BG2, a game unsurpassable

This forum is to be used for all discussions pertaining to BioWare's Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn.
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BG2, a game unsurpassable

Postby willsanders84 » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:10 pm

I've had this game since its release in god-knows-what-year. I've played it so many times, dabbling with DLTCEP, Shadowkeeper, various classes. Finally I decided, right. Here we go. All the way through for the last time. Hardest diffuculty, three party members; all created by myself. Inquisitor (protagonist), Ranger lvl 8/Cleric, Swashbuckler lvl 10/Mage. I've messed around with dual/multi classes before, but I felt that this time I knew what I was doing (a little CLUA investigation beforehand!).

I decided not to kill Iron golems the way I usually do; get them stuck in a doorway and give them a good whacking with the Staff of Rynn. Not to cheese Liches and Dragons, and in fact employ as few cheese tactics as possible. To load as little as possible, and generally play the game as it should be played. I've played it all the way through on double damage before, but not in the 'pure' way that I wanted to this time.

OH MY GOD. Firkraag got nicknamed F**kRag. Kangaxx became K-Paxx (and K-Paxx with a semi on). With only three party members, no cheese, nothing, I've found certain situations extremely hard. There's a greater wolfwere in the windspear hills who just kept on getting back up. I eat trolls for breakfast, but GIANT trolls are something completely different. Ugly bastards.

So, today I felt I was a high enough level (my inquisitor is 11 or 12) to take on the big boys. It's taken me all day. The thing is, when playing it as hard as you can, is that the harder enemys are just as easy as goblins, excpet you have to know HOW to kill them, and that takes alot of thought and a few attempts. *Spoiler?* I considered using a scroll of undead protection on K-Paxx cheese, and after about an hours play (Amnish soldiers calling me a vagrant etc) I eventually got to Spell Immunity - Abjuration, Death Ward, Improved haste, Champions Strength, and the trusty Staff of Rynn. When he finally fell I relaxed to become part of the real world again to find my heart thumping in my chest. What a game!

F**kRag's easy, and the key is: *Spoiler?* All together now: LOWER RESISTANCE! Christ I enjoyed bashing that smarmy dragon. "You've brought me here for the revenge of a man long sicne dead? Are you mad?"

I love this game. Playing these classes has made me have to understand ALL the spells, as opposed to just taking fireball, magic missile, and cloudkill for those rooms with closable doors... I'm thoroughly enjoying it, and I must say, Ranger/Cleric's are just DISGUSTING, they must be the best class combination in the game. Never tried Kensai/Mage, but Swashbuckler/Mage with the right spells, tenser's transformation and Celestial fury/Belm combination is pretty bloody devastating too.

My Inquisitor's just being left in the dark. I rolled a total of 98 for him on character creation (highest I've ever rolled), and gave him 15/18/16/15/18/16 (note the 16 for charisma! Shadowkeeper...). I know his stats aren't quite where they should be for a Paladin, but I've based him on the kind of stats I think I'd have. Hopefully now I've got Holy Avenger and Red Dragon Scale I should be a bit more of a force to be reckoned with (I must say my saving throws are pretty excellent [Ring of Gaxx, Ring of Protection +2]). Oh, yeah and dispel magic is very good too.

Can't wait to meet Thaxxyllsyssiaasasdasdasd or whatever she's(he's?) called. Probably end up nicknaming that one simply 'turd' (all in lower case).

So basically, the depth of this game spell wise is astounding, and I'm thoroughly enjoying having to work my arse off. There will never be a D&D game that compares even remotely to this. I dare someone to say 'DragonAge'. Stick it.

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Postby Thrifalas » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:26 am

willsanders84 wrote:There will never be a game that compares even remotely to this.


Fix'd.

Also, I concur. While Dragon Age was one of the better games on many years and could provide a feeling most others can't, it was still lightyears from Baldur's Gate. The versatility and the combat system is the reason I still play BG2 10 years after its release and quit dragon age after completing 20%.

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Postby trog69 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:08 am

Why didn't anyone tell me about this series?

I don't mean the fact that Baldur's Gate series is/was really good; I mean, holy schnike! This is pure RPG heaven!

See, I bought the four-disc set off the internet, kinda as a lark; I bought it over 2 years ago, but I was a little put-off by the difficulties I encountered in BG1, so the games sat there all this time, until just last month, when I read up on the games and decided to try SoA first. Nooooowww I get it. hehehehe.

I'm an old retiree, and I fully admit to being way too much of a spaz to play the game without some occasional help from the CLUA console, although I do try to keep it to a minimum. Heh. But I had no idea how great the storyline would be, nor how much satisfaction there is in finally getting through some of the big battles. What's funny is, I bought this computer, an i7 rig with an ATI hd4850 card and 6g of DDR3 ram, so that I could play Oblivion, Mass Effect, Fallout3, etc., but instead, I'm hooked on a game with comparably terrible graphics.( The Gibberlings 3-widescreen mod did make the background art look great. )

And, I'm only at the "fetch lantern" part in SoA, so I still have the ToB to play, although I thinking that I might go ahead and start things off from the beginning with BG1/Sword Coast. My problem is that I have NWN2 on board, and I've only played about an hours worth (real time, not game time) at that one, so I'm really falling behind! Somehow, I don't feel so bad about that.

Oops, almost forgot...I also have Icewind Dale, and haven't played it yet. Is that a game that should be played before, or after the BG series? I've heard many say that IWD is a great game as well. Decisions...

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Postby RPGguy » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:28 am

trog69 wrote:( The Gibberlings 3-widescreen mod did make the background art look great. )


Was wondering how well that worked. Thanks for the verification.

My problem is that I have NWN2 on board, and I've only played about an hours worth (real time, not game time) at that one, so I'm really falling behind! Somehow, I don't feel so bad about that.

Oops, almost forgot...I also have Icewind Dale, and haven't played it yet. Is that a game that should be played before, or after the BG series? I've heard many say that IWD is a great game as well. Decisions...


Normally, I would recommend you play either IWD or NWN before BG because playing either *after* Buldur's Gate is inevitably disappointing. Good games in their own right, but not great.

But since you (no offense) seem to have a limited attention span or time constraints, I would focus all your energies on a through play-through of the BG franchise.

Take your time, cherish every moment. Get the most you can out each and every quest or encounter. Study the spells. Know what they can do and how to defend against them. When you encounter a new foe, pause the game. Try to find some intel on it if you are unfamiliar with it. If you don't have a clue what a Beholder or Umberhulk is, it's kind of neat to look them up on the internet (be careful not to spoil yourself though!) to know in advance how they attack, how quickly/often they attack, what their attribute range is, what kind of immunities or resistances they have. Then kind of plan out your attack. You'll still get you butt handed to you sometimes but at least you tried. Some foes are deceptively puny, frail or weak looking. Not all of them, but some of them.

Also, try to understand the class of your character, as well as the classes of your party members. And try to build a party that can handle a wide variety of challenges.

So instead of spreading your limited time and capacities over different titles with a different versions of D&D rules running in the background, I would just focus on one quality experience. But most of all, just do what you find fun.

By the time you finish Throne of Bhaal, know that there is nothing better in existence. Trust me. It's all down hill after that.

Good luck
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Postby trog69 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:33 pm

All down hill from there? Naw!

By the time you finish Throne of Bhaal, know that there is nothing better in existence. Trust me. It's all down hill after that.


I'm going to beg to differ on that one, as I've played Morrowind, and to me, everything is downhill from there. In fact, I found Oblivion to be not quite as much fun as Morrowind.

Also, while BG2 may prove to be a bit more open and "spontaneous"-appearing, I have already played through the NWN1 series, and I really liked playing those.

Thank you for the pointers. I'll certainly keep them in mind.

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Postby fable » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:25 pm

trog69 wrote:Oops, almost forgot...I also have Icewind Dale, and haven't played it yet. Is that a game that should be played before, or after the BG series? I've heard many say that IWD is a great game as well. Decisions...


IWD is a very linear strategy title in fantasy clothing, not an RPG. Keep that in mind, and you should have no troubles enjoying it.
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Postby willsanders84 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:35 pm

Planescape: Torment anyone? After that it's a rollercoaster straight to gaming hell.

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Postby fable » Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:59 pm

willsanders84 wrote:Planescape: Torment anyone? After that it's a rollercoaster straight to gaming hell.


Heh. I wouldn't go quite that far. Have you checked out Age of Decadence, under independent development? It sounds like a dream game for those of us who want character immersion with NPCs. Looks good, too, and it's 2D, my favorite flavor.
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Postby RPGguy » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:54 pm

fable wrote:Have you checked out Age of Decadence, under independent development? It sounds like a dream game for those of us who want character immersion with NPCs. Looks good, too, and it's 2D, my favorite flavor.


I just visited the official site and was quite impressed. Fingers crossed big time.

I then punched the title into GameSpot.com to see if I could get any 3rd party initial impressions. They don't even have the game in their database which is pathetic IMO.
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Postby willsanders84 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:51 am

My favourite flavour too. Yeah, it looks quite good doesn't it. I refuse to get my hopes up though. After the classic rpg's there's just no comparison. I think i'd rather play King of Dragon Pass than Dragon Age. Ah dear. Game developers have just lost sight haven't they. Back to BG2 then.

About that. I quit and started again. I decided that playing with characters I'd created by myself was overpowered and that I was losing out on some rpg aspects. SO, my current party IS:

Inquisitor
Minsc ("Boo will have clean wood shavings you evil BASTARDS!")
Jaheira
Hear'Dalis
Aerie
Nalia

And I'm stuck somewhat, because I keep worrying about who to give what weapons. I've got (or will have soon):

Casomyr for me :D
Minsc: Celestial Fury/Belm
Jaheira: Blackblood/Shield
Heardalis: Frostreaver/Kudane
Aeire: Flail of the Ages/Mauler's Arm
Nalia: Doesn't matter really does it. Pixie prick or some rubbish.

Should I dual weild Jaheira? And is the Flail of the Ages wasted on Aerie? I haven't got tenser's transformation yet, and the lowest I can get her thaco is about 10, which isn't low enough to justify the FoA. It's just that after playing a ranger/cleric, I felt that it was important to have a single character with the flexibility to take on any opponent, and felt that the FoA would help with killing dragons, liches, etc.

SOMEONE SLAP ME and just tell me that the staff of the magi is a much better choice for that little wingless elf.

What would everyone else do? Thanks!

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Postby fable » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:16 am

First, don't worry about weapons, or about party members. You can win with just about any combination. Hell, you can even win with 6 sorcs bearing normal daggers. It just takes more strategy.

Second--if you do want to worry about weapons, do a search on threads with the name of one of powerful (more or less) weapons in it, such as Kundane, just as you mention, and you'll probably find a thorough discussion of what works best with whom. These threads surface every few minutes with different participants, so you should be able to get a range of experience from them.

For myself: I'd keep Aerie as far away from fighting as possible. She's got a bigger selection of spells then anyone in your party, and shouldn't ever have to lift an arm save to take a potion or read a scroll. Jaheira? Yes, dual-wielding is good for her, since she's a fighter, and there are some winning combinations she can handle--but you won't find those weapons until later. I gave her the Flail at the start.
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Postby Da_venom » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:31 am

fable 6 sorcs would be imba :p
they would steamroll the series (if u know how to solo wth sorcs/mage) xD then 6 would be easy mode:>


i admit bg franchise is best rpg ever made(also has a great modding community pocketplane and g3)

which makes this game only more long lasting

there is no rpg that comes even close to bg(yes i played alot of rpg's)
i bet i got 80% of the gameshosted on GB xD

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Postby fable » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:57 am

Da_venom wrote:fable 6 sorcs would be imba :p
they would steamroll the series (if u know how to solo wth sorcs/mage) xD then 6 would be easy mode:>


Point taken. Six...um, Cernds, then. ;)

i admit bg franchise is best rpg ever made(also has a great modding community pocketplane and g3)


I frankly think BG2 would be something of an enshrined memory today if it were not for the likes of the PocketPlane Group, the Gibberlings Three, and The Chosen of Mystra. The game still lives, because they breath fresh life into it. It can still be a new experience to those of us who have played it repeatedly over the years, thanks to them.
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Postby Phantom Lord » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:19 pm

willsanders84 wrote:Planescape: Torment anyone? After that it's a rollercoaster straight to gaming hell.
If you are the kind of person to get into PS:T, there's nothing like it. BG2 is the overall best CRPG ever, because overall it has so many virtues. PS:T is likely the one with the most genius, it's a piece of art.

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Postby Ode to a Grasshopper » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:54 pm

Best Western RPG for sure, though I haven't gone through Morrowind yet. TBH (To Be Heretical) my all-time favourite RPG to this day is Chrono Trigger. :eek:
willsanders84 wrote:Should I dual weild Jaheira? And is the Flail of the Ages wasted on Aerie? I haven't got tenser's transformation yet, and the lowest I can get her thaco is about 10, which isn't low enough to justify the FoA. It's just that after playing a ranger/cleric, I felt that it was important to have a single character with the flexibility to take on any opponent, and felt that the FoA would help with killing dragons, liches, etc.

SOMEONE SLAP ME and just tell me that the staff of the magi is a much better choice for that little wingless elf.
Re Jaheira: I usually have Jaheira dual-wielding Belm+2 in the offhand (works great) or using shields and clubs/scimitars, but next run through I'm thinking of going for staves and/or spears. All the best druid weapons are staves, and the Impaler spear and later the Staff of the Ram can do some nasty damage, especially if they're coupled with Righteous Magic and Critical Strike or Whirlwind.

For Aerie - yeah, FoA isn't the best choice there without Tenser's. Your better options are Staff of the Magi for hiding and running away when foes get close, or the Defender of Easthaven and a good shield for better AC and damage reduction (especially when coupled with Armor of Faith). Assuming you're using Nalia as your thief and/or replacing her with Immy later on I'd keep the Staff of the Magi for her so she can detect and disarm traps hassle-free. I'd also consider giving Haerry Dakkon's Zerth Blade over Frostreaver for the extra spells and AC bonus - it'd be a better Nalia weapon except that IIRC if you unequip it the spells get dememorized, and Nalia/Immy are better equipped with bows.
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Postby trog69 » Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:08 am

Phantom Lord wrote:If you are the kind of person to get into PS:T, there's nothing like it. BG2 is the overall best CRPG ever, because overall it has so many virtues. PS:T is likely the one with the most genius, it's a piece of art.


I have been cheated! Hahaha, I played a tiny portion of PS:T when it first came out, but the computer died and I never was able to get the game in order to finish it, and now, with so much talk through the years, of how great the game is/was, I'm jealous. hehe. Maybe someday I'll try it again.

Forgot to mention; I had the demo, not the full install at the time.

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Postby willsanders84 » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:25 am

Trog, PLAY IT, just get it. It's about £5 or something stupid. Might even be freeware by now. Best game you'll ever play. It's like the thinking man's BG2.

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Postby fable » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:45 am

willsanders84 wrote:Trog, PLAY IT, just get it. It's about £5 or something stupid. Might even be freeware by now. Best game you'll ever play. It's like the thinking man's BG2.


Not freeware, but incredibly cheap. And it strongly influenced the development of BG2. (I was told this by one of Bioware's original physician-developers years ago, at an E3 convention.) PS:T is the best RPG ever made, bar none, in my opinion.
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Postby RPGguy » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:42 am

I'm not going to debate the greatness of the game, just keep your expectations in check.

The game is not perfect and there are things you won't like about it. That's a promise. The way people talk about it around here, it created expectations that were impossible to meet for me. And it didn't meet them.

That being said, I agree it is an essential RPG experience and do you damnest not to read anything about it online. Avoid all walkthroughs, forums, don't even google it (or any aspect of it). What drives the game is it's story and environmental creativity so you definitely don't want to get spoiled by accident.

Have fun man.
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Postby Berethor » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:36 pm

To this day the only games I have ever played that compare to BGII are Mass Effect and Oblivion. All three of these games had me completely enthralled, and I can't count how many times I have started and re-started characters in them just to experience different aspects of gameplay.

Oblivion had me; and still has me, in fact; with it's gorgeous landscapes. I cannot get over how incredible it feels to walk through the West Weald, Great Forest, Colovian Highlands etc. Just gorgeous vistas... and the moon at night is something else on it's own.

Mass Effect is actually the first Sci-Fi game I have been able to play from start to finish. If one thing kept me coming back over and over it was the relationship with Ashley. For some reason I just loved watching that one play out over and over. The relationships with other squad members were great too.

Baldur's Gate 2 mainly has me coming back for the character interactions and the romantic relationships. I don't think I really need to explain this one. ;)

Anyways, rant over. I love BGII.
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