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Originally Posted by robertthebard
Originally Posted by Nyelin
Originally Posted by robertthebard
Originally Posted by Nyelin


I tend to disagree, and I do think there is a problem with the writing. I for one didn't follow the marketing, and, believe it or not, I didn't know Astarion was a Vampire. Or whatever was up with Wyll or Shadowheart. That aside, let's focus for a moment on Astarion. So you find him, and maybe after some sort of misunderstanding you agree that it is better to work together. We both have a bloody tadpole crawling around in our head, and we both agree that we need to remove it, and that our best chance is to work together. Fair enough up to that point.
So what does he do? He sneaks up on you one night and tries to drain your blood. No matter what he says afterwards, he has proven that he is entirely untrustworthy. Given the situation I'm in, I'd kick him from the group. I have enough problems as it is, I don't need a Vampire in my group that I cannot trust (okey, that seems to be redundant).
As for the others, Wyll and Gale are completely overdone. Their backstories do not link up with what they actually can deliver. Shadowheart and Lae'zel are better in that regard, but swing between arrogance and rudeness. I don't expect them to be particularly nice to me, but given the situatuion, and the fact that we apparently agree that we are better off as a group, I expect something more civil.
So I do have a problem with the writing. So far it seems to me that Larian was trying to outdo what they had delivered in DOS and DOS 2, but they overshot the target.


You can actually kick him from the group.


Yep, i know. I kicked him in one playthrough because I had a shit day. The point is really that I keep him in the group for metagaming reasons: I want to see how this plays out.

Nothing wrong with that. I could come up with a ton of RP reasons to keep him, even if I don't trust him. Resource management, for one, if he's a better lockpicker than I am. I also don't have any reason to really trust him on some of the characters I may play. Just one example would be "we must find a way to control it" instead of going straight to "get this thing out of my head". For those characters, there is an option to reject him outright, on the spot, I believe? That said, some of my characters will, undoubtedly, be right there with him on learning to control it, and use it for my own ends.

However, not liking a character doesn't have to equate to bad writing. In fact, not liking a character can come down to good writing. I don't know enough about any of the companions to say for sure, at this point in the game. My prime example for this will always be Alistair in Dragon Age. I despise him as a person. I really do. However, I love the fact that David Gaider could write him in such a way that he garners that vitriol from me. It is, however, entirely possible to play about 3/4 of the game before you get to where he showed his true colors to me, on the way in to Redcliffe. The point being, that there may well be redeeming qualities in any or all of these companions, and we'll never know if we just let first impressions rule whether we keep them or not. I really think there should be a dialog about Astarion with the rest of the party to the effect of "we can't trust him, because vampire, but we need him if we're going to get rid of these tadpoles", or, something completely opposite of that if we're going to remove him. It's not a "hey, you have to like x" thing either. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's more of a "we really don't know much about any of them, and we're not in a position where we're going to learn much in what we have" thing, and as with my position on the setting's feel, we're deliberately placed in such a way as to not spoil a lot of what's to come. It may well come to pass that some of them are irredeemable, and I sincerely hope that this is the case. "Bringing everyone to the light" is way too tropey to keep happening all the time, and it would be a refreshing change of pace, sort of like Morrigan.


Speaking of DAO, I found Alistair somewhere between mildy amusing and mildly annoying. But I couldn't stand Zevran. I think I had him in two playthroughs, but in all my others I immediately killed him off. And I never thought he was badly written.

It's not that I dislike the companions. Wyll is for me an example of a likeable character gone sour. I'n going to borrow something from Mass Effect 2, which is another poster child of good companion writing to illustrate what I mean. One of the more glaring examples of an overdone character in ME 2 is Jack. She's presented as a biotic prodigy, a true badass. When you rescue here, in one of the cut scenes she kills a Mech single handidly, which is pretty impressive. When you later talk to her, she tells you of her exploits, which are pretty unbelievable. None of this really translates into her capabilities in your group, so for me Jack is about as mismatched as Wyll from the point of her backstory. Yet Jack I could swallow when I have trouble with Wyll. The major reason is that with Jack, the writers decided to present this matter-of-factly and rather understated. Jack didn't see her exploits as accomplishments, but rather as some shit she has done. The writers of Wyll went with an outgoing, extrovert personality. So Wyll is constantly in your face about how great he is, when he really isn't. That's really the thing that makes Jack work for me, but not Wyll, even though in both cases I consider their backstories to be similarly overdone.
Gale's backstory on the oher hand is beyond the pale. I lke Gale, even though he wants my best magic items, and I actually find the backstory as such really entertaining. It just doesn't work for me in the context of the game and the group.

I do agree that you may always find redeeming qualities in your companions later on. But If I look at Astarion, it's not that I distrust him because he's a Vampire, except for the general distrust you have for the members of that specific undead family. If another companion had tried to backstab, or let's say rape, you when you are not looking, would you be that forgiving? Because that is what his action amounts to. That's why I would always distrust him, not because he's a Vampire.

There are a couple of other points, but those are the things why I find the writing underwhelming so far.

Last edited by Nyelin; 21/10/20 03:14 PM.
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The first lines of dialogue from that Fighter woman immediately made me wonder why there is no "Attack her" option in that first dialogue. Very poorly chosen first lines. I don't like her one bit.

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Originally Posted by Alrik
The first lines of dialogue from that Fighter woman immediately made me wonder why there is no "Attack her" option in that first dialogue. Very poorly chosen first lines. I don't like her one bit.

If you mean Lae'Zel, the githyanki, then yes. You are not meant to like her, nor are you really meant to like any of the Companions. They are a collection of weirdos (too weird for my tastes, but hey) who would normally fight each other or ignore each at best. That is deliberate. Larian have stated that the only reason the party is working together is because you have a similar problem to solve and it is easier to solve that problem by working together.

You are unlikely allies at best.

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Do you have to bother with companions if your are in a 4 player MP game?

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Originally Posted by Nyelin
[quote=robertthebard]

Speaking of DAO, I found Alistair somewhere between mildy amusing and mildly annoying. But I couldn't stand Zevran. I think I had him in two playthroughs, but in all my others I immediately killed him off. And I never thought he was badly written.

It's not that I dislike the companions. Wyll is for me an example of a likeable character gone sour. I'n going to borrow something from Mass Effect 2, which is another poster child of good companion writing to illustrate what I mean. One of the more glaring examples of an overdone character in ME 2 is Jack. She's presented as a biotic prodigy, a true badass. When you rescue here, in one of the cut scenes she kills a Mech single handidly, which is pretty impressive. When you later talk to her, she tells you of her exploits, which are pretty unbelievable. None of this really translates into her capabilities in your group, so for me Jack is about as mismatched as Wyll from the point of her backstory. Yet Jack I could swallow when I have trouble with Wyll. The major reason is that with Jack, the writers decided to present this matter-of-factly and rather understated. Jack didn't see her exploits as accomplishments, but rather as some shit she has done. The writers of Wyll went with an outgoing, extrovert personality. So Wyll is constantly in your face about how great he is, when he really isn't. That's really the thing that makes Jack work for me, but not Wyll, even though in both cases I consider their backstories to be similarly overdone.
Gale's backstory on the oher hand is beyond the pale. I lke Gale, even though he wants my best magic items, and I actually find the backstory as such really entertaining. It just doesn't work for me in the context of the game and the group.

I do agree that you may always find redeeming qualities in your companions later on. But If I look at Astarion, it's not that I distrust him because he's a Vampire, except for the general distrust you have for the members of that specific undead family. If another companion had tried to backstab, or let's say rape, you when you are not looking, would you be that forgiving? Because that is what his action amounts to. That's why I would always distrust him, not because he's a Vampire.

There are a couple of other points, but those are the things why I find the writing underwhelming so far.

I don't disagree, nor do I blame ya'. My thing with Wyll is that I know people that are exactly like him. Crap, I'm even related to at least one. As I sit here thinking about it, I've come to realize that I know people that are similar to, if not exactly like all of the companions, barring the sleep creep stuff from Astarion, anyway. But in their overall attitudes and mannerisms, I know these people in real life. Ok we have to remove all the magical/mystical whozits too, but the basic archetypes aren't as unrealistic as some seem to believe. It's also the case that I'd rather have people like them around me, where at least I know where I stand, mostly, than people like my neighbor, for example, who's all nice and polite when we're talking, but gets all out of control about me to others, thinking I'll never hear about it.

Ah, Jack, I just recently played her recruitment mission again. Yeah, the way she's presented doesn't really add up to the way she actually plays, mostly. Even that hard baked exterior doesn't match what's inside, once you progress a bit. However, I wouldn't want to go out of my way to make her mad. Shepard might be able to take her out, but that's because Shepard is everything she was presented to be, and more, depending on the player, anyway...

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Originally Posted by grip
Do you have to bother with companions if your are in a 4 player MP game?

Nope. They are optional. They are, in fact, optional in a SP campaign too.

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Originally Posted by Bossk_Hogg
Originally Posted by FrostyFardragon
People generally come to forums to complain about something. The people who are happy with the companions are much less likely to post than people who have an axe to grind.


This. Add in the neckbeard factor because a female character dares to be anything but a doe eyed waifu and, well...

Maybe they can add in some mute companions for those who cant handle anything beyond Tolkeinesque low fantasy dirt farmers. The dwarf from the hag's hut can be your bog standard dwarven fighter. Maybe he can say "it if aint dwarven, its crap" in a scottish accent! Oho! That was funny 40 years ago and certainly still holds up! Add in an elven ranger, a hobbit thief, and an old wizard (really just Gale with a beard) and a passive cute female life cleric. Give Tav an amulet that has the narrator intone "You're a special boy! Not only are you special, but you're the MOST special, and no one else is special!". They can click it whenever they need the validation. Then the grandpa crowd can shut up and get to Denny's for their senior specials.


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This. I feel the original BG series might have overdone it a bit with the MC, so it's actually quite easy to see where these critiques are coming from.

Also to be fair Gale (and probably Wyll too - though I feel Wyll just really needs to believe in stories he tells himself to justify the deal he's made) is sort of Mary Sue.


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Honest to god I don't get it. Even with the EA, contained content we got (and specially because of that), you can perceive growth in Shadowheart, for example (since everyone complains mostly about her cause she ain't no waifu).

If you help the tieflings, she's surprised she found herself caring for them, despite the complaints, if you side with the goblins she's clearly conflicted about the murders, drunkenly talking to you about it. She reads like a conflict of morals from someone who was raised inside a cult and never had to really confront things outside of that, and that shows both growth and potential for more growth as the game goes on.
And yes the romances are def rushed here, if you ignore they might have limited time to bang with a tadpole inside their heads, it's one thing I hope to be fixed.

Being able to see that small growth in EA is reassuring to me in that yes, the writing is nuanced, and I expect it to continue to be so, even if they are not the most companionable companions. Perhaps labelling her as a tsundere will prove more effective in convincing the masses. Point is, females having any depth that's not "cleric swoon *giggles*" is where majority of the complaints I saw seem to be coming from. And this from someone who absolutely detests Wyll and that frog Lae'zel and will not say no to a good himbo given the chance. I haven't been able to stand Wyll in my plays because of his casual arrogance, Lae'zal casual racism and arrogance (Lae compliments your character on their nerve after killing the goblin leaders though, which, hey, another sign of growth). Wyll.. I'd rather eat dwarf belly than have him in my party, honestly, but I see where he has potential and why people might like him as a character.


A dimensional companion you hate is infinitely preferable over blanks of characters that add nothing and just react with claps and praise. But, as with most other posts, this will end up being a battle of opinions.








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Originally Posted by Telephasic
Originally Posted by Rouoko
If I meet them in Baldur's Gate 1 will kill them faster than kobold in Nashkel mine.



Honestly they remind me a lot in some ways of the annoying pushy NPCS added by Beamdog in BGEE.


hmm only one of those i actually liked and kept was korn

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Originally Posted by Ulla G
Honest to god I don't get it. Even with the EA, contained content we got (and specially because of that), you can perceive growth in Shadowheart, for example (since everyone complains mostly about her cause she ain't no waifu).


Being able to see that small growth in EA is reassuring to me in that yes, the writing is nuanced, and I expect it to continue to be so, even if they are not the most companionable companions. Perhaps labelling her as a tsundere will prove more effective in convincing the masses. Point is, females having any depth that's not "cleric swoon *giggles*" is where majority of the complaints I saw seem to be coming from. And this from someone who absolutely detests Wyll and that frog Lae'zel and will not say no to a good himbo given the chance. I haven't been able to stand Wyll in my plays because of his casual arrogance, Lae'zal casual racism and arrogance (Lae compliments your character on their nerve after killing the goblin leaders though, which, hey, another sign of growth). Wyll.. I'd rather eat dwarf belly than have him in my party, honestly, but I see where he has potential and why people might like him as a character.


A dimensional companion you hate is infinitely preferable over blanks of characters that add nothing and just react with claps and praise. But, as with most other posts, this will end up being a battle of opinions.



Barring the fact that its EA and is incomplete, i'd honestly just give people time to warm up to the characters. In BG2 Viconia is one of the top waifus and she straight up insults your character after their first night for not "performing" up to her standards. I'd imagine that put off a lot of people initially before she became "one of the best romances in video game history". I don't want this warm up to take 20 years of course, but I am sure there will be more character development in these guys to make people love them.

I am kind of on the fence about Wyll, too nice is a little questionable for me, and yes as you said he is arrogant. But Lae'Zel I absolutely love and love the chance to trade insults with her.


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Originally Posted by Alrik
The first lines of dialogue from that Fighter woman immediately made me wonder why there is no "Attack her" option in that first dialogue. Very poorly chosen first lines. I don't like her one bit.


- Halt! Be thy friend or foe?
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Originally Posted by Rouoko
Originally Posted by Telephasic
Even though I've mostly pissed off Lae'Zel, Shadowheart, and Asterion, they all wanted to bone me in camp last night. I think that Larian made the "romance" section trivially easy to complete on any run in EA because they wanted us to get "flavor" for the romance.

All of them want kill me. I probably have done something wrong.


Unfortunately, this is the problem of all romances as far as I can see.
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All right mate, your argumentations are too superior for me to confute, you won.
Let's call it a day and depart in peace.

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Originally Posted by Ulla G
Honest to god I don't get it. Even with the EA, contained content we got (and specially because of that), you can perceive growth in Shadowheart, for example (since everyone complains mostly about her cause she ain't no waifu).

If you help the tieflings, she's surprised she found herself caring for them, despite the complaints, if you side with the goblins she's clearly conflicted about the murders, drunkenly talking to you about it. She reads like a conflict of morals from someone who was raised inside a cult and never had to really confront things outside of that, and that shows both growth and potential for more growth as the game goes on.
And yes the romances are def rushed here, if you ignore they might have limited time to bang with a tadpole inside their heads, it's one thing I hope to be fixed.

Being able to see that small growth in EA is reassuring to me in that yes, the writing is nuanced, and I expect it to continue to be so, even if they are not the most companionable companions. Perhaps labelling her as a tsundere will prove more effective in convincing the masses. Point is, females having any depth that's not "cleric swoon *giggles*" is where majority of the complaints I saw seem to be coming from. And this from someone who absolutely detests Wyll and that frog Lae'zel and will not say no to a good himbo given the chance. I haven't been able to stand Wyll in my plays because of his casual arrogance, Lae'zal casual racism and arrogance (Lae compliments your character on their nerve after killing the goblin leaders though, which, hey, another sign of growth). Wyll.. I'd rather eat dwarf belly than have him in my party, honestly, but I see where he has potential and why people might like him as a character.


A dimensional companion you hate is infinitely preferable over blanks of characters that add nothing and just react with claps and praise. But, as with most other posts, this will end up being a battle of opinions.






Cheers!

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Originally Posted by Sharet
All right mate, your argumentations are too superior for me to confute, you won.
Let's call it a day and depart in peace.

(I know who you are responding to, but you might want to mention or quote a fragment in your post so that everyone else knows. Otherwise poor old OneManArmy will think you're picking on him).

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They are all pretty linear attitude wise and they squabble like children, Gale tries to eat all the magic items you find and Astarion is very whiny.. Wyll while pretty normal by the other standards is really quite boring. I honestly don't see what others see good about them.
They are pretty annoying to deal with for hours on end, it tends to make me tune out and ignore them pretty much.

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Originally Posted by DanteYoda
They are all pretty linear attitude wise and they squabble like children, Gale tries to eat all the magic items you find and Astarion is very whiny.. Wyll while pretty normal by the other standards is really quite boring. I honestly don't see what others see good about them.
They are pretty annoying to deal with for hours on end, it tends to make me tune out and ignore them pretty much.

I don't know about anyone else, but what I do like is that they aren't automatically my best friend. They remind me of Morrigan, in a way. Handy to have around, and hard to put up with, if you're not inclined to put up with her. It gets boring, after a while, to have all the party members be extensions of the PC. Some of them could be snarkier, as far as I'm concerned, and it's not like all their interactions with each other are particularly negative, some definitely are, Lae'Zal, and Shadowheart, for example, but Shadowheart and Astarion can almost be civil to each other in party banter. Are they the best companions I've ever had in an RPG? No, I've played Mass Effect and Dragon Age, along with the BG series. They are, however, far from the worst companions I've ever had, and some of those include other players...

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Originally Posted by robertthebard
They are, however, far from the worst companions I've ever had, and some of those include other players...

Ah well, now there's a whole thread by itself. Possibly a whole forum!

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Originally Posted by Sadurian
Originally Posted by robertthebard
They are, however, far from the worst companions I've ever had, and some of those include other players...

Ah well, now there's a whole thread by itself. Possibly a whole forum!

Indeed, and one wouldn't have to peruse many MMO or other MP type games to find thread after thread, gah!!!!

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Originally Posted by Sadurian
Originally Posted by Sharet
All right mate, your argumentations are too superior for me to confute, you won.
Let's call it a day and depart in peace.

(I know who you are responding to, but you might want to mention or quote a fragment in your post so that everyone else knows. Otherwise poor old OneManArmy will think you're picking on him).


On the top of each post there is the name of who you are replying to, I failed to notice at first but now I take it for granted ^^.
Just love for OneManArmy laugh

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