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largh Offline OP
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One in a million also I have tried the EA build. The game has a solid opening, a great setting, and plenty of positive sides (some are listed at the end of the post). Praising does not make things better, however, and I will focus on the things that can be improved.

People say that BG3 is D:OS3 in disguise - and they are right. In my opinion, there is a simple (but no doubt tedious) trick to make the D:OS3 feeling disappear from the game: darker lightning and colors. The BG games were characterized by an atmosphere that is currently lacking from the EA build due to the use of bright colors. Here are my suggestions:
- In general, make the color palette darker. Hell is supposed to be hell, especially when about to crash-land on a mind flayer ship. Yet, in the EA build hell feels like a jolly place. Use darker colors, make it easier to die (for example by pressing a wrong button, or by going to a wrong room), make the feeling more desperate. Take inspiration from the atmosphere in Diablo 1. Mind flayers are supposed to be horrific beasts. Give the player an understanding of why (for example by placing one in a room where it will kill the player in an instant; make companions warn about going into that room).
- Introduce day and night cycles (you added cutscenes - you can add nights too; "too much work" isn't an argument). Make the crash site occur at night. Take inspiration from the atmosphere in the original UFO: Enemy Unknown (grim, scary, dangerous). Mid-day bright sun crash-landing feels too joyful.
- Changing the brightness of the screen based on character vision is a great idea. Make this concept stronger: humans are not supposed to see anything except lights in the dark. Change screen accordingly (aka. Ultima V). Introduce higher attacking penalties for non-darkvision species. This would allow the tactical use of light to highlight enemies. Introduce opposite daylight penalties for drow and vampires. Introduce screen lightening for these species. If these changes make the game too difficult, supply the player with items that even out the lighting differences (but take a slot in inventory).

With the changes above, I believe the D:OS feeling can be removed from BG3, not to mention that these changes would add tactical depth and a great atmosphere to the game.

What I liked in the EA build:
- The rarity of magical items makes these items feel special similar to BG1. Low-level characters do not deserve epic items. Keep on supplying the player with a wide variety of (increasing) quality non-magical items instead of rare magical items from the beginning. Even a magical +1 item can be made to feel a special treasure this way.
- D&D ruleset was very well implemented to fights and dialog, although the dialog felt too standard in many places. Why not add some sarcasm to the dialog options?
- The variety of classes and races to pick from was nice but also a double-sided blade. Drow are not supposed to be accepted even to the level they were in the EA. Also, the drow are not supposed to like bright sunlight (need an item to counter the effect or that "getting used to" explanation).
- Four party-members is enough for a turn-based game. Otherwise the fights will drag for too long.
- Fights were not too long as often was the case in D:OS games. Some fights were easy (that's nice in between). None was too difficult.

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They actually mentioned in a reddit AMA that they have a fully adaptive visual grit system they're working on that wasn't ready yet. Dunno if it made it into EA.

On the sarcasm in dialogue point, there was a line of dialogue with Gale that was the PC making a pun, and it felt bad that I lost approval for it...

Last edited by QuietCountryCafe; 12/10/20 08:25 AM.
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I'm not saying it's a bad idea to tweak lighting/colours a bit (and it's certainly a good idea to increase "BG feel"), but BG1/2 weren't really as dun as people like to say. They were, I'd say, context-appropriate - at the start of BG2, you emerge from a dark dungeon into sunny, bright Waukeen's Promenade. Most outside locations during the day are light/vivid unless it's raining.

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@UncleLester: Right. I just see the lost potential in the opening of BG3. Mind flayers are, after all, alien type characters in the D&D lore. Teasing out that "UFO feel" would make the opening epic and memorable. The crash landing scene in the night during a storm would be even better than only during night.

Tweaking the beginning would carry over throughout the game and make mind flayers horrific beasts rather than the weak things they appeared in the EA build. It is obvious from several scenes that the devs have tried to make mind flayers scary and this could be further improved.

Last edited by largh; 12/10/20 09:06 AM.
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Can't really meaningfully comment on that, as I'm not an EA player, but judging by your description, I'd agree. I don't have a problem with the protagonists being thrown into something much bigger (than tier 1), but it should feel like they're caught between forces way beyond their weight.

Another issue entirely is weather and day/night cycle, which has been discussed/suggested in another thread.

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I agree. The visuals don't match the tone.

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Originally Posted by QuietCountryCafe
They actually mentioned in a reddit AMA that they have a fully adaptive visual grit system they're working on that wasn't ready yet. Dunno if it made it into EA.

On the sarcasm in dialogue point, there was a line of dialogue with Gale that was the PC making a pun, and it felt bad that I lost approval for it...


What is that?

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Originally Posted by Uncle Lester
Another issue entirely is weather and day/night cycle, which has been discussed/suggested in another thread.


Could you post a link to that thread?

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Originally Posted by largh
Originally Posted by Uncle Lester
Another issue entirely is weather and day/night cycle, which has been discussed/suggested in another thread.


Could you post a link to that thread?


Well I've given up on D/N cycle and different weathers. I mean, a game doesn't necessarily need them but especially in D&D they do make a difference.

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I have to disagree with the day/night cycles. I'm not against the idea, but it really is "too much work". And you also have to think about the game implications. Is it just a visual thing? Or does it affect gameplay? If it's a visual thing, it wouldn't be that hard, but you'd have to ask yourself if it's worth it. You can't even see the sky most of the time. If it's a gameplay thing and it affects skills, spells, combat or NPC behaviors, then this really should've been planned from the beginning. I think it's far too late for anything like that this late into development.

Perhaps a toggle button for the D/N cycle would be an idea and they could give some stealth advantages and increase the amount of enemies during the night. But, would the NPCs change their behaviors? Would they go to bed or stay outside all the time? I don't know, it just doesn't seem feasible to me and it doesn't seem like Larian actually wanted to implement this feature during the planning stages. They've probably shifted their resources into making cutscenes and increasing the overall quality of the game which I totally agree with. Perhaps they could work on the D/N cycles for their next installment. I'm assuming they'll make quite a bit of revenue with this game and will have a lot of re-usable assets ready so they can shift their focus towards new features.

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Originally Posted by Raiyan
Is it just a visual thing? Or does it affect gameplay?


Obviously, there is no point in introducing day/night cycle if it did not influence everything especially in the D&D setting where day and night make a huge tactical difference as you write. IMO, the game would not have needed the cutscenes but the voice acting and narrator would have been sufficient. I would have rather focused the resources on tactical gameplay elements and the atmosphere such as the D/N cycle. Obviously, I am not deciding about these things and am likely to represent a minority. It might be a lost cause unless Larian decides to go for it. It would not be the first time they would do a crazy effort to make their game better. They are a large studio now capable of doing large undertakings if they so decide.

Light influences how we perceive things. Those vampire encounters on a graveyard in BG2 were epic because they took place in the night. Comparable graveyard scene in D:OS2 was not memorable because it took place in the middle of the day or at least you would not have to time it and wait for the night.

Last edited by largh; 13/10/20 10:34 AM.
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Originally Posted by largh
Originally Posted by Raiyan
Is it just a visual thing? Or does it affect gameplay?

Light influences how we perceive things. Those vampire encounters on a graveyard in BG2 were epic because they took place in the night. Comparable graveyard scene in D:OS2 was not memorable because it took place in the middle of the day or at least you would not have to time it and wait for the night.


I see what you mean and I agree with you on that. Lighting and effects can certainly enhance the mood and atmosphere. One way they could implement this feature would be through post-processing effects. I'm a huge Guild Wars fan and I grew up with that game and, because every map was its own instance, they didn't feel the need to implement a day/night cycle. Instead, they added these small post-processing effects throughout parts of the map, so that upon entering that area the sky would change to appear darker/brighter, red/green, etc., simulating the effects of day/night cycle or weather and enhancing the overall atmosphere. The feeling you got when all of a sudden the sky turned dark with clouds and in front of you appeared a skeleton necromancer was palpable.

It's not an expensive feature and I think this could work in BG3 as a workaround.

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Originally Posted by largh
[quote=Raiyan]
Light influences how we perceive things. Those vampire encounters on a graveyard in BG2 were epic because they took place in the night. Comparable graveyard scene in D:OS2 was not memorable because it took place in the middle of the day or at least you would not have to time it and wait for the night.


I just imagined escape from Candlekeep with Gorion during the day.....

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Originally Posted by largh
Originally Posted by Uncle Lester
Another issue entirely is weather and day/night cycle, which has been discussed/suggested in another thread.


Could you post a link to that thread?


Yep! It's this one.

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Man, I've been a lifelong fan of the series, but I have to say thanks to nostalgia goggles some people surely love to attribute to BG1 and 2 characteristics they never actually had.
"Amazing writing", "a very grimdark tone" and a "dark atmosphere" are only some recent examples that come to mind.


P.S. For those who are wondering: asking for a day/night cycle (which I would personally love to get) is probably a waste of time. Larian has been rather explicit about the fact that they can't be bothered implementing it.
They consider it too much work for too little payback to be done "properly".
I'd argue that even a mediocre implementation would be better than its entire absence, but hey, I'm not the one in charge.

Last edited by Tuco; 13/10/20 01:11 PM.

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