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I really like the concept of branching in video games, but I don’t know how much narrative branching will be on Baldur´s Gate. Did the developers say anything in this regard?

I think there are typically four levels of branching:

1) Linear plot: no branching

2) Limited branching: player´s choices or other actions have a small impact on the narrative: you can skip fight, get an different item, some side quests have different outcomes (and then all character involved disappear from the game), but there aren't any over lasting effects on the plot.

3) True branching: the game have ROUTES. Routes are common in Visual Novels, but uncommon in rpgs. Basically, the game narrative can split and there are unique quests, dialogues, enemies and companions to each route. Events and important character outcomes change dramatically depending on the route taken.

4) Extreme/Infinity branching: there are infinite routes. That´s possible only if the game has “emergent narrative” or “procedural narrative”, where the narrative is created at run time. The only game who have attempted to do this is Dwarf Fortress and I think that I will not see on other games try this for many years still.

So, what type of branching should I expect to see in BG3?

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My guess would be something similar to DOS:II, slight variations especially where it can be done easily, but generally fairly linear.

Currently in the EA there's a choice between siding with or against the grove, or ignoring it in general, but how much these choices will actually bifurcate the story is still unclear to me

Last edited by Sozz; 13/06/21 08:41 PM. Reason: Talkin' Groves
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According to your description, I'd say that BG3 is True Branching. There is a good route and an evil one and they said that your choices will have consequences in the upcomming acts.

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i'm betting it will end up being lots of choices that in the end amount to very little differences in the overall plot. Then, at the VERY end, we'll have a choice to make.

Last edited by Boblawblah; 13/06/21 08:39 PM.
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Originally Posted by Drazer
3) True branching: the game have ROUTES. Routes are common in Visual Novels, but uncommon in rpgs. Basically, the game narrative can split and there are unique quests, dialogues, enemies and companions to each route. Events and important character outcomes change dramatically depending on the route taken.


This. There are physical route choices you need to make to get to the next location with significant content depending on a multitude of choices you make with long term repercussions. I have every reason to believe; and have observed that your choices will be impactful in regards to later elements of the game. Including how people respond to you, and the actual allies you end up with.


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Originally Posted by Boblawblah
i'm betting it will end up being lots of choices that in the end amount to very little differences in the overall plot. Then, at the VERY end, we'll have a choice to make.
It depends on what do you see as "little differences" ...
Speaking for myself i was quite mad when i found out that in Dragon Age Inquisition ... one specific character returned, even tho part of her story was the fact that she died in Origins ...
And that character even tells you about it ... she specificly sais "i was dead for a while, but then return" just like that. :-/
Where have i seen such lazy writing i ask myself looking at Darth Sidious.

This is what i call "very little difference" ... or to be more precise, none at all.

But when you for example kill Zevlor, there is allready prepared another NPC that takes his place ...

I hope you dont mean such things to be also "very little difference" ... since such change seem natural to me.
And personaly i would welcome more of this.

Last edited by RagnarokCzD; 13/06/21 09:45 PM.

Short coment on my English. smile

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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Witcher 2 is an example of true branching. Act 2 is completely different depending upon who you side with in act 1. I'm not sure that its worth the resources to do this, but its an interesting idea.

Tyranny is another example. Only half of the games zones are available after the first act, and the exact set you get depends upon which army you ally with in the first act.

Last edited by dwig; 13/06/21 11:05 PM.
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I think the Devs at one point said on "evil playthroughs" (presumably alliance with the cult of the absolute, but I suppose it could also be allying with Raphael or something - I suspect the actual branch is at Moonrise Towers) there would be characters who were major allies who you would never meet on a "good playthrough". Also the way they talk about having to "commit" to specific companions at some point suggests a fairly serious branch there.

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Originally Posted by Drazer
2) Limited branching: player´s choices or other actions have a small impact on the narrative: you can skip fight, get an different item, some side quests have different outcomes (and then all character involved disappear from the game), but there aren't any over lasting effects on the plot.

3) True branching: the game have ROUTES. Routes are common in Visual Novels, but uncommon in rpgs. Basically, the game narrative can split and there are unique quests, dialogues, enemies and companions to each route. Events and important character outcomes change dramatically depending on the route taken.
It seems to me that BG3 is aiming for a mix of those two. I don't think there will be whole unique locations (like Witcher2) but that your interactions with characters can change depending on question progression you choose. There are quests and NPCs you will never get to talk to due to your actions.

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You guys are over-thinking this. Classic RPGs doesnt need to do anything, at least nothign too crazy. Theres so few of them. Most gaming companies keeps pushing their first/third person RPGs and kids keeps pushing forward like sunlight is fading.

I would "branch" into selling Fantasy Characters though.

Last edited by GreatWarrioX; 07/01/22 03:22 AM.

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