Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, any opinions?

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Ret, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. Ret

    Ret First time out of the vault

    8
    Apr 2, 2016
    Hi guys!

    So, after fifteen long years we have an expansion for the original Baldur's Gate, developed by Beamdog, the studio behind the not so well received (at least when they were launched) Baldur's Gate Enhanced Editions. I have to say, the expansion looks alright but they do have quite the standard to meet, and I'm not really sure Beamdog has what it takes to do so. All of the colorful characters of the original Baldur's Gate are present on the expansion but, honestly, I'm a bit afraid of any sudden changes on their personalities given the new developer in charge, at least judging by the new characters introduced on the Enhanced Editions, as they had an okay-ish writing at best.

    Have you got the chance to play the expansion yet? If so, how is it? I haven't read any reviews from respectable sources and the reviews from the users at GoG give it a somewhat mixed score.
     
  2. AskWazzup

    AskWazzup Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Aug 21, 2008
    The top 32 or so reviews, when i open it in steam, are all thumbs down. That is never a good sign :)). Most reviews point out terrible bugs, bad writing and shitty new graphics. I actually like the updated graphics, they are much softer. No idea about the other aspects, but it doesn't seem to bode well for them.

    How did they manage to pick up the license anyway?
     
  3. Ret

    Ret First time out of the vault

    8
    Apr 2, 2016
    That's a good question, I've been reading about it for a while and the current state of the license seems rather complicated. Atari, who had the license on the first place, granted Beamdog permission for the developement of the Enhanced Editions. Atari, however, went bankrupt and Hasbro acquired the license from them. Around 2013, Atari told Beamdog to cease the developement in order to avoid legal troubles but it all worked out in the end and Hasbro also let Beamdog continue.

    Yet it also seems that Wizards of the Coast still have to "supervise" all the new content Beamdog adds to franchise. This doesn't mean they own the license, but they seem to have some degree of control regarding new content.
     
  4. PossibleCabbage

    PossibleCabbage Vault 22 Survivor

    889
    Jul 2, 2015
    I really liked it what I've seen so far from it (I'm not done, but I put in time over the weekend.) It's glitchy and a little simplistic at points, but it's good to see the old Infinity Engine in use again. Most of those bad reviews are from people whose politics are incompatible with that of the game.

    Specifically that there is a joke at the expense of a certain reactionary internet mob (a la "it's actually about ethics...") and that it has an openly transgender character, which seems like a reasonable thing to have in a D&D game since "magic that changes your sexual morphology" has been a thing in D&D since Gygax was publishing out of his basement.

    But I sincerely doubt most of those reviews are from sincere Baldur's Gate fans or at least if they are they're from the sort of people you don't really want to play tabletop games with.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
  5. Ret

    Ret First time out of the vault

    8
    Apr 2, 2016
    I see. If it's really a worthy campaign I don't get why people are so frustrated with a transgender character and an internet joke. Yes, we could discuss if political views shoud be left aside on a game but that's certainly a different debate. If such content is kept at those few examples you mentioned I think it's something it can be safely overlooked and one could easily move on with his playthrough without minding them much.

    I'd appreciate if you could post your thoughts about the whole campaign once you're done with it. Any comments regarding the writing or the story without giving too much away?
     
  6. AskWazzup

    AskWazzup Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Aug 21, 2008
    And what mob might that be? Does this have something to do with the regressive left?
     
  7. PlanHex

    PlanHex Legislative Senator oTO Moderator Orderite

    Nov 4, 2007
    Here we go
     
  8. AskWazzup

    AskWazzup Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Aug 21, 2008
    What happened? Can somebody let me in on the secret?
     
  9. PossibleCabbage

    PossibleCabbage Vault 22 Survivor

    889
    Jul 2, 2015
    Nah, "review bombing" isn't really the Anime Stalinist's style. There's a woman who can be blamed for this (Amber Scott, who's written some really good stuff for Pathfinder, in particularly the most interesting take on the nature of "Good" that a D20 game has probably seen.)

    All the people upset about a trans character in BG though are probably just fake D&D nerds, since no less an important figure in Faerûn than Elminster changed their sex on occasion. I mean, if Mizhena's backstory was "yeah, one time I put on the wrong belt" then nobody would bat an eye, so this is silly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
  10. Spacemunkey

    Spacemunkey Vault Senior Citizen

    Dec 4, 2015
    It didn't help her case with her antagonistic approach to the situation and while I couldn't give 2 shits about a persons sexuality, let alone a game characters, I also hate having someones agenda or ideology forced into my leisure time. If the writing is well done, cool I'm in, but from what I've read a lot of it is forced so I'll probably pass until I see a let's play of it at least.
     
  11. TransgenderVaultDeweller

    TransgenderVaultDeweller "Fallout 4 adds to the lore"

    426
    Aug 14, 2015

    It always bothered me the way magic was used and discarded like a cheap whore.




    Reminds me of Btounges video..

    I typically run low magic campaigns where magic is really difficult to utilize.

    magic in Ferune where people can do things like changing gender and do almost anything possible it bothers me, urkes me. Cheats it by preventing a struggle from coming. Magic shouldn't fix issues by the snap of the finger.
     
  12. PossibleCabbage

    PossibleCabbage Vault 22 Survivor

    889
    Jul 2, 2015
    Games are inherently political, they reflect the beliefs of the people who are making them.
    - SimCity has specific (and very American) notions about people's tolerance for taxation.
    - Call of Duty has specific (and very American) notions about the role of the military.
    - Tom Clancy games have a very specific American Right Wing political bend about them.
    - Missile Command has a very specific position about nuclear war, Bethesda's Fallout has a very different one.

    There are no apolitical games. You have never played an apolitical game, you might not have noticed the politics implicit in the game because you happened to agree with them (or you weren't paying attention), but Siege of Dragonspear having a trans character is no more "pushing politics in your face" than Fallout New Vegas having gay and lesbian characters. The specific dialogue with Mizhena is basically "that's an interesting name, where does it come from?" - "Thanks, I picked it out for myself when I transitioned" which is a fairly natural sort of conversation to have with an out trans person. That's really all she has to say about it. If you ask her about her name, she mentions that she's trans. That's the extent of it; it doesn't come up again. It's very similar to how New Vegas handles Arcade's disclosure that he's gay.

    That "Magic makes this easy, but we can tell stories about being hard" is all well and good, but D&D stories are fundamentally aspirational in nature. It's about the nobody going out and becoming powerful, rich, and respected. That you get better, more known, and richer is an inherent part of the fantasy. So I don't see why "The farm boy can grow up to be the high priest of Palor" is any more a valid story than "The farm boy grows up to be the high priestess of Palor". Sure, there are low magic fantasy settings, but FORGOTTEN REALMS is not one of them. That trans people are happy in this setting is less of a fantasy assuming things are better than they most likely be than "monarchs are kind and just" or "low-born people have real opportunities to acquire fame and power" or "you can be good at anything you want to be good at."

    Consider this, at no point in Baldur's Gate 2 did anybody come out and say "everybody here is cis". We all just assumed as much, because "what's in Minsc's pants" is more or less completely irrelevant (unless it happened to be Boo).
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
  13. Spacemunkey

    Spacemunkey Vault Senior Citizen

    Dec 4, 2015
    I'm not saying I don't like politics in games, I'm saying that I hate when a writer feels the need to swing their agenda like a warhammer to my face. As I said I haven't played it yet but if it looks good in the LP then I'll pick it up, but some of the quotes I've read from the writer herself haven't exactly made me want to rush to get it.
     
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  14. TransgenderVaultDeweller

    TransgenderVaultDeweller "Fallout 4 adds to the lore"

    426
    Aug 14, 2015

    Well personally, I detest almost everything Baldur's gate anyways. From the terrible combat to the really non-interesting quest i've seen. To the fact it seems like no one really struggles on a mature basis. Unlike other games in particular the witcher series where you have mature elements of incest, racism and sexism. Baldur's gate 2 feels like a game that doesn't want to take itself seriously and i am no fan of ferune.


    "Nobody coming out and becoming powerful, rich and respected." That is the mentality i think that is more of a determent to not only the game but to also table top games of dungeons and dragons. No matter what people don't feel inspired to write anything that isn't a dungeon crawl. It's not the systems fault as if you can make planescape torment but yet fail so hard in baldur's gate series then i think the flaw matters in its implementations. The story to me was far too between and even seeing it when i got glimpse didn't intrigue me and i didn't really get invested that much.

    As for transgender in fantasy? Its hard to actually do because without magic actual transitioning is rather hard and making it work might be a bit too much more than you can chew. Depictions of sex and homophobia is much easier to ascertain and to implement even more so. Transgenders in the game feels contrived, In my opinion and coming up with a reason as to how someone can transition with anything more than a hand wave might be more convoluted.

    Moral of the story, I wouldn't write transgender characters mainly because it might seem a bit contrived and artifical not because it is unnatural but rather the expectations and ability to articulate is so beyond your control that you have a probable chance of screwing things up.
     
  15. PossibleCabbage

    PossibleCabbage Vault 22 Survivor

    889
    Jul 2, 2015
    Here is the creator of "Forgotten Realms" (Ed Greenwood) on this: https://www.facebook.com/ed.greenwood.142/posts/10156746522575453?pnref=story

     
  16. TransgenderVaultDeweller

    TransgenderVaultDeweller "Fallout 4 adds to the lore"

    426
    Aug 14, 2015