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Did Beast of Winter have a different narrative designer to the main game?


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Because man the writing in the main game sucked hard. The plot was stupid and not interesting and the companions where just boring. All that god crap was just cringe-worthy. 

 

Then i played the Beast of Winter and it was like playing a completely different game. This expansion was a complete 10 out of 10. So much fun.

 

So does anyone know if Beast had a different narrative designer to the main game?

 

If it does they need to sack the main plot guy and use the beast guy for the next game.

Edited by bigbazoopa
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They really missed the mark with the writing in Deadfires main game. 

 

Take a look at these cut scenes from BG2

 

 

There was none of this magic in Deadfire. No interesting animations that captured my imagination like this instead just stupid bizare god rants on those book type cut scenes. 

 

Man they really no how to kill of interest in a game with bad writing like that.

Edited by bigbazoopa
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Animation isn't writing

Do you have hearing difficulties ? Or maybe your volume is turned down? Did you actually watch the cut scenes? Im guessing no becasue otherwise you would have noticed that they talk all through them

 

The narrative designer would also be in charge of the story, plot , writing and of course how this is implemented into the game. Deadfire is a computer game not a hardcover book it can only be implemented through graphic design

Edited by bigbazoopa
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The weird thing with Deadfire is the writing on it's own is amateurish, but the voice acting is quite good. Together they work, surprisingly. Sometimes. Usually. But no ones got time for every.single.convo.voiced.

Edited by Verde
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I admit it, i did not play Deadfire. But i kind of feel like the adjectives used here are borderline excessive. I understand how the main plot can be seen as badly brought to the player, especially since the sense of urgency kind of clashes with the need to explore the game in order to level up. I will agree, this is a problem. The same problem existed in BG2 regarding Imoen's rescue at Spellhold, though probably not to this extent, since there is still the excuse of the money you need to gather, and you still can complete some areas after Spellhold (though at this time, there is Bodhi to take care of, and i can't really imagine spending 2 months crawling in dungeons before taking of her, either). And then, there is the god banters. I did not read them. I'm curious now.

 

But well, is everything really that bad, including side quests, areas' lore and such? Fallout 4 writing is completely idiotic (read a lot about it). But it's Bethesda, so no surprise here. Even though i 've read quite a few people here explaining that the writing at Obs is running downhill since a few years, i suspect that part of the reason why the judgement is so harsh is that everyone expects more from Obs when it comes to the writting, than from rotten studios like Bethesda.

 

I am wrong?

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Don't quote me on that, but I am 99% sure that the narrative lead behind BoW (and Deadfire DLCs in general) is Alex Scokel - the man behind Serafen and Ydwin. In my opinion, two probably best-written party members in the game. Given that Ydwin has only one, introductory conversation in the main game, it's saying something.

 

Main narrative lead for Deadfire in general (ie. the main quest and general plot) was Josh Sawyer (Pallegina) I believe, together with Carrie Patel (Aloth).

If I'm wrong, please correct me.

Edited by aksrasjel
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The writing in general is fine, not exceptional but there are a few funny and interesting characters, and there's a lot of emphasis on giving interactions some personality. There were some lines that made me cringe, and some characters were a bit two-dimensional (laser focus on Eder here) but certainly not to the extent of Bethesda or Bioware at their worst.

 

The main sin of the writing in the main quest is to do with the central "antagonist" whose specific goal isn't really made clear. What he intends to do is clear, but there's not enough focus on what he hopes the result to be.

The god banters, ehhhh... you're kind of intended to be frustrated at the gods' idiocy and bickering, the player's meant to think "what's the point of having these guys?" and it maybe succeeds a bit too well at that.

 

E: it's also worth mentioning that Beast Of Winter, as a smaller-sized DLC with less scope and scale, and less need to have the rest of the game developed around it, has more of an opportunity to be good.  They did great work, BOW is probably the highlight of the game writing-wise, but the story of BOW wouldn't work as the story of a 50-hour RPG.

Edited by house2fly
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The writing in general is fine, not exceptional but there are a few funny and interesting characters, and there's a lot of emphasis on giving interactions some personality. There were some lines that made me cringe, and some characters were a bit two-dimensional (laser focus on Eder here) but certainly not to the extent of Bethesda or Bioware at their worst.

 

The main sin of the writing in the main quest is to do with the central "antagonist" whose specific goal isn't really made clear. What he intends to do is clear, but there's not enough focus on what he hopes the result to be.

The god banters, ehhhh... you're kind of intended to be frustrated at the gods' idiocy and bickering, the player's meant to think "what's the point of having these guys?" and it maybe succeeds a bit too well at that.

 

E: it's also worth mentioning that Beast Of Winter, as a smaller-sized DLC with less scope and scale, and less need to have the rest of the game developed around it, has more of an opportunity to be good.  They did great work, BOW is probably the highlight of the game writing-wise, but the story of BOW wouldn't work as the story of a 50-hour RPG.

A pretty fair critique IMO

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Don't quote me on that, but I am 99% sure that the narrative lead behind BoW (and Deadfire DLCs in general) is Alex Scokel - the man behind Serafen and Ydwin. In my opinion, two probably best-written party members in the game. Given that Ydwin has only one, introductory conversation in the main game, it's saying something.

 

Main narrative lead for Deadfire in general (ie. the main quest and general plot) was Josh Sawyer (Pallegina) I believe, together with Carrie Patel (Aloth).

If I'm wrong, please correct me.

 

That's really disappointing, because I respect Josh greatly, but his work here, if it is his work, leaves a lot to be desired.

 

I haven't played BoW yet, but I really like Serafen.  Pallegina and Aloth are... not my preferred companions, let's leave it at that.

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Yeah, it's no Pulitzer but it's great. I have fond memories of these cutscenes.... well, last year when I replayed BG2. And the year before that. And...

 

Less is more. Keep it simple, use established dramaturgical conventions, get one great voice actor. Something latter day Bioware as well as a host of others could learn from. The only weak parts are the dream sequences where the whole "POWERRRRR" thing gets a bit old.

Edited by Tigranes
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I didn't mind the writing over all, but there were definately parts of it that came across as less than stellar. 

 

I really, really did not like Pallegina in this adventure. I'd go into specifics, but it might be too close to spoilers for this thread. I liked Aloth though. 

 

The main campaign? Yeah, it really didn't have any weight to it, which is odd considering it centered around a rampaging colossal god statue. I almost feel like the game would have  been better served just focusing on the political stuff. I think that POE is getting a bit more and more ham-fisted when it comes to tackling the question about gods and how good or bad they are. That, and the complete lack of any agency or importance on the players participation in the main quest at all sort of killed it for me. 

 

Beast of Winter was a lot more engaging. Might be because it went back to the Icewind Dale style of things, but I felt like I always had some actual choice in how things would go, and the [spoilerS REDACTED!] parts were really awesome. 

 

...by contrast, I'm sort of barely trudging through Seeker, Slayer, Survivor. 

 

POE 2 overall (so far) is a weird beast that way. It has some really awesome story moments in general (and the depiction of caste issues is spot on), but then it also has some really, really, really dull and boring parts too. Not in the way that POE 1 was a slow burn, there's just stuff here that's flat-out uninteresting. 

 

Also; I'm starting to feel like most of the voice acting is actively hurting the game. I thought everyone sounding really 'American' in Dyrwood was a nice, charming characterization of people in the region, but in POE 2, every islander and every imperial sounds just like everyone back in Defiance Bay. It's even worse because the Valian's have their own thing going, so the Huana, Rauitians and everyone in between sounding the way they do jumps out even more. 

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I have to agree that the writing in Deadfire leaves an awful lot to be desired. The main plot doesn't engage me AT ALL, I simply do not care about it. The premise is silly, the development is all over the place and it just doesn't catch me. I suppose I'll just explore the world according to my liking and see what happens. The gods intervening in various dialogues and other places is also quite jarring. It really strengthens the impression that what I do doesn't actually matter, I'm just a puppet here. Obviously the player is a puppet to quite a large extent in any CRPG (because nearly everything has to be scripted), but it's not ok to underline that.

 

Also, I don't like the fact that the main plot consistently gives me huge amounts of experience for simply walking (or sailing) from one place to another. This seriously lets me down as a role-playing veteran, both PnP and CRPG. I like to earn what I get.

 

However, it's good to know that I can look forward to better writing in the DLCs. Strangely enough, by the way, I thought the writing in White March was also better than it was in PoE1.

Edited by xzar_monty
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The main problem i have with the main plot is that it just appears to random, made up and all over the place. It is as if Obsidian spun a wheel back at there office that had all different kinds of plot scenarios on it and the wheel stopped at eothas breaking down my house sucking my soul out then he decidedly to play a game of hide and seek. I mean come on really? This is just plane stupid.

 

Then the god rants oh my god the god rants. They where just embarrassing.

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The main problem i have with the main plot is that it just appears to random, made up and all over the place. It is as if Obsidian spun a wheel back at there office that had all different kinds of plot scenarios on it and the wheel stopped at eothas breaking down my house sucking my soul out then he decidedly to play a game of hide and seek. I mean come on really? This is just plane stupid.

 

Then the god rants oh my god the god rants. They where just embarrassing.

The Gods act like a bunch of teenagers. It's terrible.

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I've just finished BoW and am busy playing through SSS, so allow me to add my 2 cents. I think each of the expansions accomplishes what it sets out to do marvelously. BoW has a great story (I love Vatnir), and SSS has some great combat (although the story is a little sleep-inducing). The last one is supposed to be about moral choices if memory serves, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they'll do with that.

 

I think the writers behind the original Deadfire were very talented. You need only look at some of the individual lines/accents/characters to see that. But apart from the lousy god-theme, I think that Deadfire's story was killed by its open world. A smaller, tighter world like BoW would have allowed for a much better story, and without the ridiculously complex relationship system.

 

Open world and good narratives just don't go together.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I have the strong feeling that firkraag888/master guardian/no1fanboy/Teclis23 opened up a new forum account.

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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What... somebody else thinks that an open world is not the best thing for this game?... 

 

Now I am not a lonely heretic anymore xD.

You are definitely not alone in thinking this, I feel the same.

 

I hope PoE3 will go back more towards PoE1's model. By all means have non-linearity in the style of BG2's first act or PoE1's second, but full open world just doesn't appeal to me at all.

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Apparently Alex Scokel was lead narrative designer for both BoW and SSS, while Paul Kirsch wrote most of the side content like side quests, item/bestiary descriptions and such, and notably wrote the Waidwen area. While I don't know what Scokel wrote in the basegame, a list of Kirsch's work can be found here, which shows his own skill quite well in my opinion.

 

Considering their track record thus far, PoE3 may be better of if the two of them along with Fenstermaker take the lead of the narrative next time. Josh is a great designer of mechanics and world building, but the way Pallegina and Deadfire's gods got screwed is just painful.

 

As for Open World, it's lingering Skyrim syndrome: DA:I got it, several other games got it, and most, if not all, suffered for it. Going back to a PoE1-style "open" world wouldn't be a bad thing.

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