BG or IWD

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Edar Macilrille
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BG or IWD

Postby Edar Macilrille » Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:24 am

I have tried both, and I prefer BG I and II by far over IWD I and II, so I have wondered why?

I can see three possible reasons.

1) The sense of "Quest" and even impending doom is far greater in BG, even when you get sidetracked by NPC or Class quests.

2) Size of game so to speak, BG is vast and detailed compared to IWD; seems to me that IWD is a few Dungeoncrawls, while BG is much more varie4d in its quests and NPC interaction, there are so many more npcs to deal with.

3) Party-joinable NPC... need I say more? What is BG without Minsc's righteous butt-kickings? Jaheira's complaining (Fable does not allow me to call it bitching I think, for fear of being sued, so let us call it complaining)? Anomen's arrogance and Jan Jansen's endless musings? etc...

Any thoughts?

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Jimwth
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Postby Jimwth » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:21 am

Hmm, I must admit that I like BG1-2 much more than IWD1-2 too, but I think these games were created for a different type of gamers. BG has a very good and interesting story, a lot of sidequests, characters, romances... It's for those who really like to ROLEPLAY, to read through lots of dialogues, to make choices and sometimes difficult ones.
IWD is all hack'n'slash. If you don't care for a deep storyline, NPC's and their feelings and if you prefer to create your own party, experiment with different character builds and tactics and watch your party grow - IWD is your choice. Not that I'm saying that in BG there wasn't a lot of fighting and treasures to loot, but that was only a part of the game. In IWD most of the time you kill monsters and find goodies.
I should add that sometimes I really like and want to play IWD1-2 - that's when I'm tired of ROLEPLAYING. I think that is one of the purposes of IWD too: just to relax and play without much thinking and reading.

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Postby fable » Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:29 am

IWD is a strategy title, despite its RPG trappings. BG is an RPG title, much more flexible in terms of party membership, direction, and advancement.
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Postby kmonster » Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:42 am

I prefer the IWD games for the following reasons:

1) Athmosphere and story: IWD has an epic feel, while in the BG games your character has to defend himself versus a private enemy. While the BG1 story does at least make sense somewhat the BG2 story is just depth faking nonsense.

2) Fairness and balance: The IWD games are better balanced than the BG2 games, which feature far more unfair encounters you're supposed to win via metagaming in order to lengthen the game playing time.

3) Freedom at party creation: Unless you use the multiplayer cheat your party choice is very limited in the BG games. There are only few choices for other party members and those choices are even restricted by alignment. A great side side effect of this is that many players start doing evil things out of character like killing or stealing just to keep the few acceptable choices with them.
In IWD you have the freedom to form and develop the party you want and in IWD2 you also have even the superior 3E rules which are less illogical and offer far more freedom at character development.

4) Honesty. The IWD games are rather solid little projects without things added to fake pseudo depth or so.

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Postby dragon wench » Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:23 am

BG2 all the way: real depth, complexity, story, NPC personalities, party banter, a nice blend between the creative elements and fighting. One of my favourite games ever.

I do like IWD 1 though, I find the atmosphere to be well done, and if I'm in a strategy-minded mood I enjoy a run through. For some reason I've never really been able to get into IWD 2, I've yet to finish it.
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Postby Pellinore » Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:28 pm

I prefer the player-NPC interaction of BG but I like the atmosphere and sound of Icewind Dale. If IWD were to have BG interaction and joinable npcs then I would have to go with IWD but since I enjoy npcs with personality then I will have to go with BG.... of course IWD gives you the coice of saying "My dad can beat up your dad" when talking to Conlan's son :laugh: Thats worth something. But in BG2 you can say "You don't know the na-ame, you don't know the na-ame". Call me simple but I like being able to say stuff like that :p

Result: BG by a nose.
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Postby kmonster » Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:46 am

The main reason why I prefer the the IWD games is the overall performance. For me it's not about which games have the most features, it's about how well the components blend with each other to build the whole thing.

While the IWD games feel great as complete, the BG games lack even the essentials, fairness and balance.

More isn't always better, especially in BG2 some elements useful for marketing feel as if forcefully hammered into the game, as if you'd paint a big explosion and a cute teddy on Da Vinci's Mona Lisa picture and say "now it has more, now it's better".
An example is chapter 7 in BG2, obviously made to scream out "I've a complex deep story" (it's actually nonsense (nonsense is always hard to understand)), "This game features roleplaying decisions" and "Your actions have consequences" (actually this is anti-roleplaying since you may decide, but you always have to decide like the developers want (like a stupid stereotype) or you'll be punished hard by becoming evil aligned forever, but outside this chapter you can rob, blackmail, threaten, slaughter innocents as much as you want and still stay good aligned.
Another example are the spells, more, more, more overpowered spells had to be added and sold for cheap everywhere, it didn't matter if the balance was destroyed.

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Postby chickenhed » Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:26 pm

kmonster wrote:The main reason why I prefer the the IWD games is the overall performance. For me it's not about which games have the most features, it's about how well the components blend with each other to build the whole thing.

While the IWD games feel great as complete, the BG games lack even the essentials, fairness and balance.

More isn't always better, especially in BG2 some elements useful for marketing feel as if forcefully hammered into the game, as if you'd paint a big explosion and a cute teddy on Da Vinci's Mona Lisa picture and say "now it has more, now it's better".
An example is chapter 7 in BG2, obviously made to scream out "I've a complex deep story" (it's actually nonsense (nonsense is always hard to understand)), "This game features roleplaying decisions" and "Your actions have consequences" (actually this is anti-roleplaying since you may decide, but you always have to decide like the developers want (like a stupid stereotype) or you'll be punished hard by becoming evil aligned forever, but outside this chapter you can rob, blackmail, threaten, slaughter innocents as much as you want and still stay good aligned.
Another example are the spells, more, more, more overpowered spells had to be added and sold for cheap everywhere, it didn't matter if the balance was destroyed.


While I respect your opinion, I could not disagree with you more. The Baldur's Gate series re-defined what it was to be a great RPG. It had every element that I enjoy in a classic, story driven, adventure; and that is the key: adventure. IWD definitely has that, but offers it in a more action-packed strategy oriented way. Which is great! I love IWD1 and 2. However, my preference is for story.

A game is only as good as how you play it. Balance is mentioned a great deal here, and for me, the Baldur's Gate series is wonderfully balanced. That is because of how I choose to play it. Taking my time, doing as many quests as I can because I enjoy them so much.

There is certainly nothing wrong with preferring IWD to BG. I just simply do not agree with the quoted poster's reasons for not liking BG as much. Either way, the original poster has two wonderful titles to choose from. In summary, you just can't go wrong! :)

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Postby Claudius » Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:35 pm

I like them both but for different reasons..

IWD2: I liked the music and I had the sense that a frozen wind was blowing through my room! So this game had good atmosphere. Obviously its a linear game which is different from BG series. Also introduced in this addition of DnD is more 'character building' rather than simply choosing a class and rolling stats now you need to plan out your whole party composition and choose: skills, feats, multi-classing? The story was decent but it never really hooked me. For instance I didn't really care whether I whiped out the dwarfs or the monks I just simply wanted to know what items I got for which and I wanted to try the trial or whatever so I choose the dwarfs. I think that some ways combat was more fun than BG although their was some things missing that was interesting in BG such as the caster duals of spell protections and anti-spell protections.

BG: Well I will say less about this because the dominant view is that the BG series is the holy grail. Ok I really liked this game. The banter was very innovative and the romances (please nobody from gaming history ridicule me...it was innovative to ME). There was more mysteries like loose ends in one area and then you go to another area and you think how to solve that. I liked the variety in environments and opponents. The characters were certainly more interesting in BG as IWD you just dealt with a few less interesting NPCs. I didn't care for ToB because I just don't like that high level of a campaign because it makes the world seem ridiculous a sort of level scaling feel.
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Postby mcgregor » Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:35 pm

kmonster wrote: IWD has an epic feel, while in the BG games your character has to defend himself versus a private enemy. While the BG1 story does at least make sense somewhat the BG2 story is just depth faking nonsense.


One of the reasons I like BG2 so much is the personalness of the story. In IWD (and especially IWD2) you are effectively a mercenary, and I don't see why your character, and therefore you, would care all that much about the fate of Easthaven/Kuldahar. The fact that the character in BG2 isn't saving the world, but rather on a personal quest to rescue a friend/retrieve their stolen souls, gives you more a more personal reason to involve yourself in the quest.

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Postby VonDondu » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:40 pm

mcgregor wrote:One of the reasons I like BG2 so much is the personalness of the story. In IWD (and especially IWD2) you are effectively a mercenary, and I don't see why your character, and therefore you, would care all that much about the fate of Easthaven/Kuldahar...

I felt the same way about IWD until I realized that every single member of my party is created by me and I can give them any motivation or background story that I feel like giving them. The game does not give them any personalized dialogue, so you have to use your own imagination.

The last time I played IWD, I took the easy way out by using fully fleshed-out characters that had originally been created by someone else: Imoen (the group leader), Minsc, Jan, Aerie, Jaheira, and Yoshimo (Thief dualled to Fighter). I imagined them to be in their post-TOB phase of life, looking for a chance to save the world, with Imoen finally taking her turn as a leader. (The fact they they started the game at 1st level didn't bother me at all.) I used their portraits and soundsets from BG2, and the result was very convincing. Despite the lack of personalized dialogue, using characters who are "deep" and "real" to me made IWD a much more enjoyable experience. It was great to hear Minsc yell in battle, "Go for the eyes, Boo!" once again.

It's up to you to care about the NPCs who aren't in your party. If you do care about what happens to them and feel like saving them, then IWD is an epic adventure and it gives you a great chance to feel good about yourself (your characters, that is). The quests are much more logical and balanced than the ones in BG2, and the dialogue (much of which is voiced) is actually pretty good.

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Postby Dereth » Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:16 pm

I have to agree. The depth you get in BG just isn't the same in IWD. However, one thing I found better in IWD was the portraits. :)
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Postby Kulyok » Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:06 pm

I like IWD with IWD NPC, love BG1 with Tutu and BG1 NPC... but I still like BG2 the best, even without the mods. The plot is brilliant, and it's worth a lot.
[url='http://www.pocketplane.net']IWD NPC, Xan, The Sellswords, Back to Brynnlaw, Assassinations, Dungeon Crawl, Branwen, Coran, Tiax, Xan BG1 Friendship[/url]
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Postby fable » Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:33 pm

Kulyok wrote:I like IWD with IWD NPC, love BG1 with Tutu and BG1 NPC... but I still like BG2 the best, even without the mods. The plot is brilliant, and it's worth a lot.


...and what Kulyok is typically too modest to note is being responsible for some of the finest BG2 mods out there. That's another good reason to play the BG series: the fantastic mods, made by dedicated, talented people.
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Postby galraen » Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:24 pm

This has to be one of the easiest comparisons to make for me, IWD simply isn't in the same class as BG1/2. The latter was well thought out, with a good story line and despite some poor implementation in places, well put together. With IWD I always got the feeling that it was something thrown together to make some fast cash to tide them over. It was still enjoyable, but completely lacking in depth and role playing scope.

In BG1/2 as soon as you started picking up party members, role playing was to some extent required, not enough IMO, but it was there. In IWD role playing requirements were noticeable by their absence.

Obviously as I loath and detest 3E I haven't tried IWD2, and never will, so I can't comment on that.
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Postby Claudius » Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:40 pm

Hey Galraen, I just wanted to share my experience with 3 ed Dnd. I actually miss the old stuff of course thats what I played as I kid when I had considerable more imagination than now.

The fun thing I have found with the 3 ed is planning out the character. Picking all your choices to design highly effective or even just customized to what you think is stylish or novel. I think NWN, NWN2 I probably had more hours of enjoyment building characters then I did playing the game. Its kind of like a chess game trying to fit in that extra bonus or whatever.

Which is just something I wanted to share. I would say that some of those games are missing out on the roll playing. IWD2 is kind of fantasy elements to bring out the Dnd kid in you, but only roll playing if you enjoy bantering with yourself, and not really in the story of interaction with the game. I enjoyed it as a tactical game (which was part of the fun of BG), but it was missing a lot.
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Postby galraen » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:08 pm

Claudius wrote:I think NWN, NWN2 I probably had more hours of enjoyment building characters then I did playing the game.


That was also true for me, NWN I actually enjoyed the game somewhat, until I hit the level cap way before the end of the game, and in fact I never finished it, first time that ever happened to me. So I guess I have only myself to blame re NWN2, although it was the bad game design, not the level cap that killed that game.

IWD did have a lot going for it, as I said I did enoy it, it just didn't come close to capturing that epic feel that BG did. NWN could have had if it had been using AD&D rules, instead of the severely limiting 3E rules. BG was a relatively open game, which up until certain points in the main story progression allowed the player a lot of freedom. There was an attempt at doing that in NWN, but due to the limitations of the rule set it just never worked. IWD and NWN2 are far too linear, almost like working for your Mother you get given a list of chores and told in which order to do them!

I rally liked the construction set that came with NWN, spent hours, in fact days, building a campaign, had it all worked out. Set to designing and building the main city, complete with quests. Got about a third of the city done and got what I'd done up to then play got it play tested. Then found out that the player had hit the level cap before even finishing what I'd already done, and that was about 10% of the actual adventure I'd mapped out. That was with setting the XP reward at 5% too! Extremely frustrating, and underlines why I despise 3E.
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Postby Jimwth » Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:43 am

galraen wrote:That was also true for me, NWN I actually enjoyed the game somewhat, until I hit the level cap way before the end of the game, and in fact I never finished it, first time that ever happened to me.


Before reading your post, Galraen, I was really dissapointed in myself, because this is what exactly happened with me too. I've never even finished Hordes of the Undrentide, I reached level 20, then, just for the experiment (I thought so :o ), I decided to use the construction set to create some lv. 40 chars. I enjoyed that very much and then I found out that I no longer wanted to play. Thanks, Galraen, you have enlightened me a little :)

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Postby CoM_Solaufein » Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:24 pm

IWD is mostly a hack n slash, strategy dungeon crawl game where the BG games are RPG games that you get to play a role, communicate with other NPCs either in your group or those you meet in your adventures. I like them both for their own unique strengths and bonuses.
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Postby fable » Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:34 pm

CoM_Solaufein wrote:IWD is mostly a hack n slash, strategy dungeon crawl game where the BG games are RPG games that you get to play a role, communicate with other NPCs either in your group or those you meet in your adventures. I like them both for their own unique strengths and bonuses.


At some point I intend to replay IWD--but with Kulyok's IWD NPCs mod, that introduces fully formed personalities to your party, interactions, etc.
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