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Exactly. Silliness of food metaphors aside, the point was that, even though I hate asparagus, I don't tell the chefs to spend less time making their dishes, and simply offer more dishes. Sure, if a restaurant only offered asparagus, they should probably offer a little more than that, but, if that's all they were offering, why would I even eat there if I hate asparagus? Of course, getting back to P:E, they're in no way suggesting that they're only going to be offering one type of character.

 

But, my point remains what it is: They could make even less than 8 characters, and it's possible they'd be to your liking, based on their design style. So, it seems to me that suggesting increased quantity (inherently lowering quality) is just a big dice roll, as it has nothing to do with style. They could've put 50 characters in PS:T, and maybe they all still would've been of the same style.

 

Clearly, the style of the characters and the quantity and quality of the characters are completely different factors. That was my point. I don't like asparagus because it's asparagus. Not because of how much time and effort was spent preparing it, or because there weren't enough other dishes.

 

But if every dish is served with asparagus (we're here now, let's just run with the food), then you're going to feel upset if you paid for a full meal and got that. Sure, you could not eat the asparagus (adventurer's hall), but you'd be cheesed (:D) off. Especially if one of the reasons you came to the restaurant was that they promised to have great depth to the vegetables in their dishes.

 

The point of the less than eight versus fifty argument is that the games that Obsidian have been involved with have had a greater thematic spread of characters when it has been possible to create numerous parties. When there has been so few npcs that they would not fill even two seperate parties those games have often had npcs that were stylistically joined at the hip. When there has been enough to fill several, there has been genuine differences in the style of those npcs.

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@Kjaamor:

 

Well, you're right that I am a PST fan, and I am as vulnerable as anyone to exaggeration in support of a cause I believe in. And in the absence of hard numbers, both of us are merely hazarding biased guesses. It is even true that positive impressions of the games as wholes color our views of the companions; I felt Dragon Age 2's companions were infinitely more interesting than those in the first game, but because they were a poorly-utilized part of such a tremendously disappointing whole, they are rarely afforded any praise whatsoever by players. And even the preceding sentence is a statement of opinion, as informed by what I would like to believe as what I have observed. It would be dishonest at best not to admit that I, like anyone, have certain biases.

 

However, I think you underestimate how beloved Torment's companions are. Even leaving my personal feelings aside, I really do believe that while many would say BG2 is, on balance, the better game of the two, if you asked the backers of PE which game had the better companions, the winner by a wide margin would be PST. In any discussion of classic cRPGs, I have rarely heard any BG2 companion save Minsc cited as a genuinely great companion remotely as often as every companion in PST, and Morte and Fall-from-Grace in particular.

 

Am I saying that's incontrovertible proof of my suspicions in re the nigh-universal praise PE's horde of backers would have for PST's companions? Hardly. But I am saying that I have observed an unambiguous bias toward PST's companions in the numerous discussions I have been privy to. Even your presumably lowballed sixty percent figure hands PST the decision in the end, which suggests to me that you are not as confident in BG2's chances as you claim. ;)

 

As for your claim that I wouldn't notice if the companions were not as deep as those in PST, I can see the truth in that statement, as far as it goes, but I will make the equally bold statement that it wouldn't matter if I and those like me didn't notice, because nine companions of comparable depth to PST's have already been promised by Obsidian. Any change in the number of companions now would, I promise you, result in many backers' bemoaning the consequent reduction in companion depth for years after the game's release, even if said reduction is entirely in our minds.

 

If you doubt me, consider this: there are still people who say New Vegas was "incomplete" at release because they heard the developers speak after the fact about cut content that simply did not make it into the final build of the game. And these were not things that were promoted in any significant fashion prior to release! They were not "back of the box" features, and their removal was a deliberate creative decision on Obsidian's part. That doesn't matter to the people who call it "incomplete" (and I will stress that I am talking about people who specifically mean the game had content cut out of it in the same way that KOTOR 2 did, not people who are using "incomplete" when they mean "buggy and unpolished," which the game definitely was in many ways).

 

Now imagine that some of those cut features were advertised heavily. Imagine they were central to the game's marketing campaign. Imagine that somebody put cash money down on a pre-order for the game on the strength of one of those cut features. Imagine the anger they would feel when the feature they bought the game for wasn't in it as advertised, even if that feature had only been slightly scaled back from its original implementation. That's the sort of thing we're talking about here.

 

What could have been will always be more attractive to people than what is. Giving them any more fodder for rose-colored navel-gazing than they already possess is, from a marketing perspective, a Very Bad Idea. It inspires feelings of betrayal, and nobody turns all discussions into vicious donnybrooks more quickly than a fan who feels betrayed for a quasi-legitimate reason. The smart play is to deliver what was promised in the marketing above all else.

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Ffordesoon, I still doubt your numbers. I'd also like to point out that PS:T is one of those games that those who love it truly love it, and tend to shout louder as a result. In quieter discussions, polls, and most importantly sales, BGII pummels it.

 

What I can't doubt, and I accepted the truth of this upon reading it, is your assertion that backers would bemoan the depth of the characters were the number of companions increased.

 

With that said, I suppose I am flogging a fairly dead horse in terms of the numbers game (but I think that has been the case before this thread even got started). All I could possibly hope to achieve would be to encourage Obsidian to include as much variety as they can within those nine. Frankly, I think that will fall upon dead ears, too.

 

Of course your later point on the betrayal people feel when something they perceive has been promised has been taken away is why me and many other BG but not PS:T fans have become increasingly troubled with P:E (To say nothing of the fans who like IWD best - both of them).

 

EDIT: Also, I'm going to bed. -_-

Edited by Kjaamor

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But if every dish is served with asparagus (we're here now, let's just run with the food), then you're going to feel upset if you paid for a full meal and got that. Sure, you could not eat the asparagus (adventurer's hall), but you'd be cheesed (:D) off. Especially if one of the reasons you came to the restaurant was that they promised to have great depth to the vegetables in their dishes.

If every dish is served with asparagus, then it doesn't matter how many there are. You can change any number of dishes from asparagus dishes to non-asparagus dishes, without having to change the total number of dishes offered at all. That's literally the entire point. Whether they make 2 companions, or 7,000 companions, has NOTHING to do with whether or not those 2 companions are the most varietous mofoes you've ever seen, or those 7,000 companions are just a big clone army.

 

Increasing numbers doesn't increase variety. Increasing variety increases variety.

 

Also, the more characters you put in, the less room there is for uniqueness. If there are 5 of each class in the game, then you're going to run into a lot of parallels. I.e. "Oh, this guy is just this other guy, but a Wizard instead of a Monk." I'm not saying that if they put more than 8 companions in, the game's instantly ruined. It's simply a factor. The more characters you have, the less elbow room for unique styles you have.

 

I dare say that if the PS:T companions were so intertwined with the core themes and such of that narrative, then there was just something, in general, about PS:T that you weren't particularly fond of. I can't say too much about it, because I haven't played it. But, it sounds like the fact that all the companions were so thematically tethered to the narrative of that game (which has its own style scope, etc.) was one of the strongest points of that particular game. So, would it have been the same game if they had just said "Hey, let's make all the different companions drastically different, thematically!"? So, at that point, should they really have made a game filled with companions you did like?

 

I mean, if I play Battlefield 4, and I think all the characters in that game are too serious and soldier-y, and too worked up about war... maybe that whole game and everything it's about is just not my cup of tea. I don't know how prudent it would be to suggest they mix it up a bit. They're obviously going to be all encircling the same themes there.

 

Bah... those last 2 paragraphs are mere speculation, though.

Edited by Lephys

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 would like to play a little devil's advocate. I haven't played Torment, but will shortly, but what I am gathering from the discussion is that BGII had interesting personalities, but not enough depth, while Torment had a lot of depth, but not interesting enough personalities.

 

If you were to take 9 (I thought there were only going to be 8?) of the BGII characters and give them a deeper repertuar of interaction and character development, would there be anyone unhappy with this result?

 

While I'm a little hesitant about only a handful of NPC's, done well, that's more than enough for me. It's the comment by Joshua Sawyer that worries me: "I prefer naturalistic -- some would say "dry" -- dialogue. BG2's characters are much more expressive. This is a personal thing and I recognize that most players *don't* like the same style of dialogue that I do." http://www.formspring.me/JESawyer/q/449392305086952316

 

While I appreciate serious and measured characters in a book, in a game I like a little bit of excentricity to make the experience memorable. If the story is done straight there's no differentiation between personalities from my view. Games lack the ability to handle this well much like a post lacks the ability to relay sarcasm. And besides, I get enough dry dialog from the quest givers. ;)

 

I have faith it'll be a great game, but in the interumn I guess I'll worry because that's my nature...

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One has to make a poll on the best companions. What other games should there be?

I'd go with DA:O having the best ones, ME1 or 2 with the second best. Also liked the ones from Jade Empire.

BG2 better than Torment, neither as good as NWN2:MotB.

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If every dish is served with asparagus, then it doesn't matter how many there are. You can change any number of dishes from asparagus dishes to non-asparagus dishes, without having to change the total number of dishes offered at all. That's literally the entire point. Whether they make 2 companions, or 7,000 companions, has NOTHING to do with whether or not those 2 companions are the most varietous mofoes you've ever seen, or those 7,000 companions are just a big clone army.

 

Increasing numbers doesn't increase variety. Increasing variety increases variety.

 

While the last point might be a logical truth in and of itself, in reality there are other linking factors which unfortunately mean that increased numbers do result in increase variety. One example of this is party compatibility. If you have only 2 companions to make a three person party, and you're having any depth of interaction between that party, then those two characters have to be thematically compatible to maintain any immersion. They don't necessarily have to agree or be socially compatible, but they have to be tied to a theme.

 

Really, though, the best thing to do would be to play PS:T and see what I mean compared to BGII. If nothing else, an awful lot of people here regard it as a superb game and it is certainly worth a pop if you've missed it first time around.

 

I dare say that if the PS:T companions were so intertwined with the core themes and such of that narrative, then there was just something, in general, about PS:T that you weren't particularly fond of. I can't say too much about it, because I haven't played it. But, it sounds like the fact that all the companions were so thematically tethered to the narrative of that game (which has its own style scope, etc.) was one of the strongest points of that particular game. So, would it have been the same game if they had just said "Hey, let's make all the different companions drastically different, thematically!"? So, at that point, should they really have made a game filled with companions you did like?

 

For me and many others who didn't like PS:T, the style of the characters and the way they were all intertwined was a factor in why I did not like the game as much as BGII. It contributed to me stopping playing.

 

On the other hand, of the many complaints I've heard thrown at BGII, the companions as a whole have never been subject to such frustration. Thus, the BG approach is better.

 

I would like to play a little devil's advocate. I haven't played Torment, but will shortly, but what I am gathering from the discussion is that BGII had interesting personalities, but not enough depth, while Torment had a lot of depth, but not interesting enough personalities.

 

I don't think that's an argument anyone is actually putting forward. Everyone finds the characters they like interesting enough. The issue is whether or not P:E will contain enough different characters for people to find the ones they like.

 

Honestly, the tldnr of this thread is basically just BG Fanbois versus PS:T Fanbois, discussing an immeasurable concept of depth. When the game releases, people who don't like the characters will cite this thread ("I told you they should've made more"/"I told you they should've made less with more depth") and those who do will have forgotten its existance.

 

One has to make a poll on the best companions. What other games should there be?

I'd go with DA:O having the best ones, ME1 or 2 with the second best. Also liked the ones from Jade Empire.

BG2 better than Torment, neither as good as NWN2:MotB.

 

As much as I hate DA:O on so many levels, I must admit I thought that one of its few strong suits were the companions (romancing aside). I generally ran with Alistair and Morrigan and I found the two of them to be some of the funniest characters I'd found in any game. Yet the humour wasn't off the wall or immersion-breaking but rather was very dry, and seemed to come from the characters rather than at them. The way characters would spontaneously interact to have a go at each other was also deeply pleasing.

 

The Mass Effect series is criminally overrated, woefully misplaced when its genre is described, and was the most significant single-game factor in the disappearance of RPGs in the mainstream.

 

Personally, my favourite would probably be KotOR, unless we're talking jRPGs, but since I always feel like that gets the torches and pitchforks coming my way I'll just shut up about that.

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Honestly, the tldnr of this thread is basically just BG Fanbois versus PS:T Fanbois, discussing an immeasurable concept of depth. When the game releases, people who don't like the characters will cite this thread ("I told you they should've made more"/"I told you they should've made less with more depth") and those who do will have forgotten its existance.

 

 

The Mass Effect series is criminally overrated, woefully misplaced when its genre is described, and was the most significant single-game factor in the disappearance of RPGs in the mainstream.

 

Personally, my favourite would probably be KotOR, unless we're talking jRPGs, but since I always feel like that gets the torches and pitchforks coming my way I'll just shut up about that.

 

 

I hope I didn't come off as a fanboy in this thread (I do love the game (BG), though I associate the term "fanboy" with only bad things). The whole thing that got me started was the repeating of the "quality>quantity", which simply wasn't true in this case and simple logic was proving the fact. But alas people will be people and they will make a thousand twisted analogies to suit their points, which was the main reason why I abandoned this thread. The sad thing is that I think some people here are just being a white knight for Obsidian.

 

As for the ME, I have to defend ME1 which was a RPG. As for it sequels, well let's just say that they succeeded in finding a wider audience. On the topics off jRPGs, there are good ones there are bad ones, the flack they get is mostly Americans thinking too much of them selves and their game developers.(not to mention that they are games directed at an entirely different culture)

Edited by Sarex

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As for the ME, I have to defend ME1 which was a RPG.

 

BURN THE THIRD-PERSON SHOOTING BLASPHEMER!

 

 

XD

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One argument against many companions is the same as against many starting locations or wildy diverging plot lines: The mass of players will play the game only once (heck, according to game compainies most players don't even finish a game, although I would guess us backers having a better percentage here). For them more companions is simply content they will never see.  And yes, that is something players as well as game designers don't really like.

 

I see the logic in the counter-arguments as I for example prefer to read SF-novels and whodunnits to books of literature-nobel-prize winners (which is somewhat comparable in my view). But I don't think the problem is easily solved by nobel prize winners just writing more books for me to select from (to stay with this analogy)

 

Kjaamor, since companions tied very much into the mood of the piece I don't believe more companions in PST would really have helped you. For PE the situation is different though, probably a few of the companions will be written by Ziets, maybe one or two by Saywer, so even if Avellone is the reason you didn't like the companions in PST you still might like Ziets or Sawyers. If it isn't Avellone, then there is another difference: PE is a classical fantasy story and not afterlife with wounded, abused companions as in PST. I don't expect the companions to be the same style, even from Avellones pen.

 

So if you don't like any character in PE it is very likely that more characters won't help you either (because more characters will still be written by the same writers in the same world).

Maybe you only like 2 characters. Then doubling the available characters would probably give you 4-5 likeable ones with half the dialogue on them. You would only be slightly better off than just using the 2 characters and filling the rest with adventure hall dummies. But the rest of the players would be far worse off.

 

Ok, I did a very mathematical approach here to a very subjective issue, but you probably still get the point. 

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So if you don't like any character in PE it is very likely that more characters won't help you either (because more characters will still be written by the same writers in the same world).

Maybe you only like 2 characters. Then doubling the available characters would probably give you 4-5 likeable ones with half the dialogue on them. You would only be slightly better off than just using the 2 characters and filling the rest with adventure hall dummies. But the rest of the players would be far worse off.

 

Characters having more dialog doesn't make them more in depth, it just makes them have more dialog. As for being only slightly better then adventure hall dummies, could you elaborate how you came to that conclusion?

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So if you don't like any character in PE it is very likely that more characters won't help you either (because more characters will still be written by the same writers in the same world).

Maybe you only like 2 characters. Then doubling the available characters would probably give you 4-5 likeable ones with half the dialogue on them. You would only be slightly better off than just using the 2 characters and filling the rest with adventure hall dummies. But the rest of the players would be far worse off.

 

Characters having more dialog doesn't make them more in depth, it just makes them have more dialog. As for being only slightly better then adventure hall dummies, could you elaborate how you came to that conclusion?

 

 

This is one issue with spreading out resources/the writer's time and focus too much.  BG had a lot of characters, but they had so little character to them that there wouldn't have been much loss as an "adventure hall dummy."  If someone wants companions beyond mechanics, a lot of companions with a few lines (possibly sometimes same-y lines) is pointless.

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This is one issue with spreading out resources/the writer's time and focus too much.  BG had a lot of characters, but they had so little character to them that there wouldn't have been much loss as an "adventure hall dummy."  If someone wants companions beyond mechanics, a lot of companions with a few lines (possibly sometimes same-y lines) is pointless.

 

Yeah but what makes companions deep is not the dialog, or it's not just the dialog, it's how they react to the environment, how they react to each other, how they react to the PC, sprinkle in some banter talk and they are deep and have character. Give me more characters with less dialog (which is time consuming) and just give some reactions and banter talk.

Edited by Sarex
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This is one issue with spreading out resources/the writer's time and focus too much.  BG had a lot of characters, but they had so little character to them that there wouldn't have been much loss as an "adventure hall dummy."  If someone wants companions beyond mechanics, a lot of companions with a few lines (possibly sometimes same-y lines) is pointless.

 

Yeah but what makes companions deep is not the dialog, or it's not just the dialog, it's how they react to the environment, how they react to each other, how they react to the PC, sprinkle in some banter talk and they are deep and have character. Give me more characters with less dialog (which is time consuming) and just give some reactions and banter talk.

 

 

Everything a character says is dialogue with something. 

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Yeah but what makes companions deep is not the dialog, or it's not just the dialog, it's how they react to the environment, how they react to each other, how they react to the PC, sprinkle in some banter talk and they are deep and have character. Give me more characters with less dialog (which is time consuming) and just give some reactions and banter talk.

 

Everything a character says is dialogue with something. 

 

 

You know what I mean, dialog as in monotone talking to the PC where you chose from 6 different answers. What I meant doesn't require multiple answers (or any answer at all), it's just a comment that the character (NPC) makes.

Edited by Sarex

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Yeah but what makes companions deep is not the dialog, or it's not just the dialog, it's how they react to the environment, how they react to each other, how they react to the PC, sprinkle in some banter talk and they are deep and have character. Give me more characters with less dialog (which is time consuming) and just give some reactions and banter talk.

 

Everything a character says is dialogue with something. 

 

 

You know what I mean, dialog as in monotone talking to the PC where you chose from 6 different answers. What I meant doesn't require multiple answers (or any answer at all), it's just a comment that the character (NPC) makes.

 

 

OK, then I agree largely with your point.  I do like a lot of companion-PC dialogue, but I support the extensive use of characterizing speech outside of the "PC walks up and asks for life story" paradigm.

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While the last point might be a logical truth in and of itself, in reality there are other linking factors which unfortunately mean that increased numbers do result in increase variety.

I'm sorry to say that that is false. I know to what you're referring, but it is simply a statistical occurrence and not a factor of causality.

 

If I decide I'm going to paint things, but all I decide I'm going to paint with is blue paint, and I decide I'm going to use the same style every time I paint (simply because I like it), then no amount of additional paintings (beyond 2) is really going to increase variety by any significant amount. I could make 50 paintings, instead of 2, and they could all be of the same perspective, made with the same style and same blue paint.

 

On the other hand, if I decide "You know what, I'm going to use a different style and different paint every time I make a painting," and only paint 2 paintings, I've increased the amount of variety between all available paintings by FAR more than any number of all-blue, all-same-style paintings from before.

 

Therefore, the quantity of something never causes variety to exist.

 

What you're getting at (methinks) is that, once you've got the factors of variety in-place, the quantity of items within a given set (in this case, companions) is directly related to the quantity of variety.

 

However, as your problem with the PS:T companions seems to be a lack of variety, no amount of additional companions designed in the same manner as the others would've eliminated your displeasure with their design, as, by your standards, there was not a great enough SOURCE of variety. If all the PS:T companions had been sufficiently different for your tastes, then the quantity would've, I'm sure, been plenty.

 

To put it another way, if you make and sell furniture, and you build 8 chairs, and 7 of them fall apart when people sit in them, and the last one's mildly comfortable, you don't fix that by simply building 5 times that number of chairs, and hoping that this increases the number of them that don't fall apart, statistically. You change the method by which you build your chairs.

 

 

For me and many others who didn't like PS:T, the style of the characters and the way they were all intertwined was a factor in why I did not like the game as much as BGII. It contributed to me stopping playing.

My point exactly. Again, no amount of additional PS:T characters would've helped anything at all. It was the basis of their design -- the common element between all of them, and tied into much of the rest of the game's design (narrative and creative style, not mechanics) -- that you had a problem with. I'm not trying to be a **** when I say "maybe you just didn't really like that game that much." Think of it like music. Plenty of people all like Rock music, and yet some of them hate a given Rock band, and some of them LOVE that same band. All within the same genre. Such is the way it goes with creative design.

Edited by Lephys
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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 don't think that's an argument anyone is actually putting forward. Everyone finds the characters they like interesting enough. The issue is whether or not P:E will contain enough different characters for people to find the ones they like.

 

Honestly, the tldnr of this thread is basically just BG Fanbois versus PS:T Fanbois, discussing an immeasurable concept of depth. When the game releases, people who don't like the characters will cite this thread ("I told you they should've made more"/"I told you they should've made less with more depth") and those who do will have forgotten its existance.

 

 

 

I'll slightly disagree here, I far often see people remark in this thread how they didn't like most or any of the characters of PS:T. Jethro touched on that just a couple posts up. It was a theme that some didn't find suitable to their game interest. The point of the diversity of the characters come down to, honestly: "Do I care about anyone here, or am I just seeing how big a damage number I can summon over my enemy?"

 

If the various character's personality are diverse to cover a good range of personalities, then whether it's 8 or 80 is irrelevant. If the NPC's are themed to act roughly the same way, then you could have 100 deep characters and the whole experience will be unsatisfying.

 

Like any good book, if you don't enjoy any of the people, if they aren't engaging, it is a bad experience no matter how well detailed. The Silmarillion was a fine example of this.

Edited by LKD
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I'll slightly disagree here, I far often see people remark in this thread how they didn't like most or any of the characters of PS:T. Jethro touched on that just a couple posts up. It was a theme that some didn't find suitable to their game interest. The point of the diversity of the characters come down to, honestly: "Do I care about anyone here, or am I just seeing how big a damage number I can summon over my enemy?"

 

If the various character's personality are diverse to cover a good range of personalities, then whether it's 8 or 80 is irrelevant. If the NPC's are themed to act roughly the same way, then you could have 100 deep characters and the whole experience will be unsatisfying.

 

Like any good book, if you don't enjoy any of the people, if they aren't engaging, it is a bad experience no matter how well detailed. The Silmarillion was a fine example of this.

 

I accept the point that you're making (indeed it is very similar to several points that I myself have made in this thread), I was merely pointing out that the the people who liked PS:T found the characters very interesting, and that to say they needed to be more interesting was an oversimplification. It would be more accurate to suggest that they needed to be more widely appealing, if the original line is to be pursued.

 

 

I'm sorry to say that that is false. I know to what you're referring, but it is simply a statistical occurrence and not a factor of causality.

 

If I decide I'm going to paint things, but all I decide I'm going to paint with is blue paint, and I decide I'm going to use the same style every time I paint (simply because I like it), then no amount of additional paintings (beyond 2) is really going to increase variety by any significant amount. I could make 50 paintings, instead of 2, and they could all be of the same perspective, made with the same style and same blue paint.

 

On the other hand, if I decide "You know what, I'm going to use a different style and different paint every time I make a painting," and only paint 2 paintings, I've increased the amount of variety between all available paintings by FAR more than any number of all-blue, all-same-style paintings from before.

 

What holds true in your example does not hold true for the companions in an RPG, for the simple reason that those blue, specifically-stylised paintings are all independant of one another and devoid of external requirements. Not least of which would be the need for someone to pull five paintings from nine that you paint to form a coherent and well-rounded exhibition. They do not, in your example, demand or even benefit from the juxtaposition of other paintings to fulfil their potential.

 

Let us try the painting analogy (since we enjoyed food so much last time) from my point of view.

 

You paint in three different colours. I need to pick four paintings of the same colour - though you don't know what colour that is, but you want me to succeed. Are my chances better if you paint 12 paintings or 6?

 

 

My point exactly. Again, no amount of additional PS:T characters would've helped anything at all. It was the basis of their design -- the common element between all of them, and tied into much of the rest of the game's design (narrative and creative style, not mechanics) -- that you had a problem with. I'm not trying to be a **** when I say "maybe you just didn't really like that game that much." Think of it like music. Plenty of people all like Rock music, and yet some of them hate a given Rock band, and some of them LOVE that same band. All within the same genre. Such is the way it goes with creative design.

 

That's a rather binary logic you've got going on there, that while not exactly untrue doesn't seem particularly useful from a development point of view. I certain hope P:E wouldn't subscribe to the notion. Practically, would PS:T have failed any of the people who enjoyed it if it had twelve potential companions with the variation and depth of those from BG? I don't feel that it would have. Yet that might have meant that it didn't fail me and others here (particularly since my other gripes are mostly with its mechanics).

 

Again, I reiterate my point about you hedging your bets as a developer.

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You paint in three different colours. I need to pick four paintings of the same colour - though you don't know what colour that is, but you want me to succeed. Are my chances better if you paint 12 paintings or 6?

The fact that your analogy relies upon the initial decision to paint in 3 different colors instead of 1 is quite literally my point. You're claiming to disagree or find fault with my point, and yet you're not actually providing any evidence that calls it into question.

 

If sentient beings didn't choose how to go about designing things, then everything would be up to chance, and it would be as you say. If there's a 15% chance of your finding a blue rock when you pick up a random rock, then obviously the more rocks you pick up, the more likely you are to have a blue on in your possession. However, allow the rocks to decide what color they want to be, and there's nothing stopping them from all deciding to be some color other than blue. The accuracy of chance is mangled at that point.

 

What I'm saying to you is very, very simple: You think the PS:T characters lacked a certain variety. And yet, the developers specifically designed them the way they are. Therefore, no amount of iterations of that manufacturing process was ever going to produce a character (much less more than one) that wasn't going to bear that gap.

 

I don't know how else to say it... put all the ingredients you want into an oven, and you're never going to get ice cream out of it. If you were going to randomly use a random piece of equipment and random ingredients, then enough iterations could get you ice cream. But, once someone decides "we're using an oven," that oven's only going to produce a specific "theme," if you will, of products (i.e. baked goods).

 

The only factor that's going to affect whether or not the next iteration is going to produce some that isn't a baked good is the piece of equipment being used (which is decided on by a person and is not up to chance). Does quantity affect things, still? Yes. But it's dependent upon the equipment being used. Without even changing the numbers, using a piece of equipment that can heat AND cool could result in both baked goods AND ice cream, for example. So, you still have 8 products, but now their scope is extended.

 

Changing the equipment to something that can cool can result in ice cream. Changing the number of things you make in the oven is NEVER going to result in ice cream. Even though you're not making the exact same thing over and over in the oven. There's variety, but only within the scope of what an oven and given ingredients can produce. And, again, the person making the food decides upon that scope.

 

That's a rather binary logic you've got going on there, that while not exactly untrue doesn't seem particularly useful from a development point of view. I certain hope P:E wouldn't subscribe to the notion. Practically, would PS:T have failed any of the people who enjoyed it if it had twelve potential companions with the variation and depth of those from BG? I don't feel that it would have. Yet that might have meant that it didn't fail me and others here (particularly since my other gripes are mostly with its mechanics).

 

Again, I reiterate my point about you hedging your bets as a developer.

Firstly, is my argument inexactly untrue? :)

 

Secondly, I'd say that's a rather unfortunate view you have of any creative process, much less game development. If I'm going to make a painting (yay for more painting analogies!), is it ill-advised of me to pick a given theme for that painting? If I want to convey sadness/lonesomeness in my painting, so it uses a given color scheme, then someone comes along and says "Man, you need more variety in your colors. There really needs to be like... a whole rainbow of colors on there," then what's the better decision: Stick to my theme and accept the inherent restriction of factor values (in this case, color variance scope), or just shrug and put a big happy rainbow all across my "melancholy" painting?

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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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The fact that your analogy relies upon the initial decision to paint in 3 different colors instead of 1 is quite literally my point. You're claiming to disagree or find fault with my point, and yet you're not actually providing any evidence that calls it into question.

 

I don't know how else to say it... put all the ingredients you want into an oven, and you're never going to get ice cream out of it. If you were going to randomly use a random piece of equipment and random ingredients, then enough iterations could get you ice cream. But, once someone decides "we're using an oven," that oven's only going to produce a specific "theme," if you will, of products (i.e. baked goods).

 

I don't disagree with your point that more things does not inherently result in a wider variety of things. But I am pointing out that if you restrict your numbers then you inherently restrict your maximum spread.

 

Your argument in terms of PS:T (as opposed to pure statistics) is that they designed the game with the characters to be of a certain style, and more characters would not have neccessarily increased the variation. I am suggesting that if the character limit was placed first, then they restricted the level of variation that they could've acheived.

 

I'm also continuing my (and I shall have the good grace to call it this) assumption that having a player be able to make a party full - or in PS:T even half-full - of npcs that he doesn't actively dislike is a good thing.

 

 

Secondly, I'd say that's a rather unfortunate view you have of any creative process, much less game development. If I'm going to make a painting (yay for more painting analogies!), is it ill-advised of me to pick a given theme for that painting? If I want to convey sadness/lonesomeness in my painting, so it uses a given color scheme, then someone comes along and says "Man, you need more variety in your colors. There really needs to be like... a whole rainbow of colors on there," then what's the better decision: Stick to my theme and accept the inherent restriction of factor values (in this case, color variance scope), or just shrug and put a big happy rainbow all across my "melancholy" painting?

 

Are you painting for yourself to hang it on your wall, or because you've been paid four million dollars by a group of backers many of whom you can reasonably suspect will not want a melancholy painting? :p

 

I know it sounds like a very unfortunate view of the creative process but realistically when you develop a project such as this you are a commerical artist, and that comes with the unpleasant burden of having to please your customers.

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Are you painting for yourself to hang it on your wall, or because you've been paid four million dollars by a group of backers many of whom you can reasonably suspect will not want a melancholy painting? :p

 

I know it sounds like a very unfortunate view of the creative process but realistically when you develop a project such as this you are a commerical artist, and that comes with the unpleasant burden of having to please your customers.

 

 

And I'm sure if a consensus could be established among the fanbase in favor of more than 8 companions, the devs would strongly consider it at the very least.  But there's no way to establish that kind of consensus.  And I don't think that "hedging their bets" is the right approach for them to take--that way lies the modern hybrid RPG.  I think the right approach towards pleasing the fanbase, which is the one Obsidian have pretty clearly taken, is to make the game the way they want to, following guiding principles for which very real financial support was shown on the part of the fanbase during the Kickstarter.

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9 fleshed out, well written, interesting characters that develop and change based on actions in game is more than enough.  Quality over quantity, anyone with taste will tell you that.  More companions means skill and class overlap and more work.  Even the coolest most interesting character will be left in the gutter by 80% or more of players if they aren't the best at what they do.  It is hard not to get skill overlap when you are talking 9 different characters.... it is pretty much impossible at 12 or more.

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