Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 1st Apr 2016 16:18 UTC
Games

Baldur's Gate is one of the most revered RPG series in video game history. It helped write the book on Western-style RPGs, putting a focus on memorable followers and party-based combat, and tossing it all in a blender with a dungeon and a dragon. Nearly two decades later, it's back.

Beamdog is a small studio, but they have grand - verging on grandiose - plans. The company was founded by Trent Oster, BioWare co-founder, and Cameron Tofer, former BioWare lead programmer. They've been quietly tinkering away on Enhanced Editions of classic BioWare and Black Isle RPGs like Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate II, and Icewind Dale, culminating in today's release of an all-new expansion, Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear. Oh, and they also recently brought on David Gaider, aka That Guy Who Made A Lot Of The Best Words In Dragon Age And Other BioWare RPGs For 17 Years.

The Infinity engine games - the Baldur's Gate games, Icewind Dale, and of course the best one, Planescape: Torment - all make up the first golden age of RPGs. And today, we are lucky enough to witness the second golden age of RPGs, with games like Pillars of Eternity, Wasteland II, and Torment: Tides of Numenera, and cleaned-up versions of the classics. It's a really great time to be a fan of classic RPGs.

And it's about to get even better.

"Basically, Baldur's Gate III, every two weeks when we call [Dungeons & Dragons publisher] Wizards of the Coast, something comes up," said Daigle. "The Baldur's Gate III thing, when are we going to do that? I think the answer is when the right people and the right partners line up, something big will happen."

Yes please.

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Onyx_RE2
Member since:
2015-03-05

These later gen games in the article were great and all but the golden age of RPGs started long before this.
Don't forget the Ultima series and the SSI D&D "Gold Box" games.
You also had such greats as Wizardry (series), Telengard, Temple of Apshai (series), Questron I and II, Bard's Tale (series), etc...

Reply Score: 8

sergio Member since:
2005-07-06

These later gen games in the article were great and all but the golden age of RPGs started long before this.


Yeap, I thought exactly the same, Baldur's Gate was a really late computer RPG game... even Ultima Online had 1 year in the market when Baldur's Gate was released!!

Don't get me wrong BG is a great and very successful game, but the computer RPG genre was established many years before it.

Reply Score: 3

zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

I really loved those turn-based SSI CRPG titles. One of my favorites was Buck Rodgers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_Rogers:_Countdown_to_Doomsday

Reply Score: 3

leech Member since:
2006-01-10

I was going to say the same thing, been playing CRPGs since Ultima 1. I also find it odd that they mention western-style RPGs since that's where they pretty much started. I also laugh that people think open world games are new...

Reply Score: 4

Savior Member since:
2006-09-02

+1. So the first golden age was apparently

- 13 years after Ultima IV & The Bard's Tale
- 10 years after Dragon Wars, Wasteland
- 11, 8 and 5 years after Dungeon Master, EOB and Lands of Lore, resp.
- 6 and 4 years after Ultima Underworld and System Shock
- 5 years after Betrayal at Krondor
- ... (Magic Candle, Ishar; heck, even Chrono Trigger came out in 1995)

Other than that, great news. What I find strange, though, is that Inxile and Obsidian iare not involved.

Reply Score: 4

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Savior,

Yes that is ironic. I suspect what we think of by "The Golden Age" may correlate with one's age. Older people are more likely to think back to a further golden age. This is probably true in many contexts: games, computers, movies, literature, etc.

For example, in the "Apple Turns 40" article Thom thinks apple has become stale and boring "To me, they reached their zenith about 12-15 years ago ... Their products no longer have any soul, any emotion, any individuality. It's an endless parade of cold, dead metal.". Yet it seems plausible to me that maybe it's Thom's perception that's changing (ie becoming more cynical).

Relative to me, the imac Thom praises barely registers as innovative at all: a pretty shell for a mediocre product, shrug. But then I'm older than Thom. I feel apple was much more innovative with the original Macintosh and has become less innovative since then.

Edited 2016-04-01 23:07 UTC

Reply Score: 3

jessesmith Member since:
2010-03-11

I had a similar reaction. Perhaps it's an age thing, but I tended to think really good RPGs rolled out before BG. Not that I have anything against the younger RPGs, but perhaps my view is slanted because we tend to appreciate our first loves. I was a big fan of Hero's Quest, Dragon Wars and Legends of Valour, for example.

I also had a similar reaction to the Apple Turns 40 commentary. When Apple launched its colourful boxes in the 90s, my peers and I saw it as a typical marketing play, a way to sell sub-par hardware at high prices. It seemed to have less personality and more of a cynical "Welp, if we make it blue people will think it's cool," ploy. In other words, exactly the sort of thing Apple does now.

Reply Score: 3

nicubunu Member since:
2014-01-08

Actually the "golden age" was when those RPGs became mainstream, compare the number of people who played BG with the number op people who played the games in your list.

Reply Score: 4

Undomiel Member since:
2007-11-23

I would definitely consider the gold box series as the golden age for CRPGs. In fact I just read through a really interesting series of posts on SSI. http://www.filfre.net/2016/03/joel-billings-and-ssi/

Though if we put a bit more emphasis on the R part then you definitely don't want to forget Infocom's contributions. But since that was mostly storytelling and not geeking out about stats it could be set aside. Early Wizardry, Bard's Tale and Ultima did not do such a great job in the storytelling department in my opinion.

Reply Score: 1

ConceptJunkie Member since:
2012-05-18

Agreed. I would call the era of Baldur's Gate the second golden age of RPGs. I would guess the writer is too young to be aware of earlier classics.

Reply Score: 1

meh
by icicle on Fri 1st Apr 2016 23:07 UTC
icicle
Member since:
2013-12-07

Baldur's Gate was the best. Leave it alone. There will never be another like it IMO.

If you read through the article you can see how they're trying to introduce political correctness and trendy modern themes into the game. Can't say anything negative about women. Bring on the gay and bisexual themes. They even mention a monster companion ... wtf?

Anyone ever play Tunnels and Trolls?

Reply Score: 1

RE: meh
by denis.lafronde on Sun 3rd Apr 2016 15:49 UTC in reply to "meh"
denis.lafronde Member since:
2016-04-03

There is nothing wrong with gay and bisexual themes. Those are not "trendy" themes. They are facts of life. If they bother you, you should revaluate your values. Games should not censor themselves because some people cannot stand different sexual orientations or genders.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: meh
by icicle on Mon 4th Apr 2016 00:50 UTC in reply to "RE: meh"
icicle Member since:
2013-12-07

There is nothing wrong with gay and bisexual themes. Those are not "trendy" themes. They are facts of life. If they bother you, you should revaluate your values. Games should not censor themselves because some people cannot stand different sexual orientations or genders.


If you think there is nothing wrong with these themes that's your problem. I think they don't belong in everything these days as only a small percentage of people actually are gay. My values include natural propagation of the species. If you feel otherwise perhaps you're the one who needs to re-evaluate.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: meh
by denis.lafronde on Mon 4th Apr 2016 14:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: meh"
denis.lafronde Member since:
2016-04-03

No one is the son of Bhaal in real life, they should remove that from Baldur's Gate.

No one force you to have a gay relationship in Baldur's Gate, or in any other game. It's there if you want it. Choice is good. You are the one who's offended by this exposure to something normal and natural in a video game. It's your problem. And your problem will grow bigger with time, because most people have no problem with it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: meh
by icicle on Mon 4th Apr 2016 17:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: meh"
icicle Member since:
2013-12-07

No one is the son of Bhaal in real life, they should remove that from Baldur's Gate.


Yeah, that's just creepy.

No one force you to have a gay relationship in Baldur's Gate, or in any other game. It's there if you want it. Choice is good. You are the one who's offended by this exposure to something normal and natural in a video game. It's your problem. And your problem will grow bigger with time, because most people have no problem with it.


Now you're saying that being gay is a choice. I'm not sure that actual gay people would agree with that.

I don't want young minds exposed to these concepts. Do you? My "problem" is not that there are gay people, but that it's being advertised to impressionable kids in a sneaky way (games). Making it appear as a healthy, normal, natural choice they can make. When in fact if everyone were gay the species would not survive. It also strikes me as fitting the agenda of the establishment who wish to erode the family concept and depopulate us.

Just because a female character doesn't meet some standard of feminist perfection (too sexual, not sexual enough, too masculine, too feminine, too dominant, too submissive, etc.) it doesn't make the character sexist and needing revision, not when the male characters are just as flawed.


Agreed. And there are all sorts of women in real life who are anything but the stereotypical feminist.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: meh
by denis.lafronde on Mon 4th Apr 2016 22:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: meh"
denis.lafronde Member since:
2016-04-03

Of course it's a choice in a video game. I'm sure gay people are happy to have this choice in a RPG. Straight people too. It's a fantasy. It’s a game.

Being homosexual is healthy, normal and natural. Young people should know that it's normal, accepted, and no big deal. They should be as much aware of homosexual relationship than they are of heterosexual one. Has you said, it's not a choice (in real life).

If everyone was gay, well yes, the human race would be in some kind of trouble. If people where born without eyes, that would be a problem also. I fail to see your highly hypothetical point. Homosexuality will exist regardless of it’s exposure in media.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: meh
by icicle on Mon 4th Apr 2016 22:47 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: meh"
icicle Member since:
2013-12-07

I fail to see your highly hypothetical point. Homosexuality will exist regardless of it’s exposure in media.


There are twice as many mentally retarded people in the world as there are gay people. Why isn't that a choice in games? Less than 2% of people actually are gay. Most people think it's 30% due to liberal media. Check out this video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxbvVPMUXU4#t=187

Reply Score: 1

RE: meh
by Dave_K on Mon 4th Apr 2016 16:24 UTC in reply to "meh"
Dave_K Member since:
2005-11-16

Baldur's Gate was the best. Leave it alone. There will never be another like it IMO.

If you read through the article you can see how they're trying to introduce political correctness and trendy modern themes into the game. Can't say anything negative about women. Bring on the gay and bisexual themes. They even mention a monster companion ... wtf?


I don't have a problem with them adding a more diverse cast of characters, including some who are gay or bisexual. I do find the accusations of sexism against the original BG a bit ridiculous though.

Most of the characters in that game were pretty shallow and cliché ridden - the ones who survived into BG2 generally ended up being given more depth.

I don't see how the sexual behaviour of chaotic neutral thief Safana (using her sexuality to manipulate men into helping her) is more negative than Coran's womanising, or Eldoth's general sleaziness. They might as well condemn Minsc for being ableist, or say that Edwin is a misandrist caricature of ambitious men.

What I find ironic is that I remember seeing someone argue that Jaheira was a feminist character, subverting the usual fantasy gender roles by being a stronger character than her husband. Here she's called sexist because she's the dominant one in the relationship.

Just because a female character doesn't meet some standard of feminist perfection (too sexual, not sexual enough, too masculine, too feminine, too dominant, too submissive, etc.) it doesn't make the character sexist and needing revision, not when the male characters are just as flawed.

Reply Score: 2

GemRB
by zzarko on Sat 2nd Apr 2016 05:13 UTC
zzarko
Member since:
2011-01-09

I don't know if there is any connection between Beamdog and folks at http://www.gemrb.org/, but if there is not, there was much of reinventing the wheel (especially regarding reverse engineering of old Infinity Engine).

Reply Score: 1

5 Euro on Steam
by Wondercool on Sat 2nd Apr 2016 09:41 UTC
Wondercool
Member since:
2005-07-08

Ending 4th of April: Baldurs Gate Enhanced Edition is only 5 euro

http://store.steampowered.com/app/228280/

Reply Score: 3

RE: 5 Euro on Steam
by torp on Mon 4th Apr 2016 10:30 UTC in reply to "5 Euro on Steam"
torp Member since:
2010-08-10

Same on GoG actually.
https://www.gog.com/promo/special_promo_beamdog_games
Just because Steam needs some competition so they don't become complacent.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by darknexus
by darknexus on Tue 5th Apr 2016 12:15 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

You're trying to counter media with an agenda with... another video with an agenda?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by darknexus
by icicle on Tue 5th Apr 2016 16:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by darknexus"
icicle Member since:
2013-12-07

You're trying to counter media with an agenda with... another video with an agenda?


Not all agendas are the same. The one in the video is comparing truth to public misconception. Where does this misconception come from? We're seeing it all over the place and now also in Baldur's Gate III.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by darknexus
by darknexus on Tue 5th Apr 2016 16:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by darknexus"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Not all agendas are the same. The one in the video is comparing truth to public misconception.

Truth is a matter of perspective, wouldn't you say? One person's truth is another's lie so much of the time. For every video about statistics and misconceptions, there will be another that refutes that "truth."
P.s. Just so you know, I'm not attacking you. I actually agree, we take this stuff to a ridiculous level and shove it into places where it's really not necessary.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by darknexus
by icicle on Tue 5th Apr 2016 23:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by darknexus"
icicle Member since:
2013-12-07

Truth is a matter of perspective, wouldn't you say? One person's truth is another's lie so much of the time. For every video about statistics and misconceptions, there will be another that refutes that "truth."


You could be right in some circumstances. Perhaps rather than "truth" I should have said "researched based facts". But some claim that truth, in it's simplest form, is a statement of the way the world actually is.

Source : http://www.philosophynews.com/post/2015/01/29/What-is-Truth.aspx

P.s. Just so you know, I'm not attacking you. I actually agree, we take this stuff to a ridiculous level and shove it into places where it's really not necessary.


I think that's a good way of putting it.

Reply Score: 1

Just bad writing
by Dave_K on Tue 5th Apr 2016 23:56 UTC
Dave_K
Member since:
2005-11-16

I said I don't mind the addition of a diverse cast, but looking at the actual writing in this expansion, it really beats you over the head with "social justice" in a pretty cringe-inducing way.

RPGs, going back to the old Ultima games, have dealt with social issues, but the best ones do it in a subtle and intelligent way. Utterly unsubtle and self-righteous preaching is just bad writing in my opinion.

Apart from anything else, stuff like characters making jokes about Gamergate simply dates the game - it's already an outdated reference now that that online kerfuffle has burned itself out.

Reply Score: 2