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Christliar

The disconnection between companions and the overall story.

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Yes, that's reasonable - the game clearly has the hooks to go deeper, and I'd view not doing so as a function of budget.  I'd like that as well - maybe even have some members unwilling to continue with some choices.

 

Actually, there is exactly one example of this in the game as it stands today -- Grieving Mother leaves permanently if you choose to sacrifice the child in the Twin Falls quest.

 

Just making sure the game gets credit where credit is due. :)

 

 

Same with the tiger and its cubs in the Galawain's quest, oddly.

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I think most people are spreading the meaning of "connected to the main plot" too thin and too wide. Most of your (as in general you) examples are just examples of exposition dumps and world building rather than in any way connected to the main plot. The crux of the problem is that the companions are random people you happen to stumble across your adventures rather than the adventure being something personally meaningful for them. It seems WEIRD that these people would follow you into death the moment you meet them just because... I don't really know, no explanation is given. Yeah, sure you play therapist for a while, but that's stupid.

 

EDIT: Maybe people are just reading the thread title? I should've worded it differently now that I think about it, but I don't see an edit thread title button. This thread is about the main plot and not the setting.

The main plot is not just ending the epidemic but also finding out who you are (and more specifically, making what you can of an answer that doesn't fix everything for you). The companions and their quests are all thematically tied to that. KOTOR 2's best companion, in my opinion, was G0T0, who was not exactly critical to the plot, and I kind of feel like that game was Obsidian doing excellent work within Bioware's Jade Empire/KOTOR/DA:O formula for how to do companions.

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I think most people are spreading the meaning of "connected to the main plot" too thin and too wide. Most of your (as in general you) examples are just examples of exposition dumps and world building rather than in any way connected to the main plot. The crux of the problem is that the companions are random people you happen to stumble across your adventures rather than the adventure being something personally meaningful for them. It seems WEIRD that these people would follow you into death the moment you meet them just because... I don't really know, no explanation is given. Yeah, sure you play therapist for a while, but that's stupid.

 

EDIT: Maybe people are just reading the thread title? I should've worded it differently now that I think about it, but I don't see an edit thread title button. This thread is about the main plot and not the setting.

The main plot is not just ending the epidemic but also finding out who you are (and more specifically, making what you can of an answer that doesn't fix everything for you). The companions and their quests are all thematically tied to that. KOTOR 2's best companion, in my opinion, was G0T0, who was not exactly critical to the plot, and I kind of feel like that game was Obsidian doing excellent work within Bioware's Jade Empire/KOTOR/DA:O formula for how to do companions.

 

 

.....just curious, why did you like G0t0?

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This is exactly where we're disagreeing. We are all telling you that the companions are well developed and used to tell the story of the watcher. They're just not integral to moving along the plot.

I'm guessing this is just a concept that's beyond you at this point.

 

The companions being well developed is not true. They have so little screen time and that screen time is used to give exposition and play therapist. And they are "used to tell the story of the watcher"? What does that mean? What "story" would that even be? Thaos and co.? The companions have *nothing* to do with *anything* related to the PC or the main plot, so I don't know what you mean.

 

 

I dunno, to me it sounds like the companions didn't jump out at you and don't seem important to you, so you are saying it is a fact. I found the companions to be well-written, developed, and connected to the story. It's fine that we have different interpretations, but I sort of feel like you aren't willing to accept an alternate interpretation. Sorry to be rude, but that is how I am reading some of your posts.

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To interject with my POV -- which seems to align fairly closely with Chirstliar's POV:

 

I concede that the characters are well written, both on a purely technical level (grammar and the like) and in terms of having a well defined quest that was utilized both to improve their characterization and provide a useful mechanism for providing the player with lore information that would be difficult to convey to the player in another way.

 

None of the above detracts from the fact that I didn't react either positively or negatively to most of the companions -- I found them terminally uninteresting.  I found them so uninteresting that if I restart the game, I may ignore the companions altogether (& go with adventurer hall companions), simply because I consider the companions story to be so uninteresting that I might as well use companions without any story.

 

I've never, ever, in my 20+ years of gaming made a statement like the above in any party based RPG that included built-in companions.  That includes NWN 1 (which had companions with almost no content at all).  It isn't that I've never disliked companions -- I absolutely loath Jan's character in BG2, and never include him in my party, for example -- but I've never had a complete absence of emotional response to all of the companions in one game.

 

In my book, that makes companions a failure -- even if they do (and I concede that they do) have well written back stories and so forth.

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mmm, I dunno, I've never been into my companions like that - so long as they have good stats I dont care if I they are integral or not. Amazing to me to see people comparing these chars to ones from games 15 yrs back, I barely remember playing the games, let alone the names of the companions

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This game gives you the option of making your entire party from scratch.  You already miss out on quests by not using the NPC companions and some decent party banter.  If you also missed out on things "integral" to the story it would be a bit much don't you think?

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To interject with my POV -- which seems to align fairly closely with Chirstliar's POV:

 

I concede that the characters are well written, both on a purely technical level (grammar and the like) and in terms of having a well defined quest that was utilized both to improve their characterization and provide a useful mechanism for providing the player with lore information that would be difficult to convey to the player in another way.

 

None of the above detracts from the fact that I didn't react either positively or negatively to most of the companions -- I found them terminally uninteresting.  I found them so uninteresting that if I restart the game, I may ignore the companions altogether (& go with adventurer hall companions), simply because I consider the companions story to be so uninteresting that I might as well use companions without any story.

 

I've never, ever, in my 20+ years of gaming made a statement like the above in any party based RPG that included built-in companions.  That includes NWN 1 (which had companions with almost no content at all).  It isn't that I've never disliked companions -- I absolutely loath Jan's character in BG2, and never include him in my party, for example -- but I've never had a complete absence of emotional response to all of the companions in one game.

 

In my book, that makes companions a failure -- even if they do (and I concede that they do) have well written back stories and so forth.

Pretty much. It's like they just said to themselves "eeeehh, it's a new IP we can make our companions exposition machines." Their builds aren't even useful past normal difficulty, so it renders them obsolete. I wouldn't say they are boring per se, even though they kinda are, just irrelevant (both narratively AND mechanically). And that's the worst the companions can ever be - irrelevant.

 

 

This game gives you the option of making your entire party from scratch.  You already miss out on quests by not using the NPC companions and some decent party banter.  If you also missed out on things "integral" to the story it would be a bit much don't you think?

Already talked about this 3 times in this very thread.

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To interject with my POV -- which seems to align fairly closely with Chirstliar's POV:

 

I concede that the characters are well written, both on a purely technical level (grammar and the like) and in terms of having a well defined quest that was utilized both to improve their characterization and provide a useful mechanism for providing the player with lore information that would be difficult to convey to the player in another way.

 

None of the above detracts from the fact that I didn't react either positively or negatively to most of the companions -- I found them terminally uninteresting.  I found them so uninteresting that if I restart the game, I may ignore the companions altogether (& go with adventurer hall companions), simply because I consider the companions story to be so uninteresting that I might as well use companions without any story.

 

I've never, ever, in my 20+ years of gaming made a statement like the above in any party based RPG that included built-in companions.  That includes NWN 1 (which had companions with almost no content at all).  It isn't that I've never disliked companions -- I absolutely loath Jan's character in BG2, and never include him in my party, for example -- but I've never had a complete absence of emotional response to all of the companions in one game.

 

In my book, that makes companions a failure -- even if they do (and I concede that they do) have well written back stories and so forth.

Pretty much. It's like they just said to themselves "eeeehh, it's a new IP we can make our companions exposition machines." Their builds aren't even useful past normal difficulty, so it renders them obsolete. I wouldn't say they are boring per se, even though they kinda are, just irrelevant (both narratively AND mechanically). And that's the worst the companions can ever be - irrelevant.

 

 

This game gives you the option of making your entire party from scratch.  You already miss out on quests by not using the NPC companions and some decent party banter.  If you also missed out on things "integral" to the story it would be a bit much don't you think?

Already talked about this 3 times in this very thread.

 

 

I've not had a problem using the default companions on Hard, really, excepting that you've only really got one good tank.

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Yes, that's reasonable - the game clearly has the hooks to go deeper, and I'd view not doing so as a function of budget.  I'd like that as well - maybe even have some members unwilling to continue with some choices.

I dunno talking about Budget where games gets KickStarted i mean KS is nice and such but companies now rely only on KS to get the game done , it used to be on my days that company had to invest their own money into production of the game so they did it as good as they could so they get paid off from selling their game . not this kind of we get 2 Mill we add a castelz we get 3 mill we add a dungeonz we get 1 mill and we pull of an eric cartman to you ... 

 

What i mean is after such generous KS , company like Obsidian (oh we know u guys arent broke ok) could invest some more of their own money and deliver perfect game , but now its just u get what u donate for and nothing else . 

 

this Risk Free is very bad model of business it is bad for gaming business in general , also you could say that KS brought us alot of games that we wouldnt have seen otherwise but look at Wasteland 2 or Dead State games , they came out unfinished and are still there even after half of year , if company invested their own cash into a game it would come out at much better states then they are now , not even talking about Early Access stuff where you have to be either plain retarded or pay from parents wallet to actually pay for game that is in early Access and most likely will be there for 5 years or so 

Edited by Exoduss

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Yes, that's reasonable - the game clearly has the hooks to go deeper, and I'd view not doing so as a function of budget.  I'd like that as well - maybe even have some members unwilling to continue with some choices.

I dunno talking about Budget where games gets KickStarted i mean KS is nice and such but companies now rely only on KS to get the game done , it used to be on my days that company had to invest their own money into production of the game so they did it as good as they could so they get paid off from selling their game . not this kind of we get 2 Mill we add a castelz we get 3 mill we add a dungeonz we get 1 mill and we pull of an eric cartman to you ... 

 

What i mean is after such generous KS , company like Obsidian (oh we know u guys arent broke ok) could invest some more of their own money and deliver perfect game , but now its just u get what u donate for and nothing else . 

 

this Risk Free is very bad model of business it is bad for gaming business in general , also you could say that KS brought us alot of games that we wouldnt have seen otherwise but look at Wasteland 2 or Dead State games , they came out unfinished and are still there even after half of year , if company invested their own cash into a game it would come out at much better states then they are now , not even talking about Early Access stuff where you have to be either plain retarded or pay from parents wallet to actually pay for game that is in early Access and most likely will be there for 5 years or so 

 

 

General consensus is that Obsidian did invest some of their own funds in the game -- how much is an open question, but keep in mind that when Obsidian ran the Kickstarter they were broke:  if the Kickstarter had failed, it is at least a 50% chance that Obsidian would have closed up shop altogether.  Check out part 1 of the "Making of Pillars of Eternity" documentary for more on this background.

 

However, setting that aside:  I don't believe that "Oh, it is Kickstarter and that means we shouldn't complain about things" is a valid argument.  With any project with any budget, there is a finite amount of resources to be spent, and it is always reasonable to say "They should have spent more on this part, even if that means other components would have suffered."  In this case, I'm arguing that if the reason the companions are bland is because of lack of funds then they should have sacrificed elsewhere to spend more resources on the companions.

 

However, I don't believe that the companions are suffering from lack of funds -- Obsidian simply has a very different vision than I do of what makes an interesting companion.  Obsidian seems to believe that a companion is interesting / "not bland" if they have lots of things to say (mostly voice acted, to boot) and a significant side quest associated with them.  I, on the other hand, feel that a companion should have "lots to say" about the main quest, and their side-quest should benefit the protagonist in some direct, material way (e.g. other than "You get XP").

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snip

 

Not only that - you should have conversations with them. Not the ones that dispense exposition or alignment/disposition points. Obsidian atm have the best writers in the industry and I'm not entirely sure what happened. Both the main plot and the companions are severely lacking, with the main plot totally going bonkers at the second half of act 3. Thaos being stupid and making no sense. Iovara coming out of nowhere. Companions with who you just go through a list of questions that occasionally you can select a cookie-cutter response to to dispense disposition. I don't think that's tied to budget at all.

Edited by Christliar

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Maybe it's a matter of perception, but I don't see how any of these things are true.

 

Without knowing what you mean by "the main plot totally going bonker at the second half of act 3", I can't address specifics, but I can say that I disagree with the gist of it.

 

The other claims, however...

 

Thaos makes perfect sense. Iovara does not "come out of nowhere". The companions are there to help ground the tension between Iovara and Thaos (each of them has a specific tie to one or more gods or theologies - they are a sounding board to help you figure out where you stand because you're going to need this self-knowledge when you finally meet Thaos and Iovara).


"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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If companions are optional, you can't make them fully integral to the plot. That's the short and long version of it. Especially in PoE where you can solo the game or have a party composed of generic adventurers.

 

Besides, without Morrigan the Warden is stuck in the Korcari Wilds without finding the treaties at Flemeth's place. And she provides one of the important ending choices. So she's pretty important to the plot for an optional character.

 

Plus, you dismissing inquisition is a bit silly, given that

one of the companions caused the entire plot to happen. And happen to be a god.

 

 

See Planescape: torment. None of the companions were mandatory and they all play into the main plot.

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Maybe it's a matter of perception, but I don't see how any of these things are true.

 

Without knowing what you mean by "the main plot totally going bonker at the second half of act 3", I can't address specifics, but I can say that I disagree with the gist of it.

 

The other claims, however...

 

Thaos makes perfect sense. Iovara does not "come out of nowhere". The companions are there to help ground the tension between Iovara and Thaos (each of them has a specific tie to one or more gods or theologies - they are a sounding board to help you figure out where you stand because you're going to need this self-knowledge when you finally meet Thaos and Iovara).

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/74672-so-the-plot/page-3 Read through here and through this thread, it will dispel your confusion ;p

 

 

 

If companions are optional, you can't make them fully integral to the plot. That's the short and long version of it. Especially in PoE where you can solo the game or have a party composed of generic adventurers.

 

Besides, without Morrigan the Warden is stuck in the Korcari Wilds without finding the treaties at Flemeth's place. And she provides one of the important ending choices. So she's pretty important to the plot for an optional character.

 

Plus, you dismissing inquisition is a bit silly, given that

one of the companions caused the entire plot to happen. And happen to be a god.

 

 

See Planescape: torment. None of the companions were mandatory and they all play into the main plot.

 

Yes, of course. I gave many examples of this in this thread and I'm tired of repeating myself.

Edited by Christliar

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I'm here only to throw my two cents:

Although being late to the party and barely scratched the surface of the game (just crawled back from the ruins of Eothas temple) I already happened to do something, that by ALL MEANS should cause at least some reaction from companions (and personal reputation maybe?)

I have just murdered Aufra, Calisca's pregnant sister and neither Aloth or Eder even bats an eye. Soo... I can understand the complete lack of the reaction from the Gilded Vale - after all nobody from that god forsaken ****hole saw me doing it (well, aside from the cat, which I of course butchered seconds later), but those two?! Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't like one of the most universally vile things to do, especially in the setting, where many pregnancies end with that whole "hollowborn" thing?

 

Don't get me wrong - I'm pleased to discover I can kill whoever I wan't ("Fallouts" made me that way - point your accusatory fingers towards Mr Tim Cain), but at the same time I'm utterly disappointed in the lack of the impact, it should have.

 

Hope it was just an oversight, because none of the devs even considered that some players would try to do this.

Edited by milczyciel
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"There are no good reasons. Only legal ones." - Ross Scott

 It's not that I'm lazy. I just don't care.

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Another interesting point - we know that putting the souls of animals into humans changes them into monsters...but then, through Sagani, we learn that souls apparently are NOT limited to humans/animals (through the conclusion of her quest).

 

Sounds like a mistake. We are told through just about every source that souls go from person to person (yadda yadda yadda so-sick-of-the-soul-plotline) then we find out that is not true?

 

So why not just suck the souls out of animals and use those instead?

 

See the can of worms opened here?

 

Someone screwed up majorly here. If the souls in animals are the same as all others...I think everyone can see how that screws everything up.

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I didn't think much of it, but OP makes a lot of good points. The quality of the story wasn't bad at all, but it would have been much better if at least one or two companions had a bigger stake in the story.

 

I also wanted them to voice their opinion more often on what exactly I was doing. They don't seem to mind you murdering people for cruelty, but Aloth really has a lot to say about pro-animancy choices. :) Pallegina should be more vocal about aggresion, and the others about murder in general - none of them are cruel people (except maybe Durance, but he would favor punishment rather than murder anyway I think).

Edited by Raz415

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Durance is a very cruel person! He is the quisessential embodiment of cruel because he will not give you a quick death but WANTS you to suffer!

 

Then you won't "forget" the lesson (how he rationalises his cruelty).

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Hopefully we'll get to travel more with our "eternal eight" in the sequel and see how the tale continues! Just like with baldur's gates.. :)

And since more the merrier...we need 3 companions to hit the magic number eleven. Obviously we need one of each missing classes. An expansion would be a perfect time to introduce these companions.

 

-a monk

-a rogue

-a barbarian

 

And in the sequel they could just continue each of their storylines.

Edited by Carados

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Hopefully we'll get to travel more with our "eternal eight" in the sequel and see how the tale continues! Just like with baldur's gates.. :)

And since more the merrier...we need 3 companions to hit the magic number eleven. Obviously we need one of each missing classes. An expansion would be a perfect time to introduce these companions.

 

-a monk

-a rogue

-a barbarian

 

And in the sequel they could just continue each of their storylines.

 

If there was a sequel, I'd honestly be happy if they went with all new companions.  For starters, the ending of PoE basically had all the Companions going their own way.  Having the Companions around for the sequel would seem to contradict the ending.  Furthermore, at least with Sagani, it doesn't make any sense for her to hang around, at least if you've completed her personal quest.  Frankly, I find it difficult to justify having her not want to leave the party to head straight home after completing her personal quest. 

 

Oh, I suppose that some of the Companions could logically decide to say with the PC post-ending, aside from any Ending stuff.  Eder seems like a prime candidate.  I suppose that Kana might be, because he seems like an adventurous sort.  And so on.  But those Ending snippets just seem to make keeping the Companions around difficult to justify.

 

 

As for adding 3 more Companions to get one of each class, I fully agree.

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I find the PoE story very deep.  It deals with age old questions of mankind that have not been answered.   I am happy they did not force answers on the player.  Not all questions can be answered or only answered in a very limited and dogmatic way. 

 

Companions in my opinion should not be essential in a game like PoE.  The devs have clearly stated that they wanted the player to have freedom of choice and deal with the consequences of the choices he or she makes.

 

My first reaction to Durance was "who needs this annoying person?" but as I have played with him and talked to him I have come to feel that of all the companions he is the most essential one. 

 

Eder, Alor and the Grieving Mother are tied to the theme of the story but are not essential to it.  Kana is a bystander an onlooker and has some interesting comments.    

 

I too hope the sequel does not have these companions as companions.  I wouldn't mind meeting them and having a chat to find out what has happened to them but I would like new companions with new problems to solve.  I also hope Wael in some form returns.  

 

I think each individuals own personal perspective plays a large part in how we view this game and I think that is good.  I think the devs intended this game to be very much an individual experience and I believe they have succeeded.


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Another interesting point - we know that putting the souls of animals into humans changes them into monsters...but then, through Sagani, we learn that souls apparently are NOT limited to humans/animals (through the conclusion of her quest).

 

Sounds like a mistake. We are told through just about every source that souls go from person to person (yadda yadda yadda so-sick-of-the-soul-plotline) then we find out that is not true?

 

So why not just suck the souls out of animals and use those instead?

 

See the can of worms opened here?

 

Someone screwed up majorly here. If the souls in animals are the same as all others...I think everyone can see how that screws everything up.

 

I got the sense that what happened with Sagani's quest was a bizarre fluke, and not something normal or expected. And anyway, it doesn't disprove anything. Give a critter a kith soul, get an intelligent, self-aware critter. Give a kith a critter soul, get a feral beast walking on two legs.

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I agree with Christliar- you're seeing a pattern when there isn't one.  In fact I can't even work out how you see this pattern, since the evidence is completely against it.   Very few of the companions (if any) present answers without questions.  And the purpose of struggle?  You stop the Legacy because soulless (and, often dead) children are bad.  It really doesn't go very deep. 

 

 

There is a common theme, but it's about not failing to get answers, as much as it is about about the limitations of getting your answers and direction from somewhere and someone else. With Eder, it's his brother. With Aloth, it's his cult. With Kana, it's the document he seeks, and his hero-worship of the writer. With Durance, it's the trial he believes he is being subjected to by his goddess. Same thing with Hiravius, more or less. With Pallegina, it's a more straightforward case of whether to follow orders or follow your own sense of what is right.

 

In each case, they have an opportunity to reject looking for answers/direction externally and create their own meaning. This obviously ties to the general question of society and the gods, who as it turns out don't represent pure, transcendant moral truth that is as much a part of the fabric of reality as gravity. GM's story provides a counterpoint about the dangers of looking only within yourself to the point of shutting reality out.

Edited by perilisk
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Another interesting point - we know that putting the souls of animals into humans changes them into monsters...but then, through Sagani, we learn that souls apparently are NOT limited to humans/animals (through the conclusion of her quest).

You don't need to get to the end of her quest. She tells you a story about one of the elders who was reincarnated into a polar bear, and the huntress who had to recite half of the elder's deeds while running away from the beast.

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