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Re: Remove Height and Backstab as Sources of Advantage/Disadvantage [Re: Acehigh] #721936
29/10/20 05:30 PM
29/10/20 05:30 PM
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RumRunner151 Offline
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Originally Posted by Acehigh
I agree with the OP.

I feel like Larian seem to have a few main options with ways to go with these two (High ground advantage and backstab advantage)

1) Leave it as is and diminish/invalidate 56+ spells/abilities, some of which are core parts of a class/subclass/spell list
- Terrible idea as then they have to look at adjusting all these other abilities to compensate or just make them feel almost worthless.
- This isn't counting even higher level spells abilities, just the ones the OP mentioned, it's an insane development resource cost to try to fix the balancing problems introduced from keeping it this way.

2) Modify it so they don't give advantage but still give some benefit. A +2 bonus from high ground and -2 malus from low ground emulates 5e half-cover decently well and a +2 Backstab bonus seems to be a common homebrew instead of advantage for flanking.
- Not a bad idea, still gives people a feeling that using verticality/backstabbing has a tactical impact
- Still allows for all the 56+ advantage/disadvantage granting abilities/spells/features to have proper impact and not feel like wasted resources

3) Remove it completely
- Unfortunately makes the emphasis of verticality in game not feel as impactful
- Most in line with how 5e Tabletop works

Personally I would like them to implement both 2 and 3 and have it as an option but I would settle for option 2.

If both 2/3 were options people could choose from, then people that want a more pure 5e implementation can have their way, and those that don't care about 5e specifics still get the option to make backstab/highground impactful.


+100 to OP for a well thought out and well-written post. #2 option would be my preference. BUT what I would REALLY like to see is these added as options under a COMPLEX difficulty system not a simple Easy, Medium, Hard setting.

Re: Remove Height and Backstab as Sources of Advantage/Disadvantage [Re: Isaac Springsong] #721985
29/10/20 06:08 PM
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I do not understand why this is a 2 page topic in the mega threads section, and 100 page discussions about party size are in another section.

Re: Remove Height and Backstab as Sources of Advantage/Disadvantage [Re: Isaac Springsong] #722020
29/10/20 06:37 PM
29/10/20 06:37 PM
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SacredWitness Offline
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The direction of D&D over the last decade and so has not been favoring more complex rules. In fact, they've been for making the game more accessible. Given the medium, I can't fault several of these changes. They're readily defensible. I think this is ultimately going to come down to whether or not the resulting rules are fun, not on some 5E purity test.

It does make a lot of sense from a simulationist standpoint to keep the height and backstab rules as they are. In tabletop there is no facing but in the game there clearly is. It's a mistake to blindly advocate for RAW when the fundamental assumptions of the game change. There is no 5 foot grid. There is no implied bobbing and weaving in some abstracted space where everyone's turns are implied to be happening concurrently.

The surface gripes seems to be more legit to me than this one. Sure they may be cool but they also make a mess, literally, of the terrain and complicate things. That criticism can be maintained in the context of the medium. I'm not sure this one can.

Re: Remove Height and Backstab as Sources of Advantage/Disadvantage [Re: OneManArmy] #722183
29/10/20 08:43 PM
29/10/20 08:43 PM
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Isaac Springsong Offline OP
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Originally Posted by OneManArmy

I do not understand why this is a 2 page topic in the mega threads section, and 100 page discussions about party size are in another section.


Because writing these up takes mental energy and usually I end up getting distracted by responses to other posts haha.

Re: Remove Height and Backstab as Sources of Advantage/Disadvantage [Re: SacredWitness] #722185
29/10/20 08:45 PM
29/10/20 08:45 PM
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Isaac Springsong Offline OP
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Originally Posted by SacredWitness
The direction of D&D over the last decade and so has not been favoring more complex rules. In fact, they've been for making the game more accessible. Given the medium, I can't fault several of these changes. They're readily defensible. I think this is ultimately going to come down to whether or not the resulting rules are fun, not on some 5E purity test.

It does make a lot of sense from a simulationist standpoint to keep the height and backstab rules as they are. In tabletop there is no facing but in the game there clearly is. It's a mistake to blindly advocate for RAW when the fundamental assumptions of the game change. There is no 5 foot grid. There is no implied bobbing and weaving in some abstracted space where everyone's turns are implied to be happening concurrently.

The surface gripes seems to be more legit to me than this one. Sure they may be cool but they also make a mess, literally, of the terrain and complicate things. That criticism can be maintained in the context of the medium. I'm not sure this one can.


Except Height and Backstab are exactly *the opposite* of what 5e is intended to be. Complexity through simplicity. There is no complexity when you are completely disregarding 56+ class abilities and spells.

Those do not make sense form a simulationist standpoint, at all. Because they you *must* implement hundreds and hundreds of new changes to compensate for the logic involved in those mechanics, which is literally insane. Remove the mechanics, implement a cover system, or take the 'easy' option and change them to be a static +/-2 modifier.

Re: Remove Height and Backstab as Sources of Advantage/Disadvantage [Re: Isaac Springsong] #722195
29/10/20 08:55 PM
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+1

As someone who comes from tabletop 5e. I agree 100% of everything you mentioned.

I appreciate your constructive feedback, and hope others on the forums could learn a thing or two of HOW you are supposed to formulate feedback.


With that said, of current systems so many things are broken or funky BECAUSE they are not following 5e rules. If they simply just implemented the current rules as written we would haven't most of the problems people are complaining about.

Re: Remove Height and Backstab as Sources of Advantage/Disadvantage [Re: Isaac Springsong] #722247
29/10/20 09:47 PM
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High ground for archers is only an advantage because it makes it difficult for them to be attacked in melee, that's it. All archers need is "line of sight" to a target, higher or lower doesn't make the archer a "better shot" and as stated by the OP (fantastic breakdown BTW) it is in fact more difficult to hit something "top down" because visable cross section of the target decreases the higher you are relative to the target.

If archer A) is on high ground and archer B) is on low ground and both archers have zero cover then the archer with the high dex will have the advantage. If the archer on high ground is behind ramparts then his/her "line of sight" is just as restricted and "chance to hit" remains the same for both archers, both have disadvantages on hit. If I cannot see you then you cannot see me.

I think people think of company fire for this advantage. If you have 200 archers behind a wall firing blindly over the wall being directed by a crow then chances are one of those 200 arrows will hit someone on the other side. If you put one archer on either side of a wall and they blindly fired at each other regardless of height they wont hit anything.

The only exeption is crossbows. You can remain in cover with a crossbow and aim and fire. You don't need to stand, draw, aim and fire like with bows. You cannot fire a bow sat down hiding behind a box BUT it takes far longer to crank and load crossbows. But then you only gain defence/stealth bonuses.

This isn't about 5e rule puritanicalism, it is again stated by the OP "advantages" come from class and come with "disadvantages". Giving all classes the same cheese mechanic is simply not D&D.

Re: Remove Height and Backstab as Sources of Advantage/Disadvantage [Re: Isaac Springsong] #722248
29/10/20 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
Except Height and Backstab are exactly *the opposite* of what 5e is intended to be. Complexity through simplicity. There is no complexity when you are completely disregarding 56+ class abilities and spells.

Those do not make sense form a simulationist standpoint, at all. Because they you *must* implement hundreds and hundreds of new changes to compensate for the logic involved in those mechanics, which is literally insane. Remove the mechanics, implement a cover system, or take the 'easy' option and change them to be a static +/-2 modifier.

If you want simplification, you've already gotten it. Who is to say those other abilities will get implemented at all? From an app dev standpoint, what you say you want has already been achieved. You may not like the implementation, but that doesn't change that fact.

As a point of contention, "complexity through simplicity" makes zero logical sense. It's a self-contradictory statement. It's like asking for dry water.

Last edited by SacredWitness; 29/10/20 09:49 PM.
Re: Remove Height and Backstab as Sources of Advantage/Disadvantage [Re: Isaac Springsong] #722277
29/10/20 10:19 PM
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It's actually pretty much the same kind of problem we have with environmental damage. At the moment in the game, you can achieve better results of AoE damage by using fire bolt cantrip with powder and firewine barrels than an actual AoE spell. And I am worried higher spells like fireball or cone of cold will look ridiculous compared to barrelmancy or hoardermancy. This is quite concerning.

Last edited by Nyanko; 29/10/20 10:19 PM.
Re: Remove Height and Backstab as Sources of Advantage/Disadvantage [Re: Isaac Springsong] #722301
29/10/20 10:44 PM
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Zahur Offline
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Today morning I sent similar feedback via Larian's formular, with special mention that high ground rule have same power level as 9th level spell Foresight: You touch a willing creature and bestow a limited ability to see into the immediate future. For the duration, the target can't be surprised and has advantage on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. Additionally, other creatures have disadvantage on attack rolls against the target for the duration.
From all what I've seen in my 100 hours in-game the backstab and high-ground rule is the worst modification which pretty much invalidates half of D&D rules.


Re: Remove Height and Backstab as Sources of Advantage/Disadvantage [Re: Isaac Springsong] #722452
30/10/20 03:34 AM
30/10/20 03:34 AM
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Remember though guys this isn't a 1 to 1 port of the 5e ruleset. Its a game based on thee 5 E rules taking a pnp game and converting it into a 3D world.

If you want fully authentic there is tabletop simulator

Re: Remove Height and Backstab as Sources of Advantage/Disadvantage [Re: N7Greenfire] #722555
30/10/20 06:57 AM
30/10/20 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by N7Greenfire
Remember though guys this isn't a 1 to 1 port of the 5e ruleset. Its a game based on thee 5 E rules taking a pnp game and converting it into a 3D world.

If you want fully authentic there is tabletop simulator


That's part of the thing too. It can't be a 5E RAW implementation either. Some things just don't work. Even Solasta isn't a purist implementation. They went hard on it, but even they've made tweaks to base rules.

Re: Remove Height and Backstab as Sources of Advantage/Disadvantage [Re: N7Greenfire] #722564
30/10/20 07:07 AM
30/10/20 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by N7Greenfire
Remember though guys this isn't a 1 to 1 port of the 5e ruleset. Its a game based on thee 5 E rules taking a pnp game and converting it into a 3D world.

If you want fully authentic there is tabletop simulator


This is true, but the chassis of the rule set they are using is dnd 5e. That much is obvious. 5e has a lot of systems that might not make sense in a vacuum, but there are connecting systems that help create realism and mechanical balance.

When core rules of a system in 5e are broken or changed, it's not just changing one system, but every system connected to it, and every system connected to those systems. The size and weight of the change determines how far across the chassis the changes are felt.

Without compensation, certain systems can only bend so much before the balance and realism of them start to break. If those systems become compensated, then surrounding systems start to bend, which then need to become compensated, and so on and so forth.

5e does have it's issues, don't get me wrong, but for the most part it does a pretty good job.

I do agree that certain changes from 5e to virtual will make the game better, but I think it's important to look at everything before you change something. Measure twice, cut once.


Personally, the ability to get advantage on almost every attack makes advantage feel lackluster. Why even use Faerie Fire, when I can get on top of a hill and Guiding Bolt, or walk behind them and Inflict Wounds?Chances are that my allies don't need me to risk a spell slot and an action on a Spell save to give them advantage, when they can probably already get it for free.

Re: Remove Height and Backstab as Sources of Advantage/Disadvantage [Re: N7Greenfire] #722583
30/10/20 07:34 AM
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Zahur Offline
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Originally Posted by N7Greenfire
Remember though guys this isn't a 1 to 1 port of the 5e ruleset. Its a game based on thee 5 E rules taking a pnp game and converting it into a 3D world.

If you want fully authentic there is tabletop simulator

I am curious, did you really read the whole post the OP wrote? He is literally proving that this change is just too much with too large consequences. Nobody on this forum want a 1:1 tabletop sim. For example they already changed Ranger class vs 5e ruleset and it's actually quite good. But with this backstab/higround change I wonder why they even bother implementing DnD at all. It's that big.

Re: Remove Height and Backstab as Sources of Advantage/Disadvantage [Re: Evandir] #722584
30/10/20 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Evandir
Originally Posted by N7Greenfire
Remember though guys this isn't a 1 to 1 port of the 5e ruleset. Its a game based on thee 5 E rules taking a pnp game and converting it into a 3D world.

If you want fully authentic there is tabletop simulator



Personally, the ability to get advantage on almost every attack makes advantage feel lackluster. Why even use Faerie Fire, when I can get on top of a hill and Guiding Bolt, or walk behind them and Inflict Wounds? Chances are that my allies don't need me to risk a spell slot and an action on a Spell save to give them advantage, when they can probably already get it for free.




But you wont always be able to start on the high ground without investment, like when you try to save the deep gnome. In situations like that Faerie Fire is really good. High ground adds more realism and tactical consideration's to combat. "Do i risk mist stepping Gale to try and blast the goblins off the hill, or is he gunna die?" "Man im glad i have shadowheart's group stealth to be able to position properly"


Last edited by N7Greenfire; 30/10/20 07:53 AM.
Re: Remove Height and Backstab as Sources of Advantage/Disadvantage [Re: Zahur] #722585
30/10/20 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Zahur
Originally Posted by N7Greenfire
Remember though guys this isn't a 1 to 1 port of the 5e ruleset. Its a game based on thee 5 E rules taking a pnp game and converting it into a 3D world.

If you want fully authentic there is tabletop simulator

I am curious, did you really read the whole post the OP wrote? He is literally proving that this change is just too much with too large consequences. Nobody on this forum want a 1:1 tabletop sim. For example they already changed Ranger class vs 5e ruleset and it's actually quite good. But with this backstab/higround change I wonder why they even bother implementing DnD at all. It's that big.


wdym? Try to imagine your campaigns in a real d environment, your archer is going to want to go to the top of a tower or climb a tree for advantage right? If your rogue sneaks behind someone hes gong have a good chance of dealing some damage. Just because the environment plays a part in advantage does not mean spells are useless. You wont always be able to take the highground without investment.

Last edited by N7Greenfire; 30/10/20 07:52 AM.
Re: Remove Height and Backstab as Sources of Advantage/Disadvantage [Re: N7Greenfire] #722691
30/10/20 09:52 AM
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Zahur Offline
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Originally Posted by N7Greenfire

wdym? Try to imagine your campaigns in a real d environment, your archer is going to want to go to the top of a tower or climb a tree for advantage right? If your rogue sneaks behind someone hes gong have a good chance of dealing some damage. Just because the environment plays a part in advantage does not mean spells are useless. You wont always be able to take the highground without investment.

Archer is gonna go high-ground for advantage, but not the advantage in terms on DnD rules which is much stronger condition (again, see first post). By being high-ground you can ignore ground obstacles, in other word, you can ignore eventual cover. And don't forget the high ground advantage is currently applied even to spells like Guiding Bolt, which is by description a beam of ligh. How does a beam of light take advantage from high ground?

We have no problem here with rogue sneaking behing someone to get extra damage with good accuracy. The problem is: (1) everybody can do that, not just Rogue. (2) It' not sneaking when you leap over enemy or walk around them in middle of fight. (3) You actually don't even need to succeed in Sneak skill check. (4) You can backstab with spell also, try e.g Inflict Wounds.

So, I actually agree what are you saying but the game behaves very differently.


Re: Remove Height and Backstab as Sources of Advantage/Disadvantage [Re: Isaac Springsong] #722701
30/10/20 10:17 AM
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Nyanko Offline
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The main problem in making the game more accurate in terms of when to declare an advantage or not will be the percentage of success lowering down dramatically at low level. Will players like the fact they have to wait 5 rounds to kill just one goblin? I am not sure honestly.

I guess they began implementing stricto sensu 5e combat rules but realized it would be too punishing to the pace of combat. So what's the best compromise here?

Re: Remove Height and Backstab as Sources of Advantage/Disadvantage [Re: Nyanko] #722785
30/10/20 12:35 PM
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Zahur Offline
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Originally Posted by Nyanko
The main problem in making the game more accurate in terms of when to declare an advantage or not will be the percentage of success lowering down dramatically at low level. Will players like the fact they have to wait 5 rounds to kill just one goblin? I am not sure honestly.

I guess they began implementing stricto sensu 5e combat rules but realized it would be too punishing to the pace of combat. So what's the best compromise here?

Those rules are such a sensitive small ecosystem, aren't they? Inspired by this reddit post I made my own analysis. I've ran a simulator with 1 million of goblins and let them fight with one immortal 1st level Fighter (STR 16).

Current BG3, Goblin AC8, HP14, 20% of attacks have disadvantage or they are normal, 80% have advantage
Code
              Rounds  Avg  Min  Low  Med High Max StDev
Short Sword  2703117  2.7    2    3    3    3   8   0.6
Warhammer    2425818  2.4    2    2    2    2   8   0.6
Greatsword   2018406  2.0    1    2    2    2   7   0.4

RAW DnD, Goblin AC15, HP7, 20% of attacks have disadvantage or advantage, 80% are normal attacks
Code
              Rounds  Avg  Min  Low  Med High Max StDev
Short Sword  2723422  2.7    1    2    2    2  21   1.7
Warhammer    2498914  2.5    1    2    2    2  23   1.7
Greatsword   1972064  2.0    1    1    1    1  19   1.4

We can clearly see that Larian tries and actually succeed in achiving roughly same total combat durations. Average time to kill a Goblin is same in BG3 as in RAW DnD. Looking to minimal/maximal value and medians (low, middle and high) there is one round difference, which is OK by my standards. The Problems of RAW are very long miss streaks and larger standard deviation which leads to bad feeling and discomfort. So I think if we are trying to persuade Larian to revert all their changes regarding advantage/disadvantage and HP/AC back do RAW DnD, we should suggest an alternative system which deals somehow with those miss streaks.

My favorite solution is simply not interpret all misses as misses. Often you hit but deal no damage. There could be an animation, sparks, taunts, shouts, etc, depending on how close you were on your d20 attack roll.

Other solid solution would be pseudo-random distribution like Dota 2 is using. This will fake die rolls depending on you current streak but maintain the average probability the same.


Re: Remove Height and Backstab as Sources of Advantage/Disadvantage [Re: Nyanko] #722786
30/10/20 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by N7Greenfire
Remember though guys this isn't a 1 to 1 port of the 5e ruleset. Its a game based on thee 5 E rules taking a pnp game and converting it into a 3D world.

If you want fully authentic there is tabletop simulator


...They say in two sentences, completely and totally ignoring the lengthy and detailed post pointing out how many other things this simple change breaks.


Originally Posted by SacredWitness

That's part of the thing too. It can't be a 5E RAW implementation either. Some things just don't work. Even Solasta isn't a purist implementation. They went hard on it, but even they've made tweaks to base rules.


...They say, as they put the final touches on the strawman argument no one was making in the first place.


Originally Posted by Nyanko
The main problem in making the game more accurate in terms of when to declare an advantage or not will be the percentage of success lowering down dramatically at low level. Will players like the fact they have to wait 5 rounds to kill just one goblin? I am not sure honestly.

I guess they began implementing stricto sensu 5e combat rules but realized it would be too punishing to the pace of combat. So what's the best compromise here?


The very first fight in Solasta is a level 2 party with half-cover against some level 2 goblins who have the high ground. You actually have a stronger position in that game, because the goblins don't have free Advantage. In BG 3, that same fight on the low ground would be a frustrating series of misses. Also the goblins tend to die in 1-2 hits in Solasta, instead of 2-4 in BG 3.

It is really convenient how everyone cheering high ground advantage conveniently pretends that their party always, always 100% of the time has the high ground advantage, and 0% of the time has the low ground disadvantage. No, you don't get to do that.

The combat in Solasta feels a lot better than in BG 3, because positioning actually matters more in that game thanks to how it implements cover, and doesn't give goblins infinite range consumables to throw or magic arrows to fire. The pace of the combat feels better. This is not a matter of Larian "realizing the 5e combat rules would be punishing to the pace of combat". It's a matter of Larian having no confidence in themselves and their ability to deliver a satisfying combat experience without making it flashy and splashy with explosions and surface effects everywhere, because those are the last two games they made, and were very successful at.

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