Breastplate armor just sealed my party composition

chris.clark
Level 9
3 months ago

This is silly, but I've been going back and forth over Rogue, or Lowlife Ranger for my 4th character slot.  (Other three are Spellblade Fighter, Cleric (still seeing which domain I like best), and Shock Arcanist Wizard.

I usually choose this character to be female and they wind up in leather armor.  It bugs me that the male leather is black, cool and screams "I'm a bad ass" while the female leather is brown and just says "budget city guard".

However, today I stumbled across the first Breastplate armor that I've seen and I put it on my female, elven fighter (DEX-based) and wow... She's not some over-sexualized goddess in a chainmail bikini -- she's covered basically head to toe, so the armor looks like it'll actually protect her (shocking, eh?) -- but she still looks really good.  Much better than the leather armor.  I think the breastplate armor says "look all you want, but if you touch you're going to lose that hand".

So, strictly for aesthetic purposes, Lowlife Sylvan Elf Ranger just beat out any female Rogue simply because the Ranger can wear the breastplate. 

And yes, I know the Rogue could wear it too if you take Sellsword background, but... I just kind of like Ranger more anyway and I'm looking for any excuse to use Ranger over Rogue. :)

Also, I wanted to say "great job" to the artist who did the female breastplate armor look. :)  I've actually been really impressed by all of the "props" (weapons, armor, potions, gems, books, etc.).  The female leather armor is the only one that I find a bit disappointing.

Skryia
Level 8
3 months ago

The full plate armor looks really good, too. It’s basically the breastplate with armored gauntlets added (description says helmet as well, but I have helmet graphics turned off). I, too, have been favoring Lowlife Ranger over Rogue. I also favor it over Green Mage because Green Mage doesn’t get extra-attack. Haven’t tried Spellblade Fighter yet, because I’ve running different flavors of Paladin for that slot (they are all effective, I have a preference for the Oath of Devotion, though). Clerics have many great options, have run Life, Light, Fire, and probably do War next (so far Fire I think is most OP Cleric, Light is close behind, though). There don;t seem to actually be any magical heavy armors in the game that I’ve found, though. It’s a shame.

chris.clark
Level 9
3 months ago

Haven't found any magical heavy armor, but I just got the Half-Plate +1 from Aksha's room and it's awfully nice.  Now my female elf looks seriously badass!  It's also a Medium armor.

I noticed that they don't seem to have the "Studded Leather" light armor type in the game.  Or at least, if they do, I have yet to find one.  Hope they add that before release because characters confined to just light armor will need the extra +1 it affords.

Haven't tried a Devotion Paladin... I usually go with the Motherland because of the promise of Fireball at higher levels. :)

My favorite clerics are probably Oblivion or Battle.  Sun/Light is pretty decent too.  I didn't find Fire to be anything exceptional.

Skryia
Level 8
3 months ago

That is the one downside to heavy armor, magical variants don’t seem to be a thing yet. But since I let my Paladin take an 8 for DEX, non-magical platemail is the best thing she can wear. And they don’t seem to have studded leather in the game, either. The half-plate +1 is so good, high AC and doesn’t give disadvantage on stealth, so choosing between giving it to Cleric vs Ranger was a tough call.

silverblade
Level 10
3 months ago

I’m not too fond of the character art (especially the faces and hair) but I agree, the armor in this game is incredibly well done. I love how they look. 

chris.clark
Level 9
3 months ago

Yeah, my first thought about the characters is that they were ugly.  However, I've since changed my point of view after reading something about "graphics vs. art direction".

Basically, the point of the article is that judging things by how realistic and life-like they are is a trap that gamers have gotten into.  "Graphics" is largely taken to mean "how realistic is it".  The article points out that this isn't the same as "art direction".  If a game decides to use a cartoonish art direction, people are far more forgiving as to the quality of the graphics.

So after initially thinking "man these toons are kind of ugly", I took the approach of thinking "apart from the characters, all of the other art in this game is amazing - concepts used for backgrounds, weapons, armors, maps".  So it's unlikely that the characters are "bad" (e.g. not photo-realistic) by accident.  I haven't seen anyone comment one way or the other, but given the look (especially the hair), my guess is that they took their art inspiration from mini-figures and the direction was "let's start with mini-figs and bring them to life".  In that context, the hair and general look makes total sense.

Whether I'm right or wrong, we'll probably never find out.  But if you approach the characters from the point of view of "these are mini-figures that they've brought to life", then artistically, it fits and works (I think).

But yeah... if you compare them to BG3, then yes, BG3 has the "more realistic" graphics.  Doesn't necessarily mean "better" though.

silverblade
Level 10
3 months ago

Yeah, my first thought about the characters is that they were ugly.  However, I've since changed my point of view after reading something about "graphics vs. art direction".

Basically, the point of the article is that judging things by how realistic and life-like they are is a trap that gamers have gotten into.  "Graphics" is largely taken to mean "how realistic is it".  The article points out that this isn't the same as "art direction".  If a game decides to use a cartoonish art direction, people are far more forgiving as to the quality of the graphics.

So after initially thinking "man these toons are kind of ugly", I took the approach of thinking "apart from the characters, all of the other art in this game is amazing - concepts used for backgrounds, weapons, armors, maps".  So it's unlikely that the characters are "bad" (e.g. not photo-realistic) by accident.  I haven't seen anyone comment one way or the other, but given the look (especially the hair), my guess is that they took their art inspiration from mini-figures and the direction was "let's start with mini-figs and bring them to life".  In that context, the hair and general look makes total sense.

Whether I'm right or wrong, we'll probably never find out.  But if you approach the characters from the point of view of "these are mini-figures that they've brought to life", then artistically, it fits and works (I think).

But yeah... if you compare them to BG3, then yes, BG3 has the "more realistic" graphics.  Doesn't necessarily mean "better" though.

I think my problem with the faces is, they tried to make them realistic but decided to keep the hair like “mini figs” as you put it. They don’t mesh well.

Some of the faces look like photoshop of actual faces and I get that uncanny valley vibe sometimes (it may also have to do with the faces not blinking). I’d just like the art direction to be consistent. 

I understand TA doesn’t have a ton of resources so I give them a lot of leeway because the core system is so good. I just hope they have a little left in their budget to improve the characters a bit.