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Originally Posted by Mogan
The Baldur's Gate 3 early access has given me a whole new appreciation for Pillars of Eternity. : \
That's a shame, because the game truly has a potential, just hidden beneath a thick layer of poor design choices.


The way Larian manages party movement is dreadful
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Originally Posted by Nibel
Originally Posted by Mogan
The Baldur's Gate 3 early access has given me a whole new appreciation for Pillars of Eternity. : \
That's a shame, because the game truly has a potential, just hidden beneath a thick layer of poor design choices.
Amen on that. Though I don't even think the layer is that thick or that those choices go really deep. All main problems I see with the game seem relatively easily amendable, if Larian was willing...

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Originally Posted by Nibel
Originally Posted by Mogan
The Baldur's Gate 3 early access has given me a whole new appreciation for Pillars of Eternity. : \
That's a shame, because the game truly has a potential, just hidden beneath a thick layer of poor design choices.
It really does. I WANT to like Baldur's Gate 3 badly, but the controls and UI are how the player interacts with the game. I have to deal with them 100% of the time I'm playing, and they're SO bad compared to almost every other CRPG out there. It's like if the brand new iPhone made users type everything with a T9 keypad.

Last edited by Mogan; 04/02/21 05:28 PM.
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Since it's somewhat related, here comes the completely gratuitous anecdotal story.


You know, I have a couple of friends on another gaming forum that are aware of this thread and at some point almost started teasing me about it.
We are talking stuff among the lines of "Just give it up, they are never getting rid of the toilet chain, lol".

But just in case someone at Larian may read this and think "See? Some people are on our side about this", here's the part that they should find a bit less amusing in perspective: these friends hate the current control scheme as well.
They don't care as much as I do about it being fixed only because they already gave up on this game, while conversely I still think there's a lot of good stuff that could be salvaged here, with few well aimed changes.


Party control in Baldur's Gate 3 is a complete mess that begs to be addressed. You too can join the good fight HERE
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Originally Posted by Mogan
It's like if the brand new iPhone made users type everything with a T9 keypad.

Haha, I love this.



It would be a tragedy if they didn't address this movement issue. I would even be okay with them keeping the chain/unchain system (but really, please don't) as long as they enable multi-select when unchained, effectively just giving players both options.

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Since the guy basically disappeared from around here, I'll post a summary of this discussion's salient points that the user Isaac Springsong wrote for the "megathread section" but never bothered publishing.
Leaving it buried as a "work in progress" seems a bit of a waste.
I arbitrarily omitted just a point he made about "making a grid based on bigger squares" because I fundamentally disagree with it.

Originally Posted by Isaac Springsong
Primary Topic Link -> https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=679414&nt=10&page=1

Summary: The Chain/unchain mechanic feels clunky and often doesn't provide a good sense of party control during movement. It requires too much micromanagement and often results in party members moving into surfaces or other unintended areas. Players would prefer the standard cRPG selection methods (mouse click + drag, party formations, ability to set formation facing on movement, singe click to select/deselect or shift select/deselect).

Main Discussion:

Chain/unchain - This method of party selection creates several problems. Some mechanical, some thematic. The first is that it takes too long to choose which party members you want to move. This only gets worse as the party size gets bigger. Say your party is entirely selected, but now you only want to move two of them together. That now requires you to:

1. Click on one party member's portrait, dragging it far into the screen, and then rotating the cursor and releasing. This *might* separate the party member.

2. Repeat step 1, but for the other party member.

3. Click one party members portrait and drag it 'next to' the other party member and pray that they snap together.

That method is far too imprecise and often takes several seconds of trying to get nearly pixel perfect mouse dragging. Moreover, it makes for numerous situations where you are trying to do simple movements, but can't do so without multiple clicks and dragging portraits to create new groups. See the Jumping problem below for one such example.

Possible Solutions - Honestly just go play the original BG series, Neverwinter Nights, Pathfinder Kingmaker, Wasteland 3, Solasta, pretty much every other cRPG system. It was a great idea to try something new in DoS 1 & 2, but this topic has near universal agreement to use the standard party selection methods. Be able to click and drag a box around party members to select them. Be able to shift + left click to select party members. Be able to shift + keypad number for party member (i.e. Shift + 1 + 2 makes you select party members 1 and 2 together).

Movement:

  • Primary Complaints

    [**]Jumping - It is *very* frustrating that you have to individually select each party member and give them jumping instructions. This is magnified by the fact that you also need to move each party member after jumping to create enough space for the other members, except then you also need to unchain everyone because otherwise party members on the destination side will randomly run around, taking up precious landing space, as the chained movement system requires. During world exploration (out of combat), each party member should just follow the leader and automatically jump to follow the leader of their group.

    [**]Sneaking - Can't have sneaking members follow one another. Either everyone sneaks as a chained group, or you have to do each character individually. This is cumbersome if you only want 2-3 party members to sneak together.

    [**]No formation facing - Formation facing is extremely useful for careful placement and knowing where each party member will end up at the end of the move. This is crucial when you are moving near traps or other interactable environmental effects.

    [**]Bad Pathing - Related to the above, the pathing system in the game is bad. Party members often double around obstacles the player didn't know was there, run straight through easily avoidable surface areas, and generally feels clunky. A lot of this is related to characters occupying 'more space' than they should by the rules, and by character models not being able to move through one another.

    [**] Small Movements = Disaster - Right now, moving a chained party member causes the other party members to go crazy, shifting their positions back and forth and often triggering traps, encounters, surfaces, and just generally looking silly. There should be some leeway in moving a group's 'leader' (whomever the player has selected) without it causing the other party members to adjust their position (unless using something like formation facing so as to allow the player to also move the group in small increments). This is a great example of why this is bad ->



Possible Solutions - Much as the first suggestion, not need to reinvent the wheel. Which is ironic because right now the movement system is like trying to steer a car without a steering wheel. Technically possible, but no one wants to do it. The movement system of DoS 1 & 2 was thoroughly cited as one of the detrimental parts of the game. BG 3 somehow made it worse. It's time to let it die and adapt the movement schemes used by every other cRPG.

Miscellaneous:
I cannot stress enough how much the party selection and movement system exacerbates the "This game is just DoS 3, not BG 3" problem. The schemes used in BG 3 are only used elsewhere in DoS 1 & 2, nowhere else. If the schemes were good, they'd have been adopted by other games. Changing how the player interacts with their party and moves them throughout the world to more closely resemble the original series (as well as the derivative games that were clearly inspired by BG) would go a long way towards making BG 3 both a clearly distinct product from the DoS series and make it feel more like a spiritual successor to the BG series.

I'll also add this to the OP. It's probably a better summary than my half-assed original incipit.
EDIT- Nevermind. I can't edit old posts apparently.

Last edited by Tuco; 09/02/21 01:43 PM.

Party control in Baldur's Gate 3 is a complete mess that begs to be addressed. You too can join the good fight HERE
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Despite adopting a totally different approach to party movement, my main frustration with BG3 is weirdly the same one I had with BG1/2... party members getting in each others' way.

In BG2 this would happen when two characters locked into each other along the same path and just froze in place. Or when one character would randomly re-route their path because another character was blocking their fastest lane. This would result in ridiculous and unnecessary delays, where one character would go 'the long way round' or you'd have to reissuing the movement commands multiple times for each pc like herding cats. The situation was made worse by things like narrow area exits (the Planar Sphere stronghold comes to mind) or spells like haste, or equipment like the boots of speed, where some characters would travel the map at different speeds. That stuff was all annoying, and all the result of Party members not being able to pass through each other's space towards the target.

Although the whole movement scheme and UI is different in BG3, somehow this same issue of the intra-party body block persists, and the same wonky scenario plays out, where characters within the party become the main obstacle to orderly movement across the area maps. There were times in BG2 when I wished everyone would just move in a single file line with some measure of discipline. Bizarrely, in this game the whole control scheme is designed around a chain/follow concept, and yet somehow the pcs are still trying to get ahead of each other or ambling off course into traps or goblin axes etc.

I don't know how they plan to address it, but I wish they'd start by ditching the body block as a thing. Maybe the idea of "plugging gaps" or "blocking doorways" is fun or rewarding from a tactical gameplay standpoint when it comes to managing Hostile space, but its not interesting to have the party getting in its own way when it comes to friendly space.

ps. I just had an idea for how they might preserve some vestige of the chain as an idea, but used in a rather different way. If you could set a chain/tether distance beyond which the AI would not move PCs in the party that might be interesting. The point would be to select a distance. Again, ditching the body block altogether, but basically the concept would be to set a radius for how spread out the party could become from the AI trying to gain positional advantage for the companion PCs on the player's behalf. That would have been really a rather nice feature had it existed in BG1/2, if you could tether the party to the Main Character so that they wouldn't try to circumnavigate an area by darting off in the opposite direction, but while still allowing some room for naturalistic movement.

BG never offered a line formation, even though that would have been very useful for navigating around the game. The narrowest formation was the default 2 by 6 rectangle. The way I'm envisioning it, the player could issue the command from a formation button to form a line, and the PCs would fall in line forming the narrowest possible path behind the selected character. The opposite of the line would be to fan out, where the PCs try to cover more area within the radius determined by the length of chain. Basically a choice between a 'long leash' or a 'short leash.' Thinking mainly of movement outside of combat QoL. But yeah, if you really need a chain, maybe something like that on top of the RTS type scheme from the previous games would work. But that's not what we have now.

The point would be to at least give the player some input/control by allowing them to select a distance or length of the chain in a way that would be useful for exploration or movement outside of combat. That would be cool for something like scouting, where you could set your party to move in a line, but have a long lead so the party follows at a set distance behind the scout. Or for snap formations, that go from single file to spread out, and then the tether length would determine a tight formation vs a loose one from the selected PC's position. I think that would sort of fit with the way people tend to walk and trek about IRL too, esp in difficult terrain. They tend to line out with someone walking point and someone taking up the rear. If these were real adventurers they'd probably be marching single file or in pairs on the trail or when sneaking, but maybe switch it up if they sense an ambush or an encounter afoot. I could see ways it could work as a concept. In my head I'm still picturing how it would work for the infinity games though, as an adjunct to the familiar RTS movement controls of the prior BGs, not as a replacement for it.

Last edited by Black_Elk; 11/02/21 06:44 AM.
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+1 repost support - looking fwd to larians comments on this feedback.

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Originally Posted by nation
+1 repost support - looking fwd to larians comments on this feedback.
I wouldn't get my hopes up. On the other hand I hope I am wrong - that's the reason I posted on this thread in the first place.


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Originally Posted by Nibel
Originally Posted by nation
+1 repost support - looking fwd to larians comments on this feedback.
I wouldn't get my hopes up. On the other hand I hope I am wrong - that's the reason I posted on this thread in the first place.


Yeah, I'm starting to think they'll never comment on this issue. Or any issue at all...

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I've moved this thread to he Megathread section as I think it has become large enough to warrant that classification.

I have also renamed the thread to encourage a more open discussion on BG3's party movement mechanic.

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I don't think I had contributed to that thread yet, so here is my +1 (to the original post, and probably most of what was said before).

I had been wondering when it would get promoted to mega-thread. I don't know if there's a hard rule for this. But it certainly seems fitting.

The original title was fine. Party movement is dreadful, horrible, impractical, annoying, maddening, frustrating ... phrase it the way you want, but to put it mildly and with British-levels of understatement, it is not very good.

Larian, please :

a) Acknowledge that the current system is bad. You may have people internally who are enamoured with this system, perhaps in good part because they created it. But I think this thread demonstrates that there is a vast majority of players who dislike it. I would generally say that I don't want the game to be made by referendum and I'd rather see a game developer implement their vision. But UI-and-controls are not an area where Developer's Vision really applies. I fail to see why you would purposefully want to keep obstacles between the players and the real game.

b) Come up with a better system. Take 2 years of EA if that's what is needed. If really you cannot allow the drawing of a selection box in the main screen (Explore World screen), at least make it possible to easily select subsets of the group, and select-all. The good old Ctrl+click on portrait, together with a single button (with hotkey) to select all, would already go a long way.

Naturally, the concept of "selected character goes to designated spot and group follows one selected character" should go. It should be "selected group moves to designated spot". While there, party formation are a most natural thing to add.


Hoping we'll be able to create great assumptions-free Custom Characters and be given great roleplay options.
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Larian seems to have CONSOLES on their line of sight, hence the dreadfull PC controls/UI and no traditional mouse selection design like nearly all other similar RPGs 25years ago up to now.
They way they implement this seems to be hardcoded in a <PC / CONSOLE> hybrid movement system...therefore making it very difficult to do what we ask?

Last edited by mr_planescapist; 14/02/21 10:18 AM.
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None of the problems with BG3 are of the "this is because they started by making the UI for consoles and didn't properly edit it for PC" variety.


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The "it's because of consoles" argument may hold some ground if:

- other titles didn't have to accommodate for console controls as well (and they do).
- keeping this solution or doing an even more console-friendly scheme was MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE with having a decent control scheme on PC (and it isn't).
- the current system was remarkably good in that sense (and... not really?).

P.S. Just for the record, absolutely not a fan of the title change. The negative connotation was deliberate and necessary.
This was never meant as a "Let's have some idle chat on how we may feel about controls" type of discussion but as a straight "The current controls suck and here's all the reasons why".

Last edited by Tuco; 14/02/21 01:38 PM.

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I can only agree to the things OP said.
The movement Larian implemented is totaly inferior to old BG "drag a box" system. It feels unnecessary complicatet and cumbersome to attack characters and detach from main charackter. Als results in commedy like irrational movings just because leading caracter just turned around.

I would prefer that you implement basic BG1+2 movement style. Its much more accurate and easy to handle.

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I would also like to re-state my support for the need for this fix.

Outside of the ease of use, this movement system has consequences to other aspect of game design as it discourages tactical movement - i.e. spreading out, scouting ahead, etc. I've seen a lot of newer player inadvertently walking into battles in terrible positions, skewing encounter difficulty for them.

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Originally Posted by Tuco
P.S. Just for the record, absolutely not a fan of the title change. The negative connotation was deliberate and necessary.
This was never meant as a "Let's have some idle chat on how we may feel about controls" type of discussion but as a straight "The current controls suck and here's all the reasons why".


I agree. The title change is rather misleadning (deliberate?) for what this thread is about. I feel like it's trying to tone down the issue.
At least change it to "BG3 Party Movement Mechanic is very bad" or something more descriptive. Becuase they are very bad, there's nothing else about it. It's not just an opinion.
And regardless of the title I'm sure we can still have an open discussion with the one person who like the current movement/control mechanics.

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Originally Posted by Peranor
I agree. The title change is rather misleadning (deliberate?) for what this thread is about. I feel like it's trying to tone down the issue.

Precisely.Why have a suggestion/feedback thread if they're going to shun valid criticism?

Last edited by Nibel; 16/02/21 10:40 AM.

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The way Larian manages party movement is dreadful

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