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Posted By: Stahl33 BG3 Suggestions: an Overview - 11/06/19 03:27 AM
BG3 Suggestions: Voices, Strongholds, Guilds, Personalities, Pets, Scaling and others!

I loved Wizardry 8’s voices: They had character and personality. Voices are extremely important for immersion. While full VO would be great, it would be hard IMO to implement with a full degree of personality options and voice types limited to content disc space. Voices and personality should be interlinked. I would imagine creating a large number of voice choices / Barks, with specific VO at certain points in the game. Then with the options for personality, ability, or background barks also at certain times… See Personality.

I noted in DoS2 the tag system. Personalities could be similar to a tag or could be like alignments. See Myers and Briggs – perhaps such axis as extravert / introvert; feeler / thinker axis; intuitive / somatic? (going from memory here); Happy / nonchalant / sad axis; optimistic / realistic / pessimistic axis. These are just some off the top of my head thoughts.
There could be personality checks on certain things like a pessimist might sometimes say: check for traps at a certain points, and there may or may not be traps there (but more like there is). While an optimistic person might get options at stores a realist won’t…. Just some thoughts.
Also personalities can change with great life events. So a happy person will swing to sad on loss of a loved one, or on getting jailed etc. But the option to change the personality should be given, not automatic.
Personality barks could be inserted with the same actor doing different personalities for different playthroughs / options.

Strongholds and Guilds:
Strongholds are great… It makes your class feel important. Guilds can also do the same.
I would include in guilds (or strongholds) things like politics and ability checks. For example to be a thieves guild leader you would have to have options opened not just by dexterity, but also by either intelligence, wisdom or charisma  A good thief doesn’t make a good leader, but a wise / smart or charismatic one may.
Guild politics could be an intricate deep layer to the game with different positions available depending upon the role / character…. For example a good aligned thief may not make guild master, but may be the chief scout infiltrator for the guild within the Baldurs gate Politics. Or if you choose to betray someone, it might come back to bite you, so that you can’t be Archmage, but instead a master of a certain discipline or a representative on a council, or ….
You can make the politics of guilds an intricate choose your own adventure based upon the players choices for attributes or personalities, or skills, and the interactions with existing guild members.
Also what about other upcoming adventurers or politicians? Let the competition within the guild begin!

Should be optional, and while same sex romance options are good (Options are almost always Good!), please don’t make it all pervasive or unavoidable to our character.

Some pet barks or allowing for pet interaction would help greatly with wizard familiars and ranger / druid pets. Like again finding traps, or smelling a monster ahead, or saving a character at a crucial moment, or making an astute timely comment about lore (familiar).

Pressure makes diamonds, but please let it not be so dark that I just don’t want to play it. Have some light hearted relief within. Often in trials or in struggles people will resort to humour to cope. We all live real lives with heart ache and tragedy, and often play games to escape this. Too realistic with the drama and you will make it too heavy, but too much frivolity and it will make the game a joke. Obviously needing a good mix here.
Music is also extremely important! You already know this lol.
I did feel that DoS2 was a little too fake (forgive me!). Probably due to the high amount of different terrains, a little too bright with the colours, and a feeling that it didn’t matter what gains you made currently, they would be inconsequential in another level or 2… which brings me to:

I liked DoS2, but scaling was my biggest bugbear. I suspect D&D 5th edition will deal with this well. Within a system you need internal consistency. Hitpoints were originally representative not just of physical toughness but of the way a character could avoid damage or mitigate it on being hit. Humans / humanoids are not Gods, and if you scale things too far, the stats are unbelievable.
Also don’t make weapons and items scale too much. A level 1 character might stumble upon a +5 vorpal sword: He wouldn’t have it long, as the magic would soon be sensed by a magic user or monster of the planes. Or a rich merchant would pay well for it to take it off his hands, or someone would hire a thief to steal it. Lol you could include that in the game at first level, but then have it stolen after a bit, or be overwhelmed by a high level adventuring party that leaves you alive, but robbed of the high level item.
I think for immersion you need to look at a level 15 character and compare it to a level 1 character (with appropriate gear for level) and see just how big the difference is. If it is too big, it is too unrealistic! Again I suspect 5th Edition D&D will help prevent this.

Role Playing:
I believe at its core, good role playing is about having options. Having options to play any specific role that a person wants to play. I suspect that some gamers think RPG is where you have options on how to develop your game style (ie. Ability trees). But it goes far deeper than that into being able to play a character in many different ways, such as different options for dealing with conflict or the way they react to conflict or to different crises or circumstances. Adding in personality and good use of Attributes and alignment would make all the difference. You need to believe you are there…
You need good immersion within a world which means good internal consistency!!

Party Size?
I prefer to have options!! The options for 6 character would be best given the different class mixes you can have in dungeons and dragons. Different games may play well with 4, but I suspect having more would be more! Have a thief, have a mage, have a cleric, have a fighter… Then 2 more to make your party have diversity and/or character. Otherwise you find that you are needing to build your character to certain roles that you didn’t want to build. You are limiting your role-playing ability.
If I play a reduced party size, I am tempted to cheat and splash a level or 2 of thief on one character and boost those skills so I don’t have to have a thief in the party so I can choose other options to role play or focus upon.
The other option if you did have to have only 4 characters would be to make those base things like tanking / healing / trap detection / opening locks / scouting to be done well by multiple classes. I personally don’t like this option at all. Feels too fake / less immersion!

1 combat round = 6 seconds. Count 6 seconds… takes a little while longer than a single swing of a sword. Damage done over 6 seconds may not be from a single swing, but may be a couple of misses a couple of glances.
It would be great to see the dancing / movement interaction taking place in a round rather than just an animation with a single sword swinging once. Or the dive of a player as it rolls to mitigate a fireball effect (reflex save).
Multiple attacks per round is relative, not indicated of how many physical swings they get. It would be good to see this in the combat itself…. IF!!!! Possible lol.

Turn based or RtwP?
I don’t really care… just implement it well whatever you choose lol. I do prefer RTwP personally. It makes it more realistic and fits with previous BG games. Also you can do the character animation as mentioned above to fit better (good luck there lol).

Walk Speed:
Please give options to increase base walk speed. I walk a lot in real life, I don’t want to spend hours walking my characters in a game. Options are almost always good!!

Modding possibilities?
Please! If you have to, perhaps release this function a year after release or after all DLC have been made. Otherwise as soon as possible. Fan made games prolong the use and lifetime of a game and can increase sales many years into the future. Especially with the multiplayer options available. I loved NWN and NWN2 due to this factor!

I am sure that there are more things I could say / suggest, but this is a start lol!
To make a perfect game is next to impossible. Impossible to satisfy everyone. These are just my thoughts that might provoke / inform good game design and building.

Good Luck Larian!!!

About Me:
I’m a medical professional in my 40s living in Australia, who has played Dungeons and Dragons as a child and teenager, but moved to computer games and programming in my teens. I loved BG1 and BG2, and have played many such RPG games. I also enjoy sci fi and fantasy strategy games as well as reading fantasy and sci fi novels. I used to design RPG systems and PC games in my teens and 20s for fun, but had to stop when work and life intervened and I subsequently fell out of touch with programming. I am Stahl33 on RPGWatch forums, and Madocs99 on Steam.

Posted By: Stahl33 Re: BG3 Suggestions: an Overview - 20/06/19 04:06 AM
1) Party Size:
Just had a look at another interview....
I reckon there will be a party size of 5...

compromise between 6 and 4, but when ?Mike Myers said something about being able to sit down with 5 people (speaking as a dungeon master). So if you want to recreate that, it would be 5 characters in the game.... People often talk about something they have been discussing or been on their minds a bit (ie. Freudian slip)

I do hope it is at least 5 though.

2) Just replaying BGee again, and having a separate thief to the leader is a little painful at times. Would be good if the need for lockpick or trap detection could be either:
a) more automated so that clicking on the chest will call the thief to come forward and do it even though you haven't selected the thief.
b) less need for lockpick or trap detection, but more consequence when one is needed.
c) Make trap detection available to non-thief characters (eg. Dwarves or bards)... not sure how 5th Edn talks about this.
d) Make trap detection a wider ranging thing, that if the thief is at the back of the party, that he will more reliably stop the party before they walk into a pit trap!

3) RTwP vs TB: Gee it has galvanised the fan base. I again think RTwP is better for a number of reasons, but it makes inconsequential fights less of an issue. I have posted on RTwP a number of times looking at: immersion and how it is unrealistic to expect a character or creature to not get a turn because it died before it could even blink; That it makes the game flow more easily when you can assign an AI to do some basic things, but can alter that if needed; That it can allow for a more real feel if you added in animations that show that it is not "1" attack per round, but "1" attack episode per round (ie. the little character is swinging the sword much faster than once every 6 seconds, it is just the time period during which a combat event has taken place).;
BUT ultimately both could be done and implemented well. (Good luck either way with the fan based flak Larian!! lol)

4) Non-casters often play as less interesting / powerful than casters in later levels: That is the trade off they get with being squishy! D&D is not about balance of classes (although that is important to some degree). Casters only have limited number of casts per day (hopefully not Cooldowns!!), which limits their abilities, and are weak compared to a fighter in physical combat.... Don't buff physical damage fighters or nerf casters please! Also I wouldn't mind more combat options for fighter type characters to give them more things to do in combat.

Just ongoing thoughts!
Very keen about this game!

Posted By: Sordak Re: BG3 Suggestions: an Overview - 20/06/19 11:10 AM
Party size is gonna be a tough one.
Almost all party based RPGs struggle with it, almost all old DnD games had the option of not taking a full party, usualyl "Blanacing" it by not having to share your loot.
Usually you could make this work, but only with very gimmicky builds.
The same is true for OS, so i think youll have the option, but imo its hard to make a game in which the "Intended feeling" works with having less or more party members.

On casters:
Stahl i think you are beeing a bit optimistic here. The problem with class balance with DnD is not that wizards are stronger than martials in "pvp" which isnt realy a thing. the problem is that Wizards ofthen are better than martials at what martials are supposed to do.
The Knock spell is one of the usual things brought up.
The squishyness of WIzards is basically irrelevant as casters dont solve combat by damage but by just making the targets go away in other ways. Wizards ofthen have options to solve problems with a spell. Object hidden behidn traps? just teleport it here.
Big demon to fight? just banish him to a pocket dimension. Starving in a desert? just summon some food.
Limited spell slots usually do the opposit actually.
Instead of limiting the caster, they mostly mean that the party has to rest more ofthen or else the wizard is useless again. You would need to seriously restrict resting options to balance casters this way.

I agree with you that just buffing fighter damage output (which is very high in almost all DnD editions anyway) isnt the solution.
The solution is to give martials more options to do in combat.
5E has a class called the Battlemaster, i think that the battlemaster maneuvers should be standard for all martial classes, why would a barbarian not know how to sweep someones leg.
Posted By: Stahl33 Re: BG3 Suggestions: an Overview - 20/06/19 11:47 PM
Thanks Sordak,

Yes I like Casters myself! I think a weak character that gets to be very powerful as it goes on is a nice idea / mechanic.... IF it lives that long.
In games like this Casters can be OP at the higher levels, and as you suggested the trick is managing the resting system (or time) if it is like D&D with limited spells per day.
Not being able to rest in certain situations, and having significant risks on resting in other areas are limitations to resting that are useful to controlling "OPness"
in games like this. Just playing BGee at the moment, and it can be risky to rest when your characters are out of healing spells, and your guys are hurting! Having quests limited by time would restrict resting however!! (ie. need to be completed by day 3)

There are also certain spells that are possibly OP as well, and balance issues could address this.

My issue is not with the casters, but that melee characters (apart from the micromanaging backstabbing thief), can be a little boring to direct in fights.

It will be interesting to see how it all goes.
Posted By: Stahl33 Re: BG3 Suggestions: an Overview - 21/06/19 04:06 AM

Sorry Using this thread to posts ideas.
Saw a pic of a tower and a dragon being ridden by a human, and thought:
What good is being powerful if you can't flaunt it?!

So just a thought! Towards the end of the game, it would be nice to be able to do powerful or high level things!

To feel powerful!

To ride dragons, to be able to summon extra-planar creatures for consultations; to be able to order underlings to perform certain duties; to create a stronghold worthy of songs; or a stronghold that is often attacked, but always victorious... To Singlehandedly win wars (eg think a Jedi being sent as an envoy: The war will end one way or another lol); To explore the planes; to discover powers rarely encountered in the mortal realms!

Just spit-balling ideas really.
Posted By: Sordak Re: BG3 Suggestions: an Overview - 21/06/19 06:23 AM
Melee characters are boring because DnD is notoriously neutering them.
That comes from some strange philosophy that any action that is not covered by the "base" rules is a "spell".
Thats why people, in 4E said that a Warlord encouraging an ally and giving him temporary hitpoints equals "shouting the wounds closed".
This strange and nonsensical idea that the game mechanics are equivalent to the in universe physics are one of the reasons that martial characters in DnD just cannot do anyhting apart from hitting opponents in the face.

In video games where grappling so far hasnt been implemented a single time AFAIK, this is doubly annoying as the other thing martials are good at and can do in combat just gets removed.
Posted By: Argyle Re: BG3 Suggestions: an Overview - 22/06/19 02:36 AM
I agree with allowing party size on the larger side ... at least 5, and 6 is probably enough. I can live without the Familiars ... much too squishy for the hard life of an adventurer.
Posted By: kanisatha Re: BG3 Suggestions: an Overview - 22/06/19 02:44 AM
Well, I consider the absence of familiars to have been one of the very few negatives of the original BG games. I would love to see familiars, and also animal companions for rangers and druids. But definitely those animals should not take up party slots.
Posted By: Sordak Re: BG3 Suggestions: an Overview - 22/06/19 11:22 AM
animal companions are basically a given in any DnD game
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