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I'm wondering how divine smite can be implemented in to Baldur's Gate 3, since paladin is my favorite class and I'm definitely gonna play one when games is released.

Divine Smite
Starting at 2nd level, when you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can expend one spell slot to deal radiant damage to the target, in addition to the weapon's damage. The extra damage is 2d8 for a 1st-level spell slot, plus 1d8 for each spell level higher than 1st, to a maximum of 5d8. The damage increases by 1d8 if the target is an undead or a fiend, to a maximum of 6d8.

What makes divine smite so good is that you can choose to use it after you're attack roll, preventing wasting spell slot or even saving it for crit's. But I'm not sure how could this be implemented in a video game. Any ideas?

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For example:
1. The spell "Divine smite" is grayed out and cannot be used.
2. You hit. The game registers successful hit and the target.
2. The game highlights for you the spell "Divine smite" and allows to use it against that registered target at expense of 1 spell slot.

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Solasta went for the literal implementation - after you land a hit you get a menu popup, where you can add smite to the attack and choose which level you want to expend

BG3 is unlikely to go for such interruption - The most sense, I think, considering what we already have would be something like “sneak attack” - an ability, with smite already assigned to it, that we decide to use instead of vanilla attack.. It should also act as spell and have expandable up scaled versions. The spell slot should be consumed, however, only when hit registers.

That would simulate entirety of PnP choice, however.

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Originally Posted by Zellin
For example:
1. The spell "Divine smite" is grayed out and cannot be used.
2. You hit. The game registers successful hit and the target.
2. The game highlights for you the spell "Divine smite" and allows to use it against that registered target at expense of 1 spell slot.
I actualy kinda like this option. O_o
Its just the same as reworked reactions would provide ... it just dont demand rework of reactions. laugh


I liked original spellcasting system more ... frown

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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Originally Posted by Wormerine
Solasta went for the literal implementation - after you land a hit you get a menu popup, where you can add smite to the attack and choose which level you want to expend

BG3 is unlikely to go for such interruption - The most sense, I think, considering what we already have would be something like “sneak attack” - an ability, with smite already assigned to it, that we decide to use instead of vanilla attack.. It should also act as spell and have expandable up scaled versions. The spell slot should be consumed, however, only when hit registers.

That would simulate entirety of PnP choice, however.
yeah, I think that's precisely what they'll go for, similar to the battlemaster abilities.
You choose in advance if you use it or not, but as you said the resource/spell slot is consumed only if the hit registers.
Of course, this won't allow the granularity of "deciding to use it only if it's a crit", but honestly it would be a reasonable compromise and not something I'd twist my pants about.

Last edited by Tuco; 07/08/21 07:01 PM.

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Originally Posted by Tuco
yeah, I think that's precisely what they'll go for, similar to the battlemaster abilities.
You choose in advance if you use it or not, but as you said the resource/spell slot is consumed only if the hit registers.
Of course, this won't allow the granularity of "deciding to use it only if it's a crit", but honestly it would be a reasonable compromise and not something I'd twist my pants about.
I'd be perfectly fine with losing the "smite only if crit" ability. Tbh this ability always felt too gamey to me.

However, theoretical smite hotbar icon will prevent using other abilities at the same time. If Larian really doesn't want to make it a pop-up, then smite (& other similar abilities like sneak attack) should be a toggle instead of an icon. This would also allow smiting on opportunity attacks.

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Originally Posted by mrfuji3
then smite (& other similar abilities like sneak attack) should be a toggle instead of an icon. This would also allow smiting on opportunity attacks.
I thought about it, but tying a resource consuming decision to toggle feels wrong to me. I think, that if you are drawing players valuable resource you would want to let them do it themselves. It would theoretically be slightly more flexible way of doing it, then my prediction.

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Originally Posted by Zellin
For example:
1. The spell "Divine smite" is grayed out and cannot be used.
2. You hit. The game registers successful hit and the target.
2. The game highlights for you the spell "Divine smite" and allows to use it against that registered target at expense of 1 spell slot.

Oh this is good! +1 to this.

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Originally Posted by mrfuji3
I'd be perfectly fine with losing the "smite only if crit" ability. Tbh this ability always felt too gamey to me.
Indeed ... it would be perfectly acceptable ...
But Zellin's idea sounds better. :P


I liked original spellcasting system more ... frown

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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Originally Posted by fallenj
Originally Posted by Zellin
For example:
1. The spell "Divine smite" is grayed out and cannot be used.
2. You hit. The game registers successful hit and the target.
2. The game highlights for you the spell "Divine smite" and allows to use it against that registered target at expense of 1 spell slot.

Oh this is good! +1 to this.

No, it's not. I'm sorry, and I don't mean to discourage or be aggressive, but this suggestion is the exact same terrible UI design that has plagued this EA; it has little to no foresight and compounds existing issues and makes them worse.

It's not the only such case, but it seems that often many of the 'suggestions' for how to fix or implement something 'better' are things that would ultimately require *More Time*, *More Clicks*, *More Attention*, and be generally *More Work* for the player to fumble with the UI, than a properly implemented player decision-point system. It puzzles me, to be honest. Again, no attack intended.


If you have a proper reaction system which optional class abilities can use the core of, your situation is:
- You have an ability, and when its requirements are met, you are asked, briefly, if you'd like to use it and how strong.
- You do this with *One* click, in an operation that takes *Less Than A Second*.
- You decide in the moment, taking whatever 'decision time' is needed then.

If you do it in the quoted way, your situation is:
- You have an ADDITIONAL spell (or rather, you have an additional *Five* spells by late game) taking up either your screen space and/or your bars.
- They spend MOST of their time grey out an unable to be used, and are just wasting space.
- When you hit something, the button(s) all light up; the player must both notice this and remember to do it.
- The action from their hit has already ended: it's still their turn, but there's every likelihood that the player's focus was on what they were doing with their turn, so after hitting, they may already be thinking along the lines of their movement or their bonus action, so it's much easier to miss or forget this.
- Provided that doesn't become an issue (and I will assume it doesn't), the player must then select a DIFFERENT skill, after the hit effect from their attack has already long since passed, and either
a) click, and then wait a second for the game to register it, and then click again to confirm (because that's how larian's engine works - it NEEDS two clicks, even for Dash, right now), OR
b) click once, and THEN target the creature you hit before with this separate ability... and you do THAT bit manually, and have to fiddle with selecting the target again (while all other targets can be highlighted but are inappropriate targets, because, again, that's how the current engine would need to rectify it if done this way).
- Because the player has to do this manually, they have the freedom to move or take other actions in between instead, but IF they do so, by accident or distraction, but opportunity is forfeit, potentially against the player's intended desire.
- The player decides well after their attack has resolved and the animation has ended and their character has recovered from their animation, rendering the smite a completely separate thing to the attack, in an immersive sense.
- They take their 'decision' time at this point, after the hit - the SAME decision time that needs to be taken in the comparison case; it gains nothing and loses much - including the ability to smite on opportunity attacks.

No, in short, it's not a good suggestion. It's a solution to a problem that shouldn't be a problem, but it's one that is exactly the sort of thing the current design method and UI might be inclined to do... the same thing that has caused no end of complaints and problems throughout this EA for its cluttering of the UI space, its pointless excessive buttons and its general clunkiness. It's more of the same, creating more of the same problems.

Once more, this isn't intended as an attack; it's just pointing out that if this were implemented in this way, and had been presented with the rest of the EA in an earlier patch, it would fit right in with many of the other UI design failures, and would have received the same level of criticism, dissatisfaction and unhappiness that those other elements have all attracted and which most posters (those who comment at all) seem to be unhappy with and want changed.

How should divine Smite work? With a proper implementation of your ability to make meaningful decisions and reactions during the flow of combat, that's how. Nothing short of that is really going to feel acceptable.

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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Originally Posted by mrfuji3
I'd be perfectly fine with losing the "smite only if crit" ability. Tbh this ability always felt too gamey to me.
Indeed ... it would be perfectly acceptable ...
But Zellin's idea sounds better. :P


Nah. It doesn’t.
I mean, it’s more or less a mechanical equivalent (assuming he meant for the ability to become a free action in the subsequent turn or something?) but it creates this weird disconnect where the smite is not part of your attack/reaction anymore, but becomes basically a separate cast.
It also doesn’t account for a scenario where in the following turn your paladin wouldn’t be able to act anymore for whatever reason (I.e. dead or incapacitated after someone else targeted him).

P.S. On a personal note I still think that the best solution would be in fact to implement a reaction system and present in in "smooth" way that Larian would find palatable with its "triple A production value", rather than imagining several ways to sidestep the issue entirely.
I know people that on the Larian discord bitched to no end that "Solasta reaction system is a chore" because "it pauses the combat", for instance, and while personally I find it an incredibly stupid argument (I'm still not sure how having more things to do and chances to intervene during a tactical combat would be in any way a change for the worse) that's probably the audience reaction Larian is worrying about.

My suggestion in another thread was just to find a more appealing way to present the reaction rather than a crude pop-up on screen, and among the different suggestions someone pointed at Chimera Squad and its breach mechanic as an example.
You could get a quick zoom in, a dramatic slow down of the opponent doing its thing and then you could just quickly click left mouse button to confirm the reaction or the right one for a "Pass").

Last edited by Tuco; 09/08/21 01:49 AM.

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How about like the toggled triggers, but with more toggles, so 'no smite', 'auto smite', smite if chance to kill, or smite on crit etc.

Actually a nested toggle tree sounds less annoying, click on the smite toggle, choose which flavor of smite trigger you want.

This is also something I'd like the reusable spells to be more like

This actually reminds me of the AI behavior triggers you could define in some games, I guess if BG:3 is going to be turned based, there's really no reason to complain about a pop-up, especially for the rare spells that let you choose after you've made your action.

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Originally Posted by Tuco
You could get a quick zoom in, a dramatic slow down of the opponent doing its thing and then you could just quickly click left mouse button to confirm the reaction or the right one for a "Pass").
I am against any type of forced zoom. Was nauseating enough in Skyrim but could at least be modded out. Not sure that would be possible here if it is part of an actual mechanic. I can imagine it would get annoying for most people anyway since it would happen on every turn for every enemy until you run out of spell slots.

Niara has a good point, but I think with the clunky interface we have Zellin's idea is pretty good. Something similar could be just a Reaction button, maybe it lights up or something, but when we click on it it acts like the current spell buttons where we then have to click again on what level spell, only we would be clicking on what type of reaction instead. All reactions of all types would go here rather than on the spell bar. Personally I would prefer a popup menu, but if this was added it should be able to be toggled off for people who don't want to deal with it.

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I have no idea how Skyrim is even a pertinent comparison.
XCOM 2 would be a far better one, given that they AT LEAST share a similar perspective. And like in XCOM it could be made an option in the game settings.

Also, no matter what, someone will always be against something. If you asked in certain circles, the game should have no animations, replace 3D models with 2D portraits and have the combat speed increased to 10X.
A lot of people also hate voice acting and will fight to the end to stress that "It's a waste of money and it would be faster to read" (which is a poor argument in itself, since I don't think most people play to speedrun but to enjoy the moment-to-moment).

The point is: you are never going to satisfy EVERYONE, the attempt here is to find a compromise to get a feature some of us would want to see in the game without giving to Larian a convenient excuse to skip it, Like "It looks cheap", "it breaks the flow of the combat" etc.

Last edited by Tuco; 09/08/21 03:57 AM.

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I have never played XCOM. I only know how nauseous I get with anything with a forced zoom or perspective change. That was the only reason I mentioned Skyrim with the stupid kill moves which were especially bad with bows. How would you suggest having the reaction happen if the zoom was turned off in menu settings? All I want really is a proper reaction system so I can choose when to use them.

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Originally Posted by Zarna
I have never played XCOM. I only know how nauseous I get with anything with a forced zoom or perspective change. That was the only reason I mentioned Skyrim with the stupid kill moves which were especially bad with bows. How would you suggest having the reaction happen if the zoom was turned off in menu settings? All I want really is a proper reaction system so I can choose when to use them.
In the same exact way, except the camera wouldn't do a close-up on the target of your reaction for "dramatic effect".
And as many would hate the zoom-in, plenty of others I'm sure would hate the slow down. Or both.

The point isn't really if every individual user would like the zoom-in or not (and you will never have agreement on this sort of stuff, anyway) as much as to offer the devs an option that says "See? You can make this be mechanically engaging and 'look shiny' as well. You don't have to remove reactions to maintain a certain standard of presentation".

P.S. Here you can check how XCOM handles a zoom-in/slow down on a reaction shot (timestamp included, but if it shouldn't work for some reason jump at 13:58):



Except in this case is an automated circumstance and you don't get to give any additional input.

Last edited by Tuco; 09/08/21 06:48 AM.

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I dunno ... if i should sort suggestions ...

I would say that propher reaction system would be certainly the best.
(Especialy since all classes would benefit from that)

Separate spell, that would be only useable after meele attack would be second ...
But to be honest, separate spell that will only consume spell slot for hits ... will also take second place.

Both options have their pros, and cons ... i just cant decide wich seems better. laugh

Originally Posted by Zarna
Originally Posted by Tuco
You could get a quick zoom in, a dramatic slow down of the opponent doing its thing and then you could just quickly click left mouse button to confirm the reaction or the right one for a "Pass").
I am against any type of forced zoom.
Agreed ...
I would even like to have option to turn off that action camera when you hit critical.
(if that is there, please tell me laugh )


I liked original spellcasting system more ... frown

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Originally Posted by Tuco
Here you can check how XCOM handles a zoom-in/slow down on a reaction shot
Yeah, that would cause me issues but at least it was an option. If you had that turned off, were there other ways to tell when you could do something?

Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
I would even like to have option to turn off that action camera when you hit critical.
This would be nice

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Originally Posted by Zarna
Yeah, that would cause me issues but at least it was an option. If you had that turned off, were there other ways to tell when you could do something?
In XCOM all those zoomins can be turned off. Especially when playing on higher difficulties (aka. Long War mods) I prefered it that way, as zoomins obuscate important information - like where the enemy is going etc.

The difference between XCOMs overwatch, and reactions, is that player doesn't get to make a choice - it's just making overwatch look cool and cinematic. The closes comparison, which I made before, was Chimera's Squad breach which makes for a cool, viceral action setpiece, while at the same time givine players infinite amount of time, to decide what their units will do during the breach.

I don't think there is an exact design that Larian could steal from those games, but the point is: reaction could be implimented in a faithful way, and still be "immersive" and satisfying to use. Faithful reactions, doesn't mean Solasta's lack of flow or visual flare.

Personally, I won't mind any implimentation as long as it's functional. Larian, however, will most likely be wary of implementing low-key reactions, that need to be activated by player.

I think Zellin's idea sounds somewhat alright, though presentation wise it would be clunky - which I don't think Larian would favour. So you hit an enemy, and you get a chance to "cast" smite? That kinda goes against the idea of enhancing your attack. Use wise, treating smite like Witch Bolt might make the most sense, so we don't have to target the enemy again but it might be worse once we get to hit more then one enemy in one turn. You do make it targatable, and we have skill, which we can't really use - it's just counter intuitive to how all the other skills are used - it's on your hotbar, you can use it. It would make the hotbar even more of a mess then it is now.

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You guys are making fuss over nothing when both praising and criticising my idea. I started my post with "For example" for a reason. I just gave the very first possible example that came to my mind of how the mechanics of the spell could be translated into a video-game, because OP worded his question as if he thinks it's not possible at all.
I think we should wait what Larian will introduce for reactions before talking about any possible improvements in controls in that area.

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