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4 party members is very restrictive for a D&D game where you recruit NPCs... it would be less of a problem if you made your own party.

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Been playing Pathfinder: Kingmaker because, you know, people swear by Pathfinder.

I will say this, the game starts with a party of 4, and I felt the restriction of it. I created a Magus (fighter mage person), and I had a bard, barbarian and cleric. It was a difficult mix. Later, I was able to add a 5th party member, a fighter, and it became easier because I was rounding my team out better in terms of skills and abilities. It really helped the overall party dynamic.

Then, the game won me over. I was able to Hire Mercenary and create ANOTHER CUSTOM CHARACTER to make my 6th party member. OMG how I would love to have that functionality in BG3! We also desperately need to be able to add and remove party members that are custom characters so that if we're playing multiplayer, and 1 player decides to quit, we can continue with the story and just drop that character from the party.

6 party members really rounded my team out better.

You know, I suspect that if they did a 6 party member game, they wouldn't need to fudge the classes like they're doing with all the homebrew nonsense. Part of the issue with a 4 party team is you need everyone to have the ability to sneak, to heal, to fight, etc. or you struggle through the game because you don't have enough party member slots to add all the roles you need.

And if you play multiplayer party of 4, you have NO room to add any origin characters or anything. You are literally stuck with your party of 4 and that's it. You can't add anyone else.

And from what I've seen, it looks like early game designs gave people the ability to have up to 6 party members! So what the heck!

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I basically have two contingency plans in regards to team compositions with 4 character and 6 character teams.

4 characters:

- Archer Valor Bard
- Shadowheart/Cleric
- Paladin
- Gale/Wizard

Extremely rigid setup, covers all tactical bases while favoring magical utility at the same time. Replacing anyone leads to a major loss of utility for maybe more damage. I would not be surprised if most players had planned setups very similar to something like this as well.

6 characters:
- Archer Valor Bard
- Shadowheart/Cleric
- Paladin
- Gale/Wizard
- Ranger
- Wild card slot for whichever character interests me most

A balanced setup favoring ranged capabilities. The wild card would determine if the setup becomes more balanced (if I add another melee-focused character like Lae'zel), or even more skewed towards magic (like Halsin/Druid). If I wanted to, I could swap out the Ranger for even heavier magic or melee setups.

Upon further thought, with a 4 person party, I feel like having 3+ melee characters is just asking for trouble. But you can comfortably get away with doing that with a 6 person party, because you won't be losing far too much utility from doing such a thing.

It's worth noting that my current favored party setup in Pathfinder WotR consists of the following:

- Eldritch Archer (wizard/archer hybrid)
- Lann/Zen Archer (monk/archer hybrid)
- Arueshalae/Ranger
- Ember/Stigmatized Witch (bard/wizard hybrid with a focus on buffs and debuffs)
- Camellia/Shaman (druid-type class with a focus on buffs and debuffs)
- Seelah/Paladin

A lot of archers and mages. Despite the setup being imbalanced in theory, the characters are built in very specific ways to cover for tactical weaknesses, such as Lann and Camellia being able to function well on the front lines, along with four of the characters being capable of casting healing magic if needed (five if the main character is built in a specific way in regards to mythic powers).

Last edited by Saito Hikari; 11/09/21 08:38 AM.
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Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
[snip]
- Minsc/Ranger
[snip]
wait what?


"We make our choices and take what comes and the rest is void."
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Originally Posted by Try2Handing
wait what?

Datamines. Or well, whoever the ranger is at this point.

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Legitimate question. Does party make-up really matter in this game? It seems with all the bells and whistles added in (barrels, shoves), the ability for every class to heal others (by throwing potions), and the general lack of class restrictions on spells…is there really any value in trying to create a balanced party?

If not (ie, depending on final fame mechanics), I will likely just stack my party with the group whose side quests sound the most interesting.

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They’ve been slowly toning down the silliness, so yeah, it’ll matter. Eventually.

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Hopefully it won't be like Kingmaker where you can get anywhere with +50 attack bonus and/or 8 attacks per round critting on 15.

Would you rather have a game where any team comp can work, or a game where, without a balanced party, you're gonna go through hell unless you're playing Story mode?

Take Baldur's Gate 2, for example. I'm not sure about vanilla game, but with SCS and a couple other mods, it can get to the point where it's essentially required that you have at least one cleric and one mage. A cleric for specific protections against many negative effects. A mage for anti-magic attacks and countering enemy spellcasters. Some fights against liches, demi liches, vampires, illithids, demons, are probably unwinnable without clerics/mages. Some miniboss mages can wipe your party if you don't have a mage who can bring down their defenses (and in time).

I'm fine with such a "restriction", because my party can have 6 members, so even with a "required" cleric and a required mage, I still have 4 other slots and quite a lot of freedom for companion choices.

On the other hand, if your party can only have 4 party members, and you know that you're gonna need a cleric and a mage, that just doesn't leave you much of a choice, does it? You're going to need a rogue-ish character for the utilities, traps, and locks. And you're also going to need a frontliner who can keep enemies occupied. If you take into account the idea that maybe we won't even have a whole lot of companions to choose from, it's actually pretty depressing to think about. If you just tell me which class you're playing, I can pretty much tell which other companions your team consists of. And IF we also take into account that, some companions we like, and some we don't, then, what? Can I go make my custom party members now?

Is this game going to be so easy that even the most casual players who care nothing about party comp and such can still finish it comfortably, without having to lower the difficulty to Story mode?

Or is this game going to be like DOS2, in which you can respec your companions into anything? And the key to combat is always incapacitating enemies before they get to do anything, so you actually don't even need a tank, as long as you stack cc abilities and have ultra high initiative?

Last edited by Try2Handing; 11/09/21 04:29 PM.

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Originally Posted by Try2Handing
Would you rather have a game where any team comp can work, or a game where, without a balanced party, you're gonna go through hell unless you're playing Story mode?
Playing with any team is already possible and I am sure it will stay that way, no matter if they add the extra party members for those of you who want them or leave it the way it is.

Originally Posted by Try2Handing
On the other hand, if your party can only have 4 party members, and you know that you're gonna need a cleric and a mage, that just doesn't leave you much of a choice, does it? You're going to need a rogue-ish character for the utilities, traps, and locks. And you're also going to need a frontliner who can keep enemies occupied. If you take into account the idea that maybe we won't even have a whole lot of companions to choose from, it's actually pretty depressing to think about. If you just tell me which class you're playing, I can pretty much tell which other companions your team consists of. And IF we also take into account that, some companions we like, and some we don't, then, what? Can I go make my custom party members now?

Is this game going to be so easy that even the most casual players who care nothing about party comp and such can still finish it comfortably, without having to lower the difficulty to Story mode?
You don't "need" anyone. This game can so far be soloed by any class. I can only speak for Ranger and partially for Wizard (stopped playing that character) but others here have done different classes. This will probably be done by someone on max difficulty a few days after the game is fully released. Don't need a cleric, just use healing potions. Don't need a rogue to pick locks, use the tools and I think Sleight of Hand affects it as well. Trap searching is Perception which anyone can easily have proficiency in. Definitely don't need a frontliner if you play cautiously or prefer an all ranged party. Don't need a mage either although they are possibly the most useful for all situations. There will be the custom option properly added later on to take care of the not liking certain characters issue, but you can do that now with the trick.

I think it is a good thing that many games have moved on from requiring a specific party makeup. Doesn't necessarily mean it is easier, using a non traditional party often means being creative and stubborn. "Casuals" will most likely be able to play on normal difficulty but I think we have different definitions of that word. Most "casuals" I know tend to play what they think they are supposed to play, meaning a traditional party setup and some of them don't bother with anything other than story mode.

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5e is already way more easy and tone down the need of a traditionnal party.

Everyone can use lockpicks. Most classes have spells or feature to heal. Most classes have a subclasses that can cast spells. Racial proficiency bonuses and/or feats allow you to custom your characters a lot,....

You don't need a healer, a tank, a wizard and a rogue. You can choose to create something else if you wish : you'll still have a lot of options for every character to become unique.

Classes remains unique but all of them have options to get more or less out of its primary goal... And that's really good.

But everyone should not always :

- be a healer/buffer (throw potion, potion as bonus action, scrolls for everyone)
- be a wizard (everyone can use every scrolls)
- be a rogue (hide as a bonus action)
- be powerfull in melee or with weapons (dipping, shoving as a bonus action, throwing,....)

That's how it works in BG3 because of the homebrew.
And that is not good at all in my opinion.

Last edited by Maximuuus; 12/09/21 07:28 AM.
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Originally Posted by Maximuuus
5e is already way more easy and tone down the need of a traditionnal party.

Everyone can use lockpicks. Most classes have spells or feature to heal. Most classes have a subclasses that can cast spells. Racial proficiency bonuses and/or feats allow you to custom your characters a lot,....

You don't need a healer, a tank, a wizard and a rogue. You can choose to create something else if you wish : you'll still have a lot of options for every character to become unique.

Classes remains unique but all of them have options to get more or less out of its primary goal... And that's really good.

But everyone should not always :

- be a healer/buffer (throw potion, potion as bonus action, scrolls for everyone)
- be a wizard (everyone can use every scrolls)
- be a rogue (hide as a bonus action)
- be powerfull in melee or with weapons (dipping, shoving as a bonus action, throwing,....)

That's how it works in BG3 because of the homebrew.
And that is not good at all in my opinion.

100% agree

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The simple fact of games these days - Every Non-MMO but still Multiplayer game should have the option of 4, 6, or 8 players. Or more, depending on the type of game. But a game like this where you are bulding a party to play it should ALWAYS have the ability to add more RPCs dpending on the group of people that want to play together. My game group has 6 people in it, and we have to leave people out because of the stipidty of a 4 player system. NO GAME SHOULD HAVE ONLY 4 PLAYERS MAX. If the problem is connection speeds or resources for the game itself, then that should be on the user to make it right. If the problem is ease of completion, then it should be on the devloper to scale the difficulty to the number of RPCs. Limit the NPC slot list if you want, but the players should have a choice as to how many can play at a time.
It's that simple.
I don't care if the studio has a history of 4 player games.
I don't care if people are crying about length of battles or interations because of a larger party.
The number of people playing should be player controlled. Period.
I wish developers would get out of the past and realize this. There is no logical reason for only having a 4 player multiplayer game anymore.

Just my 2 cents
-Mookie

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Originally Posted by mookieb13
The simple fact of games these days - Every Non-MMO but still Multiplayer game should have the option of 4, 6, or 8 players. Or more, depending on the type of game. But a game like this where you are bulding a party to play it should ALWAYS have the ability to add more RPCs dpending on the group of people that want to play together. My game group has 6 people in it, and we have to leave people out because of the stipidty of a 4 player system. NO GAME SHOULD HAVE ONLY 4 PLAYERS MAX. If the problem is connection speeds or resources for the game itself, then that should be on the user to make it right. If the problem is ease of completion, then it should be on the devloper to scale the difficulty to the number of RPCs. Limit the NPC slot list if you want, but the players should have a choice as to how many can play at a time.
It's that simple.
I don't care if the studio has a history of 4 player games.
I don't care if people are crying about length of battles or interations because of a larger party.
The number of people playing should be player controlled. Period.
I wish developers would get out of the past and realize this. There is no logical reason for only having a 4 player multiplayer game anymore.

Just my 2 cents
-Mookie

Amen and amen!

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Thats wrong in NWN 1 you could have only one Char. in the vanialla game. In NWN 2 only four.

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This is true, and I think also the reason why NWN could never quite achieve its full promise as a successor to Baldur's Gate.

The main reason being that, despite having an awesome toolset, the Dungeon master could not really create a campaign that looked or felt anything like Baldur's Gate. You know with the epic godmode vibe of the 6 player party and a gang of summons all under the command of one strategic mind. Instead it fell into the trap of being only single player ala Everquest grind feel, or multiplayer with a few people in a small groups, because anything more than Solo + a henchmen was nearly impossible to scale properly. So you'd have combat's that were either designed to work well for one player, or just become instantly insane with way too much stuff happening way too quickly in real time. Speaking mainly of NWN1 vanilla here. By the time good single player campaigns came out, or PWs figured out a way to manage the large gatherings, and break it up with heavy DM involvement, it was like "Now we're doing NWN2!" and it was cool, but had like no backwards compatibility. Splinter the design community in half. But what it didn't have was a way to build a Baldur's Gate game.

What it needed I think was an action RTS component or view more like the old original Warcraft editor, where killer levels could be designed to really take advantage of the RTS real time type angle. 6 player party is basically the bridge between a wargame large battle type atmosphere, and more PnP play. But Bioware went a different direction when they moved on, doing the Jade Empire Kotor route, cinematic FPS in a fantasy setting basically, and still using the henchmen idea to the Nth degree. Baldur's Gate had more in common with Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark portal 1995, than it does with NWN. I think if NWN could have built in the action RTS element to its campaign designer we'd have seen something like the ultimate. Because then it could marry the cool cinematic and exploration appeal of a more driving game experience, but have the combat intensity of the best in strategy game, while still using the TB elements of say what Troika was trying to cook up (which was basically the old SSI sort of vibe but brought up to speed.)

I think the pinnacle for a D&D computer game would be able to combine all 3 concepts, into a single grand campaign system. Basically the BG style for battle campaigns, the others more for the story and exploration driven stuff. I mean I think everyone had the same feeling at the time. That NWN would kick ass and take names if only it could have a Party of 6, and pull the camera out into an iso view, look more in game the way it presented in the level editor of the Solstice Toolset. Like the way back zoom, with the sort of control scheme that such a view requires. Let the player switch it on the fly, based on the intensity of the combat encounter. The player knows when shit's about to get real, and when it goes cinema, what's going to have the right appeal based on what's happening. I think that would be pretty cool. I can picture how it would look, but I've never seen it. I was hoping BG3 might be it, but we're just not there yet.

I want to see something that can eventually bridge into D&D VR, but I also love that older style of crawler from the eye in the sky that BG truly exemplified.

I think BG3 will be much closer when they raise the party cap to 6. This remains like the first litmus test for me. If before bringing us out of EA they up us to six, then I will know that deep down, they truly want to be a Baldur's Gate game. They need to find a way to make it happen heheh

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Originally Posted by schpas
Thats wrong in NWN 1 you could have only one Char. in the vanialla game. In NWN 2 only four.
Yes NwN1 was not a party-based game. But for NwN2, even with the four size, you could very easily go into the game files and change that to whatever number you wanted. Didn't even need someone to make a mod for it. And the game ran just fine. I usually changed it to allow as much as eight companions sometimes. And then the last expansion for the game bumped party size up to six anyway.

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I could really go for an increased party size, just because I like their characters and want to be able to play with more of them and hate having to exclude people.

5 would be nice but then I guess that would make it awkward for people duoing the game since one person gets 2 characters and the other 3. Then 6 characters might be a bit much considering the space for combat. Then of course you'd have to rework all the battles to balance for increased characters.

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Originally Posted by polliwagwhirl
Originally Posted by Maximuuus
Party of 6 does not always mean more ennemies. This is a wrong argument.

All else equal, if you allow parties of 6 right now, the game becomes much easier. You could balance this through split XP as mrfuji suggested, or by adding more enemies / stronger enemies.

XP split doesnt really work for the endgame when the encounters are balanced around a full party at a max lvl. And adding more or stronger enemies sounds easier than it is done. It will require to balance encounters for every difficulty level for different party sizes, which will be be a huge amount of work, considering that we are talking about enemies that are smarter than in other DnD RPGs. In BG2 for example you dont have enemies wake up their sleeping allies or throwing healing potions at them. They also tend to ignore your backline and it's pretty easy to tank them. Also bigger fights with many enemies and big parties will become a slogfest especially if Larian will add proper reactions. There is a reason why Solasta went with a 4-person party too, imagine how many pop-ups for Bend Luck you will get in a turn in a fight that has more than 12 people?

Last edited by Alyssa_Fox; 17/10/21 04:30 AM.
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Originally Posted by Alyssa_Fox
XP split doesnt really work for the endgame when the encounters are balanced around a full party at a max lvl.
"Balanced for".
It always worked in the past for plenty of other titles, not sure why it shouldn't here.

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And adding more or stronger enemies sounds easier than it is done. It will require to balance encounters for every difficulty level for different party sizes
No, it wouldn't.

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considering that we are talking about enemies that are smarter than in other DnD RPGs
irrelevant. The AI manages whatever enemy is set on the encounter. It doesn't require to script individual moves for each enemy. That's the very reason Larian worked on a "proper AI system" since DOS 2 and something they advertised strongly in the past.
You'd literally just need to swap models in the toolset to already have it somewhat working, with occasional minor adjustments required.


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n BG2 for example you dont have enemies wake up their sleeping allies or throwing healing potions at them.
That doesn't really change anything in practical terms. If you need to tone down an AI to make an encounter viable, maybe that encounter needs revisions to begin with.

Quote
Also bigger fights with many enemies and big parties will become a slogfest especially if Larian will add proper reactions. There is a reason why Solasta went with a 4-person party too, imagine how many pop-ups for Bend Luck you will get in a turn in a fight that has more than 12 people?
No, it's not. Which is precisely why Solasta gives you several occasions to escort one or two extra NPCs for long stretches of the game.

That said, we are still blabbing as if some utopic "perfect balance" would necessarily need to be hit to make a game of this type work, which is a bullshit premise to begin with.
A competent designer needs to just to account for extremes (make sure they are still somewhat viable) and choose a suitable middle ground as the standard reference, not lose his mind after the "balance" of every single variable.

Last edited by Tuco; 17/10/21 07:55 AM.
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Originally Posted by Tuco
[/quote]

[quote=Tuco]It always worked in the past for plenty of other titles, not sure why it shouldn't here.

Which ones?

Originally Posted by Tuco
No, it wouldn't.

Yes, it would.

Originally Posted by Tuco
irrelevant. The AI manages whatever enemy is set on the encounter. It doesn't require to script individual moves for each enemy. That's the very reason Larian worked on a "proper AI system" since DOS 2 and something they advertised strongly in the past.
You'd literally just need to swap models in the toolset to already have it somewhat working, with occasional minor adjustments required.

It very relevant. Every other game like Pathfinder or Pillars of Eternity has braindead enemies that walk into fire, never wake their allies from sleeping, get tanked by summons immune to damage, etc. Difficulty in these games is superficial, because no matter how many hps or damage your enemies have they can easily be defeated by using very basic tactics that simply do not work in BG3 because of better AI.

Originally Posted by Tuco
That doesn't really change anything in practical terms. If you need to tone down an AI to make an encounter viable, maybe that encounter needs revisions to begin with.

And make encounters boring like in Pathfinder? You have to gimp yourself very hard or play using mods to actually enjoy combat in most DnD-style games if you know basics of DnD.

Originally Posted by Tuco
No, it's not. Which is precisely why Solasta gives you several occasions to escort one or two extra NPCs for long stretches of the game.

Excatly. Escort missions with temporary allies would become slogfest if Solasta had a 6-person party. Or we would have to deal with overbuffed enemies.

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