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Designer Ramblings: New Cast of Companions


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Final Fantasy is cookie cutter at its best. Agreed. And they also make plenty of cash in sales too. I doubt McKnights would be hurt by going that route, in a financial sense. The point is, it could be much better. I want quality, not content. Things like,"ooooh! Those graphics are wicked KOOL dOOd!" are why you see reviews on K2 criticised while at the same time they praise the storyline. Just because graphics sell doesn't mean I want to sacrifice story, even though you can make the bucks that way.

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Up until now I was hoping for Kotor 3/4/5/etc. But if we can expect to have brand new characters every game I say it just isn't worth it. Change the name, change the timeline, and stop trying to cash in on past glories by using the "Knights of" gimmick.

 

On the other hand, if we can at least keep a few of the characters from K2 I'd say go for the sequel. Its bad enough "the greatest jedi ever" occured twice in 5 years. It'd be a nasty stretch to see that happen 3 times.

 

I know writing high level campaign material is tougher than tossing random thugs at palyers, so the low level stuff is easier to write. And I agree with not wanting to take over someone else's creation(Bastilla/Mission/Canderous/etc). But sometimes you have to go the long route to get the job done, at least, get it done well. I'd hate to see this line turn into a cookie cuter franchise. Theres too much talent to let that happen.

 

I hope...

 

 

Why shouldn't they use the "old" name?

It's the time period that matters, not one single person. As long as they are Jedi Knights of the Old Republic the name should remain the same.

 

There never was any talk about "the greatest Jedi ever". Revan was the most powerful at his time, that's not even close to being the most powerful ever.

And who says that your new character will be as powerful as Revan or even Malak?

The game actually does the opposite of what you say. The top guns are dead or lost, now comes the rest, who might be as powerful or could just be the strongest ones left. That doesn't say how strong they are compared to other Jedi/Sith.

 

If Obsidian developes KOTOR 3, then they might be able to use the same party members, because they invented them, but it isn't needed.

It might actually prove to be bad for the game, as you already know the history of your crew, which leads to less surprises and less dialog options for the developers.

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While I may be in the minority this was one decision that truly disappointed me about this game. While I can understand the desire to take things from a fresh and new perspective, considering the timeline and set of circumstances selected for the story of KotOR 2, I find it a shame that the original cast, at least the principals, are being left to a cameo or small role.

 

Now I'm not complaining that there are a bunch of new characters to choose from to accompany you on your journeys, however after playing games like Baldur's Gate 2 where there was such a broad selection of companions, every time you begin a game you could have new experiences via the banters, quests and abilities of who you chose to mix up. I also find this added much replayability for me with the game, as I never made a party exactly the same twice.

 

I had hoped the same would be said for KotOR 2. Although I know that many original party members could be killed off, since your choices in KotOR 2 dictate how the first game ended I am really really disappointed I don't have the choice of being accompanied by the original party members as I at least feel that they still had much more to provide to the world of KotOR; after all though their personal griefs during the first game might have been resolved, we were just introduced to them. I'd say they are hardly a comparison with characters that have been reused time and again such as Luke/Han/Leia.

 

How I would have loved to see a philosofical discussion of the Force between the PC, Kreia and Jolee. How maybe Bastila now had grown beyond her initial naitivity and arrogance into a compassionate and skilled Jedi. How Canderous views might have changed as a result of his journey with Revan, or not, maybe the experience had turned Canderous into an enemy. Revan's change, how had that affected him/her and his/her companions, would these alter his/her choices in KotOR 2. The droids well, I liked them better then Mission, Zaalbar and Juhani but since they have a role to play anyways there's no real point mentioning them. These are things I was truly hoping to see, for me the story of KotOR is the story of Revan and his comapnions' journeys whether old or new. It would be like ANH had one cast but suddenly ESB replaced them all...or had Exar Kun, Nomi Sunrider or Ulic Qel-Droma been in just one comic book instead of however long they were in the series of TotJ....KotOR 2 just lost the feeling of a sequel for me, instead feels merely like a spin off, however better or worse it may be than the orginal.

 

And the explanation that Revan is not the principal figure anymore because there was a desire to avoid disappointing the players of the original by making a different outcome for him/her than the player's, well hasn't this been done exactly anyways? I mean by sealing a "fate" for Revan in KotOR 2, aren't you going to interfere or change with the vision the player had of Revan before? While you can choose Revan's alignment and ending in the first, having Revan appear as a cameo or integrate his/her fate to the story you still change whatever the player previously wanted. If Revan's actions lead to his/her demise then those of us who don't want to see that happen will not be happy, if Revan lives then those that want to see Revan go out in a blaze of glory or evil display of cruelty will be disappointed. My point is, I don't see the reason given circumventing player's wishes as Revan will end up having a specific fate whether or not it is what the players want to see.

 

I'm not saying I wanted the game to force you to choose the same companions again, but at least have that choice if you wanted to. Of the very few dedcisions made for KotOR 2 that I was disappointed in, this was by far the greatest.

 

My two cents.

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Couldn't agree more, Muad'dib, except that I wouldn't have been against getting only 3 or 4 old companions back (and the little tin-can wouldn't be my choice) and the rest just getting cameos/sidequests ... it seems to me that Revan would be essentially a loner and as hard on companions as TNO was.

 

And if they wanted an all-new cast why place the new game so close in the timeline? If we are to have totally different main characters and cast every game, then for Pete's sake space them out, so that those greatest heroes/villains appear only every couple of decades or so!

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It doesn't matter to me if my favs Canderous and Jolee don't come back if it doesn't fit the story. As long as the game is good Revan can die for all I care. The two things that attracted it me to the first game were the worlds(different planets, enviroments and stuff) and gameplay(the battle system and choices allowed including chracters). The only chracter I didn't like in the original KOTOR was Zaalbar but I can still let go of the rest so long as the new chracters are beter nd have stories up to par with the past chracters.

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As long some of the crew from KotOR are making cameo appearances, i see nothing wrong with Avellone's statement.

"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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Well I agree with Avellone's statement too. I don't see the point in having all the same characters as in the first game. I think it's better to have fresh blood. During the first game, you could kill Juhani, Mission, Jolee, Bastila, Carth and Zaalbar. The only tree NPCs that were surely alive by the end are Canderous, t3-M4 and HK-47 (btw, there was also another ending that has been cut off by Bioware -but the files are in the game- where female Revan and Carth would die in the explosion of the Star Forge.)

 

Making a game that would have taken all these possibilities into account and would have added more storyline to all of these party members would surely have required more time and ressources. Also I am pretty sure the storyline would suck if Obsidian would have chosen to do this instead of opting for new party members. Trying to patch a story never works as well as an original storyline.

 

I definitely prefer the way Obsidian chose to do it with more liberty and the possibility to make a good story and strong characters with new secrets to discover. Imagine if all StarWars games would only use movie stuff because you like the characters, the music, etc...I bet it would suck...and KotOR would not exist. Change can be a good thing.

 

Play the game before complaining. Maybe you'll like your new crew even better than that of KotOR 1...and Obsidian said that there would be cameos...so there should be a sort of follow up the old party members too. I won't make my opinion before I play the game.

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Sorry for the long post, here's another one:

 

Like I said, this is just my opinion. I can understand where the appeal for something totally new comes from for both devs and players. But just because you want to deliver something fresh doesn't mean you need to scrap the characters from the original.

 

Mind you I'm not saying I didn't want any of the new party members replaced by originals, I said I would have liked the choice to be able to bring the originals should I have wanted to or make a mixed party of new and old characters as I saw fit. I feel that this would add much more replayability to the game for me because of all the additional quests, dialogues and character developments that would have been provided by that opportunity. And when you consider the possibilities of the kinds of combinations of mixed parties you could ultimately make then even more would the game be guaranteed to stay in my hard drive. Not only would the game be different because of the alignment, sex and ending you create, but your crew and experiences with them would not be quite the same for quite the long time until you had combined every single party in every single alignment, etc.

 

As far as the time involved in making the game, naturally it would have taken much longer to make the game with all the different possibilities by mixing the old crew with the new. So what? As much as I want to play KotOR 2 I wouldn't have minded the wait at all if I knew just how much replayanility I would get because the game can be so different every time I start new.

 

Darth333: I don't think I'm complaining, I am expressing disappointment in the decision to not add something I would have liked to have seen and experienced. I have at no time judged the game or even criticized the devs, but Chris Avellone was thoughtful enough to make a post on this issue so I'm expressing the way I feel about it and only this...I have not commented on the game's story arc or new characters at all, nor would I for I haven't much clue as to how they will play out.

I'm hoping to love this game more than the original which is no small feat for me, although I am a little discouraged after the review's statements about the ending not being strong.

 

Ghost: I know it is a little more difficult to maintain a fresh perspective in continuity in a game than in a movie or book. However, it's not at all impossible. For example: Zelda seems to carry Link's story without problems, Syphon Filter does the same with Gabe Logan, Hitman with the titular character, Baldur's Gate 2 triumphantly combined new party members and old while still keeping the original protagonist, even Kyle Katarn had an extended story within the JK series from Dark Forces to Jedi Outcast as the principal figure and then moved cleverly to a strong secondary character of mentor in Jedi Academy. These are but few examples of recurring characters across series of games.

 

Frankly I don't think it would have been hard at all to incorporate the old characters into the new story, after all the only thing that was supposed to remain intact would be aspects of the character's personalities, I say aspects because as characters they are supposed to grow and can change from the people they once were.

 

RPGs are all about stories and character, and I find it a real shame that we are seldomly allowed to witness the development of such characters and the course of their lives after the original game they are introduced in. The vast majority of the time the originals are scrapped simply to have a new face in the market so you don't believe you are playing the same game all over again. But since I'm interested in the actual story, in the actual characters who they are and how they change, for me I would want to see how the old crew deals with the new story, how they deal with each other and how they deal with the new crew. After all what's point in trying to create an emotional attachment for the player with the characters if they are just replaceable so easily and without importance. Since I liked the old crew, I wanted to continue their journeys and continue to explore them as characters, and again including the new ones as well, I'm not advocating the same crew and that's it.

 

I can understand if you don't agree, what most people are interested in is the game itself; what worlds will we see, what monsters will appear, what scheme will the villain attempt. I'm looking forward to that myself very much, but I'm also all about stories and characters; as wonderful and intriguing as the new ones may be, I was introduced to a group just as wonderful and intriguing in the first game, I would have loved to seem them grow as I saw Luke or Han grow during the course of the OT, the creation and evolution of a world and characters that's what fascinates me. So I'm disppointed I can no longer venture with these old friends and watch them as the story of their lives continued against the backdrop of whatever crisis the galaxy faced that particular week. Anywho these are the reasons for why I commented about this, hope you guys understand what I mean.

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I can empathasize with how you feel. If Bioware had been Making KOTOR 2, I would feel the same way as you did. But they are not making it. Black Isl... I mean, Obsidian Ententainment is. I would come to expect that is the least they would do, and I would have little very against it.

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Well, game mechanic wise there was no room to bring back the old cast in a plausible fashion.  By the time KotOR ended everyone was almost to 20th level.

They could always came up with some lame excuse for that. Or you could meet them at later stages in the game.

 

Besides when you meet Canderous in the first game he was a low lvl character, whereas in reality he was a veteran soldier.

And by the light of the moon

He prays for their beauty not doom

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Besides when you meet Canderous in the first game he was a low lvl character, whereas in reality he was a veteran soldier.

 

Just like Bastila, who apparently the council expected to lead a party of Jedi in taking down the Dark Lord of the Sith. Or Carth, who had seen 'more battles then the rest of the crew of the Endar Spire put together' and yet was only slightly tougher than you were as a neophyte character. Or Jolee, who had been involved in the Sith War and was living in the Shadowlands for decades and yet gained the overwhelming bulk of his levels travelling with you.

 

Or, jumping games, Khalid and Jaheira in Baldur's Gate, who were veterans Harpers travelling the length and breadth of the Sword Coast and were at Level 2.

 

Let's face it: the levels of characters are very rarely what they should be, owing to simple gameplay decisions.

I made this half-pony half-monkey monster to please you

But I get the feeling that you don't like it

What's with all the screaming?

You like monkeys, you like ponies

Maybe you don't like monsters so much

Maybe I used too many monkeys

Isn't it enough to know that I ruined a pony making a gift for you?

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Or, jumping games, Khalid and Jaheira in Baldur's Gate, who were veterans Harpers travelling the length and breadth of the Sword Coast and were at Level 2

Right. However at the beginning of BG II, the old crew were all around level 6 or 7, which was consistent with BG I. Character background doesn't hold the same weight as character development during the story IMO. If you see some characters you personally took all the way up to the 20, shrinked town to level 3, it doesn't feel right.

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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Well it was said that characters that do make cameos will be weaker than when you had them in K1, but there will be a reason for that weakness like war wounds, memory wipes, or core module damage.

Welcome to the Pink side of the Force

 

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Actually in normal sense of the campaigbnsetting a 4th level character would be considered a veteran soldier. I premeber a mod a while back for BG that placed both Jaheira and Khalid at believable levels for their background, around 4th to 3rd level.

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Actually in normal sense of the campaigbnsetting a 4th level character would be considered a veteran soldier.

 

Makes the entire army wielding +3 weapons and armor in Throne of Bhaal all the more painful to remember.....

I made this half-pony half-monkey monster to please you

But I get the feeling that you don't like it

What's with all the screaming?

You like monkeys, you like ponies

Maybe you don't like monsters so much

Maybe I used too many monkeys

Isn't it enough to know that I ruined a pony making a gift for you?

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They were thinking fun for most palyers; not fun for the anal types like yourself. Whoc ares if +3 weapons were sold ins tores. Well, other than you and your fellow anals; that is.

 

As for returning characters in KOTOR2; consideirng you can easily get level 20+ in the game; you should be able to easily have the old characetrs in if you so choose between levels 15-20. Levels shouldn't be much of a concern in this case.

 

 

"You know, whether you believe me or not, I learned rather quickly that arguing with Hades_one is impossible. He knows his stuff, and you would be wise just to say "Yes sir" and move along. After all, this is not the thread you are looking for."

 

I eally hope youa r ebeing sarcasting. Hades is very rarely right. Heck, he can't even agree with hismelf half the time. KOTOR is just ok but he rates it almost 90%. NWN is the worst game ever but he bought tis expansions and rated the OC around 75%. He'll no longer buy games fromc ertain companies (BIO, Troika, Atari to name a few) yet lands up doing it anyways.

 

R00fles!

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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The only game companies that I don't buy from aer EA and Ubisoft, while Troika is getting close to my ban list after ToEE.

 

Also 75% is a low score, a C average, but lets not go over that old argument since you went through an lame arse education system where 75% is a good score. :p Also I never said that NWN was the worse game ever, though it is certainly the worse Bioware game ever, so far. The Worse Game Ever award goes to UbiSoft's Pool of Radiance.

 

As for KotOR's score, it was a very good game, especially if you like story driven games and a Star Wars fan. I reviewed it in the mindset of a Star Wars fan and a fan of story driven CRPGs, for that was the target audience. Then again, thatis also beyond your comprehension so we shouldn't get into that old argument again as well.

 

Many people though Super Mario cart was fun, so you are saying they should have put aspects of that game in ToB? :-

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"Many people though Super Mario cart was fun, so you are saying they should have put aspects of that game in ToB?"

 

Sure. But, instad of karts, it could be horse + carriage. Can have good old fashion tournaments. WOO HOO!

 

R00fles!

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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