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June 27th, 2018, 14:12
I have to agree with @daveyd. I had many fond memories of BG2 from when I first played it many years ago, but when I replayed it a second time with various mods installed it wasn't nearly as epic or awesome as I remembered it to be.

As for some CRPGs selling badly, it seems that publishers often blame the "single player" aspect for the disappointing sales numbers rather than poor quality, flawed game mechanics, or unoriginal settings.
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June 27th, 2018, 14:28
Originally Posted by abharsair View Post
As for some CRPGs selling badly, it seems that publishers often blame the "single player" aspect for the disappointing sales numbers rather than poor quality, flawed game mechanics, or unoriginal settings.
I agree with this part. Developers are very often loath to admit fault. It is understandable through from a PR point of view but without honesty they will not grow and improve their craft.
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June 27th, 2018, 14:32
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
I think that if you released an RPG that was actually as good as BG2, it would sell like hotcakes.
POE2 is already far superior to BG2 in my opinion. In more ways than I can count.

No game will ever surpass BG2 purely because of nostalgia. People will glorify it to their final days, even though in all honesty the combat and writing weren't very good.
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June 27th, 2018, 14:42
Sure, it's just all about that sweet nolstalgia

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June 27th, 2018, 14:43
Originally Posted by daveyd View Post
This might also be heresy, but I actually don't think BG2 is good. Seriously, we need to stop holding BG up as one of the gold standards of CRPGs. Clunky combat with hordes of boring trash mobs, and mostly annoying companions. I'm not saying I hate everything about it but there's a lot of problems and it really hasn't aged well. IMO the only thing that puts it above a lot of other RPGs is the D&D system. It is more fun to build characters in a D&D game (even if 2nd edition is less interesting than 3rd) than a lot of modern RPGs where you "build" doesn't really matter because you can just make your character awesome at everything.
Agreed. People tend to be very hyperbolic with comparing old vs new: highlighting positives with former and negatives with latter.
Played it not long ago and it had more than few issues:
- Atrocious balancing all across the board: items, spells, classes, you name it
- ( for the most part) simplistic quest design
- Poor character progression ( aside from say, monks or sorcerers)
- few meaningful choices and consequences
- Weak main story, some of character writing ( Aerie, Minsc, etc)
- Broken economy, reputation system
- RtwP, boss fights ( can you say: cheeeeese?) and enemy AI

Still a very solid game though with a lot of charm ( especially when it comes to companion interactions and some of the sidequests) and easily best from pre-EA Bioware.
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June 27th, 2018, 14:46
Well, obviously BG2 is just my example of a really enjoyable RPG that is highly regarded and successful. I'm not interested in a debate about its merits and failings; insert your own exemplar in its place.

The point I'm interested in is whether they are casting around to find reasons why many of these newer games aren't very successful, when the problem may be much simpler and closer to home.
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June 27th, 2018, 14:56
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
The point I'm interested in is whether they are casting around to find reasons why many of these newer games aren't very successful, when the problem may be much simpler and closer to home.
There are modern crpgs as good or better. But in general, they'll either need to scale down ( done on smaller budgets and expected sales) or ramp up with modern tech( like DOS II).
Worst situation right now is with companies like Obsidian or Inxile who fall somewhere between the two. What's the point of spending ton of money on expensive voice acting for that type of game?
It will be interesting how Cain&Boyarski project turns out.
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June 27th, 2018, 15:00
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
Well, obviously BG2 is just my example of a really enjoyable RPG that is highly regarded and successful.
Highly regarded and successful 20 years ago. The climate and basic standards have shifted dramatically since then. It's naive to think that if BG2 came out today it would be more successful or acclaimed than its counterparts like Deadfire.
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June 27th, 2018, 15:23
Originally Posted by Silver Coin View Post
Highly regarded and successful 20 years ago. The climate and basic standards have shifted dramatically since then. It's naive to think that if BG2 came out today it would be more successful or acclaimed than its counterparts like Deadfire.
Which is why I said replace it with your own example. Having interminable debates about the quality of BG2 is beating a horse that's dead, buried, and composted.
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June 27th, 2018, 15:37
Your argument was that modern CRPGs are selling poorly because they're not as good as Baldurs Gate II, so it's perfectly reasonable to analyze its quality within that context.
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June 27th, 2018, 15:44
Khm, khm!
Just a general suggestion:
Please, don't feed trolls.

Well… Unless it's me who's hungry, ofc.

On topic, crpgs are back? From where? Were they gone somewhere without me noticing it? I mean for ages now there are so many crpgs out there I can't find enough time to play them all.
Ah yeah, it's just another RPS irrelevant article. Whatta surprise. Could bait a few clicks, thus it's good for business.
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June 27th, 2018, 16:02
Originally Posted by abharsair View Post
I had many fond memories of BG2 from when I first played it many years ago, but when I replayed it a second time with various mods installed it wasn't nearly as epic or awesome as I remembered it to be.
Of course you dont feel the same when you are much older and already know it so the element of surprise doesnt work anymore. Its natural. We are accustomed to different things nowadays.

The problem has nothing to do with single player.

- ISOMETRIC camera doesnt sell nowadays - new players expect games to look like movies. They want to see heroes' faces, close-ups, detailed animations. Even some mediocre 3rd ARPGs sell more than isometric CRPGs nowadays. What do you expect when new players play games like Witcher 3, Horizon Zero Dawn or AC Origins… (and AC is going more towards ARPG)

- a lot of these CRPGs were based on strong nostalgia and high expectations - but despite successfull KS campaigns it wasnt enough for some devs. it was probably easier for Inxile and HBS to make cyberpunk and post-apo RPGs because these are more rare and there was some audience that didnt like Fallouts from Bethesda. But fantasy PoE was compared a lot to BG and for many fans it didnt meet expectations. So they punished them by lower sales of second game. Quality!

- if you come with new IP, you need strong PR campaign and good videos - videos from Obsidian wasnt bad but were weaker compared to Larian or Ninja Theory (Hellblade).

- dont make your core audience angry saying unneccessary things - Josh Sawyer did that mistake with some statement (about CRPG crowd or his negativity towards BG etc.. maybe there were more statements like that).


Future of Obsidian - Im afraid that Obisidian will go Bioware's way and move more and more out of RPGs. They always do more projects but it seems that none of them is big hit. Im little more optimistic towards Inxile.

Its very probable that HBS will make next Shadowrun as 3rd person RPG. So new isometric CRPGs will be probably domain of very small European devs in the future.
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June 27th, 2018, 16:33
I for one would be terribly disappointed if Hairbrained went that route on the Shadowrun franchise. The way they did the past three games was perfect for me, and I think changing that formula would be dangerous and full of unnecessary risk. Then again, with their new allegiance, I suppose anything is possible, all the decisions aren't exactly theirs anymore.
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June 27th, 2018, 16:38
Originally Posted by Silver Coin View Post
Your argument was that modern CRPGs are selling poorly because they're not as good as Baldurs Gate II, so it's perfectly reasonable to analyze its quality within that context.
No, as I've tried to clarify, twice, my argument is that these games might not be selling very well because they are not very good, period. As I made clear, BG was just a rhetorical example, which you could replace with your own highly regarded RPG. Being obtuse about it just makes for a painful conversation.
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June 27th, 2018, 16:40
I can only hope that the herd mentality toward action-based multi-player sandbox games invites niche market players in to fill the void with good quality cRPGs of the classic style. Frankly, sandbox games only work with higher-level characters when there's an inane amount of level scaling, which inevitably degrades the immersion. I still want to see traditional approaches used to create immersive higher-level adventures.
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June 27th, 2018, 18:29
Originally Posted by Silver Coin View Post
Highly regarded and successful 20 years ago. The climate and basic standards have shifted dramatically since then. It's naive to think that if BG2 came out today it would be more successful or acclaimed than its counterparts like Deadfire.
It's far more naïve to pretend your opinions are facts.
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June 27th, 2018, 19:35
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
It's far more naïve to pretend your opinions are facts.
Eh? Doesn't that come from Huckabee?
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June 27th, 2018, 19:55
Originally Posted by BoboTheMighty View Post
Eh? Doesn't that come from Huckabee?
Idk, was he talking to Trump when he said it?
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June 27th, 2018, 20:23
Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
Sorry, disagree @daveyd. I know you HATE RTwP combat, but for me (and I'm sure for many others) BG2 takes the crown

As for problems, all games have its own problems. It just boils down to preference and implementation.
And that's fine. I just want to stress though that the combat, while certainly a big part of my disappointment with BG is not the only issue. Turn-based might have made it better in my eyes, but that's not a guarantee. And I've managed to enjoy loads of NWN 1 & 2 mods despite disliking RTwP (granted many of my favorites are relatively light on combat).

Anyway I don't want to completely derail this thread with debate over whether BG deserves to be referred to one of the greatest CRPGs. I'll simply agree it is a fairly popular CRPG and leave it at that.

Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
Well, obviously BG2 is just my example of a really enjoyable RPG that is highly regarded and successful. I'm not interested in a debate about its merits and failings; insert your own exemplar in its place.

The point I'm interested in is whether they are casting around to find reasons why many of these newer games aren't very successful, when the problem may be much simpler and closer to home.
Your point is well taken. I just find that many of the classics tend to get held to this impossible standard, because we view them through our rose-colored nostalgia glasses so that no modern RPG can possibly hope to compare.

Yet I have personally found lots of the recent CRPGs like WL2 & DOS & PoE quite underwhelming. Making a good RPG is tough and of course you cannot please everyone. I just wish that when covering CRPGs gaming journalists would pay attention to developers other than the three biggest developers.
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June 27th, 2018, 20:33
Yes, and I think the point about overrating the classics has validity, too.

But, even with the rose-tinted nostalgia glasses knocked off, I do think in some key ways they were superior to these modern upstarts. Although the contemporary efforts have definitely improved on some things, I think in other ways there are regressions, and that's rather disappointing.
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