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This is inherently an issue with turning every single conversation in the entire game into a close-up cinematic moment.
When it was just traditional text boxes, even when voiced, our interjections and ideas felt like they were on-par with our companions.

This is especially prevalent in DOS2 where even though everyone else was voiced and you weren't, you never really felt insignificant in conversations.
When even conversations with minor NPCs who have one forgettable line get this special cutscene/zoom-in treatment, your character looks like an absolute dodo nodding and smiling and just going through the paces.

+1 to OP for this great take.


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

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Originally Posted by Wormerine
Hmmm... that’s is a tricky subject, but I wouldn’t categorise it as good/bad writing. OP seems to suggest that Larian writing team is fully capable of writing expressive lines - they just don’t do so for PC.

I will ignore heavily pre-defined playable characters (Shepard, Geralt, Hawke) as those are on completely other part of the spectrum. Let’s stick to more “open” RPGs - Baldur’s Gate1&2, Tyranny, Pillars1&2, Fallout. While those characters aren’t as defined as Shepard/Geralt/Hawke they are still quite defined - you are a Gorion’s ward/child of Bhaal, Fatebinder, Watcher, vault dweller. Within those rolls you get a range of who you get to be. While it’s more granular approach, then let’s say Hawke diplomatic/aggressive/humorous, but in many ways it is the same thing.

I think Larian aims for a much bigger player freedom. Tadpole seems more like a driving plot gizmo, rather then definition of who we are as a character. Various PCs also don’t share background, history, geographical knowledge, world knowledge. No matter who you are in BGs, you always grew up in Candlekeep, you always had dark destiny ahead of you, you loose your mentor, and world outside Candlekeep is alien to you. That’s a lot of stuff to write about, which will be true of every character you create.

I don’t see how Larian could write a more expressive PC lines, without heavily restricting who player characters are. And while companion lines might be well written, keep in mind those varied and expressive companions will also need to use the same lines written for PC, if they are picked as origin. PC isn’t another character, whom we can mole to some extend - he is a set of actions, abilities and knowledge available to us, based on our “tags”.

I don’t know if it’s an effective approach, but it is what it is.


Well, I have to agree with you on at least two things: the writers know how to handle a good dialogue. The "monosyllabic" answers available to us do indeed appear to be a design choice. And yes, it es a tricky subject, since we are dealing with a "white paper" (can you say that in English?) and not a character like Geralt or Shepard. But: The PC still has a predefined & distinctive personality! Why? the facial expressions are very special. The PC lifts his/her eyebrows, cuts grimaces etc. Judging by the lively facial expressions, the PC seems to have a very moving inner life.Nevertheless he/she gives strange replicas, lifted of emotions. And that combination is the strangest thing I ever experienced in a game smile

Last edited by vitfast; 20/11/20 04:35 PM.
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Well not everyone will agree on this but I find the story and the dialogs in BG3 almost boring and uninspiring at most times. Its like some lector made sure everything is PC and well received by the mainstream media.
Its like when you make alcohol with 90%, its just too strong or in this case its too washed out and sounds like someone had to put down a 10 news report and make no mistakes.
just my 2 cents.

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Originally Posted by vitfast

But: The PC still has a predefined & distinctive personality! Why? the facial expressions are very special. The PC lifts his/her eyebrows, cuts grimaces etc.

That is true. I am watching Retcon Raider’s playthrough, and those animation really stick out IMO. They seem really goofy, in addition to being completely disconnected to the character Retcon is playing as.

I think I would enjoy Larian games far more with a bit more defined and expressive PC. But I do wonder how that would impact Larian’s multiplayer/origin approach.

Still, there is something interesting someone mentioned before. There is an interview quote from a while back that can be interpreted as Larian stating they will have full (protagonist included) VO. IF they do VO for protagonist/controlled companions, that could actually work - simple dialogue choices and more character appropriate, more defined VO interpretation of said choices. Larian could create VOs for Baldurian/Underdark/Astral Plane custom characters (does that cover all background tags?). It’s sounds like a massive effort but IF they provide full VO for origins, throwing in couple more doesn’t sound impossible.

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Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
Originally Posted by vitfast
First of all: I love the tag-specific dialog options. They are amazing, even better then in PoE2. But individual dialoge options should not be confused with good writing. That's a huge difference. Dialogues can be tag-specific and bad written at the same time.

An example from the very first dialogue in the game:

Lae'zel says: "Imps block the path forward. You will assist me in destroying them - we must reach the helm before we transform."

That's a good line. We learn something about the character of the figure: She is dominant, does not tolerate any backtalk. And what is even more important (for me): the speech melody is right!

BUT! Now comes the answer options: "Transform? What do you mean?" "Who are you?" "Is the helm our way out of here?" "Onward, then."

The PC is on a strange flying ship and meets a githyanki. And all he can think of is a generic "Who are you?" Really? Who speaks like this? My digital language assistant has more personality!

I played as githyanki. And I really liked the optional choices. But again: they were still poorly written in most cases.



Okay, so what options would you give the player to choose from, in that specific scenario?


It is less about the choices than about their articulation. Even from the simple "Who are you" you could say something like "For nine hells' sake! Who or what are you?" The last option, for example, is a typical "skip the dialogue"-thing. But even here one could have written something interesting. But I am not a native speaker! Everything I would write here as an example might sound cheesy.

Sure, as some other users have already pointed out: To write good dialogues, you need a pre-defined character. But the solution that Larian currently offers is far from satisfactory. We play a PC that has a very articulated facial expression, but at the same time speaks like an automaton.





Last edited by vitfast; 20/11/20 05:18 PM.
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Originally Posted by Wormerine
Originally Posted by vitfast

But: The PC still has a predefined & distinctive personality! Why? the facial expressions are very special. The PC lifts his/her eyebrows, cuts grimaces etc.

That is true. I am watching Retcon Raider’s playthrough, and those animation really stick out IMO. They seem really goofy, in addition to being completely disconnected to the character Retcon is playing as.

I think I would enjoy Larian games far more with a bit more defined and expressive PC. But I do wonder how that would impact Larian’s multiplayer/origin approach.

Still, there is something interesting someone mentioned before. There is an interview quote from a while back that can be interpreted as Larian stating they will have full (protagonist included) VO. IF they do VO for protagonist/controlled companions, that could actually work - simple dialogue choices and more character appropriate, more defined VO interpretation of said choices. Larian could create VOs for Baldurian/Underdark/Astral Plane custom characters (does that cover all background tags?). It’s sounds like a massive effort but IF they provide full VO for origins, throwing in couple more doesn’t sound impossible.


Yes, with full VO you could even make a sentence like "Who are" sound both friendly or ironic, as well as evil. Depending on which voice you have chosen in advance. This might be a solution to the problem.

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Originally Posted by Shepherd81
Well not everyone will agree on this but I find the story and the dialogs in BG3 almost boring and uninspiring at most times. Its like some lector made sure everything is PC and well received by the mainstream media.
Its like when you make alcohol with 90%, its just too strong or in this case its too washed out and sounds like someone had to put down a 10 news report and make no mistakes.
just my 2 cents.


The problem with ToB is that we had already reached a god-like status in part 2, so how could the tension be increased? Exactly: You became a god yourself (or you decided against it). But the step from a demigod to a god was a much smaller one than from a prisoner of John Irenicus to the hero descending into the nine hells. Accordingly, the decision to release ToB as an add-on and not as BG3 was right. I just wonder if Larian could fall into the same "trap" with its story. In the first chapter we already visited Avaernus and the Underdark (man, I don't think I've ever seen such beautiful surroundings before!). How do the writers intend to achieve a credible increase in tension here? I am curious and hope for the best (for Larian and for us).

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Originally Posted by DistantStranger
Originally Posted by Soul-Scar
I wouldn't say the writing is subpar, that would be unfair. I think the writing is convoluted due to the huge number of possible story permutations.


I am going to stop you right there. . ..


The writing team are given the task of trying to fudge a coherent story from this convoluted framework. This dictate comes from the creative director aka Swen. I am saying the bad writing isn't because the writers are "bad" necessarily (could well be) but the framework in which they are told to create a story is a ridiculously complex one. The writing is made bad (default) because the direction. Given a different framework to start from the writing team may have been able to create a coherent and interesting story.

It doesn't change the fact it is bad, I just don't think it's fair to blame the writers necessarily. I agree with your analysis.

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Originally Posted by JustAnotherBaldu
and in a cutscene, my character heard Wylls voice via telepathy in her head.
" Kill him! ", Wyll said determined.

I understood it as an order/plea to do it. So I killed the ugly thing as I prefered.

I thought that was Wyll using tadpole ... i kinda liked the fact that our companions are able to affect our mind as well.
Im not sure here, but do you have chance to restist? For example with some wisdom diceroll?

If not that is something i would hope to add ...

What you described sounds like regular bug, simmilar to when you have wyll in party, but he is not chosen for conversation, when goblin yealds ...


I liked original spellcasting system more ... frown

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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