Larian Studios
I'm not normally one to set out feedback, and I feel like posting it now during the opening deluge might get it lost. Mostly I'm posting this as a thought diary for my own sanity.

First off, I just turned the game off in sheer frustration for the second time. The second on my two sessions, which is the start of a trend. The biggest thing that is getting to me, playing on normal, is the combat. What gets me here is the slowness of combat, coupled with the brutal slog that combat currently is.

Combat:

I rolled a Wizard and the AI has a true bloodlust for him. I can put him in the backline, push him as far back as I can, it doesn't really matter, the AI will run past two of my waiting melee characters, tank the reaction hits and just run at my wizard to kill him. I spend more time face down than casting spells. The opening of combat is always a nightmare. A lot of encounters will open from dialogue, so the party is grouped, and the first that happens is a ton of AoE damage. It's not uncommon for a party member to be down, and the rest pretty damaged before I can even get a shot in. The enemy feels like it's balanced for a 6 person party, because they always out number me and really smash the party every encounter. There isn't any concept of threat either, so you have attackers just firing off at my wizard, ignoring the three melee right by them who are bearing down on them and will wipe them out in a turn.

It doesn't help that there is so many enemies in combat when you also consider how densely packed the map seems to be with combat encounters. There isn't really any trash past the opening section either. Casters come at you right off the bat, back up with a ton of ranged attackers all in favourable positons. My eyebrows nearly flew off my face when I saw phase spiders in the first few hours of gameplay! I have to commend the variety, but every battle demanding high level strategy and play at level 2/3 is too much to be enjoyable.

Graphics:

The game is stunning. The environments frequently stop be in my tracks so I can just push the camera in and look at them. I love the detail that is present too, like how you'll have the road, then a worn path next to it where traders and travellers will just walk the fastest route. I love exploring the map, and seeing towns or forts in the distance, or following the rivers as it cuts through the rocks. The characters all look incredible, and I love the varied designs. The druids feel very different in style which complements their otherness feel. I was surprised at even the level of care and detail given to lowly goblins, with a varied set of unique armour and faces. I often feel like everyone I meet is bespoke. The only thing I'd like is some more open areas, as the play areas can be quite narrow.

Camera:

As incredible as the environments look, the camera is a huge issue. The first thing I had to do was bind Q/E to rotate. The environments don't feel like they were made for a fixed perspective, but they also don't really account for where the camera could be. I spend most of my playtime moving the camera or spinning it around to see where I'm going. It actually felt like it has a learning curve to get used to it. In the end I actually craved for more control of it, like manual tilting, because if the camera is my job to get it in the right place, and not stuck behind a rock or building or anything else, then I want more control. The environments are very vertical, and the camera can really struggle with moving up buildings.

I don't think the camera is bad in anyway, just the design of the environments and the lack of a third person DAO/NWN2 style cam makes using the cam a full time job.

Characters:

The companion cast so far are all feel very unique and developed. With a clear tone, speech style and motivations. I just don't like any of them. Except maybe the Warlock, as he's the only person who isn't either berating me or telling me where I can stick it. I get we don't need another game with companions who instantly love you, but the sheer hostility of the party loses my investment in them fairly quickly. I wonder if the origin system, or the idea of MP, or each character having the ability to control dialogue makes me feel like my PC isn't important, because I really feel like he isn't. I also have no idea about his back story most of the time, as dialogue will pop up saying this or that as his history and I found out about it then.

Having the parties opinions pop up when making dialogue choices I find off putting too. I'm happy for a companion to cut in, but a ticker judging me every time I say something is wearisome.

Final thoughts.

So far I feel like I want to follow the story on, to see how the druids and the tadpoles all shake out, and see what's going on with the goblin camp , but I just dread the endless grind of the combat, and the hostility of my party members.
Honestly I am finding the combat too easy (far easier thans DOS2). Im in about 8 hours of gameplay.

How are you mixing your party? I have 2 fighters, 1 wizard and 1 cleric. If you select your actions well it is actually very easy.

Taking 1 enemy at a time, toggling between weapons (range if enemy is far away and switch to melee when you are close enough), magic missiles should do the job. Cleric heal and second wind for tougher battles. Buy heal potions.
Combat has been okay for me. I am on Classic difficulty. The only quest which frustrated me was the
quest where I had to fight 4-5 Harpies. Their damn Luring songs. They just jump around cliff to cliff and sing and my dumb team kept getting lured through the water. Was really annoying.
And I missed the Wyll or something character, somehow he died on the first goblin assault on the camp. I didn't even know he was a companion.
Originally Posted by razerx100
And I missed the Wyll or something character, somehow he died on the first goblin assault on the camp. I didn't even know he was a companion.


Hah, that's funny. I really love how D&D this game feels in the sense of so many quick, permanent consequences to our world. Really, really fun.

I'm a warlock with Lae'zel, Shadowheart, and Wyll. 10 hours in, combat's been fine so far, have only had one wipe - I find it pretty ideally balanced, actually. Had a really fun scenario where Lae'zel rushed up a cliff, pushed a goblin off, and the rest of the party was able to decimate from atop the cliff. Interesting you say the enemies rush for your wizard - I haven't experienced that with my warlock.

Also, 2 short rests between a long one would be very nice.
I'm using Wyll, Lae'zel, Shadowheart and my Wizard. At lvl3 now.

I've only played DoS1, and have done about 75% of the first map, so I'm not really tuned to Larien gameplay, which I think might be a big factor. I've completed BG1+2, Icewind Dale and NWN2 on the standard difficulty, so I'm coming at it from that angle. I've played a lot of 5E, so I've been trying to tackle combat encounter as best as I can, like using sleep as an early spell, and trying to get good bane/bless coverage to get rolls in my favour.

I feel like I have to use a lot of slots to keep my wizard alive as anyone can just jump around and ignore threatened space or get into really high spots. With the verticality of the maps, I can't keep him at max range and blast the spells out because I'd have no LoS.

I'll play tonight and spam buy heal pots. I do focus enemies down or try to mitigate enemies, but combat really drags on, and when I start on the back foot it's just an uphill slog.

On the otherside, fights where I do win, are a complete steam roll. So I think there is something up with the balancing, because I don't tend to have comfortable fights, either hell or lol go home.
Half the fights in DOS2 were memorable with 3-5 of them being masterfull, in this game I have yet to have a fight yet that actually feels enjoyable... this game is am absolute mess its broken exploitable and usually ends in gear check fights and some sort of lame chain resurecting which just goes to show how poor every aspect of this games game design is.
I find the combat too easy so far, personally. Looking forward to tactical difficulty. Attacks of opportunity, for example, are not punishing enough. I don't feel shy to disengage with Lae'zel and focus on another enemy.
I’m enjoying the combat some tough fights but that’s the best thing about it. Have to think about what your doing - personally I think the environmental effects are a bit over the top & could be more restrained but this may just be an issue at early levels.
The combat is tactical it ain’t a grind it’s d&d like it should be
Armor class doesn't really get explained properly. Are you using mage armor on your Wizard? I had to tell my friend to use it because he just didnt know. He was having the same problem and it got better when he started using it. Not just because he had more AC, but because they seemed way less horny for him. I guess because he was harder to hit.

Your AC is generally 12 without it, 15 with. Its a lot of difference.
I just loaded back into the fight I was in at the Gnoll camp.

Like, multiattacks from base mobs. One round of fighting have nearly 20 attacks! What am I supposed to do here!?
Now a red cap did 31 damage to a party member, then 29 the next round.

Honestly, I'm close to giving up here.
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