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Sensuki's Suggestions #010: Fog of War


Sensuki

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Nick Carver posted earlier that the HUGE LOS atm is a design decision
 

Hello Dray Truoc,

Thank you for your feedback. This is actually a design decision that has not been completely set in stone yet, I believe. The designers wanted to try and find a way to make the party not feel so boxed in or enclosed, but while balancing obvious issues with visible enemies and objects through the walls.

In traditional IE games you could not see an area that you were not in line of sight of at that time, with the exception of being able to see only the environment in areas you had previously visited.

I will pass this feedback onto the team and I would expect that the way party vision is handled may change somewhat over the course of the project.

Thank you for your support during the beta!


So I have made a video with some feedback on this decision about how to be able to fully reveal an area map via exploration without having the fog reveal pathable locations on the area map over walls.

This may or may not be possible, but theoretically it should be. The video goes into the details but my proposed solution is basically have Line of sight fog of war with black fog covering all "hostile" maps when first entered, and then as the player explores, have the line of sight reveal area covered by navmesh, and area without navmesh, but not navmesh that is blocked by unpathable terrain.

And obviously terrain outside the party's line of sight should be covered by grey fog, where the area is revealed but greyed out and no units are revealed.

I think that there will be an overwhelming majority in favour of Line of Sight as it was in the Infinity Engine games, but one of the annoying things about the Infinity Engine games is that you could not fully reveal maps because there was no way to remove the black fog from unpathable terrain that was too far away.

This idea may not work in theory and probably has lots of issues with it, I'm not sure, but theoretically I think it's an idea worth trying. It will probably play up when revealing fog from some angles, as it will reveal the other side of a wall if you're moving from north to south, I dunno if there's a way to fix that or not *shrug*.

You can also just leave "safe" maps such as the Dyrford Village and probably maps like Defiance Bay districts just with grey fog, as it was in Baldur's Gate 2.

 

Previous Suggestions: 

 

Inventory and Item Tooltips

Feedback in Combat

Re-wrote Class Ability Descriptions

Item Descriptions and Contextual UI Rant

Area Map Functions

Main UI Tooltips

Selection Circles and Targeting

Disable Vertical Sync

Edited by Sensuki
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I don't like having "safe" maps already explored in the fog of war, it makes it more difficult to know where you've already been. That's the main reason I never got into BG2, the first big town you get to is too overwhelming when you've got it all visible like that. I know a lot of people will probably disagree with me, but that's what I think.

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Fair point, although it looks like they've already gone with that direction. I personally don't mind either way - whether it's the Baldur's Gate 1 way or the Baldur's Gate 2 way.

In one of the posts that one of the developers made a long time ago, they said the Fog of War was inspired by Roguelikes such as this



Don't know if that's the case anymore though. Edited by Sensuki
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Fair point, although it looks like they've already gone with that direction. I personally don't mind either way - whether it's the Baldur's Gate 1 way or the Baldur's Gate 2 way.

 

In one of the posts that one of the developers made a long time ago, they said the Fog of War was inspired by Roguelikes such as this

 

 

Don't know if that's the case anymore though.

 

That seems like a muuuuuuch better solution. Even in safe areas.

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That's pretty much how it was in the IE games isn't it?

 

Yep. But with no fog in safe areas. I think fog should be in both safe areas and dangerous areas tho. It should be up to the player to decide if he or she wants an area to be "safe" or not.

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He may have said that Sensuki but the beta known issue list said the fog not being obstructed by los issues was a known issue, which implies it was not intended.  Obsidian should know we want the fog to be hindered by line of sight, we can't see through the wall so the fog behind the wall should stay until we open a door and go in.

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They have increased the size of the fog of war radius dramatically since the E3 demo though - go have a look at one of the vids for a comparison.

 

People were complaining about the "cramped" feeling of the fog of war during the E3 demo and this huge radius is what they have given us now, likely to test the water.

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@Karkarov: Yes, we've talked about Fog of War a lot of the 2 years in several threads too that I suspect Obsidian must've seen at least some of. There we spoke about Roguelike LOS and different variants.

I don't think one of the Design Decisions is to have it as "open" as it is now, but rather the Design Decisions lies in how they are going to present it.

1) Lephys idea of FoW/LOS where it is super dark, and you might see 2 glowing eyes in the darkness. I think that if they were to go with this design solution, then they have a pretty good "template" with the big vision radius we see now. They can darken the entire thing (you might still see over walls, but it's going to be so dark that the only thing you see on the other side might be 2 glowing eyes). 

2) The Roguelike idea of FoW/LOS.

3) Uuuuuhm I dunno, maybe there's only those 2?

Edited by Osvir
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No, I totally disagree with this. One of my main complaints with IE was the horrific fog of war that completely obscured the beautfiul maps. I much prefer the fog of war to be invisible, i.e. you can see structures, statues, etc all over the entire map, but items, monsters, NPCs etc are only revealed one you have LoS and come into a certain distance.

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No, I totally disagree with this. One of my main complaints with IE was the horrific fog of war that completely obscured the beautfiul maps. I much prefer the fog of war to be invisible, i.e. you can see structures, statues, etc all over the entire map, but items, monsters, NPCs etc are only revealed one you have LoS and come into a certain distance.

 

But this completely destroys the notion of uncovering dungeons or revealing the terrain. How do you know exactly how a dungeon is laid out before you've explored it?

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That's pretty much how it was in the IE games isn't it?

 

Yep. But with no fog in safe areas. I think fog should be in both safe areas and dangerous areas tho. It should be up to the player to decide if he or she wants an area to be "safe" or not.

 

Do i really have to go install IE games other than BG1 to heck on this?  BG has FOW everywhere.

1.13 killed off Ja2.

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I still think a realistic fog of war done with actual torches would make this game superb and truely make the player feel like he is controlling his toons down into dungeons or caves etc.When I see posts that the devs are worried that players might feel too confined it makes me sad.Then I see videos of POE dungeons,with torches everywhere or glwoing crystals or just ambient lighting.

 

So now the devs will give them this....

35zoTSM.jpg

When this is worlds better to immerse the player into dungeon crawling....

 

dark-eden-inside-cave.jpg

 Add in ability for player to hit a map button that then shows a "drawing" of whats been mapped so far and you have a classic game on your hands.

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I don't agree with Sensuki on all his suggestions, but man his stuff is always really thought out and not unreasonable. I agree on the fog of war issue; I don't think it feels right at all in the beta so far. I would like to see a line of sight system as suggested by Sensuki, or something similar like the example shown by the rogue-like. 

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I do agree Sensuki makes some great suggestions.Why fog of war though?Why are the players here set on using it when there are more realistic ways to show off caves and dungeons like using a light source.Its 2014 and fog of war reminds me of the 90's.Could be torches in dungeons you could then light to show what areas you have explored already.Caves can be more primitive and not have torches everywhere etc.

 

Fog of war IMO should only be visible on a map of the area and not in the gameworld.

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Seems to be quite a few strange things like that

 

"If it ain't broke don't fix it" is a good saying and it doesn't make you a cargo cult designer either.

 

True. Sometimes it's not obvious when it's not broken, and when you're just used to it being broken.

 

(Not intended as a jab at you by the way -- you've been bang on target more than just about anyone here.)

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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