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Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear featured in Dragon Magazine, coming early 2016

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Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear featured in Dragon Magazine, coming early 2016

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 14 December 2015, 21:43:32

Tags: Amber Scott; Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear; Beamdog; Trent Oster

We haven't heard much about Beamdog's Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear interquel since it was first officially announced back in July. Now, as the year comes to a close, the marketing machine may be springing to life again. The latest issue of Wizards of the Coast's Dragon Magazine has an article about Dragonspear, which tells the story of how what was originally intended to be a $2 DLC ended up being a full-sized 25-30 hour game - although it will still require the original Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition to play. Here's an excerpt:

"I think that’s just a Baldur’s Gate thing,” says Beamdog president and creative director Trent Oster. “It can never be small. It always has to get bigger and bigger.” He’s talking about Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, which started life in 2011, in Trent’s words, as a little piece of DLC that would cost around $2. With a storyline that fits between the new enhanced editions of Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II, it was supposed to ship as a bridge to those two titles before the second one was released.

“It grew in scope and we realized we were tight on time and needed to put more effort into Baldur’s Gate II ahead of its launch, so Dragonspear went on the backburner. When we came back and re-examined it had become a fifteen-hour expansion. At that stage it was still going to be DLC, although for a little more money,” Oster says.

“This was around fall 2014,” says writer Amber Scott as she picks up the story. “At that point it was just too crowded. We’d designed so much great stuff that when we started doing the test playthroughs you’d walk five feet and a quest would trigger, then in another five feet more NPCs would run up to you to offer other quests. So rather than cut content, we added extra areas so we could spread it out a bit and make it more fun and relaxing to play.”

Working alongside Cowboys & Aliens comic-book scribe Andrew Foley, Scott pitched additional dungeons and other areas to lead designer Phil Daigle, to house the glut of monsters and side quests. Other Beamdog staff also suggested more wilderness areas for open-world exploration, to expand the map even further. As the $2 piece of DLC continued to grow, the art team working on it reached around 35 people. Oster says Siege of Dragonspear now offers around twenty-five to thirty hours of gameplay. “That’s if you play the critical path and don’t do much besides, so it’s fitting for the legacy of Baldur’s Gate,” he adds proudly.

All of which begs the question, did anything get left out? “There were a few quests we did have to cut, as they didn’t work as well as we thought in the new expanded format,” Scott, a former Dragon magazine writer, says. “We also underwent some story revisions that made a couple of quests outdated, so we put them to one side and maybe we’ll reuse those in a different game or add them in a later patch.”​

The article also reveals for the first time that Siege of Dragonspear is scheduled to be released early next year. I imagine they won't want to go head-to-head with White March Part 2, so probably after January?

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