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NPC Character Development


  

214 members have voted

  1. 1. How would you like NPCs to level up in Project: Eternity?

    • I like to have complete control over their skills and choices, including multiclassing
      123
    • I prefer to have to influence the NPCs to make choices, especially over big issues like skill selection and multiclassing
      66
    • I think the 'NPC should decide' and they auto-level accordingly
      12
    • I am indifferent
      10
    • I prefer another approach (please share)
      3


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We will be getting an adventurer hall, so if you want moldable companions just head there instead of using the in-depth ones.

 

Everyone wins that way.

 

Well, to be percise, we will be getting that adventure hall only if the kickstarter reachs 2.6m. If you are saying the odd are good, I agree (even now, it's seems to be going about 100k every 2-3 days)

 

...and I don't think I've ever played a cRPG where I had completly control over what the character did in battle and did *not* have total control over the character's feat/skill/level/etc progression. While I can respect the idea of companions being indepent entities with thier own ideas on how to improve themselves, there is already a deep precident of the player having total control in these kinds of games.

Edited by Foefaller
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Voted for 2nd

I prefer to have to influence the NPCs to make choices, especially over big issues like skill selection and multiclassing.

but i want to specify it. I'd like it to be more of sort of directional mentorship (i see it as choosing a sector of abilities in kind of pie-diagram) and to give to NPC (or system if you like) a fine adjustment in given direction. Thus i hope to make each player's story unique and if not to avoid then to lower significance of future inevitable threads of "The best combination of skills for you team" sort.

Edited by turboprop

מְנֵא מְנֵא תְקֵל וּפַרְסֵין

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I'm going to reference Neverwinter Nights 2 second expanion, Storm of Zehir, for the 10 of us who apparently played it. That game finally allowed you to build your companions from the ground up. At first glance it was great for control freaks who wanted to build the ultimate party, and I thought I'd love it. But I found that it made narrative almost impossible, and ultimately these companions lacked personality because of it.

 

Bottom line is that the writers need to design characters in a certain framework, or those NPCs run the risk of becoming shallow and uninspiring. If Cadegund is designed to be a warrior with a musket, then there's a reason for that and the writers can flesh that out. If we had the ability to suddenly make her a rogue with daggars, it would be very difficult for the writers to give her the kind of personality we expect from epic RPGs-- especially those designed by Obsidian.

 

That said, you may be given the option of making Cadegund specialize in more offensive skills vs defensive, or more long-distance shots vs close-combat abilities, or good vs evil paths, etc. That is where you (or rather your PC) can influence how that NPC ultimately evolves. That's about as far as I'd like to tinker with NPCs.

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I'll go with 'nearly complete control with some limitations.' If multi-classing into a certain class is completely at odds with the character, or if certain powers/spells/whatever conflict with that character, I see no problem with prohibiting that choice.

 

Otherwise, being able to customize your NPC followers is a hallmark of the Infinity engine. Keep it keep it keep it.

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In BG players had very little control over how many of the characters developed and I liked that. That level of control is fine with me. I just don't want complete control over them.

Grandiose statements, cryptic warnings, blind fanboyisim and an opinion that leaves no room for argument and will never be dissuaded. Welcome to the forums, you'll go far in this place my boy, you'll go far!

 

The people who are a part of the "Fallout Community" have been refined and distilled over time into glittering gems of hatred.
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In BG players had very little control over how many of the characters developed and I liked that. That level of control is fine with me. I just don't want complete control over them.

Uh... no. We had full control once we recruited them. We had to follow the game mechanics and rules, but I could dualclass Imoen into a mage for example if I wanted.
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In BG players had very little control over how many of the characters developed and I liked that. That level of control is fine with me. I just don't want complete control over them.

Uh... no. We had full control once we recruited them. We had to follow the game mechanics and rules, but I could dualclass Imoen into a mage for example if I wanted.

Following BG2 Imoen was kind of a mage anyway.

 

I think the major problem about this discussion might be, that we don't know the mechanics yet. That being said we can only assume, that the controll we'll be given should be as much, or not as much as BG/IWD/PST. In BG much of the controll (e.g. multiclassing) was predetermined by D&D rules and so people couldn't totally mess up the characters personality by their own choices.

But since the mechanics aren't out yet, I really would prefer the "cautious" way of controll.

 

Probably we will reach the 2,6 stretch goal anyway, that's just statistics ... :no:

So if one of the NPCs doesn't fit the way you want him to be, you can still make that single exchance in your party!

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Complete control (within the ruleset and the "character" of the npc). All the good old computer rpgs where you controlled a party had it (at least the ones I played). There might have been an option to relinquish control, but complete control was the default most of the time.

Edited by Caranthir
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If I'm the one crafting the tactics for battle and commanding them, I think I should probably be the one controlling their levelling choices from a purely mechanical standpoint. It would be more immersive if they made their own choices based on personality/combat style/etc., but that might be detrimental to gameplay if it doesn't mesh with the player's intentions or the combat situation at hand.

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Not really another approach but perhaps a combination of more than one -

 

I am OK with having to influence the NPC altho I suspect we won't get that since a lot of people will no doubt expect complete and total control over everything and also perhaps becuase it would be difficult and take a lot of effort to do this right - (effort that might be better spent elsewhere?)

 

If we do get complete control I would like to see the auto-level option offered as well - I sometimes like to use this as a way to let my companions make their own choices (or at least make the choices the devs have chosen for them) thus forcing me to adapt my game to thier strengths and weaknesses and thus giving them a bit more substance and make them feel more like companions than they might have if I mold them into exactly what I want when I want.

 

I would be OK with not having any control over their leveling as well but seriously doubt we will see that -

Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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If I don't have complete control and the companions try to pass for individuals, making their own levelup and proficiency choices.

I'd rather they buy their own equipment as well, keep themselves stocked on ammo and potions.

 

That's the way it should work for 1-hour plot added allies anyway.

 

I'd kind of prefer full control anyway.

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I find it more realistic if the NPC auto level himself. However, in most games auto-leveled NPCs aren't really smart.

A nice alternative to complete control would be just having an influence on the direction the NPC should go to, so you can fit him to different kind of parties in different play-throughs.

✔ Certified Bat Food

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If I don't have complete control and the companions try to pass for individuals, making their own levelup and proficiency choices.

I'd rather they buy their own equipment as well, keep themselves stocked on ammo and potions.

 

I'd have no problem with this as long as they're assigned an appropriate share of the loot (maybe even allowing the player to negotiate percentages when hiring them). Otherwise they'd never have anything to buy with because the PC would be hoarding all the resources.

 

But the likelihood of that happening is low, I'd think.

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If I don't have complete control and the companions try to pass for individuals, making their own levelup and proficiency choices.

I'd rather they buy their own equipment as well, keep themselves stocked on ammo and potions.

 

I'd have no problem with this as long as they're assigned an appropriate share of the loot (maybe even allowing the player to negotiate percentages when hiring them). Otherwise they'd never have anything to buy with because the PC would be hoarding all the resources.

 

But the likelihood of that happening is low, I'd think.

 

In-complete control includes, that the player can't decide the items a NPC would use? Thats kind of unlikely and probably not the way the poll is meant to be. It also doesn't include not controlling the NPC in battle the way I understand it.

Concluding this would mean we have the choice on multiclassing, non-combat skills, combat skills, probably which spells to learn and maybe special talents.

Most of us probably agree that picking the right spells is essential and so are combat or non-combat skills (within certain restrictions or not?). The point which is most important should be multiclassing, but the poll doesn't allow us to pick that option, since it only gives multiclassing control + leftover / not leftover.

For me that was the reason to join this thread.

 

So: Multiclassing control / no multiclassing control?

Classes are kind of the highest expression of an NPCs personality. Especially with prestige/sub-classes.

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Complete control, makes for better replay value.

 

For example when playing BG series I now find I always use the Level 1 NPCs mod in order to tweak every companion that I plan to use for a playthrough. I used to get annoyed when I wanted to convert Jeheira from her preset skill point allocation over to Duel Wielding, simply because it took a LOT of levels before this became worthwhile.

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Other people have mentioned pre-releasing the character creator, but it might be interesting for obsidian to actually release a creator & trainer module so we can get an understanding of leveling and implications. I bring this up because there could be an autolevel function for people who don't want to fuss with NPCs too much that is tied to following "tracks" of development. For example, a mage NPC could be have a major track of Fire Magic with minor tracks in illusion and alchemy; A Thief could have a major track in Stealth with minor tracks in dirty fighting and traps, or some such. This way, one could set these tracks and let the NPCs level up on their own. The thing is, for this to really work smoothly, one would have to have some idea beforehand how different builds might look at the games finishing levels.

Edited by curryinahurry
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