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@LordCrash

You are kinda missing the point there. It isn't about the main quest, it's about a coherent whole. If they are just random little stories that are connected to nothing then what is their purpose? You can just sit and read a book while the loading screens are on and the experience would be the same regarding the story. Planescape Torment's companions weren't tied to the main plot, but they were tied to the protagonist in some way. They also saw a kindred spirit in their suffering in The Nameless One. They had a reason to follow him and they all helped him to regain his memory. In KotOR2's case Kreia was the story, but the other companions are the Lost Jedi who had ties to important factions within the story. Handmaiden - Atris, Mical - The Republic, Visas - Nihilus, Bao-Dur - Mass Shadow Generator etc. The companions in MotB weren't tied to the main plot, but it was only possible because of their intervention, like I mentioned you couldn't assault the Fugue Plane without Kaelyn's army, you couldn't get the best ending without Gann's help and the story wouldn't start without Safyia.

That is what it's meant by coherent whole, not only tied to the main plot. They need a purpose in the whole thing and not just be random disconnected vacuum bubbles who are there just to fill space and words. Side quests and side characters are just that - side vignettes that can be optionally skipped. Companions are major characters who are with you the whole/most of the game and need a reason to be there.

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Originally Posted by Vometia
At least The Witcher 3 has Roach on call most of the time, who has an impressive ability to appear in frequently quite silly locations.


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@LordCrash
It IS always a possibility I'm completely wrong, not even remotely close to what will be, and that I totally didn't understand how things will be. I still believe the... ah, for a lack of better words let's say "procedural aspect" ( but let's agree immediately THIS is an insult to the writer's work and by no mean my intention ) of the conversations will turn out great as, in my theory of the premades, the writers will actually write the characters by choosing what they'll say in each given situation and how they'll react.

It depends on the angle we'll approach the subject. Let's imagine for a second that they will work just as any cRPG companions with their own will and thought process and personnality. It's only when you start thinking about how all the things they say may actually be deconstructed to work in MP that they'll loose value. Maximilian the redhead warrior dwarf who despises Elfs because he is a Dwarf may very well have a different reaction in MP because the player will not choose [race] as a reaction but [redhead] or [warrior].

Ah, gosh, it's complicated =)
I fully agree that we all come from very different place regarding cRPGs and all have different personnal experience that lead us to prefer this or that in a party based RPGs. I may just be actually very, VERY harsh with companions. As I said I sadly didn't really play a game in which they really mattered, so I'm biased toward thinking they are mostly useless and irrelevant - or at best likable, but still pretty random. I want them to tie with the story, with the ongoing events, to matter. I maintain that DA:O had characters better tied up to the story vs, say, Mass Effect 2 ( especially 2 ).
So either matter, either serve a purpose, or don't stay in my way asking me to retake your castle when I'm trying to save my friend's life ( hi, Nalia! )

Last edited by Dr Koin; 05/10/15 08:00 AM.

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Interesting characters are created when they have to obey different rules that contradict each other: they need to find a personality and lifestyle that does allow them to combine both aspects.

A monk who is stuck in his phallic or teenage phase (i.e. his main strive is narcissistic supremacy and group dynamics) becomes a politician and ruthless traitor.
When Gwynne wants to pray for her lover, a monk would agree spiritually, a narcissist would dismiss her opinon but this one special bastard would make up an excuse ("free him from worldly matters" or smth). The most problematic aspect is that tags do not even add up, they coexist and your companions will switch between unrelated aspects.
It would not really make sense if "narcissist" would override "monk" and these *placeholder texts* will make it hard to figure out how this person came to the conclusion *items are free to grab*.

That is why I think, in favour of single player experience, we need a lot of content behind "Gwynne"-tags and tie them to "player decision" tags, basically doubling the amount of writing for origins.

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I like the way you exposed things. I believe however that whenever a character got tags that seem to contradict each other, our favorite writers will have preselected some to act as the overall "Gwynne" persona over the game, and will have done so in such a way as to avoid inconsistencies. It's probably not going to be procedurally or randomly chosen, or else yes, indeed, the characters won't be consistent throughout the game and just feel like some bad AIs.

The inclusion of Love&Hate will however complicate things, and i guess the writers are going to have to add more lines to match the current relation you have with a specific character. Either a weighted system will kick in or it will still be entirely pre-decided by the writers, I have no idea yet.

OR maybe, after all, the named, premade characters who will act as companions will ALL have their very own set of dialogues and I've been completely wrong from the start. Suits me fine too, really !

At any rate, the game seems to be able to provide a solution to create our own full party for whoever wants to do so. It's another way of playing that even the ol' BG permitted, after all. And it can give replayability. Heck, we are waiting for DOS:EE just because we want to play as a team of double stealth mages ( which may not work as well as we think anymore because of the whole Enhanced thing )


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Originally Posted by Dr Koin
It depends on the angle we'll approach the subject. Let's imagine for a second that they will work just as any cRPG companions with their own will and thought process and personnality. It's only when you start thinking about how all the things they say may actually be deconstructed to work in MP that they'll loose value. Maximilian the redhead warrior dwarf who despises Elfs because he is a Dwarf may very well have a different reaction in MP because the player will not choose [race] as a reaction but [redhead] or [warrior].

Well, that's why I think that SP has to work differently in DOS 2 than MP. If Larian wants to maintain them in one thing SP is - and I hate to say that - already doomed and only an inferior (emergency) version of MP for people without real friends.

I get it that it's complicated for Larian. They want this game to be even more co-op centered than DOS which will make the SP mode naturally worse by literally erasing all traditional premade companions. I mean, they enhance on the character traits you chould choose from in DOS for your second char (like loyal, bold, aggressive,...) by fleshing that out in (hopefully) well written origin stories. But that literally erase every traditional companions from DOS 2 while you still had two of them in DOS (though already way less impactful and interactive than those in old Bioware games).

I don't know but I have the slight feeling that Swen and Larian don't get what party CRPGs are all about for many people in SP. It's not just "playing PnP with yourself", actually not at all. Playing a game like BG2 solo was no decision based on lacking the friends but a conscient decision to have a narrative and emotional experience that is only mechanically(!) based on PnP, but not narratively. The origin of emotions in PnP MP is completely different to the origin of emotions in SP CRPGs. And this has a HUGE effect on game design of course. Let's take (narrative) choice & consequence, the bare bone of every good RPG. This works quite differently in MP and SP. As I've said before, in MP a decision or choice is much more about the interaction with your friends. "What does the group want and what's my stance in that?" Hence, choice situations are designed according to that process of player interaction (humor for example often works much better here than serious topics). In SP, on the opposite, narrative choice has a quite different range of options because such choices don't depend on others but only on you. That's why SP RPGs are often "serious", offering you difficult moral choice situations that challenge your ethics, mind and emotions on a whole different level than it would while playing with real people, having a real life chat all the time. A lot of that has of course to do with immersion and player psychology stuff. But there are numerous reasons why SP RPGs work differently than PnP sessions or MP/co-op experiences.
Making the SP just a copy of the MP (with "intelligent" bots) is imo the completely wrong way to make a good SP RPG. I mean, there is a good reason why so many people complained about the narrative in DOS. It was not because the writing was all bad but mostly because the whole game was designed for MP from the start, with SP being an afterthought that was 95% based on the MP experience. And it shows, because the narrative offers too little meaningful content for SP-only people. And I'm very doubtful that Larian actually got the problem "right". Increasing the writing staff doesn't solve the problem if the design for SP stays the same - or gets even worse, with now all four companions being "intelligent bots", originally created to be taken over by real people in MP. I mean, that goes well beyond just companion design, but about the whole narrative. I know that it's hard for Larian but they should maybe stop telling people that this game is made for SP as well - because it isn't, at least not primarily - and they only create a lot of expectations in players, especially those who don't know every detail of the envisioned design (and maybe even get fooled when Swen tells them that the narrative will be so much better this time by having a bigger writing team...). But sure, given the fact that >80% of their customers only played the first DOS in SP there is a significant dissonance between what Larian envisions for DOS 2 and what the vast majority of their fans want...

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As I said I sadly didn't really play a game in which they really mattered, so I'm biased toward thinking they are mostly useless and irrelevant - or at best likable, but still pretty random. I want them to tie with the story, with the ongoing events, to matter. I maintain that DA:O had characters better tied up to the story vs, say, Mass Effect 2 ( especially 2 ).
So either matter, either serve a purpose, or don't stay in my way asking me to retake your castle when I'm trying to save my friend's life ( hi, Nalia! )

But you're still in that black or white mode, either "irrelevant" or "meaningful". There is a whole range between. And of course companions are useful in a traditional party RPG because they help you in each and every fight, even without having a personal quest tied to it. That's why they are actually called companion instead of just NPC. So whatever you say, they are never useless for gameplay, and consequently, for the narrative. You can even see it like that: Nalia joined your little party and helped you saving your sister's life (which she does in each and every enemy encounter you face!) not only because she was bored to death. She hoped that a capable group of adventures could be able to help her in return as well. One hand washes the other. You help her reclaiming her castle and in return, she stays with you until the very end, risking her life for your ass numerous times. Isn't that a small price to take? I mean, it's kind of weird that you claim that companions should be believable persons tied to the overall narrative and when they have actual goals you criticize their whole design just because you can't leave your selfish view? wink
And then again, companions are much, much more than just their personal quest and I don't know why you try to reduce them to that. They give context to each and every decision you make. But of course we might even see narrative itself in a whole different picture. For me, good stories are not so much about the plot, but primarily about well written characters and their relationships and interactions with both other characters and the world. That's the core of every good story (no matter the medium, works the same way for novels or movies) and that's why well written companions can enhance a narrative so much. Interesting characters have their own meaning and value just by being interesting. They don't have to enhance the plot for having value, not at all.


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Originally Posted by Raze

I've known people who would encourage rule breaking and then totally rat someone out the instant an authority figure showed up (primarily in school).


Yeah, I thought about mentioning that. But that type of person is a real person with a personality.

The thing I mentioned is just the preset personality choosing the response that they prioritize, which in this situation, produces opposing results. It does not come across as a real person who ratted the thief out for amusement.

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Originally Posted by transfat
Interesting characters are created when they have to obey different rules that contradict each other: they need to find a character and lifestyle that does allow them to combine both aspects.

A monk who is stuck in his phallic or teenage phase (i.e. his main strive is narcissistic supremacy and group dynamics) becomes a politician and bastard traitor.
When Gwynne wants to pray for her lover, a monk would agree spiritually, a narcissist would dismiss her opinon but this one special bastard would make up an excuse ("free him from wordly matters" or smth). The most problematic aspect is that tags do not even add up, they coexist and your companions will switch between unrelated aspects.
It would not really make sense if "narcissist" would override "monk" and these *placeholder texts* will make it hard to figure out how this person came to the conclusion *items are free to grab*.

That is why I think, in favour of single player experience, we need a lot of content behind "Gwynne"-tags and tie them to "player decision" tags, basically doubling the amount of writing for origins.


This was a problem in PoE. You could have a reputation for being honest and deceptive at the same time. So a person loked you in one moment because you are honest, but in the next moment she hates you because you are deceptive. This felt like this person in scizophrene, not me.
I agree that tags alone are not enough to create a good character.


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One thing that bugs me with hearing that you escape with 3 others that are created in comparison from your choice in the jail cells, what if I want 4 human mages? So I can role play that?

I for one am a big fan of them asking you how many players you want, and taking it from there.. That increases my individual experience, and allows for lots of replay ability

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I get lost in these walls of text, but here are some thoughts:

- I agree with (lacrymas?) that companions are most memorable when they are involved in the main story. I will remember Kreia, Kaelyn and Safyia forever. From BG2 I will remember Imoen most. From those companions, who are not part of the main story I remember those most, who had most conversation with me. From PST I liked Dakkon most. Endless discussions about the unbroken circle of Zerphimon and other things. I hardly remember the story and companions from mass effect 1+2 (I played only these 2) or similar games. I consider them good action games with more story than most other action games, but not RPG.

- It looks like it is considered normal that there is the main story and most side quests (including those from companions) are optional stuff that is almost never connected to it. I do not like this. The world should appear as one whole thing and not as several islands who exist next to each other without influencing one another.

-But complete isolated things are still better than things connected the wrong way. I mean ME2 style, where solving a companion quest determines if somebody gets shot hours later.

- According to (Dr. Koin?) classification, I am single player, completeonist, min/maxer, full party. When you have a good char, fights are easy so you can focus on the story. I wish I could role play more, but too often story choices affect gameplay too much (Hallo D:OS1 dialogue perks.)

- I liked about D:OS1 that the game did not hold your hand too much. You had the task to solve a murder in the beginning, but there was no arrow pointing to the next step (I mean literally on the screen.) You had to talk to people, dig up graves and search for evidence yourself and there where several ways to do it. In my first game I found the criminal accidentally by bashing some doors.

-


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Like I mentioned way back when the thread started, when a person joins your SP game that doesn't necessarily mean that they get to choose dialogue options for the character they are controlling. They might not be involved in the dialogue at all. That completely eliminates the bipolar disorder that will occur otherwise. That is actually a way more SP oriented design than MP. I admit that it's weird for Larian to make a cRPG with a MP focus and that's why I think that won't be the case. Although I don't think D:OS is actually a cRPG in the most "pure" sense, because your stats don't matter in the dialogue (I think? I don't remember having skill checks in dialogue, but I may be wrong) so you aren't actually "role-playing", because you are playing as yourself and what YOU would choose, and it's not dependent on what your character is and can do. Role-playing is not defined by what *you* choose to say or do, but what your character can say and can do. It's a very fine line and there is nothing wrong with both approaches, it depends on what the premise of the game is. D:OS leans towards self-insertion rather than role-playing though.

You are also confusing choice and consequence (C&C) with moral choices which aren't the same thing. Moral choices are a cop-out to stick in the back-of-the-box blurb. C&C are organic reactions to your presence within the game. For example - in Fallout 1 if you started blabbering to random strangers that you are from a vault which contains valuable pre-war tech and is in the mountains, bandits started invading the vault (duh). It's not about whether you should spare this kitten or ritually sacrifice this baby. It can be that if there are actual reactions to your actions. These choices aren't forced upon you BY dialogue (save or kill Rachni Queen), but are a product OF dialogue/choices if that makes sense :p If you don't mention to anybody that you are from a vault, bandits never attack because they don't know of its existence. Spec Ops: The Line of all things had a very simplistic but great example of this. There is this crowd of people who are hanging your friends and you need to do something about it, a civilian is hitting you repeatedly. So what do you do? There are no forced dialogue choices. The first thing that comes to mind is shooting the civilian who is wailing on you, but you can also shoot at the air to disperse them. You could ALSO shoot the rope your friends are hanging from. The game doesn't tell you that you have choices at all. Admittedly the consequences are almost non-existent, but that's why I said it's simplistic. It's a useful example of how to approach choice without forcing it from a dialogue option.

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Originally Posted by LordCrash
I mean, it's kind of weird that you claim that companions should be believable persons tied to the overall narrative and when they have actual goals you criticize their whole design just because you can't leave your selfish view? wink
And then again, companions are much, much more than just their personal quest and I don't know why you try to reduce them to that. They give context to each and every decision you make. But of course we might even see narrative itself in a whole different picture. For me, good stories are not so much about the plot, but primarily about well written characters and their relationships and interactions with both other characters and the world. That's the core of every good story (no matter the medium, works the same way for novels or movies) and that's why well written companions can enhance a narrative so much. Interesting characters have their own meaning and value just by being interesting. They don't have to enhance the plot for having value, not at all.


Companions having actual goals is perfectly fine, but the issue for me is that their goal sometimes - often - dissonate to some extent with the actual plot of the game. My issue with Nalia is that her quest comes very soon in the game, and you'd undertake a long trip in order to retake her castle when you clearly are trying to save your friend and you probably don't have all the time in the world to do so. As a person she's okay I guess, but I think she is badly introduced.
In movies or books, the supporting cast is rarely here just for the sake of being here. The hero/es won't commit to a sidequest or adventure that brings nothing to their greater goal, because they just don't have time. They won't take a character with them "for free" : this character will ultimately serve a purpose. There are almost no "irrelevant", to stay in the black and white zone, supporting characters in Lord of the Rings - they all have a role to play at some point.
ME2, in all its faults, tried to tie everyone to the plot : the logic behind the personal missions for each companion was to get their loyalty. It was very badly done because it was awfully mathematic in design and deeply forced, but at least the "good" idea ( as in, what I expect from a companion ) was here. They all had a part to play ( although the suicide mission itself was also badly designed, but this is something else ).

So yeah essentially I want more from my companions than just "oh thanks you saved my cat trapped in a tree rather than rush to the burning orphanage to save children - little suckers can wait anyway - so I'll come with you now and maybe we'll have a romance down the road 'kay?"
Obviously I'm caricaturing, but as Lacrymas said, I want them to be something else than placeholders. Either they have something important for the plot, they will sacrifice themselves for the hero, they will be key to comforting the hero in their darkest hour, they will betray them someway down the road... They will *influence* the plot in any manner at some point.

(disclaimer : I liked Garrus a lot and I found all ME1/3 companions to be very charismatic overall, yet they only ponctually serve a purpose in the story. Joker, a NPC, I felt brought more to the story than Tali. However I liked them, which goes to say that I'm not opposed to companions as sidekicks rather than protagonists : I just think they could be much, much more. Besides, ME "cheats". The very cinematical premiscices of the game make them even more likable imho as we are closer to them in almost every every regards )


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@Dr. Koin, the Nalia example is just ludonarrative dissonance :p Don't look at Baldur's Gate for examples of good writing. Making characters matter but are also optional can be done, I call it "obfuscated relevancy". If you don't speak to Kaelyn at all for the entire game, you wouldn't know that it was her army that was waiting for you at the Fugue Plane. Talking to characters reveals more information about what is going on than would otherwise be apparent. You wouldn't learn anything of Nihilus if you don't speak to Visas or Kreia. But you would gain the whole picture in DA:O whether you speak to the companions or or not. Morrigan always offers you the choice at the end. Bishop from NWN was a weirdly coherent example - he betrays you at one point in the story regardless of your interest in him. He cites different reasons for this depending on your relationship with him, but ultimately always betrays you. (this isn't an example of obfuscated relevancy though, just a good character moment) That is GOOD, it shows that a character has their own interests and goals that may not align with yours and you have no way to change them.

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'Tis a pity none of the game people seem to hold in high regard I seem to have played... I played a lot of cRPGs but it looks like I always played the wrong one ! laugh
So yeah not surprising I'd think DA:O is the 'best' since that's the only one in which I felt characters mattered :p


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Originally Posted by Dr Koin
I just think they could be much, much more. Besides, ME "cheats".


And yet you happily support Larian in their endeavour to make the "companions" much, much less... rolleyes

Edit:
And I want to add that the writing in DA:O is MUCH worse than the one in BG2, no matter if we speak about companions or the overall narrative. It's worse in every single element. It still hurts that DA:O is worse than BG2 in pretty much every single element overall, not only narrative-wise... shame

Edit2:
You also completely ignore my point that every game companions has in imminent point for the overall narrative just by "being there to help the PC". Is there better content possible? Of course. I never said BG2 had perfect companions. But it did A LOT of things right in respect to companions, stuff that was rarely done ever after again (mainly due to the fact that pretty much all modern games, Bioware ones included, are infected by voice-overitis...). I fear Larian will not built upon the good things about companions, it will just ignore them. Maybe they'll write a better inclusion of them into the main narrative - but that's not all that is needed for perfect companions. If they don't feel like real persons, if they don't have an emotional impact, they're ultimately useless to me and I feel indeed like I just used some random henchmen with a random backstory to help me in combat. But that's not what companions are all about for me. They have to be real persons within the context of the immersive experience, not PnP bots in SP.

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There are only 3 very highly regarded RPGs in terms of narrative though. Planescape Torment, Mask of the Betrayer and KotOR2. That's it. Those are the "golden three" that are the fountain of all our hopes :p The other classic RPGs like the BG series, Fallout 1 and 2, Arcanum, VtMB etc; have other strengths.

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Originally Posted by Lacrymas
There are only 3 very highly regarded RPGs in terms of narrative though. Planescape Torment, Mask of the Betrayer and KotOR2. That's it. Those are the "golden three" that are the fountain of all our hopes :p

Your hopes, mate, your hopes. And I never talked about the plot in the first place here, actually...

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The other classic RPGs like the BG series, Fallout 1 and 2, Arcanum, VtMB etc; have other strengths.

Yeah, like companions... hahaha


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Originally Posted by LordCrash
Originally Posted by Dr Koin
I just think they could be much, much more. Besides, ME "cheats".


And yet you happily support Larian in their endeavour to make the "companions" much, much less... rolleyes

Edit:
And I want to add that the writing in DA:O is MUCH worse than the one in BG2, no matter if we speak about companions or the overall narrative. It's worse in every single element. It still hurts that DA:O is worse than BG2 in pretty much every single element overall, not only narrative-wise... shame

Edit2:
You also completely ignore my point that every game companions has in imminent point for the overall narrative just by "being there to help the PC". Is there better content possible? Of course. I never said BG2 had perfect companions. But it did A LOT of things right in respect to companions, stuff that was rarely done ever after again (mainly due to the fact that pretty much all modern games, Bioware ones included, are infected by voice-overitis...). I fear Larian will not built upon the good things about companions, it will just ignore them. Maybe they'll write a better inclusion of them into the main narrative - but that's not all that is needed for perfect companions. If they don't feel like real persons, if they don't have an emotional impact, they're ultimately useless to me and I feel indeed like I just used some random henchmen with a random backstory to help me in combat. But that's not what companions are all about for me. They have to be real persons within the context of the immersive experience, not PnP bots in SP.


Come oooon =) I don't want Larian to make mindless automatons out of the companions, it's quite the contrary : I hope they will feel like they are MORE than companions scattered here and there with a random backstory just because the hero need a party.
At first I was only here speaking for those who aren't interested *at all* in scripted companions and are wondering whether it will be possible to take full control of them. I can understand the thought process and defend it as much as I can support a damn good writing of the companions. it's all about perspective and I can support both, and everything is leading me to believe it should be possible to have both in DOS2 =) My very own bias is toward being able to lead such a fully customized party but that doesn't exclude well written characters - again based on what I got from the various videos.

Agreed, the overall writing of DA:O is not that good. I only referenced it as the only game I knew where characters were more than potential romances or sidequests.

Actually, I think that what we all see as important in a character are actually only PARTS of a good character. A good character need to feel human and coherent, but also have a role in the story they are a part of. You, LC, from what I gather, value the human part, the organic feeling, the credibility of a character in his actions and reactions. I ( and potentially LAcrymas ) want them to tie nicely in the story, play their part, justify their existence storywise.
I think it all boils down to that.
And I think that thanks to the way they at Larian are approaching things, they should get at least a decent result at mixing those aspects. Focusing both on traits and the greater place in the story, they should be able to deliver us companions/characters that should organically integrate in the plot while still retaining their very own personnality born from their origin story and "experience" ( the combination of talent, "class", traits, maybe even more ).

Last edited by Dr Koin; 05/10/15 03:24 PM.

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Lacrymas, you said that D:OS1 was no RPG because your interaction with other chars is not based on your char (stats, skills). In that case, up to 90% of the games we talk about (in a forum about a supposed to be RPG :hihi: ) are not RPGs at all (like BG1+2).

At some point I defined RPG as stat based world interaction. I admid that I was thinking mostly about combat mechanics, though I did not say it.


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Originally Posted by Dr Koin
A good character need to feel human and coherent, but also have a role in the story they are a part of. You, LC, from what I gather, value the human part, the organic feeling, the credibility of a character in his actions and reactions. I ( and potentially LAcrymas ) want them to tie nicely in the story, play their part, justify their existence storywise.

I don't disagree with that one, not at all. But from what I gathered so far from the vision for DOS 2 (and the solid information we have on how DOS 1 played out) there will be some severe shortcomings to that above definition of "characters that feel human and coherent". I fear that my side of the companions (like you quite fittingly outlined above) will either be inferior to already existing CRPGs or don't exist at all (mostly to basic design vision, favoring co-op MP). But to explain that in more detail I might first have to point out what a "human and coherent" companion actually means for me aka the requirements to make one believable and lifelike:

1) Predefined race, gender, look/face and voice.
2) Predefined occuption/job/skillset.
3) Own convictions, goals and genda.
4) Believable backstory/origin.
5) Believable and lifelike behaviour, following own agenda.

What does that mean for the companions in game? What are they supposed to do?

1) Only following the PC if its in their own interest.
2) Voicing their opinion about PC's actions.
3) Getting in personal relationships with PC and other companions, including conducting dialogues within quests or outside of that.
4) Taking more "drastic" measures if PC acts completely and severly against their convictions like leaving the party or turning against the character.
5) Being able to become part of the narrative outside of their "companion job" (like turning against the player at a certain point or being killed/kidnapped/..., see BG2 for reference/example).
6) Conducting ambient chat (a lot of the party atmosphere in BG stemmed from that one alone imo)

I don't see how Larian's "companions" for DOS are ever supposed to act that way. That's also pretty much impossible since you obviously can't exchange them. They start with you and stay with you until the very end with no chance to dismiss them (or them leaving you) and just trying to find a new companion. That severly limits the depth and range of possible relationships and interactions between companions and the companions and the PC. So Larian indeed probably tie every companion (which means all THREE, not more) to the main narrative (which is good for what you want) while taking away much of what made traditional companions all great in the first place. I mean in DOS you could already change your real companions quite a bit, making a paladin a rogue or a mage a warrior or whatever. That already harms the believability of said companion, making him a mere gameplay tool instead of a narratively-driven real person. What's the different to DOS2? In DOS2 everything besides the origin story will probably become aritrary in respect to companions. And even their origin story is limited by the simple reason that you have to stick with them no matter what and that no matter what you do they will always support you. How is that - in all honstely - more believably tied to the main narrative and how is that supposed to create more believable companions? I mean you criticize companions of BG2 not to be too closely tied to the main story although they are quite reactive to what you do in the game (simply based on D&D's afflictions system of course) with all the expectable consequences. Nothing of that will be true for DOS2 if SP will be like MP, just with "origin story bots".

So please forgive me, if I don't think that Larian will combine different aspects of companion design. They only try to improve your "2nd character in DOS1", so to say with giving him an origin story (instead of the player roleplaying everything himself or giving him certain traits), scrapping the real companions you had there (at least if I understood their design vision in the correct way). I don't see how that what I want is served here - like at all, I'm afraid.



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Originally Posted by Madscientist
Lacrymas, you said that D:OS1 was no RPG because your interaction with other chars is not based on your char (stats, skills). In that case, up to 90% of the games we talk about (in a forum about a supposed to be RPG :hihi: ) are not RPGs at all (like BG1+2).

At some point I defined RPG as stat based world interaction. I admid that I was thinking mostly about combat mechanics, though I did not say it.


Yeah, *technically* they aren't, but like I said, both approaches are valid. There was a big hoo-haa over what constitutes a "true" RPG around 10-15 years ago. It all came down to menu-driven combat though. One is Role-playing RPG (confusing, I know, that's why it's a stupid name) and the other one is Self-insertion RPG. The Fallouts, Planescape Torment, Age of Decadence, Arcanum, the KotORs and, arguably, NWN2 (it's a stretch though) are Role-playing RPGs, while D:OS, DivDiv, Baldur's Gate, DA:O etc. are self-insertion RPGs. DA:O has Persuade but it's token. VtMB, Deus Ex, System Shock 2 are action-RPGs, while the Witchers are action games with RPG elements.

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