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Default Baldur's Gate 3 - Early Impressions @ ACG

October 7th, 2020, 21:28
ACG checked out Baldur's Gate 3:

Baldurs Gate 3 Early Access Impressions - In Good Hands

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October 7th, 2020, 21:51
I watched this one yesterday. Fairly spoiler-free, and he has the sense to say a few times that THIS IS AN UNFINISHED PRODUCT which apparently some people do not understand fully. I really like ACG, by the way.

Yes, it does look a lot like a re skinned D:OS2. And that's ok, I guess. Having only levels 1-4 in 5e is going to make for an oddly paced video game, but I actually prefer low level 5e play. I play a 5e campaign weekly, these days on Roll20. So I'm pretty familiar with the rules.

My concern is that while I enjoyed D:OS2 quite a bit, I never finished it. Every battle—every one—ended up to be a long, drawn-out experience. This sounds cool, right? Except that after 12 hours or so, I started to be able to sense when a battle was starting to go poorly for me. So I ended up quitting mid-battle to reload and try again… well before the outcome was completely clear. Why? Because I didn't want to go for another 45 minutes or an hour… only to fail—*and then have to restart.*

It's something that I have only experienced with the OS games, and it was a real problem for me. Eventually, unless I pretty much knew things were going really well for me, I started to stop and reload. And that happened frequently. So it became a sort of Ultimate Save Scumming, which I've only ever done in those games.

Complexity is great. But when all fights are extremely long? Complexity becomes a drawback. Hope they can get this game to work better in that regard.

Edit: in Table Top play, it's GREAT when not every battle is super long. Sometimes it's more fun to have short encounters, just to move the story along. Handwaving and sometimes just plain… *getting on with things!*… is why table top can be so great. Not having a living, breathing DM present in a video game removes that sense of just moving things along during sticky, boring parts. This is why I kind of reject any game that truly tries to emulate tabletop. Human beings can be creative and spontaneous, and can read the attitudes of the players, and adjust the pacing on the fly. That doesn't mean switching to "easy mode" it means moving things along, in one of a thousand different ways.

A game cannot do that. At least not yet.
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October 7th, 2020, 22:04
I experienced in D:OS2 pretty much the same thing, battles taking too long to where I got bored with it. I enjoy detailed and tactical battles, and prefer for battles not to be over right away, but when every battle is long and drawn out it got too much for me.

With that said, I played D:OS2 for I guess 40 hours (my Steam says 96.4 hours so that must be right) but didn't finish it. I was ready to keep playing it but another game I had highly anticipated got me to stop playing D:OS2 and when I tried to pick it up again I had lost way too much of how to play it and the story to want to keep playing. I don't plan on replaying it from the beginning as it wasn't enjoyable, though it was ok.

As for somewhat re-skinning of D:OS2 in BG3 I am probably okay with that, as long as the game is good which includes writing, pacing, game balance, etc.
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October 7th, 2020, 22:54
If I am remember correctly, I think you can save mid-battle in D:OS2 to help with the long battles. I apologize if that is incorrect, it'd been a while since I played it.
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October 7th, 2020, 23:00
I don't watch video reviews. I'm old-school that way. Like reading my news. Yadda yadda.

We learned about this in college psych. Some people are visual learners. Some people are audible learners. (But we visuals are the most efficient… )

Early impression of BG3:

It's amazing. I can't stop playing it. My wife is choosing her 2nd level ranger spells right now. Huttah.
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October 7th, 2020, 23:22
I generally prefer written articles over videos. But ACG is particularly good, IMO. One of the only video reviewers I bother with.
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October 7th, 2020, 23:34
It's a nice review, but I don't understand why they are obsessed with the "lack of character customization" when it comes to the look. IMHO there's already a lot of cosmetics tuning, and I'd rather see more important, actual features first. Maybe they're people from other types of RPG.

On the contrary, I found the characters quite gorgeous! But yeah, ultimately we need sliders to make them look uglier

The possibility to have bearded females (other than dwarves) is quite disturbing, by the way

I don't care much that it feels a bit like the D:OS series, it's normal they re-use what they are comfortable with. I would just change or tune a few "D:OS idioms", such as objects jumping from far away into the hands of a character (really too cartoonesque for the settings). Or this annoying system of sub-party composition where the user has to fight those stupid chained avatars to select one or several characters, the individual selectors used in Pathfinder or PoE are far more convenient. But other than that, it's fine as long as they don't venture too far from D&D.

So far, I think it's very good
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October 7th, 2020, 23:40
Originally Posted by FizzyShellfish View Post

Yes, it does look a lot like a re skinned D:OS2. And that's ok, I guess. Having only levels 1-4 in 5e is going to make for an oddly paced video game, but I actually prefer low level 5e play.
I tend to also like the low levels best but you said only levels 1 to 4? I looked that up and what I am seeing is the current max, from a google search, is 10 for BG3, not 4.

Was that a typo or did you mean something else?
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October 7th, 2020, 23:56
I'm big on reading too, but…

Originally Posted by FurtiveNyctophile View Post
I don't watch video reviews. I'm old-school that way. Like reading my news. Yadda yadda.
You're missing out. ACG is among the very best of reviewers (the best, IMO). He's usually spot on and he's often hilarious while doing it.

Plus if a picture (screenshot in a written review) is worth a thousand words then a 12 minute video about a game with scores of hours of content has to be worth even more…
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October 8th, 2020, 01:06
Originally Posted by wolfgrimdark View Post
I tend to also like the low levels best but you said only levels 1 to 4? I looked that up and what I am seeing is the current max, from a google search, is 10 for BG3, not 4.

Was that a typo or did you mean something else?
They were discussing the early access version for which the level cap is 4, I believe. Ten is supposed to be the level cap for the final game although that may change during development.
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October 8th, 2020, 01:13
I'm sure this has been expressed more than once, and maybe too much, but if this BG3 was created in the most recent Infinity Engine, or whatever it is currently called, i.e. Pillars of Eternity 2 graphics, I'd be a lot more interested. It doesn't help that *unpopular opinion* I'm not a big fan of DOS2, and I quite enjoyed most Divinity games prior. I know it's just what I'm seeing others play of an early access game, but it doesn't look or feel like Baldur's Gate to me. I'm so removed from Baldur's Gate being so far in the past, and this game additionally is so removed from the style of the original series, that I don't see what could grab me about it.

Maybe it turns out to be a great game on its own merits and piques my interest in a couple years.
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October 8th, 2020, 01:14
Hard to know what to take from that when it's early access and has a LONG way to go until release. I will most likely not play it until a year after release and its been thoroughly patched and goes on sale with multiple DLC's included.

Biggest thing I dont like about the DOS games is they aren't really open world. They divide the chapters into large closed off sections of the game. In a Forgotten Realms game I want to be able to go wherever I want in the game world, but from what I hear sadly they are doing BG3 the same way. If there are multiple cities in the game, I sure hope you dont have to complete Chapters 1 & 2 before you can even get to one of the cities.
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October 8th, 2020, 05:19
Originally Posted by Saxon1974 View Post
Biggest thing I dont like about the DOS games is they aren't really open world. They divide the chapters into large closed off sections of the game.
D:OS 1 isn't like that. You can go back and forth between the areas as you like. The only issue is that the level of the enemies basically guarantees you can't enter certain sections until your party is strong enough.
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October 8th, 2020, 05:59
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
D:OS 1 isn't like that. You can go back and forth between the areas as you like. The only issue is that the level of the enemies basically guarantees you can't enter certain sections until your party is strong enough.
You cannot leave the starting island freely
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October 8th, 2020, 06:01
Originally Posted by Saxon1974 View Post
You cannot leave the starting island freely
You're thinking of D:OS 2. D:OS 1 doesn't start on an island.

My point is that they're not the same. In D:OS 1, you can travel between maps and return to previous areas.
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October 8th, 2020, 09:14
Originally Posted by Saxon1974 View Post
Biggest thing I dont like about the DOS games is they aren't really open world. They divide the chapters into large closed off sections of the game. In a Forgotten Realms game I want to be able to go wherever I want in the game world, but from what I hear sadly they are doing BG3 the same way. If there are multiple cities in the game, I sure hope you dont have to complete Chapters 1 & 2 before you can even get to one of the cities.
I understand what you mean, it's total freedom, and so much to explore from the start.

But "real" open worlds are often criticized for a lower-quality story. I'm not convinced it's due to the open-world-ness, but I can believe it's harder to manage an interesting story when the players can go where they please, and do whatever they want whenever they want with NPCs, objects and the environment. So, a succession of a few smaller open worlds is perhaps a good compromise if each is large enough to give an impression of freedom.

I think it also gives a feeling of accomplishment, and variety. In open worlds like Skyrim, Fallout 3, or even Witcher 3, going through the same places feel a bit like routine after a while, and more than once I had to review the quest journal to see what else was still to do, a little bit as I do at work… It's of course possible for the designer to be smart, and open the world bit by bit, change the look of an area and so on, but it surely requires more work. It's also a nightmare for them to test, and so there are potentially more bugs for us.

Some extreme opinions even prefer linear adventures, it's personal taste but I find that too restrictive, even if the story can really be tailored in that case. I don't mind a bit of routine either, it feels a bit like being "home".

There was enough for me to do in each area of D:OS2, but again it's subjective. I can't play many hours a week, there's that. If it's too large I just forget everything
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October 8th, 2020, 18:08
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
You're thinking of D:OS 2. D:OS 1 doesn't start on an island.

My point is that they're not the same. In D:OS 1, you can travel between maps and return to previous areas.
You are probably right now that I think of it. Was quite a while ago I played OS1.
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October 8th, 2020, 18:11
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
I understand what you mean, it's total freedom, and so much to explore from the start.

But "real" open worlds are often criticized for a lower-quality story. I'm not convinced it's due to the open-world-ness, but I can believe it's harder to manage an interesting story when the players can go where they please, and do whatever they want whenever they want with NPCs, objects and the environment. So, a succession of a few smaller open worlds is perhaps a good compromise if each is large enough to give an impression of freedom.

I think it also gives a feeling of accomplishment, and variety. In open worlds like Skyrim, Fallout 3, or even Witcher 3, going through the same places feel a bit like routine after a while, and more than once I had to review the quest journal to see what else was still to do, a little bit as I do at work… It's of course possible for the designer to be smart, and open the world bit by bit, change the look of an area and so on, but it surely requires more work. It's also a nightmare for them to test, and so there are potentially more bugs for us.

Some extreme opinions even prefer linear adventures, it's personal taste but I find that too restrictive, even if the story can really be tailored in that case. I don't mind a bit of routine either, it feels a bit like being "home".

There was enough for me to do in each area of D:OS2, but again it's subjective. I can't play many hours a week, there's that. If it's too large I just forget everything
It is most definitely easier to balance encounters and quests when broken up into multiple locked areas, I am sure that is why they do it. I just dont like it. Let's say there is a Realms city for example say Yartar that you visit and then you want to visit another city that is near that but learn you cannot until ACT 3. That would suck IMO. Larian handled this well in Divine Divinity and many other games have done it well (Ultima 3-7, Gothic 2). I still think DD is Larian's best game and the only one that I really really loved. The Origina Sin games I like but don't love them. Oddly I dont like the real time combat in DD but it still is my favorite Larian game.
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October 8th, 2020, 18:25
I prefer RPGs like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. It's not exactly open world but small areas you explore one at a time. It just works and I rarely ever got bored.

On the other-hand Witcher III perfected the semi-open formula. I love that game.
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October 8th, 2020, 18:42
You mean witcher 2? Witcher 3 was pretty open. Sure skellige is closed at the beginning, but that's all?

I don't mind linearity. I prefer it if it means more polish for the other systems. I like my non-linearity to be focussed on different ways to solve (and kill) things.
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