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Audron

What party selection system is best?

  

242 members have voted

  1. 1. What kind of party selection system would you like?

    • One that requires me to backtrack if I want to change companions back to the place where I left them (like in Planescape Torment)
      31
    • One that allows me to either leave the companions there or send them to a specific place, like an inn or the player's home, assuming the stretch goal is met and the house is big enough (like in Baldurs Gate 2)
      194
    • One that assumes that all party members are somehow with me when I switch from one area to another and it allows to me pick new ones when I do that (like in Dragon Age: Origins)
      34
    • One that assumes everything stated in option 3, but that also brings speciific locations for certain party members, like rooms in an inn or a house where certaininteractions between one companion and the main character are allowed (like in Dragon Age 2)
      46
    • Another one (please specify in a comment)
      3


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I would prefer something similar to Dragon Age 2, but I would not refuse something new. However, the one from Planescape Torment would be awful. I hated the moment I found Vhailor and I decided to leave Ignus behind without the possibility of ever bringing him back to the group. I am actually very curios regarding other opinions from the community.

Edited by Audron

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I'd rather not have the first one. Other than that, I have no preference; I see pros and cons to each and am undecided as to which I would actually enjoy more.

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What about a "Marshalling Party" panel that would allow various options and lists the time that must pass for these to occur? It could, for example:

  • Send current party members to specific base locations.
  • Compute a minimum, low risk round trip time to retrieve party members from their various locations.
  • Allow a more rapid character retrieval by paying to dispatch a messenger.
  • Restock the party with basic supplies like ammo, healing kits, thief tools, &c.
  • Go and rest up the party in a nearby inn.

With such a dialog interface the player can just make the changes happen without all of the tedious travel. (You'd still have to use it from a safe location, of course.)

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I like the second option. Seems to fit the best with the size of the party that they are aiming for, as well as allowing to switch in new companions when we run into them without having to wonder where we dropped our former one off if they are needed again.

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although i lean toward 2nd option i also like the 1st one. i mean the 1st option is brutal and actually forces you to make a hard choice. however, the drawback of it is that how the hell are you gonna know if the new members is better/worse than the old one. hmmm


"if everyone is dead then why don't i remember dying?"

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"if we're all alive then why don't i remember being born?"

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We should have to backtrack.

 

Moreover, if we tell someone to leave, there should be no guarantee we can find them again. Perhaps they'll strike off on their own somewhere. Perhaps they'll die.

 

But if they do just hang around waiting for me, either travelling near me (DAO), or staying in a central location (BG2), or standing in the wilderness where I left them (BG), they shouldn't earn any XP. This is always something that has bothered me. If the companions level up on their own, how are they doing that? How are they earning risk-free experience? It must be risk-free, because they never die when I'm not watching them. And they also never collect loot, so they're obviously not adventuring off on their own. And if there is some means to earn risk-free XP that doesn't break the setting, why isn't the PC doing it?

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

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I pick #2.

 

And am glad to see that it is the most popular.

 

The BioWare "camp" has bothered me since Jade Empire. While I think DA2 is an improvement on DA:O as far as that one aspect is concerned (and just about only that aspect, other than the R key), it's not ideal.

 

Ideal is only having your chosen companions with you and you have to go find them again if you want others to rejoin you. At some point in the game, when you get the "player house", most NPC companions should be able to be sent there to wait - but maybe not all, as the story dictates.

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But if they do just hang around waiting for me, either travelling near me (DAO), or staying in a central location (BG2), or standing in the wilderness where I left them (BG), they shouldn't earn any XP. This is always something that has bothered me. If the companions level up on their own, how are they doing that? How are they earning risk-free experience? It must be risk-free, because they never die when I'm not watching them. And they also never collect loot, so they're obviously not adventuring off on their own. And if there is some means to earn risk-free XP that doesn't break the setting, why isn't the PC doing it?

 

So if you're not there to baybysit everyone, then they should die?

 

Reffering to update#7, there will be no xp for killing things, only for completing goals/quests.

So there is always a plausability for people to level. And besides, balancing companion levels will be better for your options so that people who enjoy switching around their party composition can do so without annoyances.


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I prefer the "camp" idea of Dragon Age.It kinda feels closest. Has that tight "family" feeling and makes sense...but it makes sense for Dragon Age.

 

The BG2-like option is also good. Give the party NPC some life. They have places to be and things to do. But to have a singular meeting place (like the inn) is a great idea. Even moreso if one can give that inn some of that "home" atmhosphere. By having the party NPC's interact there a lot.

 

Just a in-game cutscene showing them all sitting at the table having smalltalk adds a lot to the atmosphere.

Edited by TrashMan

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Second one. Send companions to some specific (and safe! I don't want them to die stupidly) place, so I could return for them later. An inn of the nearest city makes perfect sense for me.

 

Just a in-game cutscene showing them all sitting at hte table having smalltalk adds a lot to the atmosphere.

True.

Edited by Pangur

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Voted for the first option. Leaving companions at player's home seems too convenient, and Dragon's Age system is even worse.

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i rather meet NPC adventurers in the game world and deside to add them to the group or not, or at the same level to desmis them, and add another NPC that better suits my party needs, or aligment line, and if i have a player house i would rather invite several of the NPCs there, thought i my self see no sence in doing so as it's an open RPG world and like Baulder Gate you meet several NPC along the road a few you constantly keep in the group and many you simply don't care about.

Edited by Shai182

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I think the Dragon Age system is actually the best of them all with regard to party management. The 6 party limit is usually imposed simply because of combat limitations, controlling a much bigger party with become tedious very quickly and the interactions would bog the game down a lot in dialogue.

 

Sending party members to an Inn might make sense if the Inn was your base of operations but just asking some random mage you meet somewhere to wait at an Inn doesn't make sense.

 

The DaO system was a nice mix of both, your party was at camp and when you ventured forth you selected who to bring. It worked out quite well, I'm going into dwarf caves I bring the dwarf with quest material, I'm going to X town I bring npc with main questline material etc. At the end of the game the whole party, all npc's were involved in parts of the battle, I just could only control the ones I'd selected. This made a lot of sense to me as fighting a war while half my team was relaxing at an Inn didn't make sense but seeing them running around the city beating up invaders was pretty good while the ones I'd selected for party duty came with me to the castle to beat the big evil.

 

The guys in the base camp leveled up at a similar rate based on the XP gained by "active" party members, so I could allocate points and skills when I selected them. A very nice system that meant no npc I picked up but didn't use a lot ended up with auto-assigned rubbish skills.

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Voted #3 accidentally, I meant to pick #2 for obvious reasons. Blame me for posting while half-asleep.

 

I think the Dragon Age system is actually the best of them all with regard to party management. The 6 party limit is usually imposed simply because of combat limitations, controlling a much bigger party with become tedious very quickly and the interactions would bog the game down a lot in dialogue.

 

Sending party members to an Inn might make sense if the Inn was your base of operations but just asking some random mage you meet somewhere to wait at an Inn doesn't make sense.

 

The DaO system was a nice mix of both, your party was at camp and when you ventured forth you selected who to bring. It worked out quite well, I'm going into dwarf caves I bring the dwarf with quest material, I'm going to X town I bring npc with main questline material etc. At the end of the game the whole party, all npc's were involved in parts of the battle, I just could only control the ones I'd selected. This made a lot of sense to me as fighting a war while half my team was relaxing at an Inn didn't make sense but seeing them running around the city beating up invaders was pretty good while the ones I'd selected for party duty came with me to the castle to beat the big evil.

 

The guys in the base camp leveled up at a similar rate based on the XP gained by "active" party members, so I could allocate points and skills when I selected them. A very nice system that meant no npc I picked up but didn't use a lot ended up with auto-assigned rubbish skills.

 

Except, aside from the endgame, party members just occupied a sort of "zero space" location where they would somehow gain XP for doing nothing and wouldn't react to anything in the game world. Defile the most holy relic of the Chantry? No worries, if Leliana isn't with you I guess she doesn't care and she'll never find out. It's utterly immersion-breaking to be able to pull party members out of your ass in the most far-off, dangerous locations of the world without so much as an explanation.

 

I can buy it in the cities and towns because maybe they're all hanging out... somewhere, but in dungeons, random encounters etc. it often let you do it as well and it made just as little sense. And, being able to bypass important party events by hand-picking who you take with you and when kind of defeats the whole point of the influence system in the first place.

Edited by sea

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Wow, there's really 18 people that likes how Dragon Age 2 did it.

That's.. scary, actually.

 

I'd like to amend my vote of #2, with the added option of being able to send them to a location appropriate for them. For example, if I've recruited a member of the Thieves Guild, it would make total sense for them to go wait for me there. I'd actually prefer that to any option of making them just stay where I left them.

 

Assuming a rogue recruited from the Thieves Guild:

#1 Go wait in our ship / all the way back to base (Player House).

#2 Go to the local inn (Nearest central Inn for 1 month game time, otherwise move to #3).

#3 Go home / Thieves Guild (That character's "Home").


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sea has some pretty good points there.

 

However I'd like to see a behavior that fits the companion in question.

- some will wait for you where they stand (leadership skill in effect to even allow you to betray them in some way or the other),

- others may refuse unless you escort them to the nearest town,

- others may simply say they'll leave and never see you again (it's up for you to decide)... and who knowns, maybe you'll find them again... maybe as friend, maybe as foe.

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Wow, there's really 18 people that likes how Dragon Age 2 did it.

That's.. scary, actually.

 

I am no fan of Dragon Age 2, but why is this scary? That was one of the things that I actually thought was an improvement on DA:O.

Now, the implementation was not the best (Isabela at the bar for ten years is about as bad as the Alistair and the dwarf merchants living in you camp for a year) but just about anything is better than the bad implementation of Option 3 (see Jade Empire - you recruit close to a dozen people so they can sit in camp and "sing kumbaya for you" while you take one along at a time to meditate for you.)

 

Dragon Age 2, in some ways, mirrors Baldur's Gate 2 - when not in your party, they go off somewhere other than invisibily following you around.

 

BG2 being better that if they weren't actively in your party, actively contributing, they actually weren't "recruited" and continued on with their lives regardless of you. DA2 tried to narratively give you that feel, but the party selection screen always broke that immersion for me.

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  • Allow a more rapid character retrieval by paying to dispatch a messenger.

This is actually a really nice idea.

Other than that, I think the way BG2 does it is good.

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We should have to backtrack.

 

Moreover, if we tell someone to leave, there should be no guarantee we can find them again. Perhaps they'll strike off on their own somewhere. Perhaps they'll die.

 

But if they do just hang around waiting for me, either travelling near me (DAO), or staying in a central location (BG2), or standing in the wilderness where I left them (BG), they shouldn't earn any XP. This is always something that has bothered me. If the companions level up on their own, how are they doing that? How are they earning risk-free experience? It must be risk-free, because they never die when I'm not watching them. And they also never collect loot, so they're obviously not adventuring off on their own. And if there is some means to earn risk-free XP that doesn't break the setting, why isn't the PC doing it?

 

You really want this game to be brutal don't you. I would lol so hard if i sent a companion back to my home and find out he just arbitrarily decided to frolick off by himself to some unknown location. Then i'd reload my game.

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I would like to see some "realistic" companions who have a live on their own.

In case they are not needed by the player the should decide to live on with their lifes which means that they go anywhere they want, pursue their profession, join other adventurers or hang around in some bar.

 

And if they player wants them to join the crew (after he rejected them the first time) there should be some kind of challenge to get them back on the team:

1. he must find them (by rumors, herald, investigation,....)

2. he must be able to travel to them (perhaps they are currently in a new area)

3. he must be able to persuade them to join the group or even release them from their current profession or duty or some kind of akward situation they're into


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Difficult to say without having more idea of the plot. If you are on a mission to save the world which is obviously the most important thing any of your characters could be doing, then having them follow around off-screen makes sense. If you are on a personal quest PST style then definitely they should go off and do their own things, and you'd have to meet them back at their home / encounter location. Although being able to send a messenger to get them would be convenient, should probably only work if the character likes the protagonist a lot.

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1st or 2nd option for me.

 

I actually always forgot about "Bioware improvement" to the party system where you could switch pretty much everywhere. Although, I tend to never change my party once it is formed either.


Azarhal, Chanter and Keeper of Truth of the Obsidian Order of Eternity.


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