it that made it influential? What was new? For instance, I believe it was in BG that Real-time with pause (RTwP) was introduced to RPGs; before that I had only seen it in RTS'es and games like X-COM: Apocalypse.
JackDeth is offline

JackDeth

JackDeth's Avatar
Trancer Hunter

#2

Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 8

Default 

November 3rd, 2014, 08:47
Darklands, Megatraveller 1, Ultima VII, Four Crystals of Trazere and Knights of Xentar had RTwP combat.
That was around 1990-1992 long before BG.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
HiddenX is offline

HiddenX

HiddenX's Avatar
The Elder Spy
RPGWatch Donor

#3

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NRW/Germany
Posts: 4,539

Default 

November 3rd, 2014, 09:11
That might be, I didn't know that. Nonetheless, my critique of the article stands.

I played Ultima VII and I am pretty certain it doesn't use RTwP. Unless you run Exult (http://exult.sourceforge.net/index.php) which does support it I believe.
Last edited by JackDeth; November 3rd, 2014 at 09:44.
JackDeth is offline

JackDeth

JackDeth's Avatar
Trancer Hunter

#4

Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 8

Default 

November 3rd, 2014, 10:49
Yes, U7 was not truly RTwP, the only time it paused was when you cast a spell or used an item. Pretty sure BG was the first mainstream successful cRPG to implement it. Darklands did probably have the most sophisticated RTwP prior to BG though - but it was only limited to combat.

Wasn't megatraveller on PC also real time? I am pretty sure you could only pause and do certain commands like telling your characters to start shooting. Not really of any tactical use.

Favourite RPGs of all time: Wizardry 6, Ultima 7/7.2, Fallout2, Planescape Torment, Baldurs Gate 2+TOB, Jagged Alliance 2, Ravenloft: The stone prophet, Gothic 2, Realms of Arkania:Blade of destiny (not the HD version!!) and Secret of the Silver Blades.
bjon045 is offline

bjon045

bjon045's Avatar
Keeper of the Watch

#5

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Sigil
Posts: 976

Default 

November 3rd, 2014, 11:30
Originally Posted by JackDeth View Post
I love Baldur's Gate - played the entire series (including the expansion packs) twice.

So don't get me wrong, but this is not a very good article. It mostly talks about hype, the box art and the games that became before or after. Not much about Baldur's Gate the game. What was it that made it influential? What was new? For instance, I believe it was in BG that Real-time with pause (RTwP) was introduced to RPGs; before that I had only seen it in RTS'es and games like X-COM: Apocalypse.
I think that was the point of the article…..
GothicGothicness is offline

GothicGothicness

GothicGothicness's Avatar
SasqWatch

#6

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,366

Default 

November 3rd, 2014, 11:31
Nice Article!

Itś true that BG changed the way I looked at crpg:s forever. Before BG my "mental image" of a crpg was mainly some sort of mixture of "Eye of the Beholder/Might & Magic/Wizardry" with a little bit of "UltimaVII/Underworld" thrown in for good measure. However, after BG and pretty much still in our present day, it remains the very model of what it means to be a crpg to me.

Sure, there are witchers/gothics/dragon ages/fallouts and other games that may equal or possibly even surpass BG 1&2, but there are yet no rpgs that has had such a revolutionary impact on me like those two, redefining the basic meaning of the genré to me.

Will there ever be again? Well, I certainly hope so but I kind of doubt it.
Feist is offline

Feist

Watcher

#7

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Sweden
Posts: 35
+1:

Default 

November 3rd, 2014, 11:47
This was an entertainingly written article, I appreciate the effort that went into it and especially like the idea of a "Nostalgia File", something I've thought of writing myself in the General forum on Bard's Tale. (If you're reading FelipePepe, I'll get back to you on the finished product very soon!)

I also liked some of the literary characterisations (nods at Dickens, Interplay and Black Isle) and the attempt to create a backdrop and world context is worthy and commendable.

However, I think for a nostalgia piece, the article is possibly too readily dismissive of the games which came before and inspired Baldur's Gate. This is possibly just a question of personal taste and preference; but for me, the nostalgia of BG goes back further and is inexorably connected to the experience of playing the GoldBox Games and the AD&D concept of the six-character party.

Baldur's Gate re-imagined this classic framework replete with an in-game journal and made a whole new level of party configuration options open to the player for exploring its world. Add in the alignment driven inter-party banter and a lush soundtrack and the experience of playing an AD&D game on PC would never be the same again.

Concluding nostalgic reflection:
The variety of characters and party-make ups has always made the game eminently replayable. I was admittedly late to the party, having only first played the original saga without the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion in mid-2001. I was smitten at first sight. I stumbled upon the game via a friend of a friend at the local chess club; a kind fellow named "Monty". Thus, whenever I see or read about Montaron from the game I can't help but recall and be thankful for the fateful day that Monty introduced me to Baldur's Gate.

Diddledy high,
Diddledy low,
Come brave blood sheep,
You've a goodly way to go.
- Brilhasti Ap Tarj
Pessimeister is offline

Pessimeister

Pessimeister's Avatar
Living Backwards

#8

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 975

Default 

November 3rd, 2014, 11:59
As far as hype goes, it even found its way into my little country. A friend told me about the game soon coming and couple of us gathered and everyone ordered a copy to be sent to us by another friend studying in US at the time.
I was so proud to have and play that multiple CD game
Archangel is offline

Archangel

Sentinel

#9

Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 264
+1:

Default 

November 3rd, 2014, 12:13
Thank you, everyone… (those that actually read the whole thing, anyway, which was most of you)

I sorta set out to show exactly how the western RPG was dying by 1998, and how Baldurs Gate resurrected it. I didn't go into its predecessors because they weren't doing much to save the genre from decay by that point.

Thanks for reading…*bows humbly*

RPGWatch Article Editor & Columnist.
Aubrielle is offline

Aubrielle

Aubrielle's Avatar
Scribbler
RPGWatch Team

#10

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Ohio
Posts: 862
+1:

Default 

November 3rd, 2014, 12:53
Nice article, though I think the impact was less significant than what is suggested.

It was basically a continuation of the Goldbox games - only with real-time combat.

Real-time being the key, obviously, as the RTS genre was exploding and all the suits wanted to jump on that train.

But I don't think RPGs were dying at all, it was more about perception perpetuated by the ignorant media and a business wanting to make more money.

It's no different from "PC gaming is dying" - and so on.

The audience for quality games will always be there, and there's no such thing as the death of genres that work.

It won't be long until we'll be seeing a serious resurgence of space combat games, for instance, even though that genre has been "dead" for years.

It's never been dead, it's just suits wanting to perpetuate what market analyses tell them and who refuse to fund such games.

Soon, they'll come around and we'll see space games coming out from even the most conservative publishers. I'd say in 3-4 years or so.

Still, credit where it's due - and BG definitely did have an impact, though I would argue Diablo was a much bigger deal for the genre.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#11

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 15,258

Default 

November 3rd, 2014, 13:16
I find it odd that no mention is made of Fallout 1&2, which in my view was much more advanced and revolutionary in terms of Choices & Consequences, roleplaying and offering different ways to solve quests.

In my personal experience, it was these games that revolutionalised my perception of RPGs.
Asdraguuhl is offline

Asdraguuhl

Asdraguuhl's Avatar
Sentinel

#12

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 423

Default 

November 3rd, 2014, 13:26
Originally Posted by Asdraguuhl View Post
I find it odd that no mention is made of Fallout 1&2, which in my view was much more advanced and revolutionary in terms of Choices & Consequences, roleplaying and offering different ways to solve quests.

In my personal experience, it was these games that revolutionalised my perception of RPGs.
Agreed, Fallout was a huge deal when it comes to RPG design.

As I said, BG was more of an evolution of the Goldbox games - rather than an entirely new take.

Well, that's what I remember thinking back upon release.

The biggest deal was multiplayer, if you ask me. But it was kinda poorly implemented, because the game would pause for every interaction - and you couldn't be far apart from your party members.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#13

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 15,258

Default 

November 3rd, 2014, 13:31
Originally Posted by Asdraguuhl View Post
I find it odd that no mention is made of Fallout 1&2, which in my view was much more advanced and revolutionary in terms of Choices & Consequences, roleplaying and offering different ways to solve quests.

In my personal experience, it was these games that revolutionalised my perception of RPGs.
Yes, but Fallout lacked in team based combat and it wasn't nearly as complex mechanically or let you create so many different characters and party compositions. And of course, it had no spells and all the options that come with it.

And its main quest was less interesting. Fallout brilliance was in all the side quests and side areas that were made so much more interesting than what you would usually get.

Oh and Fallout lacked Minsc
Archangel is offline

Archangel

Sentinel

#14

Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 264

Default 

November 3rd, 2014, 13:49
Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
Yes, but Fallout lacked in team based combat …
Well, if tactical party based combat is your thing, then the BG games will be more to your liking.

But combat isn't everything and in my opinion there is more to an RPG than mere combat.
Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
… and it wasn't nearly as complex mechanically or let you create so many different characters and party compositions.
That may be so when you are strictly looking at it from a combat perspective. Outside of combat, it is the other way around.
Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
And of course, it had no spells and all the options that come with it.
I see that you are focussing on combat and associated tactical gameplay. I tend to focus more on the non-combat aspects.
Asdraguuhl is offline

Asdraguuhl

Asdraguuhl's Avatar
Sentinel

#15

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 423

Default 

November 3rd, 2014, 15:22
I like wiz-8 a lot even today. Sadly I can't think of another game like wiz-8 that has come out in the last 8 years.
you is offline

you

Lazy_dog
RPGWatch Donor

#16

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: usa
Posts: 495

Default 

November 3rd, 2014, 18:15
Originally Posted by you View Post
I like wiz-8 a lot even today. Sadly I can't think of another game like wiz-8 that has come out in the last 8 years.
I agree with you, Wizardry 8 remains one of my all time favorites. Sadly Sir-Tech was already out of business at its release, and it was considered old fashioned when it was released. "A retro game." Baldur's Gate was played by friends of mine who had never played or didn't like Ultima, Wizardry, and Might and Magic. It had story, exploration, role playing, good graphics and music(for the time) and very fast paced and tactical combat. It wasn't just a dungeon crawler. I personally remember being very impressed by the npcs and companions. That set it apart from a lot of the rpgs of its day. Baldur's Gate really was the Skyrim of its day, and I don't mean that in terms of gameplay, but in terms of the number of gamers who had played it.
forgottenlor is offline

forgottenlor

forgottenlor's Avatar
Sentinel

#17

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vienna, Austria
Posts: 278

Default 

November 3rd, 2014, 18:47
I think not just BG, but Bioware in general, is what brought back the importance of story driven games. There were games with story out there, some good, but BG set a new bar. I'm sure it was a gamble too. What execs at that time would have approved something that had a heavy emphasis on story, when the adventure game genre had become pretty much extinct? And this article is spot on. When BG came out, you had pretty much 2 mainstream choices for an RPG, which was Diablo or BG. Look at the choices now… I can't keep up with them. This is a good problem to have.

_______________
Binarymichael
"We can do anything, we just can't do everything." -Todd Howard (re-quote)
Caddy is online now

Caddy

Caddy's Avatar
Broken Screwdriver

#18

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 212
+1:

Default 

November 3rd, 2014, 19:10
Originally Posted by Caddy View Post
When BG came out, you had pretty much 2 mainstream choices for an RPG, which was Diablo or BG.
Fallout 1&2 were released between Diablo and BG. Why do you discard them as eligible choices for an RPG in that time period?
Asdraguuhl is offline

Asdraguuhl

Asdraguuhl's Avatar
Sentinel

#19

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 423

Default 

November 3rd, 2014, 19:14
Originally Posted by Asdraguuhl View Post
Fallout 1&2 were released between Diablo and BG. Why do you discard them as eligible choices for an RPG in that time period?
Because they didn't catch hold of popular culture like BG did.

RPGWatch Article Editor & Columnist.
Aubrielle is offline

Aubrielle

Aubrielle's Avatar
Scribbler
RPGWatch Team

#20

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Ohio
Posts: 862
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » RPGWatch - The Nostalgia Files: Baldur's Gate
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 22:26.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch