Originally Posted by Argonaut

No. That is the point that people who defend them feel the need to hang on to because everything else has to do with comparative quality to older games as well as written work in which case they don't even scratch the surface of professional writing or characters. People who do not like the companions, such as myself, do not like them because they are poorly written. For a large part this can be attributed to the schizophrenic nature of origin characters as having to be main characters even when they are just sidekicks. Do you know a person in real life that is so self centered and yet people love and adore them and never criticize them? Do you know someone that tries to steal the spotlight and make everything about themselves and constantly complain in real life that is fun to be around?

So you treat people at your job like dirt then? Don't be so infantile. Not only are there countless examples of how people can come together under extreme duress despite being extremely different and not behave like spoiled children. Victims of trauma also do not manifest the same response and pushing people away or taking your problems out on other people is universally considered to be in poor taste but more importantly is scientifically known to be a self destructive desire that has nothing to do with your trauma or experiences and has a lot more to do with a sense of self loathing and self destructiveness. I'm sure you have heard of Sherlock Holmes and his opioid habit? Clinical Psychiatrists and neuroscientists often describe the addiction to these extreme attitude as "seeking oblivion". I can give you examples of these kind of characters done in a multitude of different ways that are far superior including examples from older games but I've done it so many times already in the brief time that I've been on this board that I've already burned out and if you are really that interested for my take feel free to PM me.

You've never seen pictures of WWI soldiers in the trenches playing with cats or smiling or playing cards? Breaking down and being an insufferable detractor of everyone around you is not healthy and it is not something that inspires sympathy. We have to like these characters and in fact Larian is making it almost obligatory to play with them as companions. Why would they choose to write them in such a way that makes them insufferable. Completely ignoring how poorly written and one dimensional they are these characters could be written to be much more sympathetic or at least motivate you to care about them without making them mary sues that you are forced upon you. The same messages and themes could be delivered while only changing their attitude to make a far superior experience.

With all of that out of the way consider if you where in a life threatening situation of a similar nature. Let's say you suspect you have carbon monoxide poisoning. This WILL kill you slowly. Would you run away from people and every time someone tried to help you shout at them, demean them and so on or would you try to be polite and explain the situation and seek their help? Would you then try to sleep with them out of nowhere?

Written exquisitely compared to what? Even ignoring everything else I've said so far please give an example to compare them to as a basis seeing as your analysis of them and the writing is only skin deep.

Of course we want to complain. Larian decided they wanted to fill the shoes of BG with a sequel no one asked for that has no continuity and nothing to do with the previous games in the series. You better believe they've got to knock this one out of the park of they are going to make a lot of people extremely angry and alienated with them.

Dude, even if I don't share the complaining about the current companions I never called anyone "infantile" nor I presumed anything about anyone. I'll ask you to do the same.
To answer your points:

1) I don't think they are poorly written and what you are saying is that you don't find them likeable because they are too self-centred, which is exactly my point. As I said, "I can understand someone not liking the personality of a character, fair enough, but not liking it without considering the context is a weak argumentation." No one likes a "look at me, I'm important" character, the thing I think is missing from your argumentation is again, context. Of course they are self-centred at the beginning of the adventure, you are all strangers to one another and the only people you have a notion of is yourselves. You are going to talk about you and focus on your personal objectives, not asking "how was your day darling?". As the game progresses and you open up to one another, things are gonna change, in fact they change even before the end of act one, as I mentioned.

2) Do you really think the usual job environment is a good comparison with having a living parasite inside you who is going to end you at any moment? If their behaviour will stay like that for weeks or months after the discovery that the tadpole is in stasis and they are in no immediate danger then I will agree they are reacting in a poor way, but the events of the EA take place in just a couple of days after the abduction, their stress and bad reaction are more than justified. Sure, you could've wished for more positive characters capable of handling stress better, but suggesting that SH selfishness in this context is unrealistic is to be blind, in my opinion.

3) Again, me suspecting of having carbon monoxide poisoning that will kill me slowly in the real world is not the same of having a tadpole in your head who is going to rip your organs after a couple of days. In the real world, in case of poisoning, I will not be in a good mood for sure, but at least I know there are doctors who are going to reassure and take care of me, it is all another story than having a tadpole you can't get rid of and with the only known "medic" of the place missing (you find Halsin only near the end of EA). It's an RPG, people should try to imaging themselves in the world, characters and CONTEXT.

4) I don't know what kind of example do you want honestly. I find them written exquisitely because they are *believable* when you are talking to them. I can't say if their stories are well written because I know only the tip of the iceberg since we are still in EA, but I know they feel alive like few other both in the good and the bad.

5) A company doesn't create a game only because "people are asking for it", besides, the fact that there are people in this forum who have bought EA means that there are people who wanted the game. If you think a game called "BG3" doesn't deserve to be played because it has no connection (for now) with the previous title just don't play it. Of course, you can criticise some aspects of it (even I think BG story-arc should have stayed untouched and this game should have been called with another name), as I said there are a lot of good criticisms in this forum, but they must be valid, and constructive. Saying "I don't like the characters because they are rude" is a valid opinion but not a criticism. You can criticise how a character backstory is written because is inconsistent or full of cliché (for example I agree they feel all to important to be lvl one characters), but you can't criticise a character just because you don't like its *attitude* more so when said attitude is coherent with the context. You can say "I personally don't like mean character", and it will be a respectable opinion, not "I personally don't like mean character, therefore Larian has written them badly".

P.S: The subject "you" I'm using is a general "you", not a "you-you" laugh

Originally Posted by Nicottia
Argonaut, you are my hero of these forums really, I agree with about 99% of stuff you have written in most of the topics you have participated in.

Now, to add to this conversation, I think people dislike the companions cause more often than not they steal all the spotlight. I wish that Larian would drop the entire idea of origin stories, as I have said it many times before, or keep them confined to DOS games only, they have absolutely no reason hamfisting them into BG series. Period.

Hell, I don't really hate a single one of them. I understand that they are each different people caught in difficult circumstances forcing them to work together. But they do need to work on their sympathetic skills a bit more. The only one who could possibly get away being the major pain in the butt is Lae'zel, her being a githyanki and all that. She sees all the races of Faerun as inferior, and it shows. At least she's honest about that. Also, the circumstances you meet each of the companions under is pretty bit weird, Astarion being indeed a shining example among all of them. There should indeed be a way for the others you have recruited to at least REACT to him pulling a knife on us. They don't have to help, but at least react, say something. It's not that much to ask for, is it?

And speaking of our PC, Larian could implement such a simple fix for our lack of any visible backstory, well we do have backgrounds - acolyte, noble and so on. But they never come up in dialogue. I played as a seldarine drow acolyte cleric of Eilistraee on my first run, on my 2nd I went with high elven wizard noble. Now the racial and class dialogues come up often, but the 'background' never does. Never. My newest character is a drow warlock of the old ones, with the entertainer background, and I can already predict that the entertainer background will never ever come up in dialogue. I mean, is it really so hard to implement the backgrounds as some sort of backstories for our PCs? Like hell, Larian could give us 2 options even as to what you did via dialogue like it was done in POE, and people would not complain as much about our PCs being a full empty blank slate. Hell, I wouldn't complain anymore. Our PCs backstory doesn't have to as grand as the origin characters' one, but at least make it matter a little bit more.

You see, you agree with Argonaut but I find your complaint a lot more valid than his, no offence for him intended.
They need to work on their social skills? Absolutely. Does it mean they are non-believable as characters? I think not, not a bit.
Should they react more when some cutscenes occur? Absolutely, but I think this is an oversight in the script of those specific scenes because in others they respond correctly, for example SH reaction when you free Lae'zel.
Should our PC feels like having a more solid BG in order not to be outshined from the origins ones? Hard to negate, and your suggestions are more than valid.

Originally Posted by Nicottia

Do you really want me to talk about how special Gale is and how his entire backstory not only steals the spotlight of the PC, but he's so damn special that he needs a contingency plan for when he dies (what given his backstory makes sense ofc)?

The man, the legend, the second coming of Elminster and Khelben, man who is on par with the greatest wizards ever known because he was a chosen of Mystra, he made love to a goddess but clearly, his lovemaking skills weren't enough for the goddess dumped him, so he got stuck trying to woo her back by getting that big bad Netherese time bomb stuck in his chest, requiring him to suck magic or it goes boom super sonic.

Gale's backstory is presented as waaaaay over the top. I think he is one of the best-acted companions and maybe the most likeable but I must admit you are right on this, he's story seems like a fanfic
(unless he was f*****g a succubus disguising herself as Mystra revealing he is, in fact, just a mediocre wizard, this will be the plot twist!)

Originally Posted by Worm

edit: As for the topic at hand. I really think it's just ruby tinted glasses. People remember BG1 and BG2 really fondly and likely played them when they were younger and more forgiving of things. Now they've built up amazing unmeetable standards for what they want in the game and the characters have fallen short. Now they're going to fight tooth and nail because somehow they really believe they're going to trigger Larian to do emergency rewrites or something.

This idea that Shadowheart is some terrible character and Morrigan is some amazing piece of writing is some kind of really personal opinion. It's valid to the person who feels this way, but it's clearly steeped in bias. Same thing for Astarion being dumb and Edwin being some amazing layered character.

Originally Posted by Bossk_Hogg
Originally Posted by FrostyFardragon
People generally come to forums to complain about something. The people who are happy with the companions are much less likely to post than people who have an axe to grind.

This. Add in the neckbeard factor because a female character dares to be anything but a doe eyed waifu and, well...

Maybe they can add in some mute companions for those who cant handle anything beyond Tolkeinesque low fantasy dirt farmers. The dwarf from the hag's hut can be your bog standard dwarven fighter. Maybe he can say "it if aint dwarven, its crap" in a scottish accent! Oho! That was funny 40 years ago and certainly still holds up! Add in an elven ranger, a hobbit thief, and an old wizard (really just Gale with a beard) and a passive cute female life cleric. Give Tav an amulet that has the narrator intone "You're a special boy! Not only are you special, but you're the MOST special, and no one else is special!". They can click it whenever they need the validation. Then the grandpa crowd can shut up and get to Denny's for their senior specials.

Not to invalidate any other criticisms but you're probably on spot my friends.

Originally Posted by Abits
Most of them are people I wouldn't want to travel with normally (except Laezel. Tell me how stupid I ammmm yesssd). But when the situation is dire you take what you can get.

This. I to find most of them irritating but I'm sticking with them because I need them to survive. This doesn't mean they are poorly written or unbelievable, just they have an attitude I don't like.

EDIT: I edited this post with all the quotes instead of writing many different ones.

Last edited by Sharet; 21/10/20 10:04 AM.