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Originally Posted by Black_Elk
If balancing encounters and mechanics for co-op gameplay on consoles truly is their main rationale for maxing at 4, that would indeed be a shame. Like why not just develop the thing for consoles in that case, and be up front about it? Or target the EA at PC players with controllers now, instead of punishing us with a controller style scheme that's forced into a mouse and keyboard experience here?

...

I'm with Ianthebea on this one, but mainly because 6 just fits my idea of what a Baldur's Gate game should be. Its a significant source of disappointment for me with the current game and I worry that its just going to mean fewer companions, worse party management controls, and a generally 'less than epic' vibe later if they don't start shoring it up here.


Well said (I abbreviated your full post for space saving purposes only).

I got so carried away with the notion of being able to play BG3 (after so many years I doubted BG3 would ever be made), that the more I played the more I realised there were several things missing that left me feeling rather deflated about the whole thing. The party limit is just one of them.

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the one thing I see interfering with a possible solution is sadly the origin characters idea that they are both companions and pseudo player characters storywise, this prevents them from just functioning as companions to player characters fully and allows for incredibly weird out of character dialogue options when playing as them thus not fully fulfilling both roles, the reason why? because otherwise these companion characters could just function as companion characters and circumvent the party limit by adding them as a minion type to the party rather than take a player character slot, there is plenty functionality at the moment for a party of 8 and bigger if you find the spider egg and pop it open you get to command up to 5 spiders (so much for the 1 creature summon limit lol) but the pathfinding and AI while following is incredibly wonky at the moment, however this does mean that technology wise we do not have to be limited to only 4 characters in a party,

this is however only if the things in your party are pure companions and not their own player characters in the story on their own, you see when you have 4 players doing co-op and all pick an origin character you now have a full party, if 4 players pick custom characters and no origin character there is now 0 room for any companion storyline of any kind thus the players are quite literally just being deprived of 4 companion characters worth of story/writing/voice acting/ having to consider their approval etc, this means that storywise you're now missing a gith unless a player made one as their char, if the companion characters were pure companion characters they would still be able to join up with the party storywise.

Knowing how the DMG has whole adjustments based on the # of player characters in the party it seems doable to add scaling mechanics for monster CR/abilities etc based on the #of controllable player characters + companions in use.

I mean this is how NWN handled its co-op adjustments iirc tho its implementation admittedly was rather wonky.

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I would also prefer the party to be expanded to six people. But even if it's feasible at this point, if it will delay the full launch of this game significantly, I'd tolerate four. If there are future expansions or what not, I'd like to see an expansion of the group.

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also 1 other thing, if I was playing D&D and players at my table would be acting like lae'zel & shadowheart do when they're in the group (treating them like player characters here) I'd quit the table or ask the DM to get those 2 to pipe down their overtly hostile RP.

If they are companion characters however they can throw as many insults at each other as they want, again I really feel that the origin characters being pseudo player characters is throwing things off here.

I can only imagine how weird a session of 4 actual players controlling lae'zel and shadowheart / other origin characters (gonna play a good vampire or evil wyll and let wyll go "oh it's not my sense of justice but oh well go ahead kill the child then kagha", ie be incredibly out of character) would be compared to just letting them be the NPCs they're clearly intended to be.

also picking a prepackaged character sheet with origin story seems like it's pretty far removed from D&D as well, in case you can't tell I don't want origin stories to be pickable as main character, actual full player characters, sure fine, they're all the main characters, but already I feel the same thing that happened in DIV OS 2 happening in act 2 in which some really contrived excuse is gonna get used to force you to drop all the characters you don't have with you at event X or Y, there was a mod that removed this restriction and honestly besides 1 bossfight it barely affected the story, I'd really rather not have to wait for a mod to fix a core design decision that I don't see giving any merit, in DIV OS 2 it was a decision that affected.... who showed up at a boss fight in another act as ghosts because they died and thus also their story and quests died with them..... why exactly? again the mod that removes the restriction and allows you to retain your party members and expands the size of said party does unbalance combat significantly but storywise everything keeps on chugging along just fine? what did that decision impact again? who's story/voice acting/side quests I'd have to miss out on and force a 2nd playthrough? I'd really rather not have to wait for a mod to fix that with BG3 and I hope they find some way to adjust the UI for scalable party sizes I can see some workarounds and storywise I've so far encountered 0 reasons after several playthroughs as to why a party has to be trimmed down to 4 chosen ones, and it's getting really annoying having to swap out characters in and out whenever I know from experience now that characters like Wyll have unique interactions with certain goblins as it pertains to his side quest or personal quest w/e you wanna call it, I gotta swap in astarion when I find some drained wildlife for a unique interaction, I gotta swap in shadowheart at the shrine to selune and pass a check for her to confess she's a shar whorshipper and lae'zel starts to get seriously pissed off whenever you progress her personal quest (resets approval to neutral every time you progress shadowhearts personal quest from what I can tell), I gotta swap in gale whenever I acquire certain magically charged items so he can have his snack, I gotta constantly juggle party members around just like in DIV Os2 to get their unique interactions out of them when the mod just allowed me to have all party members with me and enjoy their personal quests & unique interactions with other NPCs.

edit clarifying lingo here: NPC here to mean non player character as opposed to non playable character as is usual with video games.

Last edited by Ianthebea; 23/12/20 03:48 AM.
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+1 IMO increase party size or retitle to DoS3

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IMO, anything more than current established party size just makes a game that can already be easily beaten with current established party size a cake walk joke.

This is like asking for a lonewolf mode when the game can already be wrecked with a lone solo character without lonewolf mode......

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Originally Posted by bullse
IMO, anything more than current established party size just makes a game that can already be easily beaten with current established party size a cake walk joke.

This is like asking for a lonewolf mode when the game can already be wrecked with a lone solo character without lonewolf mode......


there are adjustments literally in the Dungeon master guide for adjusting difficulty based on # of party members and knowing larian you'll get your tactical mode of 'totally not gonna savescum every combat encounter' dw dude


also you're talking 100% out of your ass lol, no way you're beating 2 minotaurs with double attack at lvl 5 when you're capped at 4 without barrelmancy or other cheats/exploits when flying solo so go off by all means dude

Last edited by Ianthebea; 24/12/20 02:41 PM.
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Originally Posted by Ianthebea
Originally Posted by bullse
IMO, anything more than current established party size just makes a game that can already be easily beaten with current established party size a cake walk joke.

This is like asking for a lonewolf mode when the game can already be wrecked with a lone solo character without lonewolf mode......


there are adjustments literally in the Dungeon master guide for adjusting difficulty based on # of party members and knowing larian you'll get your tactical mode of 'totally not gonna savescum every combat encounter' dw dude


also you're talking 100% out of your ass lol, no way you're beating 2 minotaurs with double attack at lvl 5 when you're capped at 4 without barrelmancy or other cheats/exploits when flying solo so go off by all means dude


100% huh? Want links to videos or is your ability to use a search engine still intact? Cause be assured, there are a number of EA BG3 players beating the 2 Minotaurs with solo 'lonewolf' toon's/character's using no cheat/exploits. As the Windmill deep gnome would say, "Ignorance is alive and well, it seems...."

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Last edited by bullse; 25/12/20 12:55 PM.
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I agree, surely staying true to the Baldurs Gate series should allow a 6 person party size. Please stay true to the roots of the game. I would be happy to spend more time in combat and enjoying the experience while having a more varied party. It stays true to even Baldurs Gate 1!

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I prefer 4 characters. 6 is too much to manage with Larian's style.

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I solo and duet the game, as 4 is way too easy. I don't cheese at all (as I feel it cheapens my experience). 6 is way too much, Even in old Baldur's gate 1-2, I solo' ...at most I use 2-3 total (including myself)party members.

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Players should be getting straight nuked if they roll with fewer than 4 PCs. The fact that the game can be soloed already should give them pause. It means that the challenge for 4 is barely passing. Peeps can already meta game the hell out of the first Act since there's nothing else to do right now, so I think that should be anticipated. They need to start kicking around ideas for their hardest game settings so it can be run through in the EA. I'm really curious how they're going to approach that.

I'd much prefer that selecting a harder difficulty meant more challenging encounters and more enemies, rather than just nerfing the PCs and calling it a day. I also want the world to scale up to meet the PCs, rather than seeing the PCs simply get gimped so the world can stay the same, if that makes sense. It should feel difficult even for the full party proceeding along the standard path, and way harder if you just start skipping off into the woods by yourself. The fact that they didn't seem to really entertain the idea of 6 seriously at the start and decided to just go with what they were used to with 4 is a shame. I don't want lose out on one of the defining features of the earlier games with a large party, tons of companions, and where the combat is challenging enough to make that work, just because someone wants to lone wolf it.

They should start large and design the interface and combat challenges for 6 at the high end and 4 at the low end. Because that leaves room for people who want to meta the thing and make it harder for themselves by rolling with 1-3.

Or similarly if players find the idea of managing more than 4 PCs to be the thing of nightmares under the current scheme, that should indicate that there are problems with the interface and party controls that should be addressed ASAP.

On the harder difficulty scales I'd also like to see a companion get chunked every once in a while in the more intense battles, with enough other companions left around that the game can still proceed to completion with a replacement if the player opts not to reload. I'll also admit that I never touched anything other than the default 'normal' and 'core rules' difficulty settings in BG1/2, but found the playpace enjoyable for 6 or solo there (that was more because of the way XP worked for overlevelling since the old games had the split reward). In Tutu I did opt for the revamped AI mods eventually, but that was like a decade later and well into weidu era. I really don't care much for Ironman wheel of pain settings, but know that some really love those, so it would be nice for them to have that setting so they can give feedback on it specifically, instead of trashing through the default. Give them their horror show ultra death mode setting so they can feedback on it instead of the default difficulty.

I'd much prefer they get this thing dialed for 6 and truly think 4 is stopping short. Though I guess I've made that pretty clear by now.

In the interviews they talked about this consideration, with 4 as something they decided on because they felt they could 'deliver a better experience for the players' with 4. But that felt like a bit of a cop out to me. Sort of like double speak, admitting that 6 was just too hard for them to handle in an elegant way. Like I just immediately find myself asking why they can't deliver for 6? And if the devs can't deliver it, that probably means a simple mod to expand/unlock two more slots by itself will be weaksauce without a massive encounter/inferface overhaul. That's going to take forever with Mods.

I want them to work harder on it so they can deliver. I had really hoped that this would be a thing they patched in sooner rather than later, so they could start building out the difficulty scale at the high end, rather than the low end. I feel like they should be changing the encounters too and getting us used to seeing that mixed up from time to time in the EA, particularly in the earlier areas.

Right now I honestly think they pushed out the EA too early. They probably should have let it cook a bit longer. This is what happens when you share a WIP with too many people. Its like publishing a rough draft or framing a sketch, screening dailies to the public, or selling tickets to premier a play that stops at the intermission. The crits are going to be all over the place and runs the risk of losing the initial vision and dampening enthusiasm by showing it off too soon, which I think is what's happening to some degree. I'd have happily waited till Halloween 2021 to play something more put together, but its too late for that now. What I think they need to do now is demonstrate some serious ambition, and hype the idea that what we've seen far is 'just the begining'

Increasing the party size to 6 with UI and controls to match, along with updated encounters would signal that I think.

I also really want to know if they have plans for Companions that are not Origins characters, and if so what that might look like. If we could recruit a couple companions who weren't Origin PCs that would have me breathing an instant sigh of relief.

Last edited by Black_Elk; 29/12/20 04:03 PM.
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Why should you be straight nuked? Every game can be Solo'd pretty much. Dos1/Do2, PoE1,Poe2, bg1-bg2. I solo all of these games on the hardest setting possible. Bigger party size just means you're not very good and need the extra help

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What I mean is that I wish the game was designed primarily with the large party challenge in mind, rather than the small party or single character. I'm not opposed to solo'ing these games at all, since summons and abilities at the higher levels usually make that enjoyable. Its entertaining to find ways to run through it with a single character, especially in the afterlife of a game of this sort. Level quickly through the meta knowledge of replay, and then slash the material that is targeted at lower level characters till you can crush whatever. Experience cap also plays into it. Right now the cap is pretty low. Since a single well equipped lvl 4 PC, is better than having say 2-4 level 1-2 PCs for handling many situations, and you cap out anyway well before the material is through, there is an incentive to roll light and see if you can beat it that way just for kicks. Everything or at least most of the stuff we can access now is targeted at the entry level scale and easier. There are fights that feel challenging on the first run, but then you learn the cutty moves and how to trash the encounters and skirt to the finish line. Then eventually its trying to play out the game with no reloads or perma death and things of that sort. But from what I've seen so far I still think it would be better if they jump it to 6 and increase the scale or difficulty of the encounters to account for that. I think it would benefit the single character or small party run through in the end, if they aim higher at 6 PCs.

It should also be expected that the new player is not going to be very good. So yes, having a larger party also helps with that too, and to engage the new player with more combinations of classes so they can discover what they like while not getting totally murdered. But if we can coast through with 4, the solution should be to pump up the challenge of the game for targeted at 6. So when you roll with 4 or fewer its more entertaining with a longer shelf life.

Anyway, I wish for this game to have the feel of the large party lineage like BG and the old Gold Boxes, whereas focus on the single character feels more like Everquest or NWN or DoA type lineage to me, like games with AI henchmen rather than full party control. I understand why they have to make a game that scales for the single MC. But I want there to be a game that is actually tough for the large group of PCs to handle too. And I'd rather have 6 PCs than AI controlled friendlies on my team during large engagements.

Last edited by Black_Elk; 30/12/20 12:14 AM.
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Originally Posted by CAGE

this is baldur's gate!!


Hehehe fair point, well taken!

That was hilarious

Last edited by Black_Elk; 30/12/20 03:46 AM.
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+1

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-1 to this.

Well know is that D&D pen & paper rules do best cater to 6 man parties of 2 tanks, 2 healers, 1 mage, 1 rogue teams. That multiclass XP gain is so slow skills are wasted compared to specialists, Unless... they almost break the entire game.
In BG1 I carried a warrior/rogue/wizard wood elf for the entire game to fully use it's stealth in the end boss fight to mute the mage minions spellcasting, that's how far D&D rules exploits can go and you mislead players unaware of pen & paper rules. Larian made a point about come as you are. Play who you want to be. There is no late game XP penalty on any start screen choice.

This 6 player party - no compromises makes for a very boring stereotypical Diabolo style hack & slay gameplay of defined job roles w/o any need for compromise. Tha's rather boring and need for compromise is painful but good for the game. It's not Diabolo style hack 6 slay. it's a story driven game.

You can switch companions or ven your player character with no XP penatly back at camp anytime. Larian got a neat solution for it by simply allowing your camp inhabitants to level up for free.

All player characters choice of class and culture fully plays out in cutscenes and skill roles available. More companions exponentially multiplies the hard work for Larian and simple blows the budget on actors and cut scenes through the roof. Check out the videos on the studio techniques used, Additionally it just makes balancing multiplayer and the whole game excessively harder for the studio.

It has always been an issue that a ranger is useless in a city chapter as much as a rogue is useless in the wilderness chapters. XP on wilderness characters is wasted late game in city environs Badurs Gate. A very bad trade off and it hurts new players experience badly. Larian clearly doesn't want to recommend classes, race or role choice by players. They made a clear point: Be who you want to be in the gaame. Come as you are.

The result is a way better game experience and consistnet quality of diaalogue. For the trivial trade off needing to click back to camp and switch a companion. if you chose a mage (terrible D&D hack & slay early game guaranteed) you'll find 2 useful tanks in your camp. You can rightfully enjoy being a pacofost druid. I never had this freedom in any fantasy game where that initial choice made the game much harder. For me that's the best deal in D&D rules based game I ever got - no wasted XP on whatever choice a made at player character selection. No need to ever start all over again mid or late game.

Sure, the cheap BG1 style D&D paper rules exploit you guys have been advocating is gone. Enjoy the addtional challenge. Took me a while to accept and enjoyl - no offense to you who upvoted this. I'm sure Larian Studios will stick with their choice for the better of us all.


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Originally Posted by T2aV
Why should you be straight nuked? Every game can be Solo'd pretty much. Dos1/Do2, PoE1,Poe2, bg1-bg2. I solo all of these games on the hardest setting possible. Bigger party size just means you're not very good and need the extra help

Its not about performing. I did solo BG2 with a lot of different class, I still enjoy it quite a bit with six characters. Having banter, a true party, and a normal level scaling (and not a demigod overpowered character) makes up for an entirely different experience. Solo game are unbalanced, you get the best loot, quickly get at a way highter level than you should and 95% of the game is too easy. If anything, having 6 companions in Baldurs gate 2 makes the game harder than playing it solo, because they have normal stats.


And quit talking about ''being good'' at this kind of game. It really doesn't require much. Anyone can do BG2 solo after looking at a Kensai/mage build on internet. Pickup CromFayr, Robe of Vecna and a few other item, there, you're set . If you wanna brag about being good at video game, do it on real competitive game like shooter, MOBA, fighting game or RTS. Who cares if you can beat the AI on a solo RPG ?

Last edited by Hachina; 01/01/21 08:03 PM.

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+1. I would also prefer even just 5 characters for the party.

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Originally Posted by Hachina
Originally Posted by T2aV
Why should you be straight nuked? Every game can be Solo'd pretty much. Dos1/Do2, PoE1,Poe2, bg1-bg2. I solo all of these games on the hardest setting possible. Bigger party size just means you're not very good and need the extra help

Its not about performing. I did solo BG2 with a lot of different class, I still enjoy it quite a bit with six characters. Having banter, a true party, and a normal level scaling (and not a demigod overpowered character) makes up for an entirely different experience. Solo game are unbalanced, you get the best loot, quickly get at a way highter level than you should and 95% of the game is too easy. If anything, having 6 companions in Baldurs gate 2 makes the game harder than playing it solo, because they have normal stats.


And quit talking about ''being good'' at this kind of game. It really doesn't require much. Anyone can do BG2 solo after looking at a Kensai/mage build on internet. Pickup CromFayr, Robe of Vecna and a few other item, there, you're set . If you wanna brag about being good at video game, do it on real competitive game like shooter, MOBA, fighting game or RTS. Who cares if you can beat the AI on a solo RPG ?

You solo'd the game yet or you still getting full party wiped? You talk about how you have played solo, etc. and yet, utterly fail at acknowledging that solo'ing a game that is meant for 4+ full party takes a different mindset, an understanding of game and class mechanics, preparation, planning, etc. as compared to what I see from full party playthroughs via Youtube and Twitch where most are just haphazardly doing sh*t and then when all goes to crap, going 'OMG, WTF happened!?' Further, playing solo means I have less options (spells, etc.) at my disposal than running around with a party with a crap ton of options for any given situation or encounter......and still getting full party wiped, ironic, huh? Maybe, it is you that needs to "quit talking"?

And T2av not too far off imho: if you can't beat the game or struggle at beating the game with 4 party members what the hell makes you think your struggles are going to be any less with a party of 5-6? Conversely, if one can beat the game solo, running a full party for one that has done it solo makes the game even more of a joke.

Last edited by bullse; 04/01/21 05:36 PM.
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