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So we pretty much will(?)* get New Strech Goals (which means more wilderness areas and more companions). My thoughts are that I would very much LOVE a conditional companion.

What this means is basically that you have to fulfill some conditions to get the companion. For instance, in all Suikoden games there are quite a few characters you can not get if you don't fulfill some very specific conditions. One of my favorite characters is Pesmerga in Suikoden 1 & 2, a mysterious Dark Knight that you know very little about (which is the charm about it in my opinion), but you can only get him within a specific time-frame in the game (nothing like game time or anything like that, but between 2 different chapters).

If you get to the area where he is too late, he won't be there, and if you get to the area before the condition is met, he also won't be there.

A companion like this would be great to see in Eternity.

An example I've used before:

- You go to a town, there's a companion here, but you have to fulfill some conditions otherwise you won't get him.
- If you fail to get him or meet him at all, he'll later show up in the game as a villain or whatnot. This gives more replayability as well as some psuedo-reactivity in the game.

I've got another example:
- Od Nua, if you can get to a certain dungeon level between Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 (conceptual/examples), you could find an extra companion. Very difficult to get to that level at that point or something.
- If you get there on Chapter 5, you might find a skeleton or something where the companion had been, perhaps even a note hinting something that if the Player would've gotten there sooner they might have found something else.
- Let's say there's a big event in the game, or something going on, the note you find if you go to this location later could hint and refer to that somehow, making the Player realize "Huh, that's what I did a couple of hours ago hmm... so what would happen if I go here before that?" or something. The note should not be super obvious in a "If only someone had been here between Chapter 3 and 4, then maybe I'd survive" but more in the way of "The battle began at [Location] and the only thing I could think of was to run as far away as possible".

* Not at all certain 100% by the way. It depends on funding & economy I suppose. This is an IF post/thread. So take that "will" with a big chunk of dry salty salt.

Thoughts? Got any more ideas for conditions?

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Hmm... I'd be OK with that I guess, but it seems like it would go against the devs' philosophy of not punishing players for their play style (it also would encourage metagaming). In your example, the player is punished for not aggressively attacking the optional mega dungeon. If you had worked harder to get to this arbitrary level of the dungeon early, you save someone you had no idea was even down there. If not, the game rubs your failure to achieve something you didn't even know you were supposed to do in your face. As such, I wouldn't expect to see something like that in the game.

 

That's total speculation on my part though. 

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Hmm... I'd be OK with that I guess, but it seems like it would go against the devs' philosophy of not punishing players for their play style (it also would encourage metagaming). In your example, the player is punished for not aggressively attacking the optional mega dungeon. If you had worked harder to get to this arbitrary level of the dungeon early, you save someone you had no idea was even down there. If not, the game rubs your failure to achieve something you didn't even know you were supposed to do in your face. As such, I wouldn't expect to see something like that in the game.

 

That's total speculation on my part though. 

That's the thing (I underlined), you wouldn't be "supposed to" do it.

 

A Conditional Companion is the same thing as an "Optional Companion", just like all the other companions is "Optional", but with some Conditions to them. You aren't "supposed to" get all the Companions in the game, not even in Baldur's Gate are you "supposed to" do it. That's entirely up to you who you want.

 

The wonderful thing, in my opinion, with Conditional Companions are that they are usually more significant due to their conditions.

 

For instance, in Suikoden, many of the companions or party members you recruit you get fairly easy, but then there are those who you have to get by fulfilling some requirements, and then they appear. They are more memorable and often times the best characters in the game. They are like "Secrets" and often loaded with some mysterious and/or awesome plot.

 

EDIT: I also want to emphasize that it is not "punishing" in any way at all. It is just a design technique for adding "secrets content" or "hidden content". Not "easter eggs" (which I think are different), but plain good ol' secrets.

Edited by Osvir
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- If you get there on Chapter 5, you might find a skeleton or something where the companion had been, perhaps even a note hinting something that if the Player would've gotten there sooner they might have found something else.

 

I understood that the companion was optional (as far as I know all the companions are optional, actually), but my point was that people tend to feel like they're being punished when the game tells them "If you'd done something different a long time ago, you would have got something here" without ever giving them fair warning before hand.

 

Like I said, I'm OK with it, but in general, devs like to avoid blocking off significant content due to choices players didn't realize they were making.

 

Then again, AP had a lot of examples of players getting completely different options on how to resolve situations based on their past decisions, so who knows; maybe Obsidian would be up for it afterall.

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I understood that the companion was optional (as far as I know all the companions are optional, actually), but my point was that people tend to feel like they're being punished when the game tells them "If you'd done something different a long time ago, you would have got something here" without ever giving them fair warning before hand.

But isn't this something we encounter in every game? Not necessarily what I am suggesting, but things we miss and things we might oversee or walk right past. Items, characters, side-quests or whatever. Not everyone plays a game 100% and looks underneath every stone.

 

Should there be signs telling us what's "right" and what's "left" so we don't take the wrong path that we absolutely don't want to go?

 

But your assessment is right, the idea is pointing towards "If you'd done something different a long time ago, you would have gotten something here". Which is exactly the point... "what" exactly was there previously? Wouldn't you be curious?

 

I do get your point, and one idea to solve that could be to see this "secret character" or whatnot run away during the "big battle" or whatever it is that makes the character run away. Preferably, perhaps, into Od Nua. This gives the Player (if they notice him/her running away) an incentive to actually follow the character, but then if you would choose not to follow then it's all on you when you do get there later.

 

Then it's "If you had followed this character then you'd found something here". In a way it's the same thing as "If you had done something different..." but it's not the developer's fault, it's the Players fault.

Edited by Osvir
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I'm always up for more companions being added to the game so long as they're worthwhile. I'm also not opposed to implementing in the way you suggest in the slightest.

However I get the feeling that the companions in this game are going to have a lot of depth. They're going to take a lot of man hours and money to create which generally means they're not the sort of thing you just want to have players be able to miss out on because of a few wrong choices. A bit of gear or a slightly differing outcome? Sure those things aren't all that time/cost intensive so we can have multiple outcomes to situations. Missing a fully fleshed out NPC is a big chunk of development time that players will be missing out on.

Personally I don't mind it because I'm a completionist but I do understand the desire to not allocate a fair amount of time and money to something that maybe only 60% of players might find.

K is for Kid, a guy or gal just like you. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up, since there's nothin' a kid can't do.

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Hm, a very good point Pshaw.

Bring out the Modified Hammer! *the ground cracks, light and sparkles appear everywhere, an explosive force is sent out and out comes two small little goblins dragging a large hammer out, with thick metal plats having been screwed into it with big nuts & bolts* Thank you.... now... begone *as the words have been spoken, the little goblins disappear in a puff of smoke, and so does the crack in the ground*

Will it be possibile to mod Companions into the game you think? :D  :bat:

Edited by Osvir
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"Mod companions into the game." What, with custom dialogue and quests and such? Who knows, maybe ... I guess.

 

We already know that you'll be able to recruit characters without dialogue from the "Adventurer's Guild" (or whatever its name is). Isn't that enough?

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"Mod companions into the game." What, with custom dialogue and quests and such? Who knows, maybe ... I guess.

 

We already know that you'll be able to recruit characters without dialogue from the "Adventurer's Guild" (or whatever its name is). Isn't that enough?

I guess it depends on what you want companion characters for. I'll probably never take an adventure's guild companion unless I completely hate the pre-made characters (unlikely) because the reason I enjoy having a companion at all isn't so much the niche they fill gameplay wise but because of their dialogue and interactions with the world and with my PC. I've never really had a modded in companion in any RPG in the past that I've enjoyed over the ones that available but I assume that there are people out there less picky than me that still want the dialogue, backstories, and recations from fully designed NPCs and don't mind them being added in after the fact. The number of companion mods I've seen around for skyrim would certainly speak to that.

 

As for it being possible... I want to say yes? I admit I haven't followed the modding news very closely but I feel like the answer for modding PoE was something along the lines of, 'it can be done but it won't be easy.'

K is for Kid, a guy or gal just like you. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up, since there's nothin' a kid can't do.

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@nikolokolus: Yes, characters with dialogue and story and goals etc. etc.

Recruiting characters from the Adventurer's Hall is going to be fun on a playthrough or two (though I'm going to opt out of recruiting altogether when I play on Hardcore just because self-imposed difficulty, so if I lose... let's say Edair... to permadeath, I wouldn't be able to replace him whatsoever).

@Pshaw: It's in the PCWorld interview, environments are kind of "It's difficult, even for us" but rules, items, questlines (according to Adam in the interview) should be easier(?). We'll see ^^

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Also, maybe something like Loghain from Dragon Age? Towards the end of the game, you're given the option to recruit him, but at the cost of a certain one of your existing companions getting mad and leaving. Because of this, most people don't end up getting him at all. A major choice like that would be great!

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I like the idea to have the gameworld influenced by the relative time flow and the order you do quests, but dislike to have something as major as companions availability depend on something other than clear choice. Because, frankly, it would feel really annoying, basically punishing players for not rushing or using a walkthrough.

// believing is bleeding

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Also, maybe something like Loghain from Dragon Age? Towards the end of the game, you're given the option to recruit him, but at the cost of a certain one of your existing companions getting mad and leaving. Because of this, most people don't end up getting him at all. A major choice like that would be great!

Weeeeell, the sad part about Loghain (which I never recruited on my two complete playthroughs), is that he's one of those "Last moment"-companions. I can't say much more than that as I've never experienced playing with him but that's one of the reasons why I never got him... you get him "too late", but it's also depending on how the Player wants to experience their story.

 

I dunno if this is canon or mod but there's a similar thing with Sarevok in Baldur's Gate... people talking about how they recruited him. Is this a mod or canon? Regardless, "Last moment"-companions is something I hope Obsidian avoids.

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- If you get there on Chapter 5, you might find a skeleton or something where the companion had been, perhaps even a note hinting something that if the Player would've gotten there sooner they might have found something else.

 

I understood that the companion was optional (as far as I know all the companions are optional, actually), but my point was that people tend to feel like they're being punished when the game tells them "If you'd done something different a long time ago, you would have got something here" without ever giving them fair warning before hand.

 

Like I said, I'm OK with it, but in general, devs like to avoid blocking off significant content due to choices players didn't realize they were making.

 

Then again, AP had a lot of examples of players getting completely different options on how to resolve situations based on their past decisions, so who knows; maybe Obsidian would be up for it afterall.

 

 

 

What if it was like this:

  1. You talk to the halfling Sneaky McSneak in some random tavern near the ruins of Od Nua
  2. she tells you of the rumors surrounding the ruins -- that maybe there are even levels far below the 2-3 that are "known", and that she's gonna find a way in. (blah blah, I'm headed out in a tenday, once my new armor is completed)
  3. You find her (or her corpse) later on, in level 4 or 5 or something. Because you rescued her from starving (or whatever), you're able to get her as a new party member. (You have a tenday or two to rescue her after she leaves town)
Edited by neo6874
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I think if a person screws up and is unable to get them as an ally, they should still be in the game in a way that's potentially equally as satisfying as having them as a party member - so much so, that if you're metagaming, there's a legitimate dilemma whether one should try and get them or not, I think. How would you do this? I have no idea. A problem for better minds than me.

Edited by Bartimaeus

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I could go for companions volunteering to or leaving the party based on some specific conditions,

but I'd rather not in easter egg style, but something you can reasonably see happening beforehand.

 

Say the church wants you to burn and slaughter your way through a village that's reportedly fallen to heresy.

One of your companions could say in no uncertain terms she won't be a part of that and will leave the group if you comply,

but if you do a paladin much zeal would offer to join up with you instead. One or the another.

 

But something like.. if you go to the field with a carrot in your hand, you can lure in the wererabbit.

And that's the first time you go to the field only, and you have absolutely no reason whatsoever to go about holding a carrot.

... then it's more like a wasted effort. The best companion nobody got before reading a walkthrough.

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Jarmo's post is right there^ cus this quote is taken out of context


 

The best companion nobody got before reading a walkthrough.

But alas me lad, someone had to write the walkthrough first ;)

And for a community like the Kickstarter community, we're probably going to be the first to discover these things. I mentioned this before with the Pendant from Dark Souls. There's excitement and stories to be shared of findings and whatnot, the first who enters the world of Eternity will be Explorers and Discoverers, Colonizers (Modders) and Adventurers of various forms. Cartographs etc. etc. etc.

In Suikoden for instance, there were many characters I used a walkthrough for (Cus I wanted all of the 108 of them, gotta catch em all ya know), but there were also characters that I stumbled across that were really hard to get according to walkthroughs, but I found some of them without using it. There's a random element in it, you might think you're playing the game just as you want to, but really, you're doing something secret-y designed for the game.

Then, when someone shouts "THIS CHARACTER IS REALLY HARD TO GET!!" you'll answer casually "Oh, you mean this one? I thought it was canon!! Wooo! Propropro!" or whatnot :p

TL;DR: I kinda went out of my way here with the post, the point is written in one sentence right underneath the quote.

EDIT: See, this thread posted here on the Obsidian Forums, Pillars of Eternity General Discussion, is exactly the whole thing I'm talking about with (which I now shall call) "The Pendant Complex". "Someone finds it first". So this whole "metagaming" dealio~ whatever, there's some excitement in the hunt too ;)

Edited by Osvir
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Also, maybe something like Loghain from Dragon Age? Towards the end of the game, you're given the option to recruit him, but at the cost of a certain one of your existing companions getting mad and leaving. Because of this, most people don't end up getting him at all. A major choice like that would be great!

 

Weeeeell, the sad part about Loghain (which I never recruited on my two complete playthroughs), is that he's one of those "Last moment"-companions. I can't say much more than that as I've never experienced playing with him but that's one of the reasons why I never got him... you get him "too late", but it's also depending on how the Player wants to experience their story.

I dunno if this is canon or mod but there's a similar thing with Sarevok in Baldur's Gate... people talking about how they recruited him. Is this a mod or canon? Regardless, "Last moment"-companions is something I hope Obsidian avoids.

I actually pick him up most of the time- unless I'm playing a City Elf (in which case the incident right before the Landsmeet is a dealbreaker), he comes across as a well intentioned extremist who does everything to protect Ferelden from Orleis thanks to his paranoia. Despite coming in late, he has some great dialogue and really won me over after my first time using him. Alistair, on the other hand, seemed mostly petty in the end- while I do agree with him being upset, you really do need a great general like Loghain, so there's no reason not to put off his punishment until after the Blight (especially considering the twist, which Riordan really should have mentioned sooner).

 

But yeah, would have loved to get him sooner!

 

As for Sarevok, he actually isn't hidden at all- you get him right at the start of Throne of Bhaal and it can't be avoided short of flat out telling him to go away after he offers to join. You get him for the full expansion- less time than anyone else, but he has plenty of impact on the story, including a full redemption track to make him Lawful Good.

 

Edit: Or was it Chaotic Good? Been a long time since I used him, not sure. It was the same law/chaos value as his starting alignment though.

Edited by Eldryth
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If PE's gonna have conditional companions, I'd prefer they'd be conditional in terms of faction relations or other important choices made, rather than arbitrary time requirments.  The latter feels too artificial and forced to me, though I know that it portrays the fickle conditions of meeting others in real life.  "Oh, sorry.  You elected to complete a quest for villager A before speaking with the baron.  Looks like you don't get this companion," feels to me like I'm getting the finger.

 

If however a pair or more companions are exclusive to one another, such that I can only obtain certain ones depending on my reputation and faction relationships, or as "reward" for major choices, that's fine.  This provides impetus for replaying a new character, as if I aligned with the Church to get Clair the first run, I can join a bandit camp to get Rodriguez the second.

Edited by Pipyui
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Companions usually come with extra baggage. Now we have to jump through additional hoops in order to acquire that baggage? Who would bother unless we know in advance that the companion is worth the effort?

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

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If PE's gonna have conditional companions, I'd prefer they'd be conditional in terms of faction relations or other important choices made, rather than arbitrary time requirments.  The latter feels too artificial and forced to me, though I know that it portrays the fickle conditions of meeting others in real life.  "Oh, sorry.  You elected to complete a quest for villager A before speaking with the baron.  Looks like you don't get this companion," feels to me like I'm getting the finger.

 

I concur completely. I like the notion of a companion being "unlockable" due to faction participation or other non-time sensative criteria. Fall-from-Grace, Ignus, and Nordom were good examples of how this can be done. Depending on the player's involvment, or even curiousity for that matter, they may never even discover that these NPCs may join the party. You have the opportunity to discover each of these characters within the world, but making them available has to do with elements other than unknowable and arbitrary timers.

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