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Poll Archives (December 1999 - July 08, 2000)

Q: Which NPC in Baldur's Gate did you think was the most annoying?

(of 67 respondents) 9% Khalid, 51% Jaheira, 3% Minsc, 27% Xan, 6% Tiax, 4% Ajantis. And as I suspected, you were most annoyed by Jaheira. Even though Xan was in the lead for some time, he was no match for the widely (un)popular fighter/druid ;). The people have spoken.

Q: Which of the listed games that *should* be released this year will you buy?

Oops...I screwed up this one as you might have noticed. I have copy/pasted the same poll results twice so I don't have the original results anymore. If anyone remembers the exact outcome (or you have that old index page in a temp dir somewhere) please e-mail me. I'll give you credit for retrieving it ;). If I remember right, the choices were Icewind Dale, Diablo 2, Baldur's Gate II and All of the above. The last option and BG II got the most votes.

Q: Who do you think was the toughest to defeat in BG?

(of 72 respondents) 38% Sarevok, 22% Demon Knight, 17% Spider Queen, 0% Bandit camp leaders, 18% Wolfwares on Balduran's ship, 6% Kobold Commandos at Firewine. Well I did expect Sarevok to win of course :p, but it seems that Demon Knight gave you a hard time too. Total losers are Bandit camp leaders with exactly 0 votes.

Q: Which do you think is the coolest new monster that will appear in BG2?

(of 80 respondents) 8% Vampire, 4% Troll, 4% Djinni, 10% Mind Flayer, 36% Beholder, 39% Dragon. Ha, as I suspected the dragon won. But I could say, only by a fraction of an inch. Beholder was even in the lead for some time. Hell, just get me BG II on time...I can't wait :).

Q: Which race will your main character in Baldur's Gate II belong to?

(of 128 respondents) 45% Human, 2% Halfling, 37% Elf, or Half-Elf, 1% Gnome, 2% Dwarf, 14% Half-Orc. Hmm, now there's a result I did not expect to see. At first it seemed that the Elf, or Half-Elf will lead by far. But somewhere in the middle of the week Human started to get more and more votes and eventually, it won. Although as the poll clearly shows, people will play with the new race (Half-Orc) introduced to BG II quite a lot too. It seems all of the other races aren't popular at all (or maybe just not as the main characters)?

Q: What do you like the most about Planescape: Torment?

(of 209 respondents) 20% Interesting NPCs, 32% Excellent story, 7% Cool weapons, 13% Planescape multiverse, 11% Music and sounds, 17% Morte. Much to my surprise, this poll got the most votes yet. It seems that there are really many PS: Torment fans out there :). Now about the results...they came out a bit different at the end than they were at the start. It seems the first half of the week the people's favorites were Interesting NPCs and Morte. Excellent story started winning a while later, but hasn't been defeated since. And I must say that I wholeheartedly agree with this one, Excellent story really deserves a special mention. The looser? Weapons which were not that cool after all...Oh well, can't beat em all.

Q: How do you feel about creating your entire, six-person, party at the beginning of Icewind Dale?

(of 135 respondents) 47% Cool!, 3% Sucks!, 47% I'll have to wait and see, 4% I won't play Icewind Dale. Wow...I never would've imagined that there'd be a tie. It seems people like the idea of creating the entire party at the start of the game just as much as they are still skeptical about it. I guess we'll all have to wait and see for ourselves :). Only a handful of people thought that the idea sucked, and some probably don't care since they won't play it at all. But they are in minority and it looks like Icewind Dale will be every bit as popular as Baldur's Gate was.

Q: What do you think the future computer role playing games should be like?

(of 151 respondents) 62% 2D + 3D special effects (BG II), 32% Entirely 3D (Neverwinter Nights), 6% Entirely 2D (BG and Icewind Dale). Well one thing is certain...2D only is out. Although it still might have seemed fine only a year ago it is now time to move on. Almost everyone has 3D acceleration available these days, and it's only logical that we want to put it at a good use. But here's the catch...only about one third of people believe that CRPGs should be entirely 3D. This poll's winner is therefore 2D + 3D, which is also the best choice in my opinion, because I don't believe that you can show a very detailed world in 3D (and that is a must for RPGs). But then again...Neverwinter Nights might surprise us (the skeptical two thirds of voters that is ;).

Q: Which computer RPG are you anticipating the most?

(of 377 respondents) 23% Neverwinter Nights, 17% Diablo II, 17% Icewind Dale, 36% Baldur's Gate II, 7% Pool of Radiance II. Hmm, another VERY popular poll judging by the number of votes :p. Well there's not much to tell about this one since the numbers speak for themselves. Obviously Baldur's Gate II is the one we're all waiting for (more than one third of us anyway). Not far behind is Neverwinter Nights which is also a highly anticipated game. Third place is shared by Diablo II and Icewind Dale which are both equally anticipated. The last place goes to Pool of Radiance II which is not very anticipated I guess. Is it because it was only recently announced? Or because we're all so loyal to BioWare and Black Isle? ;)

Q: Who was your favorite NPC in Baldur's Gate?

(of 115 respondents) Imoen(28) 24%, Minsc(27) 23%, Coran(12) 10%, Xan(8) 7%, Kivan(6) 5%, Ajantis(5) 4%, Dynaheir(3) 3%, Tiax(4) 3%, Jaheira(3) 3%, Viconia(3) 3%, Edwin(2) 2%, Garrick(2) 2%, Khalid(2) 2%, Quayle(2) 2%, Shar Teel(2) 2%, Xzar(2) 2%, Kagain(1) 1%, Alora(1) 1%, Branwen(1) 1%, Safana(1) 1% and all others (Eldoth Kron, Faldorn, Montaron, Skie and Yeslick 0%). Hmm, for once I set up a poll where there was absolutely no way to cheat since some joker started pumping up Xan's votes to 20 (I bumped 'em back down ;). So I think this is the right picture. Imoen was our favorite it seems (mine at least), but she won only by 1 vote. Next in line is the lovable idiot Minsc with Boo the miniature giant space hamster. Another very popular NPC was Coran. 4th place goes to Xan...yes Xan...don't ask me how but so it is :p. 5th place goes to Kivan, 6th to Ajantis and so on. Some of the other NPCs weren't popular at all, but that's because most of them are evil I guess. Well the good news is, Imoen will be in BG II (Minsc likewise) so we'll have a chance to see our favorites once again!

Q: Which were your weapons of choice in BG? (i.e. you think there should be more of them in BG II)

(of 258 respondents) Long Sword(37) 14%, Composite Bow(35) 14%, Bastard Sword(23) 9%, Two-Handed Sword(22) 9%, Scimitar(17) 7%, Crossbow(14) 5%, Warhammer(12) 5%, Battle Axe(11) 4%, Sling(11) 4%, Long Bow(10) 4%, Quarterstaff(10) 4%, Halberd(9) 3%, Throwing Axe(8) 3%, Mace(6) 2%,Staff-Spear(6) 2%, Dagger(5) 2%, Morning Star(4) 2%, Short Sword(4) 2%, Throwing Dagger(3) 1%, Dart(3) 1%, Flail(3) 1%, Spear(2) 1%, Short Bow(1) 0%, Club(1) 0%, Staff-Mace(1) 0%.

Well, it seems big swords will always be a trademark of all good CRPGs so the 1st place long swords got really isn't that surprising ;). Second place goes to composite bows which were just as popular and lost to long swords by only 2 votes. Third and fourth place are occupied by bastard swords and two-handed swords, which both got about the same number of votes. On 5th place are scimitars (kinda surprising since most people got Drizzt's scimitars...). 6th place goes to crossbows, quite popular and 7th to warhammers. Others weren't that massively popular but still, there was not one weapon that wasn't somebody's favorite, which I think is very good. *Someone posted among the poll comments that there actually are some flails in the game (I previously wrote that there were none)...though they must be very rare (and nothing special I guess) => You can buy flails from some weaponshops, plus you can get a flail +1 from the fisherman north of the FAI. Thanks for the update!

Q: Did Baldur's Gate introduce you to D&D (dungeons&dragons)?

(of 93 respondents) Yes, it did (35) 38%, No, I played before (55) 59%, I didn't play Baldur's Gate (3) 3%. Interesting seems that d&d got quite a lot of publicity from Baldur's Gate and I'm sure it also stimulated a lot of new pen&paper players, since it introduced almost 40% of people who played the game to d&d. But there were also a lot of seasoned players too, almost 60% in fact. Only 3% of the people who voted didn't play Baldur's Gate (only here for Torment stuff I guess). I'm sure Wizards of the Coast/TSR are pleased ;).

Q: Which element that was missing in Baldur's Gate do you want to see most in Baldur's Gate II?

(of 103 respondents) Special animations for critical hits(11) 11%, Riddles(9) 9%, Tougher adversaries(5) 5%, Better story(18) 17%, Less bugs(2) 2%, More equipment for mages(20) 19%, Kits(19) 18%, Dragons(19) 18%.

It seems that there are mainly four things that all of us missed in Baldur's Gate. More equipment for mages being the first one (mages really had a limited number of items made especially for them), better story the second (after Torment set a fine example for a great story BG's really couldn't compare) and Dragons of course the third (good thing that there'll be dragons in BG II ;) and finally, the kits. Quite a number of people missed the special animations for critical hits too (again, seen in Torment) and riddles. Tougher adversaries obviously weren't missed very much and bugs didn't bother many people either. Since all of the things mentioned above will be in Baldur's Gate II (yea, even the bugs I'm sure hehe) we'll probably have just as much fun with BG II as we did with the first part :)

Q: Which ability scores do you think are the most important when creating a new character?

(of 382 respondents) Strength(52) 14%, Constitution(74) 19%, Dexterity(72) 19%, Intelligence(69) 18%, Wisdom(38) 10%, Charisma(24) 6%, All equally important(53) 14%

There were some comments regarding the fact that it depends on what kind of character you are creating. Well of course, that's the whole point isn't it ;). Let's say that the question applied to the kind of character do you usually play (or are you playing now). The results aren't really very surprising. Constitution is the stat most commonly boosted since we all want to get as much HP as we can. Dexterity was the second, since it is another ability that is important to most of the created characters, even if only for the AC modification. Surprisingly enough Intelligence was another favorite with almost 20%...I guess there are a lot of wizards out there hmm?

The last three are Charisma, Wisdom and All equally important. It seems that quite a lot of you think that all stats should be balanced (jack-of-all-trades but master of none). The last stat but one was Wisdom, which is quite interesting since I expected it to be a bit higher than 10%. Well, the last one was (not unexpectedly) Charisma. And I though I was the only one that didn't give a damn about that (not).

Q: Which mage spells from Baldur's Gate could you easily do without in Baldur's Gate II?

(517 votes total) Infravision(79) 15%, Grease(51) 10%, Friends(46) 9%, Know Alignment(44) 9%, Vocalise(41) 8%, Nondetection(35) 7%, Colour Spray(30) 6%, Detect Evil(29) 6%, Chill Touch(28) 5%, Skull Trap(27) 5%, Armour(25) 5%, Shadow Door(16) 3%, Protection from Evil(13) 3%, Charm Person(13) 3%, Prot. from Normal Missiles(9) 2%, Dimension Door(9) 2%, Web(6) 1%, Knock(5) 1%, Melf's Acid Arrow(4) 1%, Confusion(4) 1%, Flame Arrow(2) 0%, Hold Person(1) 0%.

Well here are the results (finally!). Even though the poll site crashed and people weren't able to vote for a few hours on Sunday, the poll still got a great number of votes. I won't go into much detail over all of the spells since I sorted the list from the most useless spell to the most useful(?), so I'll just comment on the biggest "winners".

Infravision was, obviously, the most useless spell since it only lasts for a little while and you need infravision during the whole night, even if you travel around (besides, most of us have at least one party member capable of that anyway).

Second place goes to Grease, another of my favorites. I mean, who the hell would use a spell that does no damage at all, but in turn doesn't allow your party to do any damage to your foes since they're too busy falling all over? The Friends spell got 3rd place, even though it deserves the 1st in my opinion. I don't think I've used that once in the entire game (and even if I did it failed). Fourth place goes to Know Alignment, another useless spell and a prime candidate for the most useless spell ever (really, what's the point of this spell in Baldur's Gate?).

Vocalise got 5th place, and not a place too high indeed (as if any of the monsters in BG ever used Silence...doh). Ah here we are, 6th place. The proud (yea, right) owner is Nondetection. Ok, I lied. THIS spell definitely deserves the title of the Most Useless Baldur's Gate Spell Ever™ which I proudly bestow upon it. If anyone knows one single reason why this spell would have any use in Baldur's Gate, please enlighten me.

You can make your own opinion about the rest of the spells. I hope some folks at BioWare read this page and actually throw out at least the first six (or implement them so that they will actually have a use in Baldur's Gate II), because the way they were in BG really made them completely useless.

Q: How many times do you usually (re)play CRPGs like Baldur's Gate and Planscape: Torment?

(99 votes total) I only play them once (17) 17%, I replay them once (10) 10%, I replay them twice (19) 19%, I replay them three times (4) 4%, I replay them more than three times (49) 49%

Even though this week's replacement poll was really messed up (more than a day of downtime), I still managed to pull something out of it. Results are quite surprising, at least to me. Believe it or not, almost 50% of people replay CRPGs more than three times! about replayability value here. Almost 20% of people replay them twice, the number I thought would be the biggest. 17% of people play the games just once until they finish them and 10% of people play them once more after that. Only 4% of people replay their favorites three times.

Q: What are your favorite Baldur's Gate mage spells?

(861 votes total) Magic Missile(138) 16%, Fireball(95) 11%, Monster Summoning(72) 8%, Cloudkill(58) 7%, Lightning Bolt(47) 5%, Animate Dead(41) 5%, Chromatic Orb(39) 5%, Haste(36) 4%, Melf's Acid Arrow(34) 4%, Improved Invisibility(31) 4%, Mirror Image(30) 3%, Stinking Cloud(29) 3%, Flame Arrow(21) 2%, Polymorph Self(21) 2%, Polymorph Other(20) 2%, Dire Charm(20) 2%, Invisibility(20) 2%, Dispel Magic(19) 2%, Minor Globe of Invulnerability(16) 2%, Ghost Armor(15) 2%, Spirit Armor(14) 2%, Otiluke's Resilient Sphere(14) 2%, Dimension Door(12) 1%, Blur(10) 1%, Horror(9) 1%

Well this certainly is a new record, 861 votes in one week. You might be wondering how come there are such big differences among the numbers of votes sometimes. Well the thing is, this week was very special since there's been a lot of traffic around here, much of it due to the fact that Yahoo finally added my site among the links. The other reason is that pop-up polls always get a lot more votes than site-embedded ones.

On to the results then. As suspected, Magic Missile won with a huge majority of 138 votes or 16% (it's been number one since day one anyway). A simple first level spell, but quite potent at high levels nonetheless. Not to mention you can have a lot of them when you start hitting some decent levels. Second favorite was Fireball, another all-time Baldur's Gate favorite everyone used a lot, whether to vaporize jellies (don't you love that word) and slimes or for the more popular, shoot-into-black-areas-to-kill-all-the-nasties-before-they-even-see-you technique of playing. Monster Summoning was third and no wonder about that. We all used the poor summoned gnolls/wolves etc. for cannon fodder and they saved our butts a number of times.

Cloudkill, a spell that was (legally) introduced with Tales of the Sword Coast was the 4th most popular spell. No sense in explaining why, if you've seen it in action you know that it's either run or die from that one. A surprise at fifth place, at least to myself, is the Lightning Bolt. I almost never used that one since it usually did more damage to my party when it bounced off the screen back into my mage than to the monster I wanted dead. Sixth was Animate Dead, probably my all-time favorite. Skeletons have so many household err game uses that it's indescribable. Very good spell.

7th place goes to Chromatic Orb, the spell I thought would end at second place. Hmm, I was wrong since only 39 people (5%) favored it. Haste was 8th, a good spell but one I never used much (who needed to with boots of speed anyway). Melf's Acid Arrow is 9th with 34 votes. Quite a surprise, since the spell isn't really very powerful, at least not at levels you can achieve in Baldur's Gate. Tenth and the last place I'll comment on was earned by Improved Invisibility, a VERY good spell for sneaking up on/by people.

The rest of the spells all got less than 4% of total votes and you can make your own opinion about them I guess. I listed them descending by the number of votes so that you won't have any trouble placing your favorite spell among others. If this poll showed one thing, then it was the fact that spell popularity is very well distributed among the spells and that only a few stand out and even those with less than 20% of votes. Many people have their own favorites that weren't most of the other people's and that probably accounts for the huge number of spells that got less than 4% of votes. However, one thing is certain - spells are well balanced (thanks for that goes to the makers of the D&D system I guess). Good job.

Q: What are the things you're looking forward to the most about Icewind Dale?

(1794 votes total) Creating the entire party(318) 18%, Better multiplayer experience(124) 7%, Higher experience cap than BG(296) 16%, Level 9 spells(267) 15%, New monsters(222) 12%, More riddles than BG(137) 8%, More hack & slash than BG(126) 7%, More dungeon crawling than BG(139) 8%, Setting(165) 9%

Ok, it seems like we'll be breaking records each week now. 1794 votes in one week is REALLY something. My thanks to all of you for participating in such large makes the polls a lot more interesting.

Let's look at the results now. Creating the entire party was the most popular feature of Icewind Dale, which came as a surprise to me at least (I placed my bet on Level 9 Spells). It got 18% of votes. Second was Higher experience cap than Baldur's Gate, something we all definitely wanted (there aren't many people who didn't remove the cap in Baldur's Gate). Anyway, it won the second place with 16% of votes. Third place and my personal favorite goes to Level 9 Spells* with 15% of votes. You'll definitely fear Icewind Dale mages a lot more than you did those in Baldur's Gate.

*You will not be able to cast level 9 spells unfortunately. Maximum spell level for mages and clerics will be 7th, although there should be some level 9 spells in the game, either castable only from scrolls or only in use by your opponents. Of course, with the plethora of Infinity Engine game editors out there I'm sure that there'll be a way for you to hack your char to be able to cast even those, if you so desire ;).

New monsters, you could say a classic, was also quite popular since it got 12% of votes. Yuan-ti, Poison Zombies, Verbeegs, Cyclops, Trolls...looking forward to seeing (and killing) them all. Setting sits in the 5th place with 9% of votes. Finally an interesting and not overused setting because this time, you'll venture to a really cool (heh) part of the Forgotten Realms to loot and kill. More dungeon crawling and More riddles share the 6th place in this popularity contest, both with 8% of votes. There's no doubt about the dungeons (there's gonna be a lot of them), but more riddles was more of a promise to us by the programmers than anything else. We shall see if it lives up to our expectations.

The last, 7th place is also shared by two entries only 2 votes apart. More hack&slash and a Better multiplayer experience both got 7% of votes and were the least popular new Icewind Dale features. When you think about it, those two are the main reasons people bought Diablo so it's very strange that they were the last on the list here. Hmmm...

Q: What are your favorite Baldur's Gate clerical spells?

(1440 votes total) Cure Wounds (196) 14%, Flame Strike (185) 13%, Call Lightning (179) 12%, Animate Dead (129) 9%, Animal Summoning (82) 6%, Entangle (80) 6%, Dispel Magic (64) 4%, Draw Upon Holy Might (60) 4%, Hold Person/Animal (56) 4%, Flame Blade (52) 4%, Charm Person/Mammal (42) 3%, Spiritual Hammer (41) 3%, Strength of One (37) 3%, Champion's Strength (36) 2%, Mental Domination (32) 2%, Bless (23) 2%, Defensive Harmony (21) 1%, Chant (21) 1%, Remove Fear (19) 1%, Protection from Evil (18) 1%, Aid (16) 1%, Barkskin (16) 1%, Chaotic Commands (15) 1%, Resist Fire and Cold (10) 1%, Rigid Thinking (10) 1%

Let's take a closer look at the results.

Cure Wounds, the entry under which I combined Cure Light Wounds and Cure Serious Wounds (and Critical if anyone actually got that 5th level spell) got the most votes, as I expected. The counter stopped at 14%, almost 200 votes. Really, what would we do without clerics' healing powers. Second place goes to Flame Strike and third to Call Lightning, which both got only a dozen votes less and a total of 13% each. Flame Strike is a very powerful spell that most of the people used a lot, and so is Call Lightning (too bad it only works outdoors though).

Fourth place belongs to Animate Dead with 9% of votes. In Baldur's Gate it was a much more powerful spell than AD&D ever intended it to be. Who doesn't remember hordes of walking bones marching up and down their screen... Even the fearsome basilisks become easy prey when surrounded by dozens of skeletons they can't petrify ;).

These first four spells represent 48% of people's favorite spells, so we seem to have a few more common favorites here than in our mage spellbooks (it took five spells to get to 47% in the mage spells poll). Let's proceed to the next 52% of votes.

Animal Summoning, the clerical version of Monster Summoning (everybody's favorite) is on the 5th place with 6% of votes. Entangle, my favorite in the first chapters of Baldur's Gate (when dealing with easy monsters) was 6th, again with 6% of votes (only two votes less than Animal Summoning). 4% was the number of votes Dispel Magic (the entry on 7th place) got. This spell proved quite useful in a lot of places too... Either for dispelling harmful effects of hostile mages upon your party or for bringing down globes of invounrability and such.

Draw Upon Holy Might occupies the 8th place with 4% of votes. I had Branwen cast that one all the time. Hold Person/Animal, another combination I made for the poll includes both Hold Person and Animal spells since they're very similar. Anyway, 4% of people favored them, 9th place (this 4% theme is starting to get repetitive hehe). But it doesn't stop here yet. Another 4% go to Flame Blade, my favorite for Jaheira the Mouthy Druid. Flame Blade has the 10th place.

Charm Person/Mammal, yet another combination for the poll (includes Charm Person and Charm Mammal spells) got 42 votes or 3%, which marks it as the 11th most popular clerical spell(s). Spiritual Hammer got only 1 votes less (yes, also 3%) and it sits at 12th place. That was probably the spell I cast the most with Branwen, since it's a quite powerful spell at lower levels when good magical hammers are still hard to find (or maybe I just liked the glowing hammer animation <grin>).

Strength of One got 37 votes (3% again and 13th place now). A very powerful spell, even though it lasts for only a short time. Champion's Strength is next with only one vote less than Strength of One, but with a total of 2% for a change. This is a spell introduced in Tales of the Sword Coast (the official expansion). Neither very useful nor very powerful. Really, you'd think there was something better they could come up with for the addon. 14th place.

Mental Domination (another ToSC spell) also got 2% of votes which place it at the 15th place. I don't know about that one. I cast it a few times but it seems that the opponents always made a succesful saving throw so it had no effect. Anyway, the next in row is Bless, a very used spell at the start of the game. It got 23 votes and 16th place.

The rest of the spells all got 1% of votes. Defensive Harmony, Chant, Remove Fear, Protection from Evil, Aid, Barkskin, Chaotic Commands, Resist Fire and Cold and Rigid Thinking were the least favorite spells. These 9 spells got 9% of votes altogether and 146 votes.

Q: Who was your favorite NPC in Planescape: Torment?

(580 votes total) Morte(124) 21%, Dak'kon(114) 20%, Annah(80) 14%, Fall-from-Grace(43) 7%, Nordom(30) 5%, Vhailor(23) 4%, Ignus(21) 4%, Didn't play it (yet)(145) 25%

After a while I decided to make a singe-option poll (ok, the people in #sorcerers made me do it to be honest ;) and the results are very surprising. First of all, I had no idea that so many people that come to my site haven't played Torment yet. At the beginning (the first hour of the poll being online or so) I didn't even have the emergency Didn't play it (yet) option, but after I heard it for the third time from some people in our channel I decided to list that option too. I'll start with the winning NPC even though the number of people who didn't play the game surpasses even that (more about that at the later).

Morte, your companion skull that floats along by your side from the beginning of the game till the end (well, unless you dump, sell or give him back to the pillar that is) won the favorite NPC poll with 124 votes or 21% if you will. Morte makes an excellent fighter, not that much because of his strength or his bite (teeth are his only weapon) but because of his resistances. Of course, same as most if not all of the NPCs in the game he's not telling you everything about himself at the start, so in order to learn the full story he must journey with you to the end.

Dak'kon is the second favorite. He was leading the poll for quite a while and was beaten by Morte only in the last few days. He got 10 votes less than Morte and a total of 20% votes. Him being a fighter and also a mage make this character a very much desired NPC. Even though he isn't an excellent mage, he's got quite a few tricks up his sleeve (not to mention the Circle of Zerthimon) and as a fighter, he becomes very fearsome indeed (as many have pointed out in the poll comments, the Karach blade rocks ;). His only downside is that his HP are quite low most of the game.

Annah, the pretty tiefling got 80 votes or 14%. Here's another character you'll probably keep until the end of the game (at least the first time you play). She's a decent thief and she can hold her own in battle too. Just find her some nice punch daggers and you're set. She and Fall-from-Grace are the only characters that can wear any sort of body armor.

Fall-from-Grace is next. She got 47 votes or 7% of all votes. Described as "easily the most beautiful woman you have ever seen" in the game, Fall-from-Grace is a succubus, a temptress of men. She is a terrible fighter unfortunately, but worth keeping in the party because of her healing spells (and some destructive ones). Anyway, she's the only potential love interest besides Annah ;)

The fourth NPC on the popularity ladder is Nordom. He (it?) got 50 votes (5%). Nordom is the only NPC in the game (besides Ignus) capable of ranged attack. Not that it's much of an advantage in Torment, but still. He can also improve his stats if your intelligence is high enough to convince him, and his portal detection ability proved useful too.

Vhailor makes his stand at 6th place with 23 votes (4%). Vhailor is a former Mercykiller who's just a suit of armor and an axe; but he doesn't quite realize that he's dead. He's an embodiment of Justice itself and becomes stronger depending on how great the injustice that he must overcome is. Unfortunately, he is also the most overlooked NPC in the whole game (at least the first time through). He is hidden so cleverly that I managed to miss him even though I knew approximately where he should be.

Last place goes to Ignus, as expected. Ignus got two votes less than Vhailor so his stats are: 21 votes and 4% total. It's not that Ignus is a bad NPC, far from it. He has many powerful spells and a lot to teach the Nameless One too (if he is a mage), but his presence makes you (and all other NPCs) think that he'll turn on you sooner or later (not far from the truth actually). Anyway, if you like some horror in your games you should give Ignus a chance to spice (heh) things up a bit.

Ah, yes. The last entry. The disappointing entry. 145 people (that is a quarter, 25%) haven't played Torment yet. How could you? Really, after seeing how many awards it got, after hearing how cool it is (not just from me I hope), after seeing such great sites on the net with so much neat stuff about it, you STILL haven't gone off to the store and picked it up? You should be ashamed. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of it now!

P.S. To all of you who DID buy Torment but never bothered to get out of the Mortuary... I was there, I know the feeling. It does seem very awkward at the start (boring?, weird?) but trust me, it gets a lot better after you actually get out of that prison. So if you're still stuck there, give it another chance. You'll be grateful to me that you did.

Q: Who were your favorite NPCs in Baldur's Gate?

(1110 votes total) Minsc (204) 18%, Imoen (170) 15%, Kivan (77) 7%, Khalid (64) 6%, Coran (61) 5%, Dynaheir (57) 5%, Jaheira (56) 5%, Ajantis (50) 5%, Xan (50) 5%, Branwen (46) 4%, Viconia (35) 3%, Edwin (34) 3%, Xzar (29) 3%, Yeslick (28) 3%, Safana (24) 2%, Kagain (20) 2%, Montaron (16) 1%, Quayle (16) 1%, Garrick (14) 1%, Shar Teel (14) 1%, Tiax (13) 1%, Skie (10) 1%, Alora (8) 1%, Faldorn (8) 1%, Eldoth Kron (6) 1%

I have finally managed to collect the poll results (there have been some problems with the site transition to new servers), but it's all resolved now. I won't comment on all of the poll choices as I usually do here, partly because there has been a favorite NPCs poll a few months ago already, but mainly because it'd just wind up way too long and I doubt anyone would bother to read all that anyway.

Minsc won the first place this time with 18% of votes, which is quite surprising since he came up second in the same poll a few months ago (only by a vote but still). I guess hamster animal companions are all the rage today. Imoen, my favorite as everyone probably knows by now (hehe), won the second place with 15% of votes. This makes Minsc and Imoen officially the most popular Baldur's Gate NPCs. Together they have earned 33% (or one third) of all votes!

3rd place goes to Kivan with 7% of votes (already half less than Imoen). Kivan is another one of my favorites, a damn good archer and quite strong to boot. Next it Khalid with 6% of votes, a good warrior although a pain in the ass sometimes. And finally, Coran has the 5th place with 5% of votes (seems like the euphoria finally settled down). You can draw your own conclusions about the rest but since I have sorted all of the entries by the number of votes they got, it shouldn't be much of a problem.

Q: What are the things you'd like to see added to Sorcerer's Place?

(828 votes total) Downloadable saved games (136) 16%, 3rd edition D&D concept art (111) 13%, Online versions of all zipped walkthroughs and other documents (111) 13%, Info on the upcoming D&D movies (102) 12%, Screenshots from the games (99) 12%, Pool of Radiance 2 section (95) 11%, Daily CRPG news coverage (73) 9%, Message boards (54) 7%, Site redesign (27) 3%, Other (20) 2%

This poll sure turned out to be quite a surprise, at least on my side. My guess was that the results would be exactly the opposite from the ones we have here. Checking the public opinion on my work every once in a while seems more and more prudent. While I could start changing a lot of stuff around here that would reflect what people want, it probably won't happen in a while. The only reason for this is the fact that I have a new site design in the works, so when that's finished, I'll start with some other big changes too (no sense in converting all files twice). Patience, my friends ;)

Downloadable savegames seem to have won the day with 16% of people wanting them! I can understand why this would be quite high in demand since I don't really know of any other site that would have them (these things take up a lot of space). The problem here is that although I'm sure I'll gather a lot of them, for the most part they'll be from the US/Europe versions of the games and players from other countries that had their own translated versions might be left out unfortunately (unless some of them contribute their own savegames).

Once I decide to start doing this section, I'll be sure to have an option where you will be able to send your own savegames or exported chars (you'll have to send descriptions along with the savegames too, of course). Stay tuned.

The second thing(s) people would like to see here is the concept art from 3rd edition D&D. I guess I'm not the only one who loves those sketches. Fear not, I have a big collection of them already and you'll be seeing some cool art soon enough.

Online versions of all documents and zipped stuff™ are also quite high in demand. Actually, the same number of people (13%) want them as they do the concept art. This has been on my list of to-dos for a long time, and I'll get on this ASAP. The main reason that this hasn't been done before is in the fact that I had had very limited server space, but now when I have unlimited, there's going to be a lot of expansion going on.

Next in the line is the info on the upcoming D&D movies. Not much to say about this one, other than that I had absolutely no idea that this was so high in demand until some people have actually mailed me and asked for it. Of course, we aim to please and you can bet that you'll be reading about them here sooner or later. Preferably sooner.

Screenshots from the games- also high in demand from 12% of people. Expect to see a lot of them soon.

Maybe my attempts at promotion of Pool of Radiance actually helped, or maybe people just learned more about it by now. Whichever it might be, 11% of people demand a Pool of Radiance section. It was planned to be added to the site, and so it shall be.

9% of people would like to see daily CRPG news coverage at Sorcerer's Place... Another feature that will be added along with the new site design. Oh yes, the official message boards will be covered too. (No, I won't have time to do all this myself, in case you're wondering. Some people have already offered their assistance as news posters and additional recruiting will take place here sooner or later, so read the news for any such announcements if you're interested.)

Message boards were not that high in demand with only 7% of people wanting them, strangely enough. Well for those of you who do, I have some good news. The message boards have already been tested and installed and await only the final tweaks and changes until they become open to public. And I'm sure once you see them in action, you'll want to pop in and post something too.

Site redesign is obviously not a demand at all, while only 3% of people think it should be made. One more proof for the saying that content is the king (a guideline I've always followed). But it's not that the design is bad (heck, I've spent many hours on it), it's just that frames everywhere have been replaced with layers or tables, and I intend to follow that trend (ignoring it does not really seem a valid option, since it's not likely to go away :p). The current one doesn't allow for many of the features listed above that I intent to implement either. Hopefully, you'll be able to see Sorcerer's Place clothed in nice new mage robes (metaphorically speaking of course) soon.

Other, hm yes. 20 people wanted something else but only 13 or so actually left a comment so that we'd know what that Other is. Not many of the comments made sense, some of them were asking for illegal things and some just plain not doable. In other words, they were merrily ignored for the most part (flame me, hehe).

Q: Which new monsters are you looking forward to seeing in Icewind Dale?

(1655 votes total) Frost Giant (251) 15%, Elemental (164) 10%, Ice Troll (161) 10%, Cyclops (140) 8%, Yeti (100) 6%, Yuan-Ti (95) 6%, Rhinoceros Beetle (95) 6%, Orc (93) 6%, Lizard Man (82) 5%, Verbeeg (73) 4%, Goblin (72) 4%, Salamander (71) 4%, Ghost (70) 4%, Ettin (69) 4%, Wight (69) 4%, Orog (50) 3%

With Icewind Dale around the corner (it should be released by the end of the month in USA) this week's poll clearly shows that a lot of people are interested in the game (judging by the votes, of course). Let's take a closer look at the results.

Frost Giant is by far the most popular new monster introduced in Icewind Dale. I guess everyone wants to finally see them in flesh (so to speak) after reading about them in Salvatore's Icewind Dale trilogy (by the way, you can order all Icewind Dale & Dark Elf books from the Fantasy Books section of the site). Frost Giants win the first place in this week's poll with 15% or 251 votes.

Second place goes to Elementals, another monster made famous by the books. Remember the earth elemental Drizzt destroyed in the Underdark? Well, you will get a chance to do the same in Icewind Dale. 10% of people voted for Elementals.

Ice Trolls are third, with only 3 votes less than Elementals and still 10%. Formidable monsters to say the least. Not much to say here, except yet another variety of the good old troll, this time in icy flavor. ;)

Cyclopes are also quite popular- they have the 4th place with 140 votes. They were one of the first new monsters BIS showed to impress the public and to show off the improved Infinity Engine that could now handle much bigger monsters than we were used to from Baldur's Gate. It worked.

Next four monsters all got 6% of votes (Yeti, Yuan-Ti, Rhinoceros Beetle and Orc). I wonder where the rhino beetles find enough food to grow to grow so big in Icewind Dale...

Lizard Man is another classical monster we will finally see in a CRPG. It got 82 votes or 5%.

I will combine the next few monsters (again) since they all got the same percentage of votes. Verbeeg, Goblin, Salamander, Ghost, Ettin and Wight all got around 70 votes. Funny though, I thought the two-headed ettins would score way higher.

Last place goes to the Orog, obviously a very boring monster, since only 50 people voted for it (3%).

Q: Which character class do you usually play in a CRPG?

(790 votes total) Fighter (165) 21%, Ranger (113) 14%, Paladin (112) 14%, Generalist Mage (101) 13%, Specialist Mage (89) 11%, Multiclassed char (69) 9%, Dual classed char (52) 7%, Thief (44) 6%, Cleric (20) 3%, Druid (13) 2%, Bard (12) 2%

Ok, this time the comments on the poll will be rather short, since I am quite sure that this poll's results really couldn't be any more self-explanatory.

Fighters won the first place, of course. 21% of people prefer straight warriors, since playing with them is usually the easiest way through the game.

Rangers are on the second place with 14% of votes. These nature-loving fighters are also quite popular, their dual wield option probably being one of the main contributing factors.

Paladins got only one votes less than Rangers, so they, too, got 14% of votes. All around do-gooders with some pretty nice abilities like turn undead and access to clerical spells makes them an excellent choice.

The first surprise awaits on the 4th place. It would seem that 13% of people play generalist mages! This figure seems especially surprising due to the fact that clerics got so few votes in this poll... I don't know if this high score applies to Baldur's Gate only, but nevertheless. (I played a generalist mage in BG myself).

Close behind by popularity are specialist mages with 11% of votes. I guess everyone knows that specialized mages get one extra spell per level, but they must also choose an opposition school from which they cannot cast spells.

Multiclassed characters hold the 6th place with 9% of votes. Only nonhuman species can be multiclassed.

Dual classed characters are next with 7% of votes. This option, on the other hand, is reserved exclusively for humans.

Thieves are on the 8th place with 6% of votes. Every party must have at least one thief, but it doesn't seem like many people would choose to play one themselves (or at least not single classed).

Clerics got 20 votes out of 720 or 3% in other words. A stunningly low figure, even despite the fact that some Fighter/Clerics and such are still among the dual/multiclasses characters.

Druids and bards are last and obviously the least popular characters. They both got 2% each. It seems like the ancient proverb "BARDS SUCK, MAN!" is right on cue.

These results are, as always, highly debatable so drop us a line at the Whatnots forum if you disagree (or agree) with anything written here.

Q: If you had the option to choose, who would you spend a week with and what would you do?

(881 votes total)
Imoen (show her that you are *not* a queer fellow) (277) 31%,
Fall-from-Grace (discover if those rumours about the succubi are true) (162) 18%,
Drizzt (freeze your ass off in Icewind Dale) (139) 16%,
Elminster (stick your nose into things that are none of your business) (113) 13%,
Annah (show her your punch daggers collection) (77) 9%,
Minsc (take Boo for a walk every day and clean up after him) (34) 4%,
Nameless One (find out that nothing can change the nature of a man) (26) 3%,
Jaheira (hug every tree you come across) (20) 2%,
Ignus (invite all your friends to a barbecue) (19) 2%,
Nordom (visit Mechanus and bring home a pet modron) (14) 2%

Not a bad little poll, if I do say so myself. I was really getting desperate because I couldn't come up with a question that I haven't used in a poll before (there's been quite a lot of them already), but this one came as a sort of divine inspiration, you could say. ;)

Now for some comments. I won't go into detail for every single entry in the poll, because explanations were already given in parentheses next to the name. At the time I was forming this poll, the words "male chauvinist pig" seemed to be constantly on my mind, but I think I got away with it rather well (heh heh).
There were some remarks about the obvious winners in the poll by the women who frequent the site, but all in all, I think the poll wasn't too male-centered. I even put more male than female characters in it.

Of course, the female choices did seem more appealing to the general public, but that was only to be expected. It's probably a good thing that not many people got the joke behind Annah's description (does the phrase "show one your record collection" ring a bell?). Oh well, I guess I'm guilty of being a MCP after all...

The results pretty much speak for themselves, but I must say that I was surprised to see that Nordom got so few votes. I mean, what is there not to like in a sexless box with 4 arms (or possibly wings) and the orderly logic even Mr. Spock wouldn't be ashamed of?
Ok, forget I mentioned it... but I'd still like a pet flying box, possibly upgradable to employ crossbows. Maybe I'm weird.

These results are, as always, highly debatable so drop us a line in the Whatnots forum if you disagree (or agree) with anything written here.

Q: Which is your favorite playable fantasy race?

(1708 votes total)
Elves (499) 29%
Half-Elves (467) 27%
Humans (440) 26%
Dwarves (184) 11%
Half-Orcs (50) 3%
Halflings (37) 2%
Gnomes (31) 2%

This final poll on my old site proved quite interesting. Though the results turned out more or less as I expected, the low figures that Half-Orcs, Halflings and Gnomes got surprised me. Altogether they only scored 7% total in spite the fact that they represent almost half of the options you could vote for.

Elves are still the most popular race and I doubt that will change anytime soon. The race has many advantages and a long tradition and that makes it a top choice for most of the people.

Half-Elves received only slighty less votes, which makes them the second most popular fantasy race. A mix of human and elven blood, still retaining some of the unique qualities of Elves does have it's advantages.

Third on the popularity ladder are Humans, your and my race (at least I hope it's yours too...). ;)
No special advantages except the ability to dual class, and yet Humans are a race most of us like to play.

A long way after the Humans (in percents) come the Dwarves (or Dwarfs if you prefer the correct word). They received more than half less votes than humans, which makes them the 4th most popular race. Worshippers of Glittergold unite.

Even further down the road come the Kling.., err, Half-Orcs, a relatively new playable race introduced by the 3rd Edition D&D. Even though putting them on the list means cheating a bit (I mean hey, you don't really know what it'll be like to play it yet), they still beat some of the oldest races like Gnomes and Halflings! 5th place therefor goes to the Half-Orcs.

Which brings us to the above mentioned Halflings and Gnomes. Only 2% of people stated Halflings as their favorite fantasy race, and Gnomes not faring any better, they got even a few votes less than Halflings. I wonder if this score would change should everyone read the Hobbit and Lord of The Rings...



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