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Baldur's Gate RTwP vs TB in Baldur's Gate 3 - Discuss!

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Lichtbringer, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. Fairfax Arcane

    Fairfax
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    I forgot about Albion. It is close, but it uses an abstract tactical screen, so it's doesn't fit what I mean. Wasteland is PB, but it's even more abstract.
     
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  2. Strange Fellow Peculiar Patron Sad Loser

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    Not if you divide your party up six ways it isn't. :troll:
     
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  3. Kaivokz Arcane

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    They are seeing into the future and this should be self evident based upon the fact that they act on the person as if they were at the end point of the “round duration.” Say a round lasts 6 seconds. Turn 1 an archer moves to high ground. Now every turn following this everyone will treat the archer as if he is 6 seconds in their future. They target where he will be and they know exactly what he did.

    In RTwP everyone starts moving at once and if someone wants to target the archer on high ground, they will need to wait the 6 seconds it takes him to get there, possibly delaying their ability to do anything to him until the next “round.” Further, you must see how knowing what an enemy will do is going to affect what you choose to do compared to if you both (almost) simultaneously decide. If you don’t know that the archer is going high ground, you might also try to go high ground before realizing he is doing the same, or you might have moved into a vulnerable position not realizing he was going high ground—or if the initiatives were reversed you might go to a vulnerable place and then he might choose to take high ground because he KNOWS where you will be moving, whereas he might have played more cautiously if he did not know your intentions.

    They are different tactical landscapes.
     
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  4. Ismaul Citizen First Class #3333 Patron

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    Please. It's a visual clusterfuck if you pause a lot or not. All characters are acting at the same time with different abilities, and all of their spell/skill effects are flashing at the same time, all in a tight space. It's a significant enough problem that in PoE, the designers have implemented a combat tooltip that shows the icon of the ability being activated over characters' heads. But did you memorize them all to read them at a glance? Are you able to tell at a glance which character is engaged with another? No, to read the battlefield adequately enough, you need to pause. It's no wonder some of the most popular mods for RTwP cRPGs are those that tone down visual effects, for this very reason. RTwP in a party-based cRPG is the bane of combat readability.

    As for the fact that some people play RTwP RPGs by controlling a single character, that really shouldn't be surprising since it's a direct consequence of the system. It's RT with a button to aid you when you have too much shit to manage -- let's call it RT with AIDS -- so an obvious solution is to control only one character in order to make it more managable and rely less on pausing. It's not an aberration since the designers actively support this play style with automation, behavioral presets and stuff. A significant amount of development time is invested there. The other characters play themselves by default, not optimally but most players don't want the hassle to sort through the clusterfuck and micromanage every action when the AI does a fine enough job at their chosen non-maximal difficulty. One could even argue that this is actually how it's meant to be played unless you're one of us tactical autists. Me? I obviously disable all automation and issue all orders myself, pausing every fraction of a second to issue new orders because I want to be the one playing the game. But it plays like ass.

    In fact, I feel like I'm fighting against the system by pausing all the time. See, RTwP is better described as RT with anti-RT. Pausing all the time is a shitty hack to circumvent the RT system at the core. It's like a schizophrenic system making the player fight against its flow. It casts me the player as the system's antagonist, always wrestling to take control over its chaotic unfoldings. I spend more time in paused mode than in RT in any given fight. It's a frustrating experience and a very inelegant design.
     
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  5. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    I hear you, but I find it strange that the need to pause is so often raised as a problem with RTwP. As I say, RTwP is built for pausing. You are supposed to pause all the time. Sometimes people say that's stupid because then the action doesn't "flow", but that seems to be nonsensical, since that would rule TB right out. I don't understand why "pausing all the time" is "fighting against the system". The system is real time with pause. As far as I'm concerned, pausing all the time is playing the system as intended. I'm not sure why spending a lot of time paused is any more frustrating than, say, spending a lot of time staring at a TB game with everybody stuck in a heave-ho idle animation.

    As I say, if I had to pick one, I would pick TB. But I am simply confounded that people often hold RTwP up to a weird yardstick - sometimes it's beaten for not being real-time enough, sometimes it's beaten for not being turn-based enough.
     
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  6. Ismaul Citizen First Class #3333 Patron

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    If I'm to spend most of my time in pause, wouldn't it make sense to have a system built for that? Say, a PwRT rather than a RTwP? That would pretty much be a phase-based system: "paused" decision phase followed by RT action resolution.

    It's also clear that RTwP isn't actually made to be paused frequently. Think of game sounds. You unpause, and the middle of many sound effects assault your ears at once in a nondescript cacophony right before you pause again, like you just opened a nasty toilet, took a involuntary whiff and closed it right back. Fractions of animations play. One wonders, why the fuck did they animate full moves and produce sound effects if I'm only to see and hear steps of it? Assuming I'm the one playing and pausing instead of letting automation play on its own? The whole thing is built for RT, aside from character abilities.

    It leads us to this: RTwP is not a proper system of its own. It's RT, with pause as a shoddy bandaid to manage complexity that was meant for TB. It's trying hard to merge the advantages of RT and TB, but failling. And so that is why it is both criticized for not being RT enough and TB enough. The system's not built for the strengths of one or the other, and the gameplay suffers. That's why some argue that designers should either go for fluidity and build the game around RT, or go for complex tactical decisions and a huge amount of activable abilities and build the game around TB or another non-RT system. At least TB is meant to be in "paused mode" most of the time, animations and sounds are played in full, there's idle stances, all is there to complement the system, unlike in RTwP.
     
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  7. Lacrymas Arcane

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    This is only ever true for positioning and nothing else, but that really can't be helped (maybe). This isn't an issue that requires fixing with RTwP however, it's a ridiculous solution to a non-existent problem.

    RE: Design a system made for RTwP - PoE was supposed to be such a system, but playability and readability are actually worse than most RTwP games because the classes are designed as if it's a solo game and/or TB. Not all classes in the IE games had a ridiculous number of abilities to use every fight.
     
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  8. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    So you're arguing that game sounds and animations get interrupted by pausing = proof that RTwP is not intended to involve a lot of pausing? Isn't that like saying lush vertical environments are proof that a game is supposed to be a platformer? Pausing doesn't break or cause friction in any of BG2's fundamental systems. From a tactical / decision-making point of view, the game does not play worse when you pause a lot - on the contrary, it plays better. I think it's counter-intuitive to go digging so deep. The system's called RT with Pause. The ability to pause is the defining trait that sets it apart from alternatives. You can say you don't like the system, or that it's inferior to TB, or you think it's a dumb thing to aspire to, etc., etc., but I don't know why you'd even try to argue that Real Time With Pause is actually Real Time With Only A Little Bit of Pause But Not A Lot.

    It just sounds like RTwP viscerally annoys you as a aural/visual/temporal clusterfuck and you don't like it. I mean, some people dislike TB because it feels slow, tedious, unrealistic, whatever, to them. I would disagree, but that's a perfectly valid subjective position to have. Doesn't mean that Real Time With Pause is not meant to Pause a lot and Pausing a lot is fighting the system.
     
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  9. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_Squad_Nemesis
    I think this might fit the criteria
     
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  10. Lacrymas Arcane

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    No, he's arguing that if we are expected to spend a lot of time paused, it's better to design the system around that, instead of the alternative. I do indeed pause a lot in the IE games because I feel like I don't have control if I don't. The idea is that RTwP is indeed clusterfucky and you have to clumsily synchronize yourself with 6 different characters since they have different "time flow". That doesn't make it more hardcore, it makes it inhuman in the sense that it isn't designed for humans to comfortably play and make informed decisions. RTwP allows for inefficient use of the system constantly and you miss opportunities all the time for better moves unless you pause literally every half a second or so because of the asynchronous turns of the units. The disadvantage is that it puts a kind of cap on the challenge and encounter design due to its very nature.
     
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  11. Theldaran Liturgist

    Theldaran
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    In BG1 especially, there were lots of trash mobs, that's where the "real time" thing comes in handy, unleash your Fighter and go to town. Otherwise it could have been TB. Solasta and Realms Beyond are going to be full-on DnD TB.

    The transition from a xvart mob to some mean named characters on the same map was interesting, in BG1 you couldn't get overconfident because death was awaiting at every turn.

    But anyway, the engine was originally designed for a strategy game in the vein of Starcraft (or more in-point with the era, Command and Conquer), where the RTwP model is more prominent.
     
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  12. BING XI LAO Age of Wonders fanboy Patron

    BING XI LAO
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    USE AUTOPAUSE, BOOMERS!

    Imagine posting this shit about ''having to keep track of 6 different characters'' and ''having to pause the game a lot''.
    TURN ON THE AUTOPAUSE OPTIONS FOR SPELLCASTING COMPLETE, ENEMY KILLED, AND SO ON!
     
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  13. rusty_shackleford Arcane

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    "just play the game as a bad turn-based game! Why are you complaining?!"
     
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  14. Lacrymas Arcane

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    It doesn't matter whether you pause manually or automatically, you'll still need to pause ridiculously frequently for any kind of fine control. Might as well make it TB.
     
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  15. Ismaul Citizen First Class #3333 Patron

    Ismaul
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    Lacrymas has it right. The sound / animation bit is an example, and you Tigranes would see it if you weren't trying your best to turn the argument into a strawman.

    The point is this: IE games and PoE are entirely designed, including animations, sounds, etc., as if the game was played in pure RT, as if the flow of time was uninterrupted, except for the character classes/builds which are designed as if the game was pure TB, where at every turn you're meant to think about what action and ability you choose to do from a long list of possibilities. You think slapping on the pause button would bridge those two opposing designs, but in truth it's just a bandaid, exacerbated by the player being given control of a full party. It's not good design, you've got two incongruent systems you're trying to stitch together. And it shows in play.

    Auto-pause doesn't change a thing about that, it's a bandaid for the bandaid. And so is AI automation, behavioral presets, slomo combat time flow, etc. The pause bandaid is so problematic it calls for many other bandaids to make it tolerable. But it'll never make the systems a coherent whole.

    What I favor and suggested is that the combat flow and the character build design be harmonized. If you're going to use a RT / RTwP system, build a game where characters have an amount of togglable abilities that make it humanly playable without relying on pausing excessively to play optimally. If you're going to give characters a lot of detailed abilities, and give players multiple characters and much to decide about, then bake it into the design of the combat system, build in the decision time rather than relying on a bandaid.
     
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  16. BING XI LAO Age of Wonders fanboy Patron

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    'Pauses are bad so let's have TB, where everything except one unit is paused at all times, and make it mandatory instead of only occuring when the player wants'
    wtf?

    How the fuck can you like TB but dislike pausing? In RTwP the pauses happen only when you want them to - when there is an actual command to issue - in TB everything is paused all the time, like it or not, except the one moving unit.
     
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  17. BING XI LAO Age of Wonders fanboy Patron

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    "RTwP is hard to control because I don't understand what Autopause is, refuse to read combat logs, and probably also refuse to select party members using their portraits."

    "I don't like games that pause when it's time to issue a command and whenever I choose, I prefer games where all but one unit is completely static at any given time." How on earth is that a good tradeoff?

    And sure, I am butthurt, but that's because of countless gruelling hours wasted on TB in various otherwise excellent RPGs. Imagine how much more tolerable Underrail's huge tribal battles would be in RTwP, or Deep Caverns for that matter. Probably any of Vogel's games would be vastly better because the combat is 90% trash filler anyway. TB is absolutely intolerably slow unless you have small party size, few or no summons, high damage to HP ratio, and relatively few enemies, and even then playing Underrail without speedhack is turbo autism.

    That said, it's true that being able to always instantly react and back off in RTwP casualises positioning a lot. I would advocate adding slow turnrates to everyone to fix that, but then we're into discussing ideal systems instead of thegames that actually get made.
     
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  18. Gobblecock Arcane Zionist Agent

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    I prefer wego turn-based systems.
     
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  19. Cael Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

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    Any DnD RPG that is RTwP is actually turn based with a bit of things tacked on.

    It is evident in NWN, where despite your guy dancing around and looking as if he is changing positions or dodging enemy blows, he is actually just waiting for his turn to come around. The entire idea of initiative shows that this is the case, and it becomes highly evident when you turn rolls on. The order of battle is always the same for a given combat once initiative is rolled. Only in exceptional circumstances, where the RTwP gameplay actually had broken down, does RT matter. For example, having more than 9 attacks a round takes up so much time that you generally don't get to use any attacks over 9. This is possible to achieve with a Ftr4/Monk16 dual-wielding kamas with Haste and Flurry of Blows on (8 attacks main hand, 2 attacks off-hand). A more extreme example would be Monk1/Ftr x/other full BAB class x might give an additional attack with the main hand, assuming biowaste used the correct 3.0 Monk unarmed attack progression.

    BG is the same, except there are even fewer ways to actually break the gameplay as there are fewer abilities in the game.

    There is really nothing in any RTwP RPG that states RT has any bearing on the game. Even the whole "time your attacks to hit a guy at a specific point in time" is merely the TB delay mechanic in play.

    That said, RTwP has a psychological impact on the player as they feel that they don't have time to plan and that the ilusionary chaos is real. That is the real root reason that divides RTwP and TB adherents.
     
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  20. Hot Coldman Educated

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    Wonder what they intend with the story since they are resurrecting a finished trilogy. (BG1, 2, ToB).
     
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  21. Kaivokz Arcane

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    Positioning is a fundamental part of the tactical experience. It also, as I stated, gives you more information to make decisions with. I’m not sure if you intentionally glossed over that or not, but knowing what someone is going to do doesn’t just affect positioning, it can affect every choice you make following it (as it should—that is the very point of turn based games; each player takes a discrete move in response to a prior discrete move).

    Compare readability in Grim Dawn vs. Diablo 3. A modern AAA RTwP game with the budget and talent to make games readable could, but RTwP will never be as appealing to casuals as diablo clones so it will probably never happen. TB is easier to make readable, doesn’t mean it is inherently more readable than RTwP when both are done well.
     
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  22. Thonius Arcane

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    Some modder managed to slap TB mod on Kingmaker and it works splendid... why "legendary" studio cannot do the same?
     
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  23. Terenty Savant

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    The game should be RTwP as all previous BG games. There's nothing wrong with this system its just some people are retarded autists with a stick up their asses
     
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  24. Lacrymas Arcane

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    Only if it matters, and we've already concluded that it doesn't in RTwP.

    Or you do the sensible thing and allow skipping of animations in TB.
     
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  25. Kaivokz Arcane

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    Ah, do you put your mages in front of your fighters when you play RTwP? Do you keep your entire party bunched up even if you suppose the enemy might have a mage with fireball? Do you run everyone straight into a room without scouting ahead and then find yourself in a clusterfuck of kobolds and flaming arrows?

    Infinity engine, I agree, was not as elaborate about positioning as it could have been... but the engine was designed over two decades ago and wasn’t designed primarily for RPGs. I actually think RTwP, like TB, would be better served by hand-crafted, non-trash, non-trivial encounters, so that micromanaging (e.g. positioning of a thief) is rewarding and not a monotonous chore. That people IIT think RTwP is designed for trash combat is evidence that people think RTwP == infinity engine games and no further progress of the system is possible.

    You still haven’t responded to the fact that, in TB, actions progress in discrete steps and so the information with which you make decisions is fundamentally different than in RTwP.

    I have a feeling that there is no argument I could give you that would convince you that RTwP is anything but worse TB.
     
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