Baldur’s Gate Retrospective | A History of Isometric CRPGs (Episode 3)

Baldur’s Gate was Bioware’s first-ever
RPG despite Bioware’s lack of experience
with the genre baldur’s gate now as many of the RPG basics that threatened to be
lost to history as RPGs and action games blend into one incoherent mess of
unnecessary skill trees and loot grinds most notably board escape manages to
tell a clear and complete story within the game without relying on a wealth of
law for things to make sense if you want additional information on the founding
of borders gay or the land of arms or the south then it is there for you to
dig into as part of the Forgotten Realms universe however you don’t need it
Baldur’s Gate there’s an excellent job following the doctrine of I like to call
the separation of story and law it’s a crucial foundation of good storytelling
borders gate almost manages another rare feat and that’s keeping the story more
grounded than typical safe the world narratives I say almost because right
from the start it’s made clear that your character is special in a way clearly
linked to the identity of your birth father from the first minutes Baldur’s
Gate story looks like a chosen one story and sure enough by the end the stakes
are huge however the majority of the 50 plus hours it took me to complete
borders gate was spent doing low level adventuring the toughest enemies you
face are powerful mages who are often capable wrecking your entire party with
a few spells despite borders gate being a licensed
Dungeons & Dragons game there are no fights with dragons
many modern RPGs have narrative inconsistency because your character is
simultaneously forced to go online this fetch quest to kill 10 goats and also
one of the most powerful people in the world tasked with stopping an impending
threat borders gate doesn’t have that problem you never become an all-powerful
god and the stories focus is on a political problem plaguing the sword
coast and threatening to start a war the southern nation of arm as you can
probably tell I enjoyed most of borders gate it isn’t consistently strong line
to you the immersive first that drew me in so much like wondered why people
always bang on about baldur’s gate 2 when the original is so good by the end
that made a little more sense the second act is slightly dull one new conclusion
rushes you through story points so quickly or make your head spin I’m aware
that the sequel is generally considered to be the far superior game however that
doesn’t mean you should skip the original in an ideal world we would all
be able to devote the 50 hours to games historically important as baldur’s gate
however that isn’t realistic and the point of this series is to narrow down
the list lately and help you decide which ones
you want to devote your time to if you want to avoid spoilers any short and
simple answer is yes I do recommend you play borders gay even if you’re
unfamiliar with DND in particular i recommend the enhanced edition that i’m
playing in this video it contains special modes and tutorials
for beginners that I’ll talk about later which helps you get up to speed with the
rules or ignore them if you just want the story
spoilers will be fairly light until I start directly discussing the story so
feel free to keep watching until the time marked on screen now Aldersgate
isn’t Bioware’s first game that honor belongs to shattered steel however it is
BIOS first RPG and first mainstream success
Bioware was incorporated in 1995 it was the brainchild of two doctors Ray Muzyka
and Greg Zeschuk with over the time by where was officially incorporated they
had brought on Trent and Brent Auster who both left soon after Marseilles s
check-in Augustine yep another doctor note that I didn’t describe music and
Zeschuk his former doctors both continued practicing for a few years
after forming Bioware but eventually had to pack it in when the realities of game
development took hold shuttered still may not have been a huge hit but it did
well enough that his publisher interplay entertainment gave Bioware the resources
to begin development on the game initially called battleground infinity
battleground infinity was going to be an MMO of sorts which back in the mid 90s
would have been well ahead of its time during development it became clear that
battleground infinity would be a great fit for the Dungeons & Dragons license
the interplay just acquired so the name was changed to Baldur’s Gate a city in
the world of the Forgotten Realms where Dungeons and Dragons takes place the ad
in the second edition rule set was adopted for combat and it transitioned
over to being a single-player game with bored escape Bioware broke new ground in
a couple of ways first Baldur’s Gate was one of the first native Windows games
perhaps more significantly borders gate was created and he now infamous infinity
engine my video series on life symmetric sea RPGs will contain a lot of infinity
engine games including boulders gate to Planescape torment and ice wind outs
modern C RPGs such as pillars of eternity have newer engines which are
clearly inspired by the Infinity engine in a GDC presentation music and Zeschuk
state that not one person on the Border’s gate team would ever made a
game before which makes this all the more remarkable
one hand we just kind of made it up because we didn’t really know what we’re
doing much at that time we nobody on the team had ever made a video game before
not one person of the 60 people that eventually had launched we had on the
team Baldur’s Gate was a huge hit selling
over a million copies in a year and over 2 million in total those might not be
massive numbers now but it was a huge deal back then especially when you
consider the relatively depressed market for Western RPGs back in the mid to late
90s fast forward to 2009 and Trent osto one of those founding members of Bioware
launched a new publisher called bean dog with the remit to remake the classic
infinity engine games Aldersgate enhanced edition which his diversion I
played was released in 2012 on Windows and iOS coming to steam and Android
shortly after the enhanced edition is much more than just an HD update not
that the transition to HD was easy it probably won’t surprise you to hear that
an important baldur’s gate data tape was lost in a garage flood given that this
seems to be the cause of 90% of the lost video game history if my anecdotal
evidence is anything to go by the beam dog team reverse-engineered boulders gay
as much as possible after the painstaking process of getting the
assets being dog realized that not all of them could be up Reds to 1080p one
example cited by beam dogs lead designer Philip Tiger in an interview with Nathan
Grayson of Kotaku was that of a cobblestone street
Daigo states that the street was quote just a close-up picture of coffee beans
and they just repeated over and over again in 98 you had a 15 inch CRT so
you’re not going to notice or care probably nowadays when you’ve got an HD
screen you’re like oh those are coffee beans we have to render out new streets
and then lay them into the original 2d are and then paint over it end quote
in addition to the HD update beam dog also added quality of life updates so I
can’t imagine playing boulders gate without my favorite is the quick item
pickup bar that lets you see all items close by and pick them up by clicking
them in the quick menu instead of separately going up to each dead enemy
and clicking on their loop only the phone they have the same short sword as
everyone else I spent a good 10 hours playing with this because they serve I
managed to forget about it between my second and third attempts at playing
boulders gate I have no idea how a close second is equipped save button tight to
the Q key which my finger hovered over the entire time you can also highlight
nearly all interactive items in the area by holding tab this cuts out some of the
pixel hunting from the original so it’s now easier to find hidden items in trees
which can make a big difference to the early game I’m sure this option has its
detractors but the fan it’s not like those hidden
objects will now jump out at you and they still tend to be tucked out the way
enough that it constitutes a reward for exploring the highlight option also
shows you the names of people nearby or gives them generic labels such as
commoner which makes it easier to know who you should bother talking to
strangely holding tab doesn’t always highlight doors including when this
feature would be most useful such as when their door is not visible on screen
stairs could also be easy to miss in certain environments and I spent a
ridiculously long time looking for the entrance to the sewers and so I noticed
what I think is supposed to be a tiny set of stairs leading down or they might
just be coffee beans one quest leads you to a potential companion denier who is
at the bottom of a pit the stairs looked like part of the scenery but you can
walk down them something it took me an embarrassing amount of time to realise
other minor changes include the ability to zoom in and out slowly with the mouse
wheel and improvements to inventory management such as better item stacking
which is apparently based on the system in Baldur’s Gate 2 speaking of inventory
management I have no idea how anyone plays this game without the bags were
holding loads of potions scrolls and gems keep an eye out for these bulldoze
game would be a nightmare without them being an enhanced edition you’d expect
many of the originals bugs to be cleaned out and most of them probably are but
there are still plenty left in Boulder’s gatecrashed roughly once every four
hours which is far too often for a game that at its core is 20 years old at this
point even the enhanced edition has been out
for more than five years after writing the first draft of this script beam blog
put out huge new paps which according to the patch notice at least has cleared up
some minor complaints I had a few of which were in my initial script so I
can’t guarantee that all the bugs have been removed so be sure to save
regularly the patch is also supposed to fix an annoying issue with the music
that pops up during fights it has a tendency to continue long after the
fight is finished including over the voice acting for NPCs pathfinding is still terrible at times
one or two of my companions often got lost or were just refused to move with
the others even though I’d used the select all command the team would try to
head down dead ends at times although they would often realize their mistake
and correct themselves part fighting becomes most hideous in the dungeons
with narrow paths if you’re not incredibly careful in how you select the
destination the game I think you’re trying to place five characters next to
each other one just the other side of the wall which given the maze-like
nature of these sections means that the character will often end up taking a
completely different route strangely pathfinding can even be an issue on the
overworld map about halfway through the game you need to travel from cloak wood
line to the city of Baldur’s Gate you’re forced to travel on a roundabout fashion
which makes sense because you have to take a specific route to get there doing
this puts you in loads of tough random encounters which isn’t ideal however if
you choose to first go to a location near borders gate and then weave north
from there you can do so of barely any delay companion AI has issues in combat
as well I had my companions set up to attack on sight and they did however
range combatants would often stand around after defeating the nearest enemy
instead of pushing on and taking out the rest of the pack the enhanced edition
isn’t a perfect version of Aldersgate the little quality of life tweaks make a
big difference the experience for newcomers but probably aren’t enough by
themselves to pull in those who are already well-versed with the original
well that’s where the extra content comes in there’s a new mode called the
black pits which puts you in an increasingly challenging set of battle
arenas I barely touched this mode it’s not what I play these games were I’m
sure there’s an audience for it and then there’s beam dogs most controversial
addition to Baldur’s Gate the new characters and story content within the
main game itself the new characters are nearer dawn and restart one feature of
the good neutral and evil alignments the only one I spent any major time with it
was Nero you meet her early on when she is attacked by some red wizards this
used to be an unavoidable counter however that new patch I mentioned
apparently makes this optional Nero is a wild mage who is seen as a danger due to
her unpredictable magic as a companion she’ll occasionally talk about her past
and ask you to help her with a lengthy side quests with the goal of eventually
controlling her power in theory the new content is a perfect fit for modern-day
Bioware’s MO namely characters with their own side stories who also happen
to be Romance Abul the thing is these additions aren’t in keeping with the
Bioware that made baldur’s gate the original baldur’s gate companions had an
initial task they’d like help with however is often generic and
something you’d likely do anyway there’s also little in the way of character
development for companions for example you meet your hero and co-lead early on
that the friendly arm in they are both a you get to get to Nash care and remind
you about it if you delay Nashik how just so happens to be where you need to
go anyway so it isn’t much of a side quest other characters ask you to clear
up van de Kamp’s and the like this wouldn’t be a problem if the
companions felt connected to the side quest in question but you rarely get any
development at all once the quest is complete these quests often feel like
glorified tutorials giving a guiding hand to new players who might be a
little lost with all the wilderness to explore and the lack of Direction beam
dogs new characters have much deeper side quests and everything is fully
voice-acted whereas the original conversations between companions usually
won’t in other words the new stuff really stands out quality wise I don’t
believe the new stuff is any worse than the original content although I don’t
believe improves things much either the new writing feels a little more modern
and perhaps lack some of the tongue-in-cheek charm of the original
but some of the feature I’ve seen for the new content is a touch extreme I
mean come on the most memorable line from the
original is a man yelling orders to a space hamster
we need to line up a bit from a game preservation standpoint it
does feel a touch odd that we can’t play the baldur’s gate story without the new
content this is all highly subjective of course but there seems to be a big
difference between patching bugs adding a separate game mode and making quality
of life changes compared to adding a new story content which tries to blend in
seamlessly with the original I played the entire game with the companion who
didn’t even exist in the original and for better or worse that would always be
part of my impression of the game however all that said maybe we wouldn’t
have got the enhanced edition at all if it weren’t for the new content it’s a
selling point for those who have the original which already has mods to
remove many of the bugs and add resolution options I also understand the
desire of developers to stretch their creative muscles a bit something we’ll
see more of a siege of Dragon spear it’s an open secret that beam dog wants to
make borders gate 3 and this new content is likely a test run to prove their the
writing chops to do it justice last but not least is the major Edition that
makes baldur’s gate enhanced edition an easy game to recommend regardless of
your experience with D&D there’s a story mode where you cannot die in combat I
mean I talk more about it later but if you don’t like the sound of the dice
rolls behind combat baldur’s gate then just know that you don’t have to worry
about it all that much story mode is not how I’d recommend you play the game but
I can’t blame people for wanting to skip all the complications especially when
even the creator character screen is daunting to newcomers and by newcomers I
am including myself because I stared at these screens for a long time and still
didn’t entirely understand the consequences of my choices I blamed my
first abandoned 30 hour attempt and the choices I made on these initial screens
everything starts off innocently enough with a gender selection that makes
absolutely no difference to your character then you choose your race
which takes a little more thought you can be human elf half elf dwarf halfling
gnome and half hawk human is the least interesting with no special attributes
as such it’s basically the default race elfin half elf or similar with both
having advantages with bows and certain swords resistance to some magic and
abilities typically suited to rogues or thieves dwarfs halflings and gnomes have
beneficial saving throws more thief skills and adjustments both positive and
negative to key attributes like wisdom and dexterity
orcs have bonuses to strength and constitution with corresponding
decreases to intelligence I strongly suspect most people will go with human
but if you want to play as a rogue then you might want to be more adventurous
next up you pick your class and this is where things get really
confusing apologies for the lengthy lists but I want to give you some idea
of just how many choices there are if you play as a human the race which has
the most class option so you can play as a fighter Ranger piloting cleric mage
thief bard sorcerer monk or shaman other races are limited in what they can
choose once again there’s a default class of sorts which is a fighter other
classes are restricted in what they can wear and wield in combat with certain
weapon proficiencies attempting to keep things balanced through my various
playthroughs I trade out mage thief and fighter which were the classes I had a
decent grasp of through other RPGs the footage you will see in this video is of
a fighter I’m sure the other classes have their admirers but they look more
appropriate for veterans of the series who know what they’re doing speaking of
needing to know what you’re doing after choosing your class you need to
choose your class kit which is perhaps akin to a subclass I spent ages on the
screen and eventually ended up choosing a subclass of Fighter 4 Mike fighter I
know it’s boring but my character is a human fighter fighter don’t worry I’m
not going to list every possibility because that would be tedious even by
the standards of my videos I’ll just give some examples coming from the human
choices you can be a human paladin undead hunter a human major illusionist
a human cleric priest of Tallis or a human monk of the Sun soul faction your
choice of class kit helps you make some incredibly specific choices for your
character which again is great if you have a clue what to expect going forward
a human fighter hoop XD berserker classkick st once a day ability to rage
but can’t specialize in ranged weapons and must be of a non lawful alignment
choosing the Kensei class kit gets you a bonus to your armor class but prohibits
you from wearing armor you might like the sound of that compromise or you
might not know what the hell armor class is at this point Aldersgate like many
games from the 90s maybe not entirely unreasonable assumption that you would
have read the manual before playing you then choose your alignment of lawful
good chaotic evil or somewhere in between this affects your starting
reputation in towns all companions you meet have an alignment of their own if
you act evil around someone who is good they will likely kick up a fuss and may
eventually leave the party next is the ability screen which gives you a random
amount of points to allocate based on dice rolls
I suppose in theory you should go with the first number you’re given but
there’s a handy little re-roll button right there so you could just try two
three four hundred times and so you get a nice high number around 90 I would
prefer a system with a set number points to allocate although the ability
to effectively choose the total number adds in another way for you to control
the experience by making life slightly easier or harder than yourself each
attribute is capped 18 although strength goes up to 18 point 9 9 most of this is
self explanatory strength is melee attacks and carrying capacity dexterity
is ranged attacks and a thieving intelligences for spells wisdom is for
clerics and charisma plays a role in dialogue checks finally you pick your
skills again new players are flailing around in the dark here because you
don’t know what good gear you’re gonna find all when my approach on an earlier
playthrough is to focus points on swords and the sword and shield style during
that playthrough I found a great early armor set and some excellent morning
stars which made the sword and shield largely unnecessary when starting
another new character I took that knowledge and focused on the morning
stars and two weapons attack style this decision needn’t be make-or-break for
your playthrough so long as you don’t do something stupid probably not a good
idea to specialize in two-handed swords in combination with these sword and
shield style for example the only challenging part is knowing what good
gear you are likely to find and what gear your companions will end up having
that’s another advantage of picking the morning stars because my companions of
choice don’t use them and therefore I don’t have to share the good loop
likewise my protagonist wouldn’t need a shield which freed them up for my
companions who would only hurt themselves if given a morning star
combat is governed by the second addition rule set of D&D I’m going to
take a shot at explaining how it works so those of you who are as clueless as
me about this stuff can at least vaguely understand what you’re looking at in the
video it’s not all that complicated if you take a bit of time to study the
rules however a couple of bizarre terms and rules are front-loaded which likely
has people flipping on story row before they’ve even left the introductory
village let’s start with fatto which perhaps more accurately would be
pronounced vac zero it stands for to hit armor class zero your characters that go
is the number they need to roll on a 20-sided die to hit an enemy with an
armor class of zero that begs the question what is armor class just think
of that as armor quality the odd bit is that you want both Darko and armor class
to be as low as possible it makes sense when you think of how the two numbers
interact but it’s counter intuitive or something like armor to be stronger when
the number is lower a quick example might help let’s say you have a thak of
sixteen and an armor class of three you’re fighting an enemy with AK of 18
and an armor class of seven you need a roll of at least nine on a
d20 together hit your opponent needs a roll of at least 15 regardless of taco
and armor class a roll of 20 will always be a hit
there’s nothing overly complicated about this but the interface and in-game
explanations do more to confused and help as we’ve seen certain types of
carrot to get bonuses to that go in armor class likewise certain weapons
armor and accessories will adjust that go in armor class either for all attacks
or certain types such as piercing attacks given that a lower fat Cohen
armor class is always better you’d expect items that improve these stats to
be a negative number such as – 1 – that Oh however it’s actually the other way
around if you want to improve your fat go buy one to move it from 16 to 15 then
you need to equip an item that gives you a +1 tooth a KO or an item that has a
higher positive attribute than your existing piece for example you could
replace a +3 piece with a +4 piece that Co is off-putting to newcomers but it
isn’t complicated once you understand how the game is presenting the numbers
it gets easier from here on out well kind of the DD rules can get insanely
complicated if you want to get into the nitty-gritty of each number every dice
roll and the interactions between spells buff status effects and the like button
understanding of that ko is enough for you to complete Baldur’s Gate on Normal
difficulty after rolling the d20 in determining whether or not an attack has
landed you then calculate the damage which is depending on the weapon with
varying types of dice used to calculate an attack number while the you ideas
about job presenting the information for newcomers I have to give by aware and
being dog credit for including plenty of tutorials and guidance in the early
stages in the original game you start off in candle heat with incredibly basic
quest such as finding items for hungover guards and helping a sick cow NPC
strongly encourage you to complete training scenarios such as fighting
while dealing with a surprise attack from an archer or handling multiple
enemies there also scholars dotted around candlekeep to explain the rules
and user interface beam dog took it one step further introduced a new tutorial
section before you even start a campaign teaching you to use different classes of
character so you’re not completely confused when you pick up a thief and
don’t know what to do and face with the trap I’m not convinced it’s actually
possible to gradually ease players into the DMD we’re all set in one game
without completely ruining the pacing but I appreciate both developers
attempts at trying with melee fighters you can pretty much set and forget
though head into battle and deal as much damage as possible while soaking up
whatever the enemy has to throw the real creativity comes in with
spellcasters like to hear and nearer all this Kate has an insane amount of spells
to choose from the really good stuff is saved until you’ve leveled up a bit but
even at level one you can cast spell such as sleep and magic missle this
isn’t as exciting as summoning monsters to fight alongside you or turning of
skin to stone but mages are certainly useful from the get-go majors also take
the most skill and patience to use efficiently you typically have to keep
them out of danger which is easier said than done when the AI is seemingly
tasked for treating them like suicide of red shirts even if they do stay at the
back of the pack you have to worry about them casting area of effect spells such
as fire toxic or webs which can affect your team as well as the enemies in any
half way challenging encounters you take personal control of your mages to stop
them doing more harm than good when used correctly mages can make the toughest
encounters into a snoozefest literally there’s nothing quite like having your
mage cast to sleep spell and beating people to death while they sleep toxic
clouds still serious damage without having to get closer to the enemy but
keeping your own team out of the clouds is more challenging than it should be
it’s also 9 impossible to know the exact area of effect for these spells the
description gives you information like the AoE being 40 feet but that isn’t
particularly helpful I struggle to gauge distance in real life when a foot in
this context is about three and a half pixels it becomes even more challenging
it might look a little cheap but a marker showing the area your spell will
hit would have been incredibly helpful given unlimited attempts mages could
keep spamming spells until one of them worked and make your party practically
unbeatable RPGs usually limit spell usage to a mana system that needs to be
replenished either by waiting for cooldown timers to expire or through the
use of consumables baldur’s gate takes a different approach by giving mages a
carrying capacity of sorts spells have a level and each major cleric can only
carry a certain amount of spells at each level if you want to cast the spell more
than once then you’ll need to have that spell take up multiple slots once you’ve
used up a spell you won’t get it back until you rest
likewise you can’t change up your deck of spells until you sleep I believe this
is part of the D&D rule set so this isn’t intended as a criticism of Bioware
just an observation that perhaps this system doesn’t work so well out of the
typical DD setting I’d have preferred a typical ap or mana system planning out
your spell’s before a battle is fine if you know what type of battle is coming
up if you know you’re gonna be fighting mages you like to cast fear spells then
stock up your own taury with resist fear spells the
problem comes when you don’t know what you’re going to face which is most of
the time you can try to stock a wide variety of spells but you can’t possibly
prepare for every eventuality this meant I was often fighting without the spells
that could have made light work of encounters the alternative of course is
to quick save before you encounter and load up again once you know what spells
you’ll need take a quick nap and you’ll be good to go this is a feasible burn a
little satisfying way of playing to be clear you don’t need to do that often
for most encounters a decent mix of spells will get you through just fine
over there were a lot of major encounters that I simply couldn’t get
through without leaving and coming back again with a refresh spell inventory
this is perfectly within the rules it just doesn’t feel within the spirit and
becomes a slippery slope once you get into the habit of planning for major
encounters it becomes easy to expect perfection for each fight if you win but
get a beating why not just reload a saver make better use of your knowledge
of the enemy’s skill sets you also need to keep identified spells handy to use
on magical items you find if not you might find yourself equipping cursed
items that you can’t remove you can identify items at temples but there
aren’t that many of them and you usually want to know what sweet gear you found
straight away there’s a fine line between learning and choosing and I’m
not entirely sure I always stay on the right side of it occasional decide to
stick with what I had and try to push through in the spirit of role-playing
and then I would come across an enemy that felt like a puzzle encounter
specifically designed to make you leave and come back later with the correct
spells the best example of this is the basilisks if you fight these guys with a
full party at least one member of that party will get turned to stone probably
too if that person happens to be your protagonist then it’s game over
otherwise you can always come back later with a stone to flesh scroll or a spell
to bring the companion back to life that’s clearly a hassle and besides
there’s likely to be more than one basileus to fight anyway the solution is
to have a mage cast protection from petrification to prevent your team being
petrified assuming that the mage has that in their spell inventory without
their main attack the vast risks are pretty useless so you only need to send
in one person to deal damage once you’re properly protected
I would also lure enemies away from the group this is obviously taking advantage
of limited enemy visibility but they could have been placed in a tighter
group if by way didn’t want us to do that I see it is similar to distracting
enemies by throwing a bottle and watching as one with a death wish goes
to investigate berghain is a slippery slope
you get situations where you climb a set of stairs and walk into a room full of
enemies before quickly nipping back down the stairs with only one enemy choosing
to follow and then repeat and repeat and repeat until they’re all dead this is
cheap I’ll admit that much however when there is a wizard on the other side who
can confuse your entire squad within a few seconds of the fight starting it
often feels like the only way to win speaking of those confusion spells I
really wish they would wear off immediately once you’ve won the
encounter likewise for certain traps like webbing it’s tedious to have
everyone standing there for a minute with nothing to do why wait for a timer
to take down while I clearly had a lot of problems understanding all the
systems at play I eventually managed to complete baldur’s gate on normal mode
with the exception of two moments in the expansion that I’ll talk about later if
you’re also a newcomer then I’d recommend you start with normal as well
but for the most part you’ll also be fine with the corrals option as a quick
rundown borders gate has the following difficulty options easy normal core
rules hard insane and legacy of Baal anyone capable playing on hard insane or
legacy of ball isn’t gonna need advice from an amateur like me so I’ll focus on
easy normal and core rules as mentioned earlier there’s also a story mode the
major difference between the difficulties are in damage dealt by
enemies core rules is the base difficulty would damage at 100% normal
has 75% and easy has 50% easy also has fewer enemies and a luck bonus the
difference in damage received doesn’t make as big a difference as you’d expect
especially on the more challenging fights when even at 50% a major enemy
will be able to tear your mage to shreds in no time likewise if you get frozen in
place a 50% damage reduction just means your inevitable death takes twice as
long the luck bonus on easy certainly helps although having fewer enemies just
means less opportunity to practice and presumably less xp easy isn’t a mode you
can coast through without understanding what you’re doing while experimenting
early in my time with Aldersgate I made some truly terrible parties that got
annihilated by basic enemies uneasy largely because I had no idea how to use
them even an easy you’ll need a basic understanding of Flacco and armor class
to make it through the reason I recommend starting on normal as opposed
to easy is that on normal you’ll find out a lot quicker whether you actually
know what you’re doing with that luck bonus and fewer enemies it’s perfectly
possible to push through a couple of early skill checks and be lowered into a
full sense of security it’s better to find out you don’t
understand combat early on rather than 10 hours into a run once you’ve already
made a complete mess of a party composition you think the same logic
would apply to to make a bump up to corals worth while
I experimented with core rules a fair bit and it’s not all that steeper jump
you will lose fights more often but in my experience any fight I could get
through a normal mode I could also get through encore mode it might just take a
few more tries or extra potions there’s a couple of other reasons why I
recommend normal / core mode for newcomers
first of all companions can die permanently in core mode in the true
spirit of role-playing you should probably let this happen and roll with
it but this was way too common and occurrence for me in normal mode
companions can be revived on the cheek by visiting a temple it’s still a pain
because you have to take the characters inventory and split it between your
party and then give it all back when they revived due to the hassle I’d
usually restart fights until I got through without any losses I pretend to
myself that this is just to save the time of visiting a temple and isn’t
choosing at all so ultimately regardless of whether you’re playing on core rules
or normal you will probably restart fights if companions die there are two
other reasons for sticking to normal that are more important or at least
justified temporary switches to normal the first is that when you level up on
two core rules the amount of HP you gain is determined by a dice roll under
normal you get the maximum amount available this can make a huge
difference once you get to level seven plus finally under core rules when mages
and clerics write Scrolls to their inventory there is a chance the writing
will fail and the spare will be lost most spells can be found in multiple
locations but getting a rare spell and then losing it before you even get a
chance to use it is not fun that’s why I recommend normal / core rules and easy
as discuss there is also a story mode where your characters cannot die in
combat you’ll make it through every battle without any trouble although if
you don’t equip your characters properly then it could take a while as you watch
swing after swing missing or barely doing any damage at the risk of stating
the obvious story mode is there if you just want to experience the story and
don’t care about the combat or don’t care enough to learn if I weren’t doing
an entire video series on C RPGs and I certainly would have been tempted as it
was I wanted to learn as much as possible to improve my experience with
future games I’m certainly not going to judge anyone who opts to avoid the
nitty-gritty of combat I didn’t find it particularly exciting myself the sheer
variety of spells for mages and clerics made them interesting and varied but
three members of my party were largely automated I could have micromanaged a
little more than melee builds but never felt the need or desire to do so on the
harder difficulty settings you need to pause regularly and issue commands to
maximize each companions maybe I’ll take that approach as I grow
more comfortable with these C RPGs and the D and D rule set but for my first
time this was enough and let’s face it I mainly play RPGs for the story and
baldur’s gate certainly has a lot going for it in that regard this is when you
should stop watching if you want to avoid story spoilers you start the
campaigning candlekeep your protagonist has a fixed backstory
which I’m not usually a huge fan of however he or she is still largely a
blank slate when it comes to personality traits and potential skillsets so it’s
workable as explained by the deep and foreboding narrator who pops up at the
beginning of each chapter you are a ward of Goran and have spent all your life in
the fortress of candlekeep candlekeep isn’t a fortress in the traditional
military sense instead it keeps itself isolated from the political intrigues of
the Forgotten Realms and works to preserve history in its centerpiece
library entry is only granted to those who pay with a book of historical
importance groin is your father figure and teacher he imparted decades of
wisdom and yet never told you your true heritage I wonder if that’ll be
important after acting suspiciously for a few weeks go Ryan suddenly tells you
to prepare to travel outside of candlekeep with no explanation as to why
you need to suddenly uproot your life it gives you some money to buy supplies but
you can add a bit more by helping out the locals with the usual assortment of
rat killing and fetch quests these quests are assigned with more than a
nudge in a wink towards the fourth wall yes you’re doing the same stuff you’ve
done 100 times before but it’s strangely endearing and I was in no rush to leave
when you do finally leave candlekeep weave grind the two of you are attacked
by a group we demand that go Ryan hand you over Ryan keeps them busy enough
that you’re able to escape but he is killed in the process if you return to
groans body you’ll find a note from a mysterious figure known as E who tells
guarana he must leave candle key with his ward immediately and head to the
friendly are men you might already be losing interest this probably sounds
like another chosen one story where you have to save the world while also
reuniting children with their lost pets and other random nonsense
there is certainly a disconnect here that I’ll discuss more later but it’s
worth bearing in mind the borders gates story is fairly low-key most of the time
this is best illustrated by the level cap no matter how many side quests you
do and bandits who kill you won’t get higher than level 10 and some character
classes can’t even get that high I finished the game at level 7 although
the expansion would have got me to level 8 if I’d done that first
either way leveling is rare and this isn’t an accident typically in RPGs your
level was a strong indicator for what level
you can and cannot be in combat however often doesn’t bear any relation to the
type of enemies you can face I’m sure you can all think of an RPG that
presents a huge beast for you to fight such as a dragon that is a relatively
low level so you can defeat it early on later in the game you go up against
small beasts or bandits with a ridiculously high level that technically
mean they’re many times tougher than the dragon you face 20 hours ago you face
the same enemies throughout the game where they have a higher level there’s
often no reason for these enemies being tougher to kill they just are some games
attempt to excuse this by giving them a new name which perhaps suggests a higher
level of armour or more venomous attack but as players we know the score we know
this is largely nonsense how can we take on a massive drag in 1 minute and then
the next we die to a spider barely big enough to raise an Australian eyebrow
all just get this this a bit but not too much enemy levels and your level means
something for starters you never fight a dragon in this Dungeons & Dragons game
the closest it gets is with some wyverns when you’re low level you’ll be able to
deal with dribbling is easy enough but wild dogs can pop an aggressive fight
later on those same dogs are a pushover as they should be the challenge builds
naturally large spiders are tough annoy insurmountable they don’t just get
bigger or change color as you level up instead they start using web traps that
hold you in place while they attack and poison you face spiders can teleport use
a nuisance but when you do land a hit they go down fairly easily human enemies
stick to similar rules the difference between a bandit that goes down with one
dice roll and one that puts up a fight is the quality of their weapons and
armor the same as with you and your companions this never becomes absurd you
won’t come up against the solitaire guard who is capable of wiping out your
high-level team just because he is considered an in-game guard to increase
the threat of standard human enemies you have the mages who can make a relatively
simple battle impossible by throwing out an early confusion or fear spell you can
have a party of 6 with strong fighters a powerful mage a cleric and a rogue
pinging arrows from afar but you never become all-powerful
your protagonists relative lack of power means you never feel out of place during
the smaller quests if anything is the bigger story art concerning your
parentage that feels like it belongs in another game you might be destined for
something bigger but you don’t know what or when and it doesn’t help much when
you’re facing a pack of angry orcs compare this to the likes of Dragon Age
Inquisition when every go killing quest you take on means delaying the closing
of rifts that threatens to bring about the end of the world
you start off needing to defend yourself threats found in the wild you then
uncover a conspiracy and it develops naturally from there or at least it does
for most of the game the third act gets a little chaotic the first act however
is incredible and one of the best I’ve played in a while when the protagonist
meets a new character you often introduce yourself as an adventurer and
you actually feel like one you spend hours simply exploring the wilderness
picking up side quests and welcoming and rejecting companions in the win a girl
you grew up with in candlekeep will be most players first companion although
you are free to go it alone if you like regardless of who travel with you’ll
find it impossible to miss discussion around an iron shortage in the region
band is that everywhere disrupting iron shipments and the iron that does make it
through tends to be of poor quality prone to falling apart and hardly
suitable for use in weapons and armor your own curiosity takes you south to
the town of Burgos which acts as a home of sorts for the entire adventure one
building is conveniently empty after you cut a bunch of spiders as part of a side
quest so I used it to store the loot that I wasn’t ready to sell continuing
south takes you to Nash cow and then the mines in your first proper dungeon
experience dungeons are a core part of not just D&D but many RPGs the Elder
Scrolls games are obvious examples and I’d argue that fallout also has dungeons
at least in spirit even if they take the form of building interiors instead
despite being a core part of RPGs at genre that love I’m not a huge fan of
dungeons I’m a story guy an RPG combat is usually something I put up with
instead of actively enjoy dungeons can contain decent stories and there’s an
excellent example of that in the boulders gay expansion however for the
most part they consist of narrow corridors and hordes of enemies the Nash
care mines offer up a bit of story if you talk to the miners but for the most
part is just to trek through narrow corridors running into dead ends and
defeating Cobalts the hardest part is keeping everyone together in corridors
that are barely wide enough to contain your party once you reach the bottom you
meet Miller hey and uncover a little more of the conspiracy well hey can
order the cobalt around because he’s convinced them he’s their God he
instructed the kobolds to poison the iron dug out of the mines this infected
the iron like a plague in is the reason it’s all of such poor quality you have
to kill male and upon reading his personal letters you find out he is
working under the orders of tasak you know a little more about the cause of
the iron shortage and have a new lead but there’s still no urgent need to go
and save the world I love how the first act lets you uncover the iron conspiracy
by yourself the prologue felt a little too
railroaded with Goran making you leave in this prompt death
but after that you were free to do as you will have no major objective to
distract you an iron shortage might not sound all that exciting however there’s
enough of a conspiracy vibe about it to draw you in it’s the perfect balance of
intriguing story and freeform adventuring for a fantasy RPG if all of
Aldersgate were as strong as the beginning until the completion of the
NASCAR mines I’d be dumping more praise on it and critics due for mediocre
Nintendo games the second act though is too long and has you repeating an almost
identical scenario to the Nash Carmine’s you need to hunt down taser kind of told
about a bandit camp nearby I couldn’t get close to the Bandit camp and so I
had leveled up a bit so I spent a fair few hours exploring the sword coast and
completing the vast majority of the available side quests the stakes are
higher now that we know about the iron plague in the adventuring that had been
so captivating before now started to feel like an unwanted distraction once
you clear out the bandit camp hazard gives you a lead to a previously
inaccessible area called cloak would eventually you make it to cloak with
mine and pretty much repeat the process you did in the Nash count mines cloak
with mine is under the control of the iron throne which as the name suggests
is an organization that deals in iron the iron throne is using slaves to work
the cloak would mine which most people consider to be inactive to create their
own supply of weapons and armor which are now a short supply the cloak would
mind at least contains the opportunity to make a big decision that would decide
the fate of the miners why not exactly subtle it was a welcome
reminder of the choices that the early Fallout games presented on a regular
basis one of the miners tells you about a plug that could be used to flood the
mine on the way out when further down you can tell another
miner about the plants you flood the mine and instruct him to get the miners
out if you’re playing a good party then of course you should do this however if
you like you can lie to the first miner and tell him that all the miners have
reached safety and game to pull the plug early killing everyone down there it’s
nice to have options as with the Nash combines you get to the end and find the
person in charge this time a mage called the veil on who points you in a
direction of riot I’ll the cloak would mine by itself is no worse than the
Nazca lines in fact it’s probably better but having two minds as consecutive
story beeps means that the second act suffers through repetition at least that
next lead takes you to the city of Baldur’s Gate it’s been there at the top
of your map this entire time and only after twenty-five plus hours can you
finally go there while there was a little too much meandering for my liking
leading up to this every minute spent outside the city contributes to the all
you feel if you walk over the long bridge for the first
time that’s nothing compared to the epic sense of scale from the city itself
Aldersgate is massive every town you visited so far is fit comfortably into
one zone of the map baldur’s gate has nine and that’s not including the
underground sewers baldur’s gate is a city of law and order so you can largely
take a break from fighting for a while and just explore perhaps in an attempt
to spice things up slightly you’re given two side quests that need to be
completed within 10 days the time limits might be to stop you constantly leaving
combat and resting in one of the many ends one quest as you work with the
Thieves Guild to steal bands for halloran sky ships I managed to make a
mess of this more than once and had to load a few saves while force is always
an option killing the targets will be a hit on your reputation so you’re better
off sneaking in you need to pretend to be a cleaner and select the correct
dialogue options and have your rogue character using visibility potions to
sneak around upstairs and steal the required items in another quest you’re
poisoned while you sleep and will die in 10 days unless you get the antidote this
one is completely out of place given all the adventures I’ve been on with my
companions I’d like to think someone couldn’t just sneak into our room as we
slept to poison me and why use a 10-day poisonous are just killing me outright I
strongly suspect with absolutely no proof whatsoever that this quest was
just to give players something to do while exploring the city and before the
crazy stuff goes down it’s been a while since the iron shorty’s mystery has gone
anywhere but it’s wrapped up quickly in the final act gone is the sense of
exploration and adventuring replaced by huge story developments that come one
after the other with no time to digest what the hell is going on the flaming
fists are the peacekeeping force with bold escape one of its members Skaar
introduces you to do Kelton leader of the flaming fists and one of the four
Dukes of baldur’s gate Elton asked you to investigate the Iron Throne believing
it to be responsible for the iron crisis which you’ve probably already figured
out by this point Ellison gives you a valuable book which can be used to
barter your way back inside candle keep returning to the starting area is
another powerful moment in the story it’s likely taking you around 40 hours
to reach this point and candle he was locked off the entire time in the real
world it’s likely been weeks since you’ve been back here it’s tempting to
wander the village and catch up with old friends but it’s hard to resist the lure
of the central library that was previously off-limits inside the library
you meet Coe Varys who suggests you should attack the Iron Throne leaders
one of whom is royalty who was the boss of duvet on back at the cloak wood mine
given that we already know real tar on the Iron Throne erupts no good it’s
tempting to take varys upon his word however other
members of the library think he’s been acting weird lately I found real town as
I’m throwing buddies and promptly killed them before being arrested two sigma
after even if you don’t kill them you end up getting arrested so it’s probably
mandatory especially considering the information dump you get from Terrell
just before you’re teleported to the catacombs
kuvira’s is actually a man called sorrow of Aquos when spelled backwards is
Cabarrus Sarawak has been manipulating everyone crippling the iron supply and
setting bandits loose with the end goal of starting a war between the Sword
Coast and the nation of arms of the south he’s spreading rumors in both
nations that the other party is preparing for war and is responsible for
the iron crisis just waiting for the right time to light the match oh and
Sarawak is the one who killed quraían and he’s been after you this entire time
instead of killing you outright he’s now decided to frame you as an agent of
armed who murdered the Iron Throne leaders as part of a mission to spread
chaos throughout the sword coast to be fair in my case he was right about the
murders once in the catacombs you come across familiar faces including Orion
who tries to convince you that he survived the attack after all he didn’t
it’s a double ganger I’d already seen doppelgangers during a sidequest back in
boulders game they’d taken over the merchants league in order to make
terrible decisions to help Sarawak what I don’t know is how long these
doppelgangers were in place I did wonder whether my interactions during the
prologue might have been with doppelgangers however I don’t believe
this is the case it would appear that the doppelgangers down in the catacombs
plan to take over from those above ground but haven’t done so yet you
eventually escape and head back to boulders gate to gather evidence in a
desperate attempt to prove that Sarawak is behind the iron crisis before war
breaks out being an escaped convicts you can’t exactly wander the streets freely
this time with hindsight this is one of the more interesting parts of the game
have the experience of actually playing it was painful
if the flaming fist mercenary spot you they will arrest you you can fight them
but you take a hit of ten to your reputation which is huge plus they are
innocent after all if they arrest you then you’ll quickly found guilty in a
trial and placed in the underground prisons you can escape these easily by
answering a riddle from another prisoner who just casually happens how the key on
him for this point on everyone will be after you and unless you’re still
killing guards you’re gonna have a rough time well I didn’t realize initially is
it you can avoid being arrested I assume this content is mandatory but
it’s not and life will be a lot simpler if you never get caught so how do you
manage that the secret is to use the sewers to get where you need to go
without being seen for me this meant constantly entering
and exiting sewers and so I lucked out and came above-ground where I needed to
be all in all it took me hours to gather the evidence I needed and get some
invitations from the palace where I had to convince the Grand Dukes of Sara Vox
guilt I’m skipping over a lot of stuff here you meet a former lover of sarawak
who wants you to spare his life and the shadow teaser farm who helped you prove
that arm is not behind all this the finale really is packed full of huge
developments and we’re a long way from done you stroll in on Sarawak just as
he’s about to be crowned the grand cheek he eventually notices you for such an
imposing character he’s not too observant and might want to cut down on
all the headgear here you give you a little speech and prove that Sara Brock
is guilty he quickly drops all pretenses and half of the nobles in the room turn
out to be doppelgangers sorry Rock escapes and heads to a hidden layer
under Bulls gate it seems he doesn’t care much about
being ground Juke anymore and is confident that enough damage has been
done for his plan to go forward Sarawak is the son of Barre the former lord of
murder a seer known as a loon day foresaw balls death which prompted balls
who father some offspring known as balls born in the hope that one of them would
resurrect him you hear these prophecies at the start of the game in candlekeep
but it wasn’t so I was going back through my video footage that I
understood what they were going on about instead of resurrecting Barr Sarawak
wants to become the new lord of murder which is why he’s trying to orchestrate
a wall between the sword coast and arm the big twist is that you are also under
the BAL spawn sorry buck wanted you out of the way in case you proved to be a
complication or a rival this is why you’ve spent all your life in candlekeep
why go Ryan took you into his care and why you had to leave candlekeep in a
hurry whereas you were taking him by the trustworthy groin sarawak was taking him
by real tardy member of the Iron Throne you killed back in candlekeep half
brother against half brother is a somewhat boring and predictable
revelation there’s an attempt to make it dramatic with sarawak fleeing to the
underground city which is separated from the Thieves Guild by a tedious maze
there are a few traps and enemies but most of it is slowly walking down
corridors this is either to build tension before the big fight or more
likely to stop you leaving underground city to go back and rest between fights
I tried this once and let me tell you it takes a long time to get out of here
perhaps Bioware fellow Dungeons & Dragons game really needed to finish off
in a dungeon of sorts at least the final battle was fitting so a rock doesn’t
turn into some all-powerful God before your eyes although his armor is a bit
over the top the fight with Sarawak is an incredibly difficult fight with a
couple of powerful mages there to make life difficult but it’s consistent with
what we’ve been doing for the previous 40 or so hours I have to confess this is
another fight I slightly forced my way through if you’re very careful you can
fight one of the mages without Sarovar all the other mages getting involved and
then lure Sarawak off by himself the game ends when Sarawak dies regardless
of whether you’ve beaten his companions there’s only one minor defense of my
actions and that’s the absence of a thief to deactivate all the traps here
I’ll talk about that bit more later after the feasting Sarawak you see a
statue of him collapse and the camera pans around to reveal other statues
which presumably represent other balls ball bar was a busy guy there’s an
incredibly jarring moment after the credits where you’re thrown straight
into siege of dragon spear the new game from beam dog that plugs the gap between
Baldur’s Gate 1 & 2 I saw I was playing an epilogue for a few seconds Sarah
walks dead everything’s a mess we should have gotten out of the city days ago I’m
gonna do a separate video on siege of Dragon spear later but after playing
baldur’s gate for over 50 hours not to mention time spent another playthroughs
the last thing I wanted to do was jump into a new game looking back on the
story I still find it strange how quickly things wrapped up from casual
adventuring to taking on a ball spawn the two conflicting tones are a problem
throughout the game at the start you tell everyone you meet that you’re just
out there looking for adventures and seem relatively unconcerned with the
frequent assassins who are hired specifically to kill you there are also
dark dreams of the gloomy narrator that pop up randomly and often contrasts
sharply with the calm campfire around which you’re sleeping these moments are
here to remind you that go Ryan died for a reason to protect you however your
protagonist just shrugs it all off he never seems overly concerned by the
assassination attempts all the information you have about his heritage
olga ryan dying to save him i can’t help but wonder whether the grander parts of
the story could have been omitted from the first half entirely
perhaps go ryan could send you out by yourself and you don’t find out he’s
dead until later I’m not sure how the story benefits from knowing that you are
clearly destined for something bigger right from the outset if you can’t
pursue those leads when talking to NPCs this would also make the random meetings
with elminster more cryptic it’s fairly obvious your meetings are not as random
as they appear and that here’s the one who sent that letter to go Ryan
we as the play have too much knowledge of the wider plot while
seems oblivious the removal of the big mystery could combined with a slower
ramp up towards the reveals at the end and the shift to a more serious tone
that doesn’t feel quite so jarring the protagonist shouldn’t be talking merrily
about going on adventures when he’s trying to stop a war from breaking out
the major thing lacking from borders gates story at least for my taste is the
ability to make choices that affect the world around you
I mentioned the choice in cloak would mind where you can save the miners leave
them behind or even deliberately drown them if you like unfortunately there
aren’t many moments like this your alignment of lawful good through to
chaotic evil affects which party members you can have with you and your
reputation in towns it will also dictate how you interact with NPCs the problem
is this doesn’t affect the world there’s no fallout style slideshow at
the end where you’re shown the consequences of your choices because you
didn’t have any to begin with five months after the release of baldur’s
gate Bioware released the expansion tales of The Sword Coast you have to do
this before completing the main campaign which is slightly awkward because the
two stories are separate and represent the hardest content in the game going to
Olaf’s beard gives you the opportunity to learn more about bald around the man
who Baldur’s Gate is named after there’s a short mission where you walk to an ice
Island to retrieve a Wizards cloak but the majority of the story takes place
after being shipwrecked on an island while searching for the remains of
Balder ons last voyage Men descends you on a mission to retrieve border runs
logbook from Borderlands wrecked ship for the wandering eye and while you’re
there you might as well help the locals with their wolf where problem and yes
there is wolf where not where Wolf Wolf wears awards that can take human form as
opposed to humans that can take wolf one you find the wandering eye but it’s full
of wolf wares which put up a tough fight as discussed earlier I never hesitated
to choose the combat where necessary but the fights here were extreme even for me
I will try to split apart groups of enemies so I didn’t have to deal with an
entire floor at once I would also rest right outside the ship between each
floor and once even between battles themselves pretty cheap I’m also a clear
indicator to anyone vaguely observant there perhaps I was missing something
finally I made it to the final boss and defeated all his minions however the
boss himself Karuk would not go down I saw my team dealing damage and would
watch as he went from uninjured severely injured to injured the seconds later
he’d be back to one injured again it was at this point I suspected that maybe I
needed to take a different I already had one weapon the – damage –
lycanthropes but by itself this wasn’t enough to kill the creature before he
healed himself I had to find another weapon I searched the entire island and
found nothing I worried that I might have missed the weapon from the ice
island I visited previously or was just supposed to pick it up from all go speed
before boarding the ship however deep down I was knew where such an important
weapon would be located Dirac’s tower the second major piece of
content included in the expansion not that it mattered much because it was
impossible to leave the island anyway before now you’ve always been able to
leave an area and come back later if you were under level didn’t have the right
spells new inventory wanted better equipment or just wanted a rest in this
case I clearly needed to get a better weapon but I couldn’t leave the island
it would have to get through the fight with the weapons I already had switching
the difficulty down so easy didn’t help in any noticeable way kuru burst away
with a hill before I defeated him for the first time I switched over this
story mode and got through the fight I guess story mode has modifiers either
help you do extra damage or stop enemies healing themselves because otherwise no
matter how invincible I was I wouldn’t have been able to kill Krug if he just
kept healing I don’t usually care all that much about
what difficulty level I play especially when I’m learning an entirely new system
like D&D I like to experiment difficulty settings to see how they change the
experience and there are some genres that benefit a lot from harder settings
such as survival games despite that I didn’t feel great about route forcing my
way through this fight on story mode I’ve come so far without it they’re
having to admit defeat in the expansion left a sour taste in my mouth I
genuinely don’t mean to offend those who play the story mode it just felt a touch
demoralizing after being relatively pleased with how much I’d learned before
that my agony was confounded when I picked up my post battle rewards which
included the sword of Boulder on which would inflict extra damage on you
guessed it lycanthropes in other words the weapon I needed was
right next to me I suppose it’s not that bad the weapon was surrounded by traps
in a locked chest it was clearly supposed to be a reward
you claimed after the fight and not something you took before the fight and
you can use it later after all this you discover that the residents of the
island are themselves werewolves and were hoping to escape to the mainland
you killed them before leaving on a ship I need to find out that Mendez didn’t
care about Alderaan’s journal at all he just wanted you to help the werewolves
escape the island as little side stories go this one is fine getting more
backstory and border on is an excellent example of how to use law to self and
interesting expansions but the werewolf wolf where stuff didn’t do
however this is only half of the expansion we also have to like star
which might represent one of the best dungeon experiences I’ve ever had I
mentioned earlier that I wasn’t a big fan of dungeons blast because they often
serve as an excuse to abandon storytelling and level design to shove
enemies at you in corridors that is not what Durr likes Tower does I was so
impressed with this section after completing it I did a quick search to
see if there were videos specifically on this topic and found a series of five
videos by extra credits that discussed just the first floor of the tower that’s
how good this area is the extra credits guys explained it much better than I
ever could so I recommend you watch their videos however the gist of it is
that each floor contains puzzles combat and story often all mixed together
the combat encounter could also be a puzzle of sorts and a story is weaved in
all the way through the entire place is full of traps probably too many at a
certain point even I understand they need someone in your party who can
disarm traps maybe after making it through thirty of the things Dale I
could have called air day don’t like troll killer to give him his full name
built the tower to provide a safe home for retirement where he hoped to start a
family Durr like was a wealthy man and as such
the wealth stored in the tower attracted its fair share of attention he built the
tower so that it couldn’t be taken by brute force however a group of
doppelgangers was able to kill his family and take their place after
discovering their stir like double down on the traps and lived out the rest of
his life alone watching those who tried to steal his treasure succumb to his
brutal traps it’s a deeply personal story and one which had much more impact
than the werewolves on the island I couldn’t help but feel sorry for dead
like as I robbed him of everything I could carry including a sword that would
have been really useful against the wolf wares most of the puzzles in der like
Stour are fairly straightforward if you loot everything on each floor then you
won’t go to wrong combat in der like style however is the most consistently
challenging part of Aldersgate the fourth floor of der like style was
the other time I had to switch to story mode I’m still not sure whether this
represents a failure in my puzzle solving or combat it’s probably both you
come across a chess set where you’re given a set of movement rules and told
that any wrong step represents death the rules seemed simple enough but whatever
I moved I got hit by lightning glass or something similar
I also triggered attacks from enemies on the other side of the board and it all
quickly descended into chaos by rushing the enemies I was able to get
through only one or two companion deaths but I really couldn’t be bothered to
pick up all their gear go back to the ground floor that’s how I go to a temple
and then come all the way back again trying to micromanage the placement of
six characters we’ll have a life of their own as soon
as they see an enemy is a bit of a nightmare to say the least
the expansion comes to an end back at Olga’s beard where you try and failed to
prevent the ritual resurrection of demon Aquatech this is another tough fight if
you want to keep all your party alive although given that it is the last piece
of content in the story unless you still haven’t beaten so I wasn’t too bothered
actor Tech is not all that tough to kill however when you kill him he takes over
the body of one of the spell casters you either have to kill him multiple times
or deal with the mages first that latter option is the best but it then becomes a
frantic rush to kill everyone else while defending against spells and strong
melee attacks that brings the total to three fights in the expansion that were
probably harder than anything in the base game at least it was for my party
given that the two stories in the expansion had detached from the main
campaign I would have preferred this to be postgame content to avoid the need to
take a huge detour from the main questline or refer back to an old safe
completing baldur’s gate was a long journey including the expansion it took
around 50 hours which is hardly extreme for an RPG but there was at least
another 50 hours on top of that in wasted playthroughs there’s also less
variety than you’d get from modern games that you could dump 100 hours into most
of the environments are random areas of wilderness which are about generic as
they sound and with the exception of der likes how the dungeons are appropriately
bland this leads to baldur’s gate feeling like a slug at times especially
in that middle act when you start to get a little tired of wandering the
wilderness without getting any major story developments shave that 10 hours
off the run time and correct a few of the story pacing issues I discussed
earlier and I’d be recommending Baldur’s Gate as a must play even 20 years after
release it’s important not to underestimate just how much there is to
learn if you’ve never played Dungeons & Dragons even having taken the time to
read all the rules and try to understand my decisions I still made major mistakes
the biggest of which was my decision to dual class Emaline when you dual class
you stopped earning experience points towards your existing class which in a
Maroons case was a thief and start earning them in a new class such as mage
only humans can duel class other races can multi class with multi class you
constantly earn XP towards all of your classes so leveling up is slower but you
are multi skilled from the start I wanted to try duel classing my main
character but the game threw off a bunch of warnings that made it sound like a
big deal so I went out and used him Irwin as a guinea pig after duel
classing into a mage it more when not only stopped owning xp towards a thief’s
class she also stopped being able to use her thief’s abilities
gets them back when a major level is one level above her thief level but that
takes a while this meant I had no way to use her thief’s abilities such as
lock-picking and detecting and deactivating traps I can live without
the lock-picking I already had a lot of money and found the rewards from locked
chest to be disappointing most of the time I didn’t need to detect traps
because Chihiro could do that with a spell and then the party could just walk
around it unless they couldn’t near the end of the story the absence of a thief
in my party became painfully obvious there recorded ores were traps that you
simply can’t avoid regardless of whether you can see them or not this is one of
the reasons the last boss was so tough there are traps all over the place and
it’s hard not to stumble into them this is probably the most obvious thing
anyone has ever said when discussing a Dungeons & Dragons based RPG but please
make sure you keep a thief with you at all times
it’ll make your life a lot easier I still want to dual class my protagonist
but I have no idea when to do that I probably import the character into
Baldur’s Gate 2 and dual class from the start to see how it goes most players
will have a moment like this something that reminds you just how little you
actually understand even after 30 hours regardless of little teething problems
here and there I still recommend you play boulders gave you half the time
when recommending games in this series on C RPGs I assume you already have a
huge list of games demanding your attention otherwise I’d probably
recommend all of them for historical importance alone that’s why I picked
these games to play in the first place after all that said the presence of
story mode plus the quality of life tweaks are enough to make borders gay
and easy a game to recommend than the first to fall outs the enhanced edition
is regularly on sale on Gog and steam for $10 and goes down to $5 as well
sometimes in my video on Metro 2033 I talked at length about the feeling of
immersion I experienced while playing Metro 2033 put me in the shoes of the
protagonist and made me feel like I was part of the world
Baldur’s Gate doesn’t immerse me in this way there’s too much that gets in the
way of connecting to my character such as the lack of character and companion
dialogue the isometric viewpoint and tedious combat instead Baldur’s Gate was
immersive in the same way as a good book it’s a softer level of immersion but
still a special one it’s the small touches like the detailed journey nor
the keeps track of my activities the way you treat your team to a luxurious room
for the night after a tough battle the fire burning as you sleep and even the
way you slowly clear the fog of war while exploring I’m immersed in the
adventure if not the character I’m excited to return to the Forgotten rail
receipt of dragon spear and eventually dive into the
Baldur’s Gate – for years I’ve heard people talk about how great Baldur’s
Gate 2 is without so much as a mention of its predecessor it was as if the
first game didn’t exist yes combat and Baldur’s Gate is duller
times and the story suffers both from a lack of meaningful choice and consistent
themes but it really is worth playing and I hope some of you consider giving
it a shot as you know this series on the history of isometric see RPGs is being
done in chronological order to properly track changes to the genre over the
years that puts me in a slightly tricky position for siege of Dragon spear which
was released in 2016 but takes place between Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2 it seems
silly to delay siege until I get to the modern era especially when I’ve heard
that the transition from Paul does gate 1 to the sequel is a bit rough therefore
I’m going to do a video on siege of dragon spin next in this series but
treaty is episode 3.5 or something like that hell maybe I’ll go full Kingdom
Hearts with the naming call it Aldersgate siege of dragons be a
retrospective a history of isometric sea RPGs episode 3.5 HD Baldur’s Gate
epilogue borders get to prologue oh and / – I like catchy titles whatever I call
it the video will likely be shorter than this one I may be covering it for
completeness after that it’s Planescape torment I’m
alternating videos in the isometric C RPG series withstand the critiques to
make sure I don’t get all isometric C RPG though I’m not going to disclose
what the next critique video will be because I’m still deciding between two
but I’m fairly sure you’re gonna like it whatever it ends up being is one that’s
been requested many many times and comments if you’ve enjoyed this video
please consider hitting the like button subscribe if you haven’t already and
maybe share the video if you know an audience that might be interested this
legitimately makes a huge difference to how successful any given video is and
ultimately the future of the channel so I’d appreciate it I do have a patreon
now so if you could throw a dollar of my way that would also be great
there is only one rewards here at one dollar a month you get your name in the
credits those who give more might get more prominence but otherwise you will
get the same thing regardless of the amount you give I explained my reasoning
for this in more detail on the patreon page thank you very much to everyone
who’s given me money so far and those who will do so in the future he’s
becoming increasingly clear this channel only has a long-term future through
donations so it makes a huge difference commenting is also insanely helpful and
I’m supposed to ask you questions to drive engagement I don’t know how about
you try and guess what game you think the next major critique video will be on
a couple of clues the two under siding between a both sci-fi based the first in
this series and more than 10 years old oh and both franchises have enthusiastic
fans who also get angry I said franchise you know what
that last one doesn’t narrow it down much does it okay that’s about it from
me in September I plan to stream spider-man
shed of the Tomb Raider and Red Dead Redemption plus whatever else catches my
eye please consider stopping by the streams to hang out and ask questions
until next time Cheers

100 thoughts on “Baldur’s Gate Retrospective | A History of Isometric CRPGs (Episode 3)

  • human race is a lot more complex than you think and extremly powerful in the first game, its the only race that can dual class. how dual class works is you start of with one class for example kensai (fighter that can not use armor) you level up your char up to 5. what you can do now is dual class to kensai/mage you lose all your kensai skill and start as lvl 1 mage, this sound bad and yes you are very weak at this point but once you reach lvl 6 on your mage you get all kensai boni back and are a lvl 5 kensai and lvl 6 mage at the same time, in the end game you could be a lvl5 kensai and level 7 mage. if you would only play as fighter your max lvl would be around 8-9 or lvl 8 as mage. you sacrifce 3 fighter levels and gain 7 mage level, remember the kansi special? (you cant wear armor but you are a mage now and can wear mage robes and use spells to boost your defence + the kensai passives that boost you armor rating and allow you to be skilled with melee weapons)

  • Indeed, Baldur's Gate is a great, immersive, rich of lore and characters game! 😉 It is so cool they released an enhanced edition and that you can choose your own portrait.

  • Long comment for a long video.
    The problems you listed with BG1 could be fixed by changing the settings as far back as the '98 version. Can't speak for the enhanced but 30 seconds in the settings before launch would save you all the pathing and ai problems.
    I hope you would find the combat more enjoying in the core mode where your equipment and choices have more meaning.
    What about the protagonists dreams throughout the game and abilities gained based on alignment (or reputation I can't remember) that let you know you are heading towards something bigger?
    I gave up typing more.

  • pillars of eternity run on Unity3D which is in no way even remotely similar to infinity engine, and the devs even have a series of videos and articles on how much work and effort it cost to emulate the infinity engine look and feel in unity… 😉

  • The most memorable line from the original Baldur's Gate was without doubt "You must gather your party before venturing forth!"

  • When you were talking about the character creation being a bit complex I felt like pointing out that a lot of the complexity actually comes from Baldurs Gate 2. The original didn't have so much in the way of sub-classes and had fewer weapon skills and such. But the Enhanced Edition took a lot of the original content and essentially laid the BG2 skin over it. This was good for people who had played both games back in the day, as the sequel added much more than the original, but I agree it would be a bit daunting when now even the first entry has as much complexity as the sequel.

  • I like BG1 more than BG2, mainly because the actual story in BG2 is almost non-existent. It’s popular mainly on the strength of the fight-loot-level experience. BG1 is an almost perfect low-level D&D campaign.

    I understand how the mechanics of combat can be confusing, although I was surprised by how much trouble you had. If I may be fair to the game, I expect this is partly because you read a guide of the variety that assumes everyone is a veteran. I never thought to dual class anyone, but that is something guides recommend if you want a more powerful character. What isn’t immediately obvious is that many of those guides are written by people who farm xp and items, particularly playing through with less than a full party so that each character levels up faster. Often these players remove the level caps as well, or at least know exactly where to go to get items that make your character more effective. As you found, dual classing Imoen makes her useless for most of the game, because it is generally not useful in BG1.

  • I don't know if anyone has mentioned it, but around 24:00 you mention that that fight seems like a puzzle encounter. You were absolutely right, there's a ghoul in that area that you can go talk to and temporarily recruit that's immune to the petrify.

    You can just use your rogue to stealth out a line of sight and let him loose on em, and he'll mop up shop.

  • Am I the only one who hates the look of the Enhanced Edition and prefers the original release on the original engine?

  • First time i played baldur's gate 1, after the BG2, my eyes burned. It was horribly pixelated with low resolution. The tutu mod allowed me to play BG1 with BG2 engine… so i outleveled the game and slaughtered everyone with shadow of amn kind of power in a game where the most powerfull mage can barely light a cigaret with a lighter.

  • Just stumbled upon your videos (and subscribed)…Great job, IMO. Thanks! I loved so many of these isometric CRPGs back in the day, but I (sadly?) don't have the patience for most of it now. I'm 42, lol.
    On Baldur's Gate…I cannot imagine playing this with zero experience with AD&D 2e. I used to play the table top game, and indeed obsess over its intricacies. Also, party management is a chore…Wow…These days, I play games like Grim Dawn, Path of Exile, and Dragon Quest XI. I dislike the FPS Fallout has become.
    Anyway, Keep up the good work, sir!

  • Well, technically speaking, in a table top D&D session, there aren't a huge number of times when traps would require a thief in order to get by, particularly because of the openness of the format. Players faced with a pit-trap can use a spear or long pole to press down on the floor to activate the trap,then either jump over the hole, throw all the corpses they've encountered into it to fill it up, or even build a makeshift bridge – whatever they want to do. Even with pressure plates, it's very possible to just say, 'my character jumps over the pressure plate,' to the DM. However, with a videogame, which doesn't have the same malleability as the Table Top, the ability to capitalize on ingenuity is somewhat hampered, and so thieves become a far more important party member.

  • They are both great games, the original and sequels, Dragonspear notwithstanding. My first character was a gnome cleric/thief. It's like I was trying to make him as ineffective as I could possibly do with the tools provided. No backstab, no armor, muted leveling and on and on and on it went. Still played him to the end though and I still have a fondness for the little heptard.

  • I'm sure you noticed this, but strength actually goes up to 100. That's the 18/00. The reason, if you're curious, is because there is no 0 on a "100 sided die." 18/00 is master tier!

  • I remember the booklet was hundreds of pages! Anyway when BG came out it had great reviews especially because competitors in the WRPG genre were few. Most of us had just finished the engrossing Might&Magic 6 so this looked like a flashback to the old Ultima days. I personally never thought this title, while very good and popular, would have been considered a pillar of WRPG in the future. Same applies to Bungie (no-one would have bet a dime on them) or to Diablo 2 for example (it disappointed most fans back in the day)… crazy how things evolve and how history records facts!

  • Every single time i play this game i get out of the first village with one companion follow a road then see a dude follow him. I then get attacked by a wolf and killed. And because i havent saved i have to start over… i have done this 4 or 5 times forgetting about that god damnned wolf every fucking time

  • Double classing Imoen, yea, I made the same mistake and was annoyingly surprised when I started a completely new party in Baldurs gate 2.

  • Is Bladurs Gate II really that much better? I've played the first just recently and thought it was great without question

  • Part about character creation: I spent around 5 hours creating my party in Icewind Dale (which is ofcourse similiar). Worst thing is, there are slight differences in ID, compared to BG, and most online info I could find is about BG. Personal hell.

  • Infamous means famous for bad reasons.
    A serial murderer is infamous
    A pop star is famous

    Unless people generally dislike baldurs gate it is not infamous.

  • Want some of the most satisfying character development you can get in a CRPG? Play through BG1 and BG2 with the same mage character, where you begin as a lowly spell caster that can barely fire off a spell, and watch your mage grow more and more competent, until by the end of ToB your once pathetic mage will be truly god-like

  • If your arrested by the flaming fist and have Shar-Teel Dosan
    (An evil party member you can get) you'll be set free since Scar's replacement is her father

  • I always liked werewolf island, but it might be, because I went through it befriending that small community and also having that "closest you can get to the romance in BG1" with Delainy (or Durlyle for female PC), who gets broken hearted after the rest of her pack turns against you. Of course back in 98/99 I was much easier to impress by video game writing, so it's quite possible, that I'm to this day avoiding the massacre (just running through them) out of nostalgia than actual role playing, but I still think it's better than you make it sound to be (small, isolated community of creatures, that ARE considered monsters and hunted down by the rest of this world, who lives on a valuable piece of land, no wonder they are afraid of what will happen if the word about existence of their island gets out). Would be awesome, if they gave a hidden pacifist resolution for characters with some godlike levels of charisma, but then again, maybe it's better if left tragic as it is?
    Either way, Chris really showed his Bhall spawn colours there 😉

  • Really enjoyed this video. Baldurs gate is probably my favourite game of all time.
    I've still got my 'bigbox' PC version. FIVE CDs!!! 😃 massive 1cm thick manual!
    Must of beat the game about 15 times.
    Were you using all silver swords when on the werewolf island?
    And that fucking demon at the end of the expansion. It's the one fight in the entire series that I just cannot do. So frustrating.
    I'm gonna go for it though soon cause they recently announced these icrpgs for consoles.
    Can I ask if you played these originally back in the day? Please don't take offense in me asking, it's just there was slot of times when you talked about the game systems that were introduced into 1 from 2. Character kits for example.
    I haven't played this remake just an FYI, only the originals.
    Will you be doing bg2 and throne of Baal? Please do!

  • Because this game is 99% combat, I can tell that you mean it when you are more about story and narrative than actual combat tactics. It's cool that you put up with the combat system during this game.

  • My fondest memory of Baulders Gate was using a wand of summoning to surrond Drizzit with animals he couldnt attack through, and spending about 30 minutes attacking him from range till he died. Still wish that statue would have summoned a temporary panther

  • About that daunting character creation — I think it's important to note that what you're talking about is actually a Baldur's Gate 2 experience. That's because one of the main features of Beamdog's edition is repeating the work done in Tutu and Trilogy mods, that is adapting the game into the BG2 system. Original game doesn't feature subclasses, half-orcs or fighting styles, and the weapon profieciency system is much simpler — you choose general weapon types like large swords, blunt weapons, missile weapons etc.
    By the way, some of those changes caused balancing issues. For example, the weapon choices were originally balanced (well, sort of) for original proficiency system, and with the more specific BG2 system the choices became very limited. Beamdog alleviated the problem slightly by adding a few additional weapons though.

  • Is Baldurs Gate 2: EE worth playing? I loved Fallout 2 but didn't like Planescape:Torment. I also heard EE isn't that great. It's 20 bucks on GOG.

  • Dear Narrator. You speak too quickly. You run your words together.
    You make it impossible to listen to you!

  • This is the perfect game if you have a laptop, a pair of headphones, anre are stranded on an airport for 10 hours.
    I think BG is like a book. IF you are into it, you will forget that your cooking has been burned harder than a fireball ever could, but if you look for quick satisfaction and constant action it might not be for you.

    I always played mages in these games because the amount of strategy you can create is almost endless. Sure, there are the most obvious and easiest ways to deal with a problem, but there are also more creative ways.

  • BioWare’s characters having side guests and character development was something they developed over the bg series. That trope wouldn’t be part of their games if it wasn’t in the bg series.

  • Great video. The character creation is amazing. But how does one play as a true neutral Druid, i mean how can you win the game if you don't pick a side?

  • Great Video,love your Retrospectives !
    Thought about getting back into the old Infinity Engine Games,but already knew that they were too Huge for my Patience these Days. Already finished both back in the Days so i changed my Mind and went with Icewind Dale Series cause i never finished the second one.
    You sadly cant play a Group through both Games and it isnt that much deep on Decisions and Story,but still good Rpgs just a bit more Combat focused.
    I dont regret it,they give me the Rpg Feeling i wanted,the Nostalgia Feel from the Infinity Games and i dont need to play them every Day to keep in Mind whats happening and where i need to go and so on.
    And they still have enough Conent to play even the First for Weeks if you want. I think Icewind Dale is maybe the go to Rpg for Busy Gamers 🙂

  • 1:10 i think the game trilogy takes blace after the "avatar trilogy" ( forgotten realms books ) events.

  • Thank you for the recommendation towards Extra Credits. I found the design commentary on the tower's design very interesting. It's been such a long time since I've played BG and any of it's extra content, and I was very young at the time. I remember the highlights of the story for BG1 but the doppleganger twist definitely caught me off guard when I was a lad.

  • This is in old this were Computer games is being made only for Computer.
    look what happen to dragon age after EA put it in console, it become look like a fucking downgraded god of war instead of crpg like neverwinter nights or original dragon age.

  • The crashing issue is probably fixed. Just got done with a 60 hour play through that didn't crash once.

  • The spell slots are genius solution to limit power of wizards, who can learn all the spells there are. If they had mana instead, they'd be many times more powerful.

    Different approach – more to your liking probably – is Sorcerer, who has limited number of known spells, but can cast each of them several times (depending on how many slots does he have – slots serve as mana). Not sure if this was the case in 2e though.

  • I dunno how it is in the enhanced edition since you didn't mention it. But in the original when you're doing the werewolf expansion, if you take too long (ingame time) or rest too much (ingame time) your party members will start turning into were wolfs since they got infected by the locals. The transformation is permanent and you have no choice but to kill them.

  • I've been an avid player of Baldur's Gate since it came out and I was in like 4th grade. I was all Batman and Power Rangers at the time — it was the game that introduced fantasy settings to me, and I've never looked back.

    My favorite thing about the game nostalgically was the voice acting. These actors were in EVERYTHING, especially video games and cartoons (I swear Jim Cummings is immortal). Skyrim especially was like a reunion. Never thought I'd want to decapitate my bro Ajantis on sight, but enough times walking into a tavern and hearing, "Ohh there once was a hero named Ragnar the Red…" and you'd do it too.

  • The fight with Karoug (the leader of the Wolfwares in the expansion) is best fought using Kondar, a bastard sword you can get in the main game. You get it by helping the leader of the Merchant’s League, first in the Cloakwood Forest (where he is accosted by shadow druids for hunting) then in Baldur’s Gate, where doppelgängers are attempting to take over the League. Do this, and he rewards you with Kondar, which is +1 against everything, and +3 against shapeshifters. This includes both doppelgängers AND lycanthropes. Ajantis has specialization in bastard sword, and you can give this to any other fighter-type characters as they progress in levels. Have it along with the necklace Dradeel gives you, and buff the wielder with haste, heroism, regeneration, and strength to take out Karoug pretty quickly on Core Rules.

  • The most memorable line from the voice acting is actually "You must gather your party before venturing forth"

  • As a Paladin, fresh out of Candlekeep with Imoen (I bought equipment for her), is it morally reprehensible to ally with "evil" characters for the intended purpose of using them as human shields? You know, in case there's an asshole standing on the stairs in front of the Friendly Arm.

    I don't remember there being dire wolves at Lion's Way in the original. I used to be able to grind a bit before getting to Khalid and Jaheira to have a small advantage in that fight, but the wolves are a bit more vicious now to where I'm having trouble doing that.

    Also can't think of many games where that kind of a dilemma comes up at all, much less right out of the gate. (I'm on the standard BG1 difficulty setting, I don't mind the various ones, but I really want to experience the game as the Devs at Interplay, Bioware, and Beamdog envisioned.)

    Also, I chose to roll a Paladin (No Kit) with the intention of having access to a healing spell without sacrificing armor or attack. And…because I got Luke Skywalker vibes from the prologue.

    I know it's not the same thing at all, but having been raised on Legend of Zelda, I'm rather disappointed that BG can't do Sword+Shield AND Bow+Arrow (to my knowledge).

    Any suggestions?

  • I found the combat to be fabulous. Especially on the harder or hardest settings. But I understand that it is hard to do if one is not fully knowledgable about the combat systems. And playing a hardcore game without reloading (dead is dead) is only possible to have full knowledge of every creature you encounter so you know which spells, potions and scrolls you need to have on you every moment in the game. But a fun challenge at that.

  • If anyone has trouble with the return to baldurs gate when you're on the run, just glug a load of invisibility potions or cast it as a spell. It lasts for ages

  • not getting too powerful… well play mage in gb1, i dropped all party and run only with my mage (protect spells and fireballs) – team would just die to fireballs anyways

  • Strength goes up to 18/00 you mean, not 18/99 18/00 is the max. It means 18/100, the lowest would be 18/01.

  • Unfortunate side effect of the digital download is that you miss out on the 159 page manual that came with the original Baldur's Gate. Many a bathroom break was spent learning about the stats of the more obscure classes, and reading about spells I never used before.

  • "How can we take on a massive dragon on 1 minute and the next we die to a spider barely big enough to raise an Australian's eyebrow?" Ahahahah

  • THAC0? More like THACNo!

    DnD is fun and all the wacky stuff in ADnD 2nd Edition too…but the general fundamental rules are…ugh.

  • I have always wanted to dual class a kensai and a mage. I realise that this is not that original, but I still want to do it. But there are many guides available online for that. For BG2 with the expansion the sweet spot seems to be switching to mage when your kensai is level 13. That means that I am playing BG1 with a kensai all the way. I tried doing this on the iPad but I just can't game on that. I'll pick up the enhanced editiions on Steam or GOG at a sale.

    At any rate, good video. Well done.

  • Beamdog sucks. If anyone ever installed mods for BG you know what I mean. The community made amazing things and better content for free.

  • Great expose. I have BG 1 but never managed to get into the game thanks for the elaborate explanation. I subbed

  • 7:11 Even after I checked the walkthrough of this quest I still missed it completely after my 2nd visit to that area. Because I thought there's a door, cave, etc… when I finally found it, I screamed at her… "It's just a stair you b****, how can it trapped you!!!"

  • Never a fan of the duel classing. I'd keep Imoen as a short bow using rogue. Safana is pretty good if you really want to use Imoen as a mage.

  • yeah clearlu dont understand dand rules… kept khalid and jahira /facepalm. they are pretty weak chars in melee. range damage ftw……eg archer or magic user…….f/th/mu….are amazing at higher lvl, but not for begginers.

  • the Sword and Shield proficiency isnt just for Swords despite its name, its for any 1h Weapon with a Shield

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