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Terror K

Companion Dialogue -- One Thing That Needs to Be Sorted

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I played a little NWN2 the other day again and I was suddenly reminded of something that was prevalent in quite a few of Obsidian's RPGs with regards to companion dialogue, most notably NWN2, KotoR2 and Fallout: New Vegas. Something I feel that needs to go and I don't want to see in Project Eternity: Dialogue options that stay with you almost forever!

 

To be clear on what I'm talking about, I'm meaning dialogue options that crop up every time you talk to a companion/party member that stay there even when you've already asked them that question before, usually because it can lead to several additional dialogue options later that need you to build up a certain relationship level with them to answer more and/or you need to have a high enough Charisma/Persuasion/Speech etc. skill to unlock this.

 

Personally, this is damn frustrating, and as much as I've largely enjoyed Obsidian's RPGs for the most part, this is all too common a factor I feel just needs to go. There's no need for it. There are exceptions, such as asking party character for their opinions on other party characters and other factors that can lead to a list of responses, but having a list of dialogue options get clogged up because questions and topics I've already discussed with them just stay there is counter-productive. In NWN2 and KotOR2 is was particularly bad, because after I'd gained some approval with the character in question, I had to suddenly remember where in the dialogue trees those once locked-off responses were, asking them the same things again in the right order to finally unlock that stranded dialogue choice, and even then discovering that my approval still wasn't high enough more often than not.

 

Seriously... either let the companions raise the point themselves when your approval is high enough, or if you must keep the original unanswered questions around, keep them isolated and on their own in the first, initial list rather than burying them in the same initial conversation trees that force me to repeatedly repeat the same damn questions over and over simply because the previously locked-off response is five or six tiers of conversation in. It's frustrating in NWN2 and KotOR2 to chat with companions because of this, and shouldn't be. In other similar games companions chatting is usually one of my favourite parts, but doing it in that manner pretty much ruins it for me.

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Oh yeah, like when you accidentally press the wrong key / misclick the dialogue and hear the same conversation over and over haha.

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I agree. Lots of RPgs have this issue and both OBS and BIO are definitely guilty since they tend to be the two companies who have the strongest joinables otherwise. Knock that stuff out. <>

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DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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This is a really good point

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I hope we at least get the ability to initiate conversation with our companions, unlike in BG1 or BG2 where the best you could hope for was a few lines of random banter or your romantic "interest" deciding now was the good time to talk.

 

I'm also hoping for an influence system a bit like in MotB, except MotB basically forced you to tell your companions what they wanted to hear to benefit from their influence bonuses. If you can devise a system that makes these dialogues worthy and rewarding while not falling in the same trap as MotB's system, that would be perfect.

Edited by Zeckul
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Well, Fallout 3 and NV dealt with this by dimming the dialogue options that were already explored. It wouldn't hurt to have a dialogue "log" when you need to check what somebody has said (in Baldur's Gate you merely had to scroll up).

 

Having the companions initiate dialogue is OK, but needs to be appropriate to situation. As somebody already mentioned on the forums here, it doesn't make much sense to initiate "romance" dialogues while you're in the middle of a monster-infested dungeon. Unless it's that kind of romance.

 

I would also like to point out that dialogue heavy games should take that into account: it's a lot of text. Don't make it tiny. Don't squeeze it into a small window to the upper left corner of the screen without a way to resize it or move it around. Whenever NWN 1 and 2 (non-VO) dialogues opened up, I had a hard time reading it. I would have liked to increase the font size and spread the text box from left to right. Planescape widescreen mods came with the option of increasing the font size, and I really liked that.

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I agree, but there would definitely have to be a dialogue log for each party member /important character. Or maybe a travelling journal that picks up this information either a quest-progress log or biography-like entry of each (important) character you meet/talk to, depending on the type of information obtained.

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Seriously... either let the companions raise the point themselves when your approval is high enough, or if you must keep the original unanswered questions around, keep them isolated and on their own in the first, initial list rather than burying them in the same initial conversation trees that force me to repeatedly repeat the same damn questions over and over simply because the previously locked-off response is five or six tiers of conversation in. It's frustrating in NWN2 and KotOR2 to chat with companions because of this, and shouldn't be. In other similar games companions chatting is usually one of my favourite parts, but doing it in that manner pretty much ruins it for me.

 

I guess the best way around this might be to have a companion biography in the codex section which might summarize the more important bits of the conversation that you gleaned from your companions.

 

One big problem I foresee in eliminating past conversations is that you might find your companion simply doesn't want to talk to you anymore ala Dragon Age 2. This most possibly would be they've run out of things to say to you. Totally breaks the immersion when you have the companion hanging out with you for weeks on end and when you try to talk to them, they just ignore you.

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I guess the best way around this might be to have a companion biography in the codex section which might summarize the more important bits of the conversation that you gleaned from your companions.

 

One big problem I foresee in eliminating past conversations is that you might find your companion simply doesn't want to talk to you anymore ala Dragon Age 2. This most possibly would be they've run out of things to say to you. Totally breaks the immersion when you have the companion hanging out with you for weeks on end and when you try to talk to them, they just ignore you.

 

It seemed to work fine in the original Dragon Age for the most part though. Same with the first KotOR. When the characters are memorable and interesting, you shouldn't need to constantly be reminded of what they did and who they are and their motives because they should be clear and you should remember. Major conversations should go in the journal like anything else of course, IMO. I the likes of NWN2's "Remind me who you are again?" at the top of the conversation list every time is just plain silly, for example.


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I am fine with repeating dialogue, I forget what I ask people some times or need to ask again because their is information I need but ignored. It would be good if they get more irritated with the player character each time till the option to ask said question is eventually removed and only met with an disgruntled `go away´.

 

What dialogue needs is more reactivity, specifically to what the player has asked previous and already knows.

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Well, I disagree. One-shot conversations can be pretty bad. It worked for DA or KOTOR because they really were stories which had no impact on anything, but it would be good to get reminded of important information your party members tell you.

 

If the "Re-enter Hawk/Re-enter camp to talk" BioWare games have can be avoided, I would like it.

(Also, having to reload from god knows where if you get interuppted and can't just re-do the convo easily)

because the previously locked-off response is five or six tiers of conversation in. It's frustrating in NWN2 and KotOR2 to chat with companions because of this, and shouldn't be.

Well, this is never ever the case. If it's so deep in there will be a new option on the question list to immediately get back to it. Atleast with KOTOR2.

I must have fixed only 1 of them not doing so (which usually is just a requirement error instead of OE missing the option) in the entirety of TSLRCM so even with vanilla this couldn't have been the case.

Edited by Hassat Hunter

^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

TSLRCM Official Forum || TSLRCM Moddb || My other KOTOR2 mods || TSLRCM (English version) on Steam || [M4-78EP on Steam

Formerly known as BattleWookiee/BattleCookiee

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"Carth looks like he has something to say"

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Well, I disagree. One-shot conversations can be pretty bad. It worked for DA or KOTOR because they really were stories which had no impact on anything, but it would be good to get reminded of important information your party members tell you.

Then have an "old dialog" option of "I wanted to ask you about something you mentioned earlier." After you go through a dialog tree, move the tree under the "old dialog" option. If something new to that tree is unlocked, it could appear outside the "old dialog" option.

 

This way, you'll know when they have something new to say without having to go through the same dialog over again, but you can also ask them about already discussed topics in case you forget or just zone out for a moment.

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I hope we at least get the ability to initiate conversation with our companions, unlike in BG1 or BG2 where the best you could hope for was a few lines of random banter or your romantic "interest" deciding now was the good time to talk.

 

I'm also hoping for an influence system a bit like in MotB, except MotB basically forced you to tell your companions what they wanted to hear to benefit from their influence bonuses. If you can devise a system that makes these dialogues worthy and rewarding while not falling in the same trap as MotB's system, that would be perfect.

 

PS:T had the exact opposite "problem" to the BG series: You have to initiate most of the time. At least that I remember. I suspect some players never got good chunks of dialogue because they didn't know they had to initiate with their party members. It should be both.


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.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"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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Sounds like a good solution to me :)

It would still allow "locked" stuff on the main too...


^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

TSLRCM Official Forum || TSLRCM Moddb || My other KOTOR2 mods || TSLRCM (English version) on Steam || [M4-78EP on Steam

Formerly known as BattleWookiee/BattleCookiee

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I don't mind the dialogue options remaining if they eventually branch to new options as you get to know the NPC, but the ones that you've seen and never get expanded upon need to go ASAP. It's just added clutter.

 

Edit: a bit of clarity about what I mean. Say for instance you just met a companion and one of the dialogue options available to you is "So why'd you leave home?". Early on, their response since they don't know you might be, "I don't want to talk about it", but over time they eventually open up to you.

 

So that dialogue option of "So why'd you leave home?" is an example of one that I don't mind remaining in your dialogue cue, even if it takes a while to get more than "I don't want to talk about it". The one that needs to go is if you ask them something and they give you the only answer you're ever going to get on the subject right away, and thus that option remaining in your dialogue cue is unnecessary clutter.

Edited by GhostofAnakin

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"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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I guess the best way around this might be to have a companion biography in the codex section which might summarize the more important bits of the conversation that you gleaned from your companions.

Not a fan of this. It violates the all important rule of "show, don't tell." I'd rather a character demonstrate he's a surly mercenary through dialog and stories rather than just be straight up told he's a surly mercenary by a codex description.

 

One big problem I foresee in eliminating past conversations is that you might find your companion simply doesn't want to talk to you anymore ala Dragon Age 2. This most possibly would be they've run out of things to say to you. Totally breaks the immersion when you have the companion hanging out with you for weeks on end and when you try to talk to them, they just ignore you.

Hated that about DA2. Naturally the amount of dialog is going to make a big difference as to how in depth the character feels, but when they do run out of things to say, I still want to be able to engage in conversation with them. They feel like zombie NPCs otherwise, and it's not unrealistic to retread over past conversation options, out of forgetfulness or simply due to a favorite topic.

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Though repetitive dialogue irritates me too, there have been times where it came in handy. Especially if a phonecall/doorbell meant that I missed something. A little randomness is almost necessary imo, if only to maintain the illusion of party members being “real” in some sense of the word. The trouble of course, is the hilarity that ensues if a conversation triggers at the wrong time. Like Aerie commenting on Viconia’s hair while a troll is eating my face. (Gods but she could whine!)

Frankly, the easiest way around this is to do the following:

  1. Make sure conversations trigger strictly out of combat away from hostile areas.
  2. As Domigorgon mentioned, implementing the “log” system as in BG.
  3. Give players the choice of having dialogue loops on/off , ie, make it an option in the “gameplay” menu.

One the most unfortunate side effects of console penetration was the near complete loss of customization. Go back and look at the sheer number of things you could tweak in BG2. Having the ability to tailor game feedback was one of the defining tings about the PC as a platform.

We need to bring that back.

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You know what, they need a REPLAY button or a log for dialogue. I can't tell ya the amount of NPC interactions I missed out on due to something happening right when they started talking. One of the biggest example of this was Dragon Age, and you literally needed to just 'stop' and listen to ensure that you didn't miss out on the interaction. It certainly would be nice to have some way of replaying that interaction without having to jump through hoops to recreate the random element that triggered it..

Edited by Loranc

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Love your suggestion OP. There is another problem with KotOR 2 dialogue, that could be considered a bastard child of this and forced duality of choices about "someone's" past. That is especially prevalent with the Handmaiden and Disciple. My only choices about Malachor V are to a) feel guilt b)feel guild but not wanting to discuss it c) Love the slaughter that took place d) "You weren't there! You'll never understand" the enjoyment/guilt I got out of it; and thank god for the e)I've got to go option(though it still sounds like option b). Very rarely can you be apathetic about things in this game. Kreia and random cutscenes, may be a bigger problem at times though

 

The above is also an example of a failed alignment system. Hopefully these won't be a problem with PE.

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I think one of the most important things to do is make sure that the party dialogue exists throughout the game. I shouldn't finish someone's personal questline in the first part of the game and then never be able to talk about anything significant with that character ever again. Dialogue should be well spaced throughout the game and even of you've already dealt with someone's backstory you should always be able to discuss recent developments with them.

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You know what, they need a REPLAY button or a log for dialogue. I can't tell ya the amount of NPC interactions I missed out on due to something happening right when they started talking. One of the biggest example of this was Dragon Age, and you literally needed to just 'stop' and listen to ensure that you didn't miss out on the interaction. It certainly would be nice to have some way of replaying that interaction without having to jump through hoops to recreate the random element that triggered it..

 

You're talking about banter. This is not an issue the IE games because those are text-based requiring manual input from the player, and are not full "real-time cinema" voice-over. Yet another point against Dragon Age. :p

 

I expect PE dialogic content to follow the IE model in this regard.


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.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"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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