Oh, Baldurdash – Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition Delayed

By Nathan Grayson on September 15th, 2012 at 11:00 am.

Ah, the good old days - when spell effects did not screenshot well at all.

I suppose it seems only proper that – in making its pleasantly prim and made-over debut on the modern stage – Baldur’s Gate will now suffer the most modern fate of them all: a last-second holiday season delay. On the upside, however, it’s for a good cause. In short, Overhaul Games has found itself buried under a mountain fan requests, so it’s decided to dig its way out and make the Enhanced Edition, well, more enhanced. So no, Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced-er Edition won’t be coming out next week like originally planned, but Overhaul’s hoping the final product will be well worth the wait.

Overhaul’s Trent Oster explained the release date’s inability to roll for a saving throw in a blog post.

“When we first announced Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, you set fire to our servers and we were overwhelmed by the huge wave of support from the fans of the original game. Dozens of volunteers from all over the world helped us improve game play, squash bugs, and generally fine-tune the game. Even more came to help work on translations from English to more than 16 other languages.”

“Yet the suggestions, fixes, and translations continue, and more volunteers keep joining. After recently reviewing the game and then consulting with our partners, we’ve decided to ensure that Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition is the best possible product on launch. Thus, we have pushed back the release date of the game. Our plan is to release in November, 2012.”

Apparently, folks who’ve already pre-ordered can also look forward to “something a little extra” to make up for the slippage. Personally, I’m hoping for extra time – as in, hours added onto my life – to sift through all of Enhanced Edition’s new content while also navigating the minotaur maze that is the next few months of game releases. Failing that, I’ll also accept a neat hat.

That said, BGEE will be coming up against a tidal wave of new games in November. Do you still plan on shoving aside 100 or so hours to really dive in, or are you a bit less of a stickler for timeliness when timeless, more-than-a-decade-old classics are involved?

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55 Comments »

  1. felixduc says:

    …sounds like it’s time for a Kickstarter!

    Curious use of quotation marks when you allude to what I should be looking forward to…

    ifyouknowwhatimean.jpg

  2. atticus says:

    Yes, absolutely! When I finally hear the waves crashing against the sword coast, seagulls crying on the breeze and that soft music playing in the background, I will cry tears of joy.

    The sights and sounds of Baldurs Gate is like the smell of pancakes in the hallway at my grandma’s house – it feels like coming home. And although I’ve been there hundreds of times, I still can’t wait to be back!

    • Wooly says:

      Ahhhh, I couldn’t have said it better. It’ll be good to be home. : )

  3. povu says:

    Either it competes with all the November games, or it competes with Torchlight 2/Borderlands 2/Dishonored/XCOM/Black Mesa. I’ll be pretty busy either way.

  4. tres says:

    Splendid, so they might actually fix blurred textures and stuff so the Enhanced Edition doesn’t that look much worse than fan-mades.

  5. Premium User Badge

    AmateurScience says:

    This kind of works out for me as I was going to have to leave off playing until the end of October due to thesis shenanigans in any case.

    Re the next 3 months releases: I didn’t think that this year’s crop of games could top last year.

    I was wrong.

  6. Morte66 says:

    As a right-handed person with a dodgy right elbow who has just bought a left-handed mouse but isn’t much use with it yet, I think a few pausable or turn-based games are in order. Ooh, look, BGEE and a new XCom.

  7. D3xter says:

    Am I the only one that doesn’t really get the point of this by now?
    I mean I was happy as everyone else and in good hope that they’ll do a good job fixing it (or at least a somewhat competent one), since Baldur’s Gate 2 is my favorite game and all that.
    But then they didn’t even get the original art or anything of the likes and the blur kinda looks really bad: http://baldursgate.com/images/neera/screenshot04.jpg
    The new areas looking like ass: http://baldursgate.com/images/rasaad/screenshot02.jpg

    And what exactly was the new content they added?
    An arena mode, they replaced all the great animation movies with some panning paintings and “3 romanceable characters”…

    • Premium User Badge

      Thirith says:

      From what we’ve heard so far, my impression is that this is primarily of interest on iPad & Co; beyond that, I agree that there doesn’t seem to be all that much appeal to this to the PC crowd who can get the games on GoG and mod them.

      • D3xter says:

        I was at least hoping that they would make SOME improvements though, instead they got most of their “Fixes” from Mods that they got the permission to use (and as they said there are lots of people helping them fix the game for free because “Baldur’s Gate”).

        And even the UI and what little they did looks rather botched…
        Compare their new distracting “gold borders” and all that: http://baldursgate.com/images/media/screenshots/screen17.png

        With the WideScreen Mod: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tSNbfD8uJ0o/Ti2WXPN30wI/AAAAAAAAAFU/UREUOOWI2sg/s1600/BGMain+2011-07-24+07-51-28-72.JPG

        It looks more distracting and incompetent (in regards to the UI design and blur filter) than anything else xD

      • Cruyelo says:

        They replaced the renderer, added new filtering methods (which aren’t shown in the screenshots showing the “blurry textures” since those screens date back to one of their earliest builds). The new renderer fixes the problem with hardware acceleration the game has on newer hardware.
        They replaced the audio engine and fixed the environmental audio issue the game has.
        They also cleaned up the source code. Too much hardcoding going on.

        And to answer the previous post about what new content they added : If you know there’s 3 “romanceable” characters, you should know they each have their own quests. The new Black Pit + the 3 characters quests total approximately 20 hours of content.
        There’s also “Adventure Y” that we don’t know much about just yet, tho they confirmed they were working on it. They wanted to release it shortly after the release of the game but since they’re planning to delay the game, add something to it, including “a surprise”, it could be they’re planning to add Adventure Y right away at release.

        The delay is also to let them improve the UI, they’ve been looking at comments and requests on their forum to see what should be changed. The current interface isn’t too good, it wouldn’t make for a bad experience but they can obviously do a lot better than this.

        • D3xter says:

          Those Screenshots are from 5 days ago…: http://baldursgate.com/news_2012sep10.en.html

          If by filtering method you mean, “smudge everything” then yeah they did that, and they did it well.

          And yay, everything BG needed was more romanceable characters… xD There was a reason Tales of the Sword Coast added mostly new areas, dungeons etc. to explore and no new characters in the game. “The Black Pit” is just a big Arena Mode as far as I can see.

          • Premium User Badge

            AmateurScience says:

            Those newer ones look pretty good clarity-wise, although I agree the UI needs work. The image you linked in the OP is smudge-tastic, but is one of the earliest they posted.

    • NathanH says:

      The main reason is so that a bunch of players who’ve never played the games will play it and say “omg, this is awful for (spurious dumbed down modern reason)” and we can feel superior, knowing that Baldur’s Gate 2 is objectively the best video game ever made.

      • tobecooper says:

        That’s a strange typo, you meant to write Planescape: Torment and wrote Baldur’s Gate II. Chinese keyboard, I guess? (I’m feeling superiorer than you!)

        • NathanH says:

          Planescape is a terrible game!

          • tobecooper says:

            What madness is this?! Planescape is the tits!

          • NathanH says:

            The gameplay is poor and the dialogue is mostly dreary and tedious. It has its bright moments, such as anything involving Morte and Annah, or the “what random object from the shop of random objects will solve this puzzle” bits.

          • sebmojo says:

            There’s no shame in being wrong.

          • Ajh says:

            To each their own I suppose…

          • Dr I am a Doctor says:

            Planescape Torment basically proved forever that gamers have philosophical capacities of an ant by beating players over the head with billions of words to make them think about an answer to a question

          • tobecooper says:

            You just described what philosophy is about, doctor. Million words to try to find an answer to the unanswerable. NathanH has a different taste, so that I understand, but you’re reaching, man.

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            Carra says:

            But it’s a great experience.

  8. lofaszjoska says:

    Are they still hell-bent on sticking to the AD&D rule set?

    • NathanH says:

      Hopefully, otherwise they would have to redesign *every area and every encounter*, which would make it a rather larger project and indeed a completely different game.

    • Crosmando says:

      What do you mean “hell bent”? If they were to move to 4E rule set they would need to pull the entire 2E module out of the Baldur’s Gate code and practically redo the entire game mechanics.

    • Unaco says:

      You mean, the ruleset of the original game? I’d assume yes, they are sticking with it… otherwise they’d be making a vastly different game. I believe there will be some changes, to BG1, as far as the ruleset goes, but nothing as radical as replacing that… I think, for character creation etc., there will be the kits and classes and options from BG2. But that’s about the extent of it.

      Also, why say “hell-bent”? It’s not reckless of them to stick to the original ruleset (they’re HD-ifying and adding more content to the game, not making a new game), it’s not going to doom the ‘remake’ to failure. It’s not impetuous of them… they’re polishing up an old game, not making something entirely new.

    • lofaszjoska says:

      It would surely take some effort, but i could think of a couple things more difficult than porting a module from AD&D to D&D 3.5E. It’s very close to what they used for BG originally, only it isn’t broken.
      If i was to enhance BG in any way, i’d start with revising game mechanincs, not by adding new NPCs.

      Adding a better UI and widescreen support is nice i guess, but these are things patches should do.

      • Werthead says:

        The licence Beamdog have with WotC extends only to recreating the original game. Moving this to 3.5 is impossible – WotC only licence the current edition of the D&D game for new projects, which this would effectively be – and moving to 4 is not advisable as 4th Edition is both 1) horrendously awful, and 2) built around a radically different design paradigm that would require the entire BG series to be rethought.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Andy_Panthro says:

    Not sure I agree with the Alt-text on the main picture. I’ve always considered the spell effects from BG2 to be very good, and better than most modern games.

    • NathanH says:

      In fairness, the Baldur’s Gate spells do look vastly better in action than in screenshots. But yes, the spell effects in BG are extremely beautiful, far better than most modern RPGs.

    • Skull says:

      Yes, this is so right. Baldurs Gate did a better job with its spell effects and artwork than Oblivion did. (Although Skyrim was a nice improvement)

    • InternetBatman says:

      I definitely agree with you, but ensnare had the shittiest look out of all of them. My favorite animation was magic missile.

      • NathanH says:

        Magic Missile is great, it’s the perfect spell effect for a spell you’re going to be casting again and again. A couple more classics are Magic Weapon (the same effect as Cromwell uses when forging) and some priest spell I’ve forgotten that’s a bright white light exploding into a flock of doves. I always liked the “ghost” from Finger of Death as well.

    • Lemming says:

      Some of them, yes. But Web in BG1 was ugly as hell.

  10. Dr I am a Doctor says:

    BGEE is basically a bigger joke than OUYA by now.

  11. reosarevok says:

    I knew they wanted (and, sadly, probably managed) to get the fans to translate their stuff for free and give them the rights for their translation they didn’t pay for, which is disgusting enough. But if they also took stuff from mods as another comment says, and they didn’t pay for that either, then this is starting to feel almost scammy. “Look, it’s BG! You love BG! Give us stuff for free so we can get more money!” is not much better than “Look, we’re totally Interplay, even if nobody from old Interplay is in new Interplay!”.

    And yeah, the new content sounds pretty shitty. Although while I personally never saw the point romanceable NPCs, some of the most popular BG II mods used to be NPCs, so I guess there is a good amount of fans who want them. All in all though, I guess this is BG for people who have too much money and too little time for configuring a BP-BGT install… but then I am not sure how they’ll find time to play a 100 hour game. And for iPad users, who are getting a bargain here by saving $10 by missing two characters which might not be too good anyway (wonder why they didn’t price the PC version at $10 with DLC characters too…)

    • Ragnar says:

      To be fair, BG1Tutu took a fair bit of time to set up. EasyTutu makes that easier and faster, certainly, but when you add up the time it takes to research the mods, download everything, figure out what of the additional mods you need to install… you could easily spend more in time setting up BG1 on a modern computer than the $10 it’ll cost you for this edition.

  12. Bhazor says:

    And hands up anyone whose feeling a bit silly having just bought Baldurs Gate during the current Gog sale.

    /hand up.

  13. neolith says:

    Ah, RPS, your headlines give me joy! :D

  14. malkav11 says:

    I’m just not that interested in the original Baldur’s Gate. Low level D&D is a huge pain and not very exciting; the game is certainly big but doesn’t have that much of interest off the beaten path, and, at least by default, there’s little of the party interaction and other personality that the sequel has in spades. If/when they get around to BG2EE, we’ll see.

    • Werthead says:

      There’s a fair amount of inter-party interaction. The evil dudes you meet 5 minutes into the game (and are typically the first NPCs you recruit) got into fights all the time with other party members (until you boot or kill them) and Minsc freaks out if you don’t go rescue that priestess in a set amount of time.

      There’s not as much as in BG2, but vastly more than in any other game released to that time, and more than most now.

  15. stkaye says:

    Grumpy internet people everywhere. The only significant improvement from BG to BG2 was the addition of extremely interactive and personality-driven party members. Bringing a bit of that kind of love – with interactive new companions – to the original game, rewriting the code for modern PCs, consolidating a tried set of improvements and adding a few more, bringing in Sam firkin’ Hulick to add additional music for new areas…

    …it’s worth paying for, and worth waiting for too.

    I can’t accept some of the stuff being thrown around on here about this being ‘scammy’ or ‘disgusting’. This has been an incredibly open and responsive process – anyone who follows Trent Oster on Twitter would know that. They never promised any of the things that some people seem to expect.

    • Ragnar says:

      But why would people pay all of $10 for that?

      I mean, at minimum wage, that’s like 1.5 hours of work. People could download their copies of BG1 and BG2 off GoG, get Tutu, get other mods, and put everything together, and it would only take them… Oh.

  16. caddyB says:

    I was very excited about this when I first heard the news, but these days there are so many great games coming out, I don’t know if it’s worth playing a game I played through 20 times again.

    I’ll definitely buy it later when PC gaming hits a dry spell.

  17. SominiTheCommenter says:

    I hope they don’t take an Eternity to launch the game, or the Fallout would be enormous.

    • reosarevok says:

      Yeah, they’re clearly Tormenting their fans with this delay.

  18. Crosmando says:

    Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition:
    http://www.gibberlings3.net/