Prime-Mover Posted April 19, 2015 Share Posted April 19, 2015 Wouldn't it be totally awesome if PoE had little exclamation marks floating over the heads of questgiving NPC's? Well, no. It wouldn't. It would make the game significantly more arcady, and less 'immersive' (or whatever term people prefer). Furthermore, it would make every non-questgiving NPC in the world come off as static insignificant windowdressing, because you know they don't have anything to contribute since they lack that infamous quest marker. So getting to my point now, because there is actually one: PoE does have quest markers. In a matter of minutes playing the game, it becomes abundantly clear, which NPC's are quest and story relevant, and which NPC's that are just filler, because this is clearly signified by whether or not they have a unique name or not. The problem with this is that no matter how many NPC's that populate a certain area of the world, e.g. a city, it makes the world very empty, because simply pressing TAB will imidiately give let you gauge the degree of quest and story activity in a given area. Note, it's not a matter of how much you can actually do in the world, it's how clear it is. The world in many cases feel more like a movie set, then an immersive experience. After finishing PoE, which IMO is a great game, I started a new campaign of Baldur's Gate. An my immidiate impression here is, that is doesn't suffer from the same movie-set feel as PoE. One of the reasons is that there are significantly more unique NPC's. Take a place like the Nashkel Mine. In the three levels of that dungeon/mine, there are only two quest-relevant NPC interactions (Kylee's knife, and talking to/killing Mulahey). However, the area still doesn't feel devoid of life, because many of the miners have unique names, and unique, but very short, conversation options. Of course, by your 20th playthrough, you know that you don't need to talk in order to make the quest progress, but the fact that they are there, still give the level a less artificial feel to it. Furthermore, almost every wilderness area in BG, has a couple of small questy kind of NPC's like the fortune teller, the potions salesman, the mage who experiences with scrolls and oozes, Elminster running around, stoned women, lost cat's, talking chicken...... I could seriously go on and on. The same with towns. Beregost is full of small insignificant quests, most of which you have to actively go look for, and probably don't find till your 3-4th playthrough. PoE? Meh. It's certainly pretty, and I liked most aspects of it. But the world itself seemed dead, and not worth exploring. So... my suggestions: Many more stupid little quests, and NPC's with a couple of lines of unique lines of dialogue. And make it less obvious which NPC's are actually have quests, and who don't. Why not e.g. anonymise NPC's untill you either talk to them, or have information about how they look. Imagine e.g. that you are looking for some dude. You don't know who he is, other than having his name. Wouldn't it then make sense, that he didn't have a floating name over his head, till you actually get a description of him? Something like this - I imagine - would give the player the illusion that everyone could be an interesting and alive NPC. Again, it's not necessarily a question of whether the NPC's actually play a relevant role in the world, but rather, just don't give the player the impression, that the world is empty. ...Sorry, got a bit ranty. 7 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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