RTwP results in me not even adding anyone else to the party.
Why? RTwP makes it possible to effectively manage a full party
(1) AI fucks it up. For example, I was playing DAI the other day, soloing on the highest difficulty. I do have two companions (one warrior, one mage - I'm playing a rogue), but I never applied any skill points or gear and have their AI turned off (I have them trail me to open doors when needed; they die very quickly in combat, if not right away, and never attack). A minute or two into the battle, rolling along without any real danger, I accidentally switched to one of the companions in combat, which then made my character operate by AI (this companion usually survives in combat because of a ring that turns her invisible at the start of combat, and since she doesn't attack, she just stands there doing nothing and not getting attacked). It took a couple of seconds before I realized and reacted to regain control. In those two seconds of having the AI in control, my character almost died, because "AI" is anything but "Intelligent." One way or another, AI finds a way to do something stupid, be it cause a train, squander a potion or scroll, or any number of things.
(2) RTwP feels like a bad hybrid. RT and TB are both standard methods that work well for what they are, but having to rely on the "P" makes RTwP feel neither here nor there. In fact, it shouldn't even be called RTwP, because real time doesn't stop. Call it what it is, STwP (Simultaneous Turns with Pause), or maybe even HART or HATB (half-assed real-time or half-assed turn-based). Yeah, I know, plenty of people like it, and that's cool. I don't. It's an attempt to get the best of both worlds and, as usual, ends up getting the best of neither.
Then hit the damn space bar to pause the combat and issue new orders to change/counter whatever you think the ai is mucking up. Pretty simple.
We aren't talking about DAI here. We are talking about how the D&D games have done and blended RT/RTwP and TB. Have you ever played the Icewind Dale series? Did you ever play the Temple of Elemental Evil? Did you ever play Baldur's Gate? Did you ever play Baldur's Gate 2? Have you EVER played a D&D PC video game with a full party of six where you could pause the action at any time to control what your characters are doing by giving them new orders, at ANY time? AND on top of that have the action automatically pause when any character on either side cast a spell so you could have a chance to issue new orders if appropriate? And/or have the action automatically pause when any spell cast by either side activates so you could have a chance to issue new orders if appropriate? And/or have the action automatically pause when any of your characters took damage or died so you could have a chance to issue new orders if appropriate? And/or have the action automatically pause when a new turn (technically a round) begins? Good luck surviving any large scale encounter in those games without taking advantage of being able to pause things and issue new orders on the fly as the situation changes and evolves. Or if one prefers to not micromanage the characters in their party, don't pause at all and let whatever is going to happen happen. Of if one prefers turn based then just select the option to pause at the beginning of each round so it will only pause exactly like a TB game.
Then there are the other times the game can automatically pause that I had forgotten to mention. I just briefly booted up BG Enhanced Edition to double check the pause options. The game can also be set to pause whenever a trap is found - that one has saved my butt hundreds of times - and when a weapon breaks. In RT that character with the broken weapon is stuck with that broken weapon until the end of the turn, and hopefully the player doesn't forget to change weapons during the turn break. But in RTwP I can order a character to change weapons at that time, and then the weapon change will happen when the action/initiative delay permits that action, and that could happen BEFORE the end of the current turn. I think there are still some pause options I have not mentioned.
I prefer to have more control over what my characters are doing, not less. This issue boils down to players having CHOICES, and preferably more choices not fewer choices. In other words, ideally the developers will permit the players to choose whichever mode they prefer. We should have the choice to play pure TB, OR pure RT, OR pure RTwP, OR ideally any combination of those choices like we could do in the older full party D&D games.
Then as kanisatha implies, which is another advantage of RTwP that I had completely forgotten about, there is the huge advantage of being able to pause the action in the middle of a major encounter to: Answer the door; Answer the phone; Take a snack break; Take a dog out for an outside break; Make some coffee or tea or something else to drink; Take a head break, or latrine/bathroom break for you land lubbers, without having to wait for a full turn to end.
Last edited by Vlad the Impaler; 20/08/2003:27 PM.