Jump to content

Do NPC companions have a role?


Recommended Posts

My thoughts in brief:

 

(1) A team of NPC companions shall be encouraged. Each NPC companions has his/her unique (yet multiple) paths of development, based on the decisions made for his/her personal stories. Each of them have their storyline like the watcher, which can also compensate their inflexible innate attributes.  Their FATE is what makes them real and vivid.

 

(2) A team of fewer companions shall be encouraged.  Four for Hard mode, three for POTD, for example.  Fewer players enable a higher degree of micromanagement.  It makes positioning and strategy critical.

 

(3) A simpler spell systems for casters.  For me, the more complicate the spells, the fewer of them would be used.  Complicate combos or strategies can actually be generated from a simple system.

 

(4) One-or-zero boss fights: If my beginning shots landed successfully, the big bosses all die in a few seconds.  If not, the fight may take up 10 minutes or even 20, and there remains no hope of overturning the miserable situation.  It's interesting to learn the tricks from try and errors but shouldn't such learning curve rely more on playing skills rather than on pure probability?

 

(5) Food/Traps:  How could one take 6 dishes of food, plus 1 drink, plus 2 drugs and still could jump up and down... It's also crazy to do so for 6 members. Besides, why should they be placed in the quick item slots if they cannot be used in combat?  Food should be like 3 or 4 meals a day.  Otherwise, it is medicine or drug.

 

(6) Camping/Caravan/Stash: The adventurers should be able to travel with horses and wagons to where they have already explored and cleared the paths.  Two or 3 days' travelling across the map shall not increase their "fatigue".  They should always have access to their wagon and stash as long as in a safe area.  However, moving into a hostile dungeon or closed maze shall disable them from accessing their caravan/stash, which is parked "outside".

 

It's been awhile I haven't played an RPG game as impressive as POE. I couldn't believe that I've spent 400 hours on this game already.   I found out probably most of the time "spent" was that I stared at the static character sheet or inventory panel, thinking, moving things, fine-tuning, looking everywhere for a right spell, a right trap, a right scroll, a right item, etc etc.... or perhaps fallen deep in the thought of how much I adore my char.... just kidding, well, the fact is I realised I focused so much on defeating the enemies that I totally neglected the "stories".

 

As a matter of fact, I haven't even completed ¾ of the second play-through.  I did enjoy overcoming all the difficult encounters with my TRIO, but I also lost my motive to continue once I defeated the mage in the White March Part I, leaving Endless Path and ACT 3 untouched.  By the way, my TRIO is Chanter, Cipher and Rogue.  Casters seem to make my micromanagement over complicated and over time consuming.   

 

Another fact is that I tried using the NPC companions but found myself not hooked.  They are humorous or hilarious from time to time but well, at the end it makes no difference, perhaps.  Decipher the complicity of the skill and combat mechanics seems the only thing in my mind.  All decisions made alter nothing but the rewards the player's character receives.

 

It's not that I dislike this game at all.  I like it very much.  I just don't like myself lose the interest in the stories and roles.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some feedback:

 

1) I can't tell what you were trying to say here, as it almost sounds like you are talking about a game you are making yourself. Hm?

 

2) Why do you keep using the word "shall" ? Aside from the fact that this isn't the Bible, are you asking for features or are you making recommendations on how someone can play the game differently?

 

3) I'm pretty sure some scripted AI could handle spell combo improvements.

 

4) Personally, I do not consider a 10-20 minute boss fight to be a "miserable situation." Many Final Fantasy battles took much longer; not to mention the 6+ hour dungeon raids in MMORPG's like Dark Age of Camelot.

 

5) Perhaps the reason any character can "eat every f'king chicken in this room" is because the Hound from Game of Thrones made it not only possible, but mandatory for combat effectiveness lol

 

6) Horses are cool, a central HUB for "porting" long distances is even better.

 

As for the NPC's, I love the dynamic between Eder and Aloth.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. Yes. Also, I think NPCs should offer unique gameplay things that premades don't. Be that an extra trait, a special animal companion, cool gear. Always good to have this stuff.

2. Not convinced. In a RTWP game micromanagement is fine at all levels and parties of less than 6 mean less NPCs, less banter and less tactical options.
3. I feel Pillars of Eternity does this very well compared to the much more rock/paper/scissors clusterfumble of the AD&D system. You don't have different spells to beat the fourth, fifth and seventh level spell protections or stuff like that and they're working with a relatively limited selection of status effects.
4. I feel long boss fights have to have some emergent gameplay, granular challenge or require specific learning and approaches to be satisfying. The whole HERE'S A BOX TO FIGHT A BIG THING IN doesn't make for great gameplay.
5. It's an abstraction. I feel it works OK.
6. I half agree.

Ultimately I like the NPCs. I almost feel like they're voiced too much, as long voiceovers kind of encourage skipping.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

(1) From my two play-throughs, I found it doesn't make a great difference whether to play with hired henchmen or to play with NPC companions, in terms of the storyline.  The NPC companions offer some funny conversations, but their quests are "side quests" that do not affect the results or the paths.  Their own personal endings remain the same (I guess.)  Now, when I am more attracted to the combat, I'd tend to use hired henchmen rather than NPC companions since they latter do not offer me "extra benefits" or "different storylines".  This is why I feel the use of NPC companions needs to be encouraged.

 

(2) Every player has their rights to play the way they want. Some may tend to play with a full team of 6 members so that they don't need to  micromanage everything and enjoy more immersion in the story itself, just for example. Some other may tend to like to challenge themselves more than the game is designed to provide.  I did so in my second play-through and always head the most difficult situation with the least of resources. For example, I went directly to get the cloudpiercer and unique spear at level 4/5 where the combat in each room turns out to be like a boss fight, in which every possible food, potion, scroll, trap, spell, ability was all used up.  I went to the mage's tower at lvl 8 and again each single sergeant or marksman was like a final boss for me again. This was a great fun and a great challenge for myself.  I didn't say Hard mode  "shall allow" a maximum of 4 players. But if it is "encouraged by design", there would be more fun and more repeated play through, imho.

 

(3) AI is a bit in a difference direction from a full micromanagement. I found myself spending a lot of time finding the right spells or items among all the grimoires, inventory, ability list etc.  I just feel if it is possible, it would be great to spend more time on thinking about which path of the storyline to pursue, or solving puzzles in the game (rather than googling.)  It is difficult to learn and use everything effectively without googling a lot outside the game. Too many possible combinations of spells/skills seems to narrow down the range of my frequently used spells etc. Sure, that's just me.

 

(4) I didn't mean to say 20 minute fight is miserable.  The current design is either the boss one-shot you, or you one-shot the boss. One can keep reloading after say 10 seconds if the beginning shots all fail until some of them land successfully.  Then, the boss fight is actually not difficult.  I don't see it an applaudable design.  It would be better to encourage fighting in a long "miserable" situation and at the end we have the chance to over turn it, even after 30 minutes or longer.

 

I made every encounter a long boss fight for myself. I tried to use as few men as possible (three), and sometimes I let one of the player stand aside. I would try not to summon, not to use per turn skill, not to use food etc as far as possible. I rather enjoy it if I can overturn a very difficult situation. I don't find a long miserable situation not a challenge.

 

(5) "Meal" shall last for a few hours and the real people will get stuffed and immobilised if they eat too much.  Besides, what's fun in eating 6 dishes every for 6 players, spending 5 minutes before a fight moving these items to and fro 72 or 108 times?

 

(6) Just a concept about the camping/food/stash in real world situation.  

  

Some feedback:

 

1) I can't tell what you were trying to say here, as it almost sounds like you are talking about a game you are making yourself. Hm?

 

2) Why do you keep using the word "shall" ? Aside from the fact that this isn't the Bible, are you asking for features or are you making recommendations on how someone can play the game differently?

 

3) I'm pretty sure some scripted AI could handle spell combo improvements.

 

4) Personally, I do not consider a 10-20 minute boss fight to be a "miserable situation." Many Final Fantasy battles took much longer; not to mention the 6+ hour dungeon raids in MMORPG's like Dark Age of Camelot.

 

5) Perhaps the reason any character can "eat every f'king chicken in this room" is because the Hound from Game of Thrones made it not only possible, but mandatory for combat effectiveness lol

 

6) Horses are cool, a central HUB for "porting" long distances is even better.

 

As for the NPC's, I love the dynamic between Eder and Aloth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the feedback.  I kinda of like them. It's not about agree or disagree.

 

I do not play a lot of games.  I like POE "absolutely" but I cannot compare it to anything else.  The only other game I can talk about is probably the Witcher 2.  The characters in it for example leaves me a vivid impression.  I played it 5 times.  Its design of the talent tree system and possible future paths is clear and simple.  Still one can produce his own different fighting styles or combos.  

 

Admittedly some experienced players can make use of all the spells no matter how many and how complicate they are.  For me, it is a good design if one still can enjoy the most out of its combat system without the need to seek advices or guides outside the game and   A simpler or fewer options urge the player to find his own combos and solutions to overcome the situation where there is no single must-use spell available.  Perhaps POE is already the simplest version among others. I can't tell.

 

 

1. Yes. Also, I think NPCs should offer unique gameplay things that premades don't. Be that an extra trait, a special animal companion, cool gear. Always good to have this stuff.

2. Not convinced. In a RTWP game micromanagement is fine at all levels and parties of less than 6 mean less NPCs, less banter and less tactical options.
3. I feel Pillars of Eternity does this very well compared to the much more rock/paper/scissors clusterfumble of the AD&D system. You don't have different spells to beat the fourth, fifth and seventh level spell protections or stuff like that and they're working with a relatively limited selection of status effects.
4. I feel long boss fights have to have some emergent gameplay, granular challenge or require specific learning and approaches to be satisfying. The whole HERE'S A BOX TO FIGHT A BIG THING IN doesn't make for great gameplay.
5. It's an abstraction. I feel it works OK.
6. I half agree.

Ultimately I like the NPCs. I almost feel like they're voiced too much, as long voiceovers kind of encourage skipping.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

their quests are "side quests" that do not affect the results or the paths. Their own personal endings remain the same (I guess.)

They actually don't, all companions have at least a couple of possible endings at worst, five different endings at best. Edited by Fenixp
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Zenbane,

 

You are right that I shall not use shall.

 

Some feedback:

 

1) I can't tell what you were trying to say here, as it almost sounds like you are talking about a game you are making yourself. Hm?

 

2) Why do you keep using the word "shall" ? Aside from the fact that this isn't the Bible, are you asking for features or are you making recommendations on how someone can play the game differently?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

their quests are "side quests" that do not affect the results or the paths. Their own personal endings remain the same (I guess.)

They actually don't, all companions have at least a couple of possible endings at worst, five different endings at best.

 

 

Good to know!  I finished it only once and actually didn't care about the endings.  It was my ignorance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...