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January 20th, 2010, 22:17
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
- Class/Race variety
- Active party size
- Map linearity
- No ability to split party (Can't enter buildings with anything less than entire party.)
- Magic system is simpler, with less spells.
- Inventory system is dumbed down, less realistic.
Yes that's good points showing differences with BG series. Myself I don't think any game have been a BG successor in 2009.

That said I don't consider all are points in favor to BG series:
  • I don't consider DAO magic system simpler than BG magic system, there's less spell but it is much more subtle and better designed.
  • I don't consider inventory management in BG was better, the STR importance was rather boring, realism doesn't make gameplay and where is the realism to carry 8 weapons and 3 armors??? DAO system allows a bit less drag&drop management but only a bit less, infinite inventory is missing.
  • And for splitting party, despite you could not split the party when entering a new area, I used a lot more party splitting in DAO than I ever did in the whole BG series.

For me clearly DAO isn't a successor of BG. But it's the more old school CRPG of the year after CRPG like Avernum and more.

Here a series a design choice that took the opposing view of the mainstream:
  • Higher difficulty level.
  • Rarity of fancy or magical weapons and armors.
  • Rude economy, you won't be able to buy all great items in shops without some cheating.
  • A lot of design time spend into a careful crafting of each fight.
  • No random fights or encounters.
  • More care of performance than to offer shiny environments, DAO performs better than The Witcher, Risen, Gothic 3 and more older release.
  • Scaling level, that is totally out of the current mainstream but that's the stronger link with the BG series that had a marvelous scaling system, DAO is better in this job than BG1 but BG2 was better in this area than is DAO.
  • Care to polish the details and design and the magic system instead of trying to increase the features length by multiplying similar or useless spells (Drakensang fails in this wrong approach).
  • Care to polish the design of few classes instead of increasing the features lists through fake of badly designed classes or false classes, well don't need to look very far, NWN series failed a lot in the temptation of increasing the features list through this.
Even if on many details DAO fails, there's plenty design approach that go back to real values like was doing older games instead of falling in the temptation of easy appeal and features list improved.

For sure with map radar+NPC exclamation marks+Cursors and arrows to follow they also took the worst of the easy appeal approach of modern CRPG. But they deserve the highlight than unlike most games doing the same ugly design, they took a lot of care to design the game so you could play without any of those crap, and even if they failed many time it's still overall a good job in the honor of an older gameplay without all this crap.

That for all those anti mainstream approach and return back to real gameplay values that's I'm so admiring of this blockbuster game. But this game also cumulate an ugly and long list of bad design touch, still overall, the plus is much more important than the minus.
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