Wall of text inc. That's what you get when you tease us too much... :)
I've been warring with myself over the last couple days since I heard about the teaser trying to decide how I would honestly react to either a remake or a BG3.
On the one hand there is great potential for disappointment and many people feel that this could tarnish the good name of Baldur's Gate for ever more if it was done badly. It would certainly be a great shame, but I'm not sure if it wouldn't be worth the risk. I would do almost anything to be involved in creating a BG3 myself. I feel that it would be possible to create a BG3 that truly appeals to the majority of BG fans as well as appealing to the uninitiated market. Because of this I think it would be worth the risk to create a BG3 because it would be unfair to stifle the potential on those grounds.
I also think that a BG1 remake could be an amazing experience. I know as well as any BG fan what a great job the modding community has done for BG and BG2, its magnificent what they've done but there are several reasons why I think a remake would be brilliant. Firstly the old games are old and many less literate with computers can have trouble installing and playing the old IE games. Having a more easily playable version would be brilliant. I'm not entirely sure what the steam version of BG2 will do to combat this, but its a factor none the less. Next, the mods aren't official. Some of them are about as close as they can be; tutu, BG trilogy etc., but despite this not all mods are compatible with each other and this leads to complications and limitations. Having a new standard to mod to will lead to more compatibility and will kickstart the creation of new mods by drawing old school BG modders out of the woodwork.
You might at this point be ready to argue that a remake would spoil the game. I'm sure it has the potential to, but again I feel this risk is entirely worthwhile. There is nothing to stop unhappy BG veterans from simply playing their old game. While I feel that the BG games are excellent, my favourite game by far, it would be stupid to state that they are perfect or anywhere near. There are multiple quality of life issues with them from arrow stacking to bugs and there are multiple design flaws such as limited and poorly balanced equipment, poorly balanced classes and content that isn't quite as compelling as it could be. I feel a well done remake could subtly address these flaws without diminishing the heritage, mechanics or character of the game.
For these reasons I have decided that I am very excited for either a remake or a BG3. I think both would be equally compelling. I also think that I would be more excited for a BG remake since that has less chance to be disappointing and would have a less prejudiced mindset going into the game.
PS: As an entirely unreasonable side note, I would be very disappointed if this just transpired to be an iPad version or something... unless you supplied me with an iPad too. :)
Now, because I love pointlessly over analysing things, here is another wall of text detailing what I personally would like to see changed in a BG remake and other things that should not be touched at all.
As I'm sure many BG veterans will agree, Infinity engine is an absolute must. I would hate for it to turn out similar to Dragon Age. Personally I felt that it was insulting (perhaps that's too strong a word, but I'm going with it) for the Dragon Age devs to claim that it was a spiritual successor of Baldur's Gate. it was about as close the BG as Starcraft is to Age of Empires. Similar genre, but not a lot else. I found that sorely disappointing which in turn left me slightly prejudiced against DA and I subsequently didn't enjoy those games nearly as much. I disliked the lack of absolute control that I had over my party in DA which was compounded by being forced into a near 1st person view of one party member. I love being able to view the whole battlefield at once in BG and it makes devising strategies easier in BG whereas DA's system makes it seem more hack and slash (If I wanted H 'n' S I'd play Skyrim, fine game but we're making Baldur's Gate here, not Dark Alliance). With Infinity Engine comes the need for hand painted back drops. I don't care how good your 3D modelling is, the world should be 2D. That is all. On that note, the characters should be 3D; sprites are fine, but if you can make your characters look badass in 3D (and make them fit in with the backdrop of course) then you should do all you can to facilitate that. Everyone wants their character to look badass.
Next, and this might be controversial, I would drop D 'n' D rules. 2nd edition rules were good, I am not criticising them, but they do not convert perfectly to game standard. I would drop them and redesign my own rule set based off of the original BG interpretation of 2E but with tweaks and changes to improve gameplay. As another note, 4th edition rules should not be touched with a 10 foot long barge pole. I have little experience with them and I am sure that it is a good ruleset, but I do know that they are definitely not suitable for a Baldur's Gate game. The rules that I would change for the BG remake would include (I won't claim to be exhaustive since this is part ramble and part arm chair game design) changing the way classes progress and how certain class mechanics, spells, abilties and balance works and the tl;dr of it is that the class system has room for improvement and should accordingly be improved. By this I do not mean a complete revamp of any class but I would revamp or adjust certain things like stealth and backstab; difference between rangers, paladins and fighters, especially at low levels; druid spell choice; combat power of thieves to make things more compelling. At the moment if I were power gaming BG1 then I would have a custom made party consisting of something along the lines of 2 fighters, 1fighter dualed to cleric, 1 fighter/mage and 1 fighter/thief. See any trends? Yeah, that needs tweaking I think. I would go for conservative changes and before you immediately decide that this might ruin the game I would hold 2 tenets high when designing these changes. 1 - It must not change the role or flavour of any class or part of the game substantially. 2 - Doing less tweaking is better than doing too much. Despite this, I wouldn't be afraid to change things that I thought would substantially improve gameplay unless it would change the character of the game as a whole. Anyway, I think I rambled on about that for too long.
Next, short and sweet. It could use a revamp of multiplayer. The current one is clunky and difficult to even make work. I can't off the top of my head think of any way of majorly improving it, but any ease of use improvements would be welcome. I also think that other types of gameplay could be introduced to good effect, perhaps a roguelike dungeon or enemy generator? It would probably be lacklustre, but I'd need to consider it more.
Next, since I discussed DnD rules, I will say that stats should unequivocally stay. They are integral to Baldur's Gate and would tarnish the game in the eyes of many irreparably if binned. Now, don't misunderstand me, it is an awful system and I would not touch it in a full radiation suit if I were designing a new franchise, but we are not. The system is flawed and I spend a good 20 minutes rolling and rerolling so I could get a fighter "fairly" with 18/90 strength and 18 dex and con. This would be a big turn off to new players and tbh I might not miss having to do that for my character each time, but with hindsight I think that we might find that this might be part of what made us bond with each character we make a little bit more, because we "earned" those stats. Despite this, I would partially normalise the stats that players can earn through this (not entirely though; as I said, we're not playing 4E rules). I would take measures along the lines of rolling 6 dice, instead of 4, and discarding the top 1 and bottom 2 instead. I haven't crunched numbers, but I think this would leave more consistent results.
On top of changing how stats are generated, I would also change how they affect gameplay. For a start, wis and int (and cha for sorcerers) are confusing. Many just max them out on their priests and wizards just because they are "important". They should more directly affect the abilities of the classes they are used by much like str and dex affect THAC0. I would revamp or tweak all stats like this (except cha, more on that in a sec) so that they are more meaningful and streamlined. Charisma however is different. It is more of a roleplaying stat than any of the others and has little relevance in combat. I would rework this stat according. I would reduce its effect on shop prices, it would still be noticeable, but not too substantial. I would then completely rework how it affects every (or most anyway) interaction in the world. I would act compelling roleplay choices for having high or low charisma and so low charisma might be undesirable, but it would produce different and hopefully fun gameplay.
Content! Content is always great and a remake should include many new quests and at least one new Watchers Keep/Durlags Tower - esque mega dungeon. Need I say more? This doesn't mean that the old quests should change, not in the slightest in fact I think they should stay more or less untouched, or at least only be expanded, but no changing it. This is a remake, not a new game thanks. Also under content comes equipment. I find it a little tiresome on my playthroughs that every time I think "right, I need a couple bow users to use Composite Longbow +1 and Marksmans Bow; I need to kill Greywolf for Varscona, I should do that early on, and my cleric needs The Hammer of Thunder from Bassilius. Then I'll go pick up the Ring of Wizardry and Anheg Armor easter eggs". Every playthrough I am drawn to the same weapons over and over (perhaps I don't have enough will power) and it gets tiresome. This puts me in something of a quandry however, since I do not want every creature and boss to have random world loot. I kind of like knowing where each weapon is, I just don't like the lack of choice. I would add more world bosses, like Greywolf, with similar weapons so that regardless of whether I want to use axes, maces or darts I will be catered to... as long as I can find it that is :). I would also add random world drops, like IWD did, that are at best slightly inferior to these boss drops because then players wouldn't get frustrated at their tank having a poor sword because they could only find an amazing dagger for their mage for example. Each chaper perhaps the quality of weapon drops improves and new bosses with better equipment becomes available.
I have jabbered on about rebalancing and streamlining things for a while and I'd like to add a disclaimer at this point. I do not want to balance things too far or make it too "gamey". Some games take balancing too far, and while great in a PvP environment, its not necessary in a single player game like BG. Part of the appeal of single player games like BG or Skyrim is that there are multiple ways to complete each objective, something that I think Dragon Age forgot. It is not only acceptable for one party to find one objective difficult while another finds it hard, but it is in fact desirable. DA makes every enemy a similar difficulty which makes gameplay monotonous. I want to one dungeon be tackling a towering dragon and the next to simply blast through a kobold warren, not to treat the game like a single player World of Warcraft where everything needs to be balanced just right. I'd just like to state that I am not interested in this and that each run through should be different.
Anyway, that's it (for now) Thanks for reading my wall of text (if you got this far).
Oh, and Trent, are you hiring by any chance? I would kill to work on this stuff. Maybe you need a Community Manager (my day job) :) .... but judging from your forum size, perhaps not. I can always design too :)