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Here’s an idea I posited in an earlier thread – it’s received some positive feedback so I thought I’d surface it so it has a better chance of being seen.

This is not to debate RNG or whether there are too many misses in the game at this stage or not, that’s been discussed a lot elsewhere. I’m making a suggestion for a way to make misses less repetitive and keep the player more engaged when they do occur. It would be fantastic if Larian created animations for these outcomes, but as a minimum just changing the text that flashes up would work well.

Bear in mind currently there is no visual distinction between a near miss and a miss by a wide margin, unless you dig around in the combat log.


This concept may seem complicated from a tabletop standpoint, but would be very easy to code into a computer game. Here’s what I propose:

• If your attack roll totals 10 or less, you miss – at high levels you’ll never “miss” unless you roll a natural 1, assuming a +8 to hit or better

• If you roll between ten and their base AC from armor (say, 11 to 14) the attack is deflected

• If you roll between their base armor AC and their Dex mod (say, 15-16) the attack is dodged

• If the enemy is using a shield and you roll within 1-2 of their AC the attack is blocked


This could be built on for other scenarios (eg. Mage Armor, rings of protection etc but you get the idea).

Where it gets even more interesting is for a "tactical mode” Larian could hide enemy’s AC and the player needs to use these clues to assess how well they’re doing. If their attacks are being deflected a lot and they’re rolling reasonably well, they could deduce the enemy has a strong natural armor (as an example). This feels truer to regular D&D where the DM doesn’t reveal the enemy’s AC. Players will still be able to glean it eventually, and assess their chances without having to delve into the combat log.

“Missing" every time you fail to meet the enemy’s AC target just doesn’t feel very heroic. Combat in tabletop D&D is more abstract and you have the DM to describe how your arrow thuds into the enemy’s shield, you were so close! This brings BG3 a step closer to that, which in my opinion is a worthwhile and reasonable adjustment to make.

Last edited by LukasPrism; 28/01/21 12:27 AM.


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I've written a few comments on this before but I'm lazy so I'll just quote the latest one:

Originally Posted by Dexai
I don't really want less misses. I just want the misses to be more... alive, for the lack of a better word. What we have now is the same boring whiff animation for every miss where the missed character just phases out of the way, and that is so monotonous, trite, and just straight up unexciting. I want to see characters parry and dodge, catch weapons with their shields or armour and deflect them, I want to see ogres and big enemies just grabbing your weapon and stopping the attack, I want animations that makes it feel like we are fighting. The current whiff+phase dodge animations is literally the lowest effort spent option, a direct model of the abstract nature of the game mechanics, not even bothering to aim the slightest for visual immersiveness or embodying the abstracts into a narrative. It is something that could be excused if it was a strained budget indie game, not what I expect from an AAA game.

In short, I agree with you.


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Yes these are good ideas. Something similar has been suggested here: https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=91953&Number=702626#Post702626

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+1 This sounds great

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+1 cool ideas

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I agree. Dodge animation variety, weapon bouncing off(Maybe add the enemy chuckling a bit), critical miss voice lines, critical hit voice lines, parry animations, blocking animations. Just need more animations in general. Commit to the flash and flare. Need more sound variety as well. Metal, hide, scales, wood, flesh.

Especially since they don't have grit.

It's the smaller things that really help set the mood for me.

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+1

Low rolls need just as much value to the player as high rolls. It's the best way to keep the spirit of DnD alive in the game cool

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I'm going to be the naysayer here. Skinning misses feels like a bandaid that doesn't get at the heart of the problem, which is that combat is boring. For me, part of the reason that combat is boring is because I spend too much of the time watching everything animated out when I really just want the germane information quickly and then move on. I can imagine an attack missing all on my own - I don't need a computer to show me. I'd like less animation, not more.

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Yeah we are opposites lol. Math is easy for me so it gets boring really quickly. The animations and immersion are where some of the meat and potato's are.

I'm guessing you're a huge fan of Pathfinder Kingmaker? That crowd loves algebra more than some mathmaticians I know. Lol

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I haven't played any Pathfinder. I'm certainly not looking to get bogged down in math. I just don't find that visual bells and whistles do anything for me - they aren't fun and they slow things down. Far too often I've seen designers rush to make things pretty before they make them good, so everyone oohs and aahs for a bit and then has a game that doesn't work well.

I'm not saying that's necessarily what's happening in this specific case, but Larian seems prone to going for flash and glitz and this game has a lot of fundamentals that just don't work right now. I get that touches like the animations suggested here can add polish to a good game, but I'm very wary of going to cosmetic solutions this early in the process when they should really be trying to figure out why the bones are bad and how to fix them.

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I can understand your point that animations can slow down combat in a turn-based game. OP was asking for the word "miss" being replaced with words the player can use to deduce AC. So it would have no change to the pace of combat.

@grysqrl are you open to having more information during combat? (the changes outside of animations).

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Originally Posted by grysqrl
I haven't played any Pathfinder. I'm certainly not looking to get bogged down in math. I just don't find that visual bells and whistles do anything for me - they aren't fun and they slow things down. Far too often I've seen designers rush to make things pretty before they make them good, so everyone oohs and aahs for a bit and then has a game that doesn't work well.

I'm not saying that's necessarily what's happening in this specific case, but Larian seems prone to going for flash and glitz and this game has a lot of fundamentals that just don't work right now. I get that touches like the animations suggested here can add polish to a good game, but I'm very wary of going to cosmetic solutions this early in the process when they should really be trying to figure out why the bones are bad and how to fix them.

I'm not talking about graphical prowess. I'm talking about visual and audio feedback enhancement for interactions. The bells and whistles are the whole point of fantasy. Slow what down? Maybe you just aren't having fun? What do you consider fun that you are rushing to?

If you don't like cosmetics then all that's left is computation.

The combat speed right now is mostly affected by Ai computation being slow not animation length.

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Originally Posted by DragonSnooz
I can understand your point that animations can slow down combat in a turn-based game. OP was asking for the word "miss" being replaced with words the player can use to deduce AC. So it would have no change to the pace of combat.

@grysqrl are you open to having more information during combat? (the changes outside of animations).
It depends on what kind of information and how it is presented. Critical is for information to be presented in a clear and useful way. I'd like to see my bonuses for sure and probably my rolls.

For enemy stuff, I don't like the deduce-the-enemy's-AC mini-game, though. If, as the game designer, you want me to know that information, just tell me. Instead of four different ways to say "it didn't work", which will confuse players that don't understand the mechanics behind the game, just say "miss". If you want me to know my opponent's AC, then say "Attack: [11] + 4 vs AC 17. Misses!"

Last edited by grysqrl; 28/01/21 08:19 PM.
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Originally Posted by Aishaddai
The bells and whistles are the whole point of fantasy.
And all this time I thought using my imagination was the whole point of fantasy. I guess I'm doing it wrong.

AI computation is a major culprit for the slowness of battle, but excessive animations definitely contribute to a perception of slowness (whether or not they actually take up more time), especially if I have to parse an animation to pick out important details (e.g. did that warhammer glance off my shield or miss me entirely?). The animation that happens whenever I try to dash or cast a spell does slow things down and is quite annoying. As I said earlier, I recognize that some animation is going to exist in a game like this, but my preference is to keep it streamlined - communicate what is absolutely necessary and then get out of my way.

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Originally Posted by grysqrl
Originally Posted by Aishaddai
The bells and whistles are the whole point of fantasy.
And all this time I thought using my imagination was the whole point of fantasy. I guess I'm doing it wrong.

AI computation is a major culprit for the slowness of battle, but excessive animations definitely contribute to a perception of slowness (whether or not they actually take up more time), especially if I have to parse an animation to pick out important details (e.g. did that warhammer glance off my shield or miss me entirely?). The animation that happens whenever I try to dash or cast a spell does slow things down and is quite annoying. As I said earlier, I recognize that some animation is going to exist in a game like this, but my preference is to keep it streamlined - communicate what is absolutely necessary and then get out of my way.

Imagination tends to enhance things, yes. What you said are one and the same. Do you not think it's natural to realize things from your mind that you enjoy?

Wouldn't the things I listed benefit you then? Lol you gotta go fast I guess.

Do you speedrun? Not accussing, just curious.

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Originally Posted by grysqrl
Originally Posted by DragonSnooz
I can understand your point that animations can slow down combat in a turn-based game. OP was asking for the word "miss" being replaced with words the player can use to deduce AC. So it would have no change to the pace of combat.

@grysqrl are you open to having more information during combat? (the changes outside of animations).
It depends on what kind of information and how it is presented. Critical is for information to be presented in a clear and useful way. I'd like to see my bonuses for sure and probably my rolls.

For enemy stuff, I don't like the deduce-the-enemy's-AC mini-game, though. If, as the game designer, you want me to know that information, just tell me. Instead of four different ways to say "it didn't work", which will confuse players that don't understand the mechanics behind the game, just say "miss". If you want me to know my opponent's AC, then say "Attack: [11] + 4 vs AC 17. Misses!"

Some of the best games I've played, have done a great job of portraying why something is the way it is, by showing you without spelling it out. It adds to the thematics and immersion when a game draws you in, and explains itself through its mechanics instead of words.

I would also like the option to have rolls clearly displayed, but I wouldn't discount the subtle power of tone's effect on your enjoyment of a game.

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Originally Posted by Aishaddai
Originally Posted by grysqrl
Originally Posted by Aishaddai
The bells and whistles are the whole point of fantasy.
And all this time I thought using my imagination was the whole point of fantasy. I guess I'm doing it wrong.

AI computation is a major culprit for the slowness of battle, but excessive animations definitely contribute to a perception of slowness (whether or not they actually take up more time), especially if I have to parse an animation to pick out important details (e.g. did that warhammer glance off my shield or miss me entirely?). The animation that happens whenever I try to dash or cast a spell does slow things down and is quite annoying. As I said earlier, I recognize that some animation is going to exist in a game like this, but my preference is to keep it streamlined - communicate what is absolutely necessary and then get out of my way.

Imagination tends to enhance things, yes. What you said are one and the same. Do you not think it's natural to realize things from your mind that you enjoy?
I genuinely don't understand what you're saying/asking here.

Originally Posted by Aishaddai
Wouldn't the things I listed benefit you then? Lol you gotta go fast I guess.

Do you speedrun? Not accussing, just curious.
I'm definitely not a speedrunner; it's not at all about speed for me. I very seldom play video games. Its more that I prefer a minimal aesthetic. Give me the details that I absolutely need - everything else is just distracting noise. I get enough information overload in the real world - I don't need to be bombarded with it in my leisure time.

That said, I appreciate that some people want more information - absolutely make it available for those who are curious - just keep it out of my face (I'm fine if there's a setting I need to toggle to turn the extra stuff off).

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Originally Posted by Evandir
Some of the best games I've played, have done a great job of portraying why something is the way it is, by showing you without spelling it out. It adds to the thematics and immersion when a game draws you in, and explains itself through its mechanics instead of words.

I would also like the option to have rolls clearly displayed, but I wouldn't discount the subtle power of tone's effect on your enjoyment of a game.

That's well put. Subtle cues definitely have their place and can enhance communication.

Part of my reservation is that I'm just not feeling a lot of confidence that Larian can do subtle well.

The other part is that this kind of detail feels premature in terms of the design cycle. To be fair, my experience with game design falls mostly in the board game world; there may be other considerations with video games.

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@grysqrl I was saying bells and whistles are fantasy and you said imagination is fantasy. To me its all the same more times than not.

I understand your preference now. I was just curious.

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I certainly would like to see more realistic combat moves, but there are more pressing animation fixes, IMO. Especially in a combat with many opponents, like in the goblin camp/
The flow is hard to follow because the camera swings around in an erratic way. So you see the back of a wall that stands behind your party, and some airspace above it and then an attack happens and you can see a red 5 floating up above the wall. Ok someone in your party was hit. But who and with what ?
Let's first get that in order and then see what more can be prettified.

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