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^ May as well find a blank piece of paper, and write "This piece of paper isn't conveying any useful information" upon it. That helps the piece of paper about as much as your post helps the thread.

 

Grab a hard hat, and be constructive, why don'tcha?


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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This thread is getting pretty stupid, I think.

 

No, it came to the exact point and discussion I wanted it to come to. Tsuga C  finally started to discuss about what I put my emphasize on from the beginning and the reason I started this thread. He prefers to assemble 1 party and stick with it all the game and focus on well rounding between the classes, and just like Lephys said, he would be very upset to find out that his rouge that he put a lot of time and energy into for example is a traitor that has to leave him after all the effort he put into him (like the Yoshimo case for instance in BG2:SOA). Others also claimed that such a turn of events would cost re-playability (cause we would know what happens to certain party members after the first play).

 

I claim that I understand the issues that they rose, but I still think and prefer characters with depth and special plot events, similar to the "rouge traitor Yoshimo" event (but not only: I gave other examples that don't mean permanent goodbye to party members, but only a temporary seperation), since it makes the game (plot) more realistic and more fun, and it also allows us to experience other available party members and helps us go around the 6 party members lock of the infinity engine.

 

If you have anything further to add to this issue, or support one of the sides above, I would really like to hear, because most of this thread (unfortunately) was about a secondary part of the problem and discussion above: the "camp issue", and not the primary issue which is the conflict above and that is the reason I started this thread to begin with :) and I don't think this issue was discussed enough yet. I would like to hear all the opinions about it.

Edited by MuseBreaks

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By the way, if we are already on this issue, then the secondary discussion should be (again) about the party members themselves and their part and role in the game. See I don't want that available party members would be some strangers that we meet and all of a sudden decide to travel with them out of the blue. I want each of them to be very important and connected to the main plot or the player somehow, or to special circumstances that bring people together like being in a dungeon or other original methods.
 

This is important because again, I don't assemble a party in role playing games while taking major consideration to the "well rounding". I do take consideration of that, but only via a minor proportion. The most important aspect for me in party members are how they are connected to me and the plot.

 

In each of the Bioware game for example (and I state them because I really love the emphasize and depths they put on party members and plot) then I always travel with such important party members and if we take the Baldur's gate series as the relevant infinity engine example then as I stated before, in shadows of Amn I always took with me Jaheira, Minsc, Yoshimo and Imoen: Cause I felt they are the most close to me since we all kind of started together in Irenicus' dungeon. It was "us" against "the world" and they each had a reason to pursue Irenicus and save Imoen. Later when I got a chance to play the first BG game (cause I played the 2nd first) I obviously took with me Imoen, Jaheira with khalid and Minsc with Dynaheir, cause that was the "Canon" option (if I wouldn't have known that for example, I wouldn't have necessarily taken Minsc and Dynaheir in BG1 since they had no special connection to the player in the first game).

It doesn't mean I don't want to know other party members, I do, and in BG2 for example I traveled and swapped the available slots all the time and each playthrough, that's just how I play "role-playing", it's not only about the "classes" there is a role for the player via a plot and story and THAT aspect is more important to me.

 

P.S.

The way to do it, is avoiding the fatal "good" vs. "evil" aspects, and make a grey world with a mature plot, like the GRRM song of ice and fire series, or the conflicted party in the "dragonlance" series, which had interesting and grey characters like Reistlin. That way it would be logical to meet and travel with ALL available party members at some point in the game, while at the end we and the plot and the conflicts would come to a final conclusion. That's why I want the developers to somehow "force" upon us the option to meet and travel with all available party members (while still leaving the option to travel most of the time with 1 party for who ever prefers it like Tsuga C

Edited by MuseBreaks

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I very much like the idea of temporary separation, either through personal quests or unfortunate circumstances etc.. As much as it is annoying to lose your favourite npc it makes it all the better when you rescue/persuade them to rejoin your cause, the flashback idea is really cool aswel, in conjunction with that i would like to see situations where if your party does split into two groups you control them each, one after another, culminating in the reformation, this could create some really interesting storylines and situations, (e.g. fork in the road initiates cutscene and camping sequence where you choose the teams to take each fork)

 

I also agree that it should be fairly standard for your party members to have clear motivations and reasons for following you on your journey, having said that though i remember using that evil dwarf from the copper coronet in BG2 in a couple of playthroughs and despite his slightly unexplored motivations he was still an interesting character.

 

It may actual be interesting to find a powerful/useful NPC whose motivations are not clear at all but more may be revealed as you play through the game etc..

 

As a side note i really am not so keen on the DA:O camp system where you spam chat to everyone in their identical static positions to see if they have anything new to say, for me it creates a much more immersive experience when party banter does not necessarily involve the PC and the PC doesn't need to always initiate it when it does. I'm not saying no camp chat, just less, it doesn't make much sense to be out wandering all day mute and then suddenly open up about past misfortunes as soon as we rest.

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I don't understand what MuseBreaks wants, and what to hate him for. Is it Characters&Drama vs. Full Party Control?

 

As a note, drama should not exist for a purpose of itself. Characters should only leave when it is logical for them to do so. If anything, Imoen/Yoshi was a very heavy handed writing, and whole cutscene with protagonist just staring at NPCs moving their own plot was p. dumb.

Edited by Shadenuat

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As a note, drama should not exist for a purpose of itself. Characters should only leave when it is logical for them to do so.

Crap! I was SO hoping for illogical character departures! >_<. We'll just assume that's what MuseBreaks wants, too, and now you can enjoy double the hatred, 8D!

 

Step 1: Assumption.

Step 2: ...

Step 3: Profit.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I think I explained what I want in almost every way possible... :) - I also think characters should leave when it's logical (though you can perfectly match the "logical leaving" to a situation where you meet a new character so everything would match perfectly). 

The cutscenes where the protagonist stared at other NPC's moving were actually very few, short and to the point and they motivated the plot, and made it more interesting. I am totally up for more of them. - AND such scenes could work for what I want: if you are in a cave, and there's a ditch, 1 / 2 of your party members can fall to the ditch (but not die) because of a sudden earthquake (it's a dragon cave and the beast moved) and this is the "logical leaving" and a small cutscene where the protagonist can't do anything! 

As I've said I am looking for an interesting plot, and the ability to travel with all companions, it's more important to me then: "Assemble a rouge, warrior, mage and priest, while playing a super cool barbarian/monk multi class (and a super special sub-race) and kick lot's of monsters in the ass pointless game". 

Edited by MuseBreaks

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Yes, cutscenes moved the plot in BG2, but some of them did so in very unelegant way. It is generally a bad idea to take control from the player in a game which, by it's design, is about having control over it in your hands via means of stats, skills, dialogue choices and so on. Games as a media are about player control, not director's (like in the movies). Because of that, I would probably go as far and say that cutscenes should be the last resort when you want to move the plot forward. If you can't do it anyway around but to take away player's freedom, you should probably rethink that part of the plot.

 

For example, in Fallout: New Vegas, you can't save people being crucified by Legion, because you arrive when they already did that; but you can actually take your gun out and shoot them. So, comparing that to BG2 Imoen capture scene, you could probably arrive at the point when she does't just stand near you, but already taken, and wizards are fighting Irenicus to capture him too. Player could help one side or another, or watch, without his freedom taken away by scripted event.

 

if you are in a cave, and there's a ditch, 1 / 2 of your party members can fall to the ditch

What if every one of them has high Dexterity?

 

ability to travel with all companions

What about replayability? What about companions who don't like one another? Streamlining the plot into Final Fantasy rarely does it any good (from the point of a gameplay value, I mean).

Edited by Shadenuat

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Imoen/Yoshi was a very heavy handed writing

 

I'm starting to realize that "heavy handed writing" is actually a code phrase every non-writer uses for "part of the story I didn't like very much."

 

 

For example, in Fallout: New Vegas, you can't save people being crucified by Legion, because you arrive when they already did that; but you can actually take your gun out and shoot them. So, comparing that to BG2 Imoen capture scene, you could probably arrive at the point when she does't just stand near you, but already taken, and wizards are fighting Irenicus to capture him too. Player could help one side or another, or watch, without his freedom taken away by scripted event.

 

So the "solution" to the maybe 3 minute loss of control of your characters is to scheme up a scenario that simply makes no sense at all?  Why would a female character who has just suffered some probably pretty extreme amounts of torture at the hands of good old Jon (as I recall I believe it's Jaheira who states she actually hears your screams) decide to run ahead of your adventuring group to get auto captured before you?  Does she break out and not come back for you the PC she is actually attached to or to gather allies (ie strength in numbers)?  You remember who Irenicus was *actually* fighting right?  Yea I think i'll pass on Imoen's character making no sense to speak of to offer "choice" to the player (this would be a much better example of "heavy handed writing" btw).  As for when you actually get there your choices are actually 1) potentially get disintegrated by Irenicus and/or easily recaptured or 2) piss off the ruling class of mages that run the entire freaking city of Amn.  I'm sure the player would greatly enjoy a choice between those two very bad ends. 

 

Maybe you've completely forgotten because it's been a long as hell time since you've played BG 2 but the first time I encountered that cut scene the one thing I was thinking was "Man i'm SO glad i'm not involved in this fight."  That was of course before Imoen blasted Irenicus after which I was saying "Uh oh."

 

That has to be the worst example i've ever seen of a "solution."  Cut scenes are not inherently evil nor is a player lacking a choice.

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Why would a female character who has just suffered some probably pretty

extreme amounts of torture at the hands of good old Jon (as I recall I

believe it's Jaheira who states she actually hears your screams) decide

to run ahead of your adventuring group

I dunno, why does she? Because that's what she does when heavely wounded inside the dungeon. Seems like developers thought it was completely fair for her to rely on her stealth skills and run away "because head hurts" from her companions already. Of course, maybe you played BG2 such a long time ago, you don't remember... ...tee-hee.

 

That has to be the worst example i've ever seen of a "solution."

You can hate the example as much as you want, but my point stands - player could have participated, instead of just watching his most lovable childhood friend he spent year(s) traveling around in previous game with just taken away "because plot". The nature of participation, be it swords unsheaved or just talking would just make encounter more complex and add possible consequences to player's actions.

Edited by Shadenuat

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As a note, drama should not exist for a purpose of itself. Characters should only leave when it is logical for them to do so.

Crap! I was SO hoping for illogical character departures! >_<. We'll just assume that's what MuseBreaks wants, too, and now you can enjoy double the hatred, 8D!

 

You mean you don't want an NPC that rage-quits the group?  :aiee:  Hmm, well an NPC may choose to quit the group for reasons that are not communicated to you. That could still be logical, yet not necessarily understandable by the player.

Edited by rjshae

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

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Imoen/Yoshi was a very heavy handed writing

 

I'm starting to realize that "heavy handed writing" is actually a code phrase every non-writer uses for "part of the story I didn't like very much."

 

 

In this case it really was though, it was completely unavoidable despite you seeing what would happen from a mile away. And it was done for the obvious reason that you needed a free party slot if you wanted Imoen back in your party.

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.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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I'd prefer the Arcanum solution with 3 types of party's NPCs:

1) Those who are close to the plot (Virgil, Raven, Magnus...)

2) Those who play a part in the world but are not related to the plot (Franklin Payne, Z'an Al'urin...)

They truly help to make the world a living thing.

3) Others who are just mercenaries or provide a wanted skill.

I think there is a good middle between uber important characters and cohorts. With them, you can create the party you want. Besides, since there is a stronghold, you just recruit everyone and give them jobs.

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Why would a female character who has just suffered some probably pretty

extreme amounts of torture at the hands of good old Jon (as I recall I

believe it's Jaheira who states she actually hears your screams) decide

to run ahead of your adventuring group

I dunno, why does she? Because that's what she does when heavely wounded inside the dungeon. Seems like developers thought it was completely fair for her to rely on her stealth skills and run away "because head hurts" from her companions already. Of course, maybe you played BG2 such a long time ago, you don't remember... ...tee-hee.

 

Or I just never ended up letting her get low enough to know that.  Interesting...

 

 

You can hate the example as much as you want, but my point stands - player could have participated, instead of just watching his most lovable childhood friend he spent year(s) traveling around in previous game with just taken away "because plot". The nature of participation, be it swords unsheaved or just talking would just make encounter more complex and add possible consequences to player's actions.

 

Except in this particular case it's simply a non-choice.  You can either get a game over or you can content lock yourself out of the rest of the game (oh joy!).  Just because we can do something doesn't mean we should do something.  Offering up such a situation to a player that early in the game probably would've been more then enough to leave an entirely different legacy than the Baldur's Gate series actually has.

 

Oh and i'm pretty sure your weapons were already unsheaved or at least *mine* were... tee hee.

 

 

 

Imoen/Yoshi was a very heavy handed writing

 

I'm starting to realize that "heavy handed writing" is actually a code phrase every non-writer uses for "part of the story I didn't like very much."

 

In this case it really was though, it was completely unavoidable despite you seeing what would happen from a mile away. And it was done for the obvious reason that you needed a free party slot if you wanted Imoen back in your party.

 

That's more a fault of the game design only allowing 6 party members.  At best you can "blame" the devs for taking the players into consideration and writing around that rather than any fault of the writing itself.  Would you have thought the same if a completely different character betrayed you at a different point in time?

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Except in this particular case it's simply a non-choice.

What is a non-choice? Trying to get into a way of very powerful spellcasters and die is not a choice? It is, and it would just reinforce player's desire to "get that guy" or understand what powers he's messing with. Getting on a bad side of Cowled Wizards is not a choice? Getting on their good side is not a choice? Just staying away or even running away is not a choice?

If inaction in such situation is the best choice then it is fair, but let player understand that himself and make a choice to not act.

Edited by Shadenuat

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Imoen/Yoshi was a very heavy handed writing

 

I'm starting to realize that "heavy handed writing" is actually a code phrase every non-writer uses for "part of the story I didn't like very much."

 

 

In this case it really was though, it was completely unavoidable despite you seeing what would happen from a mile away. And it was done for the obvious reason that you needed a free party slot if you wanted Imoen back in your party.

 

 

 

That's more a fault of the game design only allowing 6 party members.  At best you can "blame" the devs for taking the players into consideration and writing around that rather than any fault of the writing itself.  Would you have thought the same if a completely different character betrayed you at a different point in time?

 

 

That would be firmly in the realm of speculation. I don't know. It depends on how it was done.

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.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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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?

Septerra Core did that, It was okay, but I prefer keeping my party members with me, and have only occasional switches, like the Imoen Yoshimo plot device.  FF 13 also did the whole swapping party members often thing, I didn't like it as much as Septerra Core's implementation.

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Yes, cutscenes moved the plot in BG2, but some of them did so in very unelegant way. It is generally a bad idea to take control from the player in a game which, by it's design, is about having control over it in your hands via means of stats, skills, dialogue choices and so on. Games as a media are about player control, not director's (like in the movies). Because of that, I would probably go as far and say that cutscenes should be the last resort when you want to move the plot forward. If you can't do it anyway around but to take away player's freedom, you should probably rethink that part of the plot.

 

For example, in Fallout: New Vegas, you can't save people being crucified by Legion, because you arrive when they already did that; but you can actually take your gun out and shoot them. So, comparing that to BG2 Imoen capture scene, you could probably arrive at the point when she does't just stand near you, but already taken, and wizards are fighting Irenicus to capture him too. Player could help one side or another, or watch, without his freedom taken away by scripted event.

 

 

I completely agree with Razsius and I'll also add that the fight cutscene in BG2 doesn't necessarily mean you stand and watch the fight, it may simply mean infinity engine limitation, when in reality what happens is that you try to save her but it's too late when you reach the scene. In any case this can easily be changed by changing the cutscene, not by cancelling cutscenes completely.

 

 

if you are in a cave, and there's a ditch, 1 / 2 of your party members can fall to the ditch

What if every one of them has high Dexterity?

 

 

So? Are you saying people with high dexterity can't fall? Your point is simply wrong (and no it's not bad writing if from all the companions, the ones with the high dexterity fell, its just irony). 

 

 

 

ability to travel with all companions

What about replayability? What about companions who don't like one another? Streamlining the plot into Final Fantasy rarely does it any good (from the point of a gameplay value, I mean).

 

I've discussed about it before: yes after 1 play when you find out Yoshimo is a traitor, it might hurt the so called replayability from one perspective, HOWEVER from a different perspective: that fact and story twist made (among other features) BG2:SOA such a great game (better then BG1 for example where the companions didn't even talk and you had millions of pointless companions and tons of so called replaybility to "try and mix them up").

 

If I need to chose I'd choose BG2 any day over BG1.

 

Companions should more then fight and disagree, however you (the player) should always have the option to cool things down and make them focus on the mission. Again I've addressed this issue:  I want to see an adventure and an interesting plot that involves all your companions with lots of conflicts and events that would all come to a conclusion in the end.

 

I'm also glad you stated movies. Yes it's a game and we should have choices and they should more then matter, but there's also a plot and the plot is always always much more interesting when things happen and you don't have control over them (it's also much more realistic). And in any good adventure book that involves a group of party members: like the Dragonlance series for example, the adventurers are in conflicts with each other, they get separated, their motivations are uncovered, but they also change, etc. etc.

 

The key is to mix the free choice and the linear plot and make a good game and plot: just like BG2:SOA was.

 

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