Larian Studios
Right now there seem to be no systems in the DOS/BG3 engine for ‘flying’. The druid reveal only showcased how limited things currently are, for instance the bird wildshape form only hops from place to place. We already know about the harpies not truly flying, and I’m sure there are other examples.

What happens when we start to get spells like Levitate, Fly, Telekinesis? Is Spiritual Weapon or Bigby’s Hand also going to be locked to the ground? Or are those all going to be tweaked beyond recognition?

Maybe Larian are working on proper flight, but if so it looks like they’ll need to go back and change a bunch of things they’ve already built to take advantage of it. Adding it in would invalidate a bunch of EA ‘testing' as it would change the game dramatically, but it’s going to be necessary at some point so sooner is better than later.
I suspect it's too late. It would seemingly require a complete re-writing of the engine, which at that point might as well be restarting development entirely. The best we can probably hope for is that an inevitable sequel is built on an engine made from scratch so it can incorporate mechanics like true flight, ready actions, and player-controlled reactions more easily. I doubt it's a coincidence that the classes most reliant on reactions and/or additional resources beyond spell slots are all of the ones not yet implemented. The devs need way more time to figure out how to implement those, if they even can at all.

Going off of this principle, I can probably predict the order of the remaining classes to be released.

- Bard (likely with a drastically altered Bardic Inspiration resource mechanic to get around the normally reaction-reliant nature of it, otherwise they behave just like every other spellcaster already implemented. They maybe need extra voice work for Vicious Mockery too, and development progress on that is impossible for us to gauge, so they could end up further down the pipeline for that reason alone.)

- Paladin (highly reaction-reliant, but it's largely restricted to the Smite mechanic which is additionally tied to spell slots, so it would probably be drastically altered to get around that, assuming they can't get proper reactions working. If it weren't for that, they'd basically be a tankier Cleric/Fighter hybrid. They may also need extra work narrative and gameplay-wise in terms of figuring out how to implement oaths)

- Barbarian (slightly reaction-reliant along with having an extra rage resource)

- Sorcerer (they have to figure out a way to convert spell slots into sorcery points and back, along with implementing metamagic)

- Monk (highly reaction-reliant and needs to implement a Ki resource pool)

Honestly Sorcerer, Paladin, and Barbarian are probably a toss-up on what I think would be implemented first, based on what the devs choose to prioritize. But I simply do not see Monk making it in before any other class.

I suspect they might be having issues with implementing bonus damage die on cantrips and certain class features that kick in at level 5 too (which would be a big reason why we're not allowed to go up to level 5), considering the apparent struggles they had with implementing upcasting spells. They're probably waiting to figure out how they're going to implement the extra resource classes first before attempting to raise the level cap.
Honnestly, I don't believe the game will have a proper "flying" system. I already noticed a problem with the bird pet of the beastmater that is not flying at all but just "jumping higher and further" (issues with the line of sight).

Obviously it would be very cool. I love being able to levitate, walk the walls and so on in Solasta. This is amazing but I don't find it absolutely necessary.

The only issue according to me is related to pet / wildshape but I suppose they could change things a bit to avoid lign of sight issues.
Spiritual weapons or bigsby hands could probably just kind of misty step to move ?

Levitate and fly would be amazing of course but I'm not sure I see it as a "necessary have".
Maybe I don't know D&D enough to understand why it would be so important.
Has there been any CRPG that has implemented a flying system that is actually good?

I would love to see someone pull it off, but I can't help but imagine the controls being incredibly clunky. Maybe a 3-dimensional aerial grid? Or a homeworld-esque z-axis implementation?
Originally Posted by Topgoon
Has there been any CRPG that has implemented a flying system that is actually good?

I would love to see someone pull it off, but I can't help but imagine the controls being incredibly clunky. Maybe a 3-dimensional aerial grid? Or a homeworld-esque z-axis implementation?

Solasta is trying, but the controls are admittedly clunky (or not explained very well). I think you have to press a couple extra buttons on the compass to be allowed to simply move to a point in mid-air (though you automatically do so if the movement includes an attack against another mid-air or higher elevation enemy at the end of it).

They also had an issue with enemies shoving player characters into out of bounds zones to instantly kill them - more importantly with no way to revive them afterwards (and ending a battle with any player character dead with no revival methods is an automatic game over there). There was one early game encounter that was quite infamous for that, so the Solasta devs temporarily shut that off, but their method of doing so also had the side effect of shutting off the ability to fly over those out of bounds pits too.

Programming is hard.
Originally Posted by Maximuuus
Levitate and fly would be amazing of course but I'm not sure I see it as a "necessary have".
Maybe I don't know D&D enough to understand why it would be so important.

Aside from the player utility, flight is super important for many creatures in D&D. For instance, dragons are notoriously vulnerable on the ground but in flight are a real threat, as they should be. Even less challenging opponents like imps become far more dangerous if you can’t reach them. And flight is just such a key component of D&D adventures, whether it’s due to spells (incl polymorphing, becoming gaseous etc), flying carpets, winged boots… there are even player races that can fly naturally.
Honestly, would anyone care about flight if it wasn't in Solasta? The majority of CRPGs don't bother with a flight system and nor did the many D&D implementations on PC I've had so much fun with.

I don't have a problem with them adding it, but I feel like they'll add something which will be a flight tag that just lets a character ignore most terrain and possibly get knocked down. People will have been instead expecting some hugely complex system and includes different levels of altitude and all other nuances and we'll just have the same exact threads about how the flight system is insufficient.
Originally Posted by LukasPrism
Originally Posted by Maximuuus
Levitate and fly would be amazing of course but I'm not sure I see it as a "necessary have".
Maybe I don't know D&D enough to understand why it would be so important.

Aside from the player utility, flight is super important for many creatures in D&D. For instance, dragons are notoriously vulnerable on the ground but in flight are a real threat, as they should be. Even less challenging opponents like imps become far more dangerous if you can’t reach them. And flight is just such a key component of D&D adventures, whether it’s due to spells (incl polymorphing, becoming gaseous etc), flying carpets, winged boots… there are even player races that can fly naturally.

I would really be surprised if they ever offered a battle with a flying dragon. I mean the only time I can think of something similar was in DA:I with a dragon fight. I think they have to deal with engine restrictions. It would be cool if they could, but I am not personally holding my breath for flight in this game. I bet the best they get is maybe a spell that lets you hover. But who knows, maybe it is something they are working on now, and they are keeping it close to the vest.
Originally Posted by Worm
Honestly, would anyone care about flight if it wasn't in Solasta? The majority of CRPGs don't bother with a flight system and nor did the many D&D implementations on PC I've had so much fun with.

I don't have a problem with them adding it, but I feel like they'll add something which will be a flight tag that just lets a character ignore most terrain and possibly get knocked down. People will have been instead expecting some hugely complex system and includes different levels of altitude and all other nuances and we'll just have the same exact threads about how the flight system is insufficient.

For me personally, I would not get to hung up if the game didn't have actual flight. But I see what your saying in regards to the levels of altitude and nuances and the complete meltdown threads that would result when it is an absolute certainty that there would be people that see it as insufficient or how they vision it personally in their minds eye.
Originally Posted by Worm
Honestly, would anyone care about flight if it wasn't in Solasta? The majority of CRPGs don't bother with a flight system and nor did the many D&D implementations on PC I've had so much fun with.

I don't have a problem with them adding it, but I feel like they'll add something which will be a flight tag that just lets a character ignore most terrain and possibly get knocked down. People will have been instead expecting some hugely complex system and includes different levels of altitude and all other nuances and we'll just have the same exact threads about how the flight system is insufficient.

I feel like speculating about how players would use a system that doesn't exist and coming to the conclusion that people would somehow consider it insufficient is a futile exercise. I find the argument that a new combat option shouldn't be implemented because the community *might* react in a negative way to be tiring. Especially in regard to something that already exists in the source material.

Flight is supposed to be a double-edged sword. You gain extreme mobility, but also run the risk of being knocked down and taking immense fall damage. Spells capable of floating in mid-air suddenly become a lot more flexible. For instance, a flying flaming sphere can be used to chase down something else that's flying in the air, so maybe that enemy might think twice about trying to take to the air, knowing what kind of consequences would happen if they fail their concentration check to maintain flight. You wouldn't have to jump spam all over the place when traveling, and you have another answer to reach that distant ledge when exploring. Larian could add their own flair to it and let people start a fight by having an invisible flying party member straight up dropping barrels and other heavy items from the sky (or levitate said objects to achieve the same effect).

No one really loses anything by its implementation, even it turns out to be as half baked and largely limited to mobility purposes and stopping to attack in midair, which are the most practical applications of it anyway. But people would be happy with even that. They appreciate effort, not silence or excuses.

Sure, the Pathfinder games don't have flight either, but people clearly understand that it's because those are lower budget games. But people logically expected a lot more from BG3 in comparison, which places a much larger emphasis on having tactical combat. I think a lot of complaints about BG3 more or less stem from how badly expectations are being managed by Larian's PR, or by the community hyping everything up itself. If Flaming Sphere is rolling along on the ground because the engine can't support flight, then just straight up say so. People would throw lazy dev rhetoric around the first few weeks, but the majority will appreciate the honesty and the matter would be buried long before release.
Originally Posted by Worm
Honestly, would anyone care about flight if it wasn't in Solasta? The majority of CRPGs don't bother with a flight system and nor did the many D&D implementations on PC I've had so much fun with.

I don't have a problem with them adding it, but I feel like they'll add something which will be a flight tag that just lets a character ignore most terrain and possibly get knocked down. People will have been instead expecting some hugely complex system and includes different levels of altitude and all other nuances and we'll just have the same exact threads about how the flight system is insufficient.

I think before Solasta, no. But now that I’ve seen it, I’d like more verticality in games. It does change things up. It’s like you don’t know what you are missing until you see it.

I think we won’t see any sort of flight in BG3. I don’t think the engine can handle it. I always thought the harpy fight was odd and their movement looked dorky. But I understand the limitations of this engine and I still wish there was some sort of flight mechanic, even if it’s limited.
Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
Sure, the Pathfinder games don't have flight either, but people understand that it's because those are lower budget games. But people logically expected a lot more from BG3 in comparison.

I don't think flight implementations are an issue of money, it's an issue of complexity. Three axis turn based combat is tricky to get right, and it makes more sense to relegate flight to some kind of buff+animation than actually have some robust system where you can drop barrels from 60 feet in the air.
Verticality + Flight might be more complicated than just a flatter system, maybe flight could be programmed to be relative to a surface but that'd be clunky.
Then again there is height in BG3 but right now only Ladders and Jumping to specific surfaces allow one to get higher, though perhaps they could program flight to have a button that allows you to move 5 up each time (1 movement) and then they can select to move as normal for remaining movement and 5 down? That also might be finnicky and could have issues of rising through ceiling or floor meaning there would need to be programmed a ceiling for every map that is also at a height that makes sense (shorter in a building, higher outside).
Originally Posted by Worm
Honestly, would anyone care about flight if it wasn't in Solasta?

Larian made verticality one of the main marketing points, so they need to deliver. But it seems they are content with letting you shove flying creatures to death....
Originally Posted by Ixal
Originally Posted by Worm
Honestly, would anyone care about flight if it wasn't in Solasta?

Larian made verticality one of the main marketing points, so they need to deliver. But it seems they are content with letting you shove flying creatures to death....

Did they? Is it in one of their marketing videos?

I know Solasta did.
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
Originally Posted by Ixal
Originally Posted by Worm
Honestly, would anyone care about flight if it wasn't in Solasta?

Larian made verticality one of the main marketing points, so they need to deliver. But it seems they are content with letting you shove flying creatures to death....

Did they? Is it in one of their marketing videos?

I know Solasta did.
Its one of the first features mentioned on the steam page for example, getting a whole paragraph
Quote
The Forgotten Realms are a vast, detailed and diverse world, and there are secrets to be discovered all around you -- verticality is a vital part of exploration. Sneak, dip, shove, climb, and jump as you journey from the depths of the Underdark to the glittering rooftops of the Upper City. How you survive, and the mark you leave on the world, is up to you.
Originally Posted by Ixal
Larian made verticality one of the main marketing points, so they need to deliver.
Maybe you've got a false advertising lawsuit on your hands wink

If we do get flight it's probably going to be a pretty simple implementation which is going to boil down to the same effects provided by giving flying creatures bigger jumps. Honestly, the bird jumping around does look a little silly and I'd like to see a simple flight system in place of that. Though anyone expecting more than a hover system is just setting themselves up for disappointment.
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
Originally Posted by Ixal
Originally Posted by Worm
Honestly, would anyone care about flight if it wasn't in Solasta?

Larian made verticality one of the main marketing points, so they need to deliver. But it seems they are content with letting you shove flying creatures to death....

Did they? Is it in one of their marketing videos?

I know Solasta did.

Swen spent a huge amount of the first gameplay reveal talking about verticality, shoving and featherfall. The very fact we’re calling it ‘verticality' is likely because of him.
Originally Posted by Ixal
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
Originally Posted by Ixal
Originally Posted by Worm
Honestly, would anyone care about flight if it wasn't in Solasta?

Larian made verticality one of the main marketing points, so they need to deliver. But it seems they are content with letting you shove flying creatures to death....

Did they? Is it in one of their marketing videos?

I know Solasta did.
Its one of the first features mentioned on the steam page for example, getting a whole paragraph
Quote
The Forgotten Realms are a vast, detailed and diverse world, and there are secrets to be discovered all around you -- verticality is a vital part of exploration. Sneak, dip, shove, climb, and jump as you journey from the depths of the Underdark to the glittering rooftops of the Upper City. How you survive, and the mark you leave on the world, is up to you.

Haha. Clever. They never mentioned flight.

It’s similar to their description of BG3. That it is “based” on D&D 5e ruleset. Leaves a lot to interpretation.

Lawyers did a good job.
Originally Posted by Worm
Honestly, would anyone care about flight if it wasn't in Solasta? The majority of CRPGs don't bother with a flight system and nor did the many D&D implementations on PC I've had so much fun with.

I don't have a problem with them adding it, but I feel like they'll add something which will be a flight tag that just lets a character ignore most terrain and possibly get knocked down. People will have been instead expecting some hugely complex system and includes different levels of altitude and all other nuances and we'll just have the same exact threads about how the flight system is insufficient.

I've wanted flight in game since before Baldurs Gate 1. I get why it's difficult to do but it's such an amazingly cool ability there's never a time where flying would make sense that I don't want flying and several times where flying would not make sense and I still want flying. I'm always prepared to accept it's not included for good reasons but I still want to fly.
Flight is a great way for squishy players to stay out of reach of melee opponents. Let’s not forget that Mind Flayers are supposed to be able to levitate at will. That’s up to 20’ of height per turn, not just skimming along the ground (which is really only good for avoiding traps/surfaces).
Originally Posted by Ixal
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
Originally Posted by Ixal
Originally Posted by Worm
Honestly, would anyone care about flight if it wasn't in Solasta?

Larian made verticality one of the main marketing points, so they need to deliver. But it seems they are content with letting you shove flying creatures to death....

Did they? Is it in one of their marketing videos?

I know Solasta did.
Its one of the first features mentioned on the steam page for example, getting a whole paragraph
Quote
The Forgotten Realms are a vast, detailed and diverse world, and there are secrets to be discovered all around you -- verticality is a vital part of exploration. Sneak, dip, shove, climb, and jump as you journey from the depths of the Underdark to the glittering rooftops of the Upper City. How you survive, and the mark you leave on the world, is up to you.

Yeah but where in that paragraph does it say flight? Verticality can be as simple as being on a cliff or rooftop firing down on the enemy. It looks more like they were very specific in leaving flight out of the description.
Originally Posted by Ixal
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
Originally Posted by Ixal
Originally Posted by Worm
Honestly, would anyone care about flight if it wasn't in Solasta?

Larian made verticality one of the main marketing points, so they need to deliver. But it seems they are content with letting you shove flying creatures to death....

Did they? Is it in one of their marketing videos?

I know Solasta did.
Its one of the first features mentioned on the steam page for example, getting a whole paragraph
Quote
The Forgotten Realms are a vast, detailed and diverse world, and there are secrets to be discovered all around you -- verticality is a vital part of exploration. Sneak, dip, shove, climb, and jump as you journey from the depths of the Underdark to the glittering rooftops of the Upper City. How you survive, and the mark you leave on the world, is up to you.
Funny how they put emphasis on this verticality but yet we are unable to look upwards with our characters....
If they could give us proper camera movement (up and down) then I bet it would be easier to implement flying.
Originally Posted by Zarna
Funny how they put emphasis on this verticality but yet we are unable to look upwards with our characters....
If they could give us proper camera movement (up and down) then I bet it would be easier to implement flying.
We'll probably eventually get some kind of photo mode (such features are baseline now), it certainly won't make implementing a true flight system with altitude any easier.
Being able to tilt the camera up as if it was normal eye and head movement in general is what I am looking for, not just pictures. Currently I find it a pain to do even simple exploration because I have to "scout" with the camera first and hope it decides to go over a hill or building (it often still doesn't go as high as I need it to) then go back and fetch the characters to put in position. I have to do this everywhere unless there are ladders which I can see the base of and it breaks immersion, should be able to have the party stealthily exploring and see things without the micromanagement. Should also be able to look up with the camera on rafters before climbing a ladder.

For flying, being able to tilt the camera up with either the mouse or the kb would allow us to gain height. With the current broken neck camera view it would be impossible, there would have to be a ladder or a hill we first had to climb. An example would be the rock at the ruins that you can drop. With the current camera angle, I never saw it on my screen and didn't know it existed. Even with moving the camera everywhere I could only get a tiny part of the base to show because I began to search for it at ground level. If the camera could tilt up, then a flying creature could get to that elevation from the ground to see and interact with it it at eye level. Otherwise it would require climbing up on the walls then moving straight forward, which would be ridiculous for a flying creature to have to do.
Flying would be extremely abusive to the game in its current iteration and almost has no real advantage to the game itself. the entire reason most people want flying in games is to ignore the terrain, which basically would invalidate the entire games size, and means of exploration. Adding flying to the game would be extremely abusive to the game, and very determinal to the over all experience. I am extremely against the idea of adding it to bg3, or even after working on wow for so long any other game.

That being said, as a seasoned game designer, I recognize that it is one of two universally unique and trans-genre game concepts that are considering "fun" (the other is extreme speed).I'd be more willing to upgrade the value of things like movement speed skills, or even adding something that increases movement speed out of combat. adding flying to bg3 would make a large, explorative form of game play feel like we have no room for anything, would result in massive amounts of "min-maxing routes" to get all the "Secrets and goodies", and would ultimately end with mass complaints of "no content" because of significantly (and I express that with a serious tone) increasing player progressing rates.

I cannot express how bad this would be for the game. Like "it could kill it and the company, bad".
Breath of the Wild had the best and closest thing to a realistic 'feeling' of flight that I've seen in a Fantasy game. Even if it was gliding rather than true flight and required the massive interplay with elevation and environment and equipment (like pretty much everything else in that game.) They also did climbing and swimming and mounts in a much more compelling way than I've ever seen pulled off in a fantasy RPG. Everyone seemed to absolutely adore it, and those features basically made the whole game the next level thing that it was. I was pretty bummed that Swtor never really found a way to just make jumping off something really tall and not pancaking into the ground exploding into a thing (every Jedi should totally be able to do that from what I've seen) let alone just jumping a little higher than normal like a Mario 64 triple jump. The cinematic RPGs are kind of getting left in the dust with the environment interactivity showcased there several years ago now. It's too bad they couldn't make a D&D game that really had 3D terrain, instead of just platforming height tiers like we usually see. The first thing I tried to do in BG3 was see if I could get on top of the Nautiloid somehow by jumping, and again at the crash site, and trying to jump into the river beyond the shore, or trying to get on a roof. Or dying and then dying again jumping off trying to reach places I wasn't supposed to go. It teases a more complete environment than we can actually interact with in most places.

Also, the outdoors areas feel a lot more like wilderness mazes to me in BG3 than actual terrain. That's one area where BG3 actually does mirror BG1/2, but I'm not sure it carries off as well here as it did back then in Iso, just given how far 3d environments have come elsewhere. Zelda came out what, like 4 years ago already? Skyrim almost 10 years ago, Dragon age even longer ago? Nobody has really attempted a party based game with next gen environments to my satisfaction yet. Certainly not a large party.

I mean all the things I can imagine happening with ropes, watching a full party scale around actual mountain passes, scrambling up hills, but its kinda still just on the level of donkey kong or lode runner with a bunch of ladders and platforms.

Where have you ever been in your life to a place with so many ladders? Or if we need ladders so badly, why wouldn't our pack mule adventurers just bring one along? hehe. There's a colorful character concept for you right there - with a ladder bash button lol. Or a cantrip that let's em perfectly balance and climb their own ladder to nowhere off a cliff

Anyway, yeah, flight would be cool. They did it in Might and Magic back in the early 90s. An abstract terrain type thing could still work probably if they basically built out invisible platforms and ladders that only highlight while "flying" and then just have different animations for "walking" when you're there. Levitate look, crazy hands floating or whatever. And some flight attacks obviously. The camera would need to be able to look up

I'd also just kind of like some flare and ease of use to non combat party movement that isn't in the air. But sure. I'd fly all over friendly body blocks all day hehe
Originally Posted by Nouri
Flying would be extremely abusive to the game in its current iteration and almost has no real advantage to the game itself. the entire reason most people want flying in games is to ignore the terrain, which basically would invalidate the entire games size, and means of exploration. Adding flying to the game would be extremely abusive to the game, and very determinal to the over all experience. I am extremely against the idea of adding it to bg3, or even after working on wow for so long any other game.

That being said, as a seasoned game designer, I recognize that it is one of two universally unique and trans-genre game concepts that are considering "fun" (the other is extreme speed).I'd be more willing to upgrade the value of things like movement speed skills, or even adding something that increases movement speed out of combat. adding flying to bg3 would make a large, explorative form of game play feel like we have no room for anything, would result in massive amounts of "min-maxing routes" to get all the "Secrets and goodies", and would ultimately end with mass complaints of "no content" because of significantly (and I express that with a serious tone) increasing player progressing rates.

I cannot express how bad this would be for the game. Like "it could kill it and the company, bad".

It doesn’t have to be game breaking. Like most things in 5e flight is typically a scant resource, at least until very high levels. I’m playing Descent into Avernus with a party of five level 12 PCs right now and the only one who can fly in our party is the artificer, with winged boots he used an infusion slot on – so he can fly four hours a day. Most of the fiends we’re fighting can fly so they have the advantage. The fly spell is third level and only lasts for ten minutes so it’s a big call if it gets used as slots are valuable and resting isn’t ridiculously easy like in BG3.

Sure, some playable races can fly… if you want to make a whole party of aarakocra then that’s on you (if BG3 will even add this race). My main point is that if there is no flight mechanic it shifts the whole premise of the game further away from D&D, no flying monsters (it’s dungeons and DRAGONS after all), no elevation on spells, a bunch of items won’t exist. And as others have pointed out, Solasta has pulled it off - albeit not perfectly but they have a studio of 17 devs IIRC.
Verticality and flight are two entirely different mechanics.

I can climb up on a roof. I can scale a mountain. I can climb a tree.

I cannot fly.

No CRPG, from the old school TSR Gold Box games, to date has managed true flight.

Even games such as Witcher 3 failed to manage flight - they had some flying monsters you could "ground" by shooting a crossbow at them, but then combat took place against a grounded creature.

Solasta is trying - but even their flight has a great many issues, and will not function properly over certain terrain features - nor can a flying character follow the non-flying characters across terrain.

I suspect due to the complexities and intricacies involved no CRPG will involve real flight and aerial combat in a satisfying manner without some form of advanced VR or Holographics.

CRPG's and D&D computer games have muddled through quite well without flight over the past 30 years - and can muddle through quite well without it for a bit longer.

There are plenty of other game mechanics they can advance with those resources.

Proper balancing of verticality, lighting, mobility, advantage/disadvantage, barrelmancy, movement, itemization, class features, spell/skill usage, map quality, U/I, the list is endless.

Failing to balance those features can kill a game. Failing to add flight and aerial combat are not going to do so.

Let me break a chair over someone's head in a bar fight, and knock them out instead of killing them - I can work with that.

Let me use some of the damn rope I keep finding to tie up the guy after said fight, and question him. I can work with that.

Let me use the rope to climb into a pit, instead of jumping around like a flea in a circus. I can work with that.

These are just as much a part of the premise of D & D, more viable from a mechanical and programming stance, and better use of resources.
+1
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