Jump to content

Welcome to Obsidian Forum Community
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

NPC interaction, also Wishlist


  • Please log in to reply
25 replies to this topic

#1
eeku grimsmile

eeku grimsmile

    (0) Nub

  • Initiates
  • 3 posts

Ok, so apparently PoE II General Discussion board has only 3 topics PINNED. This is just sad and should not be acceptable for a game with so much depth. I'm here to get pinned, or to be forgotten entirely. Eothas be damned.

 

I do realize that a feature list is probably bloated to hell at this point. but this is something very close to my heart.

 

Make NPCs NOT STAND OUT in a crowd unless you have a quest related to them, or somebody actually mentions them by name!

 

If you are like me, you will be scanning each area for named NPCs, looking for quests, omitting anyone with no unique name attached, and frankly this has become way too predictable, imo. Basically, if an NPC has an actual name, you will initiate dialogue, and if it's a "commoner" you will not bother.

 

What if, using BG1 as an example, Tethtoril was just labeled as "a noble", or "a sage" until you get the quest from Firebead to recover the scroll from him? Sure, you still get the dialogue from him, but it's up to the player to engage in a conversation with a regular NPC. This way, a quest would be an actual reward, not something you receive just beacuse the NPC has a unique name attached.

 

Hope that makes sense. And thank you for reading.

 

 

 

 


  • LuccA, Lord_Mord and Piero like this

#2
injurai

injurai

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 762 posts
  • Location:Not the oceans
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

My first impression is I like this idea. Thinking a bit harder on tradeoffs, I am also finding some downsides and wondering if it will really work how you think it would.

 

I like finding a new area and sort of introducing myself to the locals. Getting that first leg of a handful of quests and pursuing them all at the same time. I tend not to want to be running back and forth, I'd rather spend a day in one district, then spend the next turning in or advancing a number of different quests.I think your method would work for characters that aren't quest initiators.

 

The downside is you'll just skip over nobles as you naturally do, and you'll miss out on flavor text that is there for running into someone prematurely. It's also neat to get quests from multiple interactions and makes the world feel more natural and more tailored to how you approach the game. The way you describe basically just b-lines you to all the content. I'd imagine it would involve a fair amount of overhead to coordinate something like this, that it wouldn't be worth the developers time. Especially when they are trying to create quest paths that are dynamic, that have both asynchronous and synchronous qualities, that have multiple starts, and possible affect other quests.


  • Messier-31 likes this

#3
eeku grimsmile

eeku grimsmile

    (0) Nub

  • Initiates
  • 3 posts

What I'm thinking is until you actually talk to a person, and that person (or via someone else) introduces himself/herself to you, the PC shouldn't know their name right off the bat. Clicking on anyone with a unique name on the map has become automatic for me, and kind of kills sense of any real discovery.

 

If an innkeeper mentions a lowly thug who may have the information you seek and can be found down the market, then sure let his name popup, but until then it'd be just a "thug". Of course, the information would still be available should you decide to take your time to click on this seemingly unimportant NPC. As it is now, common NPCs offer nothing but flavour text and it has become increasingly obvious they exist as a filler.

 

As for your second paragraph -- I understand, and I play pretty much the same way, it is efficient. But I guess after some many similar games, I'm looking for a more organic way to approach and take on quests. 

 

Just a rough idea. Thanks for your input!


  • Lord_Mord likes this

#4
Wormerine

Wormerine

    (3) Conjurer

  • Members
  • 182 posts
  • Location:Poznan
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer
I am conflicted about the idea. If it were implimented well it could have a very engaging effect, but it could also be end up being frustrating. The biggest issue I see that if important NPC were to be unmarked that would mean that EVERY NPC should have a meaningful interaction. If you were required to click through many "nobles", "merchants" or "thugs" only do find out those who would talk to you it would be a waste of time. The problem is that confiscating what is a filler and what is not is not an improvement. Limiting the filler and adding more meaningful NPC is the way to go, but I don't see it happening due to the way Pillars is designed. It would require an army of writers and I would take a more coherent and consistent quality of writing over "you can talk to everyone but only some of them will be worth talking to".

#5
MortyTheGobbo

MortyTheGobbo

    (3) Conjurer

  • Members
  • 155 posts

It sounds like one of those ideas that sound wonderful and immersive in theory, and turn out to be nothing but a chore in actual play.


  • Archaven and Quillon like this

#6
injurai

injurai

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 762 posts
  • Location:Not the oceans
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

I am conflicted about the idea. If it were implimented well it could have a very engaging effect, but it could also be end up being frustrating. The biggest issue I see that if important NPC were to be unmarked that would mean that EVERY NPC should have a meaningful interaction. If you were required to click through many "nobles", "merchants" or "thugs" only do find out those who would talk to you it would be a waste of time. The problem is that confiscating what is a filler and what is not is not an improvement. Limiting the filler and adding more meaningful NPC is the way to go, but I don't see it happening due to the way Pillars is designed. It would require an army of writers and I would take a more coherent and consistent quality of writing over "you can talk to everyone but only some of them will be worth talking to".

 

I think the idea is that you ignore all nobles all the time. But hiding amongst them will be an important npc, but they are essentially in "stasis" until it's time for them to enter into the story.

 

I guess it's the type of thing that could work if you had a really unique looking NPC standing with a bunch of generic ones. That really wouldn't work in PoE1 due to the low fidelity character models. In Deadfire I imagine the affect would be "oh neat, look at that special looking npcs I can't interact with. I bet he/she/they will be important to something down the road." But then either your just on the look on for anything exotic and you are denied the ability to start a quests from an alternative source.


  • Wormerine likes this

#7
smjjames

smjjames

    (5) Thaumaturgist

  • Members
  • 468 posts

 

I am conflicted about the idea. If it were implimented well it could have a very engaging effect, but it could also be end up being frustrating. The biggest issue I see that if important NPC were to be unmarked that would mean that EVERY NPC should have a meaningful interaction. If you were required to click through many "nobles", "merchants" or "thugs" only do find out those who would talk to you it would be a waste of time. The problem is that confiscating what is a filler and what is not is not an improvement. Limiting the filler and adding more meaningful NPC is the way to go, but I don't see it happening due to the way Pillars is designed. It would require an army of writers and I would take a more coherent and consistent quality of writing over "you can talk to everyone but only some of them will be worth talking to".

 

I think the idea is that you ignore all nobles all the time. But hiding amongst them will be an important npc, but they are essentially in "stasis" until it's time for them to enter into the story.

 

I guess it's the type of thing that could work if you had a really unique looking NPC standing with a bunch of generic ones. That really wouldn't work in PoE1 due to the low fidelity character models. In Deadfire I imagine the affect would be "oh neat, look at that special looking npcs I can't interact with. I bet he/she/they will be important to something down the road." But then either your just on the look on for anything exotic and you are denied the ability to start a quests from an alternative source.

 

 

I guess one example might be the Elven merchant in Twin Elms that takes part in a sidequest? Theres also the nameless dying monk and the scared peasant. Quest givers generally call attention to them in a verbal way, at least that's how PoE1 does it since there are some nameless NPCs that initiate quests or call attention to something important if not quest related.



#8
Messier-31

Messier-31

    (11) Wizard

  • Members
  • 1608 posts
  • Location:Łódź, Poland
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

The premise is really nice, but the perspective of engaging in converastion with every single commoner ruins it.


  • anameforobsidian likes this

#9
eeku grimsmile

eeku grimsmile

    (0) Nub

  • Initiates
  • 3 posts

The premise is really nice, but the perspective of engaging in converastion with every single commoner ruins it.

 

If that's how it came across, I failed in explaining my own idea. I want to eliminate OCD behaviour in players like me, and encourage a more organic, natural flow to the quests. If your answer is "nah, I'd have to talk to every NPC", I can't help with that sort of thinking.

 

But I feel there are many ways no-name NPCs can initiate dialogue and quests. Speech bubbles, overheard conversations, or simply walking up to the PC and straight up initiating dialogue (think Lord Jierdan Firkraag in BG2)

 

Btw, also an Obsidian fan from Poland.



#10
injurai

injurai

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 762 posts
  • Location:Not the oceans
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

One of the reasons I like rpgs. Is that it's not just sitting back and watching the world unfold for you. It takes some effort to go out of your way and interact. In the real world I'd only have enough time and energy to initiated so many interactions. They'd probably be limited only to certain people in certain places and limited by social norms. So yeah that aspect of just hitting up every patron of a pub is weird in a sense. But I'd hate if we didn't have those moments where a large zone just opens up for you and you're free to explore. Already you can avoid backer npcs, and "padding" npcs like guards. Then you have named padding, named npcs with locked dialogue, and npcs who could use someone to help them.

 

Plus I like when there isn't necessarily a canonical moment when you should interact with another person. That more than anything feels really gamey...



#11
smjjames

smjjames

    (5) Thaumaturgist

  • Members
  • 468 posts

They (Obsidian that is) already make the task somewhat easier by having background talk which isn't always trying to get the players attention, but can also be trying to give the player a clue. Like for example, among market banter, you could overhear something. Sometimes theres also more than one way to activate a quest.



#12
Trogdor

Trogdor

    (1) Prestidigitator

  • Members
  • 9 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

One of the reasons I like rpgs. Is that it's not just sitting back and watching the world unfold for you. It takes some effort to go out of your way and interact. In the real world I'd only have enough time and energy to initiated so many interactions. They'd probably be limited only to certain people in certain places and limited by social norms. So yeah that aspect of just hitting up every patron of a pub is weird in a sense. But I'd hate if we didn't have those moments where a large zone just opens up for you and you're free to explore. Already you can avoid backer npcs, and "padding" npcs like guards. Then you have named padding, named npcs with locked dialogue, and npcs who could use someone to help them.

 

Plus I like when there isn't necessarily a canonical moment when you should interact with another person. That more than anything feels really gamey...

 

You bring up a good point, and one that frankly troubles me somewhat in many RP games, Pilllars included. As you say, it doesn't seem natural to talk to every person you come across or check every side alley or building. Yet most players do this, we are meta gaming in a way, knowing if we do this we will be rewarded with extra loot, extra quests, XP and whatnot. That is one aspect I felt Skyrim got right. The amount people, buildings and possible adventures were so overwhelming, that for the first time in... forever... I didn't play the game as a completionist. I talked to those characters that seemed interesting, or went to places that piqued my curiosity. The amount of content seemed to overwhelming that I had to pick and chose because of real life time constraints. It was incredibly liberating to play like that, and a lot more like the paper&pen roleplaying games we used to run.

 

It would be great if Pillars 2 could give you the option to play a similar way. Maybe that local tavern has different guests from day to day and you hear different rumors. Heck, should apply for the world as well, with characters moving around and changing places, giving the illusion of a more dynamic, living world. Maybe a character you didn't bother talking to moves around the world with his own agenda, and you might strike up a conversation when it feels more natural. Zones can be made in a way that lets you explore more of it in a natural way when you traverse it, running into situations or locations that pique your interest. The point is that the game world should try to make the player stumble into side quests in a more dynamic and fun way, rather than expecting the player to click everything in a relatively static world.
 


  • injurai likes this

#13
Wormerine

Wormerine

    (3) Conjurer

  • Members
  • 182 posts
  • Location:Poznan
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

 

One of the reasons I like rpgs. Is that it's not just sitting back and watching the world unfold for you. It takes some effort to go out of your way and interact. In the real world I'd only have enough time and energy to initiated so many interactions. They'd probably be limited only to certain people in certain places and limited by social norms. So yeah that aspect of just hitting up every patron of a pub is weird in a sense. But I'd hate if we didn't have those moments where a large zone just opens up for you and you're free to explore. Already you can avoid backer npcs, and "padding" npcs like guards. Then you have named padding, named npcs with locked dialogue, and npcs who could use someone to help them.

 

Plus I like when there isn't necessarily a canonical moment when you should interact with another person. That more than anything feels really gamey...

 

You bring up a good point, and one that frankly troubles me somewhat in many RP games, Pilllars included. As you say, it doesn't seem natural to talk to every person you come across or check every side alley or building. Yet most players do this, we are meta gaming in a way, knowing if we do this we will be rewarded with extra loot, extra quests, XP and whatnot. That is one aspect I felt Skyrim got right. The amount people, buildings and possible adventures were so overwhelming, that for the first time in... forever... I didn't play the game as a completionist. I talked to those characters that seemed interesting, or went to places that piqued my curiosity. The amount of content seemed to overwhelming that I had to pick and chose because of real life time constraints. It was incredibly liberating to play like that, and a lot more like the paper&pen roleplaying games we used to run.

 

It would be great if Pillars 2 could give you the option to play a similar way. Maybe that local tavern has different guests from day to day and you hear different rumors. Heck, should apply for the world as well, with characters moving around and changing places, giving the illusion of a more dynamic, living world. Maybe a character you didn't bother talking to moves around the world with his own agenda, and you might strike up a conversation when it feels more natural. Zones can be made in a way that lets you explore more of it in a natural way when you traverse it, running into situations or locations that pique your interest. The point is that the game world should try to make the player stumble into side quests in a more dynamic and fun way, rather than expecting the player to click everything in a relatively static world.
 

 

Introducing locations, and quests in an organic way is a worthwhile goal to strive for. I don't think PoE or old Infinity games did that badly, but of course there is always a way to improve. I like that PoE doesn't have quest markers "you have to talk to a guy, or find an object. Choose the quest and *ping*, it shows on your map and has a pointer floating above it." It is a lazy way of doing it, and if you would turn those off, good luck completing any quests. I am always impressed, when in game character give me sensible directions (discription of a house or where to find someone) but it only works in specific games and with a well designed world. I remember Baldur's Gate2 descibing building at one point, and finding it only based on that discription without much of an issue. Quite often, those same tricked end up just being confusing and frustrating if level design isn't as memorable.

The Devs have to choose how much information is given and how it is diivered. Some games are just clever about it. Witcher3's notice boards work really well. They are a way of telling you where the quest givers are, but they fit the world and the character. I don't think the conversation we should have is whenever we should hide questgivers names or not, but rather what more interesting ways of introducing quests could there be implimented. To me personally, in a game like Pillars it is not a huge issue as the game is quite abstract anyway. Naming important NPCs is a handy way of finding important NPC for the first time and finding them again. Hopefully the marketed more dynamic world (NPC having routines, moving around) will make things feel more organic and it won't be a case anymore of walking into an area and talking to everyone who has a name but not a gold plaque.



#14
injurai

injurai

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 762 posts
  • Location:Not the oceans
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

Yeah, quest boards are nice. As long as they are used sparingly or left for tasks. Morrowind is a great example of a game that relies heavily on telling you where to go based on landmarks. It's a shame to see what happened with Skyrim. Though I do agree it was nice just getting lost in the overwhelming content of Skyrim. I never completed the main quest only did half the guilds and still clocked 100 hours. Though that games works well since it's incredibly dense and essentially a sandbox world of sorts. While Pillars isn't a sandbox.

 

I don't want to be overwhelmed too much in Pillars but I do like when reaching new zones gives a small to medium burst of new content that can organically be encountered.


  • MaxQuest and Wormerine like this

#15
skn

skn

    (0) Nub

  • Members
  • 1 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

So basically Arcanum: of Steamworks and Magick Obscura? I've wanted that in Isometric RPG's ever since I first played Arcanum(Got it for free in a PCWorld magazine, good times). Actually make us walk around and talk to everyone. Would also be cool to have the ability to knock on doors, so you don't have to actually barge in to talk to the NPCs inside(always been a pet peeve of mine that you just barge in to a random persons home).


  • injurai and Lamppost in Winter like this

#16
injurai

injurai

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 762 posts
  • Location:Not the oceans
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

So basically Arcanum: of Steamworks and Magick Obscura? I've wanted that in Isometric RPG's ever since I first played Arcanum(Got it for free in a PCWorld magazine, good times). Actually make us walk around and talk to everyone. Would also be cool to have the ability to knock on doors, so you don't have to actually barge in to talk to the NPCs inside(always been a pet peeve of mine that you just barge in to a random persons home).

 

Barging in works if you're commander shepherd who is above the law and basically has a universal warrant. Otherwise, it always bothered me as well. Knocking adds an extra layer of gameplay both navigating the world and rp/social-engineering like stuff. Plus it's a huge boon to the stealth aspects of games. Stealth imo is one of Pillars weak points.


Edited by injurai, 08 July 2017 - 01:01 PM.


#17
Wormerine

Wormerine

    (3) Conjurer

  • Members
  • 182 posts
  • Location:Poznan
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

So basically Arcanum: of Steamworks and Magick Obscura? I've wanted that in Isometric RPG's ever since I first played Arcanum(Got it for free in a PCWorld magazine, good times). Actually make us walk around and talk to everyone. Would also be cool to have the ability to knock on doors, so you don't have to actually barge in to talk to the NPCs inside(always been a pet peeve of mine that you just barge in to a random persons home).

Sure, but Pillars and Arcanum are two radically different types of RPG (at least in my mind.) Baldur's Gate-Dragon Age-Witcher3-New Vegas-Pillars are story driven RPGs, which are all about well crafted characters and worlds, an engaging plot and overall good oldfashioned story. 

Games like Fallout1&2-Arcanum-Divinity where more about how you interact with the world, rather than individual storylines. I found them to be more of a "sandbox" where you have tools, and you have a problem and it is more about how your character will aproach any given problem than presenting themes or ideas. While those two "types" of RPGs share similaritues and can overlap I look for different things in each experience. In a storydriven RPG for example I don't want to get stuck or lost if it goes against the story - pacing is much more important. I will also accept well implimented limitation, if they work in support of the story. In what I define as "mechanic driven" RPG I usually look for a way to solve each problem in creative and free way and for the game to react to it.

It is all of course, my personal non-academic division of different RPG experiences and is not scientifically proven in any way:-).



#18
draego

draego

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 283 posts
  • Lords of the Eastern Reach Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

 

So basically Arcanum: of Steamworks and Magick Obscura? I've wanted that in Isometric RPG's ever since I first played Arcanum(Got it for free in a PCWorld magazine, good times). Actually make us walk around and talk to everyone. Would also be cool to have the ability to knock on doors, so you don't have to actually barge in to talk to the NPCs inside(always been a pet peeve of mine that you just barge in to a random persons home).

 

Barging in works if you're commander shepherd who is above the law and basically has a universal warrant. Otherwise, it always bothered me as well. Knocking adds an extra layer of gameplay both navigating the world and rp/social-engineering like stuff. Plus it's a huge boon to the stealth aspects of games. Stealth imo is one of Pillars weak points.

 

 

Ye when i play more of a good character and just walk into npcs houses, i imagine that i am knocking on the door and the npcs are just letting me in for a chat. As opposed to me just breaking in.


Edited by draego, 09 July 2017 - 11:17 AM.


#19
Trogdor

Trogdor

    (1) Prestidigitator

  • Members
  • 9 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

Reminds me of this :D

 


  • Messier-31 and Wormerine like this

#20
Messier-31

Messier-31

    (11) Wizard

  • Members
  • 1608 posts
  • Location:Łódź, Poland
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

Ye when i play more of a good character and just walk into npcs houses, i imagine that i am knocking on the door and the npcs are just letting me in for a chat.

 

And the first thing they say is "WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY HOUSE? GET OUT!" as some in Baldur's Gate do.

 

Seems legit  :thumbsup:


Edited by Messier-31, 10 July 2017 - 03:00 AM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users