Jump to content

Characters not in party gaining experience


Recommended Posts

But, I honestly prefer the way old games handle it, like BG and Shining Force.

 

Oh, sure. Preferring one over the other is totally valid. Insisting that one is the "correct" way because of some "realism" argument is NOT.

 

I didn't argue from realism, I argued from plausibility within the game world. Which is certainly a valid means of argument for a game's atmosphere. Level is not just an arbitrary number, it is a representative number of general proficiency (It is a comparative scale, 1 is less powerful than 2 which is less powerful than 3 and so on). Would Xzar and Monty, left to their own devices in BG1, really grow as much in power as the PC? Maybe, but probably not, given their general ineptitude without the PC's leadership. So when I come across them later in the game or hear of them, why should they be of equal power to me? Did Xzar maintain an equal level of power with the PC when you met him again in BG2? No. Why not? Because he wasn't a companion. He was left to his own devices and he didn't conquer or triumph over all the obstacles the PC faced. Leveling someone up or making excuses simply because they have the tag "companion" when they would not otherwise, seems silly to me. That is my preference, you are free to have a completely contradictory one, but I maintain that my preference is just as valid as yours. Fun cannot be derived objectively.

 

But, this is a similar idea to why I find it so silly that because my character in Oblivion was super powerful, every random bandit joe that I met in the woods had glass armor and could kill a whole town of people. Companion scaling or enemy scaling, I don't like it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Reasons, sure, people have opinions that's not new. But that doesn't change the fact that it does not ADD anything to the game, only takes away the choice of what companions to have at any point.

 

if you want to keep all companions viable, ie. at equal levels at all times, then you must switch them between missions, and that is a metagame forced upon you by bad game mechanic.

 

If you didn't find the need to switch party members it does not mean other people didn't either. So yes, it did exist, and it will if applied to PE.

 

That's like the worst argument ever made, congrats, you won the internet.

 

Let me scratch what I just said, you just went full retard.

 

I dont remember that IE games forced you to change any character, either through quest design or through game mechanics. Its not like you go "on a quest" and someone says "PICK ME, PICK ME!" like for example in Mass Effect. You could stick with your team for the whole game and personally, it made more sense for me as you get somewhat morally invested in these characters.

 

Also, as being D&D, you only had so much characters that fit "your" alignment available. Sure, more good than bad iirc, but I dont think many people just picked the evil companion over someone that was with their party for quite some time, only because the new one has better stats. I for one didnt. It even went so far that I pretty much disliked anyone in BG2 besides my usual party.

 

And you did not really give examples, on what would be the reason to change party members in a game, where you dont "need" to switch party members in and out.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Reasons, sure, people have opinions that's not new. But that doesn't change the fact that it does not ADD anything to the game, only takes away the choice of what companions to have at any point.

 

if you want to keep all companions viable, ie. at equal levels at all times, then you must switch them between missions, and that is a metagame forced upon you by bad game mechanic.

 

If you didn't find the need to switch party members it does not mean other people didn't either. So yes, it did exist, and it will if applied to PE.

 

That's like the worst argument ever made, congrats, you won the internet.

 

Let me scratch what I just said, you just went full retard.

 

I dont remember that IE games forced you to change any character, either through quest design or through game mechanics. Its not like you go "on a quest" and someone says "PICK ME, PICK ME!" like for example in Mass Effect. You could stick with your team for the whole game and personally, it made more sense for me as you get somewhat morally invested in these characters.

 

Also, as being D&D, you only had so much characters that fit "your" alignment available. Sure, more good than bad iirc, but I dont think many people just picked the evil companion over someone that was with their party for quite some time, only because the new one has better stats. I for one didnt. It even went so far that I pretty much disliked anyone in BG2 besides my usual party.

 

And you did not really give examples, on what would be the reason to change party members in a game, where you dont "need" to switch party members in and out.

 

I agree. I think many people's viewes are skewered by the ME franchise, which is something that PE definitely should not look up to. The characters practically begged or were forced by the game to be parts of certain events, even if you didn't plan on that.

 

The story in PE should be structured in the same manner like PT or BG - you should not feel any need to bring a certain member on a certain quest (that is not part of their companion quest-line). Of course, they should only "open up" to you after a LONG time, unlike in DA:O where you could instantly get it going with Morrigan. PT abd BG characters made you WORK for their trust.

tsgUO.gif
Link to post
Share on other sites

I realize that I'm probably late for the party here, but I just wanted to back the nay-sayers. Not because I'm some lame casual-player with no oldschool-streetcred wanting the game to be dumbed down or anything like that. I think auto-experience is important for the fluidity of a game. While I appreciate realism in games, there are certain aspects of life that I really don't want to have simulated in-game, because they don't add anything to the gaming experience. Eating and drinking for instance is awesome in real life because you can sense it. In-game it's just pesky. It may work if it's a key-feature but if it's just there for the sake of consequence and realism, it will be awful. That's also why you can swim in plate-armour and also why no character in any RPG ever actually wears a giant backpack.

If it's really only the logic that bugs you, Obsidian could simply add some lore that justifies shared XP or it's simply said that characters left in the tavern go adventuring on their own and are not able for a certain amount of time but may return with some minor valuables or something like that.

Elan_song.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites
There is no "metagame" forcing you to switch characters out.
If you want to keep all companions viable, ie. at equal levels at all times, then you must switch them between missions, and that is a metagame forced upon you by bad game mechanic.

Isn't keeping all of the companions viable a metagame desire?

 

Or you could approach the issue in character. You know that, by not using some companions, they will fail to learn the new skills they need, so you can, in character, swap out party members to keep them all viable.

Edited by Sylvius the Mad

God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As it happens, I did the opposite in DAO - I picked one party and stuck with it.

I usually did as well, but that was mostly because I didn't use a mod that gave access to a "respec" item and thought that the "auto-builds" for characters were terrible. Also my PCs usually felt more comfortable around people they were already familiar with.

Yeah, I used No Follower Auto Level to make every joinable character level 1 when I met him.

God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As it happens, I did the opposite in DAO - I picked one party and stuck with it.

I usually did as well, but that was mostly because I didn't use a mod that gave access to a "respec" item and thought that the "auto-builds" for characters were terrible. Also my PCs usually felt more comfortable around people they were already familiar with.

Yeah, I used No Follower Auto Level to make every joinable character level 1 when I met him.

 

I wish I had known such a thing existed. It always drove me crazy that by the time I got Zevran he couldn't pick a single lock and his ability choices weren't the type of character I needed. But being level 9 or so by that point it would take him too long to get on track so I hardly ever used him in my party and felt forced to use Leliana if I wanted a rogue.

K is for Kid, a guy or gal just like you. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up, since there's nothin' a kid can't do.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that companions not in party not receiving XP is a bad game play mechanic. The biggest reason is for the one previously stated that it locks you into the companions you have been playing with, because other companions are now too far behind.

 

That being said I don't think equal distribution is the perfect solution to this problem. I think there are other options that mitigate this problem more effectively. For example companions not in party get a fraction of XP earned. This way they don't fall too far behind, but at the same time you have to use a companion in order for them to be at their best.

 

Another possible solution is bonus XP for taking on higher level content. In other words the greater the level difference between companion and content the more XP they gain. So there will be some aspect of having to grind to get the under utilized companion back up to speed, but at the same time it won't be so tedious.

 

I don't believe these solutions break the continuity of the gameplay/story universe since you can comprehend that simply being one the players companions that NPC is gaining some XP just through association. Also taking on greater challenges and being surrounded by higher level characters would facilitate a faster learning curve. In the end I would conclude by saying the no XP mechanic is a vestigial mechanic that need not ever be reintroduced.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that companions not in party not receiving XP is a bad game play mechanic. The biggest reason is for the one previously stated that it locks you into the companions you have been playing with, because other companions are now too far behind.

That's only true if you assume a bunch of other things about the XP system. If the power curve is steep and linear, yes, this would be a problem.

 

But with a shallower power curve, this problem goes away. Being far behind isn't a big deal, because the gap between low-level characters and high-level characters is pretty small overall.

 

Or, if the XP curve is exponential, then low-level characters should catch up really quickly (BG did this).

  • Like 1

God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

That's only true if you assume a bunch of other things about the XP system. If the power curve is steep and linear, yes, this would be a problem.

 

But with a shallower power curve, this problem goes away. Being far behind isn't a big deal, because the gap between low-level characters and high-level characters is pretty small overall.

 

Or, if the XP curve is exponential, then low-level characters should catch up really quickly (BG did this).

 

I hate to pick nits, but that statement is only true if your assumption of a shallow curve is correct. More importantly you're arguing over an out of context quote that does not capture the context of my post. Whether a shallow or steep curve is used, lower level characters are less "powerful" compared to higher level characters. I believe there should be some penalty for not using a companion, but no XP is not the right one. There are much better alternatives available that I mentioned.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I hate to pick nits, but that statement is only true if your assumption of a shallow curve is correct. More importantly you're arguing over an out of context quote that does not capture the context of my post. Whether a shallow or steep curve is used, lower level characters are less "powerful" compared to higher level characters.

Yes, but with a shallower curve that penalty is lessened in size.

 

And with an exponential XP curve, the penality is lessened in duration.

God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that it should be one or the other; either they grow in experience consistent with the other members of the party, or remain where you leave them. I'm not against a compromise per se, but many suggestions in forums seem rather convoluted- and to the average player (or at least myself), needlessly confusing/arbitrary.

 

Personally, I'm all for a KOTOR-esque system. It may have been more of a necessity in that game (you could only have two companions at a time and you couldn't xp farm as much as IE games), but regardless, I loved that I was free to choose whatever party members I wanted without having to worry about grinding to keep them on par with my regulars. And I hate grinding purely to bring other characters up to speed. For me, it is more of a chore than an enjoyable experience. Realism in this area was never a concern for me- so it never disrupted my experience in the least. Probably because I get more immersed in the story of the game rather than in its realism- and while they are often the same, sometimes one does disrupt the other.

 

That said, I hardly ever switched out companions that I wanted to keep to the end. In KOTOR/ME that wasn't a big issue- they were still "with" you even if they weren't out and about. And in IE games, 5 companions was usually enough for me in a single playthrough.

 

Lastly, I'm often against the "well, just make it optional" suggestion... usually. Each of our concepts for the "perfect" P:E is going to be a little different, and if there was an on/off option for every little tweak and personal preference, we would have pages and pages of options in the game for trivial things.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like having the game be different each time I play. I think it's unlikely any particular PC would want to be friends with everyone they meet in the course of a journey. I've played BGII over and over to try out new group dynamics, and I sometimes find it frustrating going through the loyalty quests of people I don't even like. Just my two cents. I would like to see plenty interaction and get to know a number of good-fitting characters each adventure.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If my party companions are off doing fighter-for-hire stuff while not in my party, then I'm going to be really upset if when I re-recruit them they still have no more gold in their pocket than when I left them. ;)

 

First off, who says they don't? In 99% of the circumstances that lead to a character being a member of your party, they'd be under no obligation to give you their personal gold towards the "party fund". And if you leave them behind to fend for themselves, and they strike out on their own, levelling up, making money, etc, why would you get some of their gold when you come back? You only give them portions of the party gold to further your own agenda anyhow.

 

Mercenaries are notorious for making lots of money, and spending lots of money. If you think about Isabella from DA:2, did you ever see her hanging about waiting for you without a drink in her hand? Same with Verric. Characters hanging around with nothing to do spend money on food, lodging, drinks, hookers, donating to their church, esoteric non-beneficial(mechanically) books, etc.

 

When not with you, money made by companions would be made and spent on a variety of things based on the character. Anything left likely wouldn't be shared with you.

 

There are plenty of ways to explain characters levelling up without you being around. The inconvenience of them not doing so isn't worth any percieved value of suspending your disbelief. If this was considered at all, I'd prefer that it be a toggleable option. If you don't want them to gain experience, toggle it off.

"When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him." - Jonathan Swift

Link to post
Share on other sites

First off, who says they don't? In 99% of the circumstances that lead to a character being a member of your party, they'd be under no obligation to give you their personal gold towards the "party fund". And if you leave them behind to fend for themselves, and they strike out on their own, levelling up, making money, etc, why would you get some of their gold when you come back? You only give them portions of the party gold to further your own agenda anyhow.

 

Mercenaries are notorious for making lots of money, and spending lots of money. If you think about Isabella from DA:2, did you ever see her hanging about waiting for you without a drink in her hand? Same with Verric. Characters hanging around with nothing to do spend money on food, lodging, drinks, hookers, donating to their church, esoteric non-beneficial(mechanically) books, etc.

 

When not with you, money made by companions would be made and spent on a variety of things based on the character. Anything left likely wouldn't be shared with you.

 

There are plenty of ways to explain characters levelling up without you being around. The inconvenience of them not doing so isn't worth any percieved value of suspending your disbelief. If this was considered at all, I'd prefer that it be a toggleable option. If you don't want them to gain experience, toggle it off.

 

I never wanted to make this an argument of realism. Like I said, it should be about choices and consequences. The normal and easy game difficulty should be there to allow you to beat PE without worrying too much about that, so you can't "screw up" your party to the point where the game becomes impossible to beat.

 

And please, PLEASE do not mention atrocities such as DA2 in my topic. PE is the spiritual successor of IE games, that is, CRPGs, not consolized pieces of trash that appeal to horny 15 year olds who happen to throw a fit of rage should everyone in their party NOT be leveled up regardless of activity.

Edited by Infiltrator_SF
tsgUO.gif
Link to post
Share on other sites

Only going to address the story/V.I.P companions for now:

 

Let's play with the idea that they gain experience because they do their thing (backed up with a Flashback or a text dialogue of what they did when they weren't in the party), what about gear? Would they get new gear if you sent them to explore a dungeon? What if you kick them out of your party and you find them later somewhere, would they upgrade their gear? Could some of this be only attainable by "employing" one of these companions later instead of at first chance?

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're not going to let me bring my entire party with me, but you're still going to force me to keep them in my party, then they'd better level up with me. Also, if you're not going to let me bring my entire party with me, then the ones who aren't actively adventuring had better be doing something, and not just playing grab-ass at the party camp.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're not going to let me bring my entire party with me, but you're still going to force me to keep them in my party, then they'd better level up with me. Also, if you're not going to let me bring my entire party with me, then the ones who aren't actively adventuring had better be doing something, and not just playing grab-ass at the party camp.

 

And if they're not going to let me get those DAMN COOL finishing animations where the guy just spins around and decapitates everyone, then they'd better let me have a personal huge-ass dragon mount, and if they're not going to let me have that then they'd better let me romance a oversexualized female with 5% chance of failure because only that can fill the void in my real life.

 

Ah... wait a second.. you're just an entitled console player thinking this is some kind of Dragon Age spin-off. Cute ;)

tsgUO.gif
Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're not going to let me bring my entire party with me, but you're still going to force me to keep them in my party, then they'd better level up with me. Also, if you're not going to let me bring my entire party with me, then the ones who aren't actively adventuring had better be doing something, and not just playing grab-ass at the party camp.

 

How is this in the spirit of the IE games? In IWD you have a party and they are with you the whole time, if you replace one then they're gone. In BG you don't have a set party, and if you leave someone behind, they are not considered 'your party' anymore. When you kick some one off your team they don't just go sit at the "party camp" like in Dragon Age. They are not 'yours' simply because you adventured with them for awhile.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're not going to let me bring my entire party with me, but you're still going to force me to keep them in my party, then they'd better level up with me. Also, if you're not going to let me bring my entire party with me, then the ones who aren't actively adventuring had better be doing something, and not just playing grab-ass at the party camp.

 

How is this in the spirit of the IE games? In IWD you have a party and they are with you the whole time, if you replace one then they're gone. In BG you don't have a set party, and if you leave someone behind, they are not considered 'your party' anymore. When you kick some one off your team they don't just go sit at the "party camp" like in Dragon Age. They are not 'yours' simply because you adventured with them for awhile.

 

You're right, I had Dragon Age in mind when I wrote that, and not Baldur's Gate. I apologize I was in the wrong frame of mind. It's been a long time since I played BG. Considering that, I'll have to reevaluate my position. I also realize the tone I used in my post made me come off as sounding entitled.

Edited by Nteger
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...