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Old 14 May 2011, 23:30   #1
gilgamesh
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Matt Chat 101: Baldur's Gate

Hi guys,

the best dungeon master in cyberspace and wielder of the rather excellent drinking horn, Matt, features Baldur's Gate at last. Matt Chat at its best. Enjoy!

[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 15 May 2011, 01:14   #2
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Just watched it, great vid and brings back a lot of great memories.
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Old 15 May 2011, 02:26   #3
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I like how Matt ends the episode with a micro-brew
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Old 15 May 2011, 17:22   #4
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I have 1 & 2 sat in a cupboard but never got around to playing them. Bought them off ebay years ago, recognizing the famous name.

This vid is really tempting me to crack them open and install...

Nice work as always Matt!
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Old 15 May 2011, 19:14   #5
mattbarton.exe
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Thanks, guys!

I agree with the criticisms on YT, though. It did take them until BG 2 to really smooth out the gameplay and interface, and the combat was never the series' strong point (arguably no game since the Goldbox games has really gotten it right). Still, I think it's better than in Dragon Age, and it's not especially intrusive since you want to be focused on the story and atmosphere anyway. I always thought the NWN engine had a lot of potential, but the story and chars just weren't nearly as memorable or inspiring as in DA. Same for Icewind Dale--I love being able to make a whole party, but the story and settings just didn't grip me.

I'm STILL holding out hope against hope that Bioware's Star Wars MMO will be something special. Still, I wish they were working on a Forgotten Realms game. I know there's already the Dungeons & Dragons MMO, but it just didn't do it for me. You really need a hardcore group of obsessed FANATICS to really do something like that justice. I think Bioware did great with BG, but BG 2 seems to be their peak. After that it was all downhill as far as CRPGs are concerned.

What I'd really love to see is a modern game like Baldur's Gate but with turn-based combat. I guess that's just too much to ask for.
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Old 17 May 2011, 10:21   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattbarton.exe View Post
What I'd really love to see is a modern game like Baldur's Gate but with turn-based combat. I guess that's just too much to ask for.
I hear you, and yet turn based is often nog executed properly either. Turn based combat should add more tactics into the mix but mostly it is just keying in the same sequence of attacks turn after turn, with the occasional healing spell thrown in.

I appreciate the real time combat with the ability to pause the most; its a fair blend IMO.
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Old 17 May 2011, 12:09   #7
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Lots of the old folks still crave for turn based combat. In fact, I hear this so often that I don't understand why it is not even considered these days. Fallout has one of the best imo.

To avoid repetitions is simple. Make the brawls so hard that people have to become creative in order to survive. This goes for real time combat as well. When I played the Halo demo back then, it was neat but rather dull. But with difficulty to max, whoa, things became really interesting.

Well, Matt really got me. I have BG shelved of course, but after PS Torment I thought it might be too mainstream. Now it is next on my list.
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Old 17 May 2011, 13:43   #8
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Good point! The fallout (1 & 2) implementation is truly the best I've played yet, yes. It is good in its simplicity; you divide points over things you want to do. You have to be careful how you spread those points because if you walk to get close to a mutant and then can't fire your minigun, you're in big trouble

I take it back. I want the Fallout way of turned based combat, not the pause-unpause model.
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Old 17 May 2011, 14:53   #9
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Perhaps some of you might enjoy the games from the Avernum series?:
http://www.spiderwebsoftware.com/products.html

There is a demo for each game so you can try. It is shareware stuff so don't expect the same production value BG had.
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Old 17 May 2011, 18:40   #10
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I'm always going on about turn-based because it's never been with modern hardware the way it should be done. Sure, there are the Japanese and indie titles, but I'm waiting for a big budget Western game with the same production values as the Gold Box games had back in the day.

I don't necessarily think turn-based is the end-all, be-all, though. I could live and possibly come to prefer a real-time game with slider, like you get in the Total War games. Instead of just being able to pause, you could slow down time to really get in there and micromanage the heck out of a battle. Maybe they could also have an option where you could replay a battle at regular speed afterward just to revel in it.

Still, turn-based is totally different, since you have to factor the turns into your strategy. You can suddenly use your big fireballs and such instead of just chain lightning and magic missiles, for one thing.

I agree, though, turn-based can become dead-paced if the battles are too frequent or too easy. A modern interface could easily fix a lot of this, though, by allowing you to make macros or store your most common attacks and such. You shouldn't have to aim each time, for instance. Maybe just have the game recommend a move each turn and just hit enter to accept that, only going out of that when you need to. There's a lot of ways they could fix this.

BTW, I think the game Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor is what doomed turn-based. It was a terrible, awful, horrifically bad game. Naturally, the conclusion was that turn-based was dead and this game proved it. Arggghhh!!! It was a sucky game, period! nevertheless, I think that's what most modern designers think of when they hear turn-based.
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