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Originally Posted by Erendil
The most gentle person is Astarion.
still in awe of this post.

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just thinking of female companions in BG2

Jaheira - a sarcastic hardass
Viconia - a sadistic hardass
Aerie - wet paper towel
Mazzy - hardass with a heart of gold
Nalia - "I'd help some of your... kind"
Imoen - "heya, its me, Imoen"

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I just wish we had a likable female companion, period. I don't care if she's a damsel or not. I'd even take someone like Cassandra Pentaghast from Dragon age, who is a great warrior but have morals and a nice personality. Hell I take a Male companion with a great personality. All these companions are so annoying. Well everyone besides Gale.

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Originally Posted by EMTFields
I just wish we had a likable female companion, period..
But again, as has been said over and over, this is subjective experience. It's not "I wish we had a likable female companion" its "I wish there was a female companion I liked" - I think that's a valid request - the more the better with any sort of rpg imo, but to say that ones own personal experience of not liking any of the female companions can be generalized as "we", applied to everyone's experience is egocentric and will constantly butt up against the people who like the female companions.

I really don't understand why people who complain about the companions insist in generalizing their own views on "likability" to everyone as if this was some sort of objective scale rather than just saying that a particular demographic (both the people who like (ethically) good female characters, and people like the OP who want more helpless women in the game) find nothing that appeals to their tastes, or as it seems in the OP, their particular horny rpg fetishes.

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Agreed that it is very Subjective. Many people like Shadowheart and Laezel, and many others dislike them. But we also have to remember we were given the not so good aligned companions first so they would be the most controversial. Writing wise, so far both seem fine. Shadowheart is practical, worships an evil god, but has a conscious. Laezel is a brutal warrior not from faerun and holds different morals but is also a fish out of water and depends on her new allies as much as she sneers at their aid.
To me, character wise, they seem fine. And after awhile, Shadowheart gets a bit endearing. Say the right stuff and she opens up and is fairly friendly. Revealing what she does know about herself. And laezel can grow to respect you. In short, they are likeable to some and not to others, new companions who will come may be what is to the tastes of others.

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Originally Posted by alice_ashpool
Originally Posted by EMTFields
I just wish we had a likable female companion, period..
But again, as has been said over and over, this is subjective experience. It's not "I wish we had a likable female companion" its "I wish there was a female companion I liked" - I think that's a valid request - the more the better with any sort of rpg imo, but to say that ones own personal experience of not liking any of the female companions can be generalized as "we", applied to everyone's experience is egocentric and will constantly butt up against the people who like the female companions.

I really don't understand why people who complain about the companions insist in generalizing their own views on "likability" to everyone as if this was some sort of objective scale rather than just saying that a particular demographic (both the people who like (ethically) good female characters, and people like the OP who want more helpless women in the game) find nothing that appeals to their tastes, or as it seems in the OP, their particular horny rpg fetishes.


On the one hand, I get where the OP is coming from -- most players want to feel some kind of satisfaction at playing a game, be it in the shape of power-ups, treasure, or bonding with fellow players. And, traditionally, a part of these rewards was affection from female characters. Hells, even that Felicia Day show had a whole episode where a player kept bringing treasure to an NPC mermaid barmaid to make her fall in love with him. And, to some level, wanting to feel like a hero in a game is not a bad thing; it's fantasy, escapism, and now that we are more than one year into COVIDland, a magical place where you can drink and laugh with imaginary companions "face to face". And who doesn't want a bit of kindness.
Besides, who am I to kink-shame anyone, after the thousands of pages of Astarion fanfic that I have read this past month? Scarred Wyll is also looking mighty tasty, and so is Abdirak. How was that Holly Black quote, "the moon makes me remember the glint of your knife at my throat and other romantic moments" ***swoons***?

Howeveeeeeer, the problem with constantly using women's affections as rewards for non-emotional tasks (such as slaying a dragon, breaking into a dungeon, eating a tome of necromancy, etc.) is that it alienates women AND it dramatically reduces storytelling possibilities. From a feminine perspective it feels very sleazy, and from a mechanical perspective you are tying romance not to dialogue, trust or character development, but to ticking off tasks. It goes both ways, by the way -- that's why Gale's "romance" path as it is now in Act 1A feels repulsive to me (although he is nice and all) and why his friendship route feels much more natural at this point.

Personally, I think that we should trust the writers to develop a great story; regardless of your taste in companions, no-one can possibly argue that they are badly written, and that is always an excellent sign. Besides, Shadowheart feels like the kind of character who was very kind (and is very kind at heart) and had to put up walls when she was very young; that's a melting ice queen if I ever saw one, while Lae'zel is such a cute murder baby girlfriend who has your back.

***strolls back to her dark corner of AO3***

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Originally Posted by BeeBee
Originally Posted by alice_ashpool
Originally Posted by EMTFields
I just wish we had a likable female companion, period..
But again, as has been said over and over, this is subjective experience. It's not "I wish we had a likable female companion" its "I wish there was a female companion I liked" - I think that's a valid request - the more the better with any sort of rpg imo, but to say that ones own personal experience of not liking any of the female companions can be generalized as "we", applied to everyone's experience is egocentric and will constantly butt up against the people who like the female companions.

I really don't understand why people who complain about the companions insist in generalizing their own views on "likability" to everyone as if this was some sort of objective scale rather than just saying that a particular demographic (both the people who like (ethically) good female characters, and people like the OP who want more helpless women in the game) find nothing that appeals to their tastes, or as it seems in the OP, their particular horny rpg fetishes.


On the one hand, I get where the OP is coming from -- most players want to feel some kind of satisfaction at playing a game, be it in the shape of power-ups, treasure, or bonding with fellow players. And, traditionally, a part of these rewards was affection from female characters. Hells, even that Felicia Day show had a whole episode where a player kept bringing treasure to an NPC mermaid barmaid to make her fall in love with him. And, to some level, wanting to feel like a hero in a game is not a bad thing; it's fantasy, escapism, and now that we are more than one year into COVIDland, a magical place where you can drink and laugh with imaginary companions "face to face". And who doesn't want a bit of kindness.
Besides, who am I to kink-shame anyone, after the thousands of pages of Astarion fanfic that I have read this past month? Scarred Wyll is also looking mighty tasty, and so is Abdirak. How was that Holly Black quote, "the moon makes me remember the glint of your knife at my throat and other romantic moments" ***swoons***?

Howeveeeeeer, the problem with constantly using women's affections as rewards for non-emotional tasks (such as slaying a dragon, breaking into a dungeon, eating a tome of necromancy, etc.) is that it alienates women AND it dramatically reduces storytelling possibilities. From a feminine perspective it feels very sleazy, and from a mechanical perspective you are tying romance not to dialogue, trust or character development, but to ticking off tasks. It goes both ways, by the way -- that's why Gale's "romance" path as it is now in Act 1A feels repulsive to me (although he is nice and all) and why his friendship route feels much more natural at this point.

Personally, I think that we should trust the writers to develop a great story; regardless of your taste in companions, no-one can possibly argue that they are badly written, and that is always an excellent sign. Besides, Shadowheart feels like the kind of character who was very kind (and is very kind at heart) and had to put up walls when she was very young; that's a melting ice queen if I ever saw one, while Lae'zel is such a cute murder baby girlfriend who has your back.

***strolls back to her dark corner of AO3***


I totally agrre with what you said here ... well apart from the Astarion part, don't like him personally - but exactly prooves the point: comapnions being likeable or not is totally subjective. I especially like the part about womens affection as rewards for non-emotional tasks - that is a good point.

Shadowheart did grow on me over the last playthroughs and she is now my go-to romance, ebcause a) it feels naturally that it developes a bit more slowly and b) she does become more open and friendly as you get to know her. I can't get Lae'Zel above neutral in approval, but that is ok. I don't have to have my companions agree with everything I do. With my playstyle outside of EA, I might get into trouble with Lae'zel sooner or later, but that is ok too. So far, I find the companions interesting (even Astarion, he has an interesting backstory, which is, why I don't kill him), but they have a lot of baggage on them. It would be enough for three more companions. That is why I want someone like Halsin or Alfira as companions, to balance out the drama grin


"We are all stories in the end. Just make it a good one."

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Originally Posted by alice_ashpool
Originally Posted by EMTFields
I just wish we had a likable female companion, period..
But again, as has been said over and over, this is subjective experience. It's not "I wish we had a likable female companion" its "I wish there was a female companion I liked" - I think that's a valid request - the more the better with any sort of rpg imo, but to say that ones own personal experience of not liking any of the female companions can be generalized as "we", applied to everyone's experience is egocentric and will constantly butt up against the people who like the female companions.

I really don't understand why people who complain about the companions insist in generalizing their own views on "likability" to everyone as if this was some sort of objective scale rather than just saying that a particular demographic (both the people who like (ethically) good female characters, and people like the OP who want more helpless women in the game) find nothing that appeals to their tastes, or as it seems in the OP, their particular horny rpg fetishes.

Just because I generalized and wrote "we" doesn't actually mean I speak for everyone. Which is pretty evident when I state "I WISH" If you like the companions cool. I don't, which is why I gave my subjective opinion to sympathize with OP. Not to speak for everyone who plays the game.

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Originally Posted by fylimar
[hat is why I want someone like Halsin or Alfira as companions, to balance out the drama grin

Whaaaaaat --- Halsin has so much baggage and drama that someone wrote an in-world fanfic about him, and Alfira was clearly in love with her teacher before she became gnoll kebab. Everyone has drama. I love it. Keep the drama coming.

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Originally Posted by BeeBee
Originally Posted by fylimar
[hat is why I want someone like Halsin or Alfira as companions, to balance out the drama grin

Whaaaaaat --- Halsin has so much baggage and drama that someone wrote an in-world fanfic about him, and Alfira was clearly in love with her teacher before she became gnoll kebab. Everyone has drama. I love it. Keep the drama coming.

Compared with what the current companions have on them, Halsins and Alfiras dramas are pretty normal and down to earth. Halsin basically has no motivation to be the leader of his grove and convinced himself, that he has to accompany the group the get rid of the shadowcurse and yes, Alfira loved her teacher, but she is already on a good way to heal with writing the song and being a bit more lighthearted again at the party. I have nothing against drama, but some of those (especially Gales and Wylla) sound a bit end-of-the-world-like, so a few companions with 'normal' problems would be refreshing to balance it out.


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Yeah I don't agree. Desire comes from within. A female's perspective on what a man may want is irrelevant and vice versa. Relationships always start shallow and if your desires complement then you stay and if not then leave. Its the whole point of getting to know each other. This however is a video game. You are romancing a static ncp not a person. No way to do it besides a check list. You could try a A.i., but why bother? It does not reduce the story by the nature of being optional only adds to it in a specific way for the person who chose to pursue it. It does not matter if a character is well written if it does not hit the target audience for that part of the story. So who is the target? Depends on the writer of the specific ncp and its presentation.

Sounds like some people got what they wanted from some characters but won't let others enter the fold. Just being cheeky and condescending about it. Similar to those grannies that are rude in a polite tone.

Last edited by Aishaddai; 14/02/21 06:07 PM.
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Originally Posted by EMTFields
Originally Posted by alice_ashpool
Originally Posted by EMTFields
I just wish we had a likable female companion, period..
But again, as has been said over and over, this is subjective experience. It's not "I wish we had a likable female companion" its "I wish there was a female companion I liked" - I think that's a valid request - the more the better with any sort of rpg imo, but to say that ones own personal experience of not liking any of the female companions can be generalized as "we", applied to everyone's experience is egocentric and will constantly butt up against the people who like the female companions.

I really don't understand why people who complain about the companions insist in generalizing their own views on "likability" to everyone as if this was some sort of objective scale rather than just saying that a particular demographic (both the people who like (ethically) good female characters, and people like the OP who want more helpless women in the game) find nothing that appeals to their tastes, or as it seems in the OP, their particular horny rpg fetishes.

Just because I generalized and wrote "we" doesn't actually mean I speak for everyone. Which is pretty evident when I state "I WISH" If you like the companions cool. I don't, which is why I gave my subjective opinion to sympathize with OP. Not to speak for everyone who plays the game.
well now you're simply rowing back in an effort to cover - there's a difference between saying you don't speak for everyone (self evident) and saying you didn't intend to speak for everyone. I think its obvious that you don't speak for everyone - but that was not the original complaint. the contention is around the use of "I wish we had a likeable companion" rather than something like "I wish there was a companion I liked" i.e. the original issue of subconscious projection of personal desire creating a monolithic player-base which universally considers there to be no objectively likable companions from who's point you frame your avocation for personally likable companions.

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I think that's a lot of tone policing for something so minor, alice.


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I would always prefer an interesting character over some obvious romance target, meaning if they're entertaining to have around and make an impact, they're great, despite how little I would ever want to be emotionally or physically close to them. I did not for a second suspect there was any kind of romancing possible with Lae'zel and wouldn't have any of it either, yet she was probably my favourite of the companions because she seemed like a force of nature. Shadowheart was being snooty like a modern BioWare character and I quickly found her boring, thus, not interested in pursuing any romancing and only had her around because she's a healer. Gale and Astarion were both funny in their own way and that earned them their place in the party. Wyll seems so obviously written as a smooth romance target, and I found him rather uninteresting as a character, because he was all butter.

That's what happens when it's made too easy and gratuitous. In BG2 we had Aerie as the obvious target for romancing, never putting up a fight, just waiting to be taken like a flat piece of pastry, and oh man, was she dull. If someone wanna feel like the conquorer of hearts, would it ever feel like an achievement with someone like Aerie? Annah from Planescape, on the other hand, who you can potentially have a flirt with, if you brave your way through all her fiery attitude, but who will turn on her heel and leave you for good if you don't take her seriously, that's much more interesting, and could possibly feel like a reward in the end. And if people want to feel like the big brave hero who makes the ladies swoon, should they not have to work for it - to make it an actual achievement?

Yes, let's have some nice women in the game as well. But not flat and passive, or easy or weak. They too should have a will of their own, so they seem like real people you can respect. How about that tiefling bard, she seemed nice.

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Originally Posted by Aishaddai
Sounds like some people got what they wanted from some characters but won't let others enter the fold. Just being cheeky and condescending about it. Similar to those grannies that are rude in a polite tone.

Auntie Ethel has entered the chat.

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Originally Posted by Gimbal
I would always prefer an interesting character over some obvious romance target, meaning if they're entertaining to have around and make an impact, they're great, despite how little I would ever want to be emotionally or physically close to them. I did not for a second suspect there was any kind of romancing possible with Lae'zel and wouldn't have any of it either, yet she was probably my favourite of the companions because she seemed like a force of nature. Shadowheart was being snooty like a modern BioWare character and I quickly found her boring, thus, not interested in pursuing any romancing and only had her around because she's a healer. Gale and Astarion were both funny in their own way and that earned them their place in the party. Wyll seems so obviously written as a smooth romance target, and I found him rather uninteresting as a character, because he was all butter.

That's what happens when it's made too easy and gratuitous. In BG2 we had Aerie as the obvious target for romancing, never putting up a fight, just waiting to be taken like a flat piece of pastry, and oh man, was she dull. If someone wanna feel like the conquorer of hearts, would it ever feel like an achievement with someone like Aerie? Annah from Planescape, on the other hand, who you can potentially have a flirt with, if you brave your way through all her fiery attitude, but who will turn on her heel and leave you for good if you don't take her seriously, that's much more interesting, and could possibly feel like a reward in the end. And if people want to feel like the big brave hero who makes the ladies swoon, should they not have to work for it - to make it an actual achievement?

Yes, let's have some nice women in the game as well. But not flat and passive, or easy or weak. They too should have a will of their own, so they seem like real people you can respect. How about that tiefling bard, she seemed nice.

Yeah, seconded. Interesting offers infinite possibilities in one's imagination, while nice and passive with just eyes for you, the NPC, feels kind of boring. There's also something quite beautiful in powerful platonic relationships; earning Lae'zel's respect without stooping to murdering children feels fantastic, as does helping Gale and Wyll to overcome their addictions without green-gowning them. Circling back to books, because that's my jam, it feels much better to see a thorny crappy funny couple get together (Six of Crows, The Cruel Prince, etc.) than to have two sweethearts with one shared neuron fall in love (Shadow and Bone, the excruciatingly boring ACOTAR books). The one exception would be Kushiel's Legacy, where the female protagonist and her love interests are cinnamon rolls, but... well... don't google that one at work.

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Originally Posted by alice_ashpool
Originally Posted by Erendil
The most gentle person is Astarion.
still in awe of this post.

I think he meant feminine, in which case he probably is.

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Have you heard her vicious mockery datamine? Polite is the last thing that comes to mind. Rip drow males. She 100 percent points out the sexism against males for some races. Though my favorite is still the basic but effective "I'll rip your spine out of your arse". Lol

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I recently played a game based on a different RPG franchise that messed up both parts of this argument SO BADLY that it almost made me lose faith in this kind of video games. How can you mess both sides, you ask?

Well, they made the protagonist a middle-aged male character with a fixed backstory where his wife died a horrible death. Then, through non-branching dialogue, they implied that there was a non-emotional reward mechanic to get a new romantic partner and / or human connection with the remainder of his family. So I was like "uuuugghghgh so first Woman in the Refrigerator and now Women as Rewards with no way to opt out of that route, I guess I'm not the target audience at all but let's push through for the sake of the combat and the puzzles."

And then, at the end of the game, regardless of what you picked or chose, everyone dies a horrendous death and the protagonist remains alone forever.

If I had been the target audience I would have been incredibly pissed.

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Originally Posted by Aishaddai
Have you heard her vicious mockery datamine? Polite is the last thing that comes to mind. Rip drow males. She 100 percent points out the sexism against males for some races. Though my favorite is still the basic but effective "I'll rip your spine out of your arse". Lol

She's an old dear and my favorite villain so far. I never kill her unless her battle spazzes out a bug, and I can't wait to meet her sister in Baldur's Gate.

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