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Race specific Intro Quests


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One thing that has often been lacking in RPGs is some explanation of how your character ended up in the starting position ... Baldur's Gate did a good job with this but there wasn't much variation by race ... it might be interesting to have a short intro quest for each race that also works as a tutorial (even though most of the supporters are experienced RPG gamers there might be other purchasers who are not). It wouldn't need to run more than 5 or 10 minutes and could give you a relatively safe zone to practice the skills of your race and class (maybe some rats or beetles or something to fight) ... after you run through your short introductory quest (that also explains why your character left their village or zone to adventure) you could start everyone at the main quest starting location. Unless you plan an epic storyline specifically tied to the player (along the lines of BG) this could make a good introduction to your character and the game. Looking forward to this game and glad to be a supporter.

Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” ― Robert E. Howard

:)

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This is one of the things that I think sounds very good, but in practice ends up being very dangerous to implement - the reason being that once you reach the chokepoint or funnel where the strands merge, it's exceeding difficult to avoid creating an abrupt-feeling, rather jarring transition to the "main" storyline. Motivations set up in the initial area get orphaned, characters forgotten. By no means am I claiming it's impossible of course, particularly with the quality of writers available, but even then I would still question the relative worth of the addition relative to what I see as a very large effort.

 

I would go so far as to say that this approximate feature in Dragon Age was essentially the iceberg to that game's Titanic in terms of my enjoyment of its narrative.

 

 

That said, if such a thing were to be done, some of the problems could be alleviated by setting the events of the "pre-game" a significant time previous to the events of the game proper - and I'm thinking years here.

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I agree with Humanoid on this, on paper it is a great idea, but the execution is extremely tricky and if done wrong will do more damage than good from a storytelling perspective. It can still be a great way to establish the setting as a whole though.

 

As for the duration I would say it should probably take more than 5-10 minutes and be tied properly into the game. Having it as a throwaway zone will just make it feel detached from the rest of the game.

For learning the basic mechanics of the game I would say having a completely separate tutorial level as characters saying "to move click the left mouse button" is fairly immersion breaking and you can go into more detail than would be practical in the actual game.

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God, the romance thread is getting to me, I read the title as "Rape specific Intro Quests". AAAAAARGH

 

I am not against intro vignettes per se when they are done well, but I wouldn't cry if they were not included. I am more looking toward race/class specific quest solutions and dialogue options (or hell, entire quests) throughout the whole game.

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Say no to popamole!

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I would settle for an intro cut scene as well ... I just like extra quests ... Baldur's gate was fun because your origin actually was the main quest ... But with most games it's incidental ... Oblivion you are just some dude in a prison cell ... Dungeon siege you are just a random villager who gets attacked by goblins ... Although diablo 3 has many flaws they actually did provide some context on why you went to new Tristram to start your quest ... I would settle for either the quest or cutscenes

Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” ― Robert E. Howard

:)

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I wouldn't mind seeing a race-specific family member. Maybe a sibling living nearby, with a background and profession appropriate to the culture. You could come and visit them from time to time for a bit of juicy gossip or a minor quest.

Edited by rjshae

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Race? No. It has already been said by the developers that many of the races have learned to co-exist in different locales within the Dyrwood.

 

I wouldn't mind intros that were based on the choices we made regarding cultural specific backgrounds the the devs mentioned would be part of character creation. One could combine these with class specific backgrounds that could lead to starting at different points within the same general locale (or different locales) and have a few of the tutorial type quests the OP mentioned. This would keep things fairly general, avoiding the whole DA:O issue that bothered some of us, while also allowing for variety and enhancing replay-ability.

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I think Curry raises some valid points. Race is all good and well but Obsidian is moving away from the monolithic race/nations of traditional fantasy lore to a more complex multiracial series of culture groups. Just doing starter quests for those culture groups would seem similarly unsatisfying because they fail to take into account motivation for class selection, which in many respects seems like a far more formative event in a character's life. You cant choose where you were born but choosing to become a priest usually involves some significant events in your life.

All that being said, I think it would be really difficult (or at least time consuming) to write culture/class/socio-econimic status driven quests that provide a complete backstory. I also think that there is some benefit to ambiguity here, as it allows for the player to project their own motivations on their PC, and make meaningful content choices based on their individualized conception of their PC.

TL:DR Just use your imagination, chances are what you come up with will be more personally satisfying than any scripted intro.

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Personally, I'd rather see it like in Arcanum where you have an enormous number of backgrounds to choose from, but the game starts the same way for everyone. While the origin stories were my favorite part of DA:O, the system in Arcanum lead to a lot more possibilities for creating your characters, and it would be easier for Obsidian to implement.

 

Also, as other people have pointed out, P:E's racial integration and the variety of cultures available for each race makes a DA:O type system seem unfeasible (at least if it was based on race). They've said that you will be able to choose your race, culture, and background, so I imagine you will have more than six possible combinations to work from.

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I would like the beginning to be very well though-out and memorable. To be used as a starting point for the story (e.g. waking up with no memroies as the Nameless One to sort out your identity, or in a cell and then spend the game chasing the guy who put you there).

 

Different beginnings would make them unique but wouldn't necessarily make them good. Different backgrounds seems like a better option.

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If done well, it's done well. Though I don't claim to know HOW it can be done well unfortunately so I can't speak much about it. However if there are to be multiple backgrounds for each race and/or race-nonspecific backgrounds it might get a little befuddled. Having your character choose a background after a short intro to the story to avoid a totally blind decision might work, but it still would only have little connection to the player, especially on the first playthrough.

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