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Originally Posted by kanisatha
Originally Posted by Sozz
All the best games didn't have companions that just filled in the spreadsheet of class and alignment, they were representatives of factors and factions in the world. This has been a strength of Bioware style NPCs; because their worlds are typically, pretty well thought out and realized, that their characters can bring you into their worldview all the better.
This wasn't true at all for the original BG games, or the NwN games, or even the DA games. In the D&D games it was always all about providing players with enough class and alignment diversity in companions such that they could create whatever type of party they wanted. The big difference between the DA games and the D&D games was precisely that DA doesn't really have classes, and as such you can get by with only a small number of companion options.

Yes, comparing BG3 with BG2 is ideal, and in that comparison BG3 fails miserably (for now).

You lost me at "DA doesn't really have classes". This is demonstrably false. Dual Wield and Archery skills would cross over between Warriors and Rogues, but each has skills that the other does not. You could not take Sword and Shield skills on a Rogue, nor could you take Stealth on a Warrior. I use Warrior and Rogue because despite your claim that they do not exist, that's exactly how the class specific skills are listed on their respective skill pages. It's ironic that, if you roll a mage, Hawke's sister always dies. Why? Because she's the mage, but if you roll a Rogue, or a Warrior, Carver dies, given your claim that classes didn't exist. In Inquisition, Rogue has two archetypes to choose from in Character Creation, Ranged or Melee. Odd that you claim they don't exist at all, yes?

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I feel the first BG 1 pretty much was pretty extensive in offering class/alignment combinations.

BG 2 much less so, though it barely covers each role (but not class) if you are willing to pick up companions one-step removed alignment wise. E.g. you need either Yoshimo or Jan (both neutral) as a thief for much of the game as a good party. And pre-EE this was also the case for an evil party. There's only a single (neutral) bard.

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In BG2 you can easily put together an evil party, including neutral companions who don't care about the good-evil thing.

I would also note that a good person will care about the "goodness" of all their fellow party members, but the opposite is not necessarily true. So a good PC would not accept an evil companion, and possibly may not even be able to accept a neutral companion, whereas an evil PC won't really care about the alignment of companions so long as they go along with the PC's plans. So good PC and evil PC are NOT mirror images of one another with respect to roleplaying. As others have also noted, it is much, much more difficult and constraining to truly roleplay 'good' in a D&D/FR game.

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Originally Posted by robertthebard
Originally Posted by kanisatha
Originally Posted by Sozz
All the best games didn't have companions that just filled in the spreadsheet of class and alignment, they were representatives of factors and factions in the world. This has been a strength of Bioware style NPCs; because their worlds are typically, pretty well thought out and realized, that their characters can bring you into their worldview all the better.
This wasn't true at all for the original BG games, or the NwN games, or even the DA games. In the D&D games it was always all about providing players with enough class and alignment diversity in companions such that they could create whatever type of party they wanted. The big difference between the DA games and the D&D games was precisely that DA doesn't really have classes, and as such you can get by with only a small number of companion options.

Yes, comparing BG3 with BG2 is ideal, and in that comparison BG3 fails miserably (for now).

You lost me at "DA doesn't really have classes". This is demonstrably false. Dual Wield and Archery skills would cross over between Warriors and Rogues, but each has skills that the other does not. You could not take Sword and Shield skills on a Rogue, nor could you take Stealth on a Warrior. I use Warrior and Rogue because despite your claim that they do not exist, that's exactly how the class specific skills are listed on their respective skill pages. It's ironic that, if you roll a mage, Hawke's sister always dies. Why? Because she's the mage, but if you roll a Rogue, or a Warrior, Carver dies, given your claim that classes didn't exist. In Inquisition, Rogue has two archetypes to choose from in Character Creation, Ranged or Melee. Odd that you claim they don't exist at all, yes?
Okay saying DA doesn't have classes at all is too strong, but what I was trying to say was that it's class system is much more limited than D&D's class system, with far fewer classes and much less distinctiveness or separation between classes. Not as bad as the pseudo-class system of the D:OS games, but still not a truly robust class system as D&D, especially with only three "classes."

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I liked a lot of the BG I characters, probably because most of them were derived from table-top games that the developers played, and so they were pretty well thought-out ahead of time. I have seen a scan the original character sheet for Minsc on the internet ... from James Ohlen maybe?

One of the great things about BG I NPC's was the dynamics between pairs, like Khalid & Jaheira, Montaron & Xzar, Minsc & Dynaheir, Skie & Eldoth. That type of pair-connection was mostly lost in the BG II NPC's. In terms of good alignment, I think it would be very interesting to see a pair of NPC's who have very different alignments, one good, and one maybe not-so-good.

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Originally Posted by Argyle
In terms of good alignment, I think it would be very interesting to see a pair of NPC's who have very different alignments, one good, and one maybe not-so-good.
Early on it was mentioned that there is one companion per writer for BG3, except for one exception because of how closely those characters were tied. I wonder if it could be a pair of companions (like the ones you mentioned in BG1) or will it be like Minsc with Boo.

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Originally Posted by kanisatha
If we're going to compare then we should do it fairly. The original BG games were made more than 20 years ago, and on budgets that--even adjusting for inflation--were a tiny fraction of BG3's budget. So it is eminently reasonable for me to have expectations of BG3 that greatly exceed what I got from BG2. Eight companion choices, some of whom may even be locked out after Act 1, is utterly piss-poor by any standard.

What about Planescape: Torment? It has some of the best companions (personnality/banter/interaction/quests) of any RPG ever, DnD or otherwise, and there is only 7 of them, some of them available mid to late game and most of them being really memorable. People seem to forget that Bioware Black Isle had taken the approach of ''less but better'' concerning companions with PS:T, wich was the exact opposite of BG1. I hope/think that Larian is going with the same approach with BG3, as I greatly value quality over quantity.

Honestly, there is about 1/4 to 1/3 of the companions in BG1 and BG2 that I never took in my party in over 20 years of gameplay.

Last edited by Gt27mustang; 20/05/22 01:05 AM.
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Originally Posted by Gt27mustang
Originally Posted by kanisatha
If we're going to compare then we should do it fairly. The original BG games were made more than 20 years ago, and on budgets that--even adjusting for inflation--were a tiny fraction of BG3's budget. So it is eminently reasonable for me to have expectations of BG3 that greatly exceed what I got from BG2. Eight companion choices, some of whom may even be locked out after Act 1, is utterly piss-poor by any standard.

What about Planescape: Torment? It has some of the best companions (personnality/banter/interaction/quests) of any RPG ever, DnD or otherwise, and there is only 7 of them, some of them available mid to late game and most of them being really memorable. People seem to forget that Bioware had taken the approach of ''less but better'' concerning companions with PS:T, wich was the exact opposite of BG1. I hope/think that Larian is going with the same approach with BG3, as I greatly value quality over quantity.

Honestly, there is about 1/4 to 1/3 of the companions in BG1 and BG2 that I never took in my party in over 20 years of gameplay.
Ps:T is also not quite comparable because even though it is D&D it actually is a highly bastardized version of 2e D&D, with only three "classes" being represented in the game and even those classes having been considerably simplied and changed from actual 2e classes to where they really didn't mean much of anything. So it was a D&D game in which neither classes nor alignments were truly present or were extremely watered down.

To repeat what I've said before, which seems to be escaping many of you commenting on my take here: I am tying # of available companions to # of available class and alignment options. So a game having a small # of companions (ex. DA, D:OS, Ps:T) is OKAY when the game system has only a very small # of classes or no classes (and/or no alignments). But when a game has at least 12 classes, and the good-neutral-evil alignments dimension on top of those classes, then I expect a sufficient # of companions to allow me, the player, to play my game with a party of my choice based on alignments as well as adequate coverage of the different party roles represented by all of those different classes.

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Planescape: Torment is combat-lite.

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Originally Posted by Gt27mustang
People seem to forget that Bioware had taken the approach of ''less but better'' concerning companions with PS:T, wich was the exact opposite of BG1.
Bioware? Planescape was developed by Black Isle Studios. But general point stands - the trend has been to provide less companions, but give each of them more content. As others mentioned combat was really sidelined in Planescape, I think it is quite a different beast - for example how companions play in combat is irrelevant for a big chunk of the game.

Originally Posted by kanisatha
But when a game has at least 12 classes, and the good-neutral-evil alignments dimension on top of those classes, then I expect a sufficient # of companions to allow me, the player, to play my game with a party of my choice based on alignments as well as adequate coverage of the different party roles represented by all of those different classes.
That's is a fair demand to make, I think.

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So far we have shadowheart as solid good. And wyll and gale as good leaning woth issues.
We already have a solid full good line up

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Originally Posted by kanisatha
Ps:T is also not quite comparable because even though it is D&D it actually is a highly bastardized version of 2e D&D, with only three "classes" being represented in the game and even those classes having been considerably simplied and changed from actual 2e classes to where they really didn't mean much of anything. So it was a D&D game in which neither classes nor alignments were truly present or were extremely watered down.

Classes watered down, I can get it since there were only three. But alignement not present? I think the game had a very good system where you forged your own alignement according to your actons and also many many conversations with NPCs were alignement-dependant. It was better represented than in BG1 and 2, and that's coming from a guy that loves BG.

Last edited by Gt27mustang; 20/05/22 01:02 AM.
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Originally Posted by Wormerine
Originally Posted by Gt27mustang
People seem to forget that Bioware had taken the approach of ''less but better'' concerning companions with PS:T, wich was the exact opposite of BG1.
Bioware? Planescape was developed by Black Isle Studios. But general point stands - the trend has been to provide less companions, but give each of them more content. As others mentioned combat was really sidelined in Planescape, I think it is quite a different beast - for example how companions play in combat is irrelevant for a big chunk of the game.

Black Isle, yup, my mistake


Originally Posted by kanisatha
But when a game has at least 12 classes, and the good-neutral-evil alignments dimension on top of those classes, then I expect a sufficient # of companions to allow me, the player, to play my game with a party of my choice based on alignments as well as adequate coverage of the different party roles represented by all of those different classes.
Originally Posted by Wormerine
That's is a fair demand to make, I think.

I agree

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Originally Posted by N7Greenfire
So far we have shadowheart as solid good

Servant of Shar = Evil.

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Originally Posted by N7Greenfire
So far we have shadowheart as solid good. And wyll and gale as good leaning woth issues.
We already have a solid full good line up
Umm shadowheart is the only companion thats is a solid Evil because she is evil by choice. Lae and Astro are evil by nature, which makes them less in evil in a sense, since they can't choose to be anything else.

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Not sure about Astarion, since even tho he is a Vampire spawn and they are evil "by nature" ... most other Vampire spawn rules dont apply to him either. O_o

But laezel isnt evil by nature at all ... that more like cultural evilness.

---

Anyway personaly i find it much harder to create Evil Party than Good ... for one we only have two evil companions, and for two every sensible person would kill astarion right there when he attack us ... so that leaves us with party of 2. :-/


Short coment on my English. smile

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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Originally Posted by kanisatha
Originally Posted by Gt27mustang
Originally Posted by kanisatha
If we're going to compare then we should do it fairly. The original BG games were made more than 20 years ago, and on budgets that--even adjusting for inflation--were a tiny fraction of BG3's budget. So it is eminently reasonable for me to have expectations of BG3 that greatly exceed what I got from BG2. Eight companion choices, some of whom may even be locked out after Act 1, is utterly piss-poor by any standard.

What about Planescape: Torment? It has some of the best companions (personnality/banter/interaction/quests) of any RPG ever, DnD or otherwise, and there is only 7 of them, some of them available mid to late game and most of them being really memorable. People seem to forget that Bioware had taken the approach of ''less but better'' concerning companions with PS:T, wich was the exact opposite of BG1. I hope/think that Larian is going with the same approach with BG3, as I greatly value quality over quantity.

Honestly, there is about 1/4 to 1/3 of the companions in BG1 and BG2 that I never took in my party in over 20 years of gameplay.
Ps:T is also not quite comparable because even though it is D&D it actually is a highly bastardized version of 2e D&D, with only three "classes" being represented in the game and even those classes having been considerably simplied and changed from actual 2e classes to where they really didn't mean much of anything. So it was a D&D game in which neither classes nor alignments were truly present or were extremely watered down.

To repeat what I've said before, which seems to be escaping many of you commenting on my take here: I am tying # of available companions to # of available class and alignment options. So a game having a small # of companions (ex. DA, D:OS, Ps:T) is OKAY when the game system has only a very small # of classes or no classes (and/or no alignments). But when a game has at least 12 classes, and the good-neutral-evil alignments dimension on top of those classes, then I expect a sufficient # of companions to allow me, the player, to play my game with a party of my choice based on alignments as well as adequate coverage of the different party roles represented by all of those different classes.

The number of classes does not matter in the least. The only thing that really matters is that every role in the team can be covered. It doesn't matter if the healer is a cleric, druid or anything else.
Of course, considering that it is 5e, it has even less importance.
In 5e, you don't even need a dedicated healer.

The argument about the need of many companions that because of the aligment also makes no sense considering that even in the older dnd games if you had evil characters available at all, you were not able to get the whole team.
And for the record in bg2, neutral characters also left the group if your reputation was low and from what I can remember, the difference was a whole 1 point compared to the goods.

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Trying to get the discussion a bit closer to the original topic: looking at the past work from Larian I think it is interesting that they felt it was more critical to get the evil/neutral companions right, when I would personally expect them to have more issues with good companions. Because in D:OS 2 all characters were somewhat edgy and at least not the brightest shade of gray. I think it would be in their interest to introduce them a bit earlier, especially if one of the good companions is Minsc who is a decent character, but his traits will always have him as the very naive kind of good.

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Originally Posted by Ragitsu
Originally Posted by N7Greenfire
So far we have shadowheart as solid good

Servant of Shar = Evil.
Shes not a servant of shar though. She is just brainwashed into thinking she is.

Shar doesn't even answer her prayers

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Originally Posted by williams85
Originally Posted by N7Greenfire
So far we have shadowheart as solid good. And wyll and gale as good leaning woth issues.
We already have a solid full good line up
Umm shadowheart is the only companion thats is a solid Evil because she is evil by choice. Lae and Astro are evil by nature, which makes them less in evil in a sense, since they can't choose to be anything else.
This is all sorts of wrong.

She isnt evil at all even after the mind wipe she consistently pushes for and approves of good actions

Shar doesn't even answer her prayers

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