Saint Scylla Jun 16, 2014 @ 10:17am
Not getting the hype about this game
Hi there,

When this game was first released I was having fun with Fallout & other RPGs. I have a moderate interest for the D&D game system and universe. I did play a bit of NWN later but found the storyline dull and the level design terrible.
Anyway BG has some prestige to say the least, and it's been a long time I wanted to play it. I've just finished it an hour ago after nearly 50h of gameplay.

Soo.. there is sure a lot of details I appreciate in the game, such as:
- a nice worldmap with many regions dedicated to sub-quests,
- good variety in environments,
- a vaste bestiary,
- potential companions about everywhere,
- random encounters,
- symbolic dreams,
- heaps of different spells,
- cursed items,
- some clever dialogues and some bits of the storyline (read: "few")

And there are just as many things getting on my nerves:
- the terrible pathfinding leading characters to bump into each other and queue in front of enemies,
- cryptic spells descriptions (see this shocking one[oi57.tinypic.com]),
- how you'll always do many mistakes on your first game (so you've invested points in Maces and 2-handed weapon style? Too bad 2-handed Maces haven't been invented here!),
- how some fights require you to "cheat" (i.e. drinking anti-petrification potions before your party see the basiliks),
- absurd and overabundant loot (pretty much every living creature on the Sword Coast is carrying worthless jewels and necklaces).

Not to mention that the bad guy has a terrible name and a ridiculous helmet: in D&D these things are unfortunately to be expected...

In the end I did have some fun from time to time, but overall it feels more like the work of a handful of very patient teenagers than the holiest of all classical RPG. Why the hype? What's so special and great about this game?
Showing 1-15 of 15 comments
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ÄmJii Jun 16, 2014 @ 10:50am 
Besides being first widely successful D&D CRPG adaptations and revitalizing western RPGs popularity back when it came out? Huh, no idea what's so special...

Let's just put it this way, Baldur's Gate is same to western RPGs than Final Fantasy 7 was to jRPGS back when that game came out.
Saint Scylla Jun 16, 2014 @ 11:18am 
I know and I don't get why the success - hence the topic.

What I'm asking is what exactly makes you play it? How do you manage to get over its flaws? It's sure rich, but I unfortunately find it nowhere as well-written and compelling as what I was expecting.
Illyrien Jun 16, 2014 @ 6:03pm 
Originally posted by Saint Scylla:
it nowhere as well-written and compelling as what I was expecting.
I m curious, what game would you say is in the same genre and better than this (and BGII since its basically one large game)? I have played a lot of them and it seems to me that the only one at the same level is Dragon Age I.

When it came out it was by far the best and even since than, until Dragon Age I, there haven't really been a good competitor. Sure Neverwinter Nights 2 was nice, except ofcause that the graphics was all cartoony.
Saint Scylla Jun 17, 2014 @ 1:47am 
Originally posted by Illyrien:
I m curious, what game would you say is in the same genre and better than this (and BGII since its basically one large game)?

I haven't played neither BGII yet (I maybe will as it's said to be superior to the first one) nor Dragon Age.
My favorite CPRGs are Fallout 1, 2 and Tactics, Planescape Torment, Vampire Bloodlines, The Witcher 1 & 2. They all have a great story in my opinion. They all have design and technical flaws as well, but nothing immersion-breaking as the issues I've faced in BG.
I suppose that wouldn't have been a problem if playing at the release, or if the hype didn't set my expectations so high.

I'm currently having fun in the Black Pits. I love tactical games, and this one features a great ambiance and a good rythm.
arejectedgoth Jun 17, 2014 @ 8:15pm 
I'm gonna be honest, I was a little disheartened reading your original post. But I'm a bit of a fanboy. So, I'm gonna just tell you why I loved Baldur's Gate.

I've been playing Baldur's Gate since 1998, I had just turned 13 when the game came out. I remember unveiling it and it's double-folded cd holder glory - 5 CDs. This was the biggest game I'd ever installed on my computer in terms of length of gameplay and data- I had learned at this point that the rawer the data the better quality it was and the larger the file was. I used to fill up those old Jaz disks all the time with whatever I was working on.

I had built my first computer when I was 10, after getting tired of sharing the family computer, and played classics like Menzoberranzan, Ravenloft: Stone Prophet, Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession, Al'Qadim: The Genie's Curse, Dark Sun: Shattered Lands, Dark Sun: Wake of the Ravager, Eye of the Beholder I (in it's 5.1 Floppy disk glory), II, and III, Pool of Radiance, Diablo (which was revolutionary in it's own way), Warcraft 1 and 2, Fallout 1 and 2 (yes, I had 2 already when Baldur's Gate came out), Starcraft and it's expansion Brood War, the Might and Magic games, and so many more. I had started tinkering with reverse engineering games and adding in my own elements- like models, quests, items, characters, and telling my own story.

SSI had lost it's rights to Dungeons and Dragons property (TSR was in charge, way before Wizards) and there were a few games in between but nothing note-worthy. And then stepped in Black Isle with the infinity engine, a dynamite writing staff (not a common thing at the time), and a place in Forgotten Realms that wasn't really written about much until this point. There is an easter egg for Forgotten Realms fans (aside from Drizzt)- there's a waterdeep resident you can run into that hints that interesting things might be taking your character north to waterdeep some time soon (like baldur's gate 2 might be there!), which was much more enticing to the people playing the AD&D 2.0 modules on their tabletops as it already had such rich lore.

Baldur's Gate was something incredibly new to fantasy gaming, and gaming in general, at the time. It introduced elements like party control to a wildly complex combat system built by gamers for gamers. The scripting was more polished than what I'd seen in most games before, but it still felt raw. Baldur's Gate was introduced with a file structure that made it very easy to add your own basic things to the game via the override folder. Which was pretty much unheard of at the time.

In steps a group named TeamBG, which I was happy to be a member of. It was our mission to make every single element of the game changable through a series of tools. It was hard work, lots of talented people contributed a lot to the project. In the end, we had tools that would not only let you edit and delete, but you could create. You could turn this 120+ hour opus of a game into whatever you wanted it to be, it was just the framework at that point. I'd like to think it's because of what we did that toolsets were included in future game releases from Bioware.

On came the D&D fans, making their own modules, telling their own stories. Everything from extended Baldur's Gate, to Dragonlance, to Greyhawk, to Ravenloft, and all the other modules you just love but know won't get a game made about them any time soon. Their communities are still alive and thriving. I think it's encouraged to mod with this game now.

The thing about Baldur's Gate is how it introduced an incredibly well polished product that bore an unforetold fruit that brought the community of gamers closer together and helped set a presidence for giving players the tools to tell their own stories, which is what Dungeons and Dragons is all about.

Sure it may not be as fun to play, or as pretty as newer games. But this game is about the story- and the real story is how it changed it all.
Saint Scylla Jun 18, 2014 @ 2:06am 
Wow! Thanks for this page of History. I see now how refreshing indeed were these modding tools at the time.

I can relate to your gaming experience (we've the same age). The game is still very pretty, and people who come to BG are anyway looking forward for the 2D isometric view. It's the blatantly bad pathfinding AI (for a party management game) and some design choices that partly spoil the fun to me.

I'l check the mods you've listed, thanks again.
The Dude Jun 20, 2014 @ 10:59pm 
This:

Originally posted by arejectedgoth:
I played Pool of Radiance

Does not mesh with this:

<Baldur's Gate> introduced elements like party control to a wildly complex combat system built by gamers for gamers.

You had far more control of your party in Pool of Radiance than Baldur's Gate. The only thing BG has over PoR is modding capability and pretty pretty graphics.
Gaz_[RBC] Jun 21, 2014 @ 2:38am 
Some people just can't handle older games. I find it impossible to convince people to play anything from the 90s.

About the things you don't like...
-Almost all older games have poor pathfinding or AI.
-Some of the spells are confusing, I agree. But experimenting and learning is part of the fun...
-Everyone makes mistakes on their first try, but you can't go too wrong when it comes to weapon choices.

-You do kind of have to "cheat", meta-game, and use cheese tactics sometimes, especially in BG2. Anyone who disagrees is lying. But this is true in almost all D&D games.
-Complaining about loot is odd. There's not that much and most of it is garbage, you have to go exploring for the good stuff.
-The main villain is perfect... He's like Gregor Clegane, Kurgan, and the Humungus rolled into one.

Last edited by Gaz_[RBC]; Jun 21, 2014 @ 3:00am
Saint Scylla Jun 21, 2014 @ 6:19am 
I'm certain I can handle oldies - I've spent dozens of hours playing Fallout Tactics last year - it's just that my expectations were a bit over the top.

But I had a blast with the Black Pits and have even written a guide about it: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=271977346
Your suggestions are welcome so feel free to comment.
Two Bears Jun 21, 2014 @ 1:46pm 
Originally posted by arejectedgoth:
I'm gonna be honest, I was a little disheartened reading your original post. But I'm a bit of a fanboy. So, I'm gonna just tell you why I loved Baldur's Gate.

I've been playing Baldur's Gate since 1998, I had just turned 13 when the game came out. I remember unveiling it and it's double-folded cd holder glory - 5 CDs. This was the biggest game I'd ever installed on my computer in terms of length of gameplay and data- I had learned at this point that the rawer the data the better quality it was and the larger the file was. I used to fill up those old Jaz disks all the time with whatever I was working on.

I had built my first computer when I was 10, after getting tired of sharing the family computer, and played classics like Menzoberranzan, Ravenloft: Stone Prophet, Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession, Al'Qadim: The Genie's Curse, Dark Sun: Shattered Lands, Dark Sun: Wake of the Ravager, Eye of the Beholder I (in it's 5.1 Floppy disk glory), II, and III, Pool of Radiance, Diablo (which was revolutionary in it's own way), Warcraft 1 and 2, Fallout 1 and 2 (yes, I had 2 already when Baldur's Gate came out), Starcraft and it's expansion Brood War, the Might and Magic games, and so many more. I had started tinkering with reverse engineering games and adding in my own elements- like models, quests, items, characters, and telling my own story.

SSI had lost it's rights to Dungeons and Dragons property (TSR was in charge, way before Wizards) and there were a few games in between but nothing note-worthy. And then stepped in Black Isle with the infinity engine, a dynamite writing staff (not a common thing at the time), and a place in Forgotten Realms that wasn't really written about much until this point. There is an easter egg for Forgotten Realms fans (aside from Drizzt)- there's a waterdeep resident you can run into that hints that interesting things might be taking your character north to waterdeep some time soon (like baldur's gate 2 might be there!), which was much more enticing to the people playing the AD&D 2.0 modules on their tabletops as it already had such rich lore.

Baldur's Gate was something incredibly new to fantasy gaming, and gaming in general, at the time. It introduced elements like party control to a wildly complex combat system built by gamers for gamers. The scripting was more polished than what I'd seen in most games before, but it still felt raw. Baldur's Gate was introduced with a file structure that made it very easy to add your own basic things to the game via the override folder. Which was pretty much unheard of at the time.

In steps a group named TeamBG, which I was happy to be a member of. It was our mission to make every single element of the game changable through a series of tools. It was hard work, lots of talented people contributed a lot to the project. In the end, we had tools that would not only let you edit and delete, but you could create. You could turn this 120+ hour opus of a game into whatever you wanted it to be, it was just the framework at that point. I'd like to think it's because of what we did that toolsets were included in future game releases from Bioware.

On came the D&D fans, making their own modules, telling their own stories. Everything from extended Baldur's Gate, to Dragonlance, to Greyhawk, to Ravenloft, and all the other modules you just love but know won't get a game made about them any time soon. Their communities are still alive and thriving. I think it's encouraged to mod with this game now.

The thing about Baldur's Gate is how it introduced an incredibly well polished product that bore an unforetold fruit that brought the community of gamers closer together and helped set a presidence for giving players the tools to tell their own stories, which is what Dungeons and Dragons is all about.

Sure it may not be as fun to play, or as pretty as newer games. But this game is about the story- and the real story is how it changed it all.

This man. Make this man mayor of the internet.
arejectedgoth Jun 21, 2014 @ 8:22pm 
Originally posted by The Dude:
This:

Originally posted by arejectedgoth:
I played Pool of Radiance

Does not mesh with this:

<Baldur's Gate> introduced elements like party control to a wildly complex combat system built by gamers for gamers.

You had far more control of your party in Pool of Radiance than Baldur's Gate. The only thing BG has over PoR is modding capability and pretty pretty graphics.

Hm, I respectfully disagree. The combat system was far from complex. Perhaps the inclusion of customizable party AI was not enough to change the experience for you. Beyond that, the SSI gaming at the time just did not have the dimensions, vis–à–vis, Direct3D, DirectDraw, OpenGL, etc. There was a level of immersion gained. You do have a valid point, the system was pre-existing- but never to this scale before- never this fleshed out- never this modular. From a programming stand-point...

I digress- I did not mean to impune or insult. Oft times we fans can be far too passionate explaining our own point of view and fail to acknowledge others. My post was simply to explain what made the game enjoyable for me and my own experience with it, recognizing that each and every person will have a different experience. It was my two cents- nothing more. I am glad you have such fond memories of Pools of Radiance- it is undoubtedly a classic.

I do not wish to involve myself in a debate. So with that- I wish you success on your saving throws as long as you may live, may Gygax be with you.
Blast X Blast Jun 21, 2014 @ 10:17pm 
Let me share with you some facts about myself.

1. I have over 250 actual games on Steam - not counting expansions - including some of the most recent and popular.

2. I never played Baldur's Gate when it was first released. I played it for the very first time a little over one year ago. I have only owned the Enchanced Edition for a few months.

3. I have put 947 hours into this game. It is by far my most played game on Steam. Skyrim, Dragon Age Saga, Mass Effect saga - you name it, I own it. None of them have come close to sucking me in the way this game has. I also own BGEE2, but I haven't played it yet. I'm saving it. Once I playthrough BGEE a dozen more times or so, I will decide which character I want to import into BGEE2 and play first.

This. Game. Is. Epic. Beyond. Words.

Had I played it when it first came out in 1998, I cannot imagine what my response might have been. There is nothing like this game.

Like I said, I have put 947 hours into this first game alone, and I feel as though I have barely even scratched the surface.
Nosirrah Jun 22, 2014 @ 1:29am 
It's an old game, there is a lot of nostalgia connected to it for a lot of people, that being said, it's witty with lots of replayability giving it great value for money, it's connected to a well established world and is just lots of fun. If you can get past the fact that it is old and not quite as streamlined modern games, there's a lot of good to find. I just think it was ambitious for its time.
Poor Ping Pagan Jun 24, 2014 @ 7:34pm 
When released was never overly enthralled with baldurs gate and only played through once.
Loved shadow of amn though and completed it a number of times.
Select Jun 24, 2014 @ 10:16pm 
Some of your criticisms seem weird to me. It's not cheap to use anti-petrification potions before fighting bassilisks; it's the whole reason they exist. Carry a few with you for those unexpected surprises. More importantly, make sure your mage knows the 1st level spell that protects you from them for an hour.

Spell descriptions might seem cryptic, but they make sense to anyone who played AD&D 2nd Edition, which is what was around when the game came out. In fact, they mostly just copy/pasted the wording for spells from the books.

Anyway, what makes the game stand out, especially for its time, is the solid story-telling. The plot slowly develops over time, like peeling an onion. As more layers are removed, you start to get a bigger picture of what's happening in the region.

There's also a healthy bit of nostalgia attached to the game as well. It's like most people that saw Blazing Saddles at least 20 years ago, probably still consider it to be one of the funniest movies ever made, even though they may get more laughs out of newer stuff. But if you sit someone down today, who's never seen it, they'd probably get a few chuckles and that's it.
Last edited by Select; Jun 24, 2014 @ 10:22pm
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Date Posted: Jun 16, 2014 @ 10:17am
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