Replaying Baldur's Gate

I feel there is a threshold somewhere in mid-to late BG2 where how well you can manage the combat moment to moment starts running away from you due to the sheer amount of variables reaching critical mass resulting in completely whimsical bi-polar outcomes. This is only exacerbated in ToB where I would struggle with a fight at first, reload, only to do the exact same thing ending the fight easily within 5 seconds. So much stuff is happening in such a short amount of time it is too laborious to deduce what is going on and/or what went differently. It isn’t like random stuff doesn’t happen early but it’s mostly my ability to follow the combat is limited.

The final battle is the epitome of this where I had tons of summons, and so does the boss, with magic flying everything and every fighters is attacking 10 times in a single round. (that’s like 6 seconds) The screen is just covered in a colorful haze and the battlelog is like watching Internet packets flash by.

My attention is like butter spread over too much bread, and the bread only keeps getting bigger.

My experience of BG1:

  • Click to uncover black areas.
  • Click to uncover black areas.
  • Click to uncover black areas.
  • Attack monster, let your guys do stuff.
  • If you survive, go on.
  • If you die, reload and try again.
  • Click to uncover black areas.
  • Reach a town, enter a million identical houses.
  • Click to uncover black areas.
  • Repeat.

There’s far less map exploration in BG2. Most houses in BG1 can safely be ignored. There’s usually something going on in the taverns though.

My main memory of combat in bg2 was figuring out the mage load-out to beat the litch ( it was it an arch Litch?) there was some feat that let you put a series of spells into 1 slot, what was that called? Anyway good times. In bg1 my character was a dual class gnome wizard/crossbow user (rogue? Fighter? I forget) who abused invisibility. I enjoyed them both but somehow never felt the urge to replay either. But I still have fond memories of them.

But I could also say the late game is filled to the brim with an embarrassment of unused, extraneous abilities, potions, phat loot, win more progress. You don’t need half of them. At low level everything carries more weight. Every new character level a game changer.

I think around the time I stopped using fireball because it was too weak, with the advent of high damage AOE that doesn’t harm your party, the combat starts to suffer.

This is true of virtually every RPG. Let alone one that’s 20 years old.

And yet, there is almost no CRPG like BG1 where you finally hit level 2 after 10 hours of gameplay.

I would even argue the higher the level the faster the levels come at you, with all the deminishing returns they bring.

I’m pretty sure BG2 is the better game, but I have just so much nostalgia for the first (and the second as well, to be fair) that’s it’s hard to say.

I still get a dopamine hit whenever I hear (or even think about!) that little level up chime (and it’s such a faint sound).

Admittedly, I have the most nostalgia for BG1. It is the sole game that converted me.

I haven’t played Dragonspear yet but I too prefer BG1 over BG2 and it’s add ons.

I would agree with this. In most games of this type it is surviving to the level where you don’t have to worry about what is around every corner that is best. Once you know you can kick ass the game loses that feeling of imminent danger. Also, there is something to be said about just having to much crap available to you. But every game of this type suffers from that. Inventory overload.

An embarrassment of choice, you say? I kid - sort of. It does get a little ridiculous toward the late game.

But BG1 is at the other extreme. I started replaying this last year and I kept having to reload and replay battles constantly and it wasn’t much fun with the limits of being level 1 or 2. Maybe games have just gotten easier in the last 20 years? I know it gets better with a few more levels in but getting there is a pain. I still have great memories of this game and will get back to it at some point, but BG 2 was just more fun/engaging right from the start.

OK, but honestly, level 1-2 barely gets you to Beregost. That’s like a couple of hours of gameplay, tops. You start getting more options at level 3-4.

This was the only part of Baldur’s Gate that I really enjoyed. If one of you guys wants to timeshare the game and just handle all the combat and roleplaying crap, I can clear your maps out for you.

Like any game you get swamped by multiple enemies early. But I remember in BG you run into a mage outside an Inn, possibly in the first hour of game play (if you are quick with the tutorial) who will kick your ass. But you need to get in the Inn because you have friends there.

Yep, that asshole at the Friendly Arm Inn (ha!) has killed me many a time. The upside is that the guards will attack him, and if you pick up the people you meet along the way, he’s not so tough, but he does like to hit you Fear or Confusion (I forget which) that certainly makes that combat tricky.

Not a problem if your character is a Kensai. Mage killing machine, that one is.

You know back in MY day with Baldur’s Gate we didn’t have a Kensai… but then again my law clerk told me “ok boomer” today so I guess I’ll just be quiet.

Btw I love Baldur’s Gate (1 or enhanced)…. I am thinking of starting a new playthrough.

Every time I try to replay these the character movement animations make my brain rebel.

I just can’t handle the skipping around anymore apparently.

Back in my day, there was a mod that allowed you to play BG 1 in the BG 2 engine, and use the Kensai. That was before all this other stuff came about.

ok boomer