Originally Posted by Dr Koin
But really what's the matter with allowing people full control of each member of the party? As I said it probably only requires an option when starting the campaign, choosing between 1 to 4 customized characters. This WON'T break any of the writers work as the game is designed from the start around the idea that there is NO handcrafted companions. No Adora this time around. At worse, a Single Player could ask a few friends to just drop in his game, create the characters he'd like to have, and then leave. Voila, 4 custom characters. At this rate, let's just give the Single Players the ability to do just that.

And how should dialogues work then? If these companions are just mindless robots only created for an optimally balanced party, how do you suppose companions to weigh in in dialogues and narrative decisions. Typically, SP RPGs with a full party are written to integrate companions into the decision making by at least giving their opinion on certain actions or even leading to consequences like leaving the party. I can't see how that should work for a custom party. A lot of dialouges were either to be designed from the start to only integrate the PC or they had to be different while having such a party. While the first option would be the worst that could happen the second option is bad as well because it would indeed increase the work load for the writers, while basically telling them (and yes, you DO that!) that you don't care at all about their character writing and that you deem it so bad that you either go without any character writing at all.

Maybe it didn't suffer, yes, but it didn't strongly benefit either. And you say it yourself : we were never forced to engage into them.. Because they didn't really matter. Have them or a blank party, story-wise the difference will lie in the fact they have a sidequest to offer at some point and maybe a few vaguely relevant quotes to offer during the course of the game.

You only see the negatives. It's like you don't see a certain thing to be fulfilled and immediately scrap the whole concept, even trying to tell me that a companion would be on the same level of a random NPC just because they have no direct impact on the main narrative (which is by the way not true at all because by helping the PC in combat they have an extremely important impact on the story also on a narrative level, coming from emergent gameplay).
That you're no forced to engage in their own quests is regarded as good game design, not only by fans of Bioware but also by a ton of game designers. Pretty much every RPG is created with a main narrative and optional side content. I know a ton of awesome side quests of various RPGs that had little to no impact on the main narrative. Many of them were even better than the main narrative. You know, content in video game can be good for themselves, on the small scale, even if the bigger scale leaves a lot to be desired. I don't support your view at all that there was any alleged prerequirement to make every companion ultimately meaningful and 100% important for the main narrative in everything they do and say. I think their content and interaction with the PC can be fun no matter what - if they are just well written characters that offer well written and fun content. You know, there is more for me than just black and white. I can have fun with non-perfect companions, much more than having no companions at all.


- Thanks to the Origin Story concept, I don't feel like DOS2 characters are even companions. Since I see all of them as heroes of the story, it somehow makes sense we could be able to create all of them from scratch. I am not opposed either to the notion of RPing them ourselves. It's just another way to play the game.

Maybe it's all my fault and I completely misunderstood the narrative concept for DOS 2. Maybe it was just wishful thinking on my behalf (I actually fear that the longer I think about it...). But what you say here is something I don't see possible and something I don't see fun for SP. Maybe (probably?) DOS 2 is indeed a co-op game with an inferior SP that tries to mimic PnP MP without ever getting the basics of why SP usually works differently in video game RPGs. If that's the case DOS 2 will be actually a lot worse for me than DOS because this time we have 4 of these "I want to play PnP with myself" chars than only 2 (with 2 "real" companions). And I very much agree with you that if SP is only envisioned as a solo version of basically the same PnP gameplay making a complete party for yourself makes even more sense than taking AI controlled and predefined characters.

I just think there are multiple ways of playing the game, which is a VERY nice thing. Let's not corridor-view ourselves into thinking there is only ONE WAY to play a game, this is wrong and a bit naive. There are powerplayers, explorers, min maxers, completionists, speedrunners, Roleplayers, Single Players, Coop players, Players Vs Players, people that hate magic, people that hate melee...
Within the scope of DOS2, all these type of players can be accomodated for quite easily imho, so let's just do that !

I have to disagree strongly here. I mean, that's what many people think and what make many games really bad in the end. Focus is imo a games best friend, while making it accessible and playable for everyone is its worst enemy. It's typically the reasons why all AAA games feel and play more or less the same, following a common denominator approach, that should a little bit fun for everyone while it lacks the depth and focus to really offer expectional fun to a specific group of people. You know, I rather have some games I really don't want to play than only games I only want to play for certain aspects. So in general, I don't agree with your notion that it's easy to accomodate to all different kind of players because in my experience (based on playing a shitload of video games in the past 15-20 years basically each and every day) that's almost never true or even possible.

Back to DOS 2, I have to say that the way the MP is envisioned already hurts the SP by a mile, especially if you don't seperate the two in core elements. Maybe it's time then to actually declare DOS 2 a MP/co-op game at its very core without trying to convince people that SP will be just as good. Because I fear that this is a promise they won't be able to stick to with the current approach. Or maybe it's just me and my weird old-school opinions about traditional party CPRGs and their narrative and emotional impact. I can't really blame Larian for wanting a Bioware game in good I guess... wink