Why do I like Solasta so much more than BG3?

chris.clark
Level 7
1 month ago

Not trying to start a flame war here -- I think BG3 is great too!

But I've played Solasta through to the end of EA 3 times completely (on my fourth now) and although I finished the BG3 EA to the end, I've had no desire to go back and play it again.  Even though BG3 offers way more variability -- I only played it as a "good" guy, so there's a whole "evil" side to quests and things that I haven't explored.

So, on the surface, this makes no sense...  

BG3 is more open-ended and directionless than Solasta is.  Solasta is basically "on rails" while BG3 allows you to stumble into the Underdark at level 2 if you really want to.  The graphics are arguably "better" in BG3 (although the Solasta characters have grown on my considerably and when I view them as "mini-figures that animate" they actually feel very table-top and that's a good thing).

So why do I seem to like Solasta so much better?  Serious question that I haven't yet figured out completely...

I think it's because of a few factors:

1) the implementation is exactly 5e, nothing more, nothing less.  BG3 suffers from some "oh, you're using the DOS2 engine, aren't you?" moments that result in some things that really bug me (like Wizards being able to scribe cleric scrolls and then cast the spells!)

2) I think it's partly just expectations.  I had zero expectations for Solasta while very high hopes for BG3.  So Solasta has hit a home run compared to the bunt I was expecting while BG3 "only" managed a triple when I was expecting a home run (to use a baseball allusion).

3) It's also partly the choices the game designers made.  I like creating characters.  So the fact that Solasta lets you make 4 while BG3 only lets you make 1 is a huge plus for Solasta.  Add on top of that the fact that Solasta really knocked the character creation out of the park and it's a big reason for my affection.  (And it's not just me... I told an MMO friend about Solasta, they got it and their first comment to me was "wow, that's the best character creation I've ever seen in a game".)  So.. whoever helped with the character creation (programmer, artists - you deserve a big round of applause!)

4) It's hard to explain, but Solasta just feels more like D&D to me.  Despite being "on rails", I'm okay with that because it feels like a DM ushering you through a module.  While BG3 feels more like a playground that somebody made and then just turned you loose in to see what happens.  Some will prefer BG3 because of it's "openness", but I kind of like the direction that Solasta provides.

5) The dialog/personality system.  I've played through Solasta enough times to know that it doesn't make any difference to the outcomes of anything and often it seems like it only determines who will say a particular line.  But still... there are subtle differences in the lines that get said and it really makes the characters stand out a little bit from each other.  Must make the VO file management a little nutty, but it's a nice, little touch that goes a long way to making it feel personal.  Again, job well done!

I can't wait for both games to release their final versions and I plan on playing both through to see how their stories end.  I'm sure I'm going to enjoy both very much.  But right now... if I had to recommend only one... I'd have to go with Solasta.  It just feels a little more "D&D" to me (and that's what I'm looking for).

Curious what others think.

silverblade
Level 7
1 month ago

The Scavenger system and dialog options that involves all your party members is inspired.  They are such good systems that I wish other games had it.  I hope the party dialog can be expanded as well.

I also like choosing your personality traits depending upon your background and alignment.  This is another system that can really grow and shine with more development.  Party banter, npc interaction and dialog options can really be customized with this method, albeit it will take a tremendous amount of work.

IXI
Level 5
1 month ago

would be kinda of cool if there was a "real-world" option where you would hear out of character comments during combat, would really be nice during the pandemic lock down but i'm guessing by the time it could be implemented most folk will have the vaccine 


yellow flower of courage

TomReneth
Level 9
1 month ago

I'm not sure where I fall on this yet, but I have to say that the Larian party control feel doesn't help BG3. Solasta's grid and responsive characters just feel a lot better.

Of course, I expect BG3 to ultimately win out. They have companions who are their own characters, which makes for better storytelling by not spreading the writing too thinly to accomodate 4 different characters with differing variants on the dialogue.

Solasta might overcome this with good module support though.


Typos happen. More so on the phone.

KillerRabbit
Level 5
1 month ago

I like both games.

 BG3 is clearly superior in terms of roleplay implementation and Solasta is clearly superior in terms of 5th ed ruleset implementation.

Hoping that in the future BG3 becomes more Solasta like and Solasta becomes more BG3 like.

(getting that BG3 like will only happen in an expansion)

Skryia
Level 8
1 month ago

I like them both, as well.

BG3 has advantages in variety (both narrative and build selection) and quality of art/sound. Larian clearly has a larger production budget, and it shows. They also have access to published source material, so they can actually use things (classes, subclasses, settings) that TA can’t. TA has totally crushed Larian in terms of UI/usability and faithfulness to the 5e rule set. As an example, in BG3, Eldritch Knight is available, but wrecked because they didn’t implement a proper reaction system like Solasta has. Actions, bonus actions (and reactions), spell casting (and up-casting!) are *much* cleaner in Solasta. Both games suffer from way too much homebrew. In Solasta’s case it’s mostly necessity (only SRD access) forcing some questionable homebrew (dreadful feats with a couple of OP options, questionable backgrounds). In BG3’s case it looks like the homebrew is more embedded in the engine or a sincerely held (but mistaken!) opinion on Larian’s part their homebrew is better (merge of Jump/Disengage, barrelmancy, etc). Both games focus way too much on the importance of lighting, IMO but at this point both games have made changes that make lighting the mostly non-issue it should be (provided you run Darkvision races).

The thing that is a fundamental different between the two, and that keeps me from wanting them to somehow merge into one game by cherry-picking the best aspects of both, is the party philosophy vs player philosophy that underpins the game. In BG3, the player is *one* character, and the other characters have their own ideas/motivations/stories. The *player character* does all the dialog and the rest of the party reacts accordingly. In Solasta, the player is *the party*. For single player, I prefer the latter, but the former does allow for a better multiplayer experience and perhaps adds some extra replay ability. So for getting the most out of the same campaign, BG3 probably stands up better over time. But the Solasta model is pretty great for someone like me that likes to hand-tune the party, have the optimal character handling a particular situation, etc. And I think the Solasta model lends itself quite well to having *other* campaigns in the future, so it doesn’t *need* to wring every last bit of flexibility out of a single campaign.

Anyhow, I like them both, despite each of them being flawed. It has been years (decades?) since we had cRPGs based on D&D with this much potential and I think that’s great.


KillerRabbit
Level 5
3 weeks ago

Really great comments.  Yes! The more DnD the better.

I'd really like to see what the TA devs could produce if they had the Larian budget.  I'll always prefer the one character to the party myself but in complete agreement that Solasta has crushed in "terms of UI/usability and faithfulness to the 5e rule set".  I actually like most of Solasta's homebrew but I haven't liked Larian's so far.

But I am hoping for some friendly competition -- hopefully Larian will take note and start implementing reactions, eliminating barrelmancy and the like.

IXI
Level 5
3 weeks ago

i hope BG3 will see the error of their ways and offer a 5e RAW option later or even in a remastered version that sticks closer to the rules.  just look at many remakes of BG1 there are.  it would also be nice if WotC forced Larian to be more RAW, it is silly they are letting Larian bastardize 5e while holding the threat of a lawsuit over TA if they are too pure.  i'm glad i bought solasta and i'm not planing on giving Larian any money unless they get their act together 


yellow flower of courage

Ilxuss
Level 5
3 weeks ago (edited)

I have a feeling that Larian wanted to create Divinity 3 but since somebody in WotC sent a proposition to the wrong company - to Larian instead of Obsidian ("hey, greenhorn, sent a proposition to that RPG game company" "that RPG game company? He probably means Larian"). And so they ended up with a franchise too good to pass on. As a result, Larian is now making Divinity: Baldur's Gate 3. 

I completed Divinity 1, done around 60% of Divinity 2 (because I got bored of empty side-stuff and since I'm a completionist I can't just plough through main plot) played through maybe half of BG3 demo and noticed that I've had enough of Divinity games. Solasta, on the other hand, offers something fresh (for example the party-centred system instead of player-focused) and unlike Larian it seems like they do want to create a D&D game. Also, I have a feeling that while TA tries to faithfully adapt 5E while Larian constantly tries to put their own twist on it - and I can even understand that - the gamers tend to like their solutions so why shouldn't they do what gamers expect from them? The end result is that Solasta feels fresher than kind of stagnant BG3 and that's why I prefer it.

silverblade
Level 7
1 week ago

Well Larian just revealed a portion of patch 4 and they are sticking to their DOS system. More Michael Bay like explosions and cinematics. I’m waiting for some of the cinematics to start rotating the camera around the main character and the slow walk away from an explosion.

I think if Solasta sticks to being a tabletop simulator (or as close as possible in a video game), they will gain a lot of players who are disappointed with BG3. 

Heldred
Level 7
5 days ago

If you like living with someone else's characters and story, BG3 is for you.

If you like developing your own party, Solasta, is your choice.

Both are very good games, but for me BG3 feels like a chore to play (Did I look under very rock?  Try to push through every wall and crevice?  Did I speak to every NPC? Must I complete this party member's quest? etc.), while Solasta is just pure joy from character creation to your last encounter.  With mods, more subscriber dollars, and DLC, I think Solasta will only shine more, while BG3 is already hitting diminishing returns on a AAA-budget most developers only dream of attaining.  

If a "rating-to-budget" ratio was a real metric for game reviews, and both games have similar reviews on Steam, Solasta becomes the baseline at 93%, while BG3 is only a 9% (est. 10x the budget).  Perhaps, part of Tactical Adventures' success was its modest budget, which forced the team to focus on what was important and truly defines a great gaming experience.  

I wish both franchises success, but I hope Solasta sticks around for a long time.