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rope kid
Feb 3, 2001

Warte nur! Balde
Ruhest du auch.


Fruits of the sea posted:

The BG1 npcs each have at most, a couple conversations over the course of the 40+ hour game. Half of those interactions are quest related, and most of the rest are inter-party conflicts where they try to kill each other or ditch the party.

It'd be wrong to say they are a blank slate, but they aren't terribly detailed characters either. That's not necessarily a bad thing, sometimes less is more when it comes to writing. The player knows everything they need to know about Edwin, Shar-Teel or Minsc after meeting them for the first time.
This is what we were going for with the sidekicks in Deadfire, but the feedback on them was overwhelmingly negative. When people remember all of the companions in BG1 and BG2, they either forget or missed all of the characters who had very little dialogue outside of their intro conversations and voice sets.

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ikanreed
Sep 25, 2009

Rise and shine, master leprechaun.




rope kid posted:

This is what we were going for with the sidekicks in Deadfire, but the feedback on them was overwhelmingly negative. When people remember all of the companions in BG1 and BG2, they either forget or missed all of the characters who had very little dialogue outside of their intro conversations and voice sets.

Bg1 sure, but almost every single character had scripted interactions with almost every other character in bg2. Many had interjections into random conversations. All but misnc had quest hooks.

It wasn't a ton, by modern standards, but it was enough to make them seem real.

The model bioware started in nwn was really the worst. "Okay new chapter started you're allowed one new path of the dialogue tree with each npc, two of which use some framing gimmick like telling stories"

steinrokkan
Apr 2, 2011



Soiled Meat

rope kid posted:

This is what we were going for with the sidekicks in Deadfire, but the feedback on them was overwhelmingly negative. When people remember all of the companions in BG1 and BG2, they either forget or missed all of the characters who had very little dialogue outside of their intro conversations and voice sets.

Well, the idea of sidekicks as these nameless, quiet companions is kinda pointless when your game has a means of creating tailor-made companions from scratch...

Khanstant
Apr 5, 2007

HONKING IS VIOLENCE


There's something totally hollow and heartless about rolling with a party of generated characters. Even the shallowest NPC companion is better in my eyes than the one I literally just made up on the spot, even if mechanically the faceless goon is stronger.

steinrokkan
Apr 2, 2011



Soiled Meat

I agree, and I never make my own party members for the same reason... but I see no appreciable difference between them and faceless mooks that the devs prerolled for me, if there's no story tied to them.

Fortunately Deadfire changed the role of the the sidekicks in the expansions, which was a great idea, imo.

Kanos
Sep 6, 2006

was there a time when speedwagon didn't get trolled

Way back in the misty year of 2000, I excitedly bought Icewind Dale after binging the gently caress out of BG1. I made my character(a half elf fighter) and set off. I fully explored the first town, wondering where I'd find my first party member, and thought it was kind of weird when it was time to go when I was still all alone. I played for like the next five hours until I ran into an enemy pack I literally could not pass(a couple of ghosts who required + weapons to hurt that I did not have), still terribly confused why I had no party.

BG1 had trained me to expect a huge pile of characters sitting around to join me so I had never even thought that I'd have to make my own party.

ikanreed
Sep 25, 2009

Rise and shine, master leprechaun.




Khanstant posted:

There's something totally hollow and heartless about rolling with a party of generated characters. Even the shallowest NPC companion is better in my eyes than the one I literally just made up on the spot, even if mechanically the faceless goon is stronger.

Counterpoint: carth onassi

Khanstant
Apr 5, 2007

HONKING IS VIOLENCE


ikanreed posted:

Counterpoint: carth onassi

It feels better to bench an annoying turdboy than it does a perfectly serviceable generated NPC.

Woden
May 6, 2006


Two of the first NPC's you find are Montaron an Xzar, and on my first playthrough when they died I gave zero fucks.

Overminty
Mar 16, 2010

You may wonder what I am doing while reading your posts..



Doctor Rope

Woden posted:

Two of the first NPC's you find are Montaron an Xzar, and on my first playthrough when they died I gave zero fucks.

Hope Montaron died first so you got to hear Xzar's reaction.

gasman
Mar 21, 2013

hey now

C'mon, Montaron and Xzar's voiced banter was funny for a 1998 video game.

Blockhouse
Sep 7, 2014

You Win!

gasman posted:

C'mon, Montaron and Xzar's voiced banter was funny for a 1998 video game.

Hard disagree. Maybe it's because I didn't play BG1 until fairly recently but all I ever wanted was for Xzar to shut up and never speak again. Montaron gets points for being an evil halfling which I guess was a new idea at the time (and still one you don't see a lot) but Xzar's schtick is just shrill and annoying.

Woden
May 6, 2006


Overminty posted:

Hope Montaron died first so you got to hear Xzar's reaction.

He did indeed.

Blockhouse posted:

Hard disagree. Maybe it's because I didn't play BG1 until fairly recently but all I ever wanted was for Xzar to shut up and never speak again. Montaron gets points for being an evil halfling which I guess was a new idea at the time (and still one you don't see a lot) but Xzar's schtick is just shrill and annoying.

Nah, I felt that way even back then.

Thinking about it more there were other companions that came as a couple where only one of them sucked, and the easiest way to deal with the bad one is to kill them off.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012

I posted a 7 point defense of corporate wage theft because my brain is full of worms.

Blockhouse posted:

Hard disagree. Maybe it's because I didn't play BG1 until fairly recently but all I ever wanted was for Xzar to shut up and never speak again. Montaron gets points for being an evil halfling which I guess was a new idea at the time (and still one you don't see a lot) but Xzar's schtick is just shrill and annoying.

Anyone arguing that the banter was "great" for BG1 and 2 needs to sit down and play through again because it is very much a late 90s D&D DM going for funny and referential in their campaign. The stuff they were trying to be funny for read more like the awkward NPCs the DM creates to interact with the players that they do with accents and quirky personalities while everyone else kind of grudgingly goes along.

It's not terrible, but it wasn't some outstanding achievement in writing or dialogue. What made it fun was the feeling you were playing in a DM constructed world and the little pop culture references, 4th wall breaks, and amusing lore tidbits created the impression it was a labor of love and serious effort from lifetime d20 players.

There are some outstanding parts, like Irenicus, which is in no small part down to the VA elevating the fantasy dialogue to theater performance levels.

Captain Oblivious
Oct 12, 2007

Right in the Kokoro



I have played them both recently. You are mostly describing BG1. BG2 toned the cornball stuff waaaay waaay back by comparison.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


pentyne posted:

Anyone arguing that the banter was "great" for BG1 and 2 needs to sit down and play through again because it is very much a late 90s D&D DM going for funny and referential in their campaign. The stuff they were trying to be funny for read more like the awkward NPCs the DM creates to interact with the players that they do with accents and quirky personalities while everyone else kind of grudgingly goes along.

It's not terrible, but it wasn't some outstanding achievement in writing or dialogue. What made it fun was the feeling you were playing in a DM constructed world and the little pop culture references, 4th wall breaks, and amusing lore tidbits created the impression it was a labor of love and serious effort from lifetime d20 players.

There are some outstanding parts, like Irenicus, which is in no small part down to the VA elevating the fantasy dialogue to theater performance levels.

you are diSTUUUUUURRRRBBIIINNNNNGG my deMEAAEEENNNOOUUUURR

Kokoro Wish
Jul 23, 2007

Post? What post? Oh wow.
I had nothing to do with THAT.

gasman posted:

C'mon, Montaron and Xzar's voiced banter was funny for a 1998 video game.

Stoooop touching me.

Ace Transmuter
May 19, 2017

I like video games

I would just like to see more Xan appreciation, honestly

rope kid
Feb 3, 2001

Warte nur! Balde
Ruhest du auch.


I like Xan.

Furism
Feb 21, 2006

Live long and headbang


steinrokkan posted:

Well, the idea of sidekicks as these nameless, quiet companions is kinda pointless when your game has a means of creating tailor-made companions from scratch...

I wouldn't say it's pointless, because you still have a unique portrait, voice pack, some banter and reactivity. But what they could have done is allowing you to "attach" all the properties of a sidekick to any adventurer you create. You could even imagine people modding in their own sidekicks "packs."

Freakazoid_
Jul 4, 2013




Buglord

Khanstant posted:

There's something totally hollow and heartless about rolling with a party of generated characters. Even the shallowest NPC companion is better in my eyes than the one I literally just made up on the spot, even if mechanically the faceless goon is stronger.

I disagree. You get out of generated characters as much heart as you (or your twitch audience) put into them.

ikanreed
Sep 25, 2009

Rise and shine, master leprechaun.




Ace Transmuter posted:

I would just like to see more Xan appreciation, honestly

A more interesting "character has exactly one trait" gimmick than anyone in the entire mass effect series

Ace Transmuter
May 19, 2017

I like video games

ikanreed posted:

A more interesting "character has exactly one trait" gimmick than anyone in the entire mass effect series

You take that back; the mass effect games always had several characters with exactly zero character traits.

ikanreed
Sep 25, 2009

Rise and shine, master leprechaun.




Ace Transmuter posted:

You take that back; the mass effect games always had several characters with exactly zero character traits.

Being a world building info dump is a trait

Ace Transmuter
May 19, 2017

I like video games

ikanreed posted:

Being a world building info dump is a trait

Well I guess you've got me there

Mailer
Nov 4, 2009

Have you accepted The Void as your lord and savior?


ikanreed posted:

If you were a serious old school D&D player maybe you'd be more used to coping with that kind of loss?

I never played in a group that used the adversarial model Gygax was so fond of. It was always an unspoken agreement that you wouldn't run this campaign off the rails and the DM wouldn't craft situations that required an in-house copier to constantly print more character sheets. Playing strictly by the rules, especially in the case of everything up to and including 2e, is a really bad way to have fun with five friends on a Wednesday night.

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Gort
Aug 18, 2003


Mailer posted:

I never played in a group that used the adversarial model Gygax was so fond of. It was always an unspoken agreement that you wouldn't run this campaign off the rails and the DM wouldn't craft situations that required an in-house copier to constantly print more character sheets. Playing strictly by the rules, especially in the case of everything up to and including 2e, is a really bad way to have fun with five friends on a Wednesday night.

Yeah, that old model was very much based on, "The dungeon was written by someone else, the DM is merely here to referee it and the dice fall as they may and what happens happens" rather than the, "DM's written a story for the players to experience and the dice are there to provide twists and tension" that I'm used to.

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