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Hey folks, it's another Panel from Hell!

The latest Panel From Hell aired recently, focused on Patch 7. It was sub-titled Panel From Hell: 5th Edition, but we're going to be seeing very little related to bring the game towards 5e here, at all, unfortunately. Nevertheless, I'll be making a synopsis here for those who don't want to, or don't have the time, to sit and watch the full stream. I'm aware Drath already has a thread up for discussing the panel, and as usual, I'm happy to cede discussion priority to their thread; this is just a full synopsis of the stream itself, for those who don't have the time or inclination to watch it.

This Panel From Hell was approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes long, so substantially shorter than previous panels. It begins with a fan art reel of some very nice art. It was, er... mostly Astarion, overwhelmingly so. Only about a minute of fan art this time, but still nice to see.

We open the stream onto a lavish scene with the cast of our main 'team', around a stocked feast table. Most are in costume, Swen is in his armour and playing on a hand-held Steam Deck. Rather than the normal introduction and greeting, he spends the first minute of the stream playing on his steam deck and talking about how good it is to play D:OS2 on it, and that you really should play D:OS1 and D:OS2 on it if you are lucky enough to get a steam deck. Nice start, guys.

When we get around to saying hello to the audience, Swen walks away from the cast to be on his own, with a fancy ice sculpture, and tells us that we can look forward to some live game-play for patch 7, a run down of the new features, and a special guest, and complains a bit about someone leaking their trailer early. He returns to the crew after making a joke about having his Illithid mind wipe everyone.

Back with the others, we throw over to Ross to hear about Improvised Weapons in patch 7. We learn that though you could already throw things around, they wanted to let players interact with the world more, so now they have revamped throwing, so that you can throw things at creatures, and even other creatures at creatures. It's unclear how this differs from the way that you can already do this (this writer dedicated a visual play-through to demonstrating exactly this, and how effective it was, long ago), but hopefully the game-play will bear out what they mean.

We also learn that they're implementing Throwing Weapons. The game-play cut we see during this section reveals that many weapons, such as daggers, have now got the “thrown” weapon property, which is a good sign! It seems that you still use the throw command to do this, but that any weapon with the thrown property now has an actual animation for moving through the air, and will deal its weapon damage, rather than impact damage based on its weight. We also see that throwing, has a new dedicated button icon, and it does cost an action (the action cost is not new, but it's clearer to see now). We do see, however, that random heavy objects are still doing more damage than using your actual weapons. All up, this point gets about one minute and thirty seconds discussion time.

Next, we talk about UI changes and enhancements. Swen introduces this point by saying that they've redone just about every single aspect of the UI, and that he expects it to change how the game is played. Sounds like big stuff. We throw it over to individual crew members to talk about the different aspects, starting with the Hot Bar, discussed by one of the crew members whom I can't name, as he was not introduced.

The bold claim is that everything we could possibly want is in here now, and its functionality has been fixed, with Decks. This is described as being different bar sets for different types of abilities – spells, items, etc., and being fully customisable, while we're given a sneak peek of it on screen. On screen, we can see the top bar, that usually sits above the hot bar, now has a selection of buttons on it, acting functionally like tabs to take you to different sets. The screen demonstration seems to have five buttons – one for everything that takes an action, one for bonus action options, one for arcane recovery (the character is a wizard; this bar, notably, has one single button in it, being arcane recovery...), and two more buttons, occupied by 1st and 2nd level spell slots. Below the hot bar we also see more buttons - “Common” “Wizard” “Items” “Passives” and “Custom” These look like extra bar set up options, to compliment the ones up top. If the top bar is going to populate with a new button for each level of spell, it's going to get impossibly cramped; in this writer's opinion, it looks nice enough now, but doesn't look very future proof – though in that sense it's no worse than before. There's also some mild dissonance between having some decks set to top bar buttons with one shape and visual appearance, and then more deck bar options set to different buttons, underneath the bar, with a completely different button shape and visual appearance. Swen also mentions that if you click into the throwing menu from here, it brings up a display of everything you can throw... which sounds like it's usually going to be a huge list, given everything else.

Next, we jump to someone else to talk about inventory and character sheet. The inventory and character sheet pages have been rebuilt into a single window that doesn't interrupt game-play – much more similar to the way character sheets displayed in the earliest of ancient D&D video games; we have a little character doll (though it's smaller now, which is sad), our attributes on the left, a button to bring up our skill list below that, inventory boxes below the character equipment display (complete with a filter button and a search box that appears like it will let you filter items by typing), and on the side, a number of tabulated buttons to call other pages, such as the spell book. There are other buttons, the function of which are less clear for now, but they promise to talk about it more in depth later, though Swen notes that this change should improve accessibility and also speed up game-play.

After that intense three minutes of panel discussion about new features and BG3 related info, we then take a break to talk about *Merchandise* – drinking cups and shirts, apparently.

Once that's out of the way, the next UI element to discuss is Tool Tips. We learn that they've tightened up and improved the game tool-tips to link up more reliably, and display their information more clearly – thought Swen interrupts the information to ask her if she ever imagined she'd be getting excited about tool-tips, and they spend longer talking about this and her excitable tail, than about the topic (one minute total time for this section, thirty-five seconds of which is about her tail and mild jeering at her excitement over tool-tips).

We move swiftly on to the next topic, which is “Room Portals”; You know how you can see every room (Swen: Yes!), you can hover every object (Swen: Yes!), you can see every enemy and what they're planning (Swen: Yes!); it completely ruins the fun (Swen clearly does not agree with this bit). However, it looks like they're toying around with a fog of war type effect, where spaces you haven't explored or looked at are blacked out, and you cannot see into them.

Along with this, we hear that they've done more work with lighting, to make sure the actual lighting that we can see I our environments reflect the lighting that the game recognises mechanically, and this should all track a lot better now. That's good to hear. Darkvision has a new visual representation now – now resembling a personal forward light. This writer isn't really sold on what we see here – feels more like darkvision characters just have a forward light cone, and are effectively blinkered tot hat – and creatures in the dark off to their side get all the benefits against them as though they didn't have darkvision at all... at least that's how it looks right now, on the game-play cut we get.

Next, we move onto initiative order, and as well as the display now being centred at the top of the screen, they tell us that now you can see not only who has the current turn, but also who had the previous turn and who has the next turn.... I'm... not sure why they implied that this was new, ro that you could not see those things previously. It is all on one scrolling row now, and does look at least some what cleaner and more professional than before.

We take a moment next to talk about items. They've been developing interesting new items and item sets that will synergise together, and that they've taken effort to develop interesting item sets so that there will be nice sets that are good for each class. They enthuse about how cool and amazing this feature that has been a staple of every fantasy since Diablo is. Still, it sounds like they're trying to make them interesting and unique. Swen's excitement in particular makes this writer suspect that 'interesting' and 'unique' are perhaps synonymous with 'brutally overpowered'. We'll have to wait and see.

Next up, Cinematics, and the crew tell us that they've revamped or improved over 700 existing cinematics with the new patch, as well as adding new ones. In the clip, we see a tacit confirmation that Barbarian is our new class, so naturally there will be a lot of new class specific actions and cinematic cuts for them, we must presume. The clips that they show here are mostly of re-cuts, and angle shifts, and presumably they work more smoothly than before, along with the continuing efforts at visual improvements too. It looks like Astarion's Bite-night scene will be back in the game again, after disappearing last patch.

They pull out the dot matrix print reel joke again, when talking about their list of other patch note sand improvements – hundreds and hundreds of fixes, they say. They give David enough time to mention that there's new music, as well as some things that they've fixed that they know the community was super interested and vocal about, and that they know the community will be so happy about... He mentions:

- Ability to jump back into your existing multiplayer character more easily when rejoining a multiplayer save.
- Also in multiplayer, getting downed on your turn will now immediately end your turn.
- They've also re-recorded the narrator (Swen says “I really like the way he sounds now”, though later, in the game-play section of the stream, the narrator sounds much as she always has, at least to my ears.)

At this point, the dinner party is crashed by a screaming barbarian who hacks apart their Illithid ice sculpture and smashes up Swen's Steam Deck, before getting told off and sent home. While they rapidly scramble for a new barbarian to talk to, they play the barbarian intro video.

The clip is about a minute long, with a short voice over at the beginning, and mostly shows the new class throwing things at enemies... which isn't really what Barbarian is known for, but oh well. The kick animation looked nice enough.

We come back in to Swen, in a slightly changed set, introducing the stream's actual special guest barbarian – Wolfheart, of WolfheartFPS, whose videos of these panels are, in fact, my go to, since I can't watch live (I'm watching his upload of the panel now as I do this synopsis ^.^)

With his introduction, they move on to the live play section of the stream. For those interested in the time allocation, Of this roughly one hour and fifty minute panel show, 15 minutes of it was dedicated to an actual panel that discussed the update, its content and patch details. But anyway... together they plan to visit the blighted village, and acquire the Necromancy of Thay book as they explore the Barbarian class.

The first thing we see is that the trend of having conversation options that should be available to everyone being instead tied to class or race, continues – the barbarian has a new dialogue option for getting into town, replacing the generic intimidation line, though they don't test it in their game.

We do get to see that there's a new improvised melee weapon button, underneath the throw button – for picking something up and making a melee attack with it, based on strength and the weight of the object... though it's unclear if this is a barbarian thing, or a standard action that everyone will have now, along with the 'improved' throwing mechanic.
We also get our first look at the rage tool-tip – rage is a bonus action (good) and takes one of our rages (good), and grants us advantage on Strength ability checks and saving throws (good). It also gives us resistance to physical damage; this is potentially a problem, but it's unclear exactly, and we won't be able to tell without more testing. Rage normally grants resistance to bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage (at base); even magical bl/pi/sl. Lots of other things that have this kind of resistance don't get it for magical weapons or magical bl/pi/sl, but barbarian rage does, and that's important. Just calling it 'physical damage' makes this unclear. The other issue here is that the rage tool-tip does not have the heavy armour negation on it – as written right now, it looks like you can gain all of your rage benefits while wearing full plate armour.

A concern that others have highlighted from the patch notes and from earlier in the stream, was that they implied that your rage would end if you didn't hit something or get hit – but the tool tip, thankfully, seems to have this right – it reads that your rage ends early if you haven't attacked or taken damage – which is how it should be; actually hitting is not necessary.

As the fight begins, both barbarians grab the summoner goblin and throw it at its summoned spider. Even though one of the throws is a critical miss, the thrown goblin still takes damage (this is in line with how throw has worked previously in the game).

They also take this opportunity to show off reckless attack, which gives you advantage on your attack rolls, at the expense of giving enemies advantage to attack you until your next turn as well. A major concern with this is that, although the tool-tip is written correctly, it's an independent action – it costs an action and makes the attack, as its own button, just like their design for previous class features. This is, as with other class features, going to be a real problem when extra attack comes in at level 5. They are not thinking forward with this. As with rage, they're also missed out an important nuance for Reckless Attack – it does not specify that it applies to attacks made using Strength, but simply reads as though it works universally. This is a major, major, oversight.

The reckless attack actually displays as a miss, since presumably one of the rolls would have missed – this looks a bit misleading. Wolf also has some trouble detecting whether he's going to get opportunity attacks or not, and admits to being unable to tell.

When the next goblin shoots wolf's character, for a critical hit, the words 'bonus action' pop up above his character's head. The reason for this is opaque. It happens again late in the stream as well. My best guess here is that it's a special effect of one of the items in the new item set that his character is wearing (granting an additional bonus action when under 50% hp).

After the brief scuffle, the pair level up, and we get to look at the level up screens, and the primal path choices that Barbarian has at level 3.

The first primal path... only, they've just called it generic 'subclass', which is very boring of them... ahem... the first primal path we look at is being called “Wildheart”; it's the totem warrior line, but they decided to rename it for no apparent reason. They don't mention it, but visually, we can see that they do get access to the speak with animals spell (still no ritual casting in game, so it's just instant), as well as your choice of totem. These line up more or less with the handbook, but they've also given them extra things as well.

Bear totem grants you resistance to all damage except psychic damage, as in the hand book, but in BG3 it also grants you “Unrelenting Ferocity” which is an action heal skill, healing you for 1d8+Con mod. It wasn't immediately clear what the limitation on this extra buff would be.

Eagle totem gives your opponents disadvantage on opportunity attacks against you, and lets you dash as a bonus action, as per the hand book, but in BG3 it also lets you use “Diving Strike”, which is a new attack skill that negates any fall damage you would have taken and knocks the target prone – it just says it does it, no save or anything.

Elk increases your movement speed by 15 feet, but in BG3 it also gives you access to another new attack skill, “Primal Stampede”, which has reportedly similar properties to the boar's rush.

Tiger totem increases your jump distance by 15 feet – more than the PHB, though it's lacking nay notation about your high jump capabilities. In BG3 it also grants you access to... oh my, what surprise... another new attack skill, “Tiger's Bloodlust”, which is a frontal 3-target AoE that inflicts the bleeding condition.

Wolf totem functionally gives you the Pack Tactics effect – allies gain advantage on targets that you're in melee range of – and it lets you use “Inciting Howl”, which is the wolf companion's movement speed buff.

When you choose this primal path, you get given cosmetic changes - piercings of various styles all over your face. You can choose not to have them, but I feel, strongly, that these are options that should all be available in character creation, not locked behind a specific line choice.

Swen spends much of the time that Wolf uses to describe the different totem choices, pushing hard for the wolfpack to choose the eagle totem, and then calls them wrong and misguided when they don't.

Next, we look at the Berserker path, as our second option. We see that Frenzied Rage is not an option, here – your rage just straight up turns into frenzied rage, completely. Of course, BG3 has no exhaustion mechanic, so there's literally no balance factor to the benefits of frenzy rage now. You gain the use of “Frenzied Strike” “Enraged Throw” and “Improvised Weapon Attack” - all additional independent buttons actions of their own, of course, which won't work with any other class features or abilities.

Frenzied Strike is tool-tipped as making a melee weapon attack with your equipped weapon, dealing weapon damage slashing damage. Yep, those tool tips really are cleaned up and tighter and clearer now, mmhmm. This one is a bonus action.

Enraged Throw is using throw as a bonus action, and knocking whatever you hit prone (again, no mention of there being any save involved here). Also, of course, nothing to stop you using this and throw as an action to throw two creatures off cliffs at once...

Improvised Weapon Attack is the same again, letting you use the improvised weapon action as a bonus action.

With the level ups out of the way, the party then take another moment out to do some chat about the rest of the UI changes, now that they have them on screen. While Swen load sup a second version of the client on the old patch, they mention that this UI overhaul has been the work of over a year's worth of prototyping and testing.

They compare some of the aspects of the new UI with how they used to look, and it's not bad; it's the same sort of thing that fantasy RPGs have been doing for twenty years, but it doesn't look bad. The new character sheet is compact, neat, and now we finally get a look at what those mystery buttons on the bottom left were all about; they're filters for the inventory that seem to show you a numeric value of how many armours, simple weapons and martial weapons, respectively, that the current character is carrying and is proficient with, and clicking one of these buttons filters the inventory to show just those things. Hovering each of the three buttons gives you a list of exactly what armours and weapons the character is proficient with.

This seems like a bit of an odd thing to be taking up as much real estate on the sheet as it is. It's not a bad feature, but it's a strange choice to dedicate about a sixth of the character sheet to, especially when most of it is blank space most of the time. It suggests that the designers expect us to be changing weapons and armour a heck of a lot more frequently than is at all likely – especially if you're not a martial class.

Other elements of the sheet are pretty nifty as they show them off – the inventory filter has a suggestions drop down that will let you quickly pick filtering by category, if you want, rather than typing in a name, while another pop-out button shows a list of the special and class features that the character has access too – including those granted by items, it appears.

During these comparisons, we get a brief glance at two other Barbarian features – Unarmoured Defence and Danger Sense.

Unarmoured Defence is written in the same lazy, likely confusion or problem inducing way as many other things. It simply says that, while not wearing armour, you add your constitutions modifier to your AC. Remember folks – Ac calculation methods are distinct and don't stack. I foresee plenty of new to the game Barbarians expecting to benefit from mage armour and Unarmoured Defence at the same time, because of how this is written.

Danger Sense, as written, has the same problem. It doesn't specify that you need to be able to see the effect, but it also specifically lists what it applies to – traps and spells – when in the PHB these are just examples. A barbarian's Danger Sense, for example, Works against a red dragon's breath weapon. As written in BG3 right now, it Won't.

The stream continues with them bringing Nick in, along with Gale, to get this mission moving. As they do, they show off two new features; the party chain, while not exactly fixed, has been moved to the side, and it now comes with two buttons to link and unlink the whole group, and to sneak or not – welcome additions, even if not quite the full selection control that many are still hoping for.

Swen orders the troops around to set up a meta-game alpha strike on the ogres, but they're interrupted when a short cut-scene with a goblin launches them into combat without any actual text options.

It turns out to be a brief respite only, since, after setting the other party members to get hammered – which they subsequently do, the fight with the ogres goes quite poorly. We don't showcase anything else interesting during this section; Swen mostly uses reckless attack and the others spend most of the time downed.

Eventually, they make their way down into the cellar, and they play around with the changed throw mechanic... which, to be honest, doesn't look very changed. It's got a new animation, but it doesn't look any different from the way throwing creatures and objects has been in the past. Just watching, aside from having an animation, I can't really see how it's different. They spend a few minutes making nick a punching bag for the purposes of demonstration, and note how concerned they are about thrown allies taking bludgeoning damage when they hit the ground.

Moving on, they fight the skeletons, and do it mostly with throws – at this point we've seen about ten throws, and there hasn't been a single instance where the throwing character has failed to pick up and throw the target victim; it has simply worked, every time.

We kill the skellies, talk to Shovel, and then approach the spooky mirror – it's got a new face! Swen takes the new barbarian option to smash the mirror – though it's worth noting here that the option to rage was not presented in the possible buffs UI for the check. It really should be.

The party retrieve the book, then go hunting for the gem – this involves attempting to bypass the whole spider cave zone by throwing a party member across a chasm. It mostly works; stealth mechanics are still as broken and abusable as ever. They spend the rest of the stream mostly just playing the game, without showcasing anything else new or particularly worth mentioning – though towards the end I did note one additional anomaly; Wolf's rage seemingly ended when his turn came around, despite him consistently attacking every round prior to this, and despite the fact that the Minotaur directly before him just hit him with an attack and dealt damage. No-one on stream commented on this at all, however.

After killing the Minotaurs, they end the game play section and close out the stream with a short recap on the things covered in the stream and I the upcoming patch. Swen announces that the patch is going live now, at the end of the stream, and goes on to talk a little bit more about development times- projecting about one year more or so, before a tentative launch date. Swen takes time to thank his guests and his team, and the other people involved in the production elements of the panel, and notes that no actual Steam Deck was destroyed in the earlier skit – it was a 3D printed mock up, because they only have the one.

That was it for this Panel From Hell... I feel I wasn't as scathing this time as I have been previously... It certainly didn't really deserve the '5th edition' subtitle, as it showed no signs of any changes intended to bring the game closer to 5e, and indeed, the enthusiasm they have for the ridiculous throwing nonsense, and excessive unnecessary home-brewing of extra abilities, shows a reinforcement of their determination to move away from it.... but the UI changes don't look bad, and, at the very least, they are better than what they are replacing... that's a very low bar to beat, it does look like it will beat it, more or less. The barbarian class looks like it's being implemented mostly by the book... with some glaring exceptions and extra bits tacked on all along the way... but that, unfortunately, is overshadowed by the elephant that was thrown into the room, and then out of it again, on the same turn, by the same character, without any saves of chance of failure. Oh well.

Take care folks.

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Fantastic work, thank you for summarizing the panel! I don't have the patience to sit through these hours-long streams of mostly gameplay, so this is very helpful.

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Hmmm. The new UI stuff sounds like some good changes. The Barbarian and the throw/improvised weapon stuff strikes me as rather gimmicky though. Like maybe it'll be fun but IDK if I feel about what looks like gameplay features being formed around memes? Throwing/using enemies as weapons sounds really strong-not sure how viable thrown weapons will be with that around. Hopefully at least there will be 'returning weapons' down the road if it didn't come with this patch. Throwing a goblin off a bridge is one thing, accidentally throwing your +1 dagger off one is another. Sad to see that items are already going into a 'set+build' mindset. Think it's starting to show the limitations of 5e's weapon/armor system, but I'll be sad to see if our characters get pidegonholed into specific equipment builds-ie: 'below 50% health builds' 'when you heal build' etc.

Piercings being relegated to a specific variant of a specific class is a real, real shame. 'Only Wildheart barbarians can have piercings' is a really weird restriction.

Overall, I really like the sound of the UI overhaul, but the new class and combat features haven't hooked my interest. With no new story content I'm not sure I really see myself playing much of this patch. Was really hoping for a new companion or two, or the mountain pass or tweaks to some of the existing story content.

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Thanks as always for the summary/critique Niara. Per usual I didn't want to sit through the entire gameplay section, so it's nice to have a summary of the notable things that happened during it.

Originally Posted by Niara
I feel I wasn't as scathing this time as I have been previously
One the one hand, I suppose it's good that the PfH didn't provoke as many scathing comments. On the other, it's pretty enjoyable to read scathing reviews of these events. Ah well, maybe next time. XD

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Thanks, Niara. You have been remarkably gentle in your comments this time, that's for sure.

So, if I understood correctly, the fact that BG3 has a single-player capability is an unfortunate accident, one that Larian has to live with, despite their unambiguous preferences for the contrary?

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Thanks, @Niara. Yet again an excellent summary.

Originally Posted by RutgerF
So, if I understood correctly, the fact that BG3 has a single-player capability is an unfortunate accident, one that Larian has to live with, despite their unambiguous preferences for the contrary?
Who said this, and where?

If this is correct, then I am vindicated in what I've been saying about this game right from the very first moment it was revealed. My claim has always been that they made this game for multiplayer first, and single-player is something they have grudgingly included in the game (because WotC compelled them to include it). As such, all major game design decisions have been made with multiplayer in mind first and foremost, with no regard for any negative consequences to the SP experience.

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Oh no, that's just my personal conclusion I came to, after reading between Swen's lines this entire time. I didn't understand him at first, but now the message is more or less clear.

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Originally Posted by RutgerF
Oh no, that's just my personal conclusion I came to, after reading between Swen's lines this entire time. I didn't understand him at first, but now the message is more or less clear.
Oh ok. So then we are both of the same mind (now) on this issue. smile

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Originally Posted by kanisatha
If this is correct, then I am vindicated in what I've been saying about this game right from the very first moment it was revealed. My claim has always been that they made this game for multiplayer first, and single-player is something they have grudgingly included in the game (because WotC compelled them to include it). As such, all major game design decisions have been made with multiplayer in mind first and foremost, with no regard for any negative consequences to the SP experience.

And this is a decision I will never understand, based on the likely percentages of people playing single player over co-op.

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Originally Posted by kanisatha
My claim has always been that they made this game for multiplayer first, and single-player is something they have grudgingly included in the game
They are continuing D:OS design. D:OS1 was a straight up coop - the story was about two protagonists and even when playing in singleplayer you had to create two characters, and have them talk with each other throughout the adventure.

In D:OS2&BG3 they try to do more of a hybrid, expanding on D:OS1 coop design, while also expanding bits that singleplayer folks care for - like companions. I see it as an attempt to bring social interaction of a tabletop to cRPG, over storytelling/roleplaying aspect of an cRPG. And while that’s not what I am looking for, Larian’s focus on multiplayer design is what sets them apart from the RPG crowd - for the better and for the worse. And there is audience for it - more or less every RPG I followed recently had its share of criticism for being “behind times” by being singleplayer.

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finally watching the panel from hell and not going to lie, it took me about 2 min to realize WolfheartFPS was the sub Barb. kind of cool seeing him on their, first barb was over the top epic also.

Edit* bg3 does have multi in it for sure but focused? No, if it was more multi focused we would have better co-op story setup atm its trashy and everyone except one person takes a back seat.

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Remember the previous Panel from Hell?

There was a moment where a dramatic scene is supposed to play. The party encounters a gnome slave so desperate, that she is willing to blow herself and everyone else up.
Swen solved it by clicking on another character during dialogue, simply walking behind the gnome while she's stuck in a conversation, and then taking the bombs from her. The drama is now dead.

Is this scene more fun in singleplayer or coop?

What I'm trying to say with this is: If the game was singleplayer focused, then it would prioritize immersion over memes like these. The result is that the story integrity repeatedly gets hit with a sledgehammer.

Hell, the story and it's structure so far have so many parallels to DOS2.

- Awakening on a ship that is under attack
- Ending up on a beach
- Lack of a protagonist [Because if there was one we would have a central character pushing the story forward. This design exists solely to support coop. Any of the companions (or your coop partners) could take over the role of your custom character and the core of the story wouldn't change.]
- Larian's characters all have super special backstories and goals/ambitions beyond their interests in the main story while the custom character is just there
- Other people have your party's special abilities (sourcerer/tadpole) as well, but your party is actually double special (godwoken/chosen)

They might have put a little bit more thought into the story, but copy-pasting the design of their previous game shows that we are going to get a game that feels more like an MMO than a DnD CRPG. Even the way they design magical items (<50% health for bonuses for example) is an evidence that none of the leads at Larian have an intimate knowledge of DnD.

Unrelated:
What is the consensus in general about class specific dialogue choices. They seem stereotypical in most cases. Rogues get a "steal thing" dialogue choice once, while Barbs can smash things. Why can't a fighter steal or smash things as well? At most I'd accept an advantage on those rolls but they shouldn't be class restricted.
I wonder how many "seduce him/her" dialogue options will there be when bard releases. Eh, people will love it anyways so whatever.

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To your point about magic items, I’d like to see the standard items from the DMG tackled first before we get all these homebrew item sets with brand new mechanics



Feel free to steal my profile pic if you feel the same way. Let's show some solidarity.
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Originally Posted by prop85
Remember the previous Panel from Hell?

There was a moment where a dramatic scene is supposed to play. The party encounters a gnome slave so desperate, that she is willing to blow herself and everyone else up.
Swen solved it by clicking on another character during dialogue, simply walking behind the gnome while she's stuck in a conversation, and then taking the bombs from her. The drama is now dead.

Is this scene more fun in singleplayer or coop?

What I'm trying to say with this is: If the game was singleplayer focused, then it would prioritize immersion over memes like these. The result is that the story integrity repeatedly gets hit with a sledgehammer.

Hell, the story and it's structure so far have so many parallels to DOS2.

- Awakening on a ship that is under attack
- Ending up on a beach
- Lack of a protagonist [Because if there was one we would have a central character pushing the story forward. This design exists solely to support coop. Any of the companions (or your coop partners) could take over the role of your custom character and the core of the story wouldn't change.]
- Larian's characters all have super special backstories and goals/ambitions beyond their interests in the main story while the custom character is just there
- Other people have your party's special abilities (sourcerer/tadpole) as well, but your party is actually double special (godwoken/chosen)

They might have put a little bit more thought into the story, but copy-pasting the design of their previous game shows that we are going to get a game that feels more like an MMO than a DnD CRPG. Even the way they design magical items (<50% health for bonuses for example) is an evidence that none of the leads at Larian have an intimate knowledge of DnD.

Unrelated:
What is the consensus in general about class specific dialogue choices. They seem stereotypical in most cases. Rogues get a "steal thing" dialogue choice once, while Barbs can smash things. Why can't a fighter steal or smash things as well? At most I'd accept an advantage on those rolls but they shouldn't be class restricted.
I wonder how many "seduce him/her" dialogue options will there be when bard releases. Eh, people will love it anyways so whatever.

I don't watch the live demo part of Panel from Hell series, only the discussion part. Anyway, in the scenario you give that's very possible in single or multi, either way it comes down to play style of the player/s.

I'm not going to argue similarities of DOS1, 2, or BG3. Pretty obvious BG3 has elements related to previous games the company has made. An they said previously they wanted to appease fans of there other games also, this is off the top of my head and I really dont want to bother looking this crap up.

True the structure of the story does flow no matter who does it, my previous statement still stands though. If it was multiplayer focused, we would have better multiplayer experience in dialog now instead of everyone except one taking a back seat.

The game supports single player or multi player, its going to do both.

Ya, custom characters got the shaft in DOS2 and it'll be the same for BG3. I was never a fan of this in the first place favoring DOS1 over 2. Played single player and multi on 2, both plays I did a custom and it felt like I was just playing the same character while there premades get personal story and unique dialog (unique dialog im not sure about, been forever since i played dos2).

It's like your playing D&D and the dm makes his own character for the party. An instead of taking a back seat he's in the forefront. I don't know if this is a good analogy or not but ill leave it in here anyway.

Its pretty stupid, like why bother making additional class or features for custom characters when really you just want your premade characters to be played.

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Originally Posted by LukasPrism
To your point about magic items, I’d like to see the standard items from the DMG tackled first before we get all these homebrew item sets with brand new mechanics
Agreed.

I came to the game for the D&D IP. And it just seems like that is often ignored in the design, and even some core concepts of 5e D&D being slowly eroded away and the game becoming more and more a generic RPG.

It is like they want the IP recognition but they don't actually want D&D.

Last edited by Clivehusker; 19/02/22 08:16 PM.
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Alright, I see your point.

Could you give an example (or an idea) of better done dialogue for multiplayer? I don't think I've ever seen multiplayer focused dialogue for an RPG before.

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Originally Posted by prop85
Alright, I see your point.

Could you give an example (or an idea) of better done dialogue for multiplayer? I don't think I've ever seen multiplayer focused dialogue for an RPG before.

Star wars the old republic & divinity original sin one, swtor has a voting system and DOS1 had rock, paper, scissors.

They could easily have additional players chime in via tag use like a npc.

Right now, the only thing that is in the game is the DOS1 additional dialog where two players can talk to each other and discuss the current situation that happened. It's really...bland and out of place.

Last edited by fallenj; 20/02/22 06:51 PM.
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But that just makes it a bit more random or democratic.

It doesn't exactly improve the experience of the story or the conversation.

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Originally Posted by Clivehusker
It is like they want the IP recognition but they don't actually want D&D.

That's basically what Swen admitted in an interview. They wanted the BG/D&D IP but to put their own twist on it.

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I games as simple as NWN2, most dialogues, whether story or side-quest, involved the whole party, and were actual discussions - not simple player-npc back and forths. The player, external to the game, still ultimately got to choose what the party was doing, but it was as part of a discussion where multiple group members participated during the conversations, and these really help the party feel like a party - and yes, even back then, when you could change your party around and choose who you wanted and didn't, the game handled that, and only those present participated.

Right now, the morning after Astarion's bite-night is the closest dialogue that the game seems to have to that kind of full-party openness - most conversations where the player and party have choices should be like this.


Quote
It is like they want the IP recognition but they don't actually want D&D.

Sadly, yes - that's exactly it. The pertinent quote from Swen is this one:

Quote
"so, the chance to do that [take on BG3], and to bring what basically is our RPG identity to Baldur's Gate as a franchise was an opportunity too good to resist. And so, what it will do for us... uh, what we think it will do for us is it's going to show a larger segment of people, because I think Baldur's Gate 3 will reach more people than Divinity will have done... it will show a larger segment of the population what our RPGs feel like and hopefully bring them to play our other games also."

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