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Originally Posted by Zahur
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.




Impressive.

I think that could be a part of difficulty options. We will most definitely see a diffculty slider of some kind, but that doesn't stop Larian form implementing different difficulty options as well, e.g.
1. RAW D&D rules for player and AI
2. To hit advantage for player (like X-COM)
3. To hit advantage for player and to miss disadvantage (like X-COM)

The same could be an option for surfaces (damage rules), cantrip (surface&damage rules), and much else.

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Originally Posted by frequentic
Impressive.

I think that could be a part of difficulty options. We will most definitely see a diffculty slider of some kind, but that doesn't stop Larian form implementing different difficulty options as well, e.g.
1. RAW D&D rules for player and AI
2. To hit advantage for player (like X-COM)
3. To hit advantage for player and to miss disadvantage (like X-COM)

The same could be an option for surfaces (damage rules), cantrip (surface&damage rules), and much else.


The trouble with adding a multitude of gameplay-affecting options is that it makes the gameplay harder to balance and test, which increases the workload of the QA team tremendously.

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Originally Posted by Stabbey
Originally Posted by frequentic
Impressive.

I think that could be a part of difficulty options. We will most definitely see a diffculty slider of some kind, but that doesn't stop Larian form implementing different difficulty options as well, e.g.
1. RAW D&D rules for player and AI
2. To hit advantage for player (like X-COM)
3. To hit advantage for player and to miss disadvantage (like X-COM)

The same could be an option for surfaces (damage rules), cantrip (surface&damage rules), and much else.


The trouble with adding a multitude of gameplay-affecting options is that it makes the gameplay harder to balance and test, which increases the workload of the QA team tremendously.


Well, we are in EA to test things, aren't we? They have this opportunity to try different options with us, the 1 million+ EA buyers.

Last edited by Nyanko; 30/10/20 05:53 PM.
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Originally Posted by Nyanko

Well, we are in EA to test things, aren't we? They have this opportunity to try different options with us, the 1 million+ EA buyers.


Yes, but starting with options does not change the requirement to develop, test, support, and balance those options. I think a better way to test what works and what does not is to go back to starting with the 5e ruleset fairly closely, and then seeing what works and what doesn't, and then you can find the places where tweaking rules can be fun.

Right now there are so many changes to gameplay which are all connected and have effects which affect other things that they can't change things piecemeal.

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+100 to the OP.

Reading some of the replies has me thinking a lot of them are conflating having *an* advantage to having Advantage per the 5e rules. High ground might grant an advantage, but it doesn't make it twice as easy to hit the target. Nor does it make you twice as difficult for your enemy to hit.

The backstab rules...am I reading this right? You can just walk up to someone in the middle of a fight, slide around behind them and gain Advantage on your attack? Like he's gonna just stare straight ahead while an armed enemy walks around him...really? Plus backstab damage if you hit? Holy hellbound hobbits, that's crazy! It's so beyond the pale I'd never even tried it in any of my playthroughs.

Dear Larian: Backstab doesn't grant you Advantage. You can only Backstab if you already *have* advantage.

I like the solution of a general +2 for ranged attacks from superior height. It gives you a reason to try for the high ground, but it doesn't doom you if the bad guys get it instead.

It's bizarre to me that Larian hasn't already implemented the Flanking rules. It'd be trivially easy to do. Can you draw a line from center-mass of Character A to the same spot on Character B without touching Target C? If so, he's not flanked. If he's flanked, both A and B get Advantage, but C does NOT get Disadvantage just from being flanked. It makes combat into an ever-shifting, engaging swirl where each side tries to flank or prevent themselves from being flanked. Do you put Gale within that bugbear's reach? If you do, Lae'zel gets Advantage and will probably kill 'ol Buggie..but if she doesn't, Gale's got problems. Especially if the AI has a goblin sprint over just to flank Gale in order for the bugbear to have Advantage on *his* turn.

As mentioned by the OP a high-level fighter and a n00b aren't that far apart hit-percentage wise. Where the 17th level fighter pulls away is in having a ton more ways to gain Advantage or impose Disadvantage on his enemies.

Larian can fairly easily make fighting much more engaging by following the OP's suggestions and by implementing some simple flanking rules.

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No I think the backstab bonus damage is only for the rogue. But still, the advantage is there for everyone and makes it so easier to hit the target if you are behind them even though you were in front of them a few seconds earlier, like the enemy has some kind of fish memory and forgot you were there.

Last edited by Nyanko; 30/10/20 09:35 PM.
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Originally Posted by Nyanko
No I think the backstab bonus damage is only for the rogue. But still, the advantage is there for everyone and makes it so easier to hit the target if you are behind them even though you were in front of them a few seconds earlier, like the enemy has some kind of fish memory and forgot you were there.


Yeah, sometimes folks lump sneak attack and backstab together because they've been used to mean similar things in other games. In BG3: Sneak Attack (damage) = Rogue. "Backstab" (advantage to hit) = Everyone.

Last edited by Nezix; 30/10/20 09:40 PM.
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The only way how to currently fight is with advantage (well that and barrelmancy), however fighting enemies in regular mano a mano should be viable as well which it is not as the game heavilly favors backstabbing and verticality, also all that moving around to not just gain advantage but also to not stand on surfaces and so on makes short range abilities like Protection completely useless. Feel free to prove me wrong.

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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?


First, people are forgetting a key fact:

In normal play, you aren't playing one character.

You're playing one party.

Getting frustrated by a string of misses? Cast a spell that deals guaranteed damage like Shatter. Or a spell that relies on the enemy making a saving through. Or use a spell/ability that increases your chance to-hit like Bless, War Cleric Channel Divinity, Precision Strike from Battlemaster Fighter, etc. As shown, there are 56+ available options for character *just in levels 1-4*. But yes, those methods are going to require resources or risks. That's D&D for you.

Or accept that a string of misses is part of the game and part of the character growth process. Where is the sense of progression in character level and power when you don't have any higher to go? If you're chance to hit is always 99%+, what do you care whether you chance to hit increases by a proficiency bonus increase?

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You folks really would've burned Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 to the ground if this little mix-up to the numbers game is bothering you.

At any rate, if you find yourself only battling from high positions, that is largely due to your play style, as the game provides plenty of opportunities for you to take the fight to the enemy on the ground. There are 3 fights that come to mind where height advantage is more pronounced, maybe 4 with the Phase Spiders depending on how the AI teleports, but I find this introduces as many ways to creatively resolve problems as it does advantages. For example, if you destroy the elevated surface an enemy is on, they're likely to take a pronounced amount of falling damage, or even die. If an enemy AI is flocking to a surface because of height advantage, even if it isn't destructible, you can apply an Area of Effect spell or surface to it that punishes them for their trouble, or lay makeshift traps in the form of barrels.

Ambient surface hazards are another issue altogether, since other posters mentioned them in passing. There's a distinct overabundance of them to the point of dependency in the level design. Dungeon traps should be things hidden in unique ways, not an explosive in the center of a flammable toxic fog.

At any rate, I don't know how you all play D&D, but battle mechanics are secondary to telling a good tale and allowing for a good amount of roleplay, I'm excited for more content and I'm really enjoying the game so far. Cheers.

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Originally Posted by Spellshade
You folks really would've burned Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 to the ground if this little mix-up to the numbers game is bothering you.

*snip*


I feel like you saying that indicates you didn't read the actual main post since you seem to think providing Advantage/Disadvantage on every single attack without cost is relevant, so I copied it here for you:

The Maths: - In 5e, in general, having Advantage is roughly equivalent of having +5 to your roll. Disadvantage is roughly equal to having -5 to your roll. This means if one character is rolling with Advantage, and the other character is rolling with Disadvantage, then there is the rough equivalent of +-10 between their rolls. Additionally, Advantage doubles the chance of rolling a critical hit, and makes critical failures much less likely (5% normally vs 0.25% with Advantage), vice versa for Disadvantage.

Next, one of the core theories for game balance in 5e is called "Bounded Accuracy". This term means that players and NPCs generally have limits to how high they can boost their static modifiers to rolls. There is a 'bound' on just how 'accurate' a player can become. This was a huge shift in D&D when it was introduced. In prior editions of D&D, players could achieve truly insane modifiers to their to-hit, to the point where attack rolls were reaching into the 1d20+100 range, which just creates stupid arms races between monsters and players. By reducing how much a player can add to their to-hit, WotC (the publishers the D&D rules) made smaller bonuses much, MUCH more important. For example, Bless requires both a spell slot, concentration, and is limited to three targets, and only provides an average of +2.5, half of Advantage.

Bounded Accuracy is why Adv/Dis is so impactful on gameplay. There are a few class abilities that can add a higher static modifier (such as a War Cleric's Channel Divinity that can add +10 to one single attack roll) but those are rare and always limited in amount. It is a large reason why 5e is generally much more balanced that prior editions of D&D with far less ways to truly 'break' the game. It also makes the gameplay much smoother because enemies to-hit and AC do not need to increase as much as you get higher level. On page 274 of the DMG, there is even a chart for rough AC numbers based on a creature's CR (Challenge Rating. The higher the CR, the more 'powerful' the creature):

CR 0-3: 13 AC
CR 4: 14 AC
CR 5-7: 15 AC
CR 8-9: 16 AC
CR 10-12: 17 AC
CR 13-16: 18 AC
CR 17+: 19 AC

Look at those numbers. Over the course of 17 'levels' of CR, the enemies AC only increases by an average of +6. Just having Advantage almost cancels that growth out entirely. Here is an analysis of the actual monsters made available from WoTC and their respective change in AC -> https://i.stack.imgur.com/a6rlg.png

Lastly, if you take a level 1 character and a level 17+ character, give them the same stats and the same weapon, the total difference in their to-hit roll will be....+4. That's it. A level 1 character has a proficiency bonus of +2 and a level 17+ character has one of +6. The difference between these otherwise the same characters is less than the difference from Adv/Dis. That is how strong Adv/Dis is mathematically.

Hopefully by now, you can see why getting Adv/Dis is such a huge deal in 5e rules, and why being able to have them should be considered such a huge impact on the mathematics at play.

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Originally Posted by Stabbey

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.


And you talk about strawmen. ROFL. I actually quite like the brutality of the die, tyvm.

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+1, I like this analysis and OP's suggestion to reduce the effects of backstab/height to +2/-2.

Essentially make it a revised/expanded implementation of the cover mechanics already in 5e.

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Agree with the OP in large part.

I like the idea of things like high ground and backstabbing providing some bonus, but I don't like how it just uses advantage, one of the biggest bonuses you can get in 5e. +1 would be more than enough to make it worthwhile to play around tactically; but not so effectual that it swings the entire battle and more or less is the deciding factor in who wins and who loses. These games should be about who makes the overall better decisions and spends their resources better, not just who can constantly keep high ground/backstabbing advantage.

If these changes don't make it in-game, you can bet I'll be looking for mods to change it.

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OP's solution seems like the way to go to me, specially for altitude, slight bonuses would be nice.
I would remove the backstab mechanich because of how it interacts with attacks of oportunity: you are allowed to move around enemies because in paper that's supposed to mimic combat movement, and you are punished if you get away. Using this movement to gain advantages without any cost makes it kind of stupid when every character would move to backstab, then have their enemy backstab them in return and so on until one of them dies.

I think height bonus/penalties should only apply to ranged WEAPONS and not spells, that would have them feel different and convey different feelings on both styles of gameplay (ranged weapons as a more mundane but strategic gameplay and magic bypassing the laws of nature)

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When you are fighting on stairs and you are one step below your opponent, you get a 60% to hit. You move around him and sit one step above behind him, you get 84%. Cheap tactics, that's all it is.

I expect to get something more coherent and less wild. Rules have to be interesting for the sake of tactics, not to be completely out of control just because chaos seems sexier on the battlefield.

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Have any previous DnD video games stuck completely to the rules? I'm not aware of any. I'm not sure how many DnD TT player groups stick to the rules either.

Even though the game trades on DnD 5e and Baldur's Gate/FR as hooks, I don't really expect it to completely correlate with either. Regardless of how strongly you feel about the mathematical integrity of 5e rules, I think that is probably less important to the game's developers than the play experience matching what their core audience would expect.

The central demographic of video games players likes high quality A/V, likes things that explode, likes Marvel/DC like super-heroics, etc. The game is designed mainly for that audience, and probably needs to be for financial reasons.

I don't really see Larian changing the core game design prior to release. Neither should they, since those that have purchased EA could see exactly what they were buying from the early gameplay videos; it has not changed.

As with most of the more fundamental game changes that different players want, complete 5e accuracy is more likely as a post-release optional mode or from the mod community.

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Originally Posted by etonbears
Have any previous DnD video games stuck completely to the rules? I'm not aware of any. I'm not sure how many DnD TT player groups stick to the rules either.

Even though the game trades on DnD 5e and Baldur's Gate/FR as hooks, I don't really expect it to completely correlate with either. Regardless of how strongly you feel about the mathematical integrity of 5e rules, I think that is probably less important to the game's developers than the play experience matching what their core audience would expect.

The central demographic of video games players likes high quality A/V, likes things that explode, likes Marvel/DC like super-heroics, etc. The game is designed mainly for that audience, and probably needs to be for financial reasons.

I don't really see Larian changing the core game design prior to release. Neither should they, since those that have purchased EA could see exactly what they were buying from the early gameplay videos; it has not changed.

As with most of the more fundamental game changes that different players want, complete 5e accuracy is more likely as a post-release optional mode or from the mod community.

I wouldn't call "high ground giving advantage" a core game design. It's a mechanic. And there is a difference between "not sticking completely to the rules" and making adjustments that significantly throw off the balance of the system. Getting advantage is one of the most significant things in 5e: it typically cost a spell or ability (see the 9th!!! level spell that grants advantage for the day), and importantly it does not stack.

A very simple change that would fix a lot of problems is giving height/lowground a +4/-4 bonus instead of advantage. Mechanically, this is the ~same as advantage. BUT this method wouldn't invalidate the usage of the dozens of spells, abilities, feats in 5e that grant advantage.

Similar for backstabbing: it is in no way part of Larian's "core game design" and invalidates a lot of spells/abilities that grant advantage.

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Originally Posted by etonbears
Have any previous DnD video games stuck completely to the rules? I'm not aware of any. I'm not sure how many DnD TT player groups stick to the rules either.


Strawman argument. There are many other changes to the 5e rules Larian has made which don't have people complaining about them, like Speak with Animals lasting until next long rest or until losing concentration. I don't think anyone is complaining about the special weapon attacks Larian has made as well. It is clearly not the case that people are complaining merely because BG 3 is not being a precise exact duplicate of the 5e rules.

You are completely ignoring the detailed discussion about exactly why these specific rule changes affect the balance. Do you have any defense for why 56+ sources of advantage/disadvantage with a cost or drawback should be thrown out the window for free advantage with no cost from backstab and height?


Last edited by Stabbey; 01/11/20 07:19 PM. Reason: clairified sentence
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The height advantage/disadvantage isn't a small mechanic change people are upset about because of 5e rule puritism. As the OP has explained in great detail it is a change so detrimental to the 5e rule set it isn't D&D. It is a cheese mechanic available to all classes including spellcasters that affects all classes to the point it makes most classes completely irrelevant. Add the "free action" nonsense that allows disengage AND an attack for all classes is simply not D&D.

If Larian make the effort of including a plethora of classes and 90% of them are made redundant by making their class benefits available to all classes by either standing 6 inches higher or behind the enemy then they are wasting their time. If they add better benefits to classes to compensate then the game gets further away from D&D.

If they start from D&D core rules and make changes based on feedback rather than including DOS mechanics it would go smoother. I don't mind changing the D&D rules if they don't work in game, don't care at all. But they haven't been tried as yet soooo. Nobody expects 1:1 creation of 5e so I don't accept this argument.

I understand this is early in the EA so I am not concerned. If these mechanics remain unchanged closer to release it will be something to gripe about. I am pretty sure by this thread alone Larian are aware of these concerns.

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