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Hello Project Eternity,

 

As this game is being designed to echo classics like Baldur's Gate, it should be safe to speculate about ways to make those games better - thereby making Project Eternity better, should these improvements be realized in game.

 

Something that always bothered me in the Baldur's Gate series was the highly restrictive party size. But, not in the way you may be thinking. Six adventurers (five companions and the protagonist) is perfect for your standard party. Six gives room for ample banter, mixing and matching of abilities, and tactical combat. But, how about when you and your five friends come upon one additional person in the depths of a dungeon. This person cannot escape without you. In Baldur's Gate, you had to say, "sorry, I just can't take you along right now," or "Sure, but current companion, please stay here." I hated this.

 

A few examples of this include Xan, in the Nashkell Mines, and Yeslick in the Cloakwood Mines. Xan is left to be eaten by Kobolds and Yeslick will undoubtedly be drowned, if you do not take them along. I would actually leave one of my companions outside of the mines, pick up Xan or Yeslick, drop them off somewhere, and then retrieve my initially dropped companion. Yikes, way too much work.

 

Here is what I propose: Make the six party limitation a soft cap, as opposed to a hard one. In the case of Xan or Yeslick, allow the party size to expand to 6+1 for the duration of that quest. Upon escaping from the mines, just to continue with those examples, have dialogue initiate forcing you to make a decision regarding who you will keep.

 

If there is no specific quest related to the NPC, incorporate a +1 that is time based. Maybe, one 30 minutes, real life time – before a triggered dialogue begins. This would give players a chance to see the new person’s skills, learn a bit more about them, and then decide if they would fit into the party. As it stands, one would need to have played through the game beforehand or have read an NPC summary to know if the character would be a good fit. To prevent system abuse, I might have the soft cap restricted to +1 (so no parties of +2, +3, +4, if coordinated to take on a challenging boss, for example).

 

The flexibility to temporarily take on an additional companion would provide more realistic resolutions for scenarios like I outlined above (with Xan and Yeslick) and would give players the chance to test drive a new companion prior to having them join up.

 

Please let me know if you agree or disagree! I would love to hear some feedback on this idea.

Edited by Sarevok

"The Lord of Murder shall perish, but in his doom he shall spawn a score of mortal progeny, chaos will be sown by their passage," so sayeth the wise Alaundo.

 

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This would also allow the game to provide you with temporary characters designed to be just that, temporary. Let's say you are working with a thieves guild on a job. The leader of the thieves guild is showing you the way to a location. The +1 system allows the game to let him join your party for that quest. This lets Obsidian throw a lot more characters at us without having to flesh them out like you would with a traditional, full-game NPC. You could even use some of the Kickstarter designed NPCs in this way.

Edited by Sarevok

"The Lord of Murder shall perish, but in his doom he shall spawn a score of mortal progeny, chaos will be sown by their passage," so sayeth the wise Alaundo.

 

768543sarevokred1.jpg

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Much like the IE games, there's room for many "temporary" companions - that's already been confirmed. In the instances you are talking about it shouldn't really have been a problem in the first place. I can't recall if this happened but it would have been a simple matter to add an option to help those characters without adopting them into your party. At which point, they could have joined your party as temporary characters, duration dictated by the quest.

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Much like the IE games, there's room for many "temporary" companions - that's already been confirmed. In the instances you are talking about it shouldn't really have been a problem in the first place. I can't recall if this happened but it would have been a simple matter to add an option to help those characters without adopting them into your party. At which point, they could have joined your party as temporary characters, duration dictated by the quest.

Yes, that would be perfect. That was definitely not an option in the Baldur's Gate series and I would really appreciate seeing it in Project Eternity.

"The Lord of Murder shall perish, but in his doom he shall spawn a score of mortal progeny, chaos will be sown by their passage," so sayeth the wise Alaundo.

 

768543sarevokred1.jpg

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I think they are going to follow NWN2 /ToEE aproach. NPCs that tag along with you for some quests/lplot events.

That's great. I haven't played either of those games (though I did just buy ToEE on a GOG.com deal, so I need to try it). How does the system work in those games? Is it similar to what I described? Is there a quote from one of the Obsidian guys confirming this?

"The Lord of Murder shall perish, but in his doom he shall spawn a score of mortal progeny, chaos will be sown by their passage," so sayeth the wise Alaundo.

 

768543sarevokred1.jpg

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The only time you get true temporary npcs in IE games is in the section in Candlekeep when you practice with a party, the rest of the IE games don't use temporary party members at all. Temporary in those games is purely a choice of the player, not an actual game feature.

 

Temporary party members typically means someone the player cannot control being in their party or when they leave. There are usually 2 ways this is done, full control while in party or AI controlled. Full control gives you more freedom but adds issues with gear and items when the character leaves, AI can be temperamental in some games, like running ahead, getting themselves killed, refusing to obey party formations to avoid traps etc.

 

If you have played Diablo 3, it actually had a decent temporary party member system. Certain characters joined you for certain quests then left, others only appeared as guides and would not help in combat. It was done fairly seamlessly there I think with characters only leaving when you returned to town or reached an objective and there was always a goodbye dialogue of some kind. You had no access to their inventory.

 

I'm pretty sure someone mentioned a 6+1 system for PE but I can't find the source for that. It would definitely be much smoother than leaving someone behind just because they could join your party as a full member but you had no space for them.

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