Originally Posted by Khultak
My opinion only:

This flies in the face of how the game is actually balanced. Sure, you can exploit the deficient AI and non-D&D elements to beat some of the worst offenders, but the fights are way over-tuned to the character levels. 5e uses a challenge rating system, that is enemies are assigned a challenge rating which reflects the level of a group of 4 it would take to make it a balanced fight. An ogre has a challenge rating (cr) of 2, so 1 ogre makes a balanced fight (some risk but character death isn't more likely than not) for 4 2nd level characters. 2 ogres is a cr 4 encounter and the 3 ogre encounter that you can hit at level 2 (I did) is a CR 6 or better because the 3rd ogre is more powerful than a standard ogre. That is worse than deadly, it simply will end in a total party kill without DM exploits. With ~60 hps, a +6 to hit and 2d8+4 damage per attack (ave 13) they will one hit kill a lot of players at 2nd level. Goblins are 1/4 cr, so at 2nd level 4-5 goblins are a medium(balanced fight), 6 are a hard fight, and anything 7 or over is a deadly fight for 2nd level characters. That isn't including goblin bosses or the like which makes things even more difficult. And yeah, sure you can use the broken AI and broken action economy to cheese the fights, but that isn't strategy and it really doesn't qualify as good tactics either because again it is relying on broken implementations (like shooting from a high spot then hiding and watching the AI stand around and yell at you while doing absolutely nothing). This isn't about easy mode, it's about facing a surmountable challenge. CR isn't the be all, end all of encounter dynamics, but it gives a good idea of how lethal the encounter can be particularly at lower levels. I've had a CR 2 encounter almost kill off an entire party of 4th level characters because of dice rolls; I'm pretty sure the module designer expected that fight to be a throw away encounter to introduce one of the minor villains but it nearly ended the campaign.

The minotaurs are another example of this, 2 cr 3 monsters is a deadly encounter to a party of 4 4th level characters. Now if the DM is handing out magic items like candy then it becomes a different story, but generally speaking a common character of 4th level with a +2 con bonus is going to have about 31 hps (I'm basing this off d8 hit dice because I think it is the most common) and likely 15-17 AC give or take. A minotaur has a +6 to hit so about a 50% chance of hitting AC 16. Using the great axe they deal an average of 17 damage per hit. They can also use reckless attack which gives them advantage and that is absolutely huge, at 50% probability to hit it gives a 25% increase or essentially a flat +5 and it drops off at the edges to an overall +3 on the dice roll. Well now that minotaur has a 75% chance to hit anyone with a 16 AC when it does reckless attack, and 70% for 17 AC, so it will hit most characters on its turn. With an average of 76 hit points they can afford to take a few hits in return because 2 hits will likely put the average character into death saves (34 damage, but 39 if it successfully charges as its first action). Can the characters reasonably expect to deal 158 damage before the minotaurs deal 124?

Readied actions would help a lot in burning down one of the minotaurs quickly if they characters can choose which minotaur they focus on. Dodge won't help because dodge is an action, so you give up most of your ability to do damage except through bonus actions (barring monks which can do it as a bonus action for 1 ki) and if the minotaur is recklessly attacking it simply negates the advantage (still huge, but for someone with an AC lower than 16 you're still more likely than not to get hit). Now when the level caps are lifted some of these fights will become easier if you encounter them at a higher level, but right now with level caps in play they are not even remotely fair to the player that doesn't abuse verticality and line of sight mechanics against the broken AI.

Despite the shared system, there is an issue with simply balancing a 5e videogame with the 5e Tabletop CR system. This is because every PnP game is by default a "no-reload, ironman campaign".

When you adapt that into the videogame world, where reloads are expected, that is a massive layer of difficulty completely removed.

Most PnP encounters are balanced in a way that your chance of losing as a party (TPKing) is actually extremely low. "Deadly" encounters are scary in the context of a "you only live once, no reload mode", because there's a chance of an entire campaign ending. In a videogame, that's closer to the baseline requirement for challenge. BG3 needs to be balanced against the playstyle of videogames (i.e. with reloads), not ironman mode.

Per the encounter descriptions in the DMG (pg 81):
  • Easy: An easy encounter doesn't tax the characters' resources or put them in serious peril. They might lose a few hit points, but victory is pretty much guaranteed.
  • Medium: A medium encounter usually has one or two scary moments for the players, but the characters should emerge victorious with no casualties. One or more of them might need to use healing resources.
  • Hard: A hard encounter can go badly for the adventurers. Weaker characters might get taken out of the fight, and there's a slim chance where one or more character may die.
  • Deadly: A deadly encounter could be lethal for one or more character players. Survival often requires good tactics and quick thinking, and the party risks defeat.

In the context of a videogame, anything below hard can be considered a "Trash Mob". Encounters of this difficulty is bad in a RTwP game, but at least there, you can turn on the AI and just watch it play out quickly in real-time. It's basically unacceptable in a slower, turn-based combat game with no "auto-resolve".

Even "hard" encounters are designed for parties to never lose - at most, those drain your resources (which is why they should be in the game, as they do offer a strategic decision). If you factor in the extra loot and infinite resting in BG3, it's clear why Larian needs to use more "deadly" encounters* under 5e to ensure there is a degree of actual challenge sprinkled throughout.

*As long as it's "deadly" within a reason - i.e. the Minotaur encounter is a 2100 xp encounter vs. the 2000 xp threshold of a 4 people level 4 party, which is still fair.

Last edited by Topgoon; 07/01/21 02:20 AM.