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Default Baldur's Gate 3 - Early Access Preview @ Gameffine

October 31st, 2020, 20:20
Gameffine checked out Baldur's Gate 3:

Baldur's Gate 3 Early Access Preview :: Playing it Safe

I started my career here at Gameffine with a review of Divinity: Original Sin 2 nearly 3 years ago -- it still remains the only game I've given a perfect score to. The Original Sin series helped place Larian as my go-to RPG studio, dethroning Obsidian which sat on the throne since KOTOR II. It elevated the CRPG formula to a new level by combining traditional adventuring tropes with excellent environmental manipulation and absolute freedom of exploration. At the same time, I also consider myself a CRPG purist and the original Baldur's Gate will always have a special place in my heart and that of a million others as a game that defined a generation.

I cried when the story broke that Black Isle Studios' Baldur's Gate sequel titled The Black Hound had been canceled, leaving the future of the franchise in uncertainty. While I appreciate Beamdog's Enhanced Edition of the first two games as well as their interest to make a sequel, Siege of Dragonspear proved that they were not ready to stand on the shoulders of golden age Bioware. Then came the surprising news that Larian was working on Baldur's Gate 3. While I was certain that they were capable of delivering on the gameplay department, I felt that Larian's writing team typically leaves much to be desired. Still, I was hopeful and glad that this legendary IP would get a second chance at life like many of its brethren in recent years.

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October 31st, 2020, 21:21
@yemeth, I read between the lines that you didn't like the game? I feel you were too careful in your review. Possibly understandably to avoid the outrage from fans from either side. Yet, a review is supposed to be a review. If you don't like it, it's a valid opinion.

Right, it's called BG3, but how can you make a sequel to a story that was finished and wrapped up?
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October 31st, 2020, 22:26
@yemeth 100% agree two of those groups ruined the game. Though you forgot one group the Tabletop D&D purists. Which in my opinion are the worst of the bunch.
In my opinion, there are three groups of people playing Baldur's Gate 3:
  • Hardcore Baldur's Gate purists
  • People who got into CRPGs with Divinity: Original Sin 2 and looks at Baldur's Gate 3 as an alternative
  • Old-school RPG players who are fans of both Baldur's Gate and Divinity series
Also can't agree with you on this part. I'm afraid we can't be friends anymore.
In my opinion, RTwP is a relic of the past and tabletop-inspired RPGs are best played on a turn-based system as proven by the TB updates for Pillars of Eternity 2 and Pathfinder: Kingmaker
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October 31st, 2020, 22:52
I don't fit into either of those three groups but that happens when you try to pigeon-hole people into certain areas, although I understand and accept doing so is useful and I do that myself at times.

Also disagree that RTwP is a relic of the past - if anything is a relic it is TB. Nothing was proven by the TB mods in PK or POE. I wouldn't have sunk 400 hours into PK or 200 into POE if they had only been TB. All it proved is that some people still like TB combat - it doesn't prove TB is better, or worse, just that people like different things.

Just because TB is table top style, because its the simplest to implement, doesn't mean a computer game has to follow that same style. That sounds like a Tabletop purist talking. I played AD&D through highschool and college but could care less if a computer game based on an AD&D setting tries to stick to the same format "just because" that is how it was done on pen and paper.

I used to play TB growing up but its a time sink these days. That being said if a game is really, really, really good then I will play it inspite of it being TB. BG3 is one of those. I don't mind some TB combat but when you have too much combat it becomes a major slog to get through each fight and a massive time sink. DDOS2 was too many long fights. I don't know what BG3 will be like when released but the EA version was a decent balance for me - plenty of things to do outside of combat, ways to avoid combat, and hence when you did have to fight it wasn't as painful.

In fact I would go as far as saying I enjoyed some of the TB fights in BG3 they were done so well. Having 100 hours now in BG3 I have gotten pretty good at it, although it helps I know a lot of what is comping. That being said I still prefer RTwP.

Not a big fan of Divinity Games. Played a few, never finished one of them although got about 95 done on DDOS2 before the TB finally did me in and I uninstalled.

Hardly a purist either. But I did enjoy the BG games and played them many times over when they came out.

I see BG3 as simply a new RPG fantasy game that ticks all the right boxes for me and don't really care who the developer is. I judged the game on its own merits - a fun fantasy game based on AD&D style settings.
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November 1st, 2020, 02:39
Pretty good review, I didn't read into it all the things that… people seemed to read into it. I'm a "tabletop D&D purist" when it comes to D&D games; obviously the worst of the bunch. What can I say; when I buy a game claiming to use the D&D ruleset I get excited because I love that ruleset, I know that ruleset, I've been gaming with that ruleset for over three decades now and I love to play games that use it. I loved the SSI Gold Box games for that reason. I loved BG1 and 2 for that reason even though they were RTwP. I loved Pathfinder: Kingmaker for the adherence to Pathfinder rules, and I loved it even more when they added in a turn-based mode.

I spent a *lot* of time and money on games like this, often supporting them in EA or however else I can, so I can see why they'd want to cater to people with my tastes if they're doing a D&D game it seems like a no-brainer to not tick off the people who would be interested in that game due to the ruleset. Otherwise, don't claim you're using the ruleset. I went into Wasteland 3 and PoE with their different rulesets just fine, because they weren't claiming to be using 3.5 OGL rules or 5E or whatever.

If you're going to make a game based on a tabletop ruleset, do it well. Copy the feeling of the tabletop game. Solasta and BG3 both do this, but right now Solasta is definitely doing a better job of it.
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November 1st, 2020, 02:58
Well I wont post a long winded reply so I'll summarize it for y'all. I don't give a shit about rule-sets and dice they ruin CRPGs especially this RPG. Also TB RPGs are the relic.

Anyway I'm a proud Hardcore Baldur's Gate purist. Get off my lawn.

Now excuse me while I go play NWN 2 again.
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November 1st, 2020, 02:58
I also like the rule sets a lot having played a lot of the pen and paper. But I also expect there to be a difference between playing a game with friends around a table versus on a computer. They can share the rule set while also adapting to the different environment that serves up the game. So I don't expect them to be identical.

BG3 impresses me with its many layers and ways to solve a problem but to reveal some of that would be major spoilers. But a high level vague example is I thought I had exhausted all the different ways to manage the Druid Grove. But tonight I found a letter … and from there found a whole new approach.

That being said based on what I know of the rule set BG3 is flexible and a bit loser with them. I haven't played Solasta, yet, but based on what people are saying it sounds like they stick to the rules closer.

If all that mattered to me were the rules I would probably like Solasta more as well. But I look for a lot more in games then how closely they follow a ruleset designed around a different medium.
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November 1st, 2020, 05:06
Originally Posted by largh View Post
@yemeth, I read between the lines that you didn't like the game? I feel you were too careful in your review. Possibly understandably to avoid the outrage from fans from either side. Yet, a review is supposed to be a review. If you don't like it, it's a valid opinion.

Right, it's called BG3, but how can you make a sequel to a story that was finished and wrapped up?
I like it but it runs like ass for me and just too unstable to be enjoyable at the moment. It should have been just called 'Baldur's Gate: Insert Subtitle' xD. I'm glad that playing it made me want to play the older games again. Unninstalled BG3 and I'm on Siege of Dragonspear right now.
Also since the game is on early access and many things will change in a year, didn't feel like giving definitive judgments on a lot of things. Some of the problems I've originally mentioned have already been patched up by the time this preview was published.
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November 1st, 2020, 05:08
Originally Posted by wolfgrimdark View Post
I don't fit into either of those three groups but that happens when you try to pigeon-hole people into certain areas, although I understand and accept doing so is useful and I do that myself at times.

Also disagree that RTwP is a relic of the past - if anything is a relic it is TB. Nothing was proven by the TB mods in PK or POE. I wouldn't have sunk 400 hours into PK or 200 into POE if they had only been TB. All it proved is that some people still like TB combat - it doesn't prove TB is better, or worse, just that people like different things.

Just because TB is table top style, because its the simplest to implement, doesn't mean a computer game has to follow that same style. That sounds like a Tabletop purist talking. I played AD&D through highschool and college but could care less if a computer game based on an AD&D setting tries to stick to the same format "just because" that is how it was done on pen and paper.

I used to play TB growing up but its a time sink these days. That being said if a game is really, really, really good then I will play it inspite of it being TB. BG3 is one of those. I don't mind some TB combat but when you have too much combat it becomes a major slog to get through each fight and a massive time sink. DDOS2 was too many long fights. I don't know what BG3 will be like when released but the EA version was a decent balance for me - plenty of things to do outside of combat, ways to avoid combat, and hence when you did have to fight it wasn't as painful.

In fact I would go as far as saying I enjoyed some of the TB fights in BG3 they were done so well. Having 100 hours now in BG3 I have gotten pretty good at it, although it helps I know a lot of what is comping. That being said I still prefer RTwP.

Not a big fan of Divinity Games. Played a few, never finished one of them although got about 95 done on DDOS2 before the TB finally did me in and I uninstalled.

Hardly a purist either. But I did enjoy the BG games and played them many times over when they came out.

I see BG3 as simply a new RPG fantasy game that ticks all the right boxes for me and don't really care who the developer is. I judged the game on its own merits - a fun fantasy game based on AD&D style settings.
Yes I know RTwP is still loved by many. But I find them too hectic in party based RPGs even with all the micromanaging. That's why I carefully wrote 'in my opinion' (the ironic Internet bulletproof vest) Tried Pillars 2 and Kingmaker in turn based and haven't gone back since.
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November 1st, 2020, 05:11
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Well I wont post a long winded reply so I'll summarize it for y'all. I don't give a shit about rule-sets and dice they ruin CRPGs especially this RPG. Also TB RPGs are the relic.

Anyway I'm a proud Hardcore Baldur's Gate purist. Get off my lawn.

Now excuse me while I go play NWN 2 again.
Good thing you said NWN2 and not NWN 1. I'd have to magic missile you then 😉
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November 1st, 2020, 05:11
BG1 Those were the days. We've come a long way.

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November 1st, 2020, 05:18
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
BG1 Those were the days. We've come a long way.

You know what? For all the shit I give Beamdog, the Enhanced Editions have come a long way. I'd even say that they're the definitive way to play the games in 2020. Some of the QoL features are just awesome. The new NPCs except Dorn kinda suck from a writing perspective but you can just easily ignore them.
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November 1st, 2020, 05:19
Originally Posted by yemeth View Post
Good thing you said NWN2 and not NWN 1. I'd have to magic missile you then.
I still play NWN as well mostly due to the campaign mods still released. So my sorcerer shall cast the most Op spell TIME STOP and instant kill you with DISINTEGRATE.
Originally Posted by yemeth View Post
You know what? For all the shit I give Beamdog, the Enhanced Editions have come a long way. I'd even say that they're the definitive way to play the games in 2020. Some of the QoL features are just awesome. The new NPCs except Dorn kinda suck from a writing perspective but you can just easily ignore them.
True Beam-dog gave them a more modern upgrade. I'm reluctant to admit that's why I bought them again. As the mods to upgrade the originals are a pain to install.
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Last edited by Couchpotato; November 1st, 2020 at 05:45.
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November 1st, 2020, 05:22
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
I still play NWN as well mostly due to the campaign mods still released. So my sorcerer shall cast the most Op spell TIME STOP and instant kill you with DISINTEGRATE.
I bought the Enhanced edition when it came out and didn't touch it since. Any recommended story modules that are actually good?
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November 1st, 2020, 05:28
Originally Posted by yemeth View Post
I bought the Enhanced edition when it came out and didn't touch it since. Any recommended story modules that are actually good?
Depends what's your preference in mods? Combat focused or story?

I did share a list of recommended mods a few years back.

Link - https://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/show…&postcount=252

I'd choose to start with The Aielund Saga & Vis et Virtus Series.
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November 1st, 2020, 05:43
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Depends what's your preference in mods? Combat focused or story?

I did share a list of recommended mods a few years back.

Link - https://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/show…&postcount=252

I'd choose to start with The Aielund Saga & Vis et Virtus Series.
Definitely story! I'll check it out
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November 1st, 2020, 05:43
Originally Posted by yemeth View Post
I like it but it runs like ass for me and just too unstable to be enjoyable at the moment.
Huh? What kind of potato are you running it on? My system is fairly modest by today's standards, and the game runs completely smooth (and stable) for me on the highest settings.
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November 1st, 2020, 05:49
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Huh? What kind of potato are you running it on? My system is fairly modest by today's standards, and the game runs completely smooth (and stable) for me on the highest settings.
Gtx 1070, i5 8400, 16 gigs ram
It's not just me. It's running like ass for most of my friends as well. Massive stuttering. Blighted Village makes the fps drop down to 20s. No change even if I drop the settings. Tried reinstalling, changing from SSD to HDD and vice versa but no avail. Searched the forums and lots of other people with good PCs are having the issues too
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November 1st, 2020, 06:27
It runs fine for most people.
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November 1st, 2020, 06:39
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
It runs fine for most people.
'Most' isn't all. Why would I give it a plus point for performance if it runs bad for me and it isn't a problem from my end ? That wouldn't make any sense.
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