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As per the topic, has anyone figured out a way to fix the Initiative/Turn Order? I've flipped through the files, but I'm not even sure where to start looking.

Last edited by Luckmann; 20/09/17 03:22 PM.
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Come on Larian, we'll fix it ourselves, but we need to know where to look.

Please don't tell me that that shit is hardcoded or something.

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Is there something broken with initiative?

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I think he means alternates between enemy ally, instead of highest initiative

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Originally Posted by Foodchain
Is there something broken with initiative?
Yes, it doesn't actually do anything, because the game operates on a "round robin" principle of alternating turns between enemies and allies.

It didn't always do this, and there's many reasons this is completely busted, from combat pacing to AI issues, but for the purpose of this thread, what's really relevant is figuring out how we actually fix it.

The problem is that I can't actually find anything anywhere that deals with this sort of thing, and it's incredibly frustrating. With how tight-lipped Larian is on the issue, I'm getting the feeling that we're not going to get a solution anytime soon.

Genuinely makes me want to put the game down, at this point.

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The default combat turn order is handled as part of the game engine's combat module and is not configurable.

However, both behaviour script and Osiris/story script can detect the start and end of a turn, and change whose turn it is in combat.

In this case, Osiris is probably most suited as the Shared Mod already has some helpers regarding combat management (like https://docs.larian.game/Osiris/Shared/DB_CombatCharacters). The routine to switch to another object's turn in a combat is https://docs.larian.game/Osiris/API/JumpToTurn. The related routines and a hlper to get all characters that are in a combat are linked from there as well. Getting character attributes (such as Wits) can be done with https://docs.larian.game/Osiris/API/CharacterGetAttribute.

The main potential issue I see with doing this in the main game, is that JumpToTurn is already used sometimes in scripted events/combats (e.g. to give Windego the initiative in the boat, or Dallis and the Cloaked Figure during the assault on the Lady Vengeance). I'm not sure what the effect will be if you override that, and I cannot think how you could avoid such conflicts.

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Originally Posted by Tinkerer
The default combat turn order is handled as part of the game engine's combat module and is not configurable.
So it's effectively not fixable. That's honestly really depressing to hear.

Originally Posted by Tinkerer
However, both behaviour script and Osiris/story script can detect the start and end of a turn, and change whose turn it is in combat.

In this case, Osiris is probably most suited as the Shared Mod already has some helpers regarding combat management (like https://docs.larian.game/Osiris/Shared/DB_CombatCharacters). The routine to switch to another object's turn in a combat is https://docs.larian.game/Osiris/API/JumpToTurn. The related routines and a hlper to get all characters that are in a combat are linked from there as well. Getting character attributes (such as Wits) can be done with https://docs.larian.game/Osiris/API/CharacterGetAttribute.

The main potential issue I see with doing this in the main game, is that JumpToTurn is already used sometimes in scripted events/combats (e.g. to give Windego the initiative in the boat, or Dallis and the Cloaked Figure during the assault on the Lady Vengeance). I'm not sure what the effect will be if you override that, and I cannot think how you could avoid such conflicts.
Like you say, I can't imagine a way to avoid such conflicts, but I also think that it'd be practically impossible to work something out that would constantly re-arrange the turn orders in a consistent fashion, nevermind be able to properly account for changes in initiative as combat progresses or other effects that changes turn order (without immediately re-arranging it again).

Goddamn, Larian, what the fuck were you thinking?

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I mean they were probably thinking that having all of one side go before all of the other side is unfun and broken.

I agree that wits is pretty stupid though now.

In my game I just adjusted the amount of crit it provides to put it on closer par to the primary stats.

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I had some people ask me to fix the initiative as well, and had assumed it was part of the engine. While a scripted approach to rearranging combat order is possible, it's going to have a number of side-effects that can't be helped via workarounds--the most worrisome of which is the upkeep of statuses.

I do understand the logic behind the system; to facilitate fluctuations in combat tempo and keep encounters interesting, but accomplishing this by undermining a core game-mechanic (that players can invest character progression into) is probably not the best approach.

That being said, I think the biggest problem here is that this behavior isn't really communicated to the player, so we feel cheated when strategically building for initiative doesn't pan out the way it is expected to.

Last edited by Ameranth; 21/09/17 01:17 AM.
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Originally Posted by Asyrin
I mean they were probably thinking that having all of one side go before all of the other side is unfun and broken.

[...]
That's a completely false dichotomy, though. Let's not pretend that it was like that in D:OS1. Or practically any other turn-based game based on initiative.

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[quote=Luckmann][quote=Asyrin]I mean they were probably thinking that having all of one side go before all of the other side is unfun and broken.

[...][/quote]That's a completely false dichotomy, though. Let's not pretend that it was like that in D:OS1. Or practically any other turn-based game based on initiative. [/quote]

/shrug

I'm not going to argue with you. I imagine that's what they were thinking and I happen to agree with them. You don't. It doesn't seem like it matters since it can't be changed.

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Originally Posted by Luckmann
Originally Posted by Asyrin
I mean they were probably thinking that having all of one side go before all of the other side is unfun and broken.

[...]
That's a completely false dichotomy, though. Let's not pretend that it was like that in D:OS1. Or practically any other turn-based game based on initiative.


I'm not a huge fan of it, but I believe FFGs Star Wars Imperial Assault handles initiative in a similar manner (not a huge fan of the initiative system you describe, big fan of Imperial Assault).

D&D 5e has several initiative alternatives in the DMG as well, but I can't recall if they've got one like this. I know they've got one that has one entire side go before the other though.

Last edited by Ghatt; 20/09/17 09:38 PM.
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Originally Posted by Asyrin
I mean they were probably thinking that having all of one side go before all of the other side is unfun and broken.

I agree that wits is pretty stupid though now.

In my game I just adjusted the amount of crit it provides to put it on closer par to the primary stats.


Same. You can even bump how many init points you get for a Wits point, just to make sure you stay ahead of the curve and get the first blow in most of the time.





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Edit: I was thinking the other day, the sometimes I'm waiting a while before it's my characters turn.

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Originally Posted by Ghatt
[...]

I'm not a huge fan of it, but I believe FFGs Star Wars Imperial Assault handles initiative in a similar manner (not a huge fan of the initiative system you describe, big fan of Imperial Assault).
Imperial Assault is a boardgame and it doesn't use initiative. It's good, but the situation and the effects of the systems are simply not applicable here.

Originally Posted by Ghatt
D&D 5e has several initiative alternatives in the DMG as well, but I can't recall if they've got one like this. I know they've got one that has one entire side go before the other though.
I haven't played D&D 5e, but it is in the nature of PnP RPG:s to be mutable and adaptable, with variant rules for practically anything. Again, this isn't applicable here. The narrative interruptions, engagements and tactics of a PnP game doesn't translate - at all - to the CRPG realm.

As for one-side-before-the-other, that's common in certain tactical shooters like XCOM 2, but again, XCOM 2 doesn't use initiative at all and all the assumptions are different - it's a round-based system, not a turn-based (no matter what it says on the tin). Really, your comparisons make no sense in context.

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Originally Posted by Luckmann


As for one-side-before-the-other, that's common in certain tactical shooters like XCOM 2, but again, XCOM 2 doesn't use initiative at all and all the assumptions are different - it's a round-based system, not a turn-based (no matter what it says on the tin). Really, your comparisons make no sense in context.


except that is still turn based. allies turn and enemies turn is still a turn. A round is after all turns are finished. thats why it is called a round. because it cycles through every available turn.

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Heyo,

the turnorder system is indeed code-based. As one would expect this is not a simple data file, but an integral part of the underlying game system. Many iterations were done, as it evidently is not the same compared to DOS1, and a lot of balancing and combat design accounts for this system.

It saddens us to hear you do not like it, but we're happy to get your feedback on it. Both for modding improvements as general combat design experience, it would be great to hear what you guys would think is a better/optimal combat system. So please, do leave some systemic explanations below for us to take to heart and we'll go over them smile

Sincerely,
Kevin

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The current system is fine conceptually, the real problem is the lack of reward/incentive from having the better initiative since the game forces the other team to go after the best guy. There needs to be another reason to have high initiative outside of going first such as cooldown reduction, maximum AP, Recovery AP or similar. Could also make it so characters with higher initiative have a bonus vs characters with lower initiative such as a higher chance to hit/crit them, a lower chance to be hit/crit by them. Alternatively replace The Pawn with another effect and make that the effect of initiative instead, giving the higher initiative characters some free movement each turn. Lowest initiative gets zero bonus and everything higher gets free movement ap based on how much % higher they are. Example - Lowest initiative is 20, highest 40 and rest 30 the 30 initiatives get 1/2 an ap of free movement, the 40 1 full ap.

My preferred solution would be to make it a stat that decides the effectiveness of CC effects instead of the current system of how armour no matter how little is able to block everything. As much as I like CC protection existing the current binary nature of how CC and other status effects work makes combat far duller than it should be.

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Originally Posted by Luckmann
Originally Posted by Ghatt
[...]

I'm not a huge fan of it, but I believe FFGs Star Wars Imperial Assault handles initiative in a similar manner (not a huge fan of the initiative system you describe, big fan of Imperial Assault).
Imperial Assault is a boardgame and it doesn't use initiative. It's good, but the situation and the effects of the systems are simply not applicable here.

Originally Posted by Ghatt
D&D 5e has several initiative alternatives in the DMG as well, but I can't recall if they've got one like this. I know they've got one that has one entire side go before the other though.
I haven't played D&D 5e, but it is in the nature of PnP RPG:s to be mutable and adaptable, with variant rules for practically anything. Again, this isn't applicable here. The narrative interruptions, engagements and tactics of a PnP game doesn't translate - at all - to the CRPG realm.

As for one-side-before-the-other, that's common in certain tactical shooters like XCOM 2, but again, XCOM 2 doesn't use initiative at all and all the assumptions are different - it's a round-based system, not a turn-based (no matter what it says on the tin). Really, your comparisons make no sense in context.


Simply pointing out that initiative systems can vary quite dramatically in a number of different games and genres. If you can't see that, I can't help you. I'd personally prefer the initiative system from DOS1, not to mention the armor and save system too, but getting all worked up over it isn't going to fix it.

I think, to a large extent, that we all need to step back and realize that DOS 2 is its own system (it's not D&D or any other RPG or tactical game), and we need to accept that. Obviously, they aren't going to scrap the initiative system or the armor/save system, so anything we can't change via the editor we are going to have to adapt to if we're going to use this game.

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[quote=Larian_KVN]Both for modding improvements as general combat design experience, it would be great to hear what you guys would think is a better/optimal combat system.[/quote]

I explicitly came to this forum and registered trying to find out the very same thing as the OP: How to mod the Initiative system back into its original, or another format (and I promise I'm only a little absolutely livid you've hardcoded this 'feature'). It's a huge relief to see you not only answer the question, but to open up feedback in response to it.

The Initiative system as it currently stands does not reward player investment (the Wits stat has suffered greatly) and narrows character development options (taking +Initiative gear or investing in Wits for Initiative are pointless), drastically restricts encounter design for content creators (the speed of allies and enemies is usually a vital tool for controlling their behavior and toolkits for desired effects), and punishes the player for targeting foes (enemies automatically fill in the Round Robin turn order to replace dead baddies, which is frustrating and bad for a variety of reasons) and making other investments/choices have undesirable effects(ex: Summons displacing party members down the turn order).

Not only is it unfun and restrictive, but the Round Robin system itself is not explained anywhere in the game; or at least anywhere accessible: I have had multiple groups of friends, while playing, invest heavily into Wits for its Initiative bonus, including myself in my first game, without any idea that it has no lasting effect in combat, and he will still be outsped by a crippled dog three levels under him because everyone faster was dead; or that killing that healer will cause the freshly un-Frozen boss to skip to the front of the Initiative order and walk up to one shot his summon and then him.

On a positive note, I will say such a system is absolutely fantastic for the more casual of players; it is a system that would/does work exceptionally well in Explorer mode! Outside of that, however, it is a very reductive implementation of a solid foundational mechanic that just needed a little polishing on implementation; especially in the more tactics and character development oriented difficulties like Tactician/Honor mode where statistical optimization is key.

The original system was good, and this sort of hand-held initiative has a kind of purpose in this game (a specific, casual-oriented one), but if you were unwilling to revert to the pre-launch system, there is another alternative: Applying a diceroll to the Initiative each round, rather than applying it in a flat, mostly static order. If you desire an equalizer, then this could be an excellent option that helps muddy Initiative breakpoints and instead introduce a form of risk management in place of forced leapfrogging invalidating player options. Introducing concepts like "How much am I willing to bet that X acts before Y?" and "How much investment in my speed do I need to be comfortable with?" are much better questions for players than "What order of four should my party act in for the rest of the game?".

But that's just my two cents as someone who wanted to fiddle with the game after being brought back into the franchise by the Epic Encounters overhaul for D:OS1:EE, which blew me away.


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