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The main problem with 4 person parties is that you might miss out on some of the interesting NPC's because you don't want to swap out characters which you have already invested in leveling up and equipment and story options.

So what do we do? Look to Narlen Darkwalk! Design NPC encounters where they do not necessarily fall under party control, but yet will participate in adventures with your character. Isn't that the ultimate single-player goal, to not need a "party" at all?

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Originally Posted by Argyle
So what do we do?
Replay the game with different party?

Seems prety clear that is something Larian presumes ... i mean just look at all those possible outcomes!


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Originally Posted by Argyle
Isn't that the ultimate single-player goal, to not need a "party" at all?

I don't really know who Narlen Darkwalk is, but I will say that what you suggest isn't really the "ultimate single-player goal." If a game is designed to include a party of characters that you control, then the goal is to make those characters enjoyable to play as/with and interact with.

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Every time I have ever played D&D, I played only my own character. Is that uncommon?

For me it gets really tedious at high levels when you have to manage spells, magic items, combat options, special abilities, etc., for every single person in the party. I tend to just not use them at their full potential most of the time. I suppose the turn-based system makes this a little more manageable, I don't know as I have not bought BG III yet.

Narlen Darkwalk is a thief in Baldur's Gate City. He speaks the thieves' cant, and you don't control him but he does do a couple heists with you.

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Originally Posted by Argyle
Is that uncommon?
Depends on game ...


In the words of the senior NCO instructor at cadet battalion:
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Originally Posted by Argyle
Every time I have ever played D&D, I played only my own character. Is that uncommon?
Oddly no. It surprises me how many people play that way. You just might be an outlier, just like I am with my obsessive micromanagement of every unit on the other side of the spectrum. I would die of boredom if I played with a single character.

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This is an interesting turn in the thread! I always thought the single-player party concept in CRPG's was created just because the artificial intelligence (AI) was just not good enough.

The books suggest only a single character per player, at least in the beginning:

From the old AD&D PHB, "The Dungeon Master is advised to limit player characters to one per participant at commencement of the campaign, though as play progresses, additional player characters may be added in a judicious manner."

The 5E Player's Handbook uses singular language, "Your first step in playing an adventure in the Dungeons & Dragons game is to imagine and create a character of your own ... Once completed, your character serves as your representative in the game, your avatar in the Dungeons & Dragons world."

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Originally Posted by Argyle
This is an interesting turn in the thread! I always thought the single-player party concept in CRPG's was created just because the artificial intelligence (AI) was just not good enough.

The books suggest only a single character per player, at least in the beginning:

From the old AD&D PHB, "The Dungeon Master is advised to limit player characters to one per participant at commencement of the campaign, though as play progresses, additional player characters may be added in a judicious manner."

The 5E Player's Handbook uses singular language, "Your first step in playing an adventure in the Dungeons & Dragons game is to imagine and create a character of your own ... Once completed, your character serves as your representative in the game, your avatar in the Dungeons & Dragons world."
This is how it has always been for me. I have never played a D&D game, TT or video game, without playing a character I created. Having said this, when it comes to my companions in a party-based video game, I only play with the provided NPCs and never ever custom-created "mercs" (unless there is no choice like in the IwD games).

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Originally Posted by Argyle
...

So what do we do? Look to Narlen Darkwalk! Design NPC encounters where they do not necessarily fall under party control, but yet will participate in adventures with your character. Isn't that the ultimate single-player goal, to not need a "party" at all?

The problem in my opinion is the AI which often has less "I" in it than desired.

I like party games. I always want to roleplay one person, but that does not mean that I want to play only one class per playthrough. For me the party of 4 is the best compromise. I get some interactions with companions and I can (as meta) play several classes at once without having to play several campaigns (which I don't like). Four party members are manageable. One of the many aspects I didn't like in P:WotR (or PoE 2) was the need to play so many (in case of Pathfinder bloated and overcomplicated) classes.

What interests me not at all is playing as an origin character, for me it's wasted time on the side of Larian.

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There are 3 configurations I will want to play this game with, 1, 4 & 6 and confident mods will allow them all and keep a balance.

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People having to expect to relie on MODS to do this is sad. Larian isn't an Indie dev anymore. Gives us options. This is a 60$+ D&D/baldur's gate RPG game.

For an D&D RPG tactical game yea its way too small. Wish we had 5, 6 party members. Archer , rogue, wizards, Cleric, Barbarian, Paladin all have a chance to shine. More options more interesting battles. I just cant understand why people are in the <less is better> camp for that element.

Maybe because nowdays people have been tricked that less content = better quality.....great way to divide the game up and sell it in bits and pieces via <season pass> schemes. We are so used to this now.

But for a Larian game, the way they designed the game and its encounter content...sadly it fits. I mean, there isn't going to be more than 10 companions anyways. And its a cinematic Telltale game.
5~6+ party games like NwN2, Pathfinder Wotr or BG2 have 15 plus companions so that works. Or games were you can create your own party like Wizardry 8 (8 playable!)

The saddest part of all is because of BG3 ULTRA cinematic nature, nearly impossible to make extra NPC mods that goes with the story. We are stuck with that LOONEY TUNES group Larian makes. For the exception of one maybe...I completely HATE every single characters. And guess what? Thats all we get.
Meanwhile its totally feasible to do this with Pathfinder WoTr for example. Or expand/rewrite some poorly written characters. Though for WoTr I already love 5, 6 characters out of their 15. Thats the complete BG3 roster. lol.
Point being, MORE OPTIONS MORE LOVE.

Last edited by mr_planescapist; 07/05/22 12:37 AM.
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Originally Posted by mr_planescapist
People having to expect to relie on MODS to do this is sad. Larian isn't an Indie dev anymore. Gives us options. This is a 60$+ D&D/baldur's gate RPG game.

For an D&D RPG tactical game yea its way too small. Wish we had 5, 6 party members. Archer , rogue, wizards, Cleric, Barbarian, Paladin all have a chance to shine. More options more interesting battles. I just cant understand why people are in the <less is better> camp for that element.

No it's not way to small, the larger the group the more pointless each member becomes. You are basically asking for the game to be Warhammer and the "party" being an army. That is not the game we have seen in EA so far, battles is not the main objective of BG3. Most of the battles has a way to entirely avoid them, what are you going to do with those 10 party members?

This isn't a combat simulator.

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Originally Posted by Miravlix
No it's not way to small, the larger the group the more pointless each member becomes. You are basically asking for the game to be Warhammer and the "party" being an army. That is not the game we have seen in EA so far, battles is not the main objective of BG3. Most of the battles has a way to entirely avoid them, what are you going to do with those 10 party members?

This isn't a combat simulator.
Complete and utter nonsense.

Not even just the overall conclusion.
Basically every single one of your individual claims in this post is questionable on a best day and possibly a complete joke in general.

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I guess "utter nonsense" is much worse than regular "nonsense". There is still a good point to make here, which is that large parties for me become very tedious as the levels increase. There is only so much party operation that I am willing to manage during each combat round. For high level parties, I tend to forget the 112 spells known by my mages/clerics/bards, and the 14 different weapon proficiencies and potions my fighters have, etc. So if you look at the issue from that point of view, maybe it is better start with a slightly larger party at low levels, then drop a few of them off at higher levels ... unless the AI is good enough where I can just give general commands and don't have to manage every little detail.

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What I observed in my playthroughts of ranger and druid in Baldur's and with my playthrough through Divinity OS2 is that making balanced party that is varied is much more harder with 4 party members.

I'm personally a player that wants varied party. Early in game you get cleric, rogue and wizard, exactly in that order. Now, in order to try druid class you have to recruit Lazariel, but I personally am not keen on kicking someone out of my party.

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Originally Posted by Argyle
I guess "utter nonsense" is much worse than regular "nonsense".
It is. By a long shot.

Quote
There is still a good point to make here, which is that large parties for me become very tedious as the levels increase.
I don't see the good point? In fact, it's the exact other way around for me.
The more the game goes, the more a smaller party feels like an unbearable restriction that CRIPPLES tactical variety. Always using the same limited number of classes, always having too little room to allow for different party composition and experimentation, always feeling basically pressured to reserve most of the available slots for critical roles, rather than feeling encouraged to experiment with different things.

Also "more characters to manage in each round" typically means having to go through LESS rounds in general, as you'll tend to synergize better and dispatch more enemies quicker.
It also means having more incentives to deal honestly with your own failures and misses, because having two characters put to sleep/incapacitated in a party of six is a relatively minor annoyance, having it in a party of fours can mean being forced to a reload.
And the claim that the combat in D&D "isn't supposed to be a combat simulator" is highly questionable in itself and only justifiable if you accept a very narrow definition of what "simulation" is supposed to mean in context.
because that's exactly what it is: a tactical combat simulation inspired by old war games in its core mechanics.

Well, these are just few of the twenty or more different arguments I could (and I already did) throw on the plate of this specific topic.
There's also the little incentive to make use of a larger variety of loot, there's being precluded from experiencing a larger number of questlines, there's not being allowed ANY room for "role redundancy", etc, etc, etc.

Last edited by Tuco; 07/05/22 08:00 PM.
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Originally Posted by Miravlix
Originally Posted by mr_planescapist
People having to expect to relie on MODS to do this is sad. Larian isn't an Indie dev anymore. Gives us options. This is a 60$+ D&D/baldur's gate RPG game.

For an D&D RPG tactical game yea its way too small. Wish we had 5, 6 party members. Archer , rogue, wizards, Cleric, Barbarian, Paladin all have a chance to shine. More options more interesting battles. I just cant understand why people are in the <less is better> camp for that element.

No it's not way to small, the larger the group the more pointless each member becomes. You are basically asking for the game to be Warhammer and the "party" being an army. That is not the game we have seen in EA so far, battles is not the main objective of BG3. Most of the battles has a way to entirely avoid them, what are you going to do with those 10 party members?

This isn't a combat simulator.

Are you serious ?! ROFL.

"(in an RPG game) The larger the group the more pointless each member becomes"
<Larian BG3 forums- May 2022>

Are you trying to compare controlling an ARMY from a strategy war game to a D&D Baldur's gate like story driven RPG game with a potential party of 6 that has dialogue, variety of builds and classes???
Talk about taking things to the next level of idiocy.

Lets just have a single character then in our tactical RPGs to deal with then ?
Its so much more interesting. Oh but wait, 4 is FINE you say? Uh, and why is that?
lol.

Last edited by mr_planescapist; 07/05/22 11:24 PM.
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Six characters is nothing compared to old-school D&D parties; back then, groups could easily reach higher numbers with or without accompanying NPCs.

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