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Companions do nothing??

Hey, Im not sure if this is what the original Baldurs Gate did but do you have to micromanage every bit of your companions in the game? Because even when Party AI is enabled, the companions dont follow me, or they dont attack enemies that attack me until I am very close to them. WTF is that about? Is that a glitch? Or are you suppose to micromanage your party members? Even for just following you? Moving? Attacking enemies with spells and abilities? Yes I am new to Baldurs Gate, and the whole D&D concept so go easy on me. Are you suppose to micromanage your companions this heavily?



  • etaglocetagloc Member Posts: 349
  • lotrofan15lotrofan15 Member Posts: 11
    What is that? Can that make me stop micromanaging these guys, because I have played KOTOR, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect, the companions in those games do the basic job of following you and casting spells(or shooting) when enemies are in sight. The last thing I should worry about is my companions not automatically following me and not attacking with their spells that I assigned them...if they even attack at all.....

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,639
    You can right-click on each of their portraits separately, and then go to "customize", and "scripts". They have a "default", which basically doesn't do anything. Change it to "ranged", or whatever else you want.

    One caution: No matter what script you select, you will never get them to do very well based on AI alone. The short answer to your question, is, yes, you have to micromanage them if you want to succeed in the game.

  • lotrofan15lotrofan15 Member Posts: 11
    So I cant make them follow me automatically? Or use assigned spells by themselves?

  • Stargazer5781Stargazer5781 Member Posts: 182
    Yes, you do have to micromanage your whole party. Baldur's gate isn't like KOTOR and other games where you're primarily controlling one character and the others are automated, you control the whole party. You can automate some things by going into your character's profile, clicking on "customize" and then "scripts." This will give them limited AI, but it's not very smart. There are better AI scripts out there, most notably the e-series

    but yeah, think of the game like 70% RPG 30% tactical strategy game.

  • CommunardCommunard Member Posts: 556
    edited November 2012

    So I cant make them follow me automatically? Or use assigned spells by themselves?

    Well, if you select all party members then you can move everyone as a group (in a formation you choose), so "following" isn't an issue. It is the button on the lower right. You can also get everyone to attack one target with this, but generally it is better to manage attacks individually. You have a lot more control over your NPCs in Baldur's Gate than in more modern RPGs, which I find allows better tactical planning. I'd recommend doing the tutorial if you are this new to the game.

  • tpowltpowl Member Posts: 35
    Holy moly. I did NOT know this. Oh man imagine I have to micromanage everyone in the game. I can't bear the thought

  • nemiafalanemiafala Member Posts: 18
    You can select the entire party and have them all move in a formation, which in my opinion isn't any more inconvenient than having them run after you in a shapeless blob. For one thing, you can always make sure that your mages are behind your fighters.
    You do have to micromanage your spellcasters. Before getting too annoyed by this, keep in mind that the magic system in this game is based on memorized spells rather than a short spell list and a pool of mana/force. My advice is to have them equipped with a sling or darts so they can still do a bit of damage when they run out of magic.

  • lotrofan15lotrofan15 Member Posts: 11
    Yea I am not a huge micromanaging kind of guy. I loved Dragon Age, because I could micromanage them, but in ways of HOW to attack. Everything else, they did automatically,the basic things, like following you, using spells automatically, or healing automatically. In BG....they cant even do that....I like tactical RPG's but if you have to go into that much micromanaging just so they can follow you or do basic attacks, that borders on annoying....Your right Tpowl. I did not know this either....Ill try BG for a few more hours, but if the annoyance of managing every little detail about them doesnt wear off, I might have to pass and go back to Dragon Age..or Mass Effect, they released new DLC for ME3 today.....

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,639
    In the easier battles, there is a good way to get everybody to use their default attacks quickly and easily. Just hold down the left mouse button at any point on the ground, and draw a little rectangle, which will show up as green lines, around all your party. This is called "marquee select". Or, you can also left click the "select all" button.

    This will cause the buttons in your toolbar at the bottom of the screen to change. Toward the left, you will see a sword icon. Left click on it, and your entire party will attack. Nifty, huh? Just make sure your "squishy" party members have a ranged weapon equipped (usually, sling, darts, bow, or crossbow. sometimes throwing daggers).

    As for magic, this game uses what is called a "Vancian" casting system. (Named after a famous fantasy author.) Once you cast a memorized spell, it is gone until you can rest and meditate to restore the mystical words and gestures to your mind once again. In practice, this means that you do need to micromanage every spell cast. Magic is precious, and you must NOT waste it. Spells should only be cast during the "omg" moments when it is a case of use a spell, or everybody in your party dies.

  • foolstonefoolstone Member Posts: 37
    Solo the game, then you wont have any issue about the micromanage.

  • lotrofan15lotrofan15 Member Posts: 11
    They said its impossible to actually solo it yourself :( And besides I like companions.....when I dont have to micromanage every detail in them :(

  • nemiafalanemiafala Member Posts: 18
    edited November 2012
    Something else that might be worth mentioning: Thieves aren't on constant detect traps mode in this game, so if you're in a dungeon, make sure you turn that on. You might also look at the auto-pausing options to see if any of them would help you learn to micromanage.

    Also, this just occurred to me: You can only have 5 party members besides yourself at any time, and if you decide to switch them out, you don't have a camp where they go and wait patiently for you to decide they will be useful again. I think they'll stay where you left them, but I am fairly sure they won't magically gain levels if, say, you drop Imoen off at the beginning because you're playing a thief then decide to run back and pick her up 5 levels later for some reason.
    If you already knew these things, sorry for assuming you might not, but I remember being surprised at how easy KOTOR and Dragon Age made it to switch out your party and decided that might go both ways.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,639
    It's not impossible to solo. Far from it. However, you must be an expert at the game with a whole heckuva lot of metagaming preknowledge to do so successfully. A first-timer needs the total party.

    Succeeding on your first time through depends upon learning how to manage a party. This is very, very different from any game that has been produced and marketed in the last 10 years.

    In "the golden age" of video game production, players usually had played tabletop Dungeons and Dragons face to face with their friends, and they wanted a strategic challenge in their computer games. Times were different during the golden age. Nobody wanted a simple, easy gaming experience.

    "In our day, we walked to school barefoot, in three feet of snow!"

  • waardeniuswaardenius Member Posts: 58
    I'm not sure if I understand the issue here. First of all, companions "following" you isn't really a valid term: either you move one character or several, depending on what suits you for the moment. Do you want to move as a whole group? Fine, just select all the characters.

    As for spells, the idea of fully automated spellcasters just isn't feasible in BG because of the way magic in general works. A mage throwing fireball or cloudkill whenever he pleases would mean sure death for the entire party, for instance.

    You just have to prepare yourself for a different approach. You will be richly awarded in time.

  • bbearbbear Member Posts: 1,180
    Also, the hotkey for selecting the entire party is the plus/equal sign key. The number 1 selects the top-most character, 2 for second character and so on until 6. The numbers 7,8,9,0 and minus/underscore keys are selecting smaller groups.

  • waardeniuswaardenius Member Posts: 58
    There is also no such thing as "basic" spellcasting, in terms of continuously firing bolts of energy at your foes much like you would arrows. Neither is healing spells made to be spammed during an entire battle.

  • waardeniuswaardenius Member Posts: 58

    @waardenius, I believe we are starting to get topics and questions from younger people who have never experienced anything but "consolitized" games. It started with SW:KOTOR. And they have Dragon Age, the Elder Scrolls (especially Obivion and Skyrim) as their frames of reference.

    The playing of a fantasy RPG that actually requires you to manage a party is alien to them.

    I think you are quite right. For some reason it has become commonplace to expect an "fps" approach to the tactical side of rpgs, rather than something more akin to a strategy game.

  • VencedorVencedor Member Posts: 7
    You can choose a script that will make spellcasters use their assigned spells automatically in combat. In terms of following you automatically, the select all button on the bottom right hand corner of your screen is a pretty easy way to keep them with you (hotkey is '=' ). There is no automatic follow function.

    Really though, you will find the game more interesting and satisfying if you do the micromanagement yourself.

  • DaelricDaelric Member Posts: 266
    This guy is totally not selecting the whole party at once, and as for the people who do not like to micromanage a HUUUGE party of *wait for it*...... 6... this might not be the game for you.

  • lotrofan15lotrofan15 Member Posts: 11
    Belgara, waard, its just not our style of gaming. Im 33, I have seen many RPGs come and go. Though Baldurs Gate passed me by at the time, other RPGs like Skyrim and KotOR were kick ass fun games to play. Yes they may have made RPGs easier because of it but it depends on your perspective. If you like to be 100% completely immersed in RPGs and want both the benefits and the hardships like survival, companion spells that can actually hurt your group and stuff like that, then good for you. However, there is the other perspective that people just want a fun RPG to get into. The hardships that would come with BG, Neverwinter and so on would be a turn off to casual players. I am a casual player in some genres and hardcore in others. In strategy games, I am a hardcore gamer. In RPGs, I just like the idea of picking up something like KOTOr or ME and having some awesome immersive fun without dealing with all the hardships that come with it....

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,639
    @lotrofan15, it seems to me like you just said "Baldur's Gate" is not a game for me, especially if you don't like Neverwinter Nights, which is a huge step easier than BG.

  • SornSorn Member Posts: 41
    Then baldur's gate probably isn't the best game for you. Or, focus on Baldur's Gate as a strategy game instead of an RPG.

  • ChildofBhaal599ChildofBhaal599 Member Posts: 1,781
    lol i laugh that all my friends cannot stand this kind of stuff. i am 17 and played bg first time last summer, and i love it. loving the enhanced edition a lot :)

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,307
    the game is not heavy on micromanagement. you just need to utilize the following tips:

    0. use autopause when enemy spotted, but other than that, don't waste time pausing needlessly all the time (unless you have to of course)
    1. use the select-all-characters button (and all the other buttons for character selection to minimize clicking)
    2. always use formations (they're all very useful) and rotate formations so your front row is facing the enemy (the best formations are the following: 3x2 rectangle, rotated to the side so you have 3 in the front and 3 in the back, and the star formation which is the best when the enemies come from all sides)
    3. position close to the enemy group, wait for enemies to come for you and when they come really close press the AI key to activate your fighter row and pulverize them - use the fighter agressive script for the front row, even if they are effectivey defending the back row, instead of charging at the enemies.
    4. choose a target for a ranged attack from the back row manually (a passive script can work fine here as well IIRC)
    5. while the battle goes on, you don't always have to pause to use spells and abilities, there are hotkeys for that too, for example, it's easy to select magic missile via hotkeys while unpaused and do so repeatedly for several spellcasters (takes a little getting used to, but it's still easy).
    (*** always use healing during combat. keep the healer in the back row, and whenever somebody is hit, even for as little as 3hp, heal that character instantly. - don't play without a dedicated healer because that requires tons more micromanaging)

    however, don't use spellcasting scripts, they look like they save you time and clicks but they just make you reload the game most of the time from my experience.

    battles are quick in this game. even though you control the characters directly and have to use pause pretty often, there are no enemies with a retardedly high HP that take eons to kill like in many modern "RPGs". the better you assess the situation in the beginning the less micromanaging you'll have to do - when you play the battles shrewdly, the game becomes a much shorter and more condensed experience and probably more exciting and fun that most any other game you've played.

    and another time saver - don't run away from large enemy groups and try to draw in enemies one by one. your party can handle everything. be smart and trust it.

  • cloakanddaggercloakanddagger Member Posts: 111
    STEP 1: select the whole party.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    For movement, yeah, you'll have to select everybody. You get used to it pretty quickly, though.

    For combat, there' some basic AI that goes into play, but you're usually better off pausing and treating combat like a tactical RTS-with-pause.

    But keep an eye out for an updated SCS, which greatly improves AI (including friendly NPC AI).

  • MunroMunro Member Posts: 12
    Soloing is very possible, in fact there are whole groups of Baldur's Gate players who dedicate themselves to the task (my brother prefers to play solo himself, because he finds it easier to keep one character alive).

    A few people seem to be having a lot of distaste for the idea of controlling multiple characters at once. If you're a Mass Effect, or Dragon Age fan who has never played Baldur's Gate before, I'd like to stress this point. Do not expect Baldur's Gate to be anything like those games in terms of style and difficulty. Younger gamers might think that us older folks talking about old games being more complicated and difficult is just nostalgia, but in the case of Bioware games it is completely true. Baldur's Gate is much harder and more complicated than games like Mass Effect or Dragon Age. Your entire party can get killed at very early stages when you don't know what you're doing.

    Something I'd bear in mind is that characters only really do stuff every six seconds (bar movement). You might have noticed a spell caster sit there doing nothing for a few seconds before it starts casting a spell. The game is pseudo round based, with a round lasting six seconds. You would only ever need to be giving one command every six seconds for your characters, and with the maximum of six characters this is only going to reach one command per second. This is extremely manageable if you ask me.

  • eyeofthegoateyeofthegoat Member Posts: 26
    The reason why the micro-managing exists is because Baldur's Gate is a game that tries really really really hard to be a video game port of D&D. If you've ever played or seen someone play D&D, you'll realize that each person is responsible for directing what they are doing at ANY given moment. That's why the game gives you that power, so it's not automated, it's all calculated and planned so characters do what YOU want them to do.

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