Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Do we want to just say "Hey, Mr. Holy Priest! I know you're all Holy and Priestish, but, I really think you should punt babies! 8D!", and have him respond, "Hmm... SOUNDS GOOD TO ME, 8D!"? Of course not. Doesn't mean we should have companions who are immune to anything but positive/benevolent encouragement.

I was just continuing on this thread-of-thought.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps I'm alone here but I actually miss the days of BG1 companions telling you to **** off if they didn't agree with your goals, that and certain combinations of characters would ultimately result in violence within the party, to be fair though the BG1 companions didn't have all that much writing and there was a lot of em.

 

Given the smaller number of more detailed NPCs we probably aren't going to see infighting but that doesn't mean they should follow your every whim and command, believable/likable characters are not yes men.

 

in KOTOR the whole light/dark side thing fits in with the universe, that and the Bastilla scenes were incredibly well written, even when you first meet her she has arrogant traits that could be paralleled to Anikin Skywalker.

 

Not that I'm against some level of influence but make it realistic, even throw in a few twists, i.e. corrupt a good character and they become bitter and embroiled with self hatred, perhaps eventually committing suicide or attacking your party, try and save the soul of an evil guy only to discover he has been currying favor with you in order to corrupt the PC etc..

 

I also like Lephys suggestions regarding deception and devious methods to get good npcs to do evil things and vise versa, this could really add a whole new level to an evil playthrough, although i would like to see ramifications if you get caught out.

Edited by Jobby
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm 100 % in favor of corruption / redemption arcs (more generally, "world-view changes") for some and only when appropriate companions and other NPCs, as that is one of the most effective ways of supporting "good" / "evil" playthroughs.

 

However...

 

As has been pointed out, there is likely to be a realism problem due to the (perceived from the players perspective) short timespan of the game, which is hard for the developers to address.  And there are several other problems as well:

 

* If the companion / NPCs world-view only changes at the very end of the game it largely defeats the purpose as far as I'm concerned.  There are good reasons to do it this way -- having a major world-view change 1/3rd of the way through the game means that the developers have to develop (in effect) an extra 2/3rds of an NPC (at least, as far as writing is concerned -- and that's the bulk of the expense for a companion or NPC)..  And the earlier such a transition occurs, the less realistic that the transition feels to the player, which is already a problem.

* It is very, very difficult to inflect negative consequences on the player (especially the loss of a companion, but also covers loss of quest opportunities, stat points, and so forth) due to pursuing an arc of this sort.  That's because you are, in effect, providing a mechanical punishment or reward for what really should be driven exclusively by roleplaying considerations.  This makes balancing these arcs very problematic.

 

In short, maybe the best solution is to simply let the player / protagonist "trick' companions or NPCs into performing actions that conflict with their world-view /and punish the player if the deception is ever revealed/.  This allows players the same roleplaying opportunities as a redemption / corruption arc provides, but eliminates the need to actually change the dialog of the companion or NPC.  As far as I know, nothing along these lines has been tried in the past, but it certainly sounds intriguing....  :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps I'm alone here but I actually miss the days of BG1 companions telling you to **** off if they didn't agree with your goals, that and certain combinations of characters would ultimately result in violence within the party, to be fair though the BG1 companions didn't have all that much writing and there was a lot of em.

If companion characters don't like it, they can leave the party. I won't tolerate party bickering, but I do tolerate discussion. We're a team and we should act like one, that means that when the going gets tough, my party better falls in line.

 

IE: If Jaheira has one more negative comment towards Aerie, she can F*** off.

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

^ I definitely think they should react dramatically when applicable. Either extreme is terrible. A goody-two-shoes' willing acceptance of your puppy-kicking ways is equally as terrible as a puppy-kicker leaving your party just because you don't decide to kick puppies everywhere you go.

 

When everyone becomes a spoiled child who can't deal with the fact that other people get to make their own decisions and be individuals, you know it's gone too far. :)

 

That's one of my only/biggest complaints about the Walking Dead game/episodes. Several of the decisions that the game regards as uber-significant are basically just expressions of opinion rather than actions. Everyone keeps getting into ridiculously huge squabbles, and essentially flip a big coin, and say "I think it's going to be heads, but HE thinks it's going to be tails! What do YOU think, player?!", and you arbitrarily have to side with one, and the other one hates you. OR, you can say something like "Umm. It could really be either, and guessing's not going to help." Then, they BOTH hate you.

 

It's a little silly, to be honest. I mean, I get that there's a lot of psychological stuff going on that they're dealing with in that whole post-apocalypse setting, but, still.

 

Anywho, I certainly don't want a Rogue, for example, who's going to go "We should rob some people at random!", and me be like "Erm, there are guards everywhere, and that's probably not a good idea at ALL right now. Maybe when we get to another city...", and have that Rogue just go "OMG! I HATE YOU AND I'M LEAVING THE GROUP, SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU WON'T ALWAYS DO WHAT I JUST HAPPEN TO WANT TO DO!"

 

It'd be one thing if you just actively fought the Rogue every time he/she stole or even questionably-acquired something. I could understand that getting really grating on their nerves. But, it gets really silly when it's a simple matter of "you can either be just like me and we'll be best friends, or you can be different and I'll want to see you dead."

Edited by Lephys
  • Like 2

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha I kinda liked the bickering, as much as we are a team it doesn't mean we should always get along, besides I loved the fact that we got to see the bitchy side of Jaheria through those dialogues, Korgain and Aerie had some interesting/amusing chat too which allowed you actually see a bit of a bite from her.

 

Sticking with the topic of this thread though it would be great too see a NPC try to corrupt another one, with the PC being given the opportunity to interject or agree etc..

 

On a slight tangent I hope there are leadership/influence skills that affect the degree to which you can sway party members views or even just get them to accept each other and/or the path you take through the game, perhaps they could parallel lying/deceit/devious skills that would allow you to achieve similar things in a darker fashion. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Slightly tangential, but... I seem to recall from one of my BG2 playthroughs that that one bard (blade?) was totes trying to get into Aerie's panties after I told her I wasn't buying whatever it was she was selling. (IIRC he eventually did, too.) The execution was embarrassingly bad (as all of the PC/NPC interaction in that game) but it was a good idea.

  • Like 1

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

Link to post
Share on other sites

PoE's companions are going to have similar styles of transformation as F:NV's companions.  When I designed the roster of F:NV's companions, each character had a central conflict that was defined for them.  These transformations were not dramatic, but represented shifts in the characters' attitudes and goals.  For Boone, it was dealing with his wife's death and Bitter Springs.  There's no point at which Eric had Boone say, "You know what?  I actually think the Legion is super cool now."  For Raul, it was dealing with his past as a gunslinger, his failure to protect Rafaela and Claudia, and his concerns about being too old to be playing cowboy.  Raul is fairly apolitical, and Travis' writing reflects that.

 

Like F:NV's companions, PoE's companions are all adults who have enough life experience under their belts that they aren't going to radically change their interests and concerns within their span of time with the PC.  That said, the PC can significantly shape how the companions work through their conflicts, just as they did with all of the companions in F:NV.

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Josh, a bit out of the scope of this thread, but how do you avoid the problem of having a few companions appearing way into the game, a problem for CRPGs since BG1? I mean, issues like corruption and pc relations certainly take a toll if you only been acquainted for like two days or two levels if being meta-gamey.

  • Like 1

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

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Hey, Oghren, sorry about the wife. Anyway, I've been hauling, like, two kegs of beer, a bottle of wine, and a glass of whisky around for the last 30 hours. We best friends now? Cool."

 

Anyway, I think they've said that we'll find all of the companions within the first half of the game, no?

  • Like 1
jcod0.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

You're not. I think we're going to be disappointed though; one of MCA's companion-writing pillars is that they have to stroke the player's ego.

 

I think you may have misunderstood what he meant when he said that.

 

"Stroking ego" means the character is designed around reacting to things that the player does. It doesn't necessarily connote wish fulfillment heroics.

Edited by Infinitron
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Slightly tangential, but... I seem to recall from one of my BG2 playthroughs that that one bard (blade?) was totes trying to get into Aerie's panties after I told her I wasn't buying whatever it was she was selling. (IIRC he eventually did, too.) The execution was embarrassingly bad (as all of the PC/NPC interaction in that game) but it was a good idea.

Even more tangential, BG2 would have been vastly improved with a rewritten Irenicus and more choices in faction allegiance besides "evil thieves" and "eviler vampire thieves".

  • Like 3

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlshot

"I'm fine with humanity being wiped out" - majestic

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

You're not. I think we're going to be disappointed though; one of MCA's companion-writing pillars is that they have to stroke the player's ego.

 

I think you may have misunderstood what he meant when he said that.

 

"Stroking ego" means the character is designed around reacting to things that the player does. It doesn't necessarily connote wish fulfillment heroics.

 

 

I hope so. I wasn't thinking of exactly wish-fulfilment heroics, though. I think one recurring theme in MCA's characters is that for them, you are, always were, or become, the center of their universe in some way. All of the PS:T companions (except Nordom, perhaps?) are like this. It's true for Kreia, and becomes or can become true (depending on your actions) for all or most the other KOTOR II party members. Except maybe that floating torture droid from Nar Shaddaa.

 

While these characters aren't about wish fulfilment, they most definitely are about ego-stroking in more or less obvious ways. I would like characters with a bit more independence about them. I liked Boone, Arcady, and Veronica more than Cass from FO:NV, for example, largely because Cass was just sitting there drinking waiting to be rescued (from herself), whereas the other three had an actual agenda they were pursuing from the start.

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

Link to post
Share on other sites

Even more tangential, BG2 would have been vastly improved with a rewritten Irenicus and more choices in faction allegiance besides "evil thieves" and "eviler vampire thieves".

BG2 had lots of things going for it, but ironclad plotting, moral subtleties, and believably written characters are not among them.

  • Like 1

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep squarely in mind that we are dealing with a very complex issue. Changing someone's nature doesn't just happen over a few cups of tea. At least in real life.

 

We are ALWAYS going to be dealing with a dramatic simplification, sometimes partly explained, mostly not.

 

To illustrate I'll use a film example, because everyone loves videos. Clarice Starling shown here is an FBI student meeting serial kill Hannibal Lecter. Lecter is very definitely attempting to get the measure of her, to break her apart. I won't spoiler any further, but urge you to watch the film.

 

Edited by Walsingham
  • Like 3

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

You're not. I think we're going to be disappointed though; one of MCA's companion-writing pillars is that they have to stroke the player's ego.

 

I think you may have misunderstood what he meant when he said that.

 

"Stroking ego" means the character is designed around reacting to things that the player does. It doesn't necessarily connote wish fulfillment heroics.

 

 

I hope so. I wasn't thinking of exactly wish-fulfilment heroics, though. I think one recurring theme in MCA's characters is that for them, you are, always were, or become, the center of their universe in some way. All of the PS:T companions (except Nordom, perhaps?) are like this. It's true for Kreia, and becomes or can become true (depending on your actions) for all or most the other KOTOR II party members. Except maybe that floating torture droid from Nar Shaddaa.

 

that had a plot-related reason though, the exile unique err, problem, made it so she greatly affected those around her.

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I do recall enjoying the companion quests in FO:NV however my only gripe would be that once you had helped them to resolve their issue that was their interaction pretty much over, Presumably the PoE NPCs not being voice acted will have a bit more to say about everything? Including interjections and ideally disagreements with either your course of action or other NPC interjections?

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, so here's what I think:

 

I don't think it should be possible to "deliberately" (i.e. without meta-gaming) change a character's nature. This means there should be no clear dialogue choices that lead to this. You shouldn't actually know what is going on.

That being said, I believe that being on any kind of adventure or simply travelling together affects people. The choices you make during your quests should have a "visible" influence on your companions. They might not agree with things you do at first, but they might see that your methods reach results. Or your actions might make them see things in a different light. (For example something like: "You didn't kill this drow and now it turns out he/she (probably she thought : ] ) isn't actually that evil, I might have to rethink my lawful paladin-ways.") This shouldn't necessarily affect the whole nature of the companion, just a few little things, that might add up to something rather big and drastic. Of course this is very difficult to write, since it has to take a lot of little things into account and you might end up with contradicting statements. (I hated it so much in BG2 that after Anomen turned Chaotic Neutral his normal righteous dialogue would still trigger, although at the same time he was attacking Aerie, because she was too good.) And with a lot of those little things coming together why shouldn't the character change to something completely new; not at once just gradually shifting.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...