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#782540 23/07/21 04:45 PM
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I have seen some discourse concerning the potential of the party being locked after Act 1, that every other companion will be locked out of the game and you have to commit to your party...

Dont

Simply that

Dont

It is not as clever as you think it is Larian, it is not as "true to life" as you would want it to be

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), going there seperate ways makes no sense because the only other people any of our characters can trust is each other. 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.

I hear Yall did this in Divinity Original Sin 2... all the more reason to not do it again. If you just repeat your old tricks, you are going to become a one-trick pony.

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.

Also it doesnt mesh at all with the multiplayer in this game.

Also different party comps would be used for different situations (Stealthy characters on stealth missions, muscle on muscle missions, intellectuals on intellectual missions)

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.

Locking out party members after act 1 worked in divinity original sin 2... do not do that here, it will not work.

Last edited by urktheturtle; 23/07/21 06:09 PM.
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Yeah, I played D:OS2 and they did indeed lock you in. I only played with one companion, didn't like the rest of them much anyway so I didn't really care. I wouldn't be thrilled about it here but I could deal with it to be honest.

You do raise some good points though and I think many will be upset if they did that in this game, and if Minsc is an option he'd pretty much be a character I'd never be able to leave behind either haha! I guess if Larian really wants to, it is possible they could die in such a way they can't be brought back with resurrection, or maybe even be converted to the enemy as rivals. Rivals could be kind of interesting at least though?

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Originally Posted by Silent_Clang
Yeah, I played D:OS2 and they did indeed lock you in. I only played with one companion, didn't like the rest of them much anyway so I didn't really care. I wouldn't be thrilled about it here but I could deal with it to be honest.

You do raise some good points though and I think many will be upset if they did that in this game, and if Minsc is an option he'd pretty much be a character I'd never be able to leave behind either haha! I guess if Larian really wants to, it is possible they could die in such a way they can't be brought back with resurrection, or maybe even be converted to the enemy as rivals. Rivals could be kind of interesting at least though?

If I had to pick a compromise, it would be "the party member with the lowest approval of you becomes a mind flayer, leaves, or dies"

Something like that, I think we could all deal with losing one companion... but not being locked into just three.

And there is a problem with the Minsc task, and given Shadowhearts weird box, and Lae'zels complete integration into the story... it just... they might have a bit of a tax to.

I honestly think it might take far more effort for Larian to write a plausible story with all the possibl permutations of three companions, than it would be for them to just keep all the companions.

for gods sake, they have to account for the fact that Gale has a nuke in his chest that can take out a small continent... if he dies, then a continent dies with him.

The Gale Tax is unavoidable.

Every "good" party would probably have to be Shadowheart, Minsc, and Gale in order for there to be anything resembling a happy ending.

Last edited by urktheturtle; 23/07/21 07:13 PM.
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The comments about this decision ranges from "I don't really mind it" to "no way this is stupid as shit".

I honestly don't know what are Larian motives for this decision. While it might have worked for DOS2 because of the competitive nature of the game (the idea that all the main characters are competing each other on a cosmic level) and had the potential to be really great, Larian seriously massed that up. So even if the attempt was a big failure, at least there was a great idea there. Or so I thought.

But it seems like Larian has different motives for this idea of commitment to a party, because they do again for Baldur's Gate. Weather they can find a compelling narrative reason for it remains to be seen, but at least it's clear now that they are doing it because of design philosophy, not because the narrative demands it. And it's very bad news for the story and characters.

It means they are forcing their writers to find ways to make all possible companions unavailable for no good reason other than this vague "commitment" concept.

To be honest this one really pisses me off

Last edited by Abits; 23/07/21 07:37 PM.

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Originally Posted by Abits
The comments about this decision ranges from "I don't really mind it" to "no way this is stupid as shit".

I honestly don't know what are Larian motives for this decision. While it might have worked for DOS2 because of the competitive nature of the game (the idea that all the main characters are competing each other on a cosmic level) and had the potential to be really great, Larian seriously massed that up. So even if the attempt was a big failure, at least there was a great idea there. Or so I thought.

But it seems like Larian has different motives for this idea of commitment to a party, because they do again for Baldur's Gate. Weather they can find a compelling narrative reason for it remains to be seen, but at least it's clear now that they are doing it because of design philosophy, not because the narrative demands it. And it's very bad news for the story and characters.

It means they are forcing their writers to find ways to make all possible companions unavailable for no good reason other than this vague "commitment" concept.

To be honest this one really pisses me off

Repeating something they did from DO2 is not "design philosophy" its them turning themselves into a one-trick pony. Worst case scenario they felt they did the idea wrong in Do2, and felt the poor response was due to mishandling and are saying to themselves "we will do it right this time"

Instead of coming to the more obvious conclusion "this is a thing most games dont do... for a good reason"

And in this game, a game about a group of disparate people who are from vastly different backgrounds and existences, who under different circumstances would NEVER be friends... having to come together, and learn to work together to solve the same problem and situation they ave all been thrust into... is extremely undermined if the party is broken up for any reason.

Breaking the party up after Act 1, and forcing the player to commit to one party... is not mechanically advisable, it is not narratively advisable, it is not good for the image of there company... it is a bad idea.

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I'm more concerned about how locking in one party could be a problem mechanics-wise. To me it just feels like there are too many roles which need filling for four people to handle well. That's tricky enough in EA when you can swap people out in camp, but if you've got just four and that's it, that's a lot of hats to wear, especially since it's not clear how much control you can have over an Origin's background proficiencies. Multi-classing has issues because it slows progress in class advancement.

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Originally Posted by urktheturtle
Originally Posted by Silent_Clang
Yeah, I played D:OS2 and they did indeed lock you in. I only played with one companion, didn't like the rest of them much anyway so I didn't really care. I wouldn't be thrilled about it here but I could deal with it to be honest.

You do raise some good points though and I think many will be upset if they did that in this game, and if Minsc is an option he'd pretty much be a character I'd never be able to leave behind either haha! I guess if Larian really wants to, it is possible they could die in such a way they can't be brought back with resurrection, or maybe even be converted to the enemy as rivals. Rivals could be kind of interesting at least though?

If I had to pick a compromise, it would be "the party member with the lowest approval of you becomes a mind flayer, leaves, or dies"

Something like that, I think we could all deal with losing one companion... but not being locked into just three.

And there is a problem with the Minsc task, and given Shadowhearts weird box, and Lae'zels complete integration into the story... it just... they might have a bit of a tax to.

I honestly think it might take far more effort for Larian to write a plausible story with all the possibl permutations of three companions, than it would be for them to just keep all the companions.

for gods sake, they have to account for the fact that Gale has a nuke in his chest that can take out a small continent... if he dies, then a continent dies with him.

The Gale Tax is unavoidable.

Every "good" party would probably have to be Shadowheart, Minsc, and Gale in order for there to be anything resembling a happy ending.

Well, possibly, but we don't know their full stories yet do we? I do think the way Gale is written currently is a bit of an issue. I'd like the option to not feel forced to deal with him to be good and get a "good" ending, or risk a massive explosion the size of a big city. Shadowheart is not really needed as far as I know, just her artifact. We can get it for ourselves from her corpse if she dies. I fought her for it in the goblin camp when she approached me with it.

As for the rest I'm not so sure they are that important to the main story yet. I hope not as I really think as possible companions they should be written in a way that they at least can die permanently, or leave, without major plot holes at least. In my opinion massive plot armors for all is not the way to go.

Anyway, just speculating. Ideally, I'd prefer to keep them all if I want or let them die if I want. Having just 3 options after Act 1 would be really lame, unless they added non-origin companions after Act 1. Would be cool but doubtful.

Still, their stories are works in progress I guess, so they can do whatever they want with them to fit the narrative they want I suppose. So for now we can only wait and see.

Last edited by Silent_Clang; 23/07/21 08:06 PM.
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The most support I have seen in favor of party locking is "I would be okay with it" which is a far cry away from an endorsement of the concept.

Last edited by urktheturtle; 23/07/21 08:10 PM.
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Originally Posted by Silent_Clang
Having just 3 options after Act 1 would be really lame, unless they added non-origin companions after Act 1. Would be cool but doubtful.
Being able to recruit non-origin companions after Act 1 is the only way that killing off all but 3 origin companions could work at all. Especially since the current origin companions are some of the more essential D&D classes (rogue for lockpicking, cleric for healing/buffing, wizard for spell versatility).

If we can recruit a non-origin companion for every class after Act 1 (mercenaries don't count), then I'll grudgingly accept Act 1 party locking. But I'm highly doubtful that Larian will add 12 non-origin companions...

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Originally Posted by mrfuji3
Originally Posted by Silent_Clang
Having just 3 options after Act 1 would be really lame, unless they added non-origin companions after Act 1. Would be cool but doubtful.
Being able to recruit non-origin companions after Act 1 is the only way that killing off all but 3 origin companions could work at all. Especially since the current origin companions are some of the more essential D&D classes (rogue for lockpicking, cleric for healing/buffing, wizard for spell versatility).

If we can recruit a non-origin companion for every class after Act 1 (mercenaries don't count), then I'll grudgingly accept Act 1 party locking. But I'm highly doubtful that Larian will add 12 non-origin companions...

The only companion I could even concieve of getting after act 1, would be using Awaken on Scratch? I guess?

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It's a dog shit design decision if they decide to implement it.

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Originally Posted by Etruscan
It's a dog shit design decision if they decide to implement it.

hell yeah it is!

Last edited by urktheturtle; 23/07/21 09:11 PM.
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I did have a concept for a game that companion locking would work on, but it's a very different structure basically:

Act 1 - there's a collection of quests and side-quests available which leads toward building your party... but quests don't really hang around and just wait for you to take them...

So, off quest A, B, C, and D take quest A and leave area to head to do that quest do it then return to hub and now there's quests C-2, E, F, and G to take. By end of Act 1 you're pulled into a longer-scale quest that's basically you and the companions you already recruited (maybe enough to cycle some out for different side-quests) that goes to Act 2 which leads to Act 3.

Then on replay you can choose an option to set it in same time-line as prior games and run a different set of quests dealing with other problems and maybe encountering tale of your older party now and again.

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Originally Posted by urktheturtle
Repeating something they did from DO2 is not "design philosophy" its them turning themselves into a one-trick pony. Worst case scenario they felt they did the idea wrong in Do2, and felt the poor response was due to mishandling and are saying to themselves "we will do it right this time"

Instead of coming to the more obvious conclusion "this is a thing most games dont do... for a good reason"

And in this game, a game about a group of disparate people who are from vastly different backgrounds and existences, who under different circumstances would NEVER be friends... having to come together, and learn to work together to solve the same problem and situation they ave all been thrust into... is extremely undermined if the party is broken up for any reason.

Breaking the party up after Act 1, and forcing the player to commit to one party... is not mechanically advisable, it is not narratively advisable, it is not good for the image of there company... it is a bad idea.
You can argue terminology all day long. The point is that the reason they are doing it has nothing to do with the story they want to tell.

I think it's a shity choice as well. What I tried to add to this discussion is the fact that I still don't understand their reasoning. If they were to give a better explanation other than the "you have to commit" bullshit I might have considered their view, but since they haven't, I'm on your side.

Originally Posted by Thrythlind
I did have a concept for a game that companion locking would work on, but it's a very different structure basically:

Act 1 - there's a collection of quests and side-quests available which leads toward building your party... but quests don't really hang around and just wait for you to take them...

So, off quest A, B, C, and D take quest A and leave area to head to do that quest do it then return to hub and now there's quests C-2, E, F, and G to take. By end of Act 1 you're pulled into a longer-scale quest that's basically you and the companions you already recruited (maybe enough to cycle some out for different side-quests) that goes to Act 2 which leads to Act 3.

Then on replay you can choose an option to set it in same time-line as prior games and run a different set of quests dealing with other problems and maybe encountering tale of your older party now and again.

I'm sure you can do it with good writers, the question is why do it? Is it important to the story you wish to tell or is it just something some higher up in the company decided and the writers have to follow in line?

It's a question of the chicken and the egg. If you do it because this is how you envisioned your story it could work and work well. But if you do it only because of some arbitrary bullshit decision and you build your story around it, the chances of the story working are getting very low.

Last edited by Abits; 23/07/21 09:47 PM.

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Originally Posted by Abits
I think it's a shity choice as well. What I tried to add to this discussion is the fact that I still don't understand their reasoning. If they were to give a better explanation other than the "you have to commit" bullshit I might have considered their view, but since they haven't, I'm on your side.

Sorry if I derailed your point a bit with my response, but you have a really good point... honestly, I cannot think of a single reason why they would do this, beyond "its edgy and cool" and they think they are being edgy and contrary, which is NEVER a good reason to make a story telling decision.

(look how that blew up in Game of Thrones face in the long run)

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The only thing I can think of is perhaps saving time and resources, but if you think about it for more than a minute you realize it doesn't change anything in the amount of work they have to do.

Because even if they lock us out of some content by removing certain characters from one playthrough, the fact we can choose our three out of all the companions means they have to account for any choice anyway and it's still the same amount of work. So I really have no idea what the hell are they thinking


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Originally Posted by Abits
I'm sure you can do it with good writers, the question is why do it? Is it important to the story you wish to tell or is it just something some higher up in the company decided and the writers have to follow in line?

It's a question of the chicken and the egg. If you do it because this is how you envisioned your story it could work and work well. But if you do it only because of some arbitrary bullshit decision and you build your story around it, the chances of the story working are getting very low.

In my case, the motivation is replayability in a way that the same game produces extremely different story arcs. I'd also have some story arcs available to some backgrounds that wouldn't be available to others.

Basically: I want to tell the story of this particular party.

Vs: I want to tell this particular story with this party.


Both valid and fun options, neither superior. Just different.

In this game.... it doesn't feel like it really adds to the story. I've heard rumors they're aiming at a shocker of some of your potential companions getting turned into mind flayers... but I suspect the shock will be outweighed by the frustration.

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Originally Posted by Thrythlind
In my case, the motivation is replayability in a way that the same game produces extremely different story arcs. I'd also have some story arcs available to some backgrounds that wouldn't be available to others.

Basically: I want to tell the story of this particular party.

Vs: I want to tell this particular story with this party.


Both valid and fun options, neither superior. Just different.
I talked about it before when this discussion came up, but what Larian are doing is also a way to increase replay value. A shitty cheap and lame way to do it, but still a way.


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Originally Posted by Abits
Originally Posted by Thrythlind
In my case, the motivation is replayability in a way that the same game produces extremely different story arcs. I'd also have some story arcs available to some backgrounds that wouldn't be available to others.

Basically: I want to tell the story of this particular party.

Vs: I want to tell this particular story with this party.


Both valid and fun options, neither superior. Just different.
I talked about it before when this discussion came up, but what Larian are doing is also a way to increase replay value. A shitty cheap and lame way to do it, but still a way.

Yeah, as I said, I don't see much value in it here. You're not changing the core story really... you're altering some minor side-line issues at best.

Like the concept I had was more based on locking out certain questlines based on choices and some companions appearing in the locked out questlines. Much bigger difference when your Act 1, 2, and 3 on replays deal with entirely different circumstances.

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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.

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