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Influence on NPC followers  

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  1. 1. How much influence do you want to have over the actions of your followers?

    • I want it all - they have no AI and only do what I tell them to
      20
    • They should follow my orders, but in combat their AI can also take over
      40
    • I only want to give them orders for specific stuff like lockpicking and in crucial combat situations
      11
    • They should completely act on their own. They loot chests when they want to and cannot be controlled during combat (giving orders is possible though)
      1
  2. 2. Should you be in charge of their level-ups?

    • Yes, I want their stats to increase just like I have in mind
      51
    • I want just enough control so that they don't acquire skills they don't need as members of my current party
      14
    • No, I don't want to concern myself with that
      1
    • No, they're characters with minds of their own, I should not force them to acquire certain skills etc.
      6


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I would like to get some opinions on this topic, although I'm guessing that there won't be any consensus. Followers are NPCs that you can add to your party. Typically, in this sort of RPG you have a pool of followers that you choose your current party from and I believe it has been said that that will be the case in Project Eternity as well.

Now, my question is: How much influence do you, as the player, want to have over these NPCs?

 

Basically, it comes down to how much micromanaging you want in the game. I think the poll covers the two most important aspects - gameplay and stats (I left out inventory managing because I see no alternative there, but I might be wrong). To elaborate, the gameplay part of this concerns the following actions:

  • Managing their movements through a dungeon
  • Making use of their abilities (lockpicking, detecting traps etc.)
  • Looting chests
  • Ordering them around in combat

These are all things that they could do themselves if they have powerful AIs. There's no reason for the player to tell them this. But is it feasible to have them do it themselves? Is it fun to order them around?

 

My personal answer to that last question is a definite "no". I hate micro-managing and I especially hate having to juggle 4 different classes at the same time. Every time I start a D&D based CRPG, I'm thinking "I won't play a wizard, wizards are too complicated for me to handle right now". Then a couple of hours into the game, I get my first wizard in the party and I realize that no matter which class you choose at the beginning, you usually have to play all of them at once. The followers often don't have AI of their own or they have only the most basic AI, forcing you to do most of their moves.

 

I also do not want to concern myself with their level-ups, which fortunately isn't necessary most of the time. But here there is another reason: in my mind, I think of these NPCs as characters with their own will. I am in control of my own character and I have no right to tell them which skill to increase next. They're not my characters.

But of course, having to level-up followers of sometimes 8 different classes is also way too much micro-managing for me, especially if I don't know and do not want to know their classes very well.

 

In my opinion, playing a CRPG should be like playing a Pen & Paper RPG with a group of friends with me being the dedicated leader of the group. They all have their own characters and they do with them whatever the heck they want, and while my character can give them orders, I cannot.

 

So what do you think? How much influence should you have over your party, and why?

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I can see both extremes of the spectrum being equally appealing, just depends on exactly what kind of experience the developers desire. So I think that unless Obsidian specifically wishes to limit players' control over their companions/followers, the degree of control should be a player-selected gameplay option. You should be able to toggle whether NPC level-ups are automated and have a separate option for combat AI, possibly with a slider for how liberaly they use their items, spells, and abilities.

 

That way those who want complete control can have it, and those who want to be less hands-on with their companions can be.

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This subject sure wasn't what I thought of with the word "influence"... :p


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.

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I would like to get some opinions on this topic, although I'm guessing that there won't be any consensus. Followers are NPCs that you can add to your party. Typically, in this sort of RPG you have a pool of followers that you choose your current party from and I believe it has been said that that will be the case in Project Eternity as well.

Now, my question is: How much influence do you, as the player, want to have over these NPCs?

 

Basically, it comes down to how much micromanaging you want in the game. I think the poll covers the two most important aspects - gameplay and stats (I left out inventory managing because I see no alternative there, but I might be wrong). To elaborate, the gameplay part of this concerns the following actions:

  • Managing their movements through a dungeon
  • Making use of their abilities (lockpicking, detecting traps etc.)
  • Looting chests
  • Ordering them around in combat

These are all things that they could do themselves if they have powerful AIs. There's no reason for the player to tell them this. But is it feasible to have them do it themselves? Is it fun to order them around?

 

My personal answer to that last question is a definite "no". I hate micro-managing and I especially hate having to juggle 4 different classes at the same time. Every time I start a D&D based CRPG, I'm thinking "I won't play a wizard, wizards are too complicated for me to handle right now". Then a couple of hours into the game, I get my first wizard in the party and I realize that no matter which class you choose at the beginning, you usually have to play all of them at once. The followers often don't have AI of their own or they have only the most basic AI, forcing you to do most of their moves.

 

I also do not want to concern myself with their level-ups, which fortunately isn't necessary most of the time. But here there is another reason: in my mind, I think of these NPCs as characters with their own will. I am in control of my own character and I have no right to tell them which skill to increase next. They're not my characters.

But of course, having to level-up followers of sometimes 8 different classes is also way too much micro-managing for me, especially if I don't know and do not want to know their classes very well.

 

In my opinion, playing a CRPG should be like playing a Pen & Paper RPG with a group of friends with me being the dedicated leader of the group. They all have their own characters and they do with them whatever the heck they want, and while my character can give them orders, I cannot.

 

So what do you think? How much influence should you have over your party, and why?

 

So you think that because you personally don't like to have control over companion tactics and actions, everyone else should be denied that option? You come into a cRPG with the wrong expectations, and every time you're surprised when your incorrect expectation is shattered? Why are you even interested in P:E then? And why do you think your personal opinion should be forced on all other players?

 

The vast majority of which would prefer the established/advertised purpose of RTwP combat, to allow you to manage your companions' actions stress-free. Even worse, you'd like us to have no control over how our party members level up? There are not going to be "powerful AIs," there's going to be "AI designed to be functional in a game whose developers expect the players to be actively issuing commands to their followers in combat." Obsidian is a game developer, not an AI R&D lab on the campus of MIT. It took a supercomputer built specifically to play chess and ONLY play chess to beat a human in chess.

 

Why are you interested in P:E when you clearly don't even like the basic combat mechanics which form the meat of the classic cRPGs it's succeeding? It sounds like you're more interested in a plays-itself hand-holding casual experience than the classic cRPG experience P:E is meant to give us.

Edited by AGX-17

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AGX-17, please point out to me the paragraph where I'm saying that "because I personally don't like to have control over companion tactics and actions, everyone else should be denied that option".

This here is a simple poll/thread about what you like in a game and what options you want. Its purpose is both to satisfy my curiosity and to sensitize the developers to this issue if it turns out that there are more people who don't like the micro-managing. As Odglok said, it's easy to have the best of both worlds, but for that to happen, the developers need to know that people actually want it.

 

Why am I interested in a role-playing game in a unique fantasy setting where I can be whoever I want to be and experience a fascinating story that focuses not only on combat, but also on interesting characters and exploring a huge world, even though the combat might have one tiny mechanic that I really don't like?

Dude, I don't know. It's totally inconceivable.

 

@Ieo: You're probably right, "control" would have been better. I'm German, so my English isn't perfect sometimes.

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NWN2 had/has it about right. There's an extensive behavior menu for each companion (and the PC, too), but the companions are set in their classes. For example, Neeshka is a rogue and you can't level her up as a wizard, but you can assign skill points, statistic points, and feats as you see fit to make her into the sort of rogue you desire.

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Oh look another poll...

 

wanders off... :disguise:


Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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AGX-17, please point out to me the paragraph where I'm saying that "because I personally don't like to have control over companion tactics and actions, everyone else should be denied that option".

This here is a simple poll/thread about what you like in a game and what options you want. Its purpose is both to satisfy my curiosity and to sensitize the developers to this issue if it turns out that there are more people who don't like the micro-managing. As Odglok said, it's easy to have the best of both worlds, but for that to happen, the developers need to know that people actually want it.

 

Why am I interested in a role-playing game in a unique fantasy setting where I can be whoever I want to be and experience a fascinating story that focuses not only on combat, but also on interesting characters and exploring a huge world, even though the combat might have one tiny mechanic that I really don't like?

Dude, I don't know. It's totally inconceivable.

 

@Ieo: You're probably right, "control" would have been better. I'm German, so my English isn't perfect sometimes.

 

Both of the polls' bottom/no options state that the player should have no control over their followers. The most control offered is Persona 3-style "tactics," (a notoriously bad system which received such a negative response that the developers added full party control to the PSP remake,) the poll itself blatantly states a design in which players have no control over their companion characters in or out of combat. It doesn't say "no, I want the option to let them do their own thing," (something you can already do in cRPGs,) it says

They should completely act on their own. They loot chests when they want to and cannot be controlled during combat
How is that not a clear statement that "I do not want there to be any option for any player to control their party in this game"? And it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure out the one voter in favor of that is you.

 

The entire point of an RPG is player agency. Companion characters are Non-Player Characters. Those characters' personalities, histories, intentions and expressions are done through written dialogue and the narrative crafted by the writers, not by AI actions in combat. A game is still a game, and all the games of the cRPG genre P:E is a revival of/homage to gave players agency over their companions in combat, both as necessity and as an element of the story. These characters have implicitly agreed to "follow" the player. They didn't agree to join an anarchist commune in which every character is free to do whatever they like.

 

 

Dude, are you on drugs or something?

Exactly where did Fearabbit insist on forcing YOU on anything? He gave an opinion about how HE likes to play RPG games in terms of companions. Many games have that approach (Risen 2 comes to mind from recent titles) and many don't or have a mix of it (KoToR have an option of both AI control over companions and auto level up) some doesn't have that at all or limit it to combat scripts.

Now, I like to have all control on level up, gear and in combat over companions and will definitely share why after I sober up a little. But I hope there is some kind of AI and build schemes for people who do not like to master some class just because they want a certain character in their party.

 

Now get your **** together and answer like a decent human being and not like raging butthurt hardcore gamer redneck.

 

Your ad hominem attacks and poor grammar (I didn't say he insisted on forcing ME on anything,) surely prove your superior position, mighty white knight of the internet. And they prove your calm heart and rational mind.

 

Unlike you, I simply addressed the poll and its implications, I didn't make ad hominem attacks or behave like a "raging butthurt hardcore gamer redneck." And by all means, the continued use of insults and name-calling will surely prove you right in the end.

Edited by AGX-17

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Your ad hominem attacks and poor grammar (I didn't say he insisted on forcing ME on anything,) surely prove your superior position, mighty white knight of the internet. And they prove your calm heart and rational mind.

 

Unlike you, I simply addressed the poll and its implications, I didn't make ad hominem attacks or behave like a "raging butthurt hardcore gamer redneck." And by all means, the continued use of insults and name-calling will surely prove you right in the end.

 

You addressed the OP by writing this:

 

 

So you think that because you personally don't like to have control over companion tactics and actions, everyone else should be denied that option? You come into a cRPG with the wrong expectations, and every time you're surprised when your incorrect expectation is shattered? Why are you even interested in P:E then? And why do you think your personal opinion should be forced on all other players?

 

The vast majority of which would prefer the established/advertised purpose of RTwP combat, to allow you to manage your companions' actions stress-free. Even worse, you'd like us to have no control over how our party members level up? There are not going to be "powerful AIs," there's going to be "AI designed to be functional in a game whose developers expect the players to be actively issuing commands to their followers in combat." Obsidian is a game developer, not an AI R&D lab on the campus of MIT. It took a supercomputer built specifically to play chess and ONLY play chess to beat a human in chess.

 

Why are you interested in P:E when you clearly don't even like the basic combat mechanics which form the meat of the classic cRPGs it's succeeding? It sounds like you're more interested in a plays-itself hand-holding casual experience than the classic cRPG experience P:E is meant to give us.

 

Basically, Fearabbit created a poll about how much control we want over our NPC's, and you snapped at him for having the audacity to have an opinion on the matter that's not hardcore enough and for some weird reason assumed that he believes that everyone should share his opnion. Which is a conclusion that I don't share whatsoever, I consider it a good start for a discussion. However, I do agree that you acting like quite the "raging butthurt hardcore gamer redneck" within this thread, no offence. You're free to have a different opinion on the topic, but there's no need to be an a**hole about it.

 

And as for the topic, when it comes to CRPG's like P:E will be, I prefer to have everyone autoattacking while I micromanage the special attacks, all spells and most movement. As for levelling up, I want complete control over as much as possible.

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While the phrase "It's not what you say it's how you say it." isn't entirely accurate when referring to a written post, the tone of your post does come off as a bit hostile AGX-17.

 

We get it, you don't agree with the OP's opinion. I personally like having full control of my party as well. Doesn't mean I'm going to berate him for having an opinion different than mine.

 

Not the first of your posts that's had an inflammatory and hostile tone, chill out man. Being rude isn't going to help get your point across, and will in fact make people less receptive.

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NWN2 had/has it about right. There's an extensive behavior menu for each companion (and the PC, too), but the companions are set in their classes. For example, Neeshka is a rogue and you can't level her up as a wizard, but you can assign skill points, statistic points, and feats as you see fit to make her into the sort of rogue you desire.

 

I really liked having the individual behavioural settings in NWN2. It saved a lot of time during combat and with lockpicking etc. One thing that irked me about it though, was that if you temporarily took control of a companion to micro-manage a task, no matter what behavioural settings you had enabled, other party members (including the character you created) tended to stop what they were doing and follow you. Now it may be that I was just doing it wrong, and there's a simple solution to it. I think the game devs probably decided that they had to keep the party within a reasonable proximity to one another because of the 3D nature of the game and camera placement.

 

What's great about the isometric world view of P:E though, is that if it's going to be anything like other IE games, then you can move individual characters around the map with no issue of them trying to play follow the leader all the time. So that's one problem solved.

 

I would like an option to tell my "scout" companion to "search for traps and attempt to disable them until directed otherwise". But if there was any danger of them wandering off to disarm a trap and potentially aggro monsters in the process, then you could adjust the sensitivity of the behavioural setting so it only alerts the player to a trap being detected. Then a separate action to disarm it. The reason I make a special point about this is because with a high enough "search" skill in some games, the search radius also increases along with the chance of detection, and so if they detect a trap at the end of the corridor and go running off (because that's what you've told them to do) then I'd like some additional control to prevent overzealous behaviour.

Edited by TRX850

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I think that there should be options to have complete control over the party, partially script party member actions, have them act with a default AI, or some combination(member by member case perhaps) of the three. I would also like to have the option to level them up myself or let the game do it. The key word here is OPTION. I don't want to be forced into any choice, but be able to choose after I have played the game a bit and decide how I can enjoy the game the most.

Edited by KaineParker

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I dislike games that don't give me full control over party members. I always play with AI turned off if possible, or else I take away potions and other items from NPCs so they can't waste them.

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Voted choice 2 and choice 1.

 

That said, depending on the game/how companion/party stuff is done, I can be fine with party members whose stats/skills aren't under my control ... but I don't feel like that is in the spirit of the old IE games, thus in terms of P.E., I would prefer what I voted for.


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Full control is almost always better. Not only is the AI too poor usually, but it's just as bad if your companions make decisions that you didn't anticipate. If my character start sneaking or using an item correctly in a situaton where I'm like "Gee! I'd never thought of that", then the game plays itself.

 

I also can't quite understand how it's more fun if they follow an auto-level scheme rather than you spending skill points manually.

 

The only thing I don't have a problem with is if they stay within their starting class and you can't change that. No "influence" mini-games that you have to powergame your way through if you want this character to assume a specific class.

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The "simple" solution to this to keep everyone happy would be to implement two of features we've already had in Bioware/Black Isle/Obsidian RPGs:

 

To the problem of "don't want to micromanage a party all the time" have a togglable AI for NPCs with the ability to override it when you want or need, or run it entirely AI free.

 

To the problem of "don't want to micromanage party levelling" include Neverwinter Nights "Recommended" button for levelling up.

 

That way everyone is happy, but really in my mind, as this is an IE themed game, complete party control should be the standard option which you can then opt out of if thats how you feel, as that was the IE way.

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I'm gonna be straight with you here.

 

Why the **** did you fund this game (and if you didn't, why are you even here) if you hate doing these things? It's like funding a sandbox and then saying you prefer games that are rigid and linear.

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I actually rather like how party control was handled in NWN2. There's enough AI that the player doesn't have to control the companions in combat if they don't want, but they can still control which spells, moves, tactics, etc. they wanted. With leveling up, you could build your companion's stats, abilities, feats, etc. just the way you wanted, or you could just click a "Recommend" button if you didn't want to be bothered. (Admittedly, you couldn't pick a new class for your companion.)

 

Everyone has their own opinion, which is why I think giving players different options would be the best way to go. Put in some passable AI and Recommend buttons for those who don't want to worry too much about it, but also have the option to better and even completely control the party's every action (at least in combat) and level progression for those who do want to micro-manage. Just my thoughts though.


"Not I, though. Not I," said the hanging dwarf.

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I'm gonna be straight with you here.

 

Why the **** did you fund this game (and if you didn't, why are you even here) if you hate doing these things? It's like funding a sandbox and then saying you prefer games that are rigid and linear.

 

*sigh* Is it really that difficult to understand? Okay. Not that I owe any explanation to anyone here, but let's see.

 

1.) I like RPGs. I've played a lot of RPGs, and I generally enjoyed most of them. I like the old ones better because they usually have more solid rules and more interesting worlds, better characters and great customization options for my characters (not in the way they actually look, but in the way the game makes me imagine my characters). When I heard about P:E, I was completely freaking out. Obsidian is one of my favorite developers and now they're making an oldschool RPG. Couldn't get any better than that.

 

2.) Arcanum is probably my favorite RPG of all time (despite all its flaws). It is also one of the games that was used to advertise this Kickstarter. It is nothing like the IE games in many, many ways. Yes they said the feeling would be that of IE games. But clearly they change a lot of stuff. I don't see why "bad AI that you can't rely on" should be part of that "feeling" they mentioned, when clearly they tried to go a different route with Arcanum (even though they pretty much failed, but you can see the effort).

I mean: You could (and many people do in that other thread) argue that a chance-to-miss system is one of the defining elements of an IE game. It's also one of the things that Josh Sawyer didn't want to implement in P:E because he felt that it had certain disadvantages. Clearly the "feeling" of an IE game is not a hard natural constant. For me IE games are about great stories in cool fantasy worlds with complex systems. And recreating that feeling has nothing to do with following all of their exact design choices to the letter.

 

Also:

Those old IE games, they didn't start out as "IE games" as a trademark of its own, they started out as projects that wanted to bring the D&D experience to your computer. In doing so they did some things differently than D&D did, for example allowing you to control the whole party and not just one member of it. That's not the typical D&D experience. Despite that, many people liked it, but I always wanted an experience that was closer to playing D&D: One player character in a large party that I don't control myself (at least as much as possible, because saying that the player is anything other than the leader of the party is pretty much impossible and, I think, not really desirable anyway).

I disliked several things about the old classics and if they will be done in the same way in P:E, I'll dislike them again. So of course I'll try to raise awareness to the issue. Now please stop being so rude, nobody's taking your candy away.

 

@Faerunner:

NWN2 did a lot of things right, but I still found myself having to do a lot of micro-managing, for example if a certain character was able to craft certain items, but my main character wasn't - I would have to switch to that follower and create the item, and I'd constantly lose grasp on who can do what. There was also the problem that nobody ever used loot items by themselves even if e.g. Neeshka was the only one who could use that crossbow and it was vastly superior to her current one. Managing all that was, to me, very tiresome and not fun at all.

The combat was pretty good though, yeah. (Certainly better than Dragon Age in that regard.) I think it was mostly outside of combat that managing my party became a chore.

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*sigh* Is it really that difficult to understand? Okay. Not that I owe any explanation to anyone here, but let's see.

 

1.) I like RPGs. I've played a lot of RPGs, and I generally enjoyed most of them. I like the old ones better because they usually have more solid rules and more interesting worlds, better characters and great customization options for my characters (not in the way they actually look, but in the way the game makes me imagine my characters). When I heard about P:E, I was completely freaking out. Obsidian is one of my favorite developers and now they're making an oldschool RPG. Couldn't get any better than that.

 

2.) Arcanum is probably my favorite RPG of all time (despite all its flaws). It is also one of the games that was used to advertise this Kickstarter. It is nothing like the IE games in many, many ways. Yes they said the feeling would be that of IE games. But clearly they change a lot of stuff. I don't see why "bad AI that you can't rely on" should be part of that "feeling" they mentioned, when clearly they tried to go a different route with Arcanum (even though they pretty much failed, but you can see the effort).

I mean: You could (and many people do in that other thread) argue that a chance-to-miss system is one of the defining elements of an IE game. It's also one of the things that Josh Sawyer didn't want to implement in P:E because he felt that it had certain disadvantages. Clearly the "feeling" of an IE game is not a hard natural constant. For me IE games are about great stories in cool fantasy worlds with complex systems. And recreating that feeling has nothing to do with following all of their exact design choices to the letter.

 

Also:

Those old IE games, they didn't start out as "IE games" as a trademark of its own, they started out as projects that wanted to bring the D&D experience to your computer. In doing so they did some things differently than D&D did, for example allowing you to control the whole party and not just one member of it. That's not the typical D&D experience. Despite that, many people liked it, but I always wanted an experience that was closer to playing D&D: One player character in a large party that I don't control myself (at least as much as possible, because saying that the player is anything other than the leader of the party is pretty much impossible and, I think, not really desirable anyway).

I disliked several things about the old classics and if they will be done in the same way in P:E, I'll dislike them again. So of course I'll try to raise awareness to the issue. Now please stop being so rude, nobody's taking your candy away.

 

RPG is a pretty broad genre. I like them but I generally dislike FF style turn based RPGs and so if I saw someone making a "FF style rpg" I wouldn't go "oh ****, an RPG; must support!"

 

Also,

Project Eternity (working title) pays homage to the great Infinity Engine games of years past: Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment.

The game was advertised as a modern IE game; all those other titles (FO, Arcanum, ToEE, etc.) were basically just listed to show off the accomplishments of the staff.

 

The reason people are being hostile to you is because a game designed to solely rely on the AI of your companions will be inherently different from one that relies on a player controlling everything. There's nothing wrong with a game like that, but the IE games were most certainly not that. Basically if you don't want to deal with micromanaging companions then just set the difficulty to Easy/Casual/Faceroll/****/whatever they'll call it and play like that.

Edited by Dream

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I'm gonna be straight with you here.

 

Why the **** did you fund this game (and if you didn't, why are you even here) if you hate doing these things? It's like funding a sandbox and then saying you prefer games that are rigid and linear.

 

*sigh* Is it really that difficult to understand? Okay. Not that I owe any explanation to anyone here, but let's see.

 

1.) I like RPGs. I've played a lot of RPGs, and I generally enjoyed most of them. I like the old ones better because they usually have more solid rules and more interesting worlds, better characters and great customization options for my characters (not in the way they actually look, but in the way the game makes me imagine my characters). When I heard about P:E, I was completely freaking out. Obsidian is one of my favorite developers and now they're making an oldschool RPG. Couldn't get any better than that.

 

2.) Arcanum is probably my favorite RPG of all time (despite all its flaws). It is also one of the games that was used to advertise this Kickstarter. It is nothing like the IE games in many, many ways. Yes they said the feeling would be that of IE games. But clearly they change a lot of stuff. I don't see why "bad AI that you can't rely on" should be part of that "feeling" they mentioned, when clearly they tried to go a different route with Arcanum (even though they pretty much failed, but you can see the effort).

I mean: You could (and many people do in that other thread) argue that a chance-to-miss system is one of the defining elements of an IE game. It's also one of the things that Josh Sawyer didn't want to implement in P:E because he felt that it had certain disadvantages. Clearly the "feeling" of an IE game is not a hard natural constant. For me IE games are about great stories in cool fantasy worlds with complex systems. And recreating that feeling has nothing to do with following all of their exact design choices to the letter.

 

Also:

Those old IE games, they didn't start out as "IE games" as a trademark of its own, they started out as projects that wanted to bring the D&D experience to your computer. In doing so they did some things differently than D&D did, for example allowing you to control the whole party and not just one member of it. That's not the typical D&D experience. Despite that, many people liked it, but I always wanted an experience that was closer to playing D&D: One player character in a large party that I don't control myself (at least as much as possible, because saying that the player is anything other than the leader of the party is pretty much impossible and, I think, not really desirable anyway).

I disliked several things about the old classics and if they will be done in the same way in P:E, I'll dislike them again. So of course I'll try to raise awareness to the issue. Now please stop being so rude, nobody's taking your candy away.

 

@Faerunner:

NWN2 did a lot of things right, but I still found myself having to do a lot of micro-managing, for example if a certain character was able to craft certain items, but my main character wasn't - I would have to switch to that follower and create the item, and I'd constantly lose grasp on who can do what. There was also the problem that nobody ever used loot items by themselves even if e.g. Neeshka was the only one who could use that crossbow and it was vastly superior to her current one. Managing all that was, to me, very tiresome and not fun at all.

The combat was pretty good though, yeah. (Certainly better than Dragon Age in that regard.) I think it was mostly outside of combat that managing my party became a chore.

 

Just to cut down on all that though, while something like the HP system or the dodge system may be a major change to the design, what you propose here verges on turning it into an entirely different genre. At their most basic, the IE games are squad based tactical RPGs, by relinquishing control of the squad it becomes something else entirely. As I said in my previous post I don't have any problems with implementing both, but not having party management as an option would basically strip 90% of the tactics off the gameplay.

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I'm okay with the developers including AI options that we can turn on or off, per player preference. The DA2 game was decent in that respect, as was NWN2 for that matter. That way I can focus on the group tactics and the key elements of the battle, such as when the fighter should switch to power attack mode or whether the mage should toss one of his higher level spells. What I don't want to be doing is constantly pausing the game because one of the party members was doing something stupid, like breaking formation to go run after something.

Edited by rjshae

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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@Dream: So what you're saying is that basically you just want to "win" this conversation by any means. Look, I didn't give you reasons why the developers should listen to what I say, I gave you reasons why I'm interested in this project completely regardless of the combat system it is using.

 

Just to cut down on all that though, while something like the HP system or the dodge system may be a major change to the design, what you propose here verges on turning it into an entirely different genre. At their most basic, the IE games are squad based tactical RPGs, by relinquishing control of the squad it becomes something else entirely. As I said in my previous post I don't have any problems with implementing both, but not having party management as an option would basically strip 90% of the tactics off the gameplay.

And as I have said before, I have no problem with having both options, and I am in fact not proposing anything. I would, personally, prefer a game where the AI does even more than it does nowadays in RPGs (and that does NOT concern combat so much that it would turn into a different genre - combat is mostly fine the way it's usually done nowadays in "IE inspired games" like NWN2, the AI is just not good enough yet), but even then it should always be optional.

Just keep in mind that while a game might be catered to certain hardcore fans, developers rarely want to alienate other potential players. And the hardcore fans, they do not need to be represented anymore on this forum. Finding out what "casual RPG players" want can be very important for developers. Especially if what they're interested in isn't something that can't be done with the game they're doing for the hardcore crowd. This isn't an either/or, if it was, I wouldn't even talk about it.

Edited by Fearabbit

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The problem with having autonomous followers is that they can severely constrain the player. In a scenario like say... Baldur's Gate, there are very few viable party compositions.

Giving the NPCs "choice" as to how they develop is interesting (I kind of liked Troika's ToEE greedy henchmen) and letting them react to problems is arguably more interesting gameplay-wise. However I've never run into a game where I felt like the default AI scripts were versatile enough to actually help me rather than hinder.

 

In NWN2 Khelgar would often be kited by enemies; Neeshka would go 1 on 1 wielding an objectively inferior weapon.

 

It could just be that I should man up and make the scripts myself, but at that point I think we've given the player enough control that we should be able to control them manually.

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The party members should do exactly what I tell them. The only time their AI should do anything at all is when I've given them no instruction. So, if I tell my Fighter to hit something, he should keep hitting it until it is dead, and then, if I don't give him another instruction, he should select a new target on his own.

 

NWN2's detailed AI settings were good, but they had the unfortunate habit of taking over even when I'd given that character a specific instruction. And while I could have disabled the AI by enabling puppet mode, that would prevent the character from then doing the next thing when that first task was complete.

 

I'd like to see the AI make decisions, but only when making a decision doesn't undo a decision I have already made. This would also mean that I would need to have some means to tell a character to stand still and do nothing (DAO allowed this simply by keeping the character selected and not teling him to do anything).

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