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
MOVING THE PARTY Doing anything more complicated than just moving the party as a pack on flat ground is extremely impractical and way more difficult than it should be
.Grouping and ungrouping characters.
The current system of grouping-ungrouping and everyone-follows-the-selected-character is a real burden. Unchaining : it is really annoying to take someone out of the group.
I have to drag a portrait away, up to some breaking point which is way too far from the other portraits. If I start dragging a portrait away, I don't see what else I could be trying to do with it apart from taking the character out of the group. So why these heavy chains ? Why do I have to near-literally wrestle with the UI ? Chaining : it is a weird, unsure feeling to add someone to a group.
The snapping doesn't feel right. I don't know when close enough is close enough. The character sometimes gets added to the position I expected, sometimes not. I cannot group characters who are too far apart.
This is annoying. If my characters are separated and far from each other, I have to select a character, click on the ground where I want everyone to meet, and repeat that 3 times, and then I still have to chain everyone. It is tedious.
With a button to do "group all", all we'd have to do is one click to group all, then one click on the ground. It would take 2 clicks instead of 11. Easy.I have to click too hard on a portrait to select that character.
I sometimes click on a portrait and the selection does not change. As if the sensitivity is too low. (See elsewhere : there is also a sensitivity problem in inventory-type screens.) What's the point of being able to re-order the portraits ? Will we have formations ?
It seemed to me as if doing permutations of the portrait order has no consequence. If a feature has absolutely no use, it probably should not be there. This being said, I'd rather see party formations make use of the order of the portraits. Summons that cannot be unchained are very impractical.
Sometimes, the point of summoning them is to send them scouting ahead. If they backtrack as soon as I select a party member to move the party a bit forward, it just makes life unnecessarily tedious (not to mention that, with no control on the path they will take, they're likely to be seen when automatically backtracking).
Summons should be treated like party members, as far as controls are concerned. General suggestions for the party controls
a) Allow the selection of multiple characters without this necessarily binding them in a group.
b) Have a logical, button-governed way to group/ungroup the current selection, instead of relying solely on a touch-screen-based thinking. Some people will also play with a keyboard and a mouse.
c) Have a single button that groups/ungroups all character. Because 95% of the time, we don't really need to form 2 or 3 groups, it's mostly 1 or 4.
These two buttons should naturally allow for hotkeys to be assigned to them in the Options. Moving characters around Character keep interrupting their movement at every hint of a possible reason.
When characters are running to the clicked point near the gap in the bridge, and I click jump in anticipation to start exploring the landing point on the other side, the characters should not stop moving. They should continue moving to the previously selected destination until either they reach it, or I have clicked on the jump destination, whichever happens first.
If I change the selected character while the party is moving, the newly selected character should not stop moving, and thereby stop the whole party. They should continue moving to the previously selected destination until either they reach it, or I have given a different order.
Likewise, merely hovering over an enemy to see the hit-probability should not interrupt the character's movement. Pathfinding is horrible.
- I have seen characters walk over a fire for no good reason (as early as the first room of the prologue).
- I have seen characters walk into vines when there was a path around.
- I have seen characters walk into the traps they've just discovered.
- I have seen characters deciding to jump off a cliff on their own and take damage despite there being a safer path, which the rest of the team certainly took.
- I have seen characters casually walk into enemy line of sight when my selected character was trying to go around.
Can you give them a better sense of self-preservation ? They should not do obviously-stupid things unless I explicitly ask them to.When the selected character in a group changes, the others sometimes move.
This is completely unnecessary and sometimes a source of problem.When operating an elevator with all characters grouped, it should not be possible for some to stay behind.
When I have the whole party grouped and the selected character goes on an elevator and activates it, that means I want everyone to take the elevator. Having to gather everyone on the elevator first is a mini-game I don't exactly enjoy playing. The space taken up by characters is too big compared to how large they actually are.
This can be a pain when jumping to a platform, because of the companions already on the other side. Not to mention in combat, where I can see some paths that really should work, but don't.
The current occupied space might be more understandable if the world was a grid, but it is not : you made it continuous. And even if one plays DnD on a grid, movement is eased by the fact that allies can move through each other. Characters should be able to go through each other.
They can already do so after climbing a ladder, so surely this should be possible. Simplifying the jump and improving movement. Jump is currently such a chore to use.
Also, the game unfortunately seem to want to be too much of a Platform game or a Stealth game. I would rather the Roleplay and the Tactical Combat be the overwhelmingly-dominant genres. Now, if really jumping must remain such a prominent a part of the game, there are other movement abilities that character should possess, which are currently sorely missing. The characters should use these movement abilities naturally, with as little input form the player as possible, the same way as they already use their ability to climb ladders
. All characters in a group should follow a jumping selected character.
They follow each other on ladders already. Please make it the same for jumps. This issue is made more painful by the fact that characters are hard obstacles to each other (which, out of combat, is really not warranted) and that the characters on the arrival platform will move back toward the selected character who just landed. So each jump has to be followed by a move order to clear the area for the next jumper.
You want us to explore your world but your party controls make us want to avoid doing just that. I don't see where the interesting gameplay is in having to go through the chore of making the whole party jump over a gap.
Edit (Patch 3) : I've read that this has been implemented. Hurrah ! Please allow character to auto-move a lot more and better prior too a jump (out of combat).
Currently, the auto-positioning before a jump sometimes allow me to travel a long distance, but sometimes, it says "target too far". Obviously, it's not a problem of distance, since I can choose a target further away if I only need a straight line before jumping. Searching for a landing spot is tedious.
Please allow characters to auto-complete the move after a jump (not solely before the jump). If there's a gap in the bridge, I should be able to be 10m away from the gap, select jump, click 15m away on the other side, and the characters do the rest.
The jumping ability of low-strength characters is sometimes so limited that I have to waste some time searching with my mouse for the tiny area that is a valid landing spot on the arrival platform for them to do the jump. I don't think this is interesting, at all, and I don't think that this is where the game should focus my attention. Tell us when a jump will lead to damage.
This information could be indicated to us players by a yellow destination circle instead of a white one. Or a prone ghost character at destination. Or another way. Whatever.
I am very happy that AOE spells indicate the AOE before the spell is cast. For instance, I can know in advance whether or not I'll hit my allies with a Thunderwave I cast. Same should go for whether or not I will take fall damage from a jump I voluntarily made. The movement is not two-way in cases where it should be : Jumping up there and back down again.
In a room (in the goblin fortress), I had to pile up crates to jump to an elevated passageway. And then I could not jump back down on the crates. This is because characters currently want too much space, and the crate they were standing on a moment before is not seen as a valid landing point. So ... I had to jump to the floor, and take damage. Great !What makes this even more frustrating is the thought that normal people like you and me, who don't have that super-powerful video game jump, can very much sit down, pivot and use our hands to hang before dropping ourselves on the floor, and not take damage
. Do our BG3 characters really have to be that stupid ? I would prefer that they be given a new movement ability
. The movement is not two-way in cases where it should be : Jumping down and climbing back on platforms.
Piling up crates to reach any moderately high platform feels like playing a Puzzle Game, with arbitrary restrictions on movement. Which is fine since, there, the puzzle is the game. And in a Puzzle-Platformer like Tomb Raider, Lara Croft can climb. Moving crates may be required from time to time, but only when the destination platform is really high.
Characters in BG3 can do things like climbing on roots and cragged rocks. Which proves that they too have arms. Strong arms. Why can they not, very simply, jump and use these arms to pull themselves up on platforms ? They need to get this as a new movement ability. Should Jump even exist ?
Obviously, I doubt the jump will go away. That's why this sub-sub-section is titled "simplify jump" not "remove jump". A couple of thoughts though.
Out of combat, what is the point of the jump ?
When I'm moving from one platform to the another (e.g. bridge with a gap), shouldn't the character jump on their own ? If they can go there, and it's not particularly challenging or interesting ... why making me do it ?
Granted, mucking about with the Jump spell (which, sadly, isn't even 3D at the moment) and Feather Fall is fun. The first couple of times. Then it quickly becomes gimmicky.
True, jumping opens some paths to some areas, but how critically important are these paths ? I suppose the point is to allow some spells to have some use out of combat (and there is much work needed on the conversation and other roleplaying spells). Also, perhaps, the point is to allow players to come up with their own solutions to navigate the world, in the same way that, narratively, the story and quests can be navigated in more than one way. But I feel that the non-zero amount of fun coming from the jump is currently not matching the amount of sheer tediousness it brings to routine exploration and moving around
. When I am playing as Lara Croft or Solid Snake (both characters who go about without a party by the way), jumping around is the game, or a big part of it. The world is designed for it. The controls are designed for it. I feel that BG3 has enough roleplay and tactical RPG potential to provide the fun. The jump is currently pinning it down, and that is in large part due to the controls not being there.
During combat, what are the implications of the jump ?
Jump is currently coupled with Disengage, but let's assume they are decoupled. Let's also leave aside the currently utterly-ridiculous Backstab rule. What does Jump do ? Jumping allow you to short-circuit a lot of the positioning. Enemy trenches or barricades ? Jumped above. Frontline to protect archers and casters ? Jumped above. Difficult or hazardous terrain ? I can swap a movement cost for a Bonus Action cost, and given that not everyone has much to do with their Bonus Actions every turn, I don't feel that I'm paying much or that I'm making a really interesting decision. I can see the tactical dimension that jump takes out. And what I can see that it brings to combat feels cheesy.
So, again, I feel that the gains-vs-losses balance is not in favour of the jump.
The jump will most likely stay in the game. But it needs a lot of work to make it have a positive contribution to the gameplay. Map, medium-fast travel and fast travel. Could we have some solutions for medium-fast travel ?
By medium-fast I mean that I want to go somewhere a bit far from where I am, not using a waypoint (i.e. fast-travel), but I have explored the area already and don't want to slow-travel manually, with dozens of clicks. I just want the characters to go there. Typical example : travelling within the Druid Grove, say from the beach to trader Arron.
Suggestion : from the map screen, if I click somewhere on the map, the party walks there. Just as if I had clicked on the same point of the world, from the standard screen. Perhaps I could double-click or right click. This would obviously have to be a different command from "add note". Could we have a waypoint inside the Druids Grove ?
In the beginning area, south of the Druid Grove (the Ravaged Beach), we have 3 waypoints (Overgrown Ruins, Roadside Cliffs, Sylvanus Grove), even though we have no reason to come back to this area once we have explored it. The Druid Grove is as large as the Ravaged Beach. It contains no waypoint. And it is a place we tend to come back to often. Currently, we have to get off at the Sylvanus Grove waypoint, walk to the Grove Gate, and then walk, walk, walk inside the Grove.
Since the whole point of fast travel is to save on boring walking time, it would be a huge quality-of-life improvement to have a waypoint inside. Say, near the training ground or Doni. The map is currently not accurate.
- It can display the characters out of place.
- It can display no walkable area between two walkable areas when, in fact, I can walk from one to the other.
INTERACTING WITH THE WORLD Correct game information for exploring the world. If it's a place we cannot go (because it was not programmed to be a walkable area), then let us know unambiguously.
"Can't reach", "Target is too far", "Not enough space" and "Invalid target" sound to me as if they are sometimes employed interchangeably. And I believe I have been told "Jump to reach" when the place was not reacheable. Please make a game that is transparent, and tells us how to play it. In particular, a game that clearly tells us where we cannot go, and thus we shouldn't bother trying. Obstacles. Vines should not be a chemical property of the ground.
At the moment, it feels as if vines are a chemical property of the ground more than a physical obstacle. You cannot interact with it unless you use fire. Which, really, doesn't make a lot of sense. They should be physical.
Eldricht Blast should destroy vines. It says "Blast" in the name. And when it's upgraded, it can push heavy enemies far away. So it must be pretty strong. Strong enough to blow up vines. Same for Thunderwave.
Weapons should destroy vines too. They can be used to smash open doors and chests. They should be able to cut through vines. Looting. There are too many containers : it's tedious and not good for immersion.
Having a library full of (searchable) shelves contributes positively to immersion. But all these empty containers lead to a very unrealistic behaviour, thus contributing negatively to immersion.
Indeed I have a choice : either I completely-credibly and very-boringly search every single container, or I ignore the searching and risk learning, far too late in my playthrough, that I missed a magic item that would have been the perfect fit for someone in my party or an item that opens up a cool side quest. Few players will choose that. So we'll destroy whatever immersion was created and search everything.
In the end, the negatives outweigh the positives. And the immersion is just as good if the containers are there but not searchable. There are too many useless items.
I can pick up quills, ink pots, plates, knives and cutting boards ... what for exactly ? I was initially picking up ropes but I couldn't find how to use them to un-climb from very high ground. There are too many useful items.
This point is much less important to me, compared to some of the ones listed previously, but it logically fits here and the items aren't listed by importance.
There are too many non-junk items. See Firesnakearies' post
for the details.
I feel that there are too many magic items. I wouldn't quite go as far as saying we should have at most one magic item per character at the camp celebration, but still, magic items need to feel a bit special. This is not Diablo. Please promise us that only the useful stuff is highlighted.
You might be reluctant to throw away assets that have cost you time to create. So, please, promise us that any item that has remotely any serious use will be highlighted-and-labelled when I press ALT.
Currently, loose items (those not in containers) like equipment, potions, books, etc (i.e. useful items) are labelled. Whereas items like the plates, quills, etc (i.e. useless items) are not.
Also, some containers are ALT-labelled and some are not. Can you promise use that all the non-ALT-labelled containers are absolutely devoid of any useful item, so I can safely ignore searching them ? When I use ALT and then left-click to loot, I'm never quite sure my mouse is at the right place.
Shall I target the item ? The floating label above the item ? If the label is usable for pick-up, perhaps it should become highlighted when I hover the mouse on it, the way many actionable things and targetable creatures become highlighted when I hover over them. Also, when the item is a container, clicking on it when ALT is on results in opening it, while clicking on the floating label results in picking up the whole container. I'm not completely sure it's a good idea to have different effects for so similar commands.
And, perhaps, when I hover over the floating label, the associated item could be better highlighted, so I can see where it is. For books in particular, this could be useful.
All in all, I find the feeling of looting with ALT could be improved. Sometimes, when two corpses are very near, it can be quite hard to loot both.
This could be solved by the request below.Could we have a view-all-loot button ?
Beamdog's Enhanced Editions of the Infinity Engine games has this feature. Really useful when you've just killed a bunch of enemies and there are many corpses. For now my options are :
a) Use "Take All" on each body I search, so that they receive the "Empty" flag and I know which ones I'm done with. But after I'm done looting all the bodies, I have to waste time going to my inventory and dropping the junk, item by item, with a right-click and followed by a careful selection in a list to avoid doing a wrong operation. Big waste of time.
b) Pick up only the useful stuff from the bodies. But then I have to keep in mind what bodies I've checked.
Neither option is particularly satisfactory. When opening a corpse or container, one click should be enough to pick-up an item.
This issue is rendered worse by the huge amount of junk items, which I don't want to pick up. So I don't use the "Take All" button very often. Button which, incidentally, has the good taste of requiring only one click. And thus I frequently have to pick the items I want one by one, and I have to go through all these double-clicks.
A single click open doors, chests, and most relevantly, picks up items that are lying on the floor. So I don't see why a double click is required to pick up items that are in loot windows. This feels to me like one more layer of tediousness covering the real game. When I open a container, the container window in the middle of the screen obstructs the view.
The best way to close it and move on would be to click where I want to move on, which automatically closes the container window (instead of using 2 clicks, one to close the windows, one to move away). The problem is, with this container window in the middle of the screen, it's harder to move away exactly where I want. When I open a container and move the character away, the container window should close itself immediately.
Currently it requires the character to move away too much before closing itself, thus blocking the view and impairing movement for too long. When I open a container and then open a second one, the first container window should close itself.
This feels wrong and impractical. Finding things : Perception checks, traps. When characters succeed a Perception check, I often don't know what they found.
Please highlight what they found more clearly and for longer.
I often don't have the camera right on the characters, so when I hear a roll and a faint "what's that", by the time I'm back, I have missed the glowing thing.
From the moment my characters have found something, it's a success. The game's priority is being a RPG, it is about having the right skills in your party. The game is not Finding Waldo, and it shouldn't be about me as player having to find again the things that the characters found. Found traps should be notified as such.
Characters saying "what's that" all the time are not being very helpful. As a player, I don't want to have to guess whether that thingy I see on the ground is a trap. If it is something commonly known as a trap in this game world (mine, spiked trap, etc), and the characters know it, they should say "watch out, a trap", so that the player knows it's a trap.
If it is a mechanism unknown to the characters, they could perhaps say "hm, careful, this might be a trap", or "hm, I'm not sure what that is".
The idea is that the player should be made to know as much as the character know. Characters should not walk on detected traps unless we explicitly ask them to.
We succeeded the Perception check, so the danger should be over. The game is about having the right skills in the team (and some luck with the rolls). It should not be about the player's dexterity/skill to react quickly and take over the previous move order because the path-finding is terrible and the characters have no sense of self-preservation.