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Do NPC Companions level up with you even when they aren't in your company?

Leveling companions

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25 replies to this topic

#21
Hormalakh

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The other problem that I haven't noticed anyone make is that if NPCs level up without you being there, they will be picking skills and other level up "feats" without your input, sometimes picking things that you wouldn't want. This happens in Arcanum where your NPCs level up their own stats without your input and can sometimes lead to annoying decisions where it wasn't the reason why you chose them as a companion in the first place. Too many fighters' skills not enough healing; too many pickpockets, not enough locksmiths, etc.

#22
rjshae

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An alternative approach would be to actually build into the game reasons for the player not to include selected companions at various segments of the game. Letting those companions leave allows them to follow special quests of their own and to achieve special rewards. The latter could be things like custom feats, or else special equipment or honors. Sure, the companion may return at a lower XP level, but that can easily be compensated for by the game engine: let those characters gain XP at a faster rate until they've caught up.

#23
-Zin-

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This is a feature for Expert difficulty and Iron Man difficulty, the two things I won't play. I'm all for something called FUN.

I don't mind recruiting folks I won't use and shove them into my spaceship. "Get in there, you stupid jerks." "Aaaah, but it won't fit!" Even though they end up on the B-team or even C-team, I still like their dialouge. I'm probably just a class that's incompatible with their skills often enough. Sometimes I bring along characters I don't like, but who are extremely useful to open locks for instance. In my first game, I might have been lucky enough to be the tank, and have room for all the cool people. In the next game, I might be a rogue or a mage, and I will need to replace my favorite for a tank since I now fill the role of my favorite. I'll put them by the camp and go: "I might be going with miss Cass and Veronica, but I'll secretly be wishing I was with you, Craig Boone! <3" And he'll slowly nod and go: ".. Gay..."

Anyways.. Maybe I'll have the companions gathered in the camp/castle spaceship/underwater hotel/whatever, and suddenly, one from the C-Team goes up to me and says: "I know I haven't been fighting for a while with you, but I was wondering if you could help me do this FUNNY quest of bla bla bla?" And then I'll go: "Awesome! I can't wait to do it and see the outcomes! Sounds FUN. Let's do it!" "But first we need to fight a bunch of people." "Well.. Alright, I don't carry around equipment appropiate for you. I give my best stuff to the people in my A-Team and B-Team. Are you at least the right level?" "..." "Well, do you want me to put on my iPod, drag you outside and kill random mobs for a few hours?" "..." "Are you flippin' kidding me!?"

So spending time leveling up everyone or whatever isn't fun. It sounds like grinding, which should never be a necessary aspect in a game. There should only be enemies obstructing your path and you need to clear a way through, or avoid it, whatever. I know some of you equivelate fun to limiting yourself and punishing yourself, but isn't that just busy-work during your third-fifth play-through? Doesn't the the true fun lie in good impactful dialouge options, responsive combat mechanics, satisfying feeling that an attack feels like an attack? What about good sounds and visuals? Doesn't unleveled companions belong to the expert difficulty perhaps and Iron Man difficulty for people who REALLY want to limit themselves?

#24
Malau

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Which goes back to my point that if companions don't level up along with you, you end up playing escort missions / quests when you finally add them to the team for whatever reasons (ie he's really funny and I like to keep him in the team for the funny comments he makes or I finally chose companion because he's got this really interesting quest I want to complete for him).

However if they do gain their own skills in their own way, wouldn't we need to consider them getting injured / risk of dying when away on their own special adventures. I mean hell you run the risk of a total party death event during your adventures, shouldn't those companions who go adventuring / gain adventures themselves face the same risk of suffering some form of injuries / death as well?

#25
Jarmo

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However if they do gain their own skills in their own way, wouldn't we need to consider them getting injured / risk of dying when away on their own special adventures.


Not in favor of totally randomizing things, but this could be pretty cool if done well.

Leave a companion to later found out he went on to this expedition but never returned (new expedition quest), or get a note he's been captured by the bandits (try a rescue or pay the ransom). Find him badly wounded in the inn telling about this wyvern he tried and failed to kill (kill wyvern quest). Or maybe jus find him a vampires thrall later on, as a corpse on the lair of the trolls, or on the opposing side having hooked up with a mercenary company (talk him to switch sides?).

Could be a bunch of things for different companions. And would be a reasoning for them to gain XP on their own.
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#26
Hassat Hunter

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^
Approve.

If there must be some mechanic where companions fall behind in terms of XP, maybe make it that you can take them to an arena or trainer where you can pay gold to catch them up to the PCs level quickly. That way there is a cost barrier, but it still allows you to pick companions without having to worry about them being woefully underlevelled.

Which will only raise the question...
"If you have an awesome trainer... why not pay him to get you to [max level] right at the start?"
So, no, don't think that works.

There are several ways the game can "punish" the player for not keeping a follower in the party. For example, they can have the follower "follow" their own path of level up progression, rather than the one you choose.

Well, there is a big difference.
Having them lack a level or few still allows catch-up. It takes work, but it can be overcome.
An auto-leveled teammember however can become permanently useless, and there's nothing you can do about that.

That's not good. I am all for making people think before they do, but ruining their game for the heck of it, no thanks.





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