Larian Studios
Posted By: manyfacedhorse Approval and Romance - 11/08/21 04:07 AM
First off, let me say that I'm absolutely in love with the writing in the romance routes so far. I'm not ashamed to say that I'm part of the player demographic who was drawn in specifically by the idea of companion romance, and I'm very excited to see where future content takes us.

That said, I was a bit surprised that companion approval and companion romance are so heavily tied together. From my understanding- and correct me if I'm wrong, I'm working from observation here- the player's ability to romance an NPC depends on their ability to get the approval counter past a certain threshold. This makes sense from a purely pragmatic standpoint, but given how much freedom exists in the combat mechanics, it feels like a missed opportunity that the social mechanics aren't quite so advanced.

What I'm interested in seeing is a romance system a bit more divorced from approval. What happens when Tav and an NPC disagree fundamentally on the choices Tav has made, yet still feel an undeniable attraction to each other? What happens when approval dips down, but the romantic connection is still there? I feel like this could provide another layer of depth to these romance narratives, as well as increase replay value.

Of course, I could totally be looking a gift horse in the mouth here. What do others think? Did anybody else feel similarly?
Posted By: Nyloth Re: Approval and Romance - 11/08/21 10:13 AM
If you lose approval, then you will not have any romantic connection. I'll tell you more, if the approval drops too low, then your companion will leave you, at best, at worst, he will try to kill you. I believe Astarion and Lae are capable of this.

The system is not new, as far as I know, an approval system is also used in games like Dragon Age.

Personally, I am completely satisfied with this system. For example, Lae approves of cruel actions, if you are a soft-hearted and kind paladin, then I strongly doubt this will attract her to you. It's not even about a romance, but about respect, about friendship etc. It is quite natural that companions are annoyed by actions that they themselves consider stupid.

I know there is a way to avoid this, if you choose this "stupid act" when talking to an npc for another character (companion), then you will not get "disapproval", but there will be no "approval" either.

I am sure at a neutral approval it will be possible to build a weak romantic relationship. For example, you can sleep with Astarion or Lae having a rather low approval rating, but I am sure in the future it will show itself in a bad way.

There is also Gale, who can be bribed...
Posted By: Zellin Re: Approval and Romance - 11/08/21 10:33 AM
Originally Posted by Nyloth
The system is not new, as far as I know, an approval system is also used in games like Dragon Age.
In Dragon Age 2 it was not just approval system and it worked with both: companions would leave you at certain moments and you could romance them while practically never being agree with each other. Larian would need to create "flirt" level in addition to approval level to implement that.
Posted By: Nyloth Re: Approval and Romance - 11/08/21 11:14 AM
Originally Posted by Zellin
Originally Posted by Nyloth
The system is not new, as far as I know, an approval system is also used in games like Dragon Age.
In Dragon Age 2 it was not just approval system and it worked with both: companions would leave you at certain moments and you could romance them while practically never being agree with each other. Larian would need to create "flirt" level in addition to approval level to implement that.

I don't like it. They returned the usual approval system to DAI, because there was more logic in it.

PoE2 have a "reputation", but as far as I know, it is more difficult to understand what companions approve, but still, you must act in a certain way to please them. Conditionally, there is an approval system in many games with romance. The most fun approval system in Tyranny, there are no romance, you can become good friends, but if this does not happen, then you inspire fear for them.
The approval system is good because you understand how you need to act. Although sometimes it's not enough to get a happy ending (damn you Aloth!)

edit: I also want to add something. In DA2, you really need a approval, it just works BAD. I know this because I thought that everything depends on flirting and personal quests, and with this I did not get a Fenris romance. Because my approval was average. In DA2, you must either have an 80+ disapproval or an 80+approval. It's called a love or hate romance, but you still need to play a certain way. It's just that you are also given the opportunity to build a romance by playing against a character, but not alternating your options.
Posted By: Wormerine Re: Approval and Romance - 11/08/21 11:16 AM
Originally Posted by manyfacedhorse
What I'm interested in seeing is a romance system a bit more divorced from approval.
I strongly disagree, but then again I am not a big fan of having a dating sim in my RPGs.

As to actual defence of the system: I really dislike it when all companions want to sleep with PC at once - it's just a barrier from making them feel like individuals, rather then "pick your sex cutscene". Therefore, if every/most companions are romancable, I believe there needs to be some system that limits what companions are available for romance in each playthrough, based on the character you play or your actions. Different games have different system - in PoE2 for example, companions seemed to respond to their reputations with you but also [I think] to your dispositions (aka honest, benevolent, cruel, etc). Though that system didn't quite work as intended in more ways then one... At the very least in 2.0 it spread companions hitting at PC around - so the best fitting choices would initiate romances early on, while others in mid-late game.

So far BG3 seems to be doing a good job - in my playthroughs I seem to get friendly with one or two companions depending on my choices. And so far it makes sense.

The only I could do without, is companions letting me know during the party that they would totally sleep with me, if I did more things they like. That just feels weird.
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Approval and Romance - 11/08/21 11:28 AM
That is what I've been saying also since my first playthrough. Party night, everybody SUDDENLY wants your body. It's dumb... well... if you gained enough approval.

You have to have some way to gauge romance/ relationship, so an approval score is fine with me. However, I think there should be more of it with varying degrees of score.

Example, you send you MC over to Shadowheart who is dying because the spider queen jist took her down. You heal her or help her, risking your own life in the process. Gain 2 relationship points with her.

You ignore her and she dies, lose 5 points.

Then hide whether we gain or lose points. However, tell players in general how to gain or lose points. So tell us if you let a character die you lose 5 points, but help them and gain 2. Thus makes it so players have to get to know the characters to learn what they like or dislike without the game just telling you.
Posted By: Wormerine Re: Approval and Romance - 11/08/21 11:44 AM
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Example, you send you MC over to Shadowheart who is dying because the spider queen jist took her down. You heal her or help her, risking your own life in the process. Gain 2 relationship points with her.

You ignore her and she dies, lose 5 points.

Then hide whether we gain or lose points. However, tell players in general how to gain or lose points. So tell us if you let a character die you lose 5 points, but help them and gain 2. Thus makes it so players have to get to know the characters to learn what they like or dislike without the game just telling you.
UIuuuuu bad BAAAD idea. What that means in practice is players farming positive points and making the whole system pointless (like gifts in DA:Origins). Hiding things can also easily backfire - in your example imagine a player doing all right by Shadowheart in a playthough, and yet having her hate her, because she happened to die too many times. Also if we play multiplayer vs whom those systemic situation would count towards?
Posted By: Nyloth Re: Approval and Romance - 11/08/21 11:51 AM
Originally Posted by Wormerine
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Example, you send you MC over to Shadowheart who is dying because the spider queen jist took her down. You heal her or help her, risking your own life in the process. Gain 2 relationship points with her.

You ignore her and she dies, lose 5 points.

Then hide whether we gain or lose points. However, tell players in general how to gain or lose points. So tell us if you let a character die you lose 5 points, but help them and gain 2. Thus makes it so players have to get to know the characters to learn what they like or dislike without the game just telling you.
UIuuuuu bad BAAAD idea. What that means in practice is players farming positive points and making the whole system pointless (like gifts in DA:Origins). Hiding things can also easily backfire - in your example imagine a player doing all right by Shadowheart in a playthough, and yet having her hate her, because she happened to die too many times. Also if we play multiplayer vs whom those systemic situation would count towards?

I agree with you, it will be very convenient to use such a system to simply "score points". Imagine the opposite situation, that you do everything that Shadow hates, but she forgives you everything because you saved her a couple of times (before this, by deliberately setting her up). The current approval system helps you understand the characters and their worldview. You see how someone approves of a cruel act and you understand "ah, that's what kind of person you are".

Right now, the only problem for me is Gale, but with the latest updates, the situation with him has improved. Now, even if you give him a lot of items and have a high approval, he still reacts negatively to betrayal Tieflings. And this once again proves that the system works. In the end, even if you have a high approval, you can do something that will destroy any relationship between you and another character.
Posted By: VarneyTheReaper Re: Approval and Romance - 11/08/21 02:08 PM
Originally Posted by Nyloth
If you lose approval, then you will not have any romantic connection.

at worst, he will try to kill you. I believe Astarion and Lae are capable of this.

Lae ... ... ... the Gith?

I mean, i am aware ... ... ... we have a few Edgelords in the Group. With Shadowheart and Lae'zel(?) even Edge-Ladies to be precise,
but why always the Murderhobo Scenario in which People (and i mean the Characters ^^ not the Player ^^) want to see Blood only because Someone doesn't turn out exactly how they would love them to be? hahaha
Posted By: Nyloth Re: Approval and Romance - 11/08/21 02:14 PM
Originally Posted by VarneyTheReaper
Originally Posted by Nyloth
If you lose approval, then you will not have any romantic connection.

at worst, he will try to kill you. I believe Astarion and Lae are capable of this.

Lae ... ... ... the Gith?

I mean, i am aware ... ... ... we have a few Edgelords in the Group. With Shadowheart and Lae'zel(?) even Edge-Ladies to be precise,
but why always the Murderhobo Scenario in which People (and i mean the Characters ^^ not the Player ^^) want to see Blood only because Someone doesn't turn out exactly how they would love them to be? hahaha

Disagreements create conflicts, I think that for some characters it is completely normal to solve conflicts by killing. But most likely it's not about Shadow. I said about Lae and Astarion, because these are two characters who have already tried to kill us. (yep Gith) Well I must say Astarion does it more gallantly, heh. ^^
Posted By: IdPreferNotTo Re: Approval and Romance - 11/08/21 02:37 PM
In general I find the approval mechanics annoying in games. Especially in romances, if it requires you to micromanage approval on minute details instead of heavily favoring some big choices, as it sort of goads you into playing as a "choose the right dialog option" -type of sycophant to your significant other, just in case lower levels of approval lead to some sort of shitty breakup & betrayal. Which partially accounts for the fact that I find the side-romances that have very little relationship bargaining in them more interesting. Also, I guess maxing approval can be enjoyable, if you like toadying in a romance, which is fine, but as a mechanic underlaying all romances, it's usually kind of constricting and boring.

Also, the approval systems in games basically nearly always necessitates you to choose the so-called monogamous relationship, where you have to choose early on The One, that excludes all others. Romancing multiple characters nearly always plays out as cheating, thus basically ending the romance or turning it into a abusive relationship, or something that leads to a disapproval laden jealous confrontation where you're required to choose a single romantic interest. BG3 seems fairly committed to this facet of the approval system, since the companions come off as rather jealous demanding types and the party scene seems to railroad you towards monogamy: they basically all proposition to you at the same time(if your approval is high enough) and most of them seem to disapprove if you leave them hanging. So basically even if you "let" Lae boing you, who explicitly states that she isn't into romance or monogamy, you're committing to monogamous relationship with her, since choosing her seemingly excludes all other companions by disappointing them.

Though, it might be that the companions aren't really that possessive. Shadowheart approves if you set up, what seems to be, a future date with Lakrissa. Who seems like a refreshingly carefree person with a sense of humor, and who isn't that concerned with being 100% on the same page with you. I mean, she even (nicely) calls the PC a dummie, if he expresses silly beefcake optimism in regards to their survival chances.

Hopefully they won't end up killing her off before you get to the city, which would be reminiscent of DOS2 plotline and a "neat" way to limit the branching thiefling content in later acts.
Posted By: Thrythlind Re: Approval and Romance - 11/08/21 03:08 PM
Companions turning around and attacking you based on their approval of you was a thing in Baldur's Gate 1 and/or 2. Kikoskia's LP of BG1-2 he noted trying to maintain a low enough reputation that his evil party didn't turn on him while also maintaining the flavor of evil he wanted which was selfish and callous, but not outright cruel and who had a particular hatred for slavers.

Lae'zel I have no trouble imagining turning us because most of the characters are, by and large not Githyanki, and she's a fairly dyed-in-the-wool Githyanki who are rather well known for having low regard for anybody else.

There's been a discussion of what constitutes an "edgelord" on the City of Heroes: Homecoming forums and it's covered a wide range. Some people have dismissed it as a label for "people who RP in ways you don't like" and in my case I view it as a case when someone is taking on the aesthetics of a brooding or gloomy character without actually making the effort of follow through that makes a dark story-arc work well. I'm not sure any of the companions really fit my criteria. There seems to be an effort made in creating their stories. Laezel and Astarion annoy me but the stories are interesting. I quite like Shadowheart. Wyll... vacillates between being amusing and just really annoying me, but again, seems to have an interesting story to him. Gale, the Waterdhavian Wizard-itis is irritating, and his story involves a rather painful bit of mechanical sacrifice I'd rather not deal with.

There's a reason I'm hoping Karlach and Alfira will be available as companions as I know my party in that case.
Posted By: manyfacedhorse Re: Approval and Romance - 11/08/21 07:10 PM
Originally Posted by Wormerine
As to actual defence of the system: I really dislike it when all companions want to sleep with PC at once - it's just a barrier from making them feel like individuals, rather then "pick your sex cutscene". Therefore, if every/most companions are romancable, I believe there needs to be some system that limits what companions are available for romance in each playthrough, based on the character you play or your actions. Different games have different system - in PoE2 for example, companions seemed to respond to their reputations with you but also [I think] to your dispositions (aka honest, benevolent, cruel, etc). Though that system didn't quite work as intended in more ways then one... At the very least in 2.0 it spread companions hitting at PC around - so the best fitting choices would initiate romances early on, while others in mid-late game.

So far BG3 seems to be doing a good job - in my playthroughs I seem to get friendly with one or two companions depending on my choices. And so far it makes sense.

The only I could do without, is companions letting me know during the party that they would totally sleep with me, if I did more things they like. That just feels weird.

Honestly it's exactly this scenario that makes me think that adding another layer of depth to the romance mechanics is necessary. All of the companions come on very strong during the party scene- which sure, as a romance-minded player, is very funny to me, but ultimately is a little tiring.

That said, I think that you and others bring up good points about how the specific layer I suggested has its own flaws. If you don't mind me asking, where do you feel PoE2's system failed? I think that a game like BG3 has an opportunity to make party romance just as multifaceted and interesting as its other functions, so I'd like to hear opinions about other games' attempts at similar mechanics as much as possible.

(Of course, don't feel obligated to respond.)
Posted By: Sozz Re: Approval and Romance - 11/08/21 08:48 PM
I'd be leary of reading too much into the approval system at this stage, I've yet to have a playthrough where Astarion isn't willing to sleep with you based solely on dialogue choices. I'm also not sure how much of the flags and triggers aren't still placeholders for the purpose of testing in the EA area, can't be sure.

I've you haven't maybe check out some earlier threads that dealt with these topics (there are a bunch more I can't remember I'm sure) :
Dragon Age Origins - Next Age RPG c. page 3
Dragon Age Origins - Next Age RPG c. page 8
Character Acting, Demeanor, and Personality
Will there be a prologue
murderous horny companions
companions are amusement parks
adult content in BG3 locked
Herosexual NPCs locked

Does anyone like the Origin System? not really an old tread
Posted By: Avallonkao Re: Approval and Romance - 11/08/21 08:57 PM
The systems I always liked were, Dragon Age 2 is by far the best romance system from any game with romances I've ever played. I loved being in a rival romance, because even with this name, most of the time it led to an even more healthy relationship.
DOS2 also had an amazing system, where sometimes a single gesture, like a hug, holding hands, or asking if they were fine would lead to a growing relationship. It felt natural, most of them anyway.
Posted By: Sozz Re: Approval and Romance - 11/08/21 09:00 PM
Agreed, every interaction should deepen the relationship, not move it on a linear range between hate - stranger - love
Posted By: manyfacedhorse Re: Approval and Romance - 12/08/21 12:27 AM
Originally Posted by Sozz
I've you haven't maybe check out some earlier threads that dealt with these topics (there are a bunch more I can't remember I'm sure) :

thank you so much! ive been looking for other threads on similar topics. much appreciated!
Posted By: timebean Re: Approval and Romance - 12/08/21 02:48 AM
Originally Posted by Sozz
I've you haven't maybe check out some earlier threads that dealt with these topics (there are a bunch more I can't remember I'm sure) :
Dragon Age Origins - Next Age RPG c. page 3
Character Acting, Demeanor, and Personality
Will there be a prologue
murderous horny companions
companions are amusement parks
adult content in BG3 locked
Herosexual NPCs locked

Does anyone like the Origin System? not really an old tread


So I skimmed around the old posts you linked for fun. The “murderous horny companions” one made me laugh so hard I almost made myself sick. That poor ugly little dorf and his adventures with knife wielding lunatics who want to sleep with him. Jaysus. Being a dwarf in Faurun sure is confusing…
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Approval and Romance - 12/08/21 02:48 AM
Ok. Ok. Perhaps that was a BAD example.

I just mean the relationship score needs more score opportunities. You should gain or lose points more frequently for more choices in the game. Little point gains and losses as opposed to fewer opportunities with bigger point gains or losses. Right now, I feel like there isn't enough.

And I agree. Relationships should build even if individuals aren't necessarily doing everything others approve of. It should not be Bad, Neutral, Good, High or whatever. It actually should be more like alignment. You know, there's Neutral, Good, Evil but then there's Chaotic and Lawful. Two tracks.

So relationships should have two tracks. Something like: Stranger, Acquaintance, Intimate (meaning you now know the person well whether friend or foe). but then have something measuring Enemy, Wary, Indifferent, Friend, Lover. The more you have a character in the party and interact with them, the more your linear meter goes up from Stranger to Intimate. However, the choices you make determine whether you go up or down the Enemy/Friend scale.
Posted By: Avallonkao Re: Approval and Romance - 12/08/21 03:26 AM
I think the problem is that the camp night seems rushed. Honestly, I can think of only one scene and that's hidden in which Shadowheart shows interest in my character, all the other scenes with her were more she being snarky, evasive, infuriating if I hadn't discovered that scene I would never buy the whole camp scene with her. I think the others (male options) have more scenes that show their interest from both parts, but even then, it's weird how suddenly things turns up.

What I think would be needed is more interaction that would show that certain companions, preferable the ones you show interest also show the same for you. No need to be groundbreaking ones, just small hints, etc.

Just like DOS2 again as an example, in many different dialogues, interactions with the companions, and even when it was about other npcs, there were hints, small gestures, the way Lohse or Sebille would look at the MC sometimes, or need a hug. Or Ifan winking, or trying to show support when you had troubles, etc. In here the companions seem to be so much for themselves that in my solo play I didn't miss them or their scenes at all.
This is the first RPG game with romance where I love my MC more than any of the romance options, and I'm sure right she is way too good for any of them.
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Approval and Romance - 12/08/21 04:46 AM
Lol. I think you've ultimately hit the nail on the head for me. There's just not enough character interaction period. Characters aren't REALLY getting to know each other as a team. They should be discussing things as a party and making comments towards one another. You should have options to defend someone's opinions and step on the toes of others, and tease, and flirt, and laugh, and joke.

So much of the character dialogues are 1v1. MC and Astarion. MC and Gale. MC and Lae'zel. It's all very rigid and one-sided. There's very few moments right now that cause the player to even feel connected to any of them. Thus, when that moment comes for romance, even having any of them want to sleep with you, it just feels forced ESPECIALLY because they ALL want to at the same time.

Astarion and maybe Lae'zel are the only 2, maybe, that I could see, and I even have a problem with Lae'zel. She's a Gith, proud and full of her own sense of honor. Unless you are also a Gith, I find it hard to believe she'd sully herself and sleep with you. I think unless you're a Gith, she should be one of the hardest to romance, even being romanced only after working real hard at it and only late game AFTER you've REALLY proven yourself.
Posted By: Niara Re: Approval and Romance - 12/08/21 05:40 AM
In Lae'zel's terms, think of it in the more mercenary sense - it isn't about *you* at all. From her perspective I view it as more a case of:

"Well, I'm here now and I'm travelling with this lot, and damnit, I'm stressed and in a mood to celebrate and I want some [insert anatomical preference here]. I'm sure as hell not waiting until I find a creche where my superiors will be the ones holding the reins... Who in this lot of slave-fodder material-plane mud-dwelling savages can I use to suit my needs? That one? That one. You, yes you, physically capable flesh being, service me."
Posted By: RagnarokCzD Re: Approval and Romance - 12/08/21 09:34 AM
I believe its fine as it is ...

To me it seems like every companion is attracked to our Tav, no matter what gender, race, age, collor, or size you choose ...
Then, they simply (and mostly silently) observe their Mary Sue, until they get the feeling that they theoreticaly could understand each other ... then they hit on you. laugh

Kinda simple ... but i like it.
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Approval and Romance - 12/08/21 10:43 AM
Well, I'm just saying. If they keep romance as is, I won't play the game having any character romance because it isn't romance. This is a huge disappointment for me. Period.

One of the things that I really enjoyed in BG1 and 2 was romance. Jaheira's, for example, was challenging, and you had to work for it, and it was rewarding. I felt like it was a real romance that took time, and we went through a lot together, etc. During Siege at Dragonspear, I romanced the captain, what's her name. By the end, it was truly heartbreaking foe me.

The romances in BG3... nothing emotional tp me at all. There's no connection, and they're disappointing.

So, again, if they keep them as is, I just won't, and that is a big loss on the BG3 fun scale to me.
Posted By: Zellin Re: Approval and Romance - 12/08/21 10:51 AM
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Well, I'm just saying. If they keep romance as is, I won't play the game having any character romance because it isn't romance. This is a huge disappointment for me. Period.

One of the things that I really enjoyed in BG1 and 2 was romance. Jaheira's, for example, was challenging, and you had to work for it, and it was rewarding. I felt like it was a real romance that took time, and we went through a lot together, etc. During Siege at Dragonspear, I romanced the captain, what's her name. By the end, it was truly heartbreaking foe me.

The romances in BG3... nothing emotional tp me at all. There's no connection, and they're disappointing.

So, again, if they keep them as is, I just won't, and that is a big loss on the BG3 fun scale to me.
What we have now in act 1 is not a romance and never intended to be. It's a drunken one-night-sex. At some point Larian explicitly said that they are using the word "romance" here to be more "polite", but actually it's just sex.
So, please, just stop mistaking one for another.
Posted By: Avallonkao Re: Approval and Romance - 12/08/21 12:23 PM
Originally Posted by Zellin
Originally Posted by GM4Him
So, again, if they keep them as is, I just won't, and that is a big loss on the BG3 fun scale to me.
What we have now in act 1 is not a romance and never intended to be. It's a drunken one-night-sex. At some point Larian explicitly said that they are using the word "romance" here to be more "polite", but actually it's just sex.
So, please, just stop mistaking one for another.


That I know, and it's the reason the only character scene at the camp I like is Shadowheart. I can see myself starting an actual romance with her after that night because it's just getting to know each other, some wine, kiss, etc. Nothing more.
But my point is that even to reach that there are too few moments to see that one could be interested or even know the other. All I said about DOS2 the interactions, etc? You can see many of them still in ACT1.
Again, this is just my opinion on the current state, I know many things will change, and I'm sure Larian will be able to make it work great in the end.
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Approval and Romance - 12/08/21 12:28 PM
Um... okay. Doesn't change anything no matter what you call it. I still do not enjoy what they've implemented. It is a huge letdown. BG 1 and 2 had some fun romance, REAL romance, options. BG3 just had cheap one-night-stand sex that feels very forced to me and meaningless.

Therefore, as a result, if they don't do something different, I just won't enjoy the game as much. I will simply choose to never romance any character in the game. You can agree or disagree all you want, but that is just how it is. I don't like the current sex crap they've developed. Will I kick and scream if they don't change it? Nope. I'll just not enjoy that part. Thus, in my opinion, the game won't ever be AS good as it could be if they didn't just treat sex for ALL characters like some pointless, forced moment in the game.

It also, frankly, makes me not like any of the origin characters as much. They just seem more shallow and, well, easy. Again, to me, romancing Jaheira was rewarding because she was hard to get. She was not just, "Oh Gorion's Ward. I lost my husband. Do me." It took time and effort.

These characters are ALL like, "Ah yes. We beat some goblins and are now drunk. Let's do it." Bah. No thank you. None of you care one twit about my MC. You just wanna have sex with anybody. Get lost!
Posted By: Avallonkao Re: Approval and Romance - 12/08/21 12:37 PM
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Um... okay. Doesn't change anything no matter what you call it. I still do not enjoy what they've implemented. It is a huge letdown. BG 1 and 2 had some fun romance, REAL romance, options. BG3 just had cheap one-night-stand sex that feels very forced to me and meaningless.

Therefore, as a result, if they don't do something different, I just won't enjoy the game as much. I will simply choose to never romance any character in the game. You can agree or disagree all you want, but that is just how it is. I don't like the current sex crap they've developed. Will I kick and scream if they don't change it? Nope. I'll just not enjoy that part. Thus, in my opinion, the game won't ever be AS good as it could be if they didn't just treat sex for ALL characters like some pointless, forced moment in the game.

It also, frankly, makes me not like any of the origin characters as much. They just seem more shallow and, well, easy. Again, to me, romancing Jaheira was rewarding because she was hard to get. She was not just, "Oh Gorion's Ward. I lost my husband. Do me." It took time and effort.

These characters are ALL like, "Ah yes. We beat some goblins and are now drunk. Let's do it." Bah. No thank you. None of you care one twit about my MC. You just wanna have sex with anybody. Get lost!

ok, on this note I must say that you need to wait. Many of the actual romances are still to be done, we don't have all companions, we are on ACT1, you can choose to sleep or not with them, or choose Shadowheart for a talk. But I think/hope larian will just make this based more on the character's personality, so let's see how the other companions that will be introduced will be in this regard. Also, I think after more thought, that the camp scene is actually the idea of the actual starting of the romance, and not the romance itself.
I just hope we can get more interactions/dialogues in this after the game is fully released. I mean, what can make confused for many is that BG3 is the first game (that I know) where you can actually go to bang a companion/romance in the very half of the first act. usually, this happens in later acts, most of the time in the last one.
Posted By: Fox of Embers Re: Approval and Romance - 12/08/21 01:20 PM
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Um... okay. Doesn't change anything no matter what you call it. I still do not enjoy what they've implemented. It is a huge letdown. BG 1 and 2 had some fun romance, REAL romance, options. BG3 just had cheap one-night-stand sex that feels very forced to me and meaningless.

BG1 itself had no romance. In TotSC they introduced a mini-romance, which consisted of two or three short quests and some dialogue. And then s/he would go and hold back the werewolfs for you - and be forgotten by Gorions Ward.
Basically, if it comes to characters, please compare it only to BG2.

If you pace the game realistic, meaning not letting the game run just to trigger dialogue, you will not be overly far with any romance when you finally raise the money to start Chapter 3. Also, you are locked into romance dialogue unless it is somehow unavailable.
Also, the Jaheira romance was not overly difficulty, it was just buggy. Viconia was the difficulty one.

Don't get me wrong, I like the characters and romances from BG2, it is what got me into crpgs and later into visual novels. In fact, I really hope we get good and fleshed out romance routes.
I also hope we will get few one-night stands and that they have a high risk of messing up a romance. Basically, I am a romantic who likes romantic stories mixed in and not just semi-random gratification (that is not realy gratifying..)

Also also, please add a nice girl, Larian. I for one would probably not here if not for Aerie.. >_<
Posted By: AvatarOfSHODAN Re: Approval and Romance - 12/08/21 02:37 PM
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Um... okay. Doesn't change anything no matter what you call it. I still do not enjoy what they've implemented. It is a huge letdown. BG 1 and 2 had some fun romance, REAL romance, options. BG3 just had cheap one-night-stand sex that feels very forced to me and meaningless.

Therefore, as a result, if they don't do something different, I just won't enjoy the game as much. I will simply choose to never romance any character in the game. You can agree or disagree all you want, but that is just how it is. I don't like the current sex crap they've developed. Will I kick and scream if they don't change it? Nope. I'll just not enjoy that part. Thus, in my opinion, the game won't ever be AS good as it could be if they didn't just treat sex for ALL characters like some pointless, forced moment in the game.

It also, frankly, makes me not like any of the origin characters as much. They just seem more shallow and, well, easy. Again, to me, romancing Jaheira was rewarding because she was hard to get. She was not just, "Oh Gorion's Ward. I lost my husband. Do me." It took time and effort.

These characters are ALL like, "Ah yes. We beat some goblins and are now drunk. Let's do it." Bah. No thank you. None of you care one twit about my MC. You just wanna have sex with anybody. Get lost!

The current culmination at the party is just an intimate taste - not necessarily a whole summary and representation of what "romancing" them will be like. We're getting intimate with who they are now, not who they grow to be in Act 2 or in Act 3. I found some of the scenes actually have smidgens of actual romantic dialogue and elements in their scenes. A few of them confide in you during these scenes and Wyll and Gale in particular express some longing for more. Headcanoning any of them as drunk only makes sense if the player character just made the bare minimum of unlocking the scene.

I also wonder if you are getting to these romance scenes without having gotten many of the companion's camp scenes prior. It is possible to get the approval needed to unlock these scenes even though you've camped like twice and haven't seen a single scene of the character you choose.
Posted By: IdPreferNotTo Re: Approval and Romance - 12/08/21 04:03 PM
Originally Posted by Niara
In Lae'zel's terms, think of it in the more mercenary sense - it isn't about *you* at all. From her perspective I view it as more a case of:

"Well, I'm here now and I'm travelling with this lot, and damnit, I'm stressed and in a mood to celebrate and I want some [insert anatomical preference here]. I'm sure as hell not waiting until I find a creche where my superiors will be the ones holding the reins... Who in this lot of slave-fodder material-plane mud-dwelling savages can I use to suit my needs? That one? That one. You, yes you, physically capable flesh being, service me."

Yes. Lae'zel seems the least interested in similarity, or your PCs person, when choosing sexual partners, and she's therefore most unaffected by the approval stats. She's also more appealing within the approval system, since she's the only passable domineering type of companion(Astarion being too much of a sniveling murder-rapey toff, Minthara the-token-domme being a needy slave to the flayer cult etc.) in the game as it is, so it's not like toadying up to her is an unpleasant chore from a d/s kink perspective.

She also seems to enjoy heaping verbal abuse at others, which may give more variety in the dialog options and sort of hints at the possibility that you can have an somewhat antagonistic relationship with her and still romance her. There doesn't seem to be that many dialog options to trade jabs with her at the moment, though, I've seen very few campsite interactions with her. Oddly, she's a bit traditional/poetic/awkward in propositioning to you, as if she has to prop you up in order to somehow justify to her noble self the desire to fuck a lowly servant with a hideously uneconomical nose. And while the 'sex party' plays out like "choose the romantic relationship" -'approval scenario', it sort of works for her, as the romantic relationship with her seems to revolve largely around (enjoyable) masochistic self-denial, since she's got a rather infla.. high confidence in her abilities as a lover/bruiser, and even states that her partner's pleasure should be derived from her pleasure.

There's also little reason to think that she'll betray us for the flayer cult (unless you've been fattening the tadpole so much with your gray matter, that she's lost her wits as well), so there's a chance you can romance her without high approval. Though there will surely be other parties that will try to set the companions at each others throats, so it's possible you'll have to kiss her ass, not just for the sake of it, but because of the approval stats.

But all other current companions seem to be hemmed in by a approval system, that doesn't particularly appeal to me.
Posted By: RagnarokCzD Re: Approval and Romance - 12/08/21 04:49 PM
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Well, I'm just saying. If they keep romance as is, I won't play the game having any character romance because it isn't romance. This is a huge disappointment for me. Period.
This again?
10 paiges in the last topic was not enough for you? :-/

FFS ... well, then dont.
If that makes you happy.
Posted By: fylimar Re: Approval and Romance - 12/08/21 05:11 PM
I think, they handled it well with Shadowheart - there is an actual building up and no sex scene, but some talk and a kiss.
Posted By: RagnarokCzD Re: Approval and Romance - 12/08/21 08:34 PM
Originally Posted by fylimar
I think, they handled it well with Shadowheart - there is an actual building up and no sex scene, but some talk and a kiss.
Maybe ... but it suits her.
Can you imagine the same scene with Astarion? :-/

Ugh ... awfull.
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 04:33 AM
Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Originally Posted by GM4Him
Well, I'm just saying. If they keep romance as is, I won't play the game having any character romance because it isn't romance. This is a huge disappointment for me. Period.
This again?
10 paiges in the last topic was not enough for you? :-/

FFS ... well, then dont.
If that makes you happy.

No. What makes me happy is for them to NOT make tawdry, pointless sex scenes and call it "Romance just to be polite." That's dumb. Call it what it is. Baseless sex.

If that's what people like, that's fine. Have a character or two who will have baseless, meaningless sex with the MC. Astarion fits the mold just fine. If it fits the character, and people like it, whatever. But not 1 of the characters is like, "Hey. Let's just hang out and get to know each other." Shadowheart is the closest, but even she's like, "Share my bunk with me tonight. Let's kiss."

The Shadowheart "love scene" would be more of what I'm talking about, but even she goes from 0 to 60 in one night. Couldn't they just share a bottle that night? Then, on another night, maybe they take a stroll and chat under the moonlight and then have their first kiss? Then, on another night, they flirt and tease a little, share another kiss; one that's more intense? etc. etc. etc.

And then there's the fact that Larian has everyone on the same night wanting to sleep with you which completely cheapens the entire thing. It would be one thing if Astarion wanted to do things with you during the party. Again, I get it. Astarion is free from his shackles, feeling good, half drunk, and he just wants to experience more of life and all its pleasures. Lae'zel, again, I get it if you're a Gith, but maybe you all just don't know enough about how Githyanki society is supposed to be. Her sleeping with a human or elf or drow or dwarf or halfling would be like a human sleeping with a dog or cat. That's how the Gith view other races. All races are inferior to them.


https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Githyanki
Relationships
As a people, githyanki were generally proud and xenophobic. They viewed all other races with contempt[27] and were generally unwilling to learn anything about other cultures, including other languages.[14] They viewed Material Plane–dwellers as ignorant and incompetent, or, in worse cases, as potential slaves. They could only bring themselves to use magic items not of githyanki design if they were extremely powerful, and even then by rationalizing that any such items must have been designed with githyanki knowledge to begin with. It was uncommon, but not impossible, for a githyanki to overcome the prejudices of its people and start regarding others with respect.

So she would NOT just sleep with anyone in the party after a few days of fighting at their side. She would BARELY even tolerate their company and want anything to do with them. Even Lae'zel using weapons other than Githyanki weapons is ridiculous, but I will say that IF Larian does Lae'zel right, then I suspect she may be different from other Gith because of some past circumstance. Thus, she makes concessions out of necessity in order to accomplish her ultimate goal. Still, there are some things I really have a problem with for her, and that's her just being so willing to sleep with the MC no matter what race as long as they tickled her fancies a little during EA. I'm sorry, but Lae'zel should be one of the hardest romances in the entire game, fighting her feelings for the MC to the bitter end especially if they are non-Gith.

And I have a REAL problem with the fact that they have everyone hit on you if you hit a certain relationship level. They ALL want to sleep with you. What about just being friends? Why are Gale and Wyll hitting on me when I just want to be their friends? It is NOT fun for me to have characters that I'm trying to connect with hit on me when I don't want them to hit on me. Immediately, all I want to do is kick them from the party. It's like having one of your friends tell you they want to kiss you, but you don't feel that way for them. It makes everything really awkward, and the next thing you know you're trying to avoid them. I'm just saying, Larian REALLY ruined Wyll's character for me when, during my first playthrough, I had no idea he was going to ask to sleep with me. I thought Wyll and my MC were becoming good friends, like Brothers in Arms. All of a sudden, "Let's BUNK!" I'm like, "No way, Bro! I'm sorry, but... I got the wrong impression about you. I thought we were just bros." And I had a hard time after that even remotely liking his character.

If Larian wants people to like their origin characters, they need to build their characters with solid relationship dialogues and moments. There needs to be joking and teasing, and not just in a sexual or flirtatious way. There needs to be more companion off the cuff comments LIKE IN SOLASTA! HA! Brought in the dreaded game again, but it's one of the things they did so well, so suffer! One character misses a shot and another says, "You suck!" or "You'll get 'em next time," or "Try harder!" Fun little moments that make the companions feel more like friends and not absolute strangers who hate each other and are stuck in a bad situation together.

And they all need their own, separate romance arcs. Don't be throwing them all into some sex pool on celebration night where they all suddenly just want a romp in the sack.

Anyway, as you can see, this bugs me to no end especially when Raggy constantly comments about "well just don't do it then if you don't like it." Drives me insane. I am SUGGESTING that they build into the game more romance, not just tawdry sex. They can give you who like just sex some characters that just want sex, but at least give us players who like an actual romance an actual romance. I have an opinion. My opinion is that the romance in the game sucks as is. If they don't fix it, it will make the gameplay less fun for me.

I very much enjoyed Siege of Dragonspear so much more because there was the ability to romance certain characters. Same with BG2. Same with Knights of the Old Republic and many other games like it. I don't want the game to be ALL ABOUT ROMANCE as if I'm looking for a Dating Sim. I don't like Dating Sims. I'm not asking for a Dating Sim. I'm looking for a good fantasy game LIKE THE ORIGINAL BG GAMES that include some romance options to enhance the gameplay and make it more enjoyable. I really love adventuring with characters that I connect with, and if there is one that I feel connects with my MC more, it makes it even more enjoyable because I feel like the two are building a strong relationship together. Games like that which allow you to build relationships with other characters that you can even have turn into a full blown romance make the story that much more enjoyable for me, and I'm not alone because I know others have shared the same feedback. But then they get shot down and told to just don't play out the romance then, as if that somehow fixes the issue. This BG3 tawdry sex night crap is NOTHING like what I'd like to see, and it frankly brings the game down ten notches.

And no. 10 pages in my last topic was NOT enough for me. I'm a writer who writes novels 500+ pages long. I'm a DM who creates campaigns after campaigns. Story writing is what I do. 10 pages is like a hiccup for me. If you don't like 10 page writeups, then why do YOU write 10 page writeups? I find it very interesting that you pick on me writing so much, but so many of your comments in various threads have been novels themselves.
Posted By: Sozz Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 05:17 AM
By the time of the camp scene you'll probably have learned: Shadowheart can't swim, she likes night orchids, she is an orphan, and she worships Shar. In terms of RPG relationships this might as well be the equivalent of years of cohabitation. Quibble with the accelerated nature of this but it's hardly 0 to 60. This could all take place over two nights or two weeks, they have no direct control over the amount of time you take so a lot of the pacing right now is whack.

I hope you're not using a blurb from the Monster Manual to rationalize why Lae'zel or Tav wouldn't use non-Gith weapons during this campaign, Githyanki might be huge assholes about the superiority of their civilization but believing it's far-fetched that any Gith wouldn't use a any weapon available under duress doesn't strike me as realistic.

In that same vein, you might want to readjust your expectations of how civilizations that view themselves as superior view "inferior races" in this regard, respect is not necessary. Gith should view Faerun like Europeans viewed the New World and the Indians who lived there.

I agree with you that it falls on you like a ton of bricks during the party, I also think it could be better paced, better integrated in larger story, instead of just when you talk to them, there's a lot that could be improved in this regard, but you have to temper your expectations, first because its an EA and second because, RPGs don't have the best track record in this regard.

Ultimately I think the kind of romance arc you want won't be found among our Neutral/Evil companions. I'm not sure what's more to say, you're right casual sex isn't romance, I don't think it's being put forward as such either, though it does lead to the possibility of further intimacy in the scenes and morning-after scenes.

And finally, I don't need to like my companions, I don't even need to like my romantic interest, sometimes stories aren't about giving you what you want.

Maybe break up your text walls up a little with some spoilers and headings. I bet you alienate a few people who just can't be bothered.
Posted By: fylimar Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 05:43 AM
Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Originally Posted by fylimar
I think, they handled it well with Shadowheart - there is an actual building up and no sex scene, but some talk and a kiss.
Maybe ... but it suits her.
Can you imagine the same scene with Astarion? :-/

Ugh ... awfull.
I don't Imagine anything with Astarion, but killing him...
Posted By: Avallonkao Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 10:40 AM
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Originally Posted by fylimar
I think, they handled it well with Shadowheart - there is an actual building up and no sex scene, but some talk and a kiss.
Maybe ... but it suits her.
Can you imagine the same scene with Astarion? :-/

Ugh ... awfull.
I don't Imagine anything with Astarion, but killing him...

hahaha. The love for Asatarion is strong in this place. But honestly, he and Gale, I can't even, especially after both decided to judge me for choosing Shadowheart over them.

Which reminds me of giving an important feedback. Could the companions stop eavesdropping on my choices in the camp during the party? They shouldn't have any opinion about who I choose to spend the night with, it's not of their goddamn business. If I wanted someone else, I would go after them. I hate it.
Posted By: fylimar Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 12:38 PM
Originally Posted by Avallonkao
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Originally Posted by fylimar
I think, they handled it well with Shadowheart - there is an actual building up and no sex scene, but some talk and a kiss.
Maybe ... but it suits her.
Can you imagine the same scene with Astarion? :-/

Ugh ... awfull.
I don't Imagine anything with Astarion, but killing him...

hahaha. The love for Asatarion is strong in this place. But honestly, he and Gale, I can't even, especially after both decided to judge me for choosing Shadowheart over them.

Which reminds me of giving an important feedback. Could the companions stop eavesdropping on my choices in the camp during the party? They shouldn't have any opinion about who I choose to spend the night with, it's not of their goddamn business. If I wanted someone else, I would go after them. I hate it.
I agree, that is annoying as hell. I don't really get all the Astarion love or the Minthara hype, but then I hate Twilight and the likes with passion and I don't like evil mad psychocult bitches, drow or other.
I would like to have a more down to Warth, normal companion for a change, without Drama, someone like Varric or Aveline from Dragon Age 2 for example. We have enough drama queens so far.
Posted By: RagnarokCzD Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 12:52 PM
Originally Posted by Avallonkao
especially after both decided to judge me for choosing Shadowheart over them.

Which reminds me of giving an important feedback. Could the companions stop eavesdropping on my choices in the camp during the party? They shouldn't have any opinion about who I choose to spend the night with, it's not of their goddamn business. If I wanted someone else, I would go after them. I hate it.
Sounds understandable to me ...
You would also feel disapointed in their place. :-/
Posted By: Avallonkao Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 12:52 PM
Quote
I agree, that is annoying as hell. I don't really get all the Astarion love or the Minthara hype, but then I hate Twilight and the likes with passion and I don't like evil mad psychocult bitches, drow or other.
I would like to have a more down to Warth, normal companion for a change, without Drama, someone like Varric or Aveline from Dragon Age 2 for example. We have enough drama queens so far.

Since you brought that up, you know, I would love an Isabela like kind of character, just saying. And yes, please give us a companion who isn't overcomplicated/annoying/ with a darker past, etc kind of character, more down to earth companions can be interesting as well. Especially someone willing to just have a nice chat with you, this I miss in this game, unlike other rpgs I've played, in this one, there's no actual nice chat with the companions, everything seems so over the top, snarky, mind your business all the time. I think this is one of the biggest reasons I didn't get a real care for any of the companions. I think the only companion I really like, and that's not saying much, is Shadowheart.
Posted By: GM4Him Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 01:07 PM
Exactly what I'm saying. No real companion relationship building. You get nothing but "stop prying" from most of them and no joking laughing or anything. Then, suddenly, "Hi. My my. Aren't you the catch of the day. Let's do it."

THAT'S what I'm talking about. No connections. Just 0 to 60 out of nowhere, ALL of them, and I don't even REALLY like any of them by that point. Gale pretends to be good, but I don't think he really is. He's totally sus to me. Wyll has a dark side too in spite of playing Mr. Hero. Lae'zel...well... need I say more. Astarion... same. So like you said, maybe Shadowheart is kinda likeable when she's not being a sarcastic jerk and pushing you away.

They need to give us reasons to like them and even WANT to be intimate with them. Otherwise, why would my awesome MC even consider sullying themselves with any of the origin characters?

Romance is truly dead in BG3.
Posted By: RagnarokCzD Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 01:35 PM
It really seem to me like we were playing entirely different game sometimes ...

Its not 0 to 60 out of nowhere ...
There is quite nice character development with each one of them. O_o
They first watch you, concider what kind of person you are ... then they open to you with their most pressing problems ... they asks for your trust, for your help, then and only then for your di... ehm ... night spend together, but allways in that order. O_o

Unless you sprint the whole game to Tiefling party without talking to anyone ... then it really can ruin the mood ... but that is your own fault.
Posted By: Innateagle Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 01:41 PM
Originally Posted by Avallonkao
Quote
I agree, that is annoying as hell. I don't really get all the Astarion love or the Minthara hype, but then I hate Twilight and the likes with passion and I don't like evil mad psychocult bitches, drow or other.
I would like to have a more down to Warth, normal companion for a change, without Drama, someone like Varric or Aveline from Dragon Age 2 for example. We have enough drama queens so far.

Since you brought that up, you know, I would love an Isabela like kind of character, just saying. And yes, please give us a companion who isn't overcomplicated/annoying/ with a darker past, etc kind of character, more down to earth companions can be interesting as well. Especially someone willing to just have a nice chat with you, this I miss in this game, unlike other rpgs I've played, in this one, there's no actual nice chat with the companions, everything seems so over the top, snarky, mind your business all the time. I think this is one of the biggest reasons I didn't get a real care for any of the companions. I think the only companion I really like, and that's not saying much, is Shadowheart.

Thing is, the 'straight man' kind of character is hard to write. In my experience they either fall flat (Kaidan, Jacob from ME) or are quite exceptional (Eder from POE and, maybe, Sten from DA), no in-between. Larian has yet to even try, in any of their games, either because of that, or because of the Origin system 'requiring' every character to feel like main character material.

Either way, i doubt we'll get anything resembling a normal dude.
Posted By: fylimar Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 01:42 PM
Originally Posted by Avallonkao
Quote
I agree, that is annoying as hell. I don't really get all the Astarion love or the Minthara hype, but then I hate Twilight and the likes with passion and I don't like evil mad psychocult bitches, drow or other.
I would like to have a more down to Warth, normal companion for a change, without Drama, someone like Varric or Aveline from Dragon Age 2 for example. We have enough drama queens so far.

Since you brought that up, you know, I would love an Isabela like kind of character, just saying. And yes, please give us a companion who isn't overcomplicated/annoying/ with a darker past, etc kind of character, more down to earth companions can be interesting as well. Especially someone willing to just have a nice chat with you, this I miss in this game, unlike other rpgs I've played, in this one, there's no actual nice chat with the companions, everything seems so over the top, snarky, mind your business all the time. I think this is one of the biggest reasons I didn't get a real care for any of the companions. I think the only companion I really like, and that's not saying much, is Shadowheart.

Oh yes, Isabela - what a great character. And yes, more nice, friendly conversations - that's why I brought Varric up, I really liked the conversations with him in DA2, it truely felt liek friendship. I miss that in BG3. Mostly the companions are selfcentered snowflakes, that rub their problems in your face. Let's stay with Astarion for a while: The guy tries to kill you right from the beginning, he always cheers, if you are cruel and disapproves, if you are kind. But then he demands, literally demands, that you show kindness to him for being a vampire. He reacts aggressive, if you aren't understanding of his condition, but if you show the same kindness, that he demands from you to someone else (Arabella for example or the tieflings in general), he disapproves. What a drama queen. And don't get me started on Gale and Wyll with their god/demon mistresses and their whinyness, if you don't show compassion for being so dumb and start something with a fickle godess or a frigging demon.
I think the girls are a bit better - at least, Shadowheart is annoying, because she literally doesn't know, who she is (and it gets better later on) and Lae'zel is focussed only of finding a creche - aka her only solution for removing the tadpole. I can live with that. Lae'zel isn't a nice person, her culture isn't a friendly one, I get that. But she is the most dramafree of the companions.
Posted By: RagnarokCzD Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 01:49 PM
Problem with DA-2 compared to BG-3 is that every companion in DA-2 follows you voluntarily ...
They had better(? ... well, certainly different) things to do, but instead they decided to follow you for some reason.
In BG-3 most characters dont want to go with you, but see no other option.
Posted By: Avallonkao Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 01:59 PM
Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Problem with DA-2 compared to BG-3 is that every companion in DA-2 follows you voluntarily ...
They had better(? ... well, certainly different) things to do, but instead they decided to follow you for some reason.
In BG-3 most characters dont want to go with you, but see no other option.

Agree and disagree. yeah, they don't want to? try telling them you don't want them following you when meeting them the first time, one will be mad, other will try to change your mind. Another calls you idiot, the only one that goes her way without begging you to reconsider is Shadowheart. So, they follow because of necessity, right? I don't think this is a reason to be a jerk when you try to make a small conversation. Other RPGs have this kinda forced group joining, but get to know each other more before jumping to sex. DAO is an example of this well done.
Posted By: fylimar Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 02:04 PM
Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Problem with DA-2 compared to BG-3 is that every companion in DA-2 follows you voluntarily ...
They had better(? ... well, certainly different) things to do, but instead they decided to follow you for some reason.
In BG-3 most characters dont want to go with you, but see no other option.

As I see it, none of the BG3 companions are forced to go with you. If Lae'zel wants to find a creche quickly, she can just go and search one for herself, Astarion can murder hsi way to Baldurs Gate to confront his master or whatever else he wants to do. Gale and Wyll both make it very clear, that they think of themselves as the gods gifts to humanity, so no need to follow some noob. Shadowheart might be the only one, who might gain by following you, given, that she has no memory. But she does seem mostly ok with it.
Basically, no one forces the companions to follow you and quite frankly, I always thought it hilarious, that they do so (yes story reasons blabla, but still).
And there is one character, that follows you volunteerily and he is refreshing drama free: Halsin. I already see him as teh big brother, my girl never had - it's kind of refreshing compared to the rest. So yeah, someone like Halsin as companion would be great. And I'm not talking romance here, but friendship.
Posted By: Avallonkao Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 02:48 PM
Funny thing is that Halsin is a great guy, no pun intended. And I also enjoyed the small talks I had with Alfira than most of the dialogues with the companions. I'd like a companion like her, someone pleasing to talk to. Someone who seems, normal, she just endured some heavy trauma and still treated my character nicer than all companions even after our first meetings. Is that allowed in this game, right? I hope so in the future at least.
Posted By: Thrythlind Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 03:14 PM
Originally Posted by Avallonkao
Funny thing is that Halsin is a great guy, no pun intended. And I also enjoyed the small talks I had with Alfira than most of the dialogues with the companions. I'd like a companion like her, someone pleasing to talk to. Someone who seems, normal, she just endured some heavy trauma and still treated my character nicer than all companions even after our first meetings. Is that allowed in this game, right? I hope so in the future at least.

My current hope is that Alfira will be the bard companion. Alternately, I hope she hangs around the camp and serves a utility purpose. Either way I kinda hope she's romanceable, though I'm aware games don't usually make it possible to romance utility characters (shop owners et al... I think Skyrim was unique here)
Posted By: IdPreferNotTo Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 03:41 PM
Originally Posted by Innateagle
Originally Posted by Avallonkao
Quote
I agree, that is annoying as hell. I don't really get all the Astarion love or the Minthara hype, but then I hate Twilight and the likes with passion and I don't like evil mad psychocult bitches, drow or other.
I would like to have a more down to Warth, normal companion for a change, without Drama, someone like Varric or Aveline from Dragon Age 2 for example. We have enough drama queens so far.

Since you brought that up, you know, I would love an Isabela like kind of character, just saying. And yes, please give us a companion who isn't overcomplicated/annoying/ with a darker past, etc kind of character, more down to earth companions can be interesting as well. Especially someone willing to just have a nice chat with you, this I miss in this game, unlike other rpgs I've played, in this one, there's no actual nice chat with the companions, everything seems so over the top, snarky, mind your business all the time. I think this is one of the biggest reasons I didn't get a real care for any of the companions. I think the only companion I really like, and that's not saying much, is Shadowheart.

Thing is, the 'straight man' kind of character is hard to write. In my experience they either fall flat (Kaidan, Jacob from ME) or are quite exceptional (Eder from POE and, maybe, Sten from DA), no in-between. Larian has yet to even try, in any of their games, either because of that, or because of the Origin system 'requiring' every character to feel like main character material.

Either way, i doubt we'll get anything resembling a normal dude.

I think the main reason why we're on short supply with down to earth companions, or "normal" people, is due to the fact that Larian seems enamored with a grimdark setting in their games, where people tend to be somehow creepy and/or fucked up beyond belief. The world of DOS2 was pretty grim, but at least there was more humor in the world(even the narrator VO was less malevolent), you were less traumatized by your captors, and it was easier to ignore/miss the "let's drink koolaid with the doomsday cultist" -plotlines at play.

Sadly, I can't see how a upbeat character like Lohse, Isabela or Varric would even fit in all this as an origin companion.
Posted By: Fox of Embers Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 03:55 PM
Originally Posted by IdPreferNotTo
I think the main reason why we're on short supply with down to earth companions, or "normal" people, is due to the fact that Larian seems enamored with a grimdark setting in their games, where people tend to be somehow creepy and/or fucked up beyond belief. The world of DOS2 was pretty grim, but at least there was more humor in the world(even the narrator VO was less malevolent), you were less traumatized by your captors, and it was easier to ignore/miss the "let's drink koolaid with the doomsday cultist" -plotlines at play.

Sadly, I can't see how a upbeat character like Lohse, Isabela or Varric would even fit in all this as an origin companion.
If what the dataminers say is true, then we will get Minsc. A friendly and often silly absolut hero who takes orders from a hamster. Even having his witch killed before his eyes did not turn him into a dark figure. It made him a bit more unhinged, but since it was an EVIL WIZARD who did it, his solution was just BUTKICKING, FOR GOODNESS! .
BG2 was dark, with all the torture and soultheft, but this guy took the dark setting and shouted light into it.
I am certain he will do the same in BG3.

He was depressed after fighting Strahd and realising that he has no chance of winning against this evil, but he even recovered from that.
Posted By: Thrythlind Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 03:56 PM
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Problem with DA-2 compared to BG-3 is that every companion in DA-2 follows you voluntarily ...
They had better(? ... well, certainly different) things to do, but instead they decided to follow you for some reason.
In BG-3 most characters dont want to go with you, but see no other option.

As I see it, none of the BG3 companions are forced to go with you. If Lae'zel wants to find a creche quickly, she can just go and search one for herself, Astarion can murder hsi way to Baldurs Gate to confront his master or whatever else he wants to do. Gale and Wyll both make it very clear, that they think of themselves as the gods gifts to humanity, so no need to follow some noob. Shadowheart might be the only one, who might gain by following you, given, that she has no memory. But she does seem mostly ok with it.
Basically, no one forces the companions to follow you and quite frankly, I always thought it hilarious, that they do so (yes story reasons blabla, but still).
And there is one character, that follows you volunteerily and he is refreshing drama free: Halsin. I already see him as teh big brother, my girl never had - it's kind of refreshing compared to the rest. So yeah, someone like Halsin as companion would be great. And I'm not talking romance here, but friendship.

Yeah:

Shadowheart's story is pretty stock, but I'm okay with that. She has drama, but it's in the expected range of drama for a fantasy character. Also, for all that she has main character drama for the people playing her as the main character, she's still reasonable in her attitudes on the boundaries of our relationship.

Astarion just comes off like a spoiled brat throwing a temper tantrum. I know he has trauma as well, and I'm usually fine exploring a vampire storyline, but he makes me a bit tired.

Wyll is a drama queen, out and out, and he is very selfish. He's very much about doing the "right thing" but loses the track when his personal issues cloud the situation.

Gale is a bit casually condescending and also fairly selfish, and he's not as upfront about "there's things I have that are not your business"... and when you're less up front about your issues than the Sharite....

Laezel is a stock githyanki, which means we're her subordinates, she expects us to do what she tells us to do and she's perfectly willing to sacrifice us in the name of her goals. I'm willing to explore her story to see if there's something interesting beyond that... but if Alfira and Karlach are on the companion list she's likely going to not make the cut for my first run through.

I'm hoping they allow for expanding the party size so that you can get more versatile party builds, but I'm cynical about that. 4-person parties seems to getting more standard on RPGs and games like this. Which is a bit sad because a CRPG can much more easily handle a 6-person than a TT GM can.
Posted By: fylimar Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 04:04 PM
Originally Posted by Avallonkao
Funny thing is that Halsin is a great guy, no pun intended. And I also enjoyed the small talks I had with Alfira than most of the dialogues with the companions. I'd like a companion like her, someone pleasing to talk to. Someone who seems, normal, she just endured some heavy trauma and still treated my character nicer than all companions even after our first meetings. Is that allowed in this game, right? I hope so in the future at least.

Oh yes, I love Alfira. I really hope, she will become a companion.
Posted By: fylimar Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 04:09 PM
Originally Posted by Thrythlind
Yeah:

Shadowheart's story is pretty stock, but I'm okay with that. She has drama, but it's in the expected range of drama for a fantasy character. Also, for all that she has main character drama for the people playing her as the main character, she's still reasonable in her attitudes on the boundaries of our relationship.

Astarion just comes off like a spoiled brat throwing a temper tantrum. I know he has trauma as well, and I'm usually fine exploring a vampire storyline, but he makes me a bit tired.

Wyll is a drama queen, out and out, and he is very selfish. He's very much about doing the "right thing" but loses the track when his personal issues cloud the situation.

Gale is a bit casually condescending and also fairly selfish, and he's not as upfront about "there's things I have that are not your business"... and when you're less up front about your issues than the Sharite....

Laezel is a stock githyanki, which means we're her subordinates, she expects us to do what she tells us to do and she's perfectly willing to sacrifice us in the name of her goals. I'm willing to explore her story to see if there's something interesting beyond that... but if Alfira and Karlach are on the companion list she's likely going to not make the cut for my first run through.

I'm hoping they allow for expanding the party size so that you can get more versatile party builds, but I'm cynical about that. 4-person parties seems to getting more standard on RPGs and games like this. Which is a bit sad because a CRPG can much more easily handle a 6-person than a TT GM can.

My hopes are on Alfira and Karlach too. I think, Karlach is a confirmed datamined companion and it is my hope, that Alfira will be another companion. Plus Halsin.
And yes, I would prefer a party of 6 over a party of 4. I think, it's ok with games liek Dragon Age, where you don't have as many classes, but in D&D you have so many different classes, that it is a shame to limit yourself to 4 characters. Plus I always have some characters in the party, because I like them, even if I might not need them, because my character already fills in their roles (Varric in DA2, Garrus in Mass Effect, Kivan in BG1, Mazzy in BG2...).
Posted By: IdPreferNotTo Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 04:21 PM
Originally Posted by Fox of Embers
Originally Posted by IdPreferNotTo
I think the main reason why we're on short supply with down to earth companions, or "normal" people, is due to the fact that Larian seems enamored with a grimdark setting in their games, where people tend to be somehow creepy and/or fucked up beyond belief. The world of DOS2 was pretty grim, but at least there was more humor in the world(even the narrator VO was less malevolent), you were less traumatized by your captors, and it was easier to ignore/miss the "let's drink koolaid with the doomsday cultist" -plotlines at play.

Sadly, I can't see how a upbeat character like Lohse, Isabela or Varric would even fit in all this as an origin companion.
If what the dataminers say is true, then we will get Minsc. A friendly and often silly absolut hero who takes orders from a hamster. Even having his witch killed before his eyes did not turn him into a dark figure. It made him a bit more unhinged, but since it was an EVIL WIZARD who did it, his solution was just BUTKICKING, FOR GOODNESS! .
BG2 was dark, with all the torture and soultheft, but this guy took the dark setting and shouted light into it.
I am certain he will do the same in BG3.

He was depressed after fighting Strahd and realising that he has no chance of winning against this evil, but he even recovered from that.


I was mainly talking about the origin companions. My understanding is that Minsc will not be a origin character, that you can play as, but a possible companion you can add to the group later on. My understanding is that at least for the better part of act 1, we'll be stuck with origin characters in our party. And that there will be 2 more origin companions to choose from.

I'm not that keen on Minsc as champion for light, though. While sort of agreaable, Minsc is rather simpleminded, so he's maybe not the best equipped to fight the cult that uses subterfuge and mind control to further its aims. Also, I have to say, that I find him a tragic/unbelieavable figure, since it's heavily implied he's so childlike because of too many blows to the head. And he's certainly not someone you'd romance.
Posted By: Thrythlind Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 04:29 PM
Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Thrythlind
Yeah:

Shadowheart's story is pretty stock, but I'm okay with that. She has drama, but it's in the expected range of drama for a fantasy character. Also, for all that she has main character drama for the people playing her as the main character, she's still reasonable in her attitudes on the boundaries of our relationship.

Astarion just comes off like a spoiled brat throwing a temper tantrum. I know he has trauma as well, and I'm usually fine exploring a vampire storyline, but he makes me a bit tired.

Wyll is a drama queen, out and out, and he is very selfish. He's very much about doing the "right thing" but loses the track when his personal issues cloud the situation.

Gale is a bit casually condescending and also fairly selfish, and he's not as upfront about "there's things I have that are not your business"... and when you're less up front about your issues than the Sharite....

Laezel is a stock githyanki, which means we're her subordinates, she expects us to do what she tells us to do and she's perfectly willing to sacrifice us in the name of her goals. I'm willing to explore her story to see if there's something interesting beyond that... but if Alfira and Karlach are on the companion list she's likely going to not make the cut for my first run through.

I'm hoping they allow for expanding the party size so that you can get more versatile party builds, but I'm cynical about that. 4-person parties seems to getting more standard on RPGs and games like this. Which is a bit sad because a CRPG can much more easily handle a 6-person than a TT GM can.

My hopes are on Alfira and Karlach too. I think, Karlach is a confirmed datamined companion and it is my hope, that Alfira will be another companion. Plus Halsin.
And yes, I would prefer a party of 6 over a party of 4. I think, it's ok with games liek Dragon Age, where you don't have as many classes, but in D&D you have so many different classes, that it is a shame to limit yourself to 4 characters. Plus I always have some characters in the party, because I like them, even if I might not need them, because my character already fills in their roles (Varric in DA2, Garrus in Mass Effect, Kivan in BG1, Mazzy in BG2...).

There's a bit of ace intimacy in Shadowheart's party scene, but I'm worried that it'll eventually become "oh you just have to work harder to get her to put out" type deal that most games would do with that. But here's hoping otherwise.

It would be also nice if they had leveraged the ability to do conversations with characters other than your personal character to expand the varieties of romance types. Namely: polyamorous romances that aren't wholly revolving around a single character. With games where all convo happens from one character perspective that's a bit understandable if disappointing. But in this, I can have my PC talk to Alfira and then Shadowheart... and then have Shadowheart go and talk to Alfira... and

(hmm, I'll have to see if you can provoke one of those conversations that happen in multiplayer by having a companion in your control talk to your PC who is currently botted.)

Anyway... if the tech were in then I could build up Shadowheart's approval with Alfira, Alfira's approval with Shadowheart, and my character's approval with both and then have an actual healthy poly relationship where all three are together rather than past poly where it feels very harem-ish or "I like you so much that I don't mind 'sharing'."

Though, again, that's probably effort they're not willing to spend...
Posted By: Avallonkao Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 05:19 PM
Quote
There's a bit of ace intimacy in Shadowheart's party scene, but I'm worried that it'll eventually become "oh you just have to work harder to get her to put out" type deal that most games would do with that. But here's hoping otherwise.

It would be also nice if they had leveraged the ability to do conversations with characters other than your personal character to expand the varieties of romance types. Namely: polyamorous romances that aren't wholly revolving around a single character. With games where all convo happens from one character perspective that's a bit understandable if disappointing. But in this, I can have my PC talk to Alfira and then Shadowheart... and then have Shadowheart go and talk to Alfira... and

(hmm, I'll have to see if you can provoke one of those conversations that happen in multiplayer by having a companion in your control talk to your PC who is currently botted.)

Anyway... if the tech were in then I could build up Shadowheart's approval with Alfira, Alfira's approval with Shadowheart, and my character's approval with both and then have an actual healthy poly relationship where all three are together rather than past poly where it feels very harem-ish or "I like you so much that I don't mind 'sharing'."

Though, again, that's probably effort they're not willing to spend...

I believe Shadowheart scene is the way it is because
they are building up some sort of romance for her already with someone else, exploring all her dialogues and seeing her embarrassed in one scene when you discover that she is attracted to you, and her dream attraction that she claims is someone she IS very attracted to but it's not you, since it's always a he, even if you play a female character, it seems to be true. I believe she is in some sort of relationship with the man she must meet in Baldur's Gate. I believe this will be the turning point on her romance path.

As for your idea of poly lemme say this. It's not worth the effort, it will never be good, I think Pathfinder Kingmaker was the closest I ever played that had this option explored, but in both options, the sisters and Octavia and her partner, was disappointing in the end. I'd prefer if they don't try to mess with this, I mean, my guess is that Lae'zel will have an open relationship (willing or not for the player), she doesn't see the player as her partner but just a toy that belongs to her, and she may want to have more than one.
Posted By: Thrythlind Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 05:26 PM
Originally Posted by Avallonkao
As for your idea of poly lemme say this. It's not worth the effort, it will never be good, I think Pathfinder Kingmaker was the closest I ever played that had this option explored, but in both options, the sisters and Octavia and her partner, was disappointing in the end. I'd prefer if they don't try to mess with this, I mean, my guess is that Lae'zel will have an open relationship (willing or not for the player), she doesn't see the player as her partner but just a toy that belongs to her, and she may want to have more than one.

Fair points, but also "it won't be good so why bother" is among the reasons that a lot of things were resisted in the past, so hopefully someone will make effort to find what works eventually.
Posted By: fylimar Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 05:44 PM
I don't really have an opinion about teh varieties of romances, since I'm as romantic as a stone biggrin, though I must say, I like the beginning of the Shadowheart romance. It's no coincidence, that she is my favorite companion so far.
Posted By: Thrythlind Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 07:03 PM
Originally Posted by fylimar
I don't really have an opinion about teh varieties of romances, since I'm as romantic as a stone biggrin, though I must say, I like the beginning of the Shadowheart romance. It's no coincidence, that she is my favorite companion so far.

Oh, absolutely, I get very excited whenever I see non-sexual intimacy represented in mediums. The star-watching "let's just enjoy each other's presence" night with Shadowheart is so endearing and powerful to me. And meeting Alfira by helping her with that song is an amazing relationship start.

I'm pretty ace myself, though I am a bit of a shipping goblin, so I like having all the options.
Posted By: avahZ Darkwood Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 08:53 PM
Originally Posted by Avallonkao
Funny thing is that Halsin is a great guy, no pun intended. And I also enjoyed the small talks I had with Alfira than most of the dialogues with the companions. I'd like a companion like her, someone pleasing to talk to. Someone who seems, normal, she just endured some heavy trauma and still treated my character nicer than all companions even after our first meetings. Is that allowed in this game, right? I hope so in the future at least.

Well I thought he was a great guy until I sided (role play reasons) with the tieflings and fought the grove druids. He was mad and immediately ok with it lol. No long term consequences in relationship or personality. Rath(sp) was traumatized by the experience and the now tainted grove. I would have expected the lead druid to be devastated by the events…
Posted By: Thrythlind Re: Approval and Romance - 13/08/21 09:28 PM
Originally Posted by avahZ Darkwood
Originally Posted by Avallonkao
Funny thing is that Halsin is a great guy, no pun intended. And I also enjoyed the small talks I had with Alfira than most of the dialogues with the companions. I'd like a companion like her, someone pleasing to talk to. Someone who seems, normal, she just endured some heavy trauma and still treated my character nicer than all companions even after our first meetings. Is that allowed in this game, right? I hope so in the future at least.

Well I thought he was a great guy until I sided (role play reasons) with the tieflings and fought the grove druids. He was mad and immediately ok with it lol. No long term consequences in relationship or personality. Rath(sp) was traumatized by the experience and the now tainted grove. I would have expected the lead druid to be devastated by the events…

Sort of reminds me of NWN2 where even if you have excellent relationships with both Sand and Qara one or the other WILL betray you at the end because the game says so.
Posted By: Innateagle Re: Approval and Romance - 14/08/21 08:59 AM
Originally Posted by IdPreferNotTo
Originally Posted by Innateagle
Originally Posted by Avallonkao
Quote
I agree, that is annoying as hell. I don't really get all the Astarion love or the Minthara hype, but then I hate Twilight and the likes with passion and I don't like evil mad psychocult bitches, drow or other.
I would like to have a more down to Warth, normal companion for a change, without Drama, someone like Varric or Aveline from Dragon Age 2 for example. We have enough drama queens so far.

Since you brought that up, you know, I would love an Isabela like kind of character, just saying. And yes, please give us a companion who isn't overcomplicated/annoying/ with a darker past, etc kind of character, more down to earth companions can be interesting as well. Especially someone willing to just have a nice chat with you, this I miss in this game, unlike other rpgs I've played, in this one, there's no actual nice chat with the companions, everything seems so over the top, snarky, mind your business all the time. I think this is one of the biggest reasons I didn't get a real care for any of the companions. I think the only companion I really like, and that's not saying much, is Shadowheart.

Thing is, the 'straight man' kind of character is hard to write. In my experience they either fall flat (Kaidan, Jacob from ME) or are quite exceptional (Eder from POE and, maybe, Sten from DA), no in-between. Larian has yet to even try, in any of their games, either because of that, or because of the Origin system 'requiring' every character to feel like main character material.

Either way, i doubt we'll get anything resembling a normal dude.

I think the main reason why we're on short supply with down to earth companions, or "normal" people, is due to the fact that Larian seems enamored with a grimdark setting in their games, where people tend to be somehow creepy and/or fucked up beyond belief. The world of DOS2 was pretty grim, but at least there was more humor in the world(even the narrator VO was less malevolent), you were less traumatized by your captors, and it was easier to ignore/miss the "let's drink koolaid with the doomsday cultist" -plotlines at play.

Sadly, I can't see how a upbeat character like Lohse, Isabela or Varric would even fit in all this as an origin companion.

Grimdark settings are the best for down to earth companions, they allow for mundanely tragic backstories. Eder from POE is a great example of this; his whole life/quest is shaped by a literal God action, but in the same way any soldier's life is shaped by their liege.

But yeah, they could make something like this work with the origin system, but i don't think they will.
Posted By: Thrythlind Re: Approval and Romance - 14/08/21 02:50 PM
So, currently, all the available companions are also Origin characters meaning that they are designed to be main characters more than support characters, because there's always the chance that a player could choose one to be their character for the play through. In this case, the down-to-earth option is basically "make your own".

That said, there isn't anything really grimdark about any of these characters. Astarion being a vampire spawn might be the exception, but grimdark is a setting thing more than a character thing.

Pillars of Eternity is far more grim. Neverwinter Nights original campaign was grimmer. The Baldur's Gate campaigns are on par. The original Gold Box campaigns as well. The Gold Box Dragonlance campaigns are a lot more grim. Shadows of Undrentine was about on par. Hordes of the Underdark is grimmer. Mask of the Betrayer was grimmer. Icewind Dale was grimmer. Pathfinder: Kingmaker is about on par. Demonstone is about on par. Sword Coast Legends is grimmer. The Ravenloft games are much grimmer.The Eye of the Beholder games are thin plot but similar. The Ultima games are about on par. Diablo and Grim Dawn are grimmer. Titan Quest is grimmer due to scale if nothing else.
Posted By: IdPreferNotTo Re: Approval and Romance - 15/08/21 10:10 AM
Yes, you can make grimdark work with "down to earth" and otherwise positive characters, but that requires there's actually characters that aren't ethically too compromised, are willing to work together, not just to survive, and that there's some sort of hope of changing the world into something better. It requires a setting where these kinds of characters aren't ludicrous or destined to die. In fiction like Warhammer, the best you can seemingly hope for, is continued survival amidst overwhelming outside threats and the deeply corrupt societies people are stuck serving. There's actually a complementary way to sort of double down on this type of grimdark by actually including characters that seemingly embody the hope for something better in a dark world, and then "instructively" killing them off, which to me, seems to account partly the appeal of fiction like The Walking Dead.

Thrythlind, I don't think it matters how grimdark the other games are in this discussion, but I don't think the PoE series is grimmer than what I've seen of Bg3. In PoE you're way less fucked up in the beginning and there's a more or less clear path to (personal) salvation. In BG3 you're much more deeply compromised body & soul, and in contrast to the watcher's situation, there are really no positive elements to your squicky condition. Also, the quest to defuse the booming timebomb(or two, depending on your PC choices) inside you is way more trickier and potential helpers more malevolent/inept. Companions aren't that pressganged into the party either in PoE. In BG3 it sort of starts to seem that the sadistic GM-fates are against you, taunting you at every turn. Even the narrator(though I like the voice talent) seems to have something against you.

Yes, In PoE series the world is a rather dark place, and there's the ever present inertia of failed and only partially successful past revolutions that tried to change the autocratic world for the better(though Poe 2 sort of doubles down on the notion, that nothing good will come from the change given that all the systems looking to fill the power vacuums appear inherently corrupt, abusive and hierarchical), but there are people like Eder who are willing to learn from past mistakes and also maintain a certain integrity while fighting on. In contrast to PoE, the primary revolutionary backdrop in it BG3 is the gith slave revolt, that has already metamorphosed ages ago into something that somewhat resembles the flayer empire they toppled, with the main bulk of the gith empire being reliant on autocratic misrule by a literally soul devouring insane lich queen, slavery, endless expansive warfare, xenophobia and racism.

I guess they could for example, add harper origin character into this mix, that would sort of add a bit of hope and integrity into the story, but the way I see it, Larian is embracing the kind of grimdark setting, where this kind of notion of change for the better, or revolutionary sentiment, is (enjoyably) denied again and again. So instead of comradery, there's mostly just betrayal, foolish optimism, mistrust, apathy, baseline survival instincts and pointless death, that's supposed to be a realistic depiction of all that people are capable of.

So, basically the setting, together with the approval system, sort of dictates what kind of relationships/romances and characters we get, by turning relationships into essentially market transactions devoid of ethics, that emphasize the threat of betrayal inherent to this type of social being, and therefore force on the player the need to max the approval, otherwise your "companions" are likely to get a better offer elsewhere.
Posted By: VarneyTheReaper Re: Approval and Romance - 15/08/21 04:10 PM
I am surprised one "can Romance" Shadowheart ... ...

I mean, i "should" have seen this coming - > but i am still somewhat surprised.
So the EDGElady herself is in the mood to be like a normal Person too, heeeh? XD
Posted By: Avallonkao Re: Approval and Romance - 15/08/21 04:21 PM
Originally Posted by VarneyTheReaper
I am surprised one "can Romance" Shadowheart ... ...

I mean, i "should" have seen this coming - > but i am still somewhat surprised.
So the EDGElady herself is in the mood to be like a normal Person too, heeeh? XD

I wouldn't say, romance yet, but more like the start of it. The scene is basically wine and knowing each other, and a kiss, nothing more (but really sweet). Which is for me much better than, "Hey, nice night, let's have some sex under construction". And if exploring well her dialogues during the game and being nice to her it's easy to see how sweet she is the more you get to know her.

And from the whole party, I'd say she looks the more normal for me? Besides the fact of a mission and all, she doesn't seem to have a devil mistress, or a magic bomb, or that will drink your blood dry if got the chance, or see you as a slave and nothing else.
Posted By: Thrythlind Re: Approval and Romance - 17/08/21 09:53 PM
Originally Posted by Avallonkao
Originally Posted by VarneyTheReaper
I am surprised one "can Romance" Shadowheart ... ...

I mean, i "should" have seen this coming - > but i am still somewhat surprised.
So the EDGElady herself is in the mood to be like a normal Person too, heeeh? XD

I wouldn't say, romance yet, but more like the start of it. The scene is basically wine and knowing each other, and a kiss, nothing more (but really sweet). Which is for me much better than, "Hey, nice night, let's have some sex under construction". And if exploring well her dialogues during the game and being nice to her it's easy to see how sweet she is the more you get to know her.

And from the whole party, I'd say she looks the more normal for me? Besides the fact of a mission and all, she doesn't seem to have a devil mistress, or a magic bomb, or that will drink your blood dry if got the chance, or see you as a slave and nothing else.

Yeah, Shadowheart isn't very edge... she's pretty normal snarker. Her main issue is imposed amnesia and a quest for some item... which, to be honest, is fairly normal spy/operative stuff once magic is a thing. And I definitely enjoy her romance bit a lot, non-sexual intimacy is great.
© Larian Studios forums