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My Feelings on Five Party Members


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#41
Fardragon

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@Varana

 

it‘s a single-player offline game, we‘re playing with ourselves on the pc, you‘re not sitting with other folks around the table. You‘re supposed to be allowed to set your own rules/limitations within the given rules. You want to tackle Firkraag with a party of 4,5,6 or even solo, that‘s up to you. You want to use spells before fights or not at all, up to you. You enter the druid grove and decide to not rest at all, rest once, rest twice… up to you and so on and on.. You want to try to even break the rule, go ahead be creative, go with a high charisma reload when necessary and try to finish the game with Xzar/montaron and Jaheira/khalid. Hell, there‘s people who separated pairs in BG1. You want to use moving to fool the enemy or even use kiting, up to you. Trust that people are capable and willing to learn, allow them to set their rules within the system, allow them fun, we‘re all different.

 

But you can't tackle Firkraag with 20, which is the implication which I believe @Varana was responding to.


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#42
Wormerine

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@Varana

it‘s a single-player offline game, we‘re playing with ourselves on the pc, you‘re not sitting with other folks around the table. You‘re supposed to be allowed to set your own rules/limitations within the given rules. You want to tackle Firkraag with a party of 4,5,6 or even solo, that‘s up to you. You want to use spells before fights or not at all, up to you. You enter the druid grove and decide to not rest at all, rest once, rest twice… up to you and so on and on.. You want to try to even break the rule, go ahead be creative, go with a high charisma reload when necessary and try to finish the game with Xzar/montaron and Jaheira/khalid. Hell, there‘s people who separated pairs in BG1. You want to use moving to fool the enemy or even use kiting, up to you. Trust that people are capable and willing to learn, allow them to set their rules within the system, allow them fun, we‘re all different.


I am all for giving player a choice - if you don’t want to deal with combat you turn difficulty down. If you want to try going solo, you go solo. However, these are all self imposed limitations to make the game harder/easier consciously breaking the rules.

Job of game designer is to give you a game with an entertaining set of rules. What is entertaining is subjective so it is beneficial if the game is flexible enough to accommodate a wide variety of players. But it is not up to player to make up rules or not use existing features to make the game fun. Most gamers have a natural drive to play optimally. If one option is strictly better than the other why would you use the weaker one? It’s like putting an overpowered unit in chess but expecting you to figure out to not use it.

Giving you ability to run with all companions at once is bad. Sure, they could balance it around 5 characters and than expect people to figure out that most fun they have is by playing with 5, while giving a wider option to people who just want to run around with everyone. But how do you communicate this? How do you stop people who want to have balance combat by not taking with them too many units? Why do you even waste time creating UI for an amount of companions which actively hurt the experience. It’s like giving a sos to a meal which doesn’t fit just in case someone one day might want it. You Are a Chef, and it is your job to compose a good meal. Whenever someone likes it or not it’s up to them and they can decide whenever they want to eat your stuff or not. Or they give feedback and you adjust or stick to your guts. Coupled companions in BG1 are a good example. They were limiting and people were abusing game systems to bypass them. That’s why they are not present in BG2. Obsidian did 6 man party and decided it was too much. If the change to 5 won’t be a good decision thy will probably adjust for the next installement.

#43
Varana

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@Varana
 
You‘re supposed to be allowed to set your own rules/limitations within the given rules.


Exactly - within the given rules. Maximum party size is part of those rules.
No one's going to let every player decide freely (and I mean without restrictions) how much damage he wants his sword to deal, or how many spells his casters can use.

Edit: Generally speaking, a game is not a simulation. Rules and restrictions are what makes a game a game.
In a world simulation, you could take your ship crew into combat. Recruit random guards. Just sail your ship off the map and go to a completely different region of the world. Die from food poisoning or choking on a pretzel.
But a game needs focus. It needs a theme, an intended experience, and a vision. That restricts the stuff you can do but creates a more challenging and better experience all around.

Edited by Varana, 14 October 2017 - 02:33 AM.

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#44
Sedrefilos

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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.

 

Why will 5 better? I haven't seen any good arguments for 5 as well.

 

That's exactly the point. There is no good argument for neither party size. There is no magic number. Each game is designed to fulfill a specific purpose and it is determained by the developers. If they design the game to be played good with 5 party members then it's gonna be better with 5.If they design it for 6 it's gonna be better with 6. If they disign it for 4 it's gonna be better with 4. Noone can tell right now if the game is gonna be better with 5 or with 6 because noone has played it yet.


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#45
hilfazer

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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.

 

Why will 5 better? I haven't seen any good arguments for 5 as well.

 

 

I gave one - 5 better reflects the size of a PnP group.

 

 

PnP party size is 5 (or less) because having bigger party is more time consuming.

Computers can handle bigger party sizes than PnP because they do all calculations and do it very fast.

For the same reason PoE1 had rules that are unfit for PnP system. If mechanics do not need to follow PnP traditions than party size does not need as well.

 

It may not be a bad argument but i would not call it good either.



#46
Fardragon

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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.

 

Why will 5 better? I haven't seen any good arguments for 5 as well.

 

 

I gave one - 5 better reflects the size of a PnP group.

 

 

PnP party size is 5 (or less) because having bigger party is more time consuming.

Computers can handle bigger party sizes than PnP because they do all calculations and do it very fast.

For the same reason PoE1 had rules that are unfit for PnP system. If mechanics do not need to follow PnP traditions than party size does not need as well.

 

It may not be a bad argument but i would not call it good either.

 

 

What I'm looking for in a CRPG is for it to recreate, as closely as possible, the PnP experience. So PoE1's "unsuitable for PnP rules" are a big negative so far as I am concerned.



#47
Ashen Rohk

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Oh, we're still doing these?

 

Right, be back in another 3 months.


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#48
Karkarov

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Noone can tell right now if the game is gonna be better with 5 or with 6 because noone has played it yet.

I don't know.  The developers have been clear that they chose 5 because it worked better in early play-testing, and lead to a more balanced game.   I think the developers saying "it works better" is a strong argument for 5.

At this point they know vastly more about the game than any of us, so their opinion carries weight.


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#49
smjjames

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Besides, they're designing the encounters and everything else around having five party members. It's not like they're designing around six and sticking the player with five.


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#50
Sedrefilos

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Noone can tell right now if the game is gonna be better with 5 or with 6 because noone has played it yet.

I don't know.  The developers have been clear that they chose 5 because it worked better in early play-testing, and lead to a more balanced game.   I think the developers saying "it works better" is a strong argument for 5.

At this point they know vastly more about the game than any of us, so their opinion carries weight.

 

Yes, that's what basically I'm saying all this time to the 6-arguers.


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#51
Wormerine

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What I'm looking for in a CRPG is for it to recreate, as closely as possible, the PnP experience. So PoE1's "unsuitable for PnP rules" are a big negative so far as I am concerned.

Well, "unsuitable for PnP rules" mostly comes from using computer to calculate outcome rather than having players do it. It comes to rolls being determined by 100 rolls, different spells adjusting defences rather than adding bonuses/minuses to rolls. It is easier to understand 76% to hit rather than AC -5 & THAC0 and dealing with abstract dice rolls. 


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#52
Katarack21

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What I'm looking for in a CRPG is for it to recreate, as closely as possible, the PnP experience. So PoE1's "unsuitable for PnP rules" are a big negative so far as I am concerned.

Well, "unsuitable for PnP rules" mostly comes from using computer to calculate outcome rather than having players do it. It comes to rolls being determined by 100 rolls, different spells adjusting defences rather than adding bonuses/minuses to rolls. It is easier to understand 76% to hit rather than AC -5 & THAC0 and dealing with abstract dice rolls. 

 

Not a great analogy; negative AC values and THACO are generally derided as obtuse crap by today's PNP crowd and there's a reason they were done away with in the 90's.


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#53
Sedrefilos

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It's importan for people to realize that computer rpgs and tabletop rpgs are different things and can never work the same way; they shouldn't either. One can expect bits from one jumping to the other here and there but never one can emulate the eperience of the other.


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#54
Wormerine

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What I'm looking for in a CRPG is for it to recreate, as closely as possible, the PnP experience. So PoE1's "unsuitable for PnP rules" are a big negative so far as I am concerned.

Well, "unsuitable for PnP rules" mostly comes from using computer to calculate outcome rather than having players do it. It comes to rolls being determined by 100 rolls, different spells adjusting defences rather than adding bonuses/minuses to rolls. It is easier to understand 76% to hit rather than AC -5 & THAC0 and dealing with abstract dice rolls. 

 

Not a great analogy; negative AC values and THACO are generally derided as obtuse crap by today's PNP crowd and there's a reason they were done away with in the 90's.

 

I know its not. But that is the last D&D I am vaguely familiar with. 



#55
Fardragon

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It's importan for people to realize that computer rpgs and tabletop rpgs are different things and can never work the same way; they shouldn't either. One can expect bits from one jumping to the other here and there but never one can emulate the eperience of the other.

 

Well, Baldur's Gate gets it pretty much spot on, with the slightly-too-large party the only downside. So I call bovine excrement on that.


Edited by Fardragon, 15 October 2017 - 11:55 PM.


#56
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It's importan for people to realize that computer rpgs and tabletop rpgs are different things and can never work the same way; they shouldn't either. One can expect bits from one jumping to the other here and there but never one can emulate the eperience of the other.

 

Well, Baldur's Gate gets it pretty much spot on, with the slightly-too-large party the only downside. So I call bovine excrement on that.

 

 

Some pretty poor tabletop you were playing.


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#57
kanisatha

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Noone can tell right now if the game is gonna be better with 5 or with 6 because noone has played it yet.

I don't know.  The developers have been clear that they chose 5 because it worked better in early play-testing, and lead to a more balanced game.   I think the developers saying "it works better" is a strong argument for 5.

At this point they know vastly more about the game than any of us, so their opinion carries weight.

Carries weight with you certainly, but not with me. Saying "it works better" is not an argument but rather an opinion. It is entirely subjective. All preferences for one number over another are, by definition, subjective. And my subjective view will always remain that six is way better than five, and the reduction in party size is and will always remain the one big screw-up of the devs in PoE2 as far as I'm concerned.

 

The whole "balance" claim is utterly unsatisfactory. One can balance a game just as easily for one number versus another. As I see it, the decision was entirely for game development workload reduction reasons, and pretty-packaging the call as a game balance issue is disingenuous. It would've been better if they had just honestly said: "Hey we needed to make some tough calls on the scope of the game given limited development time and money, and cutting down party size was one of those tough calls."



#58
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This Xth thread about party size has come to its inevitable conclusion: having no meaning whatsoever.

And that's just because the no-fivers cannot understand that noone can possibly know if it'll work better or not and the rest of us falling in the trap and trying to explain them that reasonal and objective fact. Joke's on us I guess.


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#59
Wormerine

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Carries weight with you certainly, but not with me. 

Then why in nine hells are you a backer, if devs opinions don't carry any weight with you? Don't take me wrong, I disliked every realtime RPG with less party members than 5ve and I am nostalgically attatched to no. 6. But if devs says it plays better with 5ve its good enough for me until I am able to judge it by myself.


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#60
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I am nostalgically attatched to no. 6. But if devs says it plays better with 5ve its good enough for me until I am able to judge it by myself.

 

I'm the same. If Josh had come to me and asked "how big should the party in Deadfire be" with no other information I'd have said "six... why do you ask?" Six is what I'm used to and when I first heard it was being reduced to five I admit my reaction was "wait, why?" But then I thought about it for a while (well, a few minutes at least) and came to the conclusion that the only reason five felt wrong was because six was what I was used to/expecting, and that if Obsidian felt that five was a better number then I was happy to see how it turned out.

 

Now I can think of arguments in favour of five over six, most notably the fact that combat was often hectic in Pillars due to much fewer passive character classes than the old IE games and the fact that this would likely get worse with the increased availability of combat abilities in Deadfire; but as Sedrefilos says none of us really know whether it'll be better or worse until the game is released.


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