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It depends on who you talk to. Might want to make a poll of it. I personally didn't mind grieving mothers. It was a different sort and you had to actually read the text on parts of it but there wasn't any fighting... That I remember.

 

I think the best one was durance but that's just because I got to make him feel terrible which made me feel GREAT!

Edited by mystang89
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You can trade them around and do all the side quests with one party, even if you have 5 inn-rolled characters and one swap-spot.  

 

That said... IMHO only ...

 

aloth:  boring.  Side quest is 99% talking to him after the right triggers.

Eder:  Good quest.  One of the "deepest" and most interactive. 

Duracne:  Meh.  Mostly talking spread out so thin that by the time you talk again you forgot what he said last time.

Kana:  Pretty good quest, fairly short.

Sagani:  Dumb quest, long and drawn out and boring and a somewhat insane backstory (no one sane would really DO this)

Hiravias:  Good quest.  Makes sense, reasonable depth and effort etc.

Mother:   Meh.  Its not interactive at all, it just happens when it does.

Pallegina:  Extremely short and lacks depth. 

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I don't know why some of you mention Kana. The story is okay, but the quest itself is very short and you don't even need to keep Kana in your party. I left him at the stronghold as soon as I could and picked him up only to take him to that quest-related room.

 

Eder is the best companion, keep him regardless of quest (which is also great). Durance and the Grieving Mother have quests requiring you to talk to them often after resting, so if you want to do them, it's best to keep them both in your party. The GM has quite a lot of interjections in other quests as well. Aloth's quests requires visiting a place that becomes inaccessible at one point, so it might be a good idea to keep him too so you don't accidentally miss it.

 

Kana, Pallegina, Sagani and Hiravias all have quests that just require going to a specific place (or places), so I don't think it's worth keeping any these companions only for their quest if you don't like their personality. Kana's and Pallegina's are particularly short, but I enjoyed the other two.

 

I would recommend Eder and Durance, the third companion being whoever you feel fits your party best. But it's important to note that Durance has an abrasive personality, so you might prefer someone else instead.

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Quest length/complexity != quality. Also, question was "best" side quest (can only be one best, by definition). Doesn't mean that others aren't good (which is not to argue that all of the others are good).

 

The theme of PoE is belief and each of the companion side quests comes at belief from a different angle.

 

Aloth's quests asks us whether we believe it is better to lead or to follow. The writing is generally good, peaking with Aloth's account of life at home, but nothing ever felt as though there much riding on the decision.

 

It's hard to find much fault with Eder's side quest. Thematically, it covered a lot of ground and I will say that Eric Fenstermaker genuinely surprised me with the outcome of Eder's arch. Perhaps this is also why I felt there wasn't much riding on the line, because certain choices seemed obvious.

 

Durance required some effort to complete, but again this doesn't mean I think that warrants putting it at the top of the list. MCA did a lot of interesting things with the 4th wall, but I'm also wondering if he will ever write anything that doesn't have betrayal at the heart of it (even when he turns on his own conventions by making betrayal a good thing, like he did in AP, he's still riding that hobby-horse). While it was fun to see Durance's own narrow-thinking turned against him at the end, I don't think that means his side quest was the best.

 

Grieving Mother probably deserves the top spot, as I got kicked directly in the feels the first time I completed her side quest and finally figured out what she was all about. However, everything leading up to that felt like a chore. Big scenes were required to be reviewed not just twice, but three times (if you selected the "mostly right, but not exactly right" option on each of the "quizzes"). Also, voice acting was...adequate. Budget probably meant they only got one shot at each party member, but I can't imagine they walked out of that VR session feeling like they bagged a winner.

 

Hiravias - thematically good, but also thematically obvious. Hiravias' biggest problem was Hiravias.

 

Pallegina - enjoyed the writing. Won't tie for 2nd place, but is a very solid 3rd. I felt her struggle with her conflict and while it was easy for me to "armchair" that decision for her, that was one of the few side quests where I felt there were solid arguments on both sides of the internal debate.

 

Sagani (like Grieving Mother) tied for 2nd. Like Pallegina, I felt like I was asked to wade into the gray and make a call. Add to that the irony at the end of her side quest and Thaos' epic bitch-slap and I'll call that some fine damn writing.

 

Which leaves Kana. Call it the sympathy vote, but Kana got his heart ripped out, pulverized, and then stomped into the dirt a few times before the Leaden Key happens along to pour salt on the mess. The build up was epic. The crash was devestating. The stakes...really 1) left up in the air and 2) only broader in scope for Pallegina. So, yes, I feel quite comfortable arguing that Kana's was the best companion side quest.

 

And if you really want to use distance covered or enemies killed as your measuring stick, you have to clear 6 levels of Od Nua, plus the courtyard, plus the main hall, plus the dungeon to complete his side quest, so I think he nails it that way too.

Edited by Achilles

"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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I see where you're coming from, but I still wouldn't take a companion on an 60+ hours journey with me only because of a quest that isn't even related to this journey and takes a couple of hours max to complete if you count the Endless Paths before Kana's level. Outside of Od Nua, his quest doesn't matter. Not even thematically, compared to Durance's divine and historical lore exposition or Sagani's insight into what happens to souls in the cycle of rebirth. Now, does Kana himself offer interesting insight? I admit I have no idea because like I said, I left him at the stronghold (not because of his quest or personality, I simply dislike chanters as a class). But considering this, I think the question shouldn't really be about the companions' quests, but rather about their general involvement  - precisely because most of the quests are a very small part of the game, so what do you do with these people when you're not on their quests?

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Hmm. I get where you're coming from too. If we equate "best" as "largest impact on lore", or "general involvement" then you're assessment is probably the correct one (Sagani, Durance...I would add Eder and Aloth as well). However, I still think that none of the companions make much sense outside the scope of being a thematic sounding board. And in that regard, I think Kana's quest had the most interesting questions (and I fully concede that's going to be a matter of preference).

"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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