Despite adopting a totally different approach to party movement, my main frustration with BG3 is weirdly the same one I had with BG1/2... party members getting in each others' way.

In BG2 this would happen when two characters locked into each other along the same path and just froze in place. Or when one character would randomly re-route their path because another character was blocking their fastest lane. This would result in ridiculous and unnecessary delays, where one character would go 'the long way round' or you'd have to reissuing the movement commands multiple times for each pc like herding cats. The situation was made worse by things like narrow area exits (the Planar Sphere stronghold comes to mind) or spells like haste, or equipment like the boots of speed, where some characters would travel the map at different speeds. That stuff was all annoying, and all the result of Party members not being able to pass through each other's space towards the target.

Although the whole movement scheme and UI is different in BG3, somehow this same issue of the intra-party body block persists, and the same wonky scenario plays out, where characters within the party become the main obstacle to orderly movement across the area maps. There were times in BG2 when I wished everyone would just move in a single file line with some measure of discipline. Bizarrely, in this game the whole control scheme is designed around a chain/follow concept, and yet somehow the pcs are still trying to get ahead of each other or ambling off course into traps or goblin axes etc.

I don't know how they plan to address it, but I wish they'd start by ditching the body block as a thing. Maybe the idea of "plugging gaps" or "blocking doorways" is fun or rewarding from a tactical gameplay standpoint when it comes to managing Hostile space, but its not interesting to have the party getting in its own way when it comes to friendly space.

ps. I just had an idea for how they might preserve some vestige of the chain as an idea, but used in a rather different way. If you could set a chain/tether distance beyond which the AI would not move PCs in the party that might be interesting. The point would be to select a distance. Again, ditching the body block altogether, but basically the concept would be to set a radius for how spread out the party could become from the AI trying to gain positional advantage for the companion PCs on the player's behalf. That would have been really a rather nice feature had it existed in BG1/2, if you could tether the party to the Main Character so that they wouldn't try to circumnavigate an area by darting off in the opposite direction, but while still allowing some room for naturalistic movement.

BG never offered a line formation, even though that would have been very useful for navigating around the game. The narrowest formation was the default 2 by 6 rectangle. The way I'm envisioning it, the player could issue the command from a formation button to form a line, and the PCs would fall in line forming the narrowest possible path behind the selected character. The opposite of the line would be to fan out, where the PCs try to cover more area within the radius determined by the length of chain. Basically a choice between a 'long leash' or a 'short leash.' Thinking mainly of movement outside of combat QoL. But yeah, if you really need a chain, maybe something like that on top of the RTS type scheme from the previous games would work. But that's not what we have now.

The point would be to at least give the player some input/control by allowing them to select a distance or length of the chain in a way that would be useful for exploration or movement outside of combat. That would be cool for something like scouting, where you could set your party to move in a line, but have a long lead so the party follows at a set distance behind the scout. Or for snap formations, that go from single file to spread out, and then the tether length would determine a tight formation vs a loose one from the selected PC's position. I think that would sort of fit with the way people tend to walk and trek about IRL too, esp in difficult terrain. They tend to line out with someone walking point and someone taking up the rear. If these were real adventurers they'd probably be marching single file or in pairs on the trail or when sneaking, but maybe switch it up if they sense an ambush or an encounter afoot. I could see ways it could work as a concept. In my head I'm still picturing how it would work for the infinity games though, as an adjunct to the familiar RTS movement controls of the prior BGs, not as a replacement for it.

Last edited by Black_Elk; 11/02/21 06:44 AM.