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+1

party size constrained to four is kinda a deal breaker for me tbh - 5e is too big/dynamic to limit players to four slots

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so after playing solasta.. 4 party limit is really restrictive for me. i'm planning my 2nd playthrough and was really messing me up like.. paladin or fighter? i already had paladin on my first playthrough but paladin smites were so good. if i choose paladin i'll miss out trying fighter and all it's goodness. sorceror or wizard? if i choose sorceror and i'll miss out crafting and identify but i'll get metamagic goodness and twinning. cleric are so good can i ditch it without one? seems like i'll be smacking myself if i were to do so. i had ranger and the goodberry basically saved me all the hassle on ration encumbrance. i get it that the system is meant to "force" you to choose and live with compromises. but why not both? game can be equally challenging with you having 6 party members you can easily find that game as pathfinder wraht of the righteous.

Last edited by Archaven; 14/05/22 10:12 AM.
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I don't think it's a coincidence that just about everyone in here that was around for Pillars of Eternity downsizing party members from 6 in the first game to 5 in the second game really want the party member cap to be raised in BG3. A lot of the concerns about the difficulty balance being out of whack or turns taking too long are really just theoretical at best.

However, the downsizing had a pretty interesting effect on how certain classes were perceived. Even losing 1 party member slot resulted in party build discussion veering drastically towards min-max considerations rather than plugging up strategic holes or strengthening your specialties further. For example, Druids went from being considered a great utility caster in the first game to being a gimmick class that doesn't do anything particularly well compared to Wizard and Cipher in the second game. This also had the unfortunate side effect of Teketu seemingly being the least used party member in Deadfire by a pretty wide margin.

(As far as I'm aware, Serafen is probably the second least used party member, but not because his class is considered bad. His case is more accurately attributed to Ciphers being one of the most popular player character classes, and Serafen's personal Cipher class having a very bad RNG mechanic tied to his spellcasting that player character Ciphers don't have to deal with.)

I'm actually very interested to see what the party class breakdown would even look like in BG3 with the 4 party member limit. For example, I suspect Lae'zel is going to be completely ditched by the majority of the community once the Paladin class or the companion are available. Even in Solasta, I immediately felt the sheer loss of utility going from a playthrough where my main frontline tank was a Paladin to a playthrough where that role was taken by a Fighter.

I made this argument almost a whole year ago, but it does kinda bear repeating again.

With a 4 party limit, my plan is basically this:

- PC archery-focused Bard
- Gale
- Shadowheart
- Karlach only if she's a Paladin, otherwise I'll go with Wyll, shift my Bard and Shadowheart into being hybrid ranged/tank, and just focus entirely on cheese stealth alpha strikes like I've already been doing in the EA.

With a 6 party limit, I'd probably shift to the below instead.

- PC archery-focused Bard
- Gale
- Shadowheart
- Karlach as either Paladin or Barbarian
- Wyll because I legitimately like him
- Minsc or Halsin (assuming Halsin becomes a party member)

Yeah, I heavily favor magic and archery setups, the limit in this case basically controls what my front line would look like.

Last edited by Saito Hikari; 15/05/22 07:51 AM.
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Tight restrictions force you to be more creative. You don't always have the option to pick the best option with no downsides when faced a problem. Even in Original Sin 2 you probably had on average 3-4 ways to solve any given problem. Your playthroughs will actually become different, since you don't have a Wizard at hand to dispel a magical barrier every time, but have to find another way around. I highly doubt that the game difficulty requires you to have a minmaxed superparty obliterating everything on first turn. Getting through the game with an ill-suited band of misfits failing every other d20 roll might just be the greatest adventure you can have.

Fighters don't have as much utility, but Larian is adding plenty of stuff you can do besides swinging a sword even if you don't have any class features for it.

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Originally Posted by Bercon
Even in Original Sin 2 you probably had on average 3-4 ways to solve any given problem. Your playthroughs will actually become different, since you don't have a Wizard at hand to dispel a magical barrier every time, but have to find another way around.
I think D:OS2 is a horrible example, as armor system and lack of RNG for stuns greatly simplified the gameplay, at least for me. Essencially every character specializes in physical or magical damage - once you burn through armor you can stun lock the enemy with whatever stunlocking skill you have. The goal is to make more DPS then your enemy aka. burn through their armor before they burn through yours. Half-team dedicated to physical damage, half to magic damage. Some utility spells like healing/armor up/positioning if particular development path supports it. That's it. I attempted three playthroughs (one completed) and no the game played very much the same. That game got incredibly repetitive after just couple hours. I don't think that game was every designed around party play - more around 4 coop players being able to do well without cooperation of their partners. That is also where Larian is taking BG3, I think. I don't think their additions are there to expand tactical possibilities, but for individual classes to be less reliant on support from others.

Last edited by Wormerine; 15/05/22 01:14 PM.
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Originally Posted by Archaven
so after playing solasta.. 4 party limit is really restrictive for me. i'm planning my 2nd playthrough and was really messing me up like.. paladin or fighter? i already had paladin on my first playthrough but paladin smites were so good. if i choose paladin i'll miss out trying fighter and all it's goodness. sorceror or wizard? if i choose sorceror and i'll miss out crafting and identify but i'll get metamagic goodness and twinning. cleric are so good can i ditch it without one? seems like i'll be smacking myself if i were to do so. i had ranger and the goodberry basically saved me all the hassle on ration encumbrance. i get it that the system is meant to "force" you to choose and live with compromises. but why not both? game can be equally challenging with you having 6 party members you can easily find that game as pathfinder wraht of the righteous.
Yup, this is the one big thing I continue to dislike about Solasta. My two other big issues of no multiclassing and levels capped at 12 I have over time come to accept as things I can live with, but the party size of four issue is utterly aggravating.

Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
I don't think it's a coincidence that just about everyone in here that was around for Pillars of Eternity downsizing party members from 6 in the first game to 5 in the second game really want the party member cap to be raised in BG3. A lot of the concerns about the difficulty balance being out of whack or turns taking too long are really just theoretical at best.

However, the downsizing had a pretty interesting effect on how certain classes were perceived. Even losing 1 party member slot resulted in party build discussion veering drastically towards min-max considerations rather than plugging up strategic holes or strengthening your specialties further.
Completely agree.

With a party of four in BG3 you are always forced to engage in stupid min-maxing and there is no place within your party for a weird-but-fun build or even for roleplaying. It's just a very boring calculation of what is the "best" party. And yes, there is such a thing as the "best" party in BG3. It is fighter, cleric, rogue, wizard. That is the party everyone should always play with. Deviate from this party and you are shooting yourself in the foot.

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with less party characters there's no room for utility or simply no roleplaying for the character you want. just completed solasta the final battle was kinda tough for me. i was on authentic mode though. i can see that's how most battle will be as we'll probably be bombarded with swarms of very fat hitpoint sponges that can have 3-4 attacks every turn on your character. it was brutal. paladin smites are limited and can only use carefully. having a paladin, a dual wield ranger as my DPS. if anything i would say a fighter/battlemaster would really help with min 3 attacks and follow up strike as compared to my dual-wield ranger. only in final battle that i actually gulp a fire giant potion, potion of speed and greater invis on my dual wield ranger. not sure how they would balance for the encounter for weaker party setup .. well maybe other than say.. cheese

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Why are you so concerned about min-maxing and shooting yourself in the foot? The game difficulty doesn't require you to run optimized party. You can complete D:OS2 with all kinds of parties if you don't play on the highest difficulty. This is a single player role playing game. Not a competitive first person shooter or moba. Whats the point of playing with the "best" party? If you want the game to be easy, just lower the difficulty?

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Originally Posted by kanisatha
And yes, there is such a thing as the "best" party in BG3. It is fighter, cleric, rogue, wizard. That is the party everyone should always play with. Deviate from this party and you are shooting yourself in the foot.
For me this is a very bad and not fun party. I am assuming this is the "traditional" version with fighter as melee, rogue as mostly melee, and cleric melee when not healing? I do not enjoy this playstyle at all, the enemies need to die before they get in melee range. Tried to make myself like it, even having just one melee (fighter) but it didn't work.

I find fighter completely useless because they do not get crowd control spells like ranger does, and the enemies tend to die before they get a hit in if I play them as melee. Rogue I always play ranged but even they are unnecessary because anyone can pick locks. Cleric healing can be a good thing depending on if I screw up spell placement, but I always keep them ranged.

My best and favourite party (custom) so far was ranger, rogue, sorcerer, wizard. With vanilla companions it was ranger, rogue, wizard, cleric (because I always forget that short rests are a thing for warlock.) Probably at higher difficulties I will play ranger, sorcerer, wizard (or another sorcerer,) cleric, since the ranger will pick locks and scout. All stealthy, especially for traveling and ambushes, and ranged with strategic use of crowd control spells and positioning. A 4 sorcerer party would probably be just as fun and efficient, but I would miss Spike Growth and Ensnaring Strike too much.

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Originally Posted by Bercon
Why are you so concerned about min-maxing and shooting yourself in the foot? The game difficulty doesn't require you to run optimized party. You can complete D:OS2 with all kinds of parties if you don't play on the highest difficulty. This is a single player role playing game. Not a competitive first person shooter or moba. Whats the point of playing with the "best" party? If you want the game to be easy, just lower the difficulty?

On one hand, I would normally agree.

But after witnessing what effect the downsizing from 6 to 5 party members had on the Pillars of Eternity community... From a pragmatic standpoint, people are ALWAYS going to be seeking out min-max strategies. The harder a game is perceived to be, the more the community will push towards that mentality. Just look at the literal hundreds of build guides that exist for the Pathfinder games.

And let's be real, people LOVE to parrot out the idea that DOS:2 was a hard game, when it really wasn't after you realize that most of the difficulty consisted of gotcha-style encounter design more than anything else.

Last edited by Saito Hikari; 16/05/22 08:27 AM.
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Pathfinder games also have insane amount of options and complexity to them. DnD 5E is much more accessible, you don't need to read through 100 feats in character creation.

If people find these games too hard without a min-maxed party, they should just play on the easiest difficulty instead of asking for a bigger party size.

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Eh. 5e's system is pretty flexible on party composition. As long as you have someone who can Healing Word, someone who can be frontline, and someone magic-y, you're fine. Bonus for having thieves' tools proficiency I suppose, but you can always brute force or get Knock.

There are vastly fewer debilitating effects in 5e that require a Cleric (e.g., Pathfinder's permanently blind/crazy and ability score damage/drain).
Healing conscious party members is practically useless, further reducing the need for a Cleric.
Anyone can get proficiency in thieves' tools through backgrounds, or training in-game, so a rogue isn't required.

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Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
Originally Posted by Bercon
Why are you so concerned about min-maxing and shooting yourself in the foot? The game difficulty doesn't require you to run optimized party. You can complete D:OS2 with all kinds of parties if you don't play on the highest difficulty. This is a single player role playing game. Not a competitive first person shooter or moba. Whats the point of playing with the "best" party? If you want the game to be easy, just lower the difficulty?

On one hand, I would normally agree.

But after witnessing what effect the downsizing from 6 to 5 party members had on the Pillars of Eternity community... From a pragmatic standpoint, people are ALWAYS going to be seeking out min-max strategies. The harder a game is perceived to be, the more the community will push towards that mentality. Just look at the literal hundreds of build guides that exist for the Pathfinder games.

And let's be real, people LOVE to parrot out the idea that DOS:2 was a hard game, when it really wasn't after you realize that most of the difficulty consisted of gotcha-style encounter design more than anything else.
^This. @Saito beat me to responding here.

It's not that I WANT to min-max. I hate min-maxing. But with a party of only four I HAVE to min-max or else struggle with many of the encounters. And no, lowering the difficulty is not as easy as that, because difficulty settings don't only just lower the difficulty of killing your enemies. They always also come with a range of other gameplay elements that get changed in some way. The game should allow people to be quite successful in all encounters on "normal"/"core rules" difficulty setting without having to min-max (including playing with a completely oddball party).

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Originally Posted by mrfuji3
Eh. 5e's system is pretty flexible on party composition. As long as you have someone who can Healing Word, someone who can be frontline, and someone magic-y, you're fine. Bonus for having thieves' tools proficiency I suppose, but you can always brute force or get Knock.

There are vastly fewer debilitating effects in 5e that require a Cleric (e.g., Pathfinder's permanently blind/crazy and ability score damage/drain).
Healing conscious party members is practically useless, further reducing the need for a Cleric.
Anyone can get proficiency in thieves' tools through backgrounds, or training in-game, so a rogue isn't required.
See, people keep saying this, and initially I myself bought into it, but now that I have had the chance to actually play 5e myself, through a lot of Solasta but also a lot of virtual-TT play of 5e, I strongly disagree with this. At a minimum you MUST have a dedicated healer with lots of healing or else you stand to have most if not all of your (small 4-person) party go down during a battle. And rests don't help with respect to keeping your party alive DURING a battle.

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Originally Posted by kanisatha
See, people keep saying this, and initially I myself bought into it, but now that I have had the chance to actually play 5e myself, through a lot of Solasta but also a lot of virtual-TT play of 5e, I strongly disagree with this. At a minimum you MUST have a dedicated healer with lots of healing or else you stand to have most if not all of your (small 4-person) party go down during a battle. And rests don't help with respect to keeping your party alive DURING a battle.
Solasta is a bit different in that it's a video game, so I expect encounters to be more deadly because failure means reloading instead of permanent loss of character. So having more significant healing can help if you want to reload very infrequently, but imo all parties still do fairly well if you're willing to reload maybe once every ~5 encounters.

In my tabletop 5e experience, I've played in/DM'd for plenty of different 4-person parties with very few character deaths across the campaigns. Of recent 4-player Campaigns (level 1 to at least 6), there's been only 1 death, and we're usually able to tackle all out-of-combat encounters just fine:
  • Fighter Druid Artificer Rogue - level 3 to level 11
  • Paladin Rogue Bard Warlock - 1 to level 11
  • Barbarian Ranger Bard Monk (ranger died at level ~6)
  • Barbarian Monk Bard Sorcerer - level 6 to level 14
  • Fighter Cleric Monk Sorcerer - 1 to level 6
  • Barbarian Rogue Bard Warlock - 1 to level 6

These parties are pretty diverse. I suppose all parties have either a rogue or bard, and then either a Fighter or Barbarian or Paladin. I'll agree that a healer of some sort is necessary. But that healer can be any of: Cleric, Bard, Druid, Paladin, which still allows for a lot of flexibility.

All that said, I can't deny your tabletop experience, so not really sure where that leaves us. Maybe I'm playing in less deadly campaigns. Are you playing in campaigns where enemies attack downed party members? If so, then yes pre-emptive healing is much more important.

Last edited by mrfuji3; 16/05/22 03:53 PM.
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Originally Posted by mrfuji3
All that said, I can't deny your tabletop experience, so not really sure where that leaves us. Maybe I'm playing in less deadly campaigns. Are you playing in campaigns where enemies attack downed party members? If so, then yes pre-emptive healing is much more important.
Yes, in the games I've been in the DM does provide for enemies attacking downed characters somtimes, depending on if it makes sense. They also get to suffer from area effects. So not even just stabilizing a downed character is enough. You need to get them to a reasonable number of HPs or else they just go right back down again the next round.

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DnD 5E is more or less based around the idea that preventing damage is far more effective than healing it. The real value of a cleric isn't based on the healing they can do, although it's a plus to outright prevent a death for a downed character. It's the crowd control options and defensive buffs they offer.

Spells like Shield of Faith are actually really powerful when used on a character that already has high AC to begin with. There wasn't much that could hit my Bard with direct attacks after I increased his AC to 21 when I last played the EA about a year ago. At the same time though, having high AC isn't the be all end all tactic in BG3 compared to Solasta purely due to things like field effects and the prevalence of thrown items/special arrows, some of which don't have saving throws to prevent their effects. It's actually interesting to see if this becomes a major balancing problem as the game goes on, or it leads to much needed tactical variety. Considering the lack of proper reactions and the idea that it makes concentration spells way harder to use, it currently lands in the former category.

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Your avatar reminds me of Subaru Kujou.

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Originally Posted by kanisatha
Yes, in the games I've been in the DM does provide for enemies attacking downed characters somtimes, depending on if it makes sense. They also get to suffer from area effects. So not even just stabilizing a downed character is enough. You need to get them to a reasonable number of HPs or else they just go right back down again the next round.
That's fair. Cleric and somewhat Paladin are the classes that excel at healing a lot with a single turn.

Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
DnD 5E is more or less based around the idea that preventing damage is far more effective than healing it. The real value of a cleric isn't based on the healing they can do, although it's a plus to outright prevent a death for a downed character. It's the crowd control options and defensive buffs they offer.
Agreed. Which is party why other classes can easily replace a Cleric imo. Druids and Bards, and to a lesser extent Paladins, Wizards, and Sorcerers, also have CC & (de)buff options that can replace a Cleric.

The most important role in D&D imo is a tanky frontline fighter. A party without such can work, but they'd need a lot of caution and tactics.

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Originally Posted by kanisatha
See, people keep saying this, and initially I myself bought into it, but now that I have had the chance to actually play 5e myself, through a lot of Solasta but also a lot of virtual-TT play of 5e, I strongly disagree with this. At a minimum you MUST have a dedicated healer with lots of healing or else you stand to have most if not all of your (small 4-person) party go down during a battle. And rests don't help with respect to keeping your party alive DURING a battle.
In BG3 there are lots of healing potions you can use during battles. I never min-max and just select the companions I want. 😊
An all caster party works great as well! rpg007

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