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crumb24: I think BG2 might be a better fit for you than BG1. In BG2, your party NPCs have dialogue with you and with each other every so often, which does not occur in BG1 so much. It also has romances you can try. And there are a lot fewer wilderness areas to explore that don't have to do with any quests. There's still a lot of optional content, but overall I think the quests are more varied too.

The first half of Chapter 6 in BG1 is almost all dialogue and no fights as you return to Candlekeep and explore its library too, so I would continue your game, especially since you are getting fairly close to the end.
Now that was really informative thank you. I'll continue on focusing on the main quest (still talking to random guys I come by but not wandering off to wilderness). But that's what I mean by pacing if huge part of the game is mostly fighting and then it get turned on its head for the last chapter. Mass Effect had the opposite problem for example, where the beginning in Citadel Station had lots and lots of story and talking and lasted quite long and then after that you were fighting, grinding resources and having much simpler encounters for most of the game (with some notable exceptions). Good to know I'm slowly moving towards the end, with people claiming hundreds of hours I thought that was not the case.

(on a sidenote, when I was very young I read the Baldur's Gate novelisation btw, don't remember much of it, but the game doesn't seem to remind me much)

Stig79: 6. Cash and XP is not limited in BG. Not at all. You just don't get loads of it right away. I think I ended up on 30k gold and nothing worthwile to spend it on, when I beat it last time.
That was about IWD not BG, I quoted Hickory, not you. Obviously what I meant is the same as you, in BG i'm just overflowing with gold and relatively powerful items.

Stig79: All the dialogue makes it feel longer too.
3. That vendor in Beregost still has way more to say than most of the Diablo NPCs, and the Diablo ones are main NPCs.
5. the backstory /of Diablo 2 NPCs/ is very very short. You can't even ask any in-depth questions. You basically just click an "information button" and the game just tells you stuff. No options or branches in the conversations at all.
Yes, Diablo2 doesn't have branches, point for Baldur's gate, but as for the rest, I'm having an impression we're playing different games.

Stig79: The pacing is good. If you keep wandering off into the wilderness for 30 hours, it will, of course, feel a bit off.
Well, if I don't, I can't complete many quests that I'm getting. I explored half the map before I finally found the captain of the guard of Nashkel. And I also worry that if I don't explore I'll end up underpowered for the main quest. There's no way to tell, if the game as a whole offers you much more power than needed or is it balanced tighter. And shouldn't optional locations offer similar quality as the main quest in an open world game (see for example Fallout 1&2)? I can refer you to Ben "Yahtzee" Crashaw's opinions about open world design if you want to know the philosophy about the whole thing to which I subscribe, if you know the guy.

Stig79: Once you get to Baldur's Gate itself you get a myriad of topics. Different ones for each district in the city, really.And you get LOADS of information that fleshes out the earlier bits in the game too.
Well I'm currently exploring Baldur's Gate, and it does feel more RPGy, I agree. The problem is it took me so much time to get here. And yet still, it feels very bare-bones compared to what I'm used to in other RPGs. But we'll see about that chapter 6 thing Crumb24 mentioned.

To reiterate: all of this is not about the quality of Baldur's Gate itself, it's about Baldur's Gate in comparison to others. It is said to have "more" story and world-building than other games, whereas I find many strong examples to the contrary. It's more about WHAT Baldur's Gate than HOW GOOD it is. I had quite a lot of fun with a few caveats (like that moment on 3rd level of Cloakwood mines when I realised I have to dump huge pile of loot or end up backtracking a huge distance to sell it cause I have no more inventory slots even after trying to be selective about what to carry...)
Post edited February 12, 2017 by CaveSoundMaster
CaveSoundMaster: ....
Just to make sure there is not a misunderstanding, those quotes belong to Stig79, not me.
CaveSoundMaster: ....
Engerek01: Just to make sure there is not a misunderstanding, those quotes belong to Stig79, not me.
Oh lol, thanks for pointing that out, edited my post with proper source.

BTW, I'm curious what was your hours count on those playthroughs you mentioned?

(unfortunately my version is not from Gog, and I didn't track mine :( )
Post edited February 12, 2017 by CaveSoundMaster
CaveSoundMaster: BTW, I'm curious what was your hours count on those playthroughs you mentioned?

(unfortunately my version is not from Gog, and I didn't track mine :( )
I play RPG games very slowly, reading everything. So on BGT around 80 hours and I played BG1:EE on steam and over 100 hours. But dont take my time as a reference. I "really" take my time playing those games.
Another interesting comparison I can make is the impact on randomness on character creation and leveling up. I will, again, compare Baldur's Gate and SaGa Frontier, but I will add a third game to the comparison, Daggerfall, which I believe was released in 1996 (so a couple years earlier than BG1).

Baldur's Gate: Character creation is highly random, and the numbers impact the entire game, as your stats remain mostly constant after that. Level-ups only have one random factor: the number of HP you gain at level up; however, it is a major factor, as level ups get harder and harder to get, and the number you get is severely limited; hence, it is effectively impossible to recover from bad level-up RNG.

Daggerfall: Character creation is somewhat random; your stats are determined by your class (and can be customized), but then there are some random changes at the end of the character creation routine (which also gives you a random number of bonus points). Level ups are more random than in BG1 (both stat gains and HP gains are random), but you get more of them, and while they do get harder (as the relevant skills are now higher), they don't get exponentially harder. (On the other hand, and this is one of my bigger issues with the game, the amount of skill experience you get does not increase with the difficulty of the task; there's no advantage to fighting liches over fighting rats, for example, unlike in BG1 and SaGa Frontier.)

SaGa Frontier: For humans, stat growth, while dependent on your actions, is random (unlike skill growth in Daggerfall). This makes the game's equivalent of level ups (SF has no "level" stat) more random than in the other two games. *However*, and this is the most significant factor, your growth is only limited by the current value of the stat and the strength of the enemies you face; this means that if you get unlucky with stat growth early on, you *can* make up for it later on.

To put it another way, in BG1, if you get horribly unlucky with HP rolls, you can't get those HP back later. In SaGa Frontier, by contrast, if you get horribly unlucky with HP rolls, you *can* get them back later. (In fact, if your HP is sufficiently low, and you don't use any swords, guns, martial arts, or spells, you are *guaranteed* to get an HP bonus at the end of the fight if you are alive at the end.)
CaveSoundMaster: Although yes, regarding my personal fun with the game, having already sunk tens of hours into Baldur's Gate and the whole thing, while a lot of fun initially, becoming quite repetitive, the question is now, whether I want to complete it?Should I end my journey now and focus on other game now like KotoR 2, Witcher, Arcanum, or some Spiderweb ones.... Or should I continue but focus the main storyline. So these are the questions I'm struggling with.
If the game will consist of another 50 hours of managing my inventory and spells to 10 hours of actual discovery, exploration and story, then I will probably need to pass. If can see the BG story to its end faster than that, then I'll continue. After all, I want to check those other games too, and there's Pillars of Eternity and Wasteland 2 I haven't touched yet, and Tides of Numenera coming out right about now, new Mass Effect soon...
Other than maybe Kotor 2, which I love, I'd easily take BG1 over all the other games you mentioned (only played Nethergate from Vogel, fun, but sucky ending). Different strokes, I guess.

If you digged PS:T (my alltime fav), you'll probably like K2 (get the TSLCR mod). You should also check Vampire: Bloodlines at some point.
It's probably likely that Baldur's Gate's reputation outgrew its actual achievements. In various facets, other games did what BG does better. Fallout is a frequent comparison. Sometimes Daggerfall. Or even Diablo.

What I remember Baldur's Gate for most was getting me into Dungeons & Dragons for the first time, in much of its quirky glory. Other people who'd played the Gold Box Games were excited for a resurgence of those. And in that light, Baldur's Gate is fondly remembered as a herald of things to come. Because we sure as shit got a resurgence of great Dungeons & Dragons games on PC. Baldur's Gate 2 for starters, Planescape and Icewind Dale. Then there was the diaspora of talented RPG designers when Black Isle Studios was shuttered, migrating through various studios and mostly residing in Obsidian and inXile, giving us a brand new resurgence of amazing RPGs.

It also brought the first tantalizing glimpse of playing actual Dungeons & Dragons multiplayer on a computer. I never played through the entire game this way. But I had a few sessions of importing my character into friends games for a few hours during LAN Parties. It was a very novel feature, although not as well fleshed out as you may have liked. Still, it created a lot of hype for online AD&D, with an actual dungeon master that carried through numerous RPGs through the late 90's and early 00's. Most notably Neverwinter Nights, but also Vampire The Masquerade: Redemption if memory serves.

But in a lot of ways I agree. Playing Baldur's Gate now, and looking at the frankly superior games released by more mature studios, in more mature engines, both before and after it's own release, it looks like an awkward middle child.
I'd advise you to complete the game, since I believe the best "story" part of the game is the second half (especially Chapters 6 and 7, Balduran's Island and Durlag's Tower), so be sure to visit Ulgoth's Beard sometime during Chapter 7 (your party may be a bit too weak in Chapter 5 for that) before you proceed to the end.

The comparison to Hack'n'Slash is silly and you'll probably agree after you finish the game, even though I like Diablo a lot. Yes, there's a lot of fighting in BG, some are just respawning monsters, others not so much. I think you've risen your expectations a bit too high. Eye of the Beholder is a cRPG (or a Dungeon Crawler to be precise), no one would call it H'n'S, even though there's almost no dialogue in the game.

cRPG is quite an interesting genre, because it's not implying that there should be a lot of dialogue and deep story (yet many players make that assumption), it's about playing your role through decisions, which can be made during combat and dialogues, but not only that. The rich story and voiced dialogues are a neat bonus. The more freedom you get, the closer the cRPG is to its core.

Baldur's Gate offers a lot of freedom and that's where it truly shines in my opinion (more than its sequel even). I treat BG as a game of discovery, not everything is given to you, you can find it on your own (but you don't have to, is your *choice*). There's a lot of world building presented by small bits and pieces. Some small dialogues with townsfolk, rumors in the inn, books here and there, even item descriptions.

Even though Baldur's Gate has some kind of legendary status, it doesn't mean it's either perfect nor every fan or cRPGs will enjoy it. It's more about the fact that it began the rise of the genre at that time. Even at the time of its release, some people called it way weaker cRPG than Fallout.
Post edited February 14, 2017 by Tuthrick