Originally Posted by mrfuji3
Originally Posted by Zerubbabel
But I have EVEN MORE arguments why increasing party size is a bad idea. To cover some previous arguments...

-The prior math argues that the game gets significantly easier the larger the party becomes and that game-balancing is a difficult and time/resource consuming task.
-You can mod the game to have as big a party as you want if it's really important to you. No need to ruin the main release with idiosyncratic demands.
-The AI is already very slow and turns take a long time. With more players and characters making decisions, the game becomes significantly longer, such that you spend less and less time playing the game and more time waiting for the AI to choose a target and setting up characters.

-Multiplayer requires decent connections. If anyone has ever played games in large lobbies, they know that the larger the lobby, the greater the likelihood of a single connection being slow, a single connection dropping, etc. And the longer you are going to have to wait in a turn-based game where you have to wait for everyone to make a turn. That is another item that would have to be resolved with a significantly larger multiplayer party size.

-The map is clearly very dense and not particularly large. With narrow pathways, it is next to impossible to adequately position in dense areas while keeping the same level of visual quality and organization. For people who like large parties, this is fine. For a general release with a broader population, it is not fine, and clarity is key in a strategy game.

-Larger parties means less strategic constraint, which defeats the purpose of having strategy in the game.

-Pathing is already difficult enough for a party, with characters falling into random lava spots and into pits when not making jumps. This problem will become more pronounce with larger parties.

-Should someone be REALLY bad at the game, a large party would be very time-consuming to resurrect. If they fall in a pit or lava, going to Withers for several characters and having multiple resurrection cinematics play is another thing that would have to be resolved. Should the whole resurrection system be overhauled?

-Larian has already demonstrated that every character has their own inventory, and inventory management is handled on a character-by-character basis. Loot distribution is one thing that needs to be resolved with larger parties, and inventory management would need a complete overhaul (I want this anyway, though).

-As people have likely already noticed, the camera for this game is much more zoomed in than the previous BG games. The previous games could easily accommodate a 6-person party all on the screen with plenty of room with its camera. This game would be challenged with its more zoomed in style. And the camera is also not fixed, and catches on features of the environment easily, a problem which will become more pronounced as party size increases.

-The Chain/Unchain system doesn't work well with larger and larger parties. Larian is adamant about keeping this feature and does not have click-and-drag to select characters, which is what allowed for easy party management in BG1+2.

-The aforementioned pathing, party management, strategy, and ease of combat problems brought on by larger parties would also combine to mostly break stealth, essentially forcing large parties into either resolving problems through combat or diplomacy.

-A random, entry-level consumer is likely going to fill up their party until they cannot fill it anymore. If the main release offers larger and larger parties as an option, it means that the average purchaser of BG3 is going to choose the worst way to experience the game by default. Therefore, it should not be in the main release to encourage the default effect of having casual consumers choose the most DEVELOPER-OPTIMIZED way of playing the game.

-The game releases in August. Why change such a major thing this late in the development cycle?

Want a larger party? Mod the game.

(On a previous page, Composer basically mentions what I am talking about above. A potential solution is allow a pre-game setting in the menu that says add 1-2 more party members, with a GIANT FUCKING WARNING that says, "WARNING, CONSUMER: YOU ARE RUINING THE INTENDED EXPERIENCE FOR THE GAME. ONLY SELECT IF THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO YOU IS HAVING A BIGGER PARTY." That might work. So either mods or a hidden setting in the "back" of the game's guts so the average consumer doesn't use it, only the people who REALLY REALLY REALLY want a bigger party but don't want to go through the trouble of modding. Ruin at your own peril, and all that jazz).
To respond to your arguments in order (they've been covered in the past 100 pages)
- A simple way to balance for large parties is to adjust exp gain for different party sizes using a single formula. Encounters don't need to be reworked if this is done.

- "You can mod the game" isn't a good argument. You could also mod the game to include the Monk class; should then Larian not include it? (Your claim that a 6-person party will ruin the game is a separate argument, addressed by all these other points)

- A larger party with the same # of enemies will result in a higher percentage of time spent playing vs watching the AI. If Larian continues to use horribly unoptimized AI, sure combat time might increase. But realistically the AI will improve by launch time.

- Practically no one is arguing for 6-players -> just a 6-person parties.

- Map: yes, positioning will be more difficult. That's fine though? It's a sacrifice you make for larger parties even in tabletop, and doesn't affect 4-person parties.

- Larger parties means more opportunities for synergy, and as the party is all lower-leveled, might actually require/enable more strategic thinking.

- Pathing is a problem, but Larian needs to fix this for a 4-person party anyway.

- People are advocating for the option of a 4-person party, so no one would need to use 6 characters.

- Inventory management is a problem, but Larian needs to fix this for a 4-person party anyway. It's already atrocious.

- It should be trivial to zoom out the camera more. I disagree that a 6-person party will mean the camera gets stuck on the environment more often, especially if it's more zoomed out.

- Stealth is already broken in BG3 given sight cones/abusing TB mode/double surprise round, etc. It's reasonable that all these things will still work in a 6-person party. An if Larian overhauls the stealth system, those benefits could easily apply to a 6-person party.

- Your penultimate point about "the average user is going to max their party size" is the one I agree most with. Thus, I'd want the toggle option for a 6-person party to be in game settings, possibly with a warning "intended experience is a 4 person party; toggle on at your own risk." (Edit: Just saw your new final paragraph, which is basically what I'm saying here)

-The game already somewhat allows >4 person parties when you get allies: start a multiplayer game with 4 players -> recruit Us and Laezel for 6. So it's already compatible with the game. Mainly remove instances where >4 player-parties automatically break the game.

First, thank you, Mrfuji, for engaging in good faith discussion. I understand you disagree with many of my points and I appreciate coherent arguments that do not include insults. I address your counters in order:

-If your solution is having a relatively weaker party when it is larger, there are still going to be issues, and the game still needs to be rebalanced in a variety of places. Playtesting is going to take a lot of time. There isn't much of a magic wand to know how competent a party must be relative to its size without a lot of testing and tweaking.

-I disagree with your position on modding. Monk is clearly in the pipeline, so it will be there, and was always planned for to begin with. On the other hand, the game was not always planned to have more than a party of 4, so those players who want to go beyond the initial vision of the developers can mod the game rather than more work being put into something which will be heavily imperfect by nature.

-There was a very small minority asking for it. It was addressed to that minority. But if you say so, I respect the idea that 4-players, 2 additional characters can be made reasonable.

-If you're cool with a clunky display, a clunky camera, clunky controls, and clunky positioning, more power to you, I guess. I just think the optimal experience wouldn't work that way. These maps are much more narrow per character than anything I've worked with in tabletop.

-If large parties=more synergy, and large parties means less min-maxing and more people having fun with random party builds, fine, I agree.

-Option, in the "back" of the settings in the opening menu is fine. Small change, not a lot of effort, time, or resources going into building around it. Fine. I'm okay with that.

-Larian can barely handle pathing and inventory for a 4-person party. I don't think it is going to get fixed at all anytime soon. I think they'll leave it as is. And it will only get worse with bigger parties.

-If you want more camera customization, then I am with you. We should have the option to go full old-school isometric, OR modern RPG over-the-shoulder.

-Stealth is broken with 4, and extra broken with 6. Look, if you want to play the game that way, go ahead.

-Average consumer is stupid. Average consumer goes with whatever the maximum default is. Average consumer (and gaming journalists) will go with the most convenient default route and ruin the game and give it a 0 on Metacritic. Don't laugh, IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-Okay, then have that, with a toggle in the main menu and a warning. Have the developer's vision on one hand, and an easy-to-produce "do whatever you want" set of options in the settings. There's a lot of random bullshit you can put there that would satisfy everyone. Why not? If it's low-time, low-resource, and low-effort, and the average consumer has to really look to find it, add it in. There's no reason not to.

ACTUALLY, all the things that people have been demanding that would be easy to add in, but are not part of the developers' initial vision should be a hidden toggle in the main menu. Limiting camp supplies more, limiting resting more, modifying party size, muting companions (I saw it once), disabling barrels, removing height advantage/disadvantage, ALL OF IT WHICH IS EASY CAN GO BACK THERE. Fuck it, why not.

Last edited by Zerubbabel; 30/01/23 11:21 PM.

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