Thus I need smart AI to carry out orders and almost all attempts at this imo have failed. Imo the two need to be paired together RtwP with good AI, if it is definable by the user or the game does it well.
Can't agree more - and it brings me to MY main criticism of real time. If you're relying on AI to control 3/4 of your party in a party based game - then you are missing out on 3/4 of the combat experience. The only time I enjoy real time is if I can keep pauses to a minimum... which means I have to solo or run 3 beaters that I can actually trust the AI with. Personally I don't want a party based game that is tuned for solo and I would never trust an AI on a caster class. A turn based system that respects your time fixes all of those problems.
For my play style, it's just the opposite. I find it tedious when I have to be 6 different people during a combat. I'd much rather be the squad leader and be able to trust that the party AI would behave reasonably. That's why I love the advanced AI scripts in the latest version of the BG:EE's. It's not perfect, but I can trust it to handle the melee guys, and almost always handle the archers, while I control the casters and worry about positioning. I have a lot of fun in fights, trying to win them without pausing. If they would port those scripts to IWD:EE, I'd be in heaven. (I'd really be in heaven if someone would remake Jane's Fleet Command with AI that sophisticated.)
I remember, back in the day, there was a certain segment of the BG modding community that was obsessed with scripts. There were some who had the goal of creating combat script robust enough that they could win every fight, including the boss fights, without touching the mouse. I doubt they ever succeeded, but the fact that they were trying does bring up a point that I think get's lost in this debate.
More important than whether it's RT or TB, the real test of a combat system is how wide a spectrum of play styles it can accommodate. In the IE games, you can micromanage, control each sword blow, each arrow, if that's your thing. Or you can set up the fight and let (some of) your party members handle it themselves. Regardless of whether this game ends up RT or TB, I'd still like the option of setting some party members on autopilot and be able to trust that they'll behave, if not intelligently, at least reasonably.
Well said! This is me too.
One of the main reasons I really love PoE2 is because they chaged most (not all) casting abilities to per encounter rather than per rest. In the IE games you ddn't want the casters on auto because they'd end up using up their spells and you wouldn't have any left until the next rest. But because in PoE2 most of those abilities are per encounter, I don't mind putting even spellcasters on auto, and for that reason actually like having and using spellcasters in my party which I never liked to do in the IE games.