• Welcome to Talking Time's third iteration! If you would like to register for an account, or have already registered but have not yet been confirmed, please read the following:

    1. The CAPTCHA key's answer is "Percy"
    2. Once you've completed the registration process please email us from the email you used for registration at percyreghelper@gmail.com and include the username you used for registration

    Once you have completed these steps, Moderation Staff will be able to get your account approved.

  • TT staff acknowledge that there is a backlog of new accounts that await confirmation.

    Unfortunately, we are putting new registrations on hold for a short time.

    We do not expect this delay to extend beyond the first of November 2020, and we ask you for your patience in this matter.

    ~TT Moderation Staff

Teach me about CRPGs

FelixSH

(He/Him)
Thanks. Made a Paladin, Undead Hunter because "immunity to one of the most annoying status effects" sounds pretty great.

I had to roll my eyes, when, while rolling the character, I got my first 18/xx strength. I'm sure there is a super good reason, why it can't be 19, but it seems really bizarre.

I guess, I can just ditch the characters that I got in the starter dungeon? Or are Minsk and Janeira like super interesting? I mean, no idea how the characters in this game are, but it seems like they are good, from what I read? And I assume that new ones will be more interesting, than ones from the first game. Not sure if I should spoiler this, but it seems sensible, considering the thread.

I'm going to keep Imoen, whenever I get her back, because she seems to have something interesting going on.

Or, how do I recognize interesting characters for my party? I hope, they tend to be more immediately interesting, than the other dude I found in the starter dungeon. Or do I just have to keep people around, and just see if their banter is fun enough, to keep them around? I mean, not just mechanically, at least as I understand, having them in the party can lead to interesting quests, or something?
 
I had to roll my eyes, when, while rolling the character, I got my first 18/xx strength. I'm sure there is a super good reason, why it can't be 19, but it seems really bizarre.

Yeah, 18/xx strength is an artifact of old D&D rules where there were a bunch of increments of max 18 strength, but in this game it basically never matters because if someone has 18/xx strength they're probably a character where you want to give items to improve strength to anyway, so you'll just blow past that system into 19 or more strength. It's funny because there's all these bizarre increments of 18, but once you're into 19 or more that goes away again.

I guess, I can just ditch the characters that I got in the starter dungeon? Or are Minsk and Janeira like super interesting? I mean, no idea how the characters in this game are, but it seems like they are good, from what I read? And I assume that new ones will be more interesting, than ones from the first game. Not sure if I should spoiler this, but it seems sensible, considering the thread.

I'm going to keep Imoen, whenever I get her back, because she seems to have something interesting going on.

Or, how do I recognize interesting characters for my party? I hope, they tend to be more immediately interesting, than the other dude I found in the starter dungeon. Or do I just have to keep people around, and just see if their banter is fun enough, to keep them around? I mean, not just mechanically, at least as I understand, having them in the party can lead to interesting quests, or something?

I don't think that the new characters are necessarily more interesting, or the ones in the intro dungeon are necessarily worse or less interesting.

Minsc is a beloved mascot character for the series. I don't care for him at all, either mechanically or his personality, but he's definitely a fan-favorite.

Jaheira is arguably one of the companions who is most directly tied into the main narrative of the game. She gets a lot more development than she did in BG1, and she has a long and involved personal quest, for reasons that you can probably guess if you used her in the first game, where she was one of the first companions the game directs you to meet. Also, I like to use her because Fighter/Druid is a fun class. If you look at her stats, they're also improved relative to the first game, where she many find her to be underpowered.

Yoshimo also has a quest tied to the main story. If you want to prioritize the rescue mission, it might be worth keeping him so you can do it as soon as you get a party of 6 and enough money to move the main plot forward. The character you're rescuing is also good enough to be your primary utility thief 99% of the time. She's another dual classed Thief-->Wizard so she'll never get better at it (no more Thief levels), but she's better than Nalia (who was actually added to the game as a kind of early-game replacement for the character to be rescued, so her Thieving skills will not hold up in more difficult areas).

Many (most?) side quest-lines in Athkatla will eventually lead you to a companion. In general, everyone but Imeon you find by doing side-quests. Some companions have quests that they'll tell you about right away and that are time sensitive, and they can leave permanently if you don't follow up on them soon enough. Others have quests that they'll start talking about once they've been around for a long time. These trigger somewhat randomly, which in some cases can unfortunately mean never. I used Jan Jansen more or less the entire game, and he never brought up his personal quest.

It's hard to say who you'll find interesting. I honestly like most of them, and there's a wide range of personalities and tones. If you just start to explore Athkatla and take quests, you'll quickly find more companions than you need. If there's a particular role you need filled mechanically, I could try to suggest options.
 
Last edited:

Issun

Avarice
As I replay Mass Effect the first, I'm realizing what a CRPG it is, especially compared to its sequels. CRPG through and through, with both the highs and lows of the genre on full display.
 
The Shadowrun games are out on consoles now, for anyone interested in this genre but who doesn't play PC games:


If you only try one, make it the middle game (Dragonfall). I like them all, but the first game is a bit too much of a proof-of-concept experiment and the last one (Hong Kong) is great but maybe a little overstuffed.

(Apparently the Switch version has performance issues, not sure how severe...)
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
Yeah, 18/xx strength is an artifact of old D&D rules where there were a bunch of increments of max 18 strength, but in this game it basically never matters because if someone has 18/xx strength they're probably a character where you want to give items to improve strength to anyway, so you'll just blow past that system into 19 or more strength. It's funny because there's all these bizarre increments of 18, but once you're into 19 or more that goes away again.



I don't think that the new characters are necessarily more interesting, or the ones in the intro dungeon are necessarily worse or less interesting.

Minsc is a beloved mascot character for the series. I don't care for him at all, either mechanically or his personality, but he's definitely a fan-favorite.

Jaheira is arguably one of the companions who is most directly tied into the main narrative of the game. She gets a lot more development than she did in BG1, and she has a long and involved personal quest, for reasons that you can probably guess if you used her in the first game, where she was one of the first companions the game directs you to meet. Also, I like to use her because Fighter/Druid is a fun class. If you look at her stats, they're also improved relative to the first game, where she many find her to be underpowered.

Yoshimo also has a quest tied to the main story. If you want to prioritize the rescue mission, it might be worth keeping him so you can do it as soon as you get a party of 6 and enough money to move the main plot forward. The character you're rescuing is also good enough to be your primary utility thief 99% of the time. She's another dual classed Thief-->Wizard so she'll never get better at it (no more Thief levels), but she's better than Nalia (who was actually added to the game as a kind of early-game replacement for the character to be rescued, so her Thieving skills will not hold up in more difficult areas).

Many (most?) side quest-lines in Athkatla will eventually lead you to a companion. In general, everyone but Imeon you find by doing side-quests. Some companions have quests that they'll tell you about right away and that are time sensitive, and they can leave permanently if you don't follow up on them soon enough. Others have quests that they'll start talking about once they've been around for a long time. These trigger somewhat randomly, which in some cases can unfortunately mean never. I used Jan Jansen more or less the entire game, and he never brought up his personal quest.

It's hard to say who you'll find interesting. I honestly like most of them, and there's a wide range of personalities and tones. If you just start to explore Athkatla and take quests, you'll quickly find more companions than you need. If there's a particular role you need filled mechanically, I could try to suggest options.
Thanks for all the information. I just find it overwhelming, getting so many characters in such a short amount of time. After just reaching the slums, and walking into the circus tent, my party is already full. And with me not knowing, who might be interesting or not, I have a hard time deciding who to keep. I guess that will be a question soon enough. But Jaheira already starts to chime in a lot, so that's a plus (I only remember having her in the first game, my memory of that game is extremely spotty), and I think I'll keep her. And it's good to know, that I can ditch Minsc without losing too much. He is fun, but doesn't seem to offer much else.

One more question: Do the quests get better? I heard they are better than in the first game (my spotty memory remembers most of them being rather simple). And the stuff in the circus tent was fun, but I hoped to be able to solve it without violence, which seems impossible. There were certainly nice touches, but every time the game sends mobs at me, that I can't reason with at all, I'm a bit sad. Are there more complex quests, where I can find other outcomes?
The end was just comical, when circus guy asks me to take healer/mage girl into my party, because she can learn so much more from me, despite only knowing each other for ten seconds, or so. Also: Ist healer/mage girl worth keeping? Aside from her class being useful, in general.
 
What I'd say about feeling overwhelmed is that you don't need to nail down your final party right away. Feel free to experiment and try out companions. See who you like to use and how they interact with each other before settling in.

I think quests are more complex and interesting in BG2 than the first game, and some have nonviolent or less violent resolutions, but for the most part this is a really combat and dungeon dive focused game. I've been playing the Pillars of Eternity games that are kind of a spiritual successor to these infinity engine games, and I've found those allow for more nonviolent resolutions than the Baldur's Gate games did. I also like that nonviolent resolutions in the PoE games are not always the best resolutions, but sometimes they are, depending on the circumstances at hand.

Is the circus guy who says Aerie should go with you Quayle? It's definitely abrupt, but technically he is familiar with you from the first game, either from being a party member or just because he was a resident of Baldur's Gate when you saved the city.

I used Aerie for the whole game, personally. She's a companion with a lot of story, but she's a divisive character for a few reasons. Some consider her to be whiny and annoying. Some don't like how her tragic past is written. She has a potential romance with some characters, including your protagonist, and there is a lot of debate about how well these are handled. As a multiclass Cleric/Mage she'll always be worse at each individual class than a single classed version of one of those, but on the other hand she's just got so many spellcharges that she always seems to have something to contribute even when single-class casters might be starting to run out of things to do.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
I'm now 15 hours into the game, and with time, it clicked more. The beginning is just REALLY overwhelming, giving you a group of four, including spellcasters with a bunch of spells, that you would need to read and think about, experiment and such. Too much information, for the start (but I understand that the idea is, that you have played BG I and are familiar with D&D in general, so that critizism isn't really fair).

By now, I am more comfortable with spells (but healing spells aren't really made for use in-combat, right? They take so long). Still mostly basic, because on easy, just hitting stuff works out most of the time. I got a bit annoyed, when I had two party members complaining about me not doing their time-sensitive quests, and being bombarded with new quests just by going where I needed to go for the quests I did. Would prefer, if quest-givers where more passive, and wait for you to talk to them. But it does give the game a bit of a unique feel.

Favourite quest was the stuff in Umar Hills, felt like it had a bit of everything - finding out what is happening, multiple parties where you could talk something out with one, puzzle-solving, combat, a dungeon that was more interesting, than just "kill everything". But the quests are quite diverse in general, even if many of them contain slaying enemies, there is often more to them, than just that.
 
I'm now 15 hours into the game, and with time, it clicked more. The beginning is just REALLY overwhelming, giving you a group of four, including spellcasters with a bunch of spells, that you would need to read and think about, experiment and such. Too much information, for the start (but I understand that the idea is, that you have played BG I and are familiar with D&D in general, so that critizism isn't really fair).

By now, I am more comfortable with spells (but healing spells aren't really made for use in-combat, right? They take so long). Still mostly basic, because on easy, just hitting stuff works out most of the time. I got a bit annoyed, when I had two party members complaining about me not doing their time-sensitive quests, and being bombarded with new quests just by going where I needed to go for the quests I did. Would prefer, if quest-givers where more passive, and wait for you to talk to them. But it does give the game a bit of a unique feel.

Favourite quest was the stuff in Umar Hills, felt like it had a bit of everything - finding out what is happening, multiple parties where you could talk something out with one, puzzle-solving, combat, a dungeon that was more interesting, than just "kill everything". But the quests are quite diverse in general, even if many of them contain slaying enemies, there is often more to them, than just that.

I'm glad it's working for you more. There's definitely some inertia to getting used to everything going on, in and out of combat. The first game had you walk through a bunch of wide open fields and little villages, and then you arrive at a huge town with half the game's content after you've eased into things. BG2 really just throws you into the deep end of an enormous town with most of the game's content and free access to the world map pretty much immediately.

You can use healing in battle, but as you observe they're very slow and often it means something went wrong. Don't hesitate to use the potions you find instead. An exception is eventually you'll get (or maybe already have) Mass Cure. This is an AoE heal, and that makes it worth casting, while single target healing is often best done by a potion. A Cleric's best spells are the buffs, so ideally that's where you get the most bang for the buck with spell charges. Later, pre-buffing with certain spells to prevent specific bad status afflictions essentially becomes a requirement.

Happy to hear you enjoyed Umar Hills. I was worried the combat might drive you off, but I do think that's a good example of BG2 when it's working well. I also like the companion you can pick up there (Mazzy).

Quest givers seeking you out and demanding you do something ASAP can be pretty stressful, especially if you're in the middle of something else or if you already had something else you wanted to get to next. My memory is that in BG2 very few of these are actually time sensitive, but a handful are. I think the actual time sensitive quests are all for party companions, who get frustrated with you if you ignore them when they need you to do something for them. A modern game would probably mark real time sensitive quests more explicitly in the UI, because it's a little ambiguous in BG2.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
Base game beaten. At some point, still in chapter 2, I had a problem with an enemy and turned on storymode difficulty, which made me stop trying completely. Which worked well enough, I mainly wanted to explore the world, do the quests, stuff like that. The combat never really gripped me, even before, and I don't think it would add too much to my enjoyment of the game. I'll probably try playing it on normal difficulty, if I replay it, just to test that out.

But I think the game has still a focus on combat that is too much for me. At 25 hours, I started to get tired of sidequests in chapter 2, and started to go on through the main quest. Honestly, while the side quests can have fun stories, I found the main story mainly boring, and no matter how many dream sequences you show me, the main character is just a boring nobody. I no, silent protagonists might just not be my thing, so maybe don't look at this as judgement. Dunno, I started to really like my companions, and they shine throughout their own quests (and Jan Jansen shines every time he says anything, it's like I have Abe Simpson in my party), but they are pretty much non-entities outside of their own quests. Again, probably just a sort of style that doesn't work with me, they do chime in often enough, if they have something to say (well, some do). I just would have liked more. But that's just not what games like Baldurs Gate are.

But with the later chapters being short on side quests, the main story being uninteresting and the combat being without any teeth at all, there wasn't much there. I still wanted to see how it ends, but I feel like that was mainly momentum from chapter 2.

Still, I understand now why this game has its reputation. It feels very different from BG 1, actually, but the only thing that I can clearly put forwards as an argument is the massively improved quality of the side quests. Elsewise, I guess BG 2 feels less like a dungeon crawler than the first one? Maybe, I don't know.

There was a bit of interesting stuff about the villain, but I wished that had been explored more. Too little, too late, for me.

Whatever, good game. I actually had it, when I was 16 or so, but was turned off by something, not sure what (I guess the combat, and how it was way too much at once, for someone who never had played D&D before). A shame, had I gotten into it, I would have sunk a ton of hours into it.
 

That Old Chestnut

A E S T H E T I C
(he/him)
Every Spiderweb game is genius. They tend to be more mechanically straightforward than the big established games in the genre without losing depth, if that interests you as someone starting out. Extremely solid game design and writing; evocative and addictive. Plus there's a ton of them and they're all cheap. I can't recommend strongly enough if the bare-bones presentation isn't a deal breaker.
I actually grabbed their bundle during the last Steam sale on this recommendation, and gave Escape From the Pit a try. I've been pleased so far! Up to level 17 or so character-wise, and have been bouncing back and forth between improving my rep in Freehold so I can hopefully get some of the better spells for cheaper, and working up enough wherewithal to finally tackle King Micha's quest to slay the slith warlord. because those guys were kicking my shit in for a while there.

I love the spiders. Even the asshole ones!

My team set up includes a physical tank with a side focus on cave lore, a dual-wielding fighter/rogue type with a side focus on tool use, a healer, and a mage (both of the magic folks have some First Aid and Arcane Lore too). Haven't really bothered focusing on physical ranged much because the allure of the Backstab bonus is just Too Strong.

All in all, it's been a lot of fun chewing on this one!

Might finally give Geneforge a try, too. I've already had the entire series for way longer than this last big sale because monsters, but never got around to playing it because executive paralysis.
 
Top