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Originally Posted by Boblawblah
Originally Posted by Maximuuus
It seems that a lot of players liked playing origin characters in DoS2, especially in MP.

But from what I heard it's not because players wanted to play an origin pre-made character : it's because custom were less interresting (no specific quest, no specific reactions to events,...)

Yea, it's a bit misleading to say people loved the origin system when it's obvious that the origin characters are so much more interesting than any character that can be made by the player. It's like giving someone the choice between a day old hotdog and a freshly cooked steak and saying "90% of people enjoy steak therefore we're only going to serve steak from now on".

Isn't that how it usually goes? A player made character should have their backstory left up to the player, rather than invented. Even in stories where the character has certain things decided for them (like you are Nerevar), the players past is left mostly ambiguous.

Games with pre made protagonists allow for more elaborate back stories for their MC. Then you have games like KOTOR that mix the two styles, but in those cases the writers had a specific vision in mind for the PC.

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Somethings to add to the pile, as I look at some of the comments.

- Larian loves their Origins. Not going to change.

- They are around to fill in the world, should someone choose to play a normal / single Tav and want some pre-done plot attached to them.

- They are playable because someone will want that. Optional.

- They can be completely ignored even now. Either by making a party of 4; or inviting friends to play with you. Skipping them completely.

- Not immortal. Hate them? Cull them.


As someone with a ... excessive amount of time in DOS2, the BG3 companions are way better done in their uncomplete form and they steal less of the limelight. I can appreciate what they do for a plot, even if it's one I hate. I just can't help but want to be at the point where we get more choices smile Larian already has made the investment - and the sales has helped the production process directly.

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Originally Posted by footface
Originally Posted by Boblawblah
Originally Posted by Maximuuus
It seems that a lot of players liked playing origin characters in DoS2, especially in MP.

But from what I heard it's not because players wanted to play an origin pre-made character : it's because custom were less interresting (no specific quest, no specific reactions to events,...)

Yea, it's a bit misleading to say people loved the origin system when it's obvious that the origin characters are so much more interesting than any character that can be made by the player. It's like giving someone the choice between a day old hotdog and a freshly cooked steak and saying "90% of people enjoy steak therefore we're only going to serve steak from now on".

Isn't that how it usually goes? A player made character should have their backstory left up to the player, rather than invented. Even in stories where the character has certain things decided for them (like you are Nerevar), the players past is left mostly ambiguous.

Games with pre made protagonists allow for more elaborate back stories for their MC. Then you have games like KOTOR that mix the two styles, but in those cases the writers had a specific vision in mind for the PC.

the dialogue choices can fill out your character though. In swtor, you're essentially playing a custom character with a voice, but through the very simple dialogue choices, you're able to create your own version (it's VERY limited to be fair) of your character. it gives a sense of ownership. Nothing so far in BG3 has made my character feel like anything more than a prop for the origin characters to shine in front of.

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Originally Posted by Boblawblah
the dialogue choices can fill out your character though. In swtor, you're essentially playing a custom character with a voice, but through the very simple dialogue choices, you're able to create your own version (it's VERY limited to be fair) of your character. it gives a sense of ownership. Nothing so far in BG3 has made my character feel like anything more than a prop for the origin characters to shine in front of.

I don't speak much on the Origin system, but it might be surprising to know that the Origin system is probably the one thing that can potentially bother me the most about this game. Potentially because the system isn't ready yet, but the impact can already be felt on the writing.

What people don't seem to consider is that giving players the option of playing as premade characters inherently takes away resources that could have been made to flesh out a custom character instead. Not only that, but in order to make the origin characters appealing to play as, they inherently have to be constructed in ways that they're all competing for the limelight at once. They'd also have to be written under the assumption that a player may choose to play as them at some point, so not only are they super special, but they tend to lean really hard into their defining traits, so that any deviation suddenly looks like character agency. I imagine the writers are at least somewhat aware of some of the shortcomings, even if a good portion of the gaming community has yet to notice - with a companion setup like this, it's no wonder that there's barely any party banter at all, and what little there is tends to be in response to whatever the lead character is doing, rather than responding to each other.

That was the one thing that irked me the most in DOS2. The companions had insane backgrounds, but they also somehow still managed to be extremely one-note, especially when the vast majority of their personal quests usually involved extreme violence at every single step. BG3 is at least a little bit better at that so far, but the companions are just as narcissistic as DOS2's and whatever depth the DOS2's companions ended up getting had the subtlety of a freight train hitting a brick wall. I don't have high hopes that the BG3 companions could really develop in ways that don't involve 'lol plot twist/shock value event' masquerading as 'character development'.

I hope BG3's writing surprises me later on, but as it currently stands, the writing of Pathfinder WotR's companions are leagues ahead, and I believe the origin system would be the main culprit to blame for the way the BG3 companions are written if they turn out to be comparatively disappointing in literally every department beyond the ability to romance them.

(I would also blame the idea of having to kill off certain party members after a certain point in the game, like how DOS2 killed off everyone not in your active party after a certain battle offscreen. Something like that comes to the detriment of world building too - it would encourage repeat playthroughs, but it shrinked that game's focus to your special party of 4, which made the last act of DOS2 really confusing for some people because a lot of the antagonists there were basically personal targets for specific companions. For some people, it ended up being a montage of 'who the hell are you and why should I care other than the fact that you're getting in my way'.

I bring this up because there were interviews implying that we should expect the same sort of thing to happen after some point in BG3 too, though I hope this time it's sorted by sets of companions based on their actual motivations, rather than literally everyone not in your active party. And if you want to think REALLY far ahead - I would not place bets on *any* of the companions returning as playable characters for a potential sequel if the devs go through with this idea, unless they pull a cop-out and show that they got better somehow.)

For the record, I'd consider things like DA:O's Origin system fine, because it's still your character overall, and designed to be more like a guideline rather than a strict blueprint like DOS2/BG3's origin system. DAO's companions were still highly memorable regardless.

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I prefer the freedom to make my own custom characters, or one (two) fixed protagonist similar to Shepard in ME, so I dislike the origin system for a few reasons. The most important being that the origin system takes focus away from the custom character player and makes custom characters feel generic in comparison. Secondarily, that it prevents voiced player characters - which is jarring in an otherwise fully voiced game.

Can imagine a few people liking the ease of pre-selected characters, but I doubt many of them are aware or care about the costs.

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Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
Originally Posted by Boblawblah
the dialogue choices can fill out your character though. In swtor, you're essentially playing a custom character with a voice, but through the very simple dialogue choices, you're able to create your own version (it's VERY limited to be fair) of your character. it gives a sense of ownership. Nothing so far in BG3 has made my character feel like anything more than a prop for the origin characters to shine in front of.

I don't speak much on the Origin system, but it might be surprising to know that the Origin system is probably the one thing that can potentially bother me the most about this game. Potentially because the system isn't ready yet, but the impact can already be felt on the writing.

What people don't seem to consider is that giving players the option of playing as premade characters inherently takes away resources that could have been made to flesh out a custom character instead. Not only that, but in order to make the origin characters appealing to play as, they inherently have to be constructed in ways that they're all competing for the limelight at once. They'd also have to be written under the assumption that a player may choose to play as them at some point, so not only are they super special, but they tend to lean really hard into their defining traits, so that any deviation suddenly looks like character agency. I imagine the writers are at least somewhat aware of some of the shortcomings, even if a good portion of the gaming community has yet to notice - with a companion setup like this, it's no wonder that there's barely any party banter at all, and what little there is tends to be in response to whatever the lead character is doing, rather than responding to each other.

That was the one thing that irked me the most in DOS2. The companions had insane backgrounds, but they also somehow still managed to be extremely one-note, especially when the vast majority of their personal quests usually involved extreme violence at every single step. BG3 is at least a little bit better at that so far, but the companions are just as narcissistic as DOS2's and whatever depth the DOS2's companions ended up getting had the subtlety of a freight train hitting a brick wall. I don't have high hopes that the BG3 companions could really develop in ways that don't involve 'lol plot twist/shock value event' masquerading as 'character development'.

I hope BG3's writing surprises me later on, but as it currently stands, the writing of Pathfinder WotR's companions are leagues ahead, and I believe the origin system would be the main culprit to blame for the way the BG3 companions are written if they turn out to be comparatively disappointing in literally every department beyond the ability to romance them.

(I would also blame the idea of having to kill off certain party members after a certain point in the game, like how DOS2 killed off everyone not in your active party after a certain battle offscreen. Something like that comes to the detriment of world building too - it would encourage repeat playthroughs, but it shrinked that game's focus to your special party of 4, which made the last act of DOS2 really confusing for some people because a lot of the antagonists there were basically personal targets for specific companions. For some people, it ended up being a montage of 'who the hell are you and why should I care other than the fact that you're getting in my way'.


Mass Effect 2 says hello. Hey, so does Dragon Age Inquisition to a lesser degree, and even DA 2. Yeah, we get to keep the full squads, well, that's not really accurate, in DA 2 they can all turn against you, depending on how you handled things, and it's possible that your surviving sibling didn't survive to the last act as well. I'm not at all sure why people are acting like this is something new, it's really not. I'm not sure how to measure the irony of bringing swtor in? Because we have comp quests there too. All 8 classes vanilla stories have companion quests for all of their comps. One comp on each of those has actual missions you need to go on to complete their individual arcs. Despite all the "it takes away from our character's development" here, there the class stories are considered the best part of that game.

Know what happens if you don't do the loyalty missions in ME 2, or don't do them "right"? The end result is simple: Everyone, including Shepard, can die. Joker and the Normandy are the only survivors in that scenario. Despite all this time, and all consequence tied to the ME 2 comps, it's considered the best game in the series. So despite the accusation of "what people don't seem to consider", it's perhaps more accurate to say that we know a system like this can work, as we've seen it work outside of DOS games, I listed a few examples here. But I have to wonder, was arguably the most popular character in the Dragon Age series a real flop because it wasn't voiced? The Warden. Is Skyrim's popularity a myth? I prefer a voiced protagonist, but that doesn't mean I can't recognize that a silent protagonist can be just as popular, or more so, than a voiced one.

Quote
I bring this up because there were interviews implying that we should expect the same sort of thing to happen after some point in BG3 too, though I hope this time it's sorted by sets of companions based on their actual motivations, rather than literally everyone not in your active party. And if you want to think REALLY far ahead - I would not place bets on *any* of the companions returning as playable characters for a potential sequel if the devs go through with this idea, unless they pull a cop-out and show that they got better somehow.)

For the record, I'd consider things like DA:O's Origin system fine, because it's still your character overall, and designed to be more like a guideline rather than a strict blueprint like DOS2/BG3's origin system. DAO's companions were still highly memorable regardless.

Apples and Oranges comparing those "Origins". In DA it was literally the Origin of the Warden. Perhaps the system here is misnamed, because while it can explain the origin of the PC, it's not exactly the same here. In DA, no matter which origin story you choose, you're the main character, and none of the other origins will appear in game. Duncan can't be everywhere at once. Here, they can all be relegated to NPC status. Having fleshed out comps isn't a bad thing. DA, Mass Effect, swtor, all have them. I've listed off others all the way back to BG1. I'm not a fan of "rocks fall, everyone dies" type scenario where we're going to apparently lose some of the starting comps. I think if it were me, I would write in a couple of comps for the prologue, and balance it accordingly, and pepper the rest of the comps out throughout the later parts of the game. I might even consider a "max party size + x" type system, to throw a few extras in a la ME/DA as prime examples. I don't recall how it was done in Neverwinter Nights 1, but it was the same in NWN 2. Those comps were fleshed out too.

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I admit I'm a bit dubious towards how the Origins stuff is going to pan out in the full game.

A lot of the Origin character content seems like it's built from the assumption that the player is playing a different character, so what happens if we are playing as one of those origins characters, do they...not trigger? If you are playing as Gale, can you invite Wyll over and play the 'Weave' scene from Gale's perspective? If you are playing as Shadowheart will there be a scene where you start hearing voices in your head and stumble into camp to confront Asterion/whoever and his party? If you are playing as Lae'zel and get to the part where people are starting to turn, do you have the option to pull a knife on one of your companions and get talked down by them? We know some of these character-defining scenes are going to be in (like the Aserion feeding one), but I really am doubtful that all of them will be.

One thing that I'm keeping my eye on is the romance paths, in that I am pretty skeptical that we'll be seeing the other side of them from the perspective of their respective Origins characters. For one, there is no 'Tav' romance-if you romance an origins character, you get their romance dialogues, and their romance scenes. It's written to be very player initiated, but each romance being unique to the character you are romancing. I'm not getting the feeling that if you are playing as Shadowheart for instance you'll see wyll teasing you about not being able to swim, or be given an option to ask Lae'zel if she wants to hold hands by the river instead of dominating you. You'll be following Wyll or Lae'zel's romance path, not Shadowheart's.

So I'm thinking that playing as the Origin's party members is going to come with some big tradeoffs in terms of content vs having them as companions. At the same time, I'm aware that even if a lot of their companion-content probably isn't going to translate over when we are playing as them, it's still looking like they are going to have more complete storylines and rp options than good 'ol Tav. Like I have very little expectation that playing as a custom Githyanki is going to have as much unique content as playing as Lae'zel, or that the custom Warlock PC content is going to hold a candle to Wyll's storyline with Mizora. No wizard PC is going to feel as wizard-y as Gale, etc, because Tav was written much more generically to fit all of he roles, but it comes at a noticeable cost. Maybe Larian will surprise us with a storyline unique to the custom PC that you don't see as an origins character, but even if that comes to pass I'm expecting much less reactivity from the story to custom PCs in regards to class and race at least.

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Originally Posted by robertthebard
-snip-

I'm not sure exactly what you were responding to. I was mostly explaining that the ability to pick your companions as the lead character inherently takes away resources from writing the lead character or even fleshing out the companions themselves, because let's face it, the DOS2 companions had virtually zero character development and you were just along for the ride (maybe only Sebille and Fane had any actual development, but only because both actually had to make major choices beyond 'shank their nemesis' in the second half of the game).

None of the games you listed have that ability, if anything I am in agreement with those. Unless your message was more directed at someone else or the general crowd rather than me.

Still, if you want to talk about potentially losing party members like in DA2, then Pathfinder: Kingmaker is probably the poster child for that. You get the option to kill the majority of them as soon as you meet them. Failing to resolve their personal quests leads to them dying in the endgame chapter. But those deaths are for actual personal plot reasons, and they don't die offscreen.

(While controversial, it's subtly brilliant. The villain by that point recognizes that your companions are a big reason why you're able to oppose her so effectively, so she tries to kill them one by one in front of your eyes as you arrive to rescue them, by taking advantage of any momentary weakness in regards to their personalities and doubts. Like how you eliminated her chess pieces one by one throughout the entire game. She doesn't say this outright, but it's heavily implied because one of the prior companion quests involves one of her mooks luring out the companion and the main character alone, with the primary objective being to kill the companion, and that getting the main character in the process would be a bonus.)

Then again, that game was also one of the few that really nailed down how brutal a fantasy setting can be, with evil playthroughs actually BEING evil instead of just being an asshole. I had to give up my evil playthrough about a third of the way into Kingmaker because I legitimately couldn't bring myself to continue on with it (though I probably should have gone lawful evil selfish extortionist type instead of chaotic evil). That game had no voice acting for the main character, but it was really good at making your main character feel like an actual character instead of a mere observer.

Especially since you don't have to game some approval system bullshit when talking to your companions either, which is another thing that I've come to recognize as heavily hamstringing the writing of whatever RPG that has that system in the long run.

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Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
Originally Posted by robertthebard
-snip-

I'm not sure exactly what you were responding to. I was mostly explaining that the ability to pick your companions as the lead character inherently takes away resources from writing the lead character or even fleshing out the companions themselves, because let's face it, the DOS2 companions had virtually zero character development and you were just along for the ride (maybe only Sebille and Fane had any actual development, but only because both actually had to make major choices beyond 'shank their nemesis' in the second half of the game).

None of the games you listed have that ability, if anything I am in agreement with those. Unless your message was more directed at someone else or the general crowd rather than me.

Still, if you want to talk about potentially losing party members like in DA2, then Pathfinder: Kingmaker is probably the poster child for that. You get the option to kill the majority of them as soon as you meet them. Failing to resolve their personal quests leads to them dying in the endgame chapter. But those deaths are for actual personal plot reasons, and they don't die offscreen.

(While controversial, it's subtly brilliant. The villain by that point recognizes that your companions are a big reason why you're able to oppose her so effectively, so she tries to kill them one by one in front of your eyes as you arrive to rescue them, by taking advantage of any momentary weakness in regards to their personalities and doubts. Like how you eliminated her chess pieces one by one throughout the entire game. She doesn't say this outright, but it's heavily implied because one of the prior companion quests involves one of her mooks luring out the companion and the main character alone, with the primary objective being to kill the companion, and that getting the main character in the process would be a bonus.)

Then again, that game was also one of the few that really nailed down how brutal a fantasy setting can be, with evil playthroughs actually BEING evil instead of just being an asshole. I had to give up my evil playthrough about a third of the way into Kingmaker because I legitimately couldn't bring myself to continue on with it (though I probably should have gone lawful evil selfish extortionist type instead of chaotic evil). That game had no voice acting for the main character, but it was really good at making your main character feel like an actual character instead of a mere observer.

Especially since you don't have to game some approval system bullshit when talking to your companions either, which is another thing that I've come to recognize as heavily hamstringing the writing of whatever RPG that has that system in the long run.

Except that it doesn't? There's only one that can be the PC, so they all have to have their stories fleshed out, because it's also possible that none of them will be, and it's hard to predict who's story will progress beyond the EA zones. Because of this, they have to write them all as if they will, because all of them will, even if it's not in a single playthrough. You may like different comps than I do, for example, and we may both bring different people through, although I'm not a fan of that particular aspect.

The message is: The comps have to be written out as if they'll all see endgame, because they all will, over the course of everyone playing it. The custom PC is, and should be, a blank slate. The story of that character isn't mired in who they were, but in who they are going to become over the course of the game's story, so our "custom" story is the game's narrative.

Pathfinder and ME 2 then, which I did list. There's even a critical moment in NWN 2, where certain comps can turn on you. The approval system exists, even in games that don't lean on it very hard. If there's a moment where a comp can be turned against you, but it fails because you did their personal quest, you're benefiting from the approval system. I much prefer when I don't know where it is, it seems more realistic that way, but that doesn't mean it's not there.

But yes, generally speaking, the writing being done on the Origin characters here would have to be done even if they weren't available as the PC. Since a custom PC, that isn't making a custom party of their own, will use some of them, they need to have that work done regardless, and it's not a "we'll just wing it" kind of thing. They all have defined stories running, and the defined story for the PC, when it's custom, is the game itself.

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Hi all! This is my first post (took me days to get in here! lol) --- but I have been reading the forums for a while now and have 200+ hours in early access.

I have been reading everyone's post in this topic, and I just want to offer my two cents. I think the best part of a party-based game like this is interacting with your party and seeing how your decisions impact them --- both in terms of their personal growth (or lack thereof) and the way their individual quests play out. At the end of games like Dragon Age Origins or Mass Effect (sorry -- I know more about old school Bioware games than anything else, so they are often my frame of reference), the absolute best part is seeing what happens to the rest of the party based on all you have done. Moreover, getting to deeply craft your own origin character is the very heart of RPGs in my humble opinion. No game matched DAO in this, because they had character origin stories that gave you some frame of reference to build up your own unique personality. Origin tales which fundamentally altered several aspects of the main quest...but with YOU and YOUR choices at the heart of it.

The biggest part --- I never felt like my origin char in DAO was not MINE.

And that person you create? That character? They are infinitely important. Your actions, more than anything else, impact your party members. YOU matter. YOU help decide the fate of many, in small ways and in larger, world-changing ways (more often than not). It is a wonderful experience.

Sure --- games like the Witcher and Mass Effect have engaging characters for you to play that you only slightly modify in behavior and choices --- but it still feels like YOU are making the impact when you play. Geralt is NEVER a side character. Neither is Shepherd. They are them...but they are also YOU.

The party characters in those games I just mentioned were all amazing too --- just look at the absolute gobs of fan fiction that came out of those games --- people felt things after playing them (albeit--- alot of those feelings are rather *naughty* if the fan fiction is any reflection)...but feelings nonetheless. wink And I think the party chars in BG3 are just as fun and full of life as those other games. Maybe a teensy bit shallower...but still an interesting crew. I love seeing how I impact them, getting under their skin, romancing them, arguing with them...I simply cannot wait to see how it all plays out!

For me -- the issue with the "origin" characters in BG3 is that if you do a playthough with them --- YOU no longer matter. YOUR impacts on them are meaningless because they exist in this amazing story without YOU. If you play as a custom char, they give you NO background (which is unfortunate, although I know some people dig the blank slate) --- but at LEAST you get to create a story that impacts your team by the choices you make (even if your char is a bit...err...boring in comparison).

And sure -- you get to impact your part as an Origin char too. I am sure playing as, say, Gale, might be kinda fun in the way that you get to more immerse yourself in his point of view and all -- while also interacting with the crew as a "i know more than you all" wizard. HOWEVER, as fun as that might be for a few rounds... it essentially negates your custom character entirely. Your druid does not exist in the Origin characters' tale..but THEY exist in YOURS.

Thus --- YOU are kinda pointless. The party Larian wrote feels more important than the one YOU create.

I really think this cheapens my own experience with my custom chars. My choices, my time in that world --- it was fleeting and trivial. The other characters did not need me, they did not benefit from me, they did not even care if I was there or not. THAT is what the origin char stories do to me, personally. They make my character seem completely superfluous. This, compounded with the fact that the game is ALREADY structured to make you seem like the least interesting person in your party (because you never get to articulate or express yourself in it) --- idk --- it kinda makes the wound a little deeper.

I have never had that feeling in an rpg before. Yes I know I can ignore and never play the Origin chars. Yes I know that in reality, YOU were "never really there". Yes I know one could make this argument about one play-though versus another for custom chars alone (ie, they forgot all about my druid when I played my rogue...of course they did).

This is not an argument based in logic. It is just what it makes me *feel*. I feel like my custom char is cheap, tacked on, and completely meaningless. I feel like this story is my party's story, not mine. And honestly...I ONLY feel that way because of the option to play as one of them WITHOUT my custom char in their party.

Not a deal breaker in any way --- I dig the game...but that is my opinion about this particular topic.

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Agreed. while I don't put myself in the role of the characters I create, I still feel that they're MY character. Even with The Witcher, who has a very established personality with hopes and dreams that I can't really change, it felt more personal than this does so far. I have less connection to these origin characters than I did to my soldiers in XCOM, who are meant to be replaceable!

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I'm fine with it being part of the game, but I do think that an origin system aking to Dragon Age: Origins would be a better fit for me personally. I might give some of the Origin characters a go at some point, but I'll mostly stick to custom characters.


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I think it could be interesting, depending on how far they go. I'm sure there's a lot of gamers who prefer premade characters with in-depth backstories. Games like The Witcher come to mind. It would be interesting to see unique dialogue options in the game and even locations based on the Origin character you select. I just think they should really go over-the-top on it instead of just having NPCs being like, "yo Astarion. Nice seeing you again." and that's it. That'd be a big letdown to make it that far in the game and really nothing happens.

As for the PC, I really think they should change our background to something more noteworthy. Ok, so now we're all Baldurian and have that tag. Our background gives us a few minor skills. I would prefer a larger effect here and even negative aspects to backgrounds. Say they lower resistances to some types of damage because you are from a different environment and aren't used to it, or you have a speech penalty because you've lived in the woods your whole life, but you do extra damage of some type on top of skills. Just having it be a second way to select your skills really sucks.

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Originally Posted by rdb100
I think it could be interesting, depending on how far they go. I'm sure there's a lot of gamers who prefer premade characters with in-depth backstories. Games like The Witcher come to mind. It would be interesting to see unique dialogue options in the game and even locations based on the Origin character you select.

Certainly there will be players who want that opportunity. I would say it's not something that has was ever included in previous BG games (and related such as IWD, NWN, etc.) and that is it is why it is so alien to me here (I'm a big fan of games like The Witcher, Mass Effect and enjoy playing those preconceived characters by the way). I think it's a little ambitious to try and cover both a satisfying single player experience and a fully fleshed out Origins character system. They might pull it off when it is finally released but like much with the game at present, it's a bit of a hybrid system and suffers for being so.

I'm not a fan of the Origins system at all but that's besides the point.

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Originally Posted by Etruscan
Certainly there will be players who want that opportunity. I would say it's not something that has was ever included in previous BG games (and related such as IWD, NWN, etc.) and that is it is why it is so alien to me here (I'm a big fan of games like The Witcher, Mass Effect and enjoy playing those preconceived characters by the way). I think it's a little ambitious to try and cover both a satisfying single player experience and a fully fleshed out Origins character system. They might pull it off when it is finally released but like much with the game at present, it's a bit of a hybrid system and suffers for being so.
BG3 in a nutshell right there.

Especially apparent is the contrast between Origin Characters and Tav. Tav really needs:
-an Origin system like DAO or
-many more dialogues where you can personalize Tav. Companions ask you where you're from, what are your goals, etc. PoE did this iirc?

Alternatively/in addition, the Origin Characters should be extremely fleshed out in the world. If every OC has even a third of the special dialogue lines/personality/interactivity of the world that is given to Geralt/Shepard/etc, that would be amazing. It will be difficult to do that successfully for 5(+?) characters, but hey it could be done. Unfortunately we won't see the majority of their quests/interactions until Full Release.

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Originally Posted by timebean
Hi all! This is my first post (took me days to get in here! lol) --- but I have been reading the forums for a while now and have 200+ hours in early access.

I have been reading everyone's post in this topic, and I just want to offer my two cents. I think the best part of a party-based game like this is interacting with your party and seeing how your decisions impact them --- both in terms of their personal growth (or lack thereof) and the way their individual quests play out. At the end of games like Dragon Age Origins or Mass Effect (sorry -- I know more about old school Bioware games than anything else, so they are often my frame of reference), the absolute best part is seeing what happens to the rest of the party based on all you have done. Moreover, getting to deeply craft your own origin character is the very heart of RPGs in my humble opinion. No game matched DAO in this, because they had character origin stories that gave you some frame of reference to build up your own unique personality. Origin tales which fundamentally altered several aspects of the main quest...but with YOU and YOUR choices at the heart of it.

The biggest part --- I never felt like my origin char in DAO was not MINE.

And that person you create? That character? They are infinitely important. Your actions, more than anything else, impact your party members. YOU matter. YOU help decide the fate of many, in small ways and in larger, world-changing ways (more often than not). It is a wonderful experience.

Sure --- games like the Witcher and Mass Effect have engaging characters for you to play that you only slightly modify in behavior and choices --- but it still feels like YOU are making the impact when you play. Geralt is NEVER a side character. Neither is Shepherd. They are them...but they are also YOU.

The party characters in those games I just mentioned were all amazing too --- just look at the absolute gobs of fan fiction that came out of those games --- people felt things after playing them (albeit--- alot of those feelings are rather *naughty* if the fan fiction is any reflection)...but feelings nonetheless. wink And I think the party chars in BG3 are just as fun and full of life as those other games. Maybe a teensy bit shallower...but still an interesting crew. I love seeing how I impact them, getting under their skin, romancing them, arguing with them...I simply cannot wait to see how it all plays out!

For me -- the issue with the "origin" characters in BG3 is that if you do a playthough with them --- YOU no longer matter. YOUR impacts on them are meaningless because they exist in this amazing story without YOU. If you play as a custom char, they give you NO background (which is unfortunate, although I know some people dig the blank slate) --- but at LEAST you get to create a story that impacts your team by the choices you make (even if your char is a bit...err...boring in comparison).

And sure -- you get to impact your part as an Origin char too. I am sure playing as, say, Gale, might be kinda fun in the way that you get to more immerse yourself in his point of view and all -- while also interacting with the crew as a "i know more than you all" wizard. HOWEVER, as fun as that might be for a few rounds... it essentially negates your custom character entirely. Your druid does not exist in the Origin characters' tale..but THEY exist in YOURS.

Thus --- YOU are kinda pointless. The party Larian wrote feels more important than the one YOU create.

I really think this cheapens my own experience with my custom chars. My choices, my time in that world --- it was fleeting and trivial. The other characters did not need me, they did not benefit from me, they did not even care if I was there or not. THAT is what the origin char stories do to me, personally. They make my character seem completely superfluous. This, compounded with the fact that the game is ALREADY structured to make you seem like the least interesting person in your party (because you never get to articulate or express yourself in it) --- idk --- it kinda makes the wound a little deeper.

I have never had that feeling in an rpg before. Yes I know I can ignore and never play the Origin chars. Yes I know that in reality, YOU were "never really there". Yes I know one could make this argument about one play-though versus another for custom chars alone (ie, they forgot all about my druid when I played my rogue...of course they did).

This is not an argument based in logic. It is just what it makes me *feel*. I feel like my custom char is cheap, tacked on, and completely meaningless. I feel like this story is my party's story, not mine. And honestly...I ONLY feel that way because of the option to play as one of them WITHOUT my custom char in their party.

Not a deal breaker in any way --- I dig the game...but that is my opinion about this particular topic.

The thing is, with Origins and Mass Effect, we played the entire game, and so, we know the full outcome of what we have done. Here, we've played Act 1, and have no idea what's coming next. So for Origins, we're essentially stopping the game after Ostagar, since we're not only just starting out, but haven't even met all of the potential comps yet, let alone getting any real insight into what our role/impact is ultimately going to be.

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Originally Posted by mrfuji3
Originally Posted by Etruscan
Certainly there will be players who want that opportunity. I would say it's not something that has was ever included in previous BG games (and related such as IWD, NWN, etc.) and that is it is why it is so alien to me here (I'm a big fan of games like The Witcher, Mass Effect and enjoy playing those preconceived characters by the way). I think it's a little ambitious to try and cover both a satisfying single player experience and a fully fleshed out Origins character system. They might pull it off when it is finally released but like much with the game at present, it's a bit of a hybrid system and suffers for being so.
BG3 in a nutshell right there.

Especially apparent is the contrast between Origin Characters and Tav. Tav really needs:
-an Origin system like DAO or
-many more dialogues where you can personalize Tav. Companions ask you where you're from, what are your goals, etc. PoE did this iirc?

Alternatively/in addition, the Origin Characters should be extremely fleshed out in the world. If every OC has even a third of the special dialogue lines/personality/interactivity of the world that is given to Geralt/Shepard/etc, that would be amazing. It will be difficult to do that successfully for 5(+?) characters, but hey it could be done. Unfortunately we won't see the majority of their quests/interactions until Full Release.

Which always leaves me wondering why comparisons are made to full games, instead of a Chapter/Act in them, since that's essentially what we have now. Mass Effect, for example: We don't develop our full romantic relationship until we're on the way to Ilos. That's 90%+ of the game completed. Here it's roughly a third? This pattern repeats in ME 2 and 3, the full romance arc isn't completed until we're on our way for the final mission. So people are essentially comparing apples to oranges, but think it's apples to apples. We're not even close to that.

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Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
I don't speak much on the Origin system, but it might be surprising to know that the Origin system is probably the one thing that can potentially bother me the most about this game. Potentially because the system isn't ready yet, but the impact can already be felt on the writing.
I dislike Origin system for how it forces to double as companions for singleplayer experience and inhabitable Playable characters.

I am not sure, however, how much impact it has on writing of PC itself. Dislikes some of us have regarding “Tav” might not be necessarily result of Origins, though are most likely tied to it.

Unvoiced, player-defined characters aren’t “blanks”. Lines that player can choose from are pre-written, and pre-defined. We just get to choose of the possible lines. It is up to devs to decide what roleplaying they will support, and how wide the range of the character will be. Bioware games has been always limited. Interplay and Obsidian games were always interested in pushing the range Tod their protagonist. But make no mistake - while players can project a lot unto Nameless-One, Vault dweller or Watcher, they are still characters with their own set arcs. We can just choose how to play that role, out of possibilities offered to us.

Larian rejected that kind of approach in D:OS2. Our lines weren’t written down, but described by a narrator. Theoretically, it allows us to project whatever character, intention, motivation we want. At the same time, it doesn’t allow us to state our intention to the game, and as the result the game can’t respond to us. While BG3 returns to a more traditional PC writing, I still feel the choices at our disposal are still “cold”. They correspond to actions, but rarely intentions. We can do a lot of things in BG3, but we don’t get to choose what we want, or why we do things. I think that’s why I see D:OS2 and BG3 more as a toybox, then a story or adventure. I get stuff to mess with, but not a part to play.

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I hope you are right. Ie --- I hope we get to dive a little deeper into the custom character's history (or define it more explicitly through dialogue...or...something). I guess I feel like with the Origin chars as an option...well, it makes me think that there is no awesome secret waiting for me about my custom char specifically. Ie, that playing a custom char is somehow the wrong choice if one wants the deepest most satisfying play through. But I could be totally wrong.

And as you say...it is just the EA after all --- although --- it might be more like playing through Ostagar AND the Elven camp in DAO. Isn't the EA like the first 1/4 of the game, given its size on the map? Again, I could be wrong about that too.

I also know I am likely supposed to be approaching this as a party thing anyway, rather than as a single player with companions. But it is hard to break the habit of every rpg ever! lol

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Originally Posted by timebean
I hope you are right. Ie --- I hope we get to dive a little deeper into the custom character's history (or define it more explicitly through dialogue...or...something). I guess I feel like with the Origin chars as an option...well, it makes me think that there is no awesome secret waiting for me about my custom char specifically. Ie, that playing a custom char is somehow the wrong choice if one wants the deepest most satisfying play through. But I could be totally wrong.

And as you say...it is just the EA after all --- although --- it might be more like playing through Ostagar AND the Elven camp in DAO. Isn't the EA like the first 1/4 of the game, given its size on the map? Again, I could be wrong about that too.

I also know I am likely supposed to be approaching this as a party thing anyway, rather than as a single player with companions. But it is hard to break the habit of every rpg ever! lol

What we're likely to find is that the main story will be our character development. The Origin characters have established backstories precisely because they can be companions, even if one were to choose one of the other Origin characters to play as. Speaking very generally here, but all of the comps in both DA and ME had established backstories too. The only difference being that we couldn't choose one of them to play as. We don't even have to limit ourselves to just DA or ME. All of the side characters in the Witcher series have established histories. We can roll back to BG 1 and 2 and find the same thing. This is about a third of the game, and I'm not even sure that everything that will be live in a full release is available now. It could be, but as of now, I have no way to know.

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