Larian Studios
Posted By: Shurik Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 07:42 AM
Please don't listen to all these "up to 6" issue smile
I want a possibility to play at least twice with different companions, which means we desperately need the sixth one (unless it already exists and I just haven't found it)

Not to mention the fact that you will not have to rebalance all the encounters
Posted By: Redglyph Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 07:51 AM
The idea is to commit and not to change companions after the first act.

4 is a bit tight, if not for everyone, at least for many users. Especially since this game seems to favour large numbers of enemies in battles.
But if 5 or 6 were allowed, that would not stop you from only having 4, so why are you posting something like that? So that other people cannot have what they would like? Isn't that a bit selfish? wink

Balancing is not only an issue of number of characters but also their levels since the world is open, so it's required anyway.
I like 4 better than 6 tbh.
That has to do with how pen and paper based games scale.

A party of 6 is not twice as good as a party of 3, but most likely 4-5 times as good.
D&D and Pathfinder as 2 of the biggest fantasy Pen and Papers got most of their campaigns designed for 4 PCs right now and there is good reason for it. I feel those games work best with 4 PCs.

But i admit, that "balancing" is not a strong argument at this point in time. The balance is getting thrown off by things that are WAY worse. E.g. by throwing people off (cliffs) as a bonus action laugh
Posted By: Maximuuus Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 07:58 AM
Why the hell is that a problem to you ?
Let us play with 6 and play with 4 if that's what you want...

Balance blablabla... Nearly every CRPG that introduce a party of 6 can be done even with only 1 character... So why not with 4 ?
Posted By: Gray Ghost Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 08:04 AM
So with regard to companions, unless you've heard something I haven't, I think a reasonable estimate would be that we'll have 7, maybe 8 companions in total, so as someone who is advocating fo a 5 character party specifically (I actually do feel like 6 would be too big somehow, not that I'm outright against it) there's still the reasonable possibility you could play twice with different companions. As for them not having to rebalance encounters, they're going to do that anyway, it's inevitable. Part of the point of early access is figuring out how to properly rebalance the dificulty by seeing where and why players are having trouble.
fair point.
But with the same argument you could argue for party size of 15. Yeah im exaggerating but thats the point.
The developers are supposed to pick a party size the game is designed for. Setting up a game, that is supposed ot be kind of a DnD adaptation, i would also go for 4, wich seems to be the sweet spot for DnD or Pathfinder.

Only going for 6 because other games do that to is no strong argument too me. I like it that you have to deal with weak spots in your party and make your call what you prioritize. Like giving up a dedicated healer or blaster.

mechanicly i dont even want to image how the party movement is gonna be working with 6 characters, constantly having to detach and re attach them to the group^^

yet again, that is only my oppinion.
I think there is an argument to be made against 6. Chances are: 80% of the players are going to use the maximum party size possible. So if you allow 6, you need to balance the game for 6, and thats not "state of the art" at least in DnD5e.

Posted By: Shurik Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 08:21 AM
Originally Posted by Redglyph

Isn't that a bit selfish? wink

Maybe just a little bit.
In this subforum, everyone suggest what they want to see in the game. Yes, I'm not an exception.

Originally Posted by Redglyph

Balancing is not only an issue of number of characters but also their levels since the world is open, so it's required anyway.

I agree. This is a difficult work. So why make it much more.

Originally Posted by Maximuuus
Why the hell is that a problem to you ?
Balance blablabla... Nearly every CRPG that introduce a party of 6 can be done even with only 1 character... So why not with 4 ?

You mean with only 1 unbalanced build. Boring.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Part of the point of early access is figuring out how to properly rebalance the dificulty by seeing where and why players are having trouble.

Sure. But I'm talking about the fact that it is impossible or extremely difficult to balance at the same time for 4 5 or 6 characters

Originally Posted by DuderusMcRuleric
fair point.
yet again, that is only my oppinion.
I think there is an argument to be made against 6. Chances are: 80% of the players are going to use the maximum party size possible. So if you allow 6, you need to balance the game for 6, and thats not "state of the art" at least in DnD5e.

So that was mine. I've seen a lot of requests here to make a six-sized party.
And by posting this I want to say there are those who think that 4 is better.
Just an alternative opinion. For balance )

Posted By: WarBaby2 Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 08:25 AM
Originally Posted by Shurik
Sure. But I'm talking about the fact that it is impossible or extremely difficult to balance at the same time for 4 5 or 6 characters


Not if you properly implement the 5e rules, which are very easily scaled to party size... just saying.
Posted By: lewe0fun Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 08:27 AM
+1
4 enough
Originally Posted by WarBaby2
Originally Posted by Shurik
Sure. But I'm talking about the fact that it is impossible or extremely difficult to balance at the same time for 4 5 or 6 characters


Not if you properly implement the 5e rules, which are very easily scaled to party size... just saying.


+1
Posted By: Redglyph Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 10:00 AM
Originally Posted by Shurik
Originally Posted by Redglyph

Isn't that a bit selfish? wink

Maybe just a little bit.
In this subforum, everyone suggest what they want to see in the game. Yes, I'm not an exception.


You're ignoring that bit (on purpose?): "But if 5 or 6 were allowed, that would not stop you from only having 4".

We see that regularly on forums. People don't like an optional feature so they say "I don't want that, please don't make it". And what about other people who like it?

You already have what you want, so just let it be and focus on something else, please.
Posted By: Maximuuus Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 10:08 AM
Originally Posted by WarBaby2
Originally Posted by Shurik
Sure. But I'm talking about the fact that it is impossible or extremely difficult to balance at the same time for 4 5 or 6 characters


Not if you properly implement the 5e rules, which are very easily scaled to party size... just saying.


That's right...
Posted By: Tarorn Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 10:10 AM
I'd much rather the money be spent on making this awesome game even better than spending it on the implementation of 6 characters. 4 is great - you can do many playthroughs - stick to your guns Larian.
Posted By: Tuco Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 10:11 AM
Counter-argument: the possibility to group "UP TO six people" doesn't force anyone to reach the number of six.
The old Baldur's Gate/Icewind Dale games were often played even with solo characters or parties of 2/4 members by dedicated powerplayers. That was achieved simply allowing small parties to level up faster.
Bogus reasoning here.
Posted By: Nyanko Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 10:11 AM
At some point during my first playthrough, I had 7 characters to manage. My four party members, two familiars and a mushroom dude from the underdark. Can you imagine what it could become if the party goes to 6? You could potentially get 13 characters to manage. Insane.
Posted By: Tuco Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 10:13 AM
Originally Posted by Nyanko
At some point during my first playthrough, I had 7 characters to manage. My four party members, two familiars and a mushroom dude from the underdark. Can you imagine what it could become if the party goes to 6? You could potentially get 13 characters to manage. Insane.

I easily can. Temple of Elemental Evil could go up to eight actual characters.
It was awesome.

The claim that more party members slow down the combat is also mostly bullshit. More characters clean up encounters faster. Especially in a game where initiative is a mixed queue and you don't move just one team at the time.



Posted By: blindhamster Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 10:14 AM
IMO, 5 characters would actually be ideal and is a pretty common number in tabletop too.

But we need a lot more potential companions and shouldn't be getting forced into using the same ones through 2/3 of the game. What's more, we need some more likeable ones and I really hope they drop the origin character idea and just make them true companions, then focus on expanding how custom main pc is relevant to the story beyond how the others are.
Posted By: Tuco Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 10:23 AM
Originally Posted by DuderusMcRuleric

D&D and Pathfinder as 2 of the biggest fantasy Pen and Papers got most of their campaigns designed for 4 PCs right now and there is good reason for it. I feel those games work best with 4 PCs.

That reason, for the record, is that it's pretty fucking hard already to gather four people in real life to play a D&D campaign regularly, let alone six.
Also the human factor (people in general being noisy, joking, talking pauses, distracting each other, etc) slows down the pacing considerably.

Neither of the two apply to a videogame adaptation.
Posted By: Maximuuus Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 11:17 AM
Originally Posted by Tarorn
I'd much rather the money be spent on making this awesome game even better than spending it on the implementation of 6 characters. 4 is great - you can do many playthroughs - stick to your guns Larian.


More characters whatever we're talking about 5 or 6 is even better than 4 for some people.
Posted By: Riandor Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 11:28 AM
Yeah the forums could do with a Poll feature!

Many prefer 6 becasue it is nostalgic to the series and it allows for variations in player builds and party composition that they/we think is limited by only having 4. But we are in danger of having multiple threads saying the same thing, maybe similar to the RTwP raging thread, we need a one stop party size thread @Vometia?
Posted By: praxidicae Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 11:31 AM
I'd go for 5, that's 4 Companions + your PC, it's the same as your would find at most Tabletops (I've tried to DM for more and it tends to make any turn-based elements of the game a slog as people tend to lose interest as it takes so long for their turn to come around).
Larian have already indicated that there may be the option to add custom party members in a similar way to the IWD games and if they do then with 4 Companions you can have 2 of the Origin NPCs (for storyline purposes and animated cutscenes) and 2 custom ones to fill out the roster.
Posted By: Alon Binyamin Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 11:34 AM
I also think 4 is enough. I like the replayability I get with not being able to do everything in every playthrough.
But, I understand it's important to some people and I can work around it, so I'm objecting to an increase.
Posted By: Redglyph Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 11:49 AM
Seems like this subject was best left untouched laugh

A poll is usually a good indicator.
Posted By: SacredWitness Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 12:11 PM
For the scale they're clearly wanting to portray, a party of 4 is way too small. When (I hope not if - they really need to) normalize the 5E implementation, this should be an obvious realization. In TT, 4 people, no matter their skill level are supremely limited before level 5. That's where the full featured-ness of D&D comes online. You don't even define your class kit until level 3.

You're literally just a rando before that point rules wise. So, you're NOT going to be fighting hags, storming goblin war camps, adventuring in the underdark, and so on. If you try, the rules say you die in most circumstances. These types of missions are absolutely level 5+, and I'd not feel comfortable doing the latter two until after level 7 especially the underdark. That is a scary, scary place.

Bumping it up to 6 not only lets more people from your camp join (which there will be even more companions coming later) but also matches the scale of the world they're being thrown in. This also reduces the reliance on all the surface shenanigans and puts the focus on the player characters which is the core thesis of D&D - gather friends and kill monsters.
Posted By: Athann Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 12:46 PM
Originally Posted by Tuco
Originally Posted by DuderusMcRuleric

D&D and Pathfinder as 2 of the biggest fantasy Pen and Papers got most of their campaigns designed for 4 PCs right now and there is good reason for it. I feel those games work best with 4 PCs.

That reason, for the record, is that it's pretty fucking hard already to gather four people in real life to play a D&D campaign regularly, let alone six.
Also the human factor (people in general being noisy, joking, talking pauses, distracting each other, etc) slows down the pacing considerably.

Neither of the two apply to a videogame adaptation.


Don't qutote pathfinder when you can play 6 characters in their game, they are crpg (Pathfinder kingmaker and wrath of the righteous)
Posted By: Tuco Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 12:49 PM
Originally Posted by Athann
Originally Posted by Tuco
[quote=DuderusMcRuleric]


Don't qutote pathfinder when you can play 6 characters in their game, they are crpg (Pathfinder kingmaker and wrath of the righteous)

My point is precisely that a six-men party in a videogame is BETTER regardless of what's the "default baseline" for a pen & paper, so I'm not sure what you are even trying to say here.
Posted By: Redglyph Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 01:00 PM
I assume he's talking about Pathfinder: Kingmaker. In any case, both Pathfinder: Kingmaker, Baldur's Gate 1/2 and Baldur's Gate 3 are all CRPGs.

A party of 5 or 6 really allows characters to specialize and use specific spells, skills and feats. With 4, you need at least 1 tanker if not 2, a rogue, a cleric (or "medic" in general), there is little room for anything exotic.

I really see the difference between that and P:K, in which you can be more relaxed with the characters and experiment, it's a lot funnier.

We mustn't forget that D:OS series has a party of 4, but there is much more flexibility in the characters and they can be less specific, so what may work there doesn't necessarily work as easily in other rulesets (even if it's possible, just more demanding). D&D is the other extremity of the spectrum, even if D&D 5e allows for a little more flexibility than 3.5.
Posted By: Slapstick Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 01:02 PM
+1

I prefer more replayability, less micro-and inventory -management and quicker combats.
Posted By: SaltySpook Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 01:04 PM
+1 I'd prefer a max party size of 4 as well.
Posted By: Druid_NPC Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 01:31 PM
Originally Posted by Slapstick
+1

I prefer more replayability, less micro-and inventory -management and quicker combats.


My thoughts exactly.
Posted By: Tuco Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 01:34 PM
Originally Posted by Slapstick
+1

I prefer more replayability, less micro-and inventory -management and quicker combats.

None of this seems to be related to the number of party members.
In fact, several games with more party members managed these aspects better than Larian so far.
Posted By: Tuco Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 01:36 PM
Originally Posted by Redglyph

A party of 5 or 6 really allows characters to specialize and use specific spells, skills and feats. With 4, you need at least 1 tanker if not 2, a rogue, a cleric (or "medic" in general), there is little room for anything exotic.

Yeah, we talked extensively in the other thread (you know, the popular one, the one in FAVOR of 6 men).

That's precisely what I hate about the 4-members limitation.
Posted By: EMTFields Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 02:03 PM
I don't get the people who keep saying they want to keep 4 as the limit, when most people who want 5 or 6 just want the choice of having 5 or 6. If they up the number to 6, you know you can still keep 4 right? Anyway, I'm for upping to atleast 5. The only reason I see them keeping it 4 is if they're planning to kill off the rest like in DOS2. Which was garbage. Otherwise it's pointless just to let companions you are not using rot in camp.
Posted By: rhielm Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 02:25 PM
This game is designed around a party of 4 players, and that is fine. To change it to 6 would require the developers to start over on a huge amount of design work, and probably delay the game another 6 months to a year or more, and cost millions of dollars in development. No thank you.

Stick with 4. It works well, and adds to the fun and challenges in strategy when choosing your party members.

Party of 4, please.
Posted By: Tuco Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 02:31 PM
Originally Posted by rhielm
This game is designed around a party of 4 players, and that is fine. To change it to 6 would require the developers to start over on a huge amount of design work.

No, it wouldn't.
It would require a re-tweak of the control system (which is DIRELY needed anyway, because the current one is terrible even for four men) and a fairly simple revamp of some encounters. Which is not an issue since most encounters in the game will have to go through months of tweaking and rebalance regardless of any change.

I wish people could stop to make up shit as armchair developers to legitimate their bias.

Bg3 isn't even a budget-restrained production, so let Larian worry about how much work it would need and let's talk about the merits and demerits of the design itself.



Posted By: orgnok Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 02:37 PM
Originally Posted by SacredWitness
For the scale they're clearly wanting to portray, a party of 4 is way too small. When (I hope not if - they really need to) normalize the 5E implementation, this should be an obvious realization. In TT, 4 people, no matter their skill level are supremely limited before level 5. That's where the full featured-ness of D&D comes online. You don't even define your class kit until level 3.

You're literally just a rando before that point rules wise. So, you're NOT going to be fighting hags, storming goblin war camps, adventuring in the underdark, and so on. If you try, the rules say you die in most circumstances. These types of missions are absolutely level 5+, and I'd not feel comfortable doing the latter two until after level 7 especially the underdark. That is a scary, scary place.



Dealing with a goblin encampment and fighting a hag is very doable before level 5. A green hag is CR3, goblins are Cr1/4, a goblin chief is CR 1.That's well within what a level 2-3 party can accomplish with some smart planning.

But to contribute something OT:

4 does feel pretty limited, Personally I like having a party of 5, but i think 6 is reasonable. That lets you explore half the classes in one play through. And gives you enough room to cover all your bases comfortably. That is of course assuming that we will get more (and hopefully a bit less over the top) companions.
Posted By: Jazhara202 Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 02:53 PM
Hey all I would like to also chime in and saying that I also agree about keeping the party size to 4. Here is a quote from the DMG in 5e.

The game of Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition and its encounters is balanced on two basic premises.

Each adventuring day, a party of three to five adventurers should be able to handle six to eight Medium or Hard encounters (DMG, page 84).
Most combat encounters should last 3 rounds on average (DMG, page 274).
This means that the characters playing the game should have enough resources–including hit points, spells, special powers, etc.–to last roughly 18 rounds of combat. In addition, the party should take at least two short rests per day to recover a portion of their spent resources.

So basically Larian has took the average of what the balance is currently made for. Its NEVER 6 players if you do that you actually have to make the game HARDER by changing the CR by tweaking numbers all across the board on top of much higher DCs for everything.

If they raised it to 5 players, it wouldn't be terrible as the raw states its balanced around that. Another observation is the game has many more traps and environmental effects that put a lot more damage out than regular tabletop DnD. So having a 5th party member I could see an argument for. ( Would rather not have any or rare environmental effects )

If you note tho, it also mentions (2) short rests between combat. Larian needs to try and do more 5e by the book stuff than not. Increase short rests, remove food that heals completely, if they want to keep that "healing" in the game, put it in forms of a potion of healing only. Lets keep this DnD please.

DnD 5e is VERY balanced and all the pieces fit together like a tiny jig saw for a reason.

Jaz
Posted By: Azarielle Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 03:48 PM
Originally Posted by Maximuuus
Why the hell is that a problem to you ?
Let us play with 6 and play with 4 if that's what you want...

Balance blablabla... Nearly every CRPG that introduce a party of 6 can be done even with only 1 character... So why not with 4 ?


THIS! You can play with 2 for all I care, just let me play with 6 like in BG and BG2 because that's what made it fun (well at least one of the reasons)
Posted By: SecondAchaius Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 04:18 PM
Im surprised that no one has mentioned LArian stating this about the companions

"Will companions be interchangeable during long rest?
Yes, at the start of your adventure your recruited companions will be at camp when not in the adventuring party, and can be swapped in and out at camp. Just like friends in real life! After the first act however you are going to have to commit, also just like in real life."

That last part makes me feel like they are gonna do the Act 1 finale of DOS2.
Posted By: Dagless Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 04:20 PM
Originally Posted by Tuco
Originally Posted by rhielm
This game is designed around a party of 4 players, and that is fine. To change it to 6 would require the developers to start over on a huge amount of design work.

No, it wouldn't.
It would require a re-tweak of the control system (which is DIRELY needed anyway, because the current one is terrible even for four men) and a fairly simple revamp of some encounters. Which is not an issue since most encounters in the game will have to go through months of tweaking and rebalance regardless of any change.

I wish people could stop to make up shit as armchair developers to legitimate their bias.

Bg3 isn't even a budget-restrained production, so let Larian worry about how much work it would need and let's talk about the merits and demerits of the design itself.



Seems you are playing armchair developer as much as anyone, by dismissing any concerns about increasing party size and saying it’s just better.

You said earlier that’s it’s not a problem for people who prefer to play with fewer characters than standard, but also that fights balanced for 6 characters wouldn’t take longer because they could “clean up” faster. These sound like mutually exclusive arguments to me. If you can clean up faster with 6 characters, then playing with fewer surely puts you at a disadvantage. And that means most people will play with a full party, even if it’s more cumbersome.

We also don’t know how this will affect the story once we commit to our party. BG3 is not a story about 1 protagonist and a group of followers. It’s a story about up to 4 protagonists, because it’s a game for up to 4 players.

I suspect it could be a lot of work to change and could easily be worse for it.
Posted By: HeavensBells Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 04:22 PM
-1

Unlike DOS- where you could make everyone a hybrid of everything and just add Hydro and Aero on half the party and the other half have Geo, Scoundrel and Warfare - this is Dungeons and Dragons and each class is limited on what they can do and even tough some spells might repeat for a few classes, their class features are unique and only them can bring it to the table.

This means that it's hella restricting only having 4 because you'll miss so much on those jack of all trades classes that cannot be included since you need to min max and follow the basic model of 1 Melee, 1 Healer, 1 Rogue, 1 Magic Caster. It's not diffcult at all to understand that if you have a party of 5 or 6 you can add more versatility and enjoyabilty in the RPG aspect so you can play whatever the hell you want even if they are not the best options/selection.

4 people parties are doomed to either be min maxed so they can take the whole game or forced to multiclass in the future.
Posted By: SirJimmaras Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 04:23 PM
I prefer 4 but if people want 6, then why not let them get 6?

More choices good, less choices bad.
At this point it is obvious the game is geared around four players as its the default setting. With the exception of a couple encounters four has been adequate.

Personally, I think there is room for compromise. Make the default four, and then allow a Charisma bonus of +3 or +4 allow for an additional one to two followers. Will that make some people optimize for beastly parties with OP charisma classes? Sure, but twinks are going to twink regardless.
Posted By: 0Muttley0 Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 04:26 PM
For me the main reason I would want 6 instead of 4 is RP reasons mostly. Sure it would be easier to play with 6, and I like easy, but I'm just as happy as it is with 4.
Posted By: Tuco Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 04:42 PM
Originally Posted by Dagless

Seems you are playing armchair developer as much as anyone, by dismissing any concerns about increasing party size and saying it’s just better.

Yeah. But I'm not making shit up and I know what I'm saying.

Quote
You said earlier that’s it’s not a problem for people who prefer to play with fewer characters than standard, but also that fights balanced for 6 characters wouldn’t take longer because they could “clean up” faster.

These sound like mutually exclusive arguments to me.

No, they aren't. 6 men clean the same encounter quicker.
With the correct system in place, 4 men tend to level up more on the long run and become individually more powerful. That doesn't make the battles with six characters "slower". Not in a game where Initiative queue is mixed between allies and enemies.
If anything makes the player intervene more often on the action rather than watching long sequences of enemies doing their own things.

You people are giving gravity to a "design problem" that simply doesn't exist.


Quote
If you can clean up faster with 6 characters, then playing with fewer surely puts you at a disadvantage. And that means most people will play with a full party, even if it’s more cumbersome.

You just make the total of exp gained split among the number of party members. Which is precisely what BG1 and 2 and what made viable playing the game with six party members OR playing it in solo with a single character leveling up way faster.
A lot of people played Icewind Dale with 4 custom characters rather than six just to have them level up more, for instance.

As I said in the other thread about this topic (the GOOD one, with the proper arguments for it) people should not misunderstand one thing: the request of having a party of six does not come from the NEED to have them to achieve things, but from the enjoyment that comes from having more variety, more interesting tactical options and mix-ups and carrying on more companions questlines in the single player campaign.


Quote
We also don’t know how this will affect the story once we commit to our party.

We know that Larian's current plan is to force the players to COMMIT to their selection of three party members and get rid of the others after act 1, like they did with DOS 2.
Many, myself included, think that is a terrible mistake and they should revise it, but even if it was a final decision it would make for an even stronger argument in favor of carrying more companions with you.


Quote
BG3 is not a story about 1 protagonist and a group of followers. It’s a story about up to 4 protagonists, because it’s a game for up to 4 players.

And absolutely nothing is preventing these four players from doing what they were doing anyway. Maybe even having two additional NPCs to carry around, if they want.
Posted By: VincentNZ Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 04:54 PM
Originally Posted by SecondAchaius
Im surprised that no one has mentioned LArian stating this about the companions

"Will companions be interchangeable during long rest?
Yes, at the start of your adventure your recruited companions will be at camp when not in the adventuring party, and can be swapped in and out at camp. Just like friends in real life! After the first act however you are going to have to commit, also just like in real life."

That last part makes me feel like they are gonna do the Act 1 finale of DOS2.


Wow, I did not know that. That is indeed terrible. So you are either committing to a party where you like the characters, or the party that makes the game easier. Like I have not yet explored the nuances of the combat system and I do not have the excessive knowledge of the source. So my game is very difficult, especially when I break up the usual meta of tank/healer/caster/rogue. And I then "only" have 20 hours or so to try out what composition works for me and what people I actually want to bring.
This locks me out of content effectively and forces me to choose one build over the other instead of adapting constantly or going back to a trusted setup for the time being. Not a fan.
Posted By: Azarielle Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 05:08 PM
Originally Posted by Tuco
Originally Posted by Dagless

Seems you are playing armchair developer as much as anyone, by dismissing any concerns about increasing party size and saying it’s just better.

Yeah. But I'm not making shit up and I know what I'm saying.

Quote
You said earlier that’s it’s not a problem for people who prefer to play with fewer characters than standard, but also that fights balanced for 6 characters wouldn’t take longer because they could “clean up” faster.

These sound like mutually exclusive arguments to me.

No, they aren't. 6 men clean the same encounter quicker.
With the correct system in place, 4 men tend to level up more on the long run and become individually more powerful. That doesn't make the battles with six characters "slower". Not in a game where Initiative queue is mixed between allies and enemies.
If anything makes the player intervene more often on the action rather than watching long sequences of enemies doing their own things.

You people are giving gravity to a "design problem" that simply doesn't exist.


Quote
If you can clean up faster with 6 characters, then playing with fewer surely puts you at a disadvantage. And that means most people will play with a full party, even if it’s more cumbersome.

You just make the total of exp gained split among the number of party members. Which is precisely what BG1 and 2 and what made viable playing the game with six party members OR playing it in solo with a single character leveling up way faster.
A lot of people played Icewind Dale with 4 custom characters rather than six just to have them level up more, for instance.

As I said in the other thread about this topic (the GOOD one, with the proper arguments for it) people should not misunderstand one thing: the request of having a party of six does not come from the NEED to have them to achieve things, but from the enjoyment that comes from having more variety, more interesting tactical options and mix-ups and carrying on more companions questlines in the single player campaign.


Quote
We also don’t know how this will affect the story once we commit to our party.

We know that Larian's current plan is to force the players to COMMIT to their selection of three party members and get rid of the others after act 1, like they did with DOS 2.
Many, myself included, think that is a terrible mistake and they should revise it, but even if it was a final decision it would make for an even stronger argument in favor of carrying more companions with you.


Quote
BG3 is not a story about 1 protagonist and a group of followers. It’s a story about up to 4 protagonists, because it’s a game for up to 4 players.

And absolutely nothing is preventing these four players from doing what they were doing anyway. Maybe even having two additional NPCs to carry around, if they want.


This is one of the best posts I've read on the topic, I agree 100% and have nothing to add (which is pretty rare)
Posted By: Roarro Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 05:20 PM
For me its even simplier-4 people party makes is a DoS game,6 people party makes it a Baldurs Gate game. There is enough things basically copypasted from Divinity already,yet the game is titled Baldurs Gate,so maybe it will be good having something more in common with classic series.
Posted By: SacredWitness Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 05:38 PM
Originally Posted by rhielm
This game is designed around a party of 4 players, and that is fine. To change it to 6 would require the developers to start over on a huge amount of design work, and probably delay the game another 6 months to a year or more, and cost millions of dollars in development. No thank you.

Stick with 4. It works well, and adds to the fun and challenges in strategy when choosing your party members.

Party of 4, please.


This is very incorrect. They already throw several enemies at a party at a time. The challenge rating of a single enemy is judged on a 1v4 basis. These fights are already over the top on their own. They might need to add 1 or 2 tops more enemies to each area. Maybe.
Posted By: SacredWitness Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 05:39 PM
Originally Posted by orgnok
Dealing with a goblin encampment and fighting a hag is very doable before level 5. A green hag is CR3, goblins are Cr1/4, a goblin chief is CR 1.That's well within what a level 2-3 party can accomplish with some smart planning.

But to contribute something OT:

4 does feel pretty limited, Personally I like having a party of 5, but i think 6 is reasonable. That lets you explore half the classes in one play through. And gives you enough room to cover all your bases comfortably. That is of course assuming that we will get more (and hopefully a bit less over the top) companions.


A green hag may be CR3 but is definitely on the upper end of hard. One attack can pretty reliably one shot someone at level 2 which is when you can meet it in BG3. Goblins are CR 1/3 but this ignores placement and numbers. Those encounters are much higher than that. Mind you that CR is 1 creature vs 4. We often face bands of 8 or more. Even the random potshot with a short bow doing 8d6+16 will drop most characters on their own.

Add in the bugbears, gnolls with multiattack, and so on, and it definitely falls on the upper end regardless of the situation you come across per book rules. CR only makes sense as long as the party comp is constant. The moment you lose someone that's a drop of 25%. The relative CR goes up then and you can quickly crest into a death spiral. CR in general carries a lot of problems and this only highlights them. It isn't the defeater argument you think it is.
Posted By: SacredWitness Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 05:41 PM
Originally Posted by Jazhara202
Hey all I would like to also chime in and saying that I also agree about keeping the party size to 4. Here is a quote from the DMG in 5e.

The game of Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition and its encounters is balanced on two basic premises.

Each adventuring day, a party of three to five adventurers should be able to handle six to eight Medium or Hard encounters (DMG, page 84).
Most combat encounters should last 3 rounds on average (DMG, page 274).
This means that the characters playing the game should have enough resources–including hit points, spells, special powers, etc.–to last roughly 18 rounds of combat. In addition, the party should take at least two short rests per day to recover a portion of their spent resources.

So basically Larian has took the average of what the balance is currently made for. Its NEVER 6 players if you do that you actually have to make the game HARDER by changing the CR by tweaking numbers all across the board on top of much higher DCs for everything.

If they raised it to 5 players, it wouldn't be terrible as the raw states its balanced around that. Another observation is the game has many more traps and environmental effects that put a lot more damage out than regular tabletop DnD. So having a 5th party member I could see an argument for. ( Would rather not have any or rare environmental effects )

If you note tho, it also mentions (2) short rests between combat. Larian needs to try and do more 5e by the book stuff than not. Increase short rests, remove food that heals completely, if they want to keep that "healing" in the game, put it in forms of a potion of healing only. Lets keep this DnD please.

DnD 5e is VERY balanced and all the pieces fit together like a tiny jig saw for a reason.

Jaz


Except fights last WAY longer than 3 rounds as is. In my earlier post like I mentioned they would need to add 1, maybe 2, more enemies per area because there's already a large scale imbalance on most encounters as is. Add in the elemental effects and Original Sin remnants, the game is so far off balance from 5E anyway. Plus they add other abilities like with the phase spider's spit. The 5E version of that monster can't do that and it changes fighting them dramatically. You can easily keep the scale of current encounters, normalize properly to the 5E ruleset, add maybe 1 or 2 more enemies, and accommodate a 6 person party with ease.
Posted By: Peranor Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 05:47 PM
I too would like to have a party of 6 characters. As many others have stated already it provides more variety and freedom to play around with differect classes and builds. Balance and mechanics should't be to hard to tweak around a 6 character party. Not sure how it would affect the overarching story through.
Posted By: Sirius Wolf Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 05:48 PM
4 is a party but 6 is also a party.

Divinity: Original Sin II have 4 men party and lone wolf and both modes are fun. I don't understand why people would outright dislike the option for party of 5 or 6. Larian can balance it just like they balanced the Lone Wolf mode and people can have fun with either 4 or 6 party size. Problem solved. Win-win.
Posted By: Eddiar Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 05:54 PM
How about 5 so everyone meets in the middle?
Posted By: Jazhara202 Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 05:54 PM
My post post got glossed over in the back pretty quickly.

But I had mentioned my feedback on why the game should not be 6 players since its not balanced for that as per dnd 5e ruleset

The game of Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition and its encounters is balanced on two basic premises.

Each adventuring day, a party of three to five adventurers should be able to handle six to eight Medium or Hard encounters (DMG, page 84).
Most combat encounters should last 3 rounds on average (DMG, page 274).
This means that the characters playing the game should have enough resources–including hit points, spells, special powers, etc.–to last roughly 18 rounds of combat. In addition, the party should take at least two short rests per day to recover a portion of their spent resources.

So basically Larian has took the average of what the balance is currently made for. Its NEVER 6 players if you do that you actually have to make the game HARDER by changing the CR by tweaking numbers all across the board on top of much higher DCs for everything.

But the argument for having a 5th i could easily see since it normally is per CR in the monster manual on top of the current Environmental effects causing a lot more damage (( they need to remove this ))than you would find an in actual dnd tabletop setting.

Remove all the extra unneeded environmental damage that isnt a thing in 5e,
Remove the healing on food,
Put back that number of value on healing into potions of Healing
Add more short rests

By doing these things a party of 4 or 5 should be fine.

Jaz
Posted By: Meeshe Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 05:55 PM
Please Larian, of course I want 6 companions, but I'd settle for five. laugh Four just feels so constricting. and it feels weird to adventure and then go to camp and some npc is sitting there giving me the side eye for leaving them at camp.
Posted By: SacredWitness Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 06:03 PM
Originally Posted by Jazhara202
My post post got glossed over in the back pretty quickly.

But I had mentioned my feedback on why the game should not be 6 players since its not balanced for that as per dnd 5e ruleset

The game of Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition and its encounters is balanced on two basic premises.

Each adventuring day, a party of three to five adventurers should be able to handle six to eight Medium or Hard encounters (DMG, page 84).
Most combat encounters should last 3 rounds on average (DMG, page 274).
This means that the characters playing the game should have enough resources–including hit points, spells, special powers, etc.–to last roughly 18 rounds of combat. In addition, the party should take at least two short rests per day to recover a portion of their spent resources.

So basically Larian has took the average of what the balance is currently made for. Its NEVER 6 players if you do that you actually have to make the game HARDER by changing the CR by tweaking numbers all across the board on top of much higher DCs for everything.

But the argument for having a 5th i could easily see since it normally is per CR in the monster manual on top of the current Environmental effects causing a lot more damage (( they need to remove this ))than you would find an in actual dnd tabletop setting.

Remove all the extra unneeded environmental damage that isnt a thing in 5e,
Remove the healing on food,
Put back that number of value on healing into potions of Healing
Add more short rests

By doing these things a party of 4 or 5 should be fine.

Jaz


I quoted your whole post. What got missed?
Posted By: rhielm Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 06:03 PM
Originally Posted by Tuco
Originally Posted by rhielm
This game is designed around a party of 4 players, and that is fine. To change it to 6 would require the developers to start over on a huge amount of design work.

I wish people could stop to make up shit as armchair developers to legitimate their bias.

This sounds like a case of the Pot calling the Kettle Black. You're accusing me of "armchair developing" while second guessing their decision to go with a party of 4 in the first place, and telling me how easy it would be to change it to 6. You don't know that. I'm sure they have very good reasons for choosing a 4-person party in their engine, and their story. And since we don't know their development process, we have no right to second guess their decision on this. On top of that, I would actually prefer a 6-person party, so don't go accusing me of making this point to "legitimate my bias". Because I'm looking past my personal bias to understand that I don't know the development process, so I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that they know what they're doing. That's why I'm saying "stick with 4". To demand to the developers they change their game design to a 6 person party simply because we feel like it, and because BG1 & BG2 had a 6-person party is entitled, and selfish. Larian has proven that they know what their doing in this genre. It's their game, it's their art. Not ours. Let them create their game and their art in their own way. Judge a game for what it is, not for what it isn't.
Posted By: jonn Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 06:24 PM
Originally Posted by rhielm
Originally Posted by Tuco
Originally Posted by rhielm
This game is designed around a party of 4 players, and that is fine. To change it to 6 would require the developers to start over on a huge amount of design work.

I wish people could stop to make up shit as armchair developers to legitimate their bias.

This sounds like a case of the Pot calling the Kettle Black. You're accusing me of "armchair developing" while second guessing their decision to go with a party of 4 in the first place, and telling me how easy it would be to change it to 6. You don't know that. I'm sure they have very good reasons for choosing a 4-person party in their engine, and their story. And since we don't know their development process, we have no right to second guess their decision on this. On top of that, I would actually prefer a 6-person party, so don't go accusing me of making this point to "legitimate my bias". Because I'm looking past my personal bias to understand that I don't know the development process, so I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that they know what they're doing. That's why I'm saying "stick with 4". To demand to the developers they change their game design to a 6 person party simply because we feel like it, and because BG1 & BG2 had a 6-person party is entitled, and selfish. Larian has proven that they know what their doing in this genre. It's their game, it's their art. Not ours. Let them create their game and their art in their own way. Judge a game for what it is, not for what it isn't.


+1 to this

Seems to me like a lot of people just want to play the game the same way they've played others in the past, rather than put the effort in to learn a new system
Posted By: Gray Ghost Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 06:27 PM
Originally Posted by rhielm
Originally Posted by Tuco
Originally Posted by rhielm
This game is designed around a party of 4 players, and that is fine. To change it to 6 would require the developers to start over on a huge amount of design work.

I wish people could stop to make up shit as armchair developers to legitimate their bias.

This sounds like a case of the Pot calling the Kettle Black. You're accusing me of "armchair developing" while second guessing their decision to go with a party of 4 in the first place, and telling me how easy it would be to change it to 6. You don't know that. I'm sure they have very good reasons for choosing a 4-person party in their engine, and their story. And since we don't know their development process, we have no right to second guess their decision on this. On top of that, I would actually prefer a 6-person party, so don't go accusing me of making this point to "legitimate my bias". Because I'm looking past my personal bias to understand that I don't know the development process, so I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that they know what they're doing. That's why I'm saying "stick with 4". To demand to the developers they change their game design to a 6 person party simply because we feel like it, and because BG1 & BG2 had a 6-person party is entitled, and selfish. Larian has proven that they know what their doing in this genre. It's their game, it's their art. Not ours. Let them create their game and their art in their own way. Judge a game for what it is, not for what it isn't.


I want a 5-6 (preferably 5) charcater party for a number of reasons, but I will say that this is very much the exact time to ask Larian to change the party size. Early access is here to see what works and what needs changing, and if Larian ultimately agree with the people that say the party size needs changing, then let them. If they think that it's not worth it to change the party size then it won't matter what we said. From what I understand Larian is more than capable of standing by their decisions, even ones they apparently later admit weren't the right decisions. They gave us early access because they wanted our feedback on what they were created. Furthermore just because it's their art doesn't mean their vision is automatically the best version of what it could be. More input combined with thoughtful consideration of that input is one of the best ways to create something great and I don't think we should automatically assume that their plan is the best plan; plenty of studio's who have created great games in the past have included stuff that on hindsight just didn't work as intended.

I just hope that if they keep the party size at only 4, they tune the combat down to a more manageable level because as it stands, the game's difficulty is such that a player with fairly average skill is painfully restricted by such a small party size.
Posted By: SacredWitness Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 06:36 PM
Originally Posted by jonn
+1 to this

Seems to me like a lot of people just want to play the game the same way they've played others in the past, rather than put the effort in to learn a new system


This isn't the case for me. I love D&D and the OS games individually. Played lots of both on the scale of thousands of hours for D&D with groups of 2 up to 10 people and hundreds of hours for OS. I legitimately think it's a superior way to play D&D type games. The concerns over "playing safe" vs. "trying out novelty builds" are true in CRPGs and TT because of how the rules are structured. Plus, you can take on larger risks with a larger party so you can have more grandiose events. Match that with act 1 which is definitely reaching for scale in terms of enemies and that I don't want to have to just stick to the classics in terms of party comp and build. Interesting choices need some buffer to make suboptimal ones. You exhaust the psychological safety of doing that when the rules punish you harshly for losing a single ally.
Posted By: Jazhara202 Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 06:41 PM
Originally Posted by SacredWitness
Originally Posted by Jazhara202
My post post got glossed over in the back pretty quickly.

But I had mentioned my feedback on why the game should not be 6 players since its not balanced for that as per dnd 5e ruleset

The game of Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition and its encounters is balanced on two basic premises.

Each adventuring day, a party of three to five adventurers should be able to handle six to eight Medium or Hard encounters (DMG, page 84).
Most combat encounters should last 3 rounds on average (DMG, page 274).
This means that the characters playing the game should have enough resources–including hit points, spells, special powers, etc.–to last roughly 18 rounds of combat. In addition, the party should take at least two short rests per day to recover a portion of their spent resources.

So basically Larian has took the average of what the balance is currently made for. Its NEVER 6 players if you do that you actually have to make the game HARDER by changing the CR by tweaking numbers all across the board on top of much higher DCs for everything.

But the argument for having a 5th i could easily see since it normally is per CR in the monster manual on top of the current Environmental effects causing a lot more damage (( they need to remove this ))than you would find an in actual dnd tabletop setting.

Remove all the extra unneeded environmental damage that isnt a thing in 5e,
Remove the healing on food,
Put back that number of value on healing into potions of Healing
Add more short rests

By doing these things a party of 4 or 5 should be fine.

Jaz


I quoted your whole post. What got missed?


OOPS i def missed that =)

Posted By: Redglyph Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 06:54 PM
Originally Posted by rhielm
To demand to the developers they change their game design to a 6 person party simply because we feel like it, and because BG1 & BG2 had a 6-person party is entitled, and selfish. Larian has proven that they know what their doing in this genre. It's their game, it's their art. Not ours. Let them create their game and their art in their own way. Judge a game for what it is, not for what it isn't.


There's no demand. We are in the sub-forum "suggestions & feedback", and it's an early access game, so we suggest and give our feedback. Ultimately they'll decide for each suggestion, whether or not it's interesting to change / add / remove features.

There is a lot of experienced table-top and CRPGs people here, and indeed I've read interesting arguments either way in this thread. Larian had chosen parties of 4 in D:OS and sure, it worked, but this is a completely different ruleset and it would be foolish to think that they know better than everyone else. That's why they made a place for suggestions.


In any case, it would be interesting to hear Larian's thoughts on this, as they have certainly discussed the topic.
Posted By: Peranor Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 07:24 PM
Originally Posted by rhielm
...Larian has proven that they know what their doing in this genre. It's their game, it's their art. Not ours. Let them create their game and their art in their own way. Judge a game for what it is, not for what it isn't.


Seriously? You really think Larian would release the game as EA and ask players for feedback and opinions if their mindset was "our way or the highway"?
Posted By: Tuco Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 07:26 PM
Originally Posted by rhielm

This sounds like a case of the Pot calling the Kettle Black. .

The difference, as I already pointed, is that I actually know what I'm talking about, so I'm not making absurd claims like "the entire game should be redesigned to adjust for 6 slots".
No, it shouldn't.
It should be adjusted in balance and UI, sure. Which is hardly a big fuss when both are currently works in progress, anyway.



Originally Posted by jonn

+1 to this

Seems to me like a lot of people just want to play the game the same way they've played others in the past, rather than put the effort in to learn a new system

It's almost like we actually played several of them across the years and we know what we like the most. After 30 years playing a genre you tend to learn what works and what doesn't.

I mean, I called out Larian on the random loot being shit in DOS 1 and the need to change it for the sequel. They didn't because they liked their idea of having randomized itemization.
Guess what? Loot turned out to be one of the shittiest aspects of a potential modern classic like DOS2. One that almost single-handedly ruined the sense of progression and discovery across the entire game and declassed it by one tier. Even worse than I predicted, in practice, because the scaling was also crazy.
BG3 in an incomplete alpha build has already a better itemization than Original Sin ever did. Let's hope it will improve across the game rather than getting worse like it did in DOS 2.

D&D is a far less chaotic/erratic system than the one used in Divinity (where EVERY class had crazy mobility and could use multiple abilities per turn, so I somewhat defended their choice to stick to 4 men parties then) and what's more important six-men party in this system have been broadly tested in practical scenarios for years. They even have systems in place to quickly adjust the difficulty of an encounter based on the party facing it, if you want the quick and cheap solution to an imaginary problem.


Posted By: Tuco Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 07:33 PM
Originally Posted by Peranor
Originally Posted by rhielm
...Larian has proven that they know what their doing in this genre. It's their game, it's their art. Not ours. Let them create their game and their art in their own way. Judge a game for what it is, not for what it isn't.


Seriously? You really think Larian would release the game as EA and ask players for feedback and opinions if their mindset was "our way or the highway"?

Besides, "Larian know what they are doing" is a occasionally questionable in itself. It's not the first time they insist to introduce a subsystem that just doesn't work and they stick to it no matter what, just to admit "Oh boy, that was bad" in hindsight (i.e. the armor system in DOS is the last blatant example of this).
Also, as mentioned just one post above, their itemization and progression systems in DOS 2 were among the WORST I've ever played in the genre.
Note that I say this as someone who still has a lot of admiration for DOS 1 and 2 overall.




Posted By: Redglyph Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 07:38 PM
I'm not sure there is much to add to what had already been discussed in this other thread Tuco mentioned. We seem to turn into circles, with new people who haven't read the post history repeating the same arguments over and over again wink
Posted By: Danneuber Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 07:40 PM
I agree. I dont want more than 4 party members, and absolutely not 6. way too much to keep track of, especially with backstories and everything. No thanks. Id rather have a party of 4 where i have to pick and chose which classes i want in there, and knowing i will be missing out on something.

Provides more replay value as well.

Just up lvl cap imo.
Posted By: Tuco Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 07:45 PM
Originally Posted by Redglyph
I'm not sure there is much to add to what had already been discussed in this other thread Tuco mentioned. We seem to turn into circles, with new people who haven't read the post history repeating the same arguments over and over again wink


Well, that's basically ordinary day's life on any forum, isn't it?
Posted By: biomag Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 08:02 PM
Looking back at BG and other D&D games that had 6 in the party I actually felt always presed to have 1 mage, 1 thief and 1 cleric - which are ironically the 3 classes I'm least interested in. Why did I felt pressed to have them? Because the developer knew I have the space for them and knew that to feel special each class had to shine in its element forcing me to min-max.

So far with BG3 I didn't have this feeling. My ranger can open locks and disarm traps. With a paladin or a bard in the party they could probably heal enough to help worst cases, while actually the party would be deadly enough to not care - or there is at least a druid to replace the cleric. Bard or warlock could also be there to replace the wizard or I could go with a eldrich knight? In any case Larian can't expect a party of 4 to cover all bases so they have to give you more options to handle each situation - and that's what I've seen so far. To me the argument that 4 means tank, healer, dps and mage completely min-maxed isn't necessarily true for a game and I see it not being the case for BG3.

Still I have not played through the entire EA so I don't know if the Act I has the same (horrible) ending that DOS2 had which forced you to commit to a single party - that's something I'm completely against. I hated it in DOS2 and definitely don't want to see these kinds of artifical story based party reductions.

Besides that, I don't mind if the party size is increased, though I think it would just end up the same way BG1-2 and Icewind Dale ended up - basic 1 melee, wizard, thief and cleric + whoever you actually really like.
Posted By: Tuco Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 08:08 PM
Originally Posted by biomag

Besides that, I don't mind if the party size is increased, though I think it would just end up the same way BG1-2 and Icewind Dale ended up - basic 1 melee, wizard, thief and cleric + whoever you actually really like.

So an excellent degree of variety while still having room to experiment with something more exotic?
And that's a bad thing... because?

Also, BG2 had almost 20 different companions (I think they were 18 with Sarevok in ToB), which is why I find the argument "Just three slots for companions leave me room for trying new things the next playthrough!".
Way to set the bar low for yourself, Jesus Christ.
Just adding my thoughts that I agree with 4 is a good number. Happy with this.
Posted By: biomag Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 08:22 PM
Originally Posted by Tuco
Originally Posted by biomag

Besides that, I don't mind if the party size is increased, though I think it would just end up the same way BG1-2 and Icewind Dale ended up - basic 1 melee, wizard, thief and cleric + whoever you actually really like.

So an excellent degree of variety while still having room to experiment with something more exotic?
And that's a bad thing... because?



I actually explained it, but you seem to have your opinion that you keep telling everyone who disagrees. I'm not starting an arguement here, I offered just a different perspective that you don't care about - fine by me.
Posted By: Lastman Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 08:30 PM
i vote for 5-6 DLC if you have to but put it IN!...
Posted By: Tuco Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 08:37 PM
Originally Posted by biomag
[quote=Tuco]

I actually explained it

No, you didn't. You said you would feel more forced to make this kind of choice if you had more room in your party (which is a dubious and fairly counter-intuitive claim in itself since usually the less room you have, the least you are left free to experiment with classes, but I didn't argue about it).
You never said WHy and in what way that would be bad, given that, as you pointed out yourself, you'd still have two slots to experiment with "whatever you like" (which reason suggests you wouldn't, with stricter party restrictions).



By the way yes, I'm opinionated about these things.
For some of you this may be just about making a poorly argued throw-away comment "I prefer four because six super slow", based on guts feeling more than facts, about a game you will mildly care about for two weeks and then throw to the pile of old stuff.
For someone like me the genre is a lifelong passion, and good titles in it are stuff I plan to go back even dozen times, if the depth is there.
Posted By: KillerRabbit Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 08:38 PM
@Tuco has nailed it. We need a 6 person party. And not as a mod.

With healer, tank, lockpicker, wizard you are out your ability to play the character you want to play. If I want to play an archer I need a tank -- that means I need to deal without a lockpicker or wizard. Warlocks only make sense as a fifth wheel -- they don't really replace fighters and they don't replace wizards. Same goes for bards, etc.

This is BG3 and not BG: ______ BG2 is the standard and the standard is 6 person party and 18 NPCs.
Posted By: Roarro Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 08:46 PM
Originally Posted by jonn
Originally Posted by rhielm
Originally Posted by Tuco
Originally Posted by rhielm
This game is designed around a party of 4 players, and that is fine. To change it to 6 would require the developers to start over on a huge amount of design work.

I wish people could stop to make up shit as armchair developers to legitimate their bias.

This sounds like a case of the Pot calling the Kettle Black. You're accusing me of "armchair developing" while second guessing their decision to go with a party of 4 in the first place, and telling me how easy it would be to change it to 6. You don't know that. I'm sure they have very good reasons for choosing a 4-person party in their engine, and their story. And since we don't know their development process, we have no right to second guess their decision on this. On top of that, I would actually prefer a 6-person party, so don't go accusing me of making this point to "legitimate my bias". Because I'm looking past my personal bias to understand that I don't know the development process, so I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that they know what they're doing. That's why I'm saying "stick with 4". To demand to the developers they change their game design to a 6 person party simply because we feel like it, and because BG1 & BG2 had a 6-person party is entitled, and selfish. Larian has proven that they know what their doing in this genre. It's their game, it's their art. Not ours. Let them create their game and their art in their own way. Judge a game for what it is, not for what it isn't.


+1 to this

Seems to me like a lot of people just want to play the game the same way they've played others in the past, rather than put the effort in to learn a new system

Point is plenty of people learned new system just fine,in DOS game. But this is Baldurs Gate, DOS players should not have a problem to learn a new system right ?
Posted By: WarBaby2 Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 08:49 PM
Originally Posted by Roarro
Point is plenty of people learned new system just fine,in DOS game. But this is Baldurs Gate, DOS players should not have a problem to learn a new system right ?


That the thing, isn't it... we see a whole lot of "get with the modern times, old fans" from DOS enthusiasts around here, but not so much willingness from those same people to maybe adapt to something new themselves. Very astute observation there. wink
Posted By: biomag Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 09:10 PM
Originally Posted by Tuco
Originally Posted by biomag
[quote=Tuco]

I actually explained it

No, you didn't. You said you would feel more forced to make this kind of choice if you had more room in your party (which is a dubious and fairly counter-intuitive claim in itself since usually the less room you have, the least you are left free to experiment with classes, but I didn't argue about it)
You never said in what way that would be bad, given that as you pointed out yourself, you'd still have two slots to experiment with "whatever you like". Which reasons suggest you wouldn't, with stricter party restrictions.



By the way yes, I'm opinionated about these things.
For some of you this may be just about making a poorly argued throw-away comment "I prefer four because six super slow", based on guts feeling more than facts, about a game you will mildly care about for two weeks and then throw to the pile of old stuff.
For someone like me the genre is a lifelong passion, and good titles in it are stuff I plan to go back even dozen times, if the depth is there.



I did. Games designed for parties of 6 tend to expect you to have specific roles in your party because everybody can 'fit them in' and it starts to become somewhat mandatory to emphasize the difference between roles by making them necessary to be affective. If the game designers can't be sure about it because the party size is smaller and they still want to allow for diversity they have to account for that by allowing different playstyles that support un-optimized parties.

Having a party where 3 companions - no matter their class - will work gives you more freedom than parties where you can experiment with just 2 out of 6 party memebers (except if you expect games to give you 19 different companions, like you mentioned BG2 + expension - but usually you will find rather far less, even more when they are voiced and have deeper story lines).

Again, like I wrote before, BG3 seems to take this into considerations. Other games might fail at it. For me BG never worked properly without wizards to break magic defenses or clerics to use divination spells to help with specific attacks. Dragon Age Origins on the other hand I've finished on the highest difficulty without problems even with characters and parties that where far from optimized. Pillars of Eternity 2 also worked for me perfectly fine without designated mage or healer, same when I included them.

Also saying you can play with less than 6 - well lets be real, those games that are balanced towards 6 tend to be harder with smaller parties forcing you to min-max even on lower difficulties. One could argue - as Larian did - that you can mod a 4 player party to 6 - but I absolutely agree that that isn't the same as it causes balacing issues as well... (and technical problems often)...



For the last part... Sorry, but you are not the only one who has been playing these games for more than 2 decades. I would guess many people around here can claim the same. Some might actually be passionate enough about games that they actually might even work in the industry... so assuming someone's opinion or passion to be superior to others might be a bit aloof... just saying as it really doesn't help the conversation at all...



To be perfectly clear - I'm not even arguing against the bigger party size. I'm indifferent about it as long as the solution they go with is properly implemented. I just don't think there is the one correct answer - its game design and that's about personal preferences and just reading here I see solid arguments from both sides (even if I don't agree with all of them).
Sticking with 4 character party makes it that much harder to argue against people that say this is DoS 3 and not BG 3.

Also, it seems like a prominent argument is that we will have more companions at full release, so a bigger party is better. Agreed with that.

BUT ALSO

Planning for full classes to be released, in addition to all of their subclasses, means the game will have tons of options. Presumably we'll also get 'mercenary' characters aka multiple Player Characters you can specifically design (you know, like in BG 1 and 2). Bigger party = more ability to try new things out, rather than being constricted to just 4.

Here's the thing I don't understand:

For people that only want 4....why do you care if there's the possibility of having 6? Literally nothing stopping you from just doing a party of 4. Hell one of the most popular challenges in BG 2 is the solo playthrough. So if the limit is 6, that pleases a lot of people that want the more traditional Baldur's Gate/D&D experience. But it also lets people who want the limit to be 4 to also have a party of 4. It's literally the best of both worlds, while a limit of 4 means the bigger party people can never have what they want.
Posted By: jonn Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 09:19 PM
Originally Posted by SacredWitness
Originally Posted by jonn
+1 to this

Seems to me like a lot of people just want to play the game the same way they've played others in the past, rather than put the effort in to learn a new system


This isn't the case for me. I love D&D and the OS games individually. Played lots of both on the scale of thousands of hours for D&D with groups of 2 up to 10 people and hundreds of hours for OS. I legitimately think it's a superior way to play D&D type games. The concerns over "playing safe" vs. "trying out novelty builds" are true in CRPGs and TT because of how the rules are structured. Plus, you can take on larger risks with a larger party so you can have more grandiose events. Match that with act 1 which is definitely reaching for scale in terms of enemies and that I don't want to have to just stick to the classics in terms of party comp and build. Interesting choices need some buffer to make suboptimal ones. You exhaust the psychological safety of doing that when the rules punish you harshly for losing a single ally.


But why do you have to play safe? Take risks, learn what works and what doesn't. Is it so important to be able to beat the game completely on your first try? If you have to lower the difficulty on the first couple of playthroughs in order to get your head around all the different ways of approaching encounters then what is wrong with that?

Take chess for example. A relatively simple game in comparison yet for hundreds of years people have and continue to learn and approach it in new ways. The better a game is, the more rewarding it is to put the effort in to learn how to beat it.
Originally Posted by biomag


I did. Games designed for parties of 6 tend to expect you to have specific roles in your party because everybody can 'fit them in' and it starts to become somewhat mandatory to emphasize the difference between roles by making them necessary to be affective. *snip*


Uh, that is absolutely false. BG 1 and BG 2 were designed with 6 players in mind. My very first playthrough (back when I didn't even know what D&D was, much less the actual mechanics of THAC0, etc) I never even had a Rogue except at the beginning of BG 2. Multiple playthroughs with no magic support.

Can you do it on the absolute hardest setting? Yes, you can. You can solo the entire BG series as a Monk if you want.

The ultimate argument is that a party limit of 6 gives everyone what they want, while a limit of 4 only gives some people what they want. As far as my opinion goes, the option that gives everyone what they want is the better option, even if it requires some additional balancing like more exp for the party of 4 because there are less players to split the EXP.
Posted By: VincentNZ Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 09:21 PM
Originally Posted by jonn
Originally Posted by rhielm
Originally Posted by Tuco
Originally Posted by rhielm
This game is designed around a party of 4 players, and that is fine. To change it to 6 would require the developers to start over on a huge amount of design work.

I wish people could stop to make up shit as armchair developers to legitimate their bias.

This sounds like a case of the Pot calling the Kettle Black. You're accusing me of "armchair developing" while second guessing their decision to go with a party of 4 in the first place, and telling me how easy it would be to change it to 6. You don't know that. I'm sure they have very good reasons for choosing a 4-person party in their engine, and their story. And since we don't know their development process, we have no right to second guess their decision on this. On top of that, I would actually prefer a 6-person party, so don't go accusing me of making this point to "legitimate my bias". Because I'm looking past my personal bias to understand that I don't know the development process, so I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that they know what they're doing. That's why I'm saying "stick with 4". To demand to the developers they change their game design to a 6 person party simply because we feel like it, and because BG1 & BG2 had a 6-person party is entitled, and selfish. Larian has proven that they know what their doing in this genre. It's their game, it's their art. Not ours. Let them create their game and their art in their own way. Judge a game for what it is, not for what it isn't.


+1 to this

Seems to me like a lot of people just want to play the game the same way they've played others in the past, rather than put the effort in to learn a new system


Yeah you can see it that way, but I naturally bought BG3, because it is Baldur's Gate and not because it's gameplay is derived from Divinity, which I have not played a game of since 2010 or so. And I might do Larian injustice here, but apart from being set in Fâerun, which I have to believe it is, yet I am not sure, there is nothing reminding me of the other games including SoD and the 3rd person action game.
Posted By: biomag Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 09:22 PM
Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
Sticking with 4 character party makes it that much harder to argue against people that say this is DoS 3 and not BG 3.


For people that only want 4....why do you care if there's the possibility of having 6? Literally nothing stopping you from just doing a party of 4. Hell one of the most popular challenges in BG 2 is the solo playthrough. So if the limit is 6, that pleases a lot of people that want the more traditional Baldur's Gate/D&D experience. But it also lets people who want the limit to be 4 to also have a party of 4. It's literally the best of both worlds, while a limit of 4 means the bigger party people can never have what they want.


The argument would be balance. A game balanced for 6 is different than balanced for 4. Saying you want 4 doesn't equal saying you want a higher challenge. Especially when you end up at the same level at the end of the game due to level cap.


For why people prefer 4 the arguements can be found on several pages around here.


Personally I don't mind either way as long as I'm not forced to use 'optimized' characters and parties. I do prefer bigger parties to get more of the party banter/story (yeah, I don't have the time to play a game a dozen times just to get to know the companions). But when it comes to gameplay I don't think 4-6 has a magic number as long as the game is well balanced.
Originally Posted by jonn
Originally Posted by SacredWitness
Originally Posted by jonn
+1 to this

Seems to me like a lot of people just want to play the game the same way they've played others in the past, rather than put the effort in to learn a new system


This isn't the case for me. I love D&D and the OS games individually. Played lots of both on the scale of thousands of hours for D&D with groups of 2 up to 10 people and hundreds of hours for OS. I legitimately think it's a superior way to play D&D type games. The concerns over "playing safe" vs. "trying out novelty builds" are true in CRPGs and TT because of how the rules are structured. Plus, you can take on larger risks with a larger party so you can have more grandiose events. Match that with act 1 which is definitely reaching for scale in terms of enemies and that I don't want to have to just stick to the classics in terms of party comp and build. Interesting choices need some buffer to make suboptimal ones. You exhaust the psychological safety of doing that when the rules punish you harshly for losing a single ally.


But why do you have to play safe? Take risks, learn what works and what doesn't. Is it so important to be able to beat the game completely on your first try? If you have to lower the difficulty on the first couple of playthroughs in order to get your head around all the different ways of approaching encounters then what is wrong with that?

Take chess for example. A relatively simple game in comparison yet for hundreds of years people have and continue to learn and approach it in new ways. The better a game is, the more rewarding it is to put the effort in to learn how to beat it.


I've already learned the DoS system for parties, and 6 characters is still what I want.

You're using the wrong example. 6 player parties is chess, 4 player parties is checkers. Each have their own benefits, but all else being equal, I'd rather play Chess than Checkers because Chess has more variety. So people that want 6 player parties get to have more variety, while those that want smaller parties *can still have those smaller parties*. In a 4 player party, those that want more variety to to try out suboptimal builds are prevented from doing so.
Originally Posted by biomag
Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
Sticking with 4 character party makes it that much harder to argue against people that say this is DoS 3 and not BG 3.


For people that only want 4....why do you care if there's the possibility of having 6? Literally nothing stopping you from just doing a party of 4. Hell one of the most popular challenges in BG 2 is the solo playthrough. So if the limit is 6, that pleases a lot of people that want the more traditional Baldur's Gate/D&D experience. But it also lets people who want the limit to be 4 to also have a party of 4. It's literally the best of both worlds, while a limit of 4 means the bigger party people can never have what they want.


The argument would be balance. A game balanced for 6 is different than balanced for 4. Saying you want 4 doesn't equal saying you want a higher challenge. Especially when you end up at the same level at the end of the game due to level cap.


For why people prefer 4 the arguements can be found on several pages around here.


Personally I don't mind either way as long as I'm not forced to use 'optimized' characters and parties. I do prefer bigger parties to get more of the party banter/story (yeah, I don't have the time to play a game a dozen times just to get to know the companions). But when it comes to gameplay I don't think 4-6 has a magic number as long as the game is well balanced.


And balancing a game for 3 players is different than 4. Same for 2, or even solo playthroughs. What's your point? That Larian isn't capable of balancing a game for 6 players? Or that if they balance it for 6 then you won't be able to beat the game with a party of 4?
Posted By: biomag Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 09:36 PM
Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
[quote=biomag][quote=Isaac Springsong] Or that if they balance it for 6 then you won't be able to beat the game with a party of 4?


That. Yes, you could probably challenge yourself and play with smaller parties - not arguing that - but maybe people just want the regular challenge, without the hustle of managing a bigger party and still play the way the game was ment to be? I guess you also wouldn't want it to be balanced towards smaller parties just to get the feeling that playing with a full one you are cheating the game, or am I wrong?


In any case, to me party size isn't as important as giving the player the option to make the party itself flexible in its class compositon. So 4 or 6 I personally don't care, just pointing on arguements that people made. BG3 to me doesn't feel like I need any specific class, rather that any combination works.
Posted By: pill0ws Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 09:37 PM
Here to disagree. Rebalancing is a non-issue, not all encounters will even need rebalancing. Once we add Barabrian, Monk, Bard, Paladin, Sorcerer... 4 characters is not going to feel like a party, it barely does now.

I think a nice compromise is 5, thats generally the sweet spot for pencil and paper groups. I would rather them rebalance around the player taking 5 actions every round in combat than 4. This is not divinity, most turns you have one action you get to do (some subclasses are built around the bonus action too), the broken bonus actions that they added are not a solution.Rogue cunning action is basically just Expeditious retreat now. Shieldmaster feat is milquetoast without the bonus action shove mixed in. Dont get me wrong, its incredibly strong giving Warlocks bonus/disengage.... letting warriors peel with shove.... endless midcombat hiding with all classes. But these things water down classes and feats that they are stealing from and all to make the action economy work for 4 players. Just give us 5 and fix these things. If you are going to steal an effect from a class to improve the "video game feels" of this, do it with classes and subclasses that will not be added to the game. Cunning action is directly from the rogue and it was given to every character with the exception of the dash effect. Now every character is multiclassed as rogue for the benefits that many 5e players tended to put 2 points into rogue class just for cunning action.
Posted By: WarBaby2 Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 09:39 PM
Originally Posted by pill0ws
Here to disagree. Rebalancing is a non-issue, not all encounters will even need rebalancing. Once we add Barabrian, Monk, Bard, Paladin, Sorcerer... 4 characters is not going to feel like a party, it barely does now.

I think a nice compromise is 5, thats generally the sweet spot for pencil and paper groups. I would rather them rebalance around the player taking 5 actions every round in combat than 4. This is not divinity, most turns you have one action you get to do, the broken bonus actions that they added are not a solution.Rogue cunning action is basically just Expedius retreat now. Shieldmaster feat is miqutoast without the bonus action shove mixed in. Dont get me wrong, its incredibly strong giving Warlocks bonus/disengage.... letting warriors peel with shove.... endless midcombat hiding with all classes. But these things water down classes and feats that they are stealing from and all to make the 1 action economy work for 4 players. Just give us 5 and fix these things


+1

Agreed.
Posted By: HYPERBOLOCO Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 12/10/20 10:42 PM
This is probably controversial. But in my opinion there should be a start were you get 4 custom characters and are able to save only one companion from the ship who you then find during the 1st Act.

Then we can avoid this class restriction nonsense and focus on one particular characters story (or two if you select a story character to play as).
Posted By: arion Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 06:40 AM
Originally Posted by pill0ws
Here to disagree. Rebalancing is a non-issue, not all encounters will even need rebalancing. Once we add Barabrian, Monk, Bard, Paladin, Sorcerer... 4 characters is not going to feel like a party, it barely does now.

I think a nice compromise is 5, thats generally the sweet spot for pencil and paper groups. I would rather them rebalance around the player taking 5 actions every round in combat than 4. This is not divinity, most turns you have one action you get to do (some subclasses are built around the bonus action too), the broken bonus actions that they added are not a solution.Rogue cunning action is basically just Expeditious retreat now. Shieldmaster feat is milquetoast without the bonus action shove mixed in. Dont get me wrong, its incredibly strong giving Warlocks bonus/disengage.... letting warriors peel with shove.... endless midcombat hiding with all classes. But these things water down classes and feats that they are stealing from and all to make the action economy work for 4 players. Just give us 5 and fix these things. If you are going to steal an effect from a class to improve the "video game feels" of this, do it with classes and subclasses that will not be added to the game. Cunning action is directly from the rogue and it was given to every character with the exception of the dash effect. Now every character is multiclassed as rogue for the benefits that many 5e players tended to put 2 points into rogue class just for cunning action.

hard to say better. when all classes and companions will be in the game "adept of 4 ppl party" will understant about what restrictions we are talking.
btw i think 5ppl is ideal number too. not a big fun of 6ppl solution
Posted By: RKLimes Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 07:04 AM
Could you imagine the AI pathfinding with more characters?!


Kidding aside, i do like 4. I'd probably be okay with 5 too, but it starts to become a hassle to micro manage more characters in some other crpg games.
Posted By: jonn Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 07:38 AM
Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
Originally Posted by jonn
Originally Posted by SacredWitness
Originally Posted by jonn
+1 to this

Seems to me like a lot of people just want to play the game the same way they've played others in the past, rather than put the effort in to learn a new system


This isn't the case for me. I love D&D and the OS games individually. Played lots of both on the scale of thousands of hours for D&D with groups of 2 up to 10 people and hundreds of hours for OS. I legitimately think it's a superior way to play D&D type games. The concerns over "playing safe" vs. "trying out novelty builds" are true in CRPGs and TT because of how the rules are structured. Plus, you can take on larger risks with a larger party so you can have more grandiose events. Match that with act 1 which is definitely reaching for scale in terms of enemies and that I don't want to have to just stick to the classics in terms of party comp and build. Interesting choices need some buffer to make suboptimal ones. You exhaust the psychological safety of doing that when the rules punish you harshly for losing a single ally.


But why do you have to play safe? Take risks, learn what works and what doesn't. Is it so important to be able to beat the game completely on your first try? If you have to lower the difficulty on the first couple of playthroughs in order to get your head around all the different ways of approaching encounters then what is wrong with that?

Take chess for example. A relatively simple game in comparison yet for hundreds of years people have and continue to learn and approach it in new ways. The better a game is, the more rewarding it is to put the effort in to learn how to beat it.


I've already learned the DoS system for parties, and 6 characters is still what I want.

You're using the wrong example. 6 player parties is chess, 4 player parties is checkers. Each have their own benefits, but all else being equal, I'd rather play Chess than Checkers because Chess has more variety. So people that want 6 player parties get to have more variety, while those that want smaller parties *can still have those smaller parties*. In a 4 player party, those that want more variety to to try out suboptimal builds are prevented from doing so.


I was trying to avoid a direct comparison between this game and chess because obviously there is a whole world of difference - so that analogy falls down.

My point was more to say that the overall popularity and longevity of a game comes from (in part) requiring a bit of effort and experimentation with new and unfamiliar approaches, the reward you get for learning a new way to be victorious is tenfold in comparison with having all the solutions presented to you.

In the context of BG3, people are saying that with 4 characters they will be restricted to running certain classes, and therefore will be unable to experiment with party makeup. My answer is that they *are* able to experiment, they just might have to work a little harder to find the solution. For me, an encounter feels a lot more satisfying if I have to "solve" it rather than just blast my way through on the way to the next.

This is all just my opinion of course, so don't feel like I'm trying to correct anybody, just add my thoughts into the discussion.
Posted By: Gray Ghost Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 07:38 AM
Originally Posted by biomag
I did. Games designed for parties of 6 tend to expect you to have specific roles in your party because everybody can 'fit them in' and it starts to become somewhat mandatory to emphasize the difference between roles by making them necessary to be affective. If the game designers can't be sure about it because the party size is smaller and they still want to allow for diversity they have to account for that by allowing different playstyles that support un-optimized parties.

Having a party where 3 companions - no matter their class - will work gives you more freedom than parties where you can experiment with just 2 out of 6 party memebers (except if you expect games to give you 19 different companions, like you mentioned BG2 + expension - but usually you will find rather far less, even more when they are voiced and have deeper story lines).

Again, like I wrote before, BG3 seems to take this into considerations.


I have to disagree with you here because as it is I am absolutely forced to keep a tank and healer in my party (I built my Ranger in such a way that she can handle locks so a rogue isn't as essential, but not everyone will want to build their characters like that). I am barely pulling through a lot of combat's as is, without even one of them this game would be too difficult for me to get far in at all.


Originally Posted by jonn
But why do you have to play safe? Take risks, learn what works and what doesn't. Is it so important to be able to beat the game completely on your first try? If you have to lower the difficulty on the first couple of playthroughs in order to get your head around all the different ways of approaching encounters then what is wrong with that?

Take chess for example. A relatively simple game in comparison yet for hundreds of years people have and continue to learn and approach it in new ways. The better a game is, the more rewarding it is to put the effort in to learn how to beat it.



Because most people don't like throwing themselves at encounters and dying over and over? Not every gamer enjoys being constantly pushed to the limit in every encounter and frankly most encounters shouldn't push the player to their limits, some should be bracing challenges that require thinking but with adequate experience aren't big deals. I will say though that I firmly believe in turning down the difficulty of a game if you need to.
Posted By: jonn Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 10:12 AM
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
[quote=biomag]Because most people don't like throwing themselves at encounters and dying over and over? Not every gamer enjoys being constantly pushed to the limit in every encounter and frankly most encounters shouldn't push the player to their limits, some should be bracing challenges that require thinking but with adequate experience aren't big deals. I will say though that I firmly believe in turning down the difficulty of a game if you need to.


Yes we are all different and certainly many people don't enjoy the challenge if it forces us out of our comfort zone. Yes being pushed to your limits may be frustrating at first as there is a lot to learn and approaching combat in the traditional "safe" way (i.e. with tank & healer) may not be the ideal approach in every situation. Perhaps if they were to implement a comprehensive tutorial, maybe even separate from the main game itself (something like the Black Pits, but with hints etc) that would give people the chance to learn the system without impacting on their playthrough?

Still just my own opinion but I feel we have a potential masterpiece of a game here, and it might not always be wise to choose "tried & tested" over "new & innovative".
Posted By: Dagless Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 10:20 AM
Originally Posted by Tuco
Originally Posted by Dagless

Seems you are playing armchair developer as much as anyone, by dismissing any concerns about increasing party size and saying it’s just better.

Yeah. But I'm not making shit up and I know what I'm saying.

Quote
You said earlier that’s it’s not a problem for people who prefer to play with fewer characters than standard, but also that fights balanced for 6 characters wouldn’t take longer because they could “clean up” faster.

These sound like mutually exclusive arguments to me.

No, they aren't. 6 men clean the same encounter quicker.
With the correct system in place, 4 men tend to level up more on the long run and become individually more powerful. That doesn't make the battles with six characters "slower". Not in a game where Initiative queue is mixed between allies and enemies.
If anything makes the player intervene more often on the action rather than watching long sequences of enemies doing their own things.

You people are giving gravity to a "design problem" that simply doesn't exist.


I’m not saying that playing 6 characters is slower than playing with 4 in the same encounter. I’m saying that rebalancing the game for a default party of 6 would slow down all the encounters. To balance each fight against 50% more characters means either 50% more enemies, or make those enemies tougher. Either way should make the fights longer.

Quote
Quote
If you can clean up faster with 6 characters, then playing with fewer surely puts you at a disadvantage. And that means most people will play with a full party, even if it’s more cumbersome.

You just make the total of exp gained split among the number of party members.


OK, so are you saying that they keep the current balance and make everyone not able to reach as high a level as they can currently if they have a full team? That might be doable, but I’m not so sure it would be universally popular. Early fights would very be easy, and level progression slow. That would need to be handled very carefully.

Quote
Which is precisely what BG1 and 2 and what made viable playing the game with six party members OR playing it in solo with a single character leveling up way faster.
A lot of people played Icewind Dale with 4 custom characters rather than six just to have them level up more, for instance.


Sure, and those games were designed that way from the beginning. They are also very different games, with completely different combat systems, level design, no of encounters, character movement, etc. I’m not convinced that adding more party members would be easy or necessarily better.

Quote
As I said in the other thread about this topic (the GOOD one, with the proper arguments for it) people should not misunderstand one thing: the request of having a party of six does not come from the NEED to have them to achieve things, but from the enjoyment that comes from having more variety, more interesting tactical options and mix-ups and carrying on more companions questlines in the single player campaign.


Yes, I know. But you are assuming that this is a simple thing that can just be easily added without affecting anything else.

Quote
Quote
We also don’t know how this will affect the story once we commit to our party.

We know that Larian's current plan is to force the players to COMMIT to their selection of three party members and get rid of the others after act 1, like they did with DOS 2.
Many, myself included, think that is a terrible mistake and they should revise it, but even if it was a final decision it would make for an even stronger argument in favor of carrying more companions with you.


I know many people don’t like that. But we don’t know what happens after act 1 and whether or not that makes sense.

Quote
Quote
BG3 is not a story about 1 protagonist and a group of followers. It’s a story about up to 4 protagonists, because it’s a game for up to 4 players.

And absolutely nothing is preventing these four players from doing what they were doing anyway. Maybe even having two additional NPCs to carry around, if they want.


Except if the game is designed to have 4 characters of equal importance who can either be human or NPC companion, then those 2 extra NPCs might make a big difference to the story, especially if we are swapping all the companions in and out of the party at will which is what many want. At the moment, we don’t really know so we’re all guessing.

Posted By: Maximuuus Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 10:50 AM
It's absolutely wrong to think that more characters in parties absolutely means more ennemies...

BG1/2 (and nearly every games...) has many encounters against 6 opponents, but also versus only 1 or 2...
The number of opponent is not what define the difficulty

And it's absolutely not necessary to rebalance everything because you add 1 more companion...
Every combat doesn't have to be a "main event" after which you have to rest, use all your heal/spellslots or potions or even worse : rest to deal with the next one...

At least, one more companion would totally rebalance what actually don't work in the game and won't when it will be release.
(resting after each battles, very slow combats, lack of variety in parties, extreme difficulty of some combats in this "normal" game mode, help companions that fall on the battlefield everytime...)
Posted By: Tuco Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 11:03 AM
Originally Posted by Dagless


Yes, I know. But you are assuming that this is a simple thing that can just be easily added without affecting anything else.


No, I'm not. I'm saying that it's something that it's absolutely worth to aim for with a full understanding of the amount of work needed for it (starting with a revamp of controls, which as I already said it's something already direly needed regardless of party expansion, and passing for a mild UI tweaking, which is still work in progress anyway).
And people are VASTLY overestimating the difficulty of "rebalancing encounters" with modern tools, to begin with.
That's quite literally the least of the challenges ahead, both because encounter design is still a a work in progress too and because "perfect balance" in encounters is a pipe dream, anyway. There will always be ways to break and even trivialize them, which is not even a real issue since doing so it's half of the fun at times.


Quote
I know many people don’t like that. But we don’t know what happens after act 1 and whether or not that makes sense.

It doesn't really matter. Whatever they have in mind, it's most likely a forced narrative device they are deliberately making happen with the purpose of that design goal. Consequently something that they could (should) reconsider on, if they wanted to, if they decide that the goal (namely "getting rid of the extra companions in one broad sweep") was questionable to begin with and managing an expanded party beyond who you are grouping with at a given moment can be far more gratifying.


Quote
Except if the game is designed to have 4 characters of equal importance

But let's be real, it's not. There will always be one main host and his partners as secondary characters like in the previous Larian titles. You can't ACTUALLY go "full competitive" against each other in these games, they always work just as far as there's some degree of cooperation between players and some agreement on who's in charge.
Posted By: xMardeRx Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 11:20 AM

4 is bad more is merrier!
Please give 6 Characters like in the old BG1 and BG2 games.
More people more fun less work to be done to balance the 4 now force ´t upon us voiced companions to crater to every hubris and idea some one has.
I guess you already started to brake DnD rules by giving mages the abilities to learn healing spells because if some one goes ranger the party lacks maybe a rogue or cleric as a mage is the way to go for damage and the high int rolls.
More characters make for a more balanced and well rounded party. Less characters make it harder on the dev and players. Braking the DnD rull´s in wrong places will kill the game. 6 characters is by far less of a evile then giving mages healing spells.

Please let us create a full party of player created characters like in BG1 and BG2 for old times sake.
Posted By: Dagless Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 12:21 PM
Originally Posted by Tuco
Originally Posted by Dagless


Yes, I know. But you are assuming that this is a simple thing that can just be easily added without affecting anything else.


No, I'm not. I'm saying that it's something that it's absolutely worth to aim for with a full understanding of the amount of work needed for it (starting with a revamp of controls, which as I already said it's something already direly needed regardless of party expansion, and passing for a mild UI tweaking, which is still work in progress anyway).
And people are VASTLY overestimating the difficulty of "rebalancing encounters" with modern tools, to begin with.
That's quite literally the least of the challenges ahead, both because encounter design is still a a work in progress too and because "perfect balance" in encounters is a pipe dream, anyway. There will always be ways to break and even trivialize them, which is not even a real issue since doing so it's half of the fun at times.


It’s not that rebalancing is especially hard (although it’s certainly work to do), it’s the effect of that on gameplay. I see you skipped my question about whether you are proposing rebalancing all encounters for a party of 6 and making fights bigger, or keeping the balance about the same and leveling less?

Quote
Quote
I know many people don’t like that. But we don’t know what happens after act 1 and whether or not that makes sense.

It doesn't really matter. Whatever they have in mind, it's most likely a forced narrative device they are deliberately making happen with the purpose of that design goal. Consequently something that they could (should) reconsider on, if they wanted to, if they decide that the goal (namely "getting rid of the extra companions in one broad sweep") was questionable to begin with and managing an expanded party beyond who you are grouping with at a given moment can be far more gratifying.


Whatever they have in mind doesn’t matter compared to your desire for bigger parties and being able to swap out characters at will? That quite a statement. Larian should make the game the way they think is best. They’ve asked for feedback and will likely change things that they agree will improve the game. But when you start saying that their design decisions just don’t matter, you are being totally unreasonable.

Quote
Quote
Except if the game is designed to have 4 characters of equal importance

But let's be real, it's not. There will always be one main host and his partners as secondary characters like in the previous Larian titles. You can't ACTUALLY go "full competitive" against each other in these games, they always work just as far as there's some degree of cooperation between players and some agreement on who's in charge.


Cooperating doesn’t mean that one character is the leader and everyone else has to fall in line. In multiplayer, the players can organise themselves how they like (designate a leader, take votes, try to make decisions behind each other’s backs, etc), but the characters are all equal. Similarly in single player, you don’t have to play with your main making all the decisions. If you want you can role play each character separately, and make any decisions according to what whoever is talking would do.

This is actually the biggest difference between BG3 and DOS games compared to other titles. It’s not just one protagonist doing all the talking and making all the decisions with some interjections from your followers, it’s whoever is talking at that point who gets to decide.

I’m amazed that no one ever mentions multiplayer in these discussions, as I’m fairly sure it’s a big part of why they make their games like this (DOS1 also had 2 main characters who couldn’t be swapped out and it supported 2 player multiplayer. Coincidence? Probably not.
Posted By: SacredWitness Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 12:35 PM
Originally Posted by jonn
But why do you have to play safe? Take risks, learn what works and what doesn't. Is it so important to be able to beat the game completely on your first try? If you have to lower the difficulty on the first couple of playthroughs in order to get your head around all the different ways of approaching encounters then what is wrong with that?

Take chess for example. A relatively simple game in comparison yet for hundreds of years people have and continue to learn and approach it in new ways. The better a game is, the more rewarding it is to put the effort in to learn how to beat it.


You assume I don't know how to play D&D. I do. Very well, in fact. That's my whole point. There is a core set of abilities and capabilities you need on your team no matter what to do well. A party of 4 is going to tend toward sameness from player group to group. Even if you vary by class technically, play style and magic item use will be necessary to make up for your lack of core coverage. You just made my point for me. Which is this: YOU CAN ONLY TAKE RISKS WHEN YOU CAN GO BEYOND THE CORE ASSUMPTION OF THE SYSTEM. That's not "play[ing it] safe." That's not "beat[ing] the game completely on [my] first try." I'm not in either of those camps so do not try to put me there. If you're advocating for ignoring the system and making blatantly stupid choices, that's not risk either. That's insanity.
Posted By: Katj Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 12:39 PM
I also like the party size of 4. Im reminded now of xcom where i always have more fun early on before i expand the squad size. 4 feels tactical. When you throw in summons even having a single character who can summon brings you up to 5, which feels ok. Now imagine a party of 6 where 2 or 3 characters have summons and suddenly its all messed up. Some people will say "well just dont do that :^)", but what they are effectively saying then under those circumstances is to not use entire classess who would be enjoyable in a smaller party limit but become ponderous in a larger party limit. They will also say "just use fewer people", this would be the equivalent of telling people to simply ignore bad balance. Ultimately the normal way you play a game is with the players guided by the standard mechanics and rules. The normal way to play a game is the expected way to play it, and saying its just fine for the expected way to be something disrupted that you then have to play around is simply asking for a bad game design.
Posted By: Tuco Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 12:50 PM
Originally Posted by Katj
I also like the party size of 4. Im reminded now of xcom where i always have more fun early on before i expand the squad size.


Funny you mention that. I'm an obsessive REplayer of XCOM2 + War of the Chosen (probably my personal "game of the decade" and the single player I have the most hours on in my Steam account) and the achievement about finishing the game without taking the squad upgrade is one of the very few I never took because I absolutely HATE the idea. If anything by the end of the campaign I have such an amazing roster of great fighters I'm always struggling a bit to decide who am I going to exclude from a mission.
I also absolutely LOVE the fact that WOTC introduced fatigue as a mechanic that forced you to use a far larger number of soldiers in rotation rather than sticking always to your same "A-Team" neglecting everyone else.


Originally Posted by SacredWitness
You assume I don't know how to play D&D. I do. Very well, in fact. That's my whole point. There is a core set of abilities and capabilities you need on your team no matter what to do well. A party of 4 is going to tend toward sameness from player group to group. Even if you vary by class technically, play style and magic item use will be necessary to make up for your lack of core coverage. You just made my point for me. Which is this: YOU CAN ONLY TAKE RISKS WHEN YOU CAN GO BEYOND THE CORE ASSUMPTION OF THE SYSTEM. That's not "play[ing it] safe." That's not "beat[ing] the game completely on [my] first try." I'm not in either of those camps so do not try to put me there. If you're advocating for ignoring the system and making blatantly stupid choices, that's not risk either. That's insanity.


Another aspect people tend to overlook about the enjoyment of a larger party composition is "putting amazing loot to good use". You are bound to find a lot of amazing weapons and pieces of equipment across the entire game.
It's a terrible feeling when most of them go completely unused because your limited party variety doesn't leave much room for it.
Posted By: Maximuuus Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 12:54 PM
Originally Posted by Katj
I also like the party size of 4. Im reminded now of xcom where i always have more fun early on before i expand the squad size. 4 feels tactical. When you throw in summons even having a single character who can summon brings you up to 5, which feels ok. Now imagine a party of 6 where 2 or 3 characters have summons and suddenly its all messed up. Some people will say "well just dont do that :^)", but what they are effectively saying then under those circumstances is to not use entire classess who would be enjoyable in a smaller party limit but become ponderous in a larger party limit. They will also say "just use fewer people", this would be the equivalent of telling people to simply ignore bad balance. Ultimately the normal way you play a game is with the players guided by the standard mechanics and rules. The normal way to play a game is the expected way to play it, and saying its just fine for the expected way to be something disrupted that you then have to play around is simply asking for a bad game design.


What about those that don't want to play classes that always have a pet or summoned creatures ?
I'd rather play with 5 or 6 companions than 4 companions and 2 pet... But that's just a personnal opinion...

Originally Posted by Tuco

Another aspect people tend to overlook about the enjoyment of a larger party composition is "putting amazing loot to good use". You are bound to find a lot of amazing weapons and pieces of equipment across the entire game.
It's a terrible feeling when most of them go completely unused because your limited party variety doesn't leave much room for it.


That's absolutely true... I realise yesterday that craft IS implemented in the game...
Yahoo another great and unique spear that no one will use because the only one able to use it is my warrior 1H+shield...
Posted By: SacredWitness Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 01:17 PM
Originally Posted by Dagless
I’m not saying that playing 6 characters is slower than playing with 4 in the same encounter. I’m saying that rebalancing the game for a default party of 6 would slow down all the encounters. To balance each fight against 50% more characters means either 50% more enemies, or make those enemies tougher. Either way should make the fights longer.


Except that's not how CR balance works in D&D at all. The weight of a given monster's abilities can be thought of as the base value of difficulty. The number of opponents can be thought of more as an exponent and less a multiplier. A given encounter will generally be "unfair" from a system standpoint versus the party. For example, enemies get multiattack first before players. This is because CR is based on a 1 versus "the party" dynamic.

Let's say we have 8 goblins. From a pure "add the CR" standpoint, that comes out to a CR of 2. You could look at this and think "great, a party level of 2nd level adventurers could knock this out of the park." Except this is a large encounter. That changes the math. The DMG says this should be multiplied by 2.5. So this becomes a CR 4.5. If I were designing this encounter I'd need to weigh the individual abilities of the creatures and make a judgement call on whether or not to treat it like a CR 4 or 5. These are plain gobbos so their only real threat is being engaged from a distance with shortbows. EXCEPT I know the terrain and it's going to take the players a couple turns to get setup to actually take these little dudes on properly. Since that's an aggravating factor I decided to treat it as a CR 5 since the group is going to need to weather some damage with no chance to retaliate.

So, how does CR math work on the party? According the DMG it's THE EXACT SAME. The bracket for increasing CR at this number spans from 3-6. The difference being a 6-person party downgrades the difficulty of a given CR. Yes, the same CR has different difficulties. The same CR fight can be deadly, hard, easy, etc. depending on the party. The only thing adding 2 PCs does in this situation is reduce the difficulty from hard to average. You're still going to see PCs drop because level 2 characters can easily be 2 shotted by CR 1/4 goblins. Therefore the level of tension doesn't change even though the party will have a slightly easier time in dealing with the threat.

The same sense of relative difficulty is true regardless of level. For the smaller encounters where you have one or two lieutenants instead of a bunch of squishy mooks you might throw in a couple more fodder or change the terrain slightly just to slow down the party. That's it. And guess what? GMs do this on the fly EVERY SINGLE DAY with ease. You can't tell me a professional game company with hundreds of employees on this single product will have any slowdown. I just don't buy it.
Posted By: Katj Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 01:19 PM
Originally Posted by Maximuuus


What about those that don't want to play classes that always have a pet or summoned creatures ?
I'd rather play with 5 or 6 companions than 4 companions and 2 pet... But that's just a personnal opinion...

my post was not suggesting that people use summons and other things as a substitute for larger parties, it was showing how you need to consider each additional party slot added as potentially two for balance purposes. Currently already for example you can have three familiars in your party which begins to become kind of cheesy. It would be a shame for things to turn out like pathfinder did with party optimization resulting in silly pet spam once they add mercenaries and the other companions.

When the party is limited in size it shapes the way you must approach each encounter, as you cant have as well rounded a party, nor can you depend on a series of one trick ponys. Thus the differences between two prospective parties becomes much different resulting in radically different approaches to any given encounter compared to larger parties which will have more chances for all the bases to be covered blandly.

In a game designed around smaller parties allowances have to be made which allow for more novel approaches to compensate for this. But in a game designed around bigger parties the expectation of more mundane and direct solutions to encounters can be made. So its not as simple as just 'deciding to use fewer people', as the game as a whole is changed by the alteration of any single element of it.
Posted By: Druid_NPC Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 01:25 PM
If they let us have a party of 6 AND custom companions they will need to add harder modes, or veterans of DnD and min-max players will stomp the enemies in every fight.
Posted By: Gray Ghost Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 01:44 PM
Originally Posted by Druid_NPC
If they let us have a party of 6 AND custom companions they will need to add harder modes, or veterans of DnD and min-max players will stomp the enemies in every fight.


That's kind of the case now. Browse the forums and you'll see it's full of people who are breezing through combats just like there are people who are taking several reloads to succeed in the same ones. Your argument is basically that people who are good at the game will have an easy time, which is already the case with a 4 person party.
Posted By: Tuco Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 01:45 PM
Originally Posted by Druid_NPC
If they let us have a party of 6 AND custom companions they will need to add harder modes, or veterans of DnD and min-max players will stomp the enemies in every fight.


They will regardless, unless they tune difficulty on "unfairly difficult" (which would fuck it up for everyone else and make bad players and game journalists cry for months to come).
There are already videos of Sin Tee soloing the spider queen with a a single character, for instance. And I'm sure that's just the beginning.
Posted By: Druid_NPC Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 01:57 PM
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Originally Posted by Druid_NPC
If they let us have a party of 6 AND custom companions they will need to add harder modes, or veterans of DnD and min-max players will stomp the enemies in every fight.


That's kind of the case now. Browse the forums and you'll see it's full of people who are breezing through combats just like there are people who are taking several reloads to succeed in the same ones. Your argument is basically that people who are good at the game will have an easy time, which is already the case with a 4 person party.


It's not really and argument against it, just and observation. The game as it is now would become too easy and the inventory management even more painful.
Imagine manually jumping with 6 characters EVERYTIME, God no.

My point is other things have to change before we can make a party of 6 and have fun.
Posted By: Tuco Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 02:09 PM
Originally Posted by Druid_NPC


It's not really and argument against it, just and observation. The game as it is now would become too easy and the inventory management even more painful.
Imagine manually jumping with 6 characters EVERYTIME, God no.

Which is precisely why I already said several times that revamping controls is basically a prerequisite to expanding the party.
And a necessity regardless of it, frankly. Because "it's not TOO painful if you limit yourself to 4 characters" is a terrible argument in favor of a comically bad control scheme (and a painfully inadequate inventory management, too).
Posted By: jonn Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 02:26 PM
Originally Posted by SacredWitness
Originally Posted by jonn
But why do you have to play safe? Take risks, learn what works and what doesn't. Is it so important to be able to beat the game completely on your first try? If you have to lower the difficulty on the first couple of playthroughs in order to get your head around all the different ways of approaching encounters then what is wrong with that?

Take chess for example. A relatively simple game in comparison yet for hundreds of years people have and continue to learn and approach it in new ways. The better a game is, the more rewarding it is to put the effort in to learn how to beat it.


You assume I don't know how to play D&D. I do. Very well, in fact. That's my whole point. There is a core set of abilities and capabilities you need on your team no matter what to do well. A party of 4 is going to tend toward sameness from player group to group. Even if you vary by class technically, play style and magic item use will be necessary to make up for your lack of core coverage. You just made my point for me. Which is this: YOU CAN ONLY TAKE RISKS WHEN YOU CAN GO BEYOND THE CORE ASSUMPTION OF THE SYSTEM. That's not "play[ing it] safe." That's not "beat[ing] the game completely on [my] first try." I'm not in either of those camps so do not try to put me there. If you're advocating for ignoring the system and making blatantly stupid choices, that's not risk either. That's insanity.


Just to be clear, I'm not assuming you don't know how to play, you made it clear in your post how much experience you have and I have no reason at all to doubt it. And I'm not here to argue with you personally - I tried to address "playing safe" because in your post you talked about the concerns over "playing safe" vs. "trying out novelty builds" in CRPGs - and you may well be right. I don't claim to be an expert in any sense, I just know that this has to be a good CRPG first and foremost. What if the game could be made so that the set of abilities and capabilities needed to do well was broader and/or different to the usual, requiring everybody from beginner through to expert to think outside of the box a bit? I just think (in my own opinion) that there could be a solution to the issues you raise other than increasing party size. I'm not arguing against that, specifically, just trying to introduce another point of view into the discussion.
Posted By: Prunk44 Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 04:19 PM
As somone who has been DMing for like 8+ years

Smaller parties make for a more tense and fun experience.

If we had 6 combat would feel pretty boring and honestly too easy.


Also as a player getting to play with a different party i think is pretty nice too.

Playing more of a frontliner i dont have to deal with the cranky Gith all the time now and i get to experience the pleasure of a bi-sexual vampire who wants to eat me. I would have missed out on that experience when i was a rogue
Posted By: Tuco Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 04:40 PM
Once again tabletop experience with multiple players involved and party-based computer games (especially on the single player side of thing) are nothing alike, so I'm not sure why some people keep insisting on that comparison.
Posted By: helgerd Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 04:58 PM
I'd vote for 12.
Posted By: Druid_NPC Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 05:38 PM
Originally Posted by helgerd
I'd vote for 12.

12 Archer Battlemasters with stealth proficiency.
Posted By: Jeralrik Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 06:11 PM
I would like to see a party of 5 (It's what I DM in table top for the last few years either Pathfinder or 5E) I wanted to play a Ranger and I didn't want to be shoehorned into taking disable device and pick locks, but with a Party of 4 I would need a Cleric, Rogue, my Ranger and a fighter, so no magic in a party of 4, with a party of 5 I could bring the Wizard, Warlock or whatever magic class is available. Every DM runs their games differently some run with 4 others 6 to 8 people, I've been in larger party's at GENCON with the right DM running the game everyone can have fun, smaller groups are fun and intense and also potential for early level party wipes, especially since clerics are the least liked class to run among players.

Posted By: st33d Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 06:42 PM
6 players is too much - it's a multiplayer video game not just a Baldurs Gate sequel. The less players the multiplayer has to handle, the better the experience will be. It means that DMing like you can in DOS2 has more potential of happening.

People do not have the choice of playing with less characters - they will see the space for more characters and assume they are missing out if they don't fill up.

D&D5e is based around a 4 player party. Adding or removing characters affects the difficulty a lot, which I know from DMing the game on an open table for a few years.

Maybe 5 if stretched. Not 6 though. I don't care about half of the characters in any of the classic RPGs with loads of characters. I played Disco Elysium last year and only had a 2 characters max and felt I knew them more than any characters from any CRPG I've ever played. And I've played a lot of CRPGs.
Posted By: Tuco Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 07:07 PM
Originally Posted by st33d
6 players is too much -

That's fine. No one was asking to six players to play it, anyway.
Posted By: KingNothing69 Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 07:17 PM
I vote for having a party size of up to six. The original Infinity Engine games didn't need to be rebalanced if you decided to solo the games or take only a party of four instead of filling up all six slots. And being able to experiment and change your lineup was crucial in BG2. I loved hearing different pairs of characters interact. If the party is fixed after Act 1, then that takes away a key aspect of the original games that made them so enjoyable. And if Larian didn't want to honor BG1 and 2 then why frame BG3 as a sequel?
Posted By: Hachina Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 07:22 PM
Originally Posted by WarBaby2
Originally Posted by Shurik
Sure. But I'm talking about the fact that it is impossible or extremely difficult to balance at the same time for 4 5 or 6 characters


Not if you properly implement the 5e rules, which are very easily scaled to party size... just saying.



+1



And as someone said, most of CRPG could be done with one character. In BG2, I finished the game with one mage, another time I went to amelyssanne with 1 archer alone, and I know people that did it with 1 knight.
Because of experience share, your one character would become more powerful quicker, which would compensate for the lack of party member. The end game was significantly more difficult, but manageable with proper gear.

The same could be said with reduced party of 3 or 4 btw : Experience being divided equally among party member means that fewer party member = more powerful party member, and so the game is somehow balanced for any party size.
Posted By: Evidicus Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 07:27 PM
Hard pass.

Restricting the party to four players may allow for a more "balanced" experience from a design perspective, but it makes the game feel less like Dungeons & Dragons and more like Gauntlet. With only four characters, the party composition will almost be locked to Tank, Healer, Thief & Mage. Classes may vary in those roles, but it limits a lot of the creativity and flexibility that D&D has always offered.
Posted By: Dagless Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 13/10/20 07:29 PM
Originally Posted by Tuco
Originally Posted by Katj
I also like the party size of 4. Im reminded now of xcom where i always have more fun early on before i expand the squad size.


Funny you mention that. I'm an obsessive REplayer of XCOM2 + War of the Chosen (probably my personal "game of the decade" and the single player I have the most hours on in my Steam account) and the achievement about finishing the game without taking the squad upgrade is one of the very few I never took because I absolutely HATE the idea. If anything by the end of the campaign I have such an amazing roster of great fighters I'm always struggling a bit to decide who am I going to exclude from a mission.
I also absolutely LOVE the fact that WOTC introduced fatigue as a mechanic that forced you to use a far larger number of soldiers in rotation rather than sticking always to your same "A-Team" neglecting everyone else.


What’s also funny is that despite disagreeing with you on this topic, I generally only play Xcom with the long war mods. And part of what I like about is having bigger squads, bigger fights (although you can try to stealth your way through with small squads in long war 2) and a much bigger roster with more unit types. Plus a vastly more in depth strategy layer. It’s a long slog to get through a campaign, but if you haven’t tried it, you probably should.

However, that’s a different game. I’m not sure a direct comparison really works.
Posted By: SacredWitness Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 14/10/20 01:04 AM
Originally Posted by jonn
Just to be clear, I'm not assuming you don't know how to play, you made it clear in your post how much experience you have and I have no reason at all to doubt it. And I'm not here to argue with you personally - I tried to address "playing safe" because in your post you talked about the concerns over "playing safe" vs. "trying out novelty builds" in CRPGs - and you may well be right. I don't claim to be an expert in any sense, I just know that this has to be a good CRPG first and foremost. What if the game could be made so that the set of abilities and capabilities needed to do well was broader and/or different to the usual, requiring everybody from beginner through to expert to think outside of the box a bit? I just think (in my own opinion) that there could be a solution to the issues you raise other than increasing party size. I'm not arguing against that, specifically, just trying to introduce another point of view into the discussion.


No worries. I probably over emoted in my writing because conveying weight to particular parts of a sentence is hard in text. smile

I will absolutely give room to there being a vastly different experience should they normalize the ruleset implementation to be more 5E rules as written. Even so, I do legitimately prefer 6 characters over 4 for mechanics reasons as I explained. Then for story reasons, I was thinking about that after my first run where my camp started getting full. It was a huge bummer to have these clearly very well fleshed characters on one hand. The one time I did change someone out I immediately regretted it because I had internalized their abilities into how I ran the group. What with Larian saying that we'll "have to commit" after act 1 means they're getting cut off anyway. So my reasons break down roughly like so:

  • Mechanical freedom
  • Enjoying more companion goodness
  • Not feeling like I'm "losing out" on one companion that I forgot to re-include before the cutoff and lose any valuable gear or customization that I put into one of them
Posted By: JDCrenton Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 14/10/20 01:17 AM
Pillars got the number right but this game is so easy atm that it can be beaten with 1 char and mad cheese.
Originally Posted by jonn


My point was more to say that the overall popularity and longevity of a game comes from (in part) requiring a bit of effort and experimentation with new and unfamiliar approaches, the reward you get for learning a new way to be victorious is tenfold in comparison with having all the solutions presented to you.

In the context of BG3, people are saying that with 4 characters they will be restricted to running certain classes, and therefore will be unable to experiment with party makeup. My answer is that they *are* able to experiment, they just might have to work a little harder to find the solution. For me, an encounter feels a lot more satisfying if I have to "solve" it rather than just blast my way through on the way to the next.



I'm sorry but....did you just say that the popularity and longevity of the game is better with a lower party size?

You do know that the only reason this game is being made, at all, is because Baldur's Gate 1 & 2 are probably the most popular (and highest reviewed) cRPGs of all time, despite being made in the 1990s/early 2000s? And both those games had party sizes of 6? That is proof alone that your argument is wrong. In terms of party composition, bigger party = easier to take risks/try new things. There's a reason BG 1&2 had *so much* replayability, to the point where they still have healthy communities 2 *decades* later.

Again, for the dozen+ time, the most people are made the most happy with a party of 6. If developers could balance encounters 20 years ago with a party of 6 (and *significantly stronger* player abilities in the old edition rules) I trust they can figure it out now in the simplified world of 5e. That's the only argument against 6 players that doesn't fall flat, because if you don't want a party of 6, just make yours smaller. We who want bigger parties don't have that option when you limit the size to 4.
Originally Posted by JDCrenton
Pillars got the number right but this game is so easy atm that it can be beaten with 1 char and mad cheese.



Do we really count cheesing something in a discussion against if something is easy or hard? I certainly don't.
Posted By: pill0ws Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 14/10/20 02:07 AM
Can we start by agreeing with 5 first? lots of people think 6 is too many, but how many people think 5 is too many? With 5 you have at least one flexible option on top of the traditional "mandatory" roles being filled (Tank, Healer, lockpicks, Damage).

Personally I dont feel like I "need" 6 but I do need more than 4. I can see 6 being too many. I just want a lil more room for Monk/Bard/Druid anmd to feel slightly less like the computer is the only one taking turns.
I would want 5. If I do six it would just be from a mod or something, but 5 is optimal for me.

Leaves me with my character and 3 other to be a good comp and the next one for some exotic type class, or pursuing that companions quest, etc. 5 is a good number for me.
Posted By: kanisatha Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 14/10/20 02:15 AM
Whether the game gives me six or I am forced to use a mod, six is the correct number for me.
Posted By: Tuco Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 14/10/20 02:39 AM
Only wimps cheer for four.
Posted By: GraveSpine109 Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 14/10/20 03:13 AM
at least give us the OPTION of having 6 (even 5 would be okay) like in the original Baldur's gate. this isn't DOS. Baldur's gate historically has had a max party of 6. never have you HAD to use all 6. I dont understand why people cant understand this.
Posted By: arion Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 14/10/20 06:51 AM
Four is a party. Six is the crowd. Five is a ideal party )
Posted By: Maximuuus Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 14/10/20 06:55 AM
Originally Posted by arion
Four is a party. Six is the crowd. Five is a ideal party )


6 is better, but 5 is a good compromise for everyone's whish grin

Not too hard for those that want to play with only 4, not too unbalanced for those that want to mod the game for one more companion slot.
And probably a number the vast majority of us would deal with and enjoy.

I'm asking for 6 for a long time but I can reconsider 5 if that suits better to everyone.
Posted By: Zaemon Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 14/10/20 07:38 AM
Originally Posted by Evidicus
Hard pass.

Restricting the party to four players may allow for a more "balanced" experience from a design perspective, but it makes the game feel less like Dungeons & Dragons and more like Gauntlet. With only four characters, the party composition will almost be locked to Tank, Healer, Thief & Mage. Classes may vary in those roles, but it limits a lot of the creativity and flexibility that D&D has always offered.


So true. Right now I can't ever recruit Wyll, because not having a wizard feels too limiting. And using wizard or cleric scrolls with non wizards kills my immersion. So I need to recruit Shadowheart and Gale ALWAYS. Unless I roll a wiz or cleric. Can't not have a melee tank, either, and Shadowheart has too low AC, so... all this pretty much means that I can't play with a warlock. I need someone to pick locks and disarm traps, and I don't want to kill immersion by using wyll or gale for that. 4 people isn't enough to fill all roles and still get space for experiments, and Larian knows that. THAT'S WHY they allowed fighters to disarm traps and resurrect partymembers. I disagree with that reasoning, because it destroys immersion and makes everything just not serious about role playing. Solution? 5 or 6 party slots.


Posted By: Tuco Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 14/10/20 08:51 AM
Originally Posted by arion
Four is a party. Six is the crowd. Five is a ideal party )

Nah, six is better.
But five would be a decent compromise.
Posted By: alexawow2006 Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 14/10/20 08:54 AM
6 man would be ideal !

my current party:
Me human dual wield with double maces, one from drow in the goblin city other from the gnoll leader
Lazael with two handed sword of Tyr
Shadowheart who still doesnt want to have sex
And Gale he is the man!! sleep spell alone makes him awesome plus some magic missiles smile and also before i found out that he wants to eat my epic artifacts i thought he was the best guy in the party.

Have you noticed im missing something?? yea its the thief, and everytime i find some chest i have to go to camp and switch to Astarian and come back etc... really stupid...
Posted By: Peranor Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 14/10/20 07:07 PM
Yeah. I'd rather see a six character party. But if a compromise has to be made then i guess I can settle with five. At least that gives you one character to try out a more "exotic" build with,
As so many people have stated already, a four player party will almost always be locked to the Tank, Healer, Thief and Mage setup.
Posted By: Hachina Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 14/10/20 07:14 PM
I would go for six, but if its seems to overwhelming for people 5 would be okay as well. I mean, 4 is okay too but I'd like one or two more.
Posted By: KingNothing69 Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 14/10/20 07:18 PM
I don't see why we need to compromise on this. A party of up to 6 could have a party size of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. Let the player decide if they need the extra companions or not. Settling on 5 as a "compromise" seems arbitrary to me. 🤷
Posted By: Maximuuus Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 14/10/20 07:19 PM
Originally Posted by KingNothing69
I don't see why we need to compromise on this. A party of up to 6 could have a party size of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. Let the player decide if they need the extra companions or not. Settling on 5 as a "compromise" seems arbitrary to me. 🤷


Then balance the game arround 5 so players that want to stick to 4 just have a little bit harder adventure while some that want to play with 6 has something a little bit easier.
Posted By: kanisatha Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 14/10/20 07:29 PM
Originally Posted by Maximuuus
Originally Posted by KingNothing69
I don't see why we need to compromise on this. A party of up to 6 could have a party size of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. Let the player decide if they need the extra companions or not. Settling on 5 as a "compromise" seems arbitrary to me. 🤷


Then balance the game arround 5 so players that want to stick to 4 just have a little bit harder adventure while some that want to play with 6 has something a little bit easier.

Perfect. smile
Posted By: Aurgelmir Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 14/10/20 07:36 PM
+1
Posted By: Eugerome Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 14/10/20 07:41 PM
I personally feel like 4 is the good enough for me. 5 - maybe, 6 - stretching it.

But that is mostly because I plan to play multiplayer once the game is out. 2-3 people I could find, but if I can find 4 then I'd rather play 5e...
Posted By: MasterRoo09 Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 15/10/20 07:19 AM
"The preceding guidelines assume that you have a party consisting of three to five adventureres... If the party contains six or more characters, use the next lowest multiplier on the table." - Page 83 D&D Dungeons Master's Guide

5e considers 4-5 to be standard while 6 or more being optional, totally up to the players and DM for party size. So Larian at the very least can give us max 5 party members if they're being picky with the rules. The reason why many players want the option (keyword option), is because it was an option in the original BG 1 and 2. This is a Baldur's Gate game, doesn't matter who's developing it. I also would like to mention that many official WofC D&D adventure modules of both current and past editions are geared for 4-5 and 4-6 players. If you want "lore" to further prove my point, take a look at Drizzt companions. He has 5 total in his party. So what if players wanted to have fun and roleplay as Drizzt in BG3 and (hopefully have an option later to add fully other customize companions) his companions from the books?

I don't know how much more literal I can get with actual sources. I don't understand the issue of not favoring max 6 party members as an option.

Kind of bogus to wait an enemy the size of a platoon (18 - 50 soldiers) against my 4 party members that doesn't even add up to a squad (6* - 10 Soldiers).

If you think that it's "too easy to have 6 party members. Then play with your 4 members or less, you play your game how you want to. If you think the game is not meant for the space of 2 extra party members, I'd beg to differ. Most battles have you against many number of opponents and there is plenty of space for 2 more party members. If a warlock can have their minion and a ranger can have their pet in the same party of 4, It can fit more than four or even 6 playable characters in practically every area. For many of the old-school BG players. Remember Firewine Ruins and how claustrophobic it was? You almost had to move the party in a single file line in that dungeon. BG3 EA hasn't had any dungeons or areas as claustrophobic as Firewine Ruins and if they did, I'm sure it would be a fun, interesting and challenging dungeon. Also, I hope to God Larian fixes the party movement and controls.

Again, these are only options that they player can choose.

I thought that was why we all love RPGs. The fact that we can have more variety to solve which ever situation is always a good thing. I'm sure most of us can agree to that.
Posted By: Roman98000 Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 15/10/20 12:44 PM
Menu, New game, your squad 1 - 6, why force the player to play what he doesn't like))) I don't need a man underground, he's blind) it's awful to run to the camp to switch them!
Posted By: Roman98000 Re: Four is a party. Six is the crowd. - 15/10/20 01:06 PM
Why do you restrict the player by tying hands? Let the player choose the number of allies himself! Menu, New game, Squad 1 - 6. New game 4 players can't take an ally, it's terribly simple (((
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