It seems that you're using an outdated browser. Some things may not work as they should (or don't work at all).
We suggest you upgrade newer and better browser like:Chrome,Firefox,Internet Explorer orOpera

×
arrow-down2arrowcart2close4fat-arrow-leftfat-arrow-rightfeedbackfriends2happy-facelogo-gognotificationnotifications-emptyownedremove-menusad-facesearch2wishlist-menuwishlisted2own_thingsheartstartick
Alright, so I'm an idiot when it comes to video games, I'll go ahead and say it. BUT, I love love love a good story. Which I hear Baldur's gate has. My question is, being an older game, how confusing is the interface? How difficult is the combat? And most importantly, is it difficult to figure out where you need to go?
BG 1--- Good Story
BG 2--- Great Story;

BG1 and BG 2 Interface is okay. Nothing Special but I don't remember ever finding it a problem.

BG1: Combat varies from very easy to very difficult (or after some practice kinda Difficult)
Combat really depends on your style of play. Most (including myself) has a Thief scouting; a couple tanks (good melee combatants) up front; back-up with Shooters (Bow men etc); then the Mage--- mostly wands until the very end. In BG 1, I feel fireballs and swords are what you need in 90% of the battles.
BG2: I haven't played it for a while but remember it as harder, more fun, and heavy magic use.

BG 1 Following the Plot: Not hard. There are places to explore outside the main story and side quests. But there are "Chapters" were a story teller (a serious sounding voice actor) gives a summary of where you have been and gives a great big arrow to your next step.
BG 2. Plot: Not hard but still harder (if I remember correctly).

Again. This game changes so much from the type of party you pick. You can go alone or pick up various companions along the way.
The Canon Party (the one that most closely sticks to the main storyline) is (you); Imoen (thief), Jaheira(Druid) and Khalid (fighter), Minsc (ranger) and Dynaheir (mage)
Jaheira and Khalid are a couple as are Minsc and Dynaheir. This means if you decide to get rid of one, you have to be clever so that you don't loose both.
Edit for clarity
Post edited June 02, 2017 by macAilpin
The game is a little tough on noobs. Just keep playing and you'll get the hang of it eventually.

Combat works by pausing, issuing orders to your party, and unpause and let them carry out those commands. When exploring dungeons, make sure you have a thief to detect traps, or your party is toast. I recommend starting with one of the warrior classes (fighter, paladin, ranger; barbarian too if you are playing BG2 or BGT). When you cast healing spells, try to heal the character when he/she is at about half their HP. You have to heal sooner with some of the more tougher enemies. Healing with special abilities is faster than the heal spells, and drinking healing potions is the fastest (you still need to compensate for time). I recommend your first party has this composition: 2 melee, 2 ranged, 1 divine caster (druid or cleric), 1 arcane caster (mage/specialist mage, bard, or sorcerer with BG2/BGT). That's all I can think of for now.

Resources:
http://mikesrpgcenter.com/
http://www.gamebanshee.com/baldursgate/
http://www.gamebanshee.com/baldursgateii/
http://forgottenwars.com/bg1/index.htm
http://www.sorcerers.net/Games/BG/
http://www.sorcerers.net/Games/BG2/
http://baldursgate.wikia.com/wiki/Baldur%27s_Gate_Wiki

Edit: have your more squishy characters at the back (characters with low HP or Armour Class). Armour class (referred to as AC) gets better the lower the number. An AC of 10 is better than an AC of 15.

Charisma carries more weight in BG1 than in BG2. In both games you get store discounts, but in BG1 a high or low charisma can alter the rewards you get, and can be a deciding factor in whether or not someone joins your party. Your party gets the charisma bonus of the leader (the character with the portrait on top). I really wish BG2 kept this game mechanic. In both games the leader's charisma is a factor in whether or not certain characters leave (this is based on alignment and the actions you do in game), and how individual party members get along with the rest of the group.
Post edited June 02, 2017 by jsidhu762
avatar
macAilpin: BG1: Combat varies from very easy to very difficult (or after some practice kinda Difficult)
Combat really depends on your style of play.
BG2: I haven't played it for a while but remember it as harder, more fun, and heavy magic use.
The combat in these games are all over the place when it comes to difficulty. The beginning is kind of tough (outright brutal for someone who is new), but at the end it becomes laughably easy. A level 6 fighter with varscona in BG1 can one-shot all but a handful of creatures. In my most recent ToB playthrough my party was able to zerg pretty much everything. I don't even power game.
avatar
macAilpin: BG1: Combat varies from very easy to very difficult (or after some practice kinda Difficult)
Combat really depends on your style of play.
BG2: I haven't played it for a while but remember it as harder, more fun, and heavy magic use.
avatar
jsidhu762: The combat in these games are all over the place when it comes to difficulty. The beginning is kind of tough (outright brutal for someone who is new), but at the end it becomes laughably easy. A level 6 fighter with varscona in BG1 can one-shot all but a handful of creatures. In my most recent ToB playthrough my party was able to zerg pretty much everything. I don't even power game.
First time I played I almost gave up because the damn wolves in the first couple maps. Then I figure I would play tag. Wolf goes after one, the other shoots arrows; the wolf goes after the other; the first starts shooting (sling). The game lends itself to figuring out different tactics for sure.
One other observation: It is quite common, in AD&D based games, for there to be a best class.

In Baldur's Gate 1, it's archers (basically any fighter-type with bow proficiency); the slow movement makes ranged attacks more valuable, and there are some interesting arrows you can get.

In Baldur's Gate 2, it's arcane casters (Mage and Sorcerer (though Sorcerer works best if you already know which spells are good)) who dominate.

In case you're curious, for Icewind Dale and Dungeon Hack, it's Clerics (though, interestingly, for different reasons).

(Of course, you will want characters of other classes, like a thief to deal with traps, and somebody who can cast healing magic (Cleric or Druid), but there's still the one class that dominates.)
avatar
CheekyTiki: My question is, being an older game, how confusing is the interface?
Provided you're not a console kid, not confusing in the slightest. It's a dream compared to modern abominations.

How difficult is the combat?
The combat itself is not difficult at all, it's real time with pause, which means you have all the time in the world to plan your moves. What is difficult is getting to grips with basic rules, something which most new players tend to overlook. READ THE MANUAL.

And most importantly, is it difficult to figure out where you need to go?
Absolutely not. For starters, you don't have to go anywhere at any specific time, especially in the first game. You have a quest log. You are free to wonder around all accessible areas, albeit at the risk of being wiped out if you stray into territories containing high/er level enemies. This is what tends to get new players: wolves WILL kill you at level 1 unless you take your time, and learn how to cope. Above all, do NOT be afraid (or embarrased) to run away in this game. You will die regularly, especially at first.
avatar
Hickory: Above all, do NOT be afraid (or embarrased) to run away in this game. You will die regularly, especially at first.
(1) This can't be stressed enough! Running away is perfectly viable option in BG1. There is actually a NPC in one of the first areas that will give you this advice if you ask him "what is the most dangerous creatures you have ever killed" or sth along these lines.

(2) Also, when you are level 1-2 I would suggest following the main quest line. The monsters you will find off the beaten path are often high level and will wipe out a low level party. Especially, given that you will be playing it the 1st time.

(3) As suggested earlier, bows are great in BG1. They are a bit weaker in BG2 where spell-casting becomes incredibly powerful.

(4) Finally, there are several threads in this forum where you can find advice on how to cope with the fights, especially at low levels. Low level fights can be difficult, but I find them extremely exciting. There are a few fights in the game that are difficult, but nothing insurmountable.

(5) And in contrast to one of the posters above, I think that a plot of BG1 is superior in terms of story.
Post edited June 02, 2017 by Lebesgue
Baldur's Gate for Dummies....sounds like the EE versions.
First, both BG1 and BG2 are amazing games. I personally like BG1 over BG2, which I finished 5 times.

About your questions, short answer is, interface is very simple, combat is straightforward (except magic but will come to that), and you almost always know where to go.

Now that this is out of the way, I want to mention what makes BG1 not so newbie friendly. I will mention my own experiences.

First, for me, BG games (based on D&D 2nd edition) have the worst ability, chance to hit, armor system in the planet. After you learn that, you learn half of the game. Generally, LOW values mean BETTER.

AC (Armor Class): Low means better. You have a basic AC of 10. DEX, armor and spells help decrease that value. When you are comparing two armors, lower means better.

THAC0 (To Hit Armor Class ZERO): Again, lower is better. You start the game with 20 THAC0. Which means you need to roll 20 (aka critical) to hit an opponent with 0 AC. STR helps melee THAC0 and DEX helps missle THAC0. Also, your THAC0 decreases as you level up based on your class.

http://baldursgate.wikia.com/wiki/THAC0

NOTE that 20 always hits and 1 always misses.

The general rule is Minimum roll required to hit = (THAC0 of attacker)-(AC of target +Armor Class Modifier)

Which means, if you have 18 THAC0 and opponent has 10 AC, you need to roll minimum 8 (18-10=8) to hit them. Rolls are D20 which means a 20 side dice (aka 1-20)

Just keep in mind that, LOWER MEANS BETTER.
----------------------------------
About weapons: D6 means a 6 side dice, aka 1-6. D8 means a 8 side dice aka 1-8. D6+1 means 1 added to the roll, which means 2-7. 2D6 means you roll 2 6-sided dices, which will mean 2-12.

---------------------

Spells:

Now you know what THAC0 and AC means. The other complex thing in BG games are the spells. D&D has a very unique way of using spells. This does not matter much in BG1 where you will be low level (below 7) but extremely important in BG2 (above 7). If you want a Wizard, take your time reading spell descriptions.
-----------------

Quests and what to do next.

I consider BG1 an open world game where you can go anywhere you want. Usually, you will encounter people, mainly .. an old man... who will give you some ideas where to go. You will find letters which will give you more clues. Chapters also will give you ideas.

For me, the most important rule of Baldur's Gate is: SAVE OFTEN. Q key is your best friend in that game which will do a quick save. ALSO, I suggest you make SEPARATE game saves as you progress in the game, mainly when enter a new area.
-----------------

Exploration is the fun part of BG games. Explore the whole area. But remember. ANYTHING can kill you in this game. Especially in early levels where your health is pathetic. Yes, there are easy enemies and harder enemies but since 20 always hit, a group of 2-3 goblins or xvarts can kill a party member with a good (for you bad) luck. In my experience, especially in early stages of the game, archers are the safe way of playing this game.
-----------------------------

CHARACTER CREATION.

Abilities and Proficiencies are the most important part of a character. If you don't know what you are doing, you can easily mess it up. Usually, a roll of 80 is enough for most classes. Note that, higher abilities (stats) dont always mean better. If you look at CON (constitution) there is no difference between 7 CON and 14 CON. Or 7 DEX (dexterity) or 14 DEX if you are not a thief. Read the link and read the manual for more information.

Proficiencies (Skills) mean a lot in this game. For every character, I suggest having a "ranged" proficiency. I found that Bows are the best in this game since they shoot twice in a round. If you have high STR, slings are the second best since they benefit from the STR damage bonus unlike any other ranged weapons.

Mages can only have a sling anyways so if you are going for a mage, I suggest you take a sling Proficiency. It may sound cool to wield a staff or a dagger but with low health and high AC (remember, high is worse) enemies will tear you apart. So, a mage should be smart and sling from behind. Of course, mages can be turned into a killing machine or a tank in higher levels but that will be in BG2.

I believe that is all you need to know to have the most fun out of BG. Do that. Have fun... your way.

EDIT: Changed professions into Proficiency. Thanks Bookwyrm627 for the correction.
Post edited June 02, 2017 by Engerek01
As BONUS to what I wrote above, I want to give a Wizard example.

First time I played the game, I wanted to be a mage. I love mages so I picked Wizard. My starts were something like.

STR: 10
DEX: 10
CON: 10
INT: 18
WIS: 18
CHA: 18
TOTAL: 84

I wanted my character to be smart, wise and charismatic. Ofcourse, as a Role Playing Perspective, you can do that. However, that means nothing in the game. High Wisdom has no effect for a Wizard except +10 lore. (I heard something about a 9th level spell but I dont have knowledge about that)

So, if I would do a Wizard with the same 84 roll, my stats would be,

STR: 16
DEX: 18
CON: 16
INT: 18
WIS: 8
CHA: 8
TOTAL:84

High STR to be able to carry more and have +1 bonus to my damage with Sling. If I roll 86, I would make it 18.
High DEX for bonus AC and bonus range THAC0.
16 CON gives +2 health per level, which is maximum for a non-warrior class. You wont get more bonus if you have 17 or 18 CON.
High INT for higher scroll learn chance and higher spell limit per spell level.

Ofcourse, you can still play and finish the game (thanks to your companions) with the first Wizard but the second Wizard is a lot more effective. I hope that gives you more insight about the STATS.
Nothing is difficult but save often;)
avatar
Engerek01: Professions means a lot in this game. For every character, I suggest having a "ranged" profession. I found that Bows are the best in this game since they shoot twice in a round. If you have high STR, slings are the second best since they benefit from the STR damage bonus unlike any other ranged weapons.

Mages can only have a sling anyways so if you are going for a mage, I suggest you take a sling profession. It may sound cool to wield a staff or a dagger but with low health and high AC (remember, high is worse) enemies will tear you apart. So, a mage should be smart and sling from behind. Ofcourse, mages can be turned into a killing machine or a tank in higher levels but that will be in BG2.
Quick note: "profession" should be "proficiency" in this section. Profession is a job; when I was reading this, I thought you were talking about classes at first. Proficiency is skill with something, and in this case it is skill with weapons. So yeah, read it as weapon proficienies, not professions.

Also, make sure to give your tanks proficiency with a melee weapon. Don't try to use a ranged weapon in melee combat, or you'll take penalties and the enemy(-ies) trying to melee you will get bonuses.
avatar
Engerek01: If you have high STR, slings are the second best since they benefit from the STR damage bonus unlike any other ranged weapons.
Note that this is not generally true in Baldur's Gate 2 (non-EE); there are only a couple sling types that get strength bonuses to damage in BG2. (Note that, I believe, the Enhanced Edition changed this behavior and made most slings give you strength bonus to damage.)
Fantastic posts, Engerek :) +1

I strongly disagree with some of the others saying the games aren't difficult. For a first time player, it can be excruciatingly difficult. Quicksaving is indeed your best friend. My first time through these games, I dubbed them "Baldur's Reload". You will die. And often.

Once you learn the basics and know more about the enemies, who are dangerous and who are not, what can hurt them and what spells they may use, things become much more manageable. And particularly for BG1, ranged weapons are great. If you kill stuff before they get close enough to hurt you, you're golden, and this is why bows/slings are so good in BG1. Just make sure to have enough ammo (generally only a problem in the very early stages of the game).

Combat is most difficult in the very low levels, simply because you have next to no health. One hit can be enough to kill you, especially if you happen to be a mage with 4 HP.

Speaking of mages, I find them great fun to play, but for a first time player it may not be the best option. If your main character dies, the game ends and you need to reload. So it may be a wise choice to go as a fighter, or at least someone more durable than a puny mage. Once you get access to level 3 spells at level 5 (a little confusing), mages start to shine. But before that it's a little rough, particularly level 1-2-3, when you run out of spells very soon.

When you hear talk of basilisks, be afraid, be very afraid. These beasts can one-shot you with a unique attack. There are (thankfully) ways to deal with them, but particularly on your first run through the game, when you have no idea where they are and exactly how tough they are, you are going to die to them, make no mistake about it.

Perhaps this sounds more daunting than intended, and for that I apologise, but I wanted to counterbalance the "not difficult at all" views. I played these games for the first time as an adult, not really having played roleplaying games before, and struggled something fierce to begin with. But as with all brilliant games, it was worth to stick at it :)

Like you, I love games with a strong story, and these games have a strong story. I probably preferred the first game due to that, at least in the story department.

Whatever you do, I suggest to not look up walkthroughs and stuff like that. It will just spoiler you, and you won't have those great moments if you just copy-paste tips and tricks from some guide online. Go into the great unknown wilds with your pink friend, and learn to survive together :)
Post edited June 04, 2017 by Pangaea666