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namelessthree

Bittersweet Eternity. An open letter addressed to Obsidian Entertainment

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I haven't started writting this post with a "Dear Obsidian" because I don't want the tone of the text to be confused with cynicism or sarcasm. With the writing of this text I am just trying to voice out my honest concerns towards a game that I've backed, and as such, this post should be read only as that, although I still would really like to be answered by at least one of the members of the Obsidian crew, if anything else.

 

First of all, I do think the game looks amazing so far. Well, with that out of the way, my concerns started when I read in a virtual magazine that "Pillars of Eternity" will not include romance options. As a backer, I wasn't aware of this as I've always assumed that a game that was aiming to be a spiritual successor of "Baldur's Gate 2" and "Planescape: Torment" will at least try to create deep relationships with companions and or NPCs in the same way those games did. I was somewhat confused and dissapointed with this news, so I just went back to the original pitch and I read it again: 

 

"Project Eternity will take the central hero, memorable companions and the epic exploration of Baldur's Gate, add in the fun intense combat and dungeon diving of Icewind Dale, and tie it all together with the emotional writing and mature thematic exploration of Planescape: Torment"

 

The first time I read the pitch back when the kickstarter campaign started, I was thrilled at the oportunity of playing one game that will mix together the deep and richness of writing of both the "Baldur's Gate saga" and "Planescape: Torment". I have to admit that I was never very fond of  the "Icewind Dale" series  because while good games, they always felt to me much less alive due to the lack of companions or roleplaying options. Still, the combat in those games were pretty good and that was exactly what Obsidian was aiming to bring back from them, according to the pitch, so everything was good.

 

But now, after these news, it feels to me that we are getting more "Icewind Dale" than "Baldur's Gate" or "Planescape: Torment", although I would really like to be wrong about this once the game is out on the street. The thing is I remember that one of the stretch goals for the game was centered on unlocking levels and more levels of a megadungeon. At the time, my first thought was "Cool", "neat" and " I am really looking forward to explore that", but that was before this news, because I would take roleplaying options over endless dungeons anyday. I know the game is gonna have interactions with companions seen as friendships or hateships but, somehow these interactions won't feel as deep as the ones in "Baldur's Gate" and "Planescape: Torment" because those had friendships + romances...and wasn't the whole point of the project to bring back that same level of deep interaction?

 

And yes, I consider that a game without romances (understood either as they were offered in Baldur's Gate 2 or as they were developed in Planescape: Torment) will fundamentally offer less roleplaying options for the players. A game where your character  emotional romantic connections are essentially nullified during the whole journey, without options for the player for those relationships to happen, feels as limited as a game with forced relationships only. I am not saying this game will be a bad game because of this decision, but I do think it somehow failed already to be as deep as Baldur's Gate 2 or Planescape: Torment concerning the roleplaying posibilities. Because in BG2 you could chose to pursue romances or not, and that simple detail is always better that not having the option of doing so. Likewise in Planescape: Torment, we believed the relationships between the Nameless One and Deionarra, Annah, Fall-From-Grace or even Ravel because there were so many roleplaying options given through dialogue where you could chose how to behave with these characters, all of which obviously felt something for our Nameless fella.

 

To me, the game felt much more real and believable thanks to those interactions because the creators weren't ruling out roleplaying posibilities and options, so each player had the chance to make the story of the game their own thanks to the answers they were deciding to give. If in "Pillars of Eternity" options like these are simply ruled out, every player will feel that their main character is either asexual, a psychopath or somebody that simply is no interested in any of their companions or the NPCs in the world in any romantic way whatsoever, which can be possible but it's unlikely and force the player down a certain kind of character. While the decision to rule out romances is great for players that want to roleplay their characters in that particular fashion, the rest of the players will be left frustrated with a character that they will not feel their own partly because of these restrictions.

 

At this point, in case it wasn't clear, I would like to add that I understand romances in some different ways and I feel that at least the options given by both "Baldur's Gate 2" and "Planescape: Torment" were not only valid, but very interesting.To those putting romance and waifu in the same bag...I really don't think they are the same thing, they don't even play in the same league. And really, who really wants waifu stuff in their Obsidian RPG, anyway? Is somebody crazy enough to think Obsidian is going to write that kind of thing? No, I am obviously talking about something else when I talk about romances, for example, to those saying that "Planescape: Torment" didn't have romances, well, I simply don't feel that's true. Actually, my favourite approach to romances was Planescape's were those relationships  were subtly played throughout the whole game, slowly building the connections with your companions. Fall-From-Grace is, for example, the epitome of a doomed romance, damning both of the characters in the process. Another person in another forum commented this about the Planescape's romances and I totally agree with him/her:  

 

"All of the romances in PS:T are there to underline the way in which TNO is bringing torment and suffering to all those close to him. The romances for Annah, FFG and Deionarrah serve the same purpose as Dakkon's enslavement and Morte's fate following you for eternity. Deinorrah needs no explanation, but Ravel makes it pretty clear that Annah falling in love with you is a 'very bad thing' (which can lead directly to her death - and even without that, puts her in a doomed devotion to someone whose fated to hell). FFG is the final part of the curse of torment - notice how when you encounter Ravel, she expertly picks apart every companion's weakness and points out just how TNO is bringing suffering upon them (Annah's love, Dakkon's slavery, Nordrom in a hopeless struggle against his own nature, and most of all, the one time in the whole game where Morte's joking facade gets broken, with Ravel revealing the bitter desparation beneath his humour)....but when she comes to addressing FFG she doesn't really have anything to say - in fact, while all the other characters are being taken apart, FFG is described as carefully sizing Ravel up for weaknesses.

 
Then you get to the end of the game, with TNO on his way to hell...and finally FFG's torment becomes clear when she swears that she's go back to the very place that she had once escaped from, making a vow to rescue TNO that can't possibly be fulfilled and serves only to doom her to the same fate as TNO."
 
So, in closing, we had thematically relevant romances in "Planescape:Torment" but also regular romances in "Baldur's Gate 2" where your companions developed feeling towards your characters only because they were given the chance to travel with him in first place, and from that point, things evolve according to player decisions. I don't think that's a bad option either. I think both games did a great job with their respective roleplaying options and that is why I find it weird that Obsidian is deciding to restrict the roleplaying capabilities of a game that claims to be a spiritual successor of those two classic RPGs.
 
Modding the romances in is also not an option. At least for me. In first place, they won't be cannon and they will not ever be as intertwined with the story as one written by Obsidian. For those talking about this option...would they accept the other way around? Meaning, oficial game with romances and  then some extra dungeons modded in by the community? Yep, I didn't think so. 
 
Josh Sawyer said in this very forum that the team didn't have the time or other resources to implement romances. But basically romances are more dialogue and reaction to it that adds roleplaying options to the player. Why then, if we assume roleplaying options are relevant in a CRPG, not give the backers the opportunity to have a say in this decision? Why not reaching a compromise? If the team doesn't have money or time for both let's say 40 dungeons and romances, why not ask the backers what would they rather have? And no, I don't mean cutting some levels from the megadungeon because what's promised is promised but maybe cutting some other dungeons instead.  Inxile set up polls for decisions as important as deciding if the game were gonna be turn based or action with pause. Why not give the Pillars of Eternity backers the option to give their opinion? To know if they want the maximum amount of dungeons no matter what or if they would rather have less of them so that time and money would go to open more roleplaying options. I really would like something like this to happen. There are 73.986 backers only in the Kickstarter main page. 73.986. Do their opinions not matter?  I know Obsidian has the last say but... is it not possible to even offer that option to the backers? To ask them what would they rather have via email/poll?
 
Thank you for those patient enough to read the whole thing. As I said, this letter is addressed mainly to Obsidian, but dialogue is welcomed. Thanks again.
 
 

 

 

 

 

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It was your wishful thinking that included romances in the game when you read about it on kickstarter, the actual pitch didn't.

 

You simply just have to deal with that.

Edited by Mannock
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I'll do it, for a turnip.

 

DnD item quality description mod (for PoE2) by peardox

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Hi namelessthree and welcome to the forums. Romance has been discussed extensively on these forums, you are certainly not alone in your views, but the decision has been made, I will see if I can look up Obsidians post about their decision, but let me paraphrase in advance:

The team doesn't believe that with the time and resources it has devoted to Pillars of Eternity that it can deliver the quality romances the game would deserve. Adding romance options increases work needed exponentially because it would affect a lot of narrative and quest elements.

 

Now, I'm not advocating for or against romances, just the messenger, sorry.

 

I too, share your worry that the game might lean more towards its icewind dale heritage than its baldurs gate(2)/Planescape torment heritage, however, I also know that most of the dev interaction on this forum has been with Josh Sawyer, and less with Chris Avellone, who focuses more on the community following on different social media, so it's very possible my view is somewhat skewed.

 

Even with this, however, I see enough great ideas, concepts and arguments coming from the developers that I am not worried. Pillars of Eternity will stand alone and apart from its heritage, and that is a good thing. I'm sorry for those who really wanted romances, but I can understand Obsidian's decision and by their arguments cutting romance will help devote more time to the rest of the dialogue and content quality.

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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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It kind of sucks that your topic is going to be closed after writing all of that.  He's hoping the mods take pity on this topic.

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Huh, two in two days, after six weeks of relief. Speaking of number two, I haven't had relief from the itchy and scratchy show back there for a lot longer than six weeks ... I'm not sure why, but it may have had something to do with romance.  :blink:


All Stop. On Screen.

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Here you go:

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/65107-no-romances-confirmed/?p=1417049

Rest of the thread is also On Topic.


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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"Open letter."

 

I wish they'd just stay closed.

Edited by Nonek
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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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A few things:

  1. Meaningful, deep interactions are not restricted to romance.
  2. That your character cannot engage in romantic interactions with companions doesn't mean he/she won't be able to express his/her sexuality and/or emotions in different ways.
  3. Being unable to form long term relationships does not make someone asexual.
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last post o' the day for us.

 

to the genesis poster:

 

the only thing wrong with your post is the date you chose to post it. am not agreeing with you, but that don't make you wrong. lack o' Gromnir agreement surely don't make your post bad. nope, your mistake were waiting until July 4, 2014. 

 

game is functional feature locked, and this particular topic has been beaten into utter insensibility. no romance thread may exist on this board without it becoming a disaster in part because folks has argued so much that their perspectives has been hardened and refined to extreme degrees. there is no room for change in the game or in the opinions of your potential respondents.

 

get sherman to set way-back machine to 2012. is only way you post gets the respect and consideration it would otherwise be due.

 

HA! Good Fun!

  • Like 5

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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It was your wishful thinking that included romances in the game when you read about it on kickstarter, the actual pitch didn't.

 

You simply just have to deal with that.

 

It was, but then again, if we are naming BG2 and Planescape as a pitch, can you blame me?

 

Good god people are you for real.

 

Get over it

 

Yes, we are for real, as real as you people in fact. So easy to ask somebody to get over something when you don't care about that thing on the slightest. -Sigh-

 

It kind of sucks that your topic is going to be closed after writing all of that.  He's hoping the mods take pity on this topic.

 

Thanks. I knew my risks. I just wanted to express my opinion -like the rest do here- and maybe, only maybe make Obsidian reconsider by letting them know that this matters to some of us. Maybe on the expansion or in PoE 2?

 

 

Here you go:

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/65107-no-romances-confirmed/?p=1417049

Rest of the thread is also On Topic.

 

Well, that sets it on stone I guess. A shame. But thanks for the link.

 

 

"Open letter."

 

I wish they'd just stay closed.

 

Pathetic and uncalled for. Go troll elsewhere.

 

 

 

A few things:

  1. Meaningful, deep interactions are not restricted to romance.
  2. That your character cannot engage in romantic interactions with companions doesn't mean he/she won't be able to express his/her sexuality and/or emotions in different ways.
  3. Being unable to form long term relationships does not make someone asexual.

 

 

 

1. Obviously not. But that's not the point. In the post I mention that games as BG2 and Torment had friendships AND romances. Seems to me that Pillars only having the former make said interactions, at least in my opinion, one or two points less deep than BG2 or Planescape.

 

2. I sincerely hope you are right. I am not so sure until I play the game. However, if those options are restricted to whoring only, well, it will be just sad.

3. No, it doesn't. Maybe i didn't expressed that right (Sorry, it was a long post). What I meant is if you are not able to express you sexuality in the game in any way, then the game will be restricting your roleplaying options for sure.

 

 

Hi namelessthree and welcome to the forums. Romance has been discussed extensively on these forums, you are certainly not alone in your views, but the decision has been made, I will see if I can look up Obsidians post about their decision, but let me paraphrase in advance:

The team doesn't believe that with the time and resources it has devoted to Pillars of Eternity that it can deliver the quality romances the game would deserve. Adding romance options increases work needed exponentially because it would affect a lot of narrative and quest elements.

 

Now, I'm not advocating for or against romances, just the messenger, sorry.

 

I too, share your worry that the game might lean more towards its icewind dale heritage than its baldurs gate(2)/Planescape torment heritage, however, I also know that most of the dev interaction on this forum has been with Josh Sawyer, and less with Chris Avellone, who focuses more on the community following on different social media, so it's very possible my view is somewhat skewed.

 

Even with this, however, I see enough great ideas, concepts and arguments coming from the developers that I am not worried. Pillars of Eternity will stand alone and apart from its heritage, and that is a good thing. I'm sorry for those who really wanted romances, but I can understand Obsidian's decision and by their arguments cutting romance will help devote more time to the rest of the dialogue and content quality.

 

 

Thanks again, JFSOCC. I am pretty sure Pillars of Eternity will be awesome one way or the other. I get chills everytime I watch the trailer. I guess the only thing we can do now is wait and hope Obsidian delivers. As I said, thanks again for your response and attention. Much appreciated.

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last post o' the day for us.

 

to the genesis poster:

 

the only thing wrong with your post is the date you chose to post it. am not agreeing with you, but that don't make you wrong. lack o' Gromnir agreement surely don't make your post bad. nope, your mistake were waiting until July 4, 2014. 

 

game is functional feature locked, and this particular topic has been beaten into utter insensibility. no romance thread may exist on this board without it becoming a disaster in part because folks has argued so much that their perspectives has been hardened and refined to extreme degrees. there is no room for change in the game or in the opinions of your potential respondents.

 

get sherman to set way-back machine to 2012. is only way you post gets the respect and consideration it would otherwise be due.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

 

LOL

 

You, sir, have won the Internet. Probably you are right though but I just posted about it when I read about it.

 

Long live  Gromnir. I will create a character in your honor.

Edited by namelessthree

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Josh Sawyer said in this very forum that the team didn't have the time or other resources to implement romances. But basically romances are more dialogue and reaction to it that adds roleplaying options to the player. Why then, if we assume roleplaying options are relevant in a CRPG, not give the backers the opportunity to have a say in this decision? Why not reaching a compromise? If the team doesn't have money or time for both let's say 40 dungeons and romances, why not ask the backers what would they rather have? And no, I don't mean cutting some levels from the megadungeon because what's promised is promised but maybe cutting some other dungeons instead.  Inxile set up polls for decisions as important as deciding if the game were gonna be turn based or action with pause. Why not give the Pillars of Eternity backers the option to give their opinion? To know if they want the maximum amount of dungeons no matter what or if they would rather have less of them so that time and money would go to open more roleplaying options. I really would like something like this to happen. There are 73.986 backers only in the Kickstarter main page. 73.986. Do their opinions not matter?  I know Obsidian has the last say but... is it not possible to even offer that option to the backers? To ask them what would they rather have via email/poll?

 

 

 

 

Because ultimately, backers are not game designers and we don't really know what is good for a game. This is the problem with the new Torment game in which the developers, for some reason, believe it be the backer's choice for something as fundamental as what combat system the game uses. In reality it was the developer's choice.

 

To your main thesis, that Pillars of Eternity is more like Icewind Dale than Baldur's Gate and hence it is more combat oriented than story oriented, I find this belief to be unfounded. First and foremost, you have yet to even play the game, so you have no idea as to what kind of roleplaying options the game has. You assume that the lack of 'romance' (and use your definition for the word romance) means the lack of most interaction between party members, of friendship and the like. While this has a certain logic, I don't find this logic to be reasonable. You assume that the developers use your definition of romance, the definition which the character interactions in Planescape: Torment fall under. However, I find it more likely that when the developers used the word romance, they meant it under the standard, more contemporary definition, and as such, other character interactions would certainly be in the game without contradiction.

 

I question your idea that there would be a lack of friendship or a lot of character interaction. Romance is not most of the roleplay in an IE game. There is also many, many other interactions; to say the the lack of romance means the lack of roleplay, is silly indeed. Take Baldur's Gate, a game that originally had no romances, or Baldur's Gate 2 and remove the romances. Do these still have important character interaction and roleplay? I believe so, and this is what I expect in Pillars of Eternity and at least this viewpoint is supported by evidence

 

Take the article by PCgames.de (link below). In it, the journalist details that there will be a ton of party interaction, and that your decisions will effect what party you have and whether characters live, die, or leave. Such consequences as these cannot take place save character interaction take place, and such is the evidence for my viewpoint.

 

http://freetexthost.com/ia2eflp4ra

 

Edit:

 

Finally, the lack of romance has been discussed to death, and the topic has been closed. Nothing will change, the game is already being put into beta stage as we speak. I would expect an administrator or moderator wont look well on this thread, but we will see.

Edited by Natusake

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When I was about 13-16 having romance options in games were really important to me. I hadn't ever had a relationship before, and my family was really dysfunctional, so when there were some gems out there like some of the Final Fantasy games that included some options I really felt connected to the characters in a meaningful way. However I quickly came to realize that these are in fact just games, and as much as I enjoy playing them, the characters are just scripted events. It takes the fun out of the romance for me now. Especially now a days when it's almost an expectation like when you go to the movies, the guy always seems to shack up with a gal even though the span of the film might be all of a few days. The thing is, that's not even remotely like real life, and if it is where you live, no wonder you're sad and searching for it in a game. There's a time and a place for romance, but it doesn't have to be in every game or movie you play, even a roleplaying game. Personally, I'd rather a relationship develop over the series of Pillars games. It might not happen in this first installment, but it doesn't mean it won't occur in an expansion or another sequel. Plus, if it was in the game, then that gets your expectations so high and if it's not what you were hoping for you'd rather they didn't even put it in there. Don't lose hope though, I'm sure they're gonna start working on the expansion soon enough, and likely there's enough interest in romance options, it'll be in at some point.

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I'm not one of the no-mancers or whatever you want to call them. I remember the romances in BG2 and Torment with fondness, the former because I felt it gave me a chance to better establish my character as something other than a bunch of stats and the latter because TNO's various doomed relationships were thematically important to the game. The lack of romance doesn't make or break the game for me, but if they had included it you wouldn't have found me among those bitching about it. 

 

But I don't see how 'no romance' instantly equates to 'character interaction will be shallow.' Why is the only possible relationship romantic, in your eyes? What about mentor and apprentice or brother and sister or simple close friendship? Was the relationship between Dak'kon and TNO less rich because there was no romantic tension involved? Isn't it entirely possible that they intend in-depth interaction with an NPC outside of a long chain of dialogues leading to awkward fade-to-black sex? 

 

If PoE resembles Icewind Dale in the depth of its character relationships and interaction, you'll find me right here with you bitching about it. Obsidian is keeping the story part of the game tightly under wraps, though, and I don't feel like anyone who doesn't work there is in any position to make that judgement yet. 

 

Just...give them some credit, alright? Given their track record, haven't they earned a little faith in their ability to create memorable NPCs and NPC interaction?

Edited by Death Machine Miyagi
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"Given their track record, haven't they earned a little faith in their ability to create memorable NPCs and NPC interaction?"

 

Which track record is that?

 

MOTB track record? Or DS3 track record? Those two track records suggest two different things. L0L


DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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"Given their track record, haven't they earned a little faith in their ability to create memorable NPCs and NPC interaction?"

 

Which track record is that?

 

MOTB track record? Or DS3 track record? Those two track records suggest two different things. L0L

The track record for their games where memorable and deep interactions with NPCs were actually a goal of the produxtion is, if I had to guess, the one in question. Edited by tajerio
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Let me make a few points here:

 

1: While romance is removed, a new role-play concept has been introduced; personality reputation. This means that PoE will likely have more role-play options than the old IE games.

 

2: Keep in mind that Bg1 had no romances, but Bg2 did. This suggest it is entirely possible for romances to be in PoE2.

 

3: While a full blown romance is out of the question; some subtle flirting may still be in the game. If point 2 comes true, that could lead to some very good romance role-playing. Building a relationship over time instead of in one game would be neat. PoE1: We flirt/tease. PoE2: We begin a romance and come into relationship conflict. PoE3: We resolve issue and live happily ever after.

 

4: I have played mod areas and romances and both are fine. In fact, some of the Mod romances were better and more in-depth than Bioware's.


"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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Nice opening post, can tell you put a ton of heart and thought into it.  That said a "we should include romance" thread literally just got shut down yesterday so your timing is a bit... ironic?  Also as Gromnir mentioned the "no romance" thing is old news and the game is now feature locked.  At least you put a nice argument behind it.

 

I suspect Eternity 2 will find a way to fit it in though.

Edited by Karkarov

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Personally I'd be very surprised if PoE didn't take the same route as KOTOR 2 when it comes to romance subplot stuff: You can hit on your companions if you want but they never reciprocate, at least not in any way that ever amounts to anything or leads to an alternate story path with that companion. Maybe have a scene where you (optionally) sleep with a hooker or something. This is how it works in New Vegas and (aside from the aforementioned scenes at the end) in Planescape: Torment too. I don't mind Bioware-style companion romance arcs in principle, but I don't think it's something Obsidian would be able to deliver very well. (The last time they tried was in Alpha Protocol and, well, that's all I should have to say about that.)

 

As for the rest of the stuff this is something that's concerned me since the initial pitch and is my main reason for not investing in the kickstarter (and tempering my expectations for the game overall): BG, IWD, and P:T share very little outside of their engine and ruleset, so necessarily any game that tries to capture the spirit of all three will surely either be schizophrenic and inconsistent or favor one of its sources above the others. It doesn't help that P:T was the only IE game that I actually liked. It's never been very clear what things from the IE games the developers see as worth preserving and what things can be safely discarded, aside from very superficial and ultimately irrelevant things like how the interface works and the D&D-like race/class/level progression system.

 

That said, the big reason Obsidian only seems to care about combat mechanics and technical details is that they don't want to talk about anything else for the sake of avoiding spoilers. Personally I think this is a mistake, but they've clearly decided to make that bed and I'm not going to rage at them when they lay in it.

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Personally I'd be very surprised if PoE didn't take the same route as KOTOR 2 when it comes to romance subplot stuff: You can hit on your companions if you want but they never reciprocate, at least not in any way that ever amounts to anything or leads to an alternate story path with that companion. Maybe have a scene where you (optionally) sleep with a hooker or something. This is how it works in New Vegas and (aside from the aforementioned scenes at the end) in Planescape: Torment too. I don't mind Bioware-style companion romance arcs in principle, but I don't think it's something Obsidian would be able to deliver very well. (The last time they tried was in Alpha Protocol and, well, that's all I should have to say about that.)

 

As for the rest of the stuff this is something that's concerned me since the initial pitch and is my main reason for not investing in the kickstarter (and tempering my expectations for the game overall): BG, IWD, and P:T share very little outside of their engine and ruleset, so necessarily any game that tries to capture the spirit of all three will surely either be schizophrenic and inconsistent or favor one of its sources above the others. It doesn't help that P:T was the only IE game that I actually liked. It's never been very clear what things from the IE games the developers see as worth preserving and what things can be safely discarded, aside from very superficial and ultimately irrelevant things like how the interface works and the D&D-like race/class/level progression system.

 

That said, the big reason Obsidian only seems to care about combat mechanics and technical details is that they don't want to talk about anything else for the sake of avoiding spoilers. Personally I think this is a mistake, but they've clearly decided to make that bed and I'm not going to rage at them when they lay in it.

How is the race/class/level progression system irrelevant? It's the core of the game. Without them, Obsidian wouldn't have much of a game.

  • Like 4

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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"Open letter."

 

I wish they'd just stay closed.

 

Pathetic and uncalled for. Go troll elsewhere.

 

Not trolling at all dear boy, I merely have a few issues with these "open letters" that keep cropping up, and their inevitable style:

 

1. Brevity is the soul of wit. Stop rambling make a point with each sentence, set an example and move on. Far more effective method of communication.

2. Why open? Obsidian are eminently contactable, do so, especially if one has backed their project and wishes to raise an objection.

3. No romances mean less deep interaction. This keeps on bing repeated and just sounds more ridiculous every time, there were other characters than Grace and Annah in Torment and they were arguably more interesting. Daakon's instruction in the way of the Zerth was hardly a small whimsical thing.

4. People know other people for years at a time and don't pursue romantic engagements, this doesn't make them psychopaths, asexual or unusual in any way.

5. We're approaching beta, it's a little late for such a complaint, and really if one is going to invest their money in a Kickstarter why would they not not keep their eye on it? Return on investment and whatnot? Caveat Emptor.

6. As a backer you have a perfect right to complain and argue for features you'd like, however rambling "open letters" have the freakish stink of the BSN about them. I'd say that if you wish discussion on the main boards then simply make a thread arguing your position.

7. Personally i'm glad of the no romance ruling and wish other developers would follow suit, especially if it means less content gated off behind romances, more deep characters with more interactions, and more getting to know ones acquaintances rather than engaging in cheesy teenage romance fiction.

 

Edit: The content of the other "open letters" i've seen may have influenced my bias somewhat, one for instance had a mother asking her infant child not to commit rape when he grows up! As if it was the little lads honest wish to be a rapist or that she had no part in his upbring (which she probably shouldn't.) The stultifying idiocy of such letters leaves one quite aghast, so please consider that it is not just your missive that has raised such a scathing dismissiveness within me.

Edited by Nonek
  • Like 12

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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The core of a game is the emotional experience that lies at its heart: The mechanics are part of what builds this experience, but they aren't the same thing as the experience itself. You can arrive at a similar core with radically different mechanics or a radically different core with very similar mechanics. The mechanics are tools, and all that matters is how skillfully (or unskillfully) the designers use them: Compare KOTOR 1 and KOTOR 2, or Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas.

 

The parts of the IE games that mattered to me don't depend at all on how the UI is set up or how the class system works. I have no emotional attachment to being able to Multi-Class Mage and Cleric as a half-elf, or being able to have 5 party members aside from the PC, or real time w/pause combat. I care about the lonely, silent walks through the wilderness. I care about the pain Ignus felt and trying to make him better somehow. I care about talking with Sere about her crisis of faith and helping her overcome it (or turning her away from the Dustmen if you prefer). I care about letting Imoen get torn apart by hobgoblins and then letting her body just rot there for the rest of the game, and then writing fanfiction about how she managed to survive the encounter and was dragged off to the hobgoblin camp as an, erm, "guest." (Did I mention I didn't care too much for Imoen?)

 

The superficial trappings of the IE games are unnecessary for all of these: A skillful designer could have implemented these things in a cover-based shooter based off Gears of War, if they so desired.

Edited by Micamo
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The core of a game is the emotional experience that lies at its heart: The mechanics are part of what builds this experience, but they aren't the same thing as the experience itself. You can arrive at a similar core with radically different mechanics or a radically different core with very similar mechanics. The mechanics are tools, and all that matters is how skillfully (or unskillfully) the designers use them: Compare KOTOR 1 and KOTOR 2, or Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas.

 

The parts of the IE games that mattered to me don't depend at all on how the UI is set up or how the class system works. I have no emotional attachment to being able to Multi-Class Mage and Cleric as a half-elf, or being able to have 5 party members aside from the PC, or real time w/pause combat. I care about the lonely, silent walks through the wilderness. I care about the pain Ignus felt and trying to make him better somehow. I care about talking with Sere about her crisis of faith and helping her overcome it (or turning her away from the Dustmen if you prefer). I care about letting Imoen get torn apart by hobgoblins and then letting her body just rot there for the rest of the game, and then writing fanfiction about how she managed to survive the encounter and was dragged off to the hobgoblin camp as an, erm, "guest." (Did I mention I didn't care too much for Imoen?)

 

The superficial trappings of the IE games are unnecessary for all of these: A skillful designer could have implemented these things in a cover-based shooter based off Gears of War, if they so desired.

The game mechanics are central to the experience. Change the mechanics; get a different experience. My impression is that you don't care for the game-play; and that's fine, but that doesn't at all change the importance of the race/class/level progression system because you'll still be dealing with them. Take those out, and all you have is a choose your own adventure style visual novel, and that isn't a game at all. If I wanted a sub-par book, I go to the library and get one for free. Obsidian is making a video game, and the mechanics matter most; even if you don't like them.

 

No cover based shooter could create the experience the IE games can.

  • Like 2

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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