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BeeBee Offline OP
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I'm not a game dev, but I am a project manager and a writer -- and it does seem a bit strange that the biggest patch ever is delivering a new class instead of closing loose threads that would, well, give a better story impression to newcomers.

I'm not looking at this from a veteran D&D player's perspective who cares a lot about different races, classes and customization, but a one of the many newcomers drawn in by the plot and the story. I love the Druid option, but on a superficial level it looks like a very cosmetic change that is not essential to gameplay or to the story. There are so many threads left -- in particular that inaccessible Githyanki crèche and the Underdark Lake -- that look like they should be in EA but aren't. Unless -- unless -- there's something in Act 1B that requires a previously unimplemented Druid Mechanic or plot point to work -- for instance, the party morphing into animals or some twist regarding the new "Faith Guardian of the Circle" quest, and Larian decided to finish Druid to be able to proceed.

I'm happy about the Druids and looking forward to playing as a sneaky, stealthy polar bear, it just seems like such a strange deliverable at this point.

They announced that Patch 4 is so big that it overtakes all previous versions of the game + patch, so there must be a lot of content in there. Dataminers are going to have a blast.

Alternatively, do you think it's possible that Patch 4 is going to unlock Origin Characters, and that's why it's so massive? Or is the size related to the new cinematics and Speak with the Dead improvements?

--------------------------

EDIT: Thank you all for your answers! Also, someone made a video that contained all your input and some extra info too.


Last edited by BeeBee; 19/02/21 07:26 PM. Reason: Clarification and thanks
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My suspicion is that while we may eventually get to continue portions of quests that extend from Act 1 into a portion of Act 2 (but only a portion), for now and into the foreseeable future; gamers will be sampling the current content as it is improved or enhanced and then be spoon fed each additional class and/or race that is intended to be part of the overall game. This will save most latter portions of the game for the general release!


“This year the utopian candy shell has melted away to expose a hard center of bizarre reality.”
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I don't think unlocking origin characters would make the patch large, unless a lot of their dialogue was missing from prior patches.

I think a lot of assets are being added to the game, Speak with the Dead changes seem to be a part of it. The updated UI for chests, etc.

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I'm guessing some combination of:
-It's what they want to test right now; and
-It's what's ready to test right now.

We don't have patch notes yet, so we don't know that there isn't more story stuff. They are probably working on story and mechanics in parallel, but if it were me, I would make sure the basic mechanics were ironed out before I spent a ton of time on the details of the story. Druids in particular are a bit of a swiss army knife - they can do a little bit of everything; so having them in the game is useful from a mechanics testing standpoint.

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Originally Posted by grysqrl
I'm guessing some combination of:
-It's what they want to test right now; and
-It's what's ready to test right now.

We don't have patch notes yet, so we don't know that there isn't more story stuff. They are probably working on story and mechanics in parallel, but if it were me, I would make sure the basic mechanics were ironed out before I spent a ton of time on the details of the story. Druids in particular are a bit of a swiss army knife - they can do a little bit of everything; so having them in the game is useful from a mechanics testing standpoint.

Fair enough!

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At this rate we’ll be up to Panel From Hell 10 when we get all the classes and races.

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Maybe because it hasn't been that long and they plan to introduce classes, races, and quests gradually. It's not too bad for testing. I want to remind you that the year has just begun, and we don't even know when release will be.


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Yeah, there's lots of time left until release probably.

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Well, classes have (potentially) a lot of balance issues, so getting them in ASAP makes a a fair bit of sense, not sure about the recurse between that and new areas.
The part that I thought was odd was going to cutscenes for Speak With the Dead - A fair bit of effort (I'd think} for (what seems to me) not a lot of benefit.

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I'm pretty sure near the beginning of the stream he mentioned that this would be the last of the big patches.....so I wouldn't expect much else until beta/demo/release honestly. I think a mixture of covid and weather events has delayed them beyond anything they could imagine and while watching the clock spin someone made the tough decision of cutting out compiling patches to work with EA and move ahead with final to try to make up lost time.

I think i have 200+ hours in the early access, this will obviously climb higher after the next patch...not to mention the price we paid gives us the full game upon release...soo I feel it was money well spent even if this is all we get. I'm sure they checked out the metrics and ran the numbers to make their decision, and it's not my butt on the line to meet some date or holiday period.

He didn't say things wouldn't be changed or feedback wouldn't still be considered from early access players....and if i wasn't working on a hotspot and generator (texas) I'd try to link the timestamp in the stream where he said it.

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They did mention that this patch would have a lot of backend changes. That could mean a lot of things, though one may involve the Druid class introducing a template for a lot of other spells and other ability effects to share similar programming. That's probably why they chose to prioritize Druid first. That's in stark contrast to, say, Bard, whose meechanics are different enough that none of the other remaining classes would really benefit from it on a backend programming standpoint.

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Originally Posted by macadami
I'm pretty sure near the beginning of the stream he mentioned that this would be the last of the big patches.....so I wouldn't expect much else until beta/demo/release honestly.

It was about downloading files, wasn't it? We can still expect "big" patches, we just won't have to download them.


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Yeah there’s a lot of confusion about this, on Reddit too. He’s saying the download sizes will be smaller, not that the amount of changes per patch will reduce. They’ve obviously built a smarter system which only delivers the code that has changed and not anything you already have.

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In my mind I can only guess that it has to do with spells and spell interactions. Druid is the final massive branch of spells. Some classes have a few unique spells but majority overlap. Maybe they want majority of magic interactions covered first since they affect mc, companions, and ncps as well as some monsters. They are also adding unique interactions and status effects for more complex variety. Just a guess though. I don't know.

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I can think about few reasons ...

- First of all you need to prepare the world for all classes, and its much easier to retrospectively edit smaller world, than larger ...
Just imagine you are suppose to go through 15,000 conversation lines just to check if they all are valid for Druids ... a lot work to be sure, but still kinda less than if you are suppose to go through 30,000 conversation lines. etc. laugh
- Second, usualy in developing process you want to have everything done first, before you move futher.
That means, concidering previous point ... you first want to have the world prepared for everyone, and then, when you are satisfied with how everything is working out ... then you can move to another scene. Making it oterwise around cause problems.
- Third, we didnt get "just druid" even if we would count only things that are conected just to druid directly and will ignore those spells (30 was anounced as far as i know) that will be only for others ...
You still get another one more or less unique experience with many more interactions, options, etc. ... and as i said, i only count druid things ... meaning i ignore things like Speak with dead update, or lights, and who knows what else is there.
- Four, i bet that implement new class is a much faster job, than implement rest of the act ... especialy since we dont even know how much of Act1 we allready explored. What we curently have could be aswell 95% of whole Act1 as 50%.
- Five, lets be honest with each other ... druid will simply keep us bussy, and its kinda carrot on a stick, that we dont go futher in our story. smile
- And last, but certainly not least ... im not quite sure we even should get "rest of Act1" ... nor even "soon" ...
We were told that we will have limited space, levels, and kinda everything else ... but as far as i know, nobody ever promised that we will get Githyanki camp, or Moonrise towers in EA. O_o


I liked original spellcasting system more ... frown

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
- Five, lets be honest with each other ... druid will simply keep us bussy, and its kinda carrot on a stick, that we dont go futher in our story. smile

I'm expecting a lot of stream challenges with parties made just of druids trying to complete the game as different animals instead of people.

Fun fact: the first time that I reached the Duergar outpost in the Underdark it was as a raven; I had sent my companion out to scout the area before sending the party down. And the Duergar boss started a conversation with the Raven as if it was one of the characters, suggesting that he was going to start combat ASAP -- only it didn't. I guess that the code said something about enemies recognizing familiars and animals as potential MCs.

It was both a bug AND a pretty cool moment. Can't wait for my honey badger to face against Bulette.

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I got another one!
The sooner we get another class, the more we will test it. laugh
Tho im kinda sceptic about this approach (but cant find any other laugh ), since i cant shake the feeling that last class added will get least testing of them all. frown

About that Duegar reactions ...
Yeah that conversation was a bit weird, i have seen simmilar situation on youtube. But i honestly hope that we will not get world where everyone is attacking every animal they see, and we will be "sometimes" able to simply walk around someone in our animal form.
It would be also funny as hell if at least some NPC have scripted conversation with certain animal, and if we would be able to surprise attack them from that conversation. laugh
You know what i mean? Tactical approach: Turn into a cat > walk to Gale > let him to pet you > let him to lift you up > turn back into dwarf and hit him hard to his head with your staff. laugh


I liked original spellcasting system more ... frown

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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It makes sense to me to focus on mechanics, classes, etc before expanding the maps and story too much, it's like getting the foundation in place first when building a house.

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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
I got another one!
The sooner we get another class, the more we will test it. laugh
Tho im kinda sceptic about this approach (but cant find any other laugh ), since i cant shake the feeling that last class added will get least testing of them all. frown

About that Duegar reactions ...
Yeah that conversation was a bit weird, i have seen simmilar situation on youtube. But i honestly hope that we will not get world where everyone is attacking every animal they see, and we will be "sometimes" able to simply walk around someone in our animal form.
It would be also funny as hell if at least some NPC have scripted conversation with certain animal, and if we would be able to surprise attack them from that conversation. laugh
You know what i mean? Tactical approach: Turn into a cat > walk to Gale > let him to pet you > let him to lift you up > turn back into dwarf and hit him hard to his head with your staff. laugh


That actually could be interesting, and certain animals probably shouldn't proc aggro but the ability for certain npcs to react to certain animals sounds cool and something that could be not *too* complicated to implement, just adding a flag of "if cat" or "if bear" not needing to overcomplicate it. And for some just have "if animal"

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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
It would be also funny as hell if at least some NPC have scripted conversation with certain animal, and if we would be able to surprise attack them from that conversation. laugh
You know what i mean? Tactical approach: Turn into a cat > walk to Gale > let him to pet you > let him to lift you up > turn back into dwarf and hit him hard to his head with your staff. laugh

Well, it's canon that Gale LOVES felines. He conjured a winged one, he's regularly shown with an orange cat in fan art and he even compares Astarion -- whom he doesn't like -- to a tiger. It would be fun if you had the Friendship path, Romance path and then Spoiled Kitten path.

Now imagine turning into a dragon for Lae'zel to ride, that would make my murder girlfriend so happy.

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