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8 companions: is it enough?

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Eight companions would be more than enough. However, I really hope that there is some proper banter between the companions as well as allowing the PC to interject in some of these conversations. I don't really remember how BG handled this.... :blush:

 

What I do remember is that the banter between the different companions in Dragon Age: Origins was quite well done and made it interesting. Taking different companions always resulted in interesting conversations between them. Unfortunately, there was no way to get the PC involved in the banter, which was a minus. Having these companion banters in PE would keep things fresh even if you were using one or two companions from an earlier play-through. :grin:

I loved the interplay in DAO,and would usually choose my party based on it. I really hope Eternity takes that approach, especially if there is only 8 companions.

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Life and Death in the Dyrwood

For today's update, I was supposed to do a lore update, but I decided that I wanted to talk about a specific subject and how lore and mechanics tie into that subject. Today's subjects are LIFE AND DEATH. Project Eternity is a fantasy RPG inspired by several A/D&D-based settings in which death is, for those with means, a temporary setback (for the Nameless One, it's even less problematic). The priests of the Forgotten Realms run around with boatloads of cure x wounds spells, the ability to banish disease, and even the power to bring the dead back to life.

 

In Project Eternity, prospects are not so bright. And when death comes, some try to stay, some choose to go, but most people believe that once they make the trip to the other side, there is only one way back: to begin a new life.

 

Common Mortality

Project Eternity's world is one with limited medicine and medical understanding. Unlike many fantasy settings, there is very little access to curative magic. Remedies for health problems often have only a palliative or placebo effect at best, owing their continued use more to folk beliefs and tradition than any basis in scientific methodology. Though soul-based magic has helped the great exploring cultures from suffering massive pandemics and has helped some individuals overcome illness over the long-term, there is no quick magical "cure" for disease or illness. Most people go through life and death in the ordinary way -- unless they put themselves in harm's way, that is.

 

Stamina and Health

In Project Eternity's combat, players need to be concerned with two elements of a character's vitality: Stamina and Health. The majority of damage a character takes is subtracted from his or her Stamina. Stamina represents how much general abuse a character can take before falling unconscious. Characters lose it quickly and regain it relatively rapidly, even without assistance. Soul-based abilities are able to help replenish or regenerate Stamina and are often used on the battlefield to turn the tide of combat. If a character hits 0 Stamina, he or she is knocked out. Intervention from another character can bring an unconscious character back into a fight.

 

For players, the Health of their party members is a tether that makes them consider how far they are willing to venture from a safe resting spot. Though Health is typically lost at a lower rate, when the PC or a companion hits 0 Health, he or she is maimed (in standard play) or killed (in Expert mode or as an option in standard play). Magic may help mitigate damage to Health and slow the tide, but once characters have died (in Expert mode), there is no known magic that can bring them back.

 

A Lottery of Souls

The world belongs to mortals. As time has progressed, mortals have lifted themselves out of ignorance and into ages of increased self-awareness, harnessing the power of their own souls to amazing effect. So... why worship the gods, anyway? For many mortals, worship is a matter of respect and tradition. They consider their gods (or, in some cases, all gods) to be their creators. They follow the guidelines of religion because history tells them that the gods have punished individuals -- and entire nations -- for ancient episodes of religious disrespect and dismissal.

 

For others, religious worship is a matter of karmic self-interest. Often, people believe that if an individual's soul arrives in the realm of a pleased god, the god will place that soul into the body of someone who will have a good life. To such believers, choosing to not worship or is to risk spiritual confusion and aimlessness in the afterlife. They speculate that the faithless are entered into a "lottery of souls" from which many will wind up no better -- or much worse -- than they did in their last life. Some of the same faiths also believe that religious apostasy or lax observance is a cause of soul splintering upon death, which many consider to be an even worse fate.

 

So many questions... about all of this and not enough answers. I hope my main character doesn't catch a cold .......


Obsidian ‏@Obsidian Current PayPal status: $140,000. 2,200 backers

 

"Hmm so last Paypal information was 140,000 putting us at 4,126,929. We did well over and beyond 4 million, and still have an old backer number from Paypal. 76,186 backers. It's very possible that we have over 75,000 backers if I had new Paypal information. Which means we may have 15 Mega dungeon levels, and we already are going to have an amazing game + cats (I swear I will go stir crazy if Adam doesn't own up to the cats thing :p)."

 

Switching to Paypal means that more of your money will go towards Project Eternity. (The more you know.)

Paypal charges .30 cents per transaction and 2.2% for anything over 100,000 per month for U.S currency. Other currency is different, ranging from anywhere between 2.2-4.9%.

Kick Starter is a fixed 5% charge at the end.

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It would be nice to have 5-6 PST-level companions then 5-6 'supporting cast' level, but I can live with 8 + Adventurer's Hall. Especially since I'd imagine each character to get a little bit of voice acting and at least one quest...

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I would hope they avoid the kind of companion model that dominated FNV. In FNV each companion had an introduction and then a companion quest. Once both were finished they no longer really had anything to contribute storywise. Some companions had longer arcs than others (say Veronica vs Lilly) but once done they really stopped being companions and more like mules at best. ED-E was the most developed companion obviously. Eight well crafted companions works for me.

 

I also believe that companions should have their own stories and should have the ability to drift in and out of the PC's story. A previous poster thinks there should be a companion for each conceivable class/race combination, but not only is that not particularly feasible, it is not particularly interesting as well. For the most part there are only four party roles in most party based systems and everything beyond is just variations on a theme.

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Well, unless I did my math wrong, 8 companions for 5 party slots should equal 56 unique party compositions. I think that's enough for me to have fun with. ;)

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In this case I think that "more is less" as time and budget mean a restriction on iteration. With 2 head writers you have to take into account that all variables must be explained to the other writer and they must keep each other updated. More individual group dynamics make this a very hard thing to scale up well without losing details or plot tightness.

 

Is no one seeing the possible narrative angle of the number 8 ???

 

With the whole Eternity/infinity (with the 8 knocked on its side) and the link to soul paths it may be that the plot kinda needs the input of 8 Companion NPC's.

 

While I don't expect the writers to be ham-fisted about it, Chris is great at subverting tropes and ideas so maybe it will have something interesting as a result???

 

I have to agree that 8 is enough to write in an in depth manner and that we will probably get more in the expansion (Probably signature characters for the remaining extra classes that are not used for the first 8)

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Industrial "Cheesecake" Scribe (The slight let-down of the Obsidian Order)

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Thank you all for your responses to my first post on this forum :)

 

I think that several very good points have been made in this topic, but the problem I have with a "look at Planescape, it had even less!" is that PS:T had a completely different approach to this issue than most of the others CRPGs. You do not get a chance to "assemble" your party, unlike, say, in BG. The game is very focused on its narrative, while tactical combat is just a tiny and somewhat lackluster part of its gameplay. Torment characters' value are their stories and the roles they play in the story of Nameless One, but they don't add much to the gameplay itself. In fact, half of the party members join you in the middle or even latter stages of the game, which limits your choices even more (i.e. Vhailor has always seemed like a missed opportunity for me. For such an awesome companion that he is, he's introduced way too late in the game). For an example of a different kind, take Baldur's Gate 2. Yes, some members of its cast are more recognizable than others - Cernd and Keldorn might seem pretty bland compared to Minsk or Jan (well, but so is, say, Ignus compared to Morte or Nordom. "Yes. I get it. You're on fire."), but overall the characters are well-written and memorable. And there's enough of them to give players an opportunity to try out different combinations, tactics and game mechanics while still enjoing their characterizations, banters and quests.

 

And I have a real problem with that "if you don't like it just use the Adventurer's Hall" argument. Yes, I do want broader variety of gameplay choices, mechanics and party compositions. But I also want memorable characters, banter, character-specific quests and personality clashes between different members of the team. And I think a middle ground is absolutely possible between a very small cast of highly fleshed out characters and a limitless supply of faceless generic mercenary goons from Adventurer's Hall. As I've said before, it seems to me that Baldur's Gate 2 nails that middle ground pretty good.

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I know 8 is for my taste a low number for a party of 6 having leaves just 5 spases; there is little to no choise who will acompany me.

 

So in any play trough 3 companions will not be able to tag alog, that some of them may be restricted for example is the PC kills some sone then X joins if not then Y joins.

 

but as long as they are well done its all good.

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Doesn't the pitch video also explain that each companion will effectively be written 3 times (As both a positive, neutral and negative incarnations) and all the art assets that this entails?

 

So doesn't that really mean 24 basic threads/plots to write. After that you have the interaction of the party members with each other and this must also be all done in triplicate???

 

That is one complex plot web.

 

I have faith that the writer of PS:T is up to the task but do we really think that all these combinations is not already quite a high ambition???


Industrial "Cheesecake" Scribe (The slight let-down of the Obsidian Order)

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In BG1, the more companions the better because none of them really spoke much or had anything more than an exterior. They were there to provide options for different classes and abilities. Adding more of them really didn't take much effort (in my opinion), so why not go for it? In BG2, with the focus being on trying to actually develop the NPCs more, having less characters worked, although many times I felt that 15 of them were still not enough at all. I think the reason for that is because some of them I disliked so much, I never really considered them for use in my party anyway, and that cut the number down quite a bit. For the longest time, I did wish for a lot more though... but that was before I actually tried modding the game and making my own. Now that I know just how much work adding a fleshed-out personality to the game is, I'm more appreciative of the few that were in there.

 

In short, eight should be enough. Would I like to have more? Sure! But I think that would be an unrealistic expectation for the initial game. I do think that the expansion likely will add another companion or two and that, if PE2 is ever done, that one might have some additional ones and bring back a lot of the old ones (less work for those since the personality is already done, at least).

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Well, unless I did my math wrong, 8 companions for 5 party slots should equal 56 unique party compositions. I think that's enough for me to have fun with. ;)

Well, if we want to be bitchy that is the right number only if you want to play with a full party.

 

If you want to bring with you...

4 companions then it's 70 combinations

3 companions then it's 56 combinations (yes, the same number you'd have with 5)

2 companions then it's 28 combinations

1 companion then it's 8 combinations

 

and since

PC + Companion A + Companion B

is different from

PC + Companion A + Companion B + Companion C

(because of the possible interaction between them)

 

you end up having quite the number of possibilities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, I was bored and went looking for the formula of the Binomial Coefficient (since I had forgot about it).

Sue me.

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Doesn't the pitch video also explain that each companion will effectively be written 3 times (As both a positive, neutral and negative incarnations) and all the art assets that this entails?

 

I don't recall that at all, and I can't rewatch the video at work. What I do remember is that in an interview, Feargus or Tim Cain said that there will be "low stat" dialogue options.


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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@DocDoom II Oh true! I had forgotten about fewer than full parties. Alright then, 218 possibilities! I like this math.

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I have faith that the writer of PS:T is up to the task but do we really think that all these combinations is not already quite a high ambition???

I have an adamant confidence in the abilities of Obsidian writers. In fact, it's this confidence that makes me want to see more characters from them. Yes, huge dungeons and big cities are cool, but frankly I would gladly trade them off for 2-3 additional companions wrtitten by Avellone and Ziets.

Yes, I want the impossible, character depth of PS:T and MotB combined with the variety of BG2 :)

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I don't really care for the number of companions. But, what i really do care is that i hope Obsidian will introduce One Cipher companion and One Chanter companion. So, we get more depth/understanding and knowledge of these classes.

Edited by Dawn_

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Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 also had an enormous share of unmemorable/forgettable companions you'd never look twice at.

 

Baldur's Gate had incredibly memorable characters. Companions who I never picked up for more than a few minutes have been stuck in my head for over 10 years.

 

Ok, Yeslick, Dynaheir and Mazzy were pretty dull.. And I have yet to hear of anybody actually USING Tiax, Quayle, Alora, Skie or Eldoth. But they definitely had alot of character, considering how little they actually talked back then.

 

I used Alora. She was cute and a pure thief, since I dual classed Imoen.

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I have faith that the writer of PS:T is up to the task but do we really think that all these combinations is not already quite a high ambition???

I have an adamant confidence in the abilities of Obsidian writers. In fact, it's this confidence that makes me want to see more characters from them. Yes, huge dungeons and big cities are cool, but frankly I would gladly trade them off for 2-3 additional companions wrtitten by Avellone and Ziets.

Yes, I want the impossible, character depth of PS:T and MotB combined with the variety of BG2 :)

 

The problem with that is, that even Avellone and Ziets are not magicans. More companions mean less writing, interactivity and reactivity for any individual and certain combinations between them. As I said before, Avellone now said he'd rather done a smaller main cast for KOTOR2. And I'm sure he would say the same for NWN2.

 

NWN2 (companions and game) is a perfect example by the way when things get half done instead of right. Quantity over Quality.

Edited by C2B
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I personally rather have more, since Baldur's gate 2 gave us enough variety, and still gave us interesting characters. Each fitting different alignments, personality traits, and party compositions. I personally found characters like Anomen and Sarevok more interesting than many of the PS:T companions.

 

And honestly, as much as I love the game, I though PS:T companions were completely overrated as far as character development goes. Besides Morte and Dak'kon, none of the other characters were all that developed when it comes to banter (IMO).

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As far as 8 companions go, I would like to have 1 companion for every class (so 11), but the more I hear about just how much work they're planning on putting into each companion, the more okay I am with 'only' 8. In BG2, as I recall, companions were mostly just cosmetic unless you were doing a character specific quest with them, or they were doing one of their few banters. Dragon Age Origins actually was pretty good, because your companions chipped in quite a bit and there was quite a bit of story behind each one to explore, and that was only 9 companions.

 

And the big thing is, Obsidian knows what it takes for them to make a game, and how long it'll take. They've given us more on everything but companions past 8. Why? They don't feel comfortable doing that. 15-16 floor megadungeon? Fine. Second Big City? Sure. More than 8 companions? We'll see.

 

Now, we did get a ton of funding, and they did say multiple times that over the course of development they would be evaluating the game and seeing how they felt about companions, but they also pointed out that with the same amount of writing that goes into one companion they could basically fill out a small town or more.... it makes me wonder.

 

So my official stance is, Obsidian, make the game you want to make, and I'll play it.

 

And to that 'one guy', I'm not being dangerous to obsidian when I support their decisions. I pledged money almost 2 years ahead of time because I believe in their vision. You know what's actually dangerous? When people who don't know what they're talking about make unreasonable demands on companies, and they end up trying to meet everyone's demands to make them happy rather than stick to their guns and make what they wanted to make in the first place. The whole point of this kickstarter is that Obsidian wants to make their game, not a game they try to make but the publishers overrule decisions, or try and rush things, or change things about the game to make it 'better' for their audience. So I want to see it.

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I personally rather have more, since Baldur's gate 2 gave us enough variety, and still gave us interesting characters. Each fitting different alignments, personality traits, and party compositions. I personally found characters like Anomen and Sarevok more interesting than many of the PS:T companions.

 

And honestly, as much as I love the game, I though PS:T companions were completely overrated as far as character development goes. Besides Morte and Dak'kon, none of the other characters were all that developed when it comes to banter (IMO).

 

Yeah, there wasn't much banter in PS:T.

 

The vast majority of character content required that you initiate dialogue with them. I suspect a lot of people didn't do that. And then find out--whoa, reams and reams of content far surpassing all BG2 companions combined.


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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The more the merrier in my opinion if they plan to make a party to reflect your choices.

 

But hope it doesn't fall to the category of the (sorry for the curse)

**** party

Moralbastionoflightdogood party

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8 seems a bit low at first but like quite a few people mentioned it's quality over quantity. 8 well developed comapnions is a nice pool to choose from.

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Eight companions is more than enough if Obsidian chooses to invest a lot of zots into fully fleshing them out and actualizing them as individuals. Give us one each of the Core Four, all solidly grounded in their core function and adaptable/easy going enough to accomodate a wide variety of PCs. Then have fun with the remaining four by using them for flavor. Let the former group form the foundation of the party and the latter group spice things up with distinct and opinionated personalities that are guaranteed to clash with PCs of extreme "alignment".


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8 is fine as long as they are well written and likeable

 

although I hope the voice sets for the adventurers hall mercenaries you can create at least throw the odd comment in from time to time rather than being robots...even if they don't have a fleshed out story

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