Baldur’s Gate: Siege Of Dragonspear
On Mods, Publishers And The Future Of Baldur’s Gate

“We move from custodian to creator.”

That was how Trent Oster described it. Beamdog’s co-founder who, twenty years ago, was also there when Bioware began, is once again returning to one of roleplaying’s most beloved and most influential series. This time, he won’t just be adding a new lick of paint here or a subtle embellishment there, as he has with the company’s Enhanced Editions of the Baldur’s Gate games. No, Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear [official site] is something wholly new. While Beamdog are calling it an expansion pack, its scope and scale mean that it outsizes both Tales of the Sword Coast and Throne of Bhaal. For all intents and purposes, it’s Baldur’s Gate 3.

Okay, fine, it’s more like Baldur’s Gate 1.5, since its plot is designed to slot neatly between those of the other two games, bridging a narrative gap that has long remained murky and ambiguous. Whatever its numeral, it is a third game in the Baldur’s Gate series, set in the same world, during the same time, and featuring many of the same characters. While it may not boast the same enormous size as the tremendous siblings that bracket it, it’s not looking slight. Beamdog are estimating that it will give players at least twenty-five hours of adventuring and Oster says it’s actually larger than both previous expansions combined. This, they say, will be some very substantial adventuring.

I don’t doubt it, not just because of the claim of seventy new maps to explore, but because I’ve also seen a few of those maps up close and some of them are enormous. One twisting dungeon is far larger than anything ever featured in the Baldur’s Gate series and, if my judgment is correct, also any of the maps in Pillars of Eternity. During a reveal delivered live on Twitch, lead designer Phil Daigle also promised “Battles larger than anything you’ve seen in the Infinity Engine before,” fought out across some of these.

“There’s even more new items in Siege than there were in either of the original expansions,” Cameron Tofer, Beamdog’s other co-founder, tells me afterwards. He then checks with Oster the current estimate of the game’s word count and his partner casually estimates that conversations, item descriptions and flavour text bring to about the half-million mark. “We said we’d do about two hundred thousand words of dialogue,” Oster says. “It’s about three hundred thousand now.”

Beamdog are not holding back. Nor are they compromising – not now that they’re free from the pressures of a publisher, but more on that later.

There was always a strange disconnect between the Baldur’s Gate games. The first ended with the player a hero, yet its sequel began with them as an outcast for reasons that were never explained. Patching this plothole, Siege of Dragonspear continues two weeks after the climax of Baldur’s Gate, with the player celebrated for their efforts but, at the same time, suspected (correctly) of carrying the same dangerously divine heritage as the first game’s antagonist. Leaving town for a little while isn’t a bad idea and investigating strange happenings further up the Sword Coast is as good an excuse as any.

Trouble is sweeping across the High Moor in the form of a strange crusade, lead by a mysterious and charismatic commander known only as the Shining Lady. She sallies forth from the ruins of Castle Dragonspear (careful, that Forgotten Realms wiki is a timesink), seizing supplies from the locals to feed her ever-expanding army. But to what end?

Perhaps your companions can help answer that question. Many of Baldur’s Gate’s most famous characters are back, including several who didn’t make it to the sequel. Khalid returns, Dynaheir joins him and Minsc is the same omnicidal extrovert as ever. It’s been a long, long time since these characters went on new adventures, travelled to new lands or spoke new lines. In an interview after the event, Daigle said that the biggest challenge wasn’t creating new adventures or designing new dungeons, but “Getting all our voice acting in a row. Getting all those people together was a big deal.”

“For the Enhanced Editions, it was just us directing it locally, handling the casting and all that,” he explains. “For Dragonspear, we really wanted to do a better job, so we reached out and we outsourced it to the pros. Once everything came together it was awesome, but the process of getting there was a long, long, arduous trek. It took us about a year to arrange.” The problem, he says, was tracking down all those wayward adventures of old.

“Some of those actors are out of the industry now. To get those people together and to have them jump back into their characters was hard,” he says. “Some of them could pick it up right away, it was like they’d never left the booth, but for some of them it was a case of ‘I don’t quite remember that voice.’ Luckily, we had Ginny McSwain, the voice director for the original Baldur’s Gate, and she ended up pulling these incredible performances out of them.”

Daigle’s words echo something that runs through the whole Beamdog team, that being an awareness of both how loved the Baldur’s Gate games are, but also how aged. Returning to such an old series after so long is not something they’ve found easy. There are organisational challenges, there are technical challenges, there are writing challenges and there’s a legacy that, they say, absolutely has to be respected. Writer Amber Scott, who is teaming up with Enhanced Edition veteran Andrew Foley, describes her job a “fiction/non-fiction” crossover, because there’s so much established plot and history that has to be carefully researched and then written around.

“Obviously, none of it really happened. There was no Faerûn, no Elminster, they’re not real,” she says. “But there is still that canon that has to be respected. We’ve worked really hard to make sure that the plot of Siege of Dragonspear matches the canon of Second Edition.” Scott and Foley’s job is further complicated by the fact that the Forgotten Realms of today, of Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons, is a very different place to that of the Second Edition, its heyday two decades past. The timeline has leapt forward an age, cataclysms have reshaped the world and Scott‘s job is comparable to carefully, surgically inserting new details into Roman history, making sure they don’t conflict with other concurrent events, nor anything that happened since. “We had to be careful that the stories and the characters that we created slotted in to all this,” she says. “We actually had to work extremely hard to make sure.”

It was often painstaking work, undertaken with the help of Dungeons & Dragon’s owners and curators, Wizards of the Coast, but Scott knows and loves her D&D, having written for its Eberron setting, as well as many supplements for the Pathfinder RPG. As significant a challenge was writing new material for old characters, characters adored by millions, and Scott, Oster and just about everyone else at Beamdog feels the weight of expectation upon them. Many writers and designers contributed to the dialogue and the feel of the first two games. Very few of them are present in the current team.

“That writing was also complicated,” Scott says. “We had to take into consideration how the characters would change, even how they would look, to create an experience where, if you played through Baldur’s Gate, Siege of Dragonspear and then Baldur’s Gate II, it was totally seamless. It’s a difficult job in that they’re beloved characters, that people love them, but it’s easy in a sense that we also love them. Having the opportunity to bring some ideas into an entirely new chapter of Baldur’s Gate? I can’t imagine anything that’s more amazing than that, than someone saying ‘You get to write dialogue for Imoen, for Minsc, for Dynaheir.’ I loved Baldur’s Gate and I loved those characters.”

Of course, many of those hundreds of thousands of words of dialogue also come from the mouths of new characters, including four NPCs that include a ranger who works with the Flaming Fist and goblin shaman, representing the new character class introduced. Like a sort of psychopathic Pokémon master, a shaman can summon a constant stream of creatures to aid them in combat, but has to remain firmly rooted to the spot, vulnerable and inviting.

On page two, how Baldur’s Gate 2 is changing, modding plans, and the problem with publishers.

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75 Comments

  1. Wonderboy2402 says:

    I think they have done well as curator. Now it is a time to see their creative chops. Looking forward to this!

    • thmal says:

      While I think an Infinity Engine stand-alone kind of game that doesn’t explicitly tap into the Baldur’s Gate franchise would have been a better (and more interesting) move, I’m still grateful they’re doing this. There’s a lot of merit to these games, even after many years. If they can reach the same general ballpark that Baldur’s Gate II was in, then they’re in a position to do some truly exciting things.

      • Darkheart says:

        I think you are right. I will definitely buy the game and judge it later, just to say thanks that they do something like the old Infinity games again.

  2. yurivr says:

    Take my money!

  3. welverin says:

    Throne of Bhaal was Baldur’s Gate 3, the level creep was so bad they just couldn’t manage a third full game without it getting ridiculous, thus we got an expansion instead.

    The mention of new voice work makes me wonder if they’ll finely get people to pronounce Bhaal correctly.

    • Zekiel says:

      How’s it supposed to be pronounced? I can’t remember.

      Agree about the level creep. It was pretty great for most of Shadows of Amn – when you had enough options to have fun, but before you got to the ridiculousness of Throne of Bhaal. Main problem was having so many options that it just led to me not using whole levels of spells.

    • ZanathKariashi says:

      ToB was rushed to due licensing issues with WotC. It was supposed to be a full 3rd game that explored around Tethyr with several oppertunities for the players to make a difference in the play through, but they had to force it out as a poorly balanced and quality controlled expansion pack before their contract expired or WotC would’ve required them update it to 3rd edition and break their compatibility plans, like what happened with Neverwinter Nights. DG went back unofficially and tried to smooth things out with the Ascension semi-official mod, but only really expanded the elements that were there, rather then fully implementing what was.

      Unlike 3rd edition there is no power creep at high levels in 2nd edition because HD stop at lvl 10 and 6th+ spells usually have a static effect with very few continuing to progress based on level. Higher levels simply gave you more options without genuinely increasing your power meaningfully.

      That however is one area ToB grossly messed up with the poorly adapted HLAs.

      (though SoA also poorly adapted the kits by removing most of their balancing factors and/or overpowering their abilities, the berserker being one of the worst in terms of removing it’s main penalties AND overpowered it’s ability, so it’s mostly that the balance failure started in SoA (though bards and druids had been getting shafted by poor adaption of their unique features as early as BG1) and was simply made worse by the rushed state of ToB).

  4. Grizzly says:

    Just a quick note to say that the BG1NPC mod, which adds BG2 style banters to all the BG1 NPcs has been updated to work with the Enhanced Edition. You can find the link:
    link to forums.beamdog.com
    over yonder.

    I highly recommend it, if only because it makes Beamdog’s addittions stand out a bit less.

  5. thekelvingreen says:

    Part of the Beamdog’s re-write was performed in order to get the game functioning on devices like the iPad, but Oster says it has also mades for a slimmer, more efficient game, even if it took a little while to get there (and Oster is no stranger to radically rebuilding things to try and get them to run better, as his racing blog testifies).

    Okay, so will it have similar system requirements to the original or will I need a high-end PC to run it?

    • Elhoim says:

      It actually runs faster, especially regarding loadingtimes.

      • thekelvingreen says:

        So… yes? It will have similar system requirements to the original games? The reason I ask is that I was a bit disappointed that Pillars of Eternity had such heavy requirements when it was supposed to be a throwback to the Baldur’s gate era, and I’d be crushed if the new BG did the same.

        • revan says:

          It’s Unity engine that is the culprit here. Frankly, I hate that engine to death and groan every time I see the game using it.

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      syllopsium says:

      The Enhanced Edition needs a ‘1GHz’ processor, the Linux version a Core2Duo.

      If I look at a copy of Icewind Dale 2 I’m playing here, original packaging from 2002, it recommends a Pentium III 500. I can’t believe you’d seriously want it to meet those requirements.

      • thekelvingreen says:

        No, all I want is to be able to play BG1.5 on my current, low-end PC. I’d be happy, overjoyed even, with that.

        • EOT says:

          Just how low end is your PC?

          BGI&II’s specs are as below:

          OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8
          Processor: 1 GHZ
          Memory: 512 MB RAM
          Graphics: OpenGL 2.0 compatible
          Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
          Sound Card: Windows Compatible

    • ansionnach says:

      Alright, there is merit in what he says… but it’s funny that the slimmer, more efficient game comes with much heftier system requirements. I mean, Baldur’s Gate only needed a Pentium 166MHz. I got it to run acceptably on a Pentium 100MHz, though.

      I wonder why the requirements are so much higher? Modern development tools? Added features? Vista+ won’t run on an original Pentium with 16MB of RAM?!?

      • ansionnach says:

        May have had 32MB of RAM in that Pentium 100. There weren’t too many settings that helped performance, but reducing the number of path-finding nodes to a bare minimum improved things a lot. Anyway, the hyperbole the guy’s spouting about optimising the game is a bit of a joke. Baldur’s Gate ran like lightning on an Athlon 500MHz I got in 1999. Since it only only needs a a processor clocked at 1/10 of their one it runs even better on modern machines. How fast is “more than fast enough”?

      • ansionnach says:

        If they didn’t want to release on tablets there’d have been no point in these optimisations so there’s little reason to be boasting about them on a PC gaming site.

  6. kwyjibo says:

    I’m not expecting crisp high resolution graphics from a reworked Infinity Engine game, but I’m also not expecting the layer of shit RPS has smeared over the screens with its ridiculous JPG compression artifacts.

  7. Zekiel says:

    Sounds interesting. I wonder if your party will be fixed? Canonically you take Imoen, Minsc, Dynaheir, Khalid & Jaheria from Baldur’s Gate into Amn, and those are the names being bandied around here. But that misses out a lot of my favourites from the first game, like Edwin, Tiax and Monatron & Xzar. It would be a shame if you weren’t able to choose or change your companions.

    • amateurviking says:

      What would be GREAT (and they seem amenable to making more changes to the original pair) is if the intro of BG2 was a bit more reactive to how you ended BG1/this. I almost always went the ‘canon’ BG1 party but it’s always felt a bit off that you only ever start with Jaheira and Minsc, regardless of your history (Imoen can at least be explained by [redacted]).

    • Nibblet says:

      Most of your former companions make an apperance in bg2 so i am sure it will not be too difficult to give some sort of canonical resolution to the ones that just dissapear.
      Think there are only 5 or so that you never hear anything about in bg2.
      Perhaps they all die a scripted death in whatever the final confrontation of the expantion is.

  8. Sly-Lupin says:

    So I guess the takeawy from this is that the new game will use the same, fugky uprezzed sprites as the EEs? That was barely excusable in the EE ports… But completely inexcusable for a new game.

    • malkav11 says:

      It’s going to be DLC for the Enhanced Edition of Baldur’s Gate 1, though, isn’t it? So it kind of has to use the same engine etc.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      ‘uprezzed sprites’? You mean the zoom?

  9. neoncat says:

    Hrm… I will have to look into the enhanced edition. I ditched Baldur’s Gate after my entire level 1 party was ambushed and wiped out by a (plot-required) level 4 assassin about 30 minutes in. There’s a reason no sane person actually starts a D&D campaign at level 1.

    • EOT says:

      Tarnesh is a bit of a bastard. I had forgotten about him when I last played the EE edition (on my tablet, now unplayable thanks to Lollipop being shit and making my OEd Nexus 7 basically useless). Killed my main character a couple of times.

      I don’t think I ever remembered to pick up the Ring of Wizardry in that game either come to think of it…

      • bill says:

        Yeah. Lolipop rendered my old (2 years!) nexus 7 useless as well. I was half way through the process of using wugfresh to reflash it with an older version of android when it suddenly seems to have started working better… I have no faith it’ll continue for long though.

        And yes, I also almost quit BG when my party of 2 was continually one hit killed at level 1.

        • Bostec says:

          Same here! 1st gen Nexus ruined by the update, I still use it but its so sluggish and slow and crashes alot. It really is a pain in the arse. You always get the feeling they did it to force you to buy the 2nd gen. Google are bastards.

    • malkav11 says:

      Yeah, starting at level 1, with the entire game ending if your PC is killed, and not even having a full party for the first few maps is one of several reasons I bailed almost immediately on BG1 back in the day and that experience so soured me on the franchise that I took some convincing to try BG2. Which turned out to be one of the best CRPGs of all time. With that in mind and some mods, going back and checking out BG1 (in coop) was moderately rewarding but, yeesh. Those early assassins. Those wolves. I really have not wanted to replay 1. 2, yes, though I scarcely have time, but 1? Nah.

      • thejimformerlyknownasjim says:

        on normal dfficulty there are few fights that you really have to come back to. I didnt have much trouble at all til the end. I dont understand how people thought it was soo hard.

      • thejimformerlyknownasjim says:

        and slo the wolves are easy as heck… so are the assassins

      • thejimformerlyknownasjim says:

        and so the wolves are easy as heck… so are the assassins

    • Asurmen says:

      I remember him being such a pain in the arse back at original release. I think I had to cheese it somehow. Same with the last fight at the temple. This time under EE? Both fights were pathetically easy. I don’t know if that’s because they balanced it differently, I played better (older/wiser. I fully understood the system at the time of release) or whether I followed the level/difficulty curve better rather than doing something too soon.

      • EOT says:

        I found the best way to ‘cheese’ Tarnesh was to go running to the guards. They helped take the heat off of you and he invariably offed one or two and you could steal their gear. Especially helpful when the Iron Blight or whatever it was called meant you had to carry a couple of spare swords with you wherever you went.

        I stopped playing at the Kobold Mines several times when I first played it in the 90s. That was my usual breaking point. Though this time round I managed to get to the Bandit camp before having to stop because of the Nexus 7 issue mentioned above. Though I did have to turn the difficulty down because I’m shit at video games.

    • Werthead says:

      The secret with all the IE games was to completely load everyone up on ranged weapons/magic at all times, only switching to melee when absolutely necessary. It made everything much easier (like the ankhegs, who went from being near-invulnerable TPKers to easily-slaughtered, mass-XP-generating sitting ducks).

      With this in mind and a bit of cheesing (surviving the first melee swing and then getting the melee fighter to run around whilst everyone wailed on the assassin with ranged), even the assassin can be taken out without too much trouble (YMMV).

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      phuzz says:

      I first played BG as a kid, I had no idea what I was doing so I quit about half an hour in.
      About a year later, I tried it again, this time having some idea of what an RPG was and how to play it (“oh, this sword is better“), I also found a save editor and so started with my character at max level and managed to get all the way to the last boss fight where I repeatedly wiped and eventually gave up (see also: Final Fantasy VII).
      I’ve had the EE in my Steam library for ages, maybe now is a good time to install it and see if 15 years of experience help me out.

    • thejimformerlyknownasjim says:

      Lol that is so weird. I had to reload at low levels but it wasnt THAT hard. I am guessing you were knew to that kind of game? You should have just put it to the easiest difficulty til you got used to it.

  10. pepperfez says:

    “and give…I some time to rest”

    C’mon, guys, that isn’t even in-character bad grammar.

    • deejayem says:

      Yeah, not a great way to advertise your writing skills.

    • drinniol says:

      Minsc is fully aware of the rules of compound pronouns, is he? Shit, not even any of my primary school teachers were, the slackers.

    • Asurmen says:

      That’s correct grammar, or are you saying he should be using bad grammar because it’s Minsc?

  11. Black Scalp says:

    Nice advertisement. Love the obvious paid for writing style.

    • Ancient Evil says:

      Piss off.

      • newc0253 says:

        Although I don’t believe this was genuinely a paid-for write up, I can’t blame the original poster for being a mite suspicious.

        Take the following quote from Oster:

        “When we have a fan saying they’re never going to buy the Enhanced Edition, they’re going to mod their version, I think, well… Okay, I’m going to read through their feedback.” he continues. “And I’m going to get the old version of Baldur’s Gate. I’ll put all those mods on and I’ll play it and then I’ll still be like ‘You can’t be serious!’ It’s so clunky. It’s so clunky compared to what we have now, which is really slick.”

        Now, this goes to one of the core complaints about the EE, which is that Beamdog were producing a IO-friendly version of a classic CRPG for which there were already plenty of mods available & far more cheaply than the Beamdog version. Oster makes a fairly bold claim that the modded version sucks compared to his premium version.

        But does the article challenge Oster’s quote in any way? No. Instead we get this:

        “What may not be so apparent to many of those Baldur’s Gate purists is that half of the team now working for Beamdog are modders themselves, people who have known the ins and outs (and imperfections) of the Infinity Engine for many years and who initially took it upon themselves to make what they did out of their love for the games.”

        Sorry RPS but that reeks. I bought the EE version of BG1 with an open mind but, having finished it, I thought the criticisms were entirely justified. The main ‘enhancement’ were slightly zoomed graphics. The additional story and NPCs were, I’m sorry to say, not on par with the quality of the rest of the game: it felt like fan-fic more than anything else.

        The funny thing is, completing BG1 again made me want to play BG2 straightaway. So this time I repurchased the original from GOG and downloaded the main mods that various people have recommended for it.

        Were there any problems? No. Bugs? No. The modded version of BG2 works absolutely great & I’m certainly not going to bother with the EE version anytime soon.

        So when I read Oster’s quote, I think “actually, the modded version worked great, actually”. And when I read the RPS article, I thought “your standards are slipping”.

        • Black Scalp says:

          I have to admit the way I worded that was slightly nasty, I was tired and also rather irritable after reading the article. I’m a long time reader of RPS and when you get used to a certain writing style and type of journalistic authenticity it is very obvious when there are subtle and not so subtle changes in wording and tone.

          Now I actually do not believe this article was paid for, but I have never read an article on RPS written like this in its tone and style, it really does come across as the kind of fake interview marketing release you get at events like phone reveals.

          • PsychoWedge says:

            Well, this was obviously not bought by Beamdog but the whole article reads weirdly like a marketingdocument or like a preview from one of The Official [console-name-here] Magazines that are published by the console manufactors. Which is just not what you expect from RPS or are used to. It made it an almost uncomfortable read for me…

        • thejimformerlyknownasjim says:

          Lol you guys have a lot of time on your hands

  12. Deviija says:

    My selfish want would be for BG2:EE to be tweaked based on BG1 and Dragonspear’s companions that you bring along with you. It always irritated me that things like Khalid and Dynaheir were dead set in stone, off screen, with nothing you could do about it. In returning to the game in such a way and with such a scope, it’d have been great to play with some of these aspects, if allowed, imo.

  13. PancakeWizard says:

    I applaud Beamdog for their efforts and have enjoyed the EE’s immensely. However, while I’m glad they are no longer under the yolk of Atari for publishing, I hope they’ve seen sense and publish this new BG on Steam themselves. Atari basically forced them to with the previous games. I have no intention of using their own service for purchasing/playing games. Big publishing houses like EA and Ubisoft having their own makes sense, but for a relatively small studio like Beamdog, it’s too big a question mark on reliability and longevity.

    • Ancient Evil says:

      I’m confident that this will be on Steam given that this is an expansion to BG:EE, which is already on Steam.

      • xsikal says:

        Yeah, I’d assume it will be on Steam too. Regardless, I’ll buy it through beamdog instead.. I’d rather they get more of my money than have some of it go to valve.

  14. schreber says:

    You know, having played Baldur’s Gate for 15 years, I never thought, “Man, this is kind of clunky. If only somebody made it slick!” It’s a remarkably solid game, and I wish people selling enhanced editions, repackages, HD remakes, spiritual sequels, etc. would stop with the sweeping “old games hahahaha” rubbish.

    They’ve spent several years selling these repackages and giving themselves a financial cushion that many other first-time developers can only dream of. Now that they’re finally making an actual game, I really hope they have the talent to make something good. On that point, I wonder when we can start to get some meaty info about, well, the game itself. Telling us there’s “hundreds of thousands of lines”, well, that just tells me it’s just like every other RPG worth its salt.

    • Ancient Evil says:

      I wonder if people who haven’t been playing Baldur’s Gate for 15 years might have different perceptions regarding “clunkiness” than you. Maybe you’re just used to it…

      • MisterFurious says:

        I thought it was clunky and tedious 15 years ago and earlier this year I tried once more to play it again and thought it was just as clunky and tedious now. I’ve tried three, maybe four times, hell, maybe even more, to play that game and I’ve never even made it to Baldur’s Gate. I never finished ‘Baldur’s Gate 2’, either.

        • thejimformerlyknownasjim says:

          Its just not your type of game then. Bg2 is widely considered the best overall of the genre.

          • jrodman says:

            That’s not how it works.

            People have individual tastes for a variety of reasons. That someone doesn’t like your favourite thing doesn’t mean that their opinion is invalid or that they aren’t a fan of the genre in which your favourite thing exists.

            There are plenty of people who like RPGs of various types a great deal but don’t happen to like Baldur’s Gate for some reason. They may not be a majority, but majority opinion does not invalidate minority opinion.

          • thejimformerlyknownasjim says:

            Well i suppose but its like saying ” I love sweet tasting things but hate sugar”.

    • bill says:

      While it would be nice to get more meaty info, it’s probably kind of difficult.
      How does it play? Like Baldur’s Gate.
      What is the gameplay like? Like Baldur’s Gate.
      What is the engine like? Like Baldur’s Gate.
      What is the story/dialogue like? Well, we think it’s good.

      I’m sure people who know BG inside out have no problems with the UI, but I found parts of it incredibly frustrating (buying/selling items in a tiny window with none of the relevant stats, for example)
      Frankly, from the screenshots, it seems like they haven’t done enough to improve it.

      • Ancient Evil says:

        I’m looking forward to the additional refinements they’ve announced to the series just as much as Dragonspear itself, if not more. The Enhanced Editions are a good start, but I’m hoping they go quite a bit further.

  15. iamgenestarwind says:

    i really hope this is better than balders gate one i love balders gate 2 itis a really great game and good even today but the walk speed in BG 1 is horrorable and about 30mins in i was killed by one arrow and quit i understand making games harder so they are more interesting but when its so hard it seems you cant win well thats the end for me i will buy this cuz i hope its good and yes want to support new rpgs really hope they have upgraded things for BG 1 tho

    • thejimformerlyknownasjim says:

      lol i didnt have to much trouble on normal difficulty

  16. pasports31 says:

    Man, I hope this is good. I’m cautiously optimistic about this, but I have my doubts it’ll be as good as anything in the original games or its expansions. Either way, I’ll buy and play it. Loving this crpg renaissance; I just started playing these sorts of games about two years ago (which I began by playing Baldur’s Gate 1). I have plenty of crpgs to go before I even get into the new ones coming out, but that’s fine with me. When I start one of these I tend to fly through them (played Planescape Torment for the first time a few weeks ago and finished it in a little over a week).

    Anyway, we’ll see how this goes.

  17. pullthewires says:

    Something is annoying me in all the press around this game. There is not a plot-hole between BG1 and 2 – you end BG1 a hero, but it quite neatly explains how the people of the city you saved began to distrust you, because of your shared heritage with the man who tried to start a bloody war to fuel his ascension to godhood. So you decide to leave, are ambushed, and BG2 begins.

    I wish they’d just made a new IE game, not pretended they were fixing a non-existent plot-hole.

    • Asurmen says:

      Call it a story hole then. The prologue to BG2 hand waves it and explains it with a few lines of text. This bridge that story hole with actual details. Precisely how and by whom were you turfed out of BG2? Precisely who and/or what was dogging you for awhile before the ambush?

      • Yukiomo says:

        Is it really even a hole though? It’s just a temporary lapse in narration. No story follows its characters across every single moment of their lives. We don’t need every single detail of the Bhaalspawn’s life. It’s more mysterious and suggestive to not know exactly what happened before you wake up in Irenicus’ prison anyway.

        • Asurmen says:

          I have to disagree it adds to BG2 start. I’m not saying it’s a hole that HAS to be though, just that there is room for extra content.

  18. Bluestormzion says:

    I’ve started dozens of games of Baldur’s Gate over the years. I can remember with fondness going into that first plains, looking for some boots that Hobgoblins stole. Then, something far off the screen to the right shoots Czar and he dies. And I go “What the hell?” and reload. Then it happens again. And again.

    And I say, “Right, THIS is why I never actually finished this game. Fuck Baldur’s Gate.”

    Aaaand that’s really the end of the story. I’m sure the HD version, what with the zooming out, fixes that problem. But I’m not paying for a game three times without having gotten my money’s worth yet.

  19. PearlChoco says:

    I’m really glad they’re doing this and I’m looking forward to it.
    I’m not so glad about this article though. It reads like one big advertisement and is definitely not the typical RPS style and quality I’ve came to expect.

  20. sqt says:

    Never forget:

    • newc0253 says:

      Ughh.

      I guess that sums up the ‘Enhanced’ edition in a nutshell, really: replacing the original cutscenes with shitty artwork that seeks to ape the original while losing everything about them that was vivid, dynamic, evocative or clever.

      Not to mention the significant amount of material that they just cut and didn’t replace. I had forgotten how much the EE left out until I watched that clip.

      • sqt says:

        I’m not sure I’d be so harsh as to call it ‘shitty’ but juxtaposed with the original it clearly pales in comparison. Perhaps if we were presented with the ‘enhanced’ versions in the original game we wouldn’t know any better. Clearly the artist (I believe it was just one man) could only do so much with the time and resources given.

        What it really brings into focus is how deluded overhaul (or now just ‘beamdog’?) have to be to think that this is acceptable. Regardless of where your opinion falls on the comparative artistic quality (some would argue the new scenes at least have more detail, higher resolution, don’t look like they belong in the 90’s) they use still images, lines of dialog are missing or even some scenes have disappeared outright. Those scenes set the mood, they filled a purpose and now they aren’t there!? And the whole aesthetic is completely different– it goes beyond enhancing to outright replacing.

        They should have just realised it wasn’t as good as the originals, shown some humility and scrapped it.

        There are mods that restore the original cutscenes but we shouldn’t have to do that. When I recommend BG1 to somebody I don’t want to feel conflict–I don’t want to be even considering recommending the originals. But I want them to have the experience playing the game that I had and I don’t want to tell them to mess around with mods, nor do I want them to miss out on the quality-of-life improvements of the EE versions. So I am conflicted. I wish the game presented you with tick-boxes at the start that let you choose whether you want the EE content (cutscenes, characters, locations).

        It also casts doubt on them when they speak of treating the originals delicately and with respect. It’s almost downright contradictory when it comes to the Dragonspear expansion. You either regard it as too precious to mess with, or you leave a creative mark on it with all the presumptuousness (or greed) that that decision implies. The thought of modders getting the original game in their jaws is a bit unnerving, and I am not surprised to see people disowning this expansion as not part of the original games before it’s even out. I’ll try to keep an open mind myself, but I am skeptical.

        If I thought Beamdog were actually that good, if I thought they could fill the boots they attempted to fill, then that wouldn’t be a problem. But their track record is frankly a bit amateurish. Which kind of makes sense, given that their team is mostly modders. Modders are amateurs by definition and perhaps there was a reason they were unhired up until that point.

        I really want to be wrong, so let’s just say that if they execute this project with quality that comes close to the originals then it will be unprecedented on their part.

    • PsychoWedge says:

      Well, ‘Never forget’ might be a tad overdramatic but yeah, the only thing they accomplished in the cutscene department was to make everything worse… xD