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This was one of my main issues, I have no idea how or why this design was settled on, but making it awkward to simply move individual members of the party is...bizarre.

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Originally Posted by Scribe
This was one of my main issues, I have no idea how or why this design was settled on, but making it awkward to simply move individual members of the party is...bizarre.
I can only assume it started as technical limitation that a smaller indie game like DoS1 didn't have the resources to solve. Larian needs to solve it now though; they're out there saying BG3 is a AAA game, and no self respecting AAA game would leave such an important part of its design so much worse than the genre's decades old standard.

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Originally Posted by Mogan
Originally Posted by Scribe
This was one of my main issues, I have no idea how or why this design was settled on, but making it awkward to simply move individual members of the party is...bizarre.
I can only assume it started as technical limitation that a smaller indie game like DoS1 didn't have the resources to solve. Larian needs to solve it now though; they're out there saying BG3 is a AAA game, and no self respecting AAA game would leave such an important part of its design so much worse than the genre's decades old standard.

Just wanted to add that I agree 100%

The chain/unchain system is simply unacceptable on an AAA game and a sequel to a game that did not have this issue - it doesn't add any benefits to party control, and all of it issues as exacerbated by a combination of derpy pathfinding, and no fast and easy way to pause (entering turnbase mode is clunky and terrible).

I can't recall how many times I wanted my party to just stop right where they are and simply can't - and the rest of the party proceeds to circle and dance around the controlled character to flash mob their way into formation.

In a game where terrain has gameplay effects and traps are set by stepping over them, it's a terrible design.

Last edited by Topgoon; 14/01/21 07:51 PM.
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Originally Posted by Topgoon
[quote=Mogan]

Just wanted to add that I agree 100%

The chain/unchain system is simply unacceptable on an AAA game and a sequel to a game that did not have this issue - it doesn't add any benefits to party control, and all of it issues as exacerbated by a combination of derpy pathfinding, and no fast and easy way to pause (entering turnbase mode is clunky and terrible).

I can't recall how many times I wanted my party to just stop right where they are and simply can't - and the rest of the party proceeds to circle and dance around the controlled character to flash mob their way into formation.

In a game where terrain has gameplay effects and traps are set by stepping over them, it's a terrible design.

While going from crate to crate in a room in the blighted village, they ran around like chicken without eggs, then one ran out of the house through one hole in the wall and jumped back in through another. Result of the jump : concentration broken (it was a bless or magic armor spell cast previously)

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The number of times I clicked to jump, someone got stuck, I selected them, and everyone else jumped to the other side?

Shameful. :p

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I'm so glad to see more and more people recognizing how abysmal the current control scheme is and how much of a priority is to address it to make this game better.

I mean, we have seen across this entire thread and on other forums that the argument isn't controversial at all and the loathe for the chain/unchain system is basically unanimous, but a lot of people kept overlooking it as some minor side issue, when I can't really stress enough how much it manages to single-handedly hinder my enjoyment of the entire game.


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I would not be surprised if this chain/unchain system is also one of the invisible reasons why some people have found the combat in BG3 too challenging (which I honestly don't think it is, but I've seen the complaints).

The terrible movement management encourages you to simply move your party forward as a group into encounters in the most vulnerable formation, as opposed to splitting up and scouting ahead, etc. Of course every fight will seem unfair when you start them surrounded and pounded.

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Originally Posted by Topgoon
I would not be surprised if this chain/unchain system is also one of the invisible reasons why some people have found the combat in BG3 too challenging (which I honestly don't think it is, but I've seen the complaints).

The terrible movement management encourages you to simply move your party forward as a group into encounters in the most vulnerable formation, as opposed to splitting up and scouting ahead, etc. Of course every fight will seem unfair when you start them surrounded and pounded.

Not sure anyone talked about it in this thread but that's a valid point.

Reading it allow me to realize that it's exactly what I'm doing, even if I don't find the game hard at all (but now I know every Larian's cheats).

Last edited by Maximuuus; 16/01/21 02:18 AM.
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Originally Posted by Scribe
The number of times I clicked to jump, someone got stuck, I selected them, and everyone else jumped to the other side?

Shameful. :p

Yeah, this is truly the pinnacle of game design...
Come on Larian, just address this issue already!

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I believe that Larian has some emotional attachment to this system. It looks like something you created and deeply believe is good, but everyone says it isn't. And although it isn't a terrible solution, the chain/unchain system is no better than the classic mode (BG1, BG2, Pillars of Eternity, Pathfinder Kingmaker...).

So, Larian needs to give this up and implement a better system (the classic) in which you simply click on someone you want to control or draw a square on the screen to select more than one character. Or select one of them, hold Shift and select the others (Backspace to select the entire group).

Perhaps they can adopt a mix of these two systems where if you select more than one character, it will show a lock for you to "link" the characters together.

And the game really needs Formation Options because it's frustrating to see your group taking strange positions on the battlefield before each fight.

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Originally Posted by Gustavo R
I believe that Larian has some emotional attachment to this system. It looks like something you created and deeply believe is good, but everyone says it isn't. And although it isn't a terrible solution, the chain/unchain system is no better than the classic mode (BG1, BG2, Pillars of Eternity, Pathfinder Kingmaker...).

So, Larian needs to give this up and implement a better system (the classic) in which you simply click on someone you want to control or draw a square on the screen to select more than one character. Or select one of them, hold Shift and select the others (Backspace to select the entire group).

Perhaps they can adopt a mix of these two systems where if you select more than one character, it will show a lock for you to "link" the characters together.

And the game really needs Formation Options because it's frustrating to see your group taking strange positions on the battlefield before each fight.

Agreed, though personally I find the current party control system terrible, in every sense. Has there been any acknowledgement by Larian of the feedback on party movement? Surely they can't stick with this system? They seemed to act fairly quickly on the feedback about the companions but I am not aware of any comment on this feedback.

I would hate to think that that their pride or insistence on their vision for BG3 would get in the way of implementing a superior party movement system, even if the basics were devised in a previous game over 20 years ago. As they say, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

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Larian aren't particularly good at self-innovation. Just look at their inventory problems, they've been largely the same since the first divinity game released ages ago.


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Originally Posted by Dexai
Larian aren't particularly good at self-innovation. Just look at their inventory problems, they've been largely the same since the first divinity game released ages ago.

That does not fill me with much hope that other issues will be rectified either, in that case. Have they bitten off more than they can chew with this game?

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Originally Posted by Gustavo R
I believe that Larian has some emotional attachment to this system. It looks like something you created and deeply believe is good, but everyone says it isn't. And although it isn't a terrible solution, the chain/unchain system is no better than the classic mode (BG1, BG2, Pillars of Eternity, Pathfinder Kingmaker...).

So, Larian needs to give this up and implement a better system (the classic) in which you simply click on someone you want to control or draw a square on the screen to select more than one character. Or select one of them, hold Shift and select the others (Backspace to select the entire group).

Perhaps they can adopt a mix of these two systems where if you select more than one character, it will show a lock for you to "link" the characters together.

And the game really needs Formation Options because it's frustrating to see your group taking strange positions on the battlefield before each fight.
I'd be incline to agree with everything, except the "it isn't a terrible solution" part. Because I genuinely think it is.
And yes, following up what Etruscan said, I share the concern about how Larian has yet to even publicly acknowledge the criticism in that sense, let alone address it.

EDIT - Fun fact: this is now the second thread in this entire section for number of replies and the first by a significant margin for number of views. Kinda hard to pretend to not notice the criticism on this specific matter at this point.

Last edited by Tuco; 16/01/21 05:23 AM.

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I dont even know how this could be a debate.

The current system is indefensible. This issue was solved in BG1, at least in comparison to what we have now. Thats 1998 for those keeping track. 23 years of mechanics and game design have lead to this?

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I’m convinced it’s the way it is now because it’s a mindset thing. They want you to focus on your character and the ‘companions’ are just that, they follow your lead. Like Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Dragon’s Dogma etc. They want it to be less like an RTS when you’re not in combat, more like an adventure RPG game. Until you get to combat then it becomes a tactics game. The problem is how poorly it’s been implemented from a pathfinding and AI standpoint.

It might also be partly to do with co-op play; with only one or two characters to control, the current system works well enough.

I get the feeling they’d rather keep working on their AI than change direction (as they’ve done with the group jumping), however considering they’re now dealing with the BG franchise and how so many folk in here want it to emulate typical crpgs, now might be the time to reconsider.

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Originally Posted by LukasPrism
I’m convinced it’s the way it is now because it’s a mindset thing. They want you to focus on your character and the ‘companions’ are just that, they follow your lead. Like Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Dragon’s Dogma etc. They want it to be less like an RTS when you’re not in combat, more like an adventure RPG game. Until you get to combat then it becomes a tactics game. The problem is how poorly it’s been implemented from a pathfinding and AI standpoint.

It might also be partly to do with co-op play; with only one or two characters to control, the current system works well enough.

I get the feeling they’d rather keep working on their AI than change direction (as they’ve done with the group jumping), however considering they’re now dealing with the BG franchise and how so many folk in here want it to emulate typical crpgs, now might be the time to reconsider.

I truly hope that is not the case. If the game is being designed primarily with co-op (and/or a console port) in mind, then it would seem things will not change in this respect which for me would be a real shame. Would like to know the percentage breakdown of who plays single player, co-op, etc. I would assume the vast majority would be single player?

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Yeah I just don't understand this whole Dungeons & Double Dragon co-op emphasis.

Compromising the single player experience to accommodate a better co-op experience just seems like a bad plan. Especially since its not really necessary. The old approach to a multi-player BG game worked perfectly well, e.g. dividing control of the party by however many players you had. But that doesn't work when the whole scheme is based on controlling only one character at a time, with everyone else toggled into a follower/henchman mode.

I also think the appeal to more fidelity with the table top experience which I've heard floated around, as a way to excuse the slower play pace or wonky controls is also kind of curious, since that's not really what made the BG games successful anyway. Replaying the old games again, its hard to miss just how different the gameplay and overall play pace feel in this new one.

I don't think BG1 or BG2 feel anything like a table top campaign to be honest, at least in terms of the mechanics and overall thrust of the control scheme. It was more of an action RTS game, with a Forgotten Realms RPG presentation. The play pace was fast, and most of the combats and such resolved with melee (even from the non-warrior types) more often than not. Sure BG was kind of ridiculous with the paws of the cheetah, or the buff and haste for every encounter, but the contrast here is still pretty marked. There are other games they could have made a sequel for, that took a different approach, more in line with what they're giving us here. This game plays more like Kotor, or Neverwinter Nights or Dragon Age or even Skyrim, than it does BG1/2, despite being turn based, which is a little odd. But at least the control scheme of those games was pretty straight forward in terms of what it was trying to do, since control of the single PC in a more 3D FPS environment is well established for RPGs of that type.

BG3 right now reminds me of games like Master of Orion 3, or Zelda II: the Adventure of Link, or Dragon Age 2. Sequels where the designers opted to throw out a lot of core aspects in the gameplay that made their direct predecessors successful, in order to try some new thing. But where the new game doesn't fit the same mold, and doesn't work so well as a result. Like I'm sure sure somebody thought doing Zelda II as a side scroller to make it more like Super Mario Bros rather than the original Zelda would be a great idea, but yeah, not so much. I think Larian's situation has definitely been complicated by their Divinity titles, since clearly they wanted BG3 to appeal to the same audience as a crossover. But it just feels like the gameplay is more that, than it is a serious homage to the gameplay of the franchise they are carrying now.

I just hope they swing for the fences, and actually rework the party controls so its more in keeping with the BG feel and expectations. They have time to fix this stuff, and EA would give them an opportunity to try, but what we haven't heard anything about it from the devs. I haven't heard anyone chime here to say that they actually prefer what we have now, so you'd think changing it might be something they'd want to explore?

Last edited by Black_Elk; 17/01/21 02:28 AM.
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Originally Posted by LukasPrism
I’m convinced it’s the way it is now because it’s a mindset thing. They want you to focus on your character and the ‘companions’ are just that, they follow your lead. Like Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Dragon’s Dogma etc.
Which, conversely, is a COMPLETE mismatch with the fact that your companions can also start conversations in your place, even when you don't want them to (which is most of the times, let's be real).

But the worst thing about this is that they could easily have both.
All it needs is a "everyone follow" toggle button as an optional feature.

Originally Posted by Black_Elk
I haven't heard anyone chime here to say that they actually prefer what we have now, so you'd think changing it might be something they'd want to explore?

As I said more than once, this one may very well be one of the LEAST divisive topics in this entire forum (and among the entire community, really. Be it on Steam, reddit or Youtube commentary).

You could probably find more people willing to defend a Ronald McDonald costume as default outfit for Astarion than people willing to genuinely praise the chain/unchain system.
Even the incredibly rare attempts to defend it so far never went past a lukewarm, timid "Yeah, IT SUCKS, but maybe with some changes...".

Last edited by Tuco; 17/01/21 06:27 AM.

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I really hope we get some official response. This system is extremely poor.

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