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#815589 26/05/22 12:12 AM
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Hello Forum,

I am curious what the overall opinion on Early Access being released so early is. When Baldur's Gate 3 first went into Early Access I tried to give it a go and it was too buggy for me to enjoy. I tried it again after some patches and absolutely love the game - I ended up having to stop myself because I didn't want to go too far before actual release. So this is not a knock on the quality of the game or how good it will be upon release...

But do you think Larian releasing the game into Early Access that far in advance is a bad business decision and/or bad for the game? The main questions I have around it are...

1. Does community interaction and involvement make the game that much better? Is there a chance it could actually hurt the game? I am not in game development, so I am curious how much people think player feedback will impact the final product.

2. Based on player feedback and wanting to keep some things, even in the early part of the game, a surprise - how much do you think the full release of the game will actually differ from Early Access?

3. Do you think it will ruin the experience of the game and thus overall reviews/player perception when it comes out due to burn out or "bad experiences" during Early Access? As an example if you look on a lot of review sites there seems to be a ton of negativity because people don't "get" Early Access... or on forums people are posting about having played through Early Access ten times already and wanting more.

4. Isn't 2+ years of Early Access a long time to have a half baked version of the game out in public? Is it going to kill the hype for the full blown release of the game or do you think marketing and word of mouth can get people hyped up again?

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For their finances? No. For the game? eh...?

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I can't speak for Larian, but I can say that Early Release is just not good for me. Game crashing bugs are even more more frustrating than losing your golf ball in the weeds, and in the case of computer games, you don't have the option of pulling out another ball. I don't like multiple 60GB patch downloads, either, because something always interrupts the download and I am never sure if it will actually make it all the way.

Imagine buying an Early Release automobile, where initially you get a chassis with an engine, wheels, partial transmission, and driver controls. But the transmission has only two gears so the car will go only 30 mph (48.28 km/hr), and otherwise it has no radio, A/C, headlights, cup holder, back seats, doors, windows, hood, or exhaust system. You'll get those missing things in three years ... maybe.

So Early Release is not for me. But, I do like the idea of community feedback early in the development, which I believe was a huge factor in the success of Baldur's Gate. D&D has always been a community thing, and the old BG series picked up on that same spirit. I am very glad Larian has these forums, and I am glad they are using the Early Release to improve the release-version of the game.

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I've enjoyed the game. It was well worth $60, and it's still EA.

That said, I'll probably never do another EA. The amount of frustration debating endlessly over different things and getting very little feedback from Larian has left a REALLY bad taste in my mouth. I wanted to post suggestions to help improve the game. I never knew I'd be sometimes arguing over the tiniest things in an empty vacuum for almost 2 years.

Take party of 6. All Larian has to do is say yes or no. Just, "Yes. We'll provide an option for players to have up to 6 if they want.". Or "Nope. Not gonna happen. Too many issues.". Or whatever.

But instead, we keep spinning round and round and round and round, saying the same things over and over again.

Personally, I think they're doing it on purpose. Keep the convos going and new people hop on and start reading them and bam. It takes off again. Keeps the game alive. It's torture for the fans who hang out here, suffering because they don't know what they are going to get, but it seems to work. The forums are still active even after all this time.

Guess sometimes silence is more effective than talking.

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Originally Posted by GM4Him
Guess sometimes silence is more effective than talking.

That statement - delivered by an individual such as yourself - surprised me in a way I never thought possible; I thought you were all for an open dialogue between developer and consumer.

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Originally Posted by GM4Him
The amount of frustration debating endlessly over different things and getting very little feedback from Larian has left a REALLY bad taste in my mouth. I wanted to post suggestions to help improve the game. I never knew I'd be sometimes arguing over the tiniest things in an empty vacuum for almost 2 years.

Take party of 6. All Larian has to do is say yes or no. Just, "Yes. We'll provide an option for players to have up to 6 if they want.". Or "Nope. Not gonna happen. Too many issues.". Or whatever.

But instead, we keep spinning round and round and round and round, saying the same things over and over again.

Whereas the community management and communication leaves much to be desired, what you mention is not as much a failing of Larian as it's on certain vocal parts of the community and their incredibly stubborn entitlement issues. Beyond the initial stages, the circular debate clearly degenerated into a protracted exercise in futility kept alive by a tiny minority of fans unwilling to let go. Swen Vincke stated months before EA started that they had decided on a party limit of 4, but that 6 could have worked as well. He rejected the notion of being *mechanically* faithful to the original as they weren't looking to simply recreate the game and times had changed. No further communication on the subject, is in a way still communication given the the scope of changes required making the likelihood of change incredibly small as time passed on.

This becomes even more clear when you consider the turn-based vs real-time "discussion". Both are core mechanics that would require too much resources for simple minority fan-service. BG fan-service that would conflict with expectations and mechanics of a new generation of D&D. A small fraction of BG3-players on full release will have played the original series, and only a small fraction of those again are wed to the mechanics of a quarter of century old game. I myself played the original series when it first came out and played the enhanced version again when that was released. It was a clear reminder to any objective mind that, despite its greatness, indeed times had moved on.

Your mistake was not managing your expectations well.

Last edited by Seraphael; 26/05/22 08:08 AM.
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1. Nobody really knows ... and nobody will ever know. smile
There certainly is some big progress, when you compare curent game and patch 1 ... they are in some ways completely different games. O_o
But how many of those changes were based on our feedback ... and how many od them was planned anyway? We can only speculate. smile

2. Depends ...
From wich part of Early Access?

First patch X release ... a lot ...
Last patch X release ... certainly not as much ...

Quite honestly i would not be surprised if Last Patch would be identical to Release version, only a little smaller in matter of content (races, subclasses, followers, items, maybe even some side quests we dont have right now, or dialogue options ... stuff like that)

3. Well, yes ... but actualy, no. smile
There will allways be people complaining about something ... no matter what you do, and if someone gives a game bad review based on Early Access experience, it come out quite quickly ... so, personaly i would expect it would more hurt those people who would make such inacurate reviews more than game itself. smile

4. It may a little ... but that would be insignificant on grant scale. laugh
I mean the hype around every next patch is a little lower with every another month of EA ... but still those are BIG events ... and they would be trivial compared to full release. wink


Short coment on my English. smile

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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Originally Posted by Ragitsu
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Guess sometimes silence is more effective than talking.

That statement - delivered by an individual such as yourself - surprised me in a way I never thought possible; I thought you were all for an open dialogue between developer and consumer.

Oh. Don't get me wrong. I WANT communication. I want them to give us definite yes/no answers. I'm all for it. I've just taken more of a step back and realized the method behind their madness. I'm saying that I think they don't respond on purpose because it keeps the die-hard fans going crazy, this keeping the forums alive.

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Originally Posted by Seraphael
Originally Posted by GM4Him
The amount of frustration debating endlessly over different things and getting very little feedback from Larian has left a REALLY bad taste in my mouth. I wanted to post suggestions to help improve the game. I never knew I'd be sometimes arguing over the tiniest things in an empty vacuum for almost 2 years.

Take party of 6. All Larian has to do is say yes or no. Just, "Yes. We'll provide an option for players to have up to 6 if they want.". Or "Nope. Not gonna happen. Too many issues.". Or whatever.

But instead, we keep spinning round and round and round and round, saying the same things over and over again.

Whereas the community management and communication leaves much to be desired, what you mention is not as much a failing of Larian as it's on certain vocal parts of the community and their incredibly stubborn entitlement issues. Beyond the initial stages, the circular debate clearly degenerated into a protracted exercise in futility kept alive by a tiny minority of fans unwilling to let go. Swen Vincke stated months before EA started that they had decided on a party limit of 4, but that 6 could have worked as well. He rejected the notion of being *mechanically* faithful to the original as they weren't looking to simply recreate the game and times had changed. No further communication on the subject, is in a way still communication given the the scope of changes required making the likelihood of change incredibly small as time passed on.

This becomes even more clear when you consider the turn-based vs real-time "discussion". Both are core mechanics that would require too much resources for simple minority fan-service. BG fan-service that would conflict with expectations and mechanics of a new generation of D&D. A small fraction of BG3-players on full release will have played the original series, and only a small fraction of those again are wed to the mechanics of a quarter of century old game. I myself played the original series when it first came out and played the enhanced version again when that was released. It was a clear reminder to any objective mind that, despite its greatness, indeed times had moved on.

Your mistake was not managing your expectations well.

There is some truth to this, but I also think some individuals like to pick on us for being so devoted to what we think would improve the game. Ask, and ye shall receive. If you want something, ask, and be persistent. You never know but they might change their minds especially if enough people are asking for something.

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No matter how little Larian did with this EA so far and at what snail pace this whole thing progressed (honestly the last thing I expected joining in was that I would be still waiting for several BASIC classes and races almost two years into EA), it's terrifying to even imagine how the game would have turned out without it.

We would have a whole lot of HORRIBLE mechanical implementations without experiencing the chance to bitch about them for months before seeing them addressed.
I'm talking about unquestionable shit like "advantage for walking slowly behind your opponent", "advantage for being two meters higher than your enemy" (and DISADVANTAGE for being lower than him, factually DOUBLING that gap) and so on.

Originally Posted by Seraphael
Swen Vincke stated months before EA started that they had decided on a party limit of 4, but that 6 could have worked as well.
They stated that they set for what they thought it was best but they were open to feedback. They got tons of that feedback and they decided not only to not act on it, but to almost ostentatiously ignore it.
Same goes for their hideous chain-based control scheme and how WIDELY unpopular it turned out to be. It's not even worth to debate if it's liked or not at this point. I may be more annoyed about it than most people, which is why I've been very vocal about it, but it's not even in question that the OVERWHELMING majority of users either actively dislike it on an instinctive level or realize they do when it's pointed out to them what a better alternative would be like.

The only people who defend the chain system seem to be the ones that just don't know better or the ones that would defend Larian even if the studio formed a cult and started stabbing their newborn child on an altar.

Quote
He rejected the notion of being *mechanically* faithful to the original as they weren't looking to simply recreate the game and times had changed.
He argued that some mechanics would be poorly suited for a computer game, but then they came up with WORSE alternatives and a competitor came to the scene proving that a more faithful adaptation ironically enough worked far better.


Quote
This becomes even more clear when you consider the turn-based vs real-time "discussion".

There was never an actual "real-time vs turn-based" argument to be had, because they've been adamant from the get go on what they wanted to. THIS one is indeed a case where they've been transparent and some people just refused to listen.

Last edited by Tuco; 26/05/22 11:53 AM.

Party control in Baldur's Gate 3 is a complete mess that begs to be addressed. SAY NO TO THE TOILET CHAIN
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Ah. Leave it to Tuco to step in and put things in place. Blunt. To the point. No beating around the bush.

Careful how you respond to Tuco. Just a word of advice. The panther is a suitable image. Tuco will unleash claws and teeth, every time.

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Is EA a mistake? Well, recall what the game mechanics were like in the earliest versions. If Larian hadn't done EA, it would have been even less like 5e than it is now, and it would still retain the very unbalanced mix of 5e-style and DOS-style mechanics which worked against each other.

For me personally, it turns out that I could not keep replaying the same first act content over and over again. I found myself burning out, so I stopped playing EA some time ago.


Originally Posted by GM4Him
Take party of 6. All Larian has to do is say yes or no. Just, "Yes. We'll provide an option for players to have up to 6 if they want.". Or "Nope. Not gonna happen. Too many issues.". Or whatever.

I was under the impression that they've already said no to a party of 6 for the primary reason that many people in the party would also force more enemies in encounters or increased toughness for enemies, which would bog combat down and make it take too long. I do watch some 5e combat livestreams on occasion and combat with lots of players does take a long time, even accounting for the manual adding of dice and the confusion.

(Personally speaking I would have liked at least 5 party members so I could fill all the main roles of melee fighter, blaster/controller, healer, and thief and still leave room for another one to spice it up, but I'm certain Larian isn't going to budge on the party size.)

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Originally Posted by GM4Him
The panther is a suitable image.
You mean the dog? O_o
If im not misstaken, it seems like some kind of Pitbullterier.

Better resolution here:
[Linked Image from i.pinimg.com]

Beautiful beast isnt it? <3

Originally Posted by Tuco
OVERWHELMING majority of users
I would gues around 20.

Last edited by RagnarokCzD; 26/05/22 12:31 PM.

Short coment on my English. smile

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Originally Posted by Stabbey
Is EA a mistake?

Well not Early Access as a whole. It seems like having some Early Access is probably a good thing for any game to get player feedback and allow them time to tweak the game.

More so... is 2+ years of Early Access a good idea? I get a year or six months. I also get that the pandemic happened during all of this and dev times seem completely unpredictable for just about every studio right now. But 2+ years seems excessive and like it might be to the detriment of both the fan base and Larian.

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Originally Posted by Tuco
the ones that would defend Larian even if the studio formed a cult and started stabbing their newborn child on an altar.

Our resident anime vampire doubles as a devil's advocate for L.

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Originally Posted by Lake Plisko
Hello Forum,

I am curious what the overall opinion on Early Access being released so early is. When Baldur's Gate 3 first went into Early Access I tried to give it a go and it was too buggy for me to enjoy. I tried it again after some patches and absolutely love the game - I ended up having to stop myself because I didn't want to go too far before actual release. So this is not a knock on the quality of the game or how good it will be upon release...

But do you think Larian releasing the game into Early Access that far in advance is a bad business decision and/or bad for the game? The main questions I have around it are...

1. Does community interaction and involvement make the game that much better? Is there a chance it could actually hurt the game? I am not in game development, so I am curious how much people think player feedback will impact the final product.

2. Based on player feedback and wanting to keep some things, even in the early part of the game, a surprise - how much do you think the full release of the game will actually differ from Early Access?

3. Do you think it will ruin the experience of the game and thus overall reviews/player perception when it comes out due to burn out or "bad experiences" during Early Access? As an example if you look on a lot of review sites there seems to be a ton of negativity because people don't "get" Early Access... or on forums people are posting about having played through Early Access ten times already and wanting more.

4. Isn't 2+ years of Early Access a long time to have a half baked version of the game out in public? Is it going to kill the hype for the full blown release of the game or do you think marketing and word of mouth can get people hyped up again?

this is just probably my own opinion. the way i see it larian put it to EA was a form of marketing. they wanted to show they have community engagement. i'm not sure how much did they take community feedback to heart. and how much was actually implemented? just take for example 6 party characters, reactions, day & night, DOS like artistic style, RTwP and the toilet-chain UI implementation.

so was it a mistake? i think not. they are pretty successful in gathering attention.

Last edited by Archaven; 26/05/22 01:12 PM.
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I had thought of starting a similar thread but more centred on asking whether EA fatigue would set in amongst the players due to the lengthy development and total lack of communication from Larian. It's pretty evident that Larian didn't realise the scale of the project they took on (which I find a quite staggering admission) and hence the development is well beyond their initial projections. Anyway, to answer you questions:

1. Community interaction has seemingly led to some minor changes but there has been a resounding silence from Larian until they make their Panel from Hell announcements every few months. Larian have their own interpretation for the BG IP and D&D and they won't digress too far from its current state, that much seems clear to me. Personally I think the game will suffer for it in terms of longevity and trying to appeal to too broad an audience but that's just my opinion.

2. It won't differ a huge amount.

3.I wondered about this myself, whether people would tire with the notion of another year of development with no communication and relatively little added apart from the occasional new class.

4. I mean, EA is what it is. I don't think anything further than Act 1 was ever promised.

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I don't think, that EA was a misstake. As someone (I think it was Tuco) pointed out, there could be far worse stuff in the game without EA and player feedback. I do hope, that the finished game will be a better version of what we have right now. I still want 5e implemented better, less cheese stuff and party of 6, but we will see, what will happen.
It's not a bad game, far from it, I just miss the DnD and BG flair.
As for communication - that one needs a lot of improvement.


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Agree with Tuco, that EA has unquestionably made the game better. Feedback - through player suggestions, bug reports, and player metrics - has resulted in many positive changes. And of course BG3 now has more marketing than it would otherwise.

However, Larian's complete lack of community discussion (especially compared to community interaction from another D&D video game studio), the incredibly slow content drip during EA, and their questionable design choices for BG3 have put me off ever participating in a Larian EA process again.

2+ years is a very long time for a game to be in EA. It's somewhat understandable because of the pandemic, but even still, Larian should have probably released EA later in their development process.
I think the Full Release game will look incredibly similar to the final EA patch. New areas, people, quests, etc in Act 1, but the mechanics and gameplay will probably be practically the same.

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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Originally Posted by Tuco
OVERWHELMING majority of users
I would gues around 20.
Roughly 200 unique users on this forum alone spoke unfavorably about the mechanic (spoiler: that would equate to pretty much 95% of the people who talked about it at all), and the response was pretty much the same on Steam, NeoGAF, ResetEra, Reddit... Hell, the BG3 subreddit in particular is pretty much a den for rabid fanboys and even there the large majority of comments was absolutely, unquestionably unhappy about the chain mechanic every time the topic came up.

Last edited by Tuco; 26/05/22 04:53 PM.

Party control in Baldur's Gate 3 is a complete mess that begs to be addressed. SAY NO TO THE TOILET CHAIN
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