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So there's maybe one thing in some criticism that I've observed over the past week that has rubbed me the wrong way, even if I tend to agree with most people about the game's combat balance being rather off for the time being. But one needs to take into account that once something is coded in, it's often not as easy as taking it out and expecting things to go well. I myself may have given the devs some crap for seemingly using the D:OS2 engine to create BG3, but at the same time... Hindsight is 20/20. It probably didn't seem like a bad idea at all when they started development on BG3. And now the game may be too far along to just... Scrap all that effort and restart anew.

A few of you may have noticed that I often segue into talking about other cRPGs in development and what programming struggles they ran into, mostly to give a frame of reference to indicate that nobody's really perfect at this. Here's a couple of my own excerpts.

On Solasta

Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
There used to be a pretty crazy bug with the Solasta Greenmage. For the uninitiated, it's a homebrew Wizard archetype that gets access to the Archery fighting style, shortbow and light armor proficency, and can add several Ranger spells to their spellbook such as Faerie Fire, Goodberry and Hunter's Mark. This makes Greenmage a scary competent arcane archer, something that doesn't really exist in 5E except through the fighter archetype of the same name (which doesn't get access to spells at all, but has a bunch of magical arrows instead). Greenmage going off of feedback is by far the most popular Solasta archetype, some going as far as to say that they wish it was an actual official archetype, even if Shock Arcanist is a much stronger blaster archetype.

Anyway, since Greenmage had access to Hunter's Mark, there was a point in the earliest phases of Solasta EA where Hunter's Mark actually interacted with spells that made attack rolls. By tabletop rules, it wasn't supposed to. However, Solasta's wording of the Hunter's Mark spell lead some to believe that this was an intended change and a perk of Greenmage (it did not specify that the bonus damage die would only apply to weapon attacks), so some brief rule lawyering debates broke out about that in the otherwise quiet Solasta discord until the lead developer came in and said it was a bug.

And all doubts on it being a bug were blown away when I discovered a ridiculous interaction between Hunter's Mark and Scorching Ray in that game.

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachme...85101568/Scorching_Ray_L4_HM_VS_Boss.png

That was an upcasted level 3 Scorching Ray one-shotting the hardest boss during that EA phase. What happened was that *each ray* was rolling *4* Hunter's Mark die, because 4 of the base rays hit the boss, turning what was supposed to be 4 damage rolls into 20. The game could not fit this total absurdity onto the screen, let alone the normally highly informative combat log.

Programming is hard, ya'll.

Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
Oh, Solasta once had a different bug in regards to one of their homebrew cantrips and the 'Ready Cantrip' action. Like I said, Solasta's implementation of ready actions is rather simple at the moment, you either select a melee, ranged, or a cantrip attack to hit the first enemy that moves within your attack range. The Cantrip part however doesn't let you choose which one to use. The homebrew cantrip in question is called Sparkle, and it works by allowing you to illuminate up to 3 environmental items such as torches or magical orbs as a bonus action. But it was programmed to make an attack roll in order to do so, so the 'Ready Cantrip' action incorrectly considered Sparkle to be an offensive spell, which led to players trying to throw non-damaging pretty lights in an enemy's face. The devs told everyone not to pick up the Sparkle cantrip until the bug was fixed.

Like I said, programming is hard.

Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
They also had an issue with enemies shoving player characters into out of bounds zones to instantly kill them - more importantly with no way to revive them afterwards (and ending a battle with any player character dead with no revival methods is an automatic game over there). There was one early game encounter that was quite infamous for that, so the Solasta devs temporarily shut that off. However, this also had the side effect of shutting off the ability to fly over those out of bounds pits.

On Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
I assume it would not be NDA-breaking to talk about this here, as information up to the end of chapter 3 of the Pathfinder beta is publicly available. Anyway, Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous has had 3 major testing phases so far.

- Alpha 1, which consisted of Chapters 1 and 2.
- Alpha 2, which consisted of the Prologue all the way to Chapter 3, along with adding the remaining 4 companions.
- The ongoing Beta, which added Chapter 4 and turn-based mode, in addition to new content to earlier parts of the game. Most of chapter 4 is using incomplete assets, so information regarding exactly what is in that chapter is under NDA.

Probably the biggest bug that popped up between Alpha 2 and Beta was in regards to a major change in terms of how early you could get a specific companion to join your party. In Alpha 2, the succubus Arueshalae could only be recruited towards the start of Chapter 3. In Beta, it was possible to recruit her several hours earlier, during the final dungeon of Chapter 2, provided that you resolved a dispute back in Chapter 1 in the favor of several friends that she had been trying to assist, and solved an optional puzzle in the previous Chapter 2 dungeon that would provide you with a song that you could sing to convince her to fight alongside you early.

However, during the first week of Beta, recruiting her early actually broke her personal quest in Chapter 3 (which was when you could originally recruit her), eventually halting your progress in the main story, by causing several major quest NPCs to simply refuse to load properly. Many people lost several hours worth of progress due to this bug, if not restarting the game entirely if they did not have a Chapter 2 save prior to recruiting her. The fix was not retroactive for save files that already ran into this bug beforehand.

So you can read all these and share some examples you know, and understand that... Imagine what kind of scary bugs we don't know of that existed within BG3 too. Larian did say that we would have had patch 4 by now if it weren't for a bug they had discovered last minute. I almost wonder exactly what it is.

Last edited by Saito Hikari; 25/02/21 07:09 AM.
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Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
I almost wonder exactly what it is.
Rest assured, we will almost certainly never know...

Thank you for the rather humorous examples though. I enjoyed that... and yes, programming is hard. That's a large part of why I try not to be overly critical of the programming aspects of the game. The writing is another story all together, as is the design. The programming though, that I can understand the difficulties and limitations for.

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+1

Just going to add that the scope of the game (from what we can see in patch 3) is significantly bigger than the scope of Divinity: Original Sin 2.
Larian was very honest when they brought up in the Panel From Hell II that they had to reallocate resources, and that they were opening a new office to onboard employees.

It's normal for projects with increasing scope to consider delaying the project or hiring new employees. I've brought this up before, COVID impacted game development (and other businesses) across the globe and Larian had an office flood. It's been a challenging development period.

I want patch 4 and 5 as soon as possible too smile but we have to be realistic about it.

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Originally Posted by DragonSnooz
It's normal for projects with increasing scope to consider delaying the project or hiring new employees. I've brought this up before, COVID impacted game development (and other businesses) across the globe and Larian had an office flood. It's been a challenging development period.

Oh, right. The office flood.

How many have they had now? This is like, the third time, right?

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Might be an old building with plumbing or storm drainage issues.

Last edited by The_BlauerDragon; 25/02/21 05:57 AM.
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Nah, I think the explanation was that the office is located within a massive flood plain that stretches across several countries in Europe. And they're in one of the worst places in said flood plain. Really unfortunate, that.

Last edited by Saito Hikari; 25/02/21 06:02 AM.
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I don't know how many, the most recent flood it seems they lost a server. At least I think that is what has been implied with the word "drowned".

Larian's Twitter

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Enjoy your posts OP but I wonder if you are jousting with windmills in this instance? I've not read any "lazy" posts. Granted there are some posters that I only scan. The delay of the patch sucks but it just happens.

Does sound like they need to move their servers to the upper levels. And COVID is screwing up everything.

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Who's saying lazy?

Everything I have issue with took work to put in the game. Thats not lazy. wink

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Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
Enjoy your posts OP but I wonder if you are jousting with windmills in this instance? I've not read any "lazy" posts. Granted there are some posters that I only scan. The delay of the patch sucks but it just happens.

Does sound like they need to move their servers to the upper levels. And COVID is screwing up everything.

There's an implication of it now that people are realizing more and more about how the choice of engine explains a lot in regards to how certain mechanics are being designed. The angrier posts over this stop short of outright calling them lazy without adding much of anything.

Granted, there's not THAT much of it, and the purpose of the thread is really about sharing programming struggles across all of the major cRPGs in development to balance out the forum's general mood and provide perspective more than anything else.

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I suspect this thread is more of an opportunity to be noticed as a "voice of reason" rather than a genuine attempt to address a real issue. I don't think I've ever seen a single post complain about "lazy programming". I even got off my own lazy behind to do a internet search - which came up pretty much a wash with a handful posts on various forums complaining about perceived developer laziness, and about as many complaining about the complaints. Such is the interwebs! Conflating design decisions with programming to paint critics as unrealistic is a pretty new take though.

Larian might have been seen as "lazy" by some for relying so heavily on DOS2 assets in the early development cycle, but for reasonable people these were more placeholders to efficiently utilize early resources rather than a grand conspiracy to make DOS3: The D&D conversion mod.

What constitutes (pure) "programming" depends on how you define it, but much of it is universally praised. The game looks beautiful for starters. The animations need significantly more work, but they are getting there.

Aspects like defaulting to "Larianisms"/"Larian cheese", when there are plenty of objectively superior D&D alternatives that are much more immersive (have internal logic in a way an everburning candle in your backpack putting swords on fire doesn't), better balanced, and less clunky to use, are reasonable and valid criticisms of design decisions and by extension resource management (for every "bad" feature that makes it into the game at any stage, likely a "good" feature won't ever make it).

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Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
Enjoy your posts OP but I wonder if you are jousting with windmills in this instance? I've not read any "lazy" posts. Granted there are some posters that I only scan. The delay of the patch sucks but it just happens.

Does sound like they need to move their servers to the upper levels. And COVID is screwing up everything.

There's an implication of it now that people are realizing more and more about how the choice of engine explains a lot in regards to how certain mechanics are being designed. The angrier posts over this stop short of outright calling them lazy without adding much of anything.

Granted, there's not THAT much of it, and the purpose of the thread is really about sharing programming struggles across all of the major cRPGs in development to balance out the forum's general mood and provide perspective more than anything else.

I can think of 2 posters that have straight up become no better than memes in regards to their insults and anger. Although I think a number of posters are just to the point of knitpicking, I think it has value. At least they are taking the time to figure out the issues, and giving them some thought, so I respect that. Honestly, I think the people that regularly call Larian liars and lazy (I think we all know who they are) should just be banned. They add nothing to the conversation, just vitriol.

But game development, is based off of the spine of a single entity, that is a company's game engine. Changing physics and rules inside there is a nightmare, and your right, it does cost a fortune to fix small things. The actual world development, character design, asset design, is pretty GUI interface right now, since getting back into 3D modeling and working in Unreal, I find it crazy how much easier they have made it since back in the day.

But when you have a company like Larian, that has their own engine, it can be a blessing and a curse. So your right, to get in there to change the engine drastically, or make major changes like flying, can almost be impossible. Not to mention, the original programmers that made the engine might not even be working there anymore. ANYONE that has coded, knows it is pretty much twice as bad trying to modify another persons code (even with decent notes in the code). When you talking about a game engine, with literally millions and millions of lines of code, well you get the picture.

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This post is what happens when you feel like you've made good comments on other posts, but they were ignored, so your desire for recognition drives you to make a recap post quoting yourself.


I don't want to fall to bits 'cos of excess existential thought.

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Originally Posted by Tzelanit
This post is what happens when you feel like you've made good comments on other posts, but they were ignored, so your desire for recognition drives you to make a recap post quoting yourself.
And yours is just unconstructive snarkiness. Please refrain from such unhelpful and obviously antagonistic posts in the future.

You have been warned about such language before so you may consider this a final warning before leaving the forum.

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Originally Posted by Tzelanit
This post is what happens when you feel like you've made good comments on other posts, but they were ignored, so your desire for recognition drives you to make a recap post quoting yourself.

Say what you will about Saito, and some stuff he posts I disagree with. But at least they are thought out, considerate posts that are not inflammatory, baseless hate threads.. But generally, his posts get a lot of attention and responses. A little self projection maybe?

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Originally Posted by Pandemonica
Say what you will about Saito, and some stuff he posts I disagree with. But generally, his posts get a lot of attention and responses. A little self projection maybe?
Given I have just given Tzelanit a warning for his post style, please do not engage with the post in question lest you be scooped up in the fallout.

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Originally Posted by Sadurian
Originally Posted by Pandemonica
Say what you will about Saito, and some stuff he posts I disagree with. But generally, his posts get a lot of attention and responses. A little self projection maybe?
Given I have just given Tzelanit a warning for his post style, please do not engage with the post in question lest you be scooped up in the fallout.

Yeah sorry...my bad.

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Originally Posted by Tzelanit
This post is what happens when you feel like you've made good comments on other posts, but they were ignored, so your desire for recognition drives you to make a recap post quoting yourself.

Eh, not really. I left the quote tags in for formatting reasons, because it looked messy without them. The WotR stuff is something I actually hadn't mentioned anywhere else in the forums, but it looked awkward without the quote tags while all of the Solasta ones had them, because the Solasta examples were quoting direct posts I had made in the past.

Also to the mod: I took no offense to these posts, as what was mentioned wasn't my intention to begin with. Though they were a bit de-raily, I think I can handle things. :P

Originally Posted by Seraphael
I suspect this thread is more of an opportunity to be noticed as a "voice of reason" rather than a genuine attempt to address a real issue. I don't think I've ever seen a single post complain about "lazy programming". I even got off my own lazy behind to do a internet search - which came up pretty much a wash with a handful posts on various forums complaining about perceived developer laziness, and about as many complaining about the complaints. Such is the interwebs! Conflating design decisions with programming to paint critics as unrealistic is a pretty new take though.

Well it's not like I was hiding that, as you can see from my post before yours. But for the last part, I don't really mean to conflate programming decisions with making some of us look like we're suggesting something unrealistic, but it all depends on how the developers take the criticism.

Maybe they'd surprise us and it turns out the engine actually does have ways to implement certain notable missing features. But at this point, it's also possible that certain things just can't realistically be done without things breaking left and right, and it may be more practical for me to accept that, as sad it might be.

... I should have worded the title differently now that I think about it.

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@Saito Hikari Appreciate the reply even as I find myself agreeing with Seraphel that laziness isn't really a subtext of many posts. Glad we can agree that laziness rarely, if ever, directly mentioned.

But to your point about programming -- yes, trying to change the movement mechanics on the DOS-Unreal engine would take a tremendous amount of work. Probably 6 months at minimum. But it's work work doing. I would be happy with a commitment to change it. I'm already prepared for EA taking two years instead of the estimated one.

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Well I’d be happy if they were to do that, although the thread may be an attempt for me to rationalize Larian not doing that for myself. Again, hindsight is 20/20, what seemed like a good idea at the start of development might not match with the reality today. Plus Larian simply being unable to program some missing features is a more palatable reason, than them simply refusing to listen to us because it’s not part of whatever vision they have.

Plus Larian could take the time to swap to a new engine, but the real question then becomes, will WotC accept that? My guess is no.

That said, I don’t think anyone would be as forgiving if they use the same engine for a sequel.

Last edited by Saito Hikari; 25/02/21 07:10 PM.
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