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The disconnection between companions and the overall story.


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There seems to be this constant system of reincarnation, where occasionally the souls will split or merge depending on local population levels. This system is referred to by many as "The Wheel", and even the Engwithan gods only seem to have a tentative grasp on it. I don't believe that The Wheel is an actual ordered system, anymore than a raging river or the movement of tectonic plates would be considered such. Rather, it is just one very important element in the fabric of Eora's setting. 

 

As for the companions, I was put off by only a few. Pallegina never tells us she is willing to help hunt Thaos and Hiravais is just a straggler we pick up on the road. Why were they with us to begin with? Pallegina could have tagged along with the innumerable Vailian merchants and travelers already going to Twin Elms, and Hiravais could have gone to Twin Elms and found out what he wanted to know from the druids. Mind you, he would have been killed at the end of that quest without some friends. 

Edited by Venatio
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I was really disappointed in the Sagani story....

 

Thought it would have some great meeting only to...Meh..... 

You haven't been paying attention to the companion quests, have you? ALL of them get unsatisfying endings. That's the whole point. It's a reversal of the trope where the PC solves everything.

 

Have a very nice day.

-fgalkin

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 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").

 

 

And that's where opinions differ. I'm actually fine with the companions and don't consider them bland. At least as far as Eder, Durance, Aloth, Kana and Sagani are concerned. The others don't interest me that much, but you don't have to like everyone.

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I didn't mind that some characters don't really connect to the main story. It is the story of the Watcher after all, but what they could have done better is how characters respond to your decisions. As far as I can remember, aside from some objections, the only major consequence of a certain decision is the threat of Grieving Mother leaving the party, if you sacrifice that child in Twin Elms. The companions in PoE act pretty much like all the companions of classic IE games, but I think it wouldn't hurt if Obsidian takes a look at newer Bioware games and how they handle companions. I absolutely LOVED the companions in Dragon Age Inquisition! Everyone of them just felt so interesting like they really had a say to certain things and really do care about the stuff that is going on.

Edited by LordFey
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Soooo basically role-playing? In a role-playing game? The PC doesn't really have a character, because it's a blank slate. It's whatever you want it to be which kinda renders it impossible to be anything.

 

The PC's character is whatever you want it to be.  Which means, quite the opposite of your statement, that it is possible to be anything.  Which is preferable to it being predetermined.  They did an ok job at making this matter which the reputation system, though it could definitely have been better (I really hope they expand on this in DLC and sequels).  It's also true that the whole going mad thing is way underplayed, which made the drive to pursue Thaos pretty weak.

 

I do wish the companions interacted with the world outside of their quest a bit more beyond a quick little chiming-in here and there.  I could see Hiravius getting the party into trouble in an inn somewhere.  One of them, perhaps Durance, could be up to no good if not recruited or left to rot in your keep for too long.  Even just some interesting conversations with non companion NPCs would have been nice.  I don't feel that they need to be terribly involved with the main plot, but it is a good point that some of them don't have much reason to stick around past their own quest getting finished.

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I was really disappointed in the Sagani story....

 

Thought it would have some great meeting only to...Meh.....

You haven't been paying attention to the companion quests, have you? ALL of them get unsatisfying endings. That's the whole point. It's a reversal of the trope where the PC solves everything.

 

Have a very nice day.

-fgalkin

Some of them are more unsatisfying than others from the player's point of view. Eder and Sagani in particular. At the end of GM's quest I felt I understood as much as I could and explained my view on the matter as best I could. I couldn't fix the past, of course, but I never expected to. And the ending slides showed that indeed, GM came to terms with what happened - at least to some extent. So it wasn't a disappointing quest to me, not as much as the gnawing curiosity what really did happen to Eder's brother.
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Soooo basically role-playing? In a role-playing game? The PC doesn't really have a character, because it's a blank slate. It's whatever you want it to be which kinda renders it impossible to be anything.

 

The PC's character is whatever you want it to be.  Which means, quite the opposite of your statement, that it is possible to be anything.  Which is preferable to it being predetermined.  They did an ok job at making this matter which the reputation system, though it could definitely have been better (I really hope they expand on this in DLC and sequels).  It's also true that the whole going mad thing is way underplayed, which made the drive to pursue Thaos pretty weak.

 

I do wish the companions interacted with the world outside of their quest a bit more beyond a quick little chiming-in here and there.  I could see Hiravius getting the party into trouble in an inn somewhere.  One of them, perhaps Durance, could be up to no good if not recruited or left to rot in your keep for too long.  Even just some interesting conversations with non companion NPCs would have been nice.  I don't feel that they need to be terribly involved with the main plot, but it is a good point that some of them don't have much reason to stick around past their own quest getting finished.

 

I explained what I meant in exactly the next sentence. It means that your character's personality and motivations can not be in any way tied to the main plot; that would be schizophrenic and a nightmare to write and develop. That is why we are forced into the role of the Watcher, regardless of the PC's personality. That's *fine* to some extent, the bad part is that the role of the Watcher just isn't interesting.

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RPGs do force your character into a role whether it is the Dragonborn, Assassin or Watcher.  Whether a player finds the role interesting or not depends on his or her individual interests and likes and dislikes.  I found being the Dragonborn a joke and played it that way.  the role playing comes into how you play that role, good, evil, selfish, benevolent etc.   

 

In Planescape/Torment you play a guy who has no name and doesn't have any idea who he is but you can build that character the way you want.

 I have but one enemy: myself  - Drow saying


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RPGs do force your character into a role whether it is the Dragonborn, Assassin or Watcher.  Whether a player finds the role interesting or not depends on his or her individual interests and likes and dislikes.  I found being the Dragonborn a joke and played it that way.  the role playing comes into how you play that role, good, evil, selfish, benevolent etc.   

 

In Planescape/Torment you play a guy who has no name and doesn't have any idea who he is but you can build that character the way you want.

 

It depends on your possibilities to expand on that foundation. Personally I dislike RPG games with a premade character. So I didn't play any of the witcher games although I get they're supposed to be very good. And you had it right with the Dragonborn. It was a joke because Bethesda never creates a reactive world and a storyline going beyond four or five missions. So being dragonborn was inconsequential to say the least.

 

POE handles it rather well in my opinion. Could be better. In fact, it could always be better, but at least this world reacts to your played personality in one way or the other. Is it always believable? No, of course not, but the foundations are there and I get that they didn't have the budget of so called AAA titles to work with.

 

What I really miss, and that's not necessarily character specific, is the fact that the NPC population doesn't react to bloody murder and fighting right under their noses.

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The strange thing is that being a Watcher didn't affect much. A few quests here and there, but nothing really memorable except maybe the Sanitarium. The story with Thaos was all about being Awakened instead - and some pressure of going mad from Watcher+Awakened combination, I suppose, but the game failed to present it convincingly, so again, it didn't feel important.

Edited by Rosveen
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To me being Awakened and being a Watcher went hand in hand.  You do see spirits that others cannot see and you can now communicate with them.  Some more than others.However I don't think being a Watcher would drive you mad.  It is memories of his past lives that drives Maewald mad.  

 

Off hand the only RPG I can think of where you aren't driven by some infliction is IWD I & II.

 I have but one enemy: myself  - Drow saying


nakia_banner.jpg


 

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The strange thing is that being a Watcher didn't affect much. A few quests here and there, but nothing really memorable except maybe the Sanitarium. The story with Thaos was all about being Awakened instead - and some pressure of going mad from Watcher+Awakened combination, I suppose, but the game failed to present it convincingly, so again, it didn't feel important.

 

Compared to other games it felt rather important. Looking at Skyrim's totally inconsequential Dragon Born here. In my opinion you also have to look at what they managed with a rather smallish budget compared ot other titles virtually burning money in their development. Of course all your choices and your personality could have more of an impact, but apart from D:OS I fail to name even one title that managed more than scratching the surface of character development and the world reacting to the player.

 

The sad fact is that within the last five or six years we've had only hack and slash and sandbox to choose from.

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The strange thing is that being a Watcher didn't affect much. A few quests here and there, but nothing really memorable except maybe the Sanitarium. The story with Thaos was all about being Awakened instead - and some pressure of going mad from Watcher+Awakened combination, I suppose, but the game failed to present it convincingly, so again, it didn't feel important.

 

Compared to other games it felt rather important. Looking at Skyrim's totally inconsequential Dragon Born here. In my opinion you also have to look at what they managed with a rather smallish budget compared ot other titles virtually burning money in their development. Of course all your choices and your personality could have more of an impact, but apart from D:OS I fail to name even one title that managed more than scratching the surface of character development and the world reacting to the player.

 

The sad fact is that within the last five or six years we've had only hack and slash and sandbox to choose from.

 

Could you explain how you would have wanted it resolved in Skyrim? The way I play these games, the disconnection between the main quest and other questlines is actually a huge plus. I almost always ignore the main quest, which is a perfectly viable playstyle, but I'm always forced into at least starting it, so if being a Dragonborn strongly tied into other quests, I'd never be able to play as if I wasn't one. Don't get me wrong, I'd love more reactiveness in TES games - but to my actions and choices, not to a pre-determined role I have no interest in. Knowing Bethesda, I'd have no say in the matter, so I'd rather take little importance of my dragon soul than the alternative.

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Don't get me wrong, I'd love more reactiveness in TES games

 

 

That's exactly what I would have wanted. Not being a nothing from start to finish. Not being treated like the stable boy when being head of a guild in question. Not being told over and over by the mage in Whiterun to join the mages college when I'm already the frigging arch mage.

 

I was drawn into Morrowind, but that was back in 2002 when the concept had been a novel one. In 2012 I expected quite a bit more.

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To me being Awakened and being a Watcher went hand in hand.  You do see spirits that others cannot see and you can now communicate with them.  Some more than others.However I don't think being a Watcher would drive you mad.  It is memories of his past lives that drives Maewald mad.  

 

Off hand the only RPG I can think of where you aren't driven by some infliction is IWD I & II.

This is correct.  Being a watcher is not what drives a person mad.  Awakening to your past lives is what can do it, which is proven in the sanitarium.  You don't even need to be a watcher to go mad due to awakening to your past lives. 

 

The reason Thaos isn't going mad (though, he is mad in another way) is because his past life is his current life.  It's just one personality the whole time.  He doesn't have multiple personalities conflicting in his mind.

Edited by SlayerDorian
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