Larian Banner
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Savage North
addict
OP Offline
addict
Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Savage North
I'm starting a new thread for this, as the thread where the quote below was taken has started to lose focus quite a lot.

1) Racing against time vs taking all the time we want.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
To your issue about tadpole urgency, Piff, youre right that it's ultimately not AS urgent as it's initially presented. The problem I've found is that the way they present that revelation that it's not so urgent. It's given through little bits of context clues scattered throughout act one. Hints and things that you can find out. And the issue with this in my opinion is that given how the urgency was built up at the beginning, the game needs to give some kind of definitive moment of catharsis where we can actually feel the tension come to an end, as opposed to scattered hints that it's possible to not internalize, or to miss entirely.

a) I agree with the above. The game starts out pretty clear about the fact that we only have a few days left to live unless we find a cure (cf meetings with Shadowheart and Gale, and first night with Shadowheart and Lae'zel). Then we can gather that we may have a lot more time, but this happens slowly, by clues, and is very dependent on where we go and what we learn.

There is a U-turn from "ok players, this is a race against time scenario" to "actually players, you don't have to hurry : this is standard RPG gameplay, feel free to do all the side quests and explore all nooks and cranies". But the second message is far from being as well and clearly established as the first.


b) In my view, even once we've learned more about the tadpole and True Souls situation, it's far from clear that we should relax.

I mean, as far as I know, we know the following.

  • Some people are manufacturing True Souls. This involves the implanting of a modified Illithid tadpole followed by a bit of memory-wipe (the latter of which we were not subjected to before our escape, so that we do remember being implanted with the tadpole).
  • Individuals implanted with a modified tadpole will not turn into an Illithid automatically/naturally. But they can be turned instantly using a certain procedure, as we saw on the Nautiloid. We don't know if that procedure works remotely (e.g. by a ritual), at what range, and where the creators/operators are. So we don't know if running far far away is of any use.
  • We don't know what the creators' plan for the True Souls is. Maybe they are never to be transformed, and instead just used as controllable/influenceable puppets in order for the creators to gain power through religious means. Maybe they are to all be turned into an Illithid simultaneously, when the time is ripe (which could be 3 years from now, or next week). Or anything else.

So I don't feel that there's a good and clear reason to believe we can lift the foot from the accelerator in our race for a cure. Sure, don't need to be stressed as much : we can relax a bit at night, hope we'll have enough time, and work on those knots in our stomachs. But I don't feel we have time to spare for tourism. Rather, I feel that the urgency has decreased a little bit, but not tremendously. Or is it just me ?



2) Companions staying in camp.

This has been mentioned many times : having supernumerary companions stay in camp, doing nothing, makes basically no sense. It breaks immersion.

From the point of view of the game designers, I get it. It's a video game so there are UI constraints such as a max party size. The camp mechanism/system is used a hub where we can store the excess companions we recruit, and let swap them in and out of our adventuring party. (I'll leave aside the fact that it's very convenient, portable, pocket-dimension hub.)

From the point of view of the writers, and Larian's advertisement of the game, this is the story of a group of very different individuals. They don't always see eye to eye, and would have been quite unlikely to band together in normal circumstances. But they find themselves in the same desperate situation, and right now their goals are very much aligned : find a cure/a way to control the tadpole, and thus preserve their identity. So they will unite and search for a cure as allies.

At least that's the story up until the point where a companion tells you that he'll just stay in camp, idling away the hours, waiting for you to find a cure (and magic items to consume). Because, you know, desperate situation. And then there's the one who knows her people have a cure, but is happy to wait in camp while you try every other lead you hear about. It really screams of urgency.

I'm not sure whether this issue is a consequence of various teams (writers, game designers) having worked separately with little coordination and having come up with ideas that just don't mesh well together, or a consequence in Larian having little interest in immersion and being completely unfazed by what is a clear immersion-breaker to me.


And just like the player-only teleportation portals that Gale tells you about, or the totally-canon-in-the-world party size limit that Lae'zel points out, I think this issue could be alleviated if Larian removed the conversation cutscene where we ask people to stay at camp.

With a pure video game UI allowing us to manage party composition, we would not only save on the tediousness of swapping characters, we would also not have our attention drawn to "what happens to the companions not currently (visible) in the party ?".


Hoping we'll be able to create great assumptions-free Custom Characters and be given great roleplay options.
Joined: Sep 2020
veteran
Offline
veteran
Joined: Sep 2020
Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
b) In my view, even once we've learned more about the tadpole and True Souls situation, it's far from clear that we should relax.
  • Individuals implanted with a modified tadpole ... can be turned instantly using a certain procedure, as we saw on the Nautiloid. We don't know if that procedure works remotely (e.g. by a ritual), at what range, and where the creators/operators are.
  • We don't know what the creators' plan for the True Souls is. Maybe they are never to be transformed, and instead just used as controllable/influenceable puppets in order for the creators to gain power through religious means. Maybe they are to all be turned into an Illithid simultaneously, when the time is ripe (which could be 3 years from now, or next week). Or anything else.

So I don't feel that there's a good and clear reason to believe we can lift the foot from the accelerator in our race for a cure. Sure, don't need to be stressed as much : we can relax a bit at night, hope we'll have enough time, and work on those knots in our stomachs. But I don't feel we have time to spare for tourism. Rather, I feel that the urgency has decreased a little bit, but not tremendously. Or is it just me ?
Snipped out a bit, leaving what I strongly agree with. For all we know, at any point our tadpoles could be activated, turning us into mind flayers.

Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
And just like the player-only teleportation portals that Gale tells you about, or the totally-canon-in-the-world party size limit that Lae'zel points out, I think this issue could be alleviated if Larian removed the conversation cutscene where we ask people to stay at camp.

With a pure video game UI allowing us to manage party composition, we would not only save on the tediousness of swapping characters, we would also not have our attention drawn to "what happens to the companions not currently (visible) in the party ?".
+1 again. Video game-y QoL conveniences don't need to, and in these cases shouldn't, have in-game/in-universe explanations.

Joined: Feb 2020
Location: Belgium
veteran
Offline
veteran
Joined: Feb 2020
Location: Belgium
1) I have the same statement about the urgency since the beginning. It is absolutely unclear that it's finally not really a vital emergency.
You can find clues (or not!) but this story element doesn't need clues, it need facts. I saw a lot of comments on various media (french forums, youtube comments, discord servers) in which players just don't understand that they can long rests !
It has always been an issue to me story-wise and it is one gameplay-wise for a lot of players that haven't played the game as much as we had.

I really think there should be an un-missable moment early in the game in which someone explain that everyone with a tadpole is NOT turning into mindlfayer.
"Some people have a tadpole but don't turn into mindflayer" =/= "It looks unusual", "there's something strange",...

2) About companions, I'm not even sure why we're able to keep some of them inactive at camp. It make sense in Pathfinder story and eventually gameplay-wise because they're not inactive. At least, there are obvious reasons for them to stay where they are.
But it doesn't make sense at all in BG3 because they're just not a part of the group... They're waiting in the middle of nowhere for no reasons while at the same time, they have clear goals to acheive fast that doesn't require the player.

It works well if you refuse them to join, just like it was in BG1/2 and in PoE.
Wyll and Shadowheart are doing their things and are recruitable at the grove, Lae'zel is looking for the creche and you can recruit her at the bridge (it would be better if she was before the bridge but that's a detail). Not sure about Gale and Astarion but I guess it's about the same.

On top of that, there's no reasons in BG3 to swap characters. It's not a game in which you absolutely need a class rather than another for some specific situations. It may help or change a bit the dialogs ofc but swapping character is not often a tactical decision/requirement... at least it's not to me and if you'd just like to try the characters, they don't absolutely have to be at camp.
Rather than a system like in Pathfinder (that would never make sense in BG3 story-wise), I think it would be better to have a system like in BG1/2 : if you don't recruit them when you meet them, they're doing their stuff and you can recruit them in various area when you meet them again.
They can give clues : "I'm going to find that creche alone", "I'm going to talk with the druids", "I'll try to talk with these goblins",... An entry in the journal would also be a great QoL feature not to forget about those clues.

Last edited by Maximuuus; 15/05/22 07:27 PM.
Joined: Mar 2020
Location: Belfast
veteran
Offline
veteran
Joined: Mar 2020
Location: Belfast
I don't find tadpoles to be a problem. A big chunk of act1 is finding the cure, once it is gradually released that our tadpoles are something different. There isn't too much meandering around - most activities could be excused, as they mov eyou toward an objective of removing tadpole or learning more about it. Generally most characters believe it is still a good idea to take them out, and some are intrigued by a possibility to use them to their advantage. Our very goal at the end of EA is to reach Moonrise tower to learn more about the tadpoles - I don't think eneyone on the team looses the sight of the issue.

I also think that in general such behaviour is believable - people get used to/learn to ignore horrid realities. So after first couple days of panicing and seeing that nothing happened, I don't find that improbable that they would... well, maybe not relax, but gain hope that if they didn't turn thus far, they might not at all. Just another day with the tadpole - I still feel good and have no symptoms outside voices in my head. Whatever it is, it's not turning.

Camp on the other hand, feels to me very contrived and not part of the universe.

Last edited by Wormerine; 15/05/22 08:08 PM.
Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Savage North
addict
OP Offline
addict
Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Savage North
@Maximuuus : yeah, I guess a BG1esque system, where if you don't take a companion in your adventuring party, they just continue on their own, could probably work. (Except that, instead of going to wait for you at the nearest inn or town, they should actually continue the quest and go where it makes sense, e.g. Lae'zel seeks the creche, etc. ) What could also work would be some explanation of what they do during the day. The non-party companions might join you again at camp every night, but at least they would not sit there all day doing nothing and waiting for you to return (and tell you clearly that this is what they do at camp).

@Wormerine : it makes sense for the party to undertake all quests that would help with the tadpole situation (including "merely" gaining knowledge). But as things are right now, it's very hard to justify doing any facultative, non-tadpole-related side quest. Yet I fear we'll have such opportunities when we are in Baldur's Gate.

I would welcome a (non-missable) cutscene where some characters clearly express that they no longer feel the urgency of the beginnings, or even (later) that they can now spend a whole day without thinking too much about the tadpole. Something which would clearly establish the fact that this game is now a long journey, and no longer a race against time. (Though, in such a scene, I would like my PC to be able to remind the NPCs that, while they might feel safe, there is still too much we don't know, and it's not time to slow down, if my PC is so inclined.)



Also ... there's these issue that I would have like to leave aside, but they're closely related : passage of time and camp cutscenes.

At the moment, the writers are telling me, through the information we gather, "er, hm, maybe there's a bit less urgency after all, okay ? You're still far from safe and should waste no time, but you can stress a bit less. Have some nice time when you're at camp. Talk about something else than the tadpole. Get to know your companions".

Meanwhile, the game designers are telling me "please spend a night at camp after every new combat, social encounter or the odd bit of lore that you found, if you want to get all the story content. Don't worry, time does not actually exist".

Through these two systems, the game completely undermines the urgency that the writer have set up.


Hoping we'll be able to create great assumptions-free Custom Characters and be given great roleplay options.
Joined: Mar 2020
Location: Belfast
veteran
Offline
veteran
Joined: Mar 2020
Location: Belfast
Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
At the moment, the writers are telling me, through the information we gather, "er, hm, maybe there's a bit less urgency after all, okay ? You're still far from safe and should waste no time, but you can stress a bit less. Have some nice time when you're at camp. Talk about something else than the tadpole. Get to know your companions".

Meanwhile, the game designers are telling me "please spend a night at camp after every new combat, social encounter or the odd bit of lore that you found, if you want to get all the story content. Don't worry, time does not actually exist".
That point I shall entirely concede to you, Sir.

Joined: Sep 2020
addict
Offline
addict
Joined: Sep 2020
Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
With a pure video game UI allowing us to manage party composition, we would not only save on the tediousness of swapping characters, we would also not have our attention drawn to "what happens to the companions not currently (visible) in the party ?".
This would be much better.

I still think the whole camp system needs work. I feel it would be a bit more immersive if there was one main camp in each area (one in the Underdark and one on the surface for now) and here would be where all camp people, animals, whatever would stay. There should have been mini camps scattered throughout the zones where only those in our party are seen when we are there. Swapping would be done at the main camps, this for me would go a long way in making it feel like the other companions weren't just useless camp ornaments who have fully accepted the tadpole.

Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
I would welcome a (non-missable) cutscene where some characters clearly express that they no longer feel the urgency of the beginnings, or even (later) that they can now spend a whole day without thinking too much about the tadpole. Something which would clearly establish the fact that this game is now a long journey, and no longer a race against time. (Though, in such a scene, I would like my PC to be able to remind the NPCs that, while they might feel safe, there is still too much we don't know, and it's not time to slow down, if my PC is so inclined.)
I would love something like this.

I do not tend to play trusting characters, so they certainly would not believe what they are told about the tadpole, especially by people who don't know much more than what we do. So for me, the urgency is always there to get rid of the thing, and if I am playing a good character then I would miss out on a lot of quests because I would still be hesitant to be around people due to the tadpole risk.

Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Italy
enthusiast
Offline
enthusiast
Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Italy
I'll just respost my take on the subject from them "Please, let me be immersed" topic, and will lately go on from there.

Quote
The thing that our ceremorphsis process is anomalous doesn't really mean anything, maybe it's just going to take a week more, maybe a single day more. The fact that the tadpole is "dormant" doesn't imply that it's going to stay that way indefinitely, maybe it's just going to wake up the next morning and eat our brains.

All this situation is dysfunctional for the game. The devs want us to use long rests, since a lot of content and cutscenes trigger with long rests, but the plot urges us to advance at the speed of light and rest only the strict necessary not to collapse.
It's the same problem Cyberpunk2077 has, where you have a brain killing device ticking in your head but, instead of going to solve the problem immediately, if you want to explore 90% of the content the game has to offer you need to pretend the main plot doesn't exist. The Witcher 3 had the same problem also, at least for the first half of the game, where the main plot urges you to find Ciri but instead you can just go around playing Gwent and, since you don't know if finding Ciri will end the game or not, you are going to do all the side quests first, even if it doesn't make any sense.

Having an urgent objective is an amazing plot device, but it must be used wisely. If the plot wants me to go straight from point A to point B, then please, don't put there additional content which doesn't make sense to play until point B is reached.

Joined: Dec 2020
A
stranger
Offline
stranger
A
Joined: Dec 2020
+1 to so much of this thread. My first playthrough I barely used long rest at all because it felt insane to do so given the urgency of my situation.

I also found that if you played with real sense of urgency then regardless of what type of person you were trying to be morally every seemingly reasonable option lead to you helping the same factions in the same way because the alternative appeared to be ceramorphosis.

The origins plot I'm currently most looking forward to exploring is Astarions because he has the most compelling in game reason thus far to not want his tadpole gone immediately.

Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Liberec
veteran
Offline
veteran
Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Liberec
Originally Posted by alexjuiceman
I also found that if you played with real sense of urgency then regardless of what type of person you were trying to be morally every seemingly reasonable option lead to you helping the same factions in the same way because the alternative appeared to be ceramorphosis.
Reeeealy? O_o


Vive et vivant. wink
Joined: Mar 2020
Location: Belfast
veteran
Offline
veteran
Joined: Mar 2020
Location: Belfast
Originally Posted by alexjuiceman
I also found that if you played with real sense of urgency then regardless of what type of person you were trying to be morally every seemingly reasonable option lead to you helping the same factions in the same way because the alternative appeared to be ceramorphosis.
Unless you go for "lol, I wonder what happens if" attitude then valid choices in BG3 are rather limited. To be fair, though, that is a very classic Bioware writing where anything but good path runs contrary to any self-preservation instinct a character might have.

Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Liberec
veteran
Offline
veteran
Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Liberec
Oh come on ... thats not true and you should know it, we allready discuised it in the past. laugh


Vive et vivant. wink
Joined: Oct 2020
apprentice
Offline
apprentice
Joined: Oct 2020
I don't see how they'd be able to resolve the the immersion problems with the "ticking timebomb" -situation with tadpole and the "take your time" -pacing of the gameplay, if you're roleplaying as a sensible character. Like stated before, the implication that you have more time than usual before ceremorphosis kicks in, simply means you don't know when the organic triggerable timebomb in your brain is going to go off, and your still imminent doom sort of makes everything not involving the cure, a waste of precious time. So, If you don't RP as a suicide cultist, alternative medicine expert or a brainworm farmer etc, the only way to resolve the situation is to remove the tadpole post haste.

But Larian has likely been committed to this flawed urgency narrative even before the game came out in EA, I mean, they've even made joining the brainworm suicide cult into a major plotline branching evil/"tempting" choice in chapter 1, so I doubt they'll fix this narrative flaw in the game. I'm currently just hoping that in the finished game the tadpole can be removed in the first act, or early second act, so that you can experience at least most of the world without it constantly feeling counterproductive to survival.


The promise of being led to death is reason enough to follow.
Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Liberec
veteran
Offline
veteran
Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Liberec
You people are so focused on single approach you refuse to see reason in others. frown


Vive et vivant. wink
Joined: Oct 2021
old hand
Offline
old hand
Joined: Oct 2021
Regarding the race against time, it seems like adding an exhaustion feature would solve the whole problem. No matter how urgent the situation is, if you have to rest then you have to rest. That would force the camp scenes to unfold.

It's just a matter of timing the exhaustion so it's not too often/annoying.

Joined: Sep 2020
veteran
Offline
veteran
Joined: Sep 2020
Originally Posted by JandK
Regarding the race against time, it seems like adding an exhaustion feature would solve the whole problem. No matter how urgent the situation is, if you have to rest then you have to rest. That would force the camp scenes to unfold.

It's just a matter of timing the exhaustion so it's not too often/annoying.
+1. Before you reach the grove (after finding Lae'zel and/or after exploring the crypt), the game should give party members a few levels of exhaustion to strongly encourage you to long rest. Even have party members initiate conversation saying how they understand the need to rush but they can't go on; they're too tired. This would transition very well into the "everyone feels sick at camp" cutscene, then waking up much better and realizing that everyone is *not* transforming according to the normal ceremorphosis timeline.

Joined: Oct 2020
old hand
Offline
old hand
Joined: Oct 2020
I remember the sense of urgency being deflated in Act 1 coming up before. I'm not entirely sure if this is a first-run problem or a seventh-run problem.

Originally Posted by Sozz
They could make it a development choice that your dithering forces you into. As for making clear that the party isn't in immediate danger, that's kind of my problem with Act 1, we should feel in danger, to be relieved towards the end that we, for reasons we don't understand, have been given a reprieve. Our party should be a little scared of getting embroiled in the grove-goblin conflict, and even good characters should have every reason to want to skip it in favor finding a swift resolution to the impending Ceremorphosis.

Another way of having a ticking clock would be for companions to Leave the Party if Tav decides to tarry too long doing nonsense. It might be an interesting way of creating a party of people with similar alignments, good companions are inclined to get involved, the more self interested ones leaving to find their own way.

To make sure that people don't crash through the tadpole stuff make it so it can only grow stronger x-number of times every adventuring session, so if you rest a lot, then using the tadpole won't increase it, but if you don't rest often then using the tadpole will, up to a point.

My first playthough of the EA, I took as few long rests as possible because I was under the impression that was what the game wanted from me. Larian has since added a scene with SH when you first make camp to talk players down from the ledge with regards to our impending ceremorphosis and make them comfortable to spend time there.

Joined: Oct 2020
old hand
Offline
old hand
Joined: Oct 2020
Funny you bring up exhaustion this was my very next post
Originally Posted by Sozz
How about this, every time the flags for a cutscene are met, the party gets exhaustion.

You can keep playing, but now you have better incentive to take a long rest and not have what everybody is dealing with, skipped scenes and requirement backlogs that are messing up with the pacing of every companions story.

I think this is only really a problem in Act 1, because we're dealing with a lot of exposition for every character, but if this sounds too much like railroads for the D&D people, I get it.

Of course you were there so you would know...am I back in Kansas?

Last edited by Sozz; 29/05/22 09:06 PM.
Joined: Oct 2020
apprentice
Offline
apprentice
Joined: Oct 2020
Adding another exhaust mechanism would possibly ensure you don't miss out on campsite interactions, if you're beelining for the cure, but IMO they should accomplish this within the current exhaustion system. I mean you are already kinda forced to rest in order to memorize spells, heal, regain class skill uses etc. so why not just make it so, that you don't miss out on character interactions, even if you're just racing towards the cure with minimal amount of resting.

It however wouldn't make the sidequests not related to removing the tadpole seem any less problematic from the RP perspective. They'd still have that sense of wasting valuable time and/or eschewing RP for completionist approach to the game. Also, I don't recall, the druid patch version I've most recently played, and the first EA version, being very different in regards to framing the urgency of your PCs medical condition. Just that the "you have more time" -insight maybe got more underlined. Unless you're into "alternative reasoning", your predicament hasn't really become any less urgent.


The promise of being led to death is reason enough to follow.
Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Liberec
veteran
Offline
veteran
Joined: Oct 2020
Location: Liberec
Originally Posted by Sozz
am I back in Kansas?
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


Vive et vivant. wink
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Link Copied to Clipboard
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5