Larian Banner
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#716608 25/10/20 06:46 PM
Joined: Oct 2020
M
Maerd Offline OP
apprentice
OP Offline
apprentice
M
Joined: Oct 2020
I've sent it to Larian directly too but I'm not sure if they bother to read it all... So, maybe someone will find this interesting here.


First of all, the game is fantastic! Hopefully, the amount of content and variability stays the same, while quality of narrative will improve, for all chapters. I've spent 80 hours on just one playthrough (I guess, you can subtract ~30% of that time on reloads due to bugs and crashes) and despite bugs, it was already a lot of fun. So, after hearing suggestion to play evil playthrough I did just that. Here are my thoughts on the experience.

Part 1: How to make EVIL work and why I never play as "evil" characters in computer games.

Before I start discuss evil representation in the BG3 game I have to make some definitions, because the term Evil is quite vague. At the same time, I don't want to make a large philosophical dispute here. Therefore, putting philosophy aside, I just define evil, thus, anyone who read this can be on the same page with me regarding what I'm talking about.

I. The reason for evil to exist.

The evil characters vary a lot but share the sociopathic foundation. Committing crimes according to laws are not necessarily equals to evil acts but that is already established in D&D as lawful/chaotic vs good/evil spectrum. The reason for evil actions, if we aren't taking in account psychotic behaviour, is always either easy resources/money/gold; or amount of resources/money/gold unachievable by honest means; or to gain power, which cannot be achieved by other means (therefore, lots of resources). And we have to note that in a modern society, a person is considered evil, when such person is taking advantage of other people by either denying them access to their resources in some way or denying them their rights and freedoms, which the person in question enjoys himself, while benefiting from those taken resources and/or freedoms.

Sometimes RPG's "evil" option is considered asking a reward for provided services, even though you get the same a reward anyway. Such "evil" behaviour is rather a neutral option, but it would be funny, if you get nothing but simple "thanks" for quests if you specifically don't ask for a reward (depending on the personality of the quest giver). Also to be "evil" you often suppose to do every possible bad thing over the top (i.e. to get your "evilness points"), however, this is just stupid. I'm heavily NOT in favour of "evil" actions without the motive for the sake of "evilness". Evil people, as a matter of fact, in most cases don't see themselves as evil or at least hide their evil intentions. They always justify their evil actions either as some justified behaviour forced by circumstances, or that they did nothing wrong, or that their victims are worse than them and thus deserved their fate. Most evil people even spend effort to be perceived as beneficiaries for their community such as charities (which can be a scams by itself), making PR campaigns, building infrastructure for communities, etc.

II. Evil character archetypes.

Evil characters (by MODERN standards) can be classified in several categories:

1. Murderers
a) Robbers/looters, who murder people for some gains, usually to acquire their wealth and resources. Cannibals, raiders and people who conduct wars of conquest also fall into this category because they murder to gain resources.
b) Serial killers, who kill for pleasure, of course, exist, but they are rare and they never do it openly. In most cases they avoid big brawls and choose/attack their victims when they absolutely sure are easy preys.
c) Assassins, who murder as a job or for an idea (i.e. religious).

2. Thieves usually don't murder people and acquire material wealth by stealing stealthily and can sometimes be even against murder and violence. Some thieves can be neutral if they steal out of desperation rather than liking such lifestyle. By some reason, stealing (not from enemies or questionable organizations) is not considered an evil act (you can loot anything anywhere without getting "evilness points") in most CRPGs.

3. Confidence artist/charlatans who rarely kill anyone through violence. They usually just get their gains by various sorts of scams. More often than not they are pathological liars and shift their allegiances depending on circumstances. Especially talented con artists can create religious cults; pseudoscientific societies with large following; or long running companies, which produce fake medical or other types of fake products.

4. Avengers who choose wide groups of people as their target for some injustices (or perceived injustices), perpetrated against the avengers. They don't necessarily kill their targets but will choose any available option to harm their victims. In some cultures it isn't considered evil. I.e. in Old Norse society brutal revenge with massacres was considered an honourable deed. It was encouraged and expected from any decent member of the society.

5. Extreme supremacists who consider their own group of people (or perceived group of people) to be superior to other groups by the virtue of belonging to that supposedly exquisite group. Slavery, racism, etc. stem from this category. Also we should note that this category hasn't been perceived as evil by anyone before the Enlightenment Age and even then the shift was very gradual and slow.

6. Social darwinists ("wolf pack mentality") believe that the strongest has a right to anything that he can take and the weak have no rights at all if they cannot defend them. This produces the whole spectrum of antisocial behaviour but that doesn't mean that the person who believe in such doctrine doesn't follow the law. If the law exists in such society that means that those who are in charge can enforce them by the right of being the strongest. In the real world organized crime groups and many medieval societies with strict hierarchical structure usually followed wolf pack mentality principles. Following this principles doesn't mean that the weakest are being murdered or robbed left and right. However when the resources are scarce, the weakest always get the shortest straw.

7. Exploiters who take advantage of other people, especially when they are in a desperate situation. Those evil people are mostly law-abiding if they live in a society with other people, however at any opportunity they take advantage of others weaknesses and desperation.

8. Aggressive and cruel people who conduct usually non-lethal acts of aggression and/or cruelty of various fashion. Majority of them commit only minor crimes, or don't even commit crimes if judged by the medieval standards. People who commit domestic violence, getting into fights in taverns, etc. This is the most numerous category of people and everyone who didn't live under the rock all their life met those types of people.

There are also a category of people who are easily manipulated and perpetrate evil acts on behalf of evil people believing that they are doing it for greater good. It's hard to categorize them because they can be as fanatical in helping people if influenced by good people.

If someone fits into one group, it may or may not necessary fit into another. Sometimes one type of evil character can view types of evil deeds that he doesn't practice as inappropriate behaviour, i.e. an assassin sometimes may view thieves or robbers as inappropriate criminals because they target people indiscriminately. And a motive is the key. For example, a thief that saves another person's life, if that thief doesn't risk much, is not a good act if by doing that he secures approval of the community (i.e. to reduce suspicion) and/or secures a potential ally if he needs anything from this person later. The thief is still evil.

III. Evil playthrough has very limited options for roleplaying (for now).

How does this plays out in the game in the current state? Firstly, I need to point out that regardless of any playthroughs a huge effort has been made into the alternative content, which creates many STORYTELLING NON-LINEARITIES, which isn't the case for most of the games. It's greatly appreciated, it's fantastic!

I, normally, don't play as an "evil" character in CRPGs. Most of the time in the games evil is represented as something so ridiculously bad (evil for the sake of evil, just because), stupid and one dimensional, that it just cannot be taken seriously, therefore, boring. Such "evil" is usually represented in children's cartoons and many movies (for children and adults). So far BG3 is a typical game with mostly caricature evil characters. And it's a general problem.

Imagine if players were allowed to abuse your party members and keep them in the party by intimidation. Or if the protagonist will conspire with Lae'zel (she hates Shadowheart) to torture Shadowheart to learn her secrets and find out what she's up to. This is very real, mundane evil and the most common evil in the world (8). If you'll ever make a game where you allow playing as a mundane evil character the game might be outright banned in some countries. Making a realistic playthrough as a con artist (3) making a religious cult or some elaborate scam will also be banned due to possible backlash from very real organizations that will see it as an attack on themselves or you have to make the scam caricature over the top evil with idiotic goals. I like though how tiefling con artist kids are shown in the game. I like how they never admit the scam even if you reveal it. They are very well done characters.

The game will be also be banned if you allow to roleplay supremacists (5), which are not over the top evil (i.e. also murderous). For example, Lae'zel is a supremacist but it isn't enough evil to pass the current allowed standards for games, she also enjoys meaningless murder (according to her dialogues), which doesn't make much sense based on her other dialogues where she is very goal oriented. If you make her less brutal then some critics will be bashing Larian for condoning racism.

I haven't seen the CRPG where you can roleplay an exploiter (7). The exploiter in the BG3 game is the hag. She is shown very well, as she is taking advantage of desperate people (refugees). But in BG3 you cannot roleplay an exploiter yourself. There is no option to take advantage of refugees. I don't mean killing them and taking their stuff but rather something like taking their money for buying supplies of food and pocketing them, or selling them spoiled food for hefty sums of money, or selling them fake medicine for sick, or getting all their valuables for some minor but essential help, etc.

Playing an avenger (4) is sometimes possible in games but such games always sugarcoat such behaviour by making the target group caricature evil, thus roleplaying as evil avenger is not possible because somehow it's self-censored in games. In BG3 you can try a limited version of it by playing as Lae'zel and murdering mind flayers on the spot (the friendly one too) but Lae'zel doesn't attack friendly mind flayer if the main character doesn't want to do it. But, considering that mind flayers are overwhelmingly evil themselves, it doesn't really make a mind flayer hater an evil avenger type.

Can we roleplay the the social darwinists (6) in the game? Theoretically yes, but practically no. Practically it's impossible because such behaviour is supposed to be restricted by the possibility of the backstabbing or severe backlashing from people with the same views who are around you. Power and charisma of others is supposed to be respected, however with unlimited save/load possibility such roleplay will be degraded into no respect for anyone whatsoever and a murder spree turning into a serial killer gameplay because on the 25th reload you'll succeed your rolls anyway, therefore, you don't need to be cautious about challenging someone too strong. To be viable, such gameplay would require "Iron Man" mode with permadeath. Therefore depiction of such interactions is possible in specific games about mafia where your respect for powerful crime bosses is hardcoded in the form of inability to challenge them in game before time is appropriate. According to the lore, drow society is based on the principles of the wolf pack, where the strongest alpha female is on the top and always is being challenged by betas for supremacy. However, disrespect for weakness doesn't mean they are stupid evil like BG3 represents Minthara. For example, Minthara kills Sazza for no reason after she shows her respect and loyalty just because she's "evil". What logically happen when a leader of different species behave like that? Firstly, it tells our evil protagonist that she is just crazy maniac, therefore dealing with her is a waste of time. Secondly, other goblins, who saw that, will not be loyal and likely crack a skull of the crazy drow at night just to prevent to be randomly killed themselves. Wolf pack mentality rewards boot licking and submissiveness. Then Minthara by some reason wants specifically kill refugees... why does she even care about them at all. It's like in the cartoon for 5 year olds the main villain wants to steal an ice cream and conquer the world with the first task being the most important. Why does she or Absolute want to kill druids is not explained either (not even a fake motive given). But, at least, druids are kind of serious organization worth of being an enemy of some new god. It's better be explained later though.

So, we can roleplay evil character only as a thief (2), or as a murderer (1), like in many other CRPGs, which allow "evil". For a thief there is nothing to steal in the chapter 1, but in the middle of the wilderness it's hard to imagine that there is anything valuable worth stealing. You can be a petty thief but that has no real sense because the hustle doesn't worth the trouble. Thieves' guild is not present in the given chapter, therefore, I cannot evaluate their believability. What remains is to become a genocidal murderer with, unfortunately, "stupid evil" alignment most of the time. There's no insentive to commit murder and genocide because it gives in return no power, no money, no powerful weapons, and no magical artifacts of any importance. Siding with the drow Minthara is stupid for an evil character, who is not an idiot, after she orders to kill Sazza for no reason right in front of you. If we could kill Minthara and take over the goblin army for ourselves (as a new champion of absolute?) then it would have been an interesting option for an evil character. Currently if you want to be evil you need to roleplay an idiot, and I dislike to roleplay idiots. I'm sure it can be fixed.

There are other issues with roleplaying evil. When you come to the gate of the settlement where the Druid's grove is, you're forced to fight goblins. As an evil character I shouldn't care as long as goblins don't attack me. I'm convinced that joining the battle should be optional. To solve this problem, I went into a stealth mode and waited the whole battle, just skipping turns, for them to sort it out against themselves. Zevlor remained the only one still standing and won. To my surprise, there was no cut scene to get inside and I hoped that the game recognized me not participating in the battle, but no: as soon as I entered the settlement everybody were praising me for my invaluable help, which broke the game immersion completely. Then I went to the Grove and there were druids who didn't let me pass. When you talk to them only two options remain, to step forward or to say that if you're a hero who killed goblins outside. So, as a first option, in my opinion, shouldn't even exist I have to attack the druids. Where's the option that "I don't give a flying @#$% about your ritual but I need a healer NOW or if I become a mind flayer, it will be really bad for you too"? Then, when they attack you the game bugs out and half of the people in the grove just start to walk out and by some reason some druids somehow outside of the circle area start massacring locals... What??? I didn't plan to interfere on behalf of anyone. And I didn't plan or expect such reaction at all. Then locals tell me that I helped them... How? I just defended myself from some irrational attack and were not helping them. This is just a mess, that should be fixed. Then, when I approach mushroom folk, the initial conversation has only "evil" attack on the spot option or "good" "I want to help you..." option. Leaving is not a good option for an adventurer of any kind. It should have other sane options for conversation for characters of any alignment, such as asking if they have mages, healers, or someone else who can help you with the problem. Then the mushroom who helps killing druegars asks you to wipe the colony... for 3 scrolls. What? Considering how many enemies there, is reward going to include a Wish spell among them? No? Why should my evil character bother?

IV. Conclusion about evil playthrough.

1. I like the variety of choices and play paths a lot. Just because of that my enjoyment with this game is already very high.

2. Evil playthrough right now is seriously lacking but can be fixed. It needs more variety of evil to roleplay, it needs reasonable evil to be interesting.

3. Resorting to evil action should provide appropriate rewards: either easy money type or high risk high reward type, which pays better than being good.

4. Evil characters should be more nuanced than just having every "evil" quality you can stick to them and also idiots to boot because I expect adults as a target player base.

5. Well done evil character is Aunty Ethel. She has motivation and she is not dumb. She is very evil but not evil in every way possible (i.e. for the purpose of blending in, she actually heal people in the settlement, otherwise nobody will ask her for other more questionable "services"). I hope the quality of other evil characters in the final game will be on par or better than her.

Part 2: Characters

1. Lae'zel

Lae'zel is a hit and miss. From the initial interactions we learn that Lae'zel is a supremacist/racist, pragmatist, purposeful character. She values strength, power and efficiency. I like the characterization in interactions with her on the ship very much, like when she says to stop trying to rescue everyone and concentrate on the goal of getting out. Unfortunately, later in the game she is given, by unknown reason, maniacal qualities to her character, like liking meanigless slaughter despite it doesn't approach the goal of reaching githyanki compatriots. Why? She's already evil enough, is it really necessary to make her a caricature?

Regarding "Lae'zel disapproves", I feel like this is the character who shouldn't just silently disapprove my decisions. As I mentioned above, I really like the interaction on the ship where she values her opinion above yours and tell you how you must act, in her opinion. I would be great if it continues throughout the game since she's the type that likes when you agree with her. So, before she disapproves anything she should tell you in your face what she think you must do. You can do what she thinks is right course of actions and get an approval, contradict her and get either disapproval or, if it doesn't contradict her world view too much, a charisma/persuasion roll to avoid disapproval (may be also get some bonus/penalty depending on your current reputation with her). Because she is a goal oriented character she logically should disapprove ANY side quest activity that doesn't advance you to her goal. Because she values strength, power and efficiency she should approve if your combat performance is stronger than anyone (in the party, she must be present) in every combat, and disapprove if your combat performance is beyond some threshold (i.e. you've been knocked out before her, or you have dealt very few damage to enemies during a combat). I like the interaction on the ship when she comments that she likes that you are good in combat but that should vary depending on your performance and she should makes such comments throughout the game with some note like "Lae'zel disapproves your combat performance" (but only for combats, which were not a cakewalk, i.e. lasted certain amount of rounds).

Her angry and soft lines should be fixed. I think the aggressive "Speak. Quickly." line doesn't fit very well for a conversation start. You can make it sounds annoyed rather than angry, which, in my opinion, would serve her better. Now her answers switch between angry and soft moods way too sudden and out of the blue and the dialogue looses believability.

2. Astarion

As far as I can tell, he's a well done character. He's secretive about his origin, he likes meaningless slaughter and enjoys violence for the sake of it. He's clearly killing for pleasure type (1a) of evil, which suits to a vampire spawn. Therefore, he makes sense. His initial interaction doesn't make sense. You companions should react on him attacking you. For example, Shadowheart and Gale, I would imagine, will shout "Watch out!", Lae'zel and Wyll (yeah, it's theoretically possible) should just knock him out. I hope this will be fixed. In my playthrough I didn't find out his vampiric origin therefore some of the interactions I haven't seen. I don't like the voice acting of Astarion, for me it sounds very annoying. But I accept some people might like it, and it's a matter of personal taste. It would have been great if he chimed in in dialogues more often.

3. Shadowheart

Shadowheart is a solid character. From what I learned she's secretive, witty, sarcastic, loves animals, likes demonstration of power, likes solution to problems through cunning methods, dislikes unnecessary violence and when the main character interferes into somebody else's business without direct necessity. I haven't found any contradictory reactions from her but I definitely didn't see all her reactions and dialogues. She behaves like a neutral character. As with other character I'd like to chime in in dialogues more often. It would be great if she even start arguing with Lae'zel while you're talking with someone as they usually.

4. Wyll and Gale

Because I played an evil character, I decided not to travel with them, so, I'll send the feedback on them later.

5. Zevlor

This character is unconvincing as a leader. He should get more determination or charisma in his dialogues. Right now he is perceived by me more like a damsel in distress type than his people's leader. I don't know what exactly wrong: maybe it's his facial/physical expression, maybe his voice acting, or maybe both. It would be good if he was remade to sound and look more charismatic.

6. Aunty Ethel

A perfect evil character. I like that she also doesn't want to fight to death, which I wish more characters did the same in proper circumstances.

7. Kagha and Nettie

They died before I had a chance to talk to them because of the weird/incorrect druid grove initial interaction.

8. Tiefling children

Well done minor characters.

9. Sazza

I like this character. It would have been cool if we could take her as a companion character. Judging by her zeal, she looks like an easily manipulated fanatic, whom the protagonist can convert into any type of zealous admirer (i.e. deifying the main character). smile

10. Minthara

I already discussed her in the feedback about evil. She's not a well done character. She has a "stupid evil" alignment. I'd like to see her more of a smart ruthless leader, a cunning schemer, and/or a charismatic tempter, etc.; not an over the top irrational psychotic lunatic she is now, which is not believable at all. Irrational lunatics don't become leaders for long. If we look at crazy leaders in history like Caligula, he initially made efforts to be popular by generously giving money to military, and arranging entertainment for common folk. As soon as he crossed the red line he was promptly assassinated. If Minthara is a very recent lunatic leader then she should have a few rivals already willing to get rid of her, i.e. Gut, who is more reasonable and a goblin to boot. If there will be a plot to switch the leadership then it can be fine. But still incentives for being evil are required.

11. Lump the Enlightened and co.

Very good and entertaining minor characters. They provide a very good explanation of evil characters motivation: "Tempt me!"

12. Novice Crusher

Good goblin character. I like that he doesn't fight to death. More characters need that.

13. Mushroom folk

Didn't enjoy talking to them. None of them have anything special about them and none have anything interesting to say. Could have been better. Maybe throw in some lore related info and interesting quests. Exterminating a colony is a VERY slow and tedious quest (also it crashes most of the time in the middle of the fight).

14. Animals

I almost didn't communicate with them.

15. Halsin

He died in my playthrough. I didn't have a chance to talk to him. However I think the decision to make him attack alone a swarm of goblins + the protagonist party is rather stupid behaviour. He has no chance even if my companions are level 1. I'd like to see him attacking only if your party is backing him up.

16. Gut

Mostly well made character. My only issue is that she wants her personal "squiddy". How is she going to control illithid if that happens? What's her wisdom stat? Are you sure she's a priest to make such unwise actions? That seems out of character behaviour. Also, I didn't like deus ex machina rescue scene. What are my companions for? Also I want to hear sarcastic quips from Shadowheart, derogatory comments and disapproval by Lae'zel (if you free yourself and escape she should approve), and, maybe, salacious comment by Astarion before they free you (other companions of course should also comment according to their personalities). So, leave this deus ex machina rescue only for solo walkthroughs where you have no companions at all. Also make the rescue girl a "Chekhov's gun" (you can meet her and talk to her in the camp pretending to be someone else. If you attack her, she'll use invisibility and run away).

17. Dror Ragzlin

Adequate character, nothing bad about him, nothing memorable too. Maybe he needs some extra dialogues with him and some quest (not the grove raid) considering he is a goblin leader.

18. Blurg and Omeluum

Adequate characters. The problem is that the during the quest to overthrow the mushroom sovereign they become hostile. I didn't have anything against them and the deal was to get rid of rival mushrooms, not everyone. Therefore, my character has to proceed like a serial killer instead of making targeted assassination. Maybe, make them pissed off but not hostile if I don't attack them. Or start a dialogue in the middle of the fight to clear things up. The same with the dwarf trader.

19. Volo

I like the character, his survey and commentary on my evil actions were funny. It would have been interesting to have him as an additional non-fighting (literally who don't use weapons and attacking magic) party member everywhere to get his comments on everything and help in dialogues.

Part 3: Plot

I. General plot line

I like the general story so far. The initial hook with the tadpole is compelling. The only sketchy thing are the infinite time you can rest without any repercussions, and the strange actions of the Absolute.

The threat of turning into illithid initially encourages you to minimize the number of rests. Then you learn that the ceramorphosis is suspended by Netherise magic and you have unlimited time to do whatever you want while getting superpowers. That was underwhelming. I hope there will be some tweaks made and a sense of threat will be present. I hope that using or not using your tadpole powers will have MAJOR repercussions later on. And not in the binary form like if you used it 9 times it's a happy ending and if 10 then all the world goes to Hell... I'd like to see many grades of repercussions. I can note that right now it's totally possible to finish act 1 with no rest at all and without using tadpole powers. As a wild suggestion of the effect of the mindflayer inside you getting stronger you can make every rest (or every two rests, it's flexible) adds -1 penalty to your abilities dice checks unless you're using help from the illithid powers, which in turn makes it stronger. So, of you rest too much you'll need to rely completely on the tadpole. So, you can have checks like [illithid][persuasion] checks and regular [persuasion] checks of the same interaction, where regular one is adjusted by how many times you made a long rest.

Regarding the Absolute (I guess, it's probably some elder brain with big plans to restore illithid empire), I have a feeling that there are plot holes already in its motivation. Firstly, it supposedly wants to kill all tiefling refugees. What's the point of this action except being evil for the sake of "evil". So far makes no sense. If refugees were githyankies then I'd understood it as a protective preventive measures against potential threat to illithids. Secondly, the Absolute supposedly wants to kill all survivors of the crash. It doesn't make sense. The special tadpoles, the protagonist is infected with, are the same as the same as in the Absolute cultists. Consequently, the initial ship belongs to the Absolute. Therefore, you are/were the part of the same plan as the Absolute cultists. So, what's the point of killing survivors and not just picking them up and recruiting them? Just because "evil"? Then it's laughable. I hope the plot is not that stupid. At the same time Absolute is talking to you in your dreams and encourages you not to resist. In this case, Absolute wants the escapees to become Schrodinger's tadpoles: dead and alive at the same time. Motives are the key for a good narrative. If they will be believable and smart, this game can become the best RPG ever.

When you have "evil conquest of the world" trope, which BG3 plot looks like so far, it's easy to slide the plot into bunch of banalities and overused tricks. I want to believe that this game will surprise me.

II. Specific plot scenarios (which I had in my evil playthrough)

1. Refugees needs more background info conversations. Why there are so many tieflings in one place? The whole BG2 had just 2 of them in Haer'Dalis band. Because right now all characters act like there's nothing extraordinary happens here.

2. Miconoids don't tell you anything interesting. I hope they'll get more content.

3. Aunty Ethel section is mostly excellent however my evil characters by just seeing the girl receive the quest to "save" her when they weren't ask for it and they know clearly that that girl wanted help from the hag herself. The unfinished/failed quest status in the journal sort of forces you to help her to clear it out even though evil characters shouldn't care.

4. The tower with magic elevator is a fun place to explore. Well done.

5. The drow gang and the spectator area needs more work. If you unpetrify any drow there he/she immediately attacks you without being charmed. This is clearly an issue. First of all, the odds are so much not in the favour of unpetrified drow, so, it is very stupid way to act on the very basic level. Also intelligent beings normally don't attack rescuers even if they are evil. What's the point? Rescuers can be useful later and there is a serious risk involved in attacking them. Therefore, I would like to have meaningful conversation with those drows and they shouldn't be aggressive by default unless charmed.

6. Surface level of the goblin camp in my opinion can have more interesting interactions. You can talk to LOTS of goblins but to do something interesting only with few of them. They have a party after all.

7. The camp after goblin victory has lots of tiefling corpses... WHY? It just doesn't make any sense. How did they get there? Corpses also means getting diseases from decomposing corpses. Nobody in the sane mind brings corpses into their camp.

Part 4: Gameplay mechanics suggestions

1. More battles should not be to the death of the final enemy in many circumstances like with novice Crusher and the hag. For example, goblins should just retreat when the odds become heavily not in their favour in the initial big fight (and add more attackers for balance). When druids tell me to go away and I want to see a healer currently they start to fight to the bitter end and create settlement-wide massacre. Really? What are they fighting for? They are all willing to die just to prevent me visiting a healer? Imagine in the real world an injured bandit enters a doctor's office after hours and the security guard tries to push him away and then after the bandit kills the guard all the doctors, secretaries and janitors from the office start attacking the bandit till they all die shot by the intruder... Goblins near the windmill should also retreat if their leader is killed and they have disadvantage. The paladins (last paladin left?) in the lodge should also try to call for mercy if the fight doesn't go their way.

2. There is a mechanic to knock your enemies out. It would be awesome if it can be meaningfully used. Non-monster knocked out enemies later should NOT be aggressive unless attacked again.

3. The advantage you get from height gives you bonus to the chance to hit and collected many complaints from other players. And this is not how it should work in real life. For archery it should increase range and a bit of damage (extra energy of falling down) if the archer is on the high ground and reverse if an archer aims at someone who is higher than him. For melee character it should be even advantageous if someone is standing on the box in front of him because he can chop his opponents legs by covering his head with a shield with ease. The advantage for melee high ground in real battles came from the fact that the attacker had to march uphill for prolonged period of time, which got them very tired when reaching the enemy and that mostly the armies were composed of spearmen (contrary to fantasy combats almost exclusively consist of sword fights), who had the reach to prevent close proximity for leg chopping action, and the fact that high ground battle line could push the ascending enemies to loose their balance and, thus, break the cohesiveness of enemy formation.

4. Stealth right now is ridiculous. You can play peekaboo with your enemies, where if you hide behind the rock in front of them, they "don't know" where you are and will stand still till you attack them and hide again behind that rock. I suggest that mechanics should stay only for mindless creatures (like zombies or skeletons) who didn't see the origin of the attack and/or the character. If an unintelligent creature saw the person before he/she went into hiding they should investigate the spot they saw him/her last time. A creature with even minimal intelligence didn't see the origin of the attack should either run away (for good) or investigate the approximate area where attack came from.

5. Cones of vision and detection range are also ridiculous. Normal humans in real life have peripheral vision, which is close to 180 degrees. If their vision is good they can see other humans on ranges more than a kilometer. Animals (creatures) that has their eyes on the side of their head have almost 360 degrees vision "cone". Besides vision humans and others detect presence of other creatures by sound, smell, heat (snakes), echolocation (bats, whales), etc. No matter how silent and invisible you are, you cannot sneak upon a wolf unless a strong wind is blowing in the opposite direction. They will smell you even if you will become totally invisible. In this game everybody is with severely impaired senses and it's way too unbelievable for a role playing game.

6. Backstab is way too easy in turn base mode, you can just go around your enemy while it standing still and get backstabbing bonus even if you're the only his foe. I suggest that if it's not an attack from hiding the enemy should automatically turn to attacker if no one else is engaged with this enemy.

7. Jumping outside of combat is very tedious. If you want to move your party over the obstacle you have to choose every companion and familiar and manually tell them to do so, while other party members often come to block the jumping spot (very annoying). I hope this will be changed to automatic jumping if your companions can do that. If they cannot even theoretically make a particular jump they should loudly say so (not simultaneously) to warn the player.

8. Jumping in combat gives way too much advantage. I'm against removing such possibilities completely, therefore, I suggest compensating this mechanic with the substantial athletic check to perform a jump, and substantially high acrobatic checks to land properly, which causes to receive attack of opportunity and will make you prone for 1 turn if you fail the roll. Thus, players will choose to jump only if the risk is necessary.

9. Dual wielding gives an off-hand weapon a use as a bonus action, which gives, for example, a thief 1 attack with a main hand and 2 attacks with off-hand. This doesn't seem right that your off-hand is used more often than your main hand. I suggest to substitute this mechanic by giving the bonus action attack to the main hand weapon with "to hit" penalty.

10. I didn't use barrels at all but I saw people complaining about them being too cheesy. I would not remove them completely but it can be changed by making barrels more realistic. For example, real life barrel of water weighs ~200 kg, which is a lot to carry even for one person. Consequently, only the strongest people should be able to carry one. Make a special animation how the character is awkwardly slowly carrying big barrel in both hands and don't allow to have it in your inventory. Therefore, you'll still do all those shenanigans with barrels but it will be way harder to set it up.

11. I like surfaces very much but for low levels in this game they are a bit overpowered at the moment. I like that enemies use them too, it's just they deal so much damage that low hp characters die way too fast. So, balancing would have been great.

12. Eating food during the battle is too much. Maybe, the food should be restricted for use between battles only.

13. Please, make the party members' AI automatically avoid damaging surfaces and discovered traps outside of the combat.

Skipping the bugs section here because there is no point in it here.


I definitely forgot to mention something but you probably already skipped to the bottom bored to read all of it. smile Thanks a lot, if you managed to read everything.

Last edited by Maerd; 25/10/20 07:16 PM.
Joined: Mar 2020
veteran
Offline
veteran
Joined: Mar 2020
Very well made. Your points about alignments, specifically evil, might upset some dnd guys, but are completely valid in my book.

I think that more than the evil characters themselves (you nailed their issues), the problem is the lack of meaningful interaction between them. It's like each one of them is living in his personal universe and it makes the goblin fortress feels like an mmorpg city, when each one of them is a different quest giver. I don't know how much of the good path you played, but although not much better, at least the druid grove has factions and infighting and druids acknowledge the tieflings' existence.

One point about the avenger archetype you alluded to but didn't say explicitly - paladins are kinda evil sometimes


Larian's Biggest Oversight, what to do about it, and My personal review of BG3 EA
"74.85% of you stood with the Tieflings, and 25.15% of you sided with Minthara. Good outweighs evil, it seems."
Joined: Oct 2020
enthusiast
Offline
enthusiast
Joined: Oct 2020
+1

@Abits
Lmao, what he described is the classic system of alignment.


I am here to discuss a video game. Please do not try to rope me into anything other than that. Thank you.
Joined: Mar 2020
veteran
Offline
veteran
Joined: Mar 2020
Originally Posted by Argonaut
+1

@Abits
Lmao, what he described is the classic system of alignment.

Yeah you know what they say, two dnd players three opinions


Larian's Biggest Oversight, what to do about it, and My personal review of BG3 EA
"74.85% of you stood with the Tieflings, and 25.15% of you sided with Minthara. Good outweighs evil, it seems."
Joined: Oct 2020
M
Maerd Offline OP
apprentice
OP Offline
apprentice
M
Joined: Oct 2020
Originally Posted by Abits
Very well made. Your points about alignments, specifically evil, might upset some dnd guys, but are completely valid in my book.


Thanks.

Quote
I think that more than the evil characters themselves (you nailed their issues), the problem is the lack of meaningful interaction between them. It's like each one of them is living in his personal universe and it makes the goblin fortress feels like an mmorpg city, when each one of them is a different quest giver. I don't know how much of the good path you played, but although not much better, at least the druid grove has factions and infighting and druids acknowledge the tieflings' existence.

Yeah, that's a common problem for evil characters in RPGs. Games represent "evilness" itself as some uniting magic force that binds evil characters and makes them all think in the same paradigm. I guess, this is a habit of developers, which still think they have to show evil as if in the games for children even when their game is rated as M/18+.

I haven't tried good playthrough yet, I'll wait for the next big patch to do that.

Quote
One point about the avenger archetype you alluded to but didn't say explicitly - paladins are kinda evil sometimes


Indeed, paladins are more than just sometimes evil. They are lawful and, if the law dictates to slay all members of the opposing religious group, they will do so more often then not without considering whether individual members of that group are good, evil, or neutral.

Last edited by Maerd; 25/10/20 10:05 PM.
Joined: Oct 2020
journeyman
Offline
journeyman
Joined: Oct 2020
holy moly came from another thread cause you said no one reads this.. you were kind of understating how long it was =) Great post and thanks for taking the time of writing all that.

Lae'zel - you are spot on but this is why I love her. Its exactly how I picture a Gith to talk to me. Hell even her own kin talks like that to her.

Aunti .. she is so well done I hate her. And she is so evil its disturbing. Sure she pretends to heal people and be good in town..but some she curses and poisons.. you can find victims of her "help" she is like the demonic djinn in that movie wishmaster. Beware what you ask for.


Shadowheart .. I agree she feels neutral.

Wyll and Gale .. I hate Wyll.. love the look .. love the build and character ..hate his diolog and that whole blade of frontiers thing but that's all my take and he may grow on me later after I force myself to take him. Both seem to be good alignment. as they hate anything remotely evil you do.

Zevlor .. agree. The one eyed child would be a better leader heh ..this guy is WEAK.

Kagha and Nettie.. same .. but I did play with them differently and the outcome was the same each time.. I just cant get over the initial interactions with them. Heh nettie how dare you touch me. and Kagha umm I dont work for you and she is sooo easy to hate.

Sazza would make a awesome slave ..err companion.

Minthara .. she must have like a 4 int. Even as an evil char she had to die. Sorry lady but you are a traitor to your religion and a puppet.

Lump the Enlightened .. This guy should be a companion for evil chars. I feel this guy is wasted. He could be the most intelligent companion with the most eloquent dialog or at minimum be in your camp and be able to talk to him whenever for advice heh.. he is a genius =) and his lines are so good..

Crusher ..totes agree

Halsin. Only lived albeit temporarily, cause there was a possibility he could help.

Gut.. agree. The writing is great here and really sells it that even the most intelligent goblin is stupid.

Dror Ragzlin .. agree. I feel like there is a huge opportunity with him that is wasted. Some of his lines would lead you to believe he doesn't care for the drow much and wants to be the one in charge... let me help him heh. Out of the three evil leaders it would be cool if all three of them try to get you to kill the other two for the leadership of goblins or at least this guy .. he seems smarter than most.

Volo... absolutely brilliant idea. A party member that cant fight .. all he can do is say stuff on each turn and basically follows you around like the brave brave sir robin guys. And the more you take him the better his stories are in camp when he is idle.





Plot. We really need more info after the first "what is all this absolute talk" interaction we have. You cant ask anyone about it without being flagged as traitor. We should be able to speak to dead and find out more or something.. maybe a journal or Speak dead the drow near nettie.

1. Refugees.. seemed weird to me as well .. that's a lot of devils in the same place for literally no reason.

2 yup

3 Aunty Ethel section .. totes agree about the girl and the quest.. As evil I could give AF less about her or why she is whining about eating. No quest should be forced ever.

4. N/A

5 Drow.. good I'm not the only one that finds this annoying af . Playing as a drow in underdark how do they know I'm not a friend coming to save them?

6. Goblin camp. Absolutely! They could hide so many quests here for evil chars

7. Bodies everywhere. AFAIK this is normal goblin behavior as they eat their victims but yeah its over done.

Wont comment on all the rest but a few things.

Barrels .. agree.. you shouldn't even be able to pick one up heh. Like 18+ strength to pick it up and you would be most encumbered. and you wouldn't be able to throw it heh.

Eating during battle? Nope .. who the hell would be like just a minute while I finish my apples?

"Please, make the party members' AI automatically avoid damaging surfaces and discovered traps outside of the combat." OMG yes. The npcs will auto walk out of fire but my team just stands in it.



Last edited by Nabbs; 26/10/20 08:34 PM.

63% of all statistics are completely made up ~ Abraham Lincoln

Link Copied to Clipboard
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5