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Suggestion for expanding on the stronghold adventure concept, allows for economical character development content


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One of the most unexpectedly delightful parts of Pillars of Eternity were the stronghold adventures I'd send my roster characters on. I enjoyed reading the short quest texts and how the quest was resolved in the end. It's a great, economical way of expanding the scope of the world that makes you feel like your roster characters aren't uselessly hanging out. So on to my suggestion.

 

I've been replaying Final Fantasy 9 recently and the Active Time Event feature in that game is a really cool thing they do that allows the game to include little vignettes that show side characters doing stuff when they're away from the main group. It boosts the character development and story telling power of the game. Now, if Obsidian were to do something like that for stronghold adventures, it'd be super neat I think.

 

Imagine for example sending Aloth on a mission to find a scholar of adra or something. Obsidian could create a small map, with Aloth automatically moving, talking to NPCs, and have a visual aspect to the story telling. Since it'd be a cutscene without player interaction, this can serve as a way for Obsidian to showcase more about who Aloth is, giving the side characters space to express their personality to the player. Maybe even better, these vignettes can be done in the story book style so it'd be less expensive to make a large number of them. The art department would basically have to create a lot of their wonderful paintings, writers write more scenarios, etc. I reckon that's a great way for quickly and effective expand on the narrative content of the game.

 

What do you think?

 

(edited removing weird font color. Thanks for the heads-up)

Edited by dolgion1
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I can’t properly reply as your post is barely readable. Please, change the font colour.

 

I don’t think stronghold adventure will be a thing this time around. They were patched them later to the game to make it more interactable. In case of are not up to speed there is no stronghold in Deadfire. Instead, you will have your ship which will serve as a base of operations and your primary way of moving around the world.

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YzXD0apipV0

 

There will be some crew management system as well as ship combat via scripted interactions (showcased in the video). Sending your companions out alone would made little sense.

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I have my doubts that we will be able to send our idle companions on quests in PoE2. In PoE1 they were parked at the stronghold, which was fixed geographically and therefore easy to find. In PoE2 we won't have a stronghold, we will have a boat to move around the archipelago (and which the PC always will be relatively near to), making it harder to justify the randomly picked stronghold adventures we got in the first game (How did the quest giver know we would be here? Is the place our companion has to go to even on the same landmass?).

 

Secondly, I don't like the idea of these adventures showing us a cutscene. I wouldn't mind some scripted interactions that much, but for me the stronghold adventures were something that the companions explicitly did away from the story the PC experienced, and somehow involving us in their solo adventure seems wrong (reading the summary of what transpired was fine, since they themselves could have told us). It also seems to be a lot of resources to use on something that was done to flesh out the initially half-baked stronghold.

 

That being said, take heart in the fact that we will get some scripted interactions while sailing the seas, some of the leading to in-engine combat, some of them being purely choice based.

Edited by Night Stalker
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One of the most unexpectedly delightful parts of Pillars of Eternity were the stronghold adventures I'd send my roster characters on. I enjoyed reading the short quest texts and how the quest was resolved in the end. It's a great, economical way of expanding the scope of the world that makes you feel like your roster characters aren't uselessly hanging out. So on to my suggestion.

I've been replaying Final Fantasy 9 recently and the Active Time Event feature in that game is a really cool thing they do that allows the game to include little vignettes that show side characters doing stuff when they're away from the main group. It boosts the character development and story telling power of the game. Now, if Obsidian were to do something like that for stronghold adventures, it'd be super neat I think.

Imagine for example sending Aloth on a mission to find a scholar of adra or something. Obsidian could create a small map, with Aloth automatically moving, talking to NPCs, and have a visual aspect to the story telling. Since it'd be a cutscene without player interaction, this can serve as a way for Obsidian to showcase more about who Aloth is, giving the side characters space to express their personality to the player. Maybe even better, these vignettes can be done in the story book style so it'd be less expensive to make a large number of them. The art department would basically have to create a lot of their wonderful paintings, writers write more scenarios, etc. I reckon that's a great way for quickly and effective expand on the narrative content of the game.

What do you think?

 

 

 

I think it is a brilliant idea. However it's probably not going to happen at this point.

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nowt

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You may want to change the color of your text, as it is currently impossible to read unless you select it.

 

As for your suggestion I have my doubts that we will be able to send our idle companions on quests in PoE2. In PoE1 they were parked at the stronghold, which was fixed geographically and therefore easy to find. In PoE2 we won't have a stronghold, we will have a boat to move around the archipelago (and which the PC always will be relatively near to), making it harder to justify the randomly picked stronghold adventures we got in the first game (How did the quest giver know we would be here? Is the place our companion has to go to even on the same landmass?).

 

Secondly, I don't like the idea of these adventures showing us a cutscene. I wouldn't mind some scripted interactions that much, but for me the stronghold adventures were something that the companions explicitly did away from the story the PC experienced, and somehow involving us in their solo adventure seems wrong (reading the summary of what transpired was fine, since they themselves could have told us). It also seems to be a lot of resources to use on something that was done to flesh out the initially half-baked stronghold.

 

That being said, take heart in the fact that we will get some scripted interactions while sailing the seas, some of the leading to in-engine combat, some of them being purely choice based.

 

thanks for the color thing. fixed it.

 

I don't see how the stronghold itself was some kind of crucial narrative justification for sending out my party characters on adventures. I guess maybe I got requests because I was lord of Caed Nua? In Deadfire I can imagine that you'll build up your reputation and that messengers would be able to reach you on your ship (messenger birds maybe?). Anyway, I find the stronghold adventure bit to be a really good device that allows the game to have a greater scope than just the immediate stuff the Watcher does. I like the idea of imagining Eder taking care of some business, being productive, while I'm off in some dungeon crawl. It makes it feel a bit more alive, if you get my meaning.

 

My suggestion was to have these vignettes be non-interactive, so not that much different to how it is in Pillars 1. It's just about making art and writing specific text for specific companions/sidekicks that may do the adventure. It would mean a good bit more writing than in Pillars 1's adventures, but it can be an effective way to define and express a character's personality and make them feel more three dimensional. It would reinforce the idea that all these characters have their own lives, can be the heroes of their own stories and their existence isn't tied to the Watcher, which is kind of a feeling I get when playing Pillars, Baldur's Gate, etc.

 

I figure too that making maps for non-interactive vignettes would be too great a production cost for too little return. Hence the suggestion to do it over storybook sequences. As I understand, towards the end of production, the artists and writers especially have a lower work load than programmers and QA for example. So maybe that time can be used building such side content that I imagine can be done relatively quickly with the storybook development tools? It's all speculation though of course, and if it meant anything costlier than that, it's probably best to focus on the core stuff.

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With multiple in-house projects I would expect the art team will move to another project, or expansio once their work on the base game is done.

 

Overall I like the idea, but keep in mind that in order to flesh out characters they would need to make 11 seperate versions of the same adventures. If they were to truly expand on characters they would need to modifiey vignettes for each companion, describing their unique approach to the situation. At this point it becomes kinda insane. Unless, you want them to create adventures for specific companions only.

 

hopefully, with crew management system there will be things you will be able to assign to your companions. At the very least Eder can mop the floor while you are out.

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