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October 20th, 2020, 00:50
That was an awesome review @largh - lots of nice detail and agree with many points. I was nodding my head as I was reading and sipping my evening coffee (which is bad but I need energy to play more BG3 tonight as I can sleep in a little bit tomorrow).

Some of my own quick thoughts as another point of view towards the game - neither right nor wrong.

- While I enjoyed DDOS2 I never finished. I got to like 97% done, very close to the ending, and I got burnt out. Most of that was turn based combat but now that I am finding I enjoy the combat in BG3 (most of the time one battle with the goblins, with a short rest, was 2.5 hours long and I had to stay up to 2am to finish it as I was afraid to just let me computer sit over night). It was a mix of so many long drawn out battles combined with too much environment interaction, overwhelming effects, and the crazy loot everywhere. I find the lower loot aspect to BG3 more appealing - getting a good magic item is a treat and they are also far more unique then simple +1 all the time, although some are like that. For example some are like "After X thing occurs then Y will happen for you". They are a bit more nuanced which I like. The interaction with the environment is still busy but not as busy and I find it easier to deal with. Also while the humor was okay certain parts of DDOS2 got on my nerves after a while. So after losing hours of game play (like 6 hours worth of combat) due to many long TB combat one night I uninstalled the game in a fit of annoyance even though I was right at the end. I just couldn't stomach it. I read the ending on WIKI and left it at that. Hopefully that won't happen with BG3 but I can tell already that I like the game so far, in EA state, way more than I ever did DDOS2.

I haven't enjoyed an RPG this much since Pathfinder: Kingmaker and would like to convey that this will become an excellent RPG. Those who are not going to try the EA: stay strong - there are plenty of bugs and poorly working elements in the game at the moment. You're doing right by not spoiling the enjoyment Those who want to try: this game is so complex that I doubt that there will be two similar playthroughs, so you might as well go for it instead of watching videos of others playing the EA.

- My own feeling here is that the internal struggle with the Illithiad mental abilities was the best I had ever seen in a game. Mainly because it was the first time I truly felt compelled to use them even though I felt confident I would pay a price for it much later on. The reason for that is because the game can be very punishing on dice roles and combat.

For example - you are deep in some enemy territory trying to persuade, charm, intimidate, fool your way through. Suddenly you get the feeling you are in too deep. Do you risk a die roll that may have extremely high odds? Maybe you don't have the skill you need and you don't want to reload or get int a combat you can't win. So that little voice in your head is going *AUTHORITY* - Make them do what you want as you only need to roll a 1 to pass. Never in a game have I been so tempted to actually be "charmed" by a computer AI to take the easy way out knowing I may damn myself in the process. So I thought the whole inner battle was superbly well done as it was constantly tempting me to cave into it. I often sat at the keyboard fighting my own inner desire to take the easy path instead of risk a die roll.

- I like how the whole good/evil isn't clear and as Largh said both sides feel natural and easy to pursue overall. I still play good but I found myself liking some of the bad guys and sometimes wanting to join in with them.

- Rogue, totally agree. Not since Skyrim and FO4 have I had so much fun with a "rogue" style class. I felt they really nailed the stealth in turn based combat - something I always felt was useless and tedious in most party based games, especially TB ones. This was the first game I really got into it - to the point the rogue passed the ranger and warlock as my favorite of the three. I also played a Drow, something I never did before. Usually go Tiefling, if an option, otherwise its always human or half-elf (now and then a half-orc). I had the best time playing the Drow and loved it. I agree maybe the reactions could be more intense but on the other hand you are in a druid grove filled with hellspawn Tieflings and another camp are goblins and Drow so I guess maybe the Tieflings would be more open. And the Druids well they were used to the Tieflings. I will be curious how those in the city react then again Baldur's Gate is supposed to be a melting pot so maybe it doesn't have to be that intense.

- I am fine with the color, lighting, and feel myself. The game is gorgeous and rich. I noticed the change in light when switching characters but my main always had some dark or super night vision. I do like that about the Drow. I would not want a penalty on the surface during the day because it is always day and it would annoy me to no end if I couldn't enjoy the visuals outside. If they had night/day then maybe have a penalty for the Drow vision. I suppose that is also why Astarion can be outside during the day - they didn't do night.

As for bugs, I have been very lucky from the sounds of it. I now have 50.6 hours played and have had 1 crash. I have seen some dialogue with no lips moving, a couple of quest errors and bad markers, my fight with a certain hag was buggy as she didn't fight back so my thief just backstabbed her over and over Also a lot of the items near the end of the game I have place holder icons for.

I am sure there are bugs with mechanics and abilities I have missed, and probably some quest issues I glossed over and didn't notice. In my head, that I recall, maybe a half-dozen quests failed to wrap up or work right but compared to what I could get done that seemed pretty minor.

Not saying there aren't bugs! Just that I have been lucky and overall the game has played for me as well as some "fully" released games. To the point that I often forgot I was playing an EA game it was running so smoothly and polished. So I guess your mileage may vary when it comes to bugs.

PS - I can't say I will ever like turn based combat that much, certainly not like when I was younger and played TB all the time, as it is just too time consuming and slow for me. BUT I enjoy it far more in BG3 than I ever did in DDOS2 or ATOM or some of the other TB games I played in the last few years. I still prefer RTwP as my favorite, or something like FO4 and Skyrim, but at least I am enjoying it somewhat in BG3. A lot of that is because the game is just so much fun - so many cool quests, dialogues, twists and turns I can get through it.

PPS - Also one of the quests was so creepy and so not a "happy ever after" that I was a bit stunned when it was over. I had some rather deplorable choices to make and wasn't happy with either of them but not really a bad thing as not every quest ending should be happy ever after.
Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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