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UI, Controls, QoL : Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.
Roleplay, Story, Immersion : Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
Mechanisms : Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.




IMMERSION, CREDIBILITY AND UNDERSTANDABILITY




Naturally, I'm well aware that I'm playing a video game. And there are many conventions of the genre that I willingly accept (characters have Hit Points, I manage my companions' inventories, etc). But for a video game's story to work, for immersion to be maintained, what happens in the game must make sense within the world where it takes place.

Currently, a number of elements are very problematic. At best, they make it hard to understand what is supposedly happening in the game. At worst, they make the game self-contradictory. They are strong and frequent breakers of immersion.


Where is the camp ?

Is it a mobile camp, that we set up where we are ? Or is it a static camp, and if so where is it located exactly ?

If it is a mobile camp, we should not be able to rest everywhere. Time passes while we rest and we may be found by guards or roaming monsters. And the camp scenery should change. And not all followers should be there at all times. And we cannot have a low-strength party send all of Roah's barrels to camp. Etc.

If it is a static camp, we should be able to walk to the camp normally from the main map. Also, when in a dungeon, we might backtrack to our camp with fast-travel (or, better, backtrack to a waypoint point first) but on the way back, we should probably only be able to reappear at the entrance (or at the nearest waypoint point). Again, time passes and guards might have been replaced.

At the moment, the fact that we can sleep anywhere tends to indicate that it is a mobile camp. But the fact that folks come celebrate at our camp tends to indicate that it is somewhere specific. (Side note : why do we still sleep in the wild when there's a Druid Grove nearby, with caves that are probably safer and drier than the wilderness ?)

Please don't give us a Schrödinger camp that is both mobile and static, and thus is whatever you need it to be at any given time. That is what the current camp is, and it really, really doesn't work. You can't have both. Make a choice, any choice, figure out an explanation for everything that stems from that choice, and then be consistent.


How does time work ? It doesn't pass, except it does.

On the one hand, the story and the dialogues clearly involve time ("we don't have time for rest", "two days have past, still no symptoms").

On the other hand, the rest of the game categorically refuses to take time into account. There are no day/night cycles, no guard shifts and dead sentinels renewals, not the slightest difference between long and short rest (the latter of which takes 0 rounds). I cannot tell how many days have passed since the crash.

Unsurprisingly, the two positions are not compatible. You have invested so much (in writing, voice acting, etc) on "time is a thing" that you can hardly change that. Also, you would have difficulty justifying a world where times does not pass. So, please, figure out ways to account for time, find the mechanisms, and deliver the explanations in-game.


Are waypoints part of the game world ? They are, but only for the players of the game.

On the one hand, you made Gale have a line about them, so they exist in the game world.

On the other hand, only the characters controlled by us players can use them. The tieflings don't consider this option to travel to Baldur's Gate. The goblins don't raise so much as an eyebrow when we casually we walk out of one, right next to them. The portals lie scattered in the wild when such a means of transportation would have major historical, economic and geopolitical implications.

Again, that doesn't work. Having them exist in-universe has world-building implications, which are a problem now that you have started writing a story that ignores their existence.

It would be a lot simpler to use them strictly as a quality-of-life feature that is not part of the world. So players can use them but it is implied that the characters walked the whole way in the game world. And then, don't have a character give us a tutorial about them in-game : this breaks the fourth wall. And you already have another way to give players tutorials.


The ability to initiate conversations using a companion leads to characterisation issues.

Am I playing as the PC and interacting with independent companions or am I in full control of a party of adventurers ?

On the one hand, you have created companions with their own personalities. Sometimes my PC will be forced to talk to them, sometimes they will interject in a conversation that my PC initiated with an NPC, sometimes they approve/disapprove of what my PC says. So they are established as their own individuals. Pretty clear.

On the other hand, if I initiate a conversation using a companion, I can have them select lines that are completely out of character (like Wyll approving of Kagha, Lae'zel licking Crusher's foot, etc).

That hurts immersion.


What character am I playing ? According to cutscenes, it is not clear.

Sometimes, I initiate a conversation with an NPC using a companion and then this companion is talking in the cutscene. But sometimes it is my PC talking in the cutscene.

This is extremely confusing and immersion breaking. Either go with my choice of character all the time, or say that my PC is talking all the time. Breaking your own rules at arbitrary times is not good.


What character am I supposed to play as ? According to the mechanisms, it is not clear.

The current mechanism for skill checks in conversations (which I comment on below) incentivises me to conduct almost every conversation with the party's most charismatic character, which may well not be my PC.

But, if I initiate a conversation using a companion instead of the PC, I often lose an opportunity to gain approval/disapproval for my PC. (Weirdly though, I still see approvals sometimes.) This mechanism incentivise me to conduct almost every conversation with the PC.

So the game mechanisms are currently self-contradictory. It seems that "you are your PC" is the way to play intended by the writing. And this is how we would play in a TT RPG, which you said you wanted to make the game feel like. But at least one mechanism goes completely against this. The game mechanisms should be aligned with the writing and the intended behaviour, not clash against it.

Quite possibly, using a companion to initiate a conversation should not be possible at all.


On-the-fly vs scripted : cutscenes and battles.

Many cutscenes and most battles are dynamically created : they go with what led to them. This ranges from conversations cutscenes (well ... most of them, see above) to the "connect the transponder" cutscene at the end of the prologue. But some of them are pre-rendered, and occasionally lead to absurd situations, which breaks immersion.

Examples :
- In the prologue, after the first imps, when going to the deck with only the PC, Lae'zel still appears in the cutscene, even though I left her downstairs. After the cinematics, she's downstairs again !
- In the battle of the Druid Grove gate, when I trigger the cutscene, I'm on top of the hill with one character to the left. When the battle starts, a goblin archer is in melee range, ready for the shove. I'm not sure how he sneaked there but it was a very, very stupid decision on his part ...




******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************



OUR CHOICES THROUGH STORY




Equally well-written story paths.


The various story paths should all be equally motivated, credible, and rewarding from a story point of view. Otherwise, we are not given a real choice.

For now, one story path I can really see is the clear and standard "Tadpole-removal path" that we start on. It sounds fine.

The only other path that I could glimpse, but that can imagine, is the "Tadpole-control path". The "siding with goblins subpath", in the goblins-vs-grove arc, seems to be a component of the "Tadpole-control path", and it really isn't good.

My hope is that this is because the game is still at very early stage, and that the "siding with goblins subpath" that we are currently proposed, and which you seem to equate with "choosing Evil" in a Community Update, is just a draft. It is possible that this path wasn't ready, but since you had publicly encouraged us to go evil, whatever there was already for this so-called "Evil path" had to be included for the EA release. Or any variant of that scenario. I hope much better motivations for this subpath are developed.


Reasons to have any interest in the Absolute.

My characters have heard of no reason why they could want to join the cult of the Absolute, either genuinely or as a self-serving characters planning to use the cult.

We can somewhat gather that there's a link between the Absolute and our tadpoles. We seem to be True Souls pawns-to-be who failed to be properly created, because of the Githyanki attack. The Absolute then sent Edowin to destroy the botched puppets (or weapons) that we now are.

So, at the moment, I don't see why the characters could want to get any more involved with the Absolute, on their own initiative.

Note : as a player, I can think of reasons. The characters could want to go kick the Absolute' ass and force Her to remove the tadpoles or explain how to control them. But the characters don't seem to voice anything like that. I believe that, as a player, I'm not supposed to try to rationalise what happens in the world or make up explanations to fill gaps.


Better reasons to join the goblins and destroy the grove.

We want a solution to the life-threatening tadpole problem, be it removal or control. We quickly find that there is no solution with the goblins, if we ever learned there could be one. And we most likely have realised this before we are offered to join. However, there might be a solution with Halsin, who we have most likely heard of. So we certainly cannot join the goblins on that ground : this will likely result in killing a potential solution, which is possibly our only remaining solution. So it's not just that there is no good reason to join the goblins, there is also an overwhelmingly good reason to prevent them from raiding the Grove.

If we just seek to fight the battle on the side that would pay us better, Zevlor promises to give us whatever he can get, Minthara promises only the gratitude of the Absolute : see above.

Conclusion : ... I see no reason to join the goblins. Saving Halsin and protecting the grove sounds like the only reasonable choice.


Better reasons to go to the Moonrise Tower.

If we have sided with the grove : it's pretty clear. Halsin can't help us, but he points to a possible solution at the Moonrise Tower.

If we have sided with the goblins : well ... we spend a night with Minthara, she's immediately very in love with us (how cute !), then she wants to kill us, but she refrains from doing it if we ask her nicely (how kind ... typical Drow), so she says we must go to Moonrise tower. Why ? Er ... because the Absolute wants us to stop breathing and being alive and all that, so ... maybe we can go there, have a cup of tea with a representative of the Absolute and talk things out in a civilised fashion ? Or something. I confess, I really didn't understand that part.



Telling our own story, to some extent.


Letting players have control over the story of their characters.

Please make sure that not too many major paths or quests are locked behind skill check bottlenecks.

Of course, to a very good extent, not every party can expect to solve every situation in the same way, and experience the exact same adventure. Especially in a tabletop setting where players would play the campaign only once. You have your vision of how this adventure should be experienced. But players should be able to enjoy the video game in more than one way. Some players will be happy to go with the dice : they may attempt to persuade X to do Y, and if it fails, they'll go with it. Other players will want to call the beats.

Could you add an option in the options menu to modify (increase or decrease) the DC of skill checks that have long-term effects in the game (story paths, camp followers, meet-again characters, etc) ?

Note that while I say "some players" and "other players", they may well be the same people. In my first playthrough, I'll be happy to take the story as it comes. In my second one, I'll be happy to discover how different some things could go when some dice land a bit differently and I make different decisions. But after some more playthroughs, I will want to tell my story : "this PC will have this personality, make these choices, succeed at this check but fail at that check, etc".


Companions should approve/disapprove my choices, not how the dice landed.

If I tried to defuse a situation, I think that conflict-averse companions should realistically approve of the attempt. The fact that the dice rolled unfavourably is out of the character's control : if the target is stubborn and choose to fight, they are the cause, not me.



Choosing how to handle encounters.


We should get XP when resolving an encounter without a fight.

It should be surviving the encounter that counts, not the method employed. If fights are the only method rewarded with XP, it makes it less appealing to talk our way out.

Obviously, players shouldn't be able to exploit this to get double XP. If the potential enemies leave (like Gimblebock's group), no problem. If they stay (like the goblin ambushers in the Blighted Village), their killing should give 0 XP.





Hoping we'll be able to create great assumptions-free Custom Characters and be given great roleplay options.
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I was getting ready to jump in with a "On story and RP, this is going to be heavily subjective" by-line... but reading over your thought here, I have to say that they are phrased almost entirely as objective commentaries on general principles and practices, and I fully support what you have to say here.

I will note that as of the latest patch, we do get portional XP for diffusing and resolving some situations, where before we did not, but it's not really enough to balance the scales yet.

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A lot if agreement found here.


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My biggest concern about the current camp system is that Larian tries to be nice to braindead Noobs.

But even on my first playthrough I wasn't so bad a pitiful excuse for a player, that I needed to camp-rest after every battle.
I ask for the powermove to have a camp only at a certain location.
Otherwise you just can't rest, easy as that.

A camp spot in
° the Crypt where we find the "Lich"(?)
° the Druids Grove
° the hidden Necromancers cellar in the destroyed City
° the ruined Fort of Selune in the Underdark
° The abandonded Tower of Mystra's Cleric in the Underdark

Basically places not accessable by folk of questionable trust levels.
A little harder to find, but feel rewarding if you found them.
Cause you don't have to backtrack about 2 or 4 minutes.

Some camps have to be cleared and conquered first, others can get lost during the development of certain events.
I see it being kind of a problem if the Druid grove camp is still there in the real world when its part of the Shadowdruids realm-contortion.
Stuff like this.

The "Rest for the Wicked" as Raphael named it, indeed it doesn't feel "real" and kind of like a pocket dimension.

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A lot of good and valid points... i usually tend to more notice mechanic shortcomings over immersion type but i definitely recall many of the instances you highlight... a lot of work to do before official launch!

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really good points and questions. i really-really hope they will tweak camping and fast travel options, at least give us separate mode to enable alternative rules how they are handled. the EA has great potential as is but on the long run it gets a little bit boring for me, because the free fast travel and unlimited resting just takes the challenge away. And i know some people say then dont use these and please dont restrict but still, come on, dnd rules are implemented around immersive exploration (tactical resting between encounters, preparation for long travel), resource management (spell slot allocation, item and action management) and a game stays fun on long term only if its somewhat challenging (please give us an altern save mode where i cannot save in combat for example). larian's motto is that i give you systems to overcome challenges, if there is no challenge i dont have the urge to use the systems. i trust them though, based on their past they are pretty good in listening to feedback and make even meaningful changes

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Awesome feedback, awesome post ... i hope most of your points will be readed and taken to concideration ...
But there is a few things i would like to speak about, if you dont mind:

Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
How does time work ? It doesn't pass, except it does.

On the one hand, the story and the dialogues clearly involve time ("we don't have time for rest", "two days have past, still no symptoms").

On the other hand, the rest of the game categorically refuses to take time into account. There are no day/night cycles, no guard shifts and dead sentinels renewals, not the slightest difference between long and short rest (the latter of which takes 0 rounds). I cannot tell how many days have passed since the crash.

Unsurprisingly, the two positions are not compatible. You have invested so much (in writing, voice acting, etc) on "time is a thing" that you can hardly change that. Also, you would have difficulty justifying a world where times does not pass. So, please, figure out ways to account for time, find the mechanisms, and deliver the explanations in-game.
I believe this problem is selfsolving ...
Once some implementation need of regular long rests will be there ... we also get some sence of time.
We will simply travel by day, and sleep by night ... kinda shame, that we would probably not be able to turn it around, but no gameplay is perfect.

Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
Are waypoints part of the game world ? They are, but only for the players of the game.

On the one hand, you made Gale have a line about them, so they exist in the game world.

On the other hand, only the characters controlled by us players can use them. The tieflings don't consider this option to travel to Baldur's Gate. The goblins don't raise so much as an eyebrow when we casually we walk out of one, right next to them. The portals lie scattered in the wild when such a means of transportation would have major historical, economic and geopolitical implications.

Again, that doesn't work. Having them exist in-universe has world-building implications, which are a problem now that you have started writing a story that ignores their existence.

It would be a lot simpler to use them strictly as a quality-of-life feature that is not part of the world. So players can use them but it is implied that the characters walked the whole way in the game world. And then, don't have a character give us a tutorial about them in-game : this breaks the fourth wall. And you already have another way to give players tutorials.
Or ... they can add one or two sentences about why they cant be used.

For example when talking to Zevlor:
Why dont you use waystone? > Do you know how to find waystone in Baldur's Gate without previous visitation? > I dont. > Neither do we.

Or when talking to Minthara:
Why dont you use waystone? > Do you know how to find waystone in Druid Groove without previous visitation? > I dont. > Neither do we.
Why dont you use waystone? > Do you know how to find waystone in Druid Groove without previous visitation? > I acutaly allready visited it, you can join me on my way back. > Good thinking. But how could i know that this is not a trap ... i shall send army on foot anyway, its not that far.

About this im more sad about the fact that we are unable to ask Gale where from was he teleported to us.

Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
Reasons to have any interest in the Absolute.

My characters have heard of no reason why they could want to join the cult of the Absolute, either genuinely or as a self-serving characters planning to use the cult.

We can somewhat gather that there's a link between the Absolute and our tadpoles. We seem to be True Souls pawns-to-be who failed to be properly created, because of the Githyanki attack. The Absolute then sent Edowin to destroy the botched puppets (or weapons) that we now are.

So, at the moment, I don't see why the characters could want to get any more involved with the Absolute, on their own initiative.

Note : as a player, I can think of reasons. The characters could want to go kick the Absolute' ass and force Her to remove the tadpoles or explain how to control them. But the characters don't seem to voice anything like that. I believe that, as a player, I'm not supposed to try to rationalise what happens in the world or make up explanations to fill gaps.
I believe that your character "have heard of no reason" is a good thing ...
Since not everything need to be told specificly, people should be able to read between lines, observe the world around them and make decisions based on what they see, hear, or believe ... i dont really need to see every tiny option to be highlihted and provided with enough encouraging to try it ... i have option, now its up to me if i use it or not, or why i use it or not.

My characters have found multiple reasons to join the absolute ... that dont mean that your characters are wrong, they simply dont fit to this kind of story, simmilar as mine dont fit to yours. I dont see that as problem, its just variety. :-/

You say what we can gather info ... but you seem to forget few things:
- we also can gather the fact, that the Absolute is promising better life for Drows, Duegars, Goblins, and other "evil" races ...
- we also can observe the fact, that every one of "important" people in this cult is tadpoled ... but they dont know it, we do, that gives us advantage ... also the same observation reveals to our character that reversed, it means that every tadpoled person in this cult, do have important role ... so logicaly, if we join them, we are starting between upper class ...
- we can also observe that none of those people is showing any sighns of health problems, or transformation ... so we can presume that they either have found a cure, or that our condition is not as crittical as it may seem ...
- and last but certainly not least, the best place to figure out what is happening with those tadpoles ... is logicaly place, where people do have tadpoles ... or if not best, its at least better than place where nobody knows what is happening to you, nobody ever seen anything like it, and everyone who will find out what happened to you will try to kill you on sight. laugh

So i believe there is enough clues, you just dont have them served on silver plate ... and i like it to be honest ... i dont want to be pulled by hand, stick to the road every single step, i want option to rebel and go another way, now i have it ... and if there will be reasoning and encouraging added, i will loose it, since instead of have feeling that i have found hidden route, i shall stand on illuminated intersection with detailed signs. frown

Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
Better reasons to join the goblins and destroy the grove.

We want a solution to the life-threatening tadpole problem, be it removal or control. We quickly find that there is no solution with the goblins, if we ever learned there could be one. And we most likely have realised this before we are offered to join. However, there might be a solution with Halsin, who we have most likely heard of. So we certainly cannot join the goblins on that ground : this will likely result in killing a potential solution, which is possibly our only remaining solution. So it's not just that there is no good reason to join the goblins, there is also an overwhelmingly good reason to prevent them from raiding the Grove.

If we just seek to fight the battle on the side that would pay us better, Zevlor promises to give us whatever he can get, Minthara promises only the gratitude of the Absolute : see above.

Conclusion : ... I see no reason to join the goblins. Saving Halsin and protecting the grove sounds like the only reasonable choice.
I shall probably repeat myself ... but i believe this conclusion is just result of limited point of view. :-/

> First what we quickly find out with the goblins is the fact that our condition is NOT life-threatening ... at least not now, and as it seem not in near future.
Since every single one tadpoled person we met, is perfectly healthy and dont show any signs of transformation ... we actualy will find out even before we enter goblin camp, and its by that dying Dwarf true soul ... he was send to kill us, therefore he was not on same Nautiloid as we were ... therefore he probably did have tadpole in his head longer than we did ... BUT! tadpole that crawled out of his head was normal, no signs of any transformation ... and since we know (and i presume that our characters do know too) that tadpoles actualy ARE mind flayers, that will alter our body and merge with it to single new entity, i think is quite logical to presume that tadpole should be looking differently, if there was any progress of Ceremorphosis in his host.
Also, we never find out that goblins are unable to help us ... all we find out is that Priestess Gut is quite unwilling. smile

> Second we find that there is potential solution to our problem, since only one thing that seem to bind theese people together, except the fact that they all were tadpoled, is the fact that they are all worshiping the Absolute ... our character can easily presume that the Absolute could for some reason somehow shield her believers against negative effects of being tadpoled.

> We cannot be offered to join ... its once aggain logicaly pesumed that we want to join, why else would we be in goblin camp to either join or attack them ... since we are clearly no merchants, or slavers, and since they allready have both presented in their own cute little halfling ... so, since we are not attacking, they are talking to us presuming we want to join them.
And it feels right to me, since what else could we do in that camp? Spy? On goblins? laugh What could we hope to spy out ... that goblins are ugly filthy beasts that plan to attack anyone and anything within their reach? That is common knowlenge. smile

> About Halsin ... yes i understand why so many people like this character, i like him too, and in mine WElf-Ranger gameplay i gived him as much thrust as you do here ... but i would like to advise agains doing it in general ...
First of all, the only person who knows about what do you need from Halsin is Nettie ... the wery same Nettie who tryed to kill you, once she find out your condition ... second, all she tells you is that Halsin MAY BE able to help you, yes he is certainly better option than Nettie, but that certainly dont mean that he is best and only option you have ... and finaly, when you search whole goblin camp you dont find any druid, just caged bear. And unless you have animal speaking active, there is no way to say for certain (its quite obvious tho, i know) that is him. So your character can aswell presume that remains of Halsin is allready in some goblins belly. :P
- And just to add against Halsin ... if you want to pinpoint best solution to your problem, based on count of recomendations ... its Githyanki creche ... for one they are most familiar with mind flayers across whole Faerun and beyond, for two they make nasty habit to kill those things so they logicaly need to know something, for three Lae'zel dont shut up about it and mock every single other option, and finaly even Shadowhearth who hates Gith and all they do most, after few talks agree to try them.

Next point ... you say that Zevlor is side who will pay us better ... lets do some math:
First of all, in patch 3 we are able to persuate Minthara to pay us for help ... not sure if that was there before.
Then keep in mind that Zevlor is repeating us multiple times in our conversations that "we dont have much" ... that is quite important, since it quite clearly tells you that you cant expect giant amount of gold, just little something they manage to withdraw between themself ...
Then keep in mind, that if you fail that persuation option i mentioned, Minthara specificly tells you that anything you manage to scrap of their corpses is entirely yours ... that mean you for certain will have everything they manage to withdraw between themself, since Zevlor logicaly have no clue about your betrayal ... and more, since they certainly will not give you litteraly "everything they have". wink
So ... logicaly, Goblin side is certainly offering much better payment. wink

Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
Better reasons to go to the Moonrise Tower.

If we have sided with the grove : it's pretty clear. Halsin can't help us, but he points to a possible solution at the Moonrise Tower.

If we have sided with the goblins : well ... we spend a night with Minthara, she's immediately very in love with us (how cute !), then she wants to kill us, but she refrains from doing it if we ask her nicely (how kind ... typical Drow), so she says we must go to Moonrise tower. Why ? Er ... because the Absolute wants us to stop breathing and being alive and all that, so ... maybe we can go there, have a cup of tea with a representative of the Absolute and talk things out in a civilised fashion ? Or something. I confess, I really didn't understand that part.
How exactly did you find out how much in love with us she is? O_o
Since all i can see was her admiring our power, power that is not advisable to play with ... and out of her (for Drow so typical actualy) self-preservation, she decided to exhaust us, and try to kill us in our sleep ... then it all depends ...

- either she hate us, since we desecrate her, when we was diging in her mind ... and just try her luck.
- or she pitty what she must do, but we once aggain show her our power, and she understand that (once aggain, acutaly typical for Drow) ... then it depends on your point of wiev, either she is sending us to someone far stronger than her (just another threason where she save her own skin, and get rid of problem, by single move) ... or she really believe that we are Absolute favorite, and then consistently with her believes, she send us to her Goddess, to judge our worth (aka, admiting that she was wrong ... not so Drow, but undersandable).
- or she again pitty what she must do, but we push to her personal feelings ... quite simmilar result, the only difference here is it seem more personal, yet we still dont know if she really helps us, or simply betray us once aggain ... you know what i mean right? Even such thrustworthy race as Drow can lie. laugh

Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
Letting players have control over the story of their characters.

Please make sure that not too many major paths or quests are locked behind skill check bottlenecks.

Of course, to a very good extent, not every party can expect to solve every situation in the same way, and experience the exact same adventure. Especially in a tabletop setting where players would play the campaign only once. You have your vision of how this adventure should be experienced. But players should be able to enjoy the video game in more than one way. Some players will be happy to go with the dice : they may attempt to persuade X to do Y, and if it fails, they'll go with it. Other players will want to call the beats.

Could you add an option in the options menu to modify (increase or decrease) the DC of skill checks that have long-term effects in the game (story paths, camp followers, meet-again characters, etc) ?

Note that while I say "some players" and "other players", they may well be the same people. In my first playthrough, I'll be happy to take the story as it comes. In my second one, I'll be happy to discover how different some things could go when some dice land a bit differently and I make different decisions. But after some more playthroughs, I will want to tell my story : "this PC will have this personality, make these choices, succeed at this check but fail at that check, etc".
This certainly sounds like yet another part of "dificiulty settings" they should implement. smile


I liked original spellcasting system more ... frown

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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Totally on board with the pocket-plane, rest, intra-dimensional highway runes, and eternal summer-afternoon comments.

Hence, I will repeat my suggestions:

--> Use the fast-travel rune locations as fixed situated spots where the party is allowed to camp.

--> Add night/day toggle and some minimal NPC schedules or dynamism in the world to make it feel like a real living world instead of the static one-directional (why come back if nothing changes?) dollhouse situation we have now.

--> Some form of random encounters or simply scripted NPC activity would go a long way here, e.g. goblin/bandit raiding parties, merchant caravans, farmers, travelers, etc.).

Although the world, map en locations are nice and well thought, I think it is too focused on creating a very specific setting for quests/puzzles/combat and too little on representing the in game world as a living setting having its own stuff going on.

As it is now, it feels as if we as lvl1 players are in a world where everything exists only because of us and where all the inhabitants except our party are stuck in an infinite timeloop.

Sorry if this is a bit of a rant, it just baffles me how such very obvious and essential elements to crafting a believable immersive in-game universe are missing.

Hopefully, some of our concerns will be addressed during EA. At the very least, it would be nice to have a response, even if it is a negative one. At least I would know that I could stop ranting about this and focus my feedback on other aspects of the game.Looking forward to the next patch...

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I have to admit I didn't read all your topics because you wrote A LOT, but as soon as I reade one I usually agree with everything...

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Originally Posted by Niara
I was getting ready to jump in with a "On story and RP, this is going to be heavily subjective" by-line... but reading over your thought here, I have to say that they are phrased almost entirely as objective commentaries on general principles and practices, and I fully support what you have to say here.
Thanks. On roleplay and story, like on everything else, I tried to say "this doesn't work" more than "I'd suggest this". And as much as possible, I tried to put the finger on why, exactly, it doesn't work.

There are issues for which I don't have suggestions, and others for which I have some ideas. But I mostly don't care how Larian solve the problems, so long as they solve them.


Originally Posted by Maximuuus
I have to admit I didn't read all your topics because you wrote A LOT, but as soon as I reade one I usually agree with everything...
No worries. I wasn't hoping for everyone to read everything. Just wanted to see if I had let incorrect things slip in my feedback. I intend to send to Larian what is, in effect, a long list explaining why their current version of the game is bad, on many levels and approaches. So I'd rather minimise the number of times I say "this is poor design/bad/makes no sense" when, in fact, it's my comment that makes no sense.

@SerraSerra : off-topic, but I like your avatar. I used to have 4 copies of it back in the days smile

I'm also baffled at some things. I'll try to (re)formulate it better in the future, but here's one attempt : I can't begin to understand how Larian works. I completely understand that it's EA, so a lot is currently missing, and I have no (huge) issue with placeholder and "this content is not available yet". I nearly applauded when I saw a cinematics saying about just that. What baffles me are :
- Self-contradicting mechanisms, writing, and promotional speech.
- Core things that are not just missing, but where it's not clear that Larian has figured out yet how they'll handle them. It's highly personal and subjective though. If I undertook such a large scale creative project, I'd personally want to have a much clearer roadmap drafted instead of thinking "let's set sail and we'll figure out the problems and solutions as they pop up".
- The fact that they were happy to let us in that early.

Anyway, I'm just baffled by the approach. I don't think there are too many issues where they have created themselves insoluble problems. And even when they have (e.g. waypoints), they can drop some of the choices they did (e.g. Gale explaining what the waypoints are), and not lose too much work.


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Strong agree with everything that was said here. Realistically, nobody will succeed at everything and fail at everything, but the big story decisions shouldn't be dice rolls and companions should approve of the intent, not the outcome (with exceptions where it makes sense, of course).

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Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
Reasons to have any interest in the Absolute.

My characters have heard of no reason why they could want to join the cult of the Absolute, either genuinely or as a self-serving characters planning to use the cult.

We can somewhat gather that there's a link between the Absolute and our tadpoles. We seem to be True Souls pawns-to-be who failed to be properly created, because of the Githyanki attack. The Absolute then sent Edowin to destroy the botched puppets (or weapons) that we now are.

So, at the moment, I don't see why the characters could want to get any more involved with the Absolute, on their own initiative.

Note : as a player, I can think of reasons. The characters could want to go kick the Absolute' ass and force Her to remove the tadpoles or explain how to control them. But the characters don't seem to voice anything like that. I believe that, as a player, I'm not supposed to try to rationalise what happens in the world or make up explanations to fill gaps.

In my last playthrough, this plot hole was somewhat addressed with a (easy to miss) conversation with Volo. Turns out if you side with the goblins while Volo is at your camp, at the goblin celebration he starts querying you about why you chose to betray the tieflings. You get various options to justify your actions and Volo has some interesting responses to all of them.

The only other time where the question is addressed that I found is when Zevlor realizes your treachery, one of your dialogue options is something to the effect of "I'm sorry, joining the Absolute is my only chance to find the cure to my sickness", but you get no more details than this.

So I agree, it's a pretty glaring weak point in an otherwise solid game plot.

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The ability to initiate conversations using a companion leads to characterisation issues.

Am I playing as the PC and interacting with independent companions or am I in full control of a party of adventurers ?

On the one hand, you have created companions with their own personalities. Sometimes my PC will be forced to talk to them, sometimes they will interject in a conversation that my PC initiated with an NPC, sometimes they approve/disapprove of what my PC says. So they are established as their own individuals. Pretty clear.

On the other hand, if I initiate a conversation using a companion, I can have them select lines that are completely out of character (like Wyll approving of Kagha, Lae'zel licking Crusher's foot, etc).

That hurts immersion.

I really agree with this one, so much so that I'm thinking of making an independent thread for it. Companions are autonomous characters in the world with their own opinions and motivation, it makes no sense that I would get limited control of their dialogue options to contradict their preestablished characterisation. Especially since sometimes I just happen to have a random companion selected when a dialogue initiates, and I have no way of changing it without going back.

I remember I had shadowheart selected when I initiated the lae'zel recruitment dialogue when she's in the cage. I wanted to recruit lae'zel and save her, but its clear that shadowheart doesn't want that. But because she happens to lead the conversation, I had to express my decisions through her character instead of my own where it makes sense, which broke immersion when she hates lae'zel immediately after.

Honestly the solution for me is simple, don't allow us to lead conversation as companion characters. Always have it be the player character, and add a mechanic where party members can intervene either autonomously or through hand selected dialogue options specific for their character (that doesn't allow for blatant contradictions).

I don't understand the rationale of this mechanic, its not like a dungeon master would allow you to roleplay the entire supporting cast of your campaign. You should only really be able to roleplay your character, and have companions intervene for either skill checks or character specific dialogue when it makes sense.

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Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
I'm also baffled at some things. I'll try to (re)formulate it better in the future, but here's one attempt : I can't begin to understand how Larian works. I completely understand that it's EA, so a lot is currently missing, and I have no (huge) issue with placeholder and "this content is not available yet". I nearly applauded when I saw a cinematics saying about just that. What baffles me are :
- Self-contradicting mechanisms, writing, and promotional speech.
- Core things that are not just missing, but where it's not clear that Larian has figured out yet how they'll handle them. It's highly personal and subjective though. If I undertook such a large scale creative project, I'd personally want to have a much clearer roadmap drafted instead of thinking "let's set sail and we'll figure out the problems and solutions as they pop up".
- The fact that they were happy to let us in that early.

Anyway, I'm just baffled by the approach. I don't think there are too many issues where they have created themselves insoluble problems. And even when they have (e.g. waypoints), they can drop some of the choices they did (e.g. Gale explaining what the waypoints are), and not lose too much work.

So much this.

The whole approach to how Larian is developing this game feels extremely chaotic and unplanned to me.

It has been advertised that they are aiming for a faithful DnD 5E implementation, with only minimal changes that won't work because of the port to PC. But instead of actually implementing the rules, they make heaps of changes that throw the whole balance off.

Be it action economy, feats, advantage/disadvantage rules for height difference, the backstabbing thing, wrong rule application in low light conditions, wrong application of passive perception checks, wrong implementation of DCs, or that cantrips are changed unnecessarily, etc.

In addition, as you mentioned, there are numerous little things that massively disturb the immersion, such as (the non-existent) time flow, (missing) day/night cycle and weather, (fast) travel, long and short rests, just to name a few things.

You have the gift of expressing this much more eloquently and elegantly than I do, so thanks for taking the time to address these things in the forum.

But what concerns me most, regarding the future of this game or EA, are various statements of the responsible leading developers and designers, who call BG3 a AAA title, and want it to be as "flashy" as possible, who only want abilities and spells that make proper "bang", because otherwise BG3 will not sell well.
The just mentioned problems concerning the (combat) rules and immersion, do not seem to be so much problems (bugs aside), but 100% so wanted, because otherwise the game becomes too "complex", and then the accessibility suffers.

Am I really so alone in that I enjoy a living, complex world in a game? That I appreciate an inner logic the mechanics and processes in this world extremely?
Looking around the forum, obviously not. But it quickly gives the impression that Larian does not care, so according to the motto: We did it for the lulz

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Totally agree with the op, a lot of good, easily solvable point for the team that could reinforce storytelling and narrative. the portal and the camp for instance, struck me as weird and out of this worlds.


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Great points!

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All are excellent points many of which I'd thought of like the licking of crushers feet. Would we still get the ring if we just killed him?

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@Rellik2217 : I'm spending fewer hours a week here these days, but if I had replied immediately I would have said : sure, go ahead. Which you did, so, great. I don't know which items in my feedback report have been reported dozens of times and which are more unique, or at least a lot less talked about. I also don't know which way is more beneficial, gives more chances that Larian sees the feedback, and makes it more convenient for Larian to process. I've gone for "big list of points", but it's also good to have dedicated topics. So now there's one for this.

Not being able to use NPC companions to initiate conversations would be one solution. Maybe not the only one, but it would be one. All I hope is that Larian realises that this is a problem and that it should be fixed.

Originally Posted by daMichi
You have the gift of expressing this much more eloquently and elegantly than I do, so thanks for taking the time to address these things in the forum.
Thanks, but "gift" is the thing of Sorcerers. I'm a Mage, and I spend a certain amount of time writing these feedbacks (which I'd rather not disclose in great part because I don't want to know). All I can say is that my initial feeling is occasionally closer to "raaah, X is so damn dumb, please tell me you don't really intended this, also please change to Y instead", and then I try to turn into "X really doesn't work, because reason". As I wrote in my intro, trying to narrow down the problem, rather than a solution that I think would solve it.

As for Larian's combat philosophy of "Kaboom" and "omg, lol, this actually worked -> insta meme", well, it's very different from what I'd hope (that would be a deep, interesting and rewarding system), but at least it's finally becoming clear. So my hopes on this aspect of the game are kept quite moderate.


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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
I believe that your character "have heard of no reason" is a good thing ...
Since not everything need to be told specificly, people should be able to read between lines, observe the world around them and make decisions based on what they see, hear, or believe ... i dont really need to see every tiny option to be highlihted and provided with enough encouraging to try it ... i have option, now its up to me if i use it or not, or why i use it or not.

My characters have found multiple reasons to join the absolute ... that dont mean that your characters are wrong, they simply dont fit to this kind of story, simmilar as mine dont fit to yours. I dont see that as problem, its just variety. :-/

You say what we can gather info ... but you seem to forget few things:
- we also can gather the fact, that the Absolute is promising better life for Drows, Duegars, Goblins, and other "evil" races ...
- we also can observe the fact, that every one of "important" people in this cult is tadpoled ... but they dont know it, we do, that gives us advantage ... also the same observation reveals to our character that reversed, it means that every tadpoled person in this cult, do have important role ... so logicaly, if we join them, we are starting between upper class ...
- we can also observe that none of those people is showing any sighns of health problems, or transformation ... so we can presume that they either have found a cure, or that our condition is not as crittical as it may seem ...
- and last but certainly not least, the best place to figure out what is happening with those tadpoles ... is logicaly place, where people do have tadpoles ... or if not best, its at least better than place where nobody knows what is happening to you, nobody ever seen anything like it, and everyone who will find out what happened to you will try to kill you on sight. laugh

So i believe there is enough clues, you just dont have them served on silver plate ... and i like it to be honest ... i dont want to be pulled by hand, stick to the road every single step, i want option to rebel and go another way, now i have it ... and if there will be reasoning and encouraging added, i will loose it, since instead of have feeling that i have found hidden route, i shall stand on illuminated intersection with detailed signs. frown

You make a valid point here, but I feel as though the main problem is that they give you a lot of implicit hints as to why you would want to side with the Absolute, but the way the game gives you information is uneven. They give you a clear and obvious problem; the tadpoles in your head that will effectively kill you in a limited span of time. Then they give you one obvious solution; the Githyanki creche. I assumed this was supposed to be the main questline because it's so clear and directly attatched to a companion. Then they give you another direct solution; Halsin the druid. Then you have the Absolute and they give you a bunch of implied reasons while also making your initial encounters with the group hostile, as well as giving you a bunch of missions-including one from a companion-that have you thinking they're the area's main enemy, so it's likely you're going to be coming to them negatively from the start. And between having several clear reasons to go against them or otherwise ignore them, having no reason to think that the Absolute isn't some sort of Mindflayer trap-I assumed so and it didn't cross my mind that it might not be the case until I read people thinking that here on the forums-and at no point getting a concrete incentive to work with them-in fact if you side with them I believe you lose Wynn, so that's an active disinsentive-it makes justifying siding with them hard.

I strongly agree that the game needs to give at least one clear justification as to why the Absolute is a viable option. Maybe the entity in your dream can say that she's something other than a Mindflayer, or mention that she can keep you safe from the transformation, just as an idea. I do like that there's apparently a lot of stuff that can be inferred, but when the other options are THAT obvious, and this is apparently meant to be another main path, you can't just leave it up to the player to infer things and you have to give them at least one concrete point that they can latch onto and build logically from there. Because as it stands that path is all a bunch of "what if's" and "probably's" that rely on the character taking a lot on faith.

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The leap of faith goes further. In order to side with the Absolute and/or the Minthara-led attack on the Grove, you have to discard the Halsin card. Even if you've tried other options for a cure, there's still this one that you haven't checked out. Assuming you can successfully infiltrate the cult of the Absolute (a first and huge if), it's not at all clear (in fact, unlikely) that you will find an option for a cure/control. I think that trading a closed box guaranteed to contain a potential solution for a closed box that does not offer this guarantee is just a bad decision.


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