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Heathsunderer

Question about romance and party interaction

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Howdy, folks!

Let me start off by saying I liked Pillars of Eternity very much. I spent a good 90 hours on my first (and so far only) run and enjoyed the setting a whole lot. That said, I have been thinking of picking up the sequel once all the downloadable content is out. There is but one thing lingering in the back of my head that's keeping me from reaching a final decision to purchase it or not. To wit: party banter. You see, in the first game getting to know your companions was for the most part a great deal of fun and following out their quest lines did not prove overly tiresome.

 

When it comes to the sequel I have read that your character may pursue a romantic relationship with most of the party members. Let's say I have a preference for certain characters when it comes to romance. Are you able to stay on friendly terms with your party members even if you reject their advances (or if you don't hit on them, I am not sure how it works in this game)? If so, does the game let on what dialogue options lead to an affair and which options merely keep your companionship from souring? How much content as far as quests go do I forgo if I think better of becoming lovers or whatever with someone or choose one over everyone else? 

 

I would be thrilled for prompt feedback and if some of my wording is poor let me know so I can give you a better rundown of my chief issue. Thanks for your time and fare you well. 

Edited by Heathsunderer

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reject them have almost no effect

end the relationship after it start have some influence

but the dialogue option start romantic relationship only trigger once 

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reject them have almost no effect

end the relationship after it start have some influence

but the dialogue option start romantic relationship only trigger once 

Right. Cheers, lad. Is there any way to tell what line or option triggers a romance?

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Romances in Deadfire are kind of... there.

There are four romances in the game. Xoti, Maia, Tekehu and Aloth. You can romance all of them regardless of gender.

 

They are closer to flings, more than anything. Romances are relatively short and don't have a lot of "mileage", so to speak. The writing also might be questionable to some.

And just don't be suprised, if some of your party members start hitting on you first. Maia and Tekehu used to be quite notorious for that. Still, you can turn them down pretty much with no consequence. I also don't remember any catfights or jealousy talks.

 

And in whole honesty - if you wish to buy the game just for the romance, I don't think it's worth it. This game can have a lot going for it, but character interactions and especially romances can be quite spotty. But that's just my opinion.

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Romances in Deadfire are kind of... there.

There are four romances in the game. Xoti, Maia, Tekehu and Aloth. You can romance all of them regardless of gender.

 

They are closer to flings, more than anything. Romances are relatively short and don't have a lot of "mileage", so to speak. The writing also might be questionable to some.

And just don't be suprised, if some of your party members start hitting on you first. Maia and Tekehu used to be quite notorious for that. Still, you can turn them down pretty much with no consequence. I also don't remember any catfights or jealousy talks.

 

And in whole honesty - if you wish to buy the game just for the romance, I don't think it's worth it. This game can have a lot going for it, but character interactions and especially romances can be quite spotty. But that's just my opinion.

Thank you kindly, partner. I had heard the romantic subplots were poorly written so I have been wondering how much time and effort goes into dealing with them and wrapping them up and whether you can miss out on certain quests. I am a big fan of the ones in Baldur's Gate 2 (they unfolded slowly for me unlike these flings you speak of) but Obsidian seem to have dropped the ball with this. I am somewhat disappointed (could have done without them just like PoE did) but I am still willing to give this game a shot.

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reject them have almost no effect

end the relationship after it start have some influence

but the dialogue option start romantic relationship only trigger once 

Right. Cheers, lad. Is there any way to tell what line or option triggers a romance?

 

 

It will be pretty obvious - the romance triggers in Deadfire aren't exactly subtle, and for a developer that previously criticized CRPG romances/said they shouldn't be implemented unless they can be done "right," Obsidian's romances are some of the most shallow and bare-bones I've ever played. That's not an indictment of Deadfire as a whole - it's a great game - but its qualities come more from excellent worldbuilding, lore, and combat than from companion character development. 

 

The companions have dialogue, will interject in conversations, each have a personal quest, and (some) offer a romance that plays out over 5-6 interactions or so. They're okay, but they're by no means a game-defining experience.

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reject them have almost no effect

end the relationship after it start have some influence

but the dialogue option start romantic relationship only trigger once 

Right. Cheers, lad. Is there any way to tell what line or option triggers a romance?

 

 

It will be pretty obvious - the romance triggers in Deadfire aren't exactly subtle, and for a developer that previously criticized CRPG romances/said they shouldn't be implemented unless they can be done "right," Obsidian's romances are some of the most shallow and bare-bones I've ever played. That's not an indictment of Deadfire as a whole - it's a great game - but its qualities come more from excellent worldbuilding, lore, and combat than from companion character development. 

 

The companions have dialogue, will interject in conversations, each have a personal quest, and (some) offer a romance that plays out over 5-6 interactions or so. They're okay, but they're by no means a game-defining experience.

 

I agree wholeheartedly, sir. I imagine this is why most developers steer clear of love and sexual tension in their games. It also makes me feel queasy about recommending such games to friends or family (what will they think of me?) although I must admit it can be a huge pro if it's done right (low titillation, intense emotion). Anyway, if everything else about PoE 2 holds true to the things that made its predecessor great I will consider buying it. 

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Right. Cheers, lad. Is there any way to tell what line or option triggers a romance?

 

It will be pretty obvious - the romance triggers in Deadfire aren't exactly subtle

 

When the game was released, the only way it could be more obvious would be if they kissed you on on your first conversation.

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reject them have almost no effect

end the relationship after it start have some influence

but the dialogue option start romantic relationship only trigger once

Right. Cheers, lad. Is there any way to tell what line or option triggers a romance?

It will be pretty obvious - the romance triggers in Deadfire aren't exactly subtle, and for a developer that previously criticized CRPG romances/said they shouldn't be implemented unless they can be done "right," Obsidian's romances are some of the most shallow and bare-bones I've ever played. That's not an indictment of Deadfire as a whole - it's a great game - but its qualities come more from excellent worldbuilding, lore, and combat than from companion character development.

 

The companions have dialogue, will interject in conversations, each have a personal quest, and (some) offer a romance that plays out over 5-6 interactions or so. They're okay, but they're by no means a game-defining experience.

I agree wholeheartedly, sir. I imagine this is why most developers steer clear of love and sexual tension in their games. It also makes me feel queasy about recommending such games to friends or family (what will they think of me?) although I must admit it can be a huge pro if it's done right (low titillation, intense emotion). Anyway, if everything else about PoE 2 holds true to the things that made its predecessor great I will consider buying it.

What's wrong with titillation? =p

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I did the Maia romance. It wasn't great, but I wouldn't call it bad.  I think it's probably the best you can do without going full VN. I just don't think video game romance works. Even if you had some of best writers doing it, it just comes off stiff and awkward. It's better to use that time and energy on other content, like Eder banter. I will say that Maia's portrait is great and she looks hot as hell.

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What's wrong with titillation? =p

 

It seems to derail the romance and make poor filler for actual writing. Perhaps people my age are very bad at romancing people in real life so it reflects on the stuff they write for things like video games. I think titillation makes sense when your relationship is quite far ahead. Do you want your characters to be defined by their sexuality or by other facets of their personality? Besides, I have a hard time recommending games that make me look like a creep to my buddies. Just my two cents.

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I did the Maia romance. It wasn't great, but I wouldn't call it bad.  I think it's probably the best you can do without going full VN. I just don't think video game romance works. Even if you had some of best writers doing it, it just comes off stiff and awkward. It's better to use that time and energy on other content, like Eder banter. I will say that Maia's portrait is great and she looks hot as hell.

I'm sorry but what does VN stand for? 

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I think he meant Visual Novel. Google it, should be explicit enough. Also :

 

I just don't think video game romance works.

 

I'm replaying BG2 right now and in my opinion, the Jaheira romance just does. Takes the whole game to complete, lots of interesting, back and forth dialogues, that's what writers should strive to do even though so far, it really is the exception rather than the norm. And Deadfire's romances were certainly not up to par.

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I did the Maia romance. It wasn't great, but I wouldn't call it bad.  I think it's probably the best you can do without going full VN. I just don't think video game romance works. Even if you had some of best writers doing it, it just comes off stiff and awkward. It's better to use that time and energy on other content, like Eder banter. I will say that Maia's portrait is great and she looks hot as hell.

 

She is, right?

 

 

 

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I found the "romances" just a bit shallow. They weren't terribly written (or well written), but they didn't have any depth.

 

When you romanced a character in a BioWare game (just an example) you actually learn about their character's history and motivations beyond what you would learn just being a travelling companion. You also see the characters change and evolve from a more intimate/personal perspective.  

 

Regardless if you romance Xoti or not: the end result in her character development is the same- and more importantly, the information the player gets regarding how/why it happens is the same.  

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Reputation system made my companions look weird. Eder is angry about I hunt giant sea monster. When I blame Waidwen about he and Eothas attacked Dyrwood then I got anti-eothasians from Eder. Even though Eder already said he doesn't like Waidwen and Eothas attacked Dyrwood. I remember is Josh and Paul Kirsch keep writing Eder in DLC story then I have to say they made an stupid mistake.

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Reputation system made my companions look weird. Eder is angry about I hunt giant sea monster. When I blame Waidwen about he and Eothas attacked Dyrwood then I got anti-eothasians from Eder. Even though Eder already said he doesn't like Waidwen and Eothas attacked Dyrwood. I remember is Josh and Paul Kirsch keep writing Eder in DLC story then I have to say they made an stupid mistake.

 

I feel that's more of a Reputation System issue than poor writing from Sawyer and Kirsch. Eder is probably one of the better written companions. 

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Yeah, that has more to do with the constraints of the reputation system than the writing, similar to how Xoti used to laugh out loud when you burned dead Dawnstars as it's her stock reaction for large approval.

 

Edèr in particular is tough in that regard, especially as his view on Eothas can shift quite a bit depending on your watcher's choices and opinion. Hard to do within such a rigid rep system.

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Yeah, that has more to do with the constraints of the reputation system than the writing, similar to how Xoti used to laugh out loud when you burned dead Dawnstars as it's her stock reaction for large approval.

 

Edèr in particular is tough in that regard, especially as his view on Eothas can shift quite a bit depending on your watcher's choices and opinion. Hard to do within such a rigid rep system.

yes

obsidian's try to make the relationship go up looks more natural and dynamic but it blow up in their face

just make it on a simple number system like dao maybe better

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Yeah, that has more to do with the constraints of the reputation system than the writing, similar to how Xoti used to laugh out loud when you burned dead Dawnstars as it's her stock reaction for large approval.

 

Edèr in particular is tough in that regard, especially as his view on Eothas can shift quite a bit depending on your watcher's choices and opinion. Hard to do within such a rigid rep system.

yes

obsidian's try to make the relationship go up looks more natural and dynamic but it blow up in their face

just make it on a simple number system like dao maybe better

 

I vastly prefer Obs' more personal system to the DA numerical slider, but the stock reactions and lack of nuance to some traits, such as Eder's anti-eothasian bias, need to be revised. They could hardly tailor the reactions for every convo individually without inflating the budget and delaying the game for several months at least, but having a few possible stock reactions to avoid these problems could help a lot. For a first try, it's actually worked out relatively well in my opinion.

 

As for Romance in general, I think they did the best they could without making it a full dating sim or writing the equivalent of a visual novel, and they may be better off leaving it out next time. We can't expect to have the visual elements of a Bioware romance in an isometric setting, nor do they have the budget Bioware has for their games. Also keep in mind that Bioware clearly focuses on companion interactions over plot/quest writing, as their recent games like DA:I show.

Edited by Taevyr
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