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November 25th, 2009, 23:23
I've played through 2 origin stories now (an elf mage, and human rogue), and am sad to say that I dislike the combat. It's too hard to control all my party members with the pause button. They run off and do the wrong thing before I can pause it. And even when I give them direct orders they sometimes stand there dumbly and not do anything. No queues are a big bummer, as are no autopause features.

How do you manage your parties in fights? Do you use the "combat tactics" expert system thing? I'd prefer direct control myself.
Last edited by Thrasher; November 26th, 2009 at 00:13.
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November 25th, 2009, 23:59
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
How do you manage your parties in fights? Do you use the "combat tactics" expert system thing? I'd prefer direct control myself.
You can disable all tactics in the tactics window, which is what I do right when a new companion joins since I too prefer having a full direct control.
Im also having "pause at start of combat" enabled in the options menu.
Hold position/move freely & select all party members buttons under portraits are very useful.

Im playing in the OTS view almost all the time and switch into the "strategic" view only when I need to be more careful with AoE spell placement. Works fine for me.

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November 26th, 2009, 00:01
The combat will get a lot better once you start to get the hang of it, it's also a lot more fun later in the game when you have a greater selection of talents/spells.

Unfortunately the AI does leave a lot to be desired, and you'll always have to micromanage to some degree.
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November 26th, 2009, 00:14
I have "pause at start of combat" too, disabled all tactics, use the "hold" button for combat, micromanage every single move. This addresses most of the OP's problems, but can become tedious with repetitive mobs. For those, you could always set it on "easy" and go with tactics.

To not have them stand there dumbly, always check that your "attack" button became enabled and stays enabled. Normal attack works with R-click, and special attacks with LMB, and it best to first R-click on the target, and then L-click on the spell/talent slot, to enable the spell/special attack.
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November 26th, 2009, 00:14
OK, I'll disable the tactics.

I do have pause at start of combat. But what about through out the combat? Like at the completion of every action? Otherwise, how do you pick the right time to hit the pause button to issue commands? Always hated this aspect of NWN/2.

EDIT: Thanks Rivianwatch, that could be what was happening. Your suggestion is similar to what I did in Drakensang when I had autopause for every round:

1. First select whole party, then
2. Deselect party members who are still in the process of doing something useful using control click (Don't know if you can do this in DA)
3. Then click on the enemy to concentrate attacks for everyone else, then
4. Select each party individually who needs special attacks / spells / items, then
5. Unpause.

I didn't mind the tedium there in Drakensang (except for the repetitive Grolm dungeon)
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November 26th, 2009, 00:22
I do have pause at start of combat. But what about throughout the combat? Like at the completion of every action? Otherwise, how do you pick the right time to hit the pause button to issue commands?
This sounds more tedious and involved than it really is, but, well - in my case I just hit it whenever I see one of the special attack buttons or spell buttons go "off " (meaning the spell/attack has been excecuted) and with people I don't really use those for (like with Alistair), I just keep an eye on his attack button to make sure it doesn't go "off", which will mean that he's just standing there like an idiot, because he's just managed to kill someone.

So, in short - I simply assign orders, while paused, then keep my eye on the attack buttons next to each party member's portrait, while in real-time. I really do pause one heck of a lot…
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November 26th, 2009, 00:26
Good pointers! Thanks!
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November 26th, 2009, 16:58
Wynne worked really well for me with full AI enabled (Healer, Ranged) and lots of tactics slots. Had to remove the magic missle spell, earth armor and the healing aura from the AI though, they were mana drains and unnecessary most of the time.

I disabled the AI for Morrigan as she's a real klutz and needs proper guidance. My own mage had AI disabled for the same reason and to save mana for important spells. Shale had them enabled (Defender, Default).

Pause at the start of combat. One important key to remember is "H" for "Hold". When your party is on hold, they don't do anything on their own and stay where they are. You can give them commands, but as soon as they've done something they become dolls again. In follow mode they act according to their AI setting, but only if they are not selected.

The "=" key selects your whole party, this way you can easily have them attack the same target.

I've been playing around with a mageless party recently and found it important to add custom AI tactics such as automatic assisting of certain characters etc.

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November 28th, 2009, 04:08
I only micromanage boss battles and difficult battles, but normal combat I just set the initial orders and then control my character. Once in a while I have some character issue a special order or activate an ability, but most of the times, they do just fine without me.
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November 28th, 2009, 23:24
I don't really like the combat either but it's managable (360 version). People have already mentioned this but, when you notice them standing there doing nothing make sure you haven't issued a Hold Position order, because they won't move if you have. And select the entire team when you click on a target, that way they will all gang up on that one target rather than be off doing their own thing.

What I don't like about the combat is it's too fast usually very unforgiving. You can easily lose any battle (even against a bunch of lowly mercs or thugs) if you're not on the ball. The combat is so fast that if you spend too much time fluffing around with one character (like just moving an archer out of the way a bit) you can find you've lost one of your guys because they were getting pumelled and no one was there to help them, or you needed to move them out of the way.

And I need to pause constantly to issue orders and cast spells, which I don't like doing but again the combat is so fast and so unforgiving I have no choice.

And to top it off the damn tactics sometimes don't work. I set a tactic to order a spell caster to use the Heal spell when someone is near death and I've watched time and again while someone gets cut down and the spellcaster is just standing there firing her staff and not casting Healing like I damn well told her!

And then there's the rings on everyone's feet. Why are they necessary? There's the gold rings around the parties feet but they all have them ALL the time. What the heck for? Wouldn't it make more sense to just have the currently controlled character have a ring, so you know who you're actually controlling? Isn't that what they're for?

And the red rings on the enemies. Again why do they all have them all the time? Wouldn't it make more sense for just the targeted enemy to display a ring? Not only that it would remove a lot of on screen clutter which I personally hate.
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November 29th, 2009, 10:32
The red rings? Of course you have to have them! How else would you know exactly who you are up against? There are often neutral NPC's or allies mixed up in the battle.

And to top it off the damn tactics sometimes don't work. I set a tactic to order a spell caster to use the Heal spell when someone is near death and I've watched time and again while someone gets cut down and the spellcaster is just standing there firing her staff and not casting Healing like I damn well told her!
That is exactly why I've disabled tactics and use the 'hold' button.
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November 29th, 2009, 18:24
Yeah, you want to keep the rings. Also, notice that the black area on the backside of the red rings are the "backstab zone"
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November 30th, 2009, 01:29
If you want to ensure that your healer heals, then put the heal tactic at the top. If you have a tactic above the heal tactic that says to attack the target of the currently controlled character (for example), then you won't get your heals. The AI will go through the tactics you have set in order until it finds a valid command. So put the most important commands at the top of the list, and crucially, be careful about puting commands that will almost always be valid near the top, unless that's all you want the character to do. I tend to put attack target of [tank] last, because there's no cooldown on attack, and my tank always has a target. I usually put a potion use on low health command first. For my healers I have a command that says heal anyone with less than 25% health first, then one that says to heal anyone with less than 50% health. You might also want to put one that says to heal the tank if he drops below 50% as a first priority. Wynne has loads of tactics slots, so it's worth micromanaging her tactics like that. I disabled all her tactics that had her casting damage spells as well, it's a waste of mana. I have her use staff attack if she's not doing anything more important, but that should be the lowest priority command.
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December 1st, 2009, 22:28
Originally Posted by RivianWitch View Post
The red rings? Of course you have to have them! How else would you know exactly who you are up against? There are often neutral NPC's or allies mixed up in the battle.
Point taken. But I do think having a ring on each party member all the time is unhelpful. Personally I know what my guys look like so I don't need something to point out to me that that person is a party member. But I do need help telling me who I'm currently controlling. I have to take my eyes off the battle and look at the portraits to do that.
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December 2nd, 2009, 00:23
Originally Posted by human_male View Post
Point taken. But I do think having a ring on each party member all the time is unhelpful. Personally I know what my guys look like so I don't need something to point out to me that that person is a party member. But I do need help telling me who I'm currently controlling. I have to take my eyes off the battle and look at the portraits to do that.
That must be an Xbox thing, on PC ther are only an ring around that party member you control, and if you want to control 2, 3 or 4 party members, there are ring around those you control, it is very helpful then you see the battle from above, as it can somtime be hard to see who are who.
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December 2nd, 2009, 00:35
Yep. It's very critical for the tactical camera angle that's a good distance away from the characters.
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December 2nd, 2009, 23:31
Originally Posted by Phonix View Post
That must be an Xbox thing, on PC ther are only an ring around that party member you control, and if you want to control 2, 3 or 4 party members, there are ring around those you control, it is very helpful then you see the battle from above, as it can somtime be hard to see who are who.
That's interesting, maybe it's a bug with the 360 version. Another thing with the 360 version I don't like is there's no "move to" command. You can't point at a spot on the ground and order someone to move there. And there's no "Follow Me" command if you want the group to disengage and fall back. Can you do that in the PC version?
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December 2nd, 2009, 23:39
Yes, you can select the whole party, then click on the ground and they move as a group, if that's what you mean.
Last edited by Thrasher; December 3rd, 2009 at 01:17.
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December 3rd, 2009, 00:07
Originally Posted by human_male View Post
And then there's the rings on everyone's feet. Why are they necessary? There's the gold rings around the parties feet but they all have them ALL the time. What the heck for? Wouldn't it make more sense to just have the currently controlled character have a ring, so you know who you're actually controlling? Isn't that what they're for?

And the red rings on the enemies. Again why do they all have them all the time? Wouldn't it make more sense for just the targeted enemy to display a ring? Not only that it would remove a lot of on screen clutter which I personally hate.
I find any excessive GUI in a game annoying and less immerssive so I did not like all the yellow rings myself. Normally there are flags for that type of thing. However, while I am not big on using any mod in a game, there is a very simple and uncomplicated mod to remove the yellow rings.

What a difference! Much more enjoyable and makes for better screenshots as well.

The only markers you get are the red arrows and only on the current target you have selected.
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December 3rd, 2009, 00:39
Where did you find this mod? I looked around at the bioware site and at da nexus but didn't find it. TIA
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