Balder's Gate 2 Sucks? Please motivate me to go on

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LastDanceSaloon
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Balder's Gate 2 Sucks? Please motivate me to go on

Postby LastDanceSaloon » Mon May 06, 2013 2:26 pm

OMG, am I really going to do this? OMG, why on earth am I doing this? OMG...

But yeah, 20 hours (my time) into the game and I'm sitting back in my chair thinking WTF? And having to find something else to do to take my mind off of my unexpected in-game seizure that had nothing to do with bugs and everything to do with the game.

All this pre-hype. All these years I've never had a copy. Played all the 21st Century cRPGs from this company and a few others. I'm used to the rules, I'm used to the mechanics, I'm used to what needs to be done. But...

Gahhhh... I'm just not liking it at all compared to all the others. Even the Glitch-tastic Temple of Elemental Evil kept me going without major issue for longer than this game. Because of the game's reputation though, as being the 'boss' of them all, I feel like I'm peeing over the Mona Lisa or something, but, well, where do I start?

At the beginning I suppose:

Character Creation - All perfectly normal, relatively quick and easy (about an hour), playing it safe with a Cleric. All good, all stuff I'd seen before in Icewind Dale.

Opening Vignette Dungeon - All perfectly normal, wake up, find gear, establish the plot, solve some puzzles, kill some Goblins. All good stuff so far (I later read threads of pro-players who've made a mod to not bother with the 'boring' start dungeon - WTF? It's perfectly fine in there), spent a further 3 hours reading all those cool books in the library to really get myself in the mood.

And then the first glimmer of a problem arose. Just a little glimmer, but a glimmer nonetheless. After I rested I found that my characters didn't restore to full health. Hmmm, I thought, never seen that before. I rested again. Nope, still not on full health. Third time - job done, at last.

Now, the first time this happened I didn't mind. I don't care if it takes one rest-stop to get back to square one or ten rest-stops, I'm taking this one slowly and perfectly, it is, after all, the one game to savour to the fullest. But after several hours of play it really gets on your... bits.

Then, just as I'm approaching a door on the second level I am left with a quandary. That Djinni said that he wanted a flask. That's the one bit I haven't done yet. It sounded pretty important. I've checked the rooms and the golems, but he also said it might be on the person of this bad-guy. That Assassin said the bad-guy was under siege on the next level. Hmmm, do I go back and look around a bit first, or shall I risk facing off the bad-guy and come back for it later? Hmmm, what happens if it's a...

OMG it is. It's a freaking 'no going back once you've gone through the door'. Oh well, eff that then. Take a break, breathe deeply...

OMG it's a fake fight. Massive cut scene, steals my Mage, leaves me starting from square one in a new location. Take a break, breathe deeply...

Ok, no probs, let's be mature about this and just press on...

The First 'Real' Dungeon - So I just wander into this Circus tent where there's a quest to solve... OMG, WTF, WEREWOLVES? I've gone from hosing down small packs of Goblins to being locked in to 'weapon ineffective dead' in one move? Holy cow, where the, what the... Take a break, breathe deeply...

Gear - So I obviously need some gear to do that bit, I'll come back for them later. Oh the joys of being level 8 with no gear whatsoever. The whole point of being level 8 and fighting level 8 monsters is that it's balanced for you to actually have level 8 gear, not to be walking round naked. And most certainly not to be walking around without a freaking MAGE while you're naked.

The shops - All sell exactly the same crap by the look of it. Either that or they're busy (there's a mod for that as well apparently, or was it a patch, who knows, who cares?). Oh no, wait, one dude has some great gear. I just need about 1,000,000 gp to kit out all my posse and it's back to normal (apparently there's a mod for that)... oh, wait, I have like 1,500 gp... and I'm naked... fighting level 8 Monsters... Take a break, breathe deeply...

Oh well, this is how it's done so everyone must do it, must move on...

The Slums - Yet another cut-scene, dragged to another location this time. Oh right, this dude want 20,000 gp or the game doesn't progress. Nice. Yeah... really... er... nice. He tells me to naff off and get a job. I walk outside and the kid takes me to the edge of the screen with an aim to go to the Temple District for some hard labour.

The Graveyard - So I don't see a 'Temple District' and go to a Graveyard, seems pretty close a description as I can find on the map. I walk in the first building and, holy cow, that was the biggest, longest kite-fest I've had since 2007. Just to kill two Skeletons I had no idea or clue would be waiting for me. How in heaven's name am I supposed to plan my buffs in advance if I have no idea which doors are NPCs and which are random Monsters, this is really getting on my bits now... Take a break, breathe deeply...

Going back to the The Slums - Oh no, the game has transitional encounters. I'm depleted and running away, please, just eff the f off and let me get on with whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing already!

Back in the Slums - Go into this fabled Tavern-of-all-quests and meet some peeps who want to ride with me. Have a rest. Get annoyed that I can't go upstairs and look for this guy that killed the kid. Go back to the Graveyard with a stereotypical Dwarf and a new Mage/Theif.

Mage/Theif mark 2 failes to read 2 Fireball Scrolls in a row...

Back in the Graveyard - Killing one batch of 3 spiders is taking everything I have. Lots of resting after each mini-fight. After what feels like forever I enter this door in the middle of the room. Holy cow WTF? There's like 40 mini-spiders and a mage in here! WTF? This isn't even the quest guy, is it? Or is it? Huh? Anyway, dead dead dead. Again. Go back in, this time pre-buffed and Hasted and... literally 1 round into the fight and all the bad-guys are dead. Why? Fireball Staff. One shot the entire room.

Ohhhh, that's why my mage refused to read them...

However, I'm finally getting somewhere again. Finally I'm back with a posse-of-all ready and knowledgeable about what it is I have to do. Let's go get this Vampi...

WTF? My mage/theif has just left the party! Just like that. Sorry guys, you're all too slow, byeeee!

Just... just... W...T...Ffffffff. I walk in the next room. Step on a trap. Dead dead dead. Take a break, breathe deeply. Run to the forums to vent before I explode!

If it's a slow atmospheric type game, why in all that's purple do I have ticking time-bomb companions? And that's not all: The whole process of just 'getting on with the quest' is just totally riddled with 'breakers' - multiple resting, pointless cut-scenes, pointless chatter interjections, long trips back to town to sell stuff that doesn't fit in my inventory which is, itself, constantly riddled with random forced-fights, to then, at that point, after going through all that, have your only decent character (the second exact same character in a row!) just up and leave the party - because you're too slow!

What a charade.

People say they love this game because of the 'characters'. Well, all I ever do is hear them quote funny lines. They (those who forum on the subject) judge an NPC by how annoying or fun their 'quick quips' are. They never mention all these utterly, utterly tedious convo-breaks.

And about dumbing down. Balder's Gate is hailed as an example of a good game in explaining why modern games are dumbed down by comparison to the good ol' days. Well, let me tell you, non-stop cut-scenes, imposed party stereotypes, massively imbalanced fights, imbecilic lock-ins, randomly vanishing party members - is not what I call 'the genius of the good ol' days - it's what I called dumbed down, it's what I call the predecessor and main reason why we have the 'dumbed down' games today, you darn well encouraged them with this one.

Anyway, I really want to get back to this game. It's like the final piece of a jigsaw puzzle. It kind of 'has' to be done.

Now...

I know the game is better the second time you play it, because you know what to expect. But for the first time, it's really, really, really heavy going.

Please can you tell me how much things improve once I get a couple of bits of gear together... (and about how long this takes)...

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Postby galraen » Mon May 06, 2013 7:59 pm

1. Try setting rest options to rest until healed!

2. Read the dialogue properly, if you had you'd have known to talk to the Nymphs re the flask for the Djini ......

3. You don't have to fight everything you meet, running away when over matched is an option! If you'd done the sensible thing and run from the Werewolves you'd have encountered an 'Ogre@ talking to her intelligently would have explained a lot.

4. When you accept a quest from someone and don't make an attempt to fulfil it then why be surprised if they leave? Nalia needed help, you offered it, if you don't head towards her home to help out within a certain time, she leaves. Yes, this game does set time limits on some quests.

5. Yep, traps can be lethal, which is why there are spells like find traps and thieves in the game.

6. "Get annoyed that I can't go upstairs and look for this guy that killed the kid" Talk to people, explore dialogue options, if you had you would not only have gained access to the upstairs in the Copper Coronet but other, more important areas.

7. Take time to explore the games mechanics, before rushing headlong into quests and areas, this isn't a Bethesda levelled game with nice little hand holding quest markers, and enemies geared to your level. It is possible to suddenly find yourself confronted with monsters you can't handle and have to run away. Lucky you didn't have a rogue stone with you and go through the locked door in the Bridge District, that really would have blown your mind!

The bottom line though is that this game is obviously too demanding for you, not all games are meant for all people, so really I'd suggest finding another game to play.
[QUOTE=Darth Gavinius;1096098]Distrbution of games, is becoming a little like Democracy (all about money and control) - in the end choice is an illusion and you have to choose your lesser evil.

And everything is hidden in the fine print.[/QUOTE]

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Postby LastDanceSaloon » Tue May 07, 2013 12:49 am

1. Thanks, that's usefull!

2. Read everything very closely (ironically, it's now you not reading my post about how I was reading everything carefully).

3. I met the Ogre - got further than that. But it's a lock in. You can't run from a lock-in. & the monsters in this game chase you through doors even when it's not a lock-in .

4. Why am I surprised? You're joking, right?

5. I didn't die to the trap, in the Vampire quest stepping on the trap releases a hoard of Monsters. The reason I stepped on it was because the trap detector had just left the party. It was, you know, a follow-on paragraph to a previous paragraph to emphasise... Gameflow.

6. I spoke to every single person in that Tavern.

7. Funny how you have to use other games in this description. I've never mentioned Bethesda games. I said which games I've played in the Opening Post. Games with exactly the same mechanics - but with none of the rubbish. I guess this is an attempt to encourage future posts to argue about Bethesda versus Bioware instead of stay on topic?

8. You suggest I should quit? Really? So... the game goes on like this does it...

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Postby galraen » Tue May 07, 2013 4:51 am

Unfortunately your assertion that read everything carefully, but couldn't find the Djini jar conflict, the Djini tells you where to get the jar, from the nymphs.

The game does tend to make assumptions, like it assumes you have Minsc and the sword the Djini gives you. Which would, along with a character armed with the magic bastard sword you should have found, and any spell casting abilities allow you to take care of the Werewolves.

As you indicated your main character was a cleric, then you still had a trap detector in the party.

No I wasn't joking, most NPC follower quests have time limits, if you don't start on their quests within the limit they leave.

If you explored all the dialogue options with the owner of the Copper Coronet (not the barkeep) then, if you have average or better charisma (if you have picked up the ring of human influence in the circus then no problem)he will give you access to the back rooms.

If the spiders were giving you grief then the Vampires were always likely to give you even more grief. If the monsters the trap released where ghost like monsters then they weren't released by the trap, they were already there waiting to pounce.

I just used Bethesda off the top of my head as a comparison, could have been any game released since 2003 almost.

Don;t get me wrong I too found faults with this game, and agree completely about the cutscenes, and to a limited extent the NPC dialogue, some of their interjections are positively inane and annoying, Nalia's for example are downright purile!

Just because I think it's the best game of it's type I've come across doesn't mean it's perfect, far from it, just that everything else was worse.

If painstakingly exploring all dialogue options, and putting up with the restrictions of AD&D core rules, like a mages intelligence dictating how likely she is to be successful at transcribing scrolls into her spell book, and you don't want to reduce the difficulty slider below core rules, then maybe this game isn't for you. We all have different tastes, I couldn't stand Neverwinter, and thought Icewind Dale was banal, each to their own; but I think you should take a step back and try again
[QUOTE=Darth Gavinius;1096098]Distrbution of games, is becoming a little like Democracy (all about money and control) - in the end choice is an illusion and you have to choose your lesser evil.

And everything is hidden in the fine print.[/QUOTE]

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Postby LastDanceSaloon » Tue May 07, 2013 7:58 am

That post made a lot more sense, thanks for that.

Just to correct the minor points - the Djinni said the Jar would either be in one of the bedroom, with one of the Golems or, most likely, very close-by the big bad guy. He never mentioned the Nymphs. Hence, after doing the bedrooms and the Golems, I'm standing by the door which takes me to the big bad guy as the only possible logical step - and praying it's not a lock-out. Which it is. So the NPC is suggesting a direction to follow which prevents you completing the NPC's quest. Which is... infuriating.

So this then leads to me failing the Werewolves which, in turn, leads me to failing the killed kid quest. Which is... infuriating.

I'm aware of how a mage learns Fireball, that was just another point about how the game gradually eat (et) away at my patience. I'm aware of this mechanic though as it's in other games, but in the context of also having all my mages stolen from me (including one who already knew the spell), it's... infuriating.

You probably don't remember the Vampire trap. It's a hoard of monsters that come out of individual rooms when the trap is fired - like the trap is all the door's release mechanism. Yes I have someone who 'finds' traps - if I break up my game, re-examine my spells and readjust all my party spells, rest again and then walk back to the cave I was just about to enter, but I still can't 'remove' the trap - I would have then had to go all the way back to town to re-instate Yashimoo and hope for the best - all while I'm literally outside the room, ready to go, and the mage/theif leaves the party. Which is... infuriating.

I'm not sure how anyone can dislike the original Icewind Dale campaign. Banal possibly, but it's not desperate to 'ruin the game for you' at every (virtually unavoidable) mis-step. Some things are hard to find, but normally, if it's game-crucial, at least it doesn't let you progress without them. And the limits of the 'team' is only limited by your own imagination - you can implant any character you like on them in your head, you don't have to be 'forced' into any characters.

I'm now honestly flabbergasted that the one small dilemma about the flask has created so much impact on my game. Is there any logical, game-reason, why the path back into the bad-guy's house has to collapse? It all feels like the game is 'trying' to make you go wrong.

Oh, and I use that Polish lady to chat to everyone, she has loads of Charisma. Unless the game still reads it that I'm doing the talking?

I've been reading on other forums that there's patches/mods for the 'NPC busy' thing, which is apparently a bug and for the 'no leaving the party' issue - so I think these are/were always quite common and known irritations.

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Postby galraen » Tue May 07, 2013 9:11 am

I did find the game infuriating at times, I hate it when games force choices on you. My problem with Icewind Dale, which I did sort of enjoy when I first played it, I never intended to imply I hated it, I just didn't like the linearity of the game. Sure most games are linear eventually, but IWD was just a bit too linear.

If Jaheira is in the lead position I think she'd get the dialogue option necessary in the CC, although the key choice isn't something that a good person might think appropriate perhaps.

I was confused when you mentioned the trap, I thought you were referring to the vampire's lair, um, the area were you set off the trap wasn't actually it, it's an area associated with another quest(s), either Korgan's or Edwins. That trap is indeed infuriating as there is in fact no way to detect or avoid it, it's scripted. Feel free to curse, I did when I first got zapped by it.

It's been a while so I had to check about not being able to go back to the area where the Djini was, then realised you meant you'd actually exited the dungeon, so yes no way back after that. Again that's a scripted thing with no logical explanation ever given about how or why the tunnel collapsed, or indeed any reason for the area not to be accessible again. I did check on the Djini though, and he definitely tells you either Irenicuas (Bad guy) has it or it;s with his Dryad Concubines, so I should have said Dryads not Nymphs.

So yes the game can be infuriating, in fact the first time I started to play it I got so angered by the way the transition from Baldur's Gate to Shadows of Amn was implemented I threw the game into a draw and didn't go back to it again for months. My issue then was the presence of two people who had dies in my BG game (Minsc attacked and killed Imoen because we were taking too long with his quest*, I then killed Minsc of course, Imoen was dead beyond resurrection though), also my character had never met Jaheira so as far as I was concerned the start of SoA was a complete piss take.

I did persevere though, and I'm glad I did, it's a game to be viewed warts and all, too many people treat it like it was the Mona Lisa of RPGs and it wasn't simply better, IMO, than the rest. So don't give up, but I would recommend using a couple of ease of use mods, the [url='http://www.gibberlings3.net/bg2tweaks/']Gibberlings Three tweak pack[/url] at least. First time you play the game I'd really recommend just using that. the game wasn't designed to be modded and using more than one mod is not for the feint hearted as it can be frustrating getting the load order right; there are threads on here that help with that though.

When you first speak to Lehtinen in the Copper Coronet by the way the key option is number 3 "I have a terrible amount of coin to dispense with" followed by option 2 then option 3 again.


* and you thought Nalia simply walking out on you was bad! :D
[QUOTE=Darth Gavinius;1096098]Distrbution of games, is becoming a little like Democracy (all about money and control) - in the end choice is an illusion and you have to choose your lesser evil.

And everything is hidden in the fine print.[/QUOTE]

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Postby galraen » Tue May 07, 2013 9:13 am

PS Straight Clerics can be rather underpowered in this game for my taste.
[QUOTE=Darth Gavinius;1096098]Distrbution of games, is becoming a little like Democracy (all about money and control) - in the end choice is an illusion and you have to choose your lesser evil.

And everything is hidden in the fine print.[/QUOTE]

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Postby Scottg » Tue May 07, 2013 12:49 pm

LastDanceSaloon wrote:


..And about dumbing down. Balder's Gate is hailed as an example of a good game in explaining why modern games are dumbed down by comparison to the good ol' days. Well, let me tell you, non-stop cut-scenes, imposed party stereotypes, massively imbalanced fights, imbecilic lock-ins, randomly vanishing party members - is not what I call 'the genius of the good ol' days - it's what I called dumbed down, it's what I call the predecessor and main reason why we have the 'dumbed down' games today, you darn well encouraged them with this one.

Anyway, I really want to get back to this game. It's like the final piece of a jigsaw puzzle. It kind of 'has' to be done.

..it's really, really, really heavy going.

Please can you tell me how much things improve once I get a couple of bits of gear together... (and about how long this takes)...



It's because you have been preconditioned to stupidity. :D

Seriously - most games today require very little thought, and as a result condition you to "plow-through" just about every sequence except for the occasional puzzle.

No, for this game you have to *really* think things through, and it starts with "simple" character creation - which isn't at ALL simple.


To be honest I had similar problems at the start (..even worse with PS:T)... The dungeon environment is pretty linear, but then you are exposed to this big-wide world, with no real idea of what to do, and with conditions on resting. Where to start? Even then, using your journal extensively only gets you so far.

Where is all the equipment? Well, at level 10 or so the equipment shouldn't be that good should it? And it's going to cost even then. The really good equipment is shown so that you have some idea of what you want at much higher levels - not unlike reality.

Best advice I can give is take your time with it, and VERY carefully select WHEN you want to do quests. If a quest seems to difficult, avoid it until later. There are a LOT of quests like this in the game. (..the typical conditioning with games today is extremely linear quests so that you can't really fail. That's not the case with this game, some seemingly simple quests can and will draw you into areas that will do nothing but hand you your ass repeatedly.)

Additionally, be very careful of your alignment and choices in relation to the companions you've chosen to accompany you. Again, not unlike reality, they have very distinct personalities and won't like certain things that are against their nature.

Final note: Traps are deadly in this game (..again, like reality). Additionally thieving skills (unlock and disarm traps) ALSO provide a fair bit of experience points. The Thief is a very viable class in this game, rather than some pitiful after-thought.


..and yes, there are lots of flaws in the game. BUT this game has so many more things *right* that after awhile you'll find other games SORELY LACKING. Actually, considering that - you might not want to continue playing the game.. Ignorance can be bliss. :oops:

It doesn't hurt that it's also a pretty game with lots of different settings. :)

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Postby LastDanceSaloon » Tue May 07, 2013 4:45 pm

Hmmm.

Thanks for all the handy tips, I shall endeavour to complete the Dwarf quest in the Graveyard. Hopefully this will give me enough equipment to take on the Werewolves and I'll hunt around for another mage/theif.

I dunno though, it's on a ticking time-bomb with my patience now. I know it doesn't care for my emotions, but I shall find it amusingly ironic if I leave the game at some point because it promotes the idea of leaving when you're slightly upset about something trivial!

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Postby Scottg » Tue May 07, 2013 5:54 pm

I'm not sure what prompt's the quest, but one of the first real "quests" to do is the de'Arnise keep. (..it might just be leaving Amn for some other place. :confused: ) EDIT: seems to be a quest from the Copper Coronet. And apparently you won't get the resting feature of the quest at it's completion (which requires some sort of Fighter class). :(

That solves some of the gold and resting issues, as well as adding quite a bit of experience points from what I remember. It's also not *brutal*, though parts of it are quite difficult. Flame/Acid-based weapons/spells are advisable.

It *should* give you the relief you're looking for. ;)

Of course before you do that you'll need enough quality party members. In BG2 I tend to go the "good" route with my character and party. Keldorn, Arie, etc..

Here is a post on another forum I did a LONG time ago on a particular character build (and companion selection):

http://www.ironworksforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=54676

You aren't that deep into the game yet, so it might be worth considering a restart. Of course Gamebanshee also has some recommended builds as well:
http://www.gamebanshee.com/baldursgateii/strategies/charactercreation.php

The particular builds/companions are on the listings to the right as you scroll down.


One other thing.. I distinctly remember is certain spells as being extremely powerful: Mage: Mirror Image, Simulacrum, Spell Sequencer & Time Stop. Cleric: Holy Smite & Wonderous Recall, (particularly for Holy Smite), Druid: Call Woodland Being. Simulacrum is the best of those spells. Surprisingly (when considering that it's a 4th level spell), Call Woodland Being is probably the second best (..it calls up a Nymph that can cast higher levels spells than 4th level!).

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Postby galraen » Wed May 08, 2013 1:21 am

The D'Arnise keep quest is triggered by being accosted by Nalia in the Copper Coronet, he's been there done that got the mental scars to prove it after she left him for taking too long.

However I believe if you go to D'Arnise Keep you'll find her hanging about in a stockade to the south of the castle, so you should be able to pick the quest up again, but I haven't gone that route so can't say for sure. If she is there then you should be able to persuade her to rejoin and then start the quest.

It isn't completion of the quest that's timed by the way, just the start. IIRC once you enter the Keep by the secret entrance (north of the stockade) the timer is turned off and you can then leave if you want and do other things, but that wouldn't make much sense.
[QUOTE=Darth Gavinius;1096098]Distrbution of games, is becoming a little like Democracy (all about money and control) - in the end choice is an illusion and you have to choose your lesser evil.

And everything is hidden in the fine print.[/QUOTE]

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Postby galraen » Wed May 08, 2013 1:24 am

PS Spoiler below; you used to be able to hide spoilers before the site got screwed up, sadly that doesn't seem to be possible now :(








Don't kill the Werewolves, there's a reason not to kill any of the monsters in the circus except for the two Orcs and the Ogre Magi.
[QUOTE=Darth Gavinius;1096098]Distrbution of games, is becoming a little like Democracy (all about money and control) - in the end choice is an illusion and you have to choose your lesser evil.

And everything is hidden in the fine print.[/QUOTE]

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Postby LastDanceSaloon » Wed May 08, 2013 2:07 pm

Whoa! That's important information! I'm guessing (guessed) they are all the crowd who've been illusioned into werewolves. But darn it, even when you know what's going on, it's difficult to aplly when they're tearing you to shreds and chasing you through doors in their 100s (well, lots of them anyway).

I had a look at a couple of Youtube Let's Plays for the Djinni quest, just to get another close look at it's wording, and, lol, it was so funny.

The first guy (the no.1 Youtube Let's Player by views and search results) was doing a blind run, and he also went through the door to the outside before finishing the Djinni quest (and then he cheekily reloaded a pre-save).

And then the second guy I watched, just to see how common a problem it was, was like "Oh for heaven's sake, I guess I'm going to have to kill those Dryads, if they're not admitting to having it then grump grump grump" LOL. And then when he talks to them he's like "Oh, that was easy", because he was thinking that if they had they would have given it to him already, lol.

But, yeah, the wording is indeed there. It runs like this:

It will be close to the bad guy
He won't let it far from his sight
It could be in the Bedroom
It could be with the Golems
It could be with the Dryads

So, by that point, most players will already have done the bottom three. So a lot will be thinking it's most likely with the bad guy - every good RPGer knows, you often have to go back to people again and again - but it will still be instinctive for a lot of people to search out the bad guy first, just as a potential time-saver - as there's no indication at all that you are entering a lock-out scenario when you go to face the bad guy.

I shouldn't really dwell on it, but it's nice to know it's kind of a normal process for blind players.

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Postby galraen » Wed May 08, 2013 8:20 pm

I guess it's down to different thought processes. With me I think it was a case of 'Searched the bedroom, killed the golems, talked to the Dryads but not since I found out about the Djini, better go talk to them again' It never occurred to me to kill them as they'd already given me my first quest in the game, to free them.

What I actually found annoying about that mini-quest, was thet the item of yours the Djini gives you not only wasn't yours to start with, but never actually existed in Baldur's Gate! Add to this that most PCs won't be wielders of two handed swords anyway and it makes the whole thing senseless. Well apart from the obvious, that the Djini is a lying git! :D

One of the problems with the transition from BG1 to BG" is how lazy the game makers were about it. The game has the mechanics to transfer saves, but they never bothered to write code to interrogate the save so you end up with the same party, or parts of it, that you finished the first game with; same applies to items. Why couldn't they have given the Djini the weapon the player had equipped in the final save from BG1? Because they couldn't be arsed.
[QUOTE=Darth Gavinius;1096098]Distrbution of games, is becoming a little like Democracy (all about money and control) - in the end choice is an illusion and you have to choose your lesser evil.

And everything is hidden in the fine print.[/QUOTE]

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Postby galraen » Wed May 08, 2013 8:30 pm

PS Some warnings. The game is bugged, pretty badly in some places. The worst ones when you leave the city to go after Imoen.

Make sure you have separate game saves before you talk to Aran Linval after clearing out the vampire's lair.

Ditto before entering the Asylum, and before re-entering Brynlaw after finishing the Asylum.

If anyone can think of other occasions where the game screws up on a fairly regular basis maybe they can post them as well.
[QUOTE=Darth Gavinius;1096098]Distrbution of games, is becoming a little like Democracy (all about money and control) - in the end choice is an illusion and you have to choose your lesser evil.

And everything is hidden in the fine print.[/QUOTE]

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Brevan
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Postby Brevan » Thu May 09, 2013 10:54 pm

I've played through BG and BG2 dozens of times, but I still remember some of the scars of my first BG2 play through. Here are some of the things I like to do to make the going smoother. Note that some of these might be nearly spoilers if you enjoy thinking of ways to overcome the challenges in a game, so I've coloured that text in black (select to read).
  1. Raising your reputation significantly reduces store prices (even the "evil" stores like Drow... wtf). A reputation of 20 along with 20 Charisma (Ring of Human Influence with Nymph's Cloak) should reduce vendor prices by around 50%. One of the first things I'll do is donate to a temple until my reputation is about 15 (this will cost about 4000gp), and then the easier +Reputation quests (Circus Tent, Skinner murders, Free the Slaves, etc).
  2. 'Q' saves the game in the Quicksave slot, while 'L' loads the game from that slot (single player only, might need to be configured). On my weak netbook computer quickload takes about 3 seconds, which is fast enough that my patience stays even after needing to reload a fight twice.
  3. Spells cast from scrolls can not be interrupted.
  4. Most (all?) NPCs usually complain (and maybe leave) if you haven't started their quest after 4 game-days.
  5. Sometimes a well-protected character standing alone is more effective than a group. Especially when that character is using BladeBarrier, Sanctuary, and is Hasted (doubles the effect of BladeBarrier).
  6. You can pickpocket something nice from Ribald in the Adventurer's Mart. If you don't like using cure-spells after you rest in order to heal yourself, then you should get some thieving potions and ... go shopping.
  7. [color=#999999]Beholders' gaze attacks are really annoying (I think they're broken), and can be dealt with completely via Baldur's Shield (needs the Bonus Merchants mod) or Scroll of Protection from Magic (only 2 of these exist in BG2, sold in Adventurer's Mart). You can prevent the damaging gazes via Cloak of Mirroring. The spell Mislead can also be used by mage-scroll users, but isn't perfect since you character occasionally gets "seen" for a moment when attacking. Alternatively, 2 or 3 Cloudkills followed by potions of invisibility are very effective for ... lots of encounters.[/color]
  8. [color=#999999]Many of the bigger challenges of the game are undead, but most (all?) temples and scroll-vendors sell scrolls of Protection from Undead. While protected no undead can see you, making these fights trivial.[/color]
  9. [color=#999999]Mind Flayers attack once per round, but Ulitharid attack 5 times per round, and have decent THAC0. [color=#000000]Very soon after saving Imoen, there is a book thats summons monsters when you flip its pages. After the last page you get a very nice and fairly unique ring that will help against stun effects.[/color] [/color]
As a cleric, you'll want to help out Nalia in the DeArnise Keep, mostly because you can get a very nice +3 flail (don't leave without it!). There's also a hammer there that counts as a +4 weapon (there's an undead critter that is immune to <+4 weapons). There's also a respectable +2 flail (its poison damage can dispatch Trolls ... actually very little in the game is resistant to poison damage) in the Sewers of the Temple District, but the fight for it can be a bit tough.

A nice spell combination is HolyPower (THAC0 of a warrior, 18/00 str, +HP) followed by Righteous Magic (+ Lvl/3 Str, Maximized Damage, +HP), since this lets you hit things really hard and quite reliably. Drink a potion of speed while you're at it, and for about 20 rounds you'll be a very heavy hitter or Slinger. If you ever dual-class into a Thief, Righteous Magic's max-damage effect makes for awesome backstabs (clubs and "staff" weapons (i.e. Staff of Striking sold in some temples) can be used, but not "quarter staff" (just to gloat, one of my best backstabs was around 500 damage :D (Assasin dualed to Cleric at lvl 25, using Black Blade of Disaster Scroll and Righteous Magic, with Critical Hit. That same character also used PoisonWeapon with EnergyBlades to apply poison 9 times a round to an AdamantGolem, which made me giggle)).

There are lots of impressive combos to rip through challenging parts of the game, so if you find yourself getting stuck then consider reviewing the wands, scrolls, spells, or potions you have available, and be creative. I think for the first dozen times I played BG2, I always found something new (new story options, combos, even items).

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Postby galraen » Fri May 10, 2013 12:43 am

Hi light to read the blacked out 'spoiler' text

Hasted (doubles the effect of BladeBarrier)

[color=#999999][color=#000000]After the last page you get a very nice and fairly unique ring that will help against stun effects.[/color][/color]

I never knew either of those little details, with the second one I always avoided turning pages to keep the book not realising that!! Just shows with this game, you can play it[color=#999999][color=#000000][color=#c0c0c0] numerous times for decades almost and still learn new things about it![/color][/color][/color]
[QUOTE=Darth Gavinius;1096098]Distrbution of games, is becoming a little like Democracy (all about money and control) - in the end choice is an illusion and you have to choose your lesser evil.

And everything is hidden in the fine print.[/QUOTE]

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Postby vaypah » Fri May 10, 2013 1:17 am

galraen wrote:I always avoided turning pages to keep the book


I think you're thinking of the wrong book.
From what you've said, I take it you're thinking of the Book of Infinite Spells, the inventory item that lets you cast a spell once per day from your quickslot.
What Brevan was referring to is a room inside the labyrinth beneath Spellhold that has a static book in it that summons increasingly difficult monsters.

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Postby galraen » Fri May 10, 2013 3:14 am

Thanks vaypah, you're spot on.
[QUOTE=Darth Gavinius;1096098]Distrbution of games, is becoming a little like Democracy (all about money and control) - in the end choice is an illusion and you have to choose your lesser evil.

And everything is hidden in the fine print.[/QUOTE]

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Postby LastDanceSaloon » Sun May 12, 2013 10:45 am

Well, I'm back on track.

Yes, you're right, you do soon start to get used to things once you're up and about in the city. I've now done the Krogan quest, Korlam (Paladin) quest, Circus quest, Bard quest, Yashimoo quest, a little Jahira quest, and some bits and pieces and I'm finding it much more enjoyable now that everyone has +2 items in every slot and a good selection of gear.

Re: advice on fights, thanks, that's excellent. Yes there's loads of different ways you can fight the fights in these games. I'm glad to say that, thanks to much Icewind Dale experience, I've only had to reload a couple of battles about 2 times, and it's mainly been due to either mages or the 'walking through the door into a cut-scene' type scenarios.

Mages are a whole new kettle of fish for this game due to the utterly vastly numerous and complex compendiums of spells that are available. I'll probably grind to a halt at some point as the game-mages get too powerful for me to even comprehend - Time-stop in particular looks like a somewhat problematic spell to deal with, for example.

Also, the only mage I have in my party is the Half Cleric Half Mage and it's been worrying me how lame I'm going to be end-game by letting her learn all the spells when she won't even be able to use the best spells by end-game. I've found Edwin, Gnome and the Bard, but haven't tried any of them yet.

My party is:
Me - Cleric of Lathander
Minsc - Ranger (Duel Wielding - why on earth does he start with two-handers and two weapon fighting? What an annoying contrast!)
Kelhorm - Paladin
Jahira - Druid/Cleric
Yashimoo - Bounty Hunter (my Rogue)
Minsc's Witch - Cleric/Mage

Aside from my own character, who should I dump in favour of a decent Mage? Are there any 'good' mages of a decent calibre? And is the Bard better than Yashimo for roguing? And will I find any tanks in the 'good' branch who will be better than the one's I've got or am I now set in this regard? Are any of my current party likely to vanish for reasons beyond my control?

Yes, those Beholders are a pain, but once you figure out your system their pretty easy. I'm finding regular mages a bit more difficult as I try to figure out what they've cast and then try to avoid all the confusions, stuns, chaotics, beserks, Holds, etc etc etc. The Cleric has some good preventatives, but it's quite boring buffing all six up with each before almost every fight in some areas.

& yes, I do the rest and reload. Never understood why these games make resting so annoying, players are going to find a way to do it whatever, and if the players can't rest they won't do the game in the first place. Mut meh, lots and lots of small irritating things I could list, but nothing game breaking since first post, happily.