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You get penalized if you want to build a custom party?

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2 important differences Zitchiok:

 

There's a difference between a multiplayer mode allowing you to bring in new characters at will, appearing out of the ether in a most lore-breaking way... and the singleplayer mode letting you just have tons of free companions as an in-game thing. It goes back to the removing exploits thing - exploits and cheats that require going outside of the game rules are fine to leave in a game, but a good designer should design a self contained system that is internally consistent. Or to put it another way, there should be a clear line between playing the game as it was intended to be played and "cheating". Not that there's anything wrong with cheating in a singleplayer game, but there should be a line.

 

Also, the player created companions in the IE games were always lvl 1. So there's that.

 

Yeah, because if you want to cheat in PoE you can. Just use console commands to give you virtually unlimited amount of money or enough to hire five party members at the first inn. So players can cheat if they want to cheat, but I agree that game rules should not allow things that go against designer's intent on what kind challenge game should give for players as a default. And I would also point out that anything that game rules allow player to do is not cheating as it is allowed by game's rules, so there is difference in allowing cheating (by console command, editable save and other files, etc.) and creating rule set that don't work as intended. 

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Unless they were free and limited in number. Or is that unfeasible?

 

Really hard to do that. You need a number that's low enough to prevent kamikaze style playing, but not that low so people playing regularly end up with no recruits to replenish their potential loses(especially on high difficulties).

 

I never understood why people care. I wouldn't play this way but I just don't see the rage that comes from players when they think that someone miles away who they will never see or talk to does such a thing. Limitations can be a good thing, such as in sports where it's competitive against each other, but this is a *little* different.

 

I'd also think that most players willing to play in such a lame fashion are probably going to abuse or mod everything that they can to "destroy" the "experience". Do you really need to extend so much effort to control such players?

 

 

I think it's because people assume that as long as the game allows you to do something then it follows that the game expects you to do so and thus from a design standpoint if you leave all these options wide open - it is assumed that you intentionally designed the game to played this way - thus as a designer you close as many loopholes in your design as possible to allow the final game to be played primarily in the manner you chose to design it to play.

 

Which in my opinion, is a horrible way to make your design decisions, especially in a game that's meant to be ROLE PLAYED in a noncompetitive environment. I view that there's a difference between allowing you to "max out party size" vs allowing things such as unlimited gold upon a whim. Does that make sense? Games like Baldurs Gate were great because it had such freedom in party formation, I could run a solo group or 6 from the start or wait to gather up companions but the ultimate decision was in my hands. Hell, in BG, you could import characters in over and over and suicide them if you wanted...but I never once did. Freedom of choice works for some aspects of gameplay while it doesn't for others...I find it very unfortunate that games are leaning towards limiting EVERYTHING because of a few compulsive min/max powergamers/potential "degenerate" gameplay. Again...there are some things that *should* be limited...but I don't think it's the best decision in every instance.

 

 

Agree or disagree the design decisions get to made by the designer and I for the most part am glad that's the case as I doubt I would enjoy any game in which the design was decided upon by game forum posts and polls  :no:


Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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Unless they were free and limited in number. Or is that unfeasible?

 

Really hard to do that. You need a number that's low enough to prevent kamikaze style playing, but not that low so people playing regularly end up with no recruits to replenish their potential loses(especially on high difficulties).

 

I never understood why people care. I wouldn't play this way but I just don't see the rage that comes from players when they think that someone miles away who they will never see or talk to does such a thing. Limitations can be a good thing, such as in sports where it's competitive against each other, but this is a *little* different.

 

I'd also think that most players willing to play in such a lame fashion are probably going to abuse or mod everything that they can to "destroy" the "experience". Do you really need to extend so much effort to control such players?

 

 

I think it's because people assume that as long as the game allows you to do something then it follows that the game expects you to do so and thus from a design standpoint if you leave all these options wide open - it is assumed that you intentionally designed the game to played this way - thus as a designer you close as many loopholes in your design as possible to allow the final game to be played primarily in the manner you chose to design it to play.

 

Which in my opinion, is a horrible way to make your design decisions, especially in a game that's meant to be ROLE PLAYED in a noncompetitive environment. I view that there's a difference between allowing you to "max out party size" vs allowing things such as unlimited gold upon a whim. Does that make sense? Games like Baldurs Gate were great because it had such freedom in party formation, I could run a solo group or 6 from the start or wait to gather up companions but the ultimate decision was in my hands. Hell, in BG, you could import characters in over and over and suicide them if you wanted...but I never once did. Freedom of choice works for some aspects of gameplay while it doesn't for others...I find it very unfortunate that games are leaning towards limiting EVERYTHING because of a few compulsive min/max powergamers/potential "degenerate" gameplay. Again...there are some things that *should* be limited...but I don't think it's the best decision in every instance.

 

 

Agree or disagree the design decisions get to made by the designer and I for the most part am glad that's the case as I doubt I would enjoy any game in which the design was decided upon by game forum posts and polls  :no:

 

Yes but that's the great part about forums, meant to discuss them. :)

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Somewhere Sawyer said that early game the content is made for a 6 member party so it would make sense to prevent you from steamrolling everything with 8 party members, which is the max. You may agree or disagree with that design, especially if you like the BG munchkin style of party building which amounts to "bumrush through everything, not killing anything to get all your party members ASAP before they get to level 2 and have their hp pools ruined". Not to start an xp debate here but with quest-progression-only xp you dont have to fear engaging in combat for wanting to keep as low a level as possible. But we dont know how companion NPC levels and accesability is going to be so theres that to ponder.

 

Im personally hoping for a full-companion party from the start as oposed to having 5 silent protagonists + 3 companions. Then again I dont know how much companion banter there is if at all. Would be nice to get a companion to test in the backer beta area.

 

Eh, I think you misunderstood those Sawyer quotes. The early game content is not made for a 6 member party, but for less, and 6 is the maximum amount of characters in a party. (Whether that's PC+5 written Companions or PC+5 hired Adventurers doesn't matter.) You can send currently-not-in-party Companions/Adventurers to your stronghold, but the total number of (self-made) Adventurers can't exceed 8 at a time. (So, 5 in party, 3 at stronghold or all 8 at stronghold - again, doesn't matter.)

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If I remember correctly, the two companions shown in the E3 demo were supposed to be all you had for the early stages (with the possibility of one of them leaving you based on decisions made).

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Somewhere Sawyer said that early game the content is made for a 6 member party so it would make sense to prevent you from steamrolling everything with 8 party members, which is the max. You may agree or disagree with that design, especially if you like the BG munchkin style of party building which amounts to "bumrush through everything, not killing anything to get all your party members ASAP before they get to level 2 and have their hp pools ruined". Not to start an xp debate here but with quest-progression-only xp you dont have to fear engaging in combat for wanting to keep as low a level as possible. But we dont know how companion NPC levels and accesability is going to be so theres that to ponder.

 

Im personally hoping for a full-companion party from the start as oposed to having 5 silent protagonists + 3 companions. Then again I dont know how much companion banter there is if at all. Would be nice to get a companion to test in the backer beta area.

 

Eh, I think you misunderstood those Sawyer quotes. The early game content is not made for a 6 member party, but for less, and 6 is the maximum amount of characters in a party. (Whether that's PC+5 written Companions or PC+5 hired Adventurers doesn't matter.) You can send currently-not-in-party Companions/Adventurers to your stronghold, but the total number of (self-made) Adventurers can't exceed 8 at a time. (So, 5 in party, 3 at stronghold or all 8 at stronghold - again, doesn't matter.)

 

Yeah I was refering to them from memory. My point about not wanting you to make a big enough party that you steamroll early content stands. Starting with 8 party members would be wrong, but being able to get 4-5 companion party members with one player-made character very very early as oposed to having 4 player-made adventurers would be ideal imo.

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Your numbers are still off.

 

I think I get your point, though. You want to have access to an almost-full party of (written) companions very early in the game, as opposed to 'needing' to fill up those slots with (hired) Adventurers? And the quicker the increase of size of your party, the better? Fair point. I personally wouldn't mind starting off with just one or two Companions, and only slowly adding to that, forgoing Adventurers completely. But then again, I'm no real IE veteran.

 

Here's where the numbers are off, in case you didn't just mistype :

 

Max Party Size: 6

Not eight. Six is the max size. (Ever*) So, starting with 4 or 5 companions will be a full party, and will steamroll the early game. Pare it down to ~3 Companions available starting from the early early game, and I shan't complain further.

 

*: Not counting Animal Companions, Pets and Summons, and perhaps really-short term NPCs? Oh, and possible expansions or sequels- who knows?

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Where does the 8-party size limit from Sawyer´s quote come from then? I feel we are both getting mixed up with the quote. Ahhh I dont care enough to look for the quote, you got my point anyway: that its viable to just make one custom character and play that from the begining with written companions that are aquired early.

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Where does the 8-party size limit from Sawyer´s quote come from then? I feel we are both getting mixed up with the quote. Ahhh I dont care enough to look for the quote, you got my point anyway: that its viable to just make one custom character and play that from the begining with written companions that are aquired early.

 
I think they are planning 8 full blown companions - maybe that's where you got that 8 party size from...

Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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@Utukka:

 

Thanks! I somehow didn't see that thread in the search results, or I used a phrase that didn't return it, or something. Appreciate the pointer.

 

Getting free adventurer mercs to throw to their deaths is a very easy way to become degenerate gameplay.

Flimsy excuse. See my reply to Sawyer in the thread Utukka linked.

 

I saw it, now here's my response:

 

1) Josh Sawyer has not at all been above limiting player freedom in order to achieve game balance. Expect lots of things to be limiting for balance sake.

 

2) Free companions would totally break the game. I could just hire 5 five guys and throw them at any tough encounter with little thought put into it. Since their survival wouldn't be concern; suicide attacks would be incredibly OP. Making most of the combat mechanics & quests pointless.

 

3) Creating your own team is going to be more effective than using the allies Obsidian gives you. So it's worth the gold.

 

4) For those who care; free companions is lore breaking.

 

 

I mostly agree with you except for number 2.. We could have had companions limited as another poster said.. by how many companions you naturally get in the game..

 

Like allow me to hire one everytime a spot is filled naturally by progression.. and of course add a gold cost but at a fraction of what it currently is.. (maybe limit my total group size so I can only have a certain amount at a certain point in the game.. whatever works)

 

Honestly though.. the gold cost doesn't bother me at all.. It's good enough.. people should be more worried about other things IMO.


From George Ziets @ http://new.spring.me/#!/user/GZiets/timeline/responses

Didn’t like the fact that I don’t get XP for combat. While this does put more emphasis on solving quests, the lack of rewards for killing creatures makes me want to avoid combat (the core activity of the game) as much as I can.

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Having a hard limit on companion number seems a little more "rigid" than paying gold for companions. With gold, at least you can make a decision as to whether you want to continue spending for the new companions. Everyone's limit will be different at that point.

 

I never understand the people who post here on the forums: sometimes they want to play the game "their own way" and sometimes they're OK with rigidity.

 

Furthermore, how well you play allows you to spend less resources on your company of heroes and lets you be more efficient with your money.

Edited by Hormalakh

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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Having a hard limit on companion number seems a little more "rigid" than paying gold for companions. With gold, at least you can make a decision as to whether you want to continue spending for the new companions. Everyone's limit will be different at that point.

 

I never understand the people who post here on the forums: sometimes they want to play the game "their own way" and sometimes they're OK with rigidity.

 

Furthermore, how well you play allows you to spend less resources on your company of heroes and lets you be more efficient with your money.

 

 

I think either way you should be paying gold.. There is a huge advtange mechanically to building your own companions and making sure their stats and abilities compliement your current group.. In BG1 and 2 you kinda had to roll with what you got.. and sometimes their stats were kinda crappy in certain areas.. Oh Jan.. you suck so much turnip


From George Ziets @ http://new.spring.me/#!/user/GZiets/timeline/responses

Didn’t like the fact that I don’t get XP for combat. While this does put more emphasis on solving quests, the lack of rewards for killing creatures makes me want to avoid combat (the core activity of the game) as much as I can.

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Personally I would hate it if the NPCs arent as strong as people I can create. I mean sure, they can have specific roles and stuff, but they should still be effective. I think if their NPCs arent strong enough to compete with my player created NPCs, then thats a design problem. Cool things like special abilities (with lore reason/explainations) are great and I encourage them. Heck, even stat bonuses are great. These were little perks that made NPCs amazing in BG and BG2. Its not like they have to be OP, but even Edwin with his extra spells didnt make me autopick him (great for evil parties, other than that, I didnt love his personality). Cool abilities are great for expanding on other cool things and character development too.

 

For example, the human Rogue, Eder (I think) has experience as a soldier (skirmisher I think?) so give him a passive feat called Battle Experience which gives him a bit of increased Damage and Health (or something). Reflects his background and add a little something.

 

For balance purposes heres what I suggest because I think that 'friend' dialogue was awesome :)

 

Say for the first tavern, they only want you to be able to recruit 2 extra companions (for a total of 3/6 party members). So now you hire 2 and lose a bunch of gold. Instead, you can "find 1 friend" and hire 1 mercenary. It does a party check to see if you will go over the expected party limits. Or if you can have 4 party members, make it so you can find 2 friends and hire 1 mercenary. Something like this so you are not completely penalized if you just want to role your own party. 

 

Or do something like you can "find a friend" but they start at level 1. If you want someone above level one, you need to "hire a mercenary". So lvl 1 party is free, but a bunch of lvl 4 mercenaries (you are lvl 5) will cost you some cash. I dont know just some ideas. 

 

PS: I actually think its cool to hire adventurers and dont think Id mind it too much anyway. I usually just use companions anyway so.... But I can see their side about wanting free adventures like the IE games and not wanting to have to roleplay with a bunch of mercenaries. But to each his/her own.

Edited by Hellraiser789
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Also, if they do the party check BEFORE you hire a mercenary, they can then scale the price based upon how many people you currently have, discouraging you from getting more than you should have. Dont know if they currently do that though.

 

Then again, then you could drop the companions (2) in your party, buy a mercenary for cheap, then find a friend, then go pick up the two companions, giving you a party of 5 when they only want you to have 3... so idk. Theyll figure something out I guess. I guess they could do a party check and the companions wont join if you have too many people at the specified points, unlocking more companions as you progress? I dont know whats best.

Edited by Hellraiser789

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Perhaps the adventurers will simply be limited in number based on how far along in the main plot line you are or maybe you will be able to make them and remove them as you will and they won't be concerned about balancing the game for those with an all adventurer party concentrating instead on balancing for a PC plus companions.

 

As for companions not matching up to characters you make yourself - based on what I've seen so far of the attribute and general character creation system - this isn't going to be like the IE games where you can simply min/max your stats to create super power characters so I suspect this is going to be mostly a non-issue.

 

I suspect the companions will be well done for those who want party members with a role to play in the adventure and adventurers exist for those who don't care about that and prefer to create their own themed parties instead.


Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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Having a hard limit on companion number seems a little more "rigid" than paying gold for companions. With gold, at least you can make a decision as to whether you want to continue spending for the new companions. Everyone's limit will be different at that point.

 

I never understand the people who post here on the forums: sometimes they want to play the game "their own way" and sometimes they're OK with rigidity.

 

Furthermore, how well you play allows you to spend less resources on your company of heroes and lets you be more efficient with your money.

 

 

I think either way you should be paying gold.. There is a huge advtange mechanically to building your own companions and making sure their stats and abilities compliement your current group.. In BG1 and 2 you kinda had to roll with what you got.. and sometimes their stats were kinda crappy in certain areas.. Oh Jan.. you suck so much turnip

 

I disagree. This is a single player game that is meant to be played in 100000 different ways. In my opinion, when it comes to party formation, it should be open ended. All manner of play should be encouraged, if not directly supported by the games difficulty. I should be able to attempt a solo character play through, I should be able to run a 3 man party, I should be able to run 6 through, I should be able to pick the most powerful broken class/build to fill up 6 slots or I should be able to run through 6 of the weakest just to see if it can be done, and you shouldn't have to wait a ridiculous amount of time to be able to do so. It sounds like from the other thread that you will be able to do this reasonably fast....but it would be nice if they'd consider allowing it even sooner without having to resort to "mods" or "cheats".

 

There's a big difference between allowing things such as unlimited gold, unlimted health potions, immediate access to powerful items compared to allowing you to freely set your party. I understand you can Mod or use a console cheat command if they have it...but it's very disappointing that they are actively discouraging what I feel is such a great component to replayability based upon the fact that others would "abuse it". I can even understand the idea that the difficulty pacing of the game isn't built for 6 members at "x" point of the game but I don't really see that as a problem...not everyone is going to run out and "party up to 6" if the option is available.

 

RPGs are about experiencing the game in 100000 ways. I can only dream at this point of playing through as many times as I did on BG series.

 

And by the way...in BG1 and BG2...you could create a 6 man party from the start of the game. You just had to host it via multiplayer, it wasn't directly obvious but the option was there. You could even "import" characters over and over to duplicate gear or "kamikaze" them as Sawyer mentioned as a possible issue of "free" adventurers.

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Having a hard limit on companion number seems a little more "rigid" than paying gold for companions. With gold, at least you can make a decision as to whether you want to continue spending for the new companions. Everyone's limit will be different at that point.

 

I never understand the people who post here on the forums: sometimes they want to play the game "their own way" and sometimes they're OK with rigidity.

 

Furthermore, how well you play allows you to spend less resources on your company of heroes and lets you be more efficient with your money.

 

 

I think either way you should be paying gold.. There is a huge advtange mechanically to building your own companions and making sure their stats and abilities compliement your current group.. In BG1 and 2 you kinda had to roll with what you got.. and sometimes their stats were kinda crappy in certain areas.. Oh Jan.. you suck so much turnip

 

I disagree. This is a single player game that is meant to be played in 100000 different ways. In my opinion, when it comes to party formation, it should be open ended. All manner of play should be encouraged, if not directly supported by the games difficulty. I should be able to attempt a solo character play through, I should be able to run a 3 man party, I should be able to run 6 through, I should be able to pick the most powerful broken class/build to fill up 6 slots or I should be able to run through 6 of the weakest just to see if it can be done, and you shouldn't have to wait a ridiculous amount of time to be able to do so. It sounds like from the other thread that you will be able to do this reasonably fast....but it would be nice if they'd consider allowing it even sooner without having to resort to "mods" or "cheats".

 

There's a big difference between allowing things such as unlimited gold, unlimted health potions, immediate access to powerful items compared to allowing you to freely set your party. I understand you can Mod or use a console cheat command if they have it...but it's very disappointing that they are actively discouraging what I feel is such a great component to replayability based upon the fact that others would "abuse it". I can even understand the idea that the difficulty pacing of the game isn't built for 6 members at "x" point of the game but I don't really see that as a problem...not everyone is going to run out and "party up to 6" if the option is available.

 

RPGs are about experiencing the game in 100000 ways. I can only dream at this point of playing through as many times as I did on BG series.

 

And by the way...in BG1 and BG2...you could create a 6 man party from the start of the game. You just had to host it via multiplayer, it wasn't directly obvious but the option was there. You could even "import" characters over and over to duplicate gear or "kamikaze" them as Sawyer mentioned as a possible issue of "free" adventurers.

 

 

all i hear is "blah blah blah." feel free to mod in a cheat if you want. don't whine because the devs think that you need to build up to a full party adn that the story-mode does not work with a full-party. the BGs did not give you a full party at the start of the game and the diffciulty was balaned around that. this had nothing to do with "playing the game 10000 different ways."

Edited by Hormalakh
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My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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Having a hard limit on companion number seems a little more "rigid" than paying gold for companions. With gold, at least you can make a decision as to whether you want to continue spending for the new companions. Everyone's limit will be different at that point.

 

I never understand the people who post here on the forums: sometimes they want to play the game "their own way" and sometimes they're OK with rigidity.

 

Furthermore, how well you play allows you to spend less resources on your company of heroes and lets you be more efficient with your money.

 

 

I think either way you should be paying gold.. There is a huge advtange mechanically to building your own companions and making sure their stats and abilities compliement your current group.. In BG1 and 2 you kinda had to roll with what you got.. and sometimes their stats were kinda crappy in certain areas.. Oh Jan.. you suck so much turnip

 

I disagree. This is a single player game that is meant to be played in 100000 different ways. In my opinion, when it comes to party formation, it should be open ended. All manner of play should be encouraged, if not directly supported by the games difficulty. I should be able to attempt a solo character play through, I should be able to run a 3 man party, I should be able to run 6 through, I should be able to pick the most powerful broken class/build to fill up 6 slots or I should be able to run through 6 of the weakest just to see if it can be done, and you shouldn't have to wait a ridiculous amount of time to be able to do so. It sounds like from the other thread that you will be able to do this reasonably fast....but it would be nice if they'd consider allowing it even sooner without having to resort to "mods" or "cheats".

 

There's a big difference between allowing things such as unlimited gold, unlimted health potions, immediate access to powerful items compared to allowing you to freely set your party. I understand you can Mod or use a console cheat command if they have it...but it's very disappointing that they are actively discouraging what I feel is such a great component to replayability based upon the fact that others would "abuse it". I can even understand the idea that the difficulty pacing of the game isn't built for 6 members at "x" point of the game but I don't really see that as a problem...not everyone is going to run out and "party up to 6" if the option is available.

 

RPGs are about experiencing the game in 100000 ways. I can only dream at this point of playing through as many times as I did on BG series.

 

And by the way...in BG1 and BG2...you could create a 6 man party from the start of the game. You just had to host it via multiplayer, it wasn't directly obvious but the option was there. You could even "import" characters over and over to duplicate gear or "kamikaze" them as Sawyer mentioned as a possible issue of "free" adventurers.

 

 

all i hear is "blah blah blah." feel free to mod in a cheat if you want. don't whine because the devs think that you need to build up to a full party adn that the story-mode does not work with a full-party. the BGs did not give you a full party at the start of the game and the diffciulty was balaned around that. this had nothing to do with "playing the game 10000 different ways."

 

Glanced over the part where you can build a full party from the start in Baldurs Gate 1 and 2? They didn't give you a full party if you played via "single" player/waited for companions but they allowed you to run a game via multiplayer where you could make and control all 6 from the start of the game. By the way, the argument is more for limiting factors that in my opinion, don't need to be limited compared to other things. Obviously I'll mod in if I feel there is a need but as stated...who knows at this point.

 

Perhaps my viewpoint is too warped by playing with increased difficulty mods in BG1/2.

 

Gotta love the internet these days tho, discussing the topic is whining.

Edited by Utukka

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Glanced over the part where you can build a full party from the start in Baldurs Gate 1 and 2?

Not if you play the game normally. You have to go out of your way to a degree to get that result.

 

As for your "this game is to be played in a myriad ways", well, that's why they're adding modding support. A single developer studio could never hope to fill all the various demands and still release the game in an acceptable timeframe.

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Glanced over the part where you can build a full party from the start in Baldurs Gate 1 and 2?

Not if you play the game normally. You have to go out of your way to a degree to get that result.

 

As for your "this game is to be played in a myriad ways", well, that's why they're adding modding support. A single developer studio could never hope to fill all the various demands and still release the game in an acceptable timeframe.

 

Ya, you do have to go a bit out of the way but was still more than possible. Also...who knows what their intent was...maybe it saved them work from having to code in the option to form a party in single player mode. Who knows!

 

Well yes, that's certainly the point of mods...but if you want to get technical here, I'd assume they are doing more work by putting in restrictions rather than just letting you add them freely(even if it's only a little in this case, I don't know the ins and outs of coding such things). The whole point of this discussion is just that if it's a good idea or not to limit the subjects of "party cost or not and when you can get a full party", doesn't matter if they are going to or not. Tis the point of the forums I would think. I however did expand the thought process to cover other elements of gameplay that are more of a Role play perspective rather than "sensical gameplay restrictions", such as not allowing unlimited gold.

Edited by Utukka

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all i hear is "blah blah blah." feel free to mod in a cheat if you want. don't whine because the devs think that you need to build up to a full party adn that the story-mode does not work with a full-party. the BGs did not give you a full party at the start of the game and the diffciulty was balaned around that. this had nothing to do with "playing the game 10000 different ways."

This has nothing to do with wanting to cheat. I'll try to explain this to you with an example.

 

I'm currently playing Wasteland 2. I designed all four Rangers, balancing party needs and trying to give each a sense of character (plus a sort of team identity). I was already having fun before completing character creation. And you know what? When I was describing the game to a friend, I said (without thinking about it) "my Ranger team" with a bit of pride.

 

I've accepted a NPC companion, Angela Deth, for the extra gun and the extra story bits, and it's only added to the experience: We could use the extra hand, and she's a capable fellow Ranger, but I still think of her as an 'outsider' for now. How's that for roleplaying goodness?

 

What's more, I know that if I really enjoy the game, I'll be able to play again and again with new teams. Heck, I could make things really interesting by going with, say, an all-melee squad of ex-Raider junkies.

 

Now maybe you utterly lack imagination. You'll play PoE as a generic fighter, using a walkthrough to determine the optimal build and quest resolutions, dutifully putting up with characters you don't like, and cursing every choice or option presented to you. Whatever, your loss. But how about not trying to keep other people from being able to enjoy PoE in a multitude of ways just because you personally lack the capability?

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