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Tuco Offline OP
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For me one of the most spectacular failures of the current system is how it get beaten even at its own intended goal by other more traditional solutions.

I mean, the idea should be something like "Here, with our chain mechanic you'll always be in control only of one character, so having multiple ones under your command will be smooth and easy and we'll spare you the bother to control them as well".
Except, you then compare it with a game like Pathfinder Kingmaker (or even better its imminent sequel Wrath of the Righteous) arguably the closest thing to a modern Baldur's Gate 2 on the market, and you realize in how many ways they made the most typical "obsolete" party control actually more practical even in terms of "moving the party as a whole".

- Do you need to move around as a group? Just click and move at will, and with a quick click-and-drag you'll also decide how to rotate your whole formation on the ground (as it was in the old titles, by the way).
- Do you need to do a skill check in the environment or open a lock or disable a trap? One single click with your full party selected and the game will send forward the character with the overall best skill score for the task. Painless, quick, intuitive.
- Do you need to do group stealth? Just click the appropriate button/keybind and put in or out of stealth the entire party (or your sub-selection of it).

I was playing WotR Beta 3 just tonight and while it has its own issues (the pathfinding in turn-based mode can be bugged as hell on certain rooms/doors) half of the time I kept thinking at how much more intuitive/enjoyable it was to control compared to BG3 (which I played just a couple of hours before).


Party control in Baldur's Gate 3 is a complete mess that begs to be addressed. SAY NO TO THE TOILET CHAIN
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- Do you need to do a skill check in the environment or open a lock or disable a trap? One single click with your full party selected and the game will send forward the character with the overall best skill score for the task. Painless, quick, intuitive.
- Do you need to do group stealth? Just click the appropriate button/keybind and put in or out of stealth the entire party (or your sub-selection of it).

These two things especially are killing me. I REALLY want them to make it so that in dialogues too, if my rogue is better than my fighter at Deception, he/she makes the Deception roll. They are a TEAM. It isn't the MC Show. Well, at least, it shouldn't be, but right now it is. I don't feel like it's a real party. It's more like a band where one person gets all the spotlight. So, it's more like MC and His/Her Merry Band when it should be a party where everyone's strengths are brought to the table.

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Yeah I mean that's a for sure! But I'm just looking at how they might salvage the exploration and general "moving around" experience without totally ash-canning their entire scheme and starting from scratch, since I honestly don't think that is something they would be willing to do at this point.

This thread is currently titled "BG3 Party Movement Mechanic" but we don't actually have a "party movement mechanic" at all, what we have is a single character movement mechanic and that's it.

If chained, then sure, up to 3 other characters can be made to follow the selected character to whom they are chained, but their actual movements while chained are currently completely out of our control. They don't move as a party. Instead their individual pathing is left up to the whims of the AI, which frequently fails by allowing those chained characters to run into hazardous terrain, pointlessly climb up and down stuff, or initiate combats or dialogs when we don't want them to.

This is why I think they should just transform the current Chains into "Marley's Chains."

When chained, the other characters just behave as if they were ghosts. They don't interact with the environment or get drawn into combats or dialogs. Only the currently selected character should be able to do that.

That way we don't need competent AI pathing, which is the primary issue right now. If nobody ever ran into the flames or bled out on the floor or accidentally triggered dialogs or encounters, while we were trying to maneuver someone else, then we wouldn't all be in here grumbling about it. But the fact that the game has been out for more than a year, and the pathing still blows, means that this is probably not an issue they're going to be able to fix. So I think they should just create a mode where the entire party is represented by the single selected character and everyone else only "appears" cosmetically, as ghosts, until the party is expanded out in full due to a dialog, or a combat, or because the player manually presses the Chain/Unchain button to switch them from Ghost mode to Normal mode on the fly.

In a Ghost Chain scheme all those pathing problems would go away, at least while the party is moving as a unit. Unless the player wants them all out at once, in which case they can just click the Unchain toggle to achieve that. Then all they really need is a prompt to select which PC does the talking when dialog or a specific character action is required. It would just feel a lot more streamlined that way I think. More like the old Gold Box games than Baldur's Gate 1/2, but at least it wouldn't be nearly as frustrating as what we have right now.

Last edited by Black_Elk; 22/07/21 11:13 PM.
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Tuco Offline OP
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I have to say, I'm not particularly a fan of the "JRPG" approach where the rest of the party becomes basically an abstract incorporeal during exploration.
It would feel more like a cop-out because they can't do group control/formation/positioning decently than a proper solution.

Also, a clarification about this point:

Quote
without totally ash-canning their entire scheme and starting from scratch
I don't think this would be necessary at all.
When I say that the current system is "unsalvageable" I don't literally mean that they should recode the entire thing. What I mean is that you can't keep the salient traits of this system and have something genuinely good.
On the other hand it's also true that you could get a good system simply MODIFYING the current one. Playing with the recently discovered "chain/unchain all" is making it even more evident than before.

1- Allow ACTUAL selection of multiple units. Like, if I SHIFT+Click a certain number of characters they should be the selected separately from the rest.
2- the selected portion of your party should all execute generic, non unit-specific commands. You know, "move", "stop", "hide/unhide", etc.
3- Allow formations and especially allow the players to select/edit which formations they want to use. Personally in almost any CRPG I played I've always been very comfortable with the standard tight "2X3" made famous as default with BG1 and 2, where you have two frontliners, two characters in the middle and two in the rearguard (here's a very short clip to show what I mean
) but obviously to each one its own.

These three modifications alone would go a long way to completely redefine how the current controls feel. After that it would just be a matter of making everything feel as "snappy", clean and responsive as possible.

EDIT- Damn, didn't plan to make the video "embed", let alone this big. The forum apparently does it on its own with every youtube link.

Last edited by Tuco; 24/07/21 06:05 AM.

Party control in Baldur's Gate 3 is a complete mess that begs to be addressed. SAY NO TO THE TOILET CHAIN
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Yeah I mean that would clearly be preferable. I kinda enjoyed the theater scope there actually haha, might as well go big!

The ghost thought was just an expedient, definitely not as a best case. While I'd rather move formations and select via dragging marques and such like out of the rts command and control tradition, at least the incorporeal thing during non combat movement would avoid most of the mini headaches I encounter along the way.

But in actual combat, that doesn't solve any problems really.

Just a stop gap idea for something they might be able to pull off and turn over with a relative quickness, whereas I expect it would take a bit longer for them to do the kind of overhaul I'd actually like to see. Maybe they'll get there, it does seem to be moving incrementally somewhere, but all the selection and movement controls feel really oddball to me. It just pulls me out of the experience, for a game that I'm otherwise kinda digging and really hope settles in for the long haul out of EA.

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It's especially aggravating when after combat 3 characters immediately rush through fire/acid/twisting vines to get to the selected character. The uncontrollable party movement that happens all the time is infuriating.

Having to drag a character "away" from the group to move a single character is also really annoying. And then you have to manually regroup them later which feels really clunky and glitchy on top. All of this is so unnecessary! 99% of the time you just need a "select all" button or a quick marquee selection when you want to move the entire party. And click on a portrait or character to select and move a single character.

You could also accomplish what Larian are trying to do with a simple "follow" switch added on top of a classic party control scheme. If you want to move a single character and have the rest follow you automatically, flick the switch and select a character. There's no reason to ruin the whole control scheme for such a feature that creates much more trouble than it's worth.

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Originally Posted by 1varangian
Having to drag a character "away" from the group to move a single character is also really annoying. And then you have to manually regroup them later which feels really clunky and glitchy on top. All of this is so unnecessary!
In last patch Larian actualy implemented button (toggle party its named in option i think?) that will instantly splits or joins all party members, that are close enough ...
Its pretty usefull, even tho it still have some bugs. laugh

For example its joining them in random order, it ignores how you have them sorted ... but that is minor problem. smile
Worse is the fact, that you can easily forget that summons, and temporary companions tend to run toward your character no matter the dangers ... this is how i lost Sazza. laugh

Last edited by RagnarokCzD; 26/07/21 02:05 PM.

I liked original spellcasting system more ... frown

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
For example its joining them in random order, it ignores how you have them sorted ... but that is minor problem. smile
I tested it somewhat, and it seems this behaviour is intended, and not a bug:

  • When you split the group and then join it back, the currently selected character goes to position 1 (becomes the party leader);
  • When you split the group the second time after that and join it again, this time having the previous party leader selected, the game seems to be remembering the initial party order (that you had before the first split) and restores it.


It appears they put some effort into its implementation, since it behaves consistently. However, as with most LTC-related changes that Larian makes, it feels like another layer of epicycles added to the Ptolemaic system: an awkward and unwieldy crutch to help a bird walk, even though it was supposed to fly instead.

I feel practically sorry for Larian devs, it looks like they are going to get rid of LTC eventually, but because of the enormous internal friction they have to do it the hard way.

P.S. Just in case, +1 to the thread's original idea and purpose.

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I'd noticed some strange things in the chain system.

• There is a menu with the option to group/ungroup when you right-click the portraits, but the game usually doesn't respond to the click. You have to try 4-8 times.

• When I ungroup a character, 90% of the time it's because I'm going to use it, but the game doesn't select that character right away. For this reason, usually, after ungrouping a character and clicking to move it, I realized that the wrong character is going to the position I'd sent.

Last edited by Gustavo R; 30/07/21 08:22 PM. Reason: grammar correction
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Originally Posted by Gustavo R
• There is a menu with the option to group/ungroup when you right-click the pictures, but the game usually doesn't respond to the click. You have to try 4-8 times.
.


Yeah, I too feel that clicking the character portraits, be it right or left click, from time to time feels very unresponsive. Not always, but every now and then. Which of course only adds even more frustration over the already subpar control mechanics.

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Originally Posted by Peranor
Originally Posted by Gustavo R
• There is a menu with the option to group/ungroup when you right-click the pictures, but the game usually doesn't respond to the click. You have to try 4-8 times.
.


Yeah, I too feel that clicking the character portraits, be it right or left click, from time to time feels very unresponsive. Not always, but every now and then. Which of course only adds even more frustration over the already subpar control mechanics.

For now managing with hotkeys is recommended.

f1-f4 for your characters to select them from Left to Right.

Then you have the Unassigned Grouping Key that you use to split them/unsplit them. Need to go into Keybinds to assign it first, I use Tilde "`"

We still need a hotkey for group stealth.


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Originally Posted by Blackheifer
Then you have the Unassigned Grouping Key that you use to split them/unsplit them. Need to go into Keybinds to assign it first, I use Tilde "`"


I didn't know that. Thank you.

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