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Fiery Rain

Somewhat late feedback/criticism on stronghold's visitor dilemmas (Spoilers, of course)

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First off, dilemmas are very cool addition to your stronghold, so thank you guys for including them. They manage to strike a good balance between being fairly weighty and flavour-y at the same time. Although sometimes your character's possible responses lack necessary nuance and come off as a little thick-headed and childish (local cruel lord comes to ask you for advice - your character gets to respond basically this: "YOU ARE EVIL, EVIL MAN!!! GUARDS SEIZE HIM!!!"), it's all good for the most part. However, these dilemmas appear to lack... let's say finishing touches when it comes to showing possible results and a result, when this happens, they feel underdeveloped. Let me give you a few examples.

Let's start with the local drunkard dilemma. He asks you to help him with his money problems and you can suggest him to work for Bellasege. He thanks and leaves. But when you visit Sanitarium in Brackenbury to check on him - he isn't there and Bellasege bark strings are unchanged, so your choice is effectively ignored. It would be enough to simply move his model to the sanitarium and assign a simple bark string for him to make this choice matter. Because, if the game forgets right away about your choice, what's the point then? And I know it all can be justified and excused - he simply forgot, he got lost on the way, he changed his mind and returned home and so on and so on. But that's not the point. After all, when you save a girl in Heritage Hill from guls, she does not disappear, but instead shows in Crucible Knights' Keep with a bark string. Simple, but effective.

Second, and perhaps more perplexing, is the Nyry the Deft Hand dilemma. She shows up in Caed Nua and asks you to help her "disappear". One option can allow you to pay her 1000 coppers for her to disappear from Dyrwood altogether. She thanks, says she's in your debt and leaves. But almost immediately, random algorithms trigger and make her appear again, this time simply as a "bad visitor", just like before. So not only your choice is rendered meaningless, you just effectively wasted 1000 coppers on hot air.

I mean, what is this? You invested resources and in exchange, get basically nothing? Essentially, you could just say "Sorry, couldn't help you with that" and get the same result, only without money-wasting. What's the point of this option then?

So guys, I think if you started something, you should take another step as well, so to speak. These half-measures aren't helpful. Remember Chekhov's rule! :)



In short: The game gives you multiple choices when it comes to visitor dilemmas, but then for the most part forgets to show results of your selected choice, even when it's perfectly possible, instead acting as if you never made them in the first place and rendering the whole process fairly superficial.

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I should probably add that I would welcome if someone else shared their experiences with dilemmas in this thread, be it positive or negative. As far as I remember, before the stronghold improvements came, it was a popular topic around here that stronghold should be reactive and many players often talked about possible dilemmas in BG2. So I think now is the perfect time to share the experiences.

The reason for this is simple - the game is still receiving patches and still can (although not very likely, granted, but it's better than nothing) possibly improve these aspects. When the patching stops, everything will be set in stone and any complaints (and there will be complaints) will most likely be ignored. So if you have any gripes, it's probably better to state them now.

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I was a little confused by how the dilemmas went- it seemed like I'd choose to have Eder help the animancer, say, and they'd leave the stronghold, and then the animancer would come back and just passively increase my prestige without doing anything or seeming to be present. I wondered if there was any follow up to the dilemma or if I was missing something. Having them stand around in the throne room just saying "thanks for sending Eder to help me out" or whatever would be very cool.

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