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About RAE

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  1. Sarevok (BG), Irenicus (BG2), the Master (Fallout), Kerghan (Arcanum), the Architect (DA:O-A) and Meredith (DA2) were great antagonists with their own understandable (though twisted) views and agendas. Akachi from MotB was sort of intersting, though in a bit different way. The worst couple of villains I've ever seen in CRPG are Archdemon and Loghain from DA:O. One is a ridiculously underwhelming Old God that remains unseen, hiding in underground tunnels for the whole game, then pops up for the final battle only to be defeated in a matter of minutes by the magic powers of hot witch sex and a couple of ballistae; while minority-oppressing, slave-trading, incompetent-assassins-hiring, having-a-pompous-douchebag-for-a-second-in-command Loghain is so cartoonishly villainous that all the talks of his past heroics and being a great general sound like some incredible stunt by his PR team.
  2. I blame myself for the poor wording, because I, actually, agree with you Of course, interaction with the characters is, probably, the most important part of PS:T gameplay. What I meant to say is that the variety of choices in party composition was non-existent until the latter stages of the game, so it didn't really feel like you were choosing companions, but rather that the game was doing it for you. Mind you, the player was limited not only by the number of choices, but by availability of those choices as well. The companions arrived at certain plot points and some of those happened very late in the game (Vhailor is, probably, the most striking example of that, but Ignus, Fall-from-Grace and Nordom also joined up with you only around mid-game stage). Now, compare it to Baldur's Gate 2 (I know, I keep bringing it up again and again, but I do think it had a nearly perfect balance between variety of choices and characterization of companions). Aside from Imoen, there were only 2-3 companions that required any kind of significant questing to get them in the party. Basically, you could quickly assemble the team you wanted to spend the rest of the game with right after leaving Irenicus' dungeon. And you were doing it on your own terms, not because those were the only choices around. And before someone mentions "Adventurer's Hall" again - no, that's not a valid alternative, because I could base my choices on degree how I liked or disliked the characters, their backstories or writing, while In case of the AH I'm forced to limit my criteria to classes and stats.
  3. Oh, that sounds exciting. Concepts for all the characters we had by now were pretty bland (no, I'm not worried, I know they'll all have twists of some sort, but as far as pitches go "human fighter" or "elven wizard" just doesn't sound nearly as exciting as, say, "flying skull", "fallen angel", "bear demigod" or "walking suit of armor"). Crime-solving psyonic gnome is the most intriguing character pitch we had at this point. Really looking forward to the other two. Aumaua and Godlike are not yet represented in the cast, are they?
  4. Definetely Sagani. An Innuit dwarf archer? Sign me up. And for Cadegund too, but mostly because of her boomstick (Machine Gun Preacher anyone?) The Orlan detective sounds pretty cool, but I'll reserve my judjement till I see the actual artworks of the race and the character.
  5. New Vegas didn't have 5 open companion slots. Neither did Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Jade Empire... ...or either of Nevewinter Nights games. Not to mention that MotB was a relatively short expansion pack or that One-of-Many was, basically, three characters in one. So it had flexibility in party composition proportional to the number open companion slots.
  6. I have an adamant confidence in the abilities of Obsidian writers. In fact, it's this confidence that makes me want to see more characters from them. Yes, huge dungeons and big cities are cool, but frankly I would gladly trade them off for 2-3 additional companions wrtitten by Avellone and Ziets. Yes, I want the impossible, character depth of PS:T and MotB combined with the variety of BG2
  7. Thank you all for your responses to my first post on this forum I think that several very good points have been made in this topic, but the problem I have with a "look at Planescape, it had even less!" is that PS:T had a completely different approach to this issue than most of the others CRPGs. You do not get a chance to "assemble" your party, unlike, say, in BG. The game is very focused on its narrative, while tactical combat is just a tiny and somewhat lackluster part of its gameplay. Torment characters' value are their stories and the roles they play in the story of Nameless One, but they don't add much to the gameplay itself. In fact, half of the party members join you in the middle or even latter stages of the game, which limits your choices even more (i.e. Vhailor has always seemed like a missed opportunity for me. For such an awesome companion that he is, he's introduced way too late in the game). For an example of a different kind, take Baldur's Gate 2. Yes, some members of its cast are more recognizable than others - Cernd and Keldorn might seem pretty bland compared to Minsk or Jan (well, but so is, say, Ignus compared to Morte or Nordom. "Yes. I get it. You're on fire."), but overall the characters are well-written and memorable. And there's enough of them to give players an opportunity to try out different combinations, tactics and game mechanics while still enjoing their characterizations, banters and quests. And I have a real problem with that "if you don't like it just use the Adventurer's Hall" argument. Yes, I do want broader variety of gameplay choices, mechanics and party compositions. But I also want memorable characters, banter, character-specific quests and personality clashes between different members of the team. And I think a middle ground is absolutely possible between a very small cast of highly fleshed out characters and a limitless supply of faceless generic mercenary goons from Adventurer's Hall. As I've said before, it seems to me that Baldur's Gate 2 nails that middle ground pretty good.
  8. So, is anyone else concerned about the lack of variety among the potential party members? It seems that 8 companions is a bit low number for 5 party slots. Granted, it seems that for party memebrs Obsidian is taking Planescape/MotB route (potential companions are fewer in number, but are much more fleshed out and involved in the main plot). Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for the "quality over quantity" approach, but 8 just seems a bit too low. Baldur's Gate had over twenty potential companions. Baldur's Gate 2 had 17. Shouldn't P:E have at least 10, to allow a couple of playthroughs with entirely different parties? I think the variety of choices in party composition contributed greatly to BG series replayability. The fact that you could go through the same story with completely different set of characters, assembled by your own criteria, whether it's a class or alignment or, dunno, pants colour (Troup of six arcane spellcasters? Possible. Team Evil, that includes greedy dwarven berserker, scheming wizard and hot drow priestess? Possible. Merry band of treehugging hippy-druids and rangers? Possible... though only if you can fight the desire to strangle Jaheira in her sleep for the whole game ) was one of the best things about Baldur's Gate. PS: Before anyone brings up Adventurer's Hall: while I appreciate the possibilities is brings to the game, I don't really consider player generated IWD-style faceless party members without dialogue and backstory companions in a "true" sense.
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