Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Categories

Dark Dreams of Furiae - a new module for NWN:EE! Buy now
Attention, new and old users! Please read the new rules of conduct for the forums, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

Critiquing The EEs: A Pure Story Perspective 1/6

13»

Comments

  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    @Jace: Demonic pacts supersede race/class limitations - that's how Dorn is able to offer the same deal to Mazzy, despite the fact that her whole storyline is about her inability to become a paladin. Remove the fiendish patron from the equation and there's no justification for Dorn being exceptional.

  • Glam_VrockGlam_Vrock Member Posts: 277
    edited September 2014
    Illydth said:

    If you have no incentive to cripple Dorn, why are you crippling Dorn? No incentive? Why are we even having this discussion? Of COURSE there is an incentive...choosing to divest him of his patrons is the RIGHT THING TO DO within the story.

    So? The story isn't real.
    Illydth said:

    And that feeling of needing to take a shower when you don't choose to make Dorn free? That feeling that you just violated some kind of internal belief system of your OWN when you chose to make those pixels on the screen stay enslaved to a master that you know full well will eventually kill him, just so that you, the player, don't have to play a gimp character through the rest of the game?

    Doesn't exist because he is an awful character who I couldn't give less of a damn about. But:
    shawne said:

    What about an Anomen that fails his initiation, and doesn't get the six-point boost that makes him a viable cleric? Should he be able to get that 18 WIS some other way if he becomes Chaotic Neutral?

    Anomen becomes a totally different person if he fails his test. Much of his dialogue changes. That is an incentive because it gives the player some new content.

    Dorn doesn't offer that. If you free him, you now have a weaker version of the same NPC. That's it.

    elminster
  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    @Glam_Vrock: This is not a thread for mindless bashing. If you don't have anything of substance to contribute beyond "I couldn't care less about this character", please go elsewhere.

    Empyrial
  • Glam_VrockGlam_Vrock Member Posts: 277
    edited September 2014

    Anomen becomes a totally different person if he fails his test. Much of his dialogue changes. That is an incentive because it gives the player some new content.

    Dorn doesn't offer that. If you free him, you now have a weaker version of the same NPC. That's it.

    Did you miss that part?

    There's also nothing mindless about saying that the "You're supposed to feel bad about it" argument doesn't work when the character is so boring that I don't care what becomes of them. If you're going down that route, you need good writing to back it up.

    BALDUR'S GATE - I think the dialogue's looping.
    image

    BG2:SOA - Haven't we had this conversation?
    image

    BG2:TOB - I knew it!
    image
    This ain't good writing.

    elminster
  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    @Glam_Vrock: Setting aside the factual inaccuracy - Dorn's dialogue does change if you free him, up to and including his final words at the Throne of Blood - I'm still stumped as to why you feel the need to repeatedly declare your apathy regarding the character, as if there's insight to be found in that statement. If you don't care what becomes of Dorn, maybe don't participate in a discussion about Dorn?

  • Glam_VrockGlam_Vrock Member Posts: 277
    shawne said:

    @Glam_Vrock: Setting aside the factual inaccuracy - Dorn's dialogue does change if you free him, up to and including his final words at the Throne of Blood

    I think it's like one conversation? And even then, it's not significant. It doesn't show how he's changed at all, it's just "Oh, I'm free now. Thanks." I'm not seeing any differences at the Throne of Blood, or anywhere else for that matter, so you'll have to point them out.
    shawne said:

    I'm still stumped as to why you feel the need to repeatedly declare your apathy regarding the character, as if there's insight to be found in that statement. If you don't care what becomes of Dorn, maybe don't participate in a discussion about Dorn?

    There is a difference between not caring what happens to a character and not wanting to discuss the character.

    elminster
  • IllydthIllydth Member, Developer Posts: 1,641
    Jace said:

    @Illydth That really made your argument more refined and understandable.

    So, if you allow me to probe into your mind a bit, we could say that Dorn, by being a non-human Blackguard, also violates an aspect of the mythos which states that only humans can be championed as Blackguards (or Paladins). If memory serves me well, that's because ideals such as extremist righteousness (or extremist sell-your-soul-to-a-demon) only exist in human mentality and culture. As a result, Dorn crossed the line way more than any Coran or Kagain.

    Or I'm just wrong and I misunderstood where the line is crossed.

    I have a bit of an actual problem with the restriction of a Blackguard to Human...as well as a restriction of a paladin to human as well. It's a bit...well...racist. :)

    Several of the class / race restrictions I get. Dwarves are, story wise, non-magically inclined creatures and as such can't be mages. This makes some sense.

    I really do fail to see why the epitome of a system of beliefs must be Human. That doesn't jive with pretty much anything I know.

    The restriction, then, is also COMPLETELY mechanical in context: In AD&D2E, Humans SUCK. Other than multi-classing, there is pretty much practically NO reason to put a human in your party...and even then it's WIDELY agreed that dual-classing is more powerful than multi-classing...so even THAT the Human race gets the short end of the stick on.

    The race perpetuates in campaigns, however, because some class choices require playing Humans. Again, this is a basic game balance thing: Paladins are arguably exceptionally powerful fighters...imagine giving them Dwarven or Orcish bonuses on top of that.

    And going down the discussion path that Paladins are humans for game balance reasons, I see NO REASON AT ALL that NPC paladins cannot come in flavors other than human...it's simply a restriction for PLAYER characters. Look at it this way, NPC's are controllable through the story: I can give fatal flaws to an orc blackguard with 19 strength to curb his power level. If I try to give those same flaws to my player in my game who decides to roll an orc blackguard with 19 strength, he's going to cry foul and ask why I hate him so.

    This actually eases my mind A LOT. I don't have to come up with some idiotic justification as to why an orc can't embody evil or an elf can't embody good or why a halfling can't embody luck more than a Human could.

    Regarding Dorn, then: Why doesn't my suggestion above about giving determent to curb power level apply to your request to allow him to gain power after his fall apply here?

    Because Dorn has already been balanced: His uber statistics and excellent abilities is curbed by the fact he is entirely and totally controlled by his diety...he has a VERY small box to work within...more so than most of the other NPC choices in the party. Once he has fallen and freed himself, adding power to dorn is akin to adding abilities with no determent to replace them.

    The CORRECT way to handle Dorn (in my opinion) is to correct his end story. I am all there with a better ending for Dorn. I would also love to see Dorn act and react differently, as Anomen does if he fails his test, once he is freed. This would be awesome.

    Please keep in mind Bioware does not produce this game. There are limitations on how much you can do with a $20 game being sold to a few thousand niche players. There are plenty of things that I'd like to have seen for the new NPC's story lines...but there are budget concerns and timing concerns for adding content like that.

    shawne
  • IllydthIllydth Member, Developer Posts: 1,641
    edited September 2014
    @Glam_Vrock‌


    Anomen becomes a totally different person if he fails his test. Much of his dialogue changes. That is an incentive because it gives the player some new content.

    Dorn doesn't offer that. If you free him, you now have a weaker version of the same NPC. That's it.

    I actually agree with you here, and it'd be great if Dorn was handled (after his fall) in the same way as Anomen was. The difference of course is Anomen's code was written by BioWare after the massive success of Baldur's Gate @$50 / pop for a new game being sold with lots of rave for it @$50 / pop. Dorn was written by Overhaul Games, a company that prior to BG1's release no one had even heard of, let alone a company with deep financial pockets, able to produce AAA quality content.

    Secondly, please don't forget the severe restrictions that Overhaul are under when producing these games: By contact they are not allowed to CHANGE the original game. It becomes even more difficult within these terms to create AAA content like you're asking.

    Could Dorn have been a better character than he is? Maybe. Guess what! HE CAN BE!

    BG and BG2 are Ultimately exceptionally moddable. If you feel Dorn is such a bad character, take the time out of your life to sit down and develop the Dorn you believe he should be. Write the changes to his personality you feel fit him and create a mod-pack surrounding a better Dorn. Lord knows it's been done hundreds and thousands of times before for countless other games.

    While I appreciate you don't like the character of Dorn, please do try to appreciate the constraints and restrictions being placed upon his creation...financially, contractually, and with an eye toward release timelines.

    No one EVER likes to hear that argument: we all believe we should always produce the best possible product, damn the costs and damn the release dates...but we all work in the real world also. Whether you're in school or a Job, we all understand deadlines and cutting things to make deadlines. It sucks, it's not what we want to do, but it's often what we HAVE to do.

    Personally, I like Dorn. While I haven't yet gotten a chance to play through his full story line (BG1 -> BG2 -> ToB), I don't mind the writing...I knew, going in, that a guy who's sold his soul to the demonic planes wasn't going to have a happy ending. I'm actually a bit surprised at his ToB ending...it's more leeway than I think I'd have given the character...my endings would probably have been:

    * Dies at the hands of his old master.
    * Dies at the hands of his new master.
    * Dies at the hands of a new demonic being seeking force him to be enslaved after destroying several other attempted forced masters.

    CrevsDaak
  • Glam_VrockGlam_Vrock Member Posts: 277
    I'm not asking for AAA content, though. My point is, if you're asking the player to do something that punishes them mechanically, based purely on emotional investment, you need to provide extra content to support that. If you can't do so, reward them in some other way. They have to get something worthwhile out of it, otherwise it's just a case of "Do you want to gimp this character? Y/N"

    elminster
  • JaceJace Member Posts: 193
    Illydth said:


    BG and BG2 are Ultimately exceptionally moddable. If you feel Dorn is such a bad character, take the time out of your life to sit down and develop the Dorn you believe he should be. Write the changes to his personality you feel fit him and create a mod-pack surrounding a better Dorn. Lord knows it's been done hundreds and thousands of times before for countless other games.

    I think this is a weak argument. Modifiability shouldn't be an excuse for sub-optimal implementations even at the shadow of a $25 price tag. If I wanted a better Dorn, (complete with alternate banters and scenes, plus extra content with Mercy Whitedove) I would have to learn modding from scratch because I don't know shit about modding, or I would need to find an experienced modder who is patient enough to donate his time in order to realize my vision, then I would need to playtest the whole thing to make sure it doesn't glitch, and if it breaks something, then devote even more time tweaking it.

    I paid $25 so that I don't have to put up with all this modding crap.

    shawne
  • DazzuDazzu Member Posts: 946
    edited September 2014
    Jace said:

    modding crap.

    Modding isn't crap. I can't mod and I can agree with everything else, but if you look past the undeniable garbage, there's some decent content.

    I hate that modding gets such a bad rep like this.

    If that's not what you meant/I'm out of context, then I'm just saying this to the general audience then.

    CrevsDaak
  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    @Illydth: I don't think budgetary constraints are grounds for accepting weak writing. True story: when BG2:EE first launched, I did some data mining and found that Hexxat's epilogue referred to her as the "Pale Woman". After finding her true portrait, I contacted one of the devs and suggested that that particular moniker might not be very appropriate for a woman of Hexxat's complexion... when the first (and thus far only) patch came out, lo and behold, the text was changed to "Faded Woman".

    It's a small thing. But such small things can often make a world of difference.

  • KloroxKlorox Member Posts: 810
    Minsc is stronger than Korgan.

    Other than that, I felt this thread was real good.

  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    Klorox said:

    Minsc is stronger than Korgan.

    Minsc's STR is slightly higher (by 1/16th of a point), but Korgan has much higher CON, which means more hit points, plus he gets an automatic -5 bonus to his saving throws, since he's a dwarf.

  • IllydthIllydth Member, Developer Posts: 1,641
    edited September 2014
    Jace said:

    Illydth said:


    I paid $25 so that I don't have to put up with all this modding crap.

    Woah woah woah....you paid $25 for what was delivered to you...the story and endings as designed and developed by Beamdog/Overhaul.

    We can all argue whether you like or didn't like how that story was designed and developed, but what was delivered to you was what you paid for.

    It is JUST as acceptable for me to tell you to design and develop the ending you want yourself as it is to expect Overhaul to re-write the ending for you...after all the story THEY wanted to tell is what is in the game. Whether you like or didn't like that story is ENTIRELY outside the conversation of whether or not the product you paid for is the product you got.

    If we all bitched about not getting our money's worth every time a game did something we didn't like or ended in a way we didn't like, there'd be a lot less games and game developers out there today.

    Your argument is you want a change to the ending/abilities of Dorn, you have every right to say that and indeed your ideas and comments here help the developers and mods to understanding better what the community they are building products for wants. This makes for a stronger game in the long run and thus I think this is a great conversation overall.

    But lets all please understand that what is being requested here is UPDATED content, not BROKEN content. You are OWED fixes to broken content, you are NOT OWED updated content...

    @Dazzu: I don't think @Jace was saying modding is crap, I think Jace is saying my suggestion that this should be modded content is crap. There is a place for modding, personally I really do think this request is that place, but that can be argued, and I think that's what @Jace is doing is suggesting he doesn't feel this should have to be modded content.

    @shawne: Script, writing and voice acting take time, energy, effort and money. Perhaps Beamdog can re-hire the voice actors and send you the bill for the updated content? The first lookup I did for voice acting shows ~$2500 for a 1 hour voice acting session...that's 100 copies of the game to pay for ONLY the voice acting for an additional hour of Dorn's content. You have 100 friends willing to buy this game that haven't already? That's not a break even cost either as you still have Studio time and Costs, and personel costs, then the costs of actually integrating that content back into the game...testing, development, project management, etc.

    Not an excuse? That's the comment of someone who's not running a business or trying to make money. Content is not free, actually it's damned expensive...from what I know, it's more expensive than the development costs itself.

    I've said this before, there's a price/performance point that every business needs to meet with it's products. Suggesting that cost should be no option and only the best content should be made available regardless of it's cost is an extremely "gamer centric" way of seeing the world. Did you want IWD:EE and maybe the rest of the Infinity Engine software to be re-made at some point?

    If so Overhaul has to stay in business, and that means either charging you more (would you have bought the game at $50? I doubt it...) or cutting costs. While I'm pretty sure cost was NOT the deciding factor in Dorn's story line, I'm sure it was *A* factor, just like all the rest of the additional content.

    I go back to "do it yourself". The easiest solution for this entire conversation we're having is for someone to design and develop the mod to expand Dorn's content. The reason you're not seeing mod designers stepping up and falling all over themselves to "do it themselves" is because they're all looking at this thread with wide eyes going "holy crap, no friggen way I want to get involved in something like that". It's a lot of work, and a lot of effort, and a lot of expense to do it right.

    ALL:

    I've gone way off the beaten path of this discussion at this point. Really the only points I wanted to make are that a buffed Dorn (after the fall) takes away from the story of what Dorn is and was and is WAY against the rules of the system the adventure is written within. Buffing Dorn feels (to me) like it cheapens Dorn's sacrifice when the player makes the decision to do away with his patrons. It makes it less of a choice and more of a "right way to play...all paths come to the same ending point" kind of conclusion which simply removes one more meaningful choice from RPGs and makes the game more stale. The penalties applied to falling as a class are there for good reasons as applied to the AD&D campaign rules and I believe make for a BETTER comprehensive story, if not for a better party character.

    In my opinion, additional story would be the right way to handle Dorn after the fall to bring a better conclusion to this compelling character. How to do that, however, is something I don't have an answer to...the best way to do it is the way Anomen was handled, but that to me feels like a really really large undertaking for such a small benefit...after all if this was DLC at $10 a pop, how many of you would buy it?

    I suspect that the vast majority of the problem we are discussing here has nothing to do with the story and everything to do with Dorn being a power character. The evil party has had 2 games of an ultra-uber powerful tank / damage character at the front lines of the party who grows with the player into a TRUE backbone of the party. At some point, however, Dorn has the possibility of being gimped and that all of a sudden changes the party dynamics mid game to make the Evil party much harder to play and much less fun than it has been up to that point. The request, here, for updated stats for Dorn is being couched as "he wouldn't accept this because he's Dorn" is a creative IC way of arguing for a statistics bump because your party backbone just became a significantly less playable character. It's worse than that though: Evil party players don't like the concept that their favorite anti-paladin gets what's coming to him in the end in any choice but the one that "frees" him: a choice that all but cripples Dorn and significantly hurts your party overall.

    And I am actually sympathetic about that: After all, the evil party players have put countless hours into Dorn to keep him as great as he can be...all of a sudden to face the prospect of either having to find/level up a replacement NPC for Dorn (a daunting task that late into the game) or running the rest of the game with a half-effective party member.

    I suspect most of the conversation here revolves around the damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't scenario being presented to evil party players mid game.

    This was intended. If you're REALLY story focused with this request, ask yourself whether Dorn, the ever power concerned, would ever give up his power, even if it meant his death: and then ask yourself whether the evil CHARNAME would give a crap whether Dorn lived or died, so long as he maintained his usefulness to CHARNAME. And if Dorn really did choose to fall and gimp himself, ask yourself whether evil CHARNAME wouldn't have preferred to simply discard Dorn at that point for someone more useful.

    We all like happy endings...but nothing in a Blackguard ever screams "happy ending".

    Lets call a spade a shovel for a moment and talk about what the REAL problem here is: Mid way through the third chapter of a 3 chapter saga a character pretty much EVERY evil party relies upon can be made semi-useless through a story choice. The real complaint here is that by choosing to make Dorn semi-useless, you have no other options in your party at this point but to deal with it and accept "broken Dorn"...because there's just no option at that point in the game to level up another NPC to replace him.

    So lets see, we have a story element and a player choice that either results in a bad long term (ending) for a character but good short term gain (he keeps his powers), or a choice that results in a better long term (ending) for a character but bad short term gain (he gets gimped).

    The long term gain / short term loss (read the "GOOD" option) plays out in a penalty to a character that most will rely upon...making a "good" choice in an evil party results in penalties...but a long term beneficial story outcome.

    The short term gain / long term loss (read the "EVIL" option) plays out in no penalty to the character and a continued healthy party for the rest of the game, albeit with a pretty unhappy ending in the long term....making the "evil" choice in an evil party results in no penalties (you are, after all, playing your alignment) but (as with evil in general) a fairly horrific end to the character in question...

    Yep, sounds like good design and good implementation to me.

    Post edited by Illydth on
    CrevsDaakNonnahswriterStefanO
  • trinittrinit Member Posts: 683
    edited September 2014
    Illydth said:

    Yep, sounds like good design and good implementation to me.

    Yep, it will be when someone does it.

  • KloroxKlorox Member Posts: 810
    shawne said:

    Klorox said:

    Minsc is stronger than Korgan.

    Minsc's STR is slightly higher (by 1/16th of a point), but Korgan has much higher CON, which means more hit points, plus he gets an automatic -5 bonus to his saving throws, since he's a dwarf.
    What's your point?

    OP said "Korgan's physical strength is exceeded only by Sarevok in ToB."

    I'm picking nits. :P

    Nimran
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    @Klorox What's your point? You said "Minsc is stronger than Korgan." which is true regarding their strength attribute score, and that only.

    Nimran
  • KloroxKlorox Member Posts: 810

    @Klorox What's your point? You said "Minsc is stronger than Korgan." which is true regarding their strength attribute score, and that only.

    LOL, because I was addressing the statement that Korgan is stronger than any NPC.

Sign In or Register to comment.