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Managing surfaces is not fun. Every man and his dog having alchemist's fire and acid arrows etc is not in the spirit of 5e. I am not a purist, but the game needs to feel like a 5e game and not DOS. Surfaces should be used sparingly and dramatically and not as a regular mechanic. Larian needs to start thinking like a DM.

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+1 , again^^

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+1

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I don't hate the fact that surfaces exist, but yeah, they don't need to be everywhere or appear with a 100% reliability on every cast.

Last edited by Tuco; 14/10/20 09:16 AM.

Party control in Baldur's Gate 3 is a complete mess that begs to be addressed. SAY NO TO THE TOILET CHAIN
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I think Larian already toned down the surfaces compared to their previous games a lot. They have them built and they are good at building encounters with them, so its reasonable to assume they want them to be an integral part of the game.

And I personally like them, if I was fighting standard goblins all the time then most of the combats would devolve into a hit/miss slog.


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Agreed - the goblins had a lot of alchemist's fire. All the explosive barrels and flammable surfaces seemed slightly OTT.

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Much of this is an artifact of the EA game being low level. 1d4 fire damage per tick feels a lot more consequential to a 10-HP goblin or a 16-20 HP level 2 player, than it does to a higher level character. At level 4 it already feels less consequential, and I expect by the time you get to level 7+ it'll become much less relevant.

D&D as a ruleset isn't great at low levels in most games. I actually think 5E/BG3 are a bit better than many games(including BG1/2E) in this respect, but the problem of small HP pools remains and is particularly relevant with fire/surface mechanics.

That said, yes - this should be tweaked for the early game. I have a feeling that once you get to a couple levels past the end of EA, HP pools will be such that fire surfaces are more of a nuisance than a combat-defining mechanic.

Last edited by Celnathor; 14/10/20 11:17 AM.
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Originally Posted by Eugerome
I think Larian already toned down the surfaces compared to their previous games a lot. They have them built and they are good at building encounters with them, so its reasonable to assume they want them to be an integral part of the game.

And I personally like them, if I was fighting standard goblins all the time then most of the combats would devolve into a hit/miss slog.



But 5e already has lots of spells and abilities that create surfaces/areas that deal damage. Some of them being : Spike growth, Wall of Fire, Wall of Thorns, Fireball, Weird, Hurricane, Hunger of Hadar, Flaming Sphere, Moonbeam, Black Tentacles. The list goes on. Adding more surface effects to every little thing creates chaos, and it takes away some of what makes those spells special.

And standard goblins are supposed to be just that. Standard goblins. They are enemies for low level parties. Their special thing is that they are annoying since they can disengage as a bonus action. Sure you can throw in a a special goblin, alchemist, shaman or boss or so here and there.

But to me the goblins all felt the same in BG3. All of them, including non spellcasters, were hurling fire and acid at me. And spell effects do not feel special since they are replicated with arrows. I didn't have goblin warlocks covering me in darkness, but goblin archers.

Giving everything to everyone, is what makes it bland.


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Having played a bit longer, I've arrived at a few thoughts on surfaces. First, people saying they aren't a part of 5e isn't exactly correct. If a party wants to, they can hurl oil all over the place (and caltrops and ball bearings). But the effect of those things is much more diminished in 5e than it is in BG3 as it currently stands. Here is how a flask of oil is described in the PHB:

Oil usually comes in a clay flask that holds 1 pint. As an action, you can splash the oil in this flask onto a creature within 5 feet of you or throw it up to 20 feet, shattering it on impact. Make a ranged attack against a target creature or object, treating the oil as an improvised weapon. On a hit, the target is covered in oil. If the target takes any fire damage before the oil dries (after 1 minute), the target takes an additional 5 fire damage from the burning oil. You can also pour a flask of oil on the ground to cover a 5-foot-square area, provided that the surface is level. If lit, the oil burns for 2 rounds and deals 5 fire damage to any creature that enters the area or ends its turn in the area. A creature can take this damage only once per turn.

It's an even 5 damage, but note that a creature can only take this damage once per turn. Most spells effects (like Wall of Fire or Moonbeam) work the same way. Some (like Spike Growth) inflict the damage for every 5 feet you move. If the damage (and specifically, how often it ticks) were toned down, they would bother me much less, and would feel less abusable.

Continuing on that, here is the description for ball bearings:

As an action, you can spill these tiny metal balls from their pouch to cover a level, square area that is 10 feet on a side. A creature moving across the covered area must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw or fall prone. A creature moving through the area at half speed doesn't need to make the save.

Ice works in a similar manner.

Second, barrels being movable is fine, but you shouldn't be able to put them in your inventory. Where are the characters storing barrels that likely weigh more than them and are 3 or 4 feet tall? I know that inventory in video games is often unrealistic in this way, but I'd like to see BG3 move away from it.

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Originally Posted by lvl20DM
Having played a bit longer, I've arrived at a few thoughts on surfaces. First, people saying they aren't a part of 5e isn't exactly correct. If a party wants to, they can hurl oil all over the place (and caltrops and ball bearings). But the effect of those things is much more diminished in 5e than it is in BG3 as it currently stands. Here is how a flask of oil is described in the PHB:

Oil usually comes in a clay flask that holds 1 pint. As an action, you can splash the oil in this flask onto a creature within 5 feet of you or throw it up to 20 feet, shattering it on impact. Make a ranged attack against a target creature or object, treating the oil as an improvised weapon. On a hit, the target is covered in oil. If the target takes any fire damage before the oil dries (after 1 minute), the target takes an additional 5 fire damage from the burning oil. You can also pour a flask of oil on the ground to cover a 5-foot-square area, provided that the surface is level. If lit, the oil burns for 2 rounds and deals 5 fire damage to any creature that enters the area or ends its turn in the area. A creature can take this damage only once per turn.

It's an even 5 damage, but note that a creature can only take this damage once per turn. Most spells effects (like Wall of Fire or Moonbeam) work the same way. Some (like Spike Growth) inflict the damage for every 5 feet you move. If the damage (and specifically, how often it ticks) were toned down, they would bother me much less, and would feel less abusable.

Continuing on that, here is the description for ball bearings:

As an action, you can spill these tiny metal balls from their pouch to cover a level, square area that is 10 feet on a side. A creature moving across the covered area must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw or fall prone. A creature moving through the area at half speed doesn't need to make the save.

Ice works in a similar manner.

Second, barrels being movable is fine, but you shouldn't be able to put them in your inventory. Where are the characters storing barrels that likely weigh more than them and are 3 or 4 feet tall? I know that inventory in video games is often unrealistic in this way, but I'd like to see BG3 move away from it.


This is true, but the key here is that it requires a roll to hit just for the oil (and improvised weapons do not gain proficiency bonus to hit if I recall correctly), and only affects a single target, unless you target the ground, which requires someone to enter the area. It also requires a second action to ignite. As it is now, a goblin throws a flask that explodes and it covers about 10 feet square and the fire stays on the ground far too long.

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Tone down the arrows too. Every random goblin spamming explosive fire and acid arrows is really annoying.

I can accept being shoved by a hobgoblin or bugbear but an ordinary goblin firing magical knockback arrows is too much.

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Originally Posted by Grimo
Managing surfaces is not fun. Every man and his dog having alchemist's fire and acid arrows etc is not in the spirit of 5e. I am not a purist, but the game needs to feel like a 5e game and not DOS. Surfaces should be used sparingly and dramatically and not as a regular mechanic. Larian needs to start thinking like a DM.


I think one reason Larian likes to use surface effects in their games is precisely because the game literally can't think like a DM. We're fighting against AI routines, not a human DM.

The enemy AI in BG3 is decent for a CRPG -- we see some attempts at flanking, use of high ground, focus firing on the squishy members of the party. But it's still just AI, and not as smart as a human opponent would be. So they throw in environmental effects for the player to fight against as well as the enemies. It ramps up the challenge and makes the game a little harder.

I'd like to see it toned down a bit too, but I think we should consider whether this will make the game even easier than it already is for a skilled player. The enemies aren't going to get any smarter. The game engine apparently isn't designed to throw zerg rushes of lower-level enemies at the player, and nobody likes to see inflated HP for smaller numbers of enemies. If goblins aren't using alchemical fire and acid arrows, does the early part of the game just become an easy cakewalk for the player?

Last edited by Frumpkis; 28/10/20 06:04 PM.
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+1 to the OP.

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+1, the only thing appearing more than surfaces is the posts complaining about surfaces

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+1 to the OP.
And I can't say this enough: random vines should not have a surface entangle effect (even if the party pathfinding was good enough to avoid it 100% of the time)

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Originally Posted by Frumpkis
Originally Posted by Grimo
Managing surfaces is not fun. Every man and his dog having alchemist's fire and acid arrows etc is not in the spirit of 5e. I am not a purist, but the game needs to feel like a 5e game and not DOS. Surfaces should be used sparingly and dramatically and not as a regular mechanic. Larian needs to start thinking like a DM.


I think one reason Larian likes to use surface effects in their games is precisely because the game literally can't think like a DM. We're fighting against AI routines, not a human DM.

The enemy AI in BG3 is decent for a CRPG -- we see some attempts at flanking, use of high ground, focus firing on the squishy members of the party. But it's still just AI, and not as smart as a human opponent would be. So they throw in environmental effects for the player to fight against as well as the enemies. It ramps up the challenge and makes the game a little harder.

I'd like to see it toned down a bit too, but I think we should consider whether this will make the game even easier than it already is for a skilled player. The enemies aren't going to get any smarter. The game engine apparently isn't designed to throw zerg rushes of lower-level enemies at the player, and nobody likes to see inflated HP for smaller numbers of enemies. If goblins aren't using alchemical fire and acid arrows, does the early part of the game just become an easy cakewalk for the player?


I would give credence to this analysis....except you can literally go play BG 1 and see that it isn't true. Crank the difficulty up and see how much of a cakewalk some of those early encounters are to easily win. If their engine can't handle a larger number of weaker enemies, then they need to update their engine. They are a AAA gaming studio now and get got a $60M+ infusion on EA sales *alone*. No excuses for claiming technical limitations. If their combat encounter designers can't come up with ways to challenge players besides abusing DoS mechanics, I willingly volunteer to run them through tons of lower level D&D 5e content that provides a challenge with relatively simply mechanics.

Last edited by Isaac Springsong; 28/10/20 08:14 PM.
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I agree. Playing a game in which everyone can be a wizard just by throwing some bottles and shooting at barrels is kind of annoying. I love it in DOS but I think BG deserves a more toned down tactical combat approach.

I would like coating to be avoidable with a saving throw as well. Poison shouldn't deal damage automatically.

Last edited by Nyanko; 28/10/20 08:15 PM.
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One word: Clutter. It's not just surfaces, there is way too much going on in combat to the point that even the AI takes forever to decide what to do. Turn based combat already has a bad rep for being tedious and boring and all this clutter doesn't help. We need a more pure combat experience.

Last edited by eLeF; 28/10/20 08:33 PM.
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+1 tone down surfaces, barrels, cantrips creating surfaces... Allow the higher level spells which provide this utility to shine, instead of making any goblin able to create an acid/fire/frost/etc. pool with an arrow/bottle/cantrip

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another +1 for toning down surface effect and barrels.

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