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Poll Archives (August 2000 - February 2001)

Q: Which CRPG(s) will you be playing next?
(744 votes total)

Throne of Bhaal (BG2 expansion) (261) 35%
Neverwinter Nights (213) 29%
Heart of Winter (IWD expansion) (176) 24%
Pool of Radiance: RoMD (94) 13%

This time the poll was a multiple-choice one, so there are a few more votes than usual.

Most people (by far) will be playing the expansion to Baldur's Gate 2 next. That comes as no surprise since the series have been immensely popular since the original Baldur's Gate was released.

Neverwinter Nights is the game a few people less will be playing next. It was probably the prime choice for those that did not choose any other games off the list.

Heart of Winter is not that hot anymore, with only about one quarter of people who expect to be playing it next.
Of course, at the time of the poll the game was already widely available in the USA and some have finished it already, but Europe has yet to see the first copies of it.

Tailing alarmingly behind is the new Pool of Radiance, delayed yet again by the latest reports. It is quite understandable that people get a bad feeling about a game that has been delayed for almost a year already.
Hopefully we will see this title before Neverwinter Nights ships, otherwise it will have to settle for being the second 3rd edition D&D CRPG released.

Q: How often do you customize any Infinity Engine games with new custom portraits, voice sets and similar items?
(242 votes total)

Never (66) 27%
Sometimes (50) 21%
All the time (45) 19%
Rarely (44) 18%
Quite often (37) 15%

It would seem that customization of the Infinity Engine games isn't really very popular, at least judging by the rather small number of people who voted in the poll.

Of those that did, the majority with 27% never changed anything about the games but play them such as they come straight out of the box.

21% of people do twiddle with custom portraits and sound sets, but only casually.

There are some enthusiasts who do it all the time, namely 19% of all people who have voted in the poll.

18% of people customize their games on rare occasions and lastly, 15% of them do it quite often.

Q: Which BG2 NPC has the best dialogue in your opinion?
(572 votes total)

Minsc (239) 42%
Jan Jansen (65) 11%
Viconia (48) 8%
Aerie (40) 7%
Jaheira (34) 6%
Korgan (33) 6%
Edwin (30) 5%
Yoshimo (20) 3%
Imoen (17) 3%
Haer'Dalis (13) 2%
Keldorn Firecam (12) 2%
Anomen (7) 1%
Mazzy Fentan (6) 1%
Valygar (3) 1%
Nalia (3) 1%
Cernd (2) 0%

As some users have noted in poll comments, this poll is far from fair, since no one has recruited all of the NPCs. This is merely a general indicator which NPC's dialogue the majority of people liked most.

First place naturally goes to Minsc. There was hardly a party without him since you can recruit him so early in the game, and after a while he really grows on you. Not to mention that he has some pretty funny lines that accompany his wacky character.

Far, far behind Minsc in popularity is Jan Jansen, the second most popular talker. His witty stories never fail to bring a chuckle to one's face. From the moment you meet him to the moment you decide to leave him behind, Jan always has something funny to say.

Third place goes to Viconia, the ever popular Drow hottie. Goes to show what a bit of dialogue and a romance option can do for a NPC.
She was one of the least favorite NPCs in the original BG, but players' attitude towards her has shifted a great deal in BG2.

Next is Aerie, the little winged elf you can't help but feel sorry for. Although my romance with her has permanently stopped in the Underdark, I must say that she has quite a lot of touching dialogue. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but it seems that many people liked her.

Jaheira stands proudly in sixth place. While she is a (somewhat) welcome addition to the party in the beginning and has a great deal to say as well, she was not exactly my favorite in BG2, although I had her in my party through entire BG1+TOSC.
It's probably a bit different if you decide to pursue a romance with her.

Korgan is close behind Jaheira with only one vote less. His wicked lines are well suited to those of evil alignment. He also has quite a lot to say, most of it very unpleasant. But hey, just what'd you expect from a foul, evil dwarf, right?

Edwin is the last of the most popular NPCs. (More than 5% of votes).
I found his continuos ranting and manifestations of the God complex that has only grown since BG1 highly amusing. Not to mention the whole Edwina incident, which is one of the funniest things in the entire game. Highly recommended.

Last 9 NPCs had very poor/uninteresting dialogue, or most people didn't have them in their parties so they could found out more about them.
Yoshimo, Imoen, Haer'Dalis, Keldorn Firecam, Anomen, Mazzy Fentan, Valygar, Nalia and Cernd combined only got a total of about 15% of all votes.

Q: Which monsters in Baldur's Gate 2 did you find the hardest to kill?
(553 votes total)

Dragons (181) 33%
Liches (135) 24%
Mind Flayers (130) 24%
Beholders (45) 8%
Golems (23) 4%
Other (13) 2%
Umber Hulks (9) 2%
Pit Fiends (9) 2%
Undead (all sorts) (8) 1%

Judging by the number of votes this poll received, I have come up with a pretty interesting poll question.

As it should be, dragons stand firmly in the first place as the toughest monsters in the game. We have been reading a lot of opinions on our message boards about the dragons, and this result confirms that they are still the hardest to beat for most people.
Of course, there are some lame ways to dispose of them (Cloudkill in the fog of war comes to mind), but if you take them on toe to toe, you won't get away lightly.

Liches, the undead terrors haunting 2x2x1m tombs (ok, I suppose the one in the Gate District is an exception) are second toughest opponents. With all the magic at their disposal, it's no wonder. One Time Stop is usually enough to wipe out an entire party if they are foolish enough to take on liches insufficiently prepared and experienced.
Now imagine how hard they would be if they were actually implemented by the book...

Mind Flayers are in the third place, with almost the same number of votes as liches. Personally, I think they are much more annoying and harder to beat than even dragons and liches. (I'm talking about groups of mind flayers, of course).
You can throw every single protective spell you've got on yourself, and you still face a chance that they'll stat drain some of your characters to death.
Nasty buggers, indeed.

After the dominant trio at the top of the list, beholders lag way behind in popularity. Only 8% of people deem them to be the hardest monsters in the game. I wonder if everyone was using the Shield of Balduran or Cloak of Mirrors against them.
When I fought them without those items, they were VERY hard to beat. I suppose it's Bioware's fault for putting such items in the game. You can't help but feel sorry for them when you simply stand around and watch them kill themselves in oh-so-many imaginative ways.
This, of course, is due to being equipped with the Shield of Balduran which reflects everything eye tyrants throw at you right back at them...

Next are golems, with half less votes than beholders. I certainly expected them to be placed higher in the list, judging by the amount of trouble people on our message boards were having with them. Adamantine ones are a force to be reckoned with, and even a high-level party may be in trouble when they come pounding mercilessly.

2% of people voted for the option "Other" than what I had in the list. The only tough monsters I left out that were mentioned in the poll comments are the balor the svirfneblin dug up, and various demons you encounter during the course of the game.

Last three "tough" monsters are umber hulks, pit fiends and various sorts of undead. Altogether they only scored 5% of all votes, so obviously people don't regard them as too tough.
Even though vampiric level drain certainly classifies as one of the most annoying "new additions" to Baldur's Gate II. ;)

Q: Which of the Infinity Engine games has the best musical score in your opinion?
(360 votes total)

Icewind Dale (140) 39%
Baldur's Gate 2 (115) 32%
Planescape: Torment (88) 24%
Baldur's Gate (17) 5%

It comes as no big surprise that Icewind Dale's musical score rocked the poll with almost 40% of all votes. IWD's soundtrack hasn't won so many awards without good reason, for its music is truly excellent.

The second place is much more surprising however. Baldur's Gate 2 is close behind with 32% of votes. Now I wouldn't go as far as to say that its music wasn't good, but most of it just didn't do anything for me.
Planescape: Torment should definitely appear in this place, but since a much smaller part of the visitors to Sorcerer's Place have also played Torment, I'm quite sure it missed this spot only because its fan base here is much smaller than the one of BG2.

In third place is (obviously) Planescape: Torment's music, to me the best of the bunch. So filled with emotions, sometimes sadness and grief, that is pulls you into the game and really makes you feel that you are in Nameless One's skin. It is a real shame that an official soundtrack of it was never produced.

Last place belongs to the original Baldur's Gate, which for most people happened a long time ago, and not everyone played it either. Therein I suppose lies the reason for the low percentage of votes it received, since the musical score was quite good.

This poll also produced quite a big amount of fan comments, so I'm posting a few here:

- It's a tough call between Planescape and Icewind, but the battle music in Icewind is just too good!
- IWD's score is awesome! You get the impression you're in the frozen wastes right from the beginning!
- There's nothing better than BG2 romance musics!
- P:T had the best score by far... especially in the Fortress in the Negative Material Plane
- The song played when you meet Annah (Planescape: Torment) is the best I have heard in any game ever
- The music in BG2 is o.k. but Torment has the best music by far. The most memorable song though is the theme song from BG, it has been 2 years since I played the game and yet it stays in my head

Q: Are you interested in joining any Neverwinter Nights guilds?
(189 votes total)

Yes (90) 48%
Maybe (63) 33%
No (25) 13%
I already am in one (11) 6%

Well, judging by the number of votes NWN guilds aren't exactly on top of most people's list of things of interest. Still, the results we got are quite encouraging.

Almost 50% of people have expressed their interest in joining a NWN guild, a quite large number. But since most people will play NWN online at least occasionally and guilds have traditionally formed around CRPGs, this comes as no surprise.
Everyone interested should check out our own NWN guild - AORTA.

About one third of people aren't sure yet if they'll be joining any guilds, and to them I also suggest they check out our own guildpages and see if they find it interesting.

Only 13% of people are quite sure they will not join any of the guilds. I expect those will be primarily offline players which have no need for larger communities.

And finally, 6% of people who voted already belong to some guild or another.

Q: Would you buy a (spiritual?) sequel to Planescape: Torment if it was made by the same people (BIS) as the original?
(294 votes total)

Yes, definitely (232) 79%
Maybe, depends on reviews (40) 14%
No, never (22) 7%

It seems that I'm not the only one that gets nostalgic every time Planescape: Torment is mentioned. Our poll shows that almost 80% of people would definitely buy a sequel to it, should one be made by Black Isle Studios.

About 15% of people are undecided and would wait until more is known about the game before buying it, though if the reviews favored the sequel, they would buy it.

To conclude, 7% of people would (for reasons unknown to me) never buy another such game.

Since there is not much more to say on this subject, I'll post a few comments from the people who voted in the poll. Unfortunately there's little chance of a sequel to Torment ever being made, but that won't prevent us from dreaming about it, now will it? ;)

Fan comments (unedited):

- What do you mean by 'spiritual?'
- Well you can't really have a literal sequel unless you intend to have a whole game about fighting in the Blood War. ;) -Sorcerer
- It's such a game, that there is no way out ;-)
- the game is too damn good!
- Don't believe (corrupted) reviews, Just Buy It !
- Planescape freaking rocks
- I would suggest to them doing a planewalker theme though in the planescape world
- It is the best
- planescape torment was the best game ever and it needs to be given more credit and more publicity!
- the new sequel could be about the nameless one finding his name and trying to get out of purgatory!
- Inventive but just too much text - I'll stick with BG 1 and 2, and IWD
- planescape was a fantastic game if they can build on the original then this could be absolutely bloody amazing

How's that for a loyal fan base?

Q: Which new feature in Heart of Winter excites you the most?
(195 votes total)

New areas (51) 26%
New weapons & items (46) 24%
800×600 support (33) 17%
New monsters (25) 13%
New spells (18) 9%
Gem, potion bags (15) 8%
Other (7) 4%

I was pondering why this poll got so few votes for almost a week before I remembered that BGC, oops PBG has been running a poll with the same question since almost the dawn of time.
Ugh, there goes any interest of whatsoever in answering this one here.
But lack of people willing to vote in the poll aside, we got what we wanted all the same.

It would seem that most people can't wait to see the new areas Heart of Winter will deliver. Lonelywood, Burial Isle, Barrows and so on are all pretty exciting. Well, apart from Lonelywood which manages to be even more boring than in Salvatore's books. *snicker*
Anyway, 26% of people want new areas, pronto.

Only 2% less are most excited about the new weapons and items. Definitely a good pick. From what I've seen in the press preview, this will most definitely be one of the best new things HoW has to offer.

800×600 support also has it's number of fans. 17% of people are waiting the most for it. Having seen it in action, I must say that it really makes a huge difference.

New monsters didn't seem to make as huge a impact, but that was only to be expected. Aside from remorhaz and the obvious white dragon, it's more or less variation on a theme. But don't be fooled, new cannon fodder looks pretty cool too.

New spells excite only 9% of people, in spite the fact that there are some really neat new ones coming. Seven Eyes comes to mind...
But then again I suppose there aren't that many people who played mages in Icewind Dale...

Gem & potion bags and scroll cases aren't major additions to the game by most people's reckoning, so they only received 8% of votes.

Last place goes to other things, with 4% of people voting for something that was not on the list. The ALT key showing all items on the floor and highlighting all doors would be one of them.

Q: Have you read the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien?
(554 votes total)

Yes, more than once (337) 61%
Yes, once (137) 25%
No, not yet (61) 11%
No, and I never will (19) 3%

Well, well... I knew our visitors are quite familiar with fantasy books, but the results of this poll have surprised me all the same.

A whole of 61% of respondents have said that they read the Lord of the Rings more than once, and judging by the comments left in the poll, some have read it over 5 times and some read the whole thing annually. Remarkable.
I'm sure old J.R.R. would be pleased.

Also, a round 25% of people have read the book once. Combining the two entries we can gather that 86% of people have read the book at least once!

11% of respondents to our poll haven't read it yet, but probably plan to in the near future.

Finally, there are 3% of people who answered that they have not read it and do not plan on doing it either. If any of you who voted for this option are reading this, I beg you to reconsider.
As you can see, the amount of people who have read it is huge, so there must be something about Tolkien that puts him about all others in term of fantasy writing. There is only one way to find out... ;)

Q: At the end of this last year of the old millennium, how would you rate the year 2000 on a scale of 1 to 5?
(274 votes total)

3 (OK) (83) 30%
4 (Very good) (70) 26%
1 (Disaster) (51) 19%
5 (Excellent) (39) 14%
2 (So-so) (31) 11%

I hope that everyone will find this new year more satisfactory than year 2000.
It seems that for most people this year wasn't anything special so 3 was the most common rating for the last year of the millennium.

Next on the scale was the rating of 4, which means that about one quarter of our visitors think that the year turned out to be very good.

Third place goes to the grade of 1, something I certainly didn't expect to see 20% of people vote for. Better luck this year I suppose.

Almost 15% of people think that year 2000 was excellent and lastly, 11% have rated the year behind us as so-so.

Q: Which of these games have you played the most?
(475 votes total)

Baldur's Gate II (200) 42%
Baldur's Gate (156) 33%
Planescape: Torment (71) 15%
Icewind Dale (48) 10%

Now that's what I call a surprising turnout!
The winner of the poll was known in advance I suppose... Baldur's Gate II, this year's finest RPG has obviously conquered a lot of hearts and therefor won with a vast majority of votes.

Second most played game was the original Baldur's Gate with 33% of votes, a surprisingly high number as well.

Third place is where I was surprised the most. I was certain that Planescape: Torment would win the last place in spite that fact that it is one of the best RPGs in existence, mainly because it didn't sell all that well and many people are unfamiliar with it.
Obviously not so here. Maybe it's just the visitors of Sorcerer's Place (whom I have been constantly urging to try the game), or maybe it's the fact that many people have replayed Torment at least three times to try out all of the available classes (mage, warrior, thief).
Whatever the reason, I'm glad that people have given Torment at least a bit of the recognition it deserves.

Last place goes to Icewind Dale with 10% of votes. Don't ask me how the game that practically everybody was replaying over and over again came to be the last in this poll. I really couldn't say.
Possibly because the time playing it seemed to flow faster than with Baldur's Gate? Or because you can only take so much hack&slash until you get bored if you repeat it?

The result above would suggest that Icewind Dale sold very few copies, but it most definitely did not. In fact, it sold MUCH better than Planescape: Torment, one of the reasons that the folks at Black Isle are putting together an expansion for it dubbed Heart of Winter.

Polls can sometimes be surprising indeed.

Q: We need you to help us out by picking a name you think would be the most appropriate for our upcoming chatroom. The winning entry gets to stay permanently as the official name of our chatroom, so choose wisely!
(404 votes total)

Friendly Arm Inn (99) 25%
Smoldering Corpse Bar (63) 16%
Burning Wizard Inn (57) 14%
The Copper Coronet (55) 14%
Elfsong Tavern (43) 11%
Other (Suggested answers) (35) 9%
Den of Seven Vales (20) 5%
Snowdrift Inn (18) 4%
Winter's Cradle Tavern (10) 2%
The Marketplace (4) 1%

I must say I was quite surprised with the turnout of this poll. Although it ran for about 20 more hours than usual (thank a certain lightning bolt who found my modem so attractive it decided to pay it a close visit), the number if results it got is still quite high, especially because I set the security on it as high as it goes to prevent cheating. (I.e. you could only vote for one choice in the whole week).

It seems that the name most people liked most is Friendly Arm Inn (from BG1) which is now also the official name of our chatroom. A square 25% of people voted for it.
Smoldering Corpse Bar (from PS:T) came in second with about 16% of votes.
Burning Wizard Inn (from BG1), a personal favorite of mine (and Syl's), received almost 15% of votes, a bit of a disappointment since it was in the lead for a while.
The Copper Coronet (from BG2) was also popular with only two votes less than Burning Wizard Inn.
Next in line is the Elfsong Tavern on the 5th place with 11% of votes.

There were a total of 9% of votes for Other (that is, suggested names). We could see quite a few cool names among them so I'll list some of them here in case you missed them:

The remaining 4 entries all received less than 5% of votes each. It seems that Icewind Dale taverns weren't all that popular.

Thanks again to everyone for giving us so many great alternatives, even though I picked FAI in the end. I was quite tempted to choose one on the wizard/sorcerer theme to stay in line with the rest of the site, as one voter suggested we should. But hey, who says sorcerers can't go to the Friendly Arm Inn anyway? ;)

Q: How are you going to play Neverwinter Nights?
(283 votes total)

Single player (offline) mostly (140) 49%
Multiplayer (online) mostly (81) 29%
Multiplayer (offline, LAN) mostly (40) 14%
Multiplayer (online) only (14) 5%
I won't play it (8) 3%

Now this poll has certainly shattered some of the ideas many people I know have been having...
It seems that NWN will still be played mostly offline by far.

Almost 50% of people who voted in the poll have stated that they will mainly play Neverwinter Nights offline, in single player mode.
Hmm, it seems that we'll have to redefine that thinking that continuously places NWN among online-only and MMORP games. Maybe the developers should think about the offline part of the game a bit harder. And possibly reveal some info about the story, since we still know next to nothing about it.

Almost 30% of people have voted for Multiplayer (that is, online) as their prime choice. Not that small a number, but certainly a lot smaller than we'd have expected.

Another entry that can be more or less combined with the first one is Multiplayer (LAN) mostly. About 15% of people prefer this way of playing, without any lag or server delays.

Last (and almost least) is Multiplayer only. Only 5% of people have said that they will play NWN exclusively online.
Heh, there goes the persistent worlds idea. I just hope that there aren't more DMs and enthusiasts with their servers than people willing to actually play on them.

Although this poll got a scarce amount of votes (poll server problems), the situation after the first 150 votes hasn't changed substantially so I think that these results are valid nonetheless. Who knows, maybe it's still too early to make such predictions when NWN is still more than half a year away.
Nevertheless, the results are something to think about.

Q: Which area in Baldur's Gate II is your favorite?
(303 votes total)

Underdark (94) 31%
Athkatla (79) 26%
Trademeet (21) 7%
Windspear Hills (20) 7%
Suldanesselar (18) 6%
de'Arnise Hold (17) 6%
Umar Hills (17) 6%
Asylum (13) 4%
Druid Grove (9) 3%
Other (8) 3%

Temple Ruins (7) 2%

If anyone voted rather late in the week (from Friday to Sunday), you probably noticed that the poll was either down completely, or displaying errors if you tried to vote. The fault is (as usual) with Pollit, the site our polls are running on.
The problems seem to have been rectified, but it cost us about 100 votes in the process.

Nevertheless, here are the results, all neatly sorted by percentage.

Underdark has won the first place in the poll with almost a third of all votes (31%), with Athkatla coming in second with only 5% less.

Underdark is certainly a unique experience (to say the least). While some people have found it depressing and too evil to suit their tastes, it seems that a vast majority loved it. Athkatla is the second favorite. With so much to do at the city and so many interesting sights, it's no wonder.

Other 9 options combined got 43% of all votes.
The third favorite is the city of Trademeet with 7% of votes and next Windspear Hills with just as many.

Same story with Suldanesselar and de'Arnise Hold; they both got roughly the same number of votes. (6%).

Asylum wasn't a very popular locale and therefor received only 4% of votes. Druid Grove fares even worse with 3%.

Also, 3% of voters have stated that their favorite spot in the game wasn't one of the listed ones.

Finally, the least popular place of all are the Temple Ruins.

Q: Would you chat with other people here if a web-based chat room(s) were available?
(212 votes total)

Yes, occasionally (75) 35%
No, probably not (61) 29%
No, never (50) 24%
Yes, very often (26) 12%

This poll was more of an indicator for me than something most people would be interested in (as are other polls), but we managed to get a few things out of it despite the low vote count.

It's encouraging that about 47% of people coming round here would also chat here (even if only occasionally) and that's a good sign that there is some interest in the idea.

The other 53% probably wouldn't chat online here, or never at all.

Well, I decided to go through with the online chat idea anyway. I'm sure that with time we'll get even more people interested. ;)
I'm in the process of trying out various solutions and when I decide which one is best, I'll be sure to let you all know. And of course, invite you all to chat with us!

Q: Have you finished Baldur's Gate II yet?
(594 votes total)

No, not yet (365) 61%
Yes, once (97) 16%
No, I'm not playing it (65) 11%
Yes, twice (34) 6%
Yes, more than three times (26) 4%
Yes, three times (7) 1%

Another week, another poll... And as everyone is busy (re)playing Baldur's Gate II, this one seemed appropriate to ask.

The results show that a large majority of people still haven't finished the game, a bit contrary to what I keep hearing all time. (It seemed to me that Sylvus and I were the only ones who haven't finished it yet).
Well, I feel a bit better now. And really, I see no point in rushing through the game just so I can play it three times to see all of it and do all quests. Kinda pointless. At least that's how I feel.

Well, waaay back by the number of votes (but on second place) are the ones who have finished the game once.

Third place is taken by those who aren't playing the game at all. (Or haven't started yet). About 11% of our visitors obviously come here for other things, like Icewind Dale and Torment info.

6% of people have finished the game exactly twice, 4% more than three times (what wouldn't I give to have so much time on my hands! ;) and lastly, a whooping 1% of people finished it exactly three times.

Q: Which of the upcoming D&D games/add-ons are you mostly looking forward to playing?
(475 votes total)

Neverwinter Nights (195) 41%
Baldur's Gate II addon (168) 35%
Pool of Radiance: RoMD (58) 12%
Heart of Winter (IWD addon) (54) 11%

It seems that the majority of us are mostly looking forward to playing Neverwinter Nights, not much of a surprise. With the exciting new features and the ability to create your own dungeons and areas with very little effort, this one is going to be another bestseller for Interplay. (Trust me on this ;).

Second place goes to the still unnamed and unannounced Baldur's Gate II expansion that we all know the Bioware guys are hard at work on, but we'll have to wait a bit longer before we can post anything concrete about it.
The sheer amount of votes this unnamed project got clearly indicates that people will buy just about anything with a BG II title on it.
But then again, I'm not one to judge since I'm among that crowd. *grin*

Surprisingly, the new Pool of Radiance beat the Icewind Dale expansion. Not by far, but still. It has been least favorite of all our previous polls and it's standing today isn't rosy either. And since it has been delayed until May next year, I fear the majority of people that might've otherwise bought it this winter will rather buy Neverwinter Nights which is scheduled to arrive only a bit later.

The last place goes to Heart of Winter, the Icewind Dale expansion that's about to be released next month sometime. (Hopefully).
It didn't really fare well in this poll, but since this was a people's selection of "most anticipated" we can assume that many people who voted for other three options will play it as well, it just won't be their favorite.
(This conclusion is based on the poll we've had three weeks ago when we questioned gamers if they will buy the IWD expansion).

Q: Will you buy the inevitable expansion(s) to Baldur's Gate II?
(560 votes total)

Of course (501) 89%
Not sure (45) 8%
No way (14) 3%

Very interesting. Two weeks ago we had a similar poll regarding the upcoming Icewind Dale expansion, and I thought that one had a pretty amazing outcome.
Hah, check this out. Practically 90% of people who bought Baldur's Gate II will certainly buy it's yet unnamed expansion as well. 8% are still undecided (logically, nothing has been revealed about the expansion yet), but only 3% of people are certain they won't buy it.

No wonder Interplay is finally out of the red zone. Baldur's Gate II is a tremendous success, and with an expansion in the works it'll be an even bigger one. Likewise with Icewind Dale.
Who would have thought that a genre considered dead only a couple of years ago would be saving giants like Interplay today?

Q: Who are your favorite Baldur's Gate II NPCs?
(2131 votes total)

Minsc (474) 22%
Aerie (212) 10%
Imoen (198) 9%
Jaheira (169) 8%
Viconia (154) 7%
Yoshimo (120) 6%
Keldorn (109) 5%
Jan (102) 5%
Valygar (87) 4%
Nalia (86) 4%
Korgan (85) 4%
Edwin (84) 4%
Mazzy (84) 4%
Anomen (71) 3%
Haer' Dalis (58) 3%
Cernd (38) 2%

There were no major surprises in the poll. Comparing this poll with the one that we had a year or so ago for the first Baldur's Gate we can see that Minsc's popularity has only skyrocketed and he is still the most popular NPC (in both Baldur's Gate games now).
Sadly, Imoen's popularity dropped a great deal, thanks to the character Bioware made out of her. Presently she is but another mage with lacking thieving skills, while she was the thief of choice for many a party in the original Baldur's Gate. Alas, poor Imoen. I knew her when she still rocked...

Jaheira is at almost the same spot she was more than a year ago, but Viconia's popularity has risen a great deal. Due to her being one of the the 3 love interests, no doubt. Edwin, the least popular guy in the original Baldur's Gate fares only a little better this time. Ah well, he can't expect anything else when he's being such a prick all time. ;)

Q: Will you buy Heart of Winter, the Icewind Dale expansion?
(471 votes total)

Of course (326) 69%
Not sure (94) 20%
No way (51) 11%

Well it seems that Black Isle don't need to worry about whether their addon will sell... it's quite obvious it will. Almost 70% of people are certain they'll buy it, a very good sign.

20% aren't sure yet, but let's say that half of them buy it and we get a nice round figure of 80% of people buying the expansion. A figure software developers can usually only dream of...

About 11% of people are certain that they will not buy it, a figure that doesn't inspire much concern. If this poll is any indicator, Black Isle is going to make another best seller with IWD: Heart of Winter.

Post your thoughts about the upcoming Icewind Dale expansion on our message boards!

Q: On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate Baldur's Gate II?
(1053 votes total)

9 (492) 47%
10 (363) 34%
8 (124) 12%
7 (35) 3%
6 (17) 2%
1 (9) 1%
5 (7) 1%
2 (5) 0%
3 (1) 0%
4 (0) 0%

How's that for an independent review of a game? More than 1000 people were given the option of choosing how much they liked Baldur's Gate II, and a vast majority obviously loves it.

If we combine the top two results we can see that 81% of people rated Baldur's Gate II Excellent (10) or Very Good (9).

12% gave it 8/10 points, the last big amount of percents in the whole poll. All other scores combined (from 1-7/10) yield about 8% more.

There is no doubt about it left in mind. (Not that there was any to being with). Baldur's Gate II is the best CRPG of the year for me, and for thousands of people around the world. Just wait till all the big magazines dare to bestow that title upon it. The end of the year is near, so the wait should be fairly short indeed.

Q: How far in Baldur's Gate II are you?
(1278 votes total)

In Chapter 2 (396) 31%
In Chapter 3 (192) 15%
In Chapter 1 (182) 14%
It hasn't been released yet where I live (154) 12%
Haven't started playing yet (153) 12%
Finished the game (76) 6%
In Chapter 4 (52) 4%
In Chapter 5 (41) 3%
In Chapter 6 (21) 2%
In Chapter 7 (11) 1%

It seems that most people who already play have barely scratched the surface of Baldurs' Gate II yet, with 60% of them (combined) still in the first three chapters.

12% of people are probably quite angry because they can't buy BGII yet where they live, and another 12% have the game but haven't started playing it yet.

The big surprise awaits at the 6th place though. 6% of people claim that they have already finished it!

Whether they buzzed through the game very quickly or spent 200+ hours on it remains a mystery. But the good thing is that most people on our boards think the replayability value is very high so I'm sure most of them will go through the game at least twice. Talking about those Road Runners of course.
I'll probably play it for 300 hours to explore every nook and cranny and I doubt I'll have the time to do it more than once. It'll probably take me a year anyway, since I have so little time to play. :p

Q: Which of the returning NPCs will you have in your BGII party?
(1830 votes total)

Minsc (597) 33%
Imoen (587) 32%
Jaheira (344) 19%
Viconia (154) 8%
Edwin (105) 6%
None/Don't know (43) 2%

I made a multiple-selection poll here for a change so the number of votes is that much higher because most people chose at least two or three NPCs that they'll have in their party.

Minsc & Imoen were wrestling for the first place the fist couple of days, but eventually Minsc took the lead and won the 1st place in the poll with 33% of people wanting him badly in their party. Boo's joy will be great indeed.

Second to Minsc was Imoen, with only 10 votes less and still 32% of total votes. About 65% of people will have both her and Minsc in their party, quite an interesting figure.

Jaheira won the 3rd place with much fewer votes than the top two, but still quite popular with 19% of people wanting to have the infamous Fighter/Druid in their party. May Lathander give you patience to deal with her.

Viconia and Edwin are the least popular choices, and guess what? They're both evil so that's not much of a surprise. But the developers tell us that you can have a very mixed alignment party and that they won't kill each other, but instead make some very interesting dialogue so they might be worth taking into your party to see how they fare with your other characters.
8% of people would let the vicious Drow Viconia join their ranks and only 6% would go with Edwin, a member of the ill-reputed Red Wizards of Thay.

A grand total of 2% of people either wouldn't take any of the old NPCs into their new BG II party, or haven't played the original Baldur's Gate so they wouldn't know who to pick.

Q: How often will you play Baldur's Gate II?
(595 votes total)

Every day until I collapse of exhaustion (311) 52%
More than 3 hours a day (138) 23%
2 hours a day (100) 17%
1 hour a day (24) 4%
Once in a while (11) 2%
Less than 1 hour a day (3) 1%
Never (gasp) (8) 1%

What can I say, the results speak for themselves. In fact I wonder why do I even bother typing this up when I know that no one is going to read it because you'll all be too busy playing BG II.

Therefor, only a quick breakdown:

More than half of our community (52%) could be labeled seriously BG addicted because they're going to risk their health and well being playing BG II until they drop. Please take notice of the in-game warning that Bioware doesn't want to lose any dedicated players. Thank you.

Another 40% of people will play the game for 2 hours and more each day, leaving only 8% of people who will play the game 1 hour a day or less.


Q: With the release of new 3rd Edition D&D rules are you:
(212 votes total)

Not interested in manuals (63) 30%
Already purchased the Player's Handbook (48) 23%
Already purchased both the PHB & DMG (38) 18%
Going to purchase both the PHB & DMG (29) 14%
Going to purchase them after playing a 3rd Ed. CRPG (NWN, PoR II) (18) 8%
Going to purchase the new Player's Handbook (10) 5%
Going to purchase the new Dungeon Master's Guide (5) 2%
Already purchased the Dungeon Master's Guide (1) 0%

As I suspected, a majority of people voting here are not interested in 3rd Edition manuals at all. I guess this is still more the domain of dedicated pen & papers and dungeon masters.
Nonetheless, the Player's Handbook is quite popular in the role-playing community. If we combine those percentages from the poll, the results show that about 40% of people already have it, and another 20% will probably buy it in the near future.
The last entry in the poll is interesting; you could call it a confirmation of the fact that no one will buy just the Dungeon Master's Guide without having bought the Player's Handbook first. (Or bought both at the same time).

Q: Which Infinity Engine game did you like best?
(493 votes total)

Icewind Dale (188) 38%
Planescape: Torment (175) 35%
Baldur's Gate (85) 17%
Baldur's Gate: ToSC (45) 9%

When I first mentioned this new poll to Calis (our dedicated News Monkey), he said that it was a good one, but that it was easy to predict Baldur's Gate would win. Of course, having a few months of experience with making polls, I really doubted it. And guess what?
I was right.

I won't lie, the final outcome surprised me as well, but I guess this was a tricky question, and probably not very fair to begin with. It's logical that the game you played last will be your favorite (at least for most people), not just because it is improved over the ones before, but also because the memory of playing it is still fresh.

I just wanted to get this straight before people started mailing me how the hell did I get those percentages. It's all your will, I'm afraid. ;)

As usual, we'll start with the winning team.
Icewind Dale won the poll fair and square, with almost 40% of the votes. Plenty of hack & slash, excellent music, interesting setting and monsters, all of this made Icewind Dale an instant hit.

Second place goes to Planescape: Torment, another game made by Black Isle (through the use of the Infinity Engine licensed from Bioware).

Torment got 35% of your votes in the end, although it has been in the lead for the first three or four days. A dark atmosphere, the best soundtrack ever, an immortal main character plus a floating skull that flirts with every passing zombie are but a few of the delights Torment has to offer. Truly an amazing game, and one you should definitely try out if you haven't already.

I'll combine the last two entries (that is Baldur's Gate and Tales of the Sword Coast, the official expansion). Together they scored 26%, not that bad given the fact that this was the first Infinity Engine game and that ol' Infinity has seen plenty of modifications and improvements since then. Still, Baldur's Gate started the avalanche and rebirth of the whole RPG genre, and there's no real way in which that can be measured.

All I can say is, you cannot rate legends. And speaking of which, Baldur's Gate II is on it's way...

Q: Out of the three new 3rd edition D&D classes, which one would you play in BGII first?
(364 votes total)

Monk (132) 36%
Sorcerer (128) 35%
Barbarian (104) 29%

No, I didn't forget to change the total number of votes... It's actually exactly the same as last week's. Interesting coincidence. This will obviously be the easiest poll yet to comment, so I might as well get started.

Not even the order in which the three options were laid out changed, it's exactly the same as I listed it in the poll. Monks won the 1st place as the most popular new class, but only by a fraction of an inch. I'm surprised so many people decided to play a new class whose primary weapons will be exclusively his limbs, since there are so many neat new weapons in the game. Maybe the choice was affected by the fact that many played monks in p&p?

Sorcerers have been in the lead for almost half a week, so they're a very popular new class as well. I can highly recommend them, since I played one myself in the preview version and it proved quite interesting to say the least. You can check my journal entitled "Sorcerer's Way Through Baldur's Gate II" for more info.

Last but not least are the Barbarians, a class that is a bit less popular than the other two, possibly because of the fact that many people have played it in Diablo as well. But still, I can imagine many people lumbering around as half-orc barbarians. The word "tank" gets an entirely new meaning here.

If anyone feels like explaining the specifics why would he/she play one of the new classes, please make your opinion public on our message boards. I'd especially like to hear from any of you monk-ees.

I just couldn't resist. *grin*

Q: How will you play Baldur's Gate II?
(364 votes total)

With my imported character(s) from BG1 (212) 58%
With one of the 3 new 3rd Edition classes (86) 24%
With a newly created 2nd Edition class character(s) (53) 15%
I won't play it at all. I'm from Mars (13) 4%

A relatively simple question, but the final feedback is quite interesting.

Almost 60% of us will play BG II with an imported character from the first part of the Baldur's Gate saga. This surprised me because of the amount of discussions on the new character kits going on at our message boards, how will they be better than plain old chars and so on. But I guess in the end most of us will still try our old avatars first, and maybe play with something new the second way through.

About 25% of people, however, decided that the new 3rd edition classes (Sorcerers, Monks and Barbarians) are interesting enough to start anew with them. I'll be giving sorcerers a spin in the preview version, so check back often for some cool screenshots of them in action.

Only about 15% of people will play BG II as we did the original - since 2nd edition classes were all that was available back then. But I guess there'll be plenty of improvements in this field as well, so I'm sure it won't be boring either.

And finally, let me express a friendly greeting to all our fans on Mars... Tough luck guys, maybe something more interesting than BG II will come up for you to enjoy.

Yeah, right.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most about Baldur's Gate II?
(347 votes total)

Dragons (78) 22%
High level advancement (73) 21%
Kits (61) 18%
Very powerful items & spells (51) 15%
Seeing the old NPCs again (39) 11%
Higher screen resolution (27) 8%
Familiars (18) 5%

Of course every fan that's been keeping track of the news now knows that Bioware officially announced that dragons will be present in the game. Yup, that's what we've been waiting for, as the votes confirm. 22% of the people regard seeing and slaying them in BGII as the event they're most looking forward to.

But almost as many (21%) think that high level advancement is the thing... And with the experience cap set at almost 3 million points, they will not be disappointed.

Kits, the top choice in the first 3 days of the poll came in third with 18% looking forward to using them the most. Accidentally, if you want to lean more about them check out Sorcerer's Guide to Kits. It should give you a good idea which kits will be in and (if you're new to all this) what kits actually are.

Very powerful new items & spells are a thing we're all looking forward to, and 15% of you think they're the best thing we'll see in BGII. Staff of the Magi? Oh yes.

11% of people are looking forward to seeing the old NPCs again. Actually not that great a number and obviously most of the people didn't think they were THAT memorable (or irreplaceable). Well I'm still looking forward to seeing Imoen again, for one. ;)

Higher screen resolution got 8% of votes which yet again validates the old saying that content is the king, and all bells and whistles just hm? a jester? Don't tell anyone, but there's a witty pun in that one. Kinda.

And last but not least are the familiars. Pseudo-dragons, cats, owls... Funnily enough, I was convinced that they would get more votes, since one of our previous polls showed that 24% of people usually play mages in CRPGs.

Q: What do you think of the new character portraits for Baldur's Gate II?
(554 votes total)

They look great! (156) 28%
I like them (121) 22%
I liked the old ones better (106) 19%
I could grow to like them (92) 17%
I hate them (41) 7%
I don't care how they look (38) 7%

The first actually official poll on our redesigned site... Which unfortunately ran for two weeks while I was on holidays in London. But no harm came of it, since people had to get used to the poll being site-embedded and on a familiar place on the site.

The poll question has been the topic of heated discussions on the official forums for a while, so it seemed a good choice for a poll. However much closer to the final judgment we got not.

If you combine the first two answers you get exactly 50%, and that is the number of people who we could say like the new portraits art just fine. Let's see how the other 50% are divided:

Almost 20% of people liked the old ones better, which says much about our emotional involvement with the game (sic). I must admit that at a glance I would've joined this semi-linch mob, but I think I'll wait for the final version of them before I revert back to the old portraits.

About 17% of people are caught somewhere in the middle, unsure whether they like them or not, but will get used to them nonetheless.

Only 7% of people actually and unconditionally hate the new portraits. That's not too bad I guess. I doubt everyone liked the originals without exception either.

And another 7% don't really give a damn about how they look. I guess this bunch will be the easiest to satisfy. ;)

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