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Full party control

In my opinion having full party control is requirement for proper D&D feel. But, as I understand, Trent said that's not an option. What do you think? Are you happy with only main character control or you also would like to have proper party control, just like in every IE game?

booinyoureyes
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Comments

  • flyinghtcherflyinghtcher Member Posts: 21
    Seems mad DM's can do it, yet players can't

  • cherryzerocherryzero Member Posts: 129
    This was touched on in the henchman AI thread. Personally, yes, I’d prefer it for a variety of reasons... but I don’t think it’s ever going to happen.

  • 1varangian1varangian Member Posts: 367
    NWN2 did Full Party control in Storm of Zehir.

    The overland map was a great concept as well. It gives a good sense of distance and scale.

    ThorssonBalrog99sarevok57booinyoureyes
  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 2,125
    NWN2 did full party control in NWN2.

    CvijetaMirandelMrpenfold666
  • cherryzerocherryzero Member Posts: 129
    I noticed yesterday playing the module The Accursed Tower, which is really well made and worth the playthrough if you haven’t had the chance, I had to keep reloading battles because my multiple henchmen would just do the dumbest things, like ranged characters charging into melee range because they lost line of site, then continuing to fire away while getting cut down in melee. Or everyone crowding a choke point and again getting cut down while my tanks were stuck in the back.

    I ended up having to issue commands to get everyone to stand still, then attack nearest as I tried to lure enemies to my group...

    Which reminded me how clunky it is to organize combat by issuing commands. Better AI would definitely help, but the ability to just click on a henchman and move them to where you want them to move would be so much more efficient.

    And tactical. With the current state of henchmen I feel there is always as much luck as tactics involved in a challenging fight.

    sarevok57
  • cherryzerocherryzero Member Posts: 129
    True, but there are many people who play this game as single players, and many (most?) modules built to accommodate this style of play. Why not make it smoother?

    Another thing that would help greatly with party control on the UI side, having to use the radial menu to open a henchman inventory or get them to use a special ability is pretty clunky too.

    I know this is more of a UI issue, but it’s one full party control would presumably fix.

  • mangamusclemangamuscle Member Posts: 30
    Fardragon said:

    In "proper" D&D each player only controls one character.

    I would say that in multiplayer (whether it is tabletop or computer generated) players control one character, but in single player computer games (D&D or otherwise) it has been common to have one player control ~6 characters at the same time, so I disagree it is a improper playing style.

    If full party control is not in the cards, then at least an improvement in AI for players than want to play with a full party but dislike their fellow party members doing stupid things when at combat (or simply getting stuck on a wall).

    DrHappyAngryGrymlordesarevok57Raduziel
  • SaintPhillipSaintPhillip Member Posts: 59
    edited December 2017
    Fardragon said:

    In "proper" D&D each player only controls one character.

    Sort of-

    in "proper" D&D we can usually find hirelings who are mostly DM controlled (not always) but act in a realistic manner.

    I'm playing through the OC and I cannot believe how dumb the Ai is- After being fully rested and running upon a trash mob my caster henchmen will throw every nuke they have at it. For a wielder of magic with an intellect surpassing Einstein they sure act dumb. The 'dm' will usually allow us to talk to the henchmen and plan strategies (which they will usually follow) which is very much akin to giving commands.

    The whole "add full party control" debate is probably pointless because I doubt they will add it but its something I would like to see. Adding some strategy and tactics it allow a more realistic game and is better than having henchmen who are supposed to be seasoned adventurers run into a room full bore and aggro everything- Or throw out every nuke they have at a single trash mob when they would know that we are close to a boss fight.

    Things like that make me want to scream.

    GrymlordeRaduziel
  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 2,125
    Given how many single player modules were made for NWN, is it really a failure?

  • cherryzerocherryzero Member Posts: 129
    It is definitely a detriment to the single player experience, which does seem to be the bulk of how this game is played.

    I haven’t played NWN in years until I downloaded the headstart... and I had forgotten how frustrating it can be, not only to have terribly dumb AI, but even just to open a henchman’s inventory, or get them to move off a trigger.

    ThorssonRaduziel
  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 2,125
    Yes, but did it fail? I don't think it did. I agree that full party control is a better option, but I question whether NWN's solution is really as bad as people are saying it is.

    FardragonTorgrimmer
  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 2,125
    I didn't say NWN succeeded because of party control. Rather I said it didn't fail because of the lack.

    I don't expect we'll get full party control in EE.

  • cherryzerocherryzero Member Posts: 129
    I don’t think we’ll get it either...

    Interestingly enough it seems like, from Trent’s live stream comments on it, it’s not on the table more because of a design decision in how the game should be played, a la multiplayer as opposed to the type of single player games that the IE engine gave us.

    But the number of single player modules- most with at least partially developed henchmen- suggests the single player story driven experience (I think Trent referred to the BG games as more like books) is actually mostly how the game is played.

    BelgarathMTH
  • mangamusclemangamuscle Member Posts: 30

    But the number of single player modules- most with at least partially developed henchmen- suggests the single player story driven experience (I think Trent referred to the BG games as more like books) is actually mostly how the game is played.

    That would be an inaccurate assessment, there are no single player multi-party modules simply because the NWN engine does not allow it out of the box; you need to add the OHS Henchman System which is not compatible with other popular scripts (Tony K. Battle AI or PrC) and does not work 100% (due to the NWN engine limitations) it the best of cases.

    That is akin to saying people was not interested in color games when the first macintoshs only had screens with black/white capacity.

  • cherryzerocherryzero Member Posts: 129
    There are plenty of mods with multiple henchmen, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

    I meant the game is mostly played as a single player, story driven experience as opposed to a multiplayer DM guided experience.

    I’m not valuing one experience over the other, just pointing out how most people play it.

  • PL1PL1 Member Posts: 31
    edited January 2018
    Edit: Duplicate post edited out

    Post edited by PL1 on
    Grymlorde
  • mangamusclemangamuscle Member Posts: 30

    I meant the game is mostly played as a single player, story driven experience as opposed to a multiplayer DM guided experience.

    But here we are really speaking of neither single player (with or without henchmen) or multiplayer (one character per player), but about a third player experience that with the current engine is out of reach, single player with full control over a party of 2~8 characters (like in the SSI gold box series of old).

  • cherryzerocherryzero Member Posts: 129

    I meant the game is mostly played as a single player, story driven experience as opposed to a multiplayer DM guided experience.

    But here we are really speaking of neither single player (with or without henchmen) or multiplayer (one character per player), but about a third player experience that with the current engine is out of reach, single player with full control over a party of 2~8 characters (like in the SSI gold box series of old).

    I’m not sure that I follow. We are speaking specifically about single player with henchmen.

  • PL1PL1 Member Posts: 31

    I don’t think we’ll get it either...

    Interestingly enough it seems like, from Trent’s live stream comments on it, it’s not on the table more because of a design decision in how the game should be played, a la multiplayer as opposed to the type of single player games that the IE engine gave us.

    But the number of single player modules- most with at least partially developed henchmen- suggests the single player story driven experience (I think Trent referred to the BG games as more like books) is actually mostly how the game is played.

    Yeah, that kind of surprises me. I would have expected him to cite technical difficulties or not having enough time or resources to do it, not for him to basically say "Single-player full party control is badwrongfun." Maybe he's just unaware of how many people only play single-player? I don't know. I bought NWN strictly for single-player, and I have no real interest in multiplayer at all.

    Here's the quote I think you're referring to:

    Neverwinter Nights was never intended to be a Baldur’s Gate game. Baldur’s Gate poses the question of “what if you were the sole hero of a D&D adventure and you met interesting companion NPCs along the way”.

    I don't quite get it, because if you ask me, the "sole hero of a D&D adventure" thing is more applicable to NWN than it is to BG. So I'm not sure what he's getting at here.

    What's interesting is that he also said this:

    We added companions into NWN to address playing the game as a single class character and needing access to other skillsets to fully enjoy the game.

    So apparently he agrees that party members are necessary and the system works best when it's not just one character, but he believes that giving the player direct control over party members would be crossing some kind of line. I can't say I find that argument particularly compelling.

    Suffice it to say, I completely agree with Lilura's response in her article about this issue:
    https://lilura1.blogspot.com/2017/12/Full-Party-Control-with-Marquee-Selection-is-Where-Its-At.html

    I meant the game is mostly played as a single player, story driven experience as opposed to a multiplayer DM guided experience.

    But here we are really speaking of neither single player (with or without henchmen) or multiplayer (one character per player), but about a third player experience that with the current engine is out of reach, single player with full control over a party of 2~8 characters (like in the SSI gold box series of old).


    I have to agree with cherryzero - I don't quite know what you're talking about here. We're discussing single-player with henchmen, but controllable henchmen. I don't think that's out of the engine's reach.


    I hope that Beamdog will listen to the feedback here and elsewhere, realize how many people want this feature, and add it to the game. No one would lose anything, and a large number of fans would get something they've wanted for years. It would be a huge improvement to the game and open up a lot of possibilities for future modules. If they ultimately decide not to implement it, I'd at least like to see them open up the code enough for the modding community to do it. The latter option seems like something they could do without too much trouble.

    BelgarathMTHcherryzerosarevok57Raduziel
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    I prefer to control my party myself, but I do object to people who try to claim a party (and usually a party of six at that) is the only valid form of RPG.

    With that on mind, lets look at some of the issues. Firstly, the idea that NWN2 has "full party control". It does not. It only lets you control one party member at a time. Whist you can queue instructions for other party members, these are frequently invalidated by movement, causing the rather stupid AI to take over. KotOR also has this issue.

    Secondly, viewpoint. As you increase the party size it becomes harder to undestand what is happening without playing in some variation of a "top down" perspective. I generally reckon the critical party size of this is four. Again an issue for NWN2. Whilst NWN does support "top down" play it means the resources spent on developing other viewpoints are wasted.

    Thirdy, their are the extensive changes made to NWN rules specifically to compensate for the lack of a party. These include, but are not limited too:

    1) hugely boosted familiars
    2) Find Traps spell removing traps
    3) buffed summoning spells
    4) easy healing by resting
    5) plentiful healing potions

    Which raises the issue: should these changes be reversed if party control is added to the game?

    BelgarathMTHGrymlordeTorgrimmer
  • PL1PL1 Member Posts: 31
    Fardragon said:

    I prefer to control my party myself, but I do object to people who try to claim a party (and usually a party of six at that) is the only valid form of RPG.

    I don't think that's what FPC proponents are saying. There are RPGs I enjoy that don't have a fully-controlled party, like Skyrim. But I also really want party control in NWN, because I think having that option would make the game better and give module creators more room to make challenging encounters.
    Fardragon said:

    With that on mind, lets look at some of the issues. Firstly, the idea that NWN2 has "full party control". It does not. It only lets you control one party member at a time. Whist you can queue instructions for other party members, these are frequently invalidated by movement, causing the rather stupid AI to take over. KotOR also has this issue.

    That's a problem with the AI, not with the idea of controllable party members. Is it really any better to allow the stupid AI to act completely on its own? At least direct control gives you a chance to mitigate the AI's stupidity. And when people say "full party control", they mean you can directly control the actions of everyone in your party, even if it has to be done one at a time. Hence, full control over the party, or full party control. I don't think people are asking for an RTS.
    Fardragon said:

    Secondly, viewpoint. As you increase the party size it becomes harder to undestand what is happening without playing in some variation of a "top down" perspective. I generally reckon the critical party size of this is four. Again an issue for NWN2. Whilst NWN does support "top down" play it means the resources spent on developing other viewpoints are wasted.

    Are they planning to add new viewpoints? I haven't heard that they are. If they're not adding any new viewpoints, no resources are going to waste.
    Fardragon said:

    Thirdy, their are the extensive changes made to NWN rules specifically to compensate for the lack of a party. These include, but are not limited too:

    1) hugely boosted familiars
    2) Find Traps spell removing traps
    3) buffed summoning spells
    4) easy healing by resting
    5) plentiful healing potions

    Which raises the issue: should these changes be reversed if party control is added to the game?

    I think individual modules could be balanced around the combination of those elements and full party control. Aren't all of those things moddable anyway? Resting and potion quantity certainly are. Resting isn't just about healing, either. It's also about getting spells back so that spellcasters don't have to spend all their time missing with a crossbow. Personally, I'd like to see a system that gives you another way to recover spells, like a mana potion equivalent, and also restricts resting so you can't fully heal all the time.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,649
    I'm for NWN2 style party control, but if that's simply not going to happen for whatever reason, I would settle for access to companion inventory and dialog-box based controls like we see in Savant's "Saga of Aielund", implemented for the NWN OC.

    That doesn't seem to me like it should be that big of a deal to do, unless there's some hard-coding in the OC standing in the way. I know if I attempt to access a companion's inventory in the OC, it says "The original campaign does not support this function."

    Why not? Is there a reason it can't be done, or is it just that the original developers never had time or desire to backport the features?

    Since Trent *was* an "original developer", his attitude seems to be the official one, that they only did a single-player campaign because they had to, not because they wanted to. They were all about the multi-player potential of their game engine, apparently.

    I hope that Trent can be convinced to change this attitude. I think we single players are a bigger portion of the market for NWN than he seems to think at this time.

    I know I'd pay more cash for single player DLC that appealed to me, if it were reasonably priced. I've already given them $40 for the deluxe NWN:EE, and I was happy to do so, to support the project.

    It was worth it, as @BelleSorciere says , just to have a useable version of the game that works "out of the box." I was one of many who had constant trouble getting GoG NWN to work properly, on my past three computers.

  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    I believe the henchmen in the OC are a different type of entity to companions in HotU and later modules. It would be a matter of deleting all the henchmen and replacing them with the new type. Which sounds straightforward enough, but because the Henchmen are referenced in multiple places would involve a lot of donkey-work and have a high probability of introducing new bugs.

    So it's really just a cost-benefit equation. Now I've played the OC all the way though once, and I really can't see myself playing it though ever again, revamped henchmen or not.

  • cherryzerocherryzero Member Posts: 129
    I had not seen Lilura’s blogpost, thanks for linking it PL1. That pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter. It’s really well laid out and reasoned.

  • ildaronildaron Member Posts: 52
    This is will be an unpopular viewpoint, yet this is my thoughts on the subject. I am not interested in full party control. I am also not against this feature being added for those who desire it. I prefer the NPCs behaving in their scripted fashion.

    My reasons for this is, the companions in the story are not my player character. I did not create them, they have their own backstory, history, goals and dreams. They are NPCs. They should level up as they see fit and fight as suits their personality in game. With direct party control all NPCs fight on the player’s personality, not the NPC’s personality.

    I would enjoy seeing the classic party of 4-6, I would love it if builders are able to customize how cleric 1 vs cleric 2 behaves in combat (A cleric of Ilmater should be more healing focused while a cleric of Tempus is smiting those who stand in his way).

    DerpCityAncarionGrymlordesolodung
  • PL1PL1 Member Posts: 31
    Fardragon said:

    I believe the henchmen in the OC are a different type of entity to companions in HotU and later modules. It would be a matter of deleting all the henchmen and replacing them with the new type. Which sounds straightforward enough, but because the Henchmen are referenced in multiple places would involve a lot of donkey-work and have a high probability of introducing new bugs.

    So it's really just a cost-benefit equation. Now I've played the OC all the way though once, and I really can't see myself playing it though ever again, revamped henchmen or not.

    If I remember correctly, the OC doesn't actually level up the henchmen. Instead, it replaces them with a completely new, higher-level NPC with the same name, portrait, etc. So even if you could give them items, those items would disappear when the NPC gets replaced.

    ildaron said:

    This is will be an unpopular viewpoint, yet this is my thoughts on the subject. I am not interested in full party control. I am also not against this feature being added for those who desire it. I prefer the NPCs behaving in their scripted fashion.

    Well, at least you're not against the existence of FPC as an option for those who want it. That's more than I can say for some of the other people I've discussed this issue with, who are vehemently against FPC implementation on principle even if it doesn't affect them at all.
    ildaron said:

    My reasons for this is, the companions in the story are not my player character. I did not create them, they have their own backstory, history, goals and dreams. They are NPCs. They should level up as they see fit and fight as suits their personality in game. With direct party control all NPCs fight on the player’s personality, not the NPC’s personality.

    I suppose I just compartmentalize things differently. To me, an NPC's personality comes through in their dialogue, their interactions with the player character, and the overarching plot. Combat is more of a technical thing that's kind of in its own sphere. Besides, if we were to say that their combat behavior reflects their personality, we'd be forced to conclude that every companion in every NWN1 module is an idiot. Especially the spellcasters.


    cherryzeroFardragon
This discussion has been closed.