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NWN 2 has arrived...


Andyr

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The sad thing is that they know the 'romances' were a big hit...much bigger than they expected after their appearance in BG 2. To do something half-assedly...*shrugs* Guess I'll have to wait until some fan-made mod gets made with some decent romances...

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Honestly, they should pay attention to the fact that people are still buying and getting into the Baldur's Gate games (as evidenced by the words of new people we get turning up), as well as modding them.

 

But the mighty bottom line calls those execs, even if the writers might want to improve upon what they've got. :)

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You would think that the top dogs would get a clue. After almost ten years, the BG series is still going strong be it sales on the game itself, if you can find it or in mods. Making another IE game, yes that simple 2D engine, would be something in the works, since big corporations like money. Not another BG, that series is over and done with, but another Forgotten Realms adventure that takes place along the Sword Coast.

 

I like 2D games, usually the developers will stay focused on the story and the execution of the game and not the eye candy. 3D games do not impress me visually. I would rather play a simple 2D game with a great story and features than some eye candy game that sucks up the computers resources.

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I like 2D games, usually the developers will stay focused on the story and the execution of the game and not the eye candy. 3D games do not impress me visually. I would rather play a simple 2D game with a great story and features than some eye candy game that sucks up the computers resources.
Yeah, I agree completely. Said pretty much the same in the off-topic discussion of NWN2 vs. IE modding. And is it that much harder these days to find decent storywriters as opposed to graphic artists who know all the latest bells and whistles?
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The Baldur's Gate series is still to be found in mainstream gaming stores here. While, say, Knights of the Old Republic is nowhere to be found... seems I need to track down a speciality store for that.

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Honestly, they should pay attention to the fact that people are still buying and getting into the Baldur's Gate games (as evidenced by the words of new people we get turning up), as well as modding them.

 

But the mighty bottom line calls those execs, even if the writers might want to improve upon what they've got. :rant:

the BG series won't run on my copy of XP-tried the compatability modes and stuff.

 

 

...but I bought a 4 disk saga set, so last night, I installed an assload of mods-tutu and BGI npc mod just to name too-and I'm playing through BG1 now.

 

(flails arms pathetically) Dammit, I'm addicted yet again!

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Yeah, I agree completely. Said pretty much the same in the off-topic discussion of NWN2 vs. IE modding. And is it that much harder these days to find decent storywriters as opposed to graphic artists who know all the latest bells and whistles?

Sadly, finding decent storywriters is hardly the issue. The fact remains that graphics sell games, and as in any customer-oriented industry, it's the sales that do the talking. You can whine about wanting a great storyline, deep and interactive dialogue and interesting, well-balanced combat all you like, but (again, sadly) those won't sell the game if the graphics suck. And yes, there are exceptions, but this is true for the great mainstream of games: have great graphics with the latest bells and whistles, or sell a few hundred copies to a small group of hardcore fans.

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And yes, there are exceptions, but this is true for the great mainstream of games: have great graphics with the latest bells and whistles, or sell a few hundred copies to a small group of hardcore fans.

 

True. Maybe we need more developers devoted to these hardcore players (though I’ve always thought that people can’t really be so stupid that they only appreciate the eye-candy factor of a CRPG), but then alternative methods of distribution are needed, because it’s not economically feasible to release such products world-wide in every single store that sells computer and console games.

 

In addition to CRPGs, I’m a fan of hardcore strategy games. Practically every developer in that genre has now moved on to selling their products from digital stores as digital downloads, with packages available on request (and extra cost), if at all. This development has saved such games from extinction. Markets are limited, but so are the development costs, and grognards are faithful (if somewhat demanding) customers.

 

Obsidian Entertainment has a surprisingly negative attitude toward CRPG romances. I really don’t understand it. Of course romances should never be forced on players who don’t want them, but they should definitely be included and properly done for those of us who enjoy such interaction in CRPGs. The more choice players have, the better.

 

Anyways, NWN2 has a steadily growing modding community. Quality products are on the way, with interesting stories, complex character interaction and also romances. I’ve been involved in such a project for two years now, and the first part of our mod series should be ready for release in the near future. :rant:

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Sadly, finding decent storywriters is hardly the issue. The fact remains that graphics sell games, and as in any customer-oriented industry, it's the sales that do the talking. You can whine about wanting a great storyline, deep and interactive dialogue and interesting, well-balanced combat all you like, but (again, sadly) those won't sell the game if the graphics suck.
This isn't a matter of 'sucky' graphics vs. good ones - it's a matter of perspective (by that I mean literally - 3D vs. 2D). I'm not saying BG graphics are awesome but I won't say they suck either. And the same goes for NWN - again, just a matter of perspective, literally. I happen to prefer 2D, as apparently do others (this isn't a 'small group of hardcore fans' - see below). The 3D market is oversaturated, and, as Gabrielle implies, 3D games tend be more hack-and-slash or shoot-em-up oriented whilst avoiding other game elements like storyline (and no one's 'whining' here :) - it's a simple observation). Now having said that, *if* someone made a 3D game with good graphics *and* a great storyline, I might be interested (no one yet has said why this is apparently so difficult to do).

 

According to Bioware's own sales data, the BG series has sold 5 million copies, whereas NWN and its expansions have sold almost 3 million. I guess the data on NWN2 is still pending, and sure, the BG games have been around a little longer, but that's proof in itself. It's entirely possible the BG games will continue to outsell or at least keep pace with the NWN games. A few months ago, the stats were 4 million and 2 million, respectively. Though apparently, Bioware have decided they'll make more money in the Xbox and Massively Multiplayer Online markets. They might, but there's heavy competition in these markets, so it all depends on quality of the final product. And I'm not sure why they're thinking this since they don't have much precedent - Star Wars KotOR for Xbox selling maybe 1.5m copies. Which is respectable for that market, but console games tend to be a lot more disposable than PC games.

 

Finally I would argue that what sells a game isn't great graphics (not entirely anyway). Does The Sims have awesome, blow-your-mind graphics with all the latest bells and whistles? No. It's probably the concept of The Sims that makes it, sadly, the best-selling PC video game. And sometimes there's no rhyme or reason whatsoever to game sales. Pokémon Red and Blue has sold over 20 million copies worldwide (mostly in Japan). Given what little I know about this game - I don't think it's either the graphics or the storyline that sells it. I'm not sure what, precisely, does sell it - perhaps the fact that children are easily impressed. :rant:

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According to Bioware's own sales data, the BG series has sold 5 million copies, whereas NWN and its expansions have sold almost 3 million. I guess the data on NWN2 is still pending, and sure, the BG games have been around a little longer, but that's proof in itself. It's entirely possible the BG games will continue to outsell or at least keep pace with the NWN games. A few months ago, the stats were 4 million and 2 million, respectively.

"A little longer"? BG was released in 1998, NWN in 2002 - the BG series has been around for twice as long, basically. And the numbers indicate that the original NWN has already outsold each of the two main BG games, in spite of the entire BG series now being available as a single bargain priced set.

 

Finally I would argue that what sells a game isn't great graphics (not entirely anyway). Does The Sims have awesome, blow-your-mind graphics with all the latest bells and whistles? No.

Uh - the graphic standard of The Sims was more-or-less state of the art when it was released, back in 2000 or thereabouts.... It'd be pretty shocking if it had all the 2007 bells and whistles. :rant: And this game constitutes a special case for several reasons, particularly in that all those expansion packs kept the sales high for years. Anyway, I'd wager that The Sims 2 is vastly outselling its predecessor these days, in no small part due to the improved graphics.

 

Casual RPG-ers (which by all appearances are the vast majority of those who buy RPGs) are, in general, not willing to buy 2D RPGs anymore, and in my experience this even includes people who played Infocom games back in the day. Unfortunately, it seems the sun has set on big-budget, quality 2D RPGs. Hopefully Planewalker will get things right with The Broken Hourglass.

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According to Bioware's own sales data, the BG series has sold 5 million copies, whereas NWN and its expansions have sold almost 3 million.
"A little longer"? BG was released in 1998, NWN in 2002 - the BG series has been around for twice as long, basically. And the numbers indicate that the original NWN has already outsold each of the two main BG games, in spite of the entire BG series now being available as a single bargain priced set.
Well, I don't want to quibble, but the (perhaps dated) data puts NWN1+all expansions at 3m and BG2-SoA+ToB at 2.5m. Probably not really a fair comparison since NWN1 has a buttload of expansions and BG2 only had one officially, and they don't give the data for the original games alone. Also I don't know if Bioware still tracks compilation sales offered through resellers. SoA was 2000, ToB was 2001 and NWN1 was 2002, so it's not a huge time difference either. Anyhow, the point was, despite the hype, the NWN series isn't doing phenomenally better than the BG series, as compared with other CRPGs. Maybe NWN2 and the test of time will prove differently, who knows.
Uh - the graphic standard of The Sims was more-or-less state of the art when it was released, back in 2000 or thereabouts.... It'd be pretty shocking if it had all the 2007 bells and whistles. :D And this game constitutes a special case for several reasons, particularly in that all those expansion packs kept the sales high for years. Anyway, I'd wager that The Sims 2 is vastly outselling its predecessor these days, in no small part due to the improved graphics.
Obviously, I've offended a Sims fan. :) I've never played it, and am neither slamming it nor endorsing it. The Sims 1 at 16m+ is perhaps, by definition, a CRPG, just with modern roleplaying. And it has a top-down 2D-meets-3D tiled perspective not too different from BG2, released the same year. My point was, what made it a best seller probably weren't good graphics alone.
Casual RPG-ers (which by all appearances are the vast majority of those who buy RPGs) are, in general, not willing to buy 2D RPGs anymore, and in my experience this even includes people who played Infocom games back in the day. Unfortunately, it seems the sun has set on big-budget, quality 2D RPGs. Hopefully Planewalker will get things right with The Broken Hourglass.
Given your other points about 2D games (not that I agree with them necessarily), what makes you think TBH will be different? :rant:
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"A little longer"? BG was released in 1998, NWN in 2002 - the BG series has been around for twice as long, basically. And the numbers indicate that the original NWN has already outsold each of the two main BG games, in spite of the entire BG series now being available as a single bargain priced set.

 

Of course, you have to remember that gaming was not such a big thing back then as it is now, and RPGs particularly not (or at least in my experience). Most sales and gaming excitement back then revolved around first person shooters and RTS games.

 

 

I still think they'd find that the extra effort of adding better stories and some more freedom to the games (though not necessarily to the extent of say Oblivion or Morrowind), would be well worth the money they'd spend.

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Well, I don't want to quibble, but the (perhaps dated) data puts NWN1+all expansions at 3m and BG2-SoA+ToB at 2.5m. Probably not really a fair comparison since NWN1 has a buttload of expansions and BG2 only had one officially, and they don't give the data for the original games alone. Also I don't know if Bioware still tracks compilation sales offered through resellers. SoA was 2000, ToB was 2001 and NWN1 was 2002, so it's not a huge time difference either. Anyhow, the point was, despite the hype, the NWN series isn't doing phenomenally better than the BG series, as compared with other CRPGs. Maybe NWN2 and the test of time will prove differently, who knows.
In your previous post you quoted figures of 5m & 3m, compared to fairly recent figures of 4m and 2m. Seems to me that either one of these sets are incorrect, or Bioware must be counting compilation sales (for instance, 100.000 units of the BG comp. would translate to 200.000 units here). Bear in mind that the all-in-one BG comp was released in 2006, if memory serves.

 

In any case, of course the BG series was a huge success - but I think if the original BG (or BG2 for that matter) was launched today, Bioware would be lucky if it sold a fifth as many copies as it did in actuality. The big selling games are always to some extent "in tune with the times" - and graphics is a big part of that. I should note that I loathe NWN with a passion - it was perhaps the biggest disappointment of my gaming life. It's overall gameplay was a joke when compared to the BG and Fallout series, and for instance PS:T. Yet somehow it still became a huge success sales-wise. :rant:

 

Obviously, I've offended a Sims fan.
Actually, no. I did buy the original when it was released, but I got sick of it after about a week and never played it after that. I just felt you were misrepresenting it somewhat.

 

Given your other points about 2D games (not that I agree with them necessarily), what makes you think TBH will be different?
Mainly because the people making it are talented genre enthusiasts whose work I've enjoyed in the past. Additionally, the fact that it doesn't have a huge budget means they can afford a more "narrow" approach. Or so I hope.

 

Of course, you have to remember that gaming was not such a big thing back then as it is now, and RPGs particularly not (or at least in my experience). Most sales and gaming excitement back then revolved around first person shooters and RTS games.
Really? Then how do you explain that The Sims (released in the same year as SoA, remember) remains the best selling game of all time, by far? It's an unusual case, to be sure, but still.... :)
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In your previous post you quoted figures of 5m & 3m, compared to fairly recent figures of 4m and 2m. Seems to me that either one of these sets are incorrect...
I think it's the other way around - the data of 5m and 3m on Bioware's site is (we hope) more recent than the Wiki data of 4m and 2m pulled also from Bioware's site a few months ago (in November I think). The actual time difference is anyone's guess, since there aren't hard dates on the data. Wiki still has BG1, BG2 and NWN1 at 2m copies each. Once you throw add-ons and reseller compilations (not to mention more recent data) into the mix, who knows what the real story is. And IMO, who cares? :) Unless you're in the business of selling games, rather than enjoying them (in which case maybe Bioware should be analysing their PC CRPG data with respect to their Xbox/MMORPG data). Some of my favourite games didn't sell well at all. Some of the big-selling games on the other hand... well Pokémon kind of sums it up. :D Unfortunately, cunning marketing can take the place of skilled game crafting when it comes to sales. :rant:
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