Larian Studios
Posted By: Dee_MogII A Note on Waypoints - 13/11/20 11:10 PM
They seem like a necessary contrivance to help players get around early access quicker and that's a good thing, but should they remain in the full release I wonder?

On the one hand they almost eliminate the need for back-tracking, but they also feel a bit too convenient...does the whole world know about these? Why has this not revolutionized travel? Even if only magic users or mystically inclined people can see/use them I'm sure any sensible evil overlord would make sure to either destroy the runes or at the very least put some guards around them or exploit them for their own ends.

They are a gamified player convenience sure...but also objects that exist in the game world that people have knowledge about. Overthinking it I know.

Would a 'return to dungeon entrance' dialog box fit better? Or as I believe was mentioned elsewhere, let people travel to discoverable map markers. Effectively it is the same, but I kind of feel a better connection to the game if I imagine my CHAR walking to where they need to get too even if it's just a '4 hours pass and you reach your destination' kind of thing. Magical portals should be grand events, something that require vast magical energies to open. having them splattered all over kind of cheapens them I feel.

What do you folks think? smile
Posted By: Uncle Lester Re: A Note on Waypoints - 13/11/20 11:22 PM
Yeah. I wish fast travel was just... walking? There's no need for contrived magical devices that make you question worldbuilding.
Posted By: RumRunner151 Re: A Note on Waypoints - 13/11/20 11:23 PM
So yeah, if you wanted to make them all markers on the map that you could fast travel to so they are not these fantastical netherese gateways, I get that. But what's done is done. I am fine with either. But dont take my fast travel option. IMO I allready spend too much time just watching my party walk. LoL.
Posted By: Bukke Re: A Note on Waypoints - 13/11/20 11:32 PM
I think they are exactly what you called them: a gamified player convenience.
I don't mind them when it's for the sake of saving travel time, such as when you just need to return to a merchant or a location you've previously visited.
However I do think there should be some sort of restrictions to where you can use them, somewhat similar to how there are some soft restrictions on where you can rest.

To use an example from my playthrough:
After I had reached the goblin hideout I ended up sneaking in by smashing a wall on the upper floor outside of the temple. This allowed me to move around inside the temple by sneaking around on the rafters far above the ground where none of the guards would see me. To my surprise there seemed to be a couple of tiny treasure chests stowed away up here, so this is definitely one of the intended ways for you to be able to enter the temple. I used one character to jump around on all the different paths. By following one of them I eventually made it inside one of the treasure rooms where I could plunder some crates full of coins and weapons.
However, there was one problem: I couldn't find a way to jump back out. My character could jump down into the treasure room, but the wall was too tall for him to jump back up. The only way I could leave the room would be through the guarded door, an act that surely would alert the guards standing right outside it.
...or I could just teleport to the waypoint in the Goblin Camp and run back as if nothing had ever happened.

This creates an interesting situation where the player (in this case that'd be me) can choose what to do and how far they're willing to roleplay.
I could have my remaining party members follow the same path I took so all of them would end up in the treasure room and then try to fight my way back out.
Alternatively I could send the three party members on a Saving Private Ryan style rescue mission deep into the enemy territory where they could free the one character trapped inside the room.
Both options would be small self-contained adventures, but when you also have the option of just teleporting the handful of steps outside the dungeon the intense feeling of pulling off this rescue mission gets kind of... diminished. I know I'd feel like I intentionally went out of my way to avoid using resources available to me solely for the sake of not living with the consequences of my actions.

I know it's always up to the player to choose what they want to do during their playthrough and that it most certainly isn't any of my business to dictate how others should play the game. But I still can't help but feel that if the option of teleporting out was unavailable the rescue mission would feel much more real. I'm sure there are plenty of other people who ended up in the exact same situation as me and I think it'd be a shame if they 'wasted' the opportunity for an impromptu quest like this just because they chose to teleport outside.
I think it's a good example of emergent gameplay, but giving the players a way to escape without consequence ends up diminishing the gravity of the moment.
Posted By: Dee_MogII Re: A Note on Waypoints - 13/11/20 11:37 PM
Originally Posted by RumRunner151
So yeah, if you wanted to make them all markers on the map that you could fast travel to so they are not these fantastical netherese gateways, I get that. But what's done is done. I am fine with either. But dont take my fast travel option. IMO I allready spend too much time just watching my party walk. LoL.



Well no, I don't mean that you'd have to watch your party walk, just that I feel there is ludo-narritive dissonance happening for me with the way points.

You know like you have the menu, your hot bar etc.

Now imagine Astarion says something like 'Press F5 to save! An old drunk wizard taught me that trick." It's a useful thing to know, yes, but it pulls you out of the game.

It is a small thing, and personal preference of course. smile

Posted By: Rhobar121 Re: A Note on Waypoints - 13/11/20 11:45 PM
The original games also broke the fourth wall eg. some Jaheira's voice lines.
Posted By: Evandir Re: A Note on Waypoints - 14/11/20 12:23 AM
I think the way they implemented it is pretty cool and more entertaining than just, "You found a statue in a market, so now you can fast travel there."
Posted By: Bukke Re: A Note on Waypoints - 14/11/20 08:42 AM
Originally Posted by Evandir
I think the way they implemented it is pretty cool and more entertaining than just, "You found a statue in a market, so now you can fast travel there."

But it's by all means and accounts the exact same thing except instead of a statue it's just a rock with some etchings on it.
Posted By: RagnarokCzD Re: A Note on Waypoints - 14/11/20 08:47 AM
I like fast travel ... i only hope they will restrict it to only travel from one waystone to another ... not frome verywhere. :-/
Posted By: Bukke Re: A Note on Waypoints - 14/11/20 08:54 AM
Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
I like fast travel ... i only hope they will restrict it to only travel from one waystone to another ... not frome verywhere. :-/

Waypoint to waypoint fast travelling is the best kind of fast travelling in my opinion, yet so many RPGs seem to be adverse to implementing it and just add full fast travelling from all locations.
It's a shame if you ask me
Posted By: Tuco Re: A Note on Waypoints - 14/11/20 09:19 AM
I don't like MOST fast travel mechanics in modern games, in general, with very few notable exceptions (i.e. Ultima VII, Gothic 2 or Dark Souls 1 come to mind) as more often than not they tend to make the fictional worlds feel completely devoid of any sense of scale and tacitly endorse bad pacing and poor content distribution, but it's one of these things I tend to ignore as a lost battle at this point.
There's a portion of of the audience that absolutely loves "immediate convenience no matter what" and developers love to pander to them.

At very least I think games should be DESIGNED pretending no fast travel mechanic was ever going to be a thing, so that when a "hardcore mode" or a mod removes the feature, the game doesn't become an utter pain to experience.
Still, arguing against fast travel systems feels like a battling windmills at this point.
Posted By: Mat22 Re: A Note on Waypoints - 14/11/20 09:56 AM
The way how fast travel points are implemented drastically changes the way a person plays and feel during playing so i think by default it should be indeed tuned to gameplay and lore logically (and option can be still given for people like to do it anytime anywhere), personally i like the way morrowind did it: you have this huge world to explore on foot in most cases especialy in the wilderness and there is a default from town to town travel method (that actually gave me a big relief when i was reaching to a town every time) but if you reach certain story points and quests you are rewarded with additional fast travel points (for example being a mage guild member you are able to travel from mage guild to mage guild, at least i think thats not a mod). Also i think certain spells and items eased travelling in the wild which was rewarding
Posted By: 1varangian Re: A Note on Waypoints - 14/11/20 11:16 AM
I don't like how the runes actually teleport the characters.

It's kind of a fourth wall thing when what is clearly a player convenience feature is made into an actual thing in the game that makes no sense. Larian devs are great in other ways but they don't understand immersion. And immersion is everything in an RPG that is trying to tell a story for adults.

Who created those runes? Why those exact locations? Why aren't the Drow and Duergar using this amazingly convenient transportation to do hit and runs from the Underdark to capture slaves? A teleportation system between the village and the Underdark? Really? Things need to makes sense. We can't magically teleport for convenience and eat pig's heads in combat just "because video game".

A fast travel system should be just that... fast travel. No actual magical teleportation. Just move the party. Let us imagine they actually traveled that distance by foot. Or better yet, move an icon on a map. Don't invent crazy magical things that make no sense where you don't need them. Or explain the teleportation system in the game. Something like that would be a huge thing. Wizards from all over would flock to examine the powerful Netherese magic that apparently doesn't even require a power source. Rich nobles and nations would try to extract those rocks with the runes and use the teleportation system to cut down trading costs.

The runes could still be waypoints even without the nonsensical teleportation powers. And how is it that they are somehow disabled in combat, being otherwise instantly activated?
Posted By: JustAnotherBaldu Re: A Note on Waypoints - 14/11/20 11:44 AM
In the end - no one is forced to actually use the waypoints.


I am 35 years old by now. Played so many games I can't even remember.
My sensitivity to stuff is fading, sadly.
Even tho the passion remains.

But just walking even longer around because its more realistic?
Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.
Come on. This stuff is not important.


Every game is kinda supposed to be like a Movie right?
How would you feel if you watch LotR for example and Aragorn or Frodo have to "backtrack" a 10 times between each kind of "camp" for selling just because they picked up so much stuff and cannot carry any more?
Please don't.
No one wants to see that in a Movie.


There are certain aspects of any kind of game which are just annoying, but they have to be done so that WE the players know WE are vigiliant, we notice stuff and we are badass.
Even if that one thing is to just crouse through a sh°tload of boxes and whatever containers, for one more magic scroll, or the cool weapon we are gonna using for the next 2 realtime days.

Backtracking. Pffff.
It can be nice, yeah.
But in most games, nothing unexpected happens.
And it can grow tiresome pretty quickly.
Posted By: Gathord Re: A Note on Waypoints - 14/11/20 11:59 AM
Originally Posted by JustAnotherBaldu
In the end - no one is forced to actually use the waypoints.


I am 35 years old by now. Played so many games I can't even remember.
My sensitivity to stuff is fading, sadly.
Even tho the passion remains.

But just walking even longer around because its more realistic?
Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.
Come on. This stuff is not important.


Every game is kinda supposed to be like a Movie right?
How would you feel if you watch LotR for example and Aragorn or Frodo have to "backtrack" a 10 times between each kind of "camp" for selling just because they picked up so much stuff and cannot carry any more?
Please don't.
No one wants to see that in a Movie.


There are certain aspects of any kind of game which are just annoying, but they have to be done so that WE the players know WE are vigiliant, we notice stuff and we are badass.
Even if that one thing is to just crouse through a sh°tload of boxes and whatever containers, for one more magic scroll, or the cool weapon we are gonna using for the next 2 realtime days.

Backtracking. Pffff.
It can be nice, yeah.
But in most games, nothing unexpected happens.
And it can grow tiresome pretty quickly.



The waypoints do not just offer convenience, they also break the game on many counts. Did you steal something? Teleport away instantly before the mobs have a chance to look for you. Started a fight in the goblin camp and now the entire area is hostile, and you are surrounded by enemies? Waypoint away. Priestess gut imprisons you, you manage to break free and now are stuck in a small room with an ogre outside? Naaah, just waypoint away.

Of course for a story mode this is not a problem, players using the lowest difficulty do not care about the game much, mostly the story, so breaking the mechanics of the game like that with another game mechanic is fine. But anything above that? Yeah, waypoints need restrictions, the easiest one is that you need to be at a waypoint to use a waypoint.

A game should not break its own design so blatantly, which is what waypoints in their current state do. That being said the hags lair already restricts waypoints so it is pretty clear to me Larian will not leave the system as is.

Edit: And no, games are not supposed to be like a movie, really far from it, some games and some rpgs do try to look like a movie, but if all games intended to emulate movies they would all ''play'' like Heavy rain, Detroit become human or until dawn.
Posted By: 1varangian Re: A Note on Waypoints - 14/11/20 12:09 PM
Originally Posted by Gathord
Originally Posted by JustAnotherBaldu
In the end - no one is forced to actually use the waypoints.


I am 35 years old by now. Played so many games I can't even remember.
My sensitivity to stuff is fading, sadly.
Even tho the passion remains.

But just walking even longer around because its more realistic?
Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.
Come on. This stuff is not important.


Every game is kinda supposed to be like a Movie right?
How would you feel if you watch LotR for example and Aragorn or Frodo have to "backtrack" a 10 times between each kind of "camp" for selling just because they picked up so much stuff and cannot carry any more?
Please don't.
No one wants to see that in a Movie.


There are certain aspects of any kind of game which are just annoying, but they have to be done so that WE the players know WE are vigiliant, we notice stuff and we are badass.
Even if that one thing is to just crouse through a sh°tload of boxes and whatever containers, for one more magic scroll, or the cool weapon we are gonna using for the next 2 realtime days.

Backtracking. Pffff.
It can be nice, yeah.
But in most games, nothing unexpected happens.
And it can grow tiresome pretty quickly.



The waypoints do not just offer convenience, they also break the game on many counts. Did you steal something? Teleport away instantly before the mobs have a chance to look for you. Started a fight in the goblin camp and now the entire area is hostile, and you are surrounded by enemies? Waypoint away. Priestess gut imprisons you, you manage to break free and now are stuck in a small room with an ogre outside? Naaah, just waypoint away.

Of course for a story mode this is not a problem, players using the lowest difficulty do not care about the game much, mostly the story, so breaking the mechanics of the game like that with another game mechanic is fine. But anything above that? Yeah, waypoints need restrictions, the easiest one is that you need to be at a waypoint to use a waypoint.

A game should not break its own design so blatantly, which is what waypoints in their current state do. That being said the hags lair already restricts waypoints so it is pretty clear to me Larian will not leave the system as is.


Would be nice of them to at least tell us which features are unfinished or already planned to change so we wouldn't waste time discussing on pointless matters.
Posted By: Changeling4 Re: A Note on Waypoints - 14/11/20 01:03 PM
Originally Posted by JustAnotherBaldu
Every game is kinda supposed to be like a Movie right?
How would you feel if you watch LotR for example and Aragorn or Frodo have to "backtrack" a 10 times between each kind of "camp" for selling just because they picked up so much stuff and cannot carry any more?
Please don't.
No one wants to see that in a Movie.


I disagree that RPGs are supposed to emulate films. Especially a D&D based RPG. D&D is, in large part, a simulation, and a simulation requires a certain level of in-world consistency/believability that comes at the expense of convenience. The great thing about D&D is that it can mingle moments of (tedious) realism, such as having to backtrack to a town because you forgot to buy a revivify diamond, with epic high fantasy cinematic moments such as battles, heists and prison-breaks. Obviously there are limits: people don't want to be forced to take a shit, or suffer mechanical penalties for not shitting. Additionally, BG3 is a video game and you can't account for everything like you can in a ttrpg (even if winging it). But the fact is, fast travel like this detracts from the scale and immersion of the world. Not to mention stepping on the toes of high level spells like Teleportation Circle. I think games have the opportunity to pull off a better balance between believability/immersion and action/narrative than a film because you are actually forced to embody the in-between moments that would detract from a film or even book's pacing. Maybe that says more about why I enjoy RPGs: not to play an interactive film but to embody a small element of a fictional world.

I think the best solution that keeps both the immersion-is-king crowd and the backtracking-is-the-devil crowd happy is to only allow fast travel whilst near a waypoint. This maintains a sense of realism and journey, whilst still cutting down on the amount of time spent tabbed whilst you wait for your party to reach it's destination. I also loved the idea someone had (sorry I can't remember your name) of using the world map as our fast-travelling interface to evoke more of the BG1 & 2 feel, whilst also getting rid of the poorly incorporated teleportation runes that do more harm than good to world-building.

I do think it's quite telling that Larian have skimped out on some of the more immersive aspects of the game such as resting, day/night and travel. Or perhaps more telling of my own expectations of a D&D based game.
Posted By: mrfuji3 Re: A Note on Waypoints - 14/11/20 06:50 PM
Originally Posted by 1varangian
[...]A fast travel system should be just that... fast travel. No actual magical teleportation. Just move the party. Let us imagine they actually traveled that distance by foot. Or better yet, move an icon on a map. Don't invent crazy magical things that make no sense where you don't need them. Or explain the teleportation system in the game. Something like that would be a huge thing. Wizards from all over would flock to examine the powerful Netherese magic that apparently doesn't even require a power source. Rich nobles and nations would try to extract those rocks with the runes and use the teleportation system to cut down trading costs.

The runes could still be waypoints even without the nonsensical teleportation powers. And how is it that they are somehow disabled in combat, being otherwise instantly activated?

The thing is, currently BG3's fast travel has both "imagined walking" and teleportation. The game explains that you can only teleport from rune to rune, but fast travel is allowed anywhere. Thus, if you're in the Grove and fast travel to camp for example, your characters are in-game walking to the Grove rune, teleporting to the rune closest to camp, and then walking to camp.

Given ^, why not just get rid of the runes entirely and represent fast travel as just walking from place to place???
Posted By: Rhobar121 Re: A Note on Waypoints - 14/11/20 07:02 PM
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
Originally Posted by 1varangian
[...]A fast travel system should be just that... fast travel. No actual magical teleportation. Just move the party. Let us imagine they actually traveled that distance by foot. Or better yet, move an icon on a map. Don't invent crazy magical things that make no sense where you don't need them. Or explain the teleportation system in the game. Something like that would be a huge thing. Wizards from all over would flock to examine the powerful Netherese magic that apparently doesn't even require a power source. Rich nobles and nations would try to extract those rocks with the runes and use the teleportation system to cut down trading costs.

The runes could still be waypoints even without the nonsensical teleportation powers. And how is it that they are somehow disabled in combat, being otherwise instantly activated?

The thing is, currently BG3's fast travel has both "imagined walking" and teleportation. The game explains that you can only teleport from rune to rune, but fast travel is allowed anywhere. Thus, if you're in the Grove and fast travel to camp for example, your characters are in-game walking to the Grove rune, teleporting to the rune closest to camp, and then walking to camp.

Given ^, why not just get rid of the runes entirely and represent fast travel as just walking from place to place???

I don't know if it really is such a big difference.
Theoretically, you can exchange runes for some other objects, then you would still teleport to them, but it would be treated as if you got there yourself.
Technically it doesn't really matter to the gameplay, but always more people satisfied
Posted By: Maximuuus Re: A Note on Waypoints - 14/11/20 07:11 PM
I recently suggested fast travel trough the worldmap that has "locations" like in Baldur's Gate 1 and 2.

That's totally the same mechanic than now, except that you click locations on the worldmap instead of the name in a list.
With a good "zoom / unzoom" mechanic to create a link between tha act map and the worldmap^, you have a fast travel that is just... walking...
[Suggestion - BG / FR related improvement] - Use the worldmap for fast travel

I don't like either that runes allow us to "Teleport". This is irrelevant.

At least a marker on the map you just click on to TP is better than runes if you consider the reality of the Forgotten Realms.
Walking arround the FR is usual, Teleport through runes is not. Give us the feeling we're walking.
Posted By: mrfuji3 Re: A Note on Waypoints - 14/11/20 07:16 PM
Originally Posted by Rhobar121
I don't know if it really is such a big difference.
Theoretically, you can exchange runes for some other objects, then you would still teleport to them, but it would be treated as if you got there yourself.
Technically it doesn't really matter to the gameplay, but always more people satisfied

That's exactly my point. There is no mechanical difference. But it makes a huge difference to immersion.
The existence of waypoint runes brings up huge world questions: why are these runes here? Why can only we use them? etc?
If there is no mechanical difference between two options, the game should use the one that makes more sense for immersion/worldbuilding.

@Maximuuus: fast-traveling to locations (where you are in reality, walking there) would be a great and easy solution. We basically already do this, but with the added "magical PC-only runes" that don't make sense.
Posted By: Uncle Lester Re: A Note on Waypoints - 14/11/20 07:37 PM
I think there are two discussions going on and mixing in a confusing way:
- fast travel vs no fast travel
- waypoints are immersion-breaking and should be replaced by implied walking (as a fast travel flavour), which would mechanically be the same, but improve immersion and not make one question the game's worldbuilding

I believe the OP wanted to discuss the latter and few people are calling for removing fast travel altogether. Although I must agree with Tuco, especially on the "games should be designed as if there was no fast travel and then fast travel should be added on top of that system". That way playing with no fast travel is viable and one can judge whether he needs/wants the extra convenience.

On the "walking" front, +1 to what mrfuji3 wrote.
Posted By: Balls Re: A Note on Waypoints - 14/11/20 07:51 PM
From my perspective as a conceptual game designer of some vintage, it's been my observation that the more successful and larger a game design studio becomes, the more they tend to lean towards things designed towards "pleasing the masses", like teleportational travel options whenever you wish, which tend to break immersion/realism in an rpg.

In smaller studios, I think that the game designers are more prone to stick to the purer vision of their game. They are more inclined to take chances, to assume the person buying the game is smarter rather than dumber, that the buyer wants harder tactical/strategic options and is willing to think/be patient/and really use their heads to overcome obstacles. The richer a studio becomes, the more the game design final decisions fall those controlling the bottom line- often people with absolutely no idea at all about what game design is about.

The richer and larger the studio, the more lawyers and bean-counters the company has that they tend to listen to, which eventually waters down rpgs into mindless corridors with lots of carrots on sticks and not too much thinking. Bethesda's whole existence perfectly follow this path of "trying to please the common gamer", which results in pretty, but tawdry boring gameplay which is all icing and little real interesting exploration or feel of challenging, realistic roleplay. Daggerfall and Morrowwind were marvelous from the perspective of freedoms to do almost anything you could think of, and create most any sort of character you wanted, and it's been downhill with each prettier, newer incarnation of their Elder Scroll games. Their entries have become lovely shells which require simpering idiots to play and succeed in.

Only the more ancient of PC gamers probably remember Daggerfall. With it, Bethesda's young designers, less impeded by fiscal success, reached for the stars to try and bring a game that offered every possible rpg freedom to the player. They didn't just push the envelope of what they could try and bring to a computer game of that time, they knocked down doors that really have never been surpassed today in the depth and breadth of role playing opportunities. The game stretched the limits of the top computers of it's day, but more than that, it stretched the imagination of anyone who played it.

It's been redone in Unity, and with some lovely new mods by players, it remains quite playable all these years later and is quite worth playing, if you can handle the graphics and limitations of those days.

Larian's games, to me anyway, have offered much higher amounts of intellectual challenge than most any rpg in recent memory- so far. It would be good if their kept their eye on the ball though, because it's easy to get lost in a golden vision of profits by starting off down the boring highway of accommodating the least intellectually gifted gamer for the sake of an extra 60$ a pop.

In DOS II you could teleport from statue to statue at various points in the game, but no camp teleporting when you wanted to save your ass if you were deep in a lair. You needed to travel to the nearest statue, which added some feel of immersion that the landscape mattered.

What Larian (I hope) intends- and should do- is make BG III more D&D like and allow overnight camping "in place" in any relatively safe location, (away from immediate threats). This would be a third option, keeping short rests and the big camp as well, for crafting/cooking/character major interactions. Characters would need the classic tinderbox, bedrolls, firewood. An option to set a guard who does not rest would keep the camp from being surprised by a "chance encounter". These would vary according to where you camp. You might wake up to find gobbos in the goblin camp stealing wares, or, perhaps wake up with a dead party member stripped of goods in the morning if you didn't set a guard. In the Underdark, most anything might show up.

This would be much, much more immersive and fun than the whole teleporting back to camp for a full rest nonsense.

In my opinion, it's these seemingly minor dumbing down-issues aimed at selling extra copies of a game to very casual players that want simplicity and little thinking that leads to catastrophic decline in quality gaming companies. The lawyers and stock holders push for this sort of thing against the wishes of actual designers. It's up to us, the core players to push for a more realistic experience, when this sort of thing happens.

Also, as a rule, these tendencies to move towards less complex, and more generic game experiences are almost always a one way ride. Once a company starts down the path of simplifying and making things easier, there is seldom any return to deeper, richer game play.

Hopefully, Larian already realizes all this, and the in-place camping in the wilderness is simply not implemented yet.
Posted By: Rhobar121 Re: A Note on Waypoints - 14/11/20 08:01 PM
Wait a second. In DoS2 you could teleport from anywhere, you don't need to be near the statue.
Posted By: LukasPrism Re: A Note on Waypoints - 14/11/20 11:32 PM
+1 for still having fast travel but it’s off-screen actual travel (walking, riding), not this teleportation nonsense that even Elminster would be in awe of
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: A Note on Waypoints - 15/11/20 11:53 AM
Originally Posted by Balls
From my perspective as a conceptual game designer of some vintage, it's been my observation that the more successful and larger a game design studio becomes, the more they tend to lean towards things designed towards "pleasing the masses", like teleportational travel options whenever you wish, which tend to break immersion/realism in an rpg.

In smaller studios, I think that the game designers are more prone to stick to the purer vision of their game. They are more inclined to take chances, to assume the person buying the game is smarter rather than dumber, that the buyer wants harder tactical/strategic options and is willing to think/be patient/and really use their heads to overcome obstacles. The richer a studio becomes, the more the game design final decisions fall those controlling the bottom line- often people with absolutely no idea at all about what game design is about.

The richer and larger the studio, the more lawyers and bean-counters the company has that they tend to listen to, which eventually waters down rpgs into mindless corridors with lots of carrots on sticks and not too much thinking. Bethesda's whole existence perfectly follow this path of "trying to please the common gamer", which results in pretty, but tawdry boring gameplay which is all icing and little real interesting exploration or feel of challenging, realistic roleplay. Daggerfall and Morrowwind were marvelous from the perspective of freedoms to do almost anything you could think of, and create most any sort of character you wanted, and it's been downhill with each prettier, newer incarnation of their Elder Scroll games. Their entries have become lovely shells which require simpering idiots to play and succeed in.

Only the more ancient of PC gamers probably remember Daggerfall. With it, Bethesda's young designers, less impeded by fiscal success, reached for the stars to try and bring a game that offered every possible rpg freedom to the player. They didn't just push the envelope of what they could try and bring to a computer game of that time, they knocked down doors that really have never been surpassed today in the depth and breadth of role playing opportunities. The game stretched the limits of the top computers of it's day, but more than that, it stretched the imagination of anyone who played it.

It's been redone in Unity, and with some lovely new mods by players, it remains quite playable all these years later and is quite worth playing, if you can handle the graphics and limitations of those days.

Larian's games, to me anyway, have offered much higher amounts of intellectual challenge than most any rpg in recent memory- so far. It would be good if their kept their eye on the ball though, because it's easy to get lost in a golden vision of profits by starting off down the boring highway of accommodating the least intellectually gifted gamer for the sake of an extra 60$ a pop.

In DOS II you could teleport from statue to statue at various points in the game, but no camp teleporting when you wanted to save your ass if you were deep in a lair. You needed to travel to the nearest statue, which added some feel of immersion that the landscape mattered.

What Larian (I hope) intends- and should do- is make BG III more D&D like and allow overnight camping "in place" in any relatively safe location, (away from immediate threats). This would be a third option, keeping short rests and the big camp as well, for crafting/cooking/character major interactions. Characters would need the classic tinderbox, bedrolls, firewood. An option to set a guard who does not rest would keep the camp from being surprised by a "chance encounter". These would vary according to where you camp. You might wake up to find gobbos in the goblin camp stealing wares, or, perhaps wake up with a dead party member stripped of goods in the morning if you didn't set a guard. In the Underdark, most anything might show up.

This would be much, much more immersive and fun than the whole teleporting back to camp for a full rest nonsense.

In my opinion, it's these seemingly minor dumbing down-issues aimed at selling extra copies of a game to very casual players that want simplicity and little thinking that leads to catastrophic decline in quality gaming companies. The lawyers and stock holders push for this sort of thing against the wishes of actual designers. It's up to us, the core players to push for a more realistic experience, when this sort of thing happens.

Also, as a rule, these tendencies to move towards less complex, and more generic game experiences are almost always a one way ride. Once a company starts down the path of simplifying and making things easier, there is seldom any return to deeper, richer game play.

Hopefully, Larian already realizes all this, and the in-place camping in the wilderness is simply not implemented yet.



This is a great post, and very true. I agree with every word.

Unfortunately, money talks. I don't think there's any developer out there that if offered the choice of selling a million copies, or selling 100,000 copies, would choose the latter.
Posted By: alice_ashpool Re: A Note on Waypoints - 15/11/20 12:07 PM
^^ Yeah, grognard tier is just not going to happen when there is a risk that people will just rage quit the game as they are overwhelmed by fatigue, no healing, no ability to camp, cant make it back to waypoint, forgot to save, on their first playthrough then leave a bad review on steam. I enjoyed playing Skyrim with a survival mod enabled but if that had been there as default I can't imagine the annoyance level for many people.
Posted By: Firesnakearies Re: A Note on Waypoints - 15/11/20 01:04 PM
In other words:


[Linked Image]
Posted By: Bukke Re: A Note on Waypoints - 15/11/20 02:12 PM
It's been a while since I played it but I'm fairly you that in DOS2 you could travel to any waypoint from any location as long as you had it unlocked and weren't in combat.
But yeah, even Larian themselves are guilty of removing complexity found in their older games in favour of making it more mass-marketable. People like to blame publishers for all evil in the world, but in reality it's just an inevitable outcome once a studio or franchise becomes big enough to stand on its own legs.
Posted By: Verte Re: A Note on Waypoints - 15/11/20 02:18 PM
But what is the problem here, someone doesn't like fast travel then no ones forces him/her to use this tool. Walk freely, enjoy backtracking.
Posted By: Bukke Re: A Note on Waypoints - 15/11/20 02:31 PM
Even if you choose not to use them their presence will still have an impact on the way the game is designed as well as decisions made by the developers.
It's the same as if a game balances its skill check DCs around save scumming because the developers expect or blindly assume that people will do it in order to get the result they want. Even if you choose not to indulge in the activity or feature the game still expects you to use it.
Posted By: Painbringer71 Re: A Note on Waypoints - 15/11/20 02:39 PM
You have to find that perfect blend with the hardcore and the softcore.
Posted By: Bukke Re: A Note on Waypoints - 15/11/20 02:53 PM
Originally Posted by Painbringer71
You have to find that perfect blend with the hardcore and the softcore.

Pretty much. There's (probably) no way to win.
Posted By: Verte Re: A Note on Waypoints - 15/11/20 03:11 PM
Originally Posted by Bukke
Even if you choose not to use them their presence will still have an impact on the way the game is designed as well as decisions made by the developers.
It's the same as if a game balances its skill check DCs around save scumming because the developers expect or blindly assume that people will do it in order to get the result they want. Even if you choose not to indulge in the activity or feature the game still expects you to use it.


Ikr, but this is turn-based rpg, not another Dark Souls with plenty of shortcuts to open and enemy respawn. However we still can shortcut via jump. Game is not fully released, there may be a reason why those runes exist.
Posted By: Maximuuus Re: A Note on Waypoints - 15/11/20 03:22 PM
I guess the fast travel VS no fast travel discussion is totally irrelevant. Fast travel is necessary with such maps.

On the other hand, from what I read it looks like many people don't like the runes and for more than justified reasons.
Giving us the feeling we're walking instead of using WTF runes that doesn't exists in the Forgotten Realms is easy and there are more than one solution.

About the "rest" system, it's definitely a problem at the moment but it probably require way more attention than what this topic is about.


Originally Posted by Verte
there may be a reason why those runes exist.


A reason why we're the only one able to travel through those runes ?
Let me attempt something : the tadpole ? grin
Posted By: Verte Re: A Note on Waypoints - 15/11/20 03:33 PM
Our tadpole is magically tampered, who knows. Exchange runes for anything, it will work the same, move players from spot A to spot B. I have played the games where I had to backtrack like mad and it was far from having fun time.
Posted By: Zellin Re: A Note on Waypoints - 15/11/20 03:43 PM
Originally Posted by Maximuuus
I guess the fast travel VS no fast travel discussion is totally irrelevant. Fast travel is necessary with such maps.

On the other hand, from what I read it looks like many people don't like the runes and for more than justified reasons.
Giving us the feeling we're walking instead of using WTF runes that doesn't exists in the Forgotten Realms is easy and there are more than one solution.

About the "rest" system, it's definitely a problem at the moment but it probably require way more attention than what this topic is about.


Originally Posted by Verte
there may be a reason why those runes exist.


A reason why we're the only one able to travel through those runes ?
Let me attempt something : the tadpole ? grin

But the runes do exist in Forgotten Realms. The only problem here that normally they require you to cast a certain spell. And once upon a time in NWN this exact problem was simply solved by granting the player homebrewed teleportation stone and some another homebrew artifact in SotU. Larian here could apply same exact solution through some small quest or giving us the artifact on naughtoloid.
Posted By: Maximuuus Re: A Note on Waypoints - 15/11/20 04:12 PM
Originally Posted by Zellin
Originally Posted by Maximuuus
I guess the fast travel VS no fast travel discussion is totally irrelevant. Fast travel is necessary with such maps.

On the other hand, from what I read it looks like many people don't like the runes and for more than justified reasons.
Giving us the feeling we're walking instead of using WTF runes that doesn't exists in the Forgotten Realms is easy and there are more than one solution.

About the "rest" system, it's definitely a problem at the moment but it probably require way more attention than what this topic is about.


Originally Posted by Verte
there may be a reason why those runes exist.


A reason why we're the only one able to travel through those runes ?
Let me attempt something : the tadpole ? grin

But the runes do exist in Forgotten Realms. The only problem here that normally they require you to cast a certain spell. And once upon a time in NWN this exact problem was simply solved by granting the player homebrewed teleportation stone and some another homebrew artifact in SotU. Larian here could apply same exact solution through some small quest or giving us the artifact on naughtoloid.


Sorry it wasn't probably the right words.
It's not "common" in the Forgotten Realm is probably better.

Originally Posted by Verte
Our tadpole is magically tampered, who knows. Exchange runes for anything, it will work the same, move players from spot A to spot B. I have played the games where I had to backtrack like mad and it was far from having fun time.


Yea it work the same, but it could become a travel instead of a TP. The mechanics are the same, so is the result... But the feeling is not.
This is very different if you care about the reality of the world in which the game take place.
Posted By: mrfuji3 Re: A Note on Waypoints - 15/11/20 04:54 PM
Originally Posted by Zellin
But the runes do exist in Forgotten Realms. The only problem here that normally they require you to cast a certain spell. And once upon a time in NWN this exact problem was simply solved by granting the player homebrewed teleportation stone and some another homebrew artifact in SotU. Larian here could apply same exact solution through some small quest or giving us the artifact on naughtoloid.

A single line could be added to Gale's introduction: "I found this stone in the wreckage of the nautiloid; it seems to light up when brought near these runes."
Either these runes could be the general Teleportation Circles that exist in Forgotten Realms, or they could be some specific Absolute-related creation that you have gained access to through stealing/recovering this magic stone. Either option aids immersion, and the latter option could be relevant to the story-at-large.
Posted By: Zellin Re: A Note on Waypoints - 15/11/20 09:38 PM
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
Originally Posted by Zellin
But the runes do exist in Forgotten Realms. The only problem here that normally they require you to cast a certain spell. And once upon a time in NWN this exact problem was simply solved by granting the player homebrewed teleportation stone and some another homebrew artifact in SotU. Larian here could apply same exact solution through some small quest or giving us the artifact on naughtoloid.

A single line could be added to Gale's introduction: "I found this stone in the wreckage of the nautiloid; it seems to light up when brought near these runes."
Either these runes could be the general Teleportation Circles that exist in Forgotten Realms, or they could be some specific Absolute-related creation that you have gained access to through stealing/recovering this magic stone. Either option aids immersion, and the latter option could be relevant to the story-at-large.

Giving it through Gale this way can be a problem. It's assuming we find him, we ask him about the portals and we either take him as companion either rob.
Posted By: CMF Re: A Note on Waypoints - 15/11/20 10:02 PM
Regardless of the fact that you have to "walk there" at least one time to find the way point (so it didn't completely circumvent traveling and making the world feel smaller) and the fact that teleporting in rpgs has been a staple for years, the earliest I can remember is the Ultima series in the the 80s and 90s with the moonstones.

Hell in Ultima 6 you get the moonstone at the start of the game and if you knew how to use it, you could teleport to every major city without having to travel there ever.

What made that game more believable to me was that it was mysterious, it didn't explain itself in game or it's functions, and you had to map out where it would teleport you on your own (hell this game made 2 different written languages and made you learn it to read road signs and parts of the game manual and map).

Back to BG3, it is added to the lore that there are magical runes place in specified areas which allows teleportation. You have to discover it at least once.

There are times I don't use fast travel in games because the area I need to go to is between hubs, or I want to interact with a npc on the road somewhere, or if I am doing an escort quest and the game does not allow fast travel for the NPC because it would break the story/quest.

Other times I use fast travel excessively, because the game is meant to be played. I am over long loading times, and empty travel, or filler experiences. Gaming has become objective based for me, while previously it was discovery based. Every first run through of a game is still discovery based, but as I learn what I want to do, I just want to get it done without a bunch of buffers in the way.

So the question is: Are you playing the game to wander around aimlessly? Or are you playing the game to complete an objective?
One of those two will like fast travel and the other will not.
Posted By: Evandir Re: A Note on Waypoints - 15/11/20 11:31 PM
Originally Posted by Bukke
It's been a while since I played it but I'm fairly you that in DOS2 you could travel to any waypoint from any location as long as you had it unlocked and weren't in combat.
But yeah, even Larian themselves are guilty of removing complexity found in their older games in favour of making it more mass-marketable. People like to blame publishers for all evil in the world, but in reality it's just an inevitable outcome once a studio or franchise becomes big enough to stand on its own legs.



There is actually a flee mechanic in Dos2 that let's you fast travel mid combat. You have to be a certain distance from an enemy, unless you took the Escapist talent which let's you flee from anywhere. It's not something I would use, but it's there.
Posted By: mg666 Re: A Note on Waypoints - 16/11/20 12:37 AM
It's done nicely in Solasta.

Fast travel animates party moving at high speed on the map and if walking to a marker would not be possible (e.g. blocked path), it just doesn't allow you. Also when walking through dangerous areas, it interrupts fast travel.
Posted By: CMF Re: A Note on Waypoints - 16/11/20 12:49 AM
Again the elitist idea that fast travel is for "new age" "kids" "not real gamers" is flawed, as fast travel has been in games since the 80s and 90s. This sense of "us" vs "them" needs to go away.

You are not a better/more knowledgeable gamer because your games took longer to play.

Complexity from obscurity was mostly how older games played due to bad flow and poor feedback mechanisms. Additionally the advent of readily available information on the internet and "crowd sourced" wiki faqs to explore mechanics and game logic has helped better inform gamers today. Just because we were confused and clueless does not mean our games of old were more complex...they were actually really simple but often tedious for the sake of lengthening content. Data limits made the "actual" game very short, but random encounters and travel restrictions help lengthen a play time.

These are often in place so that there is something to do in a game that has very little content because it was on a couple of floppy disks or maybe a CD ROM. The idea has carried over to inhibit the player in tedium instead of actual content to play to this day. Sometimes that tedium is engaging and "fun"...other times it is not and just exactly that, tedious.

Today, however, we have drastically more space on a hard drive to make these huge games with hours of dialog, plot branches, 3d rendered/textured models, fully immersive worlds, online interaction hooks, full scale musical scores....or just a pixel art game but with more bells and whistles that an old cartridge or floppy disk game couldn't handle.

So again, we have "more content" so we need "less filler", is generally the idea that we as gamers should be asking for in games today.

I acknowledge that sometimes people like filler though...so to each their own.
Posted By: Bukke Re: A Note on Waypoints - 16/11/20 06:02 AM
Way to miss the point...
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