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A Poll on Party Size  

399 members have voted

  1. 1. What party size would you prefer?

    • 4 (as per Tyranny)
    • 5 (as suggested for PoE II)
    • 6 (as per PoE I and all past IE titles)
    • No preference


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While admittedly I was off-put by the drop from 6 to 5, ultimately if the game is better for it, how can I argue against it?

 

I believe Josh more or less has explained why the reduction from 6 to 5. It was basically due to "pathing" issues. They have also re-written alot of the pathing code. I'm not sure about this pathing algorithm and how it works. Was it due to game engine limitation or basically it's very hard to get the pathing right programmatically? If 6 character limit having pathing issues, what makes reduction to 5 characters to not have pathing issues? My guesses it still have but "reduced". I don't really have this pathing issue or have not come across one to be honest. Perhaps i micro each and every of my characters?

 

Also.. one thing i noticed about Josh explanation seems contradictory. If i basically create a custom party of said 5 rangers and together with their pets, that makes 10 party too and what do you have to say about "pathing" ? The decision for reduction and explanation seems very shady at best to me.

Edited by Archaven
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I put down no preference because, to me, it all comes down to implementation.

In a turn based game large parties are great because you can micro the entire team easily. In a real time game though, especially one with friendly fire and per rest/encounter abilities, the optimal party size to me really comes down to how much I can trust the ai to handle basic combat on their own. In pillars 1 I'm finding that I'm trying to minimize the number of per-rest based characters (wizard, priest, druid) in my party because I just can't trust them to manage their own resources intelligently. For story and role playing purposes it comes down to the writing and balancing their chattiness against party size.

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I've noticed some people are speculating that having multiclass in the game will help offset a 5 person party... Maybe, but I've always prefered single class characters. That is my style, and I found myself playing BG2 with a completely home-made party (after playing a few times through to experience the diferent stories), because BG2 tried to force dual/multi class on you. Icewind Dale lost the companion back story/quests aspect, but at least I made a party that I wanted. I enjoyed PE1 most when I made a party of 6 with my 5 main companions coming from the mercenaries. I still recruited all the story companions and pulled them out of the stable to do their respected quests, but my "home made" party was alway the strongest and most fun to play. IMO 

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I voted for 5. In Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale series, I've always gone with a party of 5. Did the same in PoE 1. On my hard playthrough, the difficulty seemed to skyrocket in the White March. When going to recruit Caroc, the scientist's golem dungeon took an abhorrent amount of time. I had to kite single enemies  if I wanted to have any hope of surviving. After that I had to bring in a sixth member for the rest of the game.

 

Since those older games, I've felt that six is a bit too much managing. No complaints from me about the new amount.

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Guys, quit comparing Infinity classics with PoE regarding party size. Six characters in Baldur's Gate and six characters in PoE are totally different story. Very different rulesets.

 

I loved many aspects of PoE, but regarding this implementation of RT-with-pause combat, it always felt like fighting the interface instead of fighting the enemies. It was just too cumbersome and I'm sick of that kind of micromanagement. Once you lose XP gain for certain enemy, then it just becames a complete, pointless waste of time. Either make it really turn-based, or shrink the party (4 chars is max, if it was up to me).

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At least 1 more than the minimum number to fill all the Fighter/Wizard/Cleric/Thief archetypes.  So, usually 5+, sometimes 4+ (mostly in systems where mages can heal.)  Basically, give me room to bring a wild card, jack of all trades, or double up on a role and I'm happy.  Given that the characteristics of a thief I'm interested in (dealing with locks and traps) aren't class exclusive in PoE, anything greater than or equal to 4 works for me, obviously balanced against the number of enemies.

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I'm guessing the new bigger selection circles would be clashing with the 6th character, not to forget new animations.

 

In Wasteland 3, we see the bandit leap several "tiles" in animation. I'm wondering if 5 party is relative in the similar way.

 

Less obstruction, more clarity, characters get more space on the stage to perform visibly for the audience.

 

*shrug*

 

I'm just rationalizing, but I would've preffered 6 too. Would I crusade for it? No.

 

For Walking toggle? YES, WHERE IS IT? O.O

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I've played all IE games to death, same with PoE. I was so happy that PoE kept maximum party size of 6.

When they annouced PoE2 is going to have max party of 5 i felt like part of my soul has died. 1/6 to be exact.

 

Gimme maximum of 6, please. That will cover all poll options.

 

OEI can desing their game around 5 ppl, if they like, and simply tell me about it. I'm not stupid, i'll get the message.

If playing with 1 dude on PotD Ironman is fine when the game is designed for 6 dudes (and it is because we get achievement for doing this) then playing with 6 when the game is designed for 5 must be fine too.

 

5 is the minimum party size i'm comfortable with. But it's an Obsidian game and i'd rather not settle for minimum.

Vancian =/= per rest.

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What i'm getting at Obsidian will escape and get away with 5 characters (this is truly disappointing, IMHO). They really wanted 4 just like Tyranny and they knew they can't repeat it for PoE2. Imagine the backlash with 4 when the reduction to 5 already made so many disappointed fans. I be serious 5 is not the size i'm comfortable with. We all know they will slowly reduce it to 4 which is a very good number that possibly great for multi-platform titles. Sad but truth.

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I am fine with whatever Obsidian designs.  They are the ones balancing the game, and making the mechanics decisions.  They are going to be more qualified than me, or any other forum poster, to decide what is a functional party size.

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I don't really mind to be honest. At first I didn't like the the idea of reducing the party size to 5, but with many of these sorts of changes my objections are based on simple resistance to change, and thinking about it some more I realised I doubt it makes that much difference. If the game is well balanced around 5 man parties then that's fine by me.

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Every other great RPG like PoE had a 6 player party.

 

I am a little confused by what this means? Do you mean every other RPG that was like PoE (isometric) that was also great had a 6 player party?

 

There are other isometric RPGs that didn't have 6 player parties. Tyranny for one. Divinity Original Sin for another. I am sure there are other, older ones too. Are you saying these weren't great?

 

There are other good (or even great) RPGs that had smaller party limits. Neverwinter Nights 2 (and hence MotB) had a party limit of 4 I believe. New Vegas allows only one companion I think. KotOR was three?

 

Personally I find the idea that a party limit of 6 is key to avoid "messing up" PoE2 is pretty unlikely.

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6, not more and not less. If somebody only wants to go with 4 or 5 nobody forces them to use 6.

 

Game design forces you. The game is designed around played with party cap. If you play with 4 or 5 you increase the difficulty when you don't want to.

As for Sawyer's post about multiclassing, we still don't know how it's gonna play. After all, if devs say it'll play better with 5 than 6, I trust them more than any speculating fan.

Sorry but until I see a gameplay demo/video of a combat encounter that proves 6 is better, I cannot support this.

 

 

This is where i hate that some fans think that devs make no mistakes. They do and they made plenty of them. If older infinity games that have multi-class and with 6 characters and works well i don't see a problem with PoE2. So are you gonna buy what devs said 4 plays better than 5 and actually 3 would be the best? They are making multi-class/dual-class for PoE2 meaning that they want more freedom/options for the players. By hard-capping the players to 5 is doing the opposite. They mentioned about pathing issues which is not game design related.  You said it yourself.. you can't prove 6 or 5 is better simply because.. you cant? Allow it then. We'll see and compare it for ourselves. It seems the pathing issues was fixed with simple reduction of characters to 5. They even mentioned they have re-written the whole pathing code and making the circles bigger. But this explanation was debunked because you can possibly create 5 custom party yourself all with a pet and summons which essentially more than 10 party characters.

 

Reduction of 6 characters to 4 or 5 could possibly save "space" in the HUD/UI on a big TV screen and even input devices like a controller. In that case, TBH 3-4 are really the BEST number. Then again, that's not the game i really wanted to play. Is 4 party character RPGs going to sux? No. Even with 1 party character that RPG can be a 10/10 game. There are no games in the market that is similar to Baldur's Gate anymore with 6 party characters and with RTwP and awesome settings/lore. Seeing it to get reduced to 5... and possibly 4 in PoE3.. is not really the direction i like to see this franchise going. Feargus himself hinted they are monitoring how it goes for the 5 party characters on how the audience reception to 2018 and beyond. It's technically possible with 6 or even more. It's just that they want to restrict it on purpose. What's the real reason? I cannot tell.

Edited by Archaven
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I strongly disagree the decision of reduce the number of members  of party.

 

Like you said, with the  same argument,  we can easily down  the number to 4 in PoE 3 ? After all ? There will be less "mess", and it will be more readable in combat ?

 

So it is problematic for me.

Edited by theBalthazar
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More is always better. At higher difficulties, lower party size pretty much limits you to always taking along the companions most effective in combat, as opposed to taking those with useful non-combat skills such as Mechanics or Stealth, or who -- more importantly -- have a story motivation to tag along. It just makes sense to take Kana along when going to explore an Engwithan ruin, or Hiravias when visiting the glanfathan woods, even if their battle synergy with the rest of the party is poor. Larger party size allows you to have a few tag-alongs who don't necessarily contribute much to combat, but whose presence may contribute greatly to story, or at least roleplaying.

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Just a thought occurred to me.

​Having 5 party members allows the designers more freedom for, say, 1 unique character equivalent summoning spell. Temporary or permanent. A monster. A pack mule (old idea of mine). A demon (another old idea). Something Torchlight* (a pet mule)*, or just an expansion to Pillars 1's pet system. I haven't played it but I've read that in Anachronox, one of the recruitable companions is a planet?

I think it could diversify story telling a lot, but mostly space for spell/ability/movement/combat animations and graphics.

​Off-topic/World Map:
​* I recall reading Sawyer saying something about making the world feel like a bigger place this time around, and Torchlight does inventory & selling items in a really neat way, both mechanically and narratively. I'm thinking Divine Divinity. Logistically, with Day/Night cycles, and historically** documented visions, it'd make a lot of sense. Could Deadfire be one giant isometric painting?

** "Obsidian Entertainment boss Feargus Urquhart has said the studio would love to develop a large-scale RPG such as Skyrim", doesn't necessarily mean First Person, right?

Edited by Osvir
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Could Deadfire be one giant isometric painting?

If they could pull that off... and make it big enough to do it justice, holy crap would I salivate. They did talk about preloading to reduce indoor/outdoor transitions, and that could allow this, but it would be a tall order. I must keep my expectations in check as I don't see it as remotely feasible, but it would be glorious if they pulled it off.

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Could Deadfire be one giant isometric painting?

If they could pull that off... and make it big enough to do it justice, holy crap would I salivate. They did talk about preloading to reduce indoor/outdoor transitions, and that could allow this, but it would be a tall order. I must keep my expectations in check as I don't see it as remotely feasible, but it would be glorious if they pulled it off.

 

 

Sorry, don't mean to raise anyone's expectation bars! I like to go off the books and many times out of reach ideas, out of the box. I'm expecting a world map/similar system like Pillars 1, but I can't help it, sometimes I dream away.

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Could Deadfire be one giant isometric painting?

 

If they could pull that off... and make it big enough to do it justice, holy crap would I salivate. They did talk about preloading to reduce indoor/outdoor transitions, and that could allow this, but it would be a tall order. I must keep my expectations in check as I don't see it as remotely feasible, but it would be glorious if they pulled it off.

 

Sorry, don't mean to raise anyone's expectation bars! I like to go off the books and many times out of reach ideas, out of the box. I'm expecting a world map/similar system like Pillars 1, but I can't help it, sometimes I dream away.

Oh, no. Don't be sorry. You have me thinking about my dream IE-esque game now, but I sure don't think they will do that in Deadfire. It's especially seductive because we will get a ship (hypothetically), and the ability to hop in your ship and just sail to the next island... is really hype worthy. I realize it is a pipe dream, and doubt we will see it. It would be absolutely amazing if they did it, and I could only imagine what would happen to the funding (probably skyrocket) if they announced they've stitched all the maps together to make a super map with seamless travel.

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This is where i hate that some fans think that devs make no mistakes.

 

 

Whereas I hate it when fans get angry at every decision a developer makes that they don't agree with. I guess we all have our crosses to bear.

 

Allow it then. We'll see and compare it for ourselves. 

 

 

You're acting like the game won't be designed around a default party size. Allow 6 person parties and either the game will be significantly harder for anyone choosing to play with 5, or too easy for those choosing to play with 6.

 

... and possibly 4 in PoE3

 

 

Like you said, with the  same argument,  we can easily down  the number to 4 in PoE 3 ? After all ? There will be less "mess", and it will be more readable in combat ?

 

Ah yes, the slippery slope argument. If you don't speak out against 5 person parties now, you only have yourself to blame when PoE4 has zero person parties!

 

More is always better. At higher difficulties, lower party size pretty much limits you to always taking along the companions most effective in combat, as opposed to taking those with useful non-combat skills such as Mechanics or Stealth, or who -- more importantly -- have a story motivation to tag along. It just makes sense to take Kana along when going to explore an Engwithan ruin, or Hiravias when visiting the glanfathan woods, even if their battle synergy with the rest of the party is poor. Larger party size allows you to have a few tag-alongs who don't necessarily contribute much to combat, but whose presence may contribute greatly to story, or at least roleplaying.

 

PoE is completeable solo, on PotD, with a Monk using no gear whatsoeverIt's not easy of course, but the idea that at higher levels you'll be forced to bring along the most combat effective characters and hence forced to bench less combat effective ones* is ridiculous. Even if that were the case, one could make an argument that PotD was included in the game specifically for power gamers, and if your desire is for role-playing then there are four other difficulties to choose from, all of which are very doable with suboptimal setups.

 

Also PoE doesn't have characters who are more skill orientated vs more combat orientated: all characters get exactly the same number of skill points on each level up. So that's a false trade off.

 

Finally, both Kana and Hiravias can be built to be top tier characters. Chanters in general are usually rated amongst the best characters in the game, and Kana has a pretty damn good stat spread for a Chanter, and Druids can be built to do the higher single target damage in the game, and tank, and also be a spellcaster, all in one package.

 

*I don't know when you last played PoE, but in the current patch every companion is perfectly capable of holding their own in combat. Sure, if you bring along Aloth, Hiravias, Durance, Kana and Grieving Mother the game will be easier, but in no way is the game even close to impossible with other party setups.

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I voted 6; I would love to have the 'full' 6 for the nice balance of plenty of options as well as redundancy, along with the ability to still get by without just the optimal Tank/healer/Dps/Control/Backup Tank setup.   5 means we'll always be leaving the less optimal characters home gathering dust, not to mention missing out on dialogue/quests.

 

That said, if Obsidian is already set on 5(which it seems like they are) just allow us to EASILY mod it to 6 or 8 or whatever. People can always take fewer party members, but basing the game around 4 or less will just ruin it. I'm of the opinion it's seriously harmed even by just 5, but obviously none of us have had a chance to play it yet.

 

I just hope the game is a lot more mod friendly than Pillars 1, honestly. There's never going to be a choice that satisfies everyone. Apparently quite a few people were somehow baffled by having 6 characters in Pillars 1, but on the other end of the spectrum, people like myself lost interest in Tyranny's 4 person, simplified combat extremely quickly.  6 or larger party sizes with a Tactics style mod could quiet any grumblings about the smaller party design.

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Well six is the magic number.  Very unfortunate to hear that they have decided to decrease party size. I wasn't expecting that. To even have so called balanced classic party you're forced to have atleast a tank, a dps class, an healer and an offensive caster which leaves you only 1 extra slot. With six people party you have more room to experiment than with five people party. Its just basic mathematics.

 

Also with six person party, you get to experience more party content at the same time. So having larger party seems like a no-brainer to me.  Lastly six people party forces devs to design these big massive enemy encounters and I love that stuff. With five person parties encounters tend to become smaller...

 

So I think they obviously did this to make development easier and maybe to cater newer players. I can understand the rationale, but it still feels somewhat dissapointing. Kind of weakens the classic baldur's gate feeling... :unsure:

 

All being said, obviously it is a choise which is pretty much set in stone at this point, so not much point complaining anymore I quess. The game seems really cool otherwise though. :thumbsup:

 

ps. Would be nice if they allowed modders to increase the party size.

Edited by Carados
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