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All I could find that supports this particular "backer outrage" are second-hand accounts that Sawyer said that sidekicks will have similar level of interaction as Mazzy/Cernd in BG2 (see thread https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/96229-wtf-are-sidekicks/page-6).Mind, I couldn't find a direct quote by JS anywhere, or even a link to it. And, of course, both Mazzy and Cernd had banter, and quiet a bit of it. Cernd had his interactions in the druid quest too, limited as they were.

 

So yes, if the quote is genuine, this latest stream does constitute a broken promise. If not, well, Fig updates didn't make any lofty promises about what sidekicks would be. :getlost:

 

That said, not giving people who are ready to throw money at you for mere promises "quite" what they want, may be both a smart business decision to widen the target audience, or a fast way to lose any audience altogether. I am personally watching steamcharts. For science, you see. :no:

 

From the Q&A with Josh and Bobby Null:

 

 

 On the boards, there've been many doubts and speculation about sidekicks and how they differ from regular companions. Any chance we'll hear more on this distinction?

 

JS: There's a lot of confusion about this. The easiest way I can describe them is: remember BG2, remember Anomen and Jaheira and characters like that who had like a ton of stuff, and then you remember characters like Cernd and Mazzy—who are cool characters, but they don't actually have a whole lot to say. And people still remember those characters.
 
Sidekicks are more in the category of characters like Cernd and Mazzy. Not in terms of those characters specifically, but in terms of the quantity of stuff they will say. So, they don't have personal quests to go on. They can pipe up about things, but they're much less chatty than a full-fledged companion.
 
BN: I think another thing that hasn't really been brought up—from a narrative perspective, not just an actual node count and the amount of work—is companions, much like the player...a good character in a lot of narrative works has an arc. Where they start as one thing and the world changes them, their experiences change them and a lot of times they'll turn into something else later on down the line. That's interesting, and takes a lot of nodes(like Josh was talking about) to accomplish.
 
The idea with sidekicks is that they don't necessarily need to have an arc, but they can still be — there's a lot of characters that don't have an arc in various forms of fiction that people love. Whether it's in movies, or television, or someone like Minsc. Minsc doesn't really have a big arc that I remember.
 
JS: He can get a new witch. But that's not Jaheira.
 
BN: It's also not really an arc. He doesn't really change. He's literally the same butt-kicking guy, his attitude pretty much stays the same. That's kind of the other thought we're thinking there too is that people will hopefully love the sidekicks; they don't have to have a big deep story arc.
 
JS: And I will say that, because I just sat down with the narrative designers today so we could talk over planning with companions, the working schedule time for a writer—just a writer—to write a companion, is six work weeks. It takes six weeks of a narrative designer's time to write a companion. That doesn't include their quest implementation or anything of that stuff, so that's why we want to draw the distinction between what a full real companion is and what a sidekick is.
 
We want sidekicks to be colorful and cool, but we don't — we want to have more options for you guys, but we also don't want to over-promise something we don't think we can deliver on.
 
 
Having recently played through Baldur's Gate II again with Mazzy in my party I'm actually rather surprised to draw the distinction with her and she does have some pretty specific content dedicated to her, in the form of a personal quest and also encounters, banter and interjections that makes her a more involved character than, say, Valygar or even the likes of Keldorn. More specifically, Mazzy has a sidequest involving a poisoned sister in Trademeet, and an encounter where an ogre challenges her to a duel at the Copper Coronet arena. Likewise I recall a fair bit of banter with Korgan for example (him trying to woo her on several occasions), a rather humorous running joke with Valygar where she appoints Valygar her squire, and voicing her distaste of Viconia to her personally, and so on.  Banter is most definitely existent with her character, though it is arguable that the banter may only really be relevant if you happen to land on the party that prompts it.
 
Which makes me wonder if this is what Josh meant with "little to no banter" - is it a matter that they absolutely won't talk to other companions, or will they speak a bit to some but not to all? I would find it odd for example if Ydwin and Aloth didn't have a few words to exchange considering Aloth's distaste for Ydwin's profession; but maybe on the other hand Ydwin and Tekehu have little to discuss with one another. I'm rather confused by Josh's explanation about banter being hard work and am not sure I get the complication based on how he explained it. He mentioned something about the banter being a multiplicative work... Did he mean across characters or number of characters a sidekick would interact with? Maybe they'd assumed that a series of banters between a specific companion and sidekick would open for an expectation of banter across all sidekicks and characters, and hence if a single bit of banter amounted to four or five lines of dialogue, and you'd expect about three or so per companion/sidekick, then you'd have to implement 150 lines of dialogue per sidekick to accomodate all ten character's they'd interact with - if so I can definitely understand... But I don't think they *need* to interact with everyone, maybe only a few banters that make sense for the more critical matches/mismatches (e.g. Aloth and Ydwin as stated above). Voicing the lines would obviously add to the cost but it seems the choice to omit them was made before the decision of voicing all dialogue, from my understanding of how and when each decision was made in Deadfire's production.
 
On the subject of budget, I think there's a misconception at play here that the stretch goal's value directly represents the cost for that particular stretch goal, but that isn't quite true. Josh and Adam have spoken to a pretty large extent about how in hindsight many of the stretch goals for the first Pillars were bad ideas because they ultimately had to put way too many resources into those elements that could have best been spent elsewhere - which suggests the likes of splitting the big city into two, and the Endless Paths, and Caed Nua and so on clearly ended up being pretty costly, likely well over what would have been "allotted" by their stretch goals. There was some negativity about the stretch goals for Deadfire because they didn't relatively seem as ambitious but this is more because they knew thanks to prior experience what was feasible to promise which wouldn't end up being implemented half-way or leech off the resources from other elements in the game. I think stretch goals usually offer new features with which to incentivate further investment for a game, but ultimately I don't reckon they ever mean "this is the money that will be given to this particular feature" - as an investor or backer you are pledging on the game, not the particular feature, and the cost of the same ultimately falls to how the devs allot the overall funds (those features may ultimately cost more or less). So the bottom line for me is that whether the stretch goal is "worth" that money is a bit moot as a discussion, I think, and I also reckon it's a bit disingenuous to assume that the Endless Paths or the likes is a marker to what Obsidian could do with the money being discussed.
 
For the record I do agree it's pretty disappointing news and it may as well ensure I don't ever use the sidekicks.
Edited by algroth
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to others wrote it as 250.000: it's a god damn comma, not a period, stop using a period to indicate thousands

 

Minor point, it depends on the language of the speaker: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_separator#Examples_of_use

 

As a side note, I've never seen apostrophes used to separate thousands in large numbers.

 

 

Comma, apostrophe, whatever.

 

Any country that uses periods to separate thousands is a backwards and savage place!

 

W.ho di.d you ca.ll s.av.ag.e/ y.ou b.rut.e>

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I don't think they even had a choice here. After Divinity 2 (I haven't played it) had full VO, Pillars 2 had to have full VO too. It's very obvious to me, that if they wouldn't have done full VO, every single reviewer out there would have said right away, that Pillars 2 doesn't even have full VO like Divinity 2 already had last year (or whenever this game came out). Pillars 2 is a huge deal for Obsidian, so they can't afford to have it fail, having lots of people say at launch that this game feels "cheap" certainly would have hurt their sales.

I really don't agree with this statement.

 

People on this forum have a hard on for comparing Divinity Original Sin to Eternity, but I never saw any decent reviewer compare them in anything more than the most basic way. Statements like, "And Divinity Original Sin is another entry in this new resurgence of isometric tactical RPG's, like Baldur's Gate, and the newer crowdfunded titles Pillars of Eternity and Torment Tides of Numenera." That's about as far as any good writer took it.

 

Real reviewers, review games based on that game. Not on what that game did or did not do, that some other game did or did not do differently.

 

Obsidian put in full VO because they had the budget for it, they knew a large amount of their player base would like it, and they felt it would be a strong enough selling point to justify the cost. Don't kid yourself thinking there was any other reasons.

Agreed, besides wouldn't Bioware have used full VO if they had had the budget?

Edited by Yenkaz
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P but I never saw any decent reviewer compare them in anything more than the most basic way. 

 

Real reviewers, review games based on that game.  Not on what that game did or did not do, that some other game did or did not do differently.

 

 

 

 

And yet it is constantly compared. The last 10 articles I read on gaming sites about Pillars 2, had Divinity mentioned in it. Which is also the only reason why I brought it up. I'm not here often enough/read enough to know what people usually do here.

 

Real reviewers? Reviewers shape opinions whether you consider them real or not. Trust me on this.

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P but I never saw any decent reviewer compare them in anything more than the most basic way. 

 

Real reviewers, review games based on that game.  Not on what that game did or did not do, that some other game did or did not do differently.

 

 

 

 

And yet it is constantly compared. The last 10 articles I read on gaming sites about Pillars 2, had Divinity mentioned in it. Which is also the only reason why I brought it up. I'm not here often enough/read enough to know what people usually do here.

 

Real reviewers? Reviewers shape opinions whether you consider them real or not. Trust me on this.

 

 

Not to mention this https://twitter.com/jesawyer/status/911663832732278784

 

DOS2 is currently the best selling modern CRPG. To say that DOS2 didn't have any influence at all for the full voice acting decision is a bit asinine.  

Edited by Bill Gates' Son
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Wait who actually are the companions, who are the sidekicks and what makes sidekicks different from tavern build custom party members?

 

well to put it simply:

 

companions: have large amount of dialogue, banter and come with a personal quest along with their recruitment quest (the recruitment may not be in some companions like éder and aloth since you'll probably start with them)

 

sidekicks: small amount of dialogue/banter, come with a recruitment quest but don't have a personal quest.

 

custom party character: none of the above  

Edited by nightcobra
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Wait who actually are the companions, who are the sidekicks and what makes sidekicks different from tavern build custom party members?

For a backer you know surpringly little! Check the Fig updates, there is enough information there.

In short, sidekicks are watered down companions.

Edited by Sedrefilos
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From the list going around in the forums I thought Aloth, Eder, Maia Rua, Pallegina, Serafen, Tekehu, Xoti, Fassina, Konstanten, Rekke & Ydwin were companions. But this topic starts with "There you have it, a 250k stretch goal for 4 portraits and 4 custom characters." Hence my question. Btw whats with the condescending tone?

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From the list going around in the forums I thought Aloth, Eder, Maia Rua, Pallegina, Serafen, Tekehu, Xoti, Fassina, Konstanten, Rekke & Ydwin were companions. But this topic starts with "There you have it, a 250k stretch goal for 4 portraits and 4 custom characters." Hence my question. Btw whats with the condescending tone?

The companions are seven: Eder, Aloth, Palegina, Xoti, Serafen, Takehu, Maia. Everyone else is a sidekick. What exactly is gonna be the case with them we don't know for sure. But they're not companions.

Edited by Sedrefilos
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I'm confused as to the reason to use them as anything but crew members. I always run with NPC companions in POE, but why would I want a mixture of the worst of both (no interactiveness + no control over character creation)?

 

Granted, I don't care that much since I didn't know much about them to begin with.

 

They're on deck scrubbin' duty once their quest is over. Vela can order them around as scrubbin' XO.

Edited by Yenkaz
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I'm confused as to the reason to use them as anything but crew members.

4 of the 7 companions are aligned with major factions in the game. 2 of the 7 are likely to have conflicting theological differences. Presumably not all of them are going to be happy about what are sure to be Act 2 decisions. Therefore it stands to reason that there may be “holes in the roster” at some point. Holes which some players might not be happy about having to fill with hirelings. That’s one reason.
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"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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lol this is going five pages strong. Basically people are upset because they got themselves worked up over waifu Ydwin and convinced themselves that sidekicks would be full companions, even with sidekicks clearly being advertised as not comparable to fully fledged companions. They always said they would be somewhere between a companion and a custom built character and that they'd just join you as like a reward for some quests.  Is it a pointless feature that could have gone towards creating an eighth full companion? Yes. I don't see story folks using them over companions and I don't see gameplay minmaxers using them over custom built. Was it deceptively advertised? No.

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I'm confused as to the reason to use them as anything but crew members.

4 of the 7 companions are aligned with major factions in the game. 2 of the 7 are likely to have conflicting theological differences. Presumably not all of them are going to be happy about what are sure to be Act 2 decisions. Therefore it stands to reason that there may be “holes in the roster” at some point. Holes which some players might not be happy about having to fill with hirelings. That’s one reason.

Why be happier with sidekicks than hirelings If they have no life to them?

Edited by Yenkaz
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Why be happier with sidekicks than hirelings If they have no life to them?

 

I believe Josh said little to no banter, so some presumably will have some banter.

Moreover each has a unique portrait, a unique in game model and a unique voice set. Not a huge thing but it might tip the balance.

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I'm confused as to the reason to use them as anything but crew members.

4 of the 7 companions are aligned with major factions in the game. 2 of the 7 are likely to have conflicting theological differences. Presumably not all of them are going to be happy about what are sure to be Act 2 decisions. Therefore it stands to reason that there may be “holes in the roster” at some point. Holes which some players might not be happy about having to fill with hirelings. That’s one reason.
Why be happier with sidekicks than hirelings If they have no life to them?
I guess I don’t understand what is meant by “no life”. We know that we will most likely encounter them via associated quests and that they will have custom voice sets. They have less reactivity than full companions, but they comparison to hirelings just comes across as pouting.

"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'm confused as to the reason to use them as anything but crew members.

4 of the 7 companions are aligned with major factions in the game. 2 of the 7 are likely to have conflicting theological differences. Presumably not all of them are going to be happy about what are sure to be Act 2 decisions. Therefore it stands to reason that there may be “holes in the roster” at some point. Holes which some players might not be happy about having to fill with hirelings. That’s one reason.
Why be happier with sidekicks than hirelings If they have no life to them?
I guess I don’t understand what is meant by “no life”. We know that we will most likely encounter them via associated quests and that they will have custom voice sets. They have less reactivity than full companions, but they comparison to hirelings just comes across as pouting.

 

 

I've no problems with using hirelings as an absolute fallback, but I'd rather use a companion I dislike than a much less involved sidekick or hireling. I don't think (hope?) that I'll manage to piss off 4/7 people enough that they exit stage left, mind you.

 

I'm not outraged about how little involved sidekicks are as noted, I'm just explaining that I consider them the worst of both worlds.

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Some people are fine with hirelings and others would prefer party members with more integration. To each their own.

 

I have no idea what to expect when it comes to personal loyalty vs faction loyalty, but I’m already mentally preparing for 3 very pissed off party members no matter what I do.

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"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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