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Mygaffer

My Feelings on Five Party Members

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I was just playing some Pillars today, I rolled my first Rogue PC last week, and just went through the encounters with the wurms and Xuarips on -redacted-. I was playing with a full six character party, as I usually do, though I have done solo play and four man parties for fun.

 

It was so satisfying to have all six members contributing and synergizing. Front line was Kana, he was positioned to both reach my back line with his Sure Handed Ila chant and the enemy with Come, Come Soft Winds of Death while also being positioned to blast the large group of enemies with his "at the sound of his voice the killers froze stiff" invocation.

 

Pallegina, who has by far the highest defenses of the party already at level 6 was in the middle lead, and she came out of stealth first, essentially yelling at the enemy to target her.

 

Eder was off to the other side, shooting with his pistol until the host of enemies were cut down some and he could wade in with his melee weapons and start knocking down the last enemies.

 

Aloth was in the back and led off with Chill Fog, blinding and hurting the host as they tried to get at my party, making it much harder for them to hit us and much quicker to tear them down. His soul bound scepter also slowly carved them up with his blast talent and dangerous implement modal.

 

My rogue is an interrupter with a bow and interfered with the Xaurip Champions that made it to my front line. He also dealt the odd blind or hobble effect where necessary.

 

And finally Durance was there to condemn the enemy, weakening them, dazing them, providing healing to the party and taking opportune shots with his arquebus.

 

On PotD we made short work of both large parties on the level many of you can probably guess. It felt very satisfying to have all party members working together like this, complimenting each other. It felt very tactical.

 

In Deadfire we'll have one less component to play with in this tactical dance. Just the idea of it feels limiting. I don't know what design lesson they think they're learning here from Pillars 1 that made them make this change but I am highly skeptical.

 

Maybe I should just be happy they didn't go down to four.

Edited by Mygaffer
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Woo-hoo! Another party size thread! :dancing::aiee::wowey:

I haven't written about it myself yet, I've been thinking about it off and on. After these encounters I decided to formulate my thoughts. Feel free to ignore it.

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Woo-hoo! Another party size thread! :dancing::aiee::wowey:

I haven't written about it myself yet, I've been thinking about it off and on. After these encounters I decided to formulate my thoughts. Feel free to ignore it.

 

I don't have any problem with your thoughts mate and your concerns are legit; it's just there are so many threads discussing this topic, opening a new one 1)pushes other threads down 2)makes those who want to talk about it (I myself already done it) multi-posting in numerous threads with the same subject.

Someone opened a new thread about party size 2 or 3 days ago I believe.

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I usually play with a party of 2-4. It's much easier to control as I hate constantly pausing and micromanaging a big group. Then there's equipping and leveling everyone up on top of that. The game just plays better and smoother with a smaller party.

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My PnP game has between 3-5 players (+DM). 6 is really too many to manage effectively, and players can start to feel they aren't getting enough to do.

 

So I'm in favour of a smaller party size.

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Everyone knows Science Fiction is really cool. You know what PoE really needs? Spaceships! There isn't any game that wouldn't be improved by a space combat minigame. Adding one to PoE would send sales skyrocketing, and ensure the game was remembered for all time!!!!!

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Like I've said before, Deadfire is going to have more moving parts than Pillars, by all accounts. Five classes (fighters, paladins, barbarians, rogues and rangers) will have more abilities to work with. Three of them (wizards, priests and druids) will be encouraged to use them every combat, rather than sit on them until the right time. So in most encounters, more abilities will go off than in Pillars. So I can see why they reduced the party size.

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Like I've said before, Deadfire is going to have more moving parts than Pillars, by all accounts. Five classes (fighters, paladins, barbarians, rogues and rangers) will have more abilities to work with. Three of them (wizards, priests and druids) will be encouraged to use them every combat, rather than sit on them until the right time. So in most encounters, more abilities will go off than in Pillars. So I can see why they reduced the party size.

 

Possibly a case of putting the cart before the horse here. Did they decide to reduce the party size after these changes... or before?


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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What are we even discussing here, guys.

With party limit of 6 Boeroer will be able to test 6 builds concurrently instead of 5, and deliver us them faster. 6 is the obvious winner.


Vancian =/= per rest.

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What are we even discussing here, guys.

With party limit of 6 Boeroer will be able to test 6 builds concurrently instead of 5, and deliver us them faster. 6 is the obvious winner.

 

lol...

 

Though more seriously, they're going to be designing the encounters around a party of five, so, when it's well balanced, things shouldn't be a problem.

Edited by smjjames
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I hope they further reduce party size to 4 which is optimal for having enough skills covered while being fun to micromanage. And to remain interested in the characters' backgrounds and story arcs.

 

DA: O had 4 and it was perfect. 5 is starting to feel like a big crowd already especially in smaller hallways or doorways.

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Pillars of Eternity Tactics -- recruit and train your own roving warband then fight for a kingdom through a series of turn-based battlefields on a hexagonal grid.

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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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I hope they further reduce party size to 4 which is optimal for having enough skills covered while being fun to micromanage. And to remain interested in the characters' backgrounds and story arcs.

 

DA: O had 4 and it was perfect. 5 is starting to feel like a big crowd already especially in smaller hallways or doorways.

I really can’t figure out whenever you are sarcastic or not

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I'm of two minds. PoE (and its IE predecessors) had some evidently unfixable pathing issues, that would frequently send one or two party members frantically wobbly back and forth trying to get in range of a foe. A problem that was only exacerbated by animal companions and summons. Decreasing the party size a bit presumably prevents that from happening (at least as frequently).

 

The problem is, there's more to an RPG than combat. Fewer characters in the party mean fewer banters and fewer opportunities for companions to interject into conversations with NPCs. If Obsidian can deliver companions that are *more* active than the first game, with more dialog and more banter and more interjections, this isn't a problem. But if not....

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more banter/relationships means less quality quests. Which game had such an amount of quality quests as in BG2 where banter was just flavour? Ever since players started demanding simlife / tamagochi style characters the quality of quests suffered as if developpers were happy to write a main story and add side quests for good measure.

 

As for party size limit reduced to 5, well that‘s regress however you look at it. The more chars the player has the more (personal) quests he‘ll experience which adds to the quality of the playthrough. With more units it‘s easier to turn the tides in a battle which is also true for the enemy meaning there‘s more interesting battles. With more units, players have more variety in playstyle, e.g. make meleers more passive re. abilities and more active re. moving chars to make formations, to block, to shield other chars. With more chars there‘s bigger variety in difficulty the player can set for himself, going with 6 chars or 5 or 4 etc. Whether players like to play with 4 or even go solo is their subjective thing, they‘re free to do so, that‘s not an argument for limiting the party size to 5. Later Bioware games like NWN, KotoR, DA went with smaller parties also because of 3d camera. There‘s no reason to do that with the isometric view.

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Like I've said before, Deadfire is going to have more moving parts than Pillars, by all accounts. Five classes (fighters, paladins, barbarians, rogues and rangers) will have more abilities to work with. Three of them (wizards, priests and druids) will be encouraged to use them every combat, rather than sit on them until the right time. So in most encounters, more abilities will go off than in Pillars. So I can see why they reduced the party size.

 

Possibly a case of putting the cart before the horse here. Did they decide to reduce the party size after these changes... or before?

 

 

Does it matter? The changes go together and supplement each other.

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As for party size limit reduced to 5, well that‘s regress however you look at it. The more chars the player has the more (personal) quests he‘ll experience which adds to the quality of the playthrough.

Not really. Just like in most RPGs since KOTOR all party member join you. While you can travel with only 4 at any given time, you will still probably experience most of their arch’s and personal quests. If you mean you will experience less sof the smaller interactions, that is true. Is it really that much of an issue. It will still take two playthroughs to go through the game with all of the 7 companions.

 

.

 

As for party size limit reduced to 5, well that‘s regress however you look at it. The more chars the player has the more (personal) quests he‘ll experience which adds to the quality of the playthrough. With more units it‘s easier to turn the tides in a battle which is also true for the enemy meaning there‘s more interesting battles. With more units, players have more variety in playstyle, e.g. make meleers more passive re. abilities and more active re. moving chars to make formations, to block, to shield other chars. With more chars there‘s bigger variety in difficulty the player can set for himself, going with 6 chars or 5 or 4 etc. Whether players like to play with 4 or even go solo is their subjective thing, they‘re free to do so, that‘s not an argument for limiting the party size to 5. Later Bioware games like NWN, KotoR, DA went with smaller parties also because of 3d camera. There‘s no reason to do that with the isometric view.

That’s not how game design works. Putting more or less character on a screen doesn’t make for a more/less engaging combat. I am sorry, but if you make a passive characters, or attach auto control in a tactics game that means there is an issue with the design. Tactics and strategy aren’t bound to amount of units you control but what they can do and what enemies can do - in other words decisions you make before and during combat. Having one exra tank and getting two extra enemies for him to keep busy while your DPS and supports kill and heal doesn’t make combat better. It just adds 3 units which don’t contribute to the engagement in an interesting way. All the games you mentioned had a pretty crappy combat but amount of units under your control wasn’t the key issue. You could expand DA party to 6 and it still would be dull mess (even more so).

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Err, these games are designed to be played more than once. So you are not supposed to be able to see all of the content on one playthrough. If you can something is wrong.


Everyone knows Science Fiction is really cool. You know what PoE really needs? Spaceships! There isn't any game that wouldn't be improved by a space combat minigame. Adding one to PoE would send sales skyrocketing, and ensure the game was remembered for all time!!!!!

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5 Party member cap will be an improvement. I haven't seen any good arguments as to why having 6 is preferential.

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nowt

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5 Party member cap will be an improvement. I haven't seen any good arguments as to why having 6 is preferential.

 

I wouldn't necessarily say an improvement, though I agree that the arguments in favour of six haven't been compelling so I don't see any reason it would be any worse.

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5 Party member cap will be an improvement. I haven't seen any good arguments as to why having 6 is preferential.

 

Meh I want no cap at all. Every joinable PC should be able to be in my group at the same time if I want. Why do we still have to tolerate this artificial and arbitrary cap nonsense when technology makes it obsolete?

 

But what can you do?

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5 Party member cap will be an improvement. I haven't seen any good arguments as to why having 6 is preferential.

 

Meh I want no cap at all. Every joinable PC should be able to be in my group at the same time if I want. Why do we still have to tolerate this artificial and arbitrary cap nonsense when technology makes it obsolete?

 

But what can you do?

Because it was never a technological limitation?

 

“One of the responsibilities I think we have as designers is to protect the player from themselves” - Sid Meier

 

I never liked the idea of people joining you, moving into your house and sitting on their asses waiting for you to take them along for a walk. I much preferred Baldur’s Gates’ “here are companions, build a team from them and this is what you get. Come back in next playthrough and try the others!”. I am pretty sure KOTOR was the first to do it but it worked due to your “base” being a ship. Should work the same for Deadfire.

Edited by Wormerine

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I was just playing some Pillars today, I rolled my first Rogue PC last week, and just went through the encounters with the wurms and Xuarips on -redacted-. I was playing with a full six character party, as I usually do, though I have done solo play and four man parties for fun.

 

It was so satisfying to have all six members contributing and synergizing. Front line was Kana, he was positioned to both reach my back line with his Sure Handed Ila chant and the enemy with Come, Come Soft Winds of Death while also being positioned to blast the large group of enemies with his "at the sound of his voice the killers froze stiff" invocation.

 

Pallegina, who has by far the highest defenses of the party already at level 6 was in the middle lead, and she came out of stealth first, essentially yelling at the enemy to target her.

 

Eder was off to the other side, shooting with his pistol until the host of enemies were cut down some and he could wade in with his melee weapons and start knocking down the last enemies.

 

Aloth was in the back and led off with Chill Fog, blinding and hurting the host as they tried to get at my party, making it much harder for them to hit us and much quicker to tear them down. His soul bound scepter also slowly carved them up with his blast talent and dangerous implement modal.

 

My rogue is an interrupter with a bow and interfered with the Xaurip Champions that made it to my front line. He also dealt the odd blind or hobble effect where necessary.

 

And finally Durance was there to condemn the enemy, weakening them, dazing them, providing healing to the party and taking opportune shots with his arquebus.

 

On PotD we made short work of both large parties on the level many of you can probably guess. It felt very satisfying to have all party members working together like this, complimenting each other. It felt very tactical.

 

In Deadfire we'll have one less component to play with in this tactical dance. Just the idea of it feels limiting. I don't know what design lesson they think they're learning here from Pillars 1 that made them make this change but I am highly skeptical.

 

Maybe I should just be happy they didn't go down to four.

 

I feel you. One of my biggest issue i have now is probably due to my preference and attachment to the character themselves and possbibly their roles.

 

I seems to always pick the following characters for my playthrough:

- Eder

- Aloth

- Durance

- Hiravias

 

My current PT is a ranger and that leaves me with not much option seeing Chanter and Paladin are so good. It seems i may have to sacrifice Eder for Pallegina but as character in the game i love him so much.  It really makes no sense to handcuff the players on how they want to play their game especially single player.

 

Unless, maybe Obsidian is going to introduce PvP multiplayer 5v5 for expansion? Who knows everyone chasing the MOBA dream nowadays.

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