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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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That may have been a factor. Multiclassing gives your party access to EVEN more abilities and your encounters need to account for everything a party can throw at while still working with all the problems I mentioned before. Less characters means less abilities on the field. I don't think it's THE reason but it definitely affects it.

 

Sorry if I get ninja'd or repeat stuff or make lots if typos, I type extremely slowly on my phone.

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Fewer enemies doesn't mean simpler encounter design. There are a lot of encounters in PoE that have upwards of twenty enemies (PotD admittedly, but even on hard you're talking 10-15) but they aren't intricately designed encounters, they're just big swarms of enemies with a few tougher enemies included. I'd much prefer fights against smaller groups where each member of the enemy group has some important role to play beyond "trash".

 

 

Bringing down the number of party characters will make encounters more challenging. You have 1 less party character for utility/CC/support or even DPS. What's more you can bring 1 lesser characters to your party and you miss out his/her party interaction. They could possibly reduce the number of enemies in the encounter and bloat the HP, up the defense and offense of individual enemy OR they can overwhelm you with even more enemies that you couldn't handle.

 

This is much easier to do than said making AI more "smarter". In Dragon Age Inquisition, It takes me so many castings of immolations nukes from my mage and other source of damage from other party members.. just to bring 1 bandit down. This is so unrealistic and frustrated in combat and making battles unnecessary long. There's nothing tactical about it. Is this the game you wanted to play?

 

The issue i see with first PoE encounter design was that the tank able hold the line too well. All the encounters became "tank and spam" and hence it became boring "trash" when you can rinse and repeat it infinitum. It has nothing to do with number of trash there. Earlier game was much harder simply because Eder wouldn't be able to tank and hold the line that efficiently because of deflection. Imagine with engagement and those simple 2-3 trash mob is in the face of your mage or rogue. Your party character will drop like flies.

 

To solve this engagement issue, Obsidian would probably follow Dragon Age footsteps. Tank would be able to taunt and draw aggro for just a couple of seconds and during that window of opportunity, other party characters can safely land some hits. For those enemies where your tank wouldn't able to draw their attention, all other party members will need "escape mechanism" and even kite to win the battle. This is not what i want to see the direction of how combat should be in PoE.

 

Also, with the reduction to 5 characters Obsidian assume "everyone" would multi-class so more or less you may combine some beefier classes with a caster. So in that sense, they think it's OK to reduce the party character to 5. Actualy it's even OK to reduce to 4.  But what happens to those who doesn't want to?

 

6 party characters is first and foremost my personal preference. Don't even need to argue with me about what my preference should be. To me reduction of 5 characters is the MOST disappointing design feature that Obsidian has chosen. For whatever their reason. Don't ever think devs make no mistakes in their decision. Just because you agree with them, doesn't mean they do not.

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That may have been a factor. Multiclassing gives your party access to EVEN more abilities and your encounters need to account for everything a party can throw at while still working with all the problems I mentioned before. Less characters means less abilities on the field. I don't think it's THE reason but it definitely affects it.

Sorry if I get ninja'd or repeat stuff or make lots if typos, I type extremely slowly on my phone.

This. PoE already had more active melee characters compare to the I.E. games. Those games had melee classes that were meat shields with auto-attacks. Add in Multiclassing and you have even more active abilities for builds while simultaneously letting a character semi-effectively fill two roles, and I can definitely understand this decision. Better for pathfinding? Increased engagement range with bigger melee weapon ranges? It starts making since the more you think on it.

 

It's one of the major changes that I understand the most, and want to try before I critique it too much.

 

That isn't to say I don't understand the ire of some people. I do. Had they gone to a 4 man party I would be on the side of people that are pretty upset. 4 man parties in RTwP games have always felt too stifling to me. E.G. NWN2, Dragon Age, etc. I always wanted at least one more party member.

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 No no no. If you have enough thief traps available, you can 'zero shot' him. It's one whole shot easier.

 

 

I zero shot Demogorgon. Take that almost-god of demons, you're no match for my ridiculous number of spike traps that I've been systematically laying for days now!

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This is much easier to do than said making AI more "smarter". In Dragon Age Inquisition, It takes me so many castings of immolations nukes from my mage and other source of damage from other party members.. just to bring 1 bandit down. This is so unrealistic and frustrated in combat and making battles unnecessary long. There's nothing tactical about it. Is this the game you wanted to play?

 

Why would reducing the size of the party lead to bloating of enemy hit points? If anything it would be the opposite: having one fewer character in the party means reduced damage output which, in turn, means less need to up enemy health pools to provide a challenge.

 

The issue i see with first PoE encounter design was that the tank able hold the line too well. All the encounters became "tank and spam" and hence it became boring "trash" when you can rinse and repeat it infinitum.

 

 

That you say this suggests to me that you haven't played PoE in a very long time, since this stopped being the case with the release of the White March part 1 and the changes to enemy targetting that came with it.

 

To solve this engagement issue, Obsidian would probably follow Dragon Age footsteps. Tank would be able to taunt and draw aggro for just a couple of seconds and during that window of opportunity, other party characters can safely land some hits. For those enemies where your tank wouldn't able to draw their attention, all other party members will need "escape mechanism" and even kite to win the battle. This is not what i want to see the direction of how combat should be in PoE.

 

 

I doubt Obsidian will go this route since they already managed to solve this problem with the changes in patch 2.0, and it didn't involve adding taunt or escape mechanics.

 

Also, with the reduction to 5 characters Obsidian assume "everyone" would multi-class so more or less you may combine some beefier classes with a caster. So in that sense, they think it's OK to reduce the party character to 5. Actualy it's even OK to reduce to 4.

 

 

I'm having real trouble parsing what you're trying to say here.

 

6 party characters is first and foremost my personal preference. Don't even need to argue with me about what my preference should be. To me reduction of 5 characters is the MOST disappointing design feature that Obsidian has chosen. For whatever their reason. Don't ever think devs make no mistakes in their decision. Just because you agree with them, doesn't mean they do not.

 

 

Of course devs can make mistakes, they're human after all.

 

Also, guess what, I don't agree with them, or at least not unconditionally. If Obsidian came to me and said "Jerek, should we have a six or a five character limit on parties?" And if they didn't give any reasons for one or the other, I'd probably go with six. However Obsidian have chosen to go with a five character limit and because I don't think the reduction is a big deal, and because I trust Obsidian to have a good reason for choosing to do so, I am okay with that.

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Though I enjoyed Toee and the Co8 mod I always wanted another character. I am old a School gold box player from the 80s. Six is perfect. Especially if bringing back a multi class option. I never enjoyed the dungeon crawls of EotB, the Ravenloft games, etc. because of the 4 character limit. Only Darksun did that right back then.

No matter which fork in the road you take I am certain adventure awaits.

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Also, with the reduction to 5 characters Obsidian assume "everyone" would multi-class so more or less you may combine some beefier classes with a caster. So in that sense, they think it's OK to reduce the party character to 5. Actualy it's even OK to reduce to 4.

 

 

I'm having real trouble parsing what you're trying to say here.

 

 

 I believe the point was that if the reduction from 6 to 5 was based on the assumption that players would use multi-classes (that is, they will have two classes worth of stuff to choose from), then players who don't multi-class will not have a good experience. I'm not agreeing with that point, just trying to clarify it.

 

 

...

Also, guess what, I don't agree with them, or at least not unconditionally. If Obsidian came to me and said "Jerek, should we have a six or a five character limit on parties?" And if they didn't give any reasons for one or the other, I'd probably go with six. However Obsidian have chosen to go with a five character limit and because I don't think the reduction is a big deal, and because I trust Obsidian to have a good reason for choosing to do so, I am okay with that.

 

 

 Well said. I agree. All things being equal, I would prefer 6, but the development team thinks they can make a better game with 5. They think that because they looked at how people were playing PoE, how they want to design encounters for PoE2, what the new class system will look like and.... They didn't roll a six sided die and have it come up 5.

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In the early game when you only have 5 party members, things feel a-okay to me. PoE1 is clearly build around 6 party members so things feel marginally better when you get up to 6. But it doesn't feel necessary. Never mind all the times when you're fighting with party members downed.

​So if Deadfire is tailored for 5, I think 5 will be just fine. Part of me thinks that they are dropping the cap because they have fewer companions, and by reducing it to 5 the keep the combinatoric quotient of potential parties high. Where you aren't just choosing who to sit out. One of their goals this time is to write more involved companions, which means having fewer to pool from.

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Also, guess what, I don't agree with them, or at least not unconditionally. If Obsidian came to me and said "Jerek, should we have a six or a five character limit on parties?" And if they didn't give any reasons for one or the other, I'd probably go with six. However Obsidian have chosen to go with a five character limit and because I don't think the reduction is a big deal, and because I trust Obsidian to have a good reason for choosing to do so, I am okay with that.

 

If Obsidian came up with you about their very valid reason on why they should go with 4 party characters.. or even 1 party character are you still okay with that? Of course you still can. It means it doesn't really matter to you. I don't really have a problem if it's a big deal to others or not but it is a BIG deal to me. Reduction to 5 characters means you don't have the options for 6. But with 6 you have the options to go 5 or less. This is a fact.  I don't agree on the reasons provided by Obsidian at all. They can default the party to 5, but i would really appreciate that they put an option in the settings to unlock 6. Then we can all compare how much big of difference it make for the need to reduce it to 5? Oh wait they can't.. the reason is the UI being designed to work with 5. What a brilliant reason they got there!.

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In the early game when you only have 5 party members, things feel a-okay to me. PoE1 is clearly build around 6 party members so things feel marginally better when you get up to 6. But it doesn't feel necessary. Never mind all the times when you're fighting with party members downed.

​So if Deadfire is tailored for 5, I think 5 will be just fine. Part of me thinks that they are dropping the cap because they have fewer companions, and by reducing it to 5 the keep the combinatoric quotient of potential parties high. Where you aren't just choosing who to sit out. One of their goals this time is to write more involved companions, which means having fewer to pool from.

Apparently I have had my head buried in the sand and noticed the PoE2 forums only yesterday. So forgive my ignorance but less companions? Darn, Darn, Darn! I want more companion options. Lots of them. I Modded up BG2 because the lack of NPC options as opposed to BG1. More companions means more replay value. I thought this to be a no-brainer???

No matter which fork in the road you take I am certain adventure awaits.

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 More companions means more replay value. I thought this to be a no-brainer???

 

 

 It is a no brainer that more companions would be nice to have, but you have a fixed amount of money to spend on writing. If you add one companion, you have a new story, and the dialog to support it, that lasts the length of the game. Also, if you have n companions, you have to write n(n-1) inter-companion interactions (so interactions grow proportional to the square of the number of companions). 

 

  It's a choice between deep companions or more companions rather than between deep companions and more deep companions.  

 

 I don't have a good sense of the cost of a companion relative to the cost of the game as a whole; I would be interested to know that if anybody with game development experience would like to say something about it.

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More companions means more replay value. I thought this to be a no-brainer???

 

It is a no brainer that more companions would be nice to have, but you have a fixed amount of money to spend on writing. If you add one companion, you have a new story, and the dialog to support it, that lasts the length of the game. Also, if you have n companions, you have to write n(n-1) inter-companion interactions (so interactions grow proportional to the square of the number of companions).

 

It's a choice between deep companions or more companions rather than between deep companions and more deep companions.

 

I don't have a good sense of the cost of a companion relative to the cost of the game as a whole; I would be interested to know that if anybody with game development experience would like to say something about it.

Deeper companions works if they get it right. I would prefer more as to me and my xp with CRPGs they miss on most of them. So I like the replay value. Plus more NPCs fuels my constant restart mode.

No matter which fork in the road you take I am certain adventure awaits.

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More companions means more replay value. I thought this to be a no-brainer???

 

It is a no brainer that more companions would be nice to have, but you have a fixed amount of money to spend on writing. If you add one companion, you have a new story, and the dialog to support it, that lasts the length of the game. Also, if you have n companions, you have to write n(n-1) inter-companion interactions (so interactions grow proportional to the square of the number of companions).

 

It's a choice between deep companions or more companions rather than between deep companions and more deep companions.

 

I don't have a good sense of the cost of a companion relative to the cost of the game as a whole; I would be interested to know that if anybody with game development experience would like to say something about it.

Deeper companions works if they get it right. I would prefer more as to me and my xp with CRPGs they miss on most of them. So I like the replay value. Plus more NPCs fuels my constant restart mode.

No matter which fork in the road you take I am certain adventure awaits.

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the reason is the UI being designed to work with 5. What a brilliant reason they got there!.

 

Can you please, please, stop misrepresenting what was said regarding UI. At no point has Obsidian said "the reason we've decided to run with five character parties is because the UI won't allow it", what they actually said (in response to a question about modding the game to allow six character parties) was "it should be possible to do, but it will be tricky because of the UI". This is not the same, and I've pointed out to you before that it's not the same.

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the reason is the UI being designed to work with 5. What a brilliant reason they got there!.

 

Can you please, please, stop misrepresenting what was said regarding UI. At no point has Obsidian said "the reason we've decided to run with five character parties is because the UI won't allow it", what they actually said (in response to a question about modding the game to allow six character parties) was "it should be possible to do, but it will be tricky because of the UI". This is not the same, and I've pointed out to you before that it's not the same.

 

 

Will we be able to mod the party size from 5 to 6 characters if we don't care about balance issues?

JSNo. The UI is really designed around that. Well, I mean—I can't say for sure, who knows what you can do with modding. I wouldn't say that it's impossible to do almost anything. Will it work well? I couldn't tell you.

AD: It wasn't easy to mod the first game at all other than changing portraits and sound files.

JS: Modding a lot of stuff will be easier in Pillars 2. Modding the party size from 5 to 6...certainly possible, if you want to do that that's cool. I don't know how the UI is going to react to that and everything because things are spaced out for increased legibility for 5 characters, but there you go.

 

Now can stop, stop trying to find faults of others so that you feel that you are intimidating people or silencing people to stop preferring 6 party characters? i don't see any point in continue any argument because i don't give a damn about your reasoning or whatsoever.

 

if 5 party characters or less doesn't matter to you, as i said stop replying if it doesn't concern you. the reason i'm posting because 6 party characters is a big deal for me and so i'm only requesting Obsidian to perhaps allow an option to unlock 6 party characters in the options. no need modding whatsoever.

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the reason is the UI being designed to work with 5. What a brilliant reason they got there!.

 

Can you please, please, stop misrepresenting what was said regarding UI. At no point has Obsidian said "the reason we've decided to run with five character parties is because the UI won't allow it", what they actually said (in response to a question about modding the game to allow six character parties) was "it should be possible to do, but it will be tricky because of the UI". This is not the same, and I've pointed out to you before that it's not the same.

 

 

Will we be able to mod the party size from 5 to 6 characters if we don't care about balance issues?

JSNo. The UI is really designed around that. Well, I mean—I can't say for sure, who knows what you can do with modding. I wouldn't say that it's impossible to do almost anything. Will it work well? I couldn't tell you.

AD: It wasn't easy to mod the first game at all other than changing portraits and sound files.

JS: Modding a lot of stuff will be easier in Pillars 2. Modding the party size from 5 to 6...certainly possible, if you want to do that that's cool. I don't know how the UI is going to react to that and everything because things are spaced out for increased legibility for 5 characters, but there you go.

 

Now can stop, stop trying to find faults of others so that you feel that you are intimidating people or silencing people to stop preferring 6 party characters? i don't see any point in continue any argument because i don't give a damn about your reasoning or whatsoever.

 

if 5 party characters or less doesn't matter to you, as i said stop replying if it doesn't concern you. the reason i'm posting because 6 party characters is a big deal for me and so i'm only requesting Obsidian to perhaps allow an option to unlock 6 party characters in the options. no need modding whatsoever.

 

 

No offense, but I think you're misreading what Josh is saying. The question he's answering is about the possibility modding a 6th member back in, not about why they moved from 5 to 6.

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No offense, but I think you're misreading what Josh is saying. The question he's answering is about the possibility modding a 6th member back in, not about why they moved from 5 to 6.

 

Exactly.

 

As for why I involve myself in this thread despite not having a particularly strong preference one way or the other it's simple. Obsidian have been working on Deadfire for a while now, and they've decided on five character parties for whatever reason. If they cave to pressure to go back to six character parties then everything they've done so far that is designed around five has to be redesigned. This likely to take a fair amount of time on their part, and things are likely to be rushed as a result, ending up with a less good product. Since I don't have a strong preference on party size I would much rather Obsidian didn't go down this route.

 

As for the argument that since I don't have a preference I shouldn't be posting in this thread: rubbish. People from Obsidian read these forums, and if they come across a this thread and the only opinions given are from people strongly opposed to the reduction they might get the impression that this is what most people think. Given what I said in the previous paragraph, it is important that I (and others who don't mind the change) post here precisely to put across the message that "hey, there are plenty of us who aren't opposed to the change".

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More companions means more replay value. I thought this to be a no-brainer???

It is a no brainer that more companions would be nice to have, but you have a fixed amount of money to spend on writing. If you add one companion, you have a new story, and the dialog to support it, that lasts the length of the game. Also, if you have n companions, you have to write n(n-1) inter-companion interactions (so interactions grow proportional to the square of the number of companions).

 

It's a choice between deep companions or more companions rather than between deep companions and more deep companions.

 

I don't have a good sense of the cost of a companion relative to the cost of the game as a whole; I would be interested to know that if anybody with game development experience would like to say something about it.

Deeper companions works if they get it right. I would prefer more as to me and my xp with CRPGs they miss on most of them. So I like the replay value. Plus more NPCs fuels my constant restart mode.

 

 

 I see what you mean but it looks like Obsidian has gone with the other option. They will have fewer characters, each with more connection to the story, this time around. More like PS:T than BG1. 

 

 It might be nice if the adventurers that you can hire from the inns had some personalities to choose from rather than being silent but I have no idea how feasible that would be.

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More companions means more replay value. I thought this to be a no-brainer???

It is a no brainer that more companions would be nice to have, but you have a fixed amount of money to spend on writing. If you add one companion, you have a new story, and the dialog to support it, that lasts the length of the game. Also, if you have n companions, you have to write n(n-1) inter-companion interactions (so interactions grow proportional to the square of the number of companions).

 

It's a choice between deep companions or more companions rather than between deep companions and more deep companions.

 

I don't have a good sense of the cost of a companion relative to the cost of the game as a whole; I would be interested to know that if anybody with game development experience would like to say something about it.

Deeper companions works if they get it right. I would prefer more as to me and my xp with CRPGs they miss on most of them. So I like the replay value. Plus more NPCs fuels my constant restart mode.

 

 

I'm not sure more companions means more replay value. If to make more companions they all have no side quest and just little blurbs about their life then what is the point. just make mercenaries from the inns. If  you want more companions and they are each really deep connected to the story then the issue is just a limitation of the the writing and schedule and it just not going to happen it seems. It would be nice with more companions if they have time to write them in more interesting ways which is their stated goal for the ones they are going to write but i dont need a bunch of npcs that don't connect to anything and have just some little one paragraph story joining me i can just hire them. 

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In BG1there are a ton of NPCs each with some type of side story. I replayed thru with tons of Party composition combinations. Same with BG2 to a lesser degree. Plus Their dialogues with each other were priceless. Dynaheir-Edwin, Jaheira-Xzar, etc... it's that combo I'm looking for.

No matter which fork in the road you take I am certain adventure awaits.

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In BG1there are a ton of NPCs each with some type of side story. I replayed thru with tons of Party composition combinations. Same with BG2 to a lesser degree. Plus Their dialogues with each other were priceless. Dynaheir-Edwin, Jaheira-Xzar, etc... it's that combo I'm looking for.

 

 

 I know what you mean. I liked BG1 a lot. I think it was effective because it gave you enough hooks to hang your imagination on, if that makes sense. In other words, a lot of the game took place in your imagination and the game gave you enough cues to understand what was going on without fleshing out the details as much as some other games. I have vivid memories of BG1 - it's more like that time I went adventuring on the Sword Coast than that time I watched a computer screen and entered commands.

 

 I would be happy to see a game in the Pillars universe that worked more like that if Obsidian would be interested in making one.  

 

 I don't know if people in the game industry consider whether adding detail/realism to a game is always a good idea or whether it is just tacitly assumed that it is.. I suspect there are cases where it is not.

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