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Originally Posted by mrfuji3
The way Larian manages party movement is dreadful
It really is.


The way Larian manages party movement is dreadful
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Yes, it's not particularly good. I think the reason they went with their current scheme is to enable coop, and for split parties, which I remember they used on the first map for DOS ( didn't get further than that before getting bored ).

The "traditional" party movement scheme doesn't cater for multiple parties - if you have not individually selected a "partial" party, then any movement command gets applied to the whole party in whatever it's current formation is. So this is no good either.

The idea of associating characters with chains is OK, if a bit clunky, as it gives mechanism for constructing sub-parties that you can move independently. If those sub-parties can each have a formation, and the formation is fixed ( i.e. not reorganising around the last selected character ), many of the problems would go away. Not having an AI dumb enough to stand in/traverse damaging surfaces would also help.

The silliest situation I have experienced is having Gale die in combat while next to my PC. Post-combat, the rest of the party dutifully formed up behind me, and by the time Gale(shade) was through his cut-scene diatribe, his corpse had necrotized the rest of the party. This happened twice, so on subsequent plays Gale was ignored or immediately killed when he tried to wheedle his way into the party.

Serves him right.

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Originally Posted by etonbears
The "traditional" party movement scheme doesn't cater for multiple parties - if you have not individually selected a "partial" party, then any movement command gets applied to the whole party in whatever it's current formation is. So this is no good either.

I can't see why it's more complicated with a traditionnal scheme. You still have to select/create a partial party with the chain and formations doesn't exist at all.

Group / Ungroup / Locked characters per players / Group formations... This is easy, fluent and friendly user in many games that don't use the chain mechanic.
(the end of this sentence is obvious... DoS 1/2 are the only games on earth from the beginning of the video game history using this system... a system which at best players are "ok" with).

I can't see any advantages related to the chain here. But I'll be glad to understand. Maybe you could help me with an exemple ?

Last edited by Maximuuus; 16/02/21 10:34 PM.
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I have played multiplayer games with the old drag and select method (The BG games, IWD) and even with multiplayer it felt better and more natural than this awful chain situation.

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Originally Posted by TheFoxWhisperer
I have played multiplayer games with the old drag and select method (The BG games, IWD) and even with multiplayer it felt better and more natural than this awful chain situation.


Indeed

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The dream is dead, guys.
The "Panel From Hell II" streaming is almost over and issues about UI and party controls were never mentioned once. Not even casually acknowledged with a dismissive handwave.

I think it's safe to say we are not getting shit.

Last edited by Tuco; 17/02/21 08:43 PM.

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Originally Posted by Tuco
The dream is dead, guys.
The "Panel From Hell II" streaming is almost over and issues about UI and party controls were never mentioned once. Not even casually acknowledged with a dismissive handwave.

I think it's safe to sat we are not getting shit.

I’m hoping its due to it being more of a technical issue and it will take time to fix. But then again, they seemed to have time to add more cinematics...

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Originally Posted by Maximuuus
Originally Posted by etonbears
The "traditional" party movement scheme doesn't cater for multiple parties - if you have not individually selected a "partial" party, then any movement command gets applied to the whole party in whatever it's current formation is. So this is no good either.

I can't see why it's more complicated with a traditionnal scheme. You still have to select/create a partial party with the chain and formations doesn't exist at all.

Group / Ungroup / Locked characters per players / Group formations... This is easy, fluent and friendly user in many games that don't use the chain mechanic.
(the end of this sentence is obvious... DoS 1/2 are the only games on earth from the beginning of the video game history using this system... a system which at best players are "ok" with).

I can't see any advantages related to the chain here. But I'll be glad to understand. Maybe you could help me with an exemple ?

By "traditional" I meant the Infinity Engine games. As far as I can remember, there was a single party+formation mechanic; you could select (via various mouse actions) a sub-set of the party for individual orders, but you could not create multiple party+formation groups for longer-term control.

The creation of multiple parties is the only real function of the chain mechanism. In DOS there was a formation feature for a party group, but it acted as a "shape" for the group to adopt, with the currently selected character in the front; which leads to the group reorganising if you select a different character.

That's different to IE games where the group formation is set by the arrangement of the portraits, regardless of which character is selected. You could consider a chained group of characters as equivalent to the IE portrait group, allowing multiple party groups.

I think they need to merge the 2 approaches ( including mouse-selecting characters to give temporary orders ) so that they get the advantages of both. Also, not auto-moving into formation unless a group order has been given.

Unfortunately, I don't think they will go for the IE style fixed formation, because mainstream games use the follow-the-leader mechanism.

Last edited by etonbears; 17/02/21 08:14 PM. Reason: Clarity
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Originally Posted by Tuco
The dream is dead, guys.
The "Panel From Hell II" streaming is almost over and issues about UI and party controls were never mentioned once. Not even casually acknowledged with a dismissive handwave.

I think it's safe to sat we are not getting shit.

Swen’s playstyle is quite telling. It’s very Dragon Age, his viewpoint is low – right behind the main character (probably to show off the detail). You barely see the rest of the party, there’s no way you could use marquee select playing that way.

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Also he likes to separate party members for no reason.


The way Larian manages party movement is dreadful
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Originally Posted by Nibel
Also he likes to separate party members for no reason.
Well, that's easy to explain: because controlling them altogether is borderline painful and even if he's not willing to admit it, his heart knows.


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Originally Posted by Tuco
Originally Posted by Nibel
Also he likes to separate party members for no reason.
Well, that's easy to explain: because controlling them altogether is borderline painful and even if he's not willing to admit it, his heart knows.

Yep, if you want to game the mechanics, this is the only way.

Miserable experience.

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Buying early access, we signed a deal. And it may be too late to call if off.


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If the whole point of this chain control scheme is to allow us to break the party in two, and if the full party only has 4 members to begin with, then why even bother? I mean what does a split party with the chain actually do for us? 2 leaders with 1 follower each in Co-Op? Or 3 leaders where one person has to manage a tag along in a Tri-Op?

If that was the goal they could have just made it like NWN with henchmen, or like every Bioware RPG since Jade Empire.

The defining feature of BG gameplay was controlling the whole group. The group control dynamic provided pretty much all the tactical interest in combat and all the rp interest outside of combat. I don't know, I guess everyone decided at some point that what we really wanted was a successor to Everquest? or another version of Kotor, where the companions just feel like beefed up summons that you could dress?

All I've wanted since 2002 is for another game to come out with full party control for a large party with diverse and compelling companions, using D&D rules, and set in the Forgotten Realms... And every developer since just keeps dropping the ball on it.

Icewind Dale 2 was fun and set in FR, but there were no companions to speak of. ToEE was alright, even if it was buggier than an insect plague at launch, but the Greyhawk setting reminds me too much of 70s Chainmail and airbrushed vans, not the deep nostalgia I feel for late 80s early 90s FR gold box computer games. Pillars was cool with the 5 man for a renaissance attempt, but I just don't care about Eora and blunderbusses. Same deal with Pathfinder, which does most things right, but still can't quite bridge the fact that Golarion isn't Faerun.

Baldur's Gate had the family recipe chocolate chip cookie totally dialed, but then it's like someone decided it needed peanut butter or walnuts or sea salt on top, and now it just doesn't have the same taste. Alas

Always making us settle for best 2 out of 3 on this one. Why can't they just remake the thing in 3D with modern graphics? I honestly now think they should have made a Reboot rather than a Sequel. Because if the game engine could handle that, at least we'd know it would work for the next thing.

Ps. I wonder if NWN2 had launched with a BG1 reboot (as an actual developer created module, instead of a fan made module coming out 10 years later) if that game might have been more successful? One thing it did prove was that the NWN2's base game was pretty ill adapted to a fan tribute/reboot of BG1, and required a shit ton of tinkering and years on the grind to even get close to the same feel. Not so much because of the change from 2nd edition to 3rd, or the change from 2d environments to 3d, but because of the core UI defaults for character selection and party movement.

Still its an interesting thought experiment. Like could BG3's engine support a remake of BG1 that was in any way faithful to the feel of the original ? Right now I don't think it could, even with some serious liberties taken. Not in a satisfying way at any rate. And that's not because of 5e or TB or because the story wouldn't catch, but mainly because of the basic UI and control scheme they've adopted.

Since BG3 came out, I'm not sure I've sunken more than 100 hours into it, but I did replay all of BG1/2 like three times during the same period (well to Watcher's Keep anyway, I keep deciding to re-roll a new toon from the start rather than going for the Throne hehe) but at various points along the way I have paused and thought, 'damn, this battle would be fun to see play out in a turn based scheme' or 'this level would be cool to see in 3d with elevations.' Just using the basic idea adopted for the NWN2 port, where the levels are kind of doubled in size with minor features added but using the same larger shapes and sweeps, that the og game would make a really nice redux. Done that way minor changes might become interesting, like watching a different cut or adaptation of an old film. I'd be cool to see the first battle with Saravok done up in a full cinematic. Or to see Beregost or High Hedge with the same essential quests and merchants and such included, but just made huge and done up to the nines. Seems like it would be a fun pet project, but of course the wizards sold the rights to different companies. They should have kept it all under one roof, so the devs could rip or riff off the same icons or use the old VA or sound effects assets, to make a fun all-in-one for the entire saga, but with a modern engine. It would take all the pressure off the story design, since we already know basically what happens anyway, and put the emphasis on ramping all the other stuff like the environments or battles or minor NPC character flavor.

Has anyone run into Noober yet?
Neeber?
hehe

Originally Posted by Tuco
Originally Posted by Nibel
Also he likes to separate party members for no reason.
Well, that's easy to explain: because controlling them altogether is borderline painful and even if he's not willing to admit it, his heart knows.

The default should just always have them separated, and the player should have to do something if they want them to move in unison, the classic ctrl+a. If its co-op and you want to take control over a companion follower then sure, have a way to say this go is chained to that guy. But the default should assume that one player is controlling all 4 characters and be easy to work with from that standpoint. I wish it could be 6, with six maybe there would be some interest in a split party with two players each controlling 3 characters, but whatever. In "follow the leader" games the only character that occupies meaningful gamespace is the protagonist, and the henchmen just sort of float around and do whatever the AI likes doing, because that's how those games are meant to work. Like Dragon Age or Kotor where the followers function like a stat boost with window dressing, but the player doesn't really control what they're all doing, or potentially controlling everything for a whole group + summons like in BG. The co-op group dynamic is kind of weird to me. I recall playing BG2 with two people and being perfectly satisfied with how that worked, but it seemed more interesting to play with a party of 2 characters there, you know rather than a party of 6 split into two groups of 3 characters under the control of 2 players. I can understand why in a TB game, you'd want more characters for a more action oriented pace, but then they kind of buck that by capping at 4 anyway. So the potential of the split party or chained groups seems diminished anyway by the focus on smaller party size.

Last edited by Black_Elk; 18/02/21 04:33 AM.
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Originally Posted by Black_Elk
If the whole point of this chain control scheme is to allow us to break the party in two, and if the full party only has 4 members to begin with, then why even bother? I mean what does a split party with the chain actually do for us? 2 leaders with 1 follower each in Co-Op? Or 3 leaders where one person has to manage a tag along in a Tri-Op?

If that was the goal they could have just made it like NWN with henchmen, or like every Bioware RPG since Jade Empire.

I think Larian simply find this a convenient mechanism to link arbitrary numbers of players/NPCs to move together, and obviously don't care so much about party formation. I would be fine with that if each chained-group had a formation button that worked the same way as the IE games.

It would also still be helpful to have mouse selection/actions in the main scene window, not just the UI layer, in order to give individual orders without having to break up the chain-groups.

Something like this may yet emerge through EA, or it may be possible to mod changes in if Larian expose enough internal function.

Originally Posted by Black_Elk
All I've wanted since 2002 is for another game to come out with full party control for a large party with diverse and compelling companions, using D&D rules, and set in the Forgotten Realms... And every developer since just keeps dropping the ball on it.

Icewind Dale 2 was fun and set in FR, but there were no companions to speak of. ToEE was alright, even if it was buggier than an insect plague at launch, but the Greyhawk setting reminds me too much of 70s Chainmail and airbrushed vans, not the deep nostalgia I feel for late 80s early 90s FR gold box computer games. Pillars was cool with the 5 man for a renaissance attempt, but I just don't care about Eora and blunderbusses. Same deal with Pathfinder, which does most things right, but still can't quite bridge the fact that Golarion isn't Faerun.

Although FR is not perfect, it is well defined and relatively deep. I think it benefits from being conceived originally as a setting for story-telling rather than games, and, of course, for how long it has been evolving. A FR game/story is certainly the main reason BG3 interests me, far more than the rules used or mechanics, most of which don't entirely match my preferences.

Originally Posted by Black_Elk
Why can't they just remake the thing in 3D with modern graphics? I honestly now think they should have made a Reboot rather than a Sequel. Because if the game engine could handle that, at least we'd know it would work for the next thing.
There are probably various rights issues with making a reboot, as well as the fact that it no longer matches the WotC timeline. Beyond that, I would say with reasonable certainty that Larian could make 3D versions BG1/2 with their engine, but I doubt they would want to make the changes necessary ( for commercial/reputational reasons ).

Originally Posted by Black_Elk
Ps. I wonder if NWN2 had launched with a BG1 reboot (as an actual developer created module, instead of a fan made module coming out 10 years later) if that game might have been more successful? One thing it did prove was that the NWN2's base game was pretty ill adapted to a fan tribute/reboot of BG1, and required a shit ton of tinkering and years on the grind to even get close to the same feel. Not so much because of the change from 2nd edition to 3rd, or the change from 2d environments to 3d, but because of the core UI defaults for character selection and party movement.
Well, NWN2 was successful enough to have two expansions, and released soon enough after BG1/2 that a respin would probably not have had that much appeal.

NWN2 is actually very well suited to designing fan modules, but in a 3D environment it is non-trivial to create all the assets required to emulate a professionally created game. In the case of "Baldur's Gate Reloaded", most of the work was carried out by just 2 people in their spare time, who were learning as they went; it's not really a surprise it took them seven years. I think they hope to release "Shadows of Amn Reloaded" in 2021 after another 7 year development.

Originally Posted by Black_Elk
Still its an interesting thought experiment. Like could BG3's engine support a remake of BG1 that was in any way faithful to the feel of the original ? Right now I don't think it could, even with some serious liberties taken. Not in a satisfying way at any rate. And that's not because of 5e or TB or because the story wouldn't catch, but mainly because of the basic UI and control scheme they've adopted.
As I said above, I have no doubt they would be capable of making a fairly faithful respin, but I am fairly certain they would not want to change their style.

Whether anyone in the modding community cares enough about BG1/2 to try their hand using the BG3 engine will probably depend on its versatility and the extent of the usable assets.

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Originally Posted by etonbears
Originally Posted by Maximuuus
Originally Posted by etonbears
The "traditional" party movement scheme doesn't cater for multiple parties - if you have not individually selected a "partial" party, then any movement command gets applied to the whole party in whatever it's current formation is. So this is no good either.

I can't see why it's more complicated with a traditionnal scheme. You still have to select/create a partial party with the chain and formations doesn't exist at all.

Group / Ungroup / Locked characters per players / Group formations... This is easy, fluent and friendly user in many games that don't use the chain mechanic.
(the end of this sentence is obvious... DoS 1/2 are the only games on earth from the beginning of the video game history using this system... a system which at best players are "ok" with).

I can't see any advantages related to the chain here. But I'll be glad to understand. Maybe you could help me with an exemple ?

By "traditional" I meant the Infinity Engine games. As far as I can remember, there was a single party+formation mechanic; you could select (via various mouse actions) a sub-set of the party for individual orders, but you could not create multiple party+formation groups for longer-term control.

The creation of multiple parties is the only real function of the chain mechanism. In DOS there was a formation feature for a party group, but it acted as a "shape" for the group to adopt, with the currently selected character in the front; which leads to the group reorganising if you select a different character.

That's different to IE games where the group formation is set by the arrangement of the portraits, regardless of which character is selected. You could consider a chained group of characters as equivalent to the IE portrait group, allowing multiple party groups.

I think they need to merge the 2 approaches ( including mouse-selecting characters to give temporary orders ) so that they get the advantages of both. Also, not auto-moving into formation unless a group order has been given.

Unfortunately, I don't think they will go for the IE style fixed formation, because mainstream games use the follow-the-leader mechanism.

Do you like RTS games ?
I mean like Company Of Heroes, Total War and games like that ?

These games uses the same control scheme than the IE games for years.

In those games if you want to create a subgroup, you just select your units (click and drag, click + ctrl on the units or on the portrait, click + shift on portrait,...) and then you click ctrl+F1. When it's done you can select your subgroup by clicking F1. You can usually change this shortcut of course if you need F1 for something else.

This is one possible easy solution.

The chain is just a way for you to select one character while the others just follow. You can't select multiple characters in Larian's games...
Just allow us to select 2 characters at the same time and this chain becomes useless.

Last edited by Maximuuus; 20/02/21 10:04 AM.
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OK since nothing much changed on this front, I'm on barest bones. I now almost just wish they would take the camera away from me entirely, since I'm hanging on by the fingernails over here lol. Like I'd settle for a locked driving cam over the shoulder WASD to move in a heartbeat over this.

Please give us a way to bind the camera rotation to something other than the center mouse wheel and unlock the Z axis for it.

Right-Click or even CTRL click to rotate camera is way more ergonomic, whereas center mouse is like a constant ray of enfeeblement for my index finger.

If they could unlock the keybinds in the game settings, then we could just padmapper the thing for an xbox controller and I'd probably be 100 times happier. If I can get Swtor to work with an xbox controller on a PC, I wish the hotbar was set up so we could toggle keybinds just using a trigger to switch between cursor or driving mode. I'd give anything for just a regular ball cam eye in the sky. Why can't why we have one of those?

Movement outside of combat shouldn't feel nearly this laborious

Under normal conditions I think I'd prefer keyboard and mouse for a game of this sort, but the way this is set up I think I'll probably just have to tap out on it, at least until there is controller support for something other than Stadia. I don't know how else to articulate it, but it's just not a pleasant experience to casually move around from point A to B with the mouse for me in this game. If zoomed out for the superior tactical display, it feels like every single step forward requires an immediate camera adjustment for rotation/reorientation. Camera scouting so far ahead also just feels odd, but its basically a requirement the way it is, cause there's no casual drive/lock-cam option alternative to it.

Just from watching youtube videos of people playing on Stadia, it at least looks like a smoother and more organized vibe for the UI with the controller focus. Maybe not, I don't know, haven't tried it. But I don't feel like what we get with mouse+keyboard on PC in terms of camera control or keybinds or extended hotbar options or extra menu displays etc makes up for my frustration with the simple command and control type UI stuff at the most basic level of character movement. I was just struck by how different it looks under the controller oriented display compared to what I'm subjecting myself to over here as a lab mouse.

Maybe this thread isn't even the right place for what I'm talking about now? I think the issue I'm having is more foundational than a Party Movement mechanic concern, since even moving a single character feels onerous to me this way. I try to ignore or battle against it, charging ahead with the Polar Bear, and I can maybe go on for an hour or so before hitting the wall, but it saps all the joy from the other stuff I like about the game. Thinking about BG3 and checking these forums constantly is starting to take up a bit too much time and energy for me to sustain. I think I need to skip town on it till patch 5 or whatever. Fingers crossed for the long haul

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Elk

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Originally Posted by Black_Elk
Maybe this thread isn't even the right place for what I'm talking about now? I
Does it even matter at this point?
This thread is useless anyway. Larian simply doesn't give a shit about this topic.
They seem to think there's no issue that needs to be addressed and they went out of their way to pretend that they never heard a single word of complaint about any of this.

Personally I gave up right after that awkward "Panel from Hell 2" and checking what's new now that the actual patch is out makes it even worse.

Last edited by Tuco; 26/02/21 10:34 AM.

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I agree. This will never change.
I'm totally convinced that Larian thinks they had created a brilliant solution and we are not giving due credit to their geniality.

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Originally Posted by Gustavo R
I agree. This will never change.
I'm totally convinced that Larian thinks they had created a brilliant solution and we are not giving due credit to their geniality.

It looks like something they could think^^
And they would probably add that those complaining are just the vocal minority. Swen never listen the vocal minority.

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