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90% of those have nothing on Jan Jansen, Minsc or Edwin. Putting Aveline, Vivienne or Tali in there is just laughable :D But hey, whatever floats your boat.

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90% of those have nothing on Jan Jansen, Minsc or Edwin. Putting Aveline, Vivienne or Tali in there is just laughable :D But hey, whatever floats your boat.

Vivienne doesn't get the credit she deserves and Tali has a solid, coherent arc that spans three games and is less fawny than Liara. Aveline is a character type I almost always dislike but they make her jive in DA2.

 

Out of curiosity, what is it exactly about the three you mentioned that make them so exceptional?

Edited by Fredward
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90% of those have nothing on Jan Jansen, Minsc or Edwin. Putting Aveline, Vivienne or Tali in there is just laughable :D But hey, whatever floats your boat.

Vivienne doesn't get the credit she deserves and Tali has a solid, coherent arc that spans three games and is less fawny than Liara. Aveline is a character type I almost always dislike but they make her jive in DA2.

 

Out of curiosity, what is it exactly about the three you mentioned that make them so exceptional?

They are the first characters of their respective stereotypes he encountered so they are always the best.

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Jan Jensen, Minsc and Edwin are certainly more likeable at first than Aveline and Vivienne but that's because they are written to be campy and entertaining to make up for their lack of content. Most of the BG companions are completely one dimensional with very little content. 

 

On the topic of Aveline's character type I like those kinds of characters but to be honest Aveline and Cassandra are more or less the same character but Cassandra is just for the most part a better executed version. Apart from the romance novel thing, I found Aveline's being bad at dating thing a lot less cringey. 

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90% of those have nothing on Jan Jansen, Minsc or Edwin. Putting Aveline, Vivienne or Tali in there is just laughable :D But hey, whatever floats your boat.

Vivienne doesn't get the credit she deserves and Tali has a solid, coherent arc that spans three games and is less fawny than Liara. Aveline is a character type I almost always dislike but they make her jive in DA2.

 

Out of curiosity, what is it exactly about the three you mentioned that make them so exceptional?

 

Jan and Minsc are one of the best comic characters I've seen in a cRPG game. They actually managed to make comic characters work in a dark BG story, and that's quite an achievement. They are very entertaining and simply fun to keep around.

 

Edwin is great overall. His personal quest is so very well written, especially as contrast to his personality. Many of his quotes I remember to this day.

 

I barely remember what was Tali's story about other than "geth are bad QQ halp plz". Even Legion was better written than her.

 

If I was nostalgic I would say that Krogh was the best villain and Zubaran is the most epic hero ever, just for the sake of an argument, but I tend not to be a smug ****.

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90% of those have nothing on Jan Jansen, Minsc or Edwin. Putting Aveline, Vivienne or Tali in there is just laughable :D But hey, whatever floats your boat.

Vivienne doesn't get the credit she deserves and Tali has a solid, coherent arc that spans three games and is less fawny than Liara. Aveline is a character type I almost always dislike but they make her jive in DA2.

 

Out of curiosity, what is it exactly about the three you mentioned that make them so exceptional?

 

 

Tali is Aerie 2.0, dude.

 

That's what y'all ain't getting - you're judging characters that in many cases DEFINED the archetype you're accusing them of not fulfilling, especially since it was a Bioware game.  Yes, characters in games with far fewer technological limitations and new methods of storytelling that weren't available in the late 90's will probably tell more detailed, coherent character narratives.  But this is like accusing Gandalf the Grey of being kind of boring compared to Harry Potter, when Harry Potter probably wouldn't ****ing exist if not for ur-examples like Gandalf to build out of.

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That's not very specific. A couple of names, perhaps?

- Oghren

- Leliana (factoring her appearance in the subsequent games)

- Morrigan (same as Leliana)

- Alistair, kinda but only if you make him king.

- Isabella, especially with Aveline

- Aveline, especially with Isabella

- Anders

- Solas

- Iron Bull

- Vivienne

- Sera

- Mordin

- Morinth (soft spot for her)

- Tali

 

Viviene? Morinth? Aveline, Isabela? Iron Bull. F*cking Sera?

 

Dude wtf?

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Tali is Aerie 2.0, dude.

 

That's what y'all ain't getting - you're judging characters that in many cases DEFINED the archetype you're accusing them of not fulfilling, especially since it was a Bioware game.  Yes, characters in games with far fewer technological limitations and new methods of storytelling that weren't available in the late 90's will probably tell more detailed, coherent character narratives.  But this is like accusing Gandalf the Grey of being kind of boring compared to Harry Potter, when Harry Potter probably wouldn't ****ing exist if not for ur-examples like Gandalf to build out of.

Yeah but so? You can trace archetypes all the way back to our collective Jungian shadowplay, that doesn't mean every iteration is qualitatively equal. I feel like two entirely different forms of evaluation are called for when you ask "Did this character form a mould other characters would go on to be cast in?" vs "Is this character well written in comparison to more contemporary examples?" If you were to criticise Gandalf wrt Potter and the response to that critique is "Yeah well Harry wouldn't even exist without Gandalf" it's just sidestepping the conversation, regardless of whether or not it's true (which is isn't necessarily).

 

EDIT:

 

Jan and Minsc are one of the best comic characters I've seen in a cRPG game. They actually managed to make comic characters work in a dark BG story, and that's quite an achievement. They are very entertaining and simply fun to keep around.

 

Edwin is great overall. His personal quest is so very well written, especially as contrast to his personality. Many of his quotes I remember to this day.

 

I barely remember what was Tali's story about other than "geth are bad QQ halp plz". Even Legion was better written than her.

 

If I was nostalgic I would say that Krogh was the best villain and Zubaran is the most epic hero ever, just for the sake of an argument, but I tend not to be a smug ****.

Is very entertaining and fun to be around the required characteristics for a well written character? Or just a well written comic character? If it's the latter how does it compare to a well written character in general? Cuz when I look at Minsc what I see is someone with a developmental or intellectual disability with a hamster. He's flat and static and there's not a lot of complexity. He's not a good character. He's a fun and amusing caricature.

 

You can say Tali failed cuz her hook and development failed to get your attention and thus she's poorly written, but for the bulk of BG2's cast the attempt wasn't even made.

Edited by Fredward
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A character is good when he or she is memorable. How you react to a character is highly subjective. Obviously in every game there are better and worse characters.. Mazzy was bland AF, Keldorn wasn't much better, and I actually disliked Imoen, so after saving her I was like "ok now bye, get out of this place yourself". I never said that every single character in BG2 was well written, just saying that some of them I consider iconic to this day, and nostalgia has nothing to do with it. It simply because they left a mark, because I remember their quests, quotes, sometimes voices, despite playing tons of other games since then. If we're using Mass Effect as an example, Mordin was such a character. Wrex and Garrus too, kinda.

 

Minsc was not supposed to be complex. He was supposed to be a fun and amusing caricature, and he fulfilled that role very well. Would you prefer if every character was a brooding emo Fenris?

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Minsc was not supposed to be complex. He was supposed to be a fun and amusing caricature, and he fulfilled that role very well.

I like this as a metric more than I like memorability. Characters crafted with the purpose of evoking specific responses from people who interact with them. Maybe have to guess the author's mind a bit but not much cuz if the character is that obtuse it probably isn't very good, has room for subjective interpretation since the author can know that not everyone will respond the same way to a character and work with that knowledge and you can still evaluate a bit ie a good Minsc is probably easier to do than a good Solas.

 

Would you prefer if every character was a brooding emo Fenris?

No lol. There's a reason he didn't show up on my list. Both Fenris and Dorian feel a little bit too much like some exaggerated aspect of Gaider he wrote as self-therapy, though Dorian has some more redeeming qualities.

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Minsc was not supposed to be complex. He was supposed to be a fun and amusing caricature, and he fulfilled that role very well.

I like this as a metric more than I like memorability. Characters crafted with the purpose of evoking specific responses from people who interact with them. Maybe have to guess the author's mind a bit but not much cuz if the character is that obtuse it probably isn't very good, has room for subjective interpretation since the author can know that not everyone will respond the same way to a character and work with that knowledge and you can still evaluate a bit ie a good Minsc is probably easier to do than a good Solas.

 

Would you prefer if every character was a brooding emo Fenris?

No lol. There's a reason he didn't show up on my list. Both Fenris and Dorian feel a little bit too much like some exaggerated aspect of Gaider he wrote as self-therapy, though Dorian has some more redeeming qualities.

 

 

So, I'm missing something then.  If your preferred metric is "does this character evoke a response?", then why are you criticizing characters for being one-dimensional?

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What is the likelihood you remember Deadfire even 5 years from now? I still remember great moments in BG2.

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What is the likelihood you remember Deadfire even 5 years from now?

Erm... extremely high. I have a working memory after all.

 

A better question would be "what is the likelihood you still play Deadfire in five years?" The answer to that largely depends on how its final version ends up.

 

I will say that BG2 used to be a game that I'd replay every year or so but, since PoE's release, I've had very little desire to do so. I simply prefer playing PoE. That doesn't stop BG2 being one of my favourite games, but I don't feel the need to replay it any more.

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So, I'm missing something then.  If your preferred metric is "does this character evoke a response?", then why are you criticizing characters for being one-dimensional?

 

"One-dimensional" is a rote criticism that, I think, sounds good in the abstract, but doesn't apply when thought about at length. Even in high-brow literature, there are characters that are arguably "one-dimensional". In fact, it's a common technique to create a character with one exaggerated characteristic and then make that characteristic the center of the narrative. Think Ahab and obssession, or Hamlet and indecisiveness, or Odysseus and cleverness. It's not the only way to write characters and narrative, but it is a legitimate way.

 

I'm not saying Baldur's Gate scaled to the heights of those works, but it isn't true, imo, that because Minsc or Jan are almost cartoonish and one-dimensional that they somehow fail as characters. Personally, I don't like wading much into debates on RPG characters or plot because it's too subjective, but I just wanted to defend BG's writing against what I consider to be unfair attacks.

 

One other point I want to add, and throwing my support in with BG as having the better characters, is that Pillars just didn't have as much guts when creating reactivity regarding your NPC's. I mean, NPC's come to blows eventually in the BG games, in ways that are somewhat telegraphed to the player. And there are moments where certain NPC's can ruin your attempted quest (Kivan and the bandit camp) or be an enormous help (Viconia and the Drow city). These moments just don't exist as much in Pillars, and it's partly because Obsidian seems really really reticent to thrust any significant negative consequences on the player. I think the writing and characters end up suffering as a result.

Edited by cokane
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Ships can better than stronghold,I like they have some random encounters,They should add more random unique encounters and better ships have more abilities. Screw that stupid naval minigame. It's just a gimmick.

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So, I'm missing something then.  If your preferred metric is "does this character evoke a response?", then why are you criticizing characters for being one-dimensional?

Probably cuz I'm thinking through it as I'm talking to people. ~shrug~

 

So where I am now is somewhere around Minsc is a) a one-dimensional character but b) if that was all the writer really needed him to be then he can still be considered a successful character. I can also say that c) successfully crafting a one dimensional character like Minsc probably requires less skill/talent/focus/experience/intent than a lot of Bioware's more recent offerings. This makes me think that d) when people say Minsc is a better character than Sera they're prooobably comparing raw end states, Minsc is pretty straightforward A - B kind of character, he's either funny or he's not. Sera on the other hand is more complex, intended to be a fuller person and this results in a lot of places to get hung up on the character ie she's annoying, she has a bad haircut, she's narrow-minded and responds aggressively to people suggesting she maybe try to broaden her horizons a bit, her accent isn't always easy to parse, she's childish etc. Since readers/gamers are so varied characters can always fail e) Minsc happens to fail for me since I don't find his shtick funny for very long, and while people might get hung up on Sera's characteristics and dislike her as a person and conflate that with being poorly written (this is a different issue I have with people who often consider "I really dislike that character" as being synonymous with a badly written character), she can also absolutely fail as a written character*. What winds up separating BG2 characters from modern Bioware ones f) is an ambitiousness that BG2 characters didn't/couldn't have, they can still fail but there's fundamentally and purposefully more there which I think matters even if more work = more opportunities for failures.

 

* - I see Sera as being created with the intent of or giving the players something to respond to in the shape of the common man's response to world shaping events. You occasionally hear people bemoan the lack of commoners in high medieval fantasy type settings. It's always nobles saving the world or otherwise wealthy, learned people. Well, Sera's as common as it gets. The one thing that makes her special or noteworthy from the really truly unworkably common man is that she has a strong, if basic, sense of right and wrong. So what happens when you introduce existential concerns like gods, mythological figures and whatnot to someone who doesn't have either the education or the mental predisposition to really grapple with these concepts? You get someone who vehemently rejects it and circles the wagons around what she knows. What do you get when you introduce nuance to moral considerations with someone who has a strong, but basic, conception of it? You get someone who murders the noble rather than let you continue teasing out the threads of the situation. Keep things simple. Let the baddies stay bad. This is not, like really not, something commonly explored in fiction. Usually when an ingenue gets exposed to the facts of the world it goes with a gentle sense of blooming horizons and enlightenment. Is Sera blooming? No, Sera is definitely not blooming. Does the character fail because she never develops beyond this mindset, yeah maybe. There's a slightly adjacent discussion to be had there about what a reasonable degree of influence the PC should have on the core of who a NPC is but w/e.

 

I feel like some people are gonna read this and see "Ah, this character I like is better than the character you like because of its inherent depth and such and the fact that you can't see that just means that you, sir, are a dumb-dumb and only truly refined gentlepeople such as myself can get it. So there." I can see how that would be a conclusion but it's genuinely not what I was trying to convey.

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What is the likelihood you remember Deadfire even 5 years from now?

Erm... extremely high. I have a working memory after all.

 

A better question would be "what is the likelihood you still play Deadfire in five years?" The answer to that largely depends on how its final version ends up.

 

I will say that BG2 used to be a game that I'd replay every year or so but, since PoE's release, I've had very little desire to do so. I simply prefer playing PoE. That doesn't stop BG2 being one of my favourite games, but I don't feel the need to replay it any more.

I don't think my mind will ever take me back to Deadfire unless something is somehow related. It's a REALLY fun game to play but almost entirely forgettable imho.

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baldurs gate 2 is better.  it isn't just nostalgia.

 

its a more cohesive and personal story, with characters that have been a part of your story in a more intimate way, set in a world that isn't built around a single gimmick (the soul stuff in pillars). you also fight a greater variety of enemies, and from the perspective of narrative progression, the tension is better. Yeah, the first chapter of BGII  feels off-- like you're doing subquests instead of beelining for imoen, but the entirety of POE 2 feels like subquests instead of confronting the great conflict of the game.

 

I like PoE and PoE II very much, but it just doesn't compete in terms of narrative.

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The problem with Minsc is that if you ever play a FR Tabletop game where your character happens to be from Rashemen, everyone in the group will make comments that your character is supposed to be a ****ing retard. It gets worse if your character is a druid.

 

The reality being that if Minsc really did come from Rashemen one of the shamans would have had him executed for being weak long before he ran into CharName.

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For me, the best experience was BG1.

 

BG2 was great, but I prefer PoE2 because I love the setting of Eora, the freedom of movement of the overland map, the rich variety and detail of areas, the factions, etc.

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For me, the best experience was BG1.

 

You know what, that's true for me as well. I think I would rate BG2 as a far better game objectively, but I just find BG1 more immersive. I think the low-level gameplay actually makes it feel more realistic to me.

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