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Niara Offline OP
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Hi folks!

This feedback is focused on the visual representation and clarity of the Character Creation UI – specifically the mechanical side of things, and its layout for each class. I'd like to go into the details of each class and how they've been implemented, etc., but that has to wait for individual Class posts. Who knows, by the time I get to them we might have another patch and they may have fixed a lot of it already – fingers crossed! For now though; the UI in character creation, and for level up, is terrible, and needs a lot of work.

The main issue is that there is a pronounced inconsistency in the layout, which is compounded by misplaced or untethered points/abilities/spells, and overall lack of information about what is causing or granting what – for someone unfamiliar with the system, actually understanding what aspects of your character choice are granting which features is almost opaque; the game certainly does very little to tell you at the moment.

From the beginning, each class has a title and a flavour text – these are good!

After that, however, it becomes pot luck of what you see next... Some immediately declare the murky 'subclass' heading, before showing any core features of the class. Some catapult you straight into spell selection. Some give you a bullet point list to chose from with no explanation about what you're picking, and some, for lack of anything else to say, actually list your class base statistics. Here's a quick line up of the screens, which I'll references as I go.

EDIT: Pictures per post limit. Argh. Screenshots of individual class panels in their sections only. Sorry.

Nothing actually presents any detail or information at all about what it is, or why it's floating there. There does exist a deal of information in tooltips, if you're lucky, but at a glance, it's a jumbled, unexplained mess. Even the tooltips only explain what some things do; they don't shed any light on where the feature comes from or why... to find that out you've got to change things around and see what disappears or reappears.

It almost looks like the developers were genuinely afraid of putting in too many words. They've actively pared down the existing texts for these features, where they exist in tooltips at all, and don't explain others. If there is one thing I'd want Larian to take away here it's that they should not be afraid of words. They should not be afraid of explaining things, and giving details for why things are as they are, and what it stems from – do not give 'vague' fluffy descriptions; tell us exactly what something does.

To begin with, I'd highly recommend using the handbook style for display, at least partially. Start, for example, with the lists of core details that all classes share and differ in. Make that the uniform top section, so it's easy for players to see at a glance the class stat lines.

Start with Hit Points. Give us small but visible headings for each category, so we can see, at a glance, what it's talking about. Then explain that in more detail in the tooltip. Do not oblige us to go to the tooltips for any information at all: tooltips are meant to provide useful, extra, more detailed, or supporting information – to something that is visible on the surface. Right now, many of the tooltips don't 'support' anything because there is no information at all without them.

So, start with small headed lines that we can see:
Hit Points: [Here you display the raw number for the character's starting hit points]. The tooltip for this line would then explain how that number is derived; a single line is enough – at 1st level you start with hit points equal to the maximum number of your hit die, plus your constitution modifier. Then in a bracket, show that: (6 + 2).

Hit Dice: [Here you list the die type – d6, d8, d12 etc.]. The tooltip for this line would then explain simply, in a single sentence, that each class uses a different size die to determine their total hit points, which they also use to heal during short rests.

Hit Points per level: If this is going to always be maximum, then just leave this section out entirely. This is a video game, and if a rule or detail is discarded entirely to be replaced with a standard, then just explain the standard like any other rule, where appropriate. In this case: If hit points will always be maximum, just explain that in a sentence or two right here on screen, in place of the 'starting hit points' and 'hit points per level' section. You would not say “maximum hit points per level” in bold on every sheet, because it would be an irrelevant detail.

It might look something like this:

Hit Points: 8 [Tooltip: Hit points represent the amount of damage you can take before falling unconscious. Your hit points increase each level, by a number equal to the maximum value of your hit die, plus your constitution modifier. (6 + 2)]

Hit Dice: 1d6 per wizard level [Tooltip: Your class determines the hit die you use to determine your total hit points. When you take a short rest, you spend these hit dice to heal, and they return when you finish a long rest.]

If, on the other hand, the intention is that we will eventually have a choice in how hit points are determined, then the Hit Points and Hit Points per level still need to reflect the 1st level rules for maximum, as explained by default, but this section, Hit Dice, should be a choice – either a selection box, such as for choosing a patron or a deity, or a check list. A check list would likely work better for this. The options would then be: Average, Roll and Maximum. Each one would have a tooltip, which would describe what it means: respectively, taking the die average per level, rolling per level, or taking the maximum per level. The tooltip for taking maximum should have an extra note that says that taking maximum hit points each level will make the game more forgiving as you progress due to your characters having a higher hit point pool.

After those sub-headings, next it should show class proficiencies, again, each with an on-line subheading of its own, and a tooltip that briefly, in a sentence or two, describes what it is and what it means.

Armour Proficiency: [A list of each type your class gets] (Tooltip: Wearing armour you are not proficient with gives you disadvantage on all attack rolls, ability checks and saving throws that rely on Dexterity or Strength, and prevents you from casting spells)
Weapons: [A list of the weapon proficiencies the class gets] (Tooltip: Weapons fall into two categories, simple and martial. It's harder to use a weapon you are not proficient with – you do not add your proficiency bonus to attack rolls you make with it)

Saving Throws: [List the two saving throws that the class is proficient with] (Tooltip: Saving Throws are reactive, and are made in response to a danger or threat. You add your proficiency bonus to any saving throw that you are proficient with.)

Skills: This is important! Even though the player doesn't make a selection on this screen, it's still important to list what skills they will be choosing from, thanks to their class, as well as how many. State it here.

Skills: [(Class name)s pick (number) skills from: (list of class skill options)] (Tooltip on Skills: Each skill is governed by one of your ability scores, and you add that ability's modifier to checks you make that skill. You also add your proficiency bonus to any check you make with a skill that you are proficient in.)

With all of that done, you then have a clear header of core class statistics that players can easily compare and look at at a glance without having to scroll through a variable amount of other options to isolate. It would provide a uniform look to the top of the class page, and gives immediate visual access to the aspects that players most commonly need to check on when comparing different aspects of a new character (such as skill, weapon proficiencies or the like gained from race choice).

Only once that is presented neatly and clearly, should we begin listing other class features.

From here, I'll talk by class, though some things will have overlap. I didn't have to start talking about it by class before now, because everything above this point is universally shared, with differences. That's why it should be at the top. Before I continue, one last universal comment: Class features should always be headed up and titled in a visible fashion, with what they grant clearly tethered to the feature that is granting it. This alone is the biggest source of mess and confusion in the current class UI.

Cleric:

[Linked Image][Linked Image]

First things first: Do not, ever, just put a great big long list of cantrips and spells in boxes. They show no information at a glance, the tooltips are just the spell details which don't help us here and now, and moreover than that, we don't actually know what any of this means at all yet. We don't why we're getting them, or what their icons floating here even means. Someone unfamiliar with 5e has every right to be baffled by this presentation.

Picking Deity and Divine Domain first makes a certain amount of sense for a cleric. We could argue either way about whether we should present Spellcasting first, for the sake of uniformity with other classes, but in this case, I feel that putting Deity and Domain first works.

Even so, and I'll touch on this at other points as well, subclasses/archetypes/domains/etc., are called different things based on your class, and that is something that should be preserved. It should also, for the sake of a video game, get a pass for uniformity and preventing confusion. Each class, when they reach their choice point, should list not just bluntly as 'subclass' with no description. It should be headed up properly:

“Subclass: Deity and Divine Domain”
Underneath this, a brief, one or two sentence description of what your divine domain does for your character: “The deity you follow, and the domain in which you practice, grants you additional spells to use with you spellcasting feature. It also grants you an extra boon at 1st level based on your domain choice, as further abilities at later levels.” As an example.

Beneath that short description, the player should choose their Divinity first, and their domain second. When a divinity is selected, the description should mention what that deity's domains are.

This next will be contentions, and I know many won't agree; this is my opinion only. I feel that deity choice should provide a fixed subset of domains, from the total list. One should inform the other.

Right now, you can be a light cleric for Shar, or a life cleric for Myrkul, and that should really not be the case. In the pen and paper, with a DM, at the table, you can certainly wrangle particular interested edge cases and unusual situations where a domain that doesn't belong to particular deity may still work or be appropriate, but we can't do that in a video game, and those cases are, almost invariably, very much edge case scenarios. I feel that in a video game context, this is a case where meaningful choice needs to come before extreme flexibility.

When picking a divine domain, the only options in the box should be domains that relate to your deity, but for video game purposes, each deity should offer at least three, even if they have to reach into edge cases to do so. In PnP, most deities offer two domains – here I feel the best compromise is to have each deity offer three, but only three. This will stretch their folios to the edges that uncommon domains might most regularly fall into anyway, while still restricting completely unfitting or inappropriate domain/deity combinations.

When a divine domain is selected, beneath the selection box, it should provide a one line description of the domain, and then a sub heading for domain spells, and an ordered list of all of the domain spells, properly marked and the levels they come in at. The tooltip for the domain spell heading should give more detail about how they work: Domain spells are always prepared for you, and do not count against the number of spells you can otherwise prepare.

Under that, it should have secondary headings for the other 1st level perk(s).

If a cantrip is given (such as with Light domain), it already cross-informs the cantrip selection in spellcasting, so we know that the game can do this in other places, with other choice-making features, as necessary... but it should not just sit there floating in a little bubble on its own. A little heading for each perk is neat and appreciated: Domain Spells, one line description, then the list. Bonus Cantrip, one line description, then the cantrip below it. Warding Flare, one line description, then the ability below it.

“At Higher Levels”: This is one I'll mention again as well. Below the features that you're getting right now, at level 1, here in character creation we need to be able to look forward as well, otherwise the character generation will look very misleading.

There should be a collapsible pull-down here, and it should be default start as fully collapsed, called “At Higher Levels”, or something of that nature. When fully expanded, this should show a list, with headings and one sentence flavour descriptions, for the features that this class or archetype choice will grant as you level up. In this case, underneath your 1st level perks in Divine Domain, an 'At higher levels' pull-down would mention that you gain more perks from your domain choice at 6th, 8th and 17th level, what they are each called, and a once sentence flavour description of what they are. This section shouldn't give full details – save that for the levels that you actually obtain the features.

It should be clear that this is the end of the domain features: do this with a simple line, or else do it with headings – the latter works just fine, as long as it's consistent and clear.

A last note about divine domains, visually speaking, is that there are a couple of bonus spells floating around near the bottom, seemingly from life domain, that stick around and remain there regardless of what other domain you select. In the image you can see them there, underneath the light domain spells. The lack of information makes it kind of unclear exactly what the source of these spells are, or if I'll actually get them at all (I shouldn't).

After domain choice, then the next class feature should get a heading of its own as well:

Spellcasting:

For the spellcasting feature in particular, make this a clear category heading, and do it for all full casters (casters from 1st level). Under the heading, describe in a sentence or two what it is. It may seem obvious, but the game is meant to be accessible to people not familiar with the material, and people who want to understand what their skills do.

Example: Clerics are divine spellcasters who are granted spells from their deity, channelling that deity's power into the world around them.

After that blurb, a more detailed sentence or two to describe the specific details of the class. It needs to mention what ability you use for casting, as well as how their spell save DC and their spell attack bonus is derived from this. Do This For Every Caster when they acquire a feature that lets them cast spells.

Spells Known: This subheading should be present in every major casting feature; it should explain in brief the way spell knowledge, learning and preparation works for the particular class. For clerics, for example, it would say that clerics always know all the spells for their class, but can only have a limited number of them prepared at a time; it would give the formula for this here. Do NOT just list a huge long of all the spells in the cleric list! Do not do that at subsequent levels either!

Ritual Casting: If a casting class gets ritual casting, mention it here. Describe how it works.

Clerics and wizards are both meant to get ritual casting, but no mention is made of it yet. However, Ranger, of all classes, has a choice that grants them the ability to cast a spell as a ritual, without explaining what that means.

In game terms, ritual casting would functionally mean that you can cast the spell without burning a slot whenever you're not in combat – this is an example of an acceptable video game compromise of rules, for the sake of flow and playability. It could be debated on whether casting the same spell in combat should thus take a spell slot, or whether it would just be universally free to cast; that's a video game balance and compromise question. My own feeling on this is that casting a ritual spell out of combat initiative should not take extra wait time, and it should not use a spell slot, but that it should still be available in combat, and should take a slot if cast under that pressure. That may be more complex than we can hope for, however. Perhaps, a choice of the spell – selecting 'as ritual' doesn't take the slot, but the default would be the normal spell, with its slot requirement. Then, 'as ritual' as a selection would not be available while in initiative, much like prayer of healing is not. The alternative way, which is neater in terms of clarity and order, would be to just have a 'ritual cast' feature, that wold open a selection of spells that can be ritual cast, and which as a single feature click, would not be available in initiative.

After that, not before, this is where players should choose their cantrips, and choose which spells they want prepared.

Finally, “At Higher Levels”: As before, it should be collapsible, and should start collapsed, but it should be clearly visible as expandable. It should list and describe in brief single lines what else the class will get and when. No full mechanical details in the description; the hard mechanics can be described at the level when you actually get the feature.

At 2nd level they'll gain the channel divinity feature, which grants the cleric the ability to repel undead – that is to stop them, or cause them to flee from you. They'll be able to use it more often as they grow in power (6th, 18th).

At 4th, 8, 12, 16th and 19th level, you get your choice of an ability score improvement (two points to one ability or one point to two different ones) or a feat.

At 5th level, your ability to turn undead grows into the ability to destroy weaker undead outright. Mention the levels at which it improves (8th, 11th, 14th, 17th)

At 10th level, you get the ability to entreat your deity for direct aid and intervention; This is one of those abilities that will likely need a either a heavy re-write or complete replacement for a video game. That's fine, it's expected! But here is where you tell us what it is, what it will do, and then later when we get the ability, you'll give us the specifics of how it works.

==

Fighter:

[Linked Image]

The first issue is, why call Fighting Style 'class passives'? Why do that? Why take the formal name for something, which is useful and evocative, and replace it with something infinitely less appropriate and bland... and indeed Inaccurate, since not all fighting styles are passive effects.

As with other class features, you should have a heading, “Fighting Style”, and below it a short, one or two sentence description It should say roughly that a fighting style represents the way in which you prefer to approach combat. It should also mention that you will get to pick an additional fighting style later, and the levels at which that occurs.

The list itself, below that, is fine, but it should be more obvious that tooltipping each entry will yield a description of that choice's mechanics.

Second Wind: gets a heading that names it, a one line description, and then the icon below it, which tooltips for the exact mechanics.

“At Higher Levels” comes last. As previously, this should contain a brief one or two line description of what you can expect to get later as a Fighter. Of note in particular, the entry here for 3rd level: “Subclass: Martial Archetype”, should mention that this is where you'll choose one of a list of martial archetypes which will determine way in which your fighter continues to grow, and grant you other class features as you level based on that choice. As usual, actual details for each archetype would then be presented when you reach that level and have to make the choice.

==

Ranger:

[Linked Image]

Ranger is a mess of things floating all over the place with no clear distinction right now. It is worse than other classes in this respect, though I'm wiling to grant that some of this might be bugs.

Favoured Enemy: should gets its own heading, followed by a one or two sentence description that denote that this feature represents your focus as a ranger. The description should also note that you get to pick additional favoured choices at 6th and 14th level.

Even more so than Fighter's Fighting styles, putting the details for each option entirely in tooltips is not a good idea for unless it is very clear that players should check the tooltips for technical information. Some tooltips here try to provide a description, as well as technical information, while others do not. They should be uniform. There are two ways to resolve this: either each selection has a visible flavour description of what it is about, with the tooltips providing only the technical information, OR each tooltip has both the description, and the technical information in full.

When one is selected, the perks you get from your Favoured Enemy feature should show up in that feature's heading, below the list, but before the next heading. Currently, they show up floating and untethered down below the next class feature, without anything to indicate where they came from. It's just confusing as it is now.

As a side note: Language consistency: I'm really happy to see that the game is using the english that everywhere-that's-not-america uses, so for the sake of consistency I'm going to point out the missing 'u' in the favoured enemy heading.

The same situation exists for Natural Explorer as it does for Favoured Enemy: the heading should have a short description of what the choice you are making represents as well as noting that you gain an additional choice at 6th and 10th level. It should be clear that technical information is available in the tooltips. The perks you get should show up clearly attached to the feature that is granting them, directly below the list and before the next class feature.

“At Higher Levels”: As before, this should exist after the 1st level features, and should contain brief, one or two line descriptions of what perks you will get and when. In particular, this should note that you pick your “Subclass: Ranger Archetype/Enclave” at 3rd level, which will determine other features of the class as you level.

==

Rogue:

[Linked Image]

I have to assume that rogue is just missing things it will eventually have. It's hard to comment on the display here, because there's nothing there to see, more or less.

Expertise, when we get it, would have its own class feature heading and a short description. This would have a simple list with a 'pick two', not unlike ranger's favoured enemy and similar. The list would need to cross inform itself from race, background and class skill choices in other tabs, and that may be one reason why it hasn't been implemented yet.

Below that, Sneak Attack should have its own heading as well, with a description that details its conditions clearly, and the icons below, provided they don't fix sneak attack to work without needing to select an independent skill... I'm hoping they will. Opportunity attack sneak attacks are important.

Thieves Cant should also get a heading title here, just to show that it exists and describe what it's for, but the description should probably indicate that it would work primarily through the 'Rogue' tag – the game's systems are already set up perfectly to do that.

“At Higher Levels”: As previously described, with special note that you pick your “Subclass: Roguish Archetype”, which determines many many features about how your rogue grows, at 3rd level.

==

Warlock:

[Linked Image][Linked Image]

As with Cleric, picking your Patron first and foremost makes the most sense here.

“Subclass: Warlock Patron”: A proper heading, rather than just 'subclass'. This is right below the class flavour description, so it doesn't necessarily need to describe that you have a patron who grants you arcane and esoteric powers... but it should be a line or two to describe what having a patron does for you: it grants you an expanded list of spells to pick from with your pact magic, as well as granting additional boons as you level.

Selecting a patron should be done here, as it currently is, but it should display, directly below, in the same heading and clearly attached to it, the expanded spell list that each one offers, in full with the levels they become available, as well as the other 1st level perk, headed and described properly.

Right now it just floats in down at the bottom, more or less unattached... provided it exists at all. As the screens reflect, having the fiend patron pops a bullet point down the bottom unthethered to anything else, while the great old one simply does nothing.

An “At Higher Levels” collapsible should be here, specific to the patron you choose and mentioning the patron-specific perks and when you get them. As usual, the actual mechanical details for how they work and such come later, when you actually acquire those features (6th, 10th and 14th).

Pact Magic: This is the next actual class feature, and should be headed separately. As with other forms of magic use, this one should have a line or two to describe its origin, and how it works.

Example: “Warlocks gain their spells from a pact with a powerful patron, and are bound to serve that patron if they wish to retain their favour.”

After that blurb, a more detailed sentence or two to describe the specific casting details for the class. It needs to mention what ability you use for casting, as well as how your spell save DC and spell attack bonus is derived. Do This For Every Caster when they acquire a feature that lets them cast spells. Of note, it should be mentioned here that Pact Magic is not the same as the Spellcasting feature of other classes - this is important for multi-classing, which Larian have indicated an intention to allow.

Spells Known: This subheading should be present in every major casting feature; it should explain in brief the way spell knowledge, learning and preparation works for the particular class. For Warlocks, for example, it would say that they learn a very limited number of spells, but can always use a spell slot to cast any spell they know, without having to prepare specific ones. It would explain how Pact Magic works: that you have very limited spell slots, but recover them when you finish a short rest, and the spells you cast are always cast at the highest slot level you have access to; this bit could go in a tooltip, like it does currently - in this situation, it wold be adding supporting information to something already visible.

Then, after those details, this is where players should pick their known spells, and choose their cantrips.

The usual “At Higher Levels” section comes at the end, after everythign else. The Warlock Pact Gift, at 3rd level, should be noted as a choice which will influence other aspects of your class.

==

Wizard:

[Linked Image][Linked Image]

The biggest offender of 'throwing unexplained things at you', currently, but all the same principles apply to Wizard as well.

After the universal class details, the first class feature for them is, of course:

Spellcasting:

Under the heading, describe in a sentence or two what it is. It may seem obvious, but the game is meant to be accessible to people not familiar with the material, and people who want to understand what their skills do.

Example: "Without a divine connection, otherworldly patron or innate connection to the weave, Wizards learn to cast arcane spells researched, learned and practiced through raw academia alone. They record the intricate and hard-won formula for their spells in personal spell books."

After that blurb, a more detailed sentence or two to describe the specific details of the class. It needs to mention what ability you use for casting, as well as how their spell save DC and their spell attack bonus is derived from this. Do This For Every Caster when they acquire a feature that lets them cast spells.

Spells Known: This subheading should be present in every major casting feature; it should explain in brief the way spell knowledge, learning and preparation works for the particular class. For Wizards, for example, it would say that wizards learn spells as they level up, and can also scribe other wizard spells (Yes, I am remaining hopeful that omni-scribing is either unintended, or going to be fixed) they find into their spell book and learn to prepare them as well. It would say that Wizards can only prepare a limited number of spells to be able to cast at time, from the list of all spells they know; it would give the formula for this here.

Ritual Casting: If a casting class gets ritual casting, mention it here. Describe how it works.

After that, not before, this is where players should choose their cantrips, pick their learned spell and choose which spells they want prepared.

Arcane Recovery: The feature should have its own heading, a simple one or two sentence description. Example: “Once per day when you aren't in combat (according to the games current implementation of it), you can recover spells slots whose combined level is equal to or less than half your wizard level (round up). You can't recover spells slots of 6th level or higher with this feature.” Simple. Below this description, but still clearly a part of this feature, show the skill icon.

Finally, “At Higher Levels” at the end, as already described. The wizard one should notes that you pick your “Subclass: Arcane Tradition” at 2nd level, which determines the other features you gain at 6th, 10th and 14th level.

==

The other tabs should be quicker. I won't discuss the appearance tab, because that would be better rolled into a discussion on the visual side of the character creator.

Origin Tab:

If not for the origin system, it would feel a little bit strange putting background off here on its ow, away from other mechanically impacting features. With the origin system a core part of the game, however, this is more understandable. It still does seem a little bit strange, but since Origin characters won't have a background tag – or rather, will have a locked ones – this is probably the best place for it anyway.

Character name needs to be more prominent, and more obvious. As it is, I've seen players who put a great deal of effort into creating characters as real people, end up with a Tav, completely by accident, because they missed the field where they were meant to input a name.

I would quite like it if, as well as being more visible, this area could be populated with a short description of naming styles and propensities, cross-informed by your race selection; I've never personally used them, but I appreciate them existing as a mental guide to feel and flavour. It would also be another factor adding prominence to the place where you're meant to enter your character's name.

I'd like to see a tooltip either on the “Background” heading, or the “Background Features” subheading, describing that your background grants you two specific skill proficiencies, and also that: If you gain either of these proficiencies from another source (such as race), that you may freely pick another proficiency instead. I'd also like this to actually be properly implemented, because right now it isn't. If you're an elf sailor or a halfling urchin right now, you just plain miss out on skill proficiencies that you should rightly have, because the game doesn't account for overlap. The same is true of overlap between background and class choices that grant proficiency (such as Ranger ones). We shouldn't be missing out on our correct number of skills just for particular background/race/class combinations.

==

Race Tab:

I made a different post a while ago discussing the implementation of races currently – though I believe it got bogged down in discussion about drow and other elves; I strongly disagree with separating drow from other elves, and I strongly disagree with the entire 'lolth-sworn/seldarine' distinction existing as a racial thing at all... regardless:

The same problems that I described in the Class tab pop up here as well:

Core race features should display first, above anything else. Subrace features should appear below the subrace selection box, which in turn should be below the core race features which it does not change. Any choices or selections that come as a result of a subrace choice should also be under the subrace heading, tethered to the actual choice that it is apart of.

We can see the places where not doing this makes the screen look like a mess:

The first easy example of this is in Elf. While High Elf is selected, it presents us with a cantrip choice box (without explanation) first, above anything else. Then, it presents us with the core elf race details, in the middle. Then it presents us with the subrace features... which, incidentally, make no mention of us getting a bonus cantrip. It's a mess.

Core race traits at the top, sub race choice below, subrace features as a result of that choice below that: bonus cantrip should be listed as a feature along with the other subrace features, and the choice box should be clearly attached to that, not floating. This occurs with high-half-elf as well, for the same reason.

Of special note here: If a race or subrace choice grants you further abilities at later levels, then you MUST tell us that in character creation. Tiefling's “Infernal Legacy”, and Drow's “Drow Magic” are examples of this. The feature that lists these should say, clearly, everything that it does – including the things it does at 3rd and 5th levels.

This is another reason why each subrace feature should actually have at the very least an in-line subtitle naming it, along with a one or two sentence description of its details.

==

Skills Tab:

The title on the skills tab is about selecting our skills, but then the text below is talking about your proficiency bonus. This is not the place to be describing what your proficiency bonus is. The information presented here would be far better off condensed into the tooltip for the proficiency bonus itself; it doesn't need to be wordy, just clear and direct.

As an example: “You add your proficiency bonus to attack rolls and ability checks if you are proficient with the weapon or skill you are using. You also add it to saving throws that you are proficient in. This bonus grows as your character level increases, to +3 at level 5, +4 at level 9, +5 at level 13 and +6 at level 17.”

The actual text at the top could then focus on skills, like this tab intends, and can briefly explain the relationship between skills and ability scores instead.

As an example: “Each skill is governed by one of your ability scores. You add your modifier for that ability score to any check you make with the skill, plus your proficiency bonus if you are proficient in the skill.” Or something of that nature, perhaps.

The display is less than appealing, for Skills. “Inherited” is a poor choice of word for the skills you gain from your background and other sources. Further more, the juxtaposition of the inherited skills, then the class skill, some of which will be repeats of things in your inherited skills list, and some of which won't be, and finally a list of non-proficient skills afterwards is not very conducive to understanding.

In the core rules, character design has you picking your class first, and your background afterwards – this is why backgrounds are the one with the catch-clause for skill overlap. The design intent is that, after picking your race and your class, you pick a background that suites, and IF at that stage, the skills it grants would cause overlap, you just pick a different one instead.

For a video game, where we might flick back and forth between menus for comparing and changing things around, that degree of code flexibility might be a little tricky. Backgrounds seem to be hard-locked for what they grant, and there's no problem keeping that, especially since this game is set up for us to pick our background first, ahead of class and race. However, what this means is that with races in this game giving more skill proficiencies than the original rules, and with class features giving more skill proficiencies than the original rules, the skill page itself needs to be the one that becomes more flexible.

At the top, we can have “Background Skills” displayed clearly.
Below that, if applicable, “Racial Skills” in a category of its own. IF this overlaps with your background, it becomes a selection box for a different skill instead, which informs things below it.
“Inherent Class Skills” comes next, if applicable, and again, if there is overlap here, it becomes a selection box which informs the options below.
Only now can we make our selection from our available class skills. Again, if there aren't enough class skills remaining to pick our allowance from, we need a selection box to pick each remaining skill that is left overlapping.

Rather than a “skills not proficient” list at the bottom, which doesn't really do much, it might be better to use that space to print a “final” skill list – a split table if possible showing proficient skills and non-proficient skills on the left and right, respectively.

It's a bit of a long-winded way of doing it, but it's the natural result of the way choosing things is currently set up – if we want clarity, and also to not miss out on skills we should have.

Another option would be to redesign this whole tab. Have it show, first, the short list of class skills that we have to pick from, and how many, but do not block in any existing overlaps – let us pick freely here without thinking about double ups. Below that, show a full single list of all 18 skills, as your 'final' skill proficiency display (with your existing proficiencies filled in already and hard locked)– but put in a single line description to restate that if you have any skills overlapping, you can choose replacement skill proficiencies from any skill. Have this 'final' list gain a “pick skills (0/X)” if there are overlap choices remaining.

==

Abilities:

This screen is fine, but it bugs me that, when it is fully expanded, it just barely doesn't fit onto the screen – cutting off the recommended button and nothing else.

Ideally, this screen could be presented fully expanded by default, without collapsibles, but still fit on a single screen with no scrolling; pull in the empty space, or possibly the icon size, just a fraction, and move the recommended button to sit along side the proficiency bonus display, on a single line. Otherwise this one is quite acceptable.

As a final note, I will say that much of what I've discussed here is working just with the way things in the game are right now; it assesses many elements of the core class mechanics that I feel need fixed themselves, and much of this, hopefully, is going to change anyway as classes are completed and filled out. I know. I deliberately didn't address the actual mechanical bugs, errors, misinformation and poor implementation related to the classes themselves in this post; I'm aware there are plenty. I'm hoping to do independent threads to examine each class implementation, over the next while, where I'll go into more detail for each and that will hopefully include errors and bugs related to the character creation and level up screens for those classes, then.


Last edited by Niara; 10/12/20 11:23 AM.
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Brilliant! Very well put

Hopefully they dig into this one, because I honestly found the character creation UI layout similarly confusing. Coming back to D&D and Baldur's Gate after a couple editions I was hoping to learn more about how stuff works in 5e D&D through this game and from the tool tips and such during character creation (same way I learned a lot of 2nd ed stuff from the original and then took for granted after.) But whether from its incomplete state in EA, or just confusion in the layout from the menus themselves, I feel like it could clue me in much more than it does and sort of leaves me hanging like. Like "all right cool, cantrips I guess" since that's the first thing they throw at us. Just reading the orderly and sequential descriptions above is pretty helpful. I had a similar impression the one time I thought I'd roll up a rogue toon, like it must just be unfinished. Anyhow, I enjoyed reading the suggestions, esp by the time it get to the Wizard haha. I hope they end up with something much more like you describe than the current presentation.

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I don't think I've commented on any of your previous Focused Feedback, but I meant to say that they're really a good thing.

I don't agree with everything. In fact, I clearly disagree with some things. But I wholly approve of thorough feedback reports. (Discussions focused on a single topic are good too, but they're already the vast majority of threads.)


Hoping we'll be able to create great assumptions-free Custom Characters and be given great roleplay options.
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you are putting in so much work someone should pay you (after implementing all of these improvements)

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Some excellent, detailed points here.

As veteran of BG1 & 2, Icewind Dale etc. I am familiar with classes in DnD from a video game perspective but found myself at a bit of a loss/confused with the apparent changes in 5e which are implemented in BG3. It is not always clear during class creation the options you might have down the line in terms of build.

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Again a very good analysis

My 2 cents:
- I would prefer a sequence selection, so you select stuff in a specific order.
for example race/sex -> class -> stats -> background -> skills -> spells -> look (not sure about the order, but race, class and background must be selected before skills and class before background)
Being able to select stuff in any order can be confusing and it can mess things up when you change stuff in different categories.

- This sequential stuff should go into each sub categories.
This means you first select your race from a list and then comes a new menu were you select the subrace

- When selecting a class you need to see the following things
* What does the class learn at which level from 1 - 20. Like you get a,b,c at lv 4,6 and 12, you select a subclass at lv 3 and you get a subclass feature at lv 6, 12, 15
* What are the class skills for this class and how many skills do you get.
* First you select a class from a list and if you have to select the subclass at lv 1, a new menu should come to select the subclass.
* When selecting a subclass you need to see what you get from the current lv to lv 20. When selecting a subclass that gives you spells ( e.g. domain spells for clerics, patron spells for warlocks, oath spells for paladins) you should be able to see ALL spells this subclass will give you
* I would like if you first see what you have to select at which level and then comes a new menu where you actually select it. At the moment the you have to select stuff at once without knowing what you have to select now and what you have to select later.

- When selecting magic,you should be able to learn what spell slots you get at what level. So you know that wizards learn spells from lv1 and get lv9 spells and palading get spells at lv3 and up to lv4 spells.

There are more things but thats it for now.
I assume the number of races, classes and subclasses will get much bigger which will make it almost impossible to make an informed decission with the current system.
Things will get even more complicated when multi classing becomes possible.

The best example I know at the moment for character creation is Pathfinder Kingmaker.
The Pathfinder system is complex as hell and WotR will add much more races, classes, subclasses and backgrounds.
But the fact that you select one thing after the other and the game shows you what you will select before you select it (e.g. combat style and favoured enemy for ranger) makes it more manageble.

side notes:
- in kingmaker you can mess up character creation by selecting something and then changing stuff in a previous menu.
I strongly recommand to first look at all options you like and play around with character creation until you have decided, then close character creation and start new with the choices you decided for, without ever going back.
- Kingmaker is far from perfect. It does not show domain spells when you select a domain (or similar stuff for other classes) so you still have to make some choices without knowing what exactly the choice will give you.
It is also hard to tell the differences between a class and a subclass at once (but they promised improvement for WotR and in DnD 5E subclasses only add abilities, you do not lose features of the base class)


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Niara killing it with the focused feedback as usual.

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Originally Posted by Niara
Hi folks!

This feedback is focused on the visual representation and clarity of the Character Creation UI – specifically the mechanical side of things, and its layout for each class. I'd like to go into the details of each class and how they've been implemented, etc., but that has to wait for individual Class posts. Who knows, by the time I get to them we might have another patch and they may have fixed a lot of it already – fingers crossed! For now though; the UI in character creation, and for level up, is terrible, and needs a lot of work.




This is excellent from top to bottom! Really sensible, very clear, highly detailed. One of your best posts.

I hope they read this carefully and take it to heart. These would be fantastic changes. Good job.

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I can only agree, and, just in case I forget again, go back and check the name field for the fifth time this startup


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Excellent original post! Well done.


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