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One of the most enjoyable things are of course the party NPC's. However I always hated the way it was handled, weather it's the kick out your friend's cause there is no room in the party or the waiting camp (though the camp is much better and should be used somehow).

 

First I hope the available party members would be each important and connected to the player  and/or to the main plot. I mean it's quite silly to meet somebody in some tavern and like "hey you let's party together", "yea sure dude why not" O.o

In each game I always felt much more close to the NPC's who were connected to the player and I almost never left them. For example in BG2:SOA my basic party always had each play through no exception: Imoen (/Yoshimo), Jaheira and Minsc. 

During my second play-through I devised the best way for me: the rest of the members [besides the ones I stated above] were repeatedly replaced after I traveled with them for a while and completed their personal quests. 

So:

 

1. I hope we won't have a flood of NPC's, but a well thought of group of meaningful NPC's that are important for the main plot and for the player specifically.

 

2. That we would have some kind of dynamics during the progress of the game that would allow us to enjoy all of them: suddenly one of our friends needs to go, but is replaced by another and so on. I know many people would like to choose 1 group and play only with them, but story wise it's not realistic. It would be more fun to let us experience real personalities and be able to experience all of them (the Imoen Yoshimo sequence from BG is the best. Yoshimo turns out to be a traitor, but is replaced by Imoen who we save in spellhold. These kind of situations and plot lines should happen all the time in PE).

 

What do you think?

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I think it's a curious use of smaller and larger text. And yes, having a party camp is something suggested before and something which I support

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Less is more when it comes up to party members. When NPCs have more character than "the mage" or "the rogue" then the NPCs won't be "obsolete" just because the player picked the same class for the main character. Part of that problem is the tactical role=function mindset, where every party needs a fighter a mage a thief and a healer. I prefer the narrative role=character approach, where a story about a bunch of guys is told. When a game has solutions for every class (or uses no class-exclusive skills to advance quests) then a more natural party setup like a squad of fighters, a band of thieves, or a group of scholars or pilgrims would work just as fine as a well-mixed party.

 

What I hate is a party-member hangout, where a bunch of party-members for all player tastes follows you along your clandestine mission around the country, waits in your base, or squats in your spaceship. If you don't like them, why should you tolerate them in your place, and why should they even follow you?

 

BG(2) did it right: non-party-partymembers will stay behind and if you want them back, some will happily come along, others need to be bribed and others will still be upset. Maybe there could be free spots reserved for quest-related NPCs, so you could go and rescue Imoen, without having to take Yoshimo with you or leaving one party member behind in the midst of a hostile dungeon.

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I don't know how the text changed, it wasn't done intentionally ^_^ 

 

In any case I said that a camp is the least worst solution, but it is still bad, I would prefer something else (or more accurately a combination with the following):

 

A different mechanism or simple story dynamics is needed: The game should intentionally force upon you certain situation in order to mix and change your party all the time and that way experience everything and make you feel like a real and living world. Like: Party members leave for a while on personal matters, betrayals, they are being kidnapped, they go lost and then rejoin you (like Dragon Age 2 for example), they stay somewhere to help the locals for a while and then join you. 

 

This could work more easily if all party NPCs would be involved with the player and the main plot somehow (family, old friends, similar situations like being captives somewhere, villains who change their mind and join you etc.).

I mostly agree with you JOG but still I'm not afraid of not having a "mage" or a "thief" or being forced with any kind of party, cause they are making a new system and I don't think the classes should be arranged in a way that would make your game very hard if you lack 1 or 2 of the "regular" aspects like "healer" or "thief". You should be able to play without them if you like (with special self healing abilities for each class or being able to bash doors and locks without a thief 
etc.).

Edited by MuseBreaks
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Currently BG2 has hundreds of interesting NPC mods which I would like to play, but I don't have 10 life-times to play them all. And I keep thinking "if only there was a cheating mod which would let me have 20 characters in a party at a time."

 

I'm actually just hoping the PE will be more mod friendly, so I can apply this cheat 10 years down the line when there are hundreds of interesting fanmade NPCs to try out.

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What do you think?

With eight companions confirmed and the possibility for one or two more possibly held in the offing, I'm sure that the Core Four (cleric, fighter, rogue, wizard) will likely be covered by at least one companion. The remainder, like Forton (monk), will be available for those who seek a different flavor to their respective party. If some or none of the companions offered by Obsidian are to your taste, you'll be able to make your own (sans personality & dialogue) in the Hall of Adventurers.

 

This comprehensive approach should keep most folks happy and I'm very pleased that Obsidian is going the extra mile to make P:E an enjoyable experience with a good measure of replay value. Different parties do help make for a different gaming experience, after all.

Edited by Tsuga C
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http://cbrrescue.org/

 

Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forests and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoors experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.----Fred Bear

 

http://michigansaf.org/

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I think it's a curious use of smaller and larger text. And yes, having a party camp is something suggested before and something which I support

 

What is the most preferable/desireable "Party Camp" system? A separate screen like DA:O (area), or simply a "Campfire" icon you place wherever you are? (Like a bedroll or something) and from there you can access more stuff and talk to people in a simplified menu of choices? (envisioning it now and it can either get a "bad" effect or a "good" effect on the rest of the game)

 

Or a DA:O-esque positioning of current party members around the campfire and you can walk up to them and talk to them?

 

TL;DR: What is the most desirable "party camp" way of doing it?

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Dragon Age 2 came up with a neat solution, or one that would have been neat if DA2 hadn't been a BS cash grab by EA. Apparently when not in your party, party members would just go home. They'd have a home, and wander around doing something.

 

The drunkard of the group, and there should be one since for all the drinking party NPC's have done none have ever been a "drunkard" could go hang out at his favorite bar if she's not in your party. Want her back? You go to the bar.

Edited by Frenetic Pony
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If NPC's have background professions, they should be able to earn a living doing that while away from the party.

 

When you swap a current NPC for a new one, there could be an intermediary dialogue option that confirms what you want them to do.

Earn money from:

- Soldiering

- Blacksmithing

- Domestic Trade

- Scribing

- Teaching

- Construction

etc.

 

So if/when they rejoin the party, they bring a little extra gold, and possibly a quest lead or some interesting lore.

Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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I think the DA2 system was nice, but I still prefer other forced driven situations. Like the Yoshimo betrayal or Imonen kidnapping, or how Jaheira left you at one point due to her own quest. I can think of dozens of more similar circumstances. This way you can miss your companions and feel you are on a real adventure.

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Well, I liked DA:O's solution, despite it becoming a slightly onerous task to manage your party. but it wasn't what I meant.

 

I propose that there be a distinction between "Available but not used" and "kicked out of the party"

Available but not used, are party members you parted with on friendly terms, they can be found back in the copper coronet, or your house, or the adventurers hall, or the stronghold, doing whatever they're doing. they don't hold grudges because they technically still have a contract with you. you've just taken them along on your current outing. (which means you wouldn't be able to change party anywhere, you'd have to be "back at base" (which I hope will be made easier with things like teleportation circles or some such)

 

And then there's members which you kicked out, refused to add to the party, refused to contract in any way.

They can burn in a fiery pit of hell for all I care. Those would only be found back where you met them.

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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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TL;DR: What is the most desirable "party camp" way of doing it?

None at all.

 

Even with a party camp you usually use your core-party. In a role playing game you rarely select squad members dependent on their specialisation. Ideally you choose the companions *you* or your character like. Outside a military / mercenary setup where the main character is the commander who deploys his squad members for the mission ahead, it makes no sense that people you obviously don't consider friends or companions still follow you. Yes, there might be a stalker NPC who simply follows you, because he/she is enamoured with the main character (or simply a pesky fan), but any person with a little bit of self-esteem won't just follow you, or wait at your place, so that they are available should you ever have need of them. Regardless of whether you are on friendly terms or not, they should go to the place of *their* choosing, and *you* should have visit them if you want their company.

 

Of course this can be made a bit flexible, the rogue and the dwarf may coincidentally always be found half drunk in the most seediest tavern of the town you just entered, and a dear friend/spouse/relative like Imoen actually may decide to wait at *your* place. That's fine for me, as long as they don't behave like good little soldiers and wait at the place you chose for them until you assign them to their next mission.

Edited by JOG
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"You are going to have to learn to think before you act, but never to regret your decisions, right or wrong. Otherwise, you will slowly begin to not make decisions at all."

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I agree to all of this, but again I put my center idea not on that.

 

But on the fact that I don't want my companions (ad least most of them) to be under "contract" I want them to be:

1. A substantial part of the plot and of the player (family members, old friends, you were with them under prison and need to escape, they are your antagonist but you convert them etc.)

 

2. "And the plot thickens": the plot and the game revolves also around them: Imoen was kidnapped and was later discovered to be also a bhaalspwan which bodhi stole her soul. Yoshimo was working for Irenicus. 

 

These event force you to change your party and experience other companions (without telling them: "oh I am sorry, I have no room go wait in the tavern where you like to drink). 

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With eight companions confirmed and the possibility for one or two more possibly held in the offing...

Source?

 

The dungeon picture shows us a fighter, mage, monk, cleric and archer which is five NPC. Then we know there is still an unrevealed "godtouched" NPC which gets us to six. Which are the two more confirmed NPC's?

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Another good option that would work in a linear sequence for example: (like the Spellhold-Shark City-Underdark sequence in BG2:SOA): If you go on that sequence with a full party, and then you meet there a new possible companion, and you interact with him and you want him to join the party, instead of kicking somebody out, either you (or one of the party members) would suggest to split up (why? depends on where you are and the circumstances) so then if you agree than you send 2 or 3 of the companions and continue with the rest, and the splitting up would also have an effect on the game and the plot and you will meet the other group later... 

These kind of solutions are the best I think. 

How will it work? Example:

 

You are in the underdark with a full party and you meet a draw who asks for your help to escape the underdark and he is a possible companion (he helped save you and he also knows the villian and that is his connection to the plot and to the player)

 

you have 3 options:

 

- if you tell him go away: then he will go away but possibly come back later in another part of the game

 

- if you tell him, ok but wait, then he will wait and if you don't come back to him then he either disappears for ever or again comes back later in another part of the game (with different consequences maybe)

 

- if you told him ok i want you (or came back for him), then immediately your group splits up (one of you party members or the draw himself suggest it and you don't have a choice on the matter). Why? numerous reasons: "we are to many and can be detected", "we will go scout ahead and meet you later", etc.

 

- or since the developers knew you are going to meet this possible companion, they forced split your party to begin with: 2 of your companions are lost after they fall into a ditch (they won't die and join you later) which leaves 2 open slots for the draw to join up.

Edited by MuseBreaks
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I think it's a curious use of smaller and larger text. And yes, having a party camp is something suggested before and something which I support

What is the most preferable/desireable "Party Camp" system? A separate screen like DA:O (area), or simply a "Campfire" icon you place wherever you are? (Like a bedroll or something) and from there you can access more stuff and talk to people in a simplified menu of choices? (envisioning it now and it can either get a "bad" effect or a "good" effect on the rest of the game)

 

Or a DA:O-esque positioning of current party members around the campfire and you can walk up to them and talk to them?

 

TL;DR: What is the most desirable "party camp" way of doing it?

 

 

DAO had every recruited companion character in your camp, whether or not you liked them. If you recruited them (or they were mandatory,) they'll all be there. You could leave them to languish, obviously, and ignore their personal quests and romance and such, but they were still there. All of them had their own specific spots in the unchanging camp geography. Edited by AGX-17
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I suppose I wouldn't mind of mixture of DA2's "every party member has their own place where they hang out" and DA: O's "campfire".

 

Basically, when not in your party the NPCs would just go hang out wherever it is they hang out.

 

But we successfully funded a Stronghold. So I would like it if we could invite NPCs to, well, move in said Stronghold once we get it. Assuming it's a castle or something - something large enough that it could logically house a bunch of people.

 

That way you could keep the NPCs you like near you and the NPCs you don't like much would be out there somewhere (implied to be) doing their own thing.

 

New Vegas already kind of had this, but the Lucky 38's Presidential Suite really was way too tiny to keep your party in,.

Edited by WotanAnubis
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TL;DR: What is the most desirable "party camp" way of doing it?

None at all.

 

Even with a party camp you usually use your core-party. In a role playing game you rarely select squad members dependent on their specialisation. Ideally you choose the companions *you* or your character like. Outside a military / mercenary setup where the main character is the commander who deploys his squad members for the mission ahead, it makes no sense that people you obviously don't consider friends or companions still follow you. Yes, there might be a stalker NPC who simply follows you, because he/she is enamoured with the main character (or simply a pesky fan), but any person with a little bit of self-esteem won't just follow you, or wait at your place, so that they are available should you ever have need of them. Regardless of whether you are on friendly terms or not, they should go to the place of *their* choosing, and *you* should have visit them if you want their company.

 

Of course this can be made a bit flexible, the rogue and the dwarf may coincidentally always be found half drunk in the most seediest tavern of the town you just entered, and a dear friend/spouse/relative like Imoen actually may decide to wait at *your* place. That's fine for me, as long as they don't behave like good little soldiers and wait at the place you chose for them until you assign them to their next mission.

 

Misunderstanding. Let me elaborate: I meant the in-party "party camp", like Baldur's Gate you only have your 6 party members that go camping together, and those that are either kicked out or left on friendly terms they go do their stuff. With this in mind, what is the most desirable "Party Camp" function? What would the "Party Camp" do for the members you have in your party? That is my question.

 

I would like to advocate that someone you kick out (get on bad terms with) could come back to fight you (Takes a path down Evil or whatever, Aloth becomes a powerful Anti-Christ~ or something).

 

EDIT: @JFSOCC, that is not what I meant either sorry, I am just thinking mechanically what does the party camp do and what would be a good UI for it? DA:O's Party UI (in a sense) is to go around and talk to everyone in a static unchanging place, or is there some other way of doing it?

 

Concept:

I can think of one simplified version and that's a simple "Menu" to navigate through, "Talk to party members" and have Party Camp banters, "Manage Stuff", "Repair" etc. etc. this could allow you to put it out everywhere. But is that desirable to begin with? I am sure it'd make work less for Obsidian (comparatively to making an entire area dedicated to the "Camp") but with todays technology neither might be too much work?  :shrugz:

Edited by Osvir
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LOL It's funny how you all discuss something I didn't mean (I asked your thoughts about something different and I quite stated it in all my posts).

 

In any case about the stronghold, the party members should have their own strongholds. There was a similar mod being built for BG2. For example Jaheira would have been the druid master and would take it's responsibilities if you are not a druid and if you and she desire it.

http://forums.gibberlings3.net/index.php?s=3b3b990cce0a67d1e3a305450798c647&showforum=77 

 

So I fully support that most NPC's would go somewhere and would find their own place in the world somehow like the DA2 system which is better. The DA:O system of campfire should also be used somehow, but for banters, not for your "regroup" place. For that you should have a stronghold and until you get it, NPC's would simply go back to where you found them to a tavern or etc. 

 

This way again it would also help what I meant to begin with: that the plot would force upon us situations in which party members would leave us for their own business (for example their stronghold business) so we would have time to travel with other members. 

 

In any case I would like that somehow we would avoid all of this to begin with by the forcing above. In most of the plot I think that some NPC's should be busy. I don't want us to come to a situation that we need to choose and kick somebody out just because of space, the less we have that situation the better the plot would be in my opinion.

 

This of course in case we want to travel with all the available companions. If we don't then we would simply refuse to accept new friends after we have a full party and the game would not force upon us separations, or we would experience less separations.  

Edited by MuseBreaks
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Misunderstanding. Let me elaborate: I meant the in-party "party camp", like Baldur's Gate you only have your 6 party members that go camping together, and those that are either kicked out or left on friendly terms they go do their stuff. With this in mind, what is the most desirable "Party Camp" function? What would the "Party Camp" do for the members you have in your party? That is my question.

You mean a special menu for resting? For me, the most desireable function would be assign guard - meaning you could be ambushed in sleep if you have none. Otherwise I don't think we need special camping functions, rather have random cutscenes, the dwarf bantering with the elf, everyone listening to one guy playing the flute, a NPC-couple vanishing in the bushes, etc. Talking is supposed to be possible everywhere, and repairing, tending to wounds, eating and going to the loo should happen automatically and shouldn't require player input.

This way again it would also help what I meant to begin with: that the plot would force upon us situations in which party members would leave us for their own business (for example their stronghold business) so we would have time to travel with other members.

As I wrote, I'd rather have just enough available party members to fill the party than dozens of applicants and an artificial mechanic that requires me to travel with all of them for a while. To take another Obsidian game: Elanee in NWN2 is the prime example of an NPC that follows you because the designers want you to tag her along, a creepy stalker who suddenly shows up and expects you to trust her. Later we meet Casavir, since he's the Fem-PC love interest we're forced to adventure with him and need to kick out one of our comrades. Why not use him as 5th party member like it was done with Shandra later?

 

If a NPC is required for a quest, give him his own party spot, don't expect me to kick out party members. A Yoshi-Imoen swap can't be done everytime a new NPC needs to be added to the party, and even that stunt didn't work for me the first time, as I took Jan instead of Yoshi.

Edited by JOG
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"You are going to have to learn to think before you act, but never to regret your decisions, right or wrong. Otherwise, you will slowly begin to not make decisions at all."

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LOL It's funny how you all discuss something I didn't mean (I asked your thoughts about something different and I quite stated it in all my posts).

 

Yes, sorry, I think I'm to blame for that. I just got inspired :)

Edited by Osvir
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With eight companions confirmed and the possibility for one or two more possibly held in the offing...

Source?

 

The dungeon picture shows us a fighter, mage, monk, cleric and archer which is five NPC. Then we know there is still an unrevealed "godtouched" NPC which gets us to six. Which are the two more confirmed NPC's?

Scroll down a bit and eight companions are confirmed via achieving the $3.5 million goal.

Edited by Tsuga C

http://cbrrescue.org/

 

Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forests and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoors experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.----Fred Bear

 

http://michigansaf.org/

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