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8 companions: is it enough?

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

 

Going back to full parties, that most lickly what 90% of the player bace will use.

we are not considering others factors, just because we can do a cobination of (5/8) giving 53 combinations is not the same the same as the feel of having viable options for your party.

 

lets say the 8 companions are. 2 fighters 2 cleris 2 rogues 2 wizards.

 

Considering how you want your party to be those 53 combinations but if you want in your party 2 wizards , you only have 1 option chose those two wizards.

if you want one then ok you can chose 2 options.

 

Despite the big number beeing 53 the real feal of i what flavor of ice cream i want, is rather disapointing.

 

For example in BG2 when it comes to rogues, there where only a handfull, and you started with Yoshimo, Now if you wanted a second Rogue your options where rather limited.

 

Same here.

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

 

Going back to full parties, that most lickly what 90% of the player bace will use.

we are not considering others factors, just because we can do a cobination of (5/8) giving 53 combinations is not the same the same as the feel of having viable options for your party.

 

Don't forget that thanks to the adventurer's hall, you can actually have a full 'less than full' party. For example, AHing a couple of the missing classes, then filling out the rest of the slots with the 3-4 companions you want for that run.

 

I'm not sure if -not- having a companion with another companion will ever really change my experience, just potentially subtract from it, but you never know I guess. But likely after people have gone around the block a few times, I suspect that people will start supplementing 1-2 spots with AH companions just to change things up a bit. I don't know if I will, but I might.

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I'm happy enough with 8, I think it'll be cool to be able to have the majority of them in party at once.


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New Vegas offered 8 companions and New Vegas is teh Jesus of vidya gaems.


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Just going to chime in with everyone else: MotB had just 5 companions (Ammon Jerro doesn't really count) and I wouldn't exchange any one of them for the 22 running gags BG1 had for NPCs.

Edited by Zeckul

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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.

 

Yes this is true. It would be cool if obsidian took a cue from some of the amateur writers for NWN. These writers created a system in which a companion would display a soft video and audio cue when they had something to say. That way the PC would know there was something, but could postpone or ignore it depending on what was going on at the moment. It creates a system that is less disruptive to the flow of the game.

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Too many in that BG list. Waaay too many. I know it's been a while, but I think I should remember more of those names than I do. There's probably a reason for that.

 

Yeah, ditto to the obvious "quality > quantity" argument that countless others have mentioned. Also, there's another disadvantage to having a large number of characters, and that's interactions between party members. Having deep and established characters is important to me, but I also really like to feel like my party is interconnected and actually have opinions and interactions among themselves, rather than just nervously avoiding eye contact while having dinner around the campfire. This is one of those little touches I liked about Dragon Age.

 

The thing is, when you're adding more potential party members, the number of possible interactions quickly spirals out of control. For instance, three characters have three possible two-way interactions between them (#1 and #2, #2 and #3, and #1 and #3). Adding a fourth gives you six. By the time you get to eight companions, you're at 28. And at fourteen, you're at a whopping 91 two-way interactions. At that point, you might as well just abandon the idea of intra-party dialogue.

 

So yeah, eight's fine for me.

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If the expansion adds another race and 1-2 companions I would be good


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Well you know, I asked Feargus if we could have more companions and he basically said maybe, so it is possible that we end up with more than 8., here's the quote,

 

Daniel.

 

@Darklord We are going to talk about more companions, but we did not want to promise it. It is a ton of time and there are not alot of writers that can do as indepth ones as we are planning. Our hope is to do more, but, in case we don't end up being comfortable with it - we didn't want to promise.-Feargus
Edited by TheDarklord

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If anything, I'm worried that eight might be too many, given the production schedule. Still, if Obsidian thinks they can pull it off, I trust them.

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Well, all I can hope for is that they make at least 5 companions that I don't end up loathing. 'Nuff said. :)


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8 is pretty much the perfect amount in my opinion. It's just enough to cover all your bases well (not enough for every class, but enough to cover every conceivable basic function within a group). Any more than that and you run the risk of not having enough time/resources to properly devote to each companion and you wind up with shallow companions. I'd rather have a smaller number of well fleshed out, interesting, colorful companions, than a whole bunch of cardboard cutouts.

 

I agree, maybe a few more will be added in the expansion(s). And if Obsidian is confident adding more well developed companions, well good for us lol


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Well, all I can hope for is that they make at least 5 companions that I don't end up loathing. 'Nuff said. :)

 

And even if you do, all shall not be lost as you'll be able to make your own companions in the Hall of Adventurers. They might be a trifle taciturn, but them's the breaks when you're finicky regarding the personalities of those around you.


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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.

 

I don't think party combinations is what we should look at. Ok, we are shurely going to miss some party banter unless we play the game 56 times, but I think that we can run through most of the companions-related content in just two playthroughs. If Obsidian decided to implement a plarty management system like the one used by bioware (you leave your companions in the camp / in the normandy and you can swap them every mission) we could see all the content in just one playthrough.

 

Some more companions (one or two) would have been great but, as you all said, the developers should focus on quality over quantity. And by the way: the characters don't need to have companion-status to have complex storyline and a big impact on the main plot. I hope to see many more interesting characters than just my companions.

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I think 8 companions is a good number, especially if they're working on making them deep characters with backstory and, hopefully, sidequests associated with them.

 

It gives players a variety of party configurations, while at the same time gives the developers a manageable amount in terms of fleshing each character out. Too many characters and you might run the risk of each being more shallow, sort of quantity over quality.


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Personally I kind of prefer quantity over quality in this one aspect (to a certain extent - gone to far it becomes IWD like and I don't enjoy that as much). I'd trade 8 fully fleshed out companions with sidequests for 20 BG like companions. A lot of the fun I had in BG was bumping into a random companion on some offbeat map, experimenting with them for a bit and then killing them off (or not) to pick up the next one.

 

8 does seem pretty low to me. Hell I'd like to see at the least 1 per class but maybe thats just me. I really enjoyed planescape but the limited number of companions did grate on me a bit. I mean if you wanted a thief you had to have Anna, if you wanted a mage you had to have Ignus (and you couldn't even get him until super late).

Edited by zlarm

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8 companions is good if you consider development time and character complexity, however I wonder about how they will be integrated in the course of the game and the starting choices restrictions since we have 2 big cities, and how the equation of perma death of party members (in higher difficulties) and their alignements will impact the gameplay style of those who want to roll with full functional all evil/good parties without using some random faceless mercenaries.

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I also think 8 companions is a great number. I would worry more about it potentially being too many if they really are going as in-depth as they seem to be. But yeah, these guys have a lot of experience with writing video-games so hopefully and probably they'll pull it off beautifully.

I wonder who the writers will end up being though, and how many characters each will write.

 

We know Chris Avellone and George Ziets will be writing for them. I wonder if there will be more? Josh will have a lot of other responsibilities I imagine and he's said he's not really a fast writer so maybe he will focus on other stuff. Maybe Eric Fenstermaker if he is on the project (not sure about that actually).

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People have pointed out the 8 = eternity connection too.

 

It would be awesome to see 8 as a motif in the narrative in various ways...... *dreaming*


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I think someone posted somewhere that a companion can take three months to write? I can't provide a link because I don't remember where I saw it. But if that's true, eight companions will eat up two years... or one year each if they have two writers. That doesn't leave them a lot of time for other stuff. However, assuming that three months thing is accurate, does it really mean that they are focusing on nothing but that one character for that time period, or they might switch between projects somewhat? If it were me, I'd do the latter to help maintain interest, but then again, I'm just a hobbyist, so maybe that's not the best method.

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People have pointed out the 8 = eternity connection too.

 

It would be awesome to see 8 as a motif in the narrative in various ways...... *dreaming*

 

Figured as much. I'm not too sure how much I'd like to see of the number 8 though, if everything revolves around it I'll start expecting Jim Carrey to leap out and start raving about numbers again.

 

Also just to add in on the number of companions again, even if someone has alreadt said it, but there are going to be marvelous assortment NPCs to interact with too along with a world of backstory, that satisfies the interaction part, and creating our own companions completes the gameplay part. Also, a lot of games that have no companions and still stand firm.

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