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#668916 21/06/20 01:00 AM
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It seems like a day doesn’t pass where I read a thread of someone worried about save scumming, long resting too often, confusion over deaths, and general miss-understandings of the original Baldur’s games and DND difficulty in general. I’m sure Larian has done its research of this as well, but I sincerely hope they do not add artificial bonuses to the majority of difficulty options.

I think a large number of people who’ve never played DND in video game or table top form will be in for a rude shock when they realize just how random dice can be. For many of us, min maxing your character, using the correct buffs and debuffs are what make these games fun; the hunt to add whatever marginal benefit to the rolls you can find. Even with perfection, you will occasionally get a series of super low rolls, reload and try again. I fear a vast majority of new players who’ve heard and read about the hype for years may resort to bad reviews and speedy refunds when this happens. Most modern games try there best to help you succeed, they don’t want their players feeling like a failure. Well dice just don’t care. The difficulties and adjustments to each done in BG1&2 were spot on perfect(not the recent story mode) Easy made 90% of fights a face roll regardless of build or rule knowledge but kept just enough difficulty so that the player did have to learn a little about the rules to progress (basically that negatives were better in that version of dnd)

I know without a doubt Larian will not make normal difficulty use core rules, but how much hand holding do you think is required to keep 5e within modern normal expectations? And how much easier/harder from Core do you think they will give us?


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You also get critical hits with your +2 to hit mage trying to attack an ogre with a dagger or a nat20 to sneak when your full-clad armoured clanky half-orc companion tries to sneak past the dragon. And they succeeded.

You see it as a possibility of failing, I see that as a possibility for your unskilled character to be able to succeed in a way that would not be possible if you do not roll. In real life, it also happens like that. Nothing is 100% ruled and sure, fit to a standard, with predictable moves in a black and white canopy.
Sometimes David makes the goliath fall with one lucky shot of the sling, sometimes you cannot hit a barn from ten paces with a bazooka because of a sudden wind that offshoots the projectile.

That is why I dislike chess and why I like dice games.






Last edited by _Vic_; 21/06/20 01:20 AM.
_Vic_ #668922 21/06/20 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by _Vic_
You also get critical hits with your +2 to hit mage trying to attack an ogre with a dagger or a nat20 to sneak when your full-clad armoured clanky half-orc companion tries to sneak past the dragon. And they succeeded.

You see it as a possibility of failing, I see that as a possibility for your unskilled character to be able to succeed in a way that would not be possible if you do not roll. In real life, it also happens like that. Nothing is 100% ruled and sure, fit to a standard, with predictable moves in a black and white canopy.
Sometimes David makes the goliath fall with one lucky shot of the sling, sometimes you cannot hit a barn from ten paces with a bazooka because of a sudden wind that offshoots the projectile.

That is why I dislike chess and why I like dice games.



Very true, you can get lucky and roll 20's, but there's a 95% chance of that not happening. One thing i didn't think about is their use of 'Inspirations', It could be they provide X number per day or something on the easier difficulties and given the recent gameplay, even normal assuming thats what he was playing. They may target rerolls as a reward. a buff itself, instead of changing other things for difficulty. Hmmm....interestiing

So instead of giving a monster a debuff to stats or attack chance, they'll just give the player the ability to reroll, perhaps with the easiest being infinite rerolls.

Last edited by macadami; 21/06/20 01:30 AM.
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Originally Posted by macadami
Originally Posted by _Vic_
You also get critical hits with your +2 to hit mage trying to attack an ogre with a dagger or a nat20 to sneak when your full-clad armoured clanky half-orc companion tries to sneak past the dragon. And they succeeded.

You see it as a possibility of failing, I see that as a possibility for your unskilled character to be able to succeed in a way that would not be possible if you do not roll. In real life, it also happens like that. Nothing is 100% ruled and sure, fit to a standard, with predictable moves in a black and white canopy.
Sometimes David makes the goliath fall with one lucky shot of the sling, sometimes you cannot hit a barn from ten paces with a bazooka because of a sudden wind that offshoots the projectile.

That is why I dislike chess and why I like dice games.



Very true, you can get lucky and roll 20's, but there's a 95% chance of that not happening. One thing i didn't think about is their use of 'Inspirations', It could be they provide X number per day or something on the easier difficulties and given the recent gameplay, even normal assuming thats what he was playing. They may target rerolls as a reward. a buff itself, instead of changing other things for difficulty. Hmmm....interestiing

So instead of giving a monster a debuff to stats or attack chance, they'll just give the player the ability to reroll, perhaps with the easiest being infinite rerolls.


Bards give inspiration to party members but it doesn't work like that in the tabletop, so that might be one of the alterations they made from pnp to computer. In the tabletop all it does is give the player the option to add a d6, d8, d10 or d12 to any attack roll, saving throw or ability check and they only get it once until the Bard inspires them again. The d number is determined by the Bard's level.


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There is a feat that already does that: The lucky feat.
Inspiration and lucky gets you to roll again, even enemies in the case of the lucky feat (halflings also reroll nat 1s).

Giving that for free to the players would be playing, not in easy mode, but in story mode, but yeah, that is a way to create an easier mode for people that want it that way, indeed.




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_Vic_ #668926 21/06/20 01:49 AM
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Originally Posted by _Vic_
There is a feat that already do that: The lucky feat.





Which you only get a certain number a day.


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So, your ply is to reroll more than 3 times per rest and get inspiration and debuff the monsters in a campaign where you can reload... Sounds like what you ask is that every dice you roll is an automatic success.
It's faster if you simply pick the cheat engine or any 3rd party program to do that for you instead of waiting for Larian to create a mode like that (which I found unlikely considering that WOTC is participating in the project and the roll d20 is kinda the trademark of D&D since 30 years ago)

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Yah the Lucky Feat is usually banned from most games because it's so broken. Sven alluded to inspirations as being rewards in BG3, maybe given for completing quests (maybe a whole quest line devoted to helping the gods?) I think it acted just like the lucky feat in the gameplay, but maybe it was auto 20? I'll have to rewatch it.

Giving players multiple chances to roll though, would be tons easier than trying to balance every encounter for easier difficulties and it fits.

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Well one thing that added a bit of an element of trial&error and save-scumming to the originals was that you couldn't really see enemy stats and abilities. Even Pathfinder Kingmaker, in my opinion a harsher game due to enemy stat "bloat" didn't do that to players, even though scouting relied on dice rolls too.

One thing that got me excited about the demonstration was a hint that scouting with your rogue may be useful (and fun) for once. Swen infiltrating that Goblin camp was arguably the best bit of it all.

Dice CAN be cruel, but if you relied on them too often on normal difficulties in the original, you usually did something wrong. No need to rely on saving throws against this horde of vampires this much if you know how to counter their draining abilities, as well how to roast them with say sunray. Indeed, the right kind of buff could have turned the tides of battle from damn challenging to cake walk.

I'd be disappointed if BG turned out to be just like a typical "modern game" though.

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people already cmplain that OS2 is too hard.
basically normies are bad at video games, who knew.

you cannot realy make an "easy" CRPG and still have it be good

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Originally Posted by macadami

I know without a doubt Larian will not make normal difficulty use core rules, but how much hand holding do you think is required to keep 5e within modern normal expectations? And how much easier/harder from Core do you think they will give us?


Personally I don't think you can measure difficulty in terms of "core rules" usefully 'cos video games and table top games work very differently; for example monsters are controlled by stupid AIs rather than evil DMs so they need to be buffed significantly to afford any sort of challenge, there is no perma-death so encounters need to be balanced so key encounters are more likely than not to result in party wipe on first attempt or the game will have no tension or sense of danger (you have to be scared your whole party will perish in a video game adaptation, not just your own character).

If we assume the game will be balanced roughly in line with DOS2 in terms of overall difficulty then the dice issue may become a major talking point amongst many players coming to D&D from that game (which will probably be quite a lot) mainly 'cos missing was not really a thing in DOS2. I'd say we can expect whining on two fronts:

1. As with PF: Kingmaker folk will complain some of the monsters are too strong, too many buffs, impossible to beat (especially early game).

2. As with XCOM folk will complain the evil and/or incompetent devs have "rigged" the dice against them

Although whine 2 didn't apply, whine 1 was applicable to DOS2 (for example with the frogs and crocodiles in Fort Joy). Did it matter, did DOS2 sales suffer? Did they hell. Those of us with experience in these games helped new players out so they could win some of those early difficult encounters on release, that put them is good stead for the rest of the game really, the knowledge spread, millions of people bought the game frogs and crocs notwithstanding.

Whine 2 will come into it more I think with BG3 and there are two parts to this to look out for IMO:

a) in combat one effect of the game being TB rather than RTwP is that the consequences of missing a single individual swing/cast/action are likely to be much more serious than in PF: Kingmaker for example (.cos like-for-like TB is much easier than RTwP so encounters are balanced differently to compensate e.g. individual enemy attacks are much more deadly than in a typical RTwP scenario). This is likely to lead to much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth about RNG a la XCOM. As with XCOM folk will have to learn that discretion is often the better part of valour and those of us that have some experience in D&D systems will need to help newcomers to figure out how to fight clever and not just swing blindly. As both DOS2 and PK: Kingmaker showed, if a game is good enough, fun enough, most folk will put in the effort to learn how to play it.

b) outside of combat the skill and dialog checks are going to be a bigger problem for BG3 I suspect. I think a lot of players will really, really want certain NPC interactions go a certain way and are going to find it very difficult to accept failing rolls for them thus routinely resorting to save scumming. Similarly players will really, really want to know what's in that chest, behind that door, up on that ledge and find it very hard to accept being denied that knowledge by RNG.

It is this one, whine 2(b) if you like, I see as being the biggest potential problem in BG3 for a lot of players. The combat one, whine 2(a) if you like, can be overcome by learning to fight well and altering the odds in your favour. But you can't do anything about a one-shot WIS or CHA roll in the middle of a dialog. A lot is going to depend on the severity of the consequences of failing such rolls and/or their reversibility down the track IMO.


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XCom (at least enemy unknown) actually cheated in the player’s favour on lower difficulties. Successive misses would give a cumulative hidden bonus to hit IIRC, as well as a couple of other things. And still many people thought the game was unfair.

If that’s what the OP means means by “artificial bonuses”, I fully agree. I’d prefer difficulty levels not to include things like bonus to hit, and just change the level and numbers of enemies, enemy AI and maybe HP. If there are any stat bonuses, it should at least be clear what bonus you get from difficulty setting. Otherwise people can get a false impression of how it’s working.

The trick to playing games where each roll really matters is in managing the risk. You should always be thinking about how much danger you are if you miss and what other options you have. You’re going to miss a lot.

There’s bound to people who complain that the game is too hard, but refuse to play on easy mode out of pride. Not really sure what they can do about that?

However I disagree that having 90% of fights being a faceroll is a perfect system. I find wading through trash mobs quite tedious and would rather just skip pointless battles. Fewer fights, with more being a challenge for whatever my playing ability is suits me better. Also if most fights are easy, people may not hone their tactics or care that much about how they level up. It can then be frustrating to suddenly have a big fight you’re completely unprepared for.


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Originally Posted by macadami
Yah the Lucky Feat is usually banned from most games because it's so broken. Sven alluded to inspirations as being rewards in BG3, maybe given for completing quests (maybe a whole quest line devoted to helping the gods?) I think it acted just like the lucky feat in the gameplay, but maybe it was auto 20? I'll have to rewatch it.

In the gameplay, there was an option to reroll when Lae`zel failed roll to intimidate using inspiration; so I assume that Inspiration (The one that the DM gives) works as in the usual rules and lets you reroll and pick the best result. In PNP you could only have one of those at the same time.
Uh, they should´ve come with a better name because could be mistaken easily with the bardic inspiration, which is different...

Originally Posted by Dagless


There’s bound to people who complain that the game is too hard, but refuse to play on easy mode out of pride. Not really sure what they can do about that?



I think the trick is the name you use for the difficulty modes.
There are games that use the denomination "Explorer, classic, tactician, story"
others that call the easy mode "Normal" and then the others "veteran, hard, nightmare"
etc etc.

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Originally Posted by Gregorovitch

Personally I don't think you can measure difficulty in terms of "core rules" usefully 'cos video games and table top games work very differently; for example monsters are controlled by stupid AIs rather than evil DMs so they need to be buffed significantly to afford any sort of challenge, there is no perma-death so encounters need to be balanced so key encounters are more likely than not to result in party wipe on first attempt or the game will have no tension or sense of danger (you have to be scared your whole party will perish in a video game adaptation, not just your own character).


It would be extremely unwise of Larian to tone the difficulty so high that every single encounter is designed to be a party wipe. That's bad for several reasons.

1) A system overtuned to be a potential party wipe in every single fight allows for too room for things to go wrong. That's bad enough even if you have a high level of control over outcomes. It is "computer thrown out the window" frustrating when the control is in the hands of the dice and there's approximately a 50% chance to fail at every single thing you do.

1b) Some players will make mistakes because they're unfamiliar with the D&D mechanics. Some players will make mistakes even if they aren't. Enemy AI can make surprising moves. There can be surprises in encounters you are not prepared for. Even if your attack plan is solid, the dice can go against you. No room for error means no one will WANT to play the game.

2) If every single fight is a party wipe, then all fights will feel the same, no matter if it's against a handful of zombies, or a nest of mind flayers. The players won't feel any more tension for the final boss than they do for those zombies, which is death for emotional engagement. A player who is emotionally unengaged with the game will start to wonder "why am I still playing this", and then they'll stop.

3) It wouldn't be fun. Whether you like it or not, part of the reason people play these games is for the power fantasy (even if it's subconscious), and making the player constantly feel weak and helpless in every single fight is going to annoy them.

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Originally Posted by Stabbey
Originally Posted by Gregorovitch

Personally I don't think you can measure difficulty in terms of "core rules" usefully 'cos video games and table top games work very differently; for example monsters are controlled by stupid AIs rather than evil DMs so they need to be buffed significantly to afford any sort of challenge, there is no perma-death so encounters need to be balanced so key encounters are more likely than not to result in party wipe on first attempt or the game will have no tension or sense of danger (you have to be scared your whole party will perish in a video game adaptation, not just your own character).


It would be extremely unwise of Larian to tone the difficulty so high that every single encounter is designed to be a party wipe.


That's why I said "key encounters" not "all encounters". And obviously "more likely than not" does not mean the same thing as "always".

So for example in DOS2 it is IMO unlikely that a player will defeat both the crocodiles and the frogs first attempt on Tactician difficulty. I know I didn't. IMO that is hitting just the right spot.

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After two D:OS2 I don't think Larian will be afraid of making their games challenging. I also don't think that IE (or Pillars or Pathfinder for that matter) problem is that they are too difficult - it's that it is unintuitive. Those are games about stats and dice-rolls, and real-time nature and presentation of those games tend to distract from that. Most of the screen you stare it is, in fact, completely unhelpful.

I think making BG3 turn-based will help a lot in jumping over that hurdle, but a lot will depend on feedback and UI design. Something I do like very much is that Larian embraces the dice-roll, rather then hide it. It's is implimented in skill checks and it pops up when making a critical hit. I think this kind of visualization should help a lot in bringing out what +1 actually means.

I actually never liked how BGs did it's difficulty. I felt that making enemy spells make more damage and such was an unenjoyable way of doing it, as it messes with what abilities can do. Magic missile cast by my character or enemy character should work the same way. I would rather see different enemy composition depending on difficulty - something that is more time consuming but I think more enjoyable.

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Originally Posted by Wormerine
After two D:OS2 I don't think Larian will be afraid of making their games challenging. I also don't think that IE (or Pillars or Pathfinder for that matter) problem is that they are too difficult - it's that it is unintuitive. Those are games about stats and dice-rolls, and real-time nature and presentation of those games tend to distract from that. Most of the screen you stare it is, in fact, completely unhelpful.

I think making BG3 turn-based will help a lot in jumping over that hurdle, but a lot will depend on feedback and UI design. Something I do like very much is that Larian embraces the dice-roll, rather then hide it. It's is implimented in skill checks and it pops up when making a critical hit. I think this kind of visualization should help a lot in bringing out what +1 actually means.

I actually never liked how BGs did it's difficulty. I felt that making enemy spells make more damage and such was an unenjoyable way of doing it, as it messes with what abilities can do. Magic missile cast by my character or enemy character should work the same way. I would rather see different enemy composition depending on difficulty - something that is more time consuming but I think more enjoyable.


I 100% agree with that turn based will make the ruleset a lot more intuitive to new players and may very well encourage others to try other 'dice' game because of a new understanding. Despite loving RTwP, i must admit turn based does provide an answer to quiet a few usual problems: multiple actions in a round, explanation of rules in 'real time', and more complex encounters instead of just AI that rushes you, while giving you time to react.

Since Larian isnt making up an entire world on the fly, they could just replace normal monsters with a tier higher on harder difficulties. Everything is already leveled out for them, with stronger creatures all predefined and organized. They could leave the CR reward gains out...but that may scale too hard eventually for the group to overcome.

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Originally Posted by Wormerine
....

I think making BG3 turn-based will help a lot in jumping over that hurdle, but a lot will depend on feedback and UI design. Something I do like very much is that Larian embraces the dice-roll, rather then hide it. It's is implimented in skill checks and it pops up when making a critical hit. I think this kind of visualization should help a lot in bringing out what +1 actually means.

....


Better, more intuitive design usually helps a game, but I'm not sure I agree it will make much difference to bringing in a wider audience.

The videogaming audience may have expanded massively over the last 2 decades, but the "nerdy games" audience is still pretty small. Most videogames companies seem to have preferred to take their games towards the mainstream tastes.



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