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The differing origin stories in Dragon Age: Origins is a decent idea, and well implemented, too bad that immediately after it becomes "now we have the set of quests that everybody gets".

The criminal or cop segment of NWN2 is a good idea but badly implemented (The thieves guild branch's storyline is just....bad...so it comes to a false choice) and then after that segment you're back to "and now the story that everybody experiences".

If you're going to choose, choose on the story not the people.

Okay, you chose to go help the siege, by the time you get back, the rumors of a haunted graveyard have blown up into a zombie uprising.

vs

Okay, you chose to investigate the haunting, by the time you finish that the siege overcame that allied stronghold.

Pathfinder: Kingmaker does this a little bit with time-constraints on some stuff. I just wish it was less time constraints and more "you chose X, so Y is going to be unavailable/different".

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Agreed. Please, Larian, do NOT do this. It would be awful.

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Originally Posted by Thrythlind
The differing origin stories in Dragon Age: Origins is a decent idea, and well implemented, too bad that immediately after it becomes "now we have the set of quests that everybody gets".

The criminal or cop segment of NWN2 is a good idea but badly implemented (The thieves guild branch's storyline is just....bad...so it comes to a false choice) and then after that segment you're back to "and now the story that everybody experiences"

That was another 'ran out of time and budget' problem - the thieves branch was originally going to give you a completely different base location, to replace Crossroads Keep - If you'd sided with the thieves, you'd have been building up a place called "The Hollows" instead, and both Crossroads and the hollows were meant to be much more expansive and more detailed than it ended up being.

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Originally Posted by Niara
Originally Posted by Thrythlind
The differing origin stories in Dragon Age: Origins is a decent idea, and well implemented, too bad that immediately after it becomes "now we have the set of quests that everybody gets".

The criminal or cop segment of NWN2 is a good idea but badly implemented (The thieves guild branch's storyline is just....bad...so it comes to a false choice) and then after that segment you're back to "and now the story that everybody experiences"

That was another 'ran out of time and budget' problem - the thieves branch was originally going to give you a completely different base location, to replace Crossroads Keep - If you'd sided with the thieves, you'd have been building up a place called "The Hollows" instead, and both Crossroads and the hollows were meant to be much more expansive and more detailed than it ended up being.

errrrrrrrrrg

I can kinda feel that. The keep in Pillars was probably a bit closer to what they wanted to accomplish, but even that's not the best.

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Originally Posted by Niara
When asked about this at one point, Swen commented that "It's just like real life, you have to choose.", as though it was not real-life feasible to have more than a few friends whom you keep glued to your side at all times, and that even if you try to have more friends than that, you'll invariably lose control of them and they'll leave you, if you don't keep them under your eye.

Someone should probably tell him that that's not, actually, normal or healthy. That it's normal in real life to have an array of friends whom you maintain varying degrees of regular or irregular contact with, but whom are all still your friends and companions who you'll help out and who will help you out in turn, when you need it, even if they aren't hanging out with you ever minute of the day.


Doing this doesn't increase "Replay Value". It creates drudgery, and makes false, unfulfilling replayability that no-one ever actually enjoys. The presumption of replayability is that you have to play a few times to see all the different content lines... but what that actually is saying is that you have to play the same game, multiple times through, and experience what will, in reality, be about 80-90% of the same content, over and over again, just to see that extra 10-20% that's different this time through. That's not fun; it's never fun. Sometimes a game is good enough that players will put up with slogging through it, but it's never a good way to handle things, and it's a terrible way to try to make your game have replay value.

Indeed, its neither true to Real Life, nor true to D&D... where any given party has many allies, even though not all join them in every adventure.

Also Ditto on the replayability thing.

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Originally Posted by urktheturtle
The party you have set up in this game has a very good reason to be unified in their goals and actions (the removal of the tadpole)
And once this problem will be resolved ...
The only thing that was bringing them all together will be gone.

Why would they stick together afterwards?

Originally Posted by urktheturtle
going there seperate ways makes no sense because the only other people any of our characters can trust is each other.
Our characters had life before all this, and they all keep mentioning it ...
There are characters they trust, there are depts they have to pay, or collect ...

Gale will demand to pursue means to his healing ...
Astarion will demand to pursue means to kill his master ...
Shadowheart will demand to go to her people ...
Wyll will ( laugh ) demand to pursue Myzora ...
Lae'zel ... i have no idea ... maybe she go investigate theese odd tadpoles, and search for their source, dunno. laugh

But when they all will demand to do their thing first, since they all are on basic level (and they prooved it multiple times in EA allready) selfish a**holes ...
What other choice you have then simply pick one? O_o
Why exactly would any of them wait for others to deal with their business, before its his turn? O_o
And why he, or she should not simply leave and go his own way? I Dunno, to me it makes bzillion times more sence. :-/

Originally Posted by urktheturtle
As for everyone dying, you already dug the hole for why that cant work by having Talking Skelly Boy be a way to bring everyone back.
It depends on death ...
Talking Skelly Boy cannot bring back Arabela, or Kannon, or anyone ese in fact, except your own group ...

Originally Posted by urktheturtle
And the biggest problem of all? We who have been watching closely know that Minsc & Boo have been datamined as companions. When you are dealing with iconic characters like that, they become a "companion tax" meaning... they pretty much take up one character slot in your companion party composition.
The question here is if Minsc & Boo will be origin companions, or if they join us once our tadpole problem will be resolved, and we will allready be commited ... whatever that means.

Originally Posted by urktheturtle
Also it doesnt mesh at all with the multiplayer in this game.
How so?
If im corect with my expectation, it works quite fine.

Originally Posted by urktheturtle
Also different party comps would be used for different situations (Stealthy characters on stealth missions, muscle on muscle missions, intellectuals on intellectual missions)
There are no missions (thank gods) ...
And i really hope they will never be there ... since it dont make any sence. -_-

Originally Posted by urktheturtle
Also... lets say im playing A Wizard, I am rarely going to bring Gale along with me because of party comp... right? But he is going to be a really good friend of mine, because both of the characters mesh and have a lot to talk about. If party composition didnt matter, I would bring along Gale every time... but it does.
And now lets say that this "commitment" Larian was talking about, is only about determining wich companion will you follow on his quest ...
Maybe you dont even need to take him "with you" all the time (except some major story meetings ... simmilar to Wyll and Goblins) ...

Therefore if you are A Wizard, and you pick Gale ...
You, and your new party of companions (probably either minus "all" other Origin characters, or only those wich story was going different way) will be investigating Gale story, and Gale will (except those important things) wait in your camp for your report. laugh


Short coment on my English. smile

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All I want to say is that the 'replay value' argument is not nearly as good or practical as many think it is. There is a certain point where chasing 'replay value' without a thought will only come at the cost of the first playthrough experience. And if that first playthrough isn't as magical as people thought it'd be, then I doubt locking party content behind a second playthrough is enough for people to replay the game again. Let's be realistic here. Out of all of the most celebrated games that exist today, which ones really emphasized replay value as being the major reason for their success? The only well regarded games that have replay value as a sticking point made it very clear that their game was about said replay value to begin with.

I mean, let's look to the future a bit, and compare DOS2 to another cRPG that's coming out very soon. Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, which is all in on the replay value. But the replay value is centered around choices that the main character makes that affects their builds and drastically alters events in the game purely based on your character's powers. As opposed to... DOS2's and potentially BG3's replay value being based on your choice of party members after an arbitrary point in the game? It's not hard to see why the latter is so divisive, when it comes off as limiting your options and a choice that only exists because of an arbitrary party headcount limit, rather than being an actual willing choice by your character in regards to the plot itself.

Chasing this kind of plot device again is only going to be to the future detriment of the characters in BG3. It will subtly steer the characters towards developing separately, and the overall party chemistry and the world building will take an indirect hit. This I can already forsee when I've played Pathfinder WotR beta extensively, while witnessing for myself how its large cast of party members developed as a whole and complimented each other, with each party member adding a lot to the overall world building throughout the entire game.

I would now go as far as to say that Act 4 of DOS2 wouldn't have been received so poorly relative to the rest of the game in the end, had Larian not killed off the other party members at the end of Act 1. A lot of the story beats in Act 4 literally relies on the presence of specific party members to have serious impact. Like without the Red Prince, the Lizard Consulate is just an awkward out of place necrofire dreamscape that's just kind of there. Without Loshe, the Doctor is just a super edgy opportunistic demonic villain. Without Beast, the Dwarves are just random turbo racists that happen to possess barrels of Deathfog. If you had all of the party members with you going into Act 4, the act would have been seen as a satisfying revenge tour against everyone that has wronged each of your party members before and throughout the entire game while clearing a path to the final confrontation. But what we instead got were a lot of dangling plot threads that suddenly had to be resolved in quick succession, with little to no emotional payoff depending on your party composition.

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adding my voice here against party locking... this would be awful.

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Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
Out of all of the most celebrated games that exist today, which ones really emphasized replay value as being the major reason for their success?
Bloodlines, whole Mass Effect series, Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout series, both KotORs, Vampyr, whole Dragon Age series (even tho diminishing of your previous choices in Inquisition pissed me off), ...
That would be my list ... what i played ... what i concider to be really huge sucesfull games ... and what i cherish for their replayability.


Short coment on my English. smile

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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Bloodlines, whole Mass Effect series, Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout series, both KotORs, Vampyr, whole Dragon Age series (even tho diminishing of your previous choices in Inquisition pissed me off), ...
That would be my list ... what i played ... what i concider to be really huge sucesfull games ... and what i cherish for their replayability.
And exactly how did those games emphasize replayability? By largely having it all revolve around the main character's choices. Instead of indirect means such as having party members permanently taken away from you, not because you had an actual choice in the matter or you had disagreements with any of the party members, but only because you couldn't fit them in your party for a certain part of the game due to an arbitrary headcount limit.

There's a reason DOS2's replayability is generally attributed to the combat system and the way builds work in that game. Larian learned the wrong lesson if they think the game's success has anything to do with limiting your party members early on into the game, judging from how most hardcore cRPG enthusiasts only regard DOS2's story as an excuse plot.

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Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Bloodlines, whole Mass Effect series, Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout series, both KotORs, Vampyr, whole Dragon Age series (even tho diminishing of your previous choices in Inquisition pissed me off), ...
That would be my list ... what i played ... what i concider to be really huge sucesfull games ... and what i cherish for their replayability.
And exactly how did those games emphasize replayability? By largely having it all revolve around the main character's choices. Instead of indirect means such as having party members permanently taken away from you, not because you had an actual choice in the matter or you had disagreements with any of the party members, but only because you couldn't fit them in your party for a certain part of the game due to an arbitrary headcount limit.
Well, it would be hard in most of them ... since you dont actualy have any party in any except Mass Effect, Dragon Age and KotOR, and as far as i know in most of them noone from you party in those even die (well, maybe except Mass Effect). laugh

I never played DoS, none of them to be honest ... i dint like the look of the game, and therefore i never feel the urge to try. :-/
Therefore i dont know the story behind the kills ... and of course i cannot judge without it. smile

But there is many deaths in games you cannot prevent ...
I dunno, i gues im getting used to it.

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Short coment on my English. smile

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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Originally Posted by urktheturtle
The party you have set up in this game has a very good reason to be unified in their goals and actions (the removal of the tadpole)
And once this problem will be resolved ...
The only thing that was bringing them all together will be gone.

Why would they stick together afterwards?

Obviously there's no way of knowing, but it seems pretty unlikely to me that the tadpole problem will be dealt with by the end of act one. Maybe it could be, but then what would the story be? Because the tadpoles and mindflayers and all that have been built up as the main conflict of the game. It's possible that by the end of act one we'll be in a position where we definitely know that ceremorphosis is either not a threat or at least not a short-term threat, but I'm sure they'll still be a major factor within the game and the main thrust of the game story. It would be a really weird choice if the tadpoles and, perhaps more specifically, all the problems that the tadpoles bring with them (this business with the Absolute in particular) would just be settled in a way where the characters can move on without concern.

Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Originally Posted by urktheturtle
going there seperate ways makes no sense because the only other people any of our characters can trust is each other.
Our characters had life before all this, and they all keep mentioning it ...
There are characters they trust, there are depts they have to pay, or collect ...

Gale will demand to pursue means to his healing ...
Astarion will demand to pursue means to kill his master ...
Shadowheart will demand to go to her people ...
Wyll will ( laugh ) demand to pursue Myzora ...
Lae'zel ... i have no idea ... maybe she go investigate theese odd tadpoles, and search for their source, dunno. laugh

But when they all will demand to do their thing first, since they all are on basic level (and they prooved it multiple times in EA allready) selfish a**holes ...
What other choice you have then simply pick one? O_o
Why exactly would any of them wait for others to deal with their business, before its his turn? O_o
And why he, or she should not simply leave and go his own way? I Dunno, to me it makes bzillion times more sence. :-/

As I said above, it would be a damn weird story if at the end of act one everyone was in a position to just move on with their lives and not have to worry about the tadpoles and mindflayers and the Absolute again. It's not inherently a *bad* story, in fact that could be an interesting route to go with a game. It just doesn't feel like that's where this game's story is building towards. If you think that's the direction the game is going, I'd love to hear why. Like I said, while I don't think the game is building to that, I do think it would be a genuinely interesting story and depending on execution, I wouldn't automatically hate if BG3 went that route.


Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Originally Posted by urktheturtle
Also different party comps would be used for different situations (Stealthy characters on stealth missions, muscle on muscle missions, intellectuals on intellectual missions)
There are no missions (thank gods) ...
And i really hope they will never be there ... since it dont make any sence. -_-

I think by missions he just means quests. And this is a point I'm kind of concerned about as well. I don't want to be in a position where I have to choose my long term party based on class composition rather than which characters I actually like. In crpgs I usually take an optimal party when I know I'm going to be facing tough fights, but otherwise I just keep a party full of my favorite characters.

Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Originally Posted by urktheturtle
Also... lets say im playing A Wizard, I am rarely going to bring Gale along with me because of party comp... right? But he is going to be a really good friend of mine, because both of the characters mesh and have a lot to talk about. If party composition didnt matter, I would bring along Gale every time... but it does.
And now lets say that this "commitment" Larian was talking about, is only about determining wich companion will you follow on his quest ...
Maybe you dont even need to take him "with you" all the time (except some major story meetings ... simmilar to Wyll and Goblins) ...

Therefore if you are A Wizard, and you pick Gale ...
You, and your new party of companions (probably either minus "all" other Origin characters, or only those wich story was going different way) will be investigating Gale story, and Gale will (except those important things) wait in your camp for your report. laugh

You're basically saying here that "if things go differently than you think they will, then you don't have to worry about what you're worried about." I grant that everyone here is engaging in speculation, but I personally feel that unless you have an argument why a particular line of speculation isn't likely to come to pass, then it's only reasonable and constructive for you to engage with the argument already before you, as opposed to just presenting a completely different scenario that nullifies the first one.

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I actually have no issue with party lock (as in for example companions from act 1 are removed from the pool for a set time or permanently) at the end of a specific act if the narrative makes sense.

I would also prefer it if certain characters left the party and re-appeared later, either as friends or enemies, with only a chance of death at the end of act x.

Companions lingering around camp doing sweet FA just to swap in and out makes little story sense (certainly not 3 or 4), even if it can be cool from a game perspective to swap in and out give a particular mission.

It’s another argument for having more than a 4 person party.

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So for the kinda replayability I want (where almost the entire storyline is different between playthrough A vs playthrough B... and I mean that extending to the problems you deal with and the enemy you face... almost entire plot line changed out) would require probably a short play-through on each run.

Like assume a 20-30 hour run for one play through rather than 60-100 hours that a lot of CRPGs get to. But have enough plot modules that you could have 100-200 hours worth of story or so and have DLC be further plot lines that can develop or side-quest models and such. Wildermyth is sort of good for this, actually because of all the random story events that you can run across. Though I'd prefer a more choice driven story than an RNG one.

I'm not going to dive right back into Bloodlines immediately after finishing it once because it's really just going to be the same story completely over again.

Replaying 60-100 hours of story that's not going to change too much isn't appealing. I may let it set a while and come back to it some other time when I feel like returning to an old story.

"Oh, I can do Baldur's Gate 3 with different party members"...isn't really going to encourage me to replay it immediately. It's minimally replayable.

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A lot of story based games suffer from replay-ability issues because why play the story again? Especially if you got the “best ending”, like Witcher 3 or Disco Elysium? I mean I did play them again because they were good games but Mass Effect2 I didn’t, because it couldn’t get any better/hadn’t missed anything (important).

Each person will differ in which games they replay, but unless the story differs enough, you’ve kinda seen it. There’s no competitive aspect so it will always come down to how much do you want to read that book again vs pick up a new one.

I do think removing characters and their quests/stories is one way of doing this. Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but if the matter of Gale or Wyll is never solved in my one play through, maybe I go for another one if origin character’s storylines prove interesting enough.

It doesn’t please everyone because there are always those who want the whole experience in one go, or the fear that creating a game with multiple strands dilutes the main experience.

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I didn't like it in DOS2, even though I really enjoyed the game. Spend about 5-10 hours with all the companions just to have some of them die was stupid. I hope they don't pull that BS here. All companions should be able to travel with us, unless they don't like the player character.

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Originally Posted by EMTFields
I didn't like it in DOS2, even though I really enjoyed the game. Spend about 5-10 hours with all the companions just to have some of them die was stupid. I hope they don't pull that BS here. All companions should be able to travel with us, unless they don't like the player character.
Again, it doesn’t have to be black and white death/out of the game.

Maybe they just go their way and you bump into them again later, their stories having taken a particular turn that you didn’t witness or influence. Maybe they rejoin you later and betray you or help you in ways they might not have been able to do had they just stayed.

Killing all those off you don’t take, or taking them all with you without issue are two opposite sides of the spectrum, and until we know better shouldn’t be the only two options taken at face value.

Yes DOS2 did it one way, yea it’s fine to say “aaaargh, not again”, but to say the only option is to have X characters twiddle their thumbs round a camp fire waiting for the mighty Tav to solve all their issues is in my opinion equally dumb.

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Originally Posted by Riandor
Originally Posted by EMTFields
I didn't like it in DOS2, even though I really enjoyed the game. Spend about 5-10 hours with all the companions just to have some of them die was stupid. I hope they don't pull that BS here. All companions should be able to travel with us, unless they don't like the player character.
Again, it doesn’t have to be black and white death/out of the game.

Maybe they just go their way and you bump into them again later, their stories having taken a particular turn that you didn’t witness or influence. Maybe they rejoin you later and betray you or help you in ways they might not have been able to do had they just stayed.

Killing all those off you don’t take, or taking them all with you without issue are two opposite sides of the spectrum, and until we know better shouldn’t be the only two options taken at face value.

Yes DOS2 did it one way, yea it’s fine to say “aaaargh, not again”, but to say the only option is to have X characters twiddle their thumbs round a camp fire waiting for the mighty Tav to solve all their issues is in my opinion equally dumb.

Here is the thing, the way this game is set up... there is one big reason they cant all go resolve there personal conflicts.

One tiny little reason... wriggling into there brain, eating and replacing there neural tissue.

This is a game about a rag-tag group of people who are thrust together because of there overlapping problem, on a journey to realize they are friends and family.

This is the breakfast club.

And there isnt a part in the breakfast club where 60% of the group is eliminated, and the remaining people (the ones that are in the most similar social click) go on to become heroes of the story.

Because that just isnt done in those kinds of stories, it undermines them.

Maybe you have a heroic sacrifice in these kind of stories (the one you would least expect to sacrifice themselves for you often works well), maybe there can be a betrayal...

This party lock will not work though, picking 3 out of 8 companions will not work.

But here is the thing, you saying "maybe they will rejoin you later" is just wishful thinking... and isnt what they have talked about happening, they have said that you have to commit to certain party members... that means THEY ARE NOT COMING BACK.

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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Obviously there's no way of knowing, but it seems pretty unlikely to me that the tadpole problem will be dealt with by the end of act one. Maybe it could be, but then what would the story be?
Your gues is as good as mine ...
But i would say:
Act 1 - Tadpole ...
Act 2 - Personal quests of Origin characters ...
Act 3 - Final confrontation with big bad wolf. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Because the tadpoles and mindflayers and all that have been built up as the main conflict of the game.
Well, as far as i know Larian specificly told us in one of interviews, that: "You have no idea so far what plot twist we prepared for you. *evil laugh*" laugh
Also, many theoretizing youtubers are quoting some synopsis, where Larian specificly mentioned Dead Three.
So ... who knows? smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
It's possible that by the end of act one we'll be in a position where we definitely know that ceremorphosis is either not a threat or at least not a short-term threat
Exactly what i would imagine ...
Finish of Act 1: We will be definitely sure that ceremorphosis is no longer a threat ...
Finish of Act 2: We resolve our dedicated companion problem ... and right after, either our Tadpole, or the Absolute him-/her-self will either remind us that our problem actualy was not so resolved as we thinked, or that story of our companions is tied to the Absolute more than we expected ...
And in Act 3: (since there is not much reasons to describe end game laugh ) We will, now totaly sure that Absolute need to be dealt with once and for all ... start our final crusade. :P

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
It would be a really weird choice if the tadpoles and, perhaps more specifically, all the problems that the tadpoles bring with them (this business with the Absolute in particular) would just be settled in a way where the characters can move on without concern.
Oh you missunderstand me ...
I see that simmilar to all our chances to remove tadpole in EA ... we will be offered a solution, our hopes keep building more an more ... and once we believe that our problem was finaly resolved, it will kick us back in our teeth. laugh
Only this time, i believe that kick will take a little longer to actualy show. laugh

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
If you think that's the direction the game is going, I'd love to hear why.
And i hope my answers abowe will satisfy you. smile

I believe that when Shadowheart told us "we'l be going our separate ways of course" ... when you ask her what will she do after our tadpole will be cured.
That is actualy hint (maybe unintentional) from Larian about what to expect. wink

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
I think by missions he just means quests.
Well, since he is not first person who mentioned the word "missions" and usualy people used this word in connection with sending companions that stays in camp to missions, while we will be adventuring around ...
I just felt the urge to express once again, that i cant imagine worse idea. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
I don't want to be in a position where I have to choose my long term party based on class composition rather than which characters I actually like. In crpgs I usually take an optimal party when I know I'm going to be facing tough fights, but otherwise I just keep a party full of my favorite characters.
That is entirely different story ...
Maybe i was not explicit enough, but i believe that there are two possibilities.

Either our companions split to two group, where one will be against the other ... or good, and evil ... not sure ... and we shall pick one to acompany.
Or, wich i concider to be more likely ... game will determine companions with wich we will have "enough reputation" ... we will have to decide one ... and everyone else will go their own way.

And since that point, we unlock non-origin companions, wich would make our group from now on.
What makes me think that is mostly the fact that all Origin companions so far (including Karlach) is created so they can follow the exactly same story, as our custom character ... therefore i believe Larian created Origin stories for each Origin character, and our custom character will be just following them in the same way.


Short coment on my English. smile

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Originally Posted by Riandor
I would also prefer it if certain characters left the party and re-appeared later, either as friends or enemies, with only a chance of death at the end of act x.
Exactly!!!
Just imagine you decide to Follow Shadowheart in her quest, and by end you once again meet Lae'zel leading group of Gith, who will be on quest to reaquire the weapon? smile
I say it would be epic. :3

Sadly that is the only pair i can think about. frown


Short coment on my English. smile

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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