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8 companions: is it enough?

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8 is a nice round number. Quality over quantity is what I'm praising too. I rather see few well writen intresting companions than lots of generic mercs. Besides we have the adventurer hall for that, don't we? :)

 

In any case don't you wonder which classes of those companion are going to be. Weren't there a ranger, a warrior, a priest. a monk and a wizzard in the concept arts? Not that those were necessarily all companion, but it still makes you wonder the party composition.

 

Well in any case when I think about the class variety, any balanced party of adventurers needs atleast.

 

-warriors

-magic users

-stealthy types

 

Thus I have placed the eleven classes in three major groups:

 

1) Fighter classes: Warrior, Barbarian, Monk and Paladin

2) magic user classes: Wizzard, Druid, Priest and Cipher

3) Stealth classes: Rogue, Ranger and Chanter (to me it sounds like a bard whom is a mix of magic, stealth and combat)

 

Now this obviously doesn't mean that classes couldn't overlap eachother. I recall obsidian saying that you can have a wizzard in plate armor or a priest for example who is more intrested in combat arts rather than spells. Still to me those 3 character architypes give some idea where obsidian is going with companions' classes. Also because combat skills are seperated from non combat skills in leveling, it also offers you more options.

 

So my quess that we are going to see 2 companions from each gategory. From group 1 I'd pick warrior and monk. Warrior because well its a classic choise and monk because monks are freaking awesome :)

 

From group 2 the classic choises would be wizzard and priest. I personally would like to see Cipher as companion since, the class sounds like a very unique concept. Or heck why not replace both classic choises? Druids are much cooler than priests anyhow. "This city is a blight on the landscape. Better to have let the land grow wild!"

 

From group 3: Rogue is the most obvious, because if the player isn't a rogue, who else is going to do all the backstabbing. Every classic rpg has had a ranger companion too. And the concept art seems to hint that direction.

Edited by Carados

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Seems fine. Avellone said in an interview that part of the issue with KOTOR II was too many companion characters, and that had 11. Granted this is a different sort of game and there's less voice acting and other costs that probably made companions a bigger deal time-wise in KOTOR II, but a concise cast isn't the worst thing in the world.

Edited by HungryHungryOuroboros

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I do think if you offer 11 classes in a 6 character party game, that you should offer at least 1 companion for each class.

 

I appreciate everyone wants extremely well developed characters, but I do feel there can be a number of really "core" companions and then some who aren't quite as central to the plot but who still exist with their own backstories and quests.

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I think that 8 would be enough if they were diverse enough in terms of race, gender, background, outlook and party role.

 

I mean, whatever type of playthrough I was going for (good, evil, lawful, chaotic, polite, rude, violent, pacifist) I'd want there to be some companions who I could travel with who it'd make sense for me to travel with. It seems like there'd be an obvious temptation to make most of them human, male, basically good, etc. with a couple of token "others" thrown into the mix. What I'm saying is if one of my companions isn't a homicidal dwarf lesbian, I'll be very upset.

 

Also, in terms of party role, whilst it'd be nice for them to have a clear role; I wouldn't want it to be so limitting that it affected my decision to get them. I wouldn't want to have to turn down a character who seemed cool just because I don't need another melee fighter. So they'd need to be diverse in what they could bring to the party gameplay-wise, but not be limited to the one task or the only ones that could do that task well.

 

Like, most of this is obvious, I think. But I think one of the reasons why people are debating this. It's easier to fall into these pitfalls the less amount of potential characters you have, and adding more would be a safety net. So... that's my tuppence-worth, I guess. Eight will be enough, providing certain obvious, yet dangerous, pitfalls are avoided. More would be nice too I guess, but not too many. This isn't pokemon.

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I was thinking of limiting the party to 5 people (you + 4 others) instead of 6. With 6 characters the gameplay starts to get kinda cluster****y; I know "classic" cRPGs had a 6 man group, but I don't think that's optimal. Having 5 people also limits the spells and abilities you can have at a given time, increasing the difficulty a bit.

 

With that said, 8 companions will be plenty and you'll have an opportunity to play the game 2 times with vastly different parties. Knowing Obsidian they'll probably make some of the companions leave when they are disconnected with you morally/philosophically, so that further limits the party when you have 6 people.

 

I hate to be quoting myself, but I'd really like to see what people think of this. Even if the classic model is a 6 man group there's no need to do EVERYTHING the old way, something can be improved with our future space technology ;d As I said, that way we have 2 (genuinely) unique playthroughs, 8 characters being more than enough and increased need for tactical thinking.

 

To add something different - I think all characters should be well developed, not have 2 or 3 be "fillers" or "just there", so 8 is a nice well-rounded number which isn't too low or too high. It would've been nice to have companions of all classes, but it isn't really necessary and it will just drag down all of them if there isn't enough time to flesh them all out.

Edited by Christliar

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I would like to have NPCs for every class AND race, so 88. Oh, and both sexes. And nice and evil. So 352.

 

But on a more serious note, 8 seems like a reasonable number to start with. From what I've understood of the classes, they leave quite a lot of room for customization, so having a specific role being filled in a party shouldn't necessarily demand a specific class. And as for NPCs with strong opinions on certain playstyles, I trust Ziets and Avellone are able to either give them good enough reasons to stick with the party or have the more nitpicky NPCs fill a role that can be filled by some other NPC. And if one wants to have the one exact and correct party build then the adventurer's house is a reasonable tradeoff.

 

Having said all that, I would of course like to see NPCs for every class or even more, but one can't have everything. Quality > quantity and all that. Luckily it's almost guaranteed that modders will take care of any glaring deficiencies in the NPC roster quite quickly. Maybe not at the level that Avellone or Zietz could achieve, but if they don't have enough time to do their job well, we won't get that level of quality for the 8 either.


And yes, I know my profile picture is blasphemy on this forum, but I didn't have the audacity to use The Nameless One.

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This is one thing that I strongly disagree with (though I know there are those that feel this way, but I wanted to make clear my view as well). The stories and "roles" in a "role" playing game ARE part of the "gameplay". In fact, in my eyes, they are the single most important part of the gameplay, far more so than any individual mechanics choice. Sure, the conversations and depth of companions may not affect the mechanics of the game much (although in the referenced PS:T those interactions were in fact such an important part of the mechanics of the game itself as well, that most guides even emphasized the effects of int/cha over str/dex at character creation...). But they certainly affect the GAMEPLAY drastically.

I blame myself for the poor wording, because I, actually, agree with you :) Of course, interaction with the characters is, probably, the most important part of PS:T gameplay. What I meant to say is that the variety of choices in party composition was non-existent until the latter stages of the game, so it didn't really feel like you were choosing companions, but rather that the game was doing it for you. Mind you, the player was limited not only by the number of choices, but by availability of those choices as well. The companions arrived at certain plot points and some of those happened very late in the game (Vhailor is, probably, the most striking example of that, but Ignus, Fall-from-Grace and Nordom also joined up with you only around mid-game stage).

 

Now, compare it to Baldur's Gate 2 (I know, I keep bringing it up again and again, but I do think it had a nearly perfect balance between variety of choices and characterization of companions). Aside from Imoen, there were only 2-3 companions that required any kind of significant questing to get them in the party. Basically, you could quickly assemble the team you wanted to spend the rest of the game with right after leaving Irenicus' dungeon. And you were doing it on your own terms, not because those were the only choices around. And before someone mentions "Adventurer's Hall" again - no, that's not a valid alternative, because I could base my choices on degree how I liked or disliked the characters, their backstories or writing, while In case of the AH I'm forced to limit my criteria to classes and stats.

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Just ensure the companions are well balanced in terms of class, race and gender. Don't want my party to be a sausage fest sticking it in at my enemies.

Edited by PeonWarrior

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if it's going to be only 8, I had better enjoy the company of most of them.


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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This is one thing that I strongly disagree with (though I know there are those that feel this way, but I wanted to make clear my view as well). The stories and "roles" in a "role" playing game ARE part of the "gameplay". In fact, in my eyes, they are the single most important part of the gameplay, far more so than any individual mechanics choice. Sure, the conversations and depth of companions may not affect the mechanics of the game much (although in the referenced PS:T those interactions were in fact such an important part of the mechanics of the game itself as well, that most guides even emphasized the effects of int/cha over str/dex at character creation...). But they certainly affect the GAMEPLAY drastically.

I blame myself for the poor wording, because I, actually, agree with you :) Of course, interaction with the characters is, probably, the most important part of PS:T gameplay. What I meant to say is that the variety of choices in party composition was non-existent until the latter stages of the game, so it didn't really feel like you were choosing companions, but rather that the game was doing it for you. Mind you, the player was limited not only by the number of choices, but by availability of those choices as well. The companions arrived at certain plot points and some of those happened very late in the game (Vhailor is, probably, the most striking example of that, but Ignus, Fall-from-Grace and Nordom also joined up with you only around mid-game stage).

 

Now, compare it to Baldur's Gate 2 (I know, I keep bringing it up again and again, but I do think it had a nearly perfect balance between variety of choices and characterization of companions). Aside from Imoen, there were only 2-3 companions that required any kind of significant questing to get them in the party. Basically, you could quickly assemble the team you wanted to spend the rest of the game with right after leaving Irenicus' dungeon. And you were doing it on your own terms, not because those were the only choices around. And before someone mentions "Adventurer's Hall" again - no, that's not a valid alternative, because I could base my choices on degree how I liked or disliked the characters, their backstories or writing, while In case of the AH I'm forced to limit my criteria to classes and stats.

 

This is one of those places where opinions vary. I loved Baldur's Gate II and its companions and in the version of the game that I mostly used, found them to be plenty interactive. However, that was the heavily modded version with a bunch of banter packs installed and generally a talkative mod-designed companion or two in the party. The last time I tried a replay with the version of the game that shipped, I found my party to be awfully quiet and a little lonely, and missed the more dialogue heavy companions I was used to in other games. I don't necessarily think they all have to have their own quests, but I'd like more dialogue than that, even if it means settling for a smaller numer of companions.

 

I would, however, hope for all eight of the companions to be available relatively early in the game and without too much in the way of questing to convince them to join. Planescape: Torment's design worked well for that game, but I'd also like to be able to assemble a party fairly quickly and get moving during most games.

Edited by eselle28

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For me 8 is not enough cosidering you can have 5 active ones. First i imagine some will be strictly good / evil and not avaible for the opposite play. Second i cant imagine i will like them all. As example DA2 had 8(9) companions before DLC, i could only travel with 3 at time and i still had big trouble picking team that i would like and would fit my play.

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For me 8 is not enough cosidering you can have 5 active ones. First i imagine some will be strictly good / evil and not avaible for the opposite play. Second i cant imagine i will like them all. As example DA2 had 8(9) companions before DLC, i could only travel with 3 at time and i still had big trouble picking team that i would like and would fit my play.

 

There is no alignment system in this game, so "strictly good / evil" are probably right out the window.

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For me 8 is not enough cosidering you can have 5 active ones. First i imagine some will be strictly good / evil and not avaible for the opposite play. Second i cant imagine i will like them all. As example DA2 had 8(9) companions before DLC, i could only travel with 3 at time and i still had big trouble picking team that i would like and would fit my play.

 

There is no alignment system in this game, so "strictly good / evil" are probably right out the window.

Lack of "goood/evil" measurement doesnt change anything. FNV lacked such system yet you had those "must kill legion" or "must be nice to BoS" companions (no evil examples as it lacked those). Even without old "i leave if you are too good/evil" some companion just doesnt fit your roleplay.

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For me 8 is not enough cosidering you can have 5 active ones. First i imagine some will be strictly good / evil and not avaible for the opposite play. Second i cant imagine i will like them all. As example DA2 had 8(9) companions before DLC, i could only travel with 3 at time and i still had big trouble picking team that i would like and would fit my play.

 

There is no alignment system in this game, so "strictly good / evil" are probably right out the window.

Lack of "goood/evil" measurement doesnt change anything. FNV lacked such system yet you had those "must kill legion" or "must be nice to BoS" companions (no evil examples as it lacked those). Even without old "i leave if you are too good/evil" some companion just doesnt fit your roleplay.

 

Obsidian hasn't released details on just how moddable the game will be, but they want to make it as moddable as possible, so possibly some of your companion holes will get filled that way. I still maintain that the announced expansion is another likely source of a companion or two, as well is possible DLC. So the initial 8 isnt likely all you'll ever have available.


"Now to find a home for my other staff."
My Project Eternity Interview with Adam Brennecke

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