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Divinity Original Sin 1 let you keep all four companions with you. On my first playthrough, I took Madora and Jahan, and left Wolgraff and Bairdotr to the side, and yet I still completed notable parts of Wolgraff's quest, especially the conclusion even though he hadn't been with me, and I missed out on all his interactions. It felt kinda unsatisfying because I missed out on all the interactions.


Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
I feel as though that's a pretty overly broad claim. We've seen a lot of the flexibility they're trying to implement in the game in other areas. The detail of the world, the implementation of various spells, they're trying to stuff in a hell of a lot. I don't like this choice, I'm not gonna sugar coat it. Maybe it'll turn out fine but this is not the choice I would have wanted them to make. But I don't think it makes them lazy. Even if they're going this route to save money, I'm seeing all the money going into all kinds of other aspects of the game and when you make a choice to save money that you then apply towards making other aspects of a thing better, that's just good money management. They don't have endless resources so even acting under the most cynical assumptions, they're saving money in one area while having proven that they're not shy about spending it in others.



In a way, I appreciate the "developers are just lazy" comments. It's an incredibly easy way for that person to announce to the world:

"I do not work in game development or programming, and I do not understand the concepts of finite budgets or how to allocate resources, but I claim to know better than actual professionals anyway."

It makes it easier to identify ignoramuses and tune their complaints out.


Last edited by Stabbey; 25/09/20 01:48 PM. Reason: DOS 1
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Originally Posted by Stabbey
Divinity Original Sin 1 let you keep all four companions with you. On my first playthrough, I took Madora and Jahan, and left Wolgraff and Bairdotr to the side, and yet I still completed notable parts of Wolgraff's quest, especially the conclusion even though he hadn't been with me, and I missed out on all his interactions. It felt kinda unsatisfying because I missed out on all the interactions.


DOS1 has two main characters and up to two companions at one time. Companions worked more like in most other RPGs in that you couldn’t do things like initiate dialogue with NPCs whilst controlling them, but you could swap them out.

In DOS2 your companions are just as important as you are, you can initiate dialogue while controlling them, but you can’t swap them out for others. There’s basically 4 main characters, although only one of them is really you.

DOS1 supports 2 player multiplayer and DOS2 supports 4 player multiplayer. Coincidence? Probably not.

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Actually it is fine as it is, it increases depth and affection to those companions the more you go ahead in the adventure, well story wise at least. Gameplay wise it tests how far you can go with the same party thus it rapresents a sort of a challenge to me.

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"deal breaker"
I think it is okay...
Of course it would be great if you could return to places from previous acts.

Last edited by Minsc1122; 26/09/20 10:34 AM.
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Someone may mod it out and with enough feed back during EA they may squash this idea.

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Everyone is aware that you're not going to be limited to just one playthrough, correct?
I like the idea of bottlenecking the party and having to make a tough call. It allows for even more opportunities to build different ideologies around different playthroughs depending on character personalities.


I don't want to fall to bits 'cos of excess existential thought.

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I wouldn't have thought this an issue myself. My guess why is to narrow the huge conversation permutations down to the most meaningful...quality vs quantity.
This makes sense to me.

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Originally Posted by Tzelanit
Everyone is aware that you're not going to be limited to just one playthrough, correct?
I like the idea of bottlenecking the party and having to make a tough call. It allows for even more opportunities to build different ideologies around different playthroughs depending on character personalities.


Personally the issue is how playable the game is with different character combinations if you get bottlenecked down to a small party that won't change, particularly if your "main" isn't one of the core roles. If that is dealt with (and we will probably find out early in EA) , then as long as there is a strong story related reason for the bottleneck, I'm fine. I found it pretty arbitrary in DOS2, but I can think of a couple of quite valid reasons for the scenario we've been presented with: limited doses of whatever treatment delays cerebromorphosis (I have to assume we're not being completely cured until nearly the end) is a highly plausible situation (yes the designers arbitrarily decided the number of doses, but not having enough medicine or hospital beds for everyone who needs it is a situation that happens in real life), as is being compelled to join one or another faction to get the treatment, and the different factions may not be acceptable to all party members (as a cleric, Shadowheart may object to selling her soul to a devil (and Wyll may not be able to as there is a prior claim already), Lae'zel presumably would refuse to join some sort of mind flayer cult that embraces the tadpole) - the latter option may be better as it allows re-use of the other party members as antagonists later - killing a mind flayer wearing Gale's clothes is not the same as interacting with Gale a couple more times on opposite sides before a throw down (and potentially bringing him back into the fold for Act 3).

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Originally Posted by Masakado
Personally the issue is how playable the game is with different character combinations if you get bottlenecked down to a small party that won't change, particularly if your "main" isn't one of the core roles.


What are these core roles in dnd 5e that you can't fill in with wide variety of classes?

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Originally Posted by Bercon
Originally Posted by Masakado
Personally the issue is how playable the game is with different character combinations if you get bottlenecked down to a small party that won't change, particularly if your "main" isn't one of the core roles.


What are these core roles in dnd 5e that you can't fill in with wide variety of classes?


While I have no experience actually playing 5E (my gaming group imploded before its release), I have extensive experience with prior editions (where this issue would be unquestionably a major problem for a CRPG and fairly challenging even in PnP) and CRPGs in general. As mentioned earlier in the thread, CRPGs are in general not at all forgiving of a party that can't detect and disable traps or unlock locked containers (it is quite usual for most locks to not have keys that can be found and to punish players who break open the container by destroying some or all of the loot within). Stealth is usually less of an issue, however. CRPGs also usually assume a certain level of access to magical healing, and as a result often include enemies that inflict an array of negative conditions that require magic to remove (or extensive resting) or areas where resting is restricted. I am less concerned about the need for utility spells (many of which are not on the warlock list, for example) or a heavy armored frontline fighter, as what we've seen demonstrated suggests those can be worked around. In PnP any of this can be worked around, but a CRPG has less ability to respond to player creativity than a DM does, and less ability to tailor encounters to the party that actually exists.

Proficiency in thieves' tools is rogue (or the criminal background) specific. This can by dealt with to some extent by multiclassing (though you may be delaying or even foregoing progressions in your main class depending on the level cap), or if they include feats (which I haven't seen specific reference to). Magical healing is more broadly available, but none of the promotional material or interviews I've seen have said with certainty that there are companions other than we've seen, and while it is not unusual to keep a couple secret for spoiler reasons, concealing most of them is no longer common. If you have seen an interview or other official statement where they mention feats or additional available companions, I'd be glad to hear of it.

It is entirely possible I'm jumping at shadows and Larian has set it up so that deciding on a party that contains neither Shadowheart nor Astarion is -not- going to result in a miserable time as you forego most loot, are deprived of xp you were expected to get from disarming all the traps you've been taking on the chin and are therefore underleveled, and have to save scum every combat to make sure you get through with minimal damage because you aren't allowed to take a long rest in an area you can't escape until you've beaten the local boss. There are games where having neither a rogue nor a cleric would be excruciating, and since we've been told we're going to be restricted to a single loadout of 4 party members and have been presented with a small list of companions including only one rogue and one healer, I don't think it unreasonable to at least raise the possibility that this might be a problem. I will be happy to eat crow if I discover otherwise - I don't want there to be problems, I have no objection in principle to the party getting winnowed down for story reasons as was the case for a large chunk of BG2, and provided the story is sufficiently engaging I will probably do multiple play throughs to get the storylines for each NPC.

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Larian has stated several times that more companions will be added throughout EA. This has been stated with certainty.


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What is likely to matter most, is that the party composition ( including pets ) and the choices you go through to select them are intimately connected to the development of the characters and the story lines in a satisfying way.

In the Dragonage games, for example, you could certainly gather together a three-ring circus if you chose, but there were certain characters that you could not dispense with, however hard you tried; that was not necessarily ideal either, but was driven by story imperatives.

Personally, I am not fixated on number or choice of companions as being more important than the story; but having said that, there is more than a suspicion that the 4-character co-op emphasis of the game is fixing these choices more than the nature of the tale. That might suck for SP players.

Originally Posted by Masakado


I'd actually be surprised if there were many more origin characters just due to space constraints on the Nautiloid. There's no law requiring that all party members be tadpoled, mind, so not every part member has to be an origin character.



There have been no absolute promises of any more fully-acted characters, to the best of my knowledge, although Swen has suggested there will "probably" be more. I suspect they already know exactly how many companions they expect to have, as it would be difficult ( though not impossible ) to add characters late in development, given the depth of interaction.

If you look at the Nautliloid in the intro, you see the Illithid enter a room of containment pods. There appear to be 9 pods in the circle, at least some of which are empty, with only Lae'Zel and the viewer ( you ) definitely present in the pods. That would leave possibly 7 free pods, which, by coincidence, appears to be the number of people in Yartar that are dematerialized and transferred to pods.

None of them appears to be the other origin characters; that could either mean the additional origin characters were unknown to the company making the intro, or it could mean that the Nautiloid has multiple containment rooms, so it is not necessarily that helpful.

But if there is a pre-planned number of origin companions, and I were to guess, then it would be 8/9 ( depending on whether the viewer in the intro is one of the companions ), to fill out the chamber we see on the Nautiloid.

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In the Panel From Hell interview, toward the end iirc, Swen stated that there would be more companions, races, classes, and features introduced throughout Early Access.

5e is also really flexible in that you aren't limited to absolutely needing a certain class (or in this case, bringing along a certain companion) so even as someone who prefers to hoard companions throughout the game and would even prefer a bigger party option, I don't think locking companions after Act 1 will have us feeling boxed in with few options or risk losing xp/loot.

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Originally Posted by Hawke
you only have effectively 3 companions which is a joke compared to every single party-based CRPG I have ever played: you guys said you listen to feedback so I really doubt anyone thinks this is good so please post here to make sure Larian changes this ASAP!

Losing party after act 1 was hated by everyone in DOS2 and no other RPG ever did it because it means the player loses the choice to build the right party for each encounter, meaning the game losing depth!

I don't feel quite as strongly about this as you--but I do feel strongly nonetheless, and I've written out my feelings about this as follows:

This essentially forces a roleplaying style that won't fit all characters. Some like to develop close bonds, others like to whimsically mix it up and never get too close. I'd rather they find a way to push us to choose to have fewer camp members--like if some of them will murder each other in their sleep, or if we can murder them in their sleep and dump their bodies in ditches, or if we have to defend ourselves because we or those who like us make a perception check on someone trying to murder us in our sleep. Maybe Astarion can get discovered as a vampire and lynch mobbed, or you have to murder someone who found out what he is before they get back to camp if you want to save him. Maybe other disagreements provoke deadly or dealbreaking conflicts and if you don't have the mental stats, you lose them. Then despite combat being overall more important, there's an actual benefit to being mentally gifted because it saves you some of the best companions to take along into combat.

Losing companions should feel like a consequence we brought on ourselves, not a deus ex fuck you.

There are better ways to get results than an arbitrary immersion-breaking party lock. If someone I like dies and all I have as an alternative are mercs, I will reload. If the game instead wants me to be forced to travel with someone I dislike, that is a better mechanic for handling the loss of that party member, and I am much more likely to do that than ever hire a stupid boring personality-devoid merc. That is more likely to prevent me from reloading. "Okay, poor Shadowheart died, so I guess it's trying to make peace with the paladin time. Ugh." THAT feels like a story, like events that could happen in reality, in life.

Maybe a soft lock wouldn't be so bad. Like, you lose someone on a critical mission and have to travel back to Waterdeep to find Gale and drag him out of his tower because he left, but now you need him because Wyll died. If Gale looked at your face and knew something happened to your mutual companion, that would feel so much better than some random permakilloff or whatever.

People won't want to trade out beloved party members; player love is already a natural deterrent.

Dragon Age: Inquisition showed us how to fix any issues with frivolous swapping, because anyone back at Skyhold will still hear about your big decisions, making it irrelevant to switch them out. You have to just live with your choices, though you can mitigate things by talking to a companion and showing your reasons. Much truer to life, there are consequences, but you can talk things out.

What if you have a personal falling out and it makes more sense to ditch one person for another? What if you break up with someone because they're too clingy? Because they were cheating? Because you discovered a fatal flaw in the relationship? How on earth would you keep going on with them? Some characters just plain wouldn't and they should be allowed to take another friend along, not a dull merc who's barely more than a set of pixels to you! And those who can't bring themselves to just won't change the party anyway. They'll try to make peace or move on.

I just disagree with this whole forced party lock thing. Very hard. There are better ways to do this than a party lock, at least a strict one, especially in D&D where unlike DOS2 you don't get to choose party members' classes, so there's already a huge natural incentive to keep the same people around.

Value your characters more. We sure do! Let US decide if we want to lose them on any given playthrough. Sure, make us pay for it, even... but let US choose. And if you want to create stronger bonds between party members that have traveled awhile, then give us some kind of points system--keep track of who we've kept around, and at the end of each quest give those still with us "companion points" or something. Then if you want to make those bonds feel more powerful, you can just flag those more chummy moments of camaraderie and warm group interactions to require a certain number of those points.

Or if the gating has a real purpose, then let us know. If there are a lot of things you want to do that require companions to have known each other awhile, so be it. But only 3? That's an awfully, awfully low and lonely number. At least let us purchase one or two more by having high Charisma. That's another reward for the mental stats that so often get neglected in games like these. If 14 in one mental stat lets you take one more and 18 in one mental stat lets you take two more, not as many people will dump. It makes sense, too--you're either charming a larger number of people with looks and/or interpersonal warmth, convincing them your pragmatism makes you worth following, or convincing them you're smarter than anyone else they could chase.

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Originally Posted by Wynne
well-written wall of text


Y'know, I thought that people were overreacting about this, but when framed in this way, I suppose that I do feel as though a lock might be a bit silly. I'm still leaning on the side of "it's not a big deal; you can just do another playthrough for other companions" but it makes me wonder what interesting party dynamics I may be missing by not choosing certain combinations of companions.

Thought-provoking.


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@Wynne: your arguments would be valuable if we knew anything about the plot in BG3. But here, they are only speculations as to why we have to commit. It doesn't matter whether there will be 3, 4, 5 or 6 companions we can choose to accompany us further. Because maybe we don't even choose at all by picking the ones we like but more like they follow us as a consequence of what we did and what they did in the first act. So let's see how it unfolds in EA before writing books about it, shall we?

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Originally Posted by Wynne

Or if the gating has a real purpose, then let us know. If there are a lot of things you want to do that require companions to have known each other awhile, so be it. But only 3? That's an awfully, awfully low and lonely number.

But it is exactly the limit for companions in co-op. To keep the game balanced and be able to track and evolve proceedings in greater depth, it makes some sense ( or, at least, it is more manageable ) to impose the same restrictions and conditions of play on SP as on MP.

If it is done in a way that "feels" right in roleplay terms, then I suppose it is acceptable; but it does often feel that the SP mode isn't really that important for BG3, even though there seems to be a body of players for whom SP is the most/only important mode for RPGs.

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I am not sure that controllable party characters need to be the main focus of the character development at all ... consider that in BG II the biggest and best personality was Irenicus. A lot of development can thus occur by using game-controlled characters who are never party members. In that way they can be integral to the story, and they can show up when the writer needs them regardless of who is in the party.

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Originally Posted by etonbears
Originally Posted by Wynne

Or if the gating has a real purpose, then let us know. If there are a lot of things you want to do that require companions to have known each other awhile, so be it. But only 3? That's an awfully, awfully low and lonely number.

But it is exactly the limit for companions in co-op. To keep the game balanced and be able to track and evolve proceedings in greater depth, it makes some sense ( or, at least, it is more manageable ) to impose the same restrictions and conditions of play on SP as on MP.

If it is done in a way that "feels" right in roleplay terms, then I suppose it is acceptable; but it does often feel that the SP mode isn't really that important for BG3, even though there seems to be a body of players for whom SP is the most/only important mode for RPGs.

limiting the single player experience for the sake of multiplayer is the antithesis of cRPG experiences. Especially Baldur's Gate ... the most revered and replayable single player RPG franchise in history. Name one other single player RPG that is still being played 23 years later by a healthy and active community.

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Originally Posted by Wynne
Originally Posted by Hawke
you only have effectively 3 companions which is a joke compared to every single party-based CRPG I have ever played: you guys said you listen to feedback so I really doubt anyone thinks this is good so please post here to make sure Larian changes this ASAP!

Losing party after act 1 was hated by everyone in DOS2 and no other RPG ever did it because it means the player loses the choice to build the right party for each encounter, meaning the game losing depth!

I don't feel quite as strongly about this as you--but I do feel strongly nonetheless, and I've written out my feelings about this as follows:

This essentially forces a roleplaying style that won't fit all characters. Some like to develop close bonds, others like to whimsically mix it up and never get too close. I'd rather they find a way to push us to choose to have fewer camp members--like if some of them will murder each other in their sleep, or if we can murder them in their sleep and dump their bodies in ditches, or if we have to defend ourselves because we or those who like us make a perception check on someone trying to murder us in our sleep. Maybe Astarion can get discovered as a vampire and lynch mobbed, or you have to murder someone who found out what he is before they get back to camp if you want to save him. Maybe other disagreements provoke deadly or dealbreaking conflicts and if you don't have the mental stats, you lose them. Then despite combat being overall more important, there's an actual benefit to being mentally gifted because it saves you some of the best companions to take along into combat.

Losing companions should feel like a consequence we brought on ourselves, not a deus ex fuck you.

There are better ways to get results than an arbitrary immersion-breaking party lock. If someone I like dies and all I have as an alternative are mercs, I will reload. If the game instead wants me to be forced to travel with someone I dislike, that is a better mechanic for handling the loss of that party member, and I am much more likely to do that than ever hire a stupid boring personality-devoid merc. That is more likely to prevent me from reloading. "Okay, poor Shadowheart died, so I guess it's trying to make peace with the paladin time. Ugh." THAT feels like a story, like events that could happen in reality, in life.

Maybe a soft lock wouldn't be so bad. Like, you lose someone on a critical mission and have to travel back to Waterdeep to find Gale and drag him out of his tower because he left, but now you need him because Wyll died. If Gale looked at your face and knew something happened to your mutual companion, that would feel so much better than some random permakilloff or whatever.

People won't want to trade out beloved party members; player love is already a natural deterrent.

Dragon Age: Inquisition showed us how to fix any issues with frivolous swapping, because anyone back at Skyhold will still hear about your big decisions, making it irrelevant to switch them out. You have to just live with your choices, though you can mitigate things by talking to a companion and showing your reasons. Much truer to life, there are consequences, but you can talk things out.

What if you have a personal falling out and it makes more sense to ditch one person for another? What if you break up with someone because they're too clingy? Because they were cheating? Because you discovered a fatal flaw in the relationship? How on earth would you keep going on with them? Some characters just plain wouldn't and they should be allowed to take another friend along, not a dull merc who's barely more than a set of pixels to you! And those who can't bring themselves to just won't change the party anyway. They'll try to make peace or move on.

I just disagree with this whole forced party lock thing. Very hard. There are better ways to do this than a party lock, at least a strict one, especially in D&D where unlike DOS2 you don't get to choose party members' classes, so there's already a huge natural incentive to keep the same people around.

Value your characters more. We sure do! Let US decide if we want to lose them on any given playthrough. Sure, make us pay for it, even... but let US choose. And if you want to create stronger bonds between party members that have traveled awhile, then give us some kind of points system--keep track of who we've kept around, and at the end of each quest give those still with us "companion points" or something. Then if you want to make those bonds feel more powerful, you can just flag those more chummy moments of camaraderie and warm group interactions to require a certain number of those points.

Or if the gating has a real purpose, then let us know. If there are a lot of things you want to do that require companions to have known each other awhile, so be it. But only 3? That's an awfully, awfully low and lonely number. At least let us purchase one or two more by having high Charisma. That's another reward for the mental stats that so often get neglected in games like these. If 14 in one mental stat lets you take one more and 18 in one mental stat lets you take two more, not as many people will dump. It makes sense, too--you're either charming a larger number of people with looks and/or interpersonal warmth, convincing them your pragmatism makes you worth following, or convincing them you're smarter than anyone else they could chase.

Well said.

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