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Origin characters would be fine if they were not your companions, imho. That is the big issue for me, as articulated so well by others in this thread. It creates major narrative dissonance and limits your ability to interact with them in ways that other rpgs allow with companions.

I just feel like they are mooshing too many mechanics together. Singleplayer is being impacted by multiplayer elements. And true rpg’ing with cool companions is being impacted by origin chars. I wish Larian would focus their efforts stead of creating what feels like muddy koolaid.

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Originally Posted by timebean
I wish Larian would focus their efforts stead of creating what feels like muddy koolaid.
I think the problem is as follow:

lengthy COOP RPGs are a hard sell as you need a group of 2-4 people to come and play a lenghty campaign together across multiple weels/months. I am sure there is audience for it, but that precisely what kills my interest in coop RPGs. A multiplayer game needs to be completed in one evening IMO. I think the benefit of origins is less that you can play as one, but that your coop partners can drop in and out, take over your companions and the game is to feel alright either way. Don't know if it works, but considering Larian is stickign to the design, it either did in D:OS2 or they believe that it can.

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Originally Posted by Wormerine
lengthy COOP RPGs are a hard sell as you need a group of 2-4 people to come and play a lenghty campaign together across multiple weels/months. I am sure there is audience for it, but that precisely what kills my interest in coop RPGs. A multiplayer game needs to be completed in one evening IMO. I think the benefit of origins is less that you can play as one, but that your coop partners can drop in and out, take over your companions and the game is to feel alright either way. Don't know if it works, but considering Larian is stickign to the design, it either did in D:OS2 or they believe that it can.

Yup. That's precisely what makes me yawn every time our Blackheifer starts lauding the virtues of playing this game in multiplayer and tooting his own horn about how he keeps in line his disciplined troop of well trained soldiers friends in mutiplayer.
Been there, done that. I tried the multiplayer in DOS 1 and 2, and the outcome was always something among the lines of "Well, that was amusing to do once, but fuck me if we are going to schedule a recurring appointment to do this on a regular basis across several weeks".
These games live on their own momentum. There's the day you want to keep going for five-six hours straight and the day the idea of logging in, meet with others and try to achieve something according to a tight schedule will only make you groan, because you aren't in the mood.

Also, interestingly enough despise all focus Larian put into it and all the compromises it costed, MP turned out to be something that interested a fairly marginal portion of their audience (10-15% top), according to their own statistics.
Still, it's a "signature feature" for them and something to distinguish themselves on the market, so they are not going to drop it.

Last edited by Tuco; 21/08/21 11:33 AM.

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Originally Posted by Tuco
Originally Posted by Wormerine
lengthy COOP RPGs are a hard sell as you need a group of 2-4 people to come and play a lenghty campaign together across multiple weels/months. I am sure there is audience for it, but that precisely what kills my interest in coop RPGs. A multiplayer game needs to be completed in one evening IMO. I think the benefit of origins is less that you can play as one, but that your coop partners can drop in and out, take over your companions and the game is to feel alright either way. Don't know if it works, but considering Larian is stickign to the design, it either did in D:OS2 or they believe that it can.

Yup. That's precisely what makes me yawn every time our Blackheifer starts lauding the virtues of playing this game in multiplayer and tooting his own horn about how he keeps in line his disciplined troop of well trained soldiers friends in mutiplayer.
Been there, done that. I tried the multiplayer in DOS 1 and 2, and the outcome was always something among the lines of "Well, that was amusing to do once, but fuck me if we are going to schedule a recurring appointment to do this on a regular basis across several weeks".
These games live on their own momentum. There's the day you want to keep going for five-six hours straight and the day the idea of logging in, meet with others and try to achieve something according to a tight schedule will only make you groan, because you aren't in the mood.

Also, interestingly enough despise all focus Larian put into it and all the compromises it costed, MP turned out to be something that interested a fairly marginal portion of their audience (10-15% top), according to their own statistics.
Still, it's a "signature feature" for them and something to distinguish themselves on the market, so they are not going to drop it.
I feel like it interest Larian more than anyone else. That's not to say no one cares about multiplayer, just to say that Larian cares about it very very much


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Imho…either make a great multiplayer game or make a great single player game. It feels like the single player experience is getting shafted for the multiplayer elements, which is frustrating for me because I prefer to play games like this alone. I know that borders on blasphemy for most DnD fans, but I work an insanely time consuming job, and game when I feel like it…not when I am called to it as yet another task to complete.

I save multiplayer for pew pew pvp nonsense with my more “dude bro” pals…or silliness in games like Sea of Theives with my good friends that just want to get together and giggle and chat. I can’t imagine trying to engage with story material with a bunch of dudes chattering in my ear.

But my personal preference is irrelevant. The fact that SP gets impacted by MP at all is a poor design decision.

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Originally Posted by Tuco
Been there, done that. I tried the multiplayer in DOS 1 and 2, and the outcome was always something among the lines of "Well, that was amusing to do once, but fuck me if we are going to schedule a recurring appointment to do this on a regular basis across several weeks".
I think it can work depending on your situation. I would love to have D:OS1&2 back during my Uni days - I had a good friend with whom we had lan parties on regular basis. D:OS1&2 is something we would kill for in those days. Tried to run coop playthroughs of BG2, Neverwinter Nights2 and Arcanum, but it just never felt right.

Right now, it's difficult to get a Civ game going from beginning to conclusion, not to mention 80-100 hour RPG. I don't hate D:OS1&2 design, I think there might be audience for it, and I would be in that audience at one point in my life. It's fine if D:OS1&2 aren't for me anymore. I am irritated for BG3 to be designed like that as well, though.

And for many players whenever RPG is completable or not is probably irrelevant. Looking at GOG achievements only 10% of players there completed D:OS2. One or two online sessions seem to be enough for some to declare those games as "BEST RPGs EVER MADE!" looking at steam reviews and playtime.

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I've tried two multiplayer playthroughs of DOS2. They never made it past Act 2 before life hit one of us and forcing us to disband, for the most part.

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Eh, when Criken and Strippin did their 4-player DOS2 run stream a while back, that was super fun to watch. Ngl I always looked forward to their next session. Watching them goofing around, and talking in chat about the game and all sorts of things, were fun. I imagine this helped "influence" people, making viewers interested in the game, making the game more popular. This is probably what Larian has in mind with their MP thing.

Last edited by Try2Handing; 21/08/21 08:03 PM.

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Originally Posted by Try2Handing
Eh, when Criken and Strippin did their 4-player DOS2 run stream a while back, that was super fun to watch.
I am sure it's a superb streaming game. And twitch integration being on day1 says a lot.

It also might be why Larian and myself don't gel too well. I am not twitch person, and in general games which work well as streaming content, doesn't make for a compelling gameplay experience to moi. cry

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I like it a lot in BG1 where you have a big selection of companions to choose from. You are not forced to take companions you don't like. It's a big deal, actually.

I would definitely be willing to trade some companion storylines and voice acting in BG3 for a larger selection of companions. Especially since everyone in BG3 has been written to be over the top special so that they are interesting as protagonists. A party where everyone is extra special doesn't work. They are all just competing for attention with crazy storylines and the one who gets lost in the chaos is the players own PC who SHOULD be the protagonist.

It's a D&D game. I don't want a pre-created protagonist and will never play as such. D&D is all about creating your OWN character. It's about time for Larian to understand this instead of push their origin characters down everyone's throat.

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If the your argument is "more companions are better because the writing of the ones we got sucks" I disagree. Adding more bland and devoid of character companions will not solve the issue. And you do have the mercenaries system if that is what you're after

Last edited by Abits; 22/08/21 12:09 PM.

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Originally Posted by Abits
If the your argument is "more companions are better because the writing of the ones we got sucks" I disagree. Adding more bland and devoid of character companions will not solve the issue. And you do have the mercenaries system if that is what you're after
Cutting down VO's by 50% is not the same thing as bland and devoid of character. I haven't read anyone requesting "bland" companions.

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Originally Posted by 1varangian
Originally Posted by Abits
If the your argument is "more companions are better because the writing of the ones we got sucks" I disagree. Adding more bland and devoid of character companions will not solve the issue. And you do have the mercenaries system if that is what you're after
Cutting down VO's by 50% is not the same thing as bland and devoid of character. I haven't read anyone requesting "bland" companions.
Oh so you're saying give up voice acting..


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Originally Posted by Abits
Originally Posted by 1varangian
Originally Posted by Abits
If the your argument is "more companions are better because the writing of the ones we got sucks" I disagree. Adding more bland and devoid of character companions will not solve the issue. And you do have the mercenaries system if that is what you're after
Cutting down VO's by 50% is not the same thing as bland and devoid of character. I haven't read anyone requesting "bland" companions.
Oh so you're saying give up voice acting..
It's wasted on characters you don't like anyway since you will never hear 99% of it.

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Originally Posted by Try2Handing
Originally Posted by Alexandrite
You are saying you don't want to use Origin characters that are pre-written and pre-integrated into the story - but you don't like NOT having a pre-written pre-integrated character? So, which is it?
That's still not it, Alexandrite. What people are saying is that, they don't like how other things are getting compromised (bland non-origin character, non-existent party banter, narration issues) because the origin system exists and because the devs want to promote that system of theirs.

Party banter exists, it just doesn't trigger often enough, and this is annoying. However that isn't something that is somehow compromised by the Origin character system.
Narration issues - like particular characters' scenes playing out of order, or not triggering at all? Again that is more likely to be an Early Access game issue, where things are still getting ironed out, not related to the Origin system.


Originally Posted by Try2Handing
In DOS2, my constant question for my non-origin character is, "What if I didn't exist?" As a non-origin character all you do is helping the origin characters beat up the bad guys along the way. You can be replaced by any hired mercenary and the story of the origin characters will unfold the same way.

I removed your examples about BG1, DA:O, DA2 and DA:I for the sake of brevity of quotes, not out of disrespect. I hear what you're saying, I did play and enjoy all those games (well except BG1). However, I didn't enjoy them JUST BECAUSE they made me feel special, I enjoyed them for the overall story and the companions. Though these are all single player games, I don't actually care if my character feels special or not, I care about how the story as a whole unfolds - like enjoying a good book but through a different medium. Let's take "Lord of the Rings" as an example of a good fantasy book, just for the sake of argument, and let's say LOTR is basically the story of a party of 9. The question Larian is asking with the Origin system is, what if you approached a story from the viewpoint of each different character? Let's pretend LOTR is our game - we know the story is mostly about Frodo because as the Ringbearer he is special, but what if you saw and experienced the story from the perspective of Aragorn, or Legolas, or Gimli, etc? Now let's pretend we're not playing a single player game where your character is The Chosen One - but we're playing a game of DnD, guided through a story by a GM. We all have our own characters, but why should only one of us at the table get to feel special? IMHO, to capture that DnD experience, the companions represent the other players - and to go through this particular story, you can experience the story as your own character or as one of them. And I enjoy this aspect of BG3!

On this forum and on this particular topic I may be in the minority, but I still feel the origin system ADDS to the game, not detracts from it.

Though I do think the game needs to be played from the point of view of your own character first, before seeing it from the other characters' perspectives and playing as one of them.

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Originally Posted by 1varangian
Originally Posted by Abits
Originally Posted by 1varangian
Originally Posted by Abits
If the your argument is "more companions are better because the writing of the ones we got sucks" I disagree. Adding more bland and devoid of character companions will not solve the issue. And you do have the mercenaries system if that is what you're after
Cutting down VO's by 50% is not the same thing as bland and devoid of character. I haven't read anyone requesting "bland" companions.
Oh so you're saying give up voice acting..
It's wasted on characters you don't like anyway since you will never hear 99% of it.
I don't think it will ever happen though.


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Originally Posted by 1varangian
Cutting down VO's by 50% is not the same thing as bland and devoid of character. I haven't read anyone requesting "bland" companions.
Oh so you're saying give up voice acting..[/quote]
It's wasted on characters you don't like anyway since you will never hear 99% of it.[/quote]
VO is pricey sure, but I am not sure if it would equal writing, art, design, programming, cinematic team QA (and more?) required to add more characters in.

And with BG3 focus on cinematics partial VO is not an option.

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Originally Posted by Alexandrite
Originally Posted by Try2Handing
Originally Posted by Alexandrite
You are saying you don't want to use Origin characters that are pre-written and pre-integrated into the story - but you don't like NOT having a pre-written pre-integrated character? So, which is it?
That's still not it, Alexandrite. What people are saying is that, they don't like how other things are getting compromised (bland non-origin character, non-existent party banter, narration issues) because the origin system exists and because the devs want to promote that system of theirs.

Party banter exists, it just doesn't trigger often enough, and this is annoying. However that isn't something that is somehow compromised by the Origin character system.
Narration issues - like particular characters' scenes playing out of order, or not triggering at all? Again that is more likely to be an Early Access game issue, where things are still getting ironed out, not related to the Origin system.


Originally Posted by Try2Handing
In DOS2, my constant question for my non-origin character is, "What if I didn't exist?" As a non-origin character all you do is helping the origin characters beat up the bad guys along the way. You can be replaced by any hired mercenary and the story of the origin characters will unfold the same way.

I removed your examples about BG1, DA:O, DA2 and DA:I for the sake of brevity of quotes, not out of disrespect. I hear what you're saying, I did play and enjoy all those games (well except BG1). However, I didn't enjoy them JUST BECAUSE they made me feel special, I enjoyed them for the overall story and the companions. Though these are all single player games, I don't actually care if my character feels special or not, I care about how the story as a whole unfolds - like enjoying a good book but through a different medium. Let's take "Lord of the Rings" as an example of a good fantasy book, just for the sake of argument, and let's say LOTR is basically the story of a party of 9. The question Larian is asking with the Origin system is, what if you approached a story from the viewpoint of each different character? Let's pretend LOTR is our game - we know the story is mostly about Frodo because as the Ringbearer he is special, but what if you saw and experienced the story from the perspective of Aragorn, or Legolas, or Gimli, etc? Now let's pretend we're not playing a single player game where your character is The Chosen One - but we're playing a game of DnD, guided through a story by a GM. We all have our own characters, but why should only one of us at the table get to feel special? IMHO, to capture that DnD experience, the companions represent the other players - and to go through this particular story, you can experience the story as your own character or as one of them. And I enjoy this aspect of BG3!

On this forum and on this particular topic I may be in the minority, but I still feel the origin system ADDS to the game, not detracts from it.

Though I do think the game needs to be played from the point of view of your own character first, before seeing it from the other characters' perspectives and playing as one of them.

You make a lot of good points here. I personally feel though that the story doesn't quite commit enough to the vibe you're describing, which is a vibe that I think would be cool and fun to experience. It's not because of the Origin system itself, but the way things have been written. I think that if the game really wanted to go hard on the feeling of being a party of equals, then it should have gone deeper into the party dynamics to make it feel like the companions really had some kind of bond or interaction going for them. The party banter which exists isn't enough to provide that in my opinion. There should be interactions between everyone in the party. I can't bring to mind a meaningful interaction between Gale and Lae'zel for instance, or Wyll and Astarion.

Furthermore as I said earlier in this thread, the story doesn't feel like it's truly about an ensemble of equals. It feels like you're still meant to be playing a special, central character. It just doesn't give a reason why your character is central beyond the fact that you're the one playing it. I also agree that a game doesn't need to make your character feel special if the story doesn't need that specialness, but I think part of origin characters issue is that they all feel special and have stuff going on while our custom character doesn't. Even if our custom character is going to have opportunities for unique interactions relating to their backstory, I think it was a mistake for those not to show up until after act 1. Halfway through act 1 and we've at least gotten a taste if not a pretty clear understanding of what's going on with all our companions, but our custom character is still just a shell we have to fill mentally, without any opportunity to make the game acknowledge that. I can get behind blank slate characters, but I think part of the problem people are having in this game is that without any way to directly express our backstories, there's always a tension around whether the game will at some point make us contradict the backstory we've created for ourselves.

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Originally Posted by Alexandrite
Now let's pretend we're not playing a single player game where your character is The Chosen One - but we're playing a game of DnD, guided through a story by a GM. We all have our own characters, but why should only one of us at the table get to feel special? IMHO, to capture that DnD experience, the companions represent the other players - and to go through this particular story, you can experience the story as your own character or as one of them.

“I want better content for custom characters and companions to be better at being companions” = The Chosen One narrative.

Those are not the same things ad aren’t directly related. Bioware’s solution to adapting team based was creating Hero’s Journey for our PC.

That hasn’t changed in D:OS1&2 or BG3 - it is still Hero’s Journey and Chosen One story, try just added Highlander on top of that - can’t say for sure it will develop same way for BG3 but it sure looks like that.

Here are the problems that I see:
1) Playable Character, be it customisable or predetermined, is still written, designed and characterised by developers.

No matter how much “freedom” players are given, that freedom is always finite, especially in dialogues which are hand made and not systemic. We can judge a “good RPG” protagonists from different angles - how well they hook players to the story, how wide range of expressions do they support, do they support various player playstyles. BG1&2, PoE1&2, Fallout1&2 New Vegas - all those protagonist were written and to some extend defined - some allow for wider choice then others, and offer finer reactivity to choices picked by the player, but there has been writers and designers hand behind those characters developing well. We might get to decide to be compassionate, selfish, cruel and more, but it is writers skill that makes those characters come to life and become memorable.

Then we have pre-determined characters - Shepard, Geralt. They allow for tighter and more focused story, and require completely different kind of writing. They need to communicate their personality and objectives to the player and be likeable, relatable enough to get players on board.

The point is: a good custom character and good pre-made character requires completely different approach.

BG3, just like D:OS2, risk of being pretty shit in both regards - majority of content written for playable characters will be reused by both customs and all of the origins. It doesn’t serve to characterise our PC based on our preferences, nor does it convey personality o pre-made characters. By all accounts Larian’s writing is dry - and it has to be.

2) Similarly, needs of a playable character and companions are similarly different. Good quests for the player are different from good companion quests.

You can have a wide range of narratives - having companions be our equals, or even more powerful (like NPCs in Gothics) is cool! But that idea is not well done in BG3. I do think that the fact that their entire shtick is up before you start the game does hurt them. I can imagine universe in which Astarion would be a compelling companion - but his characterisation is as deep as startup screen “he is evil, vampires spawn with revenge”. As a playable character it is a jump of point for you to fill using bland dialogue choices aimed to provide utility and as little definition as possible. Will his writing as a companion manage to add some depth? So much it doesn’t seem so. No layers to peel, no discoveries to make. Just extra moments reminding you of his elevator pitch. Frankly, that’s BG1 quality of character depth, and introductory quest and custom barks would achieve more or less the same.

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Originally Posted by Alexandrite
Party banter exists, it just doesn't trigger often enough, and this is annoying. However that isn't something that is somehow compromised by the Origin character system.
Narration issues - like particular characters' scenes playing out of order, or not triggering at all? Again that is more likely to be an Early Access game issue, where things are still getting ironed out, not related to the Origin system.

I was talking about what it was like in DOS2. I don't know anything about BG3 because I haven't, and don't intend to, play BG3 EA. I was just trying to say that people have reason to be skeptical about, and dislike, the origin thing, as from what they've said, so far BG3 EA hasn't exactly proven them wrong.

Originally Posted by Alexandrite
Let's take "Lord of the Rings" as an example of a good fantasy book, just for the sake of argument, and let's say LOTR is basically the story of a party of 9. The question Larian is asking with the Origin system is, what if you approached a story from the viewpoint of each different character? Let's pretend LOTR is our game - we know the story is mostly about Frodo because as the Ringbearer he is special, but what if you saw and experienced the story from the perspective of Aragorn, or Legolas, or Gimli, etc?
Now that would actually be really, really nice. But alas, it's only nice when you get to have a distinct journey for each character - each character goes to different places, talks to different people, perform different quests, has different gameplay mechanics. They see different things, think different things, and feel different things. And at various points in the whole game/movie, the stories of these characters intertwine. Everything that each character does and experiences is part of a big picture. At some point these characters may meet and perform some big tasks together, then go their separate way again. This reminds me of the movie Trick 'r Treat which tells 5 different stories of 5 characters but they all happen in the same neighborhood during Halloween night. The movie turned out to be much more enjoyable than I expected.

Even if this is what Larian's origin system has been trying to capture, I don't feel it has quite pulled that off. If the whole movie is about two people traveling together, fighting bad guys together, until the end, then it makes little difference whether you play as guy #1 or guy #2.

Going with your LOTR example, now let's say we get to play through the portion where Sam and Frodo travel together. Would I be excited that I can play this portion as either Sam or Frodo? Maybe, if there is enough gameplay difference between Sam and Frodo. You see, since they travel together, most - if not all - of the things that they experience, are the same. The game has to somehow make my experience as Frodo different from Sam, whether in a psychological aspect or in a gameplay aspect.

In fact, there is this game called The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (2003), in which you do get to play as the various members of the Fellowship, progressing through different locations and quests, having different abilities, facing different enemies and challenges. The plot corresponds to what you see in the movies. I remember it was pretty hard, but I enjoyed it a lot. Man, I WISH it were like that with the origin system; it would be amazing. But I know this is too much to hope for because it would be like making several video games and bundling them together into one.

Last edited by Try2Handing; 22/08/21 02:03 PM.

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