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Default Baldur's Gate 3 - Early Access Interview with Swen Vincke

November 17th, 2020, 22:15
IGN interviewed Swen Vincke about Baldur's Gate III's Early Access feedback.

Thanks to those successful forays into early access, Larian launched Baldur's Gate 3 fully prepared with a suite of quantitative data tools. This software allows Vincke and his team to see practically everything players do, from who they romance to where they save their progress. That latter information helps show where players are 'save scumming'; the act of creating a save file before a major moment or decision, and reloading it if the situation doesn't provide the result a player would like.

Vincke notes that one moment in particular, where players must navigate a tricky dialogue encounter to save some children, is one that has experienced heavy save scumming. "It's an emotionally laden moment, and people want the dice to go in a certain direction," Vincke says. He recognises that the amount of players reloading to try to get a better outcome is something Larian can learn from. "We made [the dice rolls] hard, but maybe we can add extra role-playing options for players to get the same effect. It's one of those things that we can pick up from seeing those behaviors of players."

It's not just in this situation that players are becoming frustrated with Baldur's Gate 3's dice rolls. The system - based on tabletop Dungeons & Dragons' use of D20-based skill checks - has proven divisive in the BG3 player base. Many players are not used to a dice roll governing their successes or failures; random number generation (RNG) disrupting a sneaky attempt to deceive someone or foiling a heroic deed can feel at odds with roleplay. "There are people who have had difficulties with that," says Vincke. "They want to be able to manipulate it."

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November 17th, 2020, 23:37
It'd funny I had forgotten (since it's 30 years since I played tabletop D&D) how hardcore the game could be. Failure was an integral part of the game, being creative about finding alternate solutions was where the fun was for me. Sitting out or playing monsters after your pc died was not, lol.
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November 18th, 2020, 02:32
I hope they find a balance. I also don't like being frustrated and finding other options is nice. I can think of one way to provide another path with that case he shows with the druid. Based on the game there is something you can find that you could use as leverage against her - and that would be a way to get her to relent for those not happy with the dice roll.

I will say I disagree with the idea that dice rolls go against role playing. If anything not having randomness goes against it and immersion.

Very rarely is anything either/or. I shouldn't always persuade someone simply because I am very charming and have had lessons in persuasion techniques. There should always be some element of chance involved IMO.

Why should the high druid, who at that point in time is the one in control and power, give in to this stranger? Listen to them yes, since they helped out, but doesn't mean they are best friends now.

I feel people are spoiled from many modern games that let players do everything, be everyone, join every faction, romance every character, be friends with everyone, succeed at everything, be the all powerful one.

How boring. I do like becoming powerful and somewhat special but I want to earn it, not have it handed to me.

EDIT/PS - To be on the safe side, this is only me and my opinion. I know people like to play different ways. I happen to love BG3 as it is and hence I am rather passionate about it and worry it might get changed too much and then I would not enjoy it as much. Hence why I commented even though I understand other people want it another way.

Also an option to hide the dice is fine by me. While I found I liked the dice (I thought I would hate it at first) that isn't the key thing - its the mix of my skill and ability influencing, but not guaranteeing, the outcome.

I already play more than enough games where it is all binary - either I have the skill/perk/level to do X or I don't. I find I enjoyed the sense of risk and adrenaline and excitement of having a bit more chance in things.
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November 18th, 2020, 02:39
One way to both retain the randomness of dice rolls but also give players the ability to positively influence those dice rolls is to give bonuses based on things the player has done. This is something good P&P GMs do also. You're trying to persuade someone? Perhaps you've previously helped a friend of theirs. Perhaps you've snuck into their room and read a private document that gives you information and leverage to go with it. Perhaps you brutally killed their friend, and make your roll harder. Etc, etc. I'd prefer something that rewards the thorough, thoughtful player in that fashion rather than something that just hands success to the player on a silver platter.
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November 18th, 2020, 03:10
I've said it before just do what the enhanced edition of OS2 did. Allow the player to chose what mode he/she wants to play. Basically story mode to hardcore D&D rules.

Link - https://divinityoriginalsin2.wiki.fe…fficulty+Modes
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November 18th, 2020, 04:22
I'd rather save scum than have the difficulty reduced, but I'm stubborn like that.
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November 18th, 2020, 09:39
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
I've said it before if I want dice and a DM I'll play the table-top version. This is a CRPG.
Well I'm happy if this is easily possible for you. But for me getting the boys and girls together on a table only happens 3-4 times a year due to jobs and families. So I can not just play the tabletop version and thus I'm happy for a game which gives me something similar.

Originally Posted by wolfgrimdark View Post
I feel people are spoiled from many modern games that let players do everything, be everyone, join every faction, romance every character, be friends with everyone, succeed at everything, be the all powerful one.
Agreed. What I want is that my character(s) succeed in stuff they specialized in, where I maximized the skills/feats/whatever. The other things should be more difficult or not possible at all.
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November 18th, 2020, 15:24
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Well the comments show tastes are different. Personally I prefer binary skill checks instead of dice rolls. At least Larain is listening to every buyer to change the game.
What exactly is the difference? Isn't the outcome for a regular dice roll still binary?
(Sorry, I don't follow the development closely.)

Like I said above just implement game modes for different players. Problem solved.
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November 18th, 2020, 15:30
After reading this article, I have the queasy feeling that Larian is trying to please as many people as possible rather than assuming their identity. And the result is a bit like that today, an undecided game, half-in half-out D&D. At some point you have take a position, as long as it's not outrageously off. Let's hope they find their way, I'm sure they will.

Not sure I care much for this analytics show-off either.
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November 18th, 2020, 15:34
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Like I said above just implement game modes for different players. Problem solved.
Actually, that shouldn't be very hard, and it would certainly please a lot of people.

Originally Posted by Morrandir View Post
What exactly is the difference? Isn't the outcome for a regular dice roll still binary?
I also think that may have been a little overdone. Sometimes I'd just have it the old way too, it doesn't always make sense to roll everything. The animation is nice though
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November 18th, 2020, 16:10
If I understand what they are talking about here, it’s having your success and failure at a major story point determined purely by a dice roll. So If your convincing bandits to surrender and not kill a child you might succeed 80% of the time with a diplomat character and 20% of the time with an undiplomatic combat monster. But the diplomat can still get unlucky and fail and the combat monster can always save scum until they get the same benefit as the diplomat.

I also dislike that system. It works fine in pen and paper where nobody is saving and you have to keep your results. But for a crpg I must prefer a system like new Vegas where you get different guaranteed results depending on your skill levels.
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November 18th, 2020, 16:17
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Swen admitted the Early Access version is the hardest difficultly. So those beloved dice have it out out for you really bad. Basically the number are mostly against you.
That's the bit I think gets confused, though. The dice don't have it out for you, and neither does the RNG of the software. It might be that the game has too many difficult situations where the odds of success are low, but it has nothing to with how the randomness is generated.

I can understand not wanting to see the dice, and I'd prefer to turn that off, but I don't get the folks who complain about the RNG.
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November 18th, 2020, 16:27
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Guess you can't read then it's in the interview.

We opted to just go pure RNG for the initial release in early access just to see what was going to happen, he explains. We see the people that have really bad luck, and they are really, really angry over it. So, we're going to help them. We're going to add modes to the game that are going to go with things like a loaded die, and that's going to be a bit more manageable. We'll still keep the option of having full RNG in there. We'll experiment with that throughout early access, and see what we should make the default option. That's one of the things that will be driven by the analytics.
Right out of the developers mouth.
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November 18th, 2020, 16:35
I'm not really sure what that quote has to do with it, either.

What they're saying is pretty straightforward, and so is my point. They know that many people don't like the degree of chance that comes from real RNG, simulating real die rolls. So, they're talking about implementing loaded dice in your favour, and other tricks, to make those people happier. But that has nothing to do with the dice or the RNG being "against you" in the current game.
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November 18th, 2020, 16:44
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Swen admitted the Early Access version is the hardest difficultly. So those beloved dice have it out out for you really bad. Basically the number are mostly against you.
So that would be "only" be a matter of a too high difficulty (difficulty checks, DC, in D&D speak).
I still don't get what you meant with binary skill checks vs dice rolls.

Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
If I understand what they are talking about here, itâ‚„s having your success and failure at a major story point determined purely by a dice roll. So If your convincing bandits to surrender and not kill a child you might succeed 80% of the time with a diplomat character and 20% of the time with an undiplomatic combat monster. But the diplomat can still get unlucky and fail and the combat monster can always save scum until they get the same benefit as the diplomat.
Ah, I see.
Until 3.5ed this problem was tackled with take 10/20. That means in certain situations (when you're not distracted / have a lot of time) you don't roll a dice but just add 10/20 to your skill value to overcome the DC. So the result is not random. Your skill value has just to be high enough.
Thus it's not possible that an expert fails and a novice suceeds in the same challenge.

In 5ed this is done by "Passive Checks" or "Multiple Checks" rules which work similar.
I think it would be a good thing if a similar mechanic was implemented in BG3.

I also dislike that system. It works fine in pen and paper where nobody is saving and you have to keep your results. But for a crpg I must prefer a system like new Vegas where you get different guaranteed results depending on your skill levels.
Yep, I see what you mean. But I think it's a matter of taste. There are players who want the possibility to fail from time to time.
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Last edited by Morrandir; November 18th, 2020 at 17:42.
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November 18th, 2020, 16:50
Couch failed his saving throw vs butthurt in this matter. The dice were loaded against him.
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November 18th, 2020, 17:25
Originally Posted by Morrandir View Post
So that would be "only" be a matter of a too high difficulty (difficulty checks, DC, in D&D speak).
I still don't get what you meant binary skill checks vs dice rolls.

Ah, I see.
Until 3.5ed this problem was tackled with take 10/20. That means in certain situations (when you're not distracted / have a lot of time) you don't roll a dice but just add 10/20 to your skill value to overcome the DC. So he result is not random. Your skill value has just to be high enough.
Thus it's not possible that an expert fails and a novice suceeds in the same challenge.

In 5ed this is done by "Passive Checks" or "Multiple Checks" which work similar.
I think it woould be a good thing if a similar mechanic was implemented in BG3.

Yep, I see what you mean. But I think it's a matter of taste. There are players who want the possibility to fail from time to time.
Right so having someone do the equivalent of take 10 for all important story based skill checks would be my preference. I don't mind randomness when I'm avoiding a trap or doing something minor like that, but for major things I'd rather it not come down to random rolls and save scumming, as that can make my character build choices feel less important.

The other option is just to have a more complicated system for determining things like major diplomatic encounters than just having one roll. After all combat isn't determined with a single roll. A simple example would be having 5 different diplomatic rolls, with success being best 3 of 5. That way the 80% diplomatic guy will almost always make it, but there's still a slim chance of failure.
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November 18th, 2020, 17:41
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
Right so having someone do the equivalent of take 10 for all important story based skill checks would be my preference. I don't mind randomness when I'm avoiding a trap or doing something minor like that, but for major things I'd rather it not come down to random rolls and save scumming, as that can make my character build choices feel less important.
Yep, as said before if I have a chatacter with maximized skill then there shouldn't be a chance of failure for story-relevant checks. I also tend to save scum if that's not the case.

The other option is just to have a more complicated system for determining things like major diplomatic encounters than just having one roll. After all combat isn't determined with a single roll. A simple example would be having 5 different diplomatic rolls, with success being best 3 of 5. That way the 80% diplomatic guy will almost always make it, but there's still a slim chance of failure.
Yep, can also done with D20 mechanics.
I also like outcomes where in case of a failure you aren't completey cut from your choice, but have a disadvantage. For exampe when trying to persuade someone to do something and if the check fails you need to bribe him instead.
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November 18th, 2020, 18:26
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
I'm done with these threads. It's always the same comments, with the same repiles, from the same posters. People can't seem to accept another point of view anymore.
Keep in mind that is a two-way street. Your are voicing your opinion and others are voicing theirs.

If you keep posting comments about your own view point you have to accept others will want to do the same.
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November 18th, 2020, 18:30
Originally Posted by Morrandir View Post
Yep, as said before if I have a chatacter with maximized skill then there shouldn't be a chance of failure for story-relevant checks. I also tend to save scum if that's not the case.

Yep, can also done with D20 mechanics.
I also like outcomes where in case of a failure you aren't completey cut from your choice, but have a disadvantage. For exampe when trying to persuade someone to do something and if the check fails you need to bribe him instead.
Aye having different options is a very good idea. If you fail on one maybe you get another option - that may cost something or have some other negative consequence.
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