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I will duplicate the comment from the adjacent thread because it is important here.

5 DIFFERENT Chaotic Evil character in Pathfinder:WOTR

One of them is a generally positive character (compared to the rest of the demon lords) who can become chaotically neutral depending on the player's actions (Nocticula)

One of them hides his identity (Camellia)

Another very ambiguous person who is sympathized with even by good characters in the end (Areelu Vorlesh)

And only Swarm who walks this "classic" chaotic evil where you need to kill everything that moves, and both the goddess and the demon lord try to stop the protagonist.

And the Demon mythic is also a kind of Chaotic Evil, but the "good" chaotic evil. Yes, there are some evil deeds and decisions there. But we have demonic friends, power in the Midnight Islands, and Nocticula who appreciated the loyalty and rewarded them at their true worth, playing this version of evil is the most enjoyable


How many shades of evil are there in BG3? Before Pathfinder, I thought lawful evil was more interesting than chaotic. Ha, no, Necromancer Lich and Regill were boring. The question is writing and in variations.


In BG3, the path of evil is the path of vile goblins who will make you kill a bunch of people, and then try to kill us. Perspectives are a kind of Absolute, which is not even a real goddess, but just an illusion which resembles Lolth.

Minthara and the opportunity to befriend her is the only thing that seduces in an evil way.

If she was not in the game, the option with the help of goblins would have been chosen by a maximum of 1% of the players.
While I believe in Minthara's ability to save the evil passage in SOLO because she's cool, there must be something else interesting there.

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Originally Posted by Dez
Am I the only one who thought that the evil options in Pillars of Eternity looked really tempted and well made?

I for one was really overwhelmed how tempting it was to take "the easy way" to power.
PoEs are the most replay able RPGs for me (perhaps aside from Fallout2), though quite rarely PoEs have what I would consider straight up “good” or “evil” choices.

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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Sory i was going to respond to you, but them i simply forget somehow. :-/

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Maybe the lack of companions pulling for the cult path will change when more are introduced, I just find that odd since these are supposedly the evil companions that we have (or just evilest, since I don't think Gale and Wyll are all that evil, and to my mind, the jury is still out on Shadowheart being all that evil).
I dare to presume that sentence was suppose to continue and say something like "evil companions that we have ... dont encourage us to follow this path."

And i agree, as i said earlier there is lot of pressure on both Tav and Player to follow certain path (help the Tieflings) ... wich also come with zero consequences for us (i think both Lae'zel and Astarion should at least concider leaving us, i mean i would not mind if there would be persuation option to keep them, but they should be pissed off at least ... Lae'zel bcs we are wasting our time instead of pushing for Creche, wich is our only vital option in her eyes ... and Astarion bcs he hates the idea that we would be helping everyone and anyone on our future path).

The problem here is that i cant quite imagine any reasonable NPC that would encourage us. :-/
I mean i can ... but they are either Drow Male, or Goblinoid, or something simmilar ...
Most reasons i usualy use as an argument for following this path and join Goblins works only for main character and when used on NPC, they would imediatly give him "potential traitor" mark on his forehead. laugh

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
As for your comment on character ambitions, my problem there isn't your character thinking you can outplay the cult, it's that what you stand to gain by outplaying them isn't at all clear. It doesn't entirely feel like you get to learn much about them until you're already there in their base doing stuff, and I'm not entirely sure how you could reasonably get there unless you'd already agreed to go find Halsin.
Well, yes ... you do get your informations when you get to the camp.
That a problem?
I mean you were quite oblivious, when you accepted this contract ... only when you enter the camp, and pray around a little you can fully understand how high stakes are here.

And about timeline, it fits to either after you either help Sazza or after you allready agreed to go find Halsin ...

Wich dont seem like and issue to me, since for powerhungry evil traitorous character, such agreement means as much as personal higiene for those Goblins. laugh
After all, this is what being evil is (or rather can be) in my eyes ... see and opourtunity and use it. wink

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Maybe if they tweaked that meeting with the True Soul and his followers from early on so that when you and he meld minds, you get a better sense of the cult, that would make more sense to me. I wouldn't want that mind meld to give you all the information, but having that be when you learn that True souls are respected in the cult, maybe get a vague sense of how far-reaching it is, and where their base is, that would give clearer impetus to go there. As it stands, you don't actually learn much from that encounter beyond the fact that the cult exists in some form.
Well, no, just no ... this asumption is wrong:

Its not explicitly said, that is true ... but once you are marked as "True Soul" the two followers are imediatly concider themself as your subordinate ... therefore you logicaly should presume that True Souls are supperior in this cult.
Also every single goblin starts to grovel, once your reveal your tadpole power to them.
Once you reach the camp, you find out there are 3 more True Souls, and they all are leaders.
Also if you listen to Gut, as she marks the followers, she litteraly tells them that they will not "hear the Absolute, since that would be too much for their weak brain ... only a True Souls are strong enough" or something like that, im only paraphrasing.

I dare to say that all informations you need are there, you just need to read the contexts. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Based on what you see, you don't have much reason to believe the group is meaningfully organized or powerful or a thing you can join.
Except they allready control Selune temple, Blighted Willage, and half of Underdark, they succesfully raided Waukeen's Rest and Tollhouse, and are threatening Druid Grove. O_o
Seems powerfull enough to me. laugh

Especialy if you compare that to group of Tieflings and Druids that for one are trying to rip each other throat out ... and for two are hidint in their home hoping nobody will notice them. laugh

About organisation ...
Im not sure why would you even care, what True Soul comand, they obey ... that is all organisation you need. laugh

And about joining ...
I mean when you speak with Gut, Ragzlin and Minthara, they all presume you joined them allready ... i think this option cannot be clearer. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Basically you don't have much reason to seek them out and try to join them until you're already there, no reason to think that infiltrating and trying to take them over would be an excercise worth your time. It's all well and good to leave room for the player's imagination, but if you leave too much to the player's imagination then it's not going to be a coherent, cohesive story anymore.
Yes, i agree ... and that is what i like about it. smile
Its not like the world is full of signs "Uncle Dror wants YOU to join the Absolute cult." laugh

So you indeed dont seek them out (unless you are metagaming) but once you get there, no matter why ... you can be searching for Halsin, you can be brought there by Sazza, you can just search for the Nightsong (aka entrance to the Underdark for the Nightsong), or you could simply take wrong turn when you were searching for Auntie Ethel, who promised to help you. laugh
Possibilities are endless. smile

Also, speaking about Sazza ...
I believe she were advertising the cult quite well. laugh

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
This also makes your comparison to the lack of guarantee with the Halsin quest weaker, because it's not as though you ever reach a moment where you have to stop and think "do I try and find Halsin or go with the cult?" It's more like "I could try and find Halsin. Also th goblins that took him turn out to be part of a weird cult I don't get any opportunity to learn much about."
Not sure what do you mean ...
But i believe i have seen both cases ... it all depends on how do you play. smile

You can either rush for Halsin and ignore others, or you can just mess around and gather intel first ... you also can totally free Halsin first and find out that he is certainly not willing to help you right now, actualy he is acting quite avoidable to be honest, take it to context with Lae'zel claiming that no druid great talent or healing skills would be able to help you ...
And voila. laugh Yet another reason for you to try this other option is there. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
You make some good points about why some characters would join the cult, but most of your points hinge on the assumption that the cult can actually do something about the tadpoles.
Thanks. smile
Yup it is just assumption, even tho i would say its quite strong one supported by many unspoken but present facts ... but my point is that it should be just assumption, that is one of things i like about this most ... your character should be willing to risk it, when s/he will follow this path ... this isnt and never was ment to be path for people who want to see clear goal before they even start. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
My problem with that assumption is that no one in the cult knows they've got tadpoles.
Yup, that is your advantage. smile
Just as Gale points out. wink

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
So there's no way to know if they can actually control it, if they're being actively used by Mindflayers or the Absolute, or if, like us, their tadpoles have just been postponed somehow and will still transform them eventually.
That is the risk of bussines. smile
As bodybuilders often say: No pain, no gain. laugh

I mean we know they are controling it, since just as we do, they get special powers unrelated to their classes ... i mean, i believe that our characters should be able to figure out that some powers they are using are not standard. smile
So there certainly IS some power for us to take in game.

The risk of them being used by someone, or something ... yes that is certainly there, and its essential part in "outsmart someone in his own game". smile
You need some power character who thinks that s/he is controlling things ... otherwise there is nobody to outsmart. laugh
So i dare to say that our characters should be counting with this option, but concidering it as "acceptable risk" (or be ready to faint away once it become unacceptable risk laugh ).

Last point is little slipery ...
We dont even know if we will transform eventually after all ... i mean everyone presumes it (except Omeluum) but only bcs that is "standard progression" of our curent condition.
And they all admits (except Ethel, she just states she dont want to have any business with us) that our case is allready atypical, so its quite possible that same rules dont aply on us ... sometimes they even admits that they dont allready. smile
That is why my characters use other True Souls as "transformation indicator" ... i mean, they clearly have this tadpole longer than i do ... since i never seen them on the ship, and i dont quite believe that they would be able to create such powerbase in few days. Therefore ... while Ragzlin, Minthara, Gut and Nere are not turning, presuming that our transformation was only delayed, i should be fine. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
I don't really think that it makes sense for most characters to fully disregard the threat of the tadpoles until they have some concrete answers as to what's going on with it.
I dont think they do ...
Its just different approach.

Like having a Tiger if your house ... you can either shoot him, or try to make a friend out of him.
One path is clearly much easier, and certainly safer.
But the other provides potential benefits the first one dont, but it certainly include some risks. smile
(Dont take it litteraly, its just example ...)

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
And the cult very specifically lack those answers.
And i think that is intentional. smile
And certainly hope it will never change, since it would ruin the whole scene. frown

I hate to bring real religion to this topic, but there is some example i think could be used here:
My favourite religion paradox:
Do you know what is the only thing that would completely destroy religion? Proof of Gods existence. smile
It might seem like a nonsence, but hear me out:

Base definition of believe is that you need to have option to doubt. You dont need to doubt actively, but the option needs to be present ... if you cant doubt, you dont believe, you know.
(This concept was greatly used in Constantine)

Therefore if anyone would give you undeniable proof that God never existed ... you can easily refuse it, claiming that they probably forget, or didnt concidered something (you dont even need to specify).
BUT! (And this is a big butt!)
Once that person would give you undeniable proof of existence of God ... you can no longer believe ... and you cant even deny it, since that would be the mentioned paradox. Denying proof of existence of entity in wich existence you believe. smile

(yes im aware that there is multiple religions in the world, but that is irellevant, this example logicaly presume that every person would be offered proof that HIS god is or was real)

---

And the same would happen here.
Once we would have those answers present and undeniable, we would no longer "try to outsmart someone in his own shady game" ... we would instead "follow different clearly marked road to certain goal" and that would be shame. frown

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
We do know that their mark allows access to extra powers, but we don't know why and we get no opportunities to try and figure it out beyond "it's the goddess."
We dont know that even in our own powers. smile
Same story as abowe. laugh

Also i believe we will find out later in game, the question is whether it will not be too late to change your mind.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
What makes it worse for me is that the circumstances of our infiltration make it to where we can't actually ask questions that would give us all this information. There should at least be journals and bits of text we can find that give us more insight.
Nah.
I mean if you want clear path, you have it ... just help Halsin and Tieflings for your own selfish benefits and evilness of your character should be satisfied. laugh

This path is not for "just evil" characters ...
Its more like for "intriguing, treacherous, backstabbing evil characters ... willing to risk everything, for option of their personal gain". smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
The fact that they're in the dark about being tadpoled means that it's even more likely they're being manipulated by some mysterious entity you know nothing about. If they did know they were tadpoled then that at least puts them in a position of potentially having more information than you, thus making them a somewhat reliable source of information. But as it is now, the information they actually have is shrouded behind superstition you have to work to uncover alongside all the other work you need to do.
I disagree here.
They do have more information mo matter how much you potentialy dislike it, the only difference there is that they are not telling your straight if you ask.

Minthara say: "Godess will reward us."
Tav hear: "My tadpole will become stronger."

And that is the cool part. smile
Of course Tav can missinterpreting, im really looking forward to if Larian will have guts to let some of us cross point of no return. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Infiltrating a cult is long term work, probably a project involving months spent ingratiating yourself, figuring out who you can manipulate and how.
Usualy yes.
But since you are concidered True Soul, you are litteraly starting in at least upper middle of food chain here. wink

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Ultimately my issue with the Cult path is that it doesn't feel like a path written in a way that I don't find appealing, as someone who's encountered plenty of evil paths in games which didn't appeal to them, I can understand that. This feels like a badly written path.
Honestly, this is probably what i like most about it.
Not sure if that is bad writing, or brilliant one ... but it feels realistic and right to me that the path isnt actively appealing on us. smile

I mean in real cult they would also not offering themselves to us, we would either play along or being destroyed. laugh

I think we're just looking for different things out of this path. I won't address all your points since a lot of them come down personal preference. I for one find the lack of ability to find any answers at all at this stage to be incredibly frustrating. It feels like the game is going out of its way to keep us from knowing more without any good reason. To me, a character that assumes as much as you say doesn't seem conniving, strategic and inclined towards intruige, they seem reckless and stupid for gambling their lives against an unknown player for an unknown prize. And the whole path feels bad from a writing standpoint. As a story it feels very unsatisfying to experience in a way that I rarely experience in games period. It doesn't feel like the game wants me to rely on context clues and piecing together bits of information. Instead the game makes me feel foolish for wanting answer in the first place. It refuses to give me feedback as a player and expects me to do heavy lifting to compensate for poor writing. It just feels unfinished, lacking connective tissue. As it is now, it feels like it fails as a story and plays into the bigger problem of act one-a lack of real grounding or sense of scope. It suggests a lot of things, but the way it does so doesn't feel like I can put the hints together into something coherent, it just feels like they threw a lot of stuff together without thinking about the final whole. And that's what I was trying to say with my last point. Not that the path is unappealing on purpose, but that it was poorly written and is actually MEANT to be at least somewhat more appealing.

It just feels like there are chunks missing that would make us as the players CARE about the cult. In real life, cults actually DO try and make themselves appealing. They offer themselves as a solution, a temptation that promises something to its members, even if that something is as simple as peace of mind and community, or something like the chance to amass riches and power. The whole first act thus far feels like it's just trying to rush us through and discourage us from caring about the area, promising us things to hook into and be invested in later.

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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
lot of them come down personal preference.
Practicaly all of them, yes. laugh
Im not convincing you, just offering alernative point of view. wink

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
In real life, cults actually DO try and make themselves appealing.
Yup ... bcs we dont have luxury of tadpoles that will work both as killswitch, and brainwashing machine. smile

In real life cults nees to persuate you to join them, since they WANT you to join them ...
I would say that the Absolute is more like Freemasons ... or some different secret society, than actual cult when compared to real world ... their members are in important places and only them know full scale of their plans (or they at least believe they do laugh ) ...
While they have masses of followers, willing to do anything for them to stay on their good side.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
They offer themselves as a solution, a temptation that promises something to its members, even if that something is as simple as peace of mind and community, or something like the chance to amass riches and power.
Like when they lured that Drow Male to society where his gender will no longer mean that he is lesser creature compared to woman?
Or like when they lured those Goblins to the same, by promising them riches and power while they will conquer the world? smile

I dunno, seems pretty appealing to me, we just usualy dont fit their target group. laugh
(from character creation only Drow Male, and maybe Half Drow might be interested in my opinion)


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[quote=RagnarokCzD
Like when they lured that Drow Male to society where his gender will no longer mean that he is lesser creature compared to woman?
Or like when they lured those Goblins to the same, by promising them riches and power while they will conquer the world? smile

I dunno, seems pretty appealing to me, we just usualy dont fit their target group. laugh
(from character creation only Drow Male, and maybe Half Drow might be interested in my opinion)[/quote]

Do they actually make that offer if you play as a Drow male? Because if so then that is exactly the sort of thing that I actually want to have exist in this path. And ARE their members in important places? Again, what information do we get that suggests this cult has meaningful reach outside of this area? (his area that I just realized I don't think has a name) Also your mention of them wanting to conquer the world actually bgrings me back to something you mentioned earlier.

"Except they allready control Selune temple, Blighted Willage, and half of Underdark, they succesfully raided Waukeen's Rest and Tollhouse, and are threatening Druid Grove. O_o
Seems powerfull enough to me."

They control a temple that seemed to have already been abandoned and let them just move in, they don't really control a village, they destroyed it, just like they destroyed an inn and a tollhouse, which seems to just have been a place where this one guy and maybe his family lived, from the impression I got. And I don't think we get a sense of how much of the Underdark they control until we actually get there, I at least didn't find any hints as to what they control. As for the druid grove, that ties into a problem less with the path than with the game at large-no sense of scaling. We don't know how powerful druids are and how easy or difficult it should be for them to be threatened. As someone who isn't familiar with D&D lore, I don't really know how daunting druids would be for the group. As you've pointed out, Halsin their leader got captured by them, so why should we think their ability to threaten the grove is especially noteworthy, even on top of the fact their other resistance is in the form of tired refugees. We don't learn anything about the wider world that would help us put the Cult and their threat into context.

Oh and another problem with the game as a whole that impacts the experience of the dark path; we can't actually talk about our intentions regarding the cult with our companions. We can't ever say that we're joining them with the intent to betray them to any of our companions, we don't even get the option. Which weakens the roleplay value to me since the only differene between genuinely joining and joining to betray them is all in your head. And when the option of "join to backstab" is one of the obvious motivations you could have for joining the cult, the fact that we can't bring this up is an issue. One which ties into the lack of ability to talk about ourselves and our own characters in game, thereby solidifying the character in the world.

Last edited by Gray Ghost; 28/12/21 09:23 AM.
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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
[...]

Oh and another problem with the game as a whole that impacts the experience of the dark path; we can't actually talk about our intentions regarding the cult with our companions. We can't ever say that we're joining them with the intent to betray them to any of our companions, we don't even get the option. Which weakens the roleplay value to me since the only differene between genuinely joining and joining to betray them is all in your head. And when the option of "join to backstab" is one of the obvious motivations you could have for joining the cult, the fact that we can't bring this up is an issue. One which ties into the lack of ability to talk about ourselves and our own characters in game, thereby solidifying the character in the world.

Interesting thing about that – it's actually possible to talk about your plans for the cult... with Volo. At the goblin party, if you rescued Volo, he'll be sitting in a cage (again), and he'll ask you some questions about what you did and why. One of the responses you can give is "I needed the goblins to think I'm on their side", so joining the cult with no intention of converting to their religion is an option Larian considered. That being the case, it's odd that you can have this important conversation about your intentions with a side character you may not even have access to, but not with your teammates, who had to risk their hides and possibly go against their morals just because you said so.

This is a part of the larger problem with how the narrative is presented, but that is another topic entirely.

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Originally Posted by OneManArmy
In BG3, the path of evil is the path of vile goblins who will make you kill a bunch of people, and then try to kill us. Perspectives are a kind of Absolute, which is not even a real goddess, but just an illusion which resembles Lolth.

Minthara and the opportunity to befriend her is the only thing that seduces in an evil way.

If she was not in the game, the option with the help of goblins would have been chosen by a maximum of 1% of the players.
While I believe in Minthara's ability to save the evil passage in SOLO because she's cool, there must be something else interesting there.
In my opinion, goblins are the best thing on the evil path.
Mintara is boring and her snobbish attitude towards everyone, including the player's characters, does not do her credit. Seriously, the only thing that sets her apart from the typical priestess of Lolth from Drizzt's novels is her devotion to the Absolute.
At the same time, goblins are quite amusing and even well designed. It's just fun to have a dialogue with them.
And when ordinary NPCs are more interesting than named characters (And now I'm not just talking about Mintara, all three leaders in the goblin camp are flat and boring), it says a lot about game problems.
So yes, I wish there were more interesting characters on the evil path.


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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Do they actually make that offer if you play as a Drow male?
Nope, its only mentioned by Drow male NPCs.
I believe i have heared it as reason why he joined the cult from the dead Drow on Halsin table, when i was playing Drow female and used my Racial choices.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
And ARE their members in important places? Again, what information do we get that suggests this cult has meaningful reach outside of this area?
Depends ...
Minthara, Ragzlin, Gut and Nere ... all are leaders, if that is what you mean, so its obvious that you will not start as some lowly apprentice.

If you are talking about infiltrating the curent goverment ... we obviously dont know yet, since even datamining content still can be changed. smile
The only clue we have is the Grand Duke ... and that Deep Gnome, he isnt exactly "important person" himself, but the formula to that rumepowder certainly is important enough. laugh

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
They control a temple that seemed to have already been abandoned and let them just move in, they don't really control a village, they destroyed it, just like they destroyed an inn and a tollhouse, which seems to just have been a place where this one guy and maybe his family lived, from the impression I got. And I don't think we get a sense of how much of the Underdark they control until we actually get there, I at least didn't find any hints as to what they control.
You seem to be forgetting those dead Flaming Fist soldiers all over the Waukeen's Rest ...
There certainly was some force to overcome. How big? I dunno. But to say that they just killed family of civilians would be huge understatement. smile

About Underdark ...
Yes, you are totally right you will know scale of their control down there only after you visit it ... but there is nothing stoping you to visit it before you even enter Goblin camp. wink
Larian even counts with that option by implementing conversation with Minthara after Nere send you to her, in case you get to Grimforge first and explore surface after. wink

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
As for the druid grove, that ties into a problem less with the path than with the game at large-no sense of scaling. We don't know how powerful druids are and how easy or difficult it should be for them to be threatened.
Well, we certainly know that once they find the Grove, they will massacre them all.
(even without your help, if you decide to Long Rest)

That gives me quite good image of their power. smile
I mean there is no reason to compare anything to PC, since PC is "allways suppose to win". :-/
But when they fight each other without us, it should tell us something.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
As you've pointed out, Halsin their leader got captured by them
Did i?
Personaly i believe that Halsin was "kept in the cage" just bcs he wanted to. laugh

Especialy since when you dont free him, but tell Minthara where the Grove is ... he will massacre them all and free himself. smile So, they obviously dont even match his power. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
so why should we think their ability to threaten the grove is especially noteworthy, even on top of the fact their other resistance is in the form of tired refugees.
Well, im not saying that they are the most powerfull military force in Faerun ... but the fact is that they control this region fully.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
we can't actually talk about our intentions regarding the cult with our companions. We can't ever say that we're joining them with the intent to betray them to any of our companions, we don't even get the option.
Except Wyll ... if you have him in your party, you can tell him that you are just luring Minthara out so you can set trap on her ...

But yes, i agree there should be some "what are you even doing now?" conversation ... certainly +1!


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You make good points overall but you misunderstood what I was saying about their power compared to the druid grove. What I was saying is that we don't know how impressive their ability to massacre the druid grove actually is because we don't get a good sense of how powerful druids in this setting generally are. We see them being intimidating to a bunch of ragged refugees, but that doesn't give us as players a baseline. I can guess how powerful the average druid is expected to be, but I don't have any good comparisons aside from the already vague fighting power of the cult. So we have one fighting force we lack good context for able to massacre another fighting force we lack good context for. Your point about the flaming fists is a good one though, I'd forgotten about thim. Though it gets even muddier with your point that Halsin could have easily broken free when he wanted to, which makes judging the strength of either group even harder.

Also to your point about them controlling the region fully, it's a region without a lot there. There's a village they destroyed, a tollhouse, a druid grove. It seems like some random backwood of indeterminate size that doesn't have anything of worth to the world beyond. We don't get a sense of scale as to how big this region actually is meant to be, and in general the sense I get is that this region is just a place people go through to get to other, more important places. Sure, they have to start somewhere, and if it was clear that they achieved all this in a really short space of time that could be impressive, but we don't even know how long they've been at this.

This isn't even just a problem with the cult path, but with the game as a whole, it seems allergic to giving you concrete context for the setting as a whole. That sort of thing is fine for a game like darksouls, where ferreting out information is part of the game and not knowing the full context won't generally take away your enjoyment of the game as presented. In a cRPG though, having an investment and understanding of the setting is vital to telling a good story. I'm all for players digging for more lore, but the game still needs to give us the baseline information we need to let us care about the given plot points.

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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
What I was saying is that we don't know how impressive their ability to massacre the druid grove actually is because we don't get a good sense of how powerful druids in this setting generally are.
I understand ...
I simply dont think we need to know that. :-/

Its not like we need to compare all military forces in this world, or sort them all by their power ... if one destroys the other unless we help them, then the one is clearly stronger ... thats all that matters, if we wish to decide sides by their power. laugh
I mean ... there is no differene between 1 < 2 or 1 < 2.000.000 ... if your only job is to figure out wich number is biger. wink

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
We don't get a sense of scale as to how big this region actually is meant to be, and in general the sense I get is that this region is just a place people go through to get to other, more important places.
I disagree ... we at least have idea how big the region is:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

It seems to be aproximately 5-10 times as big as Baldur's Gate.
And if you ask me, while there indeed isnt much in it ... its certainly quite wide. O_o

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
This isn't even just a problem with the cult path, but with the game as a whole, it seems allergic to giving you concrete context for the setting as a whole. That sort of thing is fine for a game like darksouls, where ferreting out information is part of the game and not knowing the full context won't generally take away your enjoyment of the game as presented. In a cRPG though, having an investment and understanding of the setting is vital to telling a good story. I'm all for players digging for more lore, but the game still needs to give us the baseline information we need to let us care about the given plot points.
How many information is enough information? smile
I know, that is once again matter of personal taste ...

I like it as it is, to be quite honest ... i have some info here and there, and i need to put pieces together myself ... just as our character do.
And i simply like it that there is option that i put them together incorectly and ugly surprise is waiting for me somewhere beyond next scene. :3

Last edited by RagnarokCzD; 29/12/21 10:41 AM.

Short coment on my English. smile

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I think we need to know because if we don't know how powerful the druids should be, then we can't adequately judge how much of an acheivement it is that the cult is a threat to them. Yes, the cult is stronger than them, but the cult would also be stronger than a group of hippies. If the game wants us to take the cult's superior strength over the druids as a meaningful indicator, then they should give a clear indication of how daunting a challenge druids typically are in the setting.

I grant you that we do have that map, though we don't actually see it until far into the game, probably well past the point we'd be trying to decide to back the cult or not. And though it's wide, it's not like they're doing anything with it beyond preying on travellers.

As for the question of information, enough information is the amount of information we need to properly understand the stakes and plot points presented in the story. Again, needing to put information together is a good thing in a game, but to me it feels as though we lack ANY information about the wider setting. In particular, we don't know what our character should know. I don't know what average people think of druids, I don't know anything about the gods of the setting, etc. And I'm not even just saying that. I have no idea how druids function in this setting. Should my character know what they are to begin with? Would they have met other druids before? Are druids a thing that people commonly know about? Let me give you an example I used in another forum. The tieflings we meet tell us that their town was pulled into hell. How common an occurence is that? I can obviously assume that it's unusual, but how unusual? Is it incredibly rare to the point of being unheard of? Or if I'm an adventurer, will dealing with hell and devils be something I'll face frequently even though common folk don't?

D&D is getting more mainstream and if you're getting this game then you probably know at least something about the game, but that doesn't excuse the game from giving us as players a baseline understanding of the setting. Like, Gale is from Waterdeep, and we can't ask him about what Waterdeep is like. We also can't actually ask anyone what Baldur's Gate is like. Everything is pointing us there, I can assume that it's a big city that's somewhat important, but that's it. The game isn't doing anything to actually build up Baldur's gate and make me excited to see it.

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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
If the game wants us to take the cult's superior strength over the druids as a meaningful indicator, then they should give a clear indication of how daunting a challenge druids typically are in the setting.
Yes, you said that allready. smile
What i dont quite catch tho, is why do you need to know?

If your character wish to join the stronger site, s/he have exactly same informations:
Druids and Tieflings are fearing Goblins ... Goblins are more than willing to attack Druid and Tieflings ... logicaly Druid and Tieflings seems to be weaker side in this battle.
And this decision does not change if Goblins are twice as strong, or thousand times stronger ...

And if you dont wish to join stronger site ... well, then i dunno why do you care about their strength in the first place. laugh

Sure they can be thousand times stronger against druids IF druids are actualy group of hippies ... and sure they can get their asses kicked once they meet first group with actual military training and gear. laugh
But it seems meaningless to me, in this particular conflict you have only Hippies, eh i mean Druids and Goblins ... why should it matter that in Baldur's Gate Goblin army would be decimated in dozen seconds by Flaming Fist? O_o They are not here. laugh

So the only reason i can find is your own curiocity ... wich i can understand, but dont find it relevant to this topic. smile

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
I grant you that we do have that map, though we don't actually see it until far into the game, probably well past the point we'd be trying to decide to back the cult or not.
Well, actualy ... you can see it way before you will decide ...
When you travel through Goblin gate and went west(?) ... there is mountain pass entrance, the exact place where Minthara send you later. smile

But the important word here is "can", i know ... yet i still see it as good thing, since players decisions (in this case explore surroundings or go straight to the camp) reflects his options.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
And though it's wide, it's not like they're doing anything with it beyond preying on travellers.
The Waukeen's rest was regular raid ... aswell as Tollhouse ... as well as curently planned attack on the Grove ...
I believe its safe to say that they are conquerors.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
As for the question of information, enough information is the amount of information we need to properly understand the stakes and plot points presented in the story.
Yes in general matter certainly.
The problem here is we "require" different amount as first part of this post shows.

It was rethoric question tho. wink

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
I don't know what average people think of druids, I don't know anything about the gods of the setting, etc. And I'm not even just saying that. I have no idea how druids function in this setting. Should my character know what they are to begin with? Would they have met other druids before? Are druids a thing that people commonly know about? Let me give you an example I used in another forum. The tieflings we meet tell us that their town was pulled into hell. How common an occurence is that? I can obviously assume that it's unusual, but how unusual? Is it incredibly rare to the point of being unheard of? Or if I'm an adventurer, will dealing with hell and devils be something I'll face frequently even though common folk don't?
I dont think its even possible to answer the first question ... every person can have different opinion based on what kind of Druid he met, or hear about ... i mean person who only encountered Halsin would have quite different opinion about Druids than person who only encountered Olodan (wich would be probably dead after that encounter). laugh

Same problem goes with Gods ... i mean yes, there certainly are Gods in this settings, and yes they certainly play A HUGE role in it ... yet it all matters on what character you play, since (and feel free to corect me anyone) there isnt any inquisitive intentions from church, that would force you to choose.
Dont get me wrong here, im sure that every God worshipper would try hard to get more followers for him, her, or it ...
The point im trying to make is that since there are so many different gods, and since their followers are so often (not allways tho) able to live besides each other in relaive peace ... i dont think that your character needs to know them all ... i can even imagine that you are able to play litteraly anything between peasant who never thought about litteraly any god in his life, to fanatic believer who prays 12 times per hour. laugh
(That is only if you are not part of some culture that have stronger ties to their gods ... like Lolthsworn Drow)
Sure it would be better if there is any "codex" where player could read at least basic information about certain Gods ... but if you want to play Cleric or Selune and yet have no idea who Selune even is, and refuses to google it ... even then i would dare to say game gives you pretty nice picture by choosing her specific dialogue options. smile

Since nobody is providing any explanation ... i believe its safe to say that most people "knows" that there is some group of people interested in nature, who call themselves "Druids" ... so yes, they are commonly known.

Same rule that aplies on Gods should aply to Elturel in my opinion ...
You can play anything in between person who never heard about it, to person who actualy personaly experienced it (ok, maybe not that exactly, but you get the idea). laugh

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
D&D is getting more mainstream and if you're getting this game then you probably know at least something about the game, but that doesn't excuse the game from giving us as players a baseline understanding of the setting. Like, Gale is from Waterdeep, and we can't ask him about what Waterdeep is like. We also can't actually ask anyone what Baldur's Gate is like. Everything is pointing us there, I can assume that it's a big city that's somewhat important, but that's it. The game isn't doing anything to actually build up Baldur's gate and make me excited to see it.
Agreed with Gale example ...
Disagree on Baldur's Gate example, since unless you are Gith or Drow ... you are curently FROM the Baldur's Gate youreself. laugh

Last edited by RagnarokCzD; 30/12/21 09:51 AM.

Short coment on my English. smile

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I'll leave the first two points alone since that's firmly an agree to disagree thing, it seems. But regarding the stuff abut druids and gods, let's start with the druids. My issue with stuff like that is that the game gives us as the player very little insight into this stuff. If meeting a druid should be so rare that the person meeting them wouldn't have any preconcieved notions, then the game should play up that strangeness and let us know that it's strange. If they're meant to be so commonly known that it's not worth giving an explanation, then there should be an out of game explanation given to us as the player so we know what the typical opinion would be.

As for the matter of gods, we as players should at least be given the elevator pitch of the various common gods our character would have heard of. In a bunch of other crpgs I've played, they do a thing where for certain bits of lore, the names are highlighted and you can hover your cursor over the name and get a few sentences of context. Wrath of the Righteous does this for things like gods, certain countries, etc. This way you as the player have a baseline understanding of the world. And that baseline understanding lets you roleplay better because then you're not scratching your head over every new piece of lore that gets dropped casually in conversation. If you the player aren't sure what any of this stuff is, then it makes roleplaying harder because it's harder to stay in character. If you want to play a farmer who's been thrown into the deep end, then should you be shocked by meeting tieflings and druids? I think that in a roleplaying game, we should KNOW, not just be left to assume, the very baseline stuff that an average person in the setting would know. That's what worldbuilding is for.

The biggest offender for me is Shar and the shadowheart reveal. Based on the dialogue choices, it's clearly intended to be a big reveal that our character is supposed to be shocked by. But all I knew about her when I reached that point was that she was a dark goddess that's set up in contrast with Selune, goddess of the moon. She's clearly somewhat dubious because her followers endorsed mind-wiping, but that could just have been due to the dangerous nature of the mission. But I never learn in-game what the average person's feelings on Shar would be, so I couldn't properly choose my character's opinion in turn. It's only on this forum that I learned that she's apparently supposed to be an incredibly evil and notorious goddess that's tried to end the world. When there isn't enough information given for a reveal to have any weight, that's just a failure in writing, nothing less.

And with regard to the Baldur's Gate thing, if they keep it so that we're from Baldur's gate, then that's honestly worse in my opinion because we are unable to know anything about it. We as players don't actually know anything about it beyond it being a fairly metropolitan fantasy city. We can't talk about it, which would give us as players insight through dialogue options, we hardly hear anyone else talk about it in depth, it's just a mystery place that we don't learn anything about. Why the hell can't we talk to Astarion about Baldur's Gate? That's a perfect way to introduce the place to us. Have him express opinions about the place and we can either agree or disagree. THAT'S how you worldbuild and give the player information smoothly. Sure in-universe it makes sense, but out of universe it makes it harder for players to feel invested in this new setting. It frustrates me how little about the wider world we learn in act one, when act one is when we should be learning all this stuff.

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I hope Larian read and consider the views expresed in this thread, as it provides a reasonable sampling of the way players approach the game ( i.e. we are all different in what we look for in RPGs).

To address the thread topic directly; yes, EA as we currently have it is lacking in many ways, but that is perfectly well understood by Larian, and probably intentional. Most video games start with an outline to work towards, with the final game often resolving to something quite different than the original imaginings.

By my personal "guesstimate" EA was released with less than 50% of the content planned for Act 1, and as of patch 6 has, maybe, 60% of Act 1. I base this on the observation that there appear to be 3 general paths laid out to follow.

1. The "Halsin" path, where you move through the Goblin fortress to the Underdark and follow the trail to Grymforge, and ( eventually ) continue to Moonrise Towers. This is the path that seems most complete, but we don't really know how much more content there might be before reaching MT.

2. The "Minthara" path, where you follow M's instructions through the Druid grove, then meet her Drider underling and take the Risen Road to Moonrise Towers. This is a partially complete progression, perhaps less than 50%, but, again, we don't really know.

3. The "Lae'zel" path, where you largely Ignore the Goblin/Grove questlines and instead move through the Gith encounter and on to the Creche in the mountains, probably also ending up at Moonrise Towers, but we don't know that at present. This path is barely started in EA as of patch 6.

On top of finishing these "paths", Moonrise Towers itself may or may not be in Act 1 ( we don't know ), and we will also have an unknown amount of content related to additional companions (and probably existing companions), that we have not yet seen. We can also expect a steady stream of "tinkering" where we receive additional/changed content.

Perhaps 60% of Act 1 is actually an underestimate of the current content?

One thing I particularly like about the way Larian are approaching the story is that the 3 "paths" mentioned above are really more like suggestions than linear game tree pruning.

There are actually very few choices you make that reduce your agency; most obvious being when you become hostile to members of a faction, you generally lose access to questlines associated with the faction, but may gain access to other quests elsewhere. But even if you make a faction angry, it is not clear that that locks you into a particular path. At present, you can happily trash the druid grove for Minthara, then follow the underdark route through Grymforge, killing Nere et al along the way.

Similarly, as you travel around the EA map, it seems almost every encounter hints at future content either in Act 1, or more likely later Acts. Even the dead postman hints that you may be able to visit his employer in BG, and little of this hinted content seems in any way gated.

In fact, the only real binary choice that I have seen in EA is whether you continue to use the tadpole powers to the point where the game labels your tadpole dialog choices with "True Soul" rather than "Illithid". And if this is a binary choice with permanent meaning, we do not see this in EA.

So, returning to the original critique of the quality of the "Evil Path", I am personally not even sure what the "Evil Path" actually is; and Larian did not really help by asking us to test "The Evil Path", while at the same time WotC are downplaying alignment in 5e.

There are definitely a lot of discontinuities in the story as it stands in EA, so I'm sure that GM4Him ( and others ) are right in feeling that the game can feel "off" when following certain behaviour paths.

In fact, the more you deviate from the obvious paths, the more the game struggles to cope with a coherent story. I have even had the camp cut-scenes for individual companions delivered out of order.

So, while I understand that we should not criticize a far from complete Act 1 too harshly, I really hope Larian are aware of how inadequate the event-based triggering they are currently using is for the intertwined stories they want to tell.

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