Lo and behold, I shall start a thread, because I can.
First of all a disclaimer: there will be a lot of words like "portrait" showing a lot of times in huge proximity to one another in next sentences, so watch out - I'm not a professional writer and English isn't my first language. And now to the point. Wanted to talk (type) to you guys about original NPC portraits by Obsidian. You got it. This is not about custom portraits, nor about companions. This is specifically about:
- Thaos, Iovara, Renengild and Galvino
- Portraits available to the player to choose from
Anyhoo, the first thing I wanna discuss are them four characters. I really like NPC's with portraits in these games (be it BG2 or PoE). I even like to muster a mod or two for BG saga, so more characters get a portrait, but only those who really are important to the game, story or setting. I wouldn't like to see every single peasant having a portrait, but I think that people like Gorion, Elminster, Drizzt deserve one. That is why I absolutely love the fact, that Obidian made these 4 (or 6 if you add the two variants for Thaos and Iovara).
Thaos and Iovara are absolutely incontestable. And while I really fancy portraits for Renengild and Galvino I question the reason behind giving portraits to those two specific characters.
- First of all Renengild is a mayor of Stalwart in WM1. It would make a lot of sense to give a portrait to the leader of a community, but Duc Aevar Wolfgrin (artificial gods bless his soul) hasn't got one. Wasn't he quite a figure in Eora?
- Renengild is no longer a mayor in WM2. What makes it more nonsense is that her role completely has no meaning in the second part of the expanion. She literally doesn't have more to say to you other than "k thx bai".
- Lady Webb is a super major NPC. Killing her ends the game prematurely! Still, lacking a portrait. For me it would make more sense to change the Renengild's one to Lady Webb's, because they look pretty much similar to eachother.
- Galvino is a semi-important character. I really like that guy (like most Vailians), but also his role in WM2 diminished (if not vanished). Yet somehow I get a feeling that there was some political correctness involved. Obsidian simply needed to give a portrait of an "ocean human" and thus avoid being frown upon. But that is just my loose observation.
Don't get me wrong. The more portraits, the better. I only think that maybe there are more important characters who would deserve a portrait. I know all about time and money issues that play a major factor here, but I wonder what do you guys think nonetheless. What are your types for characters who shoul've get a portrait? Apart from Duc Aevar and Lady Webb my other choice would be the leader of the Iron Flail.
Hey lady, do you have a twin sister?
Moving on. Portraits available to the player to choose from - that is an impressive amount of portraits the devs created. Bravo. Alas, there is also a lot of combinations while creating a character. If someone wants to make a specific character you only end up with 2 portraits tops. Custom portraits come in handy, but it is hard for all you aumaua/orlan/godlike lovers to get what you want. Also, one of my pet peeves is having a portrait of a completely different art. style than the rest. I think the fans of Luis Royo disagree, but I just see too much of a difference.
So maybe there could be more of it in the future? Given that somebody at Obsidian would like the idea and it wouldn't be a big time/money issue to make it? AFAIK there have been some portraits added to the game in recent updates. I am 100% sure that there were only 2 male dwarves one year ago when the game launched, and now we have 3 of them. You think there might be a possibility of Obsidian making a small portrait bonus pack? I - for one - would really like such a treat.
TL;DR in a nutshell:
- Was giving portraits to Renengild and Galvino a good idea?
- What are your types for major characters that deserve a portrait?
- Does it make sense to ask Obsidian to make more portraits?
P.S. Speaking of Renengild. What happened to her son in WM2? He's nowhere to be found?