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pack animals/beasts of burden- to be, or not to be?  

121 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you like pack animals?

  2. 2. If yes, how much?

    • A ton! I can't live without my trusty mule, Munchy...
    • A lot- I could make do without, but I think it would add real value to the game.
    • A little. I think it would be neat, but no big deal if it isn't there.
  3. 3. If they were added, what would you like to be able to do with your "assistant"?

    • Add armor so my beast of burden doesn't become a greater burden because of an errant arrow.
    • Options. Different animals can carry more, but cost more- rhinoceros aren't cheap!
    • Packs. More expensive packs can carry more, with several tiers available per animal.
    • Prettifying. I want my pony to dazzle!
    • Attack! I don't count on them being juggernauts, but I just giggle at the thought of Munchy chasing down that fleeing bandit and trampling them...
    • Dance, damn you! I always wanted a dancing bear...
    • Other.
    • Lockable inventory- nice, so I can store the stuff I want access to, but don't want to carry in my pack, or have to retrieve from my home/stronghold.


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I looked through the forum for both of the keywords I have in the subject before starting this thread and didn't find anything, so I apologize if it is already out there. While this should not a high priority of the developers, nor is it a critical component in my eyes, I would love if there were "beasts of burden" or "pack animals".

 

I think the "loot carrying" aspect of RPGs is often the most "unrealistic", but I don't like when I'm limited from taking things, because the developer doesn't want me over-burdening myself with loot. But really, I wouldn't be walking around with 5x sets of chainmail, 3x swords, 2x shields and 50x potions. On the other hand, putting that on a donkey, or horse, or yak? Sure, that's what they were domesticated for. That way, my party isn't weighed down with their supplies and booty, and instead are traveling light, ready to fight on a moment's notice. Work smarter, not harder. And if someone becomes severely wounded in battle and can't be adequately healed immediately, would I rather carry them or put them on the pack animal?

 

Anyway, am interested in everyone's thoughts on the matter. Hopefully you enjoy the poll- it's the first one I've tried.

 

I would also like to note that I'm not asking for mounts. That would be entirely too much work, and I actually don't even want that option. For these, they could literally use the same animations for existing animals in game, and just add a "container" element to them.

Edited by Michael_Galt
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Yay, no mounts. :grin:

 

I think they could be a part of a combined inventory-and-camp (rest) mechanic. Of course, if it's not too complex for Obsidian to implement.

Edited by Ieo
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Sweet- so I essentially added a poll, which should be a good way to get people's "temperature" on it, especially those that don't want to actually write a response. I think your idea has some merits, but the "assigning a guard" bit is perhaps too much. I mean, if it is tied to the rest mechanic, you will automatically "guard" it. I don't want to actually have to micromanage a feature like that. If "your rest is interrupted", everyone will fight whatever threat it is that caused that disruption. But perhaps you could get BETTER sleep if you bring a beast of burden with you that has a "camp kit".

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Aside from it's usefulness , a pack animal will either fight or not.

Either way i see the implementation of it somewhat problematic because if it doesn't fight it will have to constantly stay out of

harm's way and if it fights it will probably be so weak in later stages of the game that you would have to keep it out of harm's way yourself.

 

Maybe a better solution would be just to have bags of holding of different types?

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If it would turn out to be some kind of weird pony that magically disappears every combat or is totally immune to damage or whatever then I'd rather just have a larger backpack and forget the pony.

 

Once you get a pony, you want to sit on it, then you want a horse, then a warhorse, then a chariot or a wagon, then combat on all of that etc.

 

They already said there will be no mounts though there might be some form of fast travel (boats and/or teleports) and I'm fine with that.

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I'm fine with "bags of holding", but what do you think would be cheaper, a magical bag that is linked to another dimension or changes the quality of this one, or a mule with some bags on it? I mean, for the "it would have to fight at some point" or "avoiding combat", I think it's pretty simple, really. It doesn't actually "enter" contained areas with you, because it's "tied to a tree outside" or some such other thing. If you were "waylaid by enemies and must defend yourself", then it is the same as a familiar, and has hit points, but tries to avoid combat at all costs. Realistically, if you are being "ambushed", I doubt their first thought will be, "Yeah, let's ruin our element of surprise by attacking the pack mule instead of the heavily armored adventurers!" Or, "I know, I'll ignore the mage and go after the donkey- that's a good idea!"

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Damn it, didn't realize that you HAVE to answer the other questions as well to participate in the poll, and now it looks like I can't change it... Nope, don't appear to be able to change it. Does anyone know how to get a hold of administrators?

 

To the other point though, I think it is one of the "biggest" components of RPGs, since how they address if affects everything. Sometimes they go overboard and "simplify" it to the point where you have to do next to nothing. Other times, it is about weight or "space". I understand the reasoning behind each, but I think pack animals makes it less of an "issue", since there is nothing "unrealistic" about a donkey pulling a cart full of stuff that otherwise might be "carryable", but onerous.

Edited by Michael_Galt
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I'm fine with "bags of holding", but what do you think would be cheaper, a magical bag that is linked to another dimension or changes the quality of this one, or a mule with some bags on it? I mean, for the "it would have to fight at some point" or "avoiding combat", I think it's pretty simple, really. It doesn't actually "enter" contained areas with you, because it's "tied to a tree outside" or some such other thing. If you were "waylaid by enemies and must defend yourself", then it is the same as a familiar, and has hit points, but tries to avoid combat at all costs. Realistically, if you are being "ambushed", I doubt their first thought will be, "Yeah, let's ruin our element of surprise by attacking the pack mule instead of the heavily armored adventurers!" Or, "I know, I'll ignore the mage and go after the donkey- that's a good idea!"

 

If i remember correctly in BG2 you just found one bag of holding,you didn't have to buy it.Of course it would be expensive if you wanted a second one for example.

Also, imagine 12 guys butchering and throwing spells at each other and a donkey or whatever zig zag-ing it's way through the massacre.It would be kind of weird

if not comedic.To tell you the truth i'm on the fence on this one,i wouldn't really mind if there were no pack animals.I don't remember ever wishing to have a pack

animal in the infinity engine games.

In Diablo or Torchlight however, they are life savers because these games are about the loot.Not the case with Infinity engine games.

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Off-map pack animals would be fine. But they should show up as targets during travel encounters on the main map. You lose your animals then your loot is dropped; deal with it. :cat:

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I'd just park it at the corner of the map where you enter, pretty much a container that follows you from map to map (excluding indoors). Doesn't need much animations that way.

 

^What he said.

 

However, I feel that the Pack Mule thing would be most relevant in case your inventory is limited (otherwise it's only a roleplaying aspect and mechanically very easy to abuse. It should have the ability to carry like as much as what 1.5 character usually carries). If you can only carry a realistic amount of gear, and even this should be an option at the beginning of the game (Do you want to be able to carry like 4 extra items, apart from your equipped gear, 10 items or 20 items?). Or part of one the more difficult modes *shrug*

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However, I feel that the Pack Mule thing would be most relevant in case your inventory is limited (otherwise it's only a roleplaying aspect and mechanically very easy to abuse. It should have the ability to carry like as much as what 1.5 character usually carries). If you can only carry a realistic amount of gear, and even this should be an option at the beginning of the game (Do you want to be able to carry like 4 extra items, apart from your equipped gear, 10 items or 20 items?). Or part of one the more difficult modes *shrug*

 

If you go to the trouble of bringing the pack mules on map, then what about the oats they need? Would you model those as well? What about tents, sleeping blankets, cooking gear, travel food, repair kits, water, &c. How do you protect the pack mules from predators?

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If a game is done in an action RPG style, I think pack animals work well. Then their magically following you around without being hurt, and/or ability to defend themselves in combat, isn't so jarring. Plus, action RPGs deliver tons of loot as part of the design.

 

For something like PE, the mechanics of doing a "realistic" implementation would probably make them not particularly helpful (i.e. they'd get killed a lot). Epic dungeon delving and mules usually don't mix too well.

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However, I feel that the Pack Mule thing would be most relevant in case your inventory is limited (otherwise it's only a roleplaying aspect and mechanically very easy to abuse. It should have the ability to carry like as much as what 1.5 character usually carries). If you can only carry a realistic amount of gear, and even this should be an option at the beginning of the game (Do you want to be able to carry like 4 extra items, apart from your equipped gear, 10 items or 20 items?). Or part of one the more difficult modes *shrug*

 

If you go to the trouble of bringing the pack mules on map, then what about the oats they need? Would you model those as well? What about tents, sleeping blankets, cooking gear, travel food, repair kits, water, &c. How do you protect the pack mules from predators?

 

Like someone else stated in this thread, for me personally it doesn't even have to a thing I bring on the map. For me it could be an invisible creature, with a visible UI that I can access and put my carefully hoarded items into. Preferably I'd want a tangible object that could get endangered, targeted and killed if I'm not careful. To be honest I wouldn't mind all that you are addressing rjshae, but I fail to see how it would be necessary to have all that because of the Mule (I understand that that's the next line of thought, the next level of ideas. Then after the cooking, repair kits, water, comes the idea of herbalism, you need to care and pet your Mule. Mounting as well, could it go on rampage? Escape if you don't treat it nice with candy and kind words? Leash it? Guard it? etc. etc. give it its own house and maintanence levels, doesn't your characters have to poop in the middle of the Dungeon as well? etc. etc. how far do you want to go?).

 

I'm fine with leaving the "Mule" at that, doesn't have to be a donkey per say, could be a dimensional rift (One Bag of Holding, to simplify, nothing more and nothing less). I'm advocating because I think the Bag of Holding is lame roleplaying-wise xD getting an adventuring Donkey with you is cooler :p

 

Epic dungeon delving and mules usually don't mix too well.

 

Well, who says you'd be able to bring it with you into the dungeon? I'm envisioning it as something that'd stay outside, only a surface animal/thing.

Edited by Osvir
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I understand when people don't want to read through 20 page threads, but this is only a single page so far, and multiple people have made the same point to "explain" how the animal could be used- they don't enter buildings (usually people don't bring horses or oxen into them, anyway) and they "wait" outside.

 

I don't understand where all the disbelief on that aspect is. People used to do that very same thing all the time, prior to the invention of automobiles. There used to be wolves and bears and predators of similar type, but every time people left "civilization", the animals weren't spontaneously attacked and killed. While there were thieves that would steal animals of this type, it's not like they would routinely be stolen as soon as you left them unattended at a hitching post in town.

 

Maybe you make that a dynamic- the longer you are away from your pack animal in the wilderness, the more likely it is to be "dead" or "missing" when you return. Maybe there is an increased cost of using an inn if you have a pack animal, since they have to lodge it. Maybe your chance of being ambushed increases with how loaded down your pack animal is, since that is a reflection of how much potential wealth you are carrying. If it is with your party, then it is safe, outside of an ambush. It has hit points, like anything else (hence it being worth it to get it armor), but unlike a person, most large animals can take significantly more "damage", so it should have appreciably higher hit points, depending on what it is.

 

As to the silliness like, "Well, what are you going to feed it? Are you going to clean up its waste if it defecates in town?" That has no bearing on this whatsoever. If the developers implement rules that you have to do all these things, I guess you will have to do likewise for your animals, but this isn't a discussion about whether we should have F:NV style Hardcore Mode (that require you eat and drink). And before you rest in the wildernesss with your party, or by yourself, if you are soloing it, will you be setting up a watch in game that will show the party members taking 2-4 hour shifts during the night? I don't think so. That's one of those things that WOULD happen, but we don't need to do it manually, because it can be imagined. I'll concede I can "imagine" my pack animal as well, which is normally what I do, because I wouldn't be trudging around the wilderness with 100lbs of gear on my back. But, since it seems like it would something that could be done relatively easily, without "breaking" anything else, I would rather it was in the game.

Edited by Michael_Galt
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As I'm an incorrigible pack rat, I'd prefer Bags of Holding. If that's too much to ask, then, yes, I'm all for pack animals. It wouldn't break the game not to have them, but they would be nice to have if you decided to assemble a party of wizards and rogues. In D&D terms, d4 and d6 characters aren't all that physically imposing and can't be expected to lug around the loot from an extended dungeon crawl without devolving into a highly repetitive and boring series of trips back and forth to the nearest town with a decent merchant.

 

I don't need them to fight or sing and dance, but I do expect them to help with the drudge work.

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If you had a vicious (and loyal,) enough beast you could just let it hang out beyond the town walls so as not to terrorize the locals while simultaneously safeguarding your belongings. Assuming something nastier doesn't come along. And that's where the Stronghold would come in!

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If you had a vicious (and loyal,) enough beast you could just let it hang out beyond the town walls so as not to terrorize the locals while simultaneously safeguarding your belongings. Assuming something nastier doesn't come along. And that's where the Stronghold would come in!

 

Arr, bringing my giant fat pack-Ogre into town might be unwise o:)

Edited by Osvir
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I like the idea of a mule, or even a horse and cart. It's very nostalgic and hearkens back to the days of 1st edition D&D, when all you had to worry about was whether your DM was cruel enough to have orcs attack and kill your travelling beast while you were dungeon delving.

 

And whilst the bag of holding is the modern answer, the pack animal could be implemented as an option for those who want it.

 

It might mean an additional (and fun) task of clearing the area of monsters before you go loot gathering. Either way, you'd still have to surface once in a while to empty your inventory and check on the animal's wellbeing. As I said, maybe if there was a cart (or wagon), it would provide more incentive. Maybe you have to keep an eye on the length of time you've been away after clearing the area in case wandering monsters respawn and become a threat again.

 

As an option, I like it.

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I like the idea of a mule, or even a horse and cart. It's very nostalgic and hearkens back to the days of 1st edition D&D, when all you had to worry about was whether your DM was cruel enough to have orcs attack and kill your travelling beast while you were dungeon delving.

 

And whilst the bag of holding is the modern answer, the pack animal could be implemented as an option for those who want it.

 

It might mean an additional (and fun) task of clearing the area of monsters before you go loot gathering. Either way, you'd still have to surface once in a while to empty your inventory and check on the animal's wellbeing. As I said, maybe if there was a cart (or wagon), it would provide more incentive. Maybe you have to keep an eye on the length of time you've been away after clearing the area in case wandering monsters respawn and become a threat again.

 

As an option, I like it.

 

I really like DA:O's traveling camp, but it could be simplified I believe. Perhaps indicated by a camp fire (or stone rubble if day), a bedroll and the pack ogre (which pops up wherever you are on the map and you are eligable to "camp"). I suggest that you should be able to camp between every 12th-16th hour in-game (or at an inn at most twice in a row with a downtime of 6 in-game hours).

 

At the pack ogre you would be able to access crafting tools, manage your inventory (rest if you even want to rest). Party banter and such~ perhaps get random encounters in the camp phase. At rarest it should be an extra companion with its own AI that you can't control (except Fallout style where you tell Munchy, kudos to OP, how to behave in battle).

 

Also, pack ogre:

ogre.jpg

Edited by Osvir
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