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Originally Posted by _Vic_
Two words: Multiplayer mode.
It´s easier to code for both if you do it that way instead of giving group orders.

Yes, and I also had this same feeling myself. And that again just feeds my concern that pretty much all major game design decisions have been made with the co-op play side of the game in mind.

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Originally Posted by Wormerine
Originally Posted by atlimar

I find the gameplay demos so far very disorienting, and by far the largest amount of gameplay time goes to controlling the camera rather than, what I would call, playing the actual game.

Something I wasn't a fan of in D:OS1&2 was linking the characters - esencially we couldn't control a group, we could control only one character at the time, and link others to follow him like cattle. I never quite got used to it, constantly leaving someone behind or having someone rush to me when not asked for. I think Swen said in on the the showcases they are examening it, but don't quote me on that.


He did say that there would be a select all button like the Infinity Engine games had. That will help some.

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Originally Posted by kanisatha
Originally Posted by _Vic_
Two words: Multiplayer mode.
It´s easier to code for both if you do it that way instead of giving group orders.

Yes, and I also had this same feeling myself. And that again just feeds my concern that pretty much all major game design decisions have been made with the co-op play side of the game in mind.


And so they should be, IMO. Like the DOS games, they are making BG3 with the full campaign for single player and multiplayer. That’s really quite rare. Its not a multiplayer game with a single player campaign bolted on the side. Neither is it a single player game with a crappy arena battle system just because everyone expects a multiplayer mode.

It’s not really something to be concerned about, provided they are also building everything with single player in mind, which I’m sure they are.

If some compromises have to be made, I’m fine with that. I don’t remember anything in DOS games where it seemed that multiplayer functionality was detrimental to the single player experience.

If anything, the ability to split the party over a large distance seemed an underused feature they could have made more of. There was one puzzle (I don’t remember which game) with twin dungeons, and what you did in one affected the other. You needed to switch between the two, which was perhaps slightly clunky in practice but still a nice little puzzle. It’s the only example I can think of that seemed designed around it though.

Of course it does mean that most of the time you won’t actually need to gather your party before venturing forth. I’m sure someone will complain about that.



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Personally I would like:
- A freely movable camera, so you can see everything.
- a button to turn on/off if the camera follows your char, off means you move camera with moving mouse to the end of the screen or with direction buttons
- The option to see the word through your characters eyes, even if it is just a button to look around when you are standing still.

This way you can "simulate" anything, from a "over the shoulder camera following the char" to a fixed top down/isometric camera.
The videos show that you need to move the camera a lot because maps can be very vertical and enemies, treasures etc. can be in any direction.

In D:OS the chain mechanic was annoying and I wished for the controls from the IE games.
I played only single player.


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Originally Posted by Dagless
Originally Posted by kanisatha
Originally Posted by _Vic_
Two words: Multiplayer mode.
It´s easier to code for both if you do it that way instead of giving group orders.

Yes, and I also had this same feeling myself. And that again just feeds my concern that pretty much all major game design decisions have been made with the co-op play side of the game in mind.


And so they should be, IMO. Like the DOS games, they are making BG3 with the full campaign for single player and multiplayer. That’s really quite rare. Its not a multiplayer game with a single player campaign bolted on the side. Neither is it a single player game with a crappy arena battle system just because everyone expects a multiplayer mode.

It’s not really something to be concerned about, provided they are also building everything with single player in mind, which I’m sure they are.

If some compromises have to be made, I’m fine with that. I don’t remember anything in DOS games where it seemed that multiplayer functionality was detrimental to the single player experience.

If anything, the ability to split the party over a large distance seemed an underused feature they could have made more of. There was one puzzle (I don’t remember which game) with twin dungeons, and what you did in one affected the other. You needed to switch between the two, which was perhaps slightly clunky in practice but still a nice little puzzle. It’s the only example I can think of that seemed designed around it though.

Of course it does mean that most of the time you won’t actually need to gather your party before venturing forth. I’m sure someone will complain about that.



Making a game good for both single and multiplayer is a laudable goal, but there is a lot missing from that at the moment, as this thread shows perceived inadequacy in both camera handling and group control, but there is also a lack of companion AI when they are not all player controlled ( SP and short-handed MP groups ).

Being able to split the party in the D:OS games ( and still present in BG3 ) is a good idea, but if Swen has problems with using it ( I did too in D:OS ), the chain UI is probably a bad design that needs reworking. The chain system also has no concept of group arrangement or follow/separation distance between linked members that would be important in SP, but not needed in MP.

Camera view handling seems reasonably fully featured but also appears to lack much thought as to options that would allow both SP and MP players to see things as they prefer. Adding configurable camera-follow features would help both the 3rd person and high-angle cameras avoid the need to be manually changed, without having to really alter their current view handling code. The OP wish to have only a fixed-orientation high-angle camera would be more difficult since the environment is truly 3D, which means a great deal is hidden from a fixed orientation camera: you would lose much of the benefit of 3D, and the view handling would need significant alteration to be able to indicate the existance of hidden features ( adding flase-color silhouettes, etc )

Just assuming Larian will know what everyone wants and do it right is probably wishful thinking.

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Originally Posted by kanisatha
This whole linking up characters bit is very much a huge step backwards.

How is that significantly different than drawing a selection box around characters that you want to group together, etc?


Originally Posted by etonbears
there is also a lack of companion AI when they are not all player controlled ( SP and short-handed MP groups )

Why would they need AI? In turn based combat that would significantly drop the tactics available if companion characters acted on their own, and outside combat the only things suitable to automate would be selling wares, or offering to lockpick a door the lead character selects but can not open, etc.

Originally Posted by etonbears
The chain system also has no concept of group arrangement or follow/separation distance between linked members

D:OS 1 has a selection of party formations and in D:OS 2 that was expanded to allow a custom configuration where you could position specific characters within a grid of 17 slots, in addition to the list of formations.

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i didnt even know that and i finished that game multiple times.
amazing

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Linking makes it clunky to position party members prior combat. You move your group and notice an enemy encounter coming up. You click your tank forward and then want to have your archers/mages on high ground hill. Now your tank is also running there, because everybody is linked. You need to detach party members apart every time you want to position your party by hand. You also don't have the option to select the facing direction of your formation, it's always away from where you currently are. And finally linking and unlinking party members is finicky.

While exploring out of combat, I think the linking works fine. But when you need that finer level of positioning, it's a lot more cumbersome than standard real time strategy controls.

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Originally Posted by Raze
Originally Posted by kanisatha
This whole linking up characters bit is very much a huge step backwards.

How is that significantly different than drawing a selection box around characters that you want to group together, etc?



In the IE games you can look at your chars all the time. To select chars you just have to click a char or hold the mouse button to select an area.
In D:OS you have to change the order and links between characters all the time.

Example: You have 4 chars ABCD standing

AB
CD

and you want the left chars to go left and the right chars to go right. All of them are one group.
BG2: Hold the mouse button to select the left chars, click left. Hold the mouse button to select the right chars, click right. done.
D:OS2: Move the porttraits of 3 chars away from another so all 4 chars are separated. Move the portrait of character A and C together to link them. Move the portraits of character B and D together to link them. Click on character A or C and click left. Click on character B or D and click right. done.

You can play BG2 without dragging around character portraits all the time.
Multi player can also be done with BG2 controls. When starting a game you just have to select who controls wich character. BG1+2 had multiplayer and so far I have seen no complains that players had problems to select and control their chars.


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Originally Posted by Bercon
Linking makes it clunky to position party members prior combat.

That could be easily (at least in principle) fixed with a hotkey or UI button to unlink the party, and another (or toggle) to re-group afterwards.



Originally Posted by Madscientist
Example: You have 4 chars ABCD standing

If you want B and C to go left and A and D to go right, you have to move at least one of the characters first to be able to select them in groups.
In D:OS 2 you would only have to unlink 2 of the characters, and lining them together could easily be part of the second character unlinking; that is 2 drag and drops, pretty much mechanically the same as 2 click and drags to select.

Yes, multiplayer can be done with BG2 controls. That's why multiplayer is not a factor in the party management method.

I found the IE party control annoying at times, and it encouraged just selecting everyone and having them attack the same target, rarely needing to select individual characters to manage them. If the story wasn't interesting, I would not have finished PS:T just for the combat.

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Others have already done a pretty good job of explaining why the linking mechanism sucks. I will simply add that it is non-intuitive, cumbersome, and a general pain in the ass.

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I do not really get what´s the difference.

As far as I know in DoS games (they´re the most popular games that use linking besides some JRPGs so I´ll use them as an example) you can actually see your entire party if you link them or let some of them go and flank the enemy from the other side if you unlink them, the same as in IE games.


I do not really know why Sven do not linked their companions in the gameplay and keep them separated at all times, but in DOS games if you link all your party they follow you along. And you can choose a party formation that they keep while walking or in combat, as in IE games. The only difference is that they do not do anything besides following you around unless you told them so.
You can select two, three or four of them, like in IE games. The difference is that you do not do that drawing a box with your mouse, you do that linking your character portraits. That´s it.

It´s actually easier to manage your party that way in exploration because the IA does not move your characters for itself and they do not attack automatically, break invisibility or run mindlessly into a web/poison cloud/trap unless you actively order them to do so.

As @Daze said, it´s pointless to have an IA managing your team members in a game like BG3 because you can fine-tune, control your characters and give them orders directly about what they have to do all the time.

Thanks for coming and give us some insight about the devs. opinions @Daze

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I found it OK. Could perhaps be improved a bit with a keyboard shortcut or two.

Maybe hold a key and click to unlink and move current character, and another key to either group all within range or draw a selection box?

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Originally Posted by _Vic_
I do not really get what´s the difference.

As far as I know in DoS games (they´re the most popular games that use linking besides some JRPGs so I´ll use them as an example) you can actually see your entire party if you link them or let some of them go and flank the enemy from the other side if you unlink them, the same as in IE games.


I do not really know why Sven do not linked their companions in the gameplay and keep them separated at all times, but in DOS games if you link all your party they follow you along. And you can choose a party formation that they keep while walking or in combat, as in IE games. The only difference is that they do not do anything besides following you around unless you told them so.
You can select two, three or four of them, like in IE games. The difference is that you do not do that drawing a box with your mouse, you do that linking your character portraits. That´s it.

It´s actually easier to manage your party that way in exploration because the IA does not move your characters for itself and they do not attack automatically, break invisibility or run mindlessly into a web/poison cloud/trap unless you actively order them to do so.

As @Daze said, it´s pointless to have an IA managing your team members in a game like BG3 because you can fine-tune, control your characters and give them orders directly about what they have to do all the time.

Thanks for coming and give us some insight about the devs. opinions @Daze


- As far as I know, Raze is the community manager, not a dev. I think he said at one point that all he sais is his own opinion and he has no special information what the devs are thinking.

- In D:OS you have to link and unlink your characters all the time. When you walk from one place to another its easier to let them walk together. Before combat it is better to split up and put your characters in good positions. Lets look at when they enter the village. They lose a dialogue roll and combat starts, the goblin uses a fireball and damages all party members. Better would be if one char sneaks one one roof with goblins, another char sneaks on the other roof with goblins and a third char stand on a different roof. Then the 4th char walks through the gate. If you fail the talk roll and combat starts, the chars on the roof can kick the goblins down and shoot with advantage while the char on the ground can finish them if the goblins survive the fall and they will get an AoO if they want to run back on the roof.

- In D:OS and BG you can do exactly the same things with your characters. But in BG you can do it without moving around portraits all the time.

- Not sure if this was in BG or a strategy game like command and conquer: You can define a button to select groups. You select a group of whatever chars you like and assign a button to it. This plus a "select all button" should be more than enough to control all chars without moving portraits.

@Raze: Different people have different preferences. I never had any problem with controlling characters in any IE game, but for me the link mechanic in D:OS was very annoying.


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While this thread initially only asked for more top-down gameplay, the discussion so far has made me realize how important the control system is in order for the top-down party play to work well.

I disliked feeling like you weren't really controlling a party in the DoS games. I much preferred the strategy game-like control system of IE, where you could create control groups and shift/ctrl click the selections you wanted. Much like StarCraft, and pretty much every RTS ever since then. It['s a good and fast system for controlling a unit of characters.

Again, BG is allowed to evolve and improve beyond what it once was, but I don't think what they've shown so far is much of an improvement.

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You can actually create subgroups in DoS games linking two, three or four characters, use a formation or select individual members of the party with a shortcut.

It would be welcome if they also create shortcuts to select/unselect the entire party too.

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Originally Posted by _Vic_
You can actually create subgroups in DoS games linking two, three or four characters, use a formation or select individual members of the party with a shortcut.

It would be welcome if they also create shortcuts to select/unselect the entire party too.

In the June 18th gameplay stream, Swen said that they will be adding a select all button, I believe it is in the second half of the stream, can't remember exactly where.

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I think the value of chain linking is that you can create designated fixed subgroups so you don’t have to reselect those characters individually each time you want to move them collectively. It definitely needs some fine tuning to work optimally. It would be nice if you could select two characters and hit crtl G to group and upgroup them like a strategy game, and if the UI made it more obvious when characters were grouped so you don’t run into the issue of accidentally causing characters to traverse across the map when you don’t want them to.

This map will be far more interactive then prior games, so I think it makes sense that you control only one character directly and the rest are following.

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Originally Posted by Madscientist
- As far as I know, Raze is the community manager

And support.


Originally Posted by Madscientist
I think he said at one point that all he sais is his own opinion and he has no special information what the devs are thinking.

That depends on the situation; I wasn't following BG3 development before the official announcement, for example, but have seen discussions and brought up issues with the design team. In this case I have not specifically checked with anyone involved with the UI and control design, but if it was generally considered to be a worse design, there was lots of time to change it.


Originally Posted by Madscientist
You can define a button to select groups. You select a group of whatever chars you like and assign a button to it. This plus a "select all button" should be more than enough to control all chars without moving portraits.

Yes, this, or at least an ungroup/regroup function, would be useful.
Dragon Commander allows assigning groups of units to hotkeys to control.

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Originally Posted by Raze
Originally Posted by Madscientist
- As far as I know, Raze is the community manager

And support.

And Divinity encyclopaedia.


J'aime le fromage.
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