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BioWare's love for trash mobs

Discussion in 'BioWare' started by Tim the Bore, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. Darth Canoli Magister

    Darth Canoli
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    Ok, remember you asked for it ...

    Rival parties
    As there a lot of cRPG i didn't play, i'm not going to presume i know which one introduced them first.

    Still, there's a game featuring them years before BG, maybe you heard about it, it's an obscure title called Wizardry VII ... Ring a bell ?

    Mages duels
    I'll only give 3 examples but there is more obscure titles which did it as well with simpler combat systems.

    Wizardry series. I suppose there's no need to comment on this one.

    Might & Magic series, in Isles of Terra, for example, there is some high profile priests, mages, lichs throwing a lot of shit your way, from confusion and fear to turn into stone and instant death spells ...

    Heroes of Might & Magic (starting with the first one), ok, it's not a cRPG but as far as combat goes, it's better than most cRPG and the spell books are full of nasty stuff, well they don't cast them on themselves but on their troops so here's your technicality, still, in my mind it's pretty much the same thing.
     
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  2. EruDaan Arcane

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    Mage duels in BG2 were kinda fun. Most if not all enemy spell casters had that emergency spell cast the moment battle begins and you had to dispell and/or pierce the protective spells until you could fireball / amgic missile their ass.
     
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  3. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

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    BG invented simulation of pre-buffing and highly mobile spellcasters [Davaeorn]. Pre-BG2 Infinity Engine was also capable of complex scripting [lich] and tattoo contingencies [pic].

    Relatively speaking, BG spellcasting duels put BG2 ones to shame. BG employed mobility through movement and dimension door, the latter of which BG2 omitted due to its sequence-breaking potential. Most rival BG2 spellcasters are wholly immobile. They Shadow Door and then reappear in the same spot. Improved Invisibility also breaks almost every spellcasting encounter, because enemy spellcasters ignore party members that are under the effect, even when they're being attacked.

    What BG2 added in respect to spellcasting (more spells and player-usable sequencers, triggers and contingencies) was just linear evolution on what the IE could already handle. It revolutionized nothing.
     
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  4. Darth Canoli Magister

    Darth Canoli
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    I agree with you about how funny this is, because BG legacy is putting spheres around your characters and all these shiny auras and spell effects in an isometric engine because even that already existed in different engines in jrpg, mages duel as well.

    BG is to cRPG what dragon ball GT is to anime ...
     
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  5. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

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    Before BG, Fallout and JA2, the genre basically sucked ass.

    And 20 years later, these games remain unbeaten.
     
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  6. Daidre Augur

    Daidre
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    And it would never change for a person who refuses to play anything new.
     
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  7. Silva Arcane

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    In the context of actual RPGs, Baldurs Gates are meaningless.
     
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  8. Shadenuat Arcane

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    get them Lilura
     
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  9. Silva Arcane

    Silva
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    Lol at this load of bullshit that no one cares except the retardoes who play BGs.

    Bro (sis), BGs are shitty RPGs because they have little to none C&C. And they're shitty tactical combat games because they have little to none ACTUAL tactical decisions like fixing/flanking/infiltrating/covering/etc instead relying on crap abstract concepts that only a D&D brain-damaged nerd without a sexual life can relate to. :lol:
     
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  10. biggestboss Savant

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    I wish all my favorite Codexers could get along in this thread.
     
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  11. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

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    Back on-topic, here is a dead SCS trashmob:

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Shadenuat Arcane

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    don't remember scs adding 5 dragons anywhere, sounds like tactics or similar mod family
     
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  13. Vibalist Arcane

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    Yeah. All of this cool mage duel shit is from BG2. People mistakenly think it was also in the first one.
    But there was nothing good in the first one. It's the CRPG prototype: Deserving of mention because it invented a genre, but not actually worth playing on its own. Unless you want to take a character all the way from Candlekeep to the Throne of Bhaal.

    I'm fresh off a BG1 run. I remember none of this. What I do remember is my massively overpowered party killing 98% of mages before they could even cast a spell. What good is advanced 'mage AI' if any player with the faintest idea what he's doing will kill most of them in one or two hits?
    BG2 at least ups the difficulty.
     
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  14. octavius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    octavius
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    And some people mistakingly think people still play unmodded BG1.
     
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  15. Darth Canoli Magister

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    Fixed for you.
     
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  16. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    'k.
     
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  17. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    You forgot RTWP being an absolute PITA for party based.
     
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  18. octavius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Some play it. Others are constantly butthurt about it.
     
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  19. ItsChon Resident Zoomer Patron

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    I started up a new BG play through yesterday, and the people on this thread are fucking retarded. The game still holds up great, and exploring the wilderness/doing quests is just as rewarding as ever. I'm enjoying the game a lot and I haven't even left chapter 2 yet (the opening of BG is the weakest part of the game I'd say). The same grognards in this thread will shit on BG and then turn around and praise filth like Fallout: New Vegas. Baldur's Gate is the weakest out of IWD, PS:T, and BG 2, but it's still better than 90% of all other RPGs.
     
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  20. rogueknight333 Learned

    rogueknight333
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    If I were to think back to the first time I played Baldur's Gate (rather than the very different experience it is for a veteran playing it with optimized builds and tactics), my initial impression was hardly of tedious trashmob fights. Quite the contrary, it was full of encounters that would completely destroy a low-level party that did not either get very lucky or exploit meta-gaming knowledge in some way. Even the wolves in the initial area could easily be fatal if not handled perfectly. After that there was the Ogre in the area south of the Friendly Arm inn, who was far stronger than what several Level 1 adventurers could expect to deal with by any sort of straightforward approach. Then there was the Bandit ambush en route to the Friendly Arm, already mentioned earlier in this thread. Then Tarnesh at the inn, who, if one was unlucky and failed to get any hits in during the initial phase of the fight, could easily incapacitate the entire party with his Horror spell and then proceed to Magic Missile the helpless protagonist to death. A little bit later there were the Vampiric Wolves to the East of Beregost, who on top of being generally very tough (relative to Level 1 characters) required magical weapons to harm, which one would not necessarily have at this stage of the game. And that is only a few of the more memorable examples of this kind of thing in the first several areas one will go to in a typical playthrough: there were plenty more like that.

    Flinging so many unfair encounters at the player is arguably a terrible way to design a game, but it is exactly the opposite problem from flinging too many tedious trashmobs at one.

    Now, to be sure, for a veteran player those initial encounters can be quite a different experience. Wolves and the ogre have no ranged attacks and so can be beaten easily enough by kiting. With a little luck one can run away from the Bandit Ambush before being killed. Alternatively, if instead of going straight to the Friendly Arm one first goes to the High Hedge to pick up Kivan (using meta-gaming knowledge to avoid the dagger-throwing skeletons who can take out half a Level 1's HP perhaps before he even realizes he is being attacked), and then goes to Beregost to get Kagain and/or Garrick, all that extra firepower will make those bandits, and possibly a lot of other early game encounters, quite manageable. Likewise if one steals the Wand of Lightning from the mansion in Beregost it is quite possible to use it to take out those Vampiric wolves with a 1st Level party. And so forth for other tricky encounters. And of course, after leveling up a bit, many monsters intended to challenge a very low-level party will indeed become quite easy and trashmobby.

    All of which points to an important feature of trashmobs: what constitutes a trashmob is relative to both player skill and character level. What is a trashmob for a veteran might not be for a noob, and what is a trashmob for a high level character need not be for one at a lower level. This in turn means that it is hardly possible to completely remove trashmobs from a typically structured RPG (absent a very robust level-scaling system I suppose, and level-scaling comes with issues of its own). The conclusion I draw from this is that it is desirable to make resource management a big part of an RPG. Require one to expend a finite resource to get through encounters, make it possible to minimize this expenditure through optimal tactics, and even trashmob fights are no longer pointless and completely tedious.

    Baldur's Gate did this very well in the early stages: potions and spells are quite limited in number early on, resting in the wilderness could provoke a dangerous ambush, and trying to retreat to an inn could also lead to an ambush along the way. Unfortunately that is less true of the later stages of the game. At that point one is swimming in gold, and ambushes did not scale enough to be much of a threat to high level parties. An analogous trajectory perhaps points to a contributory factor in the general decline of Bioware games. As these games have gotten less and less old-school, resource management has become less and less of a factor in them, and therefore their tendency to employ trashmobs becomes more and more annoying. This is perhaps also why trashmobs tend not to be remembered as much of a problem in more old school games, despite that they were typically full of trashmobs, because such games typically also employed strategic resource management in some form.
     
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  21. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

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    It's SCS: Improved Abazigal's Lair.
     
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  22. smaug Dumbfuck! Patron Dumbfuck Shitposter

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    This discussion makes BG sound so awesome and fun!

    It almost makes me want to reinstall it and try it out, only to realize my dissapointment with the shittiest combat system ever designed.
    :hero:
     
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  23. laclongquan Arcane

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    Magic duel in Neverwinter Night 2 can be fun too. Origin Campaign and Mask of the Betrayer. Strangely enough, its amount in Zehyrs reduce sharply or at least not very memorable.

    Classic case is the siege of Crossroad.
     
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  24. Citizen Arcane

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    ok zoomer
     
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