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Everything posted by Faerunner

  1. I don't agree with some of your opinions (I love Tekehu and hate Maia), but your take on Aloth is spot on. He's accompanied the Watcher in both 1 and 2 in the most sordid scenes of violence and squalor, he's traveled to many places, suffered physical and psychological abuse, faced the reality of having been involved in something destructive, lost control of his own body on many occasions, lived a lie more than once, experienced many things and read more, and yet he's a whiny, shallow wussy bitching about other companions' proximity in quarters. Even if someone was like that initially, the many baptisms of dirt and horror would eventually change them. I'm probably going to regret this, but here goes: My dad was a drunken abuser who screamed and beat at me a lot when I was a little kid, much like Aloth. I was also neuro-atypical (Aspergers) attending nice WASP schools, and was pushed to hide it and "pass" as "normal" by my overbearing but distant mom and sister, much like how Aloth has an atypical soul and was pushed to hide it to pass as normal so he'd have a good future. (Though his case was obviously more extreme than mine.) I was also rebuked a lot over every little mistake, was bullied mercilessly for years, I'm also just naturally a quiet, solitary introvert. And I can say from experience that childhood traumas don't just go away after a while. And studies have confirmed that it's common for adults who were abused as kids to become conflict-averse when they're older. It's common for kids who felt they had little control growing up (like abusive or troubled homes) try to gain control in some aspect of their lives when they're older. My high school teachers confirmed when I had to leave crying from a rowdy, chaotic classroom that it's common for kids from abusive or unstable households to feel anxious or fearful in chaotic environments when they're older. PoE1 implies, and the Aloth short story confirms, that Aloth often felt like he had little to no control over his life growing up. Obviously when he was a kid he felt helpless and powerless before his father's explosive temper and savage beatings. And having his thoughts invaded and his body usurped by Iselmyr all the time made him feel like he wasn't even in control of his own body. So he tried to make up for this by exerting as much control as he could over himself, his conduct, his dress, and his immediate environment. (As an aside, tbh it always pisses me off how Iselmyr and Eder mock Aloth for being a "fussy" neat freak because it's obviously a coping mechanism from his horrific childhood abuse. If his dad beat him half to death over something as minor as less than perfect grades, you could bet your buttons he probably also knocked him sideways for things like tracking mud in the house, or leaving his shirt lying on the floor. No wonder he tries to stay quiet and out of the way.) And you can argue that Aloth should "logically" understand that since he's been through Hell and back and lived to tell about it, obviously he should realize how strong he is and get over his childhood abuse, right? Hollywood Psychology has taught us that if you've been in a bad situation before, you should just confront that situation and symbolically defeat it. You were bullied? Just fight the bully in that Third Act fight and everything's better! You had an abusive parent or guardian? Just stand up to your abuser and tell them "I'm not afraid of you anymore" and boom! Trauma cured! Sexual trauma? Just find The Right Man and have mind-blowing sex, and all that sexual trauma will be gone. Got beaten black and blue growing up? Just become a strong wizard and defeat dragons, monsters, and undead, and you'll feel confident and in control of your life! But it rarely, if ever, works that way. Most childhood scars and traumas stay with you no matter how much time has passed, or no matter how much you know "logically" that that same situation doesn't apply anymore. People who've experienced what it's like to be truly hungry and live to tell about it often end up being even more food-obsessed or food-hoarding when they're older than people who've never been hungry a day in their lives. People who were told they're ugly and worthless when they were young can still think they're ugly when they're older, even if they become world-famous models with their faces in several high fashion magazines. People who were told they're stupid and worthless when they were young can still think of themselves as unintelligent even if they get a PhD, become respected voices at academic or scientific fields, and/or teach at top universities. And likewise, a child beaten senseless during their early years can still feel nervous entering a fight, or hesitant to pick a fight with people who can hit hard; no matter how powerful a wizard or spellblade they becomes. Part of Aloth will always be that scared little boy cowering before his father's savage blows. To be honest, I think it's a miracle he's as brave and functional as he is after all he's been through. I don't begrudge him for being nervous getting into unnecessary fights or being a neat freak. It's just... kind of like Eder's love of animals getting way more attention in Deadfire than it did in PoE1, it's too bad Aloth's fussiness and conflict-aversion got way more attention here. I agree that Aloth's approval system was implemented very poorly. One thing I loved about Aloth in the first game and short story is that, for how fussy and formal he could be, he still had a good heart under it all. Even if he was preoccupied with details, he could still see the bigger picture. Even if he didn't agree with your views on animancy, for example, he could still see the wisdom and logic in your decision to support it (provided you don't just cow him into submission). Even if he did crinkle his nose at uncouth jokes, if you were overall benevolent or aiding Dyrwood (or stopping Thaos/the Hollowborn Crisis, if nothing else), he could see that was more important than his own delicate sensibilities. In this game... He really doesn't come off well with the "death by a thousand paper cuts" approval system. I like that being overall benevolent raises his approval this game since it follows the Aloth I know who cared about people even if he acted aloof and detached. In his short story he felt so guilt-ridden possibly causing his bully to go into a drooling vegetable that he alone (among a group of students who tried to sweep it under the rug and pretend it never happened) turned himself in even knowing it could mean losing everything; and was so horrified by what he discovered the Leaden Key was capable of that he confessed his involvement and pledged himself to help you stop them even though he still wasn't sure about animancy, and even though it risked you rejecting him. So it's really too bad that in the devs' desire to implement the "good in theory" aspects of "Aloth values these individual traits (duty, autonomy, whatever), so if you display them he likes you a little more and if you don't he likes you a little less," which adds up over time, can make you lose so much approval so quickly for displaying... ultimately frivolous traits in harmless settings. I'd like to think that while Aloth might feel annoyed and roll his eyes at the Watcher trading colorful jokes with Tekehu, he'd never be so petty or short-sighted as to let that affect his overall opinion of the Watcher. That he can still recognize, you know... "This is my friend who's been kind, loyal, and supportive to me for ages; who stood by mehelped me find direction five years ago when I was scared and alone... who helps the helpless everywhere s/he goes, who CAN be rational and diplomatic when it matters (even if s/he doesn't always, or doesn't feel like it now), who does [whatever], even if I wish s/he didn't encourage Tekehu." But, you know... shallow video game approval system.
  2. I don't know if this has been discussed or if this is the right place to post it, but since most fan feedback here seems to be negative and the the Deadfire Stories forum is a place to "discuss your favorite stories about your playthroughs of [Deadfire]," so... Okay! Going for it! Thank you so much for making Aloth romance-able in Deadfire! <3 I know a lot of people had their hearts set Eder and were really disappointed, and I truly feel for them. It also seems like a lot of people prefer Tekehu, and that's totally cool too. I'm very endeared to him myself. But Aloth has been far and away my favorite character of this series since the first game, and my "canon" Wild Orlan Watcher has been heel-over-head in love with him since practically the moment they first met in my first playthru. It always seemed foolish to hope for, since the devs always seemed to take a dim view of video game romances (and even mocked a number of times in different places), and a large part of the fandom scorns and ridicules it. Plus... my vote tends to be the death kiss of any character. If I want them to be romance-able, they're sure not to be. If I want them to live, they're sure to die. If I want them to return for a sequel, they never do. So since I loved Aloth so much, it seemed like, "Well, now that I like him, of course he won't turn up for the sequel." And when he was announced I thought, "Well, of course he won't be romance-able." Then when I learned he was I thought, "Well, of course he won't be into my short, hairy wild orlan." And, I kid you not, I hyperventilated, squeed, and swooned when I found out I was wrong, I was so happy! I know it's such a silly thing, but I feel like it really does enhance the story. To me, video games are interact-able stories, not just stylized combat simulators. And I like stories that are more than just "kill kill kill!" More than just "crawl through a dungeon, kill everyone there, loot their trousers, sell their trousers, then buy slightly better weapons and armor to do it all over again." I like stories that also have a very "human" and emotional element. I like games that at least give players the option to explore other facets of the human condition than just "kill, loot, trade, repeat." (But obviously let them skip it if the player is not interested.) And, to me, companion relationships, friendships, and, yes, romance is another avenue to add to that emotional element. And the Aloth Romance feels that much more special to me because we're building off the relationship he and the Watcher developed in the first game. In the first game, I loved all the companions (except Durance ) and their stories and character development. Aloth was just something special. It warmed my heart and made me want to cry, learning about his past, why he was the way he was, and helping him slowly learn to trust the Watcher. I loved that when the Watcher first encounters him in Gilded Veil he's "scared, alone, and desperate for direction." And how he slowly, timidly opens up to the Watcher and asks for help with his Awakened soul. And how, in his personal quest, he slowly lets down his tightly held guard and reveals more about his past. How the Watcher can hold his hand and assure him he's okay when he's lost in one of the worst memories of his life, and help him make sense of Iselmyr because he trusts and respects your opinion. How he confides in you about his past with the Leaden Key, so obviously scared that you'll hate and reject him like everyone else in his life. And how the Watcher can assure him, "I forgive you, Aloth. But I want you beside me, not behind me. I won't have you trade one master for another." How the Watcher can help him become more assertive and confident, gain a sense of control and independence in his life, and help him find new purpose and direction. And I love how that character development carries over into this game. How Aloth's character growth from the last game (embrace or suppress Iselmyr, take over or take down the Leaden Key, etc) gets acknowledged and built on here. And, yes, how that ties into the romance. I'm sure most of you don't care about my endless squee-ing and gushing or how all these little moments warmed my heart. So, just from a writing perspective, I LOVE all the little touches to the romance that either call back or build from their relationship in the first game. I love how when she first flirts with him he thinks she's joking, due to being sassy in the first game? (Don't know if he says "I'd forgotten how much you like a good joke. Even one at my expense," even if your Watcher didn't have a Clever reputation, but it felt immersive for my sassy little orlan.) And when she says she's not kidding, our characteristically wary elf with low self-esteem thinks she can't POSSIBLY be serious, and is almost afraid to hope. And then he slowly warms up to her as she gains his approval and trust (as ya do, cuz it's Aloth <3) and for their first kiss he seems torn between wanting to push her away and draw her close, and finally settles on tentatively placing his hands on her back and the back of her head, muscles straining like he doesn't dare pull her close. And lets her know that he's spent so long hiding parts of himself from others that he doesn't feel comfortable committing to a full relationship. And... Spoilers... How their relationship can progress from that. How, once Aloth gets more comfortable with the Watcher, he often holds their hand or seems like he wants to hold their hand, which seems like a nice call-back to when the Watcher could hold his hand during his personal quest in the first game. I love how when he starts talking about their uncertain future, the Watcher can say, "I'm glad to have you here beside me, Aloth," which seems like a nice call-back from when the Watch told him they want him beside them, not behind them in the first game. For the final kiss before the end-game, this time he has no problem pulling you close, showing how much he's come to trust you and let you in. And that's just the tip of the iceberg for me! It's all just so well-written, and ties so well into his ongoing character development and strengthening friendship with the Watcher over two games. It wouldn't have been possible if we just met him this game (obviously), or if romance was barred at all. And I'm just so happy it was possible. Thank you very much, everyone at Obsidian. Thank you for this opportunity. It really enriched my Deadfire story roleplay experience. <3
  3. It's almost become a running joke that wild orlans have one set appearance, and all you can do is change their fur color. And I get it. Wild orlans are probably the least played character race. No sense putting so much work customizing a race that most players won't even play, and when you won't even run into that many NPC's of them. And since in-universe they're the least "humanized" of orlans, they don't have many hair or beard styles in-universe. I guess it just felt like it made more sense in PoE1 because the character was so small that most physical features came from the portraits anyway. But with the characters being bigger and more detailed in Deadfire makes it feel a bit more iffy. Mostly I'm just confused on why Wild Orlans suddenly have blue eyes?? In the first game, our one set eye color was cat-like golden eyes, while Hearth Orlans (who had more head options anyway) had blue and green eyes. What changed? I wish we could at least customize our eye color, because I always took pride headcanoning that my girl had cat-like golden eyes.
  4. "RAM INTO THE ENEMY'S SHI d) "RAM INTO THE ENEMY'S SHIP!!" "No, Watcher, that'll destroy our own ship in the process." "But at least we'll take the enemy ship down with us!" "I don't think you understand how 'naval warfare' works."
  5. Sorry, I try to keep my posts short. Oh, the "Rivalmances" were toxic and unhealthy at best, emotional abuse at worst (with Hawke has the emotional abuser), and I'll never hear different. If memory serves, BioWare created the term to tell people that's not what they were doing. People were complaining that all companions romanced you regardless of player gender, thus their sexuality changes to suit the player character, then BioWare coined the term "Playersexual" just to give a name to what people were accusing them of, and saying, "No, that's not what they're doing. They don't change their sexuality in different playthroughs to be straight/gay based on what your Hawke's sex is, they're bisexual." I know that's what David Gaider, the lead Dragon Age writer at the time, did. He was emphatic that the characters were bisexual regardless of Hawke's sex any given playthrough. Considering bisexual erasure is a real reaction by real people to different types of fictional characters (movie, TV show, literature, etc) who show bisexual tendencies but the writers and/or viewers try to erase or delegitimize their bisexuality for one reason or another (like Willow from Buffy: "Oh, she was straight until she met Tara, then she became lesbian." "But, loving different people of different genders is a textbook example of bisexuality, and she still showed some interest in men--Dracula--after being with Tara..." "No, she was straight and then lesbian) I don't think it's pretentious at all. I don't think they did. I'm pretty sure that was either a term created by players, or it was a term created by BioWare to give a name to what fans were already accusing them of. Yeah, David Gaider, the LEAD WRITER of Dragon Age 1-3, was (and is) emphatic about the companions not being "playersexual." That said, he did admit they were going to have different sexualities for different companions but none of the writers could agree on who and what and whatnot, so just making them all bisexual was a "compromise." He then said they wouldn't do it again (and they haven't to date) because "bisexuality is never a compromise." And that's something I'm cool with.) The point of my post was that most people accuse all DA2 love interests except Isabela of being "playersexual" because "Fenris, Merrill, and Anders don't express interest in a gender other than Hawke's before getting together with Hawke, so they must only like Hawke's gender that playthrough" However, most of the same people who say this say, "Isabela is the only real bisexual because she clearly expresses interest in men and women before getting with Hawke." The implication being that Isabela is the only "legitimate" bisexual because she announces her bisexuality to everyone (and sleeps around with different genders) before she settles down. Why is it that so many people have this object permanence problem with bisexuality? Where people seem to think it's not "real" until it's observed by them, or it goes away / morphs into "straight/gay" depending on the gender of the person they get with. (A la "you didn't express any bisexual preferences in front of me before you got with her, so you must be straight/lesbian now that you're with her") =/ BUT, that's all neither here nor there. I don't personally buy into "DA2 Love Interests are all Player Sexual (except Isabela, because she gets around with both genders)." BUT I also know Obsidian is not going to make any of our companions conveniently bi, nor conveniently romanceable, just to make them sexually available to the player. Nor will they create some quota of orientations (like DAI's "two straights, two bis, two gays, plus Solas and Cullen because EA gave us an extra year"), so, yeah. Whether you think that's a good thing or not depends on the individual. Logically I'm all for it for character fidelity, but since I have some strong feelings about some characters, I know I'll probably have different emotions after the game comes out. ("DAMN IT! I know that's just like this character and it was so well-written I'm glad they did it... but damnit, I'm disappointed!")
  6. I know how you feel, but for me, relationships or romance in a game that only exist to pander to the player or for wish fulfillment are unsatisfying.I thought Dragon Age Inquisition's approach to companion romance was a huge improvement over Dragon Age 2 where all the love interests were conveniently playersexual. Allowing companions to have romantic and sexual preferences and gating players from experiencing every type of relationship with every companion makes them feel more like real people... for better or worse, depending on how the real world treats you I guess. I'm nervous about getting my hopes up about a romance with Aloth myself. Better to stay cynical and wait and see. You're barking up the wrong tree regarding DA2 companions' bisexuality. I'm bisexual in real life but I don't go around telling everyone every waking moment of every day, so seeing people accuse every DA2 LI except Isabela of being "playersexual" just because they don't express interest in every man, woman, and crossdressing dwarf they meet before getting with Hawke gets on my nerves. I actually like that Merrill and Fenris are pretty introverted and don't express interest in anyone until they're in love, but they also happen to be bisexual, much like me; but apparently that's not "realistic" for most people. Because everyone knows that real bisexuals are Slutty McSlutSluts that **** it up with every living person they come across, like Zevran and Isabela, right? I don't see it that way. If you don't romance either of them, Fenris gets into a friends-with-benefits relationship with Isabela even though he can potentially fall for Male Hawke; but since he doesn't express interest in women before getting with Male Hawke in that playthrough, he must only be into men in that playthrough. Merrill makes a comment in party banter that the all-male Qunari troops were "easy on the eyes" even though she can fall for Female Hawke, but if she doesn't gawk at men in a Female Hawke playthrough, that means she must be only into women that playthrough. It's a type of bisexual erasure that I'm frankly not okay with. That said, the "Rivalmance" was pure pandering. This was people complaining, "I want to be an **** to my companions and/or do whatever I want in front of them even if they find it morally abhorrent, but I want them to still want to f*ck me!" Lo and behold, in DA2 you could treat your companions as badly as you want and/or do things they find morally repulsive (turn mages back to the Templars in front of Anders, be cruel to elves and mages in front of elven mage Merrill, aid mages, slavers, and take a slave in front of former magister's slave Fenris), and they still line up to suck your genitals. I guess I'm glad that DAI had some straight and gay romanceable companions alongside the bisexual ones, and I'm HELLA glad they re-introduced "deal-breakers" in DAI. I wouldn't mind the option, but I hope it's not required. I like Iselmyr but don't "love" her (Iselmyr and my Watcher are very similar in temperament, so it'd just feel like my Watcher is dating herself...), though I guess it would be interesting if, in order to date one personality, you have to date the other. Or, if you like one personality but not the other, you have to coordinate time to spend with your desired personality without bothering the other since they share a body... Don't worry about it, I'm just reminiscing about my own bad luck. Aloth being into men or "not non-elves/humans" is something that I was worried about anyway, then I saw your post and had to share. I guess that would be interesting, though also another "Well, of course!" for me since my Watcher encouraged Aloth to keep Iselmyr, not get rid of her. If it turned out he wasn't ready for a relationship because he was too busy juggling body-controlling time with Iselmyr, I'd just have another, "Well, OF COURSE!!" moment, and my wild orlan would be glaring daggers at Iselmyr behind Aloth's back for the whole game. EDIT: I hope your Death Godlike Serafen finds love too. I always said the death godlike have that "Silent Hill" thing going for them, and we all know how sexy a lot of people find them! ^^
  7. I'm not excited about sidekicks since they're under-written, but I'm not against them either since Obsidian has basically written as many companions as they're going to write, so it's not like including these guys will detract from the part of the game I like. Plus, these sidekicks will be cheaper to make than more fully-written characters, but not just empty shells like the mercenaries you create hire at taverns last game. And it's a viable alternative for people who don't want whole backstories for their murder party. I'm game, even though I'm not excited and probably won't use them.t
  8. Knowing my luck, that's exactly what's going to happen. (Especially since Iselmyr is only into women.) My Watcher has been hopelessly in love with him since practically day one, but it turns out he's only into men, or only elven women, or only women/elven women (bad news for my wild orlan watcher), or what have you. I know the devs have stressed being faithful to the characters even if it disappoints players, and I'm all for that... but it wouldn't stop it from being disappointing.
  9. Do avian godlike have coclea and ovulate eggs? Do female wild orlans go into heat once a month like cats? Do aumaua give birth to live young or lay egg cases like sharks? Are mountain dwarves born from rocks? (As Oghren tells Velanna in DAA.) Since it's been established that different races can't have children, why is inter-race sex not super common as a foolproof form of birth control? (Aloth's mom entered an official mistress "marriage" with a human noble, which is apparently common since it lets male nobles have a bit on the side without worry of bastards to dispute his legitimate wife's heirs, but other than that...) Can subraces of the same species (like boreal + mountain dwarf; pale + wood elf) procreate? If so, what are the children like? These are important questions we need answers to.
  10. And I thought Dragon Age was the only fandom with a small but dedicated dwarf fandom. 0_0 I'm all for another dwarf companion for those who love them. I finally got my wild orlan companion, so I want others to be happy. That said, since dwarves are THE most highly stereotyped of the playable fantasy races, if Obsidian does make a dwarven companion, I hope they create a dwarven character first, "NON-STEREOTYPICAL DWARF!!!11" second. As much as I LOVE Sagani, her entire gimmick was that she was The Anti-Dwarf. Fantasy Inuit instead of Fantasy Scottish, an archer instead of an axe-wielder, a mother (female and sexualized) instead of a bearded man (like 99% of fictional dwarves...) Much as I love her (she's tied with Kana Rua as my second favorite PoE character, after Aloth), if they did more with her personality and character arc, I wouldn't feel like she was a walking gimmick first, a character second. I actually think Obsidian came up with some interesting cultures for Eora's dwarves. Boreal dwarves are basically Fantasy Inuits, which I think is cool. Mountain dwarves, contrary to the usual shtick of being the least numerous race who mostly live underground as smiths and "honor-bound" (drinking and bombastic) warriors, are actually the most numerous and far-reaching race, acting as explorers, navigators, and traders all over the world. I think that has rife potential to explore with a mountain dwarf companion... IF the devs weren't SO determined to avoid the typical fantasy dwarf stereotype that they just craft ANOTHER snarky dwarf rogue/archer who's "not like other dwarves."
  11. The variety sucked. Men can either choose the innocent girl-next-door, the bad-girl, or the milf. Women get... that one obnoxious guy. Maybe. Only if you don't mouth off at him when he's being insufferable. And only as long as you're a thin, sexy human or elf, not a short, fugly gnome, dwarf, or husky half-orc. Dude, try romancing Solas as a female Lavellan in Dragon Age Inquisition and its Trespasser DLC, and tell me that doesn't enhance the overall story. You could say that about literally any game feature, yet people make requests all the time. If "pressuring" (or just asking) video game designers for a feature they'd like to see always results in a lacklustre product, then we might as well not make any requests, discussions, or forum posts at all. In fact, they might as well just shut down the update and feedback forums and just surprise us with whatever game they felt like making on the release date, instead of constantly updating us about how the game is coming and asking us for ongoing feedback to make the best product possible. Also, I'm just going to say if someone is not really into romance in the first place, nothing short of the next coming of Shakespeare is going to make them happy. And that's fine. Not all video game features are for everyone. Personally, I think multiclassing sounds like more trouble than it's worth, but I don't go into the multiclassing forums and say, "Yeah, unless they make it absolutely flawless (like, no glitches or balancing issues or anything), I don't think they should do it at all." Some people love romances so much that literally any romance is good to them. Others like romances well enough that even an average or mediocre one will still please them. People who don't tend to like it or outright refuse to touch it? Well, literally nothing the creators write will please them (since perfect, deep, flawless, epic love stories are all but impossible to write for video games--and what's more, different types of romances appeal to different people, so there's no way they can make one that pleases everyone anyway), so why forgo an entire feature that will make one part of the fanbase happy, just because another part of the fanbase that was never going to be on board anyway said "ew"?
  12. I used to hope they'd make a Wild Orlan companion, but the blue-and-green duel-wielder answered that prayer. I also wouldn't mind a Pale Elf companion since I'm desperate to learn more about their culture, other than the vague text-based blurb of "They live in the White That Wends, rarely travel, rarely trade, and no one knows much about them." I also wouldn't mind a Death or Nature godlike companion, since I would love to see the perspective of two of the most commonly reviled and killed godlike. (Nature godlike because the moss and plants growing out of their skin makes them look diseased to most villagers, and death godlike because... come on. They look straight out of Silent Hill.) EDIT: I know Pallegina provides a general perspective of godlike (her infertility causing her to get all but disowned by her father because she can't give him an heir, the law of her land saying women who can't give birth aren't really women so she could join an all-male brotherhood, etc...), as well as the perspective of a godlike the Watcher can't play as... but still.
  13. I'm all for that, but why "instead of"? Why can't it be "both"? We all know they're going to shoot far past their highest stretch goal before the month's out, so why not develop both companion interactions AND reactivity to the main character? To me, having a detailed background doesn't mean much if there's no other fleshed out characters around to react to it. I think I lucked out with the "hunter" background since it got mentioned a few times (Calisca mentions you shouldn't mention it around Sparfel since he'd just try to prove to everyone he's the better hunter, and Sagani bonding with you over being a fellow hunter), but I wouldn't mind if the trend continued. More reactivity is always better in a roleplaying game, as far as I'm concerned. I'd also like greater reactivity to our homelands (like if you're from the Deadfire Archipelago characters discuss it, or if a character is from the same place as you someone brings it up. It still feels weird that Calisca also came from the Ixamitl plains, but neither character mentioned it). As always, I'd also love more reactivity to race and gender. It still irks me that companions and NPCs will talk **** to every Orlan they meet except my Watcher. Godlike? Forget it. Not one person looked revolted by my nature godlike's moss-covered skin, or creeped out by my death godlike's Silent Hill-esque flesh sacks covering her face.
  14. OMG, I would love that! My favorite class is the ranger just for the animal companion. I've been asking for more ranger/animal companion bonding from day one. This would just make my game.
  15. Ghost Heart sounds pretty cool, though did they say whether you just summon it for battle, or summon it when you enter a new area and have it wander around with you? The reason I like playing a ranger is having an animal companion; a little buddy to go everywhere with. If we just summon the companion at the beginning of every battle and it leaves at the end of said battle, I'll pass.
  16. I changed the resolution of my computer and the game to both be 1280×800. It worked like a charm! I'm still getting used to the new resolution for my computer and game, but it solved the problem. Thank you both so much!
  17. They've announced multiclassing and subclasses as game features, but that doesn't reduce the whole game to nothing but class mechanics with some stupid, useless story and character stuff on the side. A bunch of people are excited about the whole class stuff--to the point that that's practically all anyone talks about in this forum--but we all know that doesn't mean that's the only thing players care about in the game. (Or, if it is, that happens to be that player's preference, so who cares?) Yeah, some people would be really excited about and/or talk mostly about the romance feature, just like how some people are super excited and mostly only talk about the multiclassing, subclasses, pirate theme, stretch goals, or whatever. The whole game itself isn't reduced just because a game feature happens to be added that many people are a fan of. "Also, it basically becomes a spoiler. I mean really, saying "the companions will be romanceable" is a spoiler" They've announced that Eder, Aloth, and Pallegina will be returning companions. Is that not also a spoiler? We could have all played the game and found out for ourselves ("Let's see... nice setting... nice music... hey, that NPC looks familiar--OMG EDER IS BACK??!! :D"), but now we know ahead of time that they'll be in the game. Saying "this companion will be romanceable" is not much different than "this companion will be in the game." "Also, it basically becomes a spoiler. I mean really, saying "the companions will be romanceable" is a spoiler"
  18. There is hope: Half my prayers have been answered! Still wouldn't mind being able to romance Aloth, but I'm happy this, at least, will be a thing.
  19. Wait, it's been confirmed that they'll create a druid subclass that'll let you focus more on spirit-shifting? Thank freaking god. I have little to no combat ambition for these games, but even I've been wanting to play a druid with a greater emphasis on spirit-shifting (I'd honestly give up all spellcasting if it meant I could basically play a were-animal all game) since long before PoE was released.
  20. Ranger + Druid = Beastmaster. (Because you have an animal companion and can shift into an animal.)
  21. @LordCrash: I completely agree about (paraphrasing) how nice it would be for video games to include deeper emotional connections than just marauding around the countryside, killing random people, looting their trousers, and recruiting other combatants to help you. It doesn't have to be Harlequin Romance-esque sex scenes, but the very detached and impersonal nature of many video game character interactions does wear on me. I gush about Aloth a lot, but one of the reasons he's my favorite character is because... well, his friendship with the Watcher is one of the few relationships in the game that feels close and personal. Everyone is mainly just traveling with you out of convenience. While dialogue options allow you to be polite and supportive or cruel and dismissive, none of them allow the Watcher to convey, "I really care about you. You feel like family to me." Even if you're as nice as can possibly be (as I was with everyone but Durance), they still treat you like a detached acquaintance. I know that's what you are, but it's also too bad there's no option to forge stronger friendships or relationships or interactions. Aloth's personal quest in Act 2, where the Watcher helps him open up about his traumatic childhood, still gives me the warm fuzzies. This sounds so freaking juvenile, but the scene where he's overwhelmed by trauma and the Watcher can sooth him by holding his hand, still melts my heart. And not in a "romantic" way, but in a "one person reaches out and connects with another" way. That's the closest thing to the sort of close personal connections I wanted for this game. Many of the other companions' personal quests (Eder, Sagani, Kana, Hiravias, etc) come close and are nice, but none of them hold a candle to Aloth's personal quest or character development; which I think is thanks, in part, to his friendship with and esteem for the Watcher. (You wouldn't be able to affect his character development so much--suppress Iselmyr or embrace her, lead or take down t he Leaden Key--if he didn't respect you and value your opinion the way he simply doesn't for, say, Durance or Sagani.) I'd like to see these sorts of things explored more in video games (since, to me, video games are interact-able stories, and stories help explore the human condition), but while most video games have combat and violence down to a science, personal relationships and interactions beyond "let's travel and kill things together" still has a way to go. For now, like you said, I feel like Romance is one of the few avenues we have to explore them. To me it sounds like a completely obtuse concept that has no foundation in reality. It's a philosophical concept that sounds interesting, yes, but at the same time it's something nobody can really relate to. No empathy possible for "soul ripping" or "being awakened". It's not an emotional motivation that normal people can understand and therefore feel, it's the typical stuff (over-)ambitious writers mistake for good storytelling while completely missing psychology. I wouldn't say that. I recently learned what the actual symptoms are to Schizophrenia and Dissociative Disorders, and I think an Awakened Soul sounds like that. Visual and auditory hallucinations, erratic and unpredictable thought and behavioral patterns, a "break from reality" where your mind can't tell what's real and what's not, etc. There's a reason that, in Eora, most people with damaged and Awakened souls wind up shunned, abused, or locked up in asylums, since many of them display symptoms similar to many real-world mental illnesses (from mild to severe). Just look at poor Maerwald. Admittedly, some people have more experience with mental illnesses than others. I personally have a good amount of experience with the more severe and damaging ones with loved ones (from severe bipolar to borderline), and severe mental illness runs in part of my family, so the Awakened personality thing hits pretty close to home for me. To me, imagining your Watcher slowly succumbing to their Awakened memories and personalities sounds like the real-world equivalent of succumbing to schizophrenia or dissociative identity disorder (which occur in most adults around their late twenties--let that sink in). Slowly losing your sanity and having to find a treatment or cure before it's too late sounds terrifying to me. (Especially since I'm approaching my late twenties and there's a small chance I could develop... well...) Tying this back to the discussion of romance and/or interpersonal relationships, I think the "human" part of the fear of losing one's mind would have carried more weight if you could develop close relationships with your companions. In the game they usually express mild concern (or amusement) at you since you tend to moan, twitch, and talk in your sleep, and stare slack-jawed at thin air a lot, but if you succumb to madness it's ultimately not THAT huge a deal for them. At worst, they lose someone who was going to help them with a personal quest (finding out what happened to his brother for Eder, finding out what happened to her elder for Sagani, etc), but ultimately if you wind up a raving lunatic like Maerwald they move on with their lives. Nothing gained, nothing lost. Your Watcher is also far from home and has no close friends or family members around; you're a stranger in a foreign land. And while that sounds like a sucky place to lose one's mind, it's not like we see the anguish of our family or childhood friends watching us devolve from the person they care about to a crazed beggar on the street. But if you and your companions came to care about each other like family, or you developed a close romantic relationship with one of them... suddenly the dynamic is completely different. They're invested in keeping you sane because they're invested in the person they've come to care for, and/or your character has a possible added motivation of staying sane for your friends and/or bae. It adds a new dynamic if you wake up one morning to see--not Eder joking about having to throw a bucket of water over you one of these days, but your love interest looking over you looking pale and haunted, with bags under their eyes, because your chronic thrashing and moaning in your sleep woke them up and they were forced to sit staring at you helplessly for hours, unable to wake you up; and these episodes are getting worse, getting longer, and it's getting harder to wake you. You don't see the worry in their eyes when you briefly zone out during a conversation with them and find out that, during that brief moment of zoning out for you, another personality started talking to them and addressing them as someone you don't remember for several minutes; nor the mounting worry on their faces as this happens more and more frequently, and for longer periods of time. I think there is a way to "humanize" an Awakened soul and how it impacts the Watcher's friendships and interpersonal connections, but Obsidian steered clear of that, and left it all up to player headcanon, or just saving our sanity for sanity's sake.
  22. I love that picture! It's been out for a long time now. In hind sight, it's funny that that portrait portrays the three companions who return this game!
  23. I'm pretty much on board with those who said anything but race and sex. Your soul got munched on and you got depowered, so I guess it makes sense that your character would relearn combat techniques (class), skills (stealth, mechanics, etc), and even personality (maybe your soul was Clever before but became Stoic after that change). Artificial changes like hair, beard, tanning/paling, etc. makes sense because the second game takes place some odd years later and, well, people change in that time. And the portrait should be able to change to reflect that change. Having one's soul munched on (spiritual) doesn't seem like it would translate over to physical changes (your species and genitals), but then I'm not a developer. The only way I could see "race change" working is if they introduced / revealed a type of godlike that occurs when Eothas touches your soul. Someone on another thread mentioned the possibility of your character emerging from the Eothas soul-munching as a godlike since a god literally touched your soul. If they made it optional that your character was changed by the experience and emerged from the god's jaws as an Eothas godlike (fire godlike being from Magran)... yeah, I could see that working. Provided it was optional, there was an in-game explanation (like, describing how your soul felt being mashed touched by the soul of a god and giving you the option to lean into the sensation or rejecting it--if you lean into it your soul is affected and you come out godlike, but if you reject it your soul remains mostly untouched and you emerge as you were), and you still have the same body model as your old race (so, like, if you were an orlan before then you emerge an orlan godlike--you don't emerge an elf godlike). But that's a big fat "IF" with lots of variables. Long story short, I'm okay with any change up to race and sex.
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