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#692534 13/10/20 12:22 AM
Joined: Oct 2020
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journeyman
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Joined: Oct 2020
Here's my brain dump on my limited experience with BG3 as a big fan of the Infinity Engine games and D&D.

The first thing I'm really looking forward to in this game is controller support. I find the mouse and keyboard controls utterly baffling. I've played the Infinity Engine games, Neverwinter Nights, and Pillars of Eternity with a mouse and keyboard fine, but BG3 is just a nightmare to control and somehow a gigantic step backwards from games that are 20 years old. The camera sometimes won't follow characters, the camera gets caught on things making visibility very difficult, dead characters "explode" into polygons that block your view, there doesn't seem to be a formation system for your party, pathfinding is very poor and people run into fire and whatnot, you can't open up the map and click on a location and have your characters path their way there, it's generally very confusing to navigate the world and to know where you can go (what's climbable? what can I jump to? what can I interact with?), it's difficult to see where you will be going or what is traversable terrain in your POV since moving guarantees that something is going to be blocking your view at any second, you can't click and drag on the ground for formation and selecting specific characters along with the shift or control keys, the camera isn't very good at showing you an optimal view (some locations don't seem to have any views that aren't obstructed by something in the camera's way), the game requires constant camera rotation to see what's going on and to see what you can interact with, the WASD keys don't adequately move the camera and you have to use a mouse button to try and wrangle the camera so you can see WTF you're doing... In summary: the controls and camera SUCK. This game would have been a lot easier to control with a fixed camera like BG1 and 2 (and I personally would rather not have to deal with camera rotation). Also the highlight interactable objects button (left ALT, IIRC) does not reveal everything of value you can interact with. I was missing lootable boxes and stuff because the game was not highlighting them. (Also, this button should be a toggle; I shouldn't have to hold it the entire time while I'm playing.)

The other big thing that makes the game very hard to play right now is how incredibly blurry and pixelated all of the text and UI is for this game. I'm playing on a 4K TV and I've tried several different resolutions hoping to make the text readable, but to no avail. I tried Vulkan and DX11 modes, updated graphics drivers. Same thing. When you do get around to fixing that, I would suggest that you also add an option for text scaling like the Enhanced Editions of the Infinity Engine games did. Bigger UI elements would help too; the buttons in the upper righthand corner around the mini map are indecipherable at their current size. Tooltips don't always seem to work either so I have no idea what some of the buttons are (it'd also be nice if you got feedback on why a short rest isn't available).

I also really dislike the skill bar system used in this game, DOS2, and Pathfinder: Kingmaker. I would change it ASAP. It makes it so I spend more time futzing with the hotbar and organizing it rather than enjoying playing the game. Every time a character learns a new spell or ability, the hotbar is thrown into chaos as the list just gets bigger and bigger and harder and harder to navigate (yes, I know there are options for auto-assigning things to the hotbar; this does not fix the issue of the whole concept being unduly cumbersome). It's ok to give several favorite spells or items quick access, but when you have an entire spellbook to sort through (you never know when spell/ability x will be useful) it's a grinding chore to get the hotbar into a usable state. Instead, I would suggest you switch to a system that makes more sense, is automatically organized, and less clunky. The original Baldur's Gate games handled their hotbars just fine and I didn't have to spend hours messing with it because I knew where everything was at (in it's logical place). Neverwinter Nights had the right-click skill rings that you could dive into based on their logically laid out subcategories (items, interactions, spells, etc.). BG3, DOS, and Pathfinder skill bars are not logical; they're poor UI decisions made into chores for the player because the game designers couldn't be bothered. I really don't want this game to be a hotbar hellscape with a trillion icons and cooldown timers and other visual junk like an MMO. I also don't want to have to reorganize the whole damn thing again with every level up. Give me a way to tag favorites for easy access, but also sort things logically into cantrips, level 1 spells, abilities, items, etc. For the controller UI, using a NWN/Ratchet & Clank ring system would make sense and could be navigated quickly with the analog sticks.

I think character creation needs a lot of work. The current system pales in comparison to something like the D&D Beyond character creator that makes you feel like you are creating a character with a fleshed out background that you can call your own. You also get to peak at how your character could be built at level 20. That joy and experimentation isn't present in BG3. Why doesn't the character creator tell you what your character could do at a higher level? It simply does not give you enough information to make an informed decision. When your character levels up, it should feel exciting to choose a subclass or new ability instead of just ticking a box. Where's the lore and pertinent information behind all of the character creation decisions? That's part of what makes character creation so fun so I would definitely steal from D&D Beyond and Pathfinder: Kingmaker in this respect. You should be able to pick personality traits and add more detailed background like you can on D&D Beyond; this is the player's first peak into the world you've created and they should feel like they at least have a general sense of how they fit into that world. I don't feel any attachment to the characters I've created so far (although I guess I shouldn't feel anything anyway since they're going to be wiped once the game comes out for real), but it's like I'm just a generic character, a nobody. Who was I before I was kidnapped by the Illithid? In the original BG, at least I knew I grew up in Candlekeep and was raised by Gorion and had some sense of my place in the world. Also did I completely skip the part where you get to choose your character's alignment? That's a pretty crucial element. Also since this game will still be in development when Tasha's Cauldron of Everything comes out (November), will it incorporate the character creation changes that will come from that book? What about the recent errata that took away the negative ability score modifiers for Half-Orc and Kobolds? How up-to-date will this 5e experience be?

(Also what's with the "Who do you dream of" part during character creation? Is the only romanceable option in the game? A generic character you make? You don't even get to assign them a personality or anything. I'm not expecting romance to be very deep or interesting in BG3 if this is the case.)

As for future races, the three that I really hope make the cut are Dragonborn, Yuan-Ti Pureblood, and Aarakocra. I assume Aasimir will be added as the natural opposite of Tieflings, but I would also enjoy seeing playable Hobgoblins, Leonin, and Tabaxi. When it comes to adding the Dragonborn race into BG3, I use homebrew rules in tabletop 5e to give them the Dragon Fear and Dragon Hide feats at level one to put them more on par with races that were added to 5e later like the Leonin (which already have similar feats built-in). Normally this is something I would expect cheats or mods to take care in a video game, but I'm curious how customizable the game will be for adding certain homebrew rules natively (like making potion drinking a bonus action). My concern is that the PC version of the game will have all the mods that make the game more enjoyable and fix all my little gripes and the console versions will be stuck with a vanilla system that is not as expressive or fun. Fingers crossed that the console versions get mod support.

Other options I would like to see built-in: take max HP at level up, let characters take a feat and an ability score improvement at level up (putting 5e more in line with 3e), disable encumbrance (inventory management is not fun), a shared stash like Pillars of Eternity or Pathfinder: Kingmaker, disable timers for time sensitive quests (these spike my anxiety hard), fast forward toggle for battles and exploration (or at least fast forward through the enemy's turn in combat), pause at the discovery of traps, auto-equip characters with best equipment button, difficulty sliders accessible at all times (not just at the start of the game), UI scaling, a built-in mod system that can be accessed even on consoles (like Fallout 4), customizable AI scripts for party members behavior in and out of battle, an auto-buff button to make all your characters buff themselves up using available spells/items so you don't have to manually do it yourself every time, a toggle so party members don't attack/leave due to decisions, a toggle for rests healing all damage, disable component costs for spells (this one makes zero sense to me in tabletop: am I supposed to throw gold and gems into the air and somehow they transform into a spell? If you know the spell and have it memorized, then that should be enough)...

A keyword definer in dialogue like in Pathfinder: Kingmaker would be nice to have. Not everyone is familiar with the pantheon of gods in the Forgotten Realms nor are they familiar with the history or geography of Faerun and the world of Toril. I found being able to have a noun defined in the dialogue of Pathfinder to be extremely valuable in letting me into the world of Golarian (whose tabletop game I have not played). I know BG3 uses a spoken dialogue system versus a written prose system, but why not build the keyword definer into the dialogue history of your conversations? That seems like a natural way for players to pause and digest what they've just been told.

I would also very much like to see a built-in Monster Manual for browsing all the monsters in the game and reading about them. It'd be a nice opportunity to put in some lovely hand drawn art and a monster death tracker. Maybe as you kill more monsters, more details are revealed in the Monster Manual.

I'm disappointed that the party size is only four members. It would be nice to have six slots for your party like in the Infinity Engine games. Having your party interact with each other and eavesdropping on their conversations was very enjoyable in BG2. Reducing the party members you can take to three seems like it will really limit what you can see and do in a single playthrough. Then on the other side of things, can you create your own PCs and add them to the party too? This way the player can fill any gaps if there are no pre-created PCs with the skills you're looking for. (That's also traditionally been a problem with equipment balance in these games: you'll find some unique weapon that nobody in your party is proficient with. There are so many weapon types in D&D and very few seem to actually be used, but my bewilderment at the weapon proficiency systems in D&D is another tangent entirely.)

There's a whole bunch of stuff that I couldn't get to in my time with the game just because the controls are fighting me at every step, but I do have concerns about rumors I hear that you won't be able to change your party after Act 1. That seems like a really bad decision to me. I don't recall there being time limits on recruiting party members in BG1 and 2 (except Minsc leaving if you didn't go and save Dynaheir within a certain timeframe) or being forced to stick to one party for the whole game. You could continually change your party as the game progressed, letting you experiment with everybody and learn more about them by witnessing their interactions with each other. If that option is taken away and the party is "fixed" for the rest of the game, then I really don't like that at all. That's a huge step backwards from the feature set of the original games.

I'm also worried that the game will be focused too much on evil players instead of having interesting choices for good and neutral characters as well. The videos Larian put out seem to be suggesting that the game is tailored for evil characters and one guy even begged for players to play evil. I hope this doesn't turn out to be the case. I hope I will be able to play and enjoy the game no matter what alignment I am. From what I played of DOS2, that doesn't fill me with confidence since it seemed like all of the PCs in the game were evil aligned so I had a hard time coming to grips with the snarky nature of the world and feeling like anybody in the game world shared my character's POV.

I'm also very nervous about surfaces in the game. All the surface effects drove me away from DOS2. It seemed like every inch of the game was haphazardly sprayed with acid, fire, oil, and ice making traversing even simple spaces an arduous chore designed to waste the player's time. Walking through the cursed pig village in DOS2 was absolute torture for me. Why go out of your way to inconvenience the player and annoy them? I hope the "DM" for this game is more generous and less cruel. I really, really hope BG3 is different but I have had annoying run-ins with fire and bad pathfinding that set my characters on fire and killed them. From other people's reports, it seems that elemental arrows are really unbalanced in this game, but I couldn't even make it that far to see those goblin archers.

In its current state, this game is too frustrating to want to play more (primarily due to the controls and camera). I find myself going to play Pathfinder: Kingmaker instead (which I got last month) because I love the setting, the characters, and the story and I can actually sit back with a controller and enjoy playing it. There's nothing relaxing about BG3 right now; it just makes me frustrated... which I guess Early Access is supposed to do? Mission accomplished??

I really hope this game is good some day because Baldur's Gate is a very important franchise to me. If you're tacking on a "3" on the end of the title, then you damn well better live up to what BioWare had created before. Good luck, everyone! Now I think it's time I go ask Steam for a refund...

Joined: Jun 2019
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+1

Mouse look for the win IMO


Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Legion of Doom - Dungeons and Dragons online - server Orion -
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Wow alooot, do you feel better having gotten this off your chest?

Curious are you playing on the tv through a laptop, or computer? If it's a laptop it's probably why your experiencing issues with pixalation and things. Some crap out on graphics when using a tv. Mine for instance does.

The problem with fixed camera is that it's fixed, meaning your having to continueally turn to look at things. Instead of simply rotating the camera around, zooming in and out, and adjusting it to fit you. There is an option if you press 'O' key to do that not sure if it'll follow you or not, I personally hate this tactical view.

As for hotbar look at my hotbar is a hot mess post. It depends on what resolution your using, thing it was something 1280x700 or something that fixed alot of the issue with me. Cause i was ready to hurl furniture with it before I dug around in my settings. It also cleared up alot of the issues with camera, things being hidden off screen etc.

Your homebrew is hey thats on you. Though seems to be rather unbalanced in the long run. 2 feats, possibly 3, plus dragon breath, eventual flying, plus ability score modifiers....

Next paragraph.. this is based on 5e, not 3e, not 3.5, or 4. I myself prefer 3, and 3.5 but they're sadly relics. Inventory management is part and parcel of D&D, buuut if you right click you can send stuff to your camp leaving you free and clear except what your wearing. Most potions are already a bonus action to drink, the throwing though is an action same as in the rulebook for 5e. Plus to top it off Larian is already doing the 'homebrew' it's just their home brew. and like all home brews it's needing tweaking.

What I'm reading is this you like to simply win with no thought as to balance. Noticeably your homebrewed race which if played correctly will decimate any encounter and cause him to shine while the more balanced races are sitting back doing nothing. The same goes if you simply add max hp, and a feat, plus ability score adjustment. These all lead to unbalancing in any campaign, especially when larian has admitted their looking to balance the fights in EA.

going to skip a bit. What was said by Larian is that from their statistics most people tend to go the Good path, yet they want statistics from the evil path, so would like people to play that as well. They didn't even hint that the game was balanced for an evil play through. They simply want statistics from the evil path, more then they have recieved from their previous games. They need/want these statistics to see if the Evil campaign needs to be balanced as well. (which from what I can see of the game so far will need to be done.)

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Wow...

So, this is Early Access. Do you understand what this means? Rather than rage quitting and getting a refund, you should stick with it and offer constructive feedback in concise, digestible chunks. If this franchise is so important to you, and I believe it is, then you should try to contribute to its improvement. Running away won’t help anything.

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Originally Posted by TravelingBuddha
Wow...

So, this is Early Access. Do you understand what this means? Rather than rage quitting and getting a refund, you should stick with it and offer constructive feedback in concise, digestible chunks. If this franchise is so important to you, and I believe it is, then you should try to contribute to its improvement. Running away won’t help anything.


Expecting significant changes during Early Access is ridiculous. I hear this line parroted all the time to excuse a game's faults when it's released in beta or early access. Bugs will be fixed, performance issues will be fixed, combat balancing may take place, but core functionality will not be changed. That has already been decided and is unlikely to be changed because it would result in significant delays to the release schedule.

OP, I suggest using over the shoulder mode and not tactician mode. That way it plays almost exactly like NWN, except you can only rotate the camera. This is a step back from NWN camera controls made 18 years ago for sure, but it's not awful (like NWN2) in my experience.

Also, Larian has purposefully released only the evil companions for early access mode in order to get better feedback on the evil companions. Previously they released all companions in other early access modes and apparently they received the majority of feedback for good aligned companions. This is good in a way, because the evil characters as-written currently are pretty annoying and could use feedback.

Also, a lot of your concerns seem to relate to the D&D 5e ruleset, which apparently mostly gets rid of character alignment and simplified (carebearified) a lot of the rules in order to cater to new players.

It sounds overall that you'll enjoy a more complex game like Pathfinder: Kingmaker instead. I really don't see BG3 ever getting to that level of detail, both because it's based on a 5e ruleset and because Larian caters to a less serious crowd.

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I will for sure check out BG3 again at a later date, but these early days didn't bring me much joy. (I also wanted to get a refund early because I believe time spent is a factor on getting a refund.)

As is the case with a lot of games these days, it's better to wait to play big games like these. I'm glad I waited for Pillars of Eternity II to get a turn-based mode for example. I know it'll take plenty of time to polish a massive game like this. Yes, I understand the concept of early access, and if this were another game besides a sequel to Baldur's Gate I'd maybe been able to chill out and wait until a final release. But my curiosity got the better of me and here we are.

Yes, my own tabletop games skew towards powerful characters (especially for one-offs) with plenty of house rules that are about saving time and getting to the fun. I'm not out looking for CR 9 million battles and ways to TPK my adventurers and force them to take their 1 HP at level up (the Infinity Engine games had an option to take max HP at level up anyway). I'm out to have fun and tell stories and create cool moments. So that's why there's house rules, yours will be different than mine and that's all gravy. I would just be curious to see how far we could push it with options in the game itself without having to rely on mods.

Thanks to anyone that read my jabbering. Again, good luck to Larian. Besides, I still haven't read or played Descent Into Avernus...


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