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the way you ascend to leadership was well explored in Dragon Age inquisition, something like that for the narrative would be cool, its satisfying to climb the mountain find the stronghold and raise the sword as the new inquisitor (also the throne scenes and the wartable where really nice stuff)

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The "companions" are already hostile enough, I'd rather not have them try to assume control of the story as well. This wouldn't be a problem if they wrote companions we could actually get along with, it's the built-in conflict and bitchiness (this goes for all genders) that makes it stand out as a sore thumb.

I would also have liked if there was a story reason for why people let you assume leadership, but they didn't go with a "you're special" story. They went with "everyone is extremely super unique". At this point, the best option IMO is to have companions leave your party if they become sufficiently dissatisfied with what you're doing.

Larians claim to fame doesn't stem from excellent writing, but good game design. So far I'm pleasantly surprised because I compare it to the DOS games, and not BG1/2, Pillars or Dragon Age.

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Accept me as a leader? All Shadowheart does is disapprove of me, and Lae'zel always yells at me.


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Originally Posted by Zorax
It is rather something I asked myself often during the dialogs in the game. I mean a typical DnD group consists of more or less equal partners and if there is a leader it is determined at least in some way. In BG3 we immediately become the group leader and it seems that none of our companions objects. Not even if we act completely against their wishes! And I cannot think of any event or ability that makes us so special that our companions decide to make us leader of the group.

When the player moves a character and the rest follows you can interprete this as a groups will, that's fine. But if one character talks and makes actual decisions and he is not especially nominated by the story in some way as group leader I expect his companions to act in one of 3 ways:

- stay neutral
- approve
- disapprove

And with act I do not mean a change in their approval towards the player character but direct intervention in dialog. That is nothing that has to be happen in every dialog but in some it seems to be missing to make them believable.

Here is an example: In the grove there is a dialog with a Tiefling who will be interrogated by Lae'zel if she's in your party. If you go against Lae'zels will and try to be friendly with the Tiefling she will respond very harshly but do nothing in the end. I mean: At that point Lae'zel thinks of herself as far superior to you and sees some kind of abomination in you. And she is just staying behind thinking "Fine do what you want"??? I would rather expect in such a situation that we get an Intimidation check against her and if we fail we have the choice to either led her interrogate him (with approval loss) or she might even attack us.

Or why is Gale not doing anything during the Arabella incident even if we keep quiet and do nothing although he is definetly pissed about it?! If we manage to prevent it he will just say how angry he is but why didn't he react if we choose to do nothing?

Currently our companions often feel like puppets with an approval value who follows us and let us do however we please in nearly every dialog interaction. It would make a huge difference if Larian reworked a few key dialogs like the two mentioned above to really show that our companions are living beings with a personality and own goals. That want to have a word or two to say in what we are doing. I mean they have a tadpole too. It's not as if they are following you for fun...



+1 I would love tos ee it. Especially as I have a hard time agreeing with the way Lae'zel is acting. I feel like I have to put her in place all the time, but all she does is "Disapprove". I feel like she would actually appreciate someone showing strength so putting her in place with rolls, and also keeping her strongheadedness in check, makes twice the sense.

Originally Posted by Hachina
- Gayle is kind and laidback, so he probably thrust you and let you take the lead.


I think he would love for me to let him thrust me, but not going to happen. Back off already gale! (It's not my mention to make fun of spelling mistakes, but it made me giggle. So true.)

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I'm not sure they do, technically you get recruited by Lae'zel on the nautaloid. It's just once she recruits your character, you the player get to control her.

She only joins your character later due to your character helping her.
Shadowheart is a reluctant follower who is a bit desperate and lost - You're the closest thing to help she's seen all day.
Gale actually seeks you out, he's specifically looking for others with the tadpole issue - Not only does he want to join you but is upset if you don't let him.
Astarion, one could assume is looking for a reliable source of nourishment, he does also need some convincing.

There is also the whole tadpole thing, notice how every follower gets a pretty strong tadpole reaction before they agree to join you.

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Originally Posted by FatePeddler
Shadowheart seems to want to take charge a lot when she is in your party even though we are the leader.

The character's will go it alone if you do not recruit them though, so it's not like the companion characters are helpless without us.

In BG1 & 2, there at least a reason your companions listened to you. The whole thing was YOUR journey and they were along for the ride for various reasons.

In BG3 you're just a member of the party. Lae'zel declares herself leader, but she and everyone else still just follow your orders for... reasons? There should be a brief quest or something right at the beginning that establishes you a the "face" or leader of the party. It doesn't take much for this to make sense. Give the PC the chance to take charge and have the other party members acknowledge (perhaps begrudgingly) that you lead well or some such.

Also, Companions don't get involved in conversations nearly enough. They usually feel like spectators.

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Originally Posted by Zorax
It is rather something I asked myself often during the dialogs in the game. I mean a typical DnD group consists of more or less equal partners and if there is a leader it is determined at least in some way. In BG3 we immediately become the group leader and it seems that none of our companions objects. Not even if we act completely against their wishes! And I cannot think of any event or ability that makes us so special that our companions decide to make us leader of the group.

When the player moves a character and the rest follows you can interprete this as a groups will, that's fine. But if one character talks and makes actual decisions and he is not especially nominated by the story in some way as group leader I expect his companions to act in one of 3 ways:

- stay neutral
- approve
- disapprove

And with act I do not mean a change in their approval towards the player character but direct intervention in dialog. That is nothing that has to be happen in every dialog but in some it seems to be missing to make them believable.

Here is an example: In the grove there is a dialog with a Tiefling who will be interrogated by Lae'zel if she's in your party. If you go against Lae'zels will and try to be friendly with the Tiefling she will respond very harshly but do nothing in the end. I mean: At that point Lae'zel thinks of herself as far superior to you and sees some kind of abomination in you. And she is just staying behind thinking "Fine do what you want"??? I would rather expect in such a situation that we get an Intimidation check against her and if we fail we have the choice to either led her interrogate him (with approval loss) or she might even attack us.

Or why is Gale not doing anything during the Arabella incident even if we keep quiet and do nothing although he is definetly pissed about it?! If we manage to prevent it he will just say how angry he is but why didn't he react if we choose to do nothing?

Currently our companions often feel like puppets with an approval value who follows us and let us do however we please in nearly every dialog interaction. It would make a huge difference if Larian reworked a few key dialogs like the two mentioned above to really show that our companions are living beings with a personality and own goals. That want to have a word or two to say in what we are doing. I mean they have a tadpole too. It's not as if they are following you for fun...

Because this would require genuine effort and interest on the developers part as they would have to learn a lot of lore and backgrounds to FR/D&D and discover concepts such as narrative cohesion which where not only completely absent in their previous titles but they didn't even consider something as basic as narrative continuity.


I am here to discuss a video game. Please do not try to rope me into anything other than that. Thank you.
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Originally Posted by Argonaut
Because this would require genuine effort and interest on the developers part as they would have to learn a lot of lore and backgrounds to FR/D&D and discover concepts such as narrative cohesion which where not only completely absent in their previous titles but they didn't even consider something as basic as narrative continuity.

No need to throw stones now. D:OS (from what little I've seen) has a very different tone to the type of high quality narrative that players expect from Baldur's Gate. They expect the companions to feel like living, breathing people that are just as invested in the story as you are. That's a high bar, and it may take several passes for Larian to get it right. It's stilly to think they didn't put in effort or don't have interest.

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Originally Posted by frequentic
Lae'zel [snip]. I feel like she would actually appreciate someone showing strength so putting her in place with rolls, and also keeping her strongheadedness in check, makes twice the sense.

100% agree. Strong-willed people such as Lae'zel actual appreciate a firm hand, even if they don't like the decisions. They can respect that. Since she blindly follows you, it seems odd that she's not reflecting that in her approval/disapproval.

On that note, Lae'zel should abandon the party pretty early on if you won't follow her purification quest. If she thinks she has only a day or two to live, why would she stick around? The player could run into her again when finally doing this quest, and she can then rejoin the party.

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Originally Posted by Traycor
Originally Posted by Argonaut
Because this would require genuine effort and interest on the developers part as they would have to learn a lot of lore and backgrounds to FR/D&D and discover concepts such as narrative cohesion which where not only completely absent in their previous titles but they didn't even consider something as basic as narrative continuity.

No need to throw stones now. D:OS (from what little I've seen) has a very different tone to the type of high quality narrative that players expect from Baldur's Gate. They expect the companions to feel like living, breathing people that are just as invested in the story as you are. That's a high bar, and it may take several passes for Larian to get it right. It's stilly to think they didn't put in effort or don't have interest.

I backed DivOS and DivOS2 for several hundred euro each. I'm not throwing stones, I'm telling you what experience with the company has taught me about them.


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My thread wasn't intended to question why we are the leader. Of course we are it's a video game and in the end we are controlling the whole group! My question was why our companions are so passive during certain key dialogs even if they are completely disagreeing with your way of leading the conversation and the decisions you make. Like if they already accepted we are the leader and they have to endure our leadership (at least until their disapproval value is low enough). So further comments about me wanting to question the fact we are the leader and in control of the group is pointless.

As of the companions: I have currently made most of my experiences with Lae'zel, Shadowheart and Gale.

Shadowheart is already implemented pretty well in dialogs compared to the other two in my opinion. She is secretive and trys to solve problems by trickery, not sharing too valuable information and in general approach problems rather by using her mind than by force. In several dialogs she warns you not to do something she deems unwise. She does not rush forward and that's ok and fitting her personality.

Lae'zel in contrast should feel in my opinion as if you are travelling with a walking insult to anybody you meet. Several encounters that are solvable peacefully shouln't even be possible to solve that way if she is in your party simply because she does something at the beginning to force your opponent to attack you. And especially at the beginning when your relationship with her is low I expect more active actions from her during dialog if she disagrees. If the relationship with the player gets better I would expect her still grumbling but in the end accepting what you are doing (still with approval loss) because she trusts you.

While Lae'zel is the worst of this trio regarding the dialogs Gale is somewhere in between. He usually never acts but always have something to say after the important moment passes. Maybe I simply misjudge his character and he is intended to be someone who never acts when it is necessary and instead complains always afterwards. But in some situations I expect him to do something, if the player doesn't, like with Arabella. Something like trying to save Arabella with a shield or attacking the snake (potentialy initiating a battle) if the player does not succed with the other checks of course.

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a comment I wrote in a similar thread. Disclaimer- what I wrote wasn't meant to denfend Larian, and their series of terrible NPC related design choices
.

I agree the idea of origin characters is lame and part of the Larian's game philosophy of "let's just do cool stuff who cares how it affects the narrative" but based on the amount of downvotes I get every time I mention it on Reddit it's not gonna go away.

That said, I don't sure how much they really "steal the spotlight" in practice, even if it's true in theory. I'll be happy to hear some examples if any of you guys have any.

I feel like the "clean slate" status of my character actually works to my character's advantage. I'm not sure if it was intentional, but the fact I'm surrounded by crazies, each one of them with more issues than the other, makes my vault dweller seem like the only adult around. It reminds me of (and I can't believe I'm saying it) Persona 4, a game that wrote the book about generic MC.

Last edited by Abits; 20/10/20 04:01 PM.

Larian's Biggest Oversight, what to do about it, and My personal review of BG3 EA
"74.85% of you stood with the Tieflings, and 25.15% of you sided with Minthara. Good outweighs evil, it seems."
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I don't want to see companions break (yet). That's fine if we get the 17 NPCs like we had in BG2 but with only a handful of companions, a companion going their own way means a broken game.

Something needs to make Tav McBlanderson * a compelling character. Perhaps instead of everyone being freed because of damage to the ship perhaps Tav could flip a lever that opens all the cells at once? Then everyone we meet would start with "wait, you're the reason I got free"

*( I stole that)

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Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
I don't want to see companions break (yet). That's fine if we get the 17 NPCs like we had in BG2 but with only a handful of companions, a companion going their own way means a broken game.

Something needs to make Tav McBlanderson * a compelling character. Perhaps instead of everyone being freed because of damage to the ship perhaps Tav could flip a lever that opens all the cells at once? Then everyone we meet would start with "wait, you're the reason I got free"

*( I stole that)


That thing that's supposed to make your custom character compelling is called imagination. If we're going to call for Larian to write them for us, we may as well just petition to remove custom characters, because that's essentially what you're asking for when you want someone else to define them for you.

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Leader?

You can choose your PC at character creation, but then use one of the companions as the speaking head and front(wo)man of the party with your custom character following them.

Saying that,
- Shadowheart tells you to "lead away" if you ask her to join (and she doesn't hates you). She clearly doesn't want the leadership job (like Alistair in DAO).
- Lae'zel is far from her home plane and respect your fighting abilities after the intro.
- Astarion has been a slave until now and it's the first time he sees daylight in 200 years.
- Wyll's main objective is finding his patron and helping the Grove, not dealing with the tadpole.
- Gale seems more interested in eating than babysitting the party.

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Originally Posted by robertthebard
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
I don't want to see companions break (yet). That's fine if we get the 17 NPCs like we had in BG2 but with only a handful of companions, a companion going their own way means a broken game.

Something needs to make Tav McBlanderson * a compelling character. Perhaps instead of everyone being freed because of damage to the ship perhaps Tav could flip a lever that opens all the cells at once? Then everyone we meet would start with "wait, you're the reason I got free"

*( I stole that)


That thing that's supposed to make your custom character compelling is called imagination. If we're going to call for Larian to write them for us, we may as well just petition to remove custom characters, because that's essentially what you're asking for when you want someone else to define them for you.


You sound angry. Let's see if we can have a different kind of conversation. The point is have just enough of a background to let the imagination stick. When you really want glue to work you first rough up the surface and then apply the adhesive. I'm asking for something similar -- Larian needs to better prepare the surface. BG got it right -- there are thousands of different Bhaalspawn stories, Biowere was able to give just enough detail to let people flesh out their own stories. Compare this to DOS2 where I really just playing Fane's story.

Now in 5th edition there are a number of role play characteristics that ever PC bring to the table -- background, bond, flaw etc. So far Larian has put in background but it doesn't really do much -- much less than backgrounds in PoE1.

Also, we could / should have background creation option and some compelling reason for the NPCs to follow our lead. We had it BG -- child of destiny. Now in BG3 we have a blank slate. "savior of the imprisoned would be one such 'bond' "

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Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
Originally Posted by robertthebard
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
I don't want to see companions break (yet). That's fine if we get the 17 NPCs like we had in BG2 but with only a handful of companions, a companion going their own way means a broken game.

Something needs to make Tav McBlanderson * a compelling character. Perhaps instead of everyone being freed because of damage to the ship perhaps Tav could flip a lever that opens all the cells at once? Then everyone we meet would start with "wait, you're the reason I got free"

*( I stole that)


That thing that's supposed to make your custom character compelling is called imagination. If we're going to call for Larian to write them for us, we may as well just petition to remove custom characters, because that's essentially what you're asking for when you want someone else to define them for you.


You sound angry. Let's see if we can have a different kind of conversation. The point is have just enough of a background to let the imagination stick. When you really want glue to work you first rough up the surface and then apply the adhesive. I'm asking for something similar -- Larian needs to better prepare the surface. BG got it right -- there are thousands of different Bhaalspawn stories, Biowere was able to give just enough detail to let people flesh out their own stories. Compare this to DOS2 where I really just playing Fane's story.

Now in 5th edition there are a number of role play characteristics that ever PC bring to the table -- background, bond, flaw etc. So far Larian has put in background but it doesn't really do much -- much less than backgrounds in PoE1.

Also, we could / should have background creation option and some compelling reason for the NPCs to follow our lead. We had it BG -- child of destiny. Now in BG3 we have a blank slate. "savior of the imprisoned would be one such 'bond' "

Some of what you're asking for may already be on the table, such as backgrounds having some significance. I can't say, I haven't seen their documentation of features that they left out, or weren't ready for EA. Some of it is already available, or, more accurately, will be, when the Origin characters become available for play. I want a blank slate for a Custom character, and I'm not alone. I have read literally thousands of posts, from SP game forums to MMO forums expressing the desire to just let the player define the character. I've seen literally thousands of posts about how "I'm playing (insert developer here)'s character, instead of my own, and this thread follows a path that is counter to that. I want the least amount of information about a custom character handed to me as is possible. Getting the background to matter, look at Mass Effect for something like that, would be great, but I want as much freedom as possible.

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Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
Perhaps instead of everyone being freed because of damage to the ship perhaps Tav could flip a lever that opens all the cells at once? Then everyone we meet would start with "wait, you're the reason I got free"

I love it. Even something as simple as pulling a lever and a few lines of grateful dialogue would go a long way toward explaining why everyone wants you to lead.

Side note: I have no idea why the PC let's Astarion join the party in the first place. He ambushes you, tries to kill you, then he has a tadpole so you invite him to your camp to sleep beside you at night? That made no sense. Why would I trust him? It seems like we're supposed to invite him to join us because the game said so.

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I don't buy the "you have to be special" bit when I really think about it. for the majority of Baldur's Gate (I'm not entirely sure until when, but I know for sure it is only after you reach Baldur's Gate) the MC is a blank slate with nothing to draw people to him and nothing special about him whatsoever, and yet people are drawn to him. In Baldur's Gate, it's done better (since each companion joins for a different reason, some are really cool like Shar-Teal) but what reason is there for them to stay? most of them leave only if you did something that they really really don't like, but it's not so easy to make them leave in my opinion.


Larian's Biggest Oversight, what to do about it, and My personal review of BG3 EA
"74.85% of you stood with the Tieflings, and 25.15% of you sided with Minthara. Good outweighs evil, it seems."
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Originally Posted by Stray952
I’d hate to say it but I’m just not sure this dev has any interest in plausibility. Little things like downplaying the other characters uniqueness, establishing why the PC is in charge just didn’t make it into the priority list.


I would disagree with that one. I think Larian has an interest, they just deemed their game to be good enough to present it to a greater audience. Don't forget thats it's supposed to be in EA for at least another year and the content so far is, all things considered, not in a worse state than many games coming out in their 1.0 version. We are complaining on a pretty high level because we want this pretty good game to enter the level of "masterpiece".

Just the fact that we are complaining that the companions do not act as we think they would proves that Larian managed to shape their personalities pretty well. It would be really bad if there were many situations where we couldn't guess how a certain companion would react. So the first part is done in my opinion. Now Larian just needs to let these companions act according to their personalities and find a way to do so.

Reworking a few key dialogs that are used to initiate, finish, or decide quests or dialogs that branch between options how to solve a quest are a perfect way to create memorable scenes. And it wouldn't use as much ressources as rewriting every small little meaningless dialog most players won't even see (they can still do that if they want and have the time)

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