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Suggestion: Companion personality never before used in a game


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First I'll make a quick rundown of companion personalities and concepts used in previous games to give context to what I am proposing. So:

 

1. We have deep and interesting NPCs who are awesome because of their concept, the idea behind them and implementation/dialogue. Like Dakon (PST) or Kreya (kotor2).

 

2. We have awesome NPCs by "rule of cool" and/or "funny". Like Morte (PST) or Minsc and Jan (BG2) or HK-47 (kotor2).

 

3. Mildly interesting, generally OK NPCs like Yoshimo (BG2) or Aton and Handmaiden (kotor2)

 

4. Tolerable NPCs - it's like they're not even there. No examples here because ironically I don't remember them, but you know - the filler guys who were in the party because you needed a rogue or a cleric, or their stats were to good to pass up.

 

5. The insufferable whiny, bickering, angsty child-like NPCs, who would throw their alignment in your face at every turn, question logical decisions and generally make a nuisance of themselves while in the party.

I won't name them either because they tend to slide into the previous category depending on taste and playing style.

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Now, if I look at the above list, it seems to me that it's missing the archetype of a reliable companion. Let me elaborate: I would like a NPC that I can fully trust to be my second in command and do a good job at it. He has to be just as powerful and smart as the PC, command the same respect with the others (leadership) and make decisions that make sense. That last part means he won't do stupid and clearly illogical things just because he is lawfull good or chaotic evil or a thief or whatever. If the context is one where he needs to adapt he will (at least to an extent) no matter his stated values.

 

To put it in fewer words - he would act as a PC, meta-gaming and all.

 

I have tried to come up with an example from fiction(books, movies, etc.) and unfortunately the best I could come up with is Cmd. Striker from the Star Trek:TNG series. He can do almost everything the PC (Picard) can do, still has a personality and he is reliable. A perfect right-hand man.

 

In contrast, Spock would not fit the role because his defining trait, logic, is up-played too much and becomes for most of the time a bland logic-bot.

 

In conclusion, I have never seen a reliable and well done "second in command" type character that is not one dimensional and that adapts to situations the same way a PC would. I would like to see such a companion, and perhaps with the help of the talented writers at Obsidian, a very interesting one could be made.

 

Oh and sorry for the Star Trek reference, probably not everyone is a fan or familiar with the series.

 

P.S.: I just remembered an in-game example that would qualify, although only for a particular situation.

In kotor2, while the PC is trapped in the poison gas alien bar, Atton, shows initiative and stakes the place out while you're in there. He knows the mercenaries are gunning for your crew, so he sets himself up as bait and whacks them off. Anyway, the point is he functions well even without PC's "adult" supervision. Unfortunately he's missing the crucial leadership component to act as a true second-in-command.

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I actually think that Boone was a totally capable NPC. If you mean you want them to make decisions for you, for the record, Riker always deferred to Picard's decisions. Having one person make decisions is necessary for things to function. I also thought Lanius made a great right hand man for Caesar but having him in charge would've been disasterous.

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Boone was a totally capable NPC, but he let his personal tragedy get in the way of business. He would open fire like an idiot an any legion troops as if that would help his cause in some way. Because of that he wasn't reliable and not too smart. My second-in-comand archetype would say "I hate these guys, let's come up with a plan to give them enough rope to hang themselves".

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Varric from DA2 fits that description and he's the only thing I like about that game :p I think Fallout's companions were competent... when they were sober >_> but everyone has issues and baggage especially in a messed up fantasy world where you wouldn't want to take a step out the front door at night for fear of being eaten by a grue.

 

But yeah I agree with you a companion you could sort of share an eyeroll with when someone says something stupid or a plan goes wrong is great.

 

There's a quest where Hawke and Varric totally bull**** this bandit between them, that was great (shamed the rest of the game sucked, in my opinion :p)

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When you say it i like that a second in command would be very much welcome. Someone strong, respectable and opinionated who wont immediately defer to your judgement. Speaking of annoying children, avoid having any Anders and whatever-his-name was - new king of Ferelden... Point proven andreistadi.

Edited by Gyges
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Boone was a totally capable NPC, but he let his personal tragedy get in the way of business. He would open fire like an idiot an any legion troops as if that would help his cause in some way. Because of that he wasn't reliable and not too smart. My second-in-comand archetype would say "I hate these guys, let's come up with a plan to give them enough rope to hang themselves".

 

of course he was involved would you not want to do the same in the circumstances, Pc's are generally players without ties, sometimes ones that recently no longer have them, or make them. That doesn't make him a weak leader by any stretch just predisposed with another obligation.

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I think the OP makes several assumptions based on personal "play aesthetic". We all do this to an extent. Heck, I hated Jaheira but wished that Ajantis had more dialogue and didn't die so awfully in BG2. If wishes were unicorns...

 

I agree with the OP that there should be companions that are somewhat trustworthy -- like Xan, for heaven's sake, now there's a man anyone would want as a lieutenant.

"This is what most people do not understand about Colbert and Silverman. They only mock fictional celebrities, celebrities who destroy their selfhood to unify with the wants of the people, celebrities who are transfixed by the evil hungers of the public. Feed us a Gomorrah built up of luminous dreams, we beg. Here it is, they say, and it looks like your steaming brains."

 

" If you've read Hart's Hope, Neveryona, Infinity Concerto, Tales of the Flat Earth, you've pretty much played Dragon Age."

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...Aaaaand if I want to play a generally unlikable and/or socially awkward character, there is no way the supposed right-hand man wouldn't outshine him. Actually, it wouldn't be so bad, being manipulated by a lowly NPC :D

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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