Larian Banner: Baldur's Gate Patch 9
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Since the start of EA many players reported not being able to properly trigger companion specific scenes when taking a long rest (e.g. Weave scene from Gale, Astarion star scene, Wyll's scenes, etc.); A lot of save scumming, long rest spamming, and excessive experimentation was required from players in past patches as the game seems to only trigger companion scenes under very particular situations which made a big chunk of the origin character stories severely miss-able.

Having to manage your every move in the game even to the smallest detail just to experience the companion side stories impacts/breaks immersion; It causes unnecessary stress to the players whose enjoyment lie in connecting with the origin characters' stories and maximizing their experience of the campaign.

Here are my specific suggestions to further fix the gaps in this area of the game as the current patch has yet to properly address the elusiveness of story/companion camp scenes:


1) The devs should explore revamping the long rest functionality and how it affects the BG3 story as it is possible to complete Act 1 by only long resting a couple of times. In order to avoid missing major story beats, it might be better if the game would require the player to set up camp at specific points in the campaign to allow critical narrative points points to trigger, as well as relevant companion scenes before they are locked out.

2) The devs should lessen scene locks in the game; Companion scenes should only lock out from players if they made major story decisions that narratively halted the development of the origin characters; Larian should also lessen time based locks and other very strict prerequisites to trigger a companion scene unless the story really requires it.

3) Regarding dialogue options during a companion scene - it would be good quality of life change if the game can indicate to the player which of them would act as a "player decision option" for the conversation that would ultimately end the scene and prevent further inquiries with the companion; This feature is pretty common in recent massive rpgs wherein game devs highlight major dialogue decision options in another color (usually yellow) to contrast them from the general ones that would not end the conversation (usually in standard white text). This distinction would allow the player to make a more informed choice when doing companion quest conversations as some responses may serve as potential lock points for future quests/scenes.

4) Have companions talk to to us in the over-world/give us a notification if they have something to tell us at camp so players do not miss their side stories/missions; Larian can also indicate in the player's quest journal when a companion wants to talk to us at camp as an added measure of security.

5) Remove scene priority between companions during long rest . We can have 1 scene per companion per night at camp. This would avoid having companion scenes "conflict" with each other and bug-out during a standard long rest.

6) Removal of scene priority should also apply to the "exclamation mark discussions" the origin characters give-out after the player makes a quest decision in the over-world; There should be no issue in having all three active companions in your party comment on your quest decision as they were present when it was made. It would also be a good quality of life change if the devs made the exclamation points on top of the companions' heads more visible; Right now they are easy to miss because of the current design.

7) Remove the relationship level locks wherein companions scenes can become miss-able if a party member's approval level goes up too quickly before taking a long rest (Looking at you Gale!); Companion approval ratings can erratically change in a play-through based on the multitude of quest decisions being done by the player so they shouldn't be gated in this way. The player shouldn't have to micromanage relationship levels and then excessively camp just to make sure they get all the story scenes for a particular party member. Scenes for a specific companion should be queue-able in the chronological order they were made to be experienced in so long as the necessary prerequisites have been previously attained by the player.


It is also worth noting that there are still a large number of lip sync problems for certain companion scenes in the current patch; Our party members' mouths do not move during every other sentence in a cutscene. It would be good for the devs to take a look at this problem as well when they go back to investigate the scene trigger bugs/problems.

I welcome anyone from the community to share additional thoughts/suggestions in relation to this topic so Larian can know how to best address this issue before the game ships out of early access.

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Dez Offline
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Originally Posted by RACKET75
1) The devs should explore revamping the long rest functionality and how it affects the BG3 story as it is possible to complete Act 1 by only long resting a couple of times. In order to avoid missing major story beats, it might be better if the game would require the player to set up camp at specific points in the campaign to allow critical narrative points points to trigger, as well as relevant companion scenes before they are locked out.

I believe this problem would be solved if they implement point 4. Then you could skip these "what-if" camps and just camp when you have to, or when your companions tell you to (because they want to chat).


Originally Posted by RACKET75
2) The devs should lessen scene locks in the game; Companion scenes should only lock out from players if they made major story decisions that narratively halted the development of the origin characters; Larian should also lessen time based locks and other very strict prerequisites to trigger a companion scene unless the story really requires it.

Agreed.


Originally Posted by RACKET75
3) Regarding dialogue options during a companion scene - it would be good quality of life change if the game can indicate to the player which of them would act as a "player decision option" for the conversation that would ultimately end the scene and prevent further inquiries with the companion; This feature is pretty common in recent massive rpgs wherein game devs highlight major dialogue decision options in another color (usually yellow) to contrast them from the general ones that would not end the conversation (usually in standard white text). This distinction would allow the player to make a more informed choice when doing companion quest conversations as some responses may serve as potential lock points for future quests/scenes.

100% agreed. But make it OBVIOUS which choice is which - in literally all CRPGs I've played with romance options, it has been as clear as day and night which option has been "friendzone" and which one is romance. But *PLEASE* keep the idea that companions can come to you instead of forcing the PC to make the first move while leaving us the option to stop their approaches via a obvious dialogue check. A good example is the one Pathfinder (I believe it was, anyways? Might have been PoE2) that literally just said "Oh don't worry we're *friends*" or "You're a great *friend*, <insert name>". I mean, I wouldn't even oppose the idea of Larian directly tagging the "stop romance" options and tell the player when hovering over these options and this dialogue option will *PERMANENTLY* stop said companion from making romantic advances on your character. Something in the lines of "Selecting this option will completely prevent any form of romantic options for this companion" - and preferably one option to "rush" the romance (like the traditional "just kiss"-option) and one option to leave romance open without initiating it right there and then (like "Let's focus on our mission for now and see what comes later" or something).


Originally Posted by RACKET75
4) Have companions talk to to us in the over-world/give us a notification if they have something to tell us at camp so players do not miss their side stories/missions; Larian can also indicate in the player's quest journal when a companion wants to talk to us at camp as an added measure of security.

YES. If I could only get ONE thing from this list, then THIS would be it!

Originally Posted by RACKET75
5) Remove scene priority between companions during long rest . We can have 1 scene per companion per night at camp. This would avoid having companion scenes "conflict" with each other and bug-out during a standard long rest.

+1


Originally Posted by RACKET75
6) Removal of scene priority should also apply to the "exclamation mark discussions" the origin characters give-out after the player makes a quest decision in the over-world; There should be no issue in having all three active companions in your party comment on your quest decision as they were present when it was made. It would also be a good quality of life change if the devs made the exclamation points on top of the companions' heads more visible; Right now they are easy to miss because of the current design.

Yeah, I agree with this as well. Unless actively looking for it, the exclamation mark is easily missed.


Originally Posted by RACKET75
7) Remove the relationship level locks wherein companions scenes can become miss-able if a party member's approval level goes up too quickly before taking a long rest (Looking at you Gale!); Companion approval ratings can erratically change in a play-through based on the multitude of quest decisions being done by the player so they shouldn't be gated in this way. The player shouldn't have to micromanage relationship levels and then excessively camp just to make sure they get all the story scenes for a particular party member. Scenes for a specific companion should be queue-able in the chronological order they were made to be experienced in so long as the necessary prerequisites have been previously attained by the player.

Y.E.S. This makes no sense at all. I remember a lot of complaints during the early EA (hue) that *SOME* characters often skipped a dialogue due to the player raising in favor too quickly. There must be some kind of queue system that could be used to prevent this? Although, I do realize the difficulties since some options would be related to romance and companion affection level - and some other would be tied to ingame decisions. I am certain Larian can figure out some way of making parallell queues or just... Anything. :x

While on the subject I'd really like to make a plea regarding something that has disturbed me severely in many other CRPGs (primarily in PoE2): do not restrict companion dialogues to the main story line. One of the most off-putting things I have experienced in CRPGs, ESPECIALLY in PoE2, is the fact that almost all companion dialogues have triggers that required the player to actually progress the *MAIN* story line in order to progress their companion dialogues (even regarding matters that were completely non-related to the actual story). Since PoE2s main story is really short, but has *A LOT* of side quests and DLC content, the inevitable result was that I played for more than 15 irl hours without a single new dialogue with my companions, despite the fact that I massively increased in reputation/favor/affection with them. And then, once I landed ashore on a island to progress my main story *every single companion I had with me wanted to have deep talks, right in front of our enemies.*. As much as I adored PoE2, and most things about PoE2, this was such a complete turn-off for me and I *STILL* feel salty about it. And I'v encountered this issue in more or less every single CRPG that I've played, except for - ironically enough - in PoE1.

So, please, for the love of all that is holy, do not tie dialogues not related to the main story to main story progression. Having all dialogues happening at once, just to endure many, many, many irl hours of silence after that is just really off-putting. I realize there are a number of issues that has to be addressed in order to resolve this, but there has to be some way to not leave the player with a feeling of halting companion progression during side-missions and DLC content (and no, while monologues/banter are fun and important, they are not enough by themselves imo). I want to feel encouraged to explore, do side-quests and DLC content - not punished by silence. frown

Lastly, I hope dearly that Larian allows companions to live interact more when we're questing/exploring. PoE, DA:O and Pathfinder were great at having your companions comment on the things that happens around you - always making sure their opinions are heard (like Sten disapproving of everything you do - you cant even breathe correctly) and helping you understand what they think of the matter, instead of just silently approving or disapproving. There have been multiple occasions during my playthrough on the EA that I've been wondering what the hells my companions are doing. Since I don't wanna spoil too much I'll just take a early example that most people have played through, namely the famous incident with everyone's favorite vampire (something I know for a fact has been brought up before) - chances are that the PC has at least one companion with them at the time. What is this companion doing during the scene where Astarion is holding a knife at the PC? This issue could be fixed by just having Astarion saying something to acknowledge their existence ("Stay back of I'll cut their throat"). I mean, we know for a fact that Gale reacts / interacts with Shadowheart if she is there when you recruit him, so I'd assume that the files are not properly in place yet since it just seems so out of place for our companions to not interact at all to Astarian doing his thing...

Basically, I just often feel like our companions are more like silent followers rather than companions with their own thoughts and ideas, and I feel like they are distanced from whatever is going on compared to many other CRPGs. That said, however, I would assume this is something Larian will fix, considering your companions were at least semi-active during DOS:2 (although, nowhere near the DA:O or even PoE/PoE2 companions). I'd imagine, especially since Larian wants to focus on rather few but "deep" companions, that we'll see some proper interactions and reactions from them at release - or at least I certainly hope we will.

Last edited by Dez; 05/03/21 11:01 AM.

Hoot hoot, stranger! Fairly new to CRPGs, but I tried my best to provide some feedback regardless! <3 Read it here: My Open Letter to Larian
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Originally Posted by RACKET75
6) Removal of scene priority should also apply to the "exclamation mark discussions" the origin characters give-out after the player makes a quest decision in the over-world; There should be no issue in having all three active companions in your party comment on your quest decision as they were present when it was made. It would also be a good quality of life change if the devs made the exclamation points on top of the companions' heads more visible; Right now they are easy to miss because of the current design.

THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS

This alone would solve so many issues.


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Another vote in favor of this from me. I like these ideas, especially #4 since I think that the majority of the companion interactions should be decoupled from the long rest/camping circuit for those of us who would like to at least pretend to take the looming threat of ceremorphosis seriously.

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Originally Posted by Dez
Having all dialogues happening at once, just to endure many, many, many irl hours of silence after that is just really off-putting.

Urgh, I hate that. It makes developing a relationship with the companions feel so stilted and artificial. I especially hate it in games where you can romance the companions, and doubly especially in games which don't include some kind of mechanism for interacting with your romanced companion between the major story beats (e.g. a dialogue tree with special romance-related options). I hate it so much that it drives me to make - gasp - romance mods. I'm sorry Aloth, please forgive me.

Larian's system for their last game worked... pretty okay. They seem to be putting a lot more time and effort into developing the companions for this game, but that's all getting ruined by this system being pretty terrible. I hope they're looking into solutions like the ones suggested here.

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Originally Posted by RACKET75
Since the start of EA many players reported not being able to properly trigger companion specific scenes when taking a long rest (e.g. Weave scene from Gale, Astarion star scene, Wyll's scenes, etc.); A lot of save scumming, long rest spamming, and excessive experimentation was required from players in past patches as the game seems to only trigger companion scenes under very particular situations which made a big chunk of the origin character stories severely miss-able.

Having to manage your every move in the game even to the smallest detail just to experience the companion side stories impacts/breaks immersion; It causes unnecessary stress to the players whose enjoyment lie in connecting with the origin characters' stories and maximizing their experience of the campaign.

Here are my specific suggestions to further fix the gaps in this area of the game as the current patch has yet to properly address the elusiveness of story/companion camp scenes:


1) The devs should explore revamping the long rest functionality and how it affects the BG3 story as it is possible to complete Act 1 by only long resting a couple of times. In order to avoid missing major story beats, it might be better if the game would require the player to set up camp at specific points in the campaign to allow critical narrative points points to trigger, as well as relevant companion scenes before they are locked out.

2) The devs should lessen scene locks in the game; Companion scenes should only lock out from players if they made major story decisions that narratively halted the development of the origin characters; Larian should also lessen time based locks and other very strict prerequisites to trigger a companion scene unless the story really requires it.

3) Regarding dialogue options during a companion scene - it would be good quality of life change if the game can indicate to the player which of them would act as a "player decision option" for the conversation that would ultimately end the scene and prevent further inquiries with the companion; This feature is pretty common in recent massive rpgs wherein game devs highlight major dialogue decision options in another color (usually yellow) to contrast them from the general ones that would not end the conversation (usually in standard white text). This distinction would allow the player to make a more informed choice when doing companion quest conversations as some responses may serve as potential lock points for future quests/scenes.

4) Have companions talk to to us in the over-world/give us a notification if they have something to tell us at camp so players do not miss their side stories/missions; Larian can also indicate in the player's quest journal when a companion wants to talk to us at camp as an added measure of security.

5) Remove scene priority between companions during long rest . We can have 1 scene per companion per night at camp. This would avoid having companion scenes "conflict" with each other and bug-out during a standard long rest.

6) Removal of scene priority should also apply to the "exclamation mark discussions" the origin characters give-out after the player makes a quest decision in the over-world; There should be no issue in having all three active companions in your party comment on your quest decision as they were present when it was made. It would also be a good quality of life change if the devs made the exclamation points on top of the companions' heads more visible; Right now they are easy to miss because of the current design.

7) Remove the relationship level locks wherein companions scenes can become miss-able if a party member's approval level goes up too quickly before taking a long rest (Looking at you Gale!); Companion approval ratings can erratically change in a play-through based on the multitude of quest decisions being done by the player so they shouldn't be gated in this way. The player shouldn't have to micromanage relationship levels and then excessively camp just to make sure they get all the story scenes for a particular party member. Scenes for a specific companion should be queue-able in the chronological order they were made to be experienced in so long as the necessary prerequisites have been previously attained by the player.


It is also worth noting that there are still a large number of lip sync problems for certain companion scenes in the current patch; Our party members' mouths do not move during every other sentence in a cutscene. It would be good for the devs to take a look at this problem as well when they go back to investigate the scene trigger bugs/problems.

I welcome anyone from the community to share additional thoughts/suggestions in relation to this topic so Larian can know how to best address this issue before the game ships out of early access.


YEEEEES!!!

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God I can't wait until I can just make other party members and not use their characters :O


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