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Do you want well balanced companions?

companions stats balance

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Poll: Companion abilities poll (140 member(s) have cast votes)

I'd like my companions to

  1. Strictly adhere to the same rules as PC (21 votes [15.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 15.00%

  2. Follow the same rules, but have unique features or feats (84 votes [60.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 60.00%

  3. Have their own rules, but be balanced in efficiency (21 votes [15.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 15.00%

  4. Be wildly different in their abilities (12 votes [8.57%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 8.57%

  5. Something else (2 votes [1.43%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 1.43%

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#1
Jarmo

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Hey, a new forum to spoil with another tilted poll.

So you'll meet potential companions. Do you want all to be equal in their abilities (within their class).

Examples are incorrect, I don't remember the stats or levels or characters or stuff.
That was largely the case in BG and such, the girl from next door is basically the same as a master assasin you come upon later.
Granted, the girl is level 1 and the assasin is level 5 (but so are you and the girl when you meet him).

Now this pretty much worked and didn't bother me much at all. All were D&D adventurers afterall.
But I kind of would have liked some characters, like a finest swordsman ever, to have had significantly better luck with stat rolls.

Where it really bothered me, were NWN2, DA:O, MotB.

When I get a humongously powerful blade golem... well I was a bit disappointed it was just about exactly as effective as whatever fighter type I'd have around. Less so actually, given how fighters would have souped up weapons.
DA:O, Sten and the Golem. Both are storywise presented as absurdly powerful creatures, yet they don't have anything to show for it. Neither is stronger than just another fighter, the golem is actually pretty weak compared even to alistari.
MotB, bear gods and ancient devourer creatures... are just as powerful as any other companion.

Now, I understand there's game balance to be considered.
If some companions are more powerful than others, there's this minmax need to take the powerful ones.

But if I get a demon from hell as a companion, I don't want him to be another Fighter: Level 8
Nor do I want him to be just at the same powerlevel as my childhood sweetheart.

Opinions?
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#2
Hypevosa

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The problem is just having companions that there's no reason you shouldn't want them over the other guy. You know? If I have a great fighter, but come across a monster whose damage output, health, etc is so much higher, you're just punishing role players who stick with the human guy since the monster doesn't talk much.

If they're going to be balanced but still honest with what they're supposed to be, they need some serious detractions, ya know?

#3
TrashMan

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An easily solved problem.


Simply don't have giant rock/turd/whatever golems nad demons from hell as companions.

If for balance sake you can't represeant a race/creature properly, then don't even bother puting it in.

Now if oyu party is all made up of standard humanoid races - I really don't see a problem. There wont' be THAT much of a difference betwen two human fighters or two human assasins.
There shouldn't be.
This isn't Marvel where "peak human" means lifting several tons and surviving point-blank explosions.
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#4
Hypevosa

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that's no fun completely ruling them out as companions :\

Now, if they were a liability where the guards would attack them every time they entered town? Or perhaps they'd murder people (even someone in your party) randomly? That would be a balancing factor. A nature spirit requiring you not wear metal armor before traveling with you? Also interesting. A vampire requiring you sacrifice a living person to them every day, or else they'll drink from someone in the party when you rest?

There's alot of ways you could balance more powerful non humanoid races, you just need to be a little creative about it.
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#5
DocDoomII

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Companions should be created using the same rules of any other character.
I don't expect to find an Archer companion with a personal unique feat such as "He can shoot 3 arrows at the same time" and be the only character in the game able to do so.
What should make me want to have a companion over another can be his class, his personality, is uniqueness as a character per se (like Minsc. I'd take Minsc 100 times over Khalid).

For particular races like the god-touched one, it's the same. If in the character creation screen, I can create such a character, than other companions should follow the same rules that I have to follow in the character creation screen.

Edited by DocDoomII, 02 October 2012 - 11:00 PM.

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#6
Jarmo

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One thing TempleoEE actually did almost right. You could at one point get a giant in your party, very, very powerful.
But the villagers would just go yaaahh what is that thing and not deal with you.

Which was broken in many levels. Mostly in that would anyone dare to refuse a high level party with a giant?

There could be some ways to make some characters undesirable, but.. yeah.
I'd want to make it a choice between keeping a trusted companion, or switching to a more powerful one.
The benefits of keeping a friend would be more in the roleplaying area, not combat effectiveness.

#7
Hypevosa

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best disadvantage I can see to a giant character? No way to drag them to a temple for resurrection, and clearly too large to enter some places.

#8
drgonzo

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Companions should be created using the same rules of any other character.
I don't expect to find an Archer companion with a personal unique feat such as "He can shoot 3 arrows at the same time" and be the only character in the game able to do so.
What should make me want to have a companion over another can be his class, his personality, is uniqueness as a character per se (like Minsc. I'd take Minsc 100 times over Khalid).

For particular races like the god-touched one, it's the same. If in the character creation screen, I can create such a character, than other companions should follow the same rules that I have to follow in the character creation screen.


Agreed.

Slightly OT but I'd say Khalid is one of the few characters in bg with personality and uniqueness, struggling to overcome his weaknesses. Minsc on the other hand... he's just stupid. ;)

#9
DocDoomII

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Companions should be created using the same rules of any other character.
I don't expect to find an Archer companion with a personal unique feat such as "He can shoot 3 arrows at the same time" and be the only character in the game able to do so.
What should make me want to have a companion over another can be his class, his personality, is uniqueness as a character per se (like Minsc. I'd take Minsc 100 times over Khalid).

For particular races like the god-touched one, it's the same. If in the character creation screen, I can create such a character, than other companions should follow the same rules that I have to follow in the character creation screen.


Agreed.

Slightly OT but I'd say Khalid is one of the few characters in bg with personality and uniqueness, struggling to overcome his weaknesses. Minsc on the other hand... he's just stupid. ;)


That's not OT. It's just the demonstration that if the character are done right, they can appeal or repel people. I'd say that they both are a success.
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#10
Tamerlane

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In general: companions use same rules. Maybe some of them have a special ability or two. Think Bao-Dur's shield punch thing or Fall-From-Grace's kiss.

Okay with: Shale or the dog from DAO are decent examples, even if the dog was terribad in practice. As a rare thing, this can be just fine.

Ogre Battle - yeah, it's JRPG example time, what up - had a system where large, monster-type enemies (dragons, gryphons, golems, etc.) were (in theory) substantially stronger than your regular knights, beastmasters, witches, amazons, and wizards, but they took up two slots in a party. So where an all-human group could have two knights, a ninja, a cleric, and a wizard, a mixed group would have two knights, a cleric, and a gryphon. Or you could drop all the way down to, say, two golems protecting a samurai. Which you wouldn't do, because if memory serves golems were actually god damn awful, but you get the idea.

Works for balance even if it's generally unjustifiable from a story perspective. But then, when are party limits ever justifiable from a story perspective?

Seriously, This Is Important: Standard enemies should follow the same rules as the PC. Of Dragon Age 2's many incomprehensible changes, giving an entirely different spell set to enemy mages and those weird "swing sword in air, make aura that does thing" abilities that many other human enemies had was one of the most ridiculous.



And Shale could be pretty broken in DAO. But then, a lot of things could be broken in that game.
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#11
TrashMan

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that's no fun completely ruling them out as companions :\

Now, if they were a liability where the guards would attack them every time they entered town? Or perhaps they'd murder people (even someone in your party) randomly? That would be a balancing factor. A nature spirit requiring you not wear metal armor before traveling with you? Also interesting. A vampire requiring you sacrifice a living person to them every day, or else they'll drink from someone in the party when you rest?

There's alot of ways you could balance more powerful non humanoid races, you just need to be a little creative about it.



To each his own. I presonally do not like such extreeme/unique companions, and prefer to have more "normal" parties.
I hae a tendance to ditch companions that stand out like a sour tumb because they are a giant golem, or demon or whatever-super-special-snowflake they are.


And while I guess you could balance them in some creative ways - it would require building the whole game around it - adding more programing and mechanics just for them.

IMHO, waste of limited resources.
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#12
Hypevosa

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you don't have to build the whole game around it unless you make 40 of them :p

I think having 3 genuinely unique monster companions would be workable. One for good guys, one for bad guys, and one for more neutral characters.

The extra work put into them shouldn't be much more than the work you'd need to put into all the party interactions, dialogue, and NPC quests you put into other characters. Unique NPCs, be it for special abilities or being a monster race have always just added to the depth of a game for me - I'd love to see at least one.

#13
TrashMan

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you don't have to build the whole game around it unless you make 40 of them :p


Actualyl you do. By your own example, pepel react differently around them.

Which means you have to script different reaction for all NPC's.. For all areas.

Anything that deviates too much from the standard and requires "unconventional balancing" (balancing not dependant on statistic, but events, quests, etc... liek for example the vampire thing you mentioned) also requires more man-hours

#14
Hypevosa

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It's a simple check:

On initiating dialogue with normal NPC
If Monster in party = very yes
Then NPC reaction = "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
NPC Flees.

You don't need to modify every NPC in the game, just have it so that the game checks before you initiate dialogue what's going on.

On doors for large creatures you just give it a value where it accepts a large creature or not, and, if that value is false, the game says you cannot enter since a member of your party cannot fit.

It doesn't have to be a horrible amount of programming if you have an efficient system to begin with.
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#15
metiman

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It's always nice when there are specific examples. I liked the way things were done in ToEE. In fact I liked pretty much everything about ToEE except its length. Would this be the [x] wildly different in their abilities choice?

#16
Volourn

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NPCs should follow the actual rules barring possible story/character based exceptions. That means, if the npc is of a playable race they should follow the basic rules. if the companion happens to be a golem, demon, or some other fantastical creature beyond NPC character rules than so be it - they should get all the benefits and setbacks of their race. Of course, a demon should not be joining a low level party as to not make the power base out of whack. ie. By the time you get a demon to join, it should be around the same power level.
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#17
Rozkurwiciel

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I'd like companions to be wildly different but I don't think it's possible keeping balance so I voted for 2 option which seems to be pretty easy and fun.

#18
Jarmo

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It's always nice when there are specific examples. I liked the way things were done in ToEE. In fact I liked pretty much everything about ToEE except its length. Would this be the [x] wildly different in their abilities choice?


Kind of would.
Only that there's only the one giant you might get in one specific circumstance. And only the few shopkeepers have a reaction.
And they have the same reaction to the demoness (or whatever she was), despite you needing a high perception to realize what she is.

Nah, I think that'd be too much coding effort, just like TrashMan suggested.
On the other hand, getting an ancient vampire or a demon warrior, who could pass for a human through glamour or by wearing full plate,
wouldn't require coding for passerbys, but could still have unique abilities, lots of them.

#19
DocDoomII

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On the other hand, getting an ancient vampire or a demon warrior, who could pass for a human through glamour or by wearing full plate,
wouldn't require coding for passerbys, but could still have unique abilities, lots of them.

As long as said vampire or demon warrior are subject to the same rules of vampires and demons that you might encounter as enemies in your every day dungeon crawling, that would be fine by me.

#20
NerdBoner

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i'd want characters to generally follow the rules except when his/her back story called for an exception...for example take Minsc, who has already been mentioned: he had a special ability to go berserk despite being a ranger, but since he was insane as well as a member of the Ice Troll berserker lodge of Rashemen he had that ability...he also had Boo...


i expect the PC to get certain special story abilities (similar to the minor bhaalspawn spells of BG1) throughout the game...there is no reason for our companion characters not to develop in a similar fashion, in their own way.
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