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If PoE has a BG style story that will (hopefully) branch multiple games, I beg the developers: think of your endgame.


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Please start laying the groundwork for the endgame of that storyline sooner rather than later. The endgame may be many years away, but so much the better, as it means there is lots of time to plan. Don't make sh*t up at the last minute. Pave the way for a satisfying conclusion by having some degree of foreknowledge of how the series end will look, even if its in a hazy form, and foreshadowing that end properly.

 

Baldur's Gate basically seemed to forget the Bhaalspawn story needed a satisfying conclusion until that conclusion was upon them and they were forced to write it. The result was the utter mess that was Throne of Bhaal, an expansion pack that thrust entirely new characters and villains into the story at almost the last minute, minus all foreshadowing. Established plot points from the previous games were forgotten or retconned, often giving the impression the writers had a very shallow knowledge of the very series they had created. The ending choice of the series itself was bland and predictable and made very little sense, as did the plans of virtually all the villains, Bhaal included. 

 

If they had a hazy notion of what things would look like when they reached the end from almost Day 1, if the writers had had a vision of how the Bhaalspawn storyline might wrap up, then the ending of the series might have been something truly epic. But they didn't think in the long term and the result was rather disappointing.

 

The same criticism could be levelled at something like Mass Effect, in which the writers must have known from Day 1 they were eventually going to have to deal with the fact that the Reapers were so overpowered that no conventional war against them could possibly hope for success. With that knowledge in mind, they should have figured out what the Grand Plan was for defeating the Reapers and started laying the seeds to make that plan not seem like a Deus Ex Machina when Shephard started working to implement it, sprinkling hints and suggestions of a Reaper weakness that might be exploited throughout the course of the series. This was not done. The result: Catalyst from out of nowhere! Deus Ex Machina to the rescue!

 

Obviously, a game is not a novel and is at much heavier risk of executive meddling, as I understand was the case for many of the more idiotic aspects of the Mass Effect series. But I'm sincerely hoping that will be less of a danger without a publisher, and with a crowd mandate to create the best story possible rather than a company mandate to focus on making the game appeal to a 'mass market.'  

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...and possibly multiple endings - included.

 

A quote from an interview with Sawyer, which is linked in this thread.

 

There'll be replayability from wanting to adventure with different classes and working towards different endings, of which there will be "lots". It'll be like Fallout: New Vegas, he said, both in its variety of endings and in them being "something you really build towards and agonise over". "It's not like you can just reload and experience the different ending: you have to work towards that ending in a different way."

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...and possibly multiple endings - included.

 

A quote from an interview with Sawyer, which is linked in this thread.

 

There'll be replayability from wanting to adventure with different classes and working towards different endings, of which there will be "lots". It'll be like Fallout: New Vegas, he said, both in its variety of endings and in them being "something you really build towards and agonise over". "It's not like you can just reload and experience the different ending: you have to work towards that ending in a different way."

 

 

That is, of course, a good sign. But PoE is just the first game and he is, I think, mainly discussing the endings of that first game. I don't know to what extent PoE will have an overarching plotline, extending from the first game to the last, but since we'll be playing the same character across multiple games I'm guessing it will have such. If it does, then my firm hope is that they've got some vision in their heads of what the end of that last game will look like, however dim. Lots of foreshadowing of things to come, no pivotal characters or plot developments dropped in at the last minute because no one bothered to think ahead.

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I thought I read somewhere that Chris Avellone said the first game was in one part of Eternity (the map we see) and if there was a second game, it may take place in another part of Eternity that hasn't been shown as yet. Maybe they do have an idea of where it's going to go.
 
Edit: Found it. The first game is in the map we see. It's only a part of the world and Obsidian aren't ignoring the rest. Whether we see the rest of the world or not in the second game will be a mystery.
 

It will be locations all over the map.
 
The world map is the game space: the game takes place largely in the Dyrwood and the Ruins of Eír Glanfath – while the exact locations are still to be revealed, you will be going to a variety of communities and cities in those areas all over the map
 
You will not be going beyond the world map indicated in this first installment of the series. Right now, we’re focused on bringing this section to life. That doesn’t mean we’re ignoring the rest of the world.

Edited by Hiro Protagonist II
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I'm totally on board with this, as long as they make each installment have its own successful endgame. I'm one of the few of who think that people are getting a little ahead of themselves talking about sequels before the success of the initial game has been established. Planning for a wide series is great, but just don't pull a Shenmue and have a grand design that never gets resolved.

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One self-contained stand-alone game isn't a bad thing even if it later turns out to be the first installment of a series or saga. If it proves to be successful, Obsidian writers can tie the events in this game to some unforseen consequences or a greater plot (or not). It's been done before and it works just fine if done right. Imo that's the way to go, given the current uncertain situation. Too many hints about future plots that never happen would only piss players off, especially those like me, who tend to wonder "what it could have been if..."

And I echo the opinion about installments having distinctive and satisfactory beginnings and endings, regardless of their place in the greater plot, whatever it may be.

Nothing gold can stay.

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Personally, I don't want a saga just yet. I want a stand-alone story that introduces the world and gives them the opportunity to best flesh out their IP. This IP needs to prove it has legs before they try to run with it. I don't think another "save the world epic saga" amongst the sea of this overdone trope enhances the chances of P:E's success. It certainly won't differentiate it from anything else that way.

 

As to endings, I'm not worried. Most Obsidian games have had satisfying endings to me. This is particularly the true of Arcanum--one of the things it did very well. Seeing many of your quests influence so many different aspects of the region gave things not merely a momentus feel, but one of resolution.

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Why does a saga have to be "save the world"? I mean obviously there has to be a bit more to it than "wash the dishes" but I'm sure they can centre events around a civil war / political unrest ect, and still make it feel suitably epic without some crazy emo bastard sociopath who wants to destroy the world because his girlfriend dumped him.

I wouldn't be too concerned about the individual games not having satisfying conclusions, if they decide to expand the scope I'm pretty sure with an entirely new IP and the freedom to do whatever the hell they want they could easily create one satisfying story arc that could form part of a bigger picture if things are successful.

Edited by Jobby
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Please start laying the groundwork for the endgame of that storyline sooner rather than later. The endgame may be many years away, but so much the better, as it means there is lots of time to plan. Don't make sh*t up at the last minute. Pave the way for a satisfying conclusion by having some degree of foreknowledge of how the series end will look, even if its in a hazy form, and foreshadowing that end properly.

 

Baldur's Gate basically seemed to forget the Bhaalspawn story needed a satisfying conclusion until that conclusion was upon them and they were forced to write it. The result was the utter mess that was Throne of Bhaal, an expansion pack that thrust entirely new characters and villains into the story at almost the last minute, minus all foreshadowing. Established plot points from the previous games were forgotten or retconned, often giving the impression the writers had a very shallow knowledge of the very series they had created. The ending choice of the series itself was bland and predictable and made very little sense, as did the plans of virtually all the villains, Bhaal included. 

 

If they had a hazy notion of what things would look like when they reached the end from almost Day 1, if the writers had had a vision of how the Bhaalspawn storyline might wrap up, then the ending of the series might have been something truly epic. But they didn't think in the long term and the result was rather disappointing.

 

The same criticism could be levelled at something like Mass Effect, in which the writers must have known from Day 1 they were eventually going to have to deal with the fact that the Reapers were so overpowered that no conventional war against them could possibly hope for success. With that knowledge in mind, they should have figured out what the Grand Plan was for defeating the Reapers and started laying the seeds to make that plan not seem like a Deus Ex Machina when Shephard started working to implement it, sprinkling hints and suggestions of a Reaper weakness that might be exploited throughout the course of the series. This was not done. The result: Catalyst from out of nowhere! Deus Ex Machina to the rescue!

 

Obviously, a game is not a novel and is at much heavier risk of executive meddling, as I understand was the case for many of the more idiotic aspects of the Mass Effect series. But I'm sincerely hoping that will be less of a danger without a publisher, and with a crowd mandate to create the best story possible rather than a company mandate to focus on making the game appeal to a 'mass market.'

It looks like you missed the forum you intended to post this on. I think you wanted http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/index

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It looks like you missed the forum you intended to post this on. I think you wanted http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/index

 

Eh. PoE is a spiritual successor to BG, in part, even if both of the examples I cited are Bioware's fault. I'm just saying don't follow the 'spiritual successor' thing so far as to fall into its failings as well as its successes.

 

But yes, I agree, Obsidian has a much better track record in regards to continuity than Bioware. That was something that always struck me, even as far back as KOTOR 2, where MCA and company took throwaway plot details from the first game and wove them into entire storylines and characters. I think they'll do things right.  

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