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Beamdog writer Amber Scott and lead designer Phillip Daigle recently showed off Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear during a Twitch.tv livestream. The stream offers a little less than an hour of footage, which includes a look at various minor encounters, quests, and plenty of combat. The developers also made sure to offer a look at a few of the new quality of life UI changes that will be introduced in Siege of Dragonspear and backported into all of Beamdog's Enhanced Editions.
Personally, I can say I'm very impressed with what I've seen in terms of new area art, which isn't quite on par with the original Icewind Dale but comes close, and the density of encounters and quests, encounters that, based on what I've seen, look like they could fit seamlessly in the original title in terms of tone and writing. Granted, we're only talking about one area here, but it does bode well for the full expansion.
Scott and Daigle even noted that they worked on creating additional areas during development after receiving feedback from company owner Trent Oster, who considered the expansion a little bit too linear and constricting. Originally, the plan was to have something closer to Throne of Bhaal in terms of structure and opportunities for exploration.
Conversely, the new UI didn't quite impress me as much. I can't help but feel that it looks cobbled together and that the color, textures and font choices aren't quite optimal, but I suppose I can't deny that the quality of life improvements will be helpful, especially so for players who are new to the game. In fairness, Beamdog is also working to make sure that the UI is completely open to modders, so we should hopefully be seeing some interesting revamps from the hardworking Infinity Engine modding community.
A recording of the livestream is embedded below, so you can see for yourselves and form your own opinion on the state of Siege of Dragonspear. I'm surprised to find myself very optimistic for what sounded like it could have been an incredibly misguided attempt to bank on nostalgia, and I'm honestly hoping to hear news on a release date sooner rather than later: