Originally Posted by Saito Hikari
Originally Posted by Boblawblah
the dialogue choices can fill out your character though. In swtor, you're essentially playing a custom character with a voice, but through the very simple dialogue choices, you're able to create your own version (it's VERY limited to be fair) of your character. it gives a sense of ownership. Nothing so far in BG3 has made my character feel like anything more than a prop for the origin characters to shine in front of.

I don't speak much on the Origin system, but it might be surprising to know that the Origin system is probably the one thing that can potentially bother me the most about this game. Potentially because the system isn't ready yet, but the impact can already be felt on the writing.

What people don't seem to consider is that giving players the option of playing as premade characters inherently takes away resources that could have been made to flesh out a custom character instead. Not only that, but in order to make the origin characters appealing to play as, they inherently have to be constructed in ways that they're all competing for the limelight at once. They'd also have to be written under the assumption that a player may choose to play as them at some point, so not only are they super special, but they tend to lean really hard into their defining traits, so that any deviation suddenly looks like character agency. I imagine the writers are at least somewhat aware of some of the shortcomings, even if a good portion of the gaming community has yet to notice - with a companion setup like this, it's no wonder that there's barely any party banter at all, and what little there is tends to be in response to whatever the lead character is doing, rather than responding to each other.

That was the one thing that irked me the most in DOS2. The companions had insane backgrounds, but they also somehow still managed to be extremely one-note, especially when the vast majority of their personal quests usually involved extreme violence at every single step. BG3 is at least a little bit better at that so far, but the companions are just as narcissistic as DOS2's and whatever depth the DOS2's companions ended up getting had the subtlety of a freight train hitting a brick wall. I don't have high hopes that the BG3 companions could really develop in ways that don't involve 'lol plot twist/shock value event' masquerading as 'character development'.

I hope BG3's writing surprises me later on, but as it currently stands, the writing of Pathfinder WotR's companions are leagues ahead, and I believe the origin system would be the main culprit to blame for the way the BG3 companions are written if they turn out to be comparatively disappointing in literally every department beyond the ability to romance them.

(I would also blame the idea of having to kill off certain party members after a certain point in the game, like how DOS2 killed off everyone not in your active party after a certain battle offscreen. Something like that comes to the detriment of world building too - it would encourage repeat playthroughs, but it shrinked that game's focus to your special party of 4, which made the last act of DOS2 really confusing for some people because a lot of the antagonists there were basically personal targets for specific companions. For some people, it ended up being a montage of 'who the hell are you and why should I care other than the fact that you're getting in my way'.

Mass Effect 2 says hello. Hey, so does Dragon Age Inquisition to a lesser degree, and even DA 2. Yeah, we get to keep the full squads, well, that's not really accurate, in DA 2 they can all turn against you, depending on how you handled things, and it's possible that your surviving sibling didn't survive to the last act as well. I'm not at all sure why people are acting like this is something new, it's really not. I'm not sure how to measure the irony of bringing swtor in? Because we have comp quests there too. All 8 classes vanilla stories have companion quests for all of their comps. One comp on each of those has actual missions you need to go on to complete their individual arcs. Despite all the "it takes away from our character's development" here, there the class stories are considered the best part of that game.

Know what happens if you don't do the loyalty missions in ME 2, or don't do them "right"? The end result is simple: Everyone, including Shepard, can die. Joker and the Normandy are the only survivors in that scenario. Despite all this time, and all consequence tied to the ME 2 comps, it's considered the best game in the series. So despite the accusation of "what people don't seem to consider", it's perhaps more accurate to say that we know a system like this can work, as we've seen it work outside of DOS games, I listed a few examples here. But I have to wonder, was arguably the most popular character in the Dragon Age series a real flop because it wasn't voiced? The Warden. Is Skyrim's popularity a myth? I prefer a voiced protagonist, but that doesn't mean I can't recognize that a silent protagonist can be just as popular, or more so, than a voiced one.

I bring this up because there were interviews implying that we should expect the same sort of thing to happen after some point in BG3 too, though I hope this time it's sorted by sets of companions based on their actual motivations, rather than literally everyone not in your active party. And if you want to think REALLY far ahead - I would not place bets on *any* of the companions returning as playable characters for a potential sequel if the devs go through with this idea, unless they pull a cop-out and show that they got better somehow.)

For the record, I'd consider things like DA:O's Origin system fine, because it's still your character overall, and designed to be more like a guideline rather than a strict blueprint like DOS2/BG3's origin system. DAO's companions were still highly memorable regardless.

Apples and Oranges comparing those "Origins". In DA it was literally the Origin of the Warden. Perhaps the system here is misnamed, because while it can explain the origin of the PC, it's not exactly the same here. In DA, no matter which origin story you choose, you're the main character, and none of the other origins will appear in game. Duncan can't be everywhere at once. Here, they can all be relegated to NPC status. Having fleshed out comps isn't a bad thing. DA, Mass Effect, swtor, all have them. I've listed off others all the way back to BG1. I'm not a fan of "rocks fall, everyone dies" type scenario where we're going to apparently lose some of the starting comps. I think if it were me, I would write in a couple of comps for the prologue, and balance it accordingly, and pepper the rest of the comps out throughout the later parts of the game. I might even consider a "max party size + x" type system, to throw a few extras in a la ME/DA as prime examples. I don't recall how it was done in Neverwinter Nights 1, but it was the same in NWN 2. Those comps were fleshed out too.