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Default Blackguards 2 impressions

January 21st, 2015, 16:49
I'm ca. 5 hours in now. Playing very slowly though. Normal difficulty is quite easy so far. Maybe I have to ramp it up to hard.
A couple of changes I like:
+ The ingame documentation is much better. Of course these forced text windows aren't exactly elegant, but they are to the point and get the job done.
+ Less time spent in static town screens. Now you have a travelling camp with merchant, teachers plus a couple of NPCs, and your own home town.
+ You can actually be evil now - although I'm not sure how far reaching the consequences are. So far I have decided to have a group of prisoners (30 people according to a later dialog option) executed (off screen), had my helpers break all resistence in the first town, told my mage to give a motivational speech to a town's merchants, and did the thing in the next point.
+ Questioning prisoners. I could command a party member to interrogate a prisoner in a chosen way. Very nice idea.
+ It seems as though there's a lot more dialog interaction between your main character and the other party members and associated NPCs. Maybe there is actually more, but the effect is caused to a huge degree by splitting the big dialog trees into many smaller bushes with sharper dialogs. You ask character X something, get one piece of info to use elsewhere - or a snappy answer - and the dialog ends and can't be continued. Then you talk to somebody else or conquer the next node.

I can't say anything about character development so far. There was simply no need to dive into it on normal difficulty.
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January 21st, 2015, 16:53
So, thus far, would you rank it above its predecessor?
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January 21st, 2015, 17:02
Too early to say. It's certainly more accessible. The fun in it is more predictable, if you want. Daedalic is using more of its adventure game core competency. I can't say yet if the changes to the RPG and strategy elements (endurance, anonymous troups, less inflence of dice rolls) are working.

On the other hand I really liked it that the first game was basically a puzzle game with hard battles and clever maps. Very much to the point, which is something positive for me. I have a lot of sympathy for focused games which announce what they are gonna do and then do exactly that and skip the rest.
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January 21st, 2015, 17:32
Thanks for sharing!
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
+ It seems as though there's a lot more dialog interaction between your main character and the other party members and associated NPCs.
That would be great.

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January 21st, 2015, 18:35
Wait, you executed 30 prisoners?
By yourself or… They were eating too much and you couldn't afford the food, right?

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January 21st, 2015, 20:40
Blackguards 2 is easier and more accessible than Blackguards 1.
(for veterans: play on hard)
But it features some new interesting gameplay elements as well:
  • counterattacks on conquered cities
  • questioning of prisoners
  • war camp
  • better in-game documentation
  • play evil
  • much more NPC and party interaction
  • introduction of stamina
  • additional anonymous troops
overall a well done sequel.

PS:
Spawning enemies out of nowhere and 100% success guarantied casting are not so good design decisions.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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January 24th, 2015, 04:58
I'm probably somewhere in the middle now. More impressions:
+ There's a mix of ca. 25% static town screens and 75% camp (2 screens). That's a clear improvement over BG1.
+ NPC interaction got even better. All party members spill gossip on the others and some other NPCs. These infos can be used to spin intrigues. The game automatically tracks these info pieces, so you can easily look them up.
+ Interrogation is still interesting. You can actually fail in this dialogue mini game - and sometimes the NPC even gives in when you escalate the conflict ("Decide XXX's fate."). There's also the option to order the use of thumb screws.
+ There are still many evil options. Consequences can also be noticed, at least sometimes.
+ The dialogs are still good. This slicing up thing explained below works fine.
+ Now combat added a layer of complexity: I can choose between party members, a few heroes and mercenary archetypes. Party members level up the usual way, the others get stronger through boni received for conquering certain towns. The strategy map informs about these boni beforehand.
+ In the middle of the game I frequently have to build two groups, for example group one disables a defense mechanism, group two does the main fight. Both are mutually exclusive. If you have only one healer, in which group do you put him?!

= You can build some defense stuff like traps, oil barrels or stacks of boxes before a counter attack by the emporer. Most of them don't have much practical use though.
= You can take cover (1 action) and after that shoot from cover. Sounds nice, but the game is so easy that I don't use this at all.
= Character development is less complex now. I don't miss the stuff they simplified though. It seemed bloated in BG1.

- Black Guards 2 has balancing issues on normal diffculty. Most maps using mainly mellee combat are a piece of cake. A few maps with powerful mages are so hard that I consider them borderline unfair. Furthermore the fireball spell is totally overpowered.
- The game often throughs a second wave of enemies at you. These just spawn at some places a move or two away from the action.
- The combat AI is bad. It seems Daedalic hasn't sufficiently upgraded it from the less complex BG1.
- During the game a couple of strong monsters are introduced and even explained in detail during dialogs. The ones I've seen so far are unfortunately quite harmless.
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January 24th, 2015, 18:43
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
Spawning enemies out of nowhere…
Seriously?

While Blackguards 1 was one of my best games ever thanks to the fact there is not Final Fantasy (c)(TM) crap inside it, wouldn't surprise me if in the end I hate this sequel.

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January 24th, 2015, 18:58
Limited spawning on most levels, like a second wave. Unlimited respawning only in levels in which your task is to reach the escape zone.
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January 24th, 2015, 19:54
Second wave like 3waves of mobs appearing out of nowhere in Dragon Age 2?

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January 24th, 2015, 20:21
Haven't played DA2.
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January 24th, 2015, 20:43
Lucky you.

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January 28th, 2015, 15:24
Playing Blackguards 1 right now and enjoying it, but from what you're saying it sounds like I won't like Blackguards 2 as much. To me it's all about tactical combat and character development, but sounds like they've made the combat easier, simplified character development, and focused on (what to me is) the fluff.
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January 28th, 2015, 15:43
There seems to be an issue with the blurry fonts on higher resolutions. I'm having this issue on 1440p myself, so perhaps I'll wait a few days to play.

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January 30th, 2015, 18:20
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
Spawning enemies out of nowhere
Is the spawning logical (soldiers come from town) or nonsensical (enemies spawn suddenly around you)?

Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
100% success guarantied casting are not so good design decisions.
Its not good. One more tactical option less. Are spells now less varied and overlapping each other (only damage differs)?

On the other hand some of those pros are good, especially the idea of conquering and defending cities (bigger scale).
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Yesterday, 21:11
Is there some list of all companions? Or are there Takate, Naugrim and Zurbaran only?

Want to haven this information to decide how I'll skill Cassia…

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