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Hi Obsidian.


So here's an idea for your UI. Have you ever played Baldur's Gate or Baldur's Gate 2? You have? Good. 


So have you ever considered where most people pause the game? It's mainly during combat if you didn't know. Now what specific part of combat do most people pause the game? The answer is likely to be parts where multiple clicks need to be made: specifically during inventory management (getting potions) and spell casting. 


So my idea: We were having a discussion on the glorious codex about good UIs for Torment and someone mentioned the NWN2 "spell hot button" used to bring up the spell list in that game. I thought to myself, you know, it would be nice if the game would autopause whenever I bring up my lists of spells to cast one during combat. 


So my idea is basically to take the old BG2 autopause conditions and to come up with a few new options. Set it up for players who really do like to pause but only while battling. Give us a few toggleable options to autopause the game when the "cast spell" list comes up, when the "use item" command is used, or other locations in game where the amount of time it takes to do an action is longer than a few seconds. So for example, i probably won't pause when I kill an enemy (althought that mgiht be an option for other people who do) but I definitely pause when I'm casting a spell with my mage. I need to click through a list of spells, make sure I got the right spell, click a target, etc. That takes time and it's difficult to do that when I've got enemies in my hair. so the system autopauses whenever i pick my mage and i hit the shortcut button for "cast spell." same for other similarly sensitive sections in game. (yeah i hope you noticed the shortcut button for cast spell).


hope this makes sense. 

Edited by Hormalakh
  • Like 3

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

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I think you could even widen that so every time you open any action menu game pauses it self and unpauses when you have selected action and target for it if such is needed. I think it could make pausing and unpausing feel more natural and help keep tempo up in fights (and of course there should be manual pause mode that don't go away until you unpause game).

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Whereas I on the other hand do not care for auto pause, and will manually do everything. Sure, the more sensible options the better but as long as the default mode is no auto-pause (unlike KotoR) I will be happy.

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I think the only useful auto-pause conditions in BG2 were:

  • those that allowed me to safely walk around and explore without having to keep one hand on the pause key:
    • Pause when enemy sighted
    •  Pause when trap found
  • those that made combat more efficient (especially in combination with party-AI turned off):
    • Pause when target gone (enemy dead)
    • Pause when spell cast (i.e. as soon as casting is finished, before the spell's effects manifest)

Especially the last one ("pause when spell cast") is extremely useful - no more letting your mages stand around idle (or worse yet, auto-attack enemies in melee thanks to crappy party AI) after finishing a spell while you are preoccupied with a different character and don't notice. And in combination with the "Improved Alacrity" spell, it turns your BG2 mages into gods... :D

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"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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