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Guys, you know where the RTwP/TB discussion is. Please take it there. Further off-topic comments are likely to be removed.


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Originally Posted by Aeridyne

And again one more time, just because you CAN get by with a 4 person party you can make the same argument for even smaller parties too until you are only playing the main character and your other party members if any are just uncontrollable NPCs. But would that game be BG? Not really. Would a 4 member party game be BG? Not really. Would a game that doesn't have a plethora of party members to choose from like the previous ones be BG? Not really. But would a game with a 6 character party and lots of different characters to choose from be BG? Well yes it would! Ding ding ding, we have a winner.




What made Baldur's Gate Baldur's Gate was strong characters and compelling story using D&D rules set in the Forgotten Realms.
It wasn't the number of companions or that it ran on Windows 98 or the combat style any more than it was incredibly minimal character customization, or that it used pixelated sprites as character models.
Latching on to these superficial aspects of a 20 year old game and insisting they are central to the Baldur's Gate experience is an exercise in futility.

Larian will be balancing combat for a certain size party in Baldur's Gate 3.
They have chosen 4.
That number isn't going to change based on peoples feelings of nostalgia for an irrelevant aspect of the previous 20 year old installment in the Baldur's Gate Series.



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Originally Posted by Alodar
Larian will be balancing combat for a certain size party in Baldur's Gate 3.
They have chosen 4.
That number isn't going to change based on peoples feelings of nostalgia for an irrelevant aspect of the previous 20 year old installment in the Baldur's Gate Series.

May be irrelevant for you, and that's totally fine. But you don't get to decide what does or doesn't matter to the rest of us. For me, a party size of six IS very much a core characteristic of the original BG games and a very important part of what those games were about. Is it something magical about the number six? No. Rather, it is that the BG games were about going on an adventure with your party. The party aspect of the game was central. Even Swen and Adam Smith said exactly this in their recent interview. And for me, that centrality of the party and all the awesome intra-party interactions you got, or even just having five companions who you took along with you on your adventure and who became like a family to you during that adventure was key to my enjoyment of those games. When than number is then reduced from five to three, that is HUGE reduction in my enjoyment of the party-based experience. And while six is not some magical number, it is very much an optimal number, the proverbial Goldilocks number for party-size for me: not too big and not too small. Four, otoh, is definitely way too small a number.

So bottom, line, this isn't an issue of concern for you. It is an issue of concern for me, and a HUGE one at that. And seems like some others agree as well. So when I write any reviews of BG3 in the future, I absolutely will knock the game for the party size reduction because it is very much a legitimate area for criticism.

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That sucks they'll balance the game for 4 parties companion.
Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 looks +- well balanced (in général) and you can play with the companion numbers you like, from 0 to 5.

Of course the difficulty increase if your party is smaller, and that's what gives a taste for replayability. In other crpg they usually have to cheat and create "Lone Wolf" skills because everything need to be over balanced... every new game is the same, with the exact same difficulty everywhere.

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Larian has said it'll be 4 because it will make combat smoother and take less time. I understand that point, it's not a bad point, but I feel like it should be five, because a balanced party typically has four roles to fill: Melee fighter, Healer, Lock and Trap remover, Offensive Caster.

Original Sin was classless, and characters could mix and match roles fairly easily, but D&D's system is class-based, and there doesn't seem to be much room for party flexibility with those roles filled, and multi-classing isn't a solution, as it makes you worse at multiple roles at once.

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I like the smaller party dynamic as it encourages you to make tough choices early on an gives you an incentive to replay with different characters and different party combinations.


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I wonder if the ones we don't pick return as enemies, later on, becoming Mind Flayers or having found an alternative cure on their own they come back looking for revenge against us the PC for 'abandoning' them.


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Originally Posted by TheAscendent
I like the smaller party dynamic as it encourages you to make tough choices early on an gives you an incentive to replay with different characters and different party combinations.

How does party-size incentivize replaying the game? It is the number of companion choices you have in the game that can incentivize replaying the game, i.e., if you have a lot of companions available in the game where those companions are good substitutes for one another, such as was the case in the original BG games, then you can replay the game with different party makeups. So # of available companions helps replay (regardless of party-size). Party-size has no bearing on replay-value of a game.

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Originally Posted by kanisatha
Originally Posted by Alodar
Larian will be balancing combat for a certain size party in Baldur's Gate 3.
They have chosen 4.
That number isn't going to change based on peoples feelings of nostalgia for an irrelevant aspect of the previous 20 year old installment in the Baldur's Gate Series.

May be irrelevant for you, and that's totally fine. But you don't get to decide what does or doesn't matter to the rest of us. For me, a party size of six IS very much a core characteristic of the original BG games and a very important part of what those games were about. Is it something magical about the number six? No. Rather, it is that the BG games were about going on an adventure with your party. The party aspect of the game was central. Even Swen and Adam Smith said exactly this in their recent interview. And for me, that centrality of the party and all the awesome intra-party interactions you got, or even just having five companions who you took along with you on your adventure and who became like a family to you during that adventure was key to my enjoyment of those games. When than number is then reduced from five to three, that is HUGE reduction in my enjoyment of the party-based experience. And while six is not some magical number, it is very much an optimal number, the proverbial Goldilocks number for party-size for me: not too big and not too small. Four, otoh, is definitely way too small a number.

So bottom, line, this isn't an issue of concern for you. It is an issue of concern for me, and a HUGE one at that. And seems like some others agree as well. So when I write any reviews of BG3 in the future, I absolutely will knock the game for the party size reduction because it is very much a legitimate area for criticism.




To be blunt -- nobody cares about your review of the game.
Your demographic - obsessed with a 20 year old installment in a franchise - is on no-one's radar.
Larian doesn't care what the obsessed with 20 year old installment in a franchise group thinks.
No studio making triple AAA games does.

Gaming has passed you by.



The opinion of the obsessed with 20 year old installment in a franchise group on Turn Based Combat is completely and utterly irrelevant.
This is a Turn Based game.

The opinion of the obsessed with 20 year old installment in a franchise group on party size is completely and utterly irrelevant.
This game will have a player and 3 companions.

Doesn't matter how many times you post about it, complain about it or stamp your feet about it or how critical it is to your world view. These things are not going to change.



Larian will iterate their game and make changes based on it's performance in Early Access of their paying customers.
They make their choices based on in game data and feedback of their customers and ultimately what they think makes for good game-play for a modern Triple AAA game.


The opinion of the obsessed with a 20 year old installment in a franchise group is irrelevant to the future direction of this franchise, unless of course you happen to agree with the majority of folks playing Early Access.


[/blunt]

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Originally Posted by Alodar

The opinion of the obsessed with 20 year old installment in a franchise group on party size is completely and utterly irrelevant.
This game will have a player and 3 companions.

While not exactly cRPGs the current popular turn-based games did use more then 4 units for their combat encounters. XCOM1&2 have 6 units, popular long war mods expand this roster, Phoenix Point supports at least 8 units as well.

At the same time, it also comes down to intended complexity of encounters as well as interesting decisionmaking available within those characters. I felt 6 man limit in FiraXCOM1 was too low, but I didn't feel that with XCOM2, where redesign of classes made them more interesting to use. Also there are stellar turn-based games with less then 6 units. Into the Breach is rather excellent, though small scale, and it has 3 units.

But the biggest mistake I make here, is that I look at it as a single player game, while BG3 is coop. So it's not really a party of 4, but slots for 4 coop buddies, which in this context is plenty. Playing through D:OS1 with only two characters under my control felt like plenty as focus is not on deep, tactical thinking and coordination. That's also a "mistake" many of previous posters make as well - thinking of BG3 in context of single-player RPG. Larian RPG just isn't the same genre as BG1&2, Kingmaker and PoEs.

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Originally Posted by Alodar
Originally Posted by kanisatha
Originally Posted by Alodar
Larian will be balancing combat for a certain size party in Baldur's Gate 3.
They have chosen 4.
That number isn't going to change based on peoples feelings of nostalgia for an irrelevant aspect of the previous 20 year old installment in the Baldur's Gate Series.

May be irrelevant for you, and that's totally fine. But you don't get to decide what does or doesn't matter to the rest of us. For me, a party size of six IS very much a core characteristic of the original BG games and a very important part of what those games were about. Is it something magical about the number six? No. Rather, it is that the BG games were about going on an adventure with your party. The party aspect of the game was central. Even Swen and Adam Smith said exactly this in their recent interview. And for me, that centrality of the party and all the awesome intra-party interactions you got, or even just having five companions who you took along with you on your adventure and who became like a family to you during that adventure was key to my enjoyment of those games. When than number is then reduced from five to three, that is HUGE reduction in my enjoyment of the party-based experience. And while six is not some magical number, it is very much an optimal number, the proverbial Goldilocks number for party-size for me: not too big and not too small. Four, otoh, is definitely way too small a number.

So bottom, line, this isn't an issue of concern for you. It is an issue of concern for me, and a HUGE one at that. And seems like some others agree as well. So when I write any reviews of BG3 in the future, I absolutely will knock the game for the party size reduction because it is very much a legitimate area for criticism.




To be blunt -- nobody cares about your review of the game.
Your demographic - obsessed with a 20 year old installment in a franchise - is on no-one's radar.
Larian doesn't care what the obsessed with 20 year old installment in a franchise group thinks.
No studio making triple AAA games does.

Gaming has passed you by.



The opinion of the obsessed with 20 year old installment in a franchise group on Turn Based Combat is completely and utterly irrelevant.
This is a Turn Based game.

The opinion of the obsessed with 20 year old installment in a franchise group on party size is completely and utterly irrelevant.
This game will have a player and 3 companions.

Doesn't matter how many times you post about it, complain about it or stamp your feet about it or how critical it is to your world view. These things are not going to change.



Larian will iterate their game and make changes based on it's performance in Early Access of their paying customers.
They make their choices based on in game data and feedback of their customers and ultimately what they think makes for good game-play for a modern Triple AAA game.


The opinion of the obsessed with a 20 year old installment in a franchise group is irrelevant to the future direction of this franchise, unless of course you happen to agree with the majority of folks playing Early Access.


[/blunt]

To be blunt, you need to go back to school kid.

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Behave, guys.

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This discussion started from a negative perspective with the suggestion that Larian are restricting the number of characters because of constraints. For example:

Quote
I think its 4 because of the amount of background, options, dialogue, pathways to play that they are bringing to the table & it would literally be to expensive to go to 6 man party - either that or we will be waiting another 2 years for the finished game.


I don't believe this is accurate, Larian will have developed dialogue for all companion variants as they don't know what the player will select.

From what I understand (from Swen in 'panel from hell') the limitation of 4 characters is all about building a deeper player to companion relationship. This makes sense to me as with other games I've played where there is a plethora of companions I struggle to find any sort of meaningful connection which detracts from the immersive nature of the game. Obviously there could be other factors like game mechanics but that's speculative.

I would prefer Larian restricts the number of companions (so there would only ever be 3 companions in one play through). I always struggle with which companions to choose! However I appreciate it makes sense to provide more options that can work better with the player class choices/style/preference.

One option is the player selects the 3 companions in the game at character creation and only those will be available in that particular play through.

One key benefit of early access is for Larian to respond to the players views and opinions, if there is a strong argument for more companions I'm sure it will come out of early access.

My suggestion is hold off with preconceptions and give it a go in early access, perhaps you will be pleasantly surprised and the reason for 4 players will become apparent.

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Originally Posted by Tarorn
I think its 4 because of the amount of background, options, dialogue, pathways to play that they are bringing to the table & it would literally be to expensive to go to 6 man party - either that or we will be waiting another 2 years for the finished game.
Im an old school gamer too but I quite like a smaller party to manage - not that 6 is bad - 4 gets the balanced party fighter/cleric/thief/mage.

I do think Larian studios listen though so who knows what might happen by the time the game is in its final state - but for me 4 is enough to enjoy.


This is it. I think they want to build on the origin story style of PCs that they had in D:OS2 which leads to a very detailed approach to party members. Which is why I'm worried that there wont be more than like 6 or 7 viable party members that you can recruit. As you say, introducing more characters would increase the workload and the game would be released later. Or it could be a philosophy descision, I cant really speculate.

But I will say this, the reason why Minsc, Edwin, Viconia, or any other highly memorable character from the originals are so iconic isnt the volumes of algorithms of pathways for their personal journey.

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Originally Posted by Vlad the Impaler
The more I read the comments in the forum the more I get the impression that Larian is basically just going to put D&D skins on a different game so it will look like D&D, but it won't really play or feel like D&D. I guess it's a good thing I can still play BG & BG2.


I look forward to this game and I will play the EA. But so far this gives me zero nostalgia hits. I dont feel like the game is Baldurs Gate, I feel like the game is D:OS2.

And this might sound wierd but D:OS1 (non-enhanced) does NOT feel like D:OS2. I love D:OS1 but I cant stand the enhanced edition. To pinpoint what they "enhanced" that ruined it for me is hard and I would probably start contradicting myself if I tried. It basically is a non-descript sensation that makes you feel a certain way. What D:OS1 feels like to me are the truly oldschool games of Spiderweb, the Exile games. Which is wierd because those games doesnt seem similar at all except theyre both fantasy RPGs.

But what I wanted to point out here is that having zero nostalgia in a game that rides on the tsunami wave of the original games is a mistake.

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Originally Posted by Torque
But what I wanted to point out here is that having zero nostalgia in a game that rides on the tsunami wave of the original games is a mistake.

That would be mistake only if Larian we’re trying to ride in the tsunami wave of the nostalgia. I think it is clear, that unlike PoEs which tried to appeal to people’s memory of IE games, BG3 is not interested in that. It’s their RPG set after events of BG3 around the city of BG. Presumably even if it won’t appeal to many original BG fans, it will find its own audience.

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For all of its failures, the RTwP combat in Pillars of Eternity 2 was incredible. The 5 person party allowed for deep customization while still requiring you to be strategic with whom you chose to take on certain missions. Melee felt useful, ranged wasn't a crutch, magic was fun and interactive. It was the rest of the game that sucked, which is a pity - and also makes Josh Sawyer's comments about RTwP in his post-mortem surprising; by and large, the combat is regarded as the best part of the game by pretty much everyone who is a fan of the franchise.

I would like up to a 5 man party in BG3, which also allows you to add a "quest companion" as a 6th so that you can take someone along who has a quest for you but isn't on your way or part of the main narrative. That way you don't have to juggle party members mid stride and can go off on side adventures with new people all the time while still growing your core party.

I also like the BG style of having a plethora of potential companions all over the world with different stories and different agendas that you get to pick and choose from. Choosing to leave someone behind is a big incentive for replayability.

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Originally Posted by Torque
But I will say this, the reason why Minsc, Edwin, Viconia, or any other highly memorable character from the originals are so iconic isnt the volumes of algorithms of pathways for their personal journey.

An excellent observation with which I agree completely.

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Originally Posted by Wormerine
Originally Posted by Torque
But what I wanted to point out here is that having zero nostalgia in a game that rides on the tsunami wave of the original games is a mistake.

That would be mistake only if Larian we’re trying to ride in the tsunami wave of the nostalgia. I think it is clear, that unlike PoEs which tried to appeal to people’s memory of IE games, BG3 is not interested in that. It’s their RPG set after events of BG3 around the city of BG. Presumably even if it won’t appeal to many original BG fans, it will find its own audience.


Originally Posted by Wormerine
Originally Posted by Torque
But what I wanted to point out here is that having zero nostalgia in a game that rides on the tsunami wave of the original games is a mistake.

That would be mistake only if Larian we’re trying to ride in the tsunami wave of the nostalgia. I think it is clear, that unlike PoEs which tried to appeal to people’s memory of IE games, BG3 is not interested in that. It’s their RPG set after events of BG3 around the city of BG. Presumably even if it won’t appeal to many original BG fans, it will find its own audience.


I think we already discussed it in another thread, but I do no think the customers that are old-BGgames-fans of the first bg games are the main target of the game.

What I meant is that the target audience of the videogame is not "old-BG-games-fans-only" as in "we are not doing anything reminiscent to the original games and it was never intended to be". I think they are making a game for a broader audience and do not rely on nostalgia nor appeal to players of the games of old only; as the screenshots, trailers, etc show for múltiple reasons (design, mechanics, colour palette, etc).

Maybe the fans of the old games are not the game target audience anymore. I mean, they are using D&D5e Assets, they are advertising modules of WOTC together (Descent into Avernus, etc), they are doing interviews together with WOTC CEOs, working with D&D5e creators, using the ruleset and the setting...

But I dont´remember them referencing the old BG games in any interview unless asked first (In one interview even Sven Vincke and Mike Merle didn´t remember the canon ending of the baalspawn crises), they didn´t make videos of "Sven Vinke playing the old bg games", didnt´hire any of the original game screenwriters, musicians,... didn´t use images of the old games and characters to advertise the game (Owlcat, for example, included two of the iconic characters of Pathfinder in the videogames, Amiri and Seelah) nor include any of the characters of the first trilogies (Not official of the entire Wotc franchise like Elminster or volo),... didn´t take people from Black isle into the game-cons,... and they do none of the things that the PR department use to do to rally the old game fans.
I mean, the story of the baalspawn is already finished, it´s a different studio, do not share plot or common characters that we know of, It´s a turn-based game, 20 years and 3 different editions of D&D passed and they are using D&D5e game mechanics, lore and Artwork; and a setting 200 years after the baalspawn crisis, so... Do you really think they are worried about "deep and satisfying links to the original story arc that might justify the sequal tag in terms of story-telling and game-play terms"?


Not that I have anything against that, I happen to like D&D5e, TB, the forgotten realms... etc so I´m happy with plenty of what they show us so far (Even tho I found wierd some design choices) and, even I loved the old games I do not particularly care that much about the game to be similar to the old (and amazing) BG trilogy, not even in the party size. The story of those games already give us a great ending.


I think they just want to make a Larian game of D&D5e, their own game.

Last edited by _Vic_; 24/08/20 03:46 AM.
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I see quite a few people wrongly conflating nostalgia for surface elements of BG/BG2 with the FEEL for how the game plays. The play in a full party of six FEELS very different than running only the player character and maybe one companion. A full party of six provides many tactical options that are simply impossible for only one or two toons to try let alone pull off. While a party of four is better than only one or two, six is even better than four because the more people in the "fireteam" or "squad" the more redundancy the party can have with important skills and abilities. Effective use of small unit tactics is much much more important and actually doable with a party of six instead of only one or two. Granted, four is better than one or two, but not as good as six.

I also see a significant reliance upon people, and Larian apparently, using a false dilemma. Not every member of the party has to be a fully scripted NPC with lots of lines and interactions with the each other and the player character. In addition to the four party members with the full background and script the party can also use two red shirt henchmen with generic lines so they can interact with the rest of the party. Showing respect for the legacy of what came before in D&D games like the Icewind Dale and Balgur's Gate series isn't a bad thing. Does Larian really have to dumb down combat in an RPG by reducing party size and switching from RTwP to TB to appeal to the gamers of today? Sure looks like it.

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