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Which games have the best companions. What makes them good?

Best Companions in what games?  

158 members have voted

  1. 1. Select games (or series) with GOOD companions (multiple choice)

  2. 2. The game (or series) with the BEST companions. Just the very best.

    • Ultima
    • Baldurs Gate
    • Fallout
    • Planescape Torment
    • Knights of the Old Republic
    • Jade Empire
      0
    • Dragon Age
    • Mass Effect
    • Neverwinter Nights
    • Final Fantasy


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So, because x Mio. people bought ME1 and roughly the same x Mio. people then bought the followups ME2 and ME3 you count them as 3*x Mio. people? If I understand you correctly, it is neither subjective or objective, it is simply wrong.

 

You just made my point, if the same people didn't buy the 2 sequels, then that means that even more people played the characters.

 

No, but a person can bring forth objective and subjective arguments on a matter, even in the same sentence. And since objectivity is really really hard to achieve on most subjects (maybe even all subjects expect mathematics and physics) a person is almost always subjective on a matter, but often has objective facts included.

 

And good on you, for cherry pocking my statement in your quote.

Edited by Sarex

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So, because x Mio. people bought ME1 and roughly the same x Mio. people then bought the followups ME2 and ME3 you count them as 3*x Mio. people? If I understand you correctly, it is neither subjective or objective, it is simply wrong.

 

You just made my point, if the same people didn't buy the 2 sequels, then that means that even more people played the characters.

 

?? So you didn't count them as 3*x Mio.? Or did you? Maybe you could tell us the numbers of ME1,2 and 3 sales and what you surmise as the total number of ME players (naturally that will be an estimate).

 

 

No, but a person can bring forth objective and subjective arguments on a matter, ...

 

And good on you, for cherry pocking my statement in your quote.

 

Because the rest of your statement was correct. Quoting is a service to allow everyone to know what someone is refering to or commenting on, a reminder. It should be short and to the point, people don't want to reread long lines of argument that they already have read. If my quote was too short for your taste, sorry, I'll try to quote you better next time. That is very subjective by the way, I like short quotes but yes, that can be abused.

Edited by jethro

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?? So you didn't count them as 3*x Mio.? Or did you? Maybe you could tell us the numbers of ME1,2 and 3 sales and what you surmise as the total number of ME players (naturally that will be an estimate).

 

http://www.vgchartz.com/article/250066/mass-effect-a-sales-history/ for the sales numbers to the ME series. Well the total players for any game can't be gotten by it's sales history, because more people pirate it then buy it, but it's a good example of how popular the game is. There are also people who played the first part but didn't play the sequels, so those numbers grow even more.

 

This is going off topic again.

Edited by Sarex

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Ok, to finish that topic, according to vgchartz ME1 had 3.3 Mio sales on all platforms until today, ME2 had 4.5 and ME3 had 4.8 Mio. sales. Fallout New Vegas had 7 Mio. sales.

Edited by jethro
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So now we are going with the argumentum ad populum with determining if something is good or not? That's a fallacious argument and even if it wasn't, the number of sold copies of ME tells us nothing of the quality of its companions. It just tells us that it has sold however much copies.

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I had to pick Neverwinter, because of the fantastic companions in NWN2 MotB, that alone warrants its # 1 spot, and BG and Torment came a close second. It's very hard to rank great games like these. :)


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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So now we are going with the argumentum ad populum with determining if something is good or not?

Yes, and since Call of Duty has companions talking to you, even familiars like dogs, and you can switch weapons, it has a story and you play a role, I would argue that CoD is partially an RPG and obviously has the best companions. The sales figures don't lie. ;-)

 

Seriously, I believe Sarex posted his "objective" measures as an ironic reply to Lephys lecturing on objectivity. The rest was idle arguing.

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From the offered games i would have to choose BG as the best.. but i really liked the companions/characters of Jagged Alliance, if you think how many there were and that it´s more strategy than roleplay, it had many great characters.

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Explanation when prompted is lecturing now, is it? I'll keep that in mind, thanks.


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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It's pretty much impossible to objectively judge art since the very idea of "good" or "bad" art is subjective.

 

You could objectively say that a piece of art has more of something like fidelity, depth, or complexity or that it took more time/effort to create or has a bigger audience or a higher price but then you cannot objectively define those qualities as "good" or "bad." Simple easily created art can be viewed as good, as can obscure art. Complex art that took massive amount of effort to create can be viewed bad, so can popular art that make a ton of money. For example, a lot more people have probably seen Transformers than Citizen Kane, and Transformers also cost a lot more to make than Citizen Kane and probably took a lot more effort to make, but does that mean Transformers is a better movie?

 

You can make subjective judgments using objective information. For example, the extended cut of a film is objectively longer than the theatrical release. However, whether or not those extra scenes make the movie better or worse is a subjective judgment.

 

As for Mass Effect's companions, although I like most of them, they have some glaring problems. There is a focus on having them fill a certain role rather than be developed as characters on their own. Jack is a good example, they force her into the role of a romance option at the expense of the character where a huge chunk of her development is missed if you don't romance her. Also, the whole "having sex with a rape victim" thing isn't dealt with nearly enough. The characters have their motivations/personalities weakened in service of the player. It's especially glaring in the way the character conflicts in ME2 are resolved, particularly the conflict between Jack and Miranda. It's rather ridiculous that a short conversation could fix that, even temporarily. And of course, there's the lack of subtlety and nuance.

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Sorry Lephys, you are one of the best minds here in the forum, wonderful ideas and insights, but on a few occasions you have gone overboard and overanalyzed things (IMHO). Now we all have our faults and I would gladly trade yours for mine ;-)

Edited by jethro

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I'll not deny that I overanalyze things. I tend to joke that I'm a defective android, :). I appreciate the compliments, I really do. I know I can sometimes go a bit farther than necessary with a particular point before catching myself (and realizing the "discussion" has gone past reasonable clarification and into mere personal debate), but I honestly try my best, and I never have any intention of lecturing anyone. I just try to provide useful contribution to the discussion, and if people don't understand my point, the it isn't useful at all.

 

Annnnnnywho... I'm now utilizing my Overexplanation feat. :). Sorry about that.


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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None of them becouse i think the best characters were made in literature (books etc for those who don't know)

 

Not games...

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None of them becouse i think the best characters were made in literature (books etc for those who don't know)

 

Not games...

Yes but that's is kind of irrelevant, isn't it?

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None of them becouse i think the best characters were made in literature (books etc for those who don't know)

 

Not games...

 

Don't know what to even say to that... Where you really itching to write that one down?

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Malekith

 

So if characters are better in literature then why inspireing PE form other game characters. You see i think that first games was better becouse the inspiration came from books not games.

 

And for exapme if some one create a char by book inspiration of some char, then somebody make inspiration from you char, and if we repeat if several times we have a shallowest inspiration from a char that was besiacly created in book ...

 

But if i must say waht type of chars i liked in games i say it simple ...

 

Every game has some chars that are good and some that are bad even in the most shallowest of Obsidian creations NwN2 OC there was Ammon Jerro who was good, even in DAO - Morrigan even in Mass Effect - Wrex ...

 

Even in Skyrim Ulfric had his moments ...

 

But makeing a decision with game had "THE BEST" chars is in my opinion pointless becouse concentrating on "one" best game is hideing other possible ways to create a good chars ...

 

btw, it whoud be hilarios to se confrontation of Ammon Jerro inspired char, and Septhiroth ... west vs. east battle of titants

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Please give input even if your favorite didn't make my horribly biased cut.

My favorite would be Temple of Elemental Evil.  I wish Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines had companions, sad that it didn't, it would have been nice to run a coeterie.  I also like Dragon Age Origins and Dragon Age 2 for their companions as "Good".  I think it demands inaccuracy to heap Final Fantasy into one grouping although I understand the need due to limited selection options for makers of polls.  I cannot imagine the early Ultimas as having active party commentary and their personality was suggested through very brief dialogue when met and the rest was largely imagined by the player.

 

Maybe someday there will be a paper-pen-dice table top role-playing game that isn't stuck in the free-form/weakly considered rule structure dichotomy.  If we see something like that inclusive of a setting in dark urban fantasy that isn't World of Darkness and isn't low-brow, we might hope for a computer game based on it.  I'd love to see that in Kickstarter.  Something Sims 4 mixed with Dragon Age mixed with Call of Cthulhu.


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My favorite would be Temple of Elemental Evil.  

 

 

The ones you made yourself?

Or the few available hirelings that'd take a huge cut of the loot and had almost zero dialogue.

Elmo, because of his drunken battle cry?

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Sorry Lephys, you are one of the best minds here in the forum, wonderful ideas and insights, but on a few occasions you have gone overboard and overanalyzed things (IMHO). Now we all have our faults and I would gladly trade yours for mine ;-)

I think it's a case of "great mind, poor communicator"

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 think it's a case of "great mind, poor communicator"

I can only vouch for the part after the comma. I try really hard, though. :)


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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Difficult poll.

 

Some of the games I haven't played. (Jade Empire and Final Fantasy). Some of them It's a long time ago I played. (Ultima and PS:T)

 

Baldur's Gate 2 and Dragon Age: Origins are the ones that spring to mind. Now, I believe most of the Fallout games are better than Dragon Age, and also Planescape: Torment. But Dragon Age had Morrigan, Zevran and Shale. BG2 had Viconia and Jaheira.

 

That was what made Bioware so great, before EA took over. Their plots were not that original, and DA:O had far to many trash-fights. But the characters were outstanding. I only hope PE will have companions of the same quality.

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I voted, but I'm still second-guessing myself. Planescape: Torment, the Mass Effect series, The Sith Lords, both Dragon Age, Mask of the Betrayer, and Shadows of Amn all had some of my favorites, but with the exception of Torment (hence the vote), some I was not too fond of either. Warning: incoming pretentious, badly-written rant.

 

A lot of buzzwords get bandied about when talking about character writing, like 'depth,' 'realism,'  and 'reactivity,' without much explanation. 'Depth,' I think, should go without saying, but can more appropriately be described as 'pacing.' If I'm to care about a character in a work of fiction, I need to know enough to be interested in knowing more, over the course of the game entirely, without getting bogged down or over-saturated with information.

 

'Realism,' I think, usually means 'believability.' Characters don't need to be realistic, per sey (For example, I've never met anybody like Morte or Fall-From-Grace), but they need to 'feel' real and be plausible for the world they exist in. More than anything else, I think this depends on being (deep breath) what most people define as well-written. Flawed, multifaceted, motivated, not entirely self-aware... yup.  More buzzwords, and entirely subjective.

 

And 'reactive.' This means reacting to the world, and (often in service to the player's ego) to the player. Having dialogue, not monologue, and being a truly dynamic character, evolving (dare I say it) realistically over the course of the game. In my opinion, this does not mean necessarily evolving differently on different playthroughs, as this is not always an efficient use of resources, but non-static characterization is a must.

 

Charisma, personality, and sex appeal can go a long way towards making a character interesting and memorable, but again, these aren't a must.

 

To me, it might be most important that characters reflect the theme of their work. For example, in Mass Effect, 'the Squad's' diversity was it's strength - each character brought one of their race's unique perspectives. In Dragon Age II, Anders and Merril represented how terrifying mages can be - Merril was the cause of the Templar oppression, but Anders was the result. And in Planescape: Torment, each character was the product of their unique brand of torture, often inflicted by the Nameless One himself. Misery loves company.

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great post, i agree with everything you write there

a very nice breakdown of whats important for rememberable characters

Edited by lolaldanee

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There's a few specific things you look for in a good NPC, and these are all found in the games topping the list (especially BG and Planescape: Torment)

 

+Humour

Almost everyone enjoys a good laugh, and a character who can bring some levity and comic relief to what is probably a serious storyline makes for a nice addition.  It helps cut down on the severity of everything, and gives you time to appreciate to game world as more than just a list of things to be destroyed.   Characters that try too hard to be funny rarely are, but characters with amusing personalities are endlessly entertaining.  Note: not every character needs to be humorous, but it is important to have some humorous characters.  (obvious example of examples: Minsc and Boo)

 

+Depth

The reason Jade Empire is faring so poorly in this vote is because none of the characters had much depth.  They were all almost one dimensional cardboard props, and didn't have a whole lot of layers to dig through in the dialogues, making them kind of stale.  Good characters should have more than meets the eye at first.  Surprising revelations, and hidden secrets, and things we might not have suspected about them all make them interesting.  Also, a solid character arc - just like in a good movie or book, by the end of the story the character should be fundamentally changed by the events of the story. (great example: Wrex from Mass Effect 1)

 

+Involvement

One of the reasons nobody is going to list Quayle or Skye (from Baldur's Gate 1) as a great NPC is because they had little to no involvement in the story.  By the time the player could finally acquire them, the game was 80% over and they had little to do with what was going on.  Project Eternity already mentioned this, and they seem to be on top of it, but it's also important that characters have some place in the story.  It's hard to get invested in a character if he joins the quest to save the world because I picked him some flowers and he was bored.  But if the villain murdered his family and he's in it for personal reasons, then damn right he gets to come along for the ride to avenge his fallen loved ones.  (great recent examples: Morrigan and Allistair from Dragon Age)

 

There's other things, I'm sure that contribute to the success of an NPC being a positive addition to the game, but these three things seem to be what stands out for me.  Throw in the talents of a strong voice actor/actress to really bring the persona to life, and I'd say those are the ingredients for NPCs that we will like and remember and care about.

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