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Tweaking the Beamdog NPC's a bit

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Comments

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,259
    lujo said:

    From Neera's story, how could it be possible that a moment the Red wizards appear depends on the moment the player speaks to her?
    Should Red Wizards wait before teleporting till the player reaches the 5th chapter, for example?

    The player can't know. The player talks to Neera, and Lo and behold, omg, they found her, good thing he was around. If this is all that's preventing you from having this be a PID, change it immediately.
    I like the "forced" encounter, but this is a valid point that can't be overlooked.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,576
    The people who hate the Neera encounter must not be able to stand playing BG2. Probably half of the npcs there accost you just for walking past them in town.

    tbone1RaduzielLoldrup
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,259
    the character and feel of the encounter is a part of neera's character - the game tries to cast her as someine who always creates trouble and does so unpredictably, and meeting her in this way is supposed to paint this fact for you. making the encounter be a scenario which is initiated and in that way controlled by the player would detract from the "neera experience" as that of something erratic, dangerous, and uncontrollable

    SkatanRaduziel
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,988
    ThacoBell said:

    The people who hate the Neera encounter must not be able to stand playing BG2. Probably half of the npcs there accost you just for walking past them in town.

    Hm.

    NPC initiated (even if by proximity) Imoen, Minsc, Jaheira, Yoshimo, Aerie, Anomen, Nalia, Valygar (arguably), Mazzy (arguably), Keldorn, Neera, Rasaad

    PC initiated: Korgan, Edwin (arguably), Cernd (arguably), Jan, Haer dAlise (arguably), Wilson

    Yeah, pretty much. Or maybe life in Amn just makes people more forward

    ThacoBellRaduziel
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,141
    I think it would be helpful to break down the seperate components of the "Neera encounter" and from that derive where the problems arise.

    From my point of view,

    1) Where she is situated blocks part of Beregost
    2) The fight isn't easy at low level and yet you met her at low level.
    3) Making Neera invincible doesn't solve the problem of her firing off a colourspray spell that catches charname/party.
    4) Having a wild surge, (I'm presuming that can happen from what people have posted I have never experienced it).

    Those are seperate issues. Only one has been addressed, Neera being killed easily.


  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,259
    edited February 2018
    imo:

    1) not a problem - doesn't block anything vital
    2) I like that it's hard and unpredictable, it sets a theme
    3) part of the theme
    4) dunno

    edit: I have a solution - you get the option run away in dialogue that works like this: you pick "stay silent and move behind a nearby house", there's a short blackout, you're teleported a bit further away, floating text tells you there's been fighting but now it's quiet, you go to check out the spot to see if neera is okay, but you see that she's dead and her body lying there, and the body of a single attacker. the guard calls out to you and tells you there's been a disturbance and asks you what do you know, you say "nothing really" and move on. no cutscenes this way

  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited February 2018

    Literally nobody in this thread has defended it.

    You are being VERY disingenous here.

    @lujo is talked about making editorial changes to the actual design of an encounter. I wouldn't want to start down that road (especially 4 years later) because I can't see an end to it. Should Wilson change into a panther? Should Neera be bisexual? Should Dorn be less of a horrible shallow Mary Sue? Should Baeloth be given the gnome avatar and a lollipop so players can immediately identify him as a munchkin? In short, does Beamdog have a responsibility to "perfect" the game design over time? According to whose whims? What if Trent really likes the Neera encounter? He'd be in the minority, but he runs the company.

    Because what you're saying here is trying to prevent a reasonable complaint from getting through. And you're making it look like it's not a reasonable complaint with false analogies. And your constant repetition of OMG 4 YEARS!!11¸!! (yes it comes across just like that) is borderline not right in the head. It's been almost 20 years since the game came out, and it didn't stop them from editorial changes to how the damned first city in the game works, or prevented them from setting the player for another fight in the early game and manouvering the player into a life-or-death situation concerning accepting a very niche character into their party.

    This has nothing to do with anyone's personality, this is a clear case of the design for that charaters intro being intrusive. Enormously so. And this sort of thing people are complaining about, and seem to have been steadily complaining about for 4 years. So if the things are the way they are because, say, the owner of Beamdog's whims - then the owner of Beamdog isn't doing himself much of a favor because you could, in that case, rightfuly say "Yes, the company is really butchering the IP they've been given curation over". Are they free to do it? Yes. Is it smart? No. Are you being an asshat by relativizing the issue and ridiculing somebody who's trying to give good feedback and advice? Very much so.

    No boat has sailed, and 4 years is nothing, so please, if all you have to say is what you're saying, shut up. You're making it look as if you designed the encounter yourself and like you've been around to defend it every time someone came up and criticized it. I don't care who designed it, it has glaring flaws and is causing grief, and that's easily fixable.

    Rasaad's introduction is excellent design. And yet they were both added at the same time, by the same developer. How to explain this?

    And it isn't for several reasons. He's placed in a way that has the player meet (and probably recruit) him rather than the two absolute fan favourites (Minsc and Edwin) in the same town. Those two are obviously meant to steer you to explore the SW corner of the map, which if you picked up Neera and Rasaad (likely) you will skip out on. So he's in a spot that so bad that I would have fired whoever put him there on the spot for incompetence, or at least moved him to a project he actually understands.

    And also - he can get killed while fighting the assassin, which happened in my case, so in order to get the achievement for recruiting him, Neera and Dorn I had to reload and fiddle around quite a bit.

    So the same developer demonstrated incompetence in both cases, and in both cases they did it in a way which pushes non-original content in the players face - which is the exact complaint a lot of people have been giving. That person should not have been put anywhere near BG:EE.

    There have been badly-designed elements in every video game I've ever played, ever, going back to the old Atari and Coleco systems. That's life. Why is Beamdog different?

    Yes, because it was impossible to give feedback, even on simple and easily fixable things. Today it's not like that anymore, and now feedback can be given and things can be improved in a matter of minutes. So let feedback be given and stop obstructing it.

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,259
    I also think rasaad Is badly placed. he could have been placed In a myriad of less populated placed that could actually use a new character you can talk to. where he's at, he's just causing clutter.

    lujo
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,576
    The Neera encounter is only difficult if you are intentionally running with a short party. Xzar, Monteron, Imoen, Jaheira, and Khalid are readily available before even reaching Beregost with no required fighting. I run with Imoen, Jaheira, and Khalid by the time I reach Beregost and the AI takes care of the encounter readily for me everytime. Heck Kagain is available with no fighting and Garrick is gotten through an encounter that I think is tougher than Neera's.

    AstroBryGuy
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,414
    @lujo - Nothing is stopping you from giving Beamdog feedback. You are posting in this forum, and you are free to open a bug report or feature request on Redmine. It's not obstruction for @subtledoctor (or anyone without a blue background) to express their opinion, even if it differs from yours.

    ThacoBellronaldoSkatanRaduziel
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,141
    edited February 2018
    ThacoBell said:

    The Neera encounter is only difficult if you are intentionally running with a short party. Xzar, Monteron, Imoen, Jaheira, and Khalid are readily available before even reaching Beregost with no required fighting. I run with Imoen, Jaheira, and Khalid by the time I reach Beregost and the AI takes care of the encounter readily for me everytime. Heck Kagain is available with no fighting and Garrick is gotten through an encounter that I think is tougher than Neera's.

    That's how you play, good luck to you.

    I run solo usually at that point, I like to enter the house she is blocking for a potion that's there. I have to deal with the encounter. I can at the moment.
    One of the ways I can deal with the encounter at the moment is to kill her before she triggers the RW cutscene.
    If she is made immortal, I will not be able to do that I presume.
    And that is why I have posted on this thread.

    I don't expect agreement, but at least there should be acknowledgement that this fix will affect gameplay which throws up a problem for me.
    Rather than, "go away you are just having a go at Beamdog" which I'm afraid to say is the impression I am getting.

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,141
    ThacoBell said:

    The people who hate the Neera encounter must not be able to stand playing BG2. Probably half of the npcs there accost you just for walking past them in town.

    Really?
    You thought this was a reasonable response?

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,576
    @UnderstandMouseMagic The game wasn't designed for solo runs. Its primarily a party based game. Soloing is inherently tougher because of this, so its player choice making the encounter difficult in this instance.

    "You thought this was a reasonable response?"

    Yes, I do. I see no difference between Neera or how any npc is handled in BG2. Other than the fact that Neera is newer, and therefore less good by default apparently.

  • ArctodusArctodus Member Posts: 996

    ThacoBell said:

    The Neera encounter is only difficult if you are intentionally running with a short party. Xzar, Monteron, Imoen, Jaheira, and Khalid are readily available before even reaching Beregost with no required fighting. I run with Imoen, Jaheira, and Khalid by the time I reach Beregost and the AI takes care of the encounter readily for me everytime. Heck Kagain is available with no fighting and Garrick is gotten through an encounter that I think is tougher than Neera's.

    That's how you play, good luck to you.

    I run solo usually at that point, I like to enter the house she is blocking for a potion that's there. I have to deal with the encounter. I can at the moment.
    One of the ways I can deal with the encounter at the moment is to kill her before she triggers the RW cutscene.
    If she is made immortal, I will not be able to do that I presume.
    And that is why I have posted on this thread.

    I don't expect agreement, but at least there should be acknowledgement that this fix will affect gameplay which throws up a problem for me.
    Rather than, "go away you are just having a go at Beamdog" which I'm afraid to say is the impression I am getting.

    Well, instead of killing her, now you'll be able to trigger the encounter, get the hell far away from the ensuing fight, go into Feldpost or Thunderhammer or whatever you want, let Neera kill the lot (she'll be immortal, so she will eventually do) and come back to pick her up for her gembag. Not perfect but I guess that's a good enough compromise for those who wants to use her.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,226
    edited February 2018
    lujo said:

    Because what you're saying here is trying to prevent a reasonable complaint from getting through. And you're making it look like it's not a reasonable complaint
    ...
    if all you have to say is what you're saying, shut up

    I literally said "you are not wrong" and agreed with your premise:

    I will say, the forced cutscenes when you neet Neera are obnoxious.

    Now look what you did. You made me quote myself again. I feel so dirty. :tongue:

    In the abstract: is nobody allowed to express disagreement? I think that encounter is obnoxious, but I also think they should not make editorial/design changes at this point. I think that's a reasonable position, as is yours.
    lujo said:

    asshat
    ...
    not right in the head

    Such offensive talk does your credibility no favors, nor does it make you more persuasive.

    Post edited by subtledoctor on
    AstroBryGuyThacoBellSkatanRaduziel
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,141
    ThacoBell said:

    @UnderstandMouseMagic The game wasn't designed for solo runs. Its primarily a party based game. Soloing is inherently tougher because of this, so its player choice making the encounter difficult in this instance.

    "You thought this was a reasonable response?"

    Yes, I do. I see no difference between Neera or how any npc is handled in BG2. Other than the fact that Neera is newer, and therefore less good by default apparently.

    OK.
    So I don't like Neera because she is new.
    And I don't like new things because......?

    Could you fill in your assumptions about me please.
    Rather than using vague allusions that I have an opinion that is down to some character fault.

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,414

    I don't expect agreement, but at least there should be acknowledgement that this fix will affect gameplay which throws up a problem for me.
    Rather than, "go away you are just having a go at Beamdog" which I'm afraid to say is the impression I am getting.

    Then file a bug report on Redmine. Perhaps Beamdog will come up with a way for the encounter to work or to be aborted.

    Here's an idea: Change transition 2 on NEERA.DLG State 0 to point to a new state. It re-uses the text (and VO) from State 6: "Really? REALLY? That's just great. People like you really bolster my faith in strangers."
    (StrRef: 27732). From this state, just have Neera EscapeArea().

    And, so that the gem bag is still available, make it pick pocketable from a patron at the FAI or Feldpost's Inn.

    No rewriting dialog needed or changing the encounter, and the gem bag is still available (and something useful for Imoen or Monty - or even Garrick! - to pick pocket).

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,141

    I don't expect agreement, but at least there should be acknowledgement that this fix will affect gameplay which throws up a problem for me.
    Rather than, "go away you are just having a go at Beamdog" which I'm afraid to say is the impression I am getting.

    Then file a bug report on Redmine. Perhaps Beamdog will come up with a way for the encounter to work or to be aborted.

    Here's an idea: Change transition 2 on NEERA.DLG State 0 to point to a new state. It re-uses the text (and VO) from State 6: "Really? REALLY? That's just great. People like you really bolster my faith in strangers."
    (StrRef: 27732). From this state, just have Neera EscapeArea().

    And, so that the gem bag is still available, make it pick pocketable from a patron at the FAI or Feldpost's Inn.

    No rewriting dialog needed or changing the encounter, and the gem bag is still available (and something useful for Imoen or Monty - or even Garrick! - to pick pocket).
    Thankyou for acknowledging that the change will create a problem for some players and coming up with a suggestion rather than assuming the worst. :)

    lujo
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,259
    I agree with this ticket. it should cause neera to die however

  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    Well, it solves the problem caused by making her imortal, but the main problem with her is that her encounter is involuntary. I submitted a ticket to change that.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,226
    edited February 2018
    Separately: Beamdog should probably just add a gem bag and scroll bag to the game. But then again, there is a well-renowned mod that does so, which is maintained by a BD employee, so... I can't really say I'm unhappy with their support in that area. :)

    Inb4 "you shouldn't be forced to use mods" - nobody is forced to use mods. But they can be very very useful to tweak the game to make is as enjoyable as it can be, for each player. And Beamdog has done an excellent supporting that capability. Appreciating that, and suggesting mods for people to enjoy the game more, is independent of what anyone thinks of Neera or her gem bag.

    profanitywarning
  • Yulaw9460Yulaw9460 Member Posts: 634
    Am I really the only person, who actively hire the new EE-NPC's just to kill them off?

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,576
    @UnderstandMouseMagic I'm working off a continuing pattern that I have seen since the release of the EEs. I see so many people complain about the new npcs, citing examples that are followed by half the npcs in the series, and I never see these same complaints levelled at the original npcs. So somehow, Neera is bad but BG2 npcs are good, even though they are implemented in the same way.
    The only difference that I can find between Neera, and the accepted original npcs, is that Neera is new. I have never seen an argument from a detractor that suggests otherwise.This leads me to believe people are simply complaining out of nostalgia.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,663
    Bear in mind that your fellow forumites are not valid subjects for criticism. Say whatever you want about Neera or her presentation or anything in the game, but other posters are off-limits. Calling another forumite stupid or crazy or dishonest is against the Site Rules against personal attacks. There are no exceptions; there are no excuses.

    Otherwise, carry on!

  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited February 2018
    But what if they are clearly dishonest or saying things that can be argued are not sane? Or if they are saying things which, if they are saying them while sane, make them dishonest?

  • lujolujo Member Posts: 236
    edited February 2018
    ThacoBell said:

    @UnderstandMouseMagic I'm working off a continuing pattern that I have seen since the release of the EEs. I see so many people complain about the new npcs, citing examples that are followed by half the npcs in the series, and I never see these same complaints levelled at the original npcs. So somehow, Neera is bad but BG2 npcs are good, even though they are implemented in the same way.
    The only difference that I can find between Neera, and the accepted original npcs, is that Neera is new. I have never seen an argument from a detractor that suggests otherwise.This leads me to believe people are simply complaining out of nostalgia.

    You have noticed that people are complaining about the new NPC's. In this you are correct. But you fail to notice or acnowledge the following:

    1) Neera and Rasaad are very niche characters class wise. Clearly rational people will never want a spellcaster who can randomly screw up, and they won't really want a Monk in a low level campaign due to the monk not being able to reach enchantment level with his weapon. Their classess are really not something people are looking for, and even calling them "niche" is me being generous. Folks would not mind so much if they were not pushed in their face - in fact they would be considered cool self-imposed challenges you choose for this or that playthrough. But if you push these characters on the players, and their implementation does this, you will get reasonable backlash.

    2) Neera is, due to the nature of her encounter, very easy to end up in a party with. This happens early on, and for a new player significantly alters how the game of Baldurs Gate plays out. Not to mention that considering whether to accept the next bunch of characters is more difficult due to having one more character in the party than was originally intended.

    3) This is also very important for Rasaad who is placed in such a way that it's now, due to Beamdog, very easy and natural to reach both Minsc and Edwin with a party that's full already. This was absolutely not intended, and wasn't how the game played out originally. Players generally got to Minsc or Edwin with 4 or 5 members in the party, not 6.

    4) This changes the nature of the game to a degree that you are practically not selling BG anymore. Really. Minsc and Edwin, apart from giving you the quest, are by far the most well known and popular characters in the whole series. If they weren't so beloved there might not have been a BG 2 at all.

    5) This also changes the nature of the game directly by setting the player to not even get the Gnoll Stronghold quest, meaning no real incentive to explore that part of the map (which is what Edwin and Minsc are all about).

    6) All this very strongly contributes to the feeling that the new content is hijjacking a very beloved game, because, due to inexpert and unwise placement and impementation - it is. It looks like it was someone's decision, literally: "Push our stuff, make sure the people who buy see our stuff", and this is very very irritating, as people who pay for BG 1 want to play BG 1. They wouldn't mind the new stuff if it wasn't interfereing with the game they loved as kids. They don't mind either Dorn or Eldoth nearly as much as they mind Neera and Rasaad.

    7) New players don't get to experience the game which build the franchise - the new content gets in the way instead of complementing it.

    So no, people are not complaining just because new stuff is new, they're complaining because the new stuff was not properly implemented. If it was there'd be way less grumbling.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,663
    lujo said:

    But what if they are clearly dishonest or saying things that can be argued are not sane? Or if they are saying things which, if they are saying them while sane, make them dishonest?

    Nope. :wink: Otherwise everyone would be trying to convince the moderating team that they were the ones who were right/sane/honest. But the Site Rules apply to everyone equally, and the moderating team isn't allowed to make exceptions. You can say somebody is 100% wrong about something and you can be 100% right--hell, you could have the whole rest of the forum agree with you, including the moderators--but it doesn't mean attacking the other guy is okay. The idea is to keep the forum respectful even when people strongly disagree with each other.

    Think about the kind of precedent that would set, if we made exceptions for people who were "right." Would you really want to give moderators the power to determine who was right and who was wrong? :naughty:

    lujo
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,141
    edited February 2018
    ThacoBell said:

    @UnderstandMouseMagic I'm working off a continuing pattern that I have seen since the release of the EEs. I see so many people complain about the new npcs, citing examples that are followed by half the npcs in the series, and I never see these same complaints levelled at the original npcs. So somehow, Neera is bad but BG2 npcs are good, even though they are implemented in the same way.
    The only difference that I can find between Neera, and the accepted original npcs, is that Neera is new. I have never seen an argument from a detractor that suggests otherwise.This leads me to believe people are simply complaining out of nostalgia.

    Opinion on any NPC is subjective.
    The only difference you can see is that Neera is a new NPC.

    However what I can see is that she is,

    annoying
    her dialogue is jarring
    her implementation is clumsy
    she feels imposed on the game rather than a part of it.
    and quite a few more issues.

    Overall she comes across to me as a poor addition to the game.

    I am perfectly capable of understanding that is my opinion.

    What I very much object to is those opinions being dismissed in favour of making judgements about one's attitude/view that has nothing to do with the criticisms being leveled at the NPC.

    For the sake of argument, lets assume I don't like this NPC because they are new.

    How does that negate the criticism that her dialogue is very different from the dialogue used by other NPC?
    How does it negate criticism leveled against the intrusive and unavoidable cutscenes employed in the game when this character is introduced? (in BG2 in particular)






  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,259
    lujo said:

    But what if they are clearly dishonest or saying things that can be argued are not sane? Or if they are saying things which, if they are saying them while sane, make them dishonest?

    i've been a member since 2012. this forum is more ban happy than you seem to be aware of. rules are taken to heart, especially the old "be excellent" formula that still informs the spirit of the moderation. better to go the "when in rome" route than acting all smart, take it from a friend

    lujo
This discussion has been closed.