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Designer Ramblings: Influence


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#1
Chris Avellone

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More designer ramblings, this time on Influence.

In K1, you would have the options to speak to your companions about their past or current problems, and these would usually be governed by a pop-up message ([Carth looks worried, perhaps you should speak to him]) or by leveling up.

In K2, we removed the leveling and "so and so looks worried" triggers and incorporated the same mechanic into Influence - instead of pop-up triggers, we've given you a few choices:

1. The amount you can learn about a companion's past, present, or even future problems depends on how much Influence you have with them, not level. So the more time you spend with a companion either crushing their spirit or helping them, the more options this will open in dialogues with them.

2. Influence is not gained simply by doing good and evil acts - it depends on the companion's personality. Some respond better to displays of strength, loyalty, betrayal, or other personality traits that don't always fall neatly into good or evil categories.

3. Influence markers will appear in companion dialogues when you make certain choices - these will be marked as [Influence: Failure] and [Influence: Success], and they'll let you know when you either have or don't have enough Influence to get an answer about a specific question about a companion.

4. The more influence you have with a companion will also begin to have an effect on their alignment (this also depends on the companion - some companions, no matter what your influence is, will not be subject to this alignment shift). In some cases, it will also begin to have an effect on OTHER companions, and they may start getting pissed off in a major way.

5. Some companions are very hard to Influence, and it is difficult to gain maximum Influence with all companions over the course of the game. This is done for replayability reasons.

6. You can only gain Influence with companions who are in your party.

7. And lastly, because some people just hate this crap, you don't ever have to speak to your companions at ALL and your Influence with them will never matter - whether you want to plumb the depths of their personality is solely your choice, and the game will not force it on you.

However...

8. If you do, almost every character has rewards for completing their internal or external Influence companion quests, and it can prove worthwhile in the long run.

Anyway, enough ramblings for now.

#2
Nur Ab Sal

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Sounds extremely cool! Thanks for the info! (w00t)

#3
Alyt

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Awesome, and thanks for the info. :D

#4
Jedi Master D Murda

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*Starts to cry* Thank you so much Chris :geek:

This game is going to be great, only one week (w00t)

#5
Ivan the Terrible

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5. Some companions are very hard to Influence, and it is difficult to gain maximum Influence with all companions over the course of the game. This is done for replayability reasons.


I've heard this phrase applied to KOTOR II multiple times now....and hopefully we'll hear it even more in future 'Designer Ramblings.' Replayability was something a lot of people found very lacking in the original.

#6
SilentSentinel7

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More designer ramblings, this time on Influence.
7. And lastly, because some people just hate this crap, you don't ever have to speak to your companions at ALL and your Influence with them will never matter - whether you want to plumb the depths of their personality is solely your choice, and the game will not force it on you.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

hahaha I have a friend that said a similar thing some nice aspects for the game without the "ah sir I need to take a crap"look :D
thanx for the info Chris

#7
Maria Caliban

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Will the game give you hints as to the best way to gain influence or is it a matter of guessing?

As in, HK-50 probably likes acts of violence. Handmaiden probably likes to know you appreciate her. Another NPC might like it when you pick clever solutions over brute force.

#8
TrueNeutral

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Crushing their spirit? Does this mean we'll have 'SOD OFF!' options in dialogues this time? I mean, in Kotor you basically had a choice to talk or not talk to the characters. I couldn't talk to them for a while and then tell them to shut up. So I had to keep talking to them when I got bored with their conversations.

#9
Obi-Wan Kenobi

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Very Cool-Can't Wait for the Game to come out. Only one more week

#10
Pope

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*orgasms*

#11
Jedi Master D Murda

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*orgasms*

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


:geek:

#12
Janmanden

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7. And lastly, because some people just hate this crap, you don't ever have to speak to your companions at ALL and your Influence with them will never matter - whether you want to plumb the depths of their personality is solely your choice, and the game will not force it on you.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


That sounds lame, like they are just puppets. You can play with them, dress them, feed them, etc. like little sims or whatever people do with those or forget about them, but still enjoy their 'company' and they will 'gladly' follow. Should be a requirement. Either you solo or you participate to some extend with the 'other' business. At least if you don't do that, they should suck more than they would if you actually did involve..immerse yourself into the game. Not quite sure if #8 actually does the opposite, 'rewards' is a loose concept.

#13
GarethCarrots

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how unpleasant

#14
Sonatine

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Good stuff :geek:

#15
TheAco

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Are there many different dialog-branches so to speak that will lead to the same results, I mean are there several topics that might lead to similiar result of backstory for the characters, if you have really strong influence he/she will talk about their backstory pretty much and if you have weaker influence, you could still gain backstory, though not in the same proportion as if you had strong influence? Is there like ONE path to gaining that knowledge and the dialog is always the same, for example lets say you have influence of 11 and you need 10 to hear what they have to say, now you just have to reach 10 and if you have above you will hear exactly the same thing or is it if you have 10-15(with 10 being the point you have to reach) you hear a little of the persons backstory and if you have 16 and above, you will hear a different, better dialog that tells you alot more than the other did?

I hope I made some sense in this post.... :D

Nice reading either way.


Edit: Oh and by crushing their spirit, can you actually make them leave you for good?

#16
Darth333

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This new approach replacing the leveling up requirement and the triggers that were firing the banter only at specific places looks most interesting! I very much enjoyed the dialogue with NPCs and banter in KotOR 1 but the fact that no matter what options were chosen would make no difference at the end was a litlle annoying, especially when replaying the game. KotOR 2 TSL looks promising :geek:

#17
GarethCarrots

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from what uv heard dialogue branches are much more diverse this time

#18
Ivan the Terrible

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Either you solo or you participate to some extend with the 'other' business.


To what purpose? If someone doesn't want to hear the NPC's sob story about how she was raised by her brother only to have him ditch her to join the Sith and bomb her home planet into ruins while she was left with her obnoxious mother who betrayed her in order to seize control of her tribe forcing her to abandon her fellow soldiers to win the battle more quickly and unlock her memories of an entire history of mass murdering her way across the Galaxy because she joined the Jedi and then fell to the Dark Side because she theoretically killed her master....*GASP*.... then why should they have to hear it?

#19
Leferd

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"6. You can only gain Influence with companions who are in your party."

Just to make it clear and less ambigious...what does "in your party" refer to?

#20
Janmanden

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Either you solo or you participate to some extend with the 'other' business.


To what purpose? If someone doesn't want to hear the NPC's sob story ...BOOOHOOOOO... *GASP*.... then why should they have to hear it?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Purpose? Why would anyone want to fight alongside you or help you in any way except as paid mercenaries or other such tributes unless you are involved? Why would they even stick around or acknowledge you as leader unless they were totally lame?

Listen? Why listen, If you dont want to get involved, pay them, ditch them or kill them. Should be a price, imo.

If they are just in as a designer choice to make it easier for you, I expect all manner of hints popping up along the way "Click this if you wanna..." and helping hands and pointers...sheesh. Maybe on novice mode, sure, then please add normal, hard and impossible too for people that want to RP the RPG's, they way they were meant, and not just a hack-fest.




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