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We had been talking about the great writing in Elden Ring which is often expressed in prose. Larians writing team is also top notch and does it's own fair share of both prose and poetic writing, but they also write some VERY clever stuff that 90% of people are never going to see, or pick up on.

here is a great example:

Shovel is a Quasit familiar that you can summon from a "Summon Quasit" scroll found in a coffin, under the Apothecary in the Blighted Village.

Quasits are Chaotic Evil Demons from The Abyss. They are malicious, and cannot be trusted. You can trade some great insults with your new Quasit "friend" or get some good info about his former master, or the Necromancy of Thay book.

Before you exit conversation Shovel (or basket, or Fork if you rename him) offers this "helpful" tidbit on dealing with Illyn Toth's Magic Mirror.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

If you engage with the mirror and answer its questions and you tell it what the Quasit told you then the mirror releases a floating metal sphere that spews fire all over the room trying to kill you.

The brilliant part is - technically he didn't lie - we just took his statement at face value. Kudos Larian! I still laugh about this whenever I think about it.


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good wrting would be if we had pets that would all act in similar way... and not just a random scroll that is a one off but i guess we got to take it where we can get it...

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Agreed, this was a fun scene

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It's a low bar for them, and it is good ... compared to their other writing.

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I am never going to forget that line about Obsidians after review of the POE development and release and how the fans of the genre will "grind you down" - anything negative and you get people piling on. Anything positive and its a "they did an ok job here but they suck at everything else"

Sheesh.


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Eh ...
Dunno, seems to me like funny pun than good writing. :-/

Im quite sure that Larian have some very talented writers ... sadly im certain that its not all of them. :-/
Since when i concider my dialogue options, im like 70% of time frustrated that not even single one fits my character, than exited about how well is something prepared for us. :-/

BUT!
If there is something to praise Larian about, it would be their dialogue traps ... this would be one example, illithid on beach would be another, refusing to help Goblin leaders can be concidered another i guess ... Kithrak and his dragon SHOULD HAVE ben another. :P
Its only sad that there isnt more of them. frown

And that is what i would call good writing. smile
Being able to offer enough options to your players to actualy express themselves ... and be willing to react on those options acurately!


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“If you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying. And if you got caught you didn’t try hard enough!”
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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Eh ...
Dunno, seems to me like funny pun than good writing. :-/


I mean, in a sense it is. Its a kind of Pun that reveals the nature of the creature you are dealing with. There is an overlapping theme where they subvert expectations. Its almost as if part of the game is training characters to not accept things at face value.

"Oh a DEMON, told you that?! Say that again and think about it!"

Maybe a better term would be Clever Writing.


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Just to add to this. I told the mirror that the doctors journal said it's good for ointment, instead of telling him the Quasit told me. After it accepted me, I talked to the quasit again, here's what shovel said. "See. Tell you truth, beefy! Always, always trust Shovel!"

I wonder what this little bastard is going to try to get me to do in relase. :P

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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Eh ...
Dunno, seems to me like funny pun than good writing. :-/
More or less my take as well - It is a good interaction, staying true to the character it is portraying, but not really substantial enough for me to consider it in terms of "good writing".

That said:
Originally Posted by Blackheifer
I am never going to forget that line about Obsidians after review of the POE development and release and how the fans of the genre will "grind you down" - anything negative and you get people piling on. Anything positive and its a "they did an ok job here but they suck at everything else"
It is a nice attention to detail in an easy to miss interaction.

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Yes. It was fun.

For all my criticisms of the game - I just don't think it will be a successor to BG2 - I've been pleased with the writing; there are layers to Astarian and Wyll.

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Originally Posted by Blackheifer
Maybe a better term would be Clever Writing.
I dont see difference ...
This is just too small sample to talk about writing, bcs that feels to me like rating it whole. :-/


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“If you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying. And if you got caught you didn’t try hard enough!”
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Originally Posted by Blackheifer
The brilliant part is - technically he didn't lie - we just took his statement at face value. Kudos Larian! I still laugh about this whenever I think about it.

Shovel is just brilliant all round, but I agree this is a particularly nice touch. Though I didn’t actually get the joke until my second patch 9 playthrough as I’d always known the correct answer, and it was only then that I thought I’d try and see what happened if I went with what Shovel said instead. But now the way he says “good for burns” with such relish takes on a new resonance!

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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Originally Posted by Blackheifer
Maybe a better term would be Clever Writing.
I dont see difference ...
This is just too small sample to talk about writing, bcs that feels to me like rating it whole. :-/

So, it's "all or nothing" then?

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More like minority x majority ...
One sentence x everything else..

When i mention writing i mean it whole ... and even that isnt all or nothing ... it can be excelent, exceptional, great, good, kinda good, medicore, kinda meh, meh, quite bad, entirely bad, or horrible.
With occasional exceptions.

This one line is great ... but its simply not enough to outweight problems that i have with writing in this game.


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Little details are important but overall I don't think the writing is "great". Yet anyway.

E.g. Minthara is a bit cringe with her "I crave battle" lines. Might as well be "I am so evil, fear me!" Good example of show, don't tell. There are disappointing goblin minions for her to cut down if she craves blood so hard and is so ruthlessly evil as she pretends to be.

Also.. "Nere does not fail!". At least he acts on it but still, cartoon villain. The most important villains tend to be the most disappointing ones.

Dhourn is also acting and speaking like some vain Baldur's Gate noble in some mundane situation. Babbling, basically. I would expect Drow in the Underdark to act a bit more sinister and mysterious and less "polished" with proper surface manners. Different at least, coming from an entirely different culture and having been turned back from stone a few seconds ago. Less smiling and less lip gloss would also help.

Last edited by 1varangian; 25/01/23 11:51 AM.
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I've meet enough real, mustache twirling people to doubt my knee jerk response of "that only happens in fairy tales" 😅

Overall, I'm satisfied with the writing. I don't demand that every optional quest be perfect... it just has to be fun to play. I've yet to discover a game that balances nuance and a wide variety of protags perfectly.

My sole point of worry is the direction of "evil". Bg3 is not letting us play a mercenary badass so much as a worm easily impressed by stronger, nastier worms... except, worm superior is not impressive. Perhaps to be expected when our main enemy is so clearly, absolutely evil? Is Larian going for an "unlikely heroes" angle in the "bad" ending? Or, is this just the low level experience?

Maybe, that's not it at all and 4/5 villains are just highkey narcissistic. Sometimes to amusing effect, like the local wet sock of a Zhentarim leader. Sometimes to major annoyance, like Sir "let me fly away with my dragon, lmao". I don't want to rely too much on Act 1 to judge the game. Aside from this trend, it's really not looking concerning at all so far in my opinion, though.

I can live with some stylistic choices like the fairy tale situation... It feels a bit more like living in a book than a world, you know? It's done largely well. Still, some people will no doubt not cease to complain about the various downsides of the larger narrative style. That's just how it is.

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It’s hard to judge the writing without having the complete game, but so far I think the writing is good!

Here is what I especially like so far:
  • I think they did a great job with the pacing of the game
  • I love the large amount of companion dialogue, quests, and scenes in the game
  • Side quests are well written and interesting
  • Halsin!!!
  • Some great villains: Auntie Ethel and Raphael
  • The main quest so far is interesting

I haven’t played the evil path and probably won’t, so I don’t have an opinion on that.

They have only given us the evil and neutral companions so far, so I am waiting for the good companions! Our companion who is the most good so far is probably Wyll, and he will still torture innocent people. eek

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Feels like this thread is starting to dig a little too deep...

As for me, I'm a simple man. When this was pointed out that the Quasit did that on purpose to get me killed, then add the fact that I save scummed and gave the right answer that didn't get me killed and the quasit's response was "see I didn't lie!"

This was my reaction.

=O !!!!!

I don't need to to analyse good / bad writing. I just need to "get Got". And Larian "Got" me with this one. Well played! Ashamed of myself for not seeing this for myself! Ty for pointing it out, it's going to make me think about things in the full release a little more.

Last edited by Accessdenied; 26/01/23 02:23 AM.
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@ Accessdenied

I completely agree. I forgot what I was dealing with and assumed the Quasit was being truthful. Basket(aka Shovel) was simply being true to his nature.

After this little scene, I have trust issues and fully expect Shadowheart to be playing my heart strings like a true follower of Shar!


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