The problem with "non-combat" encounters in E:R is that there are too few of them, but they are too often. Wnen you have dosen encounters with your party member falling into a trap with only difference in which patry member will be injured this time... Or it variation "party member X was bitten by scorpion". Its neither fun nor interresting to get the same encounter again and again and again... Its not good when you have random encounter, start reading its text and think "oh, this again".
Oh yes definitely. I totally share this feeling.
I haven't experienced much events that has led me to combats (which is what I was referring to), but I had many events and sometimes the same multiple times as you said (boars, poisonned water)... to the point that it becomes boring.
That's really something I don't like in many games and a reasons I think random encounters are so criticized in many cRPG : They happen way too often, especially when you roam on a worldmap.
On top of that especially in E:R, just as you said most of those events will hurt some characters which will forces the player to move back to camp and/or to wait and/or not to use the characters he wants to use. Consequences are too important.
I really don't understand why they have gone this way and those random events are really a common complain I saw on their discord server. They're still working on the game (itemization should be/have been reworked too) so I really hope they'll do something about exploration on the worldmap.
About combats I only remember a single ambush in woods that was as interresting as the other combats in the game. I just rewatched a playtrough I have recorded for 3 hours (speed +++ ofc) and I also avoided some with the "skill" you select at the beginning.
Anyway there are good ideas related to random encounters/events imo even if the overall "random events experience" becomes boring very fast.
Main problems I could note :
- Too much random events
- Some random events can occur way more than once
- Consequences on the gameplay are too important (loosing "real time" to recover/to walk back to camp, being unable to use some characters too often in a game that is already often restrictive about that too)
Don't know about "random combats" because it looks like I haven't experienced the same as you have.
But what is good about BG3 is that you don't "walk in real time" on a worldmap so we won't have the same problems, or at least it would occur way less often.
If I see enemy blocking my way and I am not in mood for fighting I may choose to turn around and go other direction. Or try different route. Or try to sneak. I also see what enemy I will be dealing with and how much enemies are there.
In random encounter game just suddenly throw in my face bunch of mobs and "have fun"... I usually dont
I'm not sure what games you have in mind but I can't think about many cRPG in which you can really sneak or take a different route to avoid "trash" combats. Ofc I haven't tried them all^^
But whatever, random encounters (or random events) doesn't have to be exclusively trash combats imo.
As I said in a previous page, it could also be a merchant, a meeting with a peacefull outcome possible through dialog, someone asking for something,...
I'm only talking about random encounters/events when you long rest, but I really have a hard time to imagine that having, in exemple something like 5% chances to have a "trash" combat, 2% to meet a merchant and 3% to meet hostile npcs but with peacefull outcomes possible when you longrest at camp in the wild would be a major issue for a lot of players (reduced to 0% for potential combats if you're in a safe area, and, why not reduced to 0% for non hostile meetings and multiplied by, let's say 1.5 if you're in a dangerous one).
But I'm totally convinced it would add a lot of depth to the game.
- The world would feel more alive, dangerous and "real". At the moment it's totally static/frozen. It only react to the players actions.
- It would help to better reflect some basic rules of DnD (especially on action economy and classes balance, which is something the whole system is based on)
- Resting would become a real gameplay mechanic rather than a "no brain" button.
- It could eventually open the game to interresting mechanics (i.e camp defense, watch guard,...)
- It could also increase the feeling that we're really roaming a land rather than just "cleaning a map" (i.e because it could always be usefull to get back to the grove to rest safely. ofc it would require a specific "mini camp")
Ofc it should only be random once/long rest. The chain of 3+ random encounters you could have in the old games before sucessfuly resting didn't occur that much... But sometimes it was really boring too (even if it could led to challenging combats).
On difficulty, I'd say it should be balanced to be something like the bandit group in the crypt. Not so hard even if you're not prepared, but also not impossible to loose.