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Re: So who else is taking Swen’s advice? [Re: kanisatha] #675129
16/09/20 02:31 PM
16/09/20 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by kanisatha
I think this approach of focusing the EA on evil playthroughs is not a good strategy for the game. It runs the risk of making the evil path default for the game, because that's what will get all the iterative improvement attention. Even the good aligned companions won't show until after EA, and so won't benefit from that iterative improvement. A good EA strategy would allow a representative slice of the game to be iterated and not just one particular way of playing the game.



I sincerely doubt that the "evil path" will be the default for the game. It's pretty clear historically and on these forums that players prefer to play the good path. This is a mass market game with a mass market audience, and going with the evil path as default would 1-harm sales, and 2-be very unusual. I think if they were going with an evil default you would hear about it in the marketing, because it would be a fairly unusual narrative choice.

Re: So who else is taking Swen’s advice? [Re: Argyle] #675130
16/09/20 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Argyle
Hmmm, what is a truly evil act?.


🙄🙄🙄

Acting with selfish and unnecessary disregard for the well-being of other people, riding roughshod over others in a particular egregious manner that causes significant or lasting harm.

You are trying too hard to sound erudite, friend. It comes off as comical, not sophisticated. You should consider toning it down.

Re: So who else is taking Swen’s advice? [Re: CandrianIllborne] #675131
16/09/20 02:37 PM
16/09/20 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by CandrianIllborne
Originally Posted by kanisatha
I think this approach of focusing the EA on evil playthroughs is not a good strategy for the game. It runs the risk of making the evil path default for the game, because that's what will get all the iterative improvement attention. Even the good aligned companions won't show until after EA, and so won't benefit from that iterative improvement. A good EA strategy would allow a representative slice of the game to be iterated and not just one particular way of playing the game.



I sincerely doubt that the "evil path" will be the default for the game. It's pretty clear historically and on these forums that players prefer to play the good path. This is a mass market game with a mass market audience, and going with the evil path as default would 1-harm sales, and 2-be very unusual. I think if they were going with an evil default you would hear about it in the marketing, because it would be a fairly unusual narrative choice.


But it wouldn't be unprecedented though. Tyranny went for an evil dark setting and it sold pretty well for its niche genre. Warhammer fantasy or 40k settings, for example, are more or less neutral evil. Nobody is good in there. And they are some of the most appealing settings in video games nowadays.

Re: So who else is taking Swen’s advice? [Re: Nyanko] #675132
16/09/20 02:58 PM
16/09/20 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Nyanko
Originally Posted by CandrianIllborne
Originally Posted by kanisatha
I think this approach of focusing the EA on evil playthroughs is not a good strategy for the game. It runs the risk of making the evil path default for the game, because that's what will get all the iterative improvement attention. Even the good aligned companions won't show until after EA, and so won't benefit from that iterative improvement. A good EA strategy would allow a representative slice of the game to be iterated and not just one particular way of playing the game.



I sincerely doubt that the "evil path" will be the default for the game. It's pretty clear historically and on these forums that players prefer to play the good path. This is a mass market game with a mass market audience, and going with the evil path as default would 1-harm sales, and 2-be very unusual. I think if they were going with an evil default you would hear about it in the marketing, because it would be a fairly unusual narrative choice.


But it wouldn't be unprecedented though. Tyranny went for an evil dark setting and it sold pretty well for its niche genre. Warhammer fantasy or 40k settings, for example, are more or less neutral evil. Nobody is good in there. And they are some of the most appealing settings in video games nowadays.



Tyranny was niche though, as you mentioned, and I think that a Warhammer/40k is not the same type of game or experience that a single-player, story based RPG like BG3 is. I'm not arguing that there's not a market for it. I am arguing that BG3 won't be going down that path. Does anyone really think that they would?

Re: So who else is taking Swen’s advice? [Re: CandrianIllborne] #675134
16/09/20 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by CandrianIllborne
[Tyranny was niche though, as you mentioned, and I think that a Warhammer/40k is not the same type of game or experience that a single-player, story based RPG like BG3 is. I'm not arguing that there's not a market for it. I am arguing that BG3 won't be going down that path. Does anyone really think that they would?


Well, BG3 is in the world of Faerun, which compared to warhammer fantasy is a teddybear realm. But Larian stated it will be much darker than DOS2, which would entail they are exploring all possible paths in the alignment system. That would be my guess.

Suffice to say, you could play an evil character in both BG1 and BG2. You were a bhaal spawn after all. And let's not forget that in BG3, you have a tadpole in your brain, and it's not really friendly either.

Last edited by Nyanko; 16/09/20 03:38 PM.
Re: So who else is taking Swen’s advice? [Re: kanisatha] #675135
16/09/20 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by kanisatha
It runs the risk of making the evil path default for the game, because that's what will get all the iterative improvement attention. Even the good aligned companions won't show until after EA, and so won't benefit from that iterative improvement.

I am pretty sure other companions might be added as EA progresses.

I have no doubt that there will be plenty people who will still play goody two shoes. Sven encouraged people to try an evil path as most don’t play that way. Even if some people will listen to him, most probably won’t.

Re: So who else is taking Swen’s advice? [Re: Nyanko] #675137
16/09/20 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Nyanko
Originally Posted by CandrianIllborne
[Tyranny was niche though, as you mentioned, and I think that a Warhammer/40k is not the same type of game or experience that a single-player, story based RPG like BG3 is. I'm not arguing that there's not a market for it. I am arguing that BG3 won't be going down that path. Does anyone really think that they would?


Well, BG3 is in the world of Faerun, which compared to warhammer fantasy is a teddybear realm. But Larian stated it will be much darker than DOS2, which would entail they are exploring all possible paths in the alignment system. That would be my guess.

Suffice to say, you could play an evil character in both BG1 and BG2. You were a bhaal spawn after all. And let's not forget that in BG3, you have a tadpole in your brain, and it's not really friendly either.



Well, like I said I don't think that the evil path would be the "default" one. I do hope (and expect) that it's a possible path and that it's still an interesting way to play the game, but my original comment was more pointing out that I didn't think that the good side of the game would suffer or not be as important.

Re: So who else is taking Swen’s advice? [Re: Warlocke] #675139
16/09/20 04:51 PM
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"It comes off as comical"

That is the intention! Written things like emails and posts can project a tone that was not intended, and so I will be more careful with that in the future.

Re: So who else is taking Swen’s advice? [Re: CandrianIllborne] #675141
16/09/20 05:12 PM
16/09/20 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by CandrianIllborne
Well, like I said I don't think that the evil path would be the "default" one. I do hope (and expect) that it's a possible path and that it's still an interesting way to play the game, but my original comment was more pointing out that I didn't think that the good side of the game would suffer or not be as important.


Don't you find it strange though that all the starting companions in EA will be either evil or neutral. Doesn't it imply somehow that the evil paths are the ones they want to fine tune the most so they put them on early?

Re: So who else is taking Swen’s advice? [Re: kanisatha] #675142
16/09/20 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by kanisatha
I think this approach of focusing the EA on evil playthroughs is not a good strategy for the game. It runs the risk of making the evil path default for the game, because that's what will get all the iterative improvement attention. Even the good aligned companions won't show until after EA, and so won't benefit from that iterative improvement. A good EA strategy would allow a representative slice of the game to be iterated and not just one particular way of playing the game.


I don’t think they’ll be focusing on the evil path throughout EA. More likely they have things they need to test early on and don’t want 90% of players not trying them.

They probably want to check things like their quest system being robust enough to handle people doing random horrible things, or that party dynamics don’t fall apart too easily when populated with the biggest arseholes, etc. I imagine it’s more challenging to get to work than a party of super-friends making all the good choices and not trying to sabotage each other.

There’ll be plenty of people just doing whatever they want anyway, but if I join, I’ll probably go along with requests to try things they want testing.

Re: So who else is taking Swen’s advice? [Re: Nyanko] #675143
16/09/20 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Argyle
"It comes off as comical"

That is the intention! Written things like emails and posts can project a tone that was not intended, and so I will be more careful with that in the future.


All good.

Originally Posted by Nyanko
Originally Posted by CandrianIllborne
Well, like I said I don't think that the evil path would be the "default" one. I do hope (and expect) that it's a possible path and that it's still an interesting way to play the game, but my original comment was more pointing out that I didn't think that the good side of the game would suffer or not be as important.


Don't you find it strange though that all the starting companions in EA will be either evil or neutral. Doesn't it imply somehow that the evil paths are the ones they want to fine tune the most so they put them on early?


It might be possible that this was done to help playtest those characters more, but I don’t think we can conclude that Larian feels that these characters need extra fine tuning. That inference is a bit of a reach.

It could simply be just as Larian said, they want to encourage us towards evil and choices we wouldn’t normally make so we can discover how robust the role playing is.

It could also just be that those 5 characters corresponded with a good spread of classes - fighter, cleric, rogue, wizard, and warlock - so it made sense to focus on those characters so those classes would also be in a finished enough state for EA release.

Speaking of reaching- I’m personally convinced that the reason ranger is an EA class without an applicable NPC is because they are teasing Minsc.

@Larian announce Minsc, you cowards.

Re: So who else is taking Swen’s advice? [Re: Warlocke] #675144
16/09/20 05:33 PM
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I thought the good companions will only be introduced after the EA period, so if that is not correct and we will see them later within the EA, then okay.

Also, I said the game runs the risk of becoming evil default, not that that's how it has been designed. So evil path unintentionally becoming the default because that's what everyone did during EA, and may be even posted a lot of videos and streams. But like some of you seem to believe, even with Swen's desire for people to play evil playthroughs in EA, maybe many EA players will refuse and opt for good playthroughs. These are all possibilities. For me this is just yet another worry about the game because I will not touch a game where the evil path is how you're supposed to play the game (even if other paths are possible). That's why, as much as I love Obsidian RPGs and Tyranny has received strong reviews, I will never ever play that game.

Re: So who else is taking Swen’s advice? [Re: Nyanko] #675145
16/09/20 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Nyanko
Originally Posted by CandrianIllborne
Well, like I said I don't think that the evil path would be the "default" one. I do hope (and expect) that it's a possible path and that it's still an interesting way to play the game, but my original comment was more pointing out that I didn't think that the good side of the game would suffer or not be as important.


Don't you find it strange though that all the starting companions in EA will be either evil or neutral. Doesn't it imply somehow that the evil paths are the ones they want to fine tune the most so they put them on early?


I don't find it all that strange, but that's mainly because I've never played a game in EA so I have no frame of reference. I think the writing of evil paths is more difficult to get right. I'm basing that opinion on my own experience as most RPGs I've played have fairly shallow evil gameplay. I understand it - it's hard to justify from a writing and roleplay experience why someone who is essentially an evil person would be interested in saving someone/something, and most of the justifications from the evil perspective are not narratively satisfying. Maybe they're just worried about getting it down first before tackling the "easier" good path/good character writing? I can also understand the idea that coming up with reasons why an evil character would be part of a party and join up with a PC that is good is also difficult to nail down and requires nuance. Not sure.

Re: So who else is taking Swen’s advice? [Re: Warlocke] #675146
16/09/20 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by kanisatha
I thought the good companions will only be introduced after the EA period, so if that is not correct and we will see them later within the EA, then okay.

Also, I said the game runs the risk of becoming evil default, not that that's how it has been designed. So evil path unintentionally becoming the default because that's what everyone did during EA, and may be even posted a lot of videos and streams. But like some of you seem to believe, even with Swen's desire for people to play evil playthroughs in EA, maybe many EA players will refuse and opt for good playthroughs. These are all possibilities. For me this is just yet another worry about the game because I will not touch a game where the evil path is how you're supposed to play the game (even if other paths are possible). That's why, as much as I love Obsidian RPGs and Tyranny has received strong reviews, I will never ever play that game.


Fair enough. Your relationship with evil looks like mine with Triss in the witcher 3. No matter how many playthoughs I do, I always choose Yennefer XD

On the other hand, many players play evil in games without even noticing. Like who doesn't steal and kill randomly in GTA 5?

Last edited by Nyanko; 16/09/20 05:40 PM.
Re: So who else is taking Swen’s advice? [Re: Warlocke] #675147
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They simply and clearly asked people to play the evil options specifically to get more feedback on it. They were even very clear with why they said it. Twisting that into "but it'll just become evil focused" feels almost intentional misrepresentation of the very clear thing they communicated.

Re: So who else is taking Swen’s advice? [Re: Dagless] #675148
16/09/20 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Dagless
Originally Posted by kanisatha
I think this approach of focusing the EA on evil playthroughs is not a good strategy for the game. It runs the risk of making the evil path default for the game, because that's what will get all the iterative improvement attention. Even the good aligned companions won't show until after EA, and so won't benefit from that iterative improvement. A good EA strategy would allow a representative slice of the game to be iterated and not just one particular way of playing the game.


I don’t think they’ll be focusing on the evil path throughout EA. More likely they have things they need to test early on and don’t want 90% of players not trying them.

They probably want to check things like their quest system being robust enough to handle people doing random horrible things, or that party dynamics don’t fall apart too easily when populated with the biggest arseholes, etc. I imagine it’s more challenging to get to work than a party of super-friends making all the good choices and not trying to sabotage each other.

There’ll be plenty of people just doing whatever they want anyway, but if I join, I’ll probably go along with requests to try things they want testing.


In full agreement here. Swen and the Larian team seen to have a good idea of what most players tend to do when they have to make a choice, with all the data they collected from the DOS games and to me it seems that they push people toward different choices to produce a more varied sample to analyse.

There is absolutely no way they can convince everybody to play as an evil character, but they need more than a handful. They also probably expect many people to play more than character before full release.


Concerning the companions, since some people describe them as evil...isn't it a bit early to say that? Most seem like they will be neutral and/or influenced by the player. Especially since Larian said that they will not include the alignment system. Shadowheart should be evil, considering her religion, but for the others I'm not convinced.

Re: So who else is taking Swen’s advice? [Re: Warlocke] #675149
16/09/20 06:16 PM
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Swen said all of the NPCs announcers so far are evil or neutral. Astarion is probably Evil, possibly Lae’zel (she is certainly mean). We haven’t seen enough of Gale and nothing of Wyll, yet.

Re: So who else is taking Swen’s advice? [Re: Warlocke] #675150
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Larian now has NO WAY OF COLLECTING RELIABLE DATA in EA concerning player preferences.

If Swen never asked people to play evil and EA showed that very few people did then they could make better decisions on where to focus resources. At this point they can show data that justifies more evil options, but only because they've skewed the results.

Re: So who else is taking Swen’s advice? [Re: Nyanko] #675151
16/09/20 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Nyanko
Originally Posted by kanisatha
I thought the good companions will only be introduced after the EA period, so if that is not correct and we will see them later within the EA, then okay.

Also, I said the game runs the risk of becoming evil default, not that that's how it has been designed. So evil path unintentionally becoming the default because that's what everyone did during EA, and may be even posted a lot of videos and streams. But like some of you seem to believe, even with Swen's desire for people to play evil playthroughs in EA, maybe many EA players will refuse and opt for good playthroughs. These are all possibilities. For me this is just yet another worry about the game because I will not touch a game where the evil path is how you're supposed to play the game (even if other paths are possible). That's why, as much as I love Obsidian RPGs and Tyranny has received strong reviews, I will never ever play that game.


Fair enough. Your relationship with evil looks like mine with Triss in the witcher 3. No matter how many playthoughs I do, I always choose Yennefer XD

On the other hand, many players play evil in games without even noticing. Like who doesn't steal and kill randomly in GTA 5?

Haha. That's funny about TW3 because I do the same thing. Triss is a sweetheart while Yen is that word that rhymes with witch, yet I end up with Yen every time. Though in fairness to Yen she does change and becomes much more mellow towards the end of the game.

Stealing is okay. Random murder is not. As an example of how I play, there is a house in the eastern district of the city of Baldur's Gate in the first game that you can enter to steal stuff. When you enter the first floor, a man accosts you for breaking into the house and then attacks you. After killing him, when you go upstairs, another man runs at you screaming something like "You break into my house and then kill my butler?!! Whyyyyyy?!!" before he attacks you. The first time I played the game I was so horrified by this that I promptly reloaded and then avoided going into that house, which I have continued to do in every playthrough since even though that house has arguably the best helm in the whole game.

Re: So who else is taking Swen’s advice? [Re: NinthPlane] #675152
16/09/20 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by NinthPlane
Larian now has NO WAY OF COLLECTING RELIABLE DATA in EA concerning player preferences.

If Swen never asked people to play evil and EA showed that very few people did then they could make better decisions on where to focus resources. At this point they can show data that justifies more evil options, but only because they've skewed the results.


What makes you think Larian cares about player preferences in regards to including a variety morally distinct options? How often people choose evil over good isn’t impacting their choice to include evil options. They already know most players want to be good.

Last edited by Warlocke; 16/09/20 07:49 PM.
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