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Exactly why RTWP is frustrating and doesn't always work for many players. When a player sees that a goblin is 30 feet away, and they tell their four characters to run up and attack that goblin with melee weapons, it is very frustrating when the goblin runs away at the same time, keeping his distance so the four characters can't ever catch him and hit him with melee weapons. If the PC wins initiative, the player wants the ability to move their melee person into melee range so that if the goblin tries to run, an attack of opportunity is done. Thus, the player gains the upper hand and makes good use of their melee person.

But that's the problem with this kind of combat mechanism. If I tell Lae'zel to run 30 feet and do a melee attack against a goblin, and that goblin simultaneously runs away, then Lae'zel's turn is wasted. She's not a good ranged person because her strength is in melee. So if she can never reach her enemies because they are always running away and shooting, then that sucks. And if the player is forced to program in their characters' actions BEFORE the round starts, then if Lae'zel sees the goblin running, she can't suddenly switch to Dash to catch him.

This said, IF someone was to implement this kind of gameplay mechanics into a video game, it would only work if the player was allowed to input a primary and secondary set of actions. So, primary action would be run 30 feet and do a melee attack. Secondary would be, "If primary is unable to be done, then do secondary."

So, in the case of Lae'zel not being able to get within melee range, the primary action would be run 30 feet and attack with melee weapon. The secondary action set would be to run 30 feet and shoot with a crossbow OR run 30 feet and then Dash and run another 30 feet to get into melee range of target.

That actually wouldn't be too hard to implement. Each round, the player would select the PC and then select a target; let's say Goblin 1. The player would then provide a primary action, like Make Melee Attack. The player would then provide a secondary action, like Dash or Ranged Attack. If the character can do Bonus actions, like Off Handed Attack, the player could also put in the cue a Bonus action as well. So, when the Round Begins, if the character can't run within melee range and attack, the primary action, they will do the secondary action, like Dash or Ranged Attack.

This type of gameplay would also make it so players can't shoot a crossbow, run up to an enemy, switch to sword and shield, and gain the AC advantage of having a shield during combat. Thus, it would be more strategic there as well.

I do think this gameplay style might be fun to try. However, I think there would be many problems with it. The AI would have to be intelligent enough so that your characters wouldn't run through hostile terrain and such in order to try to catch a moving enemy. So, for example, if the goblin Lae'zel was running 30 feet to attack during melee decided to run sideways 30 feet instead of away from her, and by doing so that caused her to catch him, but she had to run into an explosive mine to do so, I'm fairly certain a player might get pretty ticked off by that.

But if the game was smart enough to have characters avoid stuff like that, it could work. Certainly, combat would go quicker since the AI would be calculating enemy moves at the same time the player was cuing up all of his party members' actions/bonus actions.

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Originally Posted by kanisatha
Originally Posted by Try2Handing
Originally Posted by kanisatha
One thing that continues to bother me in all of these discussions about the combat system is that while you don't see anyone here insisting they won't play the game just because it is TB, there are several people posting that they would essentially boycott the game if it were RTwP. I think that says something about the TB fans versus the RtwP fans. It makes me wonder if I should also consider boycotting games for no other reason than because they're TB.
It's understandable because some players actually can't deal with RTWP cause of all the unending pausing and micromanagement, it's essentially unplayable to them. In tough fights things can get very confusing with everyone acting at the same time, and may be too fast for many players to keep track of everything. I understand that's not enjoyable. On the other hand, for those who are comfortable with RTWP, they generally can handle TB just fine; the worst it can be is that they would find it slow and boring, but it's not a big deal.
Well, for me the simplicity (yes it is TB that is tactically simplistic and RTwP that is tactically complex and superior), superficiality, immersion-breaking, and mind-numbing tedium of TB *is* a very big deal. But I still haven't ever boycotted a game just because of it.
That is what I said. RTWP is indeed more complex by those 2 factors I've mentioned in my post. I'm not arguing that TB is somehow more complex and difficult than RTWP, I'm saying that it's more enjoyable and immersive for me personally. And I don't think you're correct in calling TB simplistic. It's not as complex, sure, but have you ever played HoMM? Europa Universalis? Simplistic is the last word I'd use in describing them. Replied to the wrong post but you got my meaning

Last edited by Moradin's hammer; 13/09/21 10:24 PM.
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Originally Posted by GM4Him
Exactly why RTWP is frustrating and doesn't always work for many players. When a player sees that a goblin is 30 feet away, and they tell their four characters to run up and attack that goblin with melee weapons, it is very frustrating when the goblin runs away at the same time, keeping his distance so the four characters can't ever catch him and hit him with melee weapons. If the PC wins initiative, the player wants the ability to move their melee person into melee range so that if the goblin tries to run, an attack of opportunity is done. Thus, the player gains the upper hand and makes good use of their melee person.

But that's the problem with this kind of combat mechanism. If I tell Lae'zel to run 30 feet and do a melee attack against a goblin, and that goblin simultaneously runs away, then Lae'zel's turn is wasted. She's not a good ranged person because her strength is in melee. So if she can never reach her enemies because they are always running away and shooting, then that sucks. And if the player is forced to program in their characters' actions BEFORE the round starts, then if Lae'zel sees the goblin running, she can't suddenly switch to Dash to catch him.

This said, IF someone was to implement this kind of gameplay mechanics into a video game, it would only work if the player was allowed to input a primary and secondary set of actions. So, primary action would be run 30 feet and do a melee attack. Secondary would be, "If primary is unable to be done, then do secondary."

So, in the case of Lae'zel not being able to get within melee range, the primary action would be run 30 feet and attack with melee weapon. The secondary action set would be to run 30 feet and shoot with a crossbow OR run 30 feet and then Dash and run another 30 feet to get into melee range of target.

That actually wouldn't be too hard to implement. Each round, the player would select the PC and then select a target; let's say Goblin 1. The player would then provide a primary action, like Make Melee Attack. The player would then provide a secondary action, like Dash or Ranged Attack. If the character can do Bonus actions, like Off Handed Attack, the player could also put in the cue a Bonus action as well. So, when the Round Begins, if the character can't run within melee range and attack, the primary action, they will do the secondary action, like Dash or Ranged Attack.

This type of gameplay would also make it so players can't shoot a crossbow, run up to an enemy, switch to sword and shield, and gain the AC advantage of having a shield during combat. Thus, it would be more strategic there as well.

I do think this gameplay style might be fun to try. However, I think there would be many problems with it. The AI would have to be intelligent enough so that your characters wouldn't run through hostile terrain and such in order to try to catch a moving enemy. So, for example, if the goblin Lae'zel was running 30 feet to attack during melee decided to run sideways 30 feet instead of away from her, and by doing so that caused her to catch him, but she had to run into an explosive mine to do so, I'm fairly certain a player might get pretty ticked off by that.

But if the game was smart enough to have characters avoid stuff like that, it could work. Certainly, combat would go quicker since the AI would be calculating enemy moves at the same time the player was cuing up all of his party members' actions/bonus actions.
Frustrating though it may be for players, isn't *exactly* what you are describing - a goblin running away from you when you charge at it - what is realistic? What would happen in a real combat situation? Yes, in RTwP, often a character's actions do get "wasted" or get implemented "wrong" (i.e. a spell ending up mis-positioned). For you guys this is a bad thing. For me this is a very good thing, and exactly how combat *should* be.

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Originally Posted by Moradin's hammer
Originally Posted by kanisatha
Originally Posted by Try2Handing
Originally Posted by kanisatha
One thing that continues to bother me in all of these discussions about the combat system is that while you don't see anyone here insisting they won't play the game just because it is TB, there are several people posting that they would essentially boycott the game if it were RTwP. I think that says something about the TB fans versus the RtwP fans. It makes me wonder if I should also consider boycotting games for no other reason than because they're TB.
It's understandable because some players actually can't deal with RTWP cause of all the unending pausing and micromanagement, it's essentially unplayable to them. In tough fights things can get very confusing with everyone acting at the same time, and may be too fast for many players to keep track of everything. I understand that's not enjoyable. On the other hand, for those who are comfortable with RTWP, they generally can handle TB just fine; the worst it can be is that they would find it slow and boring, but it's not a big deal.
Well, for me the simplicity (yes it is TB that is tactically simplistic and RTwP that is tactically complex and superior), superficiality, immersion-breaking, and mind-numbing tedium of TB *is* a very big deal. But I still haven't ever boycotted a game just because of it.
That is what I said. RTWP is indeed more complex by those 2 factors I've mentioned in my post. I'm not arguing that TB is somehow more complex and difficult than RTWP, I'm saying that it's more enjoyable and immersive for me personally. And I don't think you're correct in calling TB simplistic. It's not as complex, sure, but have you ever played HoMM? Europa Universalis? Simplistic is the last word I'd use in describing them. Replied to the wrong post but you got my meaning
Ah okay. This wasn't clear from the previous post. Thanks for clarifying.

As for the other point you make, yes absolutely, in *strategic* games like the ones you list (for me it would be games like Civilization, and The Operational Art of War), TB combat in those games is reasonably complex and even realistic. My arguments here are very strictly about RPGs. RPGs and strategic games are fundamentally different things.

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From where I see it, RTWP is more demanding, if you don't want to get frustrated at the game. It's faster, more hectic, requires a higher degree of micromanagement and multitasking. It involves real time timing, sometimes even very tight timing, like under 1s in some extreme cases. You have to constantly shift your attention from one combatant to another, and can't afford to just "forget" about someone for 5 whole rounds or something. Like forget about that enemy mage who is going to drop a Horrid Wilting on your party within the next 2 rounds, so you have about 9-10s to do something about that. If the only one who can interrupt that mage is your own mage, then you have to plan out what it's going to take to interrupt that enemy mage under his 12 layers of defenses, and how you're going to do it in 2 rounds. Or forget about your mage-thief who is going to not auto-attack after casting a spell. If one round is 6s, and the casting takes 3s, you have 3s to get back to the mage-thief to tell him to do something else.

So from an angle, you actually need a higher level of understanding of game mechanics and the enemies - both enemy abilities and enemy behavior. If my character has low attack speed, it means there's going to be a delay before he can make an attack, so I should know how long that delay is. And if I have cause to suspect that the enemy is resistant to my attack (maybe very high AC or weapon immunity), I only need to make one attack to confirm that. So I'd allow myself 3-4s to do other things, before getting back to this character to see the result of that attack. I can't just "forget" about this character for 5 whole rounds, before remembering that oh wait I need to check how he's doing, then get frustrated at the fact that his weapon is ineffective and he's just wasted 5 rounds.

It's like GM4Him said, in TB you can confirm the effectiveness of your attack right away at the end of the turn - it's very simple because there's nothing else that demands your attention. In RTWP you have to keep in mind that you have a pending attack as you shift your attention to something else, then you need to go back and check the result of that attack after a couple seconds. You have to do this constantly, for multiple party members, if you want to keep your combat actions optimized.

Another example: there is an enemy mage who likes to cast Wail of the Banshee within the first 3 rounds of the fight. So I have my mage on standby and watch him, and if I hear him start chanting a necromancy spell, I have 3s to interrupt him with my mage. On the other hand, if he starts chanting an abjuration spell instead, I know it's likely going to be Dispel Magic, so I'd have my mage cast Detect Invisibility this round, to flush out the enemy assassin who's doing to backstab the hell out of my druid. To me this kind of timing and decision making is fun and exciting.

It's like multitasking, when you try to handle several things at the same time. Some players find it too much of a bother. But to me it forces my brain to work in a way that I find stimulating and fun. TB is a more "slow down and chill" kind of thing. So it's somewhat like taking a casual jog to keep your body active versus sessions of high intensity training back to back.


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Exactly.

With BG1 I found RTWP not as bad. Why? Less things to juggle. Less powerful enemies and not so complicated.

BG2 was considerably harder. Enemies were much harder and battles requiring more knowledge of what spells do what and what enemies are resistant to what.

SO many BG2 fights were save scummed in order to just get through the game. That is no fun to me.

But I think you hit the nail on the head. If you are really good at multitasking, RTWP is probably perfect for you. I am not. Let me focus on one at a time so I can see what I'm doing and plan accordingly.

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Originally Posted by GM4Him
BG2 was considerably harder. Enemies were much harder and battles requiring more knowledge of what spells do what and what enemies are resistant to what.
Yeah, after you have played other games of the genre and think back, BG2 is actually really complex, with a lot of spells that do many different things, a high amount of status effects, weird enemies with weird resistances, immunities, and weird special attacks, and funky mechanics like contingency, sequencer, time stop, immunity to time stop, insta-kill effects, spell reflection, spell deflection, spell immunity against specific spell school, magical defenses against spells of up to a certain level, then anti-magic attacks that dispel magical defenses of up to a certain level, some anti-magic attacks only dispel one magical defense, but some others dispel all defenses, some dispel some things but don't dispel other things, etc. Then there are things like "how is Hold different from Stun?", or "how come my character is immune to Web but these illithids can still stun me?", or "Why is this Lich unaffected by all of my spells?" Memorizing what does what, who can do what and is immune to what, and then what you have in your toolbox that you can use for defense and offense purposes, may be a real hassle. It's super fun once you've got everything down though.

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Avoiding the obvious comparison to Diablo, in terms of the combat BG was an action RTS game more than a cRPG in the tradition of the early MM games or SSI gold boxes. BG1 felt very much like a Warrior/Rogue friendly campaign, whereas BG2 leaned more heavily towards Priests/Wizards. In practical combat terms though, both BG1/2 felt more like Starcraft or Age of Empires, than say Pool of Radiance or FR:UA.

The BG games didn't have to rely as much on the nuts and bolts of D&D TB combat mechanics, which it instead used more like flavor to inform the action RTS vibe they already had going. It was basically an RTS game with D&D window dressing. I loved it, of course. Since 2003 most moves have been to make the D&D computer games feel more in line with the table top, which is cool, but also very different than what BG1 did. I honestly think they should have picked a different Name or another popular campaign to launch a fully turn based cRPG, so that Baldur's Gate could have remained a bridge between Dungeons and Dragons and other popular sorts of games.

BG was mocked a bit by table top players for being the game that was "all about launching fireballs just offscreen" or like casting command (BG1) or insect plague (BG2) and if it didn't land, you reloaded lol. BG2 was the king of Q for quicksave, and playing every fight 3 times until you understood the meta. Which is not really how PnP D&D works at all, but it was still hella fun.

It's a little too bad that the "with pause" genre has been pretty much ceded to game settings not in the Forgotten Realms or IPs that are no longer officially "D&D". BG3 could easily have been the game that perfected the RTS with pause style of gameplay, in a modern 3d environment.

I think what they did here would have been better suited for a NWN3 game, which always had a super shitty combat system as the main thing holding it back. It really would have benefited from a 1:1 turn based combat system straight out of the PHB. Neverwinter 3 would have had the same kind of name recognition that Baldur's Gate had, and would have fit much better with the co-op MP type thing that Larian is doing here.

It's just one of those face palm type things, where I keeping asking why they did it one way rather than another. I guess maybe they figured that a new Baldur's Gate had to come first in sequence, because of the way nostalgia windows work in marketing, but it feels like a bit of a miss for what they are actually doing. I think they kinda conflated the audience of Baldur's Gate games with the audience of Neverwinter. BG was the single player full party focused game, that merged fun action-y rts gameplay with the FR setting. Neverwinter was the game that was supposed to be MP oriented and focus on actually translating the table top experience into a digital format. I can easily picture what they are currently doing in BG3 or say Solasta, as following in the NWN tradition. If they hadn't made it instead into an mmo. Whereas with the BG style game, those no longer exist to connect to the main IP via a more RTS style. So I think they lose ground there, to say a Dragon Age or Pillars or Pathfinder. Like kinda burning a bridge into D&D, the one that put the setting before the rulebook, as a hook. If that makes sense?

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Originally Posted by Try2Handing
Originally Posted by GM4Him
BG2 was considerably harder. Enemies were much harder and battles requiring more knowledge of what spells do what and what enemies are resistant to what.
Yeah, after you have played other games of the genre and think back, BG2 is actually really complex, with a lot of spells that do many different things, a high amount of status effects, weird enemies with weird resistances, immunities, and weird special attacks, and funky mechanics like contingency, sequencer, time stop, immunity to time stop, insta-kill effects, spell reflection, spell deflection, spell immunity against specific spell school, magical defenses against spells of up to a certain level, then anti-magic attacks that dispel magical defenses of up to a certain level, some anti-magic attacks only dispel one magical defense, but some others dispel all defenses, some dispel some things but don't dispel other things, etc. Then there are things like "how is Hold different from Stun?", or "how come my character is immune to Web but these illithids can still stun me?", or "Why is this Lich unaffected by all of my spells?" Memorizing what does what, who can do what and is immune to what, and then what you have in your toolbox that you can use for defense and offense purposes, may be a real hassle. It's super fun once you've got everything down though.

you are talking about ADVANCE D&D bro hehe

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Yeah, but when you have advanced D&D with everything moving and doing all at the same time and 6 characters to manage against hordes of enemies, Advanced D &D becomes Nigh Impossible D&D.

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Originally Posted by Try2Handing
From where I see it, RTWP is more demanding, if you don't want to get frustrated at the game. It's faster, more hectic, requires a higher degree of micromanagement and multitasking. It involves real time timing, sometimes even very tight timing, like under 1s in some extreme cases. You have to constantly shift your attention from one combatant to another, and can't afford to just "forget" about someone for 5 whole rounds or something. Like forget about that enemy mage who is going to drop a Horrid Wilting on your party within the next 2 rounds, so you have about 9-10s to do something about that. If the only one who can interrupt that mage is your own mage, then you have to plan out what it's going to take to interrupt that enemy mage under his 12 layers of defenses, and how you're going to do it in 2 rounds. Or forget about your mage-thief who is going to not auto-attack after casting a spell. If one round is 6s, and the casting takes 3s, you have 3s to get back to the mage-thief to tell him to do something else.

So from an angle, you actually need a higher level of understanding of game mechanics and the enemies - both enemy abilities and enemy behavior. If my character has low attack speed, it means there's going to be a delay before he can make an attack, so I should know how long that delay is. And if I have cause to suspect that the enemy is resistant to my attack (maybe very high AC or weapon immunity), I only need to make one attack to confirm that. So I'd allow myself 3-4s to do other things, before getting back to this character to see the result of that attack. I can't just "forget" about this character for 5 whole rounds, before remembering that oh wait I need to check how he's doing, then get frustrated at the fact that his weapon is ineffective and he's just wasted 5 rounds.

It's like GM4Him said, in TB you can confirm the effectiveness of your attack right away at the end of the turn - it's very simple because there's nothing else that demands your attention. In RTWP you have to keep in mind that you have a pending attack as you shift your attention to something else, then you need to go back and check the result of that attack after a couple seconds. You have to do this constantly, for multiple party members, if you want to keep your combat actions optimized.

Another example: there is an enemy mage who likes to cast Wail of the Banshee within the first 3 rounds of the fight. So I have my mage on standby and watch him, and if I hear him start chanting a necromancy spell, I have 3s to interrupt him with my mage. On the other hand, if he starts chanting an abjuration spell instead, I know it's likely going to be Dispel Magic, so I'd have my mage cast Detect Invisibility this round, to flush out the enemy assassin who's doing to backstab the hell out of my druid. To me this kind of timing and decision making is fun and exciting.

It's like multitasking, when you try to handle several things at the same time. Some players find it too much of a bother. But to me it forces my brain to work in a way that I find stimulating and fun. TB is a more "slow down and chill" kind of thing. So it's somewhat like taking a casual jog to keep your body active versus sessions of high intensity training back to back.
Totally agree with this, and especially what you say at the very end. All of *this* is what I find enjoyable, invigorating, challenging, and fun, and so by contrast TB combat comes across as lame and boring for me. smile

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Originally Posted by Black_Elk
I think what they did here would have been better suited for a NWN3 game, which always had a super shitty combat system as the main thing holding it back. It really would have benefited from a 1:1 turn based combat system straight out of the PHB. Neverwinter 3 would have had the same kind of name recognition that Baldur's Gate had, and would have fit much better with the co-op MP type thing that Larian is doing here.
Hold your tongue! smile

Given what we have with BG3, I am very tightly holding on to the hope that we will at some point get a NwN3, and at least that game will be using RTwP. I want my party-based Forgotten Realms D&D game with RTwP.

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Oh I'd take it! Hehe

Like it feels sort of backwards, but if only they had been able to marry the simple campaign design tools of NWN1 with the functionality of NWN2 for party and scripting, and then give that an iso rts style combat option of the infinity games, it would just live forever on my hard drive lol.

I always just wanted NWN to follow the gameplay style of the Baldurs Gates and the Icewind Dales, but with an Unlimited Adventures style toolset. A modern map maker, dungeon designer, char creator, sound suite, cinema direction and all the rest.

I still much prefer a starter set with modular expansions rather than a monthly subsciption model like the mmos. I just don't think mmo is the way to do D&D at all. But honestly if it was cool enough I might swing a subscription thing for content, like D&D netflix. But I don't like the idea of everything server side or online only, where they can just pull the plug and it falls apart like a house or cards.

A proper NWN successor even more than BG needs to have like 5-10 year long support commitment and a focus on user created stuff to build community. Cause it takes about that long for the user created content to fill in the necessary gaps for artists to link up with writers and for enough enthusiast to meet and collaborate. When I bashed the shitty combat of neverwinter above I was thinking mainly of the first game. The launch campaign for it was really lackluster too, compared to everything else Bioware had made up to that point. It was sort of their first big miss for me I think. SoU and HotU felt pretty meh as well. NWN2 didn't come into its own till Mask of the Betrayer, which was also a really long period of downtime for a game to build itself out. The toolset was better, but just much harder to learn on the fly, with fewer users cause of the overlap between the two games and the kinda Bioware/Obsidian split, both laying claim to BG inheritance in different ways and both kinda dropping the ball with their opening salvos for an intro campaign hehe.

I hope they revive the basic idea though. I think if they don't, then Pathfinder will just probably nix the idea and make the NWN version of WotR, but I know I won't dig it as much as the Forgotten Realms on a wizard's style budget.

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Originally Posted by Black_Elk
Oh I'd take it! Hehe

Like it feels sort of backwards, but if only they had been able to marry the simple campaign design tools of NWN1 with the functionality of NWN2 for party and scripting, and then give that an iso rts style combat option of the infinity games, it would just live forever on my hard drive lol.

I always just wanted NWN to follow the gameplay style of the Baldurs Gates and the Icewind Dales, but with an Unlimited Adventures style toolset. A modern map maker, dungeon designer, char creator, sound suite, cinema direction and all the rest.

I still much prefer a starter set with modular expansions rather than a monthly subsciption model like the mmos. I just don't think mmo is the way to do D&D at all. But honestly if it was cool enough I might swing a subscription thing for content, like D&D netflix. But I don't like the idea of everything server side or online only, where they can just pull the plug and it falls apart like a house or cards.

A proper NWN successor even more than BG needs to have like 5-10 year long support commitment and a focus on user created stuff to build community. Cause it takes about that long for the user created content to fill in the necessary gaps for artists to link up with writers and for enough enthusiast to meet and collaborate. When I bashed the shitty combat of neverwinter above I was thinking mainly of the first game. The launch campaign for it was really lackluster too, compared to everything else Bioware had made up to that point. It was sort of their first big miss for me I think. SoU and HotU felt pretty meh as well. NWN2 didn't come into its own till Mask of the Betrayer, which was also a really long period of downtime for a game to build itself out. The toolset was better, but just much harder to learn on the fly, with fewer users cause of the overlap between the two games and the kinda Bioware/Obsidian split, both laying claim to BG inheritance in different ways and both kinda dropping the ball with their opening salvos for an intro campaign hehe.

I hope they revive the basic idea though. I think if they don't, then Pathfinder will just probably nix the idea and make the NWN version of WotR, but I know I won't dig it as much as the Forgotten Realms on a wizard's style budget.
The long-term commitment that would be needed for any sort of "modular" approach to a NwN3 is exactly why I think Obsidian would be perfect for it. They now have Microsoft's money, and Microsoft ain't going anywhere anytime soon. The big question is whether WotC has burned its bridges with Obsidian over the past several years by rejecting Obsidian's pitches for D&D games (including BG3) to the point that now Obsidian's attitude towards WotC is "Screw you. We're no longer interested in doing anything with you."

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Oh damn that's right huh? I forgot they snapped up Obsidian a few years back. That would be quite fitting and kinda just desserts for a coup lol. Or like if Microsoft did a big end around and just bought Hasbro in the corporate gobble up game, just to put a black wizard in charge of the tower or something? lol. I can imagine the howls.

Its funny I still judge the companies and their northern border war rivalry based on the 1998 logo screens hehe. Even if Black Isle has polymorphed their name, they always keep it hella black and lightning, with pretty legit art direction.

I can picture the memo sealed and delivered 'using the ancient tongue. The art of kanly is still alive in the universe...' Lol. Would certainly give it some occult continuity for the 666th edition.

Hahah ok I can buy into that fantasy. Since this thread is just a post mortem now anyway and we know Larian isn’t about hitting pause. Maybe it should go that way for NWN3, like paint it black hehehe. This all makes me grin in good fun, but also for serious. Nice call!

ps. just pre-emptively, and so there's no confusion, I know the bioware obsidian vendetta is a made up joke thing created mainly by superimposition, but its still amusing to me. Also the idea of these giant 300 billion dollar conglomerates trading companies like magic cards to try and "stack" their decks lol. I rather like the idea of Dungeons and Dragons somehow not answering to Disney in the corporate daddy roundabout though. Just while we're down here hoping a clutch sale or acquisition somehow trickles out into cooler games in the long run, if only the franchise could get swallowed by the right whale. Fingers crossed!

Last edited by Black_Elk; 16/09/21 11:18 PM.
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Just as another random follow on, but I remember reading in some article from forever ago, that Urquhart thought BG3 would require like 25 million + dollars to budget from Atari to be considered "taking it seriously"... and that was right after ME dropped I think, like more than a decade ago. So nowadays we're easily running up into the hundreds of millions for top tier productions. Pretty wild. I mean talk about magic pockets hehe. I stopped following the numbers for the BG3 game, but didn't Red Dead 2 cost like almost half a billion to make? I sometimes wonder what it would really take truly make the legacy D&D digital game I want. It probably would take like a Microsoft type titan to go all in. Like when they just call it "Dungeons and Dragons" with no other qualifiers in the name, and drop a cool billion to make it the most expensive game ever made. With all the features, including pause, and then pin their whole entertainment brand on its success. Could you even imagine? Like where they spend 25 mil just on the character creator alone and don't even bat an eye lol. Like I don't know what they call it after Xbox X, Xbox Infinity I guess? And then launch it with D&D the way Zelda launched the Switch, like sweeping across the land, empire for the ages hehe. That would be such a dream! Wishful thinking I know, but I do like to indulge those kind of wishes.

Last edited by Black_Elk; Yesterday at 06:43 AM.
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Yeah MS dropped 8 billion on the tabble to buy ZeniMax/Bethesda without batting an eye. They are truly serious about locking up Xbox as the premier gaming console out there (in addition to dominating the PC market obviously). And from the many, many interviews I've been reading, all the game studios they've bought are VERY HAPPY under MS's roof. They all say MS just gives them whatever resources they want and then leaves them alone to make their games as they wish without any interference. That is the dream for a game studio. I have no doubt that Obsidian is getting all the money it wants to make Avowed and TOW2, and inXile is now confirmed to be making TWO unannounced AAA RPGs using UE5.

But on the flip side, Hasbro is in a very good place financially right now, precisely because D&D 5e is bringing in boatloads of cash for them. So I highly doubt they're going to be open to getting bought up. But yeah, if they ever sell out, I truly hope it will not be to the new evil empire that is Disney.

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Holy Hell, 8 Billion? Wow, yeah that definitely feels ambitious. Basically on the level of swooping a Lucasfilm. Ok so now that I'm thinking fancifully, what I really wish they'd do is this...

First they create a legacy portal, not for any specific or particular game, but rather as the place intended as the official online home and hub for the entire Dungeons and Dragons franchise.

When you buy in for the the starter set, it brings you to a launch application, (think of it like a mini Steam within the Steam) but where the focus is very tight. Only Dungeons and Dragons related materials and games, but also the publishing wing and art promo wing.

Like the equivalent of Dungeon or Dragon Magazine built into the framework. That way they can have the in house media or even traditional publishing (like for novelizations), also combining things like video (say youtube) and discussions community feedback (say reddit or what we do here in places like studio forums), but again brought under one roof in one place and curated. Mainly so there can be some continuity in the promotion and feel, and some oversight or at least a plan for how to organize this stuff. Done such that it feels like specifically D&D oriented, not trying to be everything to everyone, just D&D for everyone. Done extremely well, not haphazardly. This is the official wing of the brand, we can just call it "Xth Edition" as distinct from the SRD which would still exist to live in other places. That'd be more the de-centralized wild west wing of the brand. I'm talking more for the Dungeons and Dragons under say an MS aegis, where they have the resources and systems building skills to actually make such a thing cohesive and probably hella expensive haha.

The user signs in and creates their D&D profile, where they can hop into all the various different aspects of the Franchise. Entry style would be like after creating a general user profile, the player can then create Player Character profiles or Game Master profiles. Similar to the way games and achievements and whatnot are saved and follow the user in Steam. They could do the same thing in D&D.

Then you have your core games, the major Campaigns like say the BGs. Return to the gold boxes for nostalgia or branch new into the Solastas and such, but basically the core rules games, that try to emulate D&D by the books on some consistent level for the CRPG line. Heavy focus on MP there, but at the scale of the party, not like an Ulimata or an MMO, but something that fits the D&D with friends small group vibe.

On the DM Game Master side, you get basically your NWN tools for the creation of the above. The toolset, vault, custom assets for game building. Maping and Art related utilities. Some kind of animation cutscene directors chair. hehe

At the same time do something very similar but for the Action games - for the hooks. These with similar production values, themes, perhaps even shared characters etc to the Core Campaigns, but adapting the "official" D&D rules/systems to games with a rather different focus than the core cRPG. Your action-y Witcher or Skyrim style or Dark Alliance types more FPS tradition games, or command and conquer RTS style games, or 4X Age of Empires style or Wargames. They could even do an MMO there. Basically all the things they typically farm out, anytime they want to do something "new" but brought together. Again so it can have like a one-stop shop, or hub type feel. Could do fun stuff with like User Profile XP, or special kick backs, encouraging players to check out the different stuff on offer. I think that would be a cool way to do it.

Kinda like the old physical shops, where you'd have like one section for books and graphic novels, another for game boxes, one corner for the figurines or toys, models for painting, art hanging on the walls, a table somewhere and a fancy cabinet.

When the user logs into their D&D it should feel kinda like that. Like the full experience, but where the player can meet the thing from whatever angle they're currently vibing on most. Its kind of a big tent idea, trying to bring people together with just enough structure to make the collaborative stuff start to take off.

The Bioware/Black Isle thing is kinda also the way I think about it, cause actually they worked together and I'm sure had that respect for one another. That's probably part of the reason why the first BG game ended up being so magnificent, cause of like the shared purpose and comradery and the way that just elevates things in art.

Just imagining it like when studios are invited to "work on D&D", they got to come to down "to the shop" and get that sort of feel going. Not like a Disneylands or a Hollywood studio system, but more like a D&D atelier. But a fucking great one, cause you want the artists and designers to feel great about working there and contributing to it, and then have that kind of attitude filter down to the end users as well. Like a workshop, but with some legs. Where you'd know its still going to be around tomorrow.

I think if they could create that kind of environment, centralized but de-centralized to borrow a paradox, it would sort of mirror how analog D&D developed in the 70s and 80s, but for the new digital era. But also one where everyone has printers, and streams their media, you could still kind of recapture a feel of physicality or collectors vibe to it. Like cause the digital hub would also be the place to learn about and order the traditional materials too. Just spit-balling, but like for the grand design multi-billion dollar type project that would just be a rad approach I think.

Sorry that drifted a fair bit from "real time with pause," but I guess what I was driving at was that I wish they could create a space where these different play styles or even entirely different games could exist together. To reinforce the central project of D&D, instead of splitting it up. Like where there's a space for Turn Based core rules like BG3 type thing, but also the more RTwP oriented BG1/2 style of gameplay, or something more action FPS run-and-gun arcade, or 4X grand strat too. Just depending on how the player wants to engage with it that day. Maybe they just want to read up or watch the videos and casts that day though hehe. They could also streamline their betas that way, maybe with an experimental or under development EA category of game, with kickbacks for testing participation. Lots of things they could do with it I'd think, and probably many would dive in, it's just that right now its kinda scattered all over the place and you have to put it together piecemeal. It would be cool if they could bring it all into like one giant dungeon, and when I log into that place I just see the dragons and cool art that totally sets the mood.

Last edited by Black_Elk; Yesterday at 11:09 PM.
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Well, Chris Cocks, CEO of WotC, has said as much in interviews that they consider D&D to be the company's core brand, that video games is where they see the biggest investments on D&D in the future, and that they expect to make around 8 D&D video games in the next 5 years including even strategy games. So they are pretty ambitious with the D&D franchise at this point. The game being made by Hidden Path Entertainment is supposed to be a no-party third-person perspective AAA open world D&D game, so that will likely be their D&D Skyrim-like game. Maybe somewhere within those 8 new games (which includes BG3 and Dark Alliance) there'll be room for a NwN3. smile

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