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What drove BG3's success, game mechanics or emotional engagement?

sser

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I really do not believe casuals engage with the combat-system that much, nor is it the point-of-entry for them, nor the thing they'll takeaway from it as being the most engaging part of the experience. That's my analysis based off of watching a few ladies in my own life go from, say, Sims games to playing Dragon Age or Mass Effect. I think the takeaway from BG3 is that you can still punch through and get engagement with that consumer base despite being turn-based, whereas there was some unspoken acknowledgment that turn-based was a poison pill for selling like hotcakes.
 

Lhynn

Arcane
Joined
Aug 28, 2013
Messages
9,870
As I've said, games like Toee are just superior tactically to BG3.
Are they though? Its been a long time since I played ToEE, but wasnt it entirely dependant on build and numbers and making a party of diverse 1 trick ponies?
Like ToEE was praised for many things back in the day, but depth of tactics wasnt one of them. Remember having a bunch of dudes that hit hard, a caster that nuked, and maybe someone doing crowd control.

I know I have a lot more options available to me with any given character or party on how to approach a situation in BG3 than I ever had in ToEE. Also the sheer amount of trash fights in ToEE are disheartening, the only reason I never replayed it was knowing how many hobgoblins were waiting for me.

Story is just Forgotten Realms type fan fiction tier wankery.
Agree. I dislike the characters, find the story to be an unfocussed mess.

What else?
So you like BG3 just for the combat?
Not just for the combat, though it is a very strong element of it.

The way you interact with the world matters in ways other rpgs never acknowledged or cared for. A lot of the people you find in chapter 1 will be found the game through the game, so almost every decision the game throws at you has an impact. I liked the game before the honor difficulty was implemented, but after it, it became 100 times better. Having to stick with every failed check and every poor decision you made really makes the game come alive, because unlike almost every other rpg in the market, these matter a whole damn lot. And because you know combat is so reliant on making good calls fucking up is very much your damn fault.

People talk of the pozz, but the pozz is not so bad that the game is unplayable, not even close. You will find it here and there, like in chapter 2 when you find this unlikable butch lesbian, or the troon at the circus in chapter 3, and while thats true, you can scrub them as well. You can make all this shit go away.

As for the writing, if you make the pozz go away, which is entirely possible now, thanks to modding, it becomes very easy to enjoy whats there. Theres a ton of quality content everywhere in the game for the first two acts and part of the third.
Laez for example, the githyanki, is very much a good companion, she is not a snowflake, she does not have main protagonist syndrome, she is just a lowly soldier desperate to make things right one way or another, and earning her loyalty is engaging.
Astarion, faggot that he is, comes with his own set of flaws and insecurities, it is someone you can trample over or someone you can befriend, he is one of the better examples in the genre of the "snob noble" archetype you can find.
The rest are a mixed bag, sure. I have heard Jaheira is good, that Minthara is good, that Minsc is good. I havent used them as companions yet, but I do plan to in the future.

The main problems are aesthetic, niggers everywhere. But you have mods that scrub that shit and turn that game into a proper medieval fantasy setting. So again, while I get judging a game by the state of it unmodded, the complete rejection of it seems like such a knee jerk reaction.
 

Lemming42

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An isometric turn-based Fallout without BG3's dating simulator elements could be expected to sell about as well as Wasteland 3 did.
Yeah, people want stories and worldbuilding, which is no surprise - but the point is that people who come for those things are engaged by the combat and other game systems in a way that virtually nobody was for ME/DA. I've talked to people at work who don't typically really play games and, taking that alongside discussions I'm seeing online, people's consensus is that the combat is good fun and the build options are interesting. That's a big accomplishment, taking people who aren't typically that interested in RPGs and getting them to a point where they're not just tolerating, but actually enjoying the game's combat.

In other words - kissing Astarion might be your main reason to check out the game, but you're still actually engaging with the combat and trying out different builds and party compositions, as opposed to just trying to get the combat over with because it's boring and shitty as is the case in BioWare games.

Fo3 and New Vegas (among other games, of course) demonstrated that people have an interest in C&C and [Skill Check]-type bullshit, BioWare proved that people like vivid casts of companion characters, and BG3 proves that you can get far by combining those elements with TB combat, and that you don't have to compromise on that in the way that BioWare and Bethesda have been so obsessed with doing. There's no obvious reason why a future Fallout game couldn't do the same, especially as people already have an interest in the setting thanks to NV, which has somehow retained cultural relevance 14 years later.

tl;dr: a "casual" player who comes to a game mainly for the characters will still enjoy (and prefer) a proper in-depth combat system compared to a mind-numbing shitty one like Mass Effect, and the public are more than capable of handling "real" turn-based cRPG combat, so future developers demonstrably shouldn't feel the need to dumb down as they have been doing for the last 20 years.
 

boot

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What drove BG3's success, game mechanics or emotional engagement?​


the lack of testosterone in the general population, that think Cleve was talking about
 

hrtshvybrdn

Barely Literate
Joined
Mar 30, 2024
Messages
2
"Astarion you're sucking the Drow Knife-Ears blood whether you like it or not. No, no, don't give me this 'consent' shit, I slept with a god-damned bear two weeks ago so I can literally rip people's rectum's out with a +20 bonus. You will suck that blood, I will get my +2 Strength potion."
you can’t bang halsin until act 3. you meet oblodra in act 2.
Put 10000000000x niggers, troons and other stupid half/humanoid races nobody cares about into your game and make it resemble modern day California.
Recipe for HUGE SUCCESS!!!
along with the dumbass saying his problem is the number of black people - there is ONE canon trans character and there are hardly any characters of color. i fear for y’all if you’re so afraid of black people you can’t go outside

also half-elves are one of the most popular races to play in dnd dipshit
 

hrtshvybrdn

Barely Literate
Joined
Mar 30, 2024
Messages
2
Concurrent players doesnt mean they stuck, it means the marketing was strong. Wonder how many stuck with it past Act 2. I didnt, although I might go back with some gay avoidance/heterosexual mods and available time.

This game literally tricks you into having gay sex. It's a grooming tool, not a RPG.
y’all are fucking embarrassing. you can go the entire game without having your precious heterosexuality compromised. jfc
 
Joined
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Codex+ Now Streaming! Enjoy the Revolution! Another revolution around the sun that is.
Concurrent players doesnt mean they stuck, it means the marketing was strong. Wonder how many stuck with it past Act 2. I didnt, although I might go back with some gay avoidance/heterosexual mods and available time.

This game literally tricks you into having gay sex. It's a grooming tool, not a RPG.
y’all are fucking embarrassing. you can go the entire game without having your precious heterosexuality compromised. jfc

>hrtshvybrdn
>HRT

even spamming your keyboard to make a shitty new alt can't save you from showing the world what a faggot you are
 

Harthwain

Magister
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
4,913
The way you interact with the world matters in ways other rpgs never acknowledged or cared for.
Indeed. So very few cRPGs deal with interactivity/reactivity it is actually staggering when you think about it. I can think of only two games where necromancy can be used as something else than a bunch of combat spells (Arcanum and Icewind Dale II), despite necromancer being either a class or a school of magic you could specialize in in way more than just two games I have mentioned.

We need more stuff like that, and the fact that you can use items to simulate the use of certain spells would also make it possible for other classes to use them, meaning it wouldn't be limited to just mages (although the mages obviously would have the best access to it). The ability to enhance items with magic (think: Morrowind) comes to mind. Honestly, the possibilities are endless, if you can come up with a system that can make use of all the potential interactions.
 
Joined
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Vareš
Codex+ Now Streaming! Enjoy the Revolution! Another revolution around the sun that is.
and the fact that you can use items to simulate the use of certain spells would also make it possible for other classes to use them, meaning it wouldn't be limited to just mages
Is this a Gothic thread now?

In that case, yes, we are now talking about one of the best RPGs of all time instead of one in the middle of the pack.
 

NecroLord

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"Astarion you're sucking the Drow Knife-Ears blood whether you like it or not. No, no, don't give me this 'consent' shit, I slept with a god-damned bear two weeks ago so I can literally rip people's rectum's out with a +20 bonus. You will suck that blood, I will get my +2 Strength potion."
you can’t bang halsin until act 3. you meet oblodra in act 2.
Put 10000000000x niggers, troons and other stupid half/humanoid races nobody cares about into your game and make it resemble modern day California.
Recipe for HUGE SUCCESS!!!
along with the dumbass saying his problem is the number of black people - there is ONE canon trans character and there are hardly any characters of color. i fear for y’all if you’re so afraid of black people you can’t go outside

also half-elves are one of the most popular races to play in dnd dipshit
Nigger lover detected.
+100 Western style social credit increased!!
You are a fine citizen of California.
 

jaekl

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Oh geeze this is messed up, the prestigious rpgcodex.net is being targeted and harassed by a troll from known extremist site resetera. Does anyone have the phone # for the fbi??
 

Baron Tahn

Scholar
Joined
Aug 1, 2018
Messages
350
Hey actually I have a question about Honour mode - the game has this retarded thing where if there is say, a puddle of ice left over from a spell during a combat and you have some 'ally' npcs, combat ends, everyone sheaths swords and then the ally/neutral will immediately turn around and slip on the ice, which turns them hostile.

Does that still happen in Honour mode? Cos holy shit that is ass. I turned all the guys I just saved in the first battle vs the goblins hostile that way and slaughtered them all. Kinda dumb.
 

H. P. Lovecraft's Cat

SumDrunkCat
Joined
Feb 7, 2024
Messages
1,580
Oh geeze this is messed up, the prestigious rpgcodex.net is being targeted and harassed by a troll from known extremist site resetera. Does anyone have the phone # for the fbi??
I'm amazed one of the degenerate freaks had the balls to walk outside of their safe space. Of course it's most likely because they were banned for not using the proper words.
 

Zed Duke of Banville

Dungeon Master
Patron
Joined
Oct 3, 2015
Messages
12,056
Hey actually I have a question about Honour mode - the game has this retarded thing where if there is say, a puddle of ice left over from a spell during a combat and you have some 'ally' npcs, combat ends, everyone sheaths swords and then the ally/neutral will immediately turn around and slip on the ice, which turns them hostile.

Does that still happen in Honour mode? Cos holy shit that is ass. I turned all the guys I just saved in the first battle vs the goblins hostile that way and slaughtered them all. Kinda dumb.
If only something like this had occurred during my playthrough, it probably would have been the best part of the game. :martini:
 

DarkandGloomyName

Barely Literate
Joined
Feb 9, 2024
Messages
5
I really do not believe casuals engage with the combat-system that much,

I have a theory with it myself. Mostly bullshit, but here goes. Most of the buyers of the game never made it past act 1. Or if they did, they just created new characters and went through act 1 again to make youtube videos with funny sound effects and memes and drool over their favorite romance option. I bet if you look at the numbers, as people did with the Souls games and how few even beat the first boss, you'll see a large percentage don't have the Act 2 completion trophy.

I got intensely bored by the end of act 2. In act 3, I git the level cap just a half an hour into it. I raced to the end, did the quests I needed to (Grab the hammer, get balduran's gear) and just glitched to the end fight. Done. Uninstalled.

Most of "BG3 youtube" are women making meme videos of chapter 1 areas with the NPCs. That's enough proof right there.
 

Old Hans

Arcane
Joined
Oct 10, 2011
Messages
1,514
Hey actually I have a question about Honour mode - the game has this retarded thing where if there is say, a puddle of ice left over from a spell during a combat and you have some 'ally' npcs, combat ends, everyone sheaths swords and then the ally/neutral will immediately turn around and slip on the ice, which turns them hostile.

Does that still happen in Honour mode? Cos holy shit that is ass. I turned all the guys I just saved in the first battle vs the goblins hostile that way and slaughtered them all. Kinda dumb.
this still happens. this is why I dont have allies and im a mad dawg
 

Infinitron

I post news
Staff Member
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Messages
97,729
Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
An isometric turn-based Fallout without BG3's dating simulator elements could be expected to sell about as well as Wasteland 3 did.
Yeah, people want stories and worldbuilding, which is no surprise - but the point is that people who come for those things are engaged by the combat and other game systems in a way that virtually nobody was for ME/DA. I've talked to people at work who don't typically really play games and, taking that alongside discussions I'm seeing online, people's consensus is that the combat is good fun and the build options are interesting. That's a big accomplishment, taking people who aren't typically that interested in RPGs and getting them to a point where they're not just tolerating, but actually enjoying the game's combat.

In other words - kissing Astarion might be your main reason to check out the game, but you're still actually engaging with the combat and trying out different builds and party compositions, as opposed to just trying to get the combat over with because it's boring and shitty as is the case in BioWare games.

Fo3 and New Vegas (among other games, of course) demonstrated that people have an interest in C&C and [Skill Check]-type bullshit, BioWare proved that people like vivid casts of companion characters, and BG3 proves that you can get far by combining those elements with TB combat, and that you don't have to compromise on that in the way that BioWare and Bethesda have been so obsessed with doing. There's no obvious reason why a future Fallout game couldn't do the same, especially as people already have an interest in the setting thanks to NV, which has somehow retained cultural relevance 14 years later.

tl;dr: a "casual" player who comes to a game mainly for the characters will still enjoy (and prefer) a proper in-depth combat system compared to a mind-numbing shitty one like Mass Effect, and the public are more than capable of handling "real" turn-based cRPG combat, so future developers demonstrably shouldn't feel the need to dumb down as they have been doing for the last 20 years.
Whether Larian can sustain BG3 levels of popularity and success going forward remains an open question, but I generally agree with this post.

sser We've seen a number of studios over the years go in the direction of making interactive movies because "in the end, our customers mostly care about the story". It usually hasn't worked out that well for them. The companion romance gigglesquee crowd is very loud on Reddit, but focusing on that doesn't seem to be enough to sustain a truly mass audience. You claim Baldur's Gate 3 is a BioWare substitute product, but BioWare themselves, even at the height of their popularity circa 2010, never sold this much.

Gameplay in a video game...surprisingly, matters! It's hard to quantify and I'd never say that great gameplay alone is sufficient to produce a mega-hit, but nevertheless, it is crucial.
 
Last edited:

sser

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
1,866,716
An isometric turn-based Fallout without BG3's dating simulator elements could be expected to sell about as well as Wasteland 3 did.
Yeah, people want stories and worldbuilding, which is no surprise - but the point is that people who come for those things are engaged by the combat and other game systems in a way that virtually nobody was for ME/DA. I've talked to people at work who don't typically really play games and, taking that alongside discussions I'm seeing online, people's consensus is that the combat is good fun and the build options are interesting. That's a big accomplishment, taking people who aren't typically that interested in RPGs and getting them to a point where they're not just tolerating, but actually enjoying the game's combat.

In other words - kissing Astarion might be your main reason to check out the game, but you're still actually engaging with the combat and trying out different builds and party compositions, as opposed to just trying to get the combat over with because it's boring and shitty as is the case in BioWare games.

Fo3 and New Vegas (among other games, of course) demonstrated that people have an interest in C&C and [Skill Check]-type bullshit, BioWare proved that people like vivid casts of companion characters, and BG3 proves that you can get far by combining those elements with TB combat, and that you don't have to compromise on that in the way that BioWare and Bethesda have been so obsessed with doing. There's no obvious reason why a future Fallout game couldn't do the same, especially as people already have an interest in the setting thanks to NV, which has somehow retained cultural relevance 14 years later.

tl;dr: a "casual" player who comes to a game mainly for the characters will still enjoy (and prefer) a proper in-depth combat system compared to a mind-numbing shitty one like Mass Effect, and the public are more than capable of handling "real" turn-based cRPG combat, so future developers demonstrably shouldn't feel the need to dumb down as they have been doing for the last 20 years.
Whether Larian can sustain BG3 levels of popularity and success going forward remains an open question, but I generally agree with this post.

sser We've seen a number of studios over the years go in the direction of making interactive movies because "in the end, our customers mostly care about the story". It usually hasn't worked out that well for them. The companion romance gigglesquee crowd is very loud on Reddit, but focusing on that doesn't seem to be enough to sustain a truly mass audience. You claim Baldur's Gate 3 is a BioWare substitute product, but BioWare themselves, even at the height of their popularity circa 2010, never sold this much.

Gameplay in a video game...surprisingly, matters! It's hard to quantify and I'd never say that great gameplay alone is sufficient to produce a mega-hit, but nevertheless, it is crucial.

Comparing sales of old games to today is very apples and oranges. Mass Effect launched in 2007. That's 17 years ago. Since then gaming has grown bigger than all other entertainment mediums. Andromeda, which was a sluggish late entry into the series, and definitively worse than its priors, still made more money. Physical copies of games have nearly evaporated and the availability of goods to consume games in the first place are far more widespread. There are phone games and generic indie schlock that have sold more than Mass Effect.

I'd never say gameplay is unimportant. The point is how do you get a hold of a broader consumer base. The D:OS series alone are already quite successful, but still weren't scratching that broad appeal. "Good gameplay" has a limit. Just like "good cinematics" would have a limit going in the other direction. Off BG name recognition alone + Larian's buildup (Divinity), BG3 would have sold the most Larian has ever done. We're talking about that last chunk of the pie.

Get into the mindset of those customers. They don't follow gaming news. They don't know devs. They have a casual awareness of what turn-based is (like XCOM, right?). Outside of phone games, they only buy maybe 1 game a month.

A purchase is made after a product 'interacts' or hits a customer. Often times this takes a lot of repeat of engagement. This is why marketing exists – to repeatedly hit you with the literal existence of something. Gameplay is almost intangible compared to the raw nakedness of good visuals and animation. Gameplay is not impossible to market, but it is more difficult, requires words, requires explanation. Gameplay is marketing for smaller companies who cannot afford actual marketing. But for broader appeal it is a terrible way to get a foot in the door with the public. Great animations/cinematics market themselves. Literally. When you look at BG3's high production values, you're looking at its marketing campaign and attempt to reach mass market appeal. BG3 has the highest production value of pretty much any game I've ever seen, and very little to almost none of that had to do with things I hadn't already seen in D:OS. Why do you think they spent so much money on mocap and making the game look as movie-like as possible? Every single conversation in BG3 could have been from an isometric perspective with zero change in dialogue or actions. That gameplay was already in place. But someone made the assessment that investing a lot of money into the game's cinematics would be worth it in the end because that is what would give it widespread appeal. And they were right, of course.
 

Lemming42

Arcane
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Messages
6,243
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The Satellite Of Love
It seems to me like we're all saying roughly the same thing - BG3 hooked people in with superb production values and writing/characters that many found enjoyable, and those people also ended up enjoying the gameplay itself for a number of reasons, in a way that wasn't the case in, say, BioWare's games.

So the lessons worth learning from BG3 are:

- the public aren't dumb and can quickly take to forms of gameplay previously considered niche or "too deep" for a mass audience. Isometric TB cRPGs are entirely viable on the mass market.

- there's therefore no need to dumb down or streamline mechanics in the hopes of attracting a wider audience, because "casual" players won't actually be scared off by non-inane combat

- on the contrary, "casual" players will actually appreciate and come to enjoy deeper mechanics, because even if they're mainly interested in other aspects of the game, having good gameplay underpinning those elements is preferable to having crap gameplay underpinning them. There's therefore no advantage at all to dumbing down; it's always a net loss to the game that no subset of players ends up appreciating
 

Baron Tahn

Scholar
Joined
Aug 1, 2018
Messages
350
Well no, Im saying roughly the exact opposite of that.
 

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