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Originally Posted by frequentic

Edit: The Rpahael example stands in very strong contrast to say the Gith'yanki patrol. In the case of Gith'yanki you can take charge of the conversation and reach a peaceful solution (while being a badass). It's three hard rolls to do it, but it leads to a different situation and a different solution to the encounter. As previously stated, I get that we can't have that everywhere, and that the main story encounters are more important in that sense, but I'm missing the details and the nuance in the side-quest encounters quite often. The devil's in the details, and the details will end up making a game like this from an RPG-perspective (in my point of view).

are there alot of options with the gith patrol tho? - i may have not been able to see all the options on my playthrough and it is ea, but regardless of interrupting Laz, passing all the skill rolls, changing choices in dialogue, attacking and knocking out, or showing the gith artifact, that encounter always resulted in the gith flying off on his dragon (likely scripted) and me either having to fight the gith that remain or they run off on their search/patrol - and we never get any insight as to where the gith nest is, what this artifact is or why the gith are after them, or via Laz how the knight 'betrayed' their gith protocols. I understand that the gith arent necessarily supposed to be the most friendly of races (despite my pc in that playthrough also being gith) but i feel like this encounter is more similar to the deal with the devil and druid v child encounters that others have commented on than ppl realize where you really dont have many varied outcomes to the scenarios the player is presented with and in the case with the druid v child, one bad roll/specific dialogue choice leads directly to the snake attacking with no opportunity to react or intercede.

the more i play the more i also agree with what warbaby2 said in another thread regarding random encounters.

Originally Posted by WarBaby2

That's because, right now, Larian's idea of a D&D RPG is guided storytelling between setpiece battles... so, not really a RPG in the classical sense at all.

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Originally Posted by nation
Originally Posted by frequentic

Edit: The Rpahael example stands in very strong contrast to say the Gith'yanki patrol. In the case of Gith'yanki you can take charge of the conversation and reach a peaceful solution (while being a badass). It's three hard rolls to do it, but it leads to a different situation and a different solution to the encounter. As previously stated, I get that we can't have that everywhere, and that the main story encounters are more important in that sense, but I'm missing the details and the nuance in the side-quest encounters quite often. The devil's in the details, and the details will end up making a game like this from an RPG-perspective (in my point of view).

are there alot of options with the gith patrol tho? - i may have not been able to see all the options on my playthrough and it is ea, but regardless of interrupting Laz, passing all the skill rolls, changing choices in dialogue, attacking and knocking out, or showing the gith artifact, that encounter always resulted in the gith flying off on his dragon (likely scripted) and me either having to fight the gith that remain or they run off on their search/patrol - and we never get any insight as to where the gith nest is, what this artifact is or why the gith are after them, or via Laz how the knight 'betrayed' their gith protocols. I understand that the gith arent necessarily supposed to be the most friendly of races (despite my pc in that playthrough also being gith) but i feel like this encounter is more similar to the deal with the devil and druid v child encounters that others have commented on than ppl realize where you really dont have many varied outcomes to the scenarios the player is presented with and in the case with the druid v child, one bad roll/specific dialogue choice leads directly to the snake attacking with no opportunity to react or intercede.


the more i play the more i also agree with what warbaby2 said in another thread regarding random encounters.

Originally Posted by WarBaby2

That's because, right now, Larian's idea of a D&D RPG is guided storytelling between setpiece battles... so, not really a RPG in the classical sense at all.


I see more (possible) choice the more I play, instead of less. What's lackluster about Raphael is that the outcome is set in stone when the dialogue tells the player that you can have many different approaches. With the Gith'yaki you're never really presented with an alternative, or hint, that will cause the dragon rider to remain, and thus I think it's fine. Sure, the skill checks are super tough for the Gith'yanki and the Kagha+child encounter but there is no pretense about it being any other way.

On a larger scale I'm still clueless as ot whether you will be able to explain the full game or if certain paths lock off other possible options. E.g. going through the Underdark (EA ending) will not let you experience Mountain Pass in the same playthrough. I think those design choices will have the most impact on the game, for better or worse, just like locking the party after act 1 will (as a limitation for the player).

I think it will boil down to whether the player feel like these smaller and larger decisions boil down to something worthwhile, where it feels like you have chosen your path and the outcome of the story, and as of this point I have a really hard time making my mind up about it, due the limited scope of the EA.

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I see less. I mean if you care for the story that is


Larian's Biggest Oversight, what to do about it, and My personal review of BG3 EA
"74.85% of you stood with the Tieflings, and 25.15% of you sided with Minthara. Good outweighs evil, it seems."
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Originally Posted by Xennial_Dragon
TL:DR - Conversational choices that don't dramatically alter the outcome of a conversation are a waste of time and 'saving throws' in a conversation need to be more fluid then pass/fail/pointless. There should be degrees of a rolling well or badly.

.

I'm not sure if it's ironic, or just funny, that I'm involved in another conversation on these very forums where people are complaining that the conversation rolls, and consequences for failing them are too harsh?

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Originally Posted by frequentic
I was about to write up something similar, but here it is, so I'll just add to it. I've got one major issue and one smaller issue.

The major issue is what is being described by OP. My best example of this is interacting with the devil (second time visiting camp). I just tried pretty much all options in that dialogue, ranging from "I agree" to "Draw your weapons". No matter what I said or did I didn't see any changed dialogue from the devil, with one exception. No matter if I accept his offer, am unsure about it, or threaten to kill him, he'll still tell me he'll be back later, and most of the lines are exactly the same. *The one exception is that he hoped for /or/ enjoy when I put up a fight.

So what's the point in the illusion of a choice? If he had an arrogant attitude and spoke to me like I was beneath him I wouldn't mind much, because it would be in character for him to ignore any of my input to the conversation, but instead he's trying to influence me and keep up a pretense. I do get that the outcome will be the same no matter what, because it's important to the plot, but the way that outcome is presented to the player is still very important. An alternative to what's currently in EA would be if there os a range of outcomes like 1) staying in human shape during the conversation, not revealing his true self, 2) exposing himself as a devil, but keeping it pleasant, or 3) exposing himself as a devil, and straight up telling you that you suck and that it's not really a choice anyway. If I could affect the dialogue in that way then it would make sense to me, and he would reveal different pieces of information depending on your approach and your choices.

The minor issue can be exemplified by the conversation with the two brother and Ethel down by the swamp. When Ethel lies to the brothers you can do an investigation check(?) and reveal that she's holding something back. If you succeed with the check, one of your dialogue options will change slightly. Instead of just accusing her, you will accuse her with a bit more certainty. Her response is pretty much the same though, and it certainly doesn't affect the interaction with her later or the outcome of the situation. Neither does it provide you with any useful information or piece of lore that will at least give you as a player a better understanding. The question, just like before, is what the point is of such a check and dialogue change if nothing happens?

Once again, I get that the plot require certain outcomes, but all the choices (plot related or not) should have an effect on the main protagonist, the party or the world, and preferably so in a way that comes back to bite you in the ass or reward you at a later stage, and depending on later choices.


The things you’re describing aren’t supposed to impact the discussion, they’re supposed to impact what you do with the information... I think people still don’t get it. You’re not supposed to do EVERYTHING in this game, not EVERYTHING you can do has a positive outcome. Just don’t use Auntie Ethel

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Originally Posted by Stray952

The things you’re describing aren’t supposed to impact the discussion, they’re supposed to impact what you do with the information... I think people still don’t get it. You’re not supposed to do EVERYTHING in this game, not EVERYTHING you can do has a positive outcome. Just don’t use Auntie Ethel


The problem he is talking about, and mostly everyone else, is that no matter which choice you choose the outcome is nearly the same all the time.
People just feel railroaded towards an outcome.


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Originally Posted by Eddiar
Originally Posted by Stray952
The things you’re describing aren’t supposed to impact the discussion, they’re supposed to impact what you do with the information... I think people still don’t get it. You’re not supposed to do EVERYTHING in this game, not EVERYTHING you can do has a positive outcome. Just don’t use Auntie Ethel


The problem he is talking about, and mostly everyone else, is that no matter which choice you choose the outcome is nearly the same all the time.
People just feel railroaded towards an outcome.


Exactly, and judging from how Larian handled their storytelling in DOS2, this might only get worse in the coming chapters, especially now that they have discovered the most expensive way to actually tell a story - aka: Voiced, motion captured cutscenes.

...and believe me, I know the signs, when a writer/developer is far too much in love with their story/characters, to run the risk of players not experiencing everything important, no matter what they are "allowed" to choose. That's how I used to write my pnp campaigns back in the day, and I had to learn the hard way that actual RPG players usually don't appreciate that... at least when you're not VERY VERY good at it. laugh

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Since this thread has mentioned the Kagha/child encounter in the Druid's Grove, I'm posting my feedback here instead of starting a new thread. I agree with several of the other posts about all choices leading to the same outcome--a good early example is the druid Nettie. So far I have reloaded saves several times trying different options, and every option leads to a fight with her. I did not try the Knock Unconscious action, but given that you have to use it "when an attack would be fatal" and it's very hard to predict that, I'm not sure that would have even worked. Unlike some of the other posters here, I think this encounter/conversation could work PROVIDED that you give the player more information about Nettie ahead of time. Ambient dialog suggesting that she is stubborn and hard to convince, or mentioning her experiences with mindflayers or those infected with tadpoles, would be appropriate. As a player of both cRPGs and tabletop RPGs, and as someone who also GMs tabletop RPGs (specifically D&D 5E), I can tell you that high-risk or no-win scenarios should ALWAYS be prefaced with opportunities to assess risk and/or information needed to make a meaningful choice. If the player *knows* there is a likelihood Nettie will act as she does, then choosing to speak to her at all is the meaningful choice people are asking for. As it is now in EA--you have NO IDEA that she might do the things she does, and NO IDEA that the end result will be the same regardless of choices or skill checks.

As for the Kagha scene, I really think having the child die simply as a result of a bad skill check is TERRIBLE. I don't have a problem with bad things happening as a result of a roll, necessarily--but again, I think the player should be given a hint or clue of what the stakes are ahead of time. Kagha is a bitch, yes. She wants to punish the child, yes. However I don't get any indication she is a child murderer. If she doesn't want the child murdered, she should be in better control of her pet. A companion animal or pet is not going to act without the consent of the owner/humanoid companion. They work together. Therefore, as in the scene with Nettie, there is NO INDICATION that the stakes on this particular skill check are life-or-death for this kid. Either make it clearer that she wants to kill the kid anyway (which would then make her snake's attack logical), or have Kagha control her damn snake, or have Kagha be horrified and give the kid an antidote--any of these would make that situation more meaningful. I know there is always a chance of failing a roll in D&D...but the DM generally is tasked with adjusting the stakes and consequences so they make sense within the context and narrative. In this case, Larian devs are the DMs and you have a responsibility to the players to give them hints, clues, and information so that they know what the stakes are before they make a choice or roll the dice. I get that there is a narrative intention behind both of these scenes...but I think you guys can do much, MUCH better at implementing that intention.


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All CPRGs have to railroad the story, and thus all have an illusion of choice. In BG2 if you decide to not rescue Imoen, the story essentially becomes stuck after some sidequests. You have to go to the isle to progress the story, even if you leave Imoen there. You've got no choice ultimately with Mass Effect, Planescape or KOTR - you have to proceed to various locations just to move the story along, and there is essentially only one direction even if some of the intermediate locations can be in differing order. Your choices affect how the story progresses in the new location - faction and character reactions, but not the story itself. BG3 is the same - first try to remove the tadpole (four different groups can try and one character wants you to try a fifth) and then proceed to the Moonrise Tower (Act 2?) either overland or through the Underdark.

What I most admire in BG3 is the fact that there are so many approaches to solving problems where there are choices. There are two options to whittle down the Goblins without directly murdering any of them (poison and spiders) which still allowing you to walk freely through their camp with the goblins reacting to your choice by commenting on it ("now you'll have to go and find new spiders"). You even have the option to submit to torture which then leads to a goblin trying to emulate you and getting tortured (and injured) themselves. It is possible to lose an eye in one of two operations, and BG3 reacts at least in one situation when you ask a second person to remove your eye after losing it the first time. The game also has interesting racial reactions - playing as drow is very different than playing as an elf when encountering goblins and deep gnomes. So your choice or race definitely provides a level of reactivity I've never seen. The elves in BG2 had no comment when a party of dwarves, halflings and gnomes arrive to save the day...

So overall, as another long time player of CRPGs, I'd say that the branches from decisions are much deeper than what I usually have seen. And I am willing to ride on the railroad, because I do want to see where these decisions take me. Still hoping to see a blast exploding out from a cave if I leave Gale in the Underdark to die...

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I don’t know if anyone has brought this up, but the consequences for a choice might not always be readily apparent. For example, such and such NPC might die no matter what dialogue option you choose (or even how you roll), but later on in the story, some event or option may or may not be available depending on how you answered earlier.

You of course have a choice in dialogues, so there is no illusion there. The supposed illusion is in the consequence for the choice you make. We just don’t always know what those consequences might be. If the choices we make all end up meaning nothing, then yeah, that’s on Larian. But I doubt that is the case.

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I think this (link below) is touching on the foundation to many of the immersion-breaking issues. Cred to original poster and of course the content creator (posted in "early access gameplay feedback compendium").

Originally Posted by Dirin Tenshinibo
The Story Telling and Quests need to be redesigned with a few things in mind. This video is a great example of what I mean.

Direct Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCfGT-oapL4

You can see how story telling in the classic Baldur's Gates games varies, and how dialog choices are YOURS to make, NOT the Dice.


It's also what WarBaby2 is bringing up. It is almost unavoidable to have a red thread and major milestones or events in your journey, but there is a huge difference between presenting a story that is very linear in it's narrative and a story where the player help write all the context. It's not the destination, it's the journey.

Originally Posted by WarBaby2
Originally Posted by Eddiar
Originally Posted by Stray952
The things you’re describing aren’t supposed to impact the discussion, they’re supposed to impact what you do with the information... I think people still don’t get it. You’re not supposed to do EVERYTHING in this game, not EVERYTHING you can do has a positive outcome. Just don’t use Auntie Ethel


The problem he is talking about, and mostly everyone else, is that no matter which choice you choose the outcome is nearly the same all the time.
People just feel railroaded towards an outcome.


Exactly, and judging from how Larian handled their storytelling in DOS2, this might only get worse in the coming chapters, especially now that they have discovered the most expensive way to actually tell a story - aka: Voiced, motion captured cutscenes.


...and believe me, I know the signs, when a writer/developer is far too much in love with their story/characters, to run the risk of players not experiencing everything important, no matter what they are "allowed" to choose. That's how I used to write my pnp campaigns back in the day, and I had to learn the hard way that actual RPG players usually don't appreciate that... at least when you're not VERY VERY good at it. laugh


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