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Now, we all know that Aloth might be a bit bitchy during deadfire voyages, might be Ishiza's dropping between his grimoire pages but let's be honest, this is getting a bit out of hand.

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To dislike someone for something you said, that was a praise. SMH

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Per aspera ad astra

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12 hours ago, AeonsLegend said:

Slightly related. Does the affinity system between party members have any effect? I never noticed this...

can trigger some romances, or anti-romances but either with or without those it matters purely for banter.

Edited by thelee
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1 minute ago, AeonsLegend said:

Weird. With the 700 hours I put into this game I never noticed romance or anti romance between any characters.

yeah, the romances are really underdeveloped in this game.

i got maia and xoti to hook up, and xoti and eder to hook up, and eder to really crush xoti's spirits. i'm sure there's others. all of that amounts to a brief conversation with mainchar, and some specific banter between the NPCs (also possibly ending slides).

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6 minutes ago, thelee said:

yeah, the romances are really underdeveloped in this game.

i got maia and xoti to hook up, and xoti and eder to hook up, and eder to really crush xoti's spirits. i'm sure there's others. all of that amounts to a brief conversation with mainchar, and some specific banter between the NPCs (also possibly ending slides).

Is that part of normal banter? Or is it an actual interaction that pauses the game? Because then I might have missed it completely. I don't usually wait around for people to talk to eachother and pan away to click on somewhere else on the map. Also may be interrupted by area transfers. They should implement banter like in BG2 where you can't miss out. I mean, give an option to skip it for those that don't want to bother with it, but it's a more involved experience other than people just talking to eachother and being interrupted by other stuff. Poor design.

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3 hours ago, AeonsLegend said:

Is that part of normal banter? Or is it an actual interaction that pauses the game? Because then I might have missed it completely. I don't usually wait around for people to talk to eachother and pan away to click on somewhere else on the map. Also may be interrupted by area transfers. They should implement banter like in BG2 where you can't miss out. I mean, give an option to skip it for those that don't want to bother with it, but it's a more involved experience other than people just talking to eachother and being interrupted by other stuff. Poor design.

some of it is part of normal banter, but some of it is a pause-the-game-and-this-char-will-talk-to-you bit.

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Guest Ontarah

There's a few bugs like that, but I actually thought it was fine for the most part.  I actually saw a few where approval would go up a tick even though it was clearly a statement that should have generated disapproval.  It seems like maybe 2% of the triggers for this are broken.  It's just enough to notice but not enough to really upset things.  The only time it really matters if you have a character that maintains a neutral position towards you for the most of the game.  Pallegina was like this for me.  I'm ambivalent about basically everything she cares about passionately.  I have no strong opinions on anything that she has strong opinions on.  Because of that I got very few things that moved her opinion of me at all and even a few wrong ones could add up quickly. 

It's also unclear if these are just a visual bug or if it's actually counting approval the wrong way.  It's possible that you get the correct approval or disapproval in the background but the GUI aspect is just messed up. 

Also, it's kind of funny because I got along with Aloth better than anybody.  If you play Stoic/Rational/Non-boastful and save your jokes for appropriate times, he's easy.  He respects it when you are serious and think before you act. 

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No, it's not only visual. Some lines of dialogue get tagged with certain dispositions (like "Antireligious" or "Progressive" and such). Let's call them disposition-events. And those events got added during and after dialogue was written. Adding tags/events to text which is read out of context... I guess it's hard to get the connotation or the deeper meaning (and sometimes also maybe who's the receiver) every time and so it's understandable that some events gets picked up the wrong way.

It might make sense to tag a certain line as progressive (but it's actually not in greater context) if you don't know who's the listener or what the history between party members is. 

All companions have a set ot favored and non-favored dispositions and if they are in the party they "listen" for those events. Josh thought this was a neat system which might save his writers a lot of time because they wouldn't have to hard-wire reactions but instead couple them loosely with this events/listener system. That way you could also always add or remove characters without breaking the dialogue of the others participants. In hindsight he said it wasn't a good system and that he wouldn't repeat it since it didn't work out so well. Doesn't feel as natural as manually added reactions and still was a lot of work to setup. 

Edited by Boeroer

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Yeah, while neat on paper, I do feel this system did more harm then good. When it works, it's great, but usually it's weird - like characters missing relevant content, or expressing reaction inappropriate for the situation (my fav. ever is Xoti clapping and laughing when burning bodies of her fellow Dawnstars - this might got patched since release. In 1.0 this system had massive issues).

Even in my 5.0 third playthrough I encountered some dodgy things, like random drops in reputation when entering the Gullet etc. Focusing purely on pre-designed interactions I think would be more effective overall.

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Doing everything by hand surely leads to a better result or one with more character (like with all handmade things I guess). But also it's a real pain if you need to make some changes.

This whole event/listener system is also called "inversion of control" in programming and it was invented to be able to couple things loosely. So instead of Xoti triggering Aloth directly (hard-wired) during her dialogue he now only listens to certain events (no matter if emitted by Xoti or Klaus Pumpernickel). That way you could remove Aloth's answer (or Aloth completely) and Xoti's dialogue would still throw no error (because if done the hard-wired way there would be something missing and the call to Aloth or his reaction piece would fail).

But it feels too "mechanical" in my opinion. Doesn't matter at all in normal software, but in a game (which is also art and entertainment, not only programming and logic) it's a bit. 

But I guess I would also have though it's a brilliant idea initially.

Edited by Boeroer

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Guest Ontarah
17 hours ago, Boeroer said:

No, it's not only visual. Some lines of dialogue get tagged with certain dispositions (like "Antireligious" or "Progressive" and such). Let's call them disposition-events. And those events got added during and after dialogue was written. Adding tags/events to text which is read out of context... I guess it's hard to get the connotation or the deeper meaning (and sometimes also maybe who's the receiver) every time and so it's understandable that some events gets picked up the wrong way.

It might make sense to tag a certain line as progressive (but it's actually not in greater context) if you don't know who's the listener or what the history between party members is. 

All companions have a set ot favored and non-favored dispositions and if they are in the party they "listen" for those events. Josh thought this was a neat system which might save his writers a lot of time because they wouldn't have to hard-wire reactions but instead couple them loosely with this events/listener system. That way you could also always add or remove characters without breaking the dialogue of the others participants. In hindsight he said it wasn't a good system and that he wouldn't repeat it since it didn't work out so well. Doesn't feel as natural as manually added reactions and still was a lot of work to setup. 

I'm saying that any given trigger in dialog probably does at least two things.

Say, some line of text is devout and is therefore going to piss off Pallegina.  Pallegina has some actual counter somewhere in the code that iterates up or down based on your dialog choice.  The code probably says something like

"If player selects dialog choice 1 which is devout,

             decrease Pallegina (or any character who hates religion) approval by 2"

or something along those lines.   

There's probably a separate bit of code that makes a green or red error appear on the character screen so you the player can *see* this.  It's entirely possible that the code which iterates the counter is doing the math right, while the code that changes the visual in the character screen is wrong.

A similar example since I just saw this while replaying NWN2.  I successfully finished a quest with Khelgar.  The numerical value in the background (KhelgarQuestFinish=1 or whatever thing was back there) was updated correctly.  However, my journal didn't get updated so it looked like I didn't finish the quest.   However, if I went and reported I had finished the quest to the correct NPC, this was recognized as being the case regardless of the error in my journal. 

I have 0 idea if this is how the code is actually written in Deadfire or if it's what's actually happening.  My point is simply that just because it *looks* wrong, it doesn't necessarily mean that the math in the background is wrong.      

Edited by Ontarah
removed some snippy dialog that didn't really anything of value
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It works as I explained in length. The info comes from Josh Sawyer directly who designed the system and explained the workings (and quirks) of the reputation system in a stream.
Don't know what other infos or sources you need.

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11 hours ago, bugarup said:

I'm playing Deadfire again or more likely never stopped and this time I managed to piss off Aloth into We Need To Talk, Round 1 even before leaving Port Maje. This is my new record. :biggrin:

loth.png

If you talk a lot to your companions you can mess up the relations really quickly. Even after several patches. I only talk to them when they show a dialogue symbol in their portrait and that way it (almost) never escalates. But yeah: the shortcomings of the implemented companion relation system become extremely obvious when you talk to your party a lot and thus fire a lot of disposition/relation events into all directions.

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Guest Ontarah
1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

It works as I explained in length. The info comes from Josh Sawyer directly who designed the system and explained the workings (and quirks) of the reputation system in a stream.
Don't know what other infos or sources you need.

I did not dispute how the system *is supposed* to work.  I'm explaining how that system could be broken in more than one way.  Simply stating "I'm right, you're wrong" over and over or explaining how it would work if it wasn't broken is doing nothing to actually address what I said. 

 

Edited by Ontarah
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I informed you (and other readers) that the quirks are not related to the UI but are actual problems of the inner reputation system. Of course "in theory" there could be additional issues with the UI. But why speculate on that with furor when there's no hint and no reports about that? 

It's like:

  • "Hey, this salat tastes like olives and I don't like olives. So maybe there are some pieces of cut olives sprinkled over it and when I remove them it tastes fine?"
  • "No, actually the salat is marinated with olive oil and olive paste and the source of the taste are no pieces of olive - I also think there are none in the first place."
  • "But there could be!"
  • "The salat tastes like olives because the chef told me there's olive oil and olive paste in it. No pieces of olives as far as we know."
  • "Hey don't tell me I'm wrong! I'm explaining here how in theory the salat could taste like olives because maybe... maybe there are pieces of olives in it!"

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Guest Ontarah
17 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

But why speculate on that with furor when there's no hint and no reports about that? 

I did not.  I literally mentioned it in two lines how it might be possible while the rest of my post was talking about something else.  You are the one who focused on those two lines and wrote a long, patronizing post about how the system was *supposed* to work.

And I'm done with this back and forth.  It's silly.  

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Guest Ontarah

Another thing I will say though is that the perception of the severity of this problem probably changes based on whether or not you choose to have the disposition tags turned on for dialog.  I always played with those tags turned on so I knew if a given statement was Clever, Stoic, or whatever.  There are still some unmarked things like Antireligous or Stewardship or whatever.  However, I think you can broadly work out what will piss off and please certain companions with those turned on.

Eder/Xoti like Clever responses.

Aloth likes Rational/Stoic reponses. 

Tekehu likes Passionate responses.

Those aren't universally true but they are true enough to be useful rules.

One of the reasons Pallegina stayed in the middle for me is that she mostly doesn't care about disposition/personality responses.  She mostly cares about being pro/for specific things (the gods, animancy, Valian trading company).  There's visible tagging for personality responses but not for pro/against responses.  

You could make an argument that the system would be fine if you just explicitly added all the "hidden" tags as well though I know some people would find that visually cluttered.     

Edited by Ontarah
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Indeed.

Besides that, the perception of the severity of the problem is also related to how much you talk to your companions. I mean the dialogues that you initiate.
If you only initiate dialogue once a companion/sidekick signals it then you won't notice those problems that often. In my first playthrough I talked a lot and the relationship model just exploded right away (especially Aloth). But in subsequent playthroughs I didn't initiate dialogue myself (knew most of it already) and then I didn't really notice any problems (except a few of those weird reactions that don't really fit). I suspect that's how QA missed those issues: they were most likely not trying to go through all the dialogue again and again when playtesting.

After release it was so severe that you could make Pro-Leden-Key-Aloth leave you after the first lengthy dialogue with Edér right after Aloth jopined the party. If that happened new players were like "WITAF?" - and rightfully so. :) 

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Guest Ontarah

I actually liked the system overall, but it's true there is an ongoing problem with dialog pacing in RPGs that exacerbates problems with systems like this.  This is sort of revolving door problem where most RPGS either run hot or cold and there's not much in the middle.  Some like POE and ME1 let you ask your companion 80% of everything there is to ask them in the first 10 minutes after you meet them.  This creates all kinds of problems from them insta-hating or loving you to them then remaining virtually silent for most of the rest of the game.  Others only let you talk to them when new major story or quest events come up but this can also produce pacing problems.  It's very common for instance for you to not encounter the ship that triggers Aloth's personal quest until very late in the game so if you couldn't really talk to him until after that, he would sit around in "let me collect my thoughts before we talk" mode for 80% of the game.

Nothing I've played has ever really figured out how to hybridize that effectively, giving you a host of things to ask whenever, but also keeping the dialog amount consistent throughout the game. 

As much as that game was justly pilloried for various other problems, I think that of all the games I've played ME3 had the best companion dialog pacing.  Persona 5, if that example is allowed, also does a very good job.  They solve the problem by making new dialog contingent on time passing and/or new story events happening but those games are way more linear.  I don't see really how it's possible to do that in POE when you could hypothetically make a week go by by spam resting somewhere and/or spend hours and hours with no major new story events because you've been hunting pirate ships or exploring random islands or whatever.    

One way to address the specific problem in POE might be to make opinion statements only move the reputation slider a pip while actions taken move it in big dramatic chunks.  I say the Valian Trading Company are doodyheads and Pallegina's approval goes down by 1.  I side with the Huana against the company in some quest line and her disapproval goes down by 30.  If the threshold for Pallegina leaving is -150 say that makes it way, way less likely that she leaves the party after one conversation.         

Edited by Ontarah
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