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J.E. Sawyer

Update #3: Game Basics - Your Party, Your Characters, and Races

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Hooray for the Update!

 

Now the best thing about the update (for me at least) is the confirmation that we'll get to have a party of 6. I'm really sick of those 3 or 4 people parties the console-ported games gave us. Plus it's instant nostalgia for me to have 5 NPC companions.

 

The main plot hook is something I do like. It's not the dreaded "You are the CHOSEN ONE!", instead it sounds more like "I was at wrong place at the wrong time" - which gives way to a more haunted or reluctant protagonist.

 

The races and sub-races are what I expected and hoped for. I can't really emphasize with all the hate Elves and Dwarves get around here. I'm not tired of tropes, I'm tired of clichés. There's nothing wrong with a dwarves as such, but if we get a beer-drinking, gold-loving, grumpy, elf-hating, battle-axe swinging dwarven fighter - it's a cliché. But this won't happen anyway because the writers at Obsidian are already tired of those clichés. We'll probably get a female dwarven wizard with an elven girlfriend.

But when it comes to less commonly used races I'm all for the Tiefling-like races they mentioned. And personally I'd like to see some beastmen done properly - i.e. not cannon fodder. But don't do minotaurs, they've been done before, go for gnolls or goatmen.

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Project Eternity is still early in development and we are still working on many of the cultures, factions, and ethnic groups of the world and debating many of the system concepts. However, there are certain fundamental things we want to let you know about the game and the setting for Project Eternity.

 

Your Party

The maximum party size is the player's main character (PC) and up to five companions for a total of six characters. This does not preclude the addition of temporary characters in special circumstances. Companions are never forced on the player. Players can explore the entire world and its story on their own if they so choose. We feel companions are excellent sounding boards for the player's (and other companions') actions, but the story is ultimately about the player's personal conflict among the larger social and political complexities of the world.

My only fear in this is that with so few companions, it will end up akin to Bioware's "catch-em-all" BFF-collection "parties", with very little true choice in the way your party plays out or is shaped. This is doubly true if you "just happen" to get one of every class - something that by itself stifles replayability, but is also such a trope, as if you're making them for the sake of making them, rather than to have interesting, fitting characters. Mechanically fitting or appropriate choices is in no way mutually exclusive to good storytelling, but it is just so incredibly boring to see "The Ranger", "The Warrior", "The Mage", rather than characters developed for their own sake.

 

Is there no chance that we'll be seeing more companions than there are classes, or more relevant class-options than there are companions assigned to their roles? I was so very, very, very much hoping that we'd be able to get away from the ever-shrinking party options of modern RPGs. I want to do themed parties again. :(

 

[...] elves, dwarves), [...]
Bleh.

 

 

I know exactly what you mean but I don't think that's what he meant. Given the games this is styled after, it's likely that while your part will be 6 adventurers, that 6 will be comprised of a selection from a larger cast, forcing you to choose which characters join you. My hope is that it won't be like NWN2 and DA:O where even if you do not have a character in your party they still count as being in your group.

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Dwarves, Humans, Elves.....thats three of them with godlike and odd? Hrm Angelic race and perhaps something fun...kender? haha jk (would love to see a rock monster goliath type race or warforged flavor).

 

Thanks for the update. I would like to see the ability to create more than one character for your team and bring them along. Would be a nice touch since it is possible to adventure solo as described above.

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Plus to this, I really liked the Cantousent's idea about allowing your companions to talk you out (or talk you in, you never know) of different situations OR, perhaps even assign certain followers to deal with particular situations on their own (on your behalf naturally).

 

I'd rather they didn't do this at all as it would quickly become an all or nothing design decision. If you have 5 party members with you then surely one of them will have the required stat/personality/class/race to open up whichever option you wanted. This dramatically reduces the effectiveness of your own characters stats on dialogue, who cares if you only have 10 Intellect when your party mage has 18, who cares if your Dexterity is 5 when your party rogue has 20 etc.

 

If they are going to allow party members to speak for you then if would need to be in every conversation, everywhere because if it isn't it will detract in an obvious way from your immersion because somewhere else, a short walk across the town someone is willing to listen to PartyMember2 instead of you so why isn't this guy who is standing in front of you.

 

I'd much rather have dialog depend on my Main Characters stats and let partymembers interject if they have something to add to the conversation. If my Intellect isn't high enough to open X dialog option perhaps my partymage could comment on an alternative on occasion. This way the designers can choose when they think it is appropriate.

 

Otherwise I am sure there would be plenty of people telling new players to choose X party combination because it has the best mix of stats/races/gender/whatever to get the best options every conversation.

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How soon before we can create our own party?

 

Harumph!

 

That would be nice to have, but maybe as a future expansion, like it happened with Storm of Zehir (Neverwinter Nights 2 xpack).


"The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance" - Wing Commander IV

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I really liked allowing your companions to talk you out (or talk you in, you never know) of different situations OR, perhaps even assign certain followers to deal with particular situations on their own (on your behalf naturally).

Otherwise I am sure there would be plenty of people telling new players to choose X party combination because it has the best mix of stats/races/gender/whatever to get the best options every conversation.

With all due respect, Rab, folks will do just that no matter what. First of all, that's what people do. Second of all, some folks will ask incessantly about on forums like these. Finally, there *will* be ideal party builds no matter how careful the devs are to provide balance. Allowing for people to use their party compositions in ways they find more fun is simply good, although I do agree that it will have to be a committed design decision.

 

As a side note, I saw Elidar's name and thought I'd gone into a time warp. I thought I was seeing Eldar post, which would have been quite odd.


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Plus to this, I really liked the Cantousent's idea about allowing your companions to talk you out (or talk you in, you never know) of different situations OR, perhaps even assign certain followers to deal with particular situations on their own (on your behalf naturally).

 

I'd rather they didn't do this at all as it would quickly become an all or nothing design decision. If you have 5 party members with you then surely one of them will have the required stat/personality/class/race to open up whichever option you wanted. This dramatically reduces the effectiveness of your own characters stats on dialogue, who cares if you only have 10 Intellect when your party mage has 18, who cares if your Dexterity is 5 when your party rogue has 20 etc.

 

If they are going to allow party members to speak for you then if would need to be in every conversation, everywhere because if it isn't it will detract in an obvious way from your immersion because somewhere else, a short walk across the town someone is willing to listen to PartyMember2 instead of you so why isn't this guy who is standing in front of you.

 

I'd much rather have dialog depend on my Main Characters stats and let partymembers interject if they have something to add to the conversation. If my Intellect isn't high enough to open X dialog option perhaps my partymage could comment on an alternative on occasion. This way the designers can choose when they think it is appropriate.

 

Otherwise I am sure there would be plenty of people telling new players to choose X party combination because it has the best mix of stats/races/gender/whatever to get the best options every conversation.

 

Perhaps you misunderstand me. When I say let that party member deal with those situations, I mean not getting every possible outcome. What I have in mind is you can assign them to deal with certain situations, but that doesn't mean those will come out in your favor or in any good way. Simple example: Let's say you have... erm... a fairy (possibly and odd race) who is good at talking people into something. However, we know that in certain mythologies fairies are a devious species, who like to trick others into near-death situations or just fool around making you look like a fool, etc. Now... let's say you told Tinkerbell (yeah, I know, cliché, but that's not the point) to deal with, well, let's imagine shopping. So, you want to buy some nice enchanted ring from a local wonder shop. So Tinkerbell flies in the shop and because she's so little she can practically steal the ring, rather than pay for it. Meanwhile you and the rest of the party wait outside. But remember that fairies are devious? So she steals the ring and brings it to you, but instead of receiving a decent bonus (like +1 to armor class or something else), it turns you into a frog and now your companions have to find a way to turn you back without killing that little winged rascal. That's just one scenery. Another one may be that she wasn't actually that devious and actually agreed with the trader to sell it for less, but then took it, flew away and forced you to chase her through the town before dropping that ring in the sewage to make you look like an idiot. And here you are, panting near the sewage drain and cursing the little b****. She's there laughing at you with the rest of the town, etc. I mean make this interaction interesting, make it diverse. Not just... "Hey, my intelligence isn't good enough to solve this riddle, you are smarter, go and do it!"

Edited by Elidar

Patience is always rewarded... ©

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Project Eternity is still early in development and we are still working on many of the cultures, factions, and ethnic groups of the world and debating many of the system concepts. However, there are certain fundamental things we want to let you know about the game and the setting for Project Eternity.

 

Your Party

The maximum party size is the player's main character (PC) and up to five companions for a total of six characters. This does not preclude the addition of temporary characters in special circumstances. Companions are never forced on the player. Players can explore the entire world and its story on their own if they so choose. We feel companions are excellent sounding boards for the player's (and other companions') actions, but the story is ultimately about the player's personal conflict among the larger social and political complexities of the world.

My only fear in this is that with so few companions, it will end up akin to Bioware's "catch-em-all" BFF-collection "parties", with very little true choice in the way your party plays out or is shaped. This is doubly true if you "just happen" to get one of every class - something that by itself stifles replayability, but is also such a trope, as if you're making them for the sake of making them, rather than to have interesting, fitting characters. Mechanically fitting or appropriate choices is in no way mutually exclusive to good storytelling, but it is just so incredibly boring to see "The Ranger", "The Warrior", "The Mage", rather than characters developed for their own sake.

 

Is there no chance that we'll be seeing more companions than there are classes, or more relevant class-options than there are companions assigned to their roles? I was so very, very, very much hoping that we'd be able to get away from the ever-shrinking party options of modern RPGs. I want to do themed parties again. :(

 

[...] elves, dwarves), [...]
Bleh.

 

 

I know exactly what you mean but I don't think that's what he meant. Given the games this is styled after, it's likely that while your part will be 6 adventurers, that 6 will be comprised of a selection from a larger cast, forcing you to choose which characters join you. My hope is that it won't be like NWN2 and DA:O where even if you do not have a character in your party they still count as being in your group.

No, the main games has exactly 5 potential companions. It then grows with every added class: http://www.kickstart...-eternity/posts

 

Well. 6 classes and 6 companions, now. But still.

Edited by Luckmann

t50aJUd.jpg

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I'd love to see something like in BG2 where you could pick some NPC's up and add them to your party. What would be even greater is if every NPC could be picked up and added to you party. You know, pick up a random peasant plowing his field and turn him into a lean mean adventuring machine.

 

Also, if you could have character art the way Icewind Dale had it, that would be awesome.

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Guessing as per Kickstarter page the 3 races for PC will be Human, Elves and Dwarfs (with sub-races) but if we hit the stretch goal of adding a 4th, can it be one of the odd ones? I'd prefer not to have the god-like ones for PC.

 

If that cannot be though I'd like them as possible NPC's.

 

My only real questions atm, thanks for the cool update Josh! :D

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I really liked allowing your companions to talk you out (or talk you in, you never know) of different situations OR, perhaps even assign certain followers to deal with particular situations on their own (on your behalf naturally).

Otherwise I am sure there would be plenty of people telling new players to choose X party combination because it has the best mix of stats/races/gender/whatever to get the best options every conversation.

With all due respect, Rab, folks will do just that no matter what. First of all, that's what people do. Second of all, some folks will ask incessantly about on forums like these. Finally, there *will* be ideal party builds no matter how careful the devs are to provide balance. Allowing for people to use their party compositions in ways they find more fun is simply good, although I do agree that it will have to be a committed design decision.

 

As a side note, I saw Elidar's name and thought I'd gone into a time warp. I thought I was seeing Eldar post, which would have been quite odd.

 

I expect the player character class will be what balances against/with party NPC abilities; there's replay value there too. There's nothing wrong with min-max playing, and it'll happen regardless; thing is, after the first one or two party runs, those people who want ideal mechanical challenge will start powergaming with fewer and fewer party members anyway.

 

Also, one reason why I'm pushing for PS:T-level depth in the party NPCs is because sometimes the character content simply trumps the 'group combat' value---like Fall-from-Grace, her spells weren't always useful depending on how you designed your character, but dang, she was worth bringing along just for her dialogue and view of the universe. Given the variety of subraces and cultures Obsidian wants to implement, that's a whole level of complexity that party NPCs can bring to our exploration.

 

I have confidence that, looking at BG and PS:T party NPC and mechanics design, some balance can be struck by our dev team.


The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

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"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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Guessing as per Kickstarter page the 3 races for PC will be Human, Elves and Dwarfs (with sub-races) but if we hit the stretch goal of adding a 4th, can it be one of the odd ones? I'd prefer not to have the god-like ones for PC.

 

If that cannot be though I'd like them as possible NPC's.

 

My only real questions atm, thanks for the cool update Josh! :D

 

They already hit the stretch goal that adds the 4th race.

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I'd love to see something like in BG2 where you could pick some NPC's up and add them to your party. What would be even greater is if every NPC could be picked up and added to you party. You know, pick up a random peasant plowing his field and turn him into a lean mean adventuring machine.

 

Also, if you could have character art the way Icewind Dale had it, that would be awesome.

How... how would that even make sense?

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Guessing as per Kickstarter page the 3 races for PC will be Human, Elves and Dwarfs (with sub-races) but if we hit the stretch goal of adding a 4th, can it be one of the odd ones? I'd prefer not to have the god-like ones for PC.

 

If that cannot be though I'd like them as possible NPC's.

 

My only real questions atm, thanks for the cool update Josh! :D

We already have 4 playable races, because we reached 1,4kk. At 1,8kk we will have 5 playable races.

 

So we have: Humans/Dwarves/Elves/something else 1/something else 2


:closed:

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Guessing as per Kickstarter page the 3 races for PC will be Human, Elves and Dwarfs (with sub-races) but if we hit the stretch goal of adding a 4th, can it be one of the odd ones? I'd prefer not to have the god-like ones for PC.

 

If that cannot be though I'd like them as possible NPC's.

 

My only real questions atm, thanks for the cool update Josh! :D

 

They already hit the stretch goal that adds the 4th race.

 

Oh yeah, was looking at the 1.8 mill goal lol, wow that means there could be 5. :o

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I'd love to see something like in BG2 where you could pick some NPC's up and add them to your party. What would be even greater is if every NPC could be picked up and added to you party. You know, pick up a random peasant plowing his field and turn him into a lean mean adventuring machine.

 

Also, if you could have character art the way Icewind Dale had it, that would be awesome.

How... how would that even make sense?

You talk to any NPC. In addition to the normal dialog options, you get an 'ask him to join the party' option. If he joins the party he starts out level 1 with basic stats for his race/class. Not rocket science I'd think....

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I'd love to see something like in BG2 where you could pick some NPC's up and add them to your party. What would be even greater is if every NPC could be picked up and added to you party. You know, pick up a random peasant plowing his field and turn him into a lean mean adventuring machine.

 

Also, if you could have character art the way Icewind Dale had it, that would be awesome.

How... how would that even make sense?

You talk to any NPC. In addition to the normal dialog options, you get an 'ask him to join the party' option. If he joins the party he starts out level 1 with basic stats for his race/class. Not rocket science I'd think....

While I can't see random peasants joining you to go get killed by vengeanceghosts, a mind control spell would be awesome. :D

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I'd love to see something like in BG2 where you could pick some NPC's up and add them to your party. What would be even greater is if every NPC could be picked up and added to you party. You know, pick up a random peasant plowing his field and turn him into a lean mean adventuring machine.

 

Also, if you could have character art the way Icewind Dale had it, that would be awesome.

How... how would that even make sense?

You talk to any NPC. In addition to the normal dialog options, you get an 'ask him to join the party' option. If he joins the party he starts out level 1 with basic stats for his race/class. Not rocket science I'd think....

While I can't see random peasants joining you to go get killed by vengeanceghosts, a mind control spell would be awesome. :D

True, but most adventurers (all?) come from humble beginnings. As long as that peasant manages to stick a goblin on his pitchfork, he's on the road to success :)

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No, the main games has exactly 5 potential companions. It then grows with every added class: http://www.kickstart...-eternity/posts

 

Well. 6 classes and 6 companions, now. But still.

 

That's when he is talking about maximum party size.

 

Goes on to say " It is no coincidence that there are at least as many companions as there are classes" implying that there will be more potential companions than the number of classes but that they will add companions with classes to continue their theme of having all classes available to you.

Edited by SanguineAngel

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I'd love to see something like in BG2 where you could pick some NPC's up and add them to your party. What would be even greater is if every NPC could be picked up and added to you party. You know, pick up a random peasant plowing his field and turn him into a lean mean adventuring machine.

 

Also, if you could have character art the way Icewind Dale had it, that would be awesome.

How... how would that even make sense?

You talk to any NPC. In addition to the normal dialog options, you get an 'ask him to join the party' option. If he joins the party he starts out level 1 with basic stats for his race/class. Not rocket science I'd think....

I didn't ask how it was supposed to be implemented mechanically. I asked how that even makes sense. A guy just standing around a field isn't going to want to tag along with your rag-tag bunch of misfits. He's got family and fields to tend to.

 

Just grabbing just anyone from the road or a field or an alley wouldn't make any sense whatsoever.

 

 

No, the main games has exactly 5 potential companions. It then grows with every added class: http://www.kickstart...-eternity/posts

 

Well. 6 classes and 6 companions, now. But still.

 

That's when he is talking about maximum party size.

 

Goes on to say " It is no coincidence that there are at least as many companions as there are classes" implying that there will be more potential companions than the number of classes but that they will add companions with classes to continue their theme of having all classes available to you.

No, dude, check update #2. Base goals and stretch goals. Edited by Luckmann

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I instantly thought of the Black Hound myself.

Glad to hear that I wasn't misremembering entirely.

 

We need to get Sammael in here to get a reminder of the details...

Behold... the archdevil appears.

 

Ask and you shall receive, though the price may be too high ;) I have a lot of TBH information. Quite a bit of it is something that I would not reveal without permission, but pretty much everything that was on my now-defunct FAQ plus a lot of stuff I had prepared for the FAQ but never got around to posting is fair game. What would you like to know?


There are no doors in Jefferson that are "special game locked" doors. There are no characters in that game that you can kill that will result in the game ending prematurely.

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How soon before we can create our own party?

 

Harumph!

That would be nice to have, but maybe as a future expansion, like it happened with Storm of Zehir (Neverwinter Nights 2 xpack).

I would love this feature, but I wouldn't object to the feature being added later as DLC.


God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

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