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Old 11-02-2000, 12:07 AM   #1

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Hey guys...I wanted to make this info. available to all of you, because it is important...
(Copied from Baulders Gate Chronicles web-page)

Continuing Viconia’s romance in an expansion: I've been doing some thinking on how the romances might continue on, and for Viconia in particular a possible alignment change certainly isn't out of the picture.

I don't know, though. Obviously, the player would have to urge her in that direction... but a shift from NE to NG is a large jump. Just how would Viconia feel about herself, were she to make such a leap of faith? Viconia may have been victimized since coming to the surface, but she's hardly a victim. By her own admission, she's done a lot of truly evil things in her past. Can she just chalk it up to her upbringing and leave it at that? Wouldn't becoming NG imply the growth of some sort of conscience?

And what about her faith in Shar? Viconia grasped onto despair and darkness as the center of her worship. What would an alignment shift do to her cleric class?

And to do all of this for the sake of a man?

A lot of things for us to chew on before a course is plotted for the story. Any thoughts you (or others) have on the subject are welcome.

Continuing the storyline in an expansion: Well, conflict is the central theme of any good story. Personally, I like the dynamic of self-conflict...and with the Child of Bhaal storyline, that's about the best thing it has going for it. I don't know if the expansion would continue the story or just add onto the current game (or both), but I think exploring the godchild theme and its pertinence to your character is the best path to take in the future.

Perhaps you'd agree, I don't know. I've certainly seen some different viewpoints, here.

Animations and romances in an expansion: Animated sequences are kind of at a premium. Continuing relationships built between NPCs and the PC or between NPCs is a definite thing, though.

Druids: We're aware that something needs to be done regarding druids. What, exactly, has yet to be determined. Hierophants seem nearly impossible to replicate properly, so we'll have to see.

Adding more NPCs in an expansion: For sure, although no more than one or two.

Strongholds in an expansion: The stronghold quests in BG2 will not be added to or changed in an expansion. That much is certain. If anything is added in an expansion (which has limited space) we want to make sure that every player has access to it.

Storyline criticism: I can take criticism. I can also take critique. In fact, both are valuable towards getting what did and didn't work in what I wrote.

What I said was that I didn't think there was much value in those who just said something like 'the story should have been better' or 'the dialogue was bad' without offering either examples of what they didn't like, specifically, or by writing something better. And by writing something better, I don't mean that they should go and write their own game...I mean that if you don't want to point out what you didn't like, write what it should have been.

My only other problem was with those who find some part of the game or story that they don't like, which is personal preference generally, and claim it to be some flaw of the game in general. Admit that you don't like it and move on.

People are certainly free to express themselves as they wish, I personally would just like to get something more constructive out of it, is all.

And, by the way, none of us claim to be experts. Professionals, perhaps, and avid gamers...we just do our best.

J.E. Sawyer Interview
Tuesday, October 31, 2000, 14:55 | MageDragon
Gamers Pulse has posted an interview with J.E. Sawyer about Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter.
GP: What are some other additions to game play to make life in Icewind Dale a little easier?

Sawyer: Our programmers are working on a number of small features intended to make troublesome tasks easier. Pathfinding is a large concern, as is inventory management. A couple of our programmers are working on optimizing the pathfinding algorithm, and others are working on implementing gem bags and scroll cases. The gem bags and scroll cases are really useful, as anyone who’s played BG2 can attest. Also, one of our programmers, Jake Devore, has implemented a hotkey that highlights doors, containers, and items on the floor. That’s extremely useful.

Monday, October 30, 2000

On the BG2 Board
Monday, October 30, 2000, 23:51 | MageDragon
From the Shadows of Amn message board.

David Gaider (Designer)
Storyline complaints: Being one of the discussed dialogue writers, I'll avoid taking any of this personally and just suggest that it is very easy to tear things down. One can find holes, problems and peeves anywhere if you look hard enough. Even Shakespeare can be torn down as absolute drivel if you try hard enough.

Am I comparing the writing in BG2 to Shakespeare? Hardly. Am I suggesting that the writing is perfect or, in some way, a work of art? No, nor was it intended to be. I am, however, suggesting that the plot and writing successfully carried the game along and kept you interested. If you didn't like it, chalk it up to personal taste and admit as much.

But people can go ahead and tear down whatever they like. You have free speech and your opinions and/or criticisms are welcome, here. I, for one, would like to hear what, exactly, you think the story or dialogue should have been if you think it should have been better. Write something better and let it stand up to judgement. Chances are that it's just something that stands up to your own personal taste... and that's not even counting the fact that it has to fit into a game.

I liked the story. And I think the dialogue flowed well. Hardly news, eh? A lot of other people seem to like it, too, which makes me happy... although I hardly expect everyone to like it. Heck, everyone (including me) has things about BG2 that they don't like... but that applies to all games (and most especially for those games we feel strongly about).
But if you aren't going to admit that you just didn't care, personally, for the story part of it and you can't offer a better example... then all you're doing is tearing it down. And that ain't hard.

Anyway, I just had to respond to this thread. Enough of me... back to the regular program... work on the patch awaits!
Old 11-02-2000, 12:39 AM   #2

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Interesting news, especially the bit about a hotkey to show doors, containers and items on the ground!
As for critiquing the game, story, dialogue, etc. I just have to say I think it was well done, but my biggest gripe about the game was how one's alignment didn't really matter in the big scheme of things. This is no surprise, since that was how BG1 played out as well.
I mean, doesn't it seem silly that an evil character would work so hard to foil Sarevok's plans for the good of the Sword Coast? One would think that an evilly aligned character would work hard to supplant or replace Sarevok as the #1 BadAxe!
I was sad to see the repeat of the philosophy of a forced progression of major story points in BG2. No matter what the alignment of my PC is, it just doesn't seem to affect the "big picture" in any way. I haven't quite finished my first game yet, but I imagine that it will have a pretty monolithic outcome, that of defeating Jon Irenicus with no chance of wresting his secrets of power from him, etc.

I guess I'm just spoiled from the Fallout/Fallout 2 games where one's morality had a huge impact on how the game played out (and how that morality impacted the major groups of people and towns as well!). But what is stopping other developers from following this lead? It's not as if I'm asking for different animated movies based on alignment, just a better diversity of side quests and a chance to alter the game setting in some way when all is said and done. Kind of like my earlier comment, where I thought it would be interesting for an evil character completing BG1 having the chance to CONTINUE Sarevok's Grand Plan for Death on the Sword Coast, just taking him out and replacing him as the head honcho. Mwa-ha-haaa!

In my CRPG experience, good aligned characters always have more quests (and therefore more rewards). Not necessarily a bad thing, but it makes playing an evil character not as fun knowing that there are fewer options/quests open to them.

Just my 2 cents.

Old 11-02-2000, 09:02 AM   #3

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I am sure that all the evil aligned guys here will be begging for Viconia not to fall into the clutches of good...It should be interesting to see how the producers will pull it off within the rules...
Old 11-02-2000, 09:07 AM   #4

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I agree, what is the point of being evil if you achieve the same outcome as being good.

Also the use of unkillable NPC's to control the story line realy sux, I am speaking from years of AD&D Dungeon Mastering XP where I would have to control up to 15 neurotic player characters at one time and some of them realy were talking to the fairy's, without relying on unkillable NPC's.

All you have to do is have back up NPC's ready to take over or use the Gardian Angel/Deamon that comes to the rescue and teleports them the Hell/Heaven out of there routine.

Its better than having an NPC such as Bohdi, that can be trapped in a corner by using the available spells in the game and then giving her enough damage to kill her twenty times over, only to have her complain about how boring it is bieng turned into shredded vampire fillet's and then walk away as if she had only had her hairdo upset.

I would also like to say this, Apart from the few minor irritations mentioned above "I LOVE BGII" and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart, (as dark as it is) please keep up the good work.

Viconia can change quite easily within the rules and love would be the only reason that someone would change Alignment, she might loose a few levels and have to deal with the hound's of ill omen for a while, but she will get over it eventualy. What I don't understand, is why would you make such a delighfully wicked women change Aligment at all.

Irakzai the Dark.
Old 11-07-2000, 09:47 AM   #5

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Concerning the outcome being different if you are an evil aligned char., I believe the reason is that the programmers would have to double the size of the game to make a plot for the evil ones, and that would of course double the price of the game...And if you only wanted to be good in the game, the evil aligned program would be a waste of money, and visa-versa.
Now, they could make "BG-the Evil Package", that would be like an expansion pack that you could buy separate and it would re-write the program to make the world become subject to your evil reign, yet maybe the programmerswould be afraid that not enough people would want the package to consider making enough profit for their trouble. All in all, if you want something done, enough of you evil lads must pull together and show Bio-ware and Interplay that the majority of buyers for the game want to have this option, and if you are numerous enough in your pleas, you WILL get what you want, because the programmers will write what they believe will attract a customer. Stop griping and team-up to do something about it !!!!
Old 11-07-2000, 10:04 AM   #6
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I think the biggest problem with that is going to be with the Moral Majority in the US. Will they condone a game which openly allows for evil acts and evil choices. Now we all know that it's just a game and most people who play evil characters are nice, sweet, kindly souls but i think that's the biggest hurdle. For example, for example, i would love a quest where you go hunting for slaves and go to an illicit market where you can buy and sell, then betray your supplier because that's what an evil character would logically do. But how would they get it past the censors?

I am all for a game that allows for expanded choice of options to reflect alignment in CRPGs but i think that politicians (Tipper Gore for example) might not share my views.

Feel free to flame or fry me.
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Old 11-07-2000, 10:40 AM   #7

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Frying is only for the recipients of my fireballs Memnoch. Good thread this one. I'll keep praying that my favoured, Viconia doesn't turn. As for BG the eville bastarde edition- lovely idea, probably won't happen. If we had enough interest / people / help though we can build our own come Neverwinter Nights. Island of Smothering or something, heh. Either that or an utterly unruly chaotic evil clan could make for some quite amusing escapades..
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Old 11-07-2000, 12:11 PM   #8

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know what? what the hell!!! i'd rather they said that you're party will YOU! some will be forced to shatter their beliefs! or, like minsc, he should murder the PC! i hope it goes with everyone to make the game more balanced and really focusing on the PC, US! and that crappy censor stuff is a lot of bull! i s'pose its our parents responsibility to ban us from gaming! not the goverment or something! if our parents think that we can handle shitty stuff, fine!!! go buy the freakin game!
Old 11-07-2000, 12:22 PM   #9
Sir Robin ran away

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Obviously you did not finish the Viconia romance script otherwise you would know that Viconia turns out to be not as evil as you would like her to be.

But don't worry, I'm sure Bioware will supply you with replacement if they ever make Baldur's Gate III.


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