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Default Spoiler heavy BG: EE - SoD rant

April 10th, 2016, 16:05
I guess I could do a review instead of a rant, but it's just an expansion, so I'm mostly interested in a rant right now.

It was fine until after the final fight (same demon as IWD if I recall correctly, nice touch there), but then.. what? Excuse me? That crap doesn't add up at all. It completely ruins the start of BG2, as the initial conversation would be something like this:

YOU SON OF A.. five minutes later.. WHERE'S THE DAMN DAGGER YOU WORTHLESS PIECE.. several more minutes.. *SLAMMING FISTS AGAINST BARS* I'LL KILL YOU FOR THIS.. etc etc etc

And then the quest would be to clear the name. Or at the very least it would be mentioned time and again that you're accused of such a serious crime. That's not something they'll let slide just because you're a bit further south along the coast. I'm going to assume they'll add a DLC or something where the damn dagger is mentioned (and probably found) and "sent to Baldur's Gate to clear my name", because otherwise the entire thing will just be a massive cliffhanger. Maybe this is their BG3 pitch? No idea, but right now I'm just a wee bit frustrated.

Also, a few other things that were off:
- The pacing. It's too slow. It's got about the same amount of content as ToB, yet I only gained about 2 levels per character (we knew this would be the case, but that doesn't change the fact that it feels too slow). 10 hours between each round of level ups is too much.
- The NPC situation is a bit problematic. Actually, it's more than a bit problematic; it's a real issue. Let me explain:

SoD is considerably harder than BG, yet the party options are very limited, especially when it comes to tanks. Basically, the main character should be some sort of tanky character, or you'll end up with Minsc as your only semi-tank for half the expansion, and he's just not very tanky. No Kagain or Ajantis at all, and Dorn/Khalid are gained halfway through it.

Beyond that, the wizard situation is also an issue. Basically, Wizards are fairly big investments in the sense that it takes a long time to get the right spell selection for them (scroll hunting etc), so if you happen to be using Xzar, Neera or Xan, you're screwed initially in SoD. Dynaheir was the only available Wizard, and she started at 30k xp with an empty spell book because I had invited her into the party during her rescue mission, and then dumped her (new NPCs start at about 200k xp, but Dynaheir was a blank slate because I had invited her for about 5 minutes).

Oh yeah, and quite a few bugs. Some serious, most not.

Other than that, it was a fun experience, but I do hope they leave the Bhaalspawn alone for BG3 and just fix the murder issue with a DLC or mini-expansion or something. It's too jarring to keep piling on stuff for the same character, as it's almost impossible to reconcile the new stuff with the old, as SoD is a very good example of. The overall tone, the story and the characters all fit the BG series, but it's all way too significant to suddenly be forgotten by the start of BG2.

Anyway, that's enough of a rant for now, time to import my character into BG2 and see how that works out.
Last edited by Maylander; April 10th, 2016 at 23:10.
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April 10th, 2016, 17:14
Thank you for your impressions, Maylander.
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April 11th, 2016, 22:19
Just finished this, and I agree the dagger clashes with BG2. It's a nice twist, and if this wasn't a bridge between two existing games it'd be fine, but it just doesn't fit here.

The increased size of enemy parties definitely necessitates a more tank heavy approach. My PC was a fighter/thief, and I had to pair him up with Dorn and Viconia in melee in a fair amount of battles to keep the back line safe.

There are some things that SoD does better than the base game. I really liked the way the changed random ambushes with unique maps. The areas are larger, you can actually position your party, and most of the time there was a small bonus cave/reward. The number of enemies is much larger than the base game in several areas, and I really liked some of the new enemy additions. The maps are much more saturated with content than the original BG. They added a lot of magic items to better round out offerings.

I only played with two of their created characters through BG:EE and SoD, but they were both pretty good. Baeloth is a really useful mage addition, though I found his personality and dialogue in SoD fairly annoying. That was not an issue in BG:EE. Dorn is both a useful character and a really well written companion. Great addition to any evil party.

A found a lot of the banter for SoD to be really well written. Edwin hitting on Viconia was great.

As for the story, I thought it was really solid, until the dagger. Even than, my complaint stems from it just not fitting the lore well.

I was not sold on Beamdog as a developer from their EE games. After playing SoD, I'll gladly buy another RPG they develop.
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April 14th, 2016, 21:25
I keep hearing from people that I will enjoy a playthrough of this more if I wait until they squash some of the bugs and interface issues.

Thoughts?
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April 18th, 2016, 20:29
I personally don't have an issue with the UI. The only change I'd say was poorly thought out was the journal. I don't like how completed quests are mixed with active ones. It just creates too much clutter.

I didn't run into a lot of bugs, so I can't comment on that.
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April 19th, 2016, 12:10
I experienced quite a few bugs, but I would imagine they're mostly gone by the time you're done with BG: EE and ready to head into SoD. BG isn't massive by any means, but it still takes some time.
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