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Originally Posted by nation
Originally Posted by grysqrl
If you always have a smooth-talking bard because the game doesn't make you narrow your party down, you might never learn about those other options.

If you always have a full skillset available, there is a tendency to fall into the habit of doing whatever seems the most obvious, which is probably the same thing over and over again and tends not to be as fun.
ya i still dont agree with your logic or rationale here fam but enjoyed the life sharing wink

1) as a player, you dont need to choose to use the smooth-talking bard for every encounter - you can use the strengths of your other companions for any of the variety of scenarios you detailed above. in fact, if im restricted to four party members then i for sure will not learn about those other options or varied strategies bc the game is arbitrarily limiting my adventure party to four ppl already. (disregarding multiple playthrus - which is a different discussion)

2) respectfully, not really sure how to even respond to the second comment particularly given the current development status of bg3's ea build. idk, id say that if we had the full skillset, which can be interpreted as having the traditional 6person BG party size, or more class/race options, or a closer adherence to 5e balancing then maybe larian's ea build would be more fun? there at least would be less need for the larian cheese/exploits currently in ea and swen may actually show content during his panel playthroughs that dont consist of 'gaming' boss encounters

if you like the restrictions that a four person party currently imposes, have at it, you can still run with just four if the party size gets bumped to six, but atleast the rest of us wouldnt need to be subject to the same 'interesting' restrictions smile

2) if they just bump it up to 6, they will adjust the difficulty of combat to match, so it would be silly to then run 4. Also, everything I have read about 5e it is targeted at 3-5 party, not 6. Six was 2e and 3e.

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Originally Posted by Pandemonica
Originally Posted by nation
Originally Posted by grysqrl
If you always have a smooth-talking bard because the game doesn't make you narrow your party down, you might never learn about those other options.

If you always have a full skillset available, there is a tendency to fall into the habit of doing whatever seems the most obvious, which is probably the same thing over and over again and tends not to be as fun.
ya i still dont agree with your logic or rationale here fam but enjoyed the life sharing wink

1) as a player, you dont need to choose to use the smooth-talking bard for every encounter - you can use the strengths of your other companions for any of the variety of scenarios you detailed above. in fact, if im restricted to four party members then i for sure will not learn about those other options or varied strategies bc the game is arbitrarily limiting my adventure party to four ppl already. (disregarding multiple playthrus - which is a different discussion)

2) respectfully, not really sure how to even respond to the second comment particularly given the current development status of bg3's ea build. idk, id say that if we had the full skillset, which can be interpreted as having the traditional 6person BG party size, or more class/race options, or a closer adherence to 5e balancing then maybe larian's ea build would be more fun? there at least would be less need for the larian cheese/exploits currently in ea and swen may actually show content during his panel playthroughs that dont consist of 'gaming' boss encounters

if you like the restrictions that a four person party currently imposes, have at it, you can still run with just four if the party size gets bumped to six, but atleast the rest of us wouldnt need to be subject to the same 'interesting' restrictions smile

2) if they just bump it up to 6, they will adjust the difficulty of combat to match, so it would be silly to then run 4. Also, everything I have read about 5e it is targeted at 3-5 party, not 6. Six was 2e and 3e.

Most groups run a 3-6 group in 5e and as far as I am aware 6 is the max for most campaign modules while 3 is the minimum?

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Originally Posted by nation
Originally Posted by grysqrl
If you always have a smooth-talking bard because the game doesn't make you narrow your party down, you might never learn about those other options.

If you always have a full skillset available, there is a tendency to fall into the habit of doing whatever seems the most obvious, which is probably the same thing over and over again and tends not to be as fun.
ya i still dont agree with your logic or rationale here fam but enjoyed the life sharing wink

1) as a player, you dont need to choose to use the smooth-talking bard for every encounter - you can use the strengths of your other companions for any of the variety of scenarios you detailed above. in fact, if im restricted to four party members then i for sure will not learn about those other options or varied strategies bc the game is arbitrarily limiting my adventure party to four ppl already. (disregarding multiple playthrus - which is a different discussion)

2) respectfully, not really sure how to even respond to the second comment particularly given the current development status of bg3's ea build. idk, id say that if we had the full skillset, which can be interpreted as having the traditional 6person BG party size, or more class/race options, or a closer adherence to 5e balancing then maybe larian's ea build would be more fun? there at least would be less need for the larian cheese/exploits currently in ea and swen may actually show content during his panel playthroughs that dont consist of 'gaming' boss encounters

if you like the restrictions that a four person party currently imposes, have at it, you can still run with just four if the party size gets bumped to six, but atleast the rest of us wouldnt need to be subject to the same 'interesting' restrictions smile
+1 to all of this. Well said, @nation.

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Originally Posted by CJMPinger
Most groups run a 3-6 group in 5e and as far as I am aware 6 is the max for most campaign modules while 3 is the minimum?

That may be so, and that is all well and good. I am just quoting the DMG for 5e.

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Originally Posted by Pandemonica
Originally Posted by nation
Originally Posted by grysqrl
If you always have a smooth-talking bard because the game doesn't make you narrow your party down, you might never learn about those other options.

If you always have a full skillset available, there is a tendency to fall into the habit of doing whatever seems the most obvious, which is probably the same thing over and over again and tends not to be as fun.
ya i still dont agree with your logic or rationale here fam but enjoyed the life sharing wink

1) as a player, you dont need to choose to use the smooth-talking bard for every encounter - you can use the strengths of your other companions for any of the variety of scenarios you detailed above. in fact, if im restricted to four party members then i for sure will not learn about those other options or varied strategies bc the game is arbitrarily limiting my adventure party to four ppl already. (disregarding multiple playthrus - which is a different discussion)

2) respectfully, not really sure how to even respond to the second comment particularly given the current development status of bg3's ea build. idk, id say that if we had the full skillset, which can be interpreted as having the traditional 6person BG party size, or more class/race options, or a closer adherence to 5e balancing then maybe larian's ea build would be more fun? there at least would be less need for the larian cheese/exploits currently in ea and swen may actually show content during his panel playthroughs that dont consist of 'gaming' boss encounters

if you like the restrictions that a four person party currently imposes, have at it, you can still run with just four if the party size gets bumped to six, but atleast the rest of us wouldnt need to be subject to the same 'interesting' restrictions smile

2) if they just bump it up to 6, they will adjust the difficulty of combat to match, so it would be silly to then run 4. Also, everything I have read about 5e it is targeted at 3-5 party, not 6. Six was 2e and 3e.
so i somewhat dont disagree with your point here about anticipating larian to adjust the combat difficulty for a party size of six (rip solo players/runs) and i could sympathize with those whom prefer to limit the party to 4 of the possible 12 standard phb class options if that happened, bc 'interesting', but i think that really is a larger discussion related to bg3's overall game balance or difficulty and may be beyond the scope of this particular thread (altho since difficulty settings/slideable toggles have been cited/requested in these ea spaces, why would a 4 v 6 party setting be unreasonable?) as when talking about 'difficulty' for a dnd video game there should be a number of other variables to consider too and not just 'combat' related. imho one variable that should be vetted is the actual assumption/expectation that larian would adjust the current build or the ultimate game's 'difficulty' even if the party size is increased to 6

not to get too sidetracked, but conversations could be had surrounding game balance and difficulty concerns that includes '3 pillar' topics like the 'agency' of party members during narrative or social encounters, exploration/movement/resting of party members in bg3's current ea theme-park map/world, and the application of hybrid 5e/larian ruleset in and out of combat (which in itself is 20+ thread pages on these forums across varied topics), before you even consider larian's reduced party size. it may be most glaring in the combat pillar given the hybrid ruleset currently in place and other limited ea features, but it does seem like larian is designing a dnd adventure for a four person party, which admittedly i find to not be the ideal BG experience.

and as a point earlier to enjoying 'interesting' restrictions, wouldnt it be interesting as a player to restrict yourself to a four person party for a game that is balanced for six? wink

--

just some thoughts below, bc this is more a critique of larian's staged combat design/zone approach and more tangential to 4v6

largely i think significant encounters should be static and narratively driven and designed - i dont want the 'game world' to scale based on party size (ie. the hobgoblin boss to all of a sudden have four more henchman or have increased HP because i brought two extra companions - id want the boss to already be a 'dangerous and resource intensive encounter' regardless of when i stroll in or how many companions i bring, bc narratively hes the hobgoblin boss and supposed to present a challenge [and i dont want to just yeet him off a cliff either lol]), but at the same time i dont want to feel like i need to clear each map zone or do every single quest to level to make such above encounters engaging, which i think is where random encounters/camp and resting mechanics need more attention - but there are other threads for that

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I think there is a tension between wanting a table top perspective where the player only controls a single character vs the godmode game where the player controls multiple characters at a time.

Most D&D style computer games I can think of that have come out subsequent to BG have gone with the former approach, like basically every Bioware game since Dragon Age, all the games with a driving or 3rd person or cinematic view. The ones where our companions are treated mechanically more like followers or henchmen, and meant to be sort of half out of reach of the player's full control. This emulates more of the table top player's perspective, where you are just one player in a group of players.

Most D&D games that I can think of prior to BG were of the godmode variety, like all the old goldboxes from SSI, or the Might and Magic games, and others of that ilk. Sure they could be hotseat or on LAN but they were essentially single player games. The only games that have come out since with the godmode are the Iso ones like Pillars or Pathfinder, trying to reincarnate BG/IWD gameplay specifically. The perspective that the godmode type game captures is almost more like a TT DM's view rather than a player's view. I think it actually caters more to the budding DM. Even if it doesn't have a dungeon master console like Neverwinter, what BG1/2 did was give a sort of half-view presentation, where the player got one eye behind the DM screen on a fully dialed campaign, learning to view the D&D gameplay more in terms of the whole Party rather than the single Character. The old Gold Boxes and BG were almost like DM trainers for people who didn't have a group, in an era before the internet revolutionized communications. They are kind of unique in time, the godmode games, like an artifact of a bygone age, with a style of gameplay that didn't really match TT expectations at all, but nevertheless managed to present the game system to an audience that maybe wouldn't have had access otherwise.

It's just a different sort of vibe, but I miss having 6 as an option which I feel allowed for more rotations in the party narrative, where you could have a core group of 4 and then rotate the 5th or 6th slot as you went along. That was the set up for BG1/2. You got a core party of 4 in the first chapter, but then had other companion NPCs thrown at you along the way, following the main story beats. And at least in BG2 some nice narrative breaks where you switch characters out in-story, without feeling like you straight ditched them. They also did that thing where the companions had a local home turf at some Inn or whatever area, to feel like they could have something going on when not rolling with the party. Or also those pairings where some NPCs would cruise together unless one died. The companions were more like narrative vehicles for the campaign rather than substitutes for actual players in an idealized version of BG where you had 6 actual players on the LAN. The emphasis on Co-OP from the UI makes it feel like this game BG3 actually is about getting more than 1 human to play it at a time. For whatever that's worth

I think 6 is pretty low hanging fruit though. If they won't even go for 5 I'd be pretty disappointed.

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I think what this discussion has told us is, everyone plays the game how they want to play it. smile The best that Larian can do is make options available. I really don't like the idea of killing off characters after Act 1, but there might be a development reason for it.(resource logistics) If they made a setting at the start of the game as to how many party members you wanted, then all the encounters would be based off of that. If you want a 4 party team, great! The CR and number of creatures you encounter would be based off of that. If you wanted 5 or 6, then the CR scale would slide based off of that.

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I personally think 4 is enough, but I wouldn't mind a party 5. 6 is too much, make less sense in a dungeon, because it's too crowded.
DnD sessions are usually between 3-6 people, on average 4-5, having too many players is always a hassle.

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Originally Posted by Vortex138
If they made a setting at the start of the game as to how many party members you wanted, then all the encounters would be based off of that. If you want a 4 party team, great! The CR and number of creatures you encounter would be based off of that. If you wanted 5 or 6, then the CR scale would slide based off of that.

That might be the ideal design, but a huge problem is that it would require much more play testing and balancing than designing encounters for a single maximum party size.

Each different party size would require either a change in how powerful each enemy is, or how many enemies are in the encounter. And then every permutation would need testing and balancing. That's a lot of work, if the goal is to make each party size have the same amount of challenge. Which is why most games don't do this.

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Originally Posted by Frumpkis
Originally Posted by Vortex138
If they made a setting at the start of the game as to how many party members you wanted, then all the encounters would be based off of that. If you want a 4 party team, great! The CR and number of creatures you encounter would be based off of that. If you wanted 5 or 6, then the CR scale would slide based off of that.

That might be the ideal design, but a huge problem is that it would require much more play testing and balancing than designing encounters for a single maximum party size.

Each different party size would require either a change in how powerful each enemy is, or how many enemies are in the encounter. And then every permutation would need testing and balancing. That's a lot of work, if the goal is to make each party size have the same amount of challenge. Which is why most games don't do this.
Alternatively, they just divide exp between characters that participated in the fight. This self corrects, at least to some degree.
-Party of 6? They'll all be individually weaker
-Party of 3? They'll all be higher level

Do characters that aren't in your party gain experience? For this, we can look to Dragon Age: Origins, where party members left at camp were autoleveled to never be more than 1 level below your main character. This prevents cheese where you get a whole bunch of characters at high level by doing a lot of 2-person fights, but also prevents characters you don't typically take with you from being too low level.

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Originally Posted by Frumpkis
Originally Posted by Vortex138
If they made a setting at the start of the game as to how many party members you wanted, then all the encounters would be based off of that. If you want a 4 party team, great! The CR and number of creatures you encounter would be based off of that. If you wanted 5 or 6, then the CR scale would slide based off of that.

That might be the ideal design, but a huge problem is that it would require much more play testing and balancing than designing encounters for a single maximum party size.

Each different party size would require either a change in how powerful each enemy is, or how many enemies are in the encounter. And then every permutation would need testing and balancing. That's a lot of work, if the goal is to make each party size have the same amount of challenge. Which is why most games don't do this.

Isn't that why we are here though?

I'd take some level of randomization there over just static encounters that just never change. We already know this can work, since we've seen it in operation in BG1/2.

I think it would be an impetus to address other issues with movement/UI.I don't think space is at such a premium as others do, even in the dungeons. There is plenty of room for gang upon gang of enemies, and allies and randos in the big brawls. There's plenty of room for 2 additional party members in every area I've seen.

They should patch in 6 sooner rather than later.

That would immediately shut the door on all the "this isn't BG but DOS" convos and signal that the devs are willing to at least throw their returning BG fans a bone on something.

I still don't buy the table top analog from the PHB/DMG 3-5. This is computer game, the computer is handling most of the hassle that usually attends to playing a large group session. It doesn't need to just be a simulacrum of the standard campaign, it should be epic. Epic = 6

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Originally Posted by Black_Elk
[quote=Frumpkis][quote=Vortex138]
I still don't buy the table top analog from the PHB/DMG 3-5. This is computer game, the computer is handling most of the hassle that usually attends to playing a large group session. It doesn't need to just be a simulacrum of the standard campaign, it should be epic. Epic = 6

There is just nothing to buy here^^
If I'm not wrong 5e campaign are all designed for 4-6 players. (I'm sure about the starter kit which is the introduction to D&D5 and Descent into Avernus which is the "prologue" of BG3).

4-6 doesn't mean 4, it means 4-6. That's what BG3 should do if they want to stick to TT.
In video games systems exist to balance games arround different party size.

That's just another wrong argument to say "I'm right" and to justify self preferences (and enjoying 4 more than 5 or 6 is fine ofc).

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I'm going to chime in here and say it's not that hard to balance a party of five versus a party of four. It may seem difficult, but There are exp tables and CR to determine the difficulty of encounters. And it's usually represented in a ration of per party member. Quite literally

It's not that hard to account for an additional party member when designing encounters in D&D 5e. The game is designed with the idea that DMs might have to put the encounter together at the last second. Some DMs even forego using the CR and tables, if they know the party's stats and abilities they can balance the encounter themselves.

The way Baldur's Gate 3 is balanced, adding one more party member would change very little. Adding two, sure maybe add in a few more goblins, duergar, etc.

TL:DR it shouldn't take significant playtesting since D&D 5e is already well play-tested.

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I REALLY REALLY REALLY don't want them to kill party members after act one to lock us into a specific party. That would feel very stifling and would drain a lot of the excitement I have for the game.

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increasing the party size could make multiplayer interesting since it could give a couple of players a chance to explore the story of multiple companions.

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Originally Posted by DragonSnooz
I'm going to chime in here and say it's not that hard to balance a party of five versus a party of four. It may seem difficult, but There are exp tables and CR to determine the difficulty of encounters. And it's usually represented in a ration of per party member. Quite literally

It's not that hard to account for an additional party member when designing encounters in D&D 5e. The game is designed with the idea that DMs might have to put the encounter together at the last second. Some DMs even forego using the CR and tables, if they know the party's stats and abilities they can balance the encounter themselves.

The way Baldur's Gate 3 is balanced, adding one more party member would change very little. Adding two, sure maybe add in a few more goblins, duergar, etc.

TL:DR it shouldn't take significant playtesting since D&D 5e is already well play-tested.

ATM, I am playing through XCOM2, and IF Larian was going to do a larger group size, I think they should check out how this game does it. Basically you have to activate the ability through leveling (this could actually be a way to make the camp more interactive) through leveling up your ship, and building a war center that has that as a perk. In this case, they can have you put points in growing your camp, and activating first 5 man then 6 man as you build your camp. I doubt it would happen, it is way to late in the game for them to do such a major change, but it would be nice.

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Originally Posted by Pandemonica
ATM, I am playing through XCOM2, and IF Larian was going to do a larger group size, I think they should check out how this game does it. Basically you have to activate the ability through leveling (this could actually be a way to make the camp more interactive) through leveling up your ship, and building a war center that has that as a perk. In this case, they can have you put points in growing your camp, and activating first 5 man then 6 man as you build your camp. I doubt it would happen, it is way to late in the game for them to do such a major change, but it would be nice.
+1 really good and intriguing idea - it does seem like the camp is set up perfectly for such an approach

(as an aside xcom2:WOTC is 75 percent off on steam until the 18th for interested parties)

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Originally Posted by nation
Originally Posted by Pandemonica
ATM, I am playing through XCOM2, and IF Larian was going to do a larger group size, I think they should check out how this game does it. Basically you have to activate the ability through leveling (this could actually be a way to make the camp more interactive) through leveling up your ship, and building a war center that has that as a perk. In this case, they can have you put points in growing your camp, and activating first 5 man then 6 man as you build your camp. I doubt it would happen, it is way to late in the game for them to do such a major change, but it would be nice.
+1 really good and intriguing idea - it does seem like the camp is set up perfectly for such an approach

(as an aside xcom2:WOTC is 75 percent off on steam until the 18th for interested parties)

Same sale on GOG. I got it for like $6 when I got Pathfinder.

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Originally Posted by CJMPinger
I REALLY REALLY REALLY don't want them to kill party members after act one to lock us into a specific party. That would feel very stifling and would drain a lot of the excitement I have for the game.

I haven't heard any news that they've changed the plan, so we're probably stuck with it.

We don't know that "killing them off" is the plan though. An epic 4 vs. 4 battle with the ones you don't choose turning into Illithids could be fun, and that's certainly been foreshadowed several times. But maybe not very believable if we win the fight against what are supposed to be very powerful creatures. It might be that the ones you don't choose just go their separate ways to find their own solutions to the parasite.

The camp itself might also be different in Act 2 and beyond. It would feel weird to keep returning to the current wilderness camp if we're going to be spending time in Baldur's Gate, so maybe the long rest shifts to a room at an Inn or something. That could help justify the loss of the other party members, so they're not all crowding the Inn with nothing to do.

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A great game that takes the Xcom combat style (shared initiative) and puts it into the world of a RPG is Wasteland 3. Highly recommend if you haven't played it (not for co-op though, apparently that is very buggy).

That game gives you an in-game HQ, and there you can basically manage an entire roster of characters. Although unlike X-com, everyone auto-levels up - I suspect the developer realized that if that wasn't in place, people will just use their core 6 party members all the time.

It's also got an interesting set-up in that it limits the number of story companions you can have, and gives you at least 1 extra slot to build another PC of your choice. I.e. you can have 4 story companions and 2 PCs, or 4 PCs or 2 story companions.

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