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

Hopefully POE3 will do a better job of side quest/main story pacing and integration


  • Please log in to reply
28 replies to this topic

#21
Purudaya

Purudaya

    (3) Conjurer

  • Members
  • 181 posts

Unfortunately open world requires compromises, mostly in the story dept. It's pretty much not possible to have an open world and an engaging, well constructive, tight narrative. They are diametrically opposed. Look at W3, (which handled the open world much better than most) it was a fantastic game, but compare the dlc "hearts of stone" to the main game. The dlc was stunning with an amazing antagonist.
Which you can't have in an open world game. Bethesda take some flak for their stories, but they know this very well. The big bad in an open world needs to be very much in the background with absolutely no sense of urgency attached to dealing with it.
You're vaguely aware that the dragon of doom is gonna eat the world, but first, you really need to pick some flowers, or chop some wood...

 

You can do both to some degree by offering a limited or staggered open world with areas that unlock as the main quest is completed. Baldur's Gate 1 did this - the entire southern half of the map is available to you from the beginning, but you're soft-locked out of doing too much exploring by your level/overall squishiness until after you complete the Nashkel mines. Then the game opens up in stages: Bandit camp (act 3), Cloakwood (act 4), and finally Baldur's Gate (act 5). It's both open enough to give the players lots to explore while also being fairly tightly controlled. PoE1 does something similar - the western bridge to Defiance Bay is cut off so as to encourage players to finish Gilded Vale/Raedric/Stronghold before moving on, after which the gorge leading to Twin Elms is flooded until the player completes Act 2.

The nature of Deadfire's setting makes it difficult to geographically block access to certain areas (they sort of do so with Ukaizo, but more than one 'impenetrable storm' would've felt cheesy), so I understand why the developers decided to leave it open. But imagine how much better the narrative flow would've been if a faction fleet had surrounded Hasongo and you had to complete quests/favors in order to get through, or if the shoals at Ashen Maw did gradual hull damage, forcing players to turn around after realizing that they needed to earn money for a stronger ship. That would have created both an in-game motivation to complete side content while also mitigating the urgency problem: it's no longer about whether you should prioritize going to Ashen Maw, but whether you are able to go there yet. 

It's probably beyond the current capabilities of our talented modders, but I'd donate good money towards a mod that does something like this.
 


  • Suen, Noctoi, SerenityHarkness and 2 others like this

#22
handsomenat

handsomenat

    (1) Prestidigitator

  • Members
  • 24 posts
  • Location:Poland

This problem has been on my mind for some time; how to marry an open world with a pressing main quest. Can't say Deadfire does it well. I don't have any solid answers but I agree with some of the ideas mentioned here. One, mentioned above by Purudaya: throw obstacles in player's path. Two, restructure the whole chase so that the player is largely in the dark and has to figure out the course rather than them knowing where to go and then stalling because I guess Eothas will just patiently wait for them to catch up. After the first quest in Engwithan Ruins I thought next steps would be more like a puzzle. Investigate more Adra Pillars and from that figure out Eothas' course or something.

 

I've been also thinking about Fallout New Vegas and what exactly did it do that it felt okay. And I guess it boils down to player's agency and their actions being connected to factions/antagonists actions. Some things wouldn't take place without player's action first. The Platinum Chip might have been a MacGuffin at first, but turns out it has its uses for either Mr House or the Legion. So what the player will do matters to the involved parties. The overall tempo is different than in Deadfire though; the final conflict is slowly but surely approaching. It's nothing like chasing a god. And there's the whole question of what a mortal can do when confronted with a god (turns out not much) so I'm not sure if the same approach would work well in Deadfire too. I'm not sure if gods not taking action is actually a weakness. It might be a theme. Though of course if something dramatic was to happen the whole game would be much more interesting.

 

I really liked how it's resolved in BG1. I haven't played Witcher 3 yet, but it looks like I need to give it a try.



#23
Verde

Verde

    (3) Conjurer

  • Members
  • 135 posts
  • Steam:DragonSoundxSG
Great discussion everyone thanks. Wasnt sure how the OP would be received.

After playing W3 and thinking about POE2 vs say POE1 and BG, I think the main issues are urgency and "tollgates". Like we said before, having to gather/research, etc while there is a plausible reason why you dont need to chase after the main quest at breakneck speed can do wonders. And then once it picks up, to tie in more of the sidequests (BG2 crushed it here). POE2 unfortunately had an opportunity to push the RPG genre forward but instead regressed in the main story by following the open world trend.
  • Suen likes this

#24
Porcelyn

Porcelyn

    (3) Conjurer

  • Members
  • 140 posts
  • Location:Canada

I like structure and a solid main story. The game should use some gating. I learned not to go exploring in Deadfire because it messes up quests. Things like exploring the Old City and Undercroft should be blocked until you gain the appropriate quest. Just walking up to the Overseer, who just sent a screaming man in a cage down to the undercity, and him just giving you access to it seems nuts to me.


  • Suen likes this

#25
Verde

Verde

    (3) Conjurer

  • Members
  • 135 posts
  • Steam:DragonSoundxSG
Oh yeah some of the quest triggers are just unbelievable, lazy, or bugged. Immersion killing is when you stumble upon a quest by accident but the dialogue choices make it seem like you know all key parties.

#26
Suen

Suen

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 371 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

... imagine how much better the narrative flow would've been if a faction fleet had surrounded Hasongo and you had to complete quests/favors in order to get through, or if the shoals at Ashen Maw did gradual hull damage, forcing players to turn around after realizing that they needed to earn money for a stronger ship. That would have created both an in-game motivation to complete side content while also mitigating the urgency problem: it's no longer about whether you should prioritize going to Ashen Maw, but whether you are able to go there yet. 

It's probably beyond the current capabilities of our talented modders, but I'd donate good money towards a mod that does something like this.

I'd like to see it implemented in a official Enhanced Edition.
But who knows if it's still feasible at this point in the development (the team could be busy with some other stuff, not be affordable, etc). 



#27
Verde

Verde

    (3) Conjurer

  • Members
  • 135 posts
  • Steam:DragonSoundxSG
Yeah great ideas!

#28
Palas

Palas

    (1) Prestidigitator

  • Members
  • 34 posts
I think it's quite difficult to get an open world RPG and a good and dense mainstory.

The Elderscrolls never got it well, but they had so much fantastic side and factionquest. Deadfire feels a bit like that.

As i said before in anthother thread: sidequests and mainstory are fun in Deadfire (ok, sidequests were imo the better of the two) but they feel quite separated. Eothas makes 3 station and tell you the last two of it.

I think the game would feel more constant and organic, if the story gave us more reason to do the side- and especially the factionquest. Like Eothas don't tell you where he go and you must more search him. Or there were more stones in the way to follow hin and only a faction could help. Or the good old "you need the seven crystals of power to open the gate to Ukaizo".

Yeah you could go first the critical path until ashen maw, then doing some work for one faction, and going then to Ukaizo. That would be a way, that make storywise sense, but you would miss many sidequests and fun that way.

I think deadfire is one of the better, maybe best, rpg's in the last years, but for true perfection for a BG like game, it lacks imo in clinging main- and sidequest together.

I hope PoE3 will do this better.

But overall tnx Obsidian for this game, it's only sad, that it's "only" near perfection.

#29
anameforobsidian

anameforobsidian

    (8) Warlock

  • Members
  • 1121 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Backer
  • Fig Backer

This is the nature of open world RPGs and always has been.  Fallout 1 literally threatens to kill all the npcs if you don't follow the main plot.  Fallout 2 has you go what, three mandatory places and then an endgame dungeon.  Skyrim's quest has almost nothing to do with the other quests in the game, and is a tiny portion of the amount of time you can spend in the game.  There's a trade off between linearity and open worlds; I suspect that the only way to solve it is by throwing tons of money at the problem.

 

 

And Baldur's Gate, well... I think the Baldur's Gate series were some of the best rpgs, but I think people are remembering them poorly:

 

BG I:  "My father's dead.  I should probably investigate anomalous metallurgy."  The hook getting you to Nashkel was particularly weak.

 

BG II:  "Hey you, get 20,000 gold!  Here's the first 3/4s of the content, do whatever you want."  I tried using that hook in a pnp campaign and the players were mutinous.  I wasn't exactly hurrying to rescue Imoen; I killed two dragons, an elder brain, several liches, and a demilich before getting to her the first time.  The point here is that the sidequests weren't integrated at all into the main story; that's why they're sidequests.  The reason Baldur's Gate II succeeds is that it's so massive there's enough space to have two quite large games in there.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users