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Killing Backers as a way to farm early equipment and get some gold

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I wish we had a hidden "publisher" achievement that involved killing ALL backers in PoE.


I see the dreams so marvelously sad

 

The creeks of land so solid and encrusted

 

Where wave and tide against the shore is busted

 

While chanting by the moonlit twilight's bed

 

trees (of Twin Elms) could use more of Magran's touch © Durance

 

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They're actually 'un-flavor' NPCs.  

 

Visually, they undermine the setting, with hordes of godlike standing around with no one caring (especially in gilded vale, where the f'ed up inhabitants should be freaking out and forming lynch mobs).   

They're further confusing for players at the start of the game.  Are they relevant story pieces connected to your character suddenly seeing spirits and weirdness?  Oh.  No, no they aren't.  They're cardboard cutouts for bad prose, unrelated to the universe at all, often containing bad jokes. (Yay, for the elf beat up for accusing someone of bestiality!)

 

Farming the immersion breaking crap for loot is the best use I've come across for them.  But there should really be an option to disable them, as they're horrid and bad for the game experience. 

 

   Ah, interesting opinion.  Actually I rather like the stories and feel that they add to the immersion.  Did you have a bad day yesterday or something?

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Can they drop magic items?

Yes, for what little that term means in the game.  Or do you mean special properties that you can't add yourself?  Because several drop fine weapons, but I haven't seen unique stuff. 

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Oh hey. Another thread where people are pissed off that content people paid for is in the game.

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Are they really more 'immersion breaking' than just going around slaughtering people in villages for nothing more than their loot? I figured out they were the backer NPCs fairly quickly and then just proceeded to ignore them.

 

You buggers. Of course, now that I know you can pretty much kill them with impunity, and since 'immersion' isn't something that's tenuous and fragile to me...

 

Agreed totally.

 

"Best way to get rid of these immersion breakers?  SLAUGHTER THEM IN PUBLIC WITH NO CONSEQUENCES!"

 

People have some really bizarre definitions of immersion.

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I really don't get the hate for them, is it because there are too many godlike? i mean it isnt like the game is too crowded to begin with. Having said that i might just try a little loot farming, how good is the loot though?

 

It's because some people can't get over anything that's different in any way from Baldurs Gate, as far as I can tell.  It's the same handful of people complaining about dozens of picky little things that "ruin their immersion".

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So I tried to attack the ones right outside of Aufra's house and I got a minor decrease in Gilded Vale rep, which led to surrounding NPCs attacking me. Is this inevitable or did I just happen to pick the wrong guys to do this to? They don't have any magic items AFIK, tried it a couple times. 

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I like some of them others not so much. I just ignore them when I see them now.

 

But whose "The Vulture" And whats wrong with him?  


Break beneath the endless tide - monk

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His name makes people lose sleep at night.

Is it really just his name? I thought it would have been because of something in his backer story.


Break beneath the endless tide - monk

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I just assumed that they were the lingering spirits that only the main character can see thanks to the Power.  
This explains a bit.  

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Apparently, killing backers (the NPCs with yellow textbox) have no negative consequences, except when other legitimate NPCs are inside the line of sight. They grant some decent loot early on, and you get the pleasure of defiling the avatars of someone else. I personally think that all these colorful Marty Stus and Mary Sues are distracting and feel completely out of place, and until a mod that removes them appears, I will just pretend I am polishing the game through purges.

 

Sweet, first thing I am going to do after patch!

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I really don't get the hate for them, is it because there are too many godlike? i mean it isnt like the game is too crowded to begin with. Having said that i might just try a little loot farming, how good is the loot though?

 

It's because some people can't get over anything that's different in any way from Baldurs Gate, as far as I can tell.  It's the same handful of people complaining about dozens of picky little things that "ruin their immersion".

 

 

Baldur's Gate did not have useless backer NPCs with Finnish names, yes?

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Completely and wholeheartedly agree.

Want to put an easter egg or mention a backer? Use a friggin tombstone like everyone else does, but please don't flood the game world with Swedish named NPCs, thx

 

 

Are they really more 'immersion breaking' than just going around slaughtering people in villages for nothing more than their loot? I figured out they were the backer NPCs fairly quickly and then just proceeded to ignore them.

 

You buggers. Of course, now that I know you can pretty much kill them with impunity, and since 'immersion' isn't something that's tenuous and fragile to me...

The main problem with them is that they break one of the fundamental conventions of CRPGs - that those people who are unimportant don't get names and that characters with names should be talked to if possible. In other words, that unimportant background characters whose main job is to be there such that a setting doesn't seem unpopulated are, at the same time, clearly distinguishable such that players don't waste time on interacting with them.

 

By giving them names, even if with a different backlight, you are indicating to players that these are important and should be talked to as. To make it worse, it requires your very special soul reading ability and plays a sound and graphic effect when you do it, you know, just like that very important event right at the start of the game. Players who don't start out knowing that it is a waste of time unless you want to read flavour stories that are irrelevant to the setting and to the game's story are going to spend a lot of time reading/skimming them and activating soul reading just in case this next one is the one that actually does something. Eventually they will eventually learn it, but even then it adds to the time it takes for a player to get a quick view of who are important in a given setting, because the mind is much better at automatically sorting people by whether they have generic names that appear all over the place, like four commoners next to each other, or unique names, than by sorting them by whether their names have one backlight or another.

 

It is a completely different issue with tombstones/testimonials. Those are normally used in CRPGs to list jokes, silly verse, RIPs, and real world references and not to provide useful information except in the cases where there's a specific mission to find some useful information on a tombstone, and they aren't spread out everywhere but collected in a few locations.

 

Fleshing out the game with named characters that are utterly irrelevant to the plot instead of just adding a bunch more generic people with professions rather than names was, as far as I am concerned, a bad idea where gameplay is concerned.

 

It helped rake in the money, though, so there is that. It just makes for an ever so slightly worse game.

 

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Are they really more 'immersion breaking' than just going around slaughtering people in villages for nothing more than their loot? 

 

But... the loot...

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I haven't been able to replicate the 'no-consequences' part of this, reputation keeps dropping. Hard mode? idk

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Are they really more 'immersion breaking' than just going around slaughtering people in villages for nothing more than their loot? I figured out they were the backer NPCs fairly quickly and then just proceeded to ignore them.

 

You buggers. Of course, now that I know you can pretty much kill them with impunity, and since 'immersion' isn't something that's tenuous and fragile to me...

The main problem with them is that they break one of the fundamental conventions of CRPGs - that those people who are unimportant don't get names and that characters with names should be talked to if possible. In other words, that unimportant background characters whose main job is to be there such that a setting doesn't seem unpopulated are, at the same time, clearly distinguishable such that players don't waste time on interacting with them.

 

By giving them names, even if with a different backlight, you are indicating to players that these are important and should be talked to as. To make it worse, it requires your very special soul reading ability and plays a sound and graphic effect when you do it, you know, just like that very important event right at the start of the game. Players who don't start out knowing that it is a waste of time unless you want to read flavour stories that are irrelevant to the setting and to the game's story are going to spend a lot of time reading/skimming them and activating soul reading just in case this next one is the one that actually does something. Eventually they will eventually learn it, but even then it adds to the time it takes for a player to get a quick view of who are important in a given setting, because the mind is much better at automatically sorting people by whether they have generic names that appear all over the place, like four commoners next to each other, or unique names, than by sorting them by whether their names have one backlight or another.

 

It is a completely different issue with tombstones/testimonials. Those are normally used in CRPGs to list jokes, silly verse, RIPs, and real world references and not to provide useful information except in the cases where there's a specific mission to find some useful information on a tombstone, and they aren't spread out everywhere but collected in a few locations.

 

Fleshing out the game with named characters that are utterly irrelevant to the plot instead of just adding a bunch more generic people with professions rather than names was, as far as I am concerned, a bad idea where gameplay is concerned.

 

It helped rake in the money, though, so there is that. It just makes for an ever so slightly worse game.

 

 

I totally agree.

 

I came to this game unaware of its Kick Starter history. As I started playing I saw these yellow NPC's and figured I was using my plot related power in some plot advancing way. I thought maybe looking into peoples souls (or w/e) would be linked to the game some way (side quests, future events, what have you). I read a lot of the back stories until I just got bored of it (it was honestly rather boring to read so much about so little). After reading this thread, and finding out what they really are, I am rather sad I wasted my time with this.

 

And they always stand out to me because I like running with tab on to see what is intractable, and now that I know they are backers its a bit, I don't know, off putting I guess. I really would not mind having them hidden or something.

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I haven't been able to replicate the 'no-consequences' part of this, reputation keeps dropping. Hard mode? idk

same, its also quite unpredictable when you lose rep and when you dont, originally i thought it was to do with people seeing you but ive had rep drop when no-one saw me and had it not drop when there were loads of witnesses

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Are they really more 'immersion breaking' than just going around slaughtering people in villages for nothing more than their loot? I figured out they were the backer NPCs fairly quickly and then just proceeded to ignore them.

 

You buggers. Of course, now that I know you can pretty much kill them with impunity, and since 'immersion' isn't something that's tenuous and fragile to me...

The main problem with them is that they break one of the fundamental conventions of CRPGs - that those people who are unimportant don't get names and that characters with names should be talked to if possible. In other words, that unimportant background characters whose main job is to be there such that a setting doesn't seem unpopulated are, at the same time, clearly distinguishable such that players don't waste time on interacting with them.

 

By giving them names, even if with a different backlight, you are indicating to players that these are important and should be talked to as. To make it worse, it requires your very special soul reading ability and plays a sound and graphic effect when you do it, you know, just like that very important event right at the start of the game. Players who don't start out knowing that it is a waste of time unless you want to read flavour stories that are irrelevant to the setting and to the game's story are going to spend a lot of time reading/skimming them and activating soul reading just in case this next one is the one that actually does something. Eventually they will eventually learn it, but even then it adds to the time it takes for a player to get a quick view of who are important in a given setting, because the mind is much better at automatically sorting people by whether they have generic names that appear all over the place, like four commoners next to each other, or unique names, than by sorting them by whether their names have one backlight or another.

 

It is a completely different issue with tombstones/testimonials. Those are normally used in CRPGs to list jokes, silly verse, RIPs, and real world references and not to provide useful information except in the cases where there's a specific mission to find some useful information on a tombstone, and they aren't spread out everywhere but collected in a few locations.

 

Fleshing out the game with named characters that are utterly irrelevant to the plot instead of just adding a bunch more generic people with professions rather than names was, as far as I am concerned, a bad idea where gameplay is concerned.

 

It helped rake in the money, though, so there is that. It just makes for an ever so slightly worse game.

 

So...basically...you're pissed off because the backer NPC's break your immersion by disrupting your ability to use your knowledge of tropes to metagame.

 

Okay then.

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I haven't been able to replicate the 'no-consequences' part of this, reputation keeps dropping. Hard mode? idk

 

When I killed them, I killed inside homes (when no one but them were inside) or in the wild (like the broken bridge leading to defiance bay). When I killed them around default NPCs, the NPCs become hostile and I lose rep, so I avoid killing them inside the open city or inside an inn.

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Didn't know they were Backer npcs, nor do I care really. As quite a few of the stories I read were well done... as for emersion breaking, really, that is quite unusual... I found reading their soul (story) to be what Watchers do. After a number of them I just stopped reading. No they are the furtherest thing from emersion breaking for me.

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Are they really more 'immersion breaking' than just going around slaughtering people in villages for nothing more than their loot? 

 

But... the loot...

 

 

... is their death sentence!!

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I don't like the fact that they use the souls mechanic which is woven into the story early on.     I didn't know if they were important or not for awhile and found it annoying to have to talk to each of them and read their longish text to find out that they were irrelevant.    I skip em now.

 

I don't mind the concept but the devs shouldn't have made their dialog soul-based.

 

Is there an achievement for killing all of the backers?   That would be cool and definitely something I would do even though I usually avoid achievement whoring.

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Okay then.

 

So...basically...you're pissed off because the backer NPC's break your immersion by disrupting your ability to use your knowledge of tropes to metagame.

No, I am not pissed off. I am merely pointing out a fairly obvious, though minor, problem with the named backer NPCs.

 

If we ignore your failure to understand this, your general point about how it prevents me from using my knowledge of how the game genre works is spot on. Breaking genre conventions is not something to do lightly. There's a reason that all those no-name NPCs are generally not given names in CRPGs, and it isn't because the designers can't think up names. It is because they know that obscuring what is important and what is not in the name of immersion results in players interacting with everybody and his donkey to find out who is important and who is not, and that doing that and mostly getting back negatives until they luck out and click on somebody who has something to say that is important is something that is only attractive to the most obsessive compulsive gamers.

 

Which is why all the irrelevant non-backer NPCs in PoE have generic names, because Obsidian's designers aren't incompetent.

Edited by pi2repsion

When I said death before dishonour, I meant it alphabetically.

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